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Publicis Groupe SA Message Board

  • iwantwhatscomingtome iwantwhatscomingtome Jun 6, 2007 8:20 PM Flag

    increasing some bets

    A lot of stuff is down sharply over two days; I added heavily to PEP, PFE, MSFT, added also to JNJ and PLD.

    Betting on a reversion, plus a shift out of riskier, cyclical names into large blue chip defensives.

    These shouldn't be hurt as much by interest rates or inflation.

    I would like to add to energy and timber, but the price isn''t right, yet, IMO

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    • Sam � hope all is well. I actually just recently ordered the newest versions of Walker�s Manual. I have yet to receive. Hopefully, soon. GNCI had a nice spike today on some vague comments from an SEC filing from the person that owns 11.5% of the company. What turnarounds are you in? I look at every symbol.

    • "what issues did you find to be resolved lately?"

      The last time that I looked at FFH was about a year ago. So maybe "lately" is not exactly the right word.

      When I started looking at them a number of years ago they had just finished their acquisition binge. They had a poor combined ratio and were very overlevereged. Their assets were open to question as they had a large portion allocated to reinsurance which wasn't clear whether it was of the finite variety - ie a loan. They were frequently transfering assets to subsidiaries and various special purpose entities to meet statutory ratios.

      Looking through the annual report, this is the first time that I can recall seeing all of the subsidiaries having a sub-100 combined ratio. The balance sheet looks to me to be in good shape. Most recently they spun off some more shares of ORH, and went from owning 80% to 60% of it.

      Last year I looked at buyin shares around the $120 level or so. Basically, I outsmarted myself waiting for a better price. It would have been clearly better to buy then. However, at 1.3x book, I would expect that the stock price out to reflect how well the business performs. Other insurers with good investors seem to generate good shareholder returns with stock prices of say 1.2x-2.0x book value. Because I believe that FFH has fixed their specific issues I expect them not to sell below book anymore.

      Also, FFH has neutralized most or all of their general stock market risk via S&P puts. I am concerned about the stock market and am happy with a stock that isn't going to be following in lockstep with the S&P500.

    • i've noticed that FFH looks cheap and that some smart investors hold it - what issues did you find to be resolved lately?

    • Hi, Mr. Arch,

      Thank you for the invite. My e-mail address is Please feel free to drop me a note. I check the mail a few times a week.

      Actually, I feel no harm in discussing them here either. This board has some of the most astute visitors. These may not be interesting for most, but then who knows, we might all be surprised. Muleslimejaws was the one that got me started on this track. He still pops in every so often.

      By the way, do you subscribe to Walker's Manual? I don't, but I heard it covers many of these issues.

      I am into a few turnarounds. I confess it's mostly speculations. Not much to go by.

      Be glad to hear from you...Good night.


    • "WTM appears to be undervalued and TGIS is a safe play with upside. We'll see."

      I was looking into WTM nearer $500 but passed. I passed near $300 as well.

      I did buy shares of FFH on Thursday, although I passed when it was much cheaper last year. On the other hand, I was having an easier time finding cheap stocks back then. Also, it seems like FFH has been able to shed some legitimate concerns too.

      I nibbled a bit on ASA, and occasionally I will buy closed end funds at a discount. And gold is one of those areas that seem somewhat defensive.

    • Yes, I know CWLM as well. Important to know about CWLM is that the family launched a going private offer around $2,800 per share or so. The boat has been missed on that one - unfortunately, I never bought any. I was actually able to find more on CWLM than any other of the companies listed because of the SEC filings.

      Maybe email is better for a dialog?

    • Greetings again.

      Now, Mr. Arch, you are not pulling my legs, are you? I know the first four, and BHRB looks familiar too. So, off the beaten path, we meet again. This is just too exciting.

      I don't own any of them. I'd be delighted to talk about them, but info is scamp on most of them. Another one that falls in similar category would be Crowley Maritime which also don't publish its numbers.

      I'd be delighted to hear what you have to say about anyone of them.

      Thanks again and my best,

    • took a pasting today and delevered some from PEP, PFE, added a little JNJ and PLD. The question is whether to jump back in here or treat this as a turning point and wait to see how much more bond yields will run up

      • 1 Reply to iwantwhatscomingtome
      • Hi, Mr. Iwant,

        I wished I could just go fishing when the picking is slim...Mr. Lancer got the right idea.

        Added JOE, TGIS & IBCIQ. The last being a pure spectuation that equity holder will come through okay. The business has staying power. The hot hedge fund money may push this along.
        I traded JOE off a while back. At this range, its a place to store money.
        TGIS became a 10%+ position thanks to the falling prices. The outcome is not predictable but its moving to diversify to private sector without sacrificing margin, so far at least. This is a bet on execution by the management.

        Much smaller, I also added on RAND.
        Did I mention GNCI.OB before? Gencor makes equipments for asphalt pavement, it also has some interest in some alternative energy partnerships. Not much of a future in itself, but it might get some more Section 29 credit this year, then we'll see how it utilize the cash hords. I bought it near $9.

        I wanted to add to CBAK, but decided to wait a while. CBAK, inspite of the earnings the past year, is still burning cash. Cash is getting low.

        Took profit on the smallish AEY below $5. It's at the price that I feel no advantage keep on holding.

        What I really need is to spend time reading up on companies. I have not done so. The few choices I made are not as attractive as I'd like.

        Best, Sam