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Investors Title Co. Message Board

  • astral_tsar astral_tsar Mar 16, 2005 2:44 PM Flag


    ITIC looking very weak to me. Risk of a price collapse is high on any bad news, IMO. With refi market looking lean, scary earnings news could come any quarter.

    I've sold some and am preparing myself mentally to see some low prices on the rest of my holdings. If it sinks below $27, I'll buy my shares back.

    Best of luck all.

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    • I've been buying a little more in the 39.xx's during the last few days. No argument from me against someone who wants to lighten up the ITIC position, though. You either get it back cheaper later, or, if it never gets cheaper, you cry all the way to the bank in the years to come.

    • Astral and pjv: You two seem pretty sharp. Do you think that the recent weakness in the homebuilders and the new lows in FNM are an omen? It would worry me a little if I was invested in home finance, homebuilders or title companies. I am out for now, but I really like ITIC. If the price was right and the investment environment looked better to me I would be a buyer. Of all the title companies, I like ITIC the best.

    • Let me straighten you out on astral and me being sharp. I gave him a lead to ALGI. He gave me a lead to ITIC. Compare.

    • pjv: You convinced me. ITIC looks better than ALGI and paying foreign income taxes out of dividends paid to a tax exempt account does not qualify you for MENSA.

    • Title company stocks taking a beating today. See FAF, FNF, STC & LFG.

    • Yeah, I think that a down cycle for real estate is probably on its way. Yuppies are now making money by selling *unbuilt* houses for the market appreciation before construction even starts. That can't continue.

      We all remember the last big real estate downturn in the early 1990s. Lenders went under, and the earnings picture for builders and title insurers was brutal for years. In the two-year period 1991-1992 ITIC lost money. The share price sagged to $2.00 in April 1992. THAT was a good entry point ... but buyers who paid $6 or $7 in 1990 had a long, grim ride.

      Sure, the silver lining is that ITIC appears very well-run. They're very, very unlikely to go under in my opinion. Still, imagine the effect of 8 losing quarters on share price. That possibility worries me.

    • Heh. It ain't over til it's over.

      By the way, if you like to really read financials in depth, you might give Winn-Dixie's a try. Here's the question: why did they file chapter 11?

    • astral tsar: I looked at the Winn Dixie financial statements that I could find on Yahoo. The latest balance sheet I could find was June, 2004. Of course, a lot has happened since then. They reported losses and write-offs of about $550,000,000 since then. Isn't it amusing how the carried goodwill and intangibles of about $90,000,000 on their balance sheet right up to the date they filed for bankruptcy? I believe "goodwill" should represent the excess earning power of your business not how much you overpaid when you bought a business.

      In addition, if Winn Dixie is forced to close more stores, they will probably have additional losses on leases, inventory severance etc. Then comes the hard part, they have to compete with an expanding WalMart.

      Therefore, my guess
      is that Winn Dixie disappears sooner or later and I am not interested. It could come out of bankruptcy as a smaller company and then merge with somebody else.

      I was interested that you brought up Winn Dixie because I have recently become somewhat interested in Albertsons. I have not bought any yet and may not. Most grocery chains pay very little in dividends if any. Most don't have much tangible book value. They face growing competition from WalMart and there are too many stores.

      I think Albertsons is a cut above the others in terms of book value and dividends and I use and like their stores.

      That said, the food business is very competitive and the stock market does not look good to me now. Nevertheless, ABS is making
      new lows and yielding about 4%. I intend to keep my eye on it.

    • pmlljl,

      Winn Dixie certainly isn't for the faint of heart.

      The interesting question (to me) is the huge disparity in market price. Winn-Dixie sells for less than 1% of sales, while Albertson's sells for 18% of sales. So if Albertson's in the future will be 20x more profitable (per dollar of sales today) then the relative market valuations are correct.

    • There are two more recent quarters filed by the way. The latest ended 1/12/05. Here are the Qs.

      Qtr ended Jan 12 2005

      Qtr ended Sep 22 2004

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