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Stock Opinions by Michael Sprung

COMMENT
Tempted to go to cash? That's always a temptation, but it's a mug's game trying to second guess the market. All you can do is buy the best stocks you can at reasonable prices. Even if they do get thrown out with the high flyers from time to time, they tend to recover. Financial strength, safety of dividends, and stay the course. In a market like this, what tends to happen is you tend to be a net seller rather than a net buyer. You're probably a bit heavier in cash today than you were a year ago.
Unknown
COMMENT
US tech stocks. Have been a wonderful gift. As a value investor, there's very little he'd play in that field. Multiples are beyond his reach. He wants tried and true, long-term companies. Most of his investors are looking for capital preservation, not the big swings that you can get with some of the tech stocks these days.
Unknown
COMMENT
Oil and gas. Yes, he's in. Never totally abandoned them. Energy will be a necessary part of powering the world for the foreseeable future. Yes, lots of divestment. Weaker companies have fallen away, providing opportunities for the larger players to pick up production growth reasonably. Huge swings in oil prices this last year. As long as we can remain in the range we are, companies that are left tend to be huge free cashflow generators. We're already seeing dividend improvement. It's still an area of good value that people can exploit.
Unknown
DON'T BUY
MRE vs. LNR vs. MG A bit of a dilemma. All being hit by supply shortages. Earnings ticking down, so PE's are at the higher range. In terms of ROE, MG would be the most profitable. MRE's is quite a bit less, though the multiple is also less. MRE is 0.8 price to book, PE of 9.8. His choice is LNR: it's in the middle of the pack, price to book is just over 1, PE is 10, and ROE tends to be more over time.
metal fabricators
DON'T BUY
MG vs. MRE vs. LNR A bit of a dilemma. All being hit by supply shortages. Earnings ticking down, so PE's are at the higher range. In terms of ROE, MG would be the most profitable. MRE's is quite a bit less, though the multiple is also less. MRE is 0.8 price to book, PE of 9.8. His choice is LNR: it's in the middle of the pack, price to book is just over 1, PE is 10, and ROE tends to be more over time.
Automotive
WEAK BUY
LNR vs. MRE vs. MG A bit of a dilemma. All being hit by supply shortages. Earnings ticking down, so PE's are at the higher range. In terms of ROE, MG would be the most profitable. MRE's is quite a bit less, though the multiple is also less. MRE is 0.8 price to book, PE of 9.8. His choice is LNR: it's in the middle of the pack, price to book is just over 1, PE is 10, and ROE tends to be more over time.
transportation equip & components
BUY
Well positioned. Excellent management. Spinning out divisions, which is wise. Good national player, good scope.
telephone utilities
BUY
Sees growth here. Likes it. Doesn't own, but he would. Raising dividend, free cashflow, finding opportunities for growth. In the Top 10 in oil and gas.
Oil and Gas (Integrated Oils)
BUY
Has long admired it. Given all the building going on, opportunities are opening up for them. Board has always been sensitive to shareholders concerns. Good, long-term hold.
mngmnt / diversified
BUY
Still likes it. Things are finally coming together. Last year, put a record amount of capital to work. Payout ratio should decline, so potential for dividend increases. Companies they invest in are well diversified, from fitness to construction. Very well run. Yield is extremely attractive at just over 7%, but interest rates could cause choppiness.
Trust, Savings and Loan
HOLD
Domestically, he doesn't generally use ETFs, saving those for foreign exposure instead. Overall, banks are good to be in right now, given world uncertainties. Rules being relaxed means share buybacks and dividend increases. Earnings potential over the next year will stall out, until the economy gets more settled. Prime area to hold for safety.
E.T.F.'s
HOLD
Domestically, he doesn't generally use ETFs, saving those for foreign exposure instead. Overall, banks are good to be in right now, given world uncertainties. Rules being relaxed means share buybacks and dividend increases. Earnings potential over the next year will stall out, until the economy gets more settled. Prime area to hold for safety.
E.T.F.'s
COMMENT
Canadian banks. Overall, banks are good to be in right now, given world uncertainties. Rules being relaxed means share buybacks and dividend increases. Earnings potential over the next year will stall out, until the economy gets more settled. Prime area to hold for safety.
Unknown
STRONG BUY
Sunset clause on voting share structure has been triggered, so there's only one class of shares. He'd recommend it very strongly. Benefits from the expanding economy we hope to have over the next few years.
food stores
HOLD
Recent large dividend increase. Lots of free cash. Astute management in turning the company around. Reasonable multiple. A longer term hold. Capex program is steady. Expects dividend increases over the years, and perhaps some buybacks.
oil / gas
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