Lee Samaha

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  • Don't Get Too Excited by the Prospects for the Dollar Stores

    By Lee Samaha - July 15, 2013 | Tickers: DG, DLTR, FDO

    Investors can be forgiven for thinking that all is well with the outlook for the dollar stores after Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) rose sharply in post-earnings trading. However, in reality, there were some warning signs for the economy in the report.  Moreover, the underlying story in these earnings is of how well the company is adjusting to weak market conditions. Dollar General (NYSE: DG) and Dollar Tree(NASDAQ: DLTR) were more »

  • The Winners and Losers From Alcoa's Report

    By Lee Samaha - July 12, 2013 | Tickers: AA, AME, GE, PLL

    Investors always like to look at Alcoa’s (NYSE: AA) earnings and use them as a guide to the rest of earnings season. In the latest second-quarter results, there were some surprising elements which deserve to be looked at in more detail. In this article, I want to examine Alcoa’s end market commentary and discuss the implications for some companies which you might be looking at.

    Alcoa changes guidance more »

  • Can This High-Yield Play Really Keep Growing?

    By Lee Samaha - July 12, 2013 | Tickers: ADP, INTU, PAYX

    It’s always interesting to look at Paychex's (NASDAQ: PAYX) results, because the small business service provider usually gives good color on the economy. What do its latest results say about the small business environment, Paychex's own prospects, and can the company grow its relatively large dividend?

    Paychex gives mixed commentary

    Anyone hoping that Paychex would deliver an upbeat depiction of the economy would have been disappointed with more »

  • The 3 Big Risks in This Stock

    By Lee Samaha - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: CAG, MKC, THS

    ConAgra Foods(NYSE: CAG) stands out as a winner in the food industry over the last few years. Its mix of value brands in the consumer division, expanding private label business and, a commercial foods division (which has been expanding profits strongly over the last few years) has stood it in good stead to deal with a challenging environment.

    In summary, I think the company is well-positioned to do well more »

  • Can This Stock Keep Lighting Up Your Portfolio?

    By Lee Samaha - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: AYI, CREE, RBC

    North America's leading lighting company, Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), delivered another good set of results for its recent third quarter, and spoke about its markets picking up.The stock offers a ‘back door’ way to play the increasing usage of LEDs in lighting solutions.If you like the construction industry and energy-efficient lighting, then Acuity could be a stock for you. Its prospects look positive, but is that enough more »

  • Why This Stock's Valuation Is Looking A Bit Too Spicy

    By Lee Samaha - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: MKC, MCD, YUM

    There is a lot to like about the long-term prospects for spice and seasoning company McCormick (NYSE: MKC)Consumers are demanding ever more flavor in their cooking, and food companies are being forced to innovate by using flavorings in order to compete in difficult end markets. With these positive trends in place, the company is doing well. But what of its near-term prospects? Moreover, is the stock good value right more »

  • Is This Housing-Related Play Still a Good Value?

    By Lee Samaha - July 8, 2013 | Tickers: BBBY, PIR, WSM

    With the housing market seemingly at the start of a multi-year recovery, the market has been keen to bid up any stock related to the sector. Usually this is for good reason, because the earnings outlook is improving for these companies. However, in the case of homeware retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), I think the market is giving it the benefit of the doubt over the prospects for its more »

  • Why This Sportswear Giant Could Face Challenges

    By Lee Samaha - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: NKE, VFC

    Nike (NYSE: NKE) is one of those companies whose results will interest the whole of the retail industry as well as its own shareholders.  And given its recent results there are many things to consider. It’s a story of strong execution in North America and with footwear in particular. However, its European markets remain weak and China is displaying the kind of softness that others are seeing.

    In summary more »

  • What This IT Bellwether's Results Mean to the Market?

    By Lee Samaha - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: IBM, ORCL, PANW, RAX, SAP

    The last thing the tech market needed right now was a disappointing set of earnings from Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), but unfortunately that is exactly what it got. It would be an understatement to say that it has been a difficult 2013 so far for the tech industry and these numbers will do little to assuage many fears. But what do they mean for Oracle and how do they relate to more »

  • Why Investors Need to Be Cautious About Tech in Q2

    By Lee Samaha - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: IBM, ORCL, TIBX

    Just as Albert Einstein might have said, it’s all relative, isn’t it? In case of TIBCO Software’s (NASDAQ: TIBX) latest results, it most certainly is. The real question is to analyze what is going on in an absolute sense and what it might mean for the rest of the tech sector. It’s been a difficult 2013 so far for technology, so what do the tech company more »

  • Can This Retailer Turn Its Performance Around?

    By Lee Samaha - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: COST, CVS, PG, WAG

    Investors in Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) have had a pretty good time of it over the last year with a near 50% gain as I write however, the recent results were somewhat disappointing. The market did what it does with an earnings miss and promptly marked the stock down. By now most interested parties will be aware of the situation so I decided to take a more in-depth look at what more »

  • Don't Miss the Upside Potential of This Stock

    By Lee Samaha - June 27, 2013 | Tickers: DPSGY, FDX, UPS

    It’s very easy to get caught up in the trap of following quarterly earnings in so much granular data that developments in the long term trends can easily be missed. At times, investors are too quick to expect managements to hit quarterly guidance while not focusing on any strategic changes being made. In the case of FedEx (NYSE: FDX), this would be unfortunate because its numbers reveal some fascinating more »

  • Why Investors Should Be Cautious Over China

    By Lee Samaha - June 25, 2013 | Tickers: FDX, ORCL, PLL

    There are two ways of looking at developments on the macro-economic front.

    The first is to take a top down approach and analyze as much economic data as you can get your hands on. The second is to build up a macro view by aggregating knowledge from looking at a large number of micro sources such as company earnings.

    In this article I want to do the latter and look more »

  • When Will Investors Stop Worrying About QE?

    By Lee Samaha - June 24, 2013 | Tickers: COF, HD, XLU, WFC

    I tread carefully in writing this article because whenever anyone discusses the pseudo-religious issue of investing fundamentals and/or why markets move, he is usually met with a gale of fundamentalist abuse. In this case I’m talking about the recent falls in various asset classes, which were caused by Ben Bernanke’s recent statement . I want to look at why the market reacted the way that it did. What more »

  • Warning Signs for the Industrial Sector?

    By Lee Samaha - June 21, 2013 | Tickers: AA, AME, GE, PLL

    When looking at a stock it is always tempting to take an initial peek at its share price graph to make a quick and easy assessment. In the case of Pall Corp (NYSE: PLL) and its impressive looking chart, it would be easy to conclude that things are going great, but the reality is that it has been a challenging environment for the industrial sector.

    In summary, there are some more »

  • Why This Retailer Is Outperforming

    By Lee Samaha - June 20, 2013 | Tickers: COST, LOW, WMT

    The retail sector usually makes sense,or at least we can delude ourselves that we can make sense of it all. There are obvious macroeconomic trends filtering through into the results of the companies in the sector. From the dollar stores to the high end, through the specialty stores and the online based companies, there are discernible patterns we can use to gauge future performance. And then there is Costco more »

  • What Miss Utah Should Have Said

    By Lee Samaha - June 20, 2013 | Tickers: AGN, DLTR, PETM, VRNT, WFM

    I would have voted for Miss Utah. Not only did I find her the most attractive but she also gave a pretty coherent answer to a question which appeared to be come pre-loaded with a rather poorly thought out line of argument.

    It gets worse. Most of the press following the famous question and answer session in the Miss USA pageant hasn’t managed to give a better answer to more »

  • Can This Industrial Take Off?

    By Lee Samaha - June 15, 2013 | Tickers: AA, AME, HEI, PPG, PCP

    It’s been a mixed earnings season for industrial-based stocks and Ametek’s (NYSE: AME) last set of results provided a pretty good microcosm of what has been going on. In short, companies with heavy exposure to industries like automotive and aerospace have done well, while almost everything else has found things difficult. So what makes Ametek interesting and what can we read across for other companies?

    Ametek generates growth more »

  • Is This Retailer Still Cheap?

    By Lee Samaha - June 14, 2013 | Tickers: JCP, ROST, TJX

    The U.S. economy remains in slow and unspectacular recovery mode, but this fact should not deter investors. Making money in the markets is not just about buying/selling stocks in line with the economy but, in my opinion, more about finding stocks that can surprise on the upside within an understanding of the future economic climate.

    I think the off-price retailers are a good example of the sort of more »

  • Why This Health Care Play Looks Like a Good Value

    By Lee Samaha - June 14, 2013 | Tickers: AET, CI, HOLX, LH, DGX

    I'm more of a GARP orientated investor but I occasionally I dabble in some value stocks. I confess I get tempted by the sordid infidelity of it all. 

    A few years ago a well known UK fund manager outlined one approach to the art of value investing to me. In short it involved analyzing companies across a sector and finding one that was under-performing based on various key metrics more »

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