Steve Symington

Editor's Choice

  • Here's the Affirmation iRobot Has Been Waiting For

    By Steve Symington - January 23, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, IRBT, MAKO | Editor's Choice

    For as long as most of us can remember, the world has dreamed of the life-changing potential held in the field of robotics.  To be fair, robots today certainly make our lives easier by performing time-consuming or otherwise difficult tasks. 

    Boston Dynamics' LS3 robot, for instance, can carry a 400-pound payload up to 20 miles across nearly any terrain.  Unmanned aerial vehicles like AeroVironment's Raven and Textron's Shadow more »

  • Is SodaStream All Popped Out?

    By Steve Symington - January 15, 2013 | Tickers: KO, PEP, SODA | Editor's Choice

    For more than a century, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) has endured as a warmly regarded fixture in our culture.  

    The beverage titan has certainly weathered its fair share of competition, most notably in the form of well-documented Cola Wars with massive rivals like PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.  Even so, with annual revenues of more than $46 billion from thousands of products in more than 200 countries, Coca-Cola more »

  • When Will MAKO Finally Make it Big?

    By Steve Symington - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: HNSN, ISRG, MAKO | Editor's Choice

    Last Friday, Piper Jaffray analysts speculated MAKO Surgical (NASDAQ: MAKO) would pre-announce selected earnings on January 7, 2013, urging investors at the time to buy shares of the robotic surgery specialist ahead of the news. 

    After all, they reasoned, if MAKO were to report in-line results of 3100 procedures and 16 RIO systems sold, it would "ease investor concerns and drive the stock significantly higher."

    Horseshoes and hand grenades

    Sure more »

  • Will Lumber Liquidators Walk the Plank in 2013?

    By Steve Symington - January 7, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, LL | Editor's Choice

    As Foolish long-term investors, we should delight in finding responsible, growing companies which are built to last a lifetime.  After all, as Warren Buffett wrote in his 1989 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, "Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre."

    However, this doesn't mean we should be willing to pay any price to invest in otherwise-great businesses.

    The Stock

    This in mind, Lumber more »

  • Brew Huge Profits With the New Face of American Beer

    By Steve Symington - January 3, 2013 | Tickers: BUD, SAM, BREW, TAP | Editor's Choice

    On July 13, 2008, Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) sent shock waves through the American beer industry after it agreed to be sold to European rival InBev, effectively forming the world's largest brewing company with combined annual sales of more than $36 billion.  

    Unsurprisingly, the announcement was preceded by nearly two contentious months of chest thumping and lawsuits during which investors were treated to an attempted board overthrow by InBev as more »

  • Should Investors Be Salivating Over This Restaurant Stock?

    By Steve Symington - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: CMG, PNRA, YUM | Editor's Choice

    As an investor, I suffer from an insatiable appetite for finding responsible, growing companies with sustainable competitive advantages in their industries.  It's a problem, really; I have trouble going anywhere without pausing to break down the investment potential of any given situation.

    I'm also a relatively big guy with propensity for gravitating toward cold beer and great food.  You can only imagine my excitement, then, the first time more »

  • Markel Bags a Whale: Is Now the Time to Buy?

    By Steve Symington - December 19, 2012 | Tickers: ALTE, BRK-B, BRK-A, MKL | Editor's Choice

    With echoes of Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) 2009 Burlington Northern deal, Markel (NYSE: MKL) this morning announced its largest acquisition to date with a $3 billion cash and stock agreement to buy rival Alterra Capital Holdings (NASDAQ: ALTE).  

    The offer, which converts each common share of Alterra into a right to receive 0.04315 shares of Markel and a cash payment of $10, valued ALTE at $31 more »

  • Is Dolby as Cheap as it Seems?

    By Steve Symington - December 12, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, CMGE, DLB, DTSI | Editor's Choice

    As a starting point in my continuous search for new ideas, I often look for companies with strong earnings yields and great returns on invested capital.  Why?  Companies with high returns on invested capital generally possess durable competitive advantages and demonstrate a knack for creating value for shareholders.  When these companies also sport good earnings yields, they represent great potential opportunities for investors to beat the market.  

    Skeptical?  You don more »

  • Some Tough Love from Two Legendary Investors

    By Steve Symington - December 11, 2012 | Tickers: C, MAKO, UA | Editor's Choice

    As retail investors in an increasingly-connected world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thousands of conflicting opinions readily available to us in the media.  Investing great Peter Lynch summed this up nicely when he wrote "You can find good reasons to scuttle your equities in every morning paper and on every broadcast of the nightly news."  

    Legendary investor Benjamin Graham put it another way, writing "The stock investor more »

  • Buy Buffalo Wild Wings To Help Your Portfolio Soar

    By Steve Symington - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: BWLD, CMG, RRGB, YUM | Editor's Choice

    I have a confession to make.

    As an investor, I suffer from an insatiable appetite for finding responsible, growing companies with sustainable competitive advantages in their industries.  It's a problem, really; I have trouble doing anything without pausing to break down the investment potential of any given situation.

    I'm also a relatively big guy with a propensity for gravitating toward sports, beer, and great food.  You can only more »

  • Is Dell as Cheap as it Seems?

    By Steve Symington - November 26, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, DELL, HPQ, IBM, SSNLF | Editor's Choice

    As a starting point in my continuous search for new ideas, I often look for companies with high earnings yields and great returns on invested capital.  Why?  Companies with high returns on invested capital generally possess durable competitive advantages and demonstrate a knack for creating value for shareholders.  When these companies also sport high earnings yields, they represent great potential opportunities for investors to beat the market.  

    Skeptical?  You don more »

  • Is This Buyback a Bad Idea?

    By Steve Symington - November 15, 2012 | Tickers: NVDA, OLED, ZNGA | Editor's Choice

    I've made no secret of my general disdain for stock repurchase plans in lieu of dividends or capital appreciation through profitable growth.  

    In fact, just three weeks ago I lamented the announcement of Zynga's (NASDAQ: ZNGA) ill-advised buyback as yet another irresponsible way the company plans to quickly burn through its enviable cash pile.  In Zynga's case, I argued the money could be better put to use more »

  • Beat the market and sleep well with this stock

    By Steve Symington - November 13, 2012 | Tickers: COST, TGT, TD, WMT | Editor's Choice

    Famed economist Paul Samuelson once said "Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas."

    That's not to say investing can't be exciting; it's an amazing feeling to watch the positive effects on your portfolio after an investment thesis comes to fruition.  Mr. Samuelson, however, had a point: If you think investing is more »

  • Why Disney is Still a Buy

    By Steve Symington - November 6, 2012 | Tickers: HAS, DIS | Editor's Choice

    On August 31, 2009, Disney (NYSE: DIS) broke my heart.  

    I remember the morning clearly as I checked my news feeds and saw shares of MVL trading up nearly 30%. Was it a glitch? An anomaly in my ticker feed?  Alas, I nearly spit out my coffee as I read the headline: Disney to acquire Marvel in $4 billion deal.  One of my largest holdings had skyrocketed, taking my portfolio more »

  • Why You Should be Thankful for Impossible Expectations

    By Steve Symington - October 31, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, CMG, MAKO, NFLX, UA, OLED | Editor's Choice

    "A cathedral, a wave of storm, a dancer's leap, never turn out to be as high as we had hoped." - Marcel Proust

    Under Armour (NYSE: UA) last week reported year-over-year net revenue growth of 24% and diluted net income growth of 23%.  In addition, the company raised net revenue and operating income guidance for 2012 to meet the high end of its previous range.  For anyone keeping track, this more »

  • Crush the Market and Sleep Soundly With This Stock

    By Steve Symington - October 22, 2012 | Tickers: BRK-B, BRK-A, MKL, UA | Editor's Choice

    Recently a friend of mine told me with a smile, "Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) is my favorite mutual fund."

    While he was obviously kidding about the "mutual fund" part, Berkshire arguably remains the world's most successful holding company and represents one of the most compelling investments the world has to offer.  With a compounded annual gain from 1965 through 2011 of 19.8% (and up nearly 20 more »