Ted Cooper

Editor's Choice

  • Is This Company the Next Berkshire?

    By Ted Cooper - April 30, 2013 | Tickers: MKL, PGR | Editor's Choice

    Warren Buffett's success with Berkshire Hathaway has inspired countless investors to emulate the insurance and private equity model. Former Buffett lieutenant David Sokol left Berkshire to build his own mini-Berkshire, while David Einhorn started his own insurance business just a few years ago.

    However, the only copycat to come anywhere close to matching Buffett's success is Tom Gayner's Markel (NYSE: MKL). Markel has compounded book value per more »

  • Bright Outlook for Device Makers

    By Ted Cooper - April 28, 2013 | Tickers: BSX, MDT, STJ | Editor's Choice

    In my last article, I argued that Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), and St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) were potentially-attractive investments. However, I made a key assumption in the article that is undoubtedly false: I assumed that each company's operations will stay the exact same from now into eternity.

    Although the assumption is false, it is a useful starting point for further analysis. The goal of this more »

  • Time to Buy This Underrated Stock

    By Ted Cooper - April 17, 2013 | Tickers: PKI, TMO, WAT | Editor's Choice

    As the premier supplier of analytical instruments to pharmaceutical and industrial customers, Waters (NYSE: WAT) receives a hefty deal of praise. However, Waters is often overshadowed by its larger rival, Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). This is an understandable first impression given Thermo's greater access to financial resources, but Waters holds its own in its primary markets, allowing it to be much more profitable than its rivals.

    Superior technology more »

  • Time to Buy This Underrated Stock

    By Ted Cooper - April 17, 2013 | Tickers: PKI, TMO, WAT | Editor's Choice

    As the premier supplier of analytical instruments to pharmaceutical and industrial customers, Waters (NYSE: WAT) receives a hefty deal of praise. However, Waters is often overshadowed by its larger rival, Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). This is an understandable first impression given Thermo's greater access to financial resources, but Waters holds its own in its primary markets, allowing it to be much more profitable than its rivals.

    Superior technology more »

  • All Tech Companies Go to Hades

    By Ted Cooper - March 27, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, DELL, HPQ | Editor's Choice

    No other sector has experienced the rate of churn in dominant companies as the technology sector. Compaq reaped enormous profits in the 1980s due to its superior product and rapid innovation. But competition caught up with it in the 1990s as up-starts like Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) offered the same product for less. But even Dell succumbed to rapid changes in the industry, as consumers moved from PCs to tablets and more »

  • High Switching Costs Make This Stock a Bargain

    By Ted Cooper - March 5, 2013 | Tickers: ADP, MSFT, PAYX | Editor's Choice

    Determining whether a company has a sustainable competitive advantage is the most important part of any investment analysis for long-term shareholders. Companies that do not have sustainable competitive advantages will eventually succumb to competition. However, those that have wide moats often reward shareholders for years to come.

    When looking for wide-moat companies, investors need look no further than the payroll processing industry. Two payroll processors -- Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX) and Automatic more »

  • Want to Invest Like Buffett? Then Don't Buy BRK

    By Ted Cooper - January 29, 2013 | Tickers: BRK-B, FICO, DNB | Editor's Choice

    I recently enjoyed reading an article by Jake Mann of Insider Monkey titled "Want to Invest Like Buffett?" The article makes several good points; it notes that Buffett likes to buy simple businesses that have durable competitive advantages and strong management teams. He then argues that it is difficult to know how to invest like Buffett, so we should just buy Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) and call it a day more »

  • IBM Still Trades Where Buffett Bought It. Is It a Good Buy?

    By Ted Cooper - January 23, 2013 | Tickers: CSCO, IBM, ORCL | Editor's Choice

    Warren Buffett's second- and third-quarter purchases of IBM (NYSE: IBM) last year sent a shock wave through the investment community; for the first time ever, the Oracle of Omaha had invested in a technology company. Clearly he believes the company has a defensible moat and will continue generating strong earnings for decades to come.

    Now, many months after Buffett first revealed his position in the company, the stock still more »

  • Oil Majors Look Cheap

    By Ted Cooper - January 22, 2013 | Tickers: CVX, COP, XOM, RDS-A | Editor's Choice

    The oil majors have had a great year due to high refining margins, but the market is not giving them credit for it because refining margins are not expected to hold up. As a result, the companies trade at a low multiple of EBITDA and earnings.

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    Though margin compression may drive down profitability in the short term, the companies look really cheap based on their long-term record of profitability. If more »

  • This Retailer's Stock Is About to Pop

    By Ted Cooper - January 18, 2013 | Tickers: BBBY, PIR, WMS | Editor's Choice

    There are really only two business strategies that lead to long-term success: (1) exploit a competitive advantage and (2) be the low-cost producer. If a business cannot do #1, it must do #2. As an investor I do not spend time looking at companies that are not following either strategy; their future is almost always too murky to even guess at.

    If you have to choose between the two, you more »

  • Medical Device Maker Is Too Cheap to Ignore

    By Ted Cooper - January 18, 2013 | Tickers: BSX, MDT, STJ | Editor's Choice

    If uncertainty creates investment opportunity, then there is plenty of opportunity in the healthcare sector. With provisions buried within Obamacare still coming to light and proposed cuts to Medicare making their way through Congress, it is difficult to know which companies will benefit and which will suffer at the hands of the federal government.

    However, some companies are just too cheap to ignore despite the uncertainty. For instance, Medtronic (NYSE: MDTmore »)

  • New Strategy for Game Publisher Will Pay Off for Shareholders

    By Ted Cooper - January 14, 2013 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, TTWO | Editor's Choice

    The last few years have been unexpectedly difficult for Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) and other game publishers. The console cycle has lasted longer than most industry insiders expected, which has resulted in fewer sales for the industry.

    But Electronic Arts has suffered from more than just overdue console releases; many of its top franchises, including its top-selling Madden NFL franchise, have been unable to significantly grow sales over the last more »

  • Shortsighted Investors Are Missing This Stock's Long-Term Value Proposition

    By Ted Cooper - January 2, 2013 | Tickers: EEFT, MGI, WU | Editor's Choice

    Western Union (NYSE: WU) is the world's leading money transfer business, but near-term problems have weighed on the stock as of late. Despite its dominant market position, investors are concerned that a weak global economy and emerging substitute products will subject Western Union to substantial pain. However, the company's long-term business results likely will look similar or better than in the past, which makes the stock look cheap more »

  • Can Strong Customer Relationships Save This Struggling Industry Giant?

    By Ted Cooper - December 31, 2012 | Tickers: CTCT, PBI, STMP | Editor's Choice

    Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) is the largest provider of mailstream products and services in the world. It has historically enjoyed an enormous competitive advantage in the U.S. through its preferred status with the U.S. Postal Service. However, a decline in physical mail volumes threatens to sink the USPS, and some investors think it will take Pitney Bowes with it. However, Pitney Bowes is making important changes in its more »

  • Will This Airline's Change in Strategy Spell Glory or Doom?

    By Ted Cooper - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: JBLU, LUV, UAL, LCC | Editor's Choice

    Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) made headlines in 2011 when it completed the purchase of AirTran for $1.4 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition was hailed by analysts as a terrific move to spur growth. Many observers noted that there would be no cannibalization because there is so little overlap between the two companies. However, the lack of overlap is precisely why the acquisition will turn out to be more »

  • A Legendary Investor Loves This Stock

    By Ted Cooper - December 12, 2012 | Tickers: CL, KMB, PG, UL | Editor's Choice

    Bill Ackman's hedge fund, Pershing Square, recently disclosed that it owns roughly 1% of Procter & Gamble's (NYSE: PG) outstanding shares. There are many reasons to be bullish on Procter & Gamble; the company owns some of the best-recognized brands in the world, it's rapidly expanding internationally, management is implementing a $10 billion cost-cutting plan, and the company has a long history of returning value to shareholders.

    Owns Best more »

  • One Simple Metric Proves this Blue Chip is Massively Undervalued

    By Ted Cooper - December 6, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, DE, XOM, GE, MSFT | Editor's Choice

    General Electric (NYSE: GE) is arguably the best-run company in the world. Known for its celebrity CEOs and legendary management training program, GE is a leader in every market in which it competes. The company is enormous -- with $146 billion in sales over the last four quarters -- but is an efficient operator. It is also well-diversified, with operations in aviation, transportation, consumer finance, healthcare, energy infrastructure, and home & business solutions more »

  • What Makes These Arches Golden?

    By Ted Cooper - November 28, 2012 | Tickers: JACK, MCD, WEN | Editor's Choice

    McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is the largest fast-food chain by sales in the world. It has the 7th-best global brand according to Interbrand, and Entrepreneur Magazine ranks it third on its list of top 100 franchises; no other quick-service burger chain made Entrepreneur's list. But a great brand and popular franchises are not what make this chain the best in its industry. Instead, McDonald's secret to success lies more »

  • Gamestop Headed for Oblivion? Not So Fast!

    By Ted Cooper - October 4, 2012 | Tickers: GME, MSFT, SNE | Editor's Choice

    When I began researching Gamestop (NYSE: GME), I thought I was forming an opinion on a "battleground" stock -- a stock where a vocal contingent of bulls and bears sharply disagree with one another. However, I quickly discovered that Gamestop is not a battleground stock at all; hardly anyone is shouting 'Buy!' Many investors hold the opinion that Gamestop is going the way of Blockbuster. After all, this is the age more »

  • Straight From the Founders: Google Doesn't Care About Profits

    By Ted Cooper - September 27, 2012 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, YHOO | Editor's Choice

    Investors in Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) have reaped enormous capital gains since its 2004 IPO.

    • Google's search engine is second-to-none, commanding an 86% share of all search engine traffic worldwide
    • Its cloud applications (e.g., Gmail) are ubiquitous
    • Its "Don't be evil" slogan has earned the company a cult-like following

    However, despite the tremendous potential that still lies ahead, investors should carefully consider whether Google is being run with more »