Sam Mattera

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  • Did David Einhorn Give Up on His Green Mountain Short?

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: GMCR, SBUX, THS

    Hedge fund manager David Einhorn runs Greenlight Capital. In recent years, he’s been a noted critic of Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ: GMCR). In a presentation he gave in October 2011, he laid out the case for betting against the company, and since then he’s made frequent negative remarks concerning Green Mountain’s business.

    Yet Greenlight’s latest 13F filing shows that it sold all of the puts it more »

  • Why I Will Never Buy a For-Profit Education Stock

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: APOL, DV, ESI

    The for-profit education stocks like Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL), ITT Educational Services (NYSE: ESI) and DeVry (NYSE: DV) have been lousy long-term investments.

    Regulatory actions have weighed on the stocks of all three firms, and over the last five-years the stocks have lost 70%, 69% and 44% of their value, respectively.

    Now trading at bargain valuations, these stocks appear cheap based on a number of financial metrics. Nevertheless, I continue more »

  • The More Ackman Gets Attacked, The Better His Herbalife Trade Looks

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: HLF, NUS, USNA

    Bill Ackman has received a lot of criticism for publicly disclosing his short bet against Herbalife (NYSE: HLF).

    Most recently, Josh Brown (in a piece that’s actually favorable to Ackman), writes that he didn't agree with “the flamboyant rollout of his short position in Herbalife.”

    Brown is missing the point.

    Every time a member of the press mentions Ackman’s Herbalife short, his case gets stronger. Although investments more »

  • Samsung's Galaxy Gear Could Determine Its Relationship With Google

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, SSNLF

    Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) will reportedly unveil its smartwatch on Sept. 4, six days before the rumored announcement of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) next iPhone.

    SamMobile reports that the watch (which will be called the “Galaxy Gear”) will be unveiled at Samsung’s Unpacked event, along with the next iteration of its popular phablet, the Galaxy Note 3.

    While the success (or failure) of the device will no doubt affect Samsung more »

  • Buffett Ups Bet on Satellite TV

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: DTV, DISH, INTC

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has liked satellite TV for years. The firm began accumulating a stake in DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) in 2011, and now owns about 6% of the company.

    In the most recent quarter, Berkshire bought shares of DirecTV’s competitor, DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH). It’s a much smaller stake, only about 500,000 shares, but Buffett obviously sees something of value in the sector.

    Should investors more »

  • Apple Maintains Its Edge Over Android with Plants vs Zombies 2

    By Sam Mattera - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, EA, GOOG

    Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) has finally released the long-awaited sequel to the indie smash hit, Plants vs Zombies.

    The sequel, Plants vs Zombies 2, was released on Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL)  iOS last week, and already, it has risen to become the top free app in the store, beating out Candy Crush.

    With the sequel, EA has embraced a free-to-play model, and this decision could reap rewards for the struggling more »

  • Sony's New Cable Service Could Challenge the Establishment

    By Sam Mattera - August 17, 2013 | Tickers: DTV, INTC, SNE

    Sony (NYSE: SNE) has reached a preliminary deal with Viacom for its online pay-TV service, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    There have been reports in the past that Sony was developing some sort of cable alternative; rumblings of a deal with a major content provider suggests that Sony could roll out the service in the near future.

    Sony’s service would not be unique -- Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has plans more »

  • Bill Ackman Buys Air Products, Sells General Growth, Bets Big on P&G

    By Sam Mattera - August 17, 2013 | Tickers: APD, GGP, PG

    Investor Bill Ackman runs Pershing Square, a hedge fund with about $11 billion under management. Ackman’s general strategy is a combination of value investing and activism -- Pershing Square buys up large stakes in undervalued companies and works with the firm’s management to improve the underlying business.

    In the second quarter, Pershing Square purchased a large stake in Air Products (NYSE: APD), sold some of its General Growth Properties more »

  • David Einhorn Bets on a Rite Aid Turnaround

    By Sam Mattera - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: CVS, RAD, WAG

    Hedge fund manager David Einhorn looks to be betting on Rite Aid’s (NYSE: RAD) resurgence. In the second quarter, Einhorn’s fund, Greenlight Capital, bought up 20.2 million shares of the drugstore.

    Rite Aid has been on a steady upswing all year, and Einhorn’s Rite Aid trade is almost assuredly profitable. Year-to-date, shares of Rite Aid are up more than 158%, and further upside is possible.

    Pharmacies more »

  • David Tepper Sells Apple, Microsoft, and AIG

    By Sam Mattera - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: AIG, AAPL, MSFT

    David Tepper runs Appaloosa Management, one of the largest and most successful hedge funds.

    Tepper’s fund has an impressive track record -- he recently said that $1 million invested in the fund in 1993 would be worth $149 million today.

    According to his fund’s recent 13F filing, in the second quarter, Tepper made a number of major adjustments to his equity holdings. In particular, his fund sold large chunks more »

  • GameStop Is Still a Value Trap

    By Sam Mattera - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: GME, MSFT, SNE

    Shares of GameStop (NYSE: GME) have nearly doubled in 2013, and are up more than 170% since last August. The company has shaken off threats to its business model, and bulls are looking forward to the upcoming console refresh.

    Still, while there are reasons to like GameStop right now, longer-term the company remains immensely challenged.

    GameStop has bounced back from a rumor-fueled selloff

    Before they were unveiled, there was widespread more »

  • An Android Tsunami to Wash Away the Video Game Establishment

    By Sam Mattera - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, GOOG, NVDA

    First it was indie projects like the Ouya. Then a major tech company, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA),  stepped into the market with its handheld SHIELD. Next came reports that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) was working on a console of its own. And now, Internet retailer Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is said to be preparing a console to be released this year.

    All these devices have two things in common: they’re designed to more »

  • BlackBerry Is Looking for a Sucker

    By Sam Mattera - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: BBRY, LNVGY.PK, MSFT

    BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) said on Monday that it’s looking at strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company.

    This should come as no surprise. BlackBerry hired JPMorgan and RBC to review business operations last year, and BlackBerry’s CEO Thorsten Heins has said on numerous occasions that the company is open to “strategic alliances,” including the sale of the company’s hardware unit and the licensing of its software more »

  • The End Could Be Close for RadioShack

    By Sam Mattera - August 14, 2013 | Tickers: T, BBY, RSH

    RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) has a storied history. Somehow, the 90-year-old retailer has managed to survive multiple periods of transformation in the electronics industry.

    But this time might be different. Shares of RadioShack have lost more than 85% of their value since the beginning of 2010. The company reported a worse than expected loss back in July, and ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned that the company could default on its more »

  • 3 Stocks That Could Offer Tesla-Like Returns

    By Sam Mattera - August 14, 2013 | Tickers: USNA, VRA, WLT

    The recent rally in shares of Tesla has been nothing short of extraordinary. In the last six months, shares of the electric car company are up nearly 300%.

    A number of positive events have contributed to the rally (two better than expected earnings reports, a new leasing program, and plans for a fast-charging network, among other things) but the primary factor has been the high short interest. Last spring, half more »

  • NVIDIA’s Radical New Technology Could Destroy Console Gaming

    By Sam Mattera - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, NVDA

    Forget about Microsoft’s Xbox One. Never mind Sony’s PlayStation 4. The world’s best-looking video games could be coming to your tablet -- not your console.

    Chip maker NVIDIA’s (NASDAQ: NVDA) Project Logan could destroy traditional console gaming as we know it. Early videos of the technology in action are impressive, to put it mildly.

    Somehow, NVIDIA has managed to imbue tablets with insane graphical capabilities. As this more »

  • J.C. Penney Isn't Worth the Risk

    By Sam Mattera - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: BBBY, FL, JCP

    I invested in J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) back in March, reasoning that the selloff was overdone, and that shares presented an interesting risk/reward opportunity.

    I finally relented and sold my stake early last week. Rumors about a declining business, combined with an unprecedented level of management dysfunction, make the stock too difficult to hold.

    J.C. Penney’s declining business

    With Ron Johnson booted from his role as more »

  • These Are the Retail Stocks to Own

    By Sam Mattera - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: BBBY, KIRK, WSM

    For investors, retail has been a dangerous sector. Last week, American Eagle Outfitters sparked a sell-off in the teen retail space when it slashed its outlook significantly. Meanwhile, department store icons like Sears and J.C. Penney are struggling to survive.

    But not all retail names have performed poorly. One sector in particular -- home goods -- has been on fire all year. Given the strength of the housing market, the rally more »

  • Bill Ackman’s Biggest Problem Might Not be J.C. Penney or Herbalife

    By Sam Mattera - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: CP, POT, MOS

    Activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has received a lot of attention for his fund’s positions in J.C Penney (long) and Herbalife (short).

    But on a relative basis, neither of those positions makes up a significant portion of Pershing Square’s capital. Ackman’s fund may own nearly one-fifth of J.C. Penney, but it’s less than 6% of Pershing’s portfolio. Likewise, the fund may have more »

  • Tesla Shouldn’t Laugh At the i3

    By Sam Mattera - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: BAMXF, NSANY.PK, TSLA

    On Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) recent earnings call, CEO Elon Musk openly laughed at BMW’s (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF) new electric car, the i3.

    To be fair, the i3 is hardly comparable to Tesla’s Model S -- the former is a mid-priced electric car, the later is a high-performance luxury vehicle.

    But Tesla benefits from the introduction of more plug-in hybrids, and should vigorously applaud BMW’s decision to produce a more »

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