Over the past quarter Chris Davis of Davis Selected Advisers reported a total portfolio of 181 stocks valued at $38.5 billion. The guru purchased 17 new stocks over the quarter.
The Davis Funds select their stocks based on the types of businesses that they would want to own. Their criterion includes companies with proven management and durable, financially strong business models as well as companies with sustainable competitive advantages.
The following five companies represent Chris Davis’ top five stock positions.
American Express (AXP)
Davis’ largest position is in American Express where he holds on to a total of 37,113,556 shares of the company’s stock. His holdings make up for 7.3% of his total holdings and 3.44% of the company’s shares outstanding.
During the past quarter Davis made a slight reduction of his holdings. The guru reduced his position -1.76% by selling 666,306 shares. He sold these shares in the quarterly price ra nge of $71.91 to $78.33, with an estimated average quarterly price of $75.23. Since then the price per share has increased approximately 8.8%.
Top 5 Tech Companies To Buy Right Now: RRSat Global Communications Network Ltd.(RRST)
RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd. provides content management and distribution services to television and radio broadcasting industries. The company, through its proprietary ?RRsat Global Network? comprising satellite and terrestrial fiber optic transmission capacity and the public Internet, offers distribution services for content providers. Its content distribution services consist of worldwide transmission of video and audio broadcasts. The company also offers content management services, including digital archiving and compilation of customer?s programming and advertising content into various broadcast channels. In addition, RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd. provides various production services on a contractual basis and satellite newsgathering services through its fleet of vans for outside broadcasting and electronic news gathering crews and packages. Further, it offers live broadcast studios and editing facilities to its customers. The company?s RRs at Global Network delivers content to various end markets, including cable operators, satellite operators, Internet protocol television operators, direct to home market, and public Internet. Additionally, RRSat Global Communications Network provides mobile satellite telecommunications services, such as global telephony, fax, data, Internet, and other value added services for shipping, aviation, construction, and oil companies; humanitarian aid organizations; governmental agencies; and other end customers that require telephony and Internet services in remote areas. As of December 31, 2009, it provided services to approximately 545 television and radio channels in approximately 150 countries. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in D.N. Shikmim, Israel.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.83 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Internet Initiative Japan (NASDAQ: IIJI), with shares up 9.5 percent, and RRSat Global Communications Network (NASDAQ: RRST), with shares up 4.9 percent.
Top 5 Tech Companies To Buy Right Now: Immersion Corporation(IMMR)
Immersion Corporation develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a range of hardware and software technologies and products that enhance digital devices with touch interaction. The company provides haptic technologies that allow people to use their sense of touch when operating a variety of digital devices. It licenses its technologies to the manufacturers of automotive, consumer electronics, gaming, commercial and industrial controls, medical, and mobile communications products under the TouchSense brand. The company?s product portfolio includes TouchSense 1000, TouchSense 2000, TouchSense 3000, TouchSense 4000, TouchSense 5000, and TouchSense 6000. It also offers turn-key engineering and integration services, design kits for prototyping, authoring tools, and application programming interfaces, as well as platform independent solutions. The company operates primarily in North America, Europe, and the Far East. Immersion Corporation was founded in 1993 and is headquar tered in San Jose, California.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Margins matter. The more Immersion (Nasdaq: IMMR ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Immersion’s competitive position could be.
Top 5 Tech Companies To Buy Right Now: Jack Henry & Associates Inc.(JKHY)
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (JHA) provides integrated computer systems and services for in-house and outsourced data processing to commercial banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions primarily in the United States. It engages in processing transactions, automating business processes, and managing information services. The company?s Jack Henry Banking brand provides integrated data processing systems to de novo or start-up institutions and mid-tier banks, as well as markets three core banking software systems, such as SilverLake, a robust IBM i-based system designed for commercial-focused banks; CIF 20/20, a parameter-driven and easy-to-use system; and Core Director, a Windows-based and client/server system that offers intuitive point-and-click operation. Its Symitar brand supports credit unions with information and transaction processing platforms that provide enterprise-wide automation. This brand?s solutions include Episys, a robust IBM p-based system p r imarily designed for credit unions; and Cruise, a Windows-based and client/server system for credit unions. The company?s ProfitStars brand provides specialized products and services that enhance the performance of financial service organizations and corporate entities. Its iPay Technologies brand operates as an electronic bill pay for banks and credit unions with turnkey, and configurable retail and small business electronic payment platforms. JHA also offers complementary solutions comprising business intelligence and bank management, retail and business banking, member and member business services, Internet banking and electronic funds transfer, risk management and protection, and item and document imaging solutions. In addition, it provides data conversion, software implementation, training, and support services, as well as sells hardware systems. The company has strategic relationship with IBM Corporation. JHA was founded in 1969 and is based in Monett, Missouri.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Jack Henry & Associates (Nasdaq: JKHY ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Jay Jenkins]
It doesn’t matter if the bank is a mega bank like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , a regional player like BB&T (NYSE: BBT ) , or a third-party software provider like Jack Henry and Associates (NASDAQ: JKHY ) , the capabilities and usability of online banking services are noticeably stuck in the mud.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Margins matter. The more Jack Henry & Associates (Nasdaq: JKHY ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Jack Henry & Associates’s competitive position could be.
Top 5 Tech Companies To Buy Right Now: Intevac Inc.(IVAC)
Intevac, Inc. provides process manufacturing equipment solutions to the hard disk drive industry, and process manufacturing equipment and inspection solutions to the photovoltaic industry. The company operates in two segments, Equipment and Intevac Photonics. The Equipment segment designs, develops, and markets magnetic disks; hard disk drive equipment products, including disk sputtering and disk lubrication systems; technology upgrades; and spare parts and consumables, as well as installation, maintenance, and repair services. This segment also offers capital equipment for the photovoltaic solar manufacturing industry. The Intevac Photonics segment develops, manufactures, and sells digital-optical products for the capture and display of low-light images and materials identification used in military aircraft, ground vehicles, ground soldier head-mounted, and weapon-mounted applications. This segment also provides sensors, cameras, and systems for military applications; Ram an spectrometer table-top and handheld systems for use in forensics, homeland security, geology, gemology, medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial quality assurance applications; and low-light cameras for industrial inspection, bio-medical, and scientific applications. The company sells its products through direct sales force, system integrators, distributors, and value added resellers in the United States, Asia, Europe, and rest of world. Intevac, Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Intevac (IVAC) provides process manufacturing equipment solutions to the hard disk drive industry and high-productivity process manufacturing equipment and inspection solutions to the photovoltaic industry. This stock closed up 8.5% to $6.74 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $6.23-$6.75
52-Week Range: $4.06-$6.80
Tuesday’s Volume: 263,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 140,032
From a technical perspective, IVAC soared higher here right off some near-term support at $6.25 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $4.31 to its recent high of $6.80. During that move, shares of IVAC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of IVAC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if IVAC manages to take out its 52-week high at $6.80 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IVAC as long as it’s trending above some near-term support levels at $6.25 or at $5.92 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $6.80 with volume that hits near or above 140,032 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then IVAC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $8 to $8.37. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $9 to $9.36 within range for shares of IVAC.
Top 5 Tech Companies To Buy Right Now: George Risk Industries Inc (RSKIA)
George Risk Industries, Inc. (GRI), incorporated on February 21, 1961, is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of computer keyboards, push button switches, burglar alarm components and systems, pool alarms, thermostats, EZ Duct wire covers and water sensors. GRI is a diversified manufacturer of electronic components, consisting of the security industries variety of door and window contact switches, environmental products, proximity switches and custom keyboards. The Company operates in two segments: security alarm products and security alarm products GRI’s security burglar alarm products comprise approximately 84% of net revenues and are sold through distributors and alarm dealers/installers. These products are used for residential, commercial, industrial and government installations. Its products include security products/ magnetic reed switches, data entry peripherals, pushbutton switches, custom engraved keycaps and proximity sensors.
The security segment has approximately 3,000 customers. One of the distributors, ADI accounts for approximately 40% of the Company’s sales of these products. The keyboard segment has approximately 800 customers. Keyboard products are sold to original equipment manufacturers to their specifications and to distributors of off-the-shelf keyboards of proprietary design. GRI owns and operates its main manufacturing plant and offices in Kimball, Nebraska with a satellite plant 40 miles away in Gering, Nebraska.
- [By Geoff Gannon] n. When it traded around $4.50 (it’s now more like $7.50 a share) it was a net-net with a good business and a moat. There were risks – customer concentration for one – and it was no blue chip. There was no diversification of product lines, customers, geography, industry, etc. It was closely tied to U.S. construction activity.
All this means it was no blue chip. Not that it didn’t have a moat. I felt it did. And certainly not that it wasn’t a high quality business. It demonstrably was (unleveraged returns on tangible equity were around 30%). And it was a net-net. In fact, it was a net cash stock at one time.
So they do happen. But they are rare. The usual distinction with net-nets is not between companies like that – companies which may have a moat, do earn good returns on capital, etc. – but between companies that are legitimate and illegitimate businesses.
A legitimate business is – in my mind – a historically profitable one. It is likely to have positive retained earnings (there are exceptions to this rule – but it’s a good first check). It should have more years of profits (6 or more) than losses in the last 10 years. And it should be self-financing.
Compare this to an illegitimate business. The least legitimate businesses are those that – while publicly traded – have never turned a profit and can’t self finance. They may be net-nets – but they are net-nets because they have issued stock in the past and then seen their share prices drop. Retained earnings are often negative.
There are other factors to consider. Is the business old or young? Is depreciation – and other accounting – especially conservative or aggressive? Are taxes especially conservative or aggressive? And is share issuance dilutive or not.
I think a legitimate business tends towards LIFO accounting, quicker depreciation, higher taxes paid as a percentage of reported income, and lower share issuance. There are exceptions. Many
- [By Geoff Gannon] >Ark Restaurants (ARKR). When I bought them – and even now – I think their return on buyback would be high and I’d be in favor of it. However, the stocks are illiquid and their free cash flow relative to the dollar value of freely traded shares is not high. As a result, I’m always in favor of RSKIA and ARKR buying back stock. But, I understand it’s very hard for them to do in practice unless there is a meaningful holder who signals he wants out of the stock.
My approach to buybacks is pretty simple. One, I prefer them. Two, I look at the share count history over the last 10 to 20 years as my guide to what the company might do in the future – I want a pattern of predictable behavior. Generally, that means a continuously shrinking share count that shrinks in bull markets and bear markets, panics and recessions and booms and busts and so on. Three, if I’m a buyer of the stock – then the company should be a buyer of its own stock. No questions asked on that one. If the stoc k is good enough for me to buy it’s clearly good enough for the company to buy. Finally, I look for the return on buyback. I tend to focus on the earning power the company is buying relative to the net cash it is spending. If a company has cash on its balance sheet, the amount of net cash consumed by a buyback will be less than it appears because I will end up with a greater percentage ownership of the resulting balance sheet as well as the income statement.
I want the return on buyback to always be at least 10%. As a rule, the average company will only get returns on its buybacks of 10% or higher if it pays less than 15 times normal earnings. In special cases – fast growing companies, companies where free cash flow vastly exceeds reported income, etc. – it is possible that buybacks above 15 times earnings will return more than 10%. It almost never makes sense for a company to buy back stock at over 25 times earnings. So, for most companies, under 15 times earnings is the green zone for bu