109th Festival of Stocks

Welcome to the October 6, 2008 edition of Festival of Stocks. This edition of the Festival of Stocks is coming to you live from New York City. I’m in New York to attend the Value Investing Congress, which I’ll be writing about throughout the week.

If you aren’t already familiar with my blog, Fat Pitch Financials, it is a value investing blog with a focus on wide moat companies selling at substantial discounts and Graham style workouts, which I call special situations. I encourage you to subscribe for free to my blog feed to keep up with my latest postings.

You should also check my Fat Pitch Financials Contributor’s Corner while you are here. It is my premium members only community dedicated to unique arbitrage and special situation opportunities.

Now that you are familiar with Fat Pitch Financials, let’s take a look at this week’s Festival of Stock participants. Here are this week’s entries:

Stock Analysis

Wells Fargo (WFC) and the Wachovia (WB) Bid: Crafty or Crazy? posted at College Analysts. An analysis of the valuations given to major banks… Includes a nice graph of historical price to book ratios for the major banks.

Taking Stock in RUS: Russel Metals posted at Triaging My Way To Financial Success. A nice review of this Canadian dividend payer that appears to have solid management.
Stocks: RUS, MFC

A High-Potential Health Care Investment posted at The Iconoclast Investor. Sequenom is branching out from its genetic analysis systems and is in the process of testing a new test for Down syndrome that can be done earlier in the pregnancy and less invasively. Recent tests showed a 100% accuracy for the test, and the market responded by pushing up the price of this stock.
Stocks: SQNM

Thakral Corp : A cash bargain posted at Value Investor Haven. Thakral is a cash bargain and net-net stock which has fallen to a price of 4 cents oer share, a price low enough to warrant a closer study of its circunstances. However, this penny stock is burning through cash and warrents extreme caution.
Stocks: THKCF

Stock Analysis: V.F. Corp. (VFC) posted at Dividends 4 Life. V.F. Corp is a global apparel company with leading shares in denim and daypacks. This analysis indicates that this stock may be one to avoid.
Stocks: VFC

Quick Take – Conns (CONN) posted at MagicDiligence (sponsor of this month’s Value Investing News contest). “Conn’s is a regional appliance and electronics retailer. That’s a tough business with a lot of competition, but a focus on customer service and a profitable in-house credit department makes this a decent MFI play.”
Stocks: CONN

Central Europe & Russia Fund Inc. (CEE) Analysis – Revisited posted at One Family’s Blog. This investor recently lost a quarter of his investment in this closed end fund, but still manages to provide a balanced review of the potential pros and cons of investing in this fund.
Stocks: CEE

A Profitable Stock Sale: Sold The Bank Shares in my 401k Account posted at The Digerati Life. This blogger sold shares of WFC. They are selling to prepare for a rollover, while I just started buying shares for a new long-term position.
Stocks: WFC

When Someone Would be Better Off Buying Ann Taylor than Google posted at Uncommon Cents. An important reminder that one should understand a company before buying their stock. It’s what Warren Buffett calls staying within your circle of competence.
Stocks: GOOG, ANN

Fear, Uncertainty and Greed with CEG Merger Arbitrage posted at Fat Pitch Financials. My look back at the wild ride that Constellation Energy Group provided as fear, uncertainty, and rumors created a profitable merger arbitrage opportunity.
Stocks: CEG, BRKa

The Financial Crisis

How To Protect Our Finances From A Market Crisis? posted at FIRE Finance. A good reminder to make sure your bank accounts are FDIC insured and your brokerage accounts are SIPC insured.

Alternatives to the $700 billion financial bailout posted at Saving to Invest. This article looks at some alternatives to the bailout package passed by Congress last week.

Escape Financial Meltdown By Moving Assets Offshore Now posted at Contrarian Profits. This blogger takes the extreme position by recommending investors move quickly to secure their assets in European strongholds like Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Find out why.

Two Questions I Ask During a Bear Market posted at My Wealth Builder. This blogger asks himself some questions before refining his portfolio strategy.

Roller Coaster Ride in a Manic Depressive Stock Market: Researching the Option to Make a Quick Profit posted at The Personal Financier. This blogger decided on objectively researching the possibility of making a quick profit off the recent ups and downs. Here are the results.

Where Is The Safest Place To Save Or Invest Your Money? posted at Money Blue Book. That’s a good question! This article discusses some very conservative options, but I still prefer equities and maybe convertible securities.

Other Stock Topics

Dividend Stocks in the news over the past week posted at Dividend Growth Investor. A roundup of stock news related to dividend changes.

$50 Tradeking October Promotion posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. Looking to switch brokers? Jim has the details associated with a $50 offer at TradeKing.

Book Club: Security Analysis posted at The Wealth Accumulator. Enoch is continuing Geoff Gannon’s group reading of Graham & Dodd’s classic, Security Analysis. I plan on joining this effort.


That concludes this edition of the Festival of Stocks. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Festival of Stocks using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our Festival of Stocks index page for those of you interested in reviewing the archives.

Next week’s Festival of Stocks will be at College Analysts. The hosting schedule is booking up quick for the end of 2008. If you are interested in hosting a future edition of the Festival of Stocks, please visit the schedule to find a free slot. Then contact me with the name of your site, blog URL, email address, and the date your prefer to host.

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