Archive for March, 2006

Personal Buy: Microsoft Corp (MSFT): $27.61: 20060322

I’ve been watching Microsoft for a long time and the offering finally became so compelling I did not feel I could pass it up any longer. My timing, however, could have been a bit better. Literally days after picking this up, Microsoft announced that Vista would not be out until early next year. It was previously scheduled to ship in time for Christmas. Ouch!

Seriously though, launching near Christmas for a company like Microsoft is just stupid. Look how badly they hosed the 360 launch this holiday season. Why would you want to release the new OS before all of you vendors have a chance to get their products full ready?

Anyways, here are some major reasons for owning Microsoft:

– 10 years ago, sales were $6 billion. Last year? $40 billion.
– MSFT is in the midst of the single largest product/platform expansion in their history. Even the delay of Vista can’t hold it up too much.
– With Sony continuing to flub the PS3 release, MSFT has more options in cornering the next-gen gaming console market.
– Did you know that Bill Gates now sits on the board of BRK? If that’s not an admission that the dude knows how to mint money, I don’t know what it.
– Software – with an installed base like that of Microsoft’s, beaucoup dinero. Yowzah!

Tilson On Bloomberg

Whitney Tilson was on Bloomberg last week. I’m a big fan of his writing and value-driven investment philosophy. I’ve even corresponded with him once or twice – just long enough to say that I appreciate his work and to find out that I’m nowhere near having enough cash to partake in his hedge fund. Luckily, Whitney was gracious enough to give me a heads-up that he was about to launch a couple mutual funds, which I got into several months later.

This is a 5 minute video (approximately) of Whitney’s most recent appearance on Bloomberg.

TilsononBloomberg.wmv

Personal Buy: Tidewater Inc (TDW): $49.94: 20060309

Based on a recommendation from one of the trading services I subscribe to, I picked up a position in Tidewater. When an energy company decides to explore for oil and gas in deep seas, Tidewater is the premier service provider. If I get my own research on this posted soon, I will try and create a link to it. As it is, the only thing I have on paper is not something I can share as it is against the rules of the club. “The first rule of Fight Club: you don’t talk about Fight Club.”

Personal Buy: International Speedway Corp (ISCA): $46.69: 20060223

On February 23rd, I purchased a position in International Speedway Corporation (ISCA) at $46.69 per share. I originally discovered the stock as a 5-star stock on Morningstar.com about a month prior. The business intrigued me enough to present to our investment club at our February meeting. ISCA has a significant business moat in its ownership of 12 tracks, (including Daytona), solid long-term management, close relationships (familial) with the Nascar organization, long-term media deals, and obviously large unique land holdings and properties – an easy to understand business taking place in a market which has been growing for more than 50 years and does not look to change anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the Green Lantern Investment didn’t necessarily see it as clearly as I did. That’s fine. The point of having a group is to learn and vote together. We’ve done well in the past doing this and I’ve generally done worse going out on my own. What can I say other than I hope I am getting better. In the meeting, there was one conscientious objector, who chose to be the only vote directly against the stock. His objections were on the grounds that it supported cars, gas, and therefore generally negative environmentally unsound things. 3 people abstained from voting entirely, 2 of them on the grounds that they were against the possible track construction on the Kitsap Peninsula. Oddly, after the fact, they both now wish they had voted for it – or at least that’s what they told me. Oh well. They took a pass on it. I did not. I don’t feel like presenting it to the group again. Move forward, not backwards you know…

My initial research is posted in a word doc here.


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