Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cheap Stocks 21 Net Net Index Update; CS to Launch New Net Net Index

Back in February of 2008,we launched a rather unique experiment, an index of companies trading below their net current asset value. We laid out our selection criteria and premise in our February 15, 2008 post. Truthfully, this was a rather naive approach to creating an index, a fact we were well aware of.

We did make some adjustments along the way; we did not rebalance annually, nor did we use cash that was the result of acquisitions to replace index constituents. It became a set it and forget it portfolio of companies that were net/nets at the inception date of the index.

Our original intent was to wind down the index at the end of two years, and judge performance against the Russel Microcap Index. As of Friday, the CS21 has outperformed the Russel Microcap Index by 1356 bps. While we'd hoped for better absolute returns than the 6.6% since inception that CS 21 has realized, we consider this first attempt to be mildly successful.

We are busy creating a new index of net/nets, which will be tentatively released in early February. Stay tuned; the new index will have an interesting twist.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Former Net/Net Tuesday Morning Soars

Closeout retailer and former net/net Tuesday Morning, that has graced the ranks of companies trading below their net current asset value for much of the past two years, was up 33% yesterday. The company reported better than expected guidance for Q2, suggesting eps of between $.40 and $.43 for the quarter. Same store sales rose, 5.1% versus the same period last year, and sales were up 6.2% to $289.6 million.

Given yesterday's jump, Tuesday morning is no longer a net/net, but still trades at just 1.12 times NCAV. However, that is based on first quarter balance sheet data, and Q2 won't be announced until January 26th.

If you've never been to a Tuesday Morning store, it is an interesting experience. I've referred to it in the past as a "rich man's dollar store", given the interesting mix of closeout inventory, at reduced prices. You never know what you will find at a store.

Founded in 1975, Tuesday Morning currently has about 850 stores in 45 states. With a current market cap of just $172 million, and almost identical enterprise value, these seem rather small for an 850 store chain. On an EV to store basis, that's just $200,000. The company does not, however own it's real estate.

I've owned shares a few times over the past couple of years, and the only reason that I've closed positions is due to trailing stops I've set. With the extreme volatility retail shares have experienced, stops seemed a prudent way to limit damage, but also lock in gains as shares rose.

I've been back in Tuesday Morning shares since mid December, and plan on seeing how events progress with the company (with a trailing stop to protect gains).

Tuesday Morning
Ticker: TUES
Price: $4.02
Market Cap: $172 million
Enterprise Value: $172 million
Net Current Asset Value (as of 9/30/2009):$153.6 million
Market Cap/NCAV: 1.12

*The author has a position in Tuesday Morning(TUES). This is neither a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. All information provided believed to be reliable and presented for information purposes only.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Mark Boyar: Net/Net Pioneer

Long before I started this site, or even knew what a net/net was, deep value legend Mark Boyar, who currently runs Boyar Asset Management, the Boyar Value Fund and an excellent independent Research Product Focus Asset Analysis, offered a newsletter devoted to the subject. I was still in elementary school at the time, while Boyar was devoting a considerable amount of time identifying net/nets, and building a business during an extremely difficult period. It certainly was not as easy in those days as it is now to identify net/nets. There was no software, no Bloomberg or Factset, or even electronically filed SEC documents to make the task easier. It was all done by hand.

Today, Boyar and his analysts provide an excellent, in depth research product. Their recent report on International Speedway Corporation provides a fascinating look at a company that few other research providers cover.

For more on Mark Boyar Integrity Research just published an interesting piece on his career.

*The author does not have positions in any of the companies mentioned. This is neither a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. All information provided believed to be reliable and presented for information purposes only.