May 18, 2014 Comments

The composition of my own portfolio has been updated. I am running an extremely concentrated portfolio. Not everyone has the risk capacity or the risk tolerance to do that.

Melcor is updated and rated (higher) Buy at $23.52. I decided to update this again because it was one of two Strong Buys on the site and because the price had risen. It’s up 17% in 2014. I was also interested to update it because it is my largest holding. It’s thinly traded and therefore we should be cautious in placing buy orders (enter an order to buy or sell at a fixed price, not at the market price) and we should be cautious in interpreting its daily price movements. It still looks like a good investment. However, it is cyclical and certainly not without risk especially in the short term.

Liquor Stores N.A. is updated and rated Speculative (lower) Buy at $10.21. This company has been a disappointment. It was first added to this site two years ago on April 10, 2012 at $17.01.It subsequently went over $20. But then it started reporting various bits of bad news and has fairly plummeted in the last year. (There is some offset in that it has paid out about $2.16 in dividends since April of 2012) It seems I took too much faith in its prior success. I thought it had advantages as the largest liquor store owner in Alberta. It’s sales per share have not been the problem. But earnings have evaporated for various reasons. And lately the sales per store have declined modestly. I am reluctant to give up on it at this point. But Q2 is not likely to be a strong quarter given the weather and given increases to their cost structure, although they did mention on the conference call that the trends in Q2 were good. Management seems optimistic of improvements starting later this year but does not appear to forecast a return to the former profit levels until 2016. The dividend is too high and it seems likely it will be cut. I am holding onto my shares but I will not likely add to my position despite the lower price. I calculate that in buying these shares we are paying about $1.6 million per store fully stocked (inventory is $0.4 million per store net of accounts payable) and that is considering that we notionally paid off the debt. The stores are in rented premises.

On Friday the S&P 500 was up 0.4% and Toronto was down 0.5%. There were no particularly noteworthy moves in the prices of our stock picks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *