WWE, Oshkosh Ready To Slam Bears, Says Fund Manager
Shares of wrestling promoter WWE (WWE) got slammed last Spring when the company cut its dividend, but Mark Travis, portfolio manager for the Intrepid Small Cap Fund (ICMAX), says the stock is ready to get up off the mat.
"You have a clean balance sheet and $170 million in cash," says Travis. "The perception is that WWE wrestling events are suffering due to a weakened consumer, and while there may be some truth to that, you also have the TV contracts which mitigate the ticket sale volatility."
The $657 million fund, which garners 5 stars from Morningstar (MORN), has returned 5% over the past year, better than 88% of its peers in the small value category. Over the past three years, the fund has returned an average of 15% annually, outpacing 99% of its Morningstar rivals.
With the peak of hurricane season drawing to a close and Hurricane Irene causing less damage than anticipated, Travis likes Aspen Insurance. He says the stock is attractively priced, trading at 0.5 times book value, while offering a healthy 2.7% dividend."I think for someone with a two to three year investment horizon, it's an attractive security," Travis said. Trading at four times trailing earnings, Oshkosh (OSK) is another top pick for Travis. The maker of fire and military trucks has been pressured of late as municipalities and the military have cut back due to budget pressures, however, Travis believes that interest from billionaire investor Carl Icahn will push shares higher. And while people cut back their spending during a recession, they still get haircuts, which is why Travis is holding shares of Supercuts owner Regis (RGS). "They have over 12,000 units across the country and internationally and we think with Starboard agitating for board representation that the company's stock will climb into the high teens," says Travis.
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