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An Intelligent Investor's Response to Government Gridlock

Stocks in this article: NOV IEP

On Oct. 1 I watched NOV carefully with the hope of buying low. It opened at $77.34 (while I was snoozing here on the West Coast) and by the time I woke up it popped above $78.

That doesn't bother me because as the following one-year price chart demonstrates, NOV has had quite a run since late April. The trailing 12-month (TTM) Ebitda line suggests earnings should be robust when NOV next reports on Oct. 25. Still, I'm willing to wait for a better entry price.

NOV Chart NOV data by YCharts

In late September NOV announced it plans to spin off its distribution division into a separately traded public company sometime in 2014. The spinoff could be an upside primer for the stock price.

Historically, we've learned that spinoffs have a tendency to generate higher total value for shareholders. Within a year or less the original NOV and its spinoff are likely to have a higher combined value than NOV's current price.

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link of Action Alerts PLUS wrote about the spinoff, "... W e like the recent management decision to spin off 85% of its distribution segment, which we believe creates $7 to $9 per share in upside. Also, we like the $3 billion in acquisitions the company has made, which will lead to strong synergies (we estimate $0.20 accretion in first year) and margin support."

Another way investors can be smart and benefit from the current-events-driven market pullback is to invest like a billionaire activist. Take Carl Icahn, please!

Do you know which publicly traded company is this billionaire's biggest single position? You're correct if you said Icahn Enterprises (IEP).

Most of us know that the first place we should invest is in ourselves, so it's no wonder Icahn, in his latest 13-F, disclosed that over 33% of his personal portfolio is in shares of his own company, IEP.

The company, which is structured as a Limited Partnership, engages in the investment, automotive, gaming, railcar, food packaging, metals, real estate, and home fashion businesses in the United States and internationally.

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