In fact, the amazing thing about this moment is how so few are worried about it, not how many are. And that's probably a mistake given the intense hatred that has basically thrown the playbook out the window. The playbook comes back into the window when the economy really gets hurt, though, although it will be really hard to tell without government data. Somehow, I think we will feel it.
Now, many companies will claim they want to take a longer-term view and sit and wait. But some companies like to take a short-term view, which is why they will take action right into whatever occurs. I say "whatever," because we really don't know what will occur.
Who has that luxury?
There are a handful of companies that truly love a crisis and use it to get their stocks at phenomenal prices. The executives have faith in themselves. The executives have faith in their companies. We know their buybacks are backed by the full faith and credit of their enterprises.First up? I think it has to be GameStop (GME - Get Report). When everyone, including yours truly, was scared to death about a gaming business that had to be in secular decline and with Amazon (AMZN) picking up whatever's left of the sales, what did the world's largest gaming retailer do? How about pay down all of its debt and buy back about a third of the company. That's right, just when everyone was fretting, GameStop, run by Paul Raines, took a look at the world and declared it good. Paul knew that the hardware game cycle was about to kick in. He realized that he could take share from whoever was left. He understood that the new iterations of games were amazing. He anticipated all of this and bought back a ton of stock at much lower prices. Now that the new Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) machines are almost in the stores and Grand Theft Auto is proving to be the greatest money-making game of all time, do you think he's going to sit on his hands as the stock comes in? I think he sits there and buys with both hands, especially given that he thinks 2014 is going to be good and 2015 is better.