Happy Thanksgiving. For this week's installment of "Should I Do It?" I'll take a look at some hits and misses over the past year and give an update on some stocks on which my outlook has changed.
Overall, it's been a successful year for the column picks. Recent bullish calls like
have each generated solid 20%-plus gains through Monday's close in a matter of months.
The going has been rougher for some of my bearish picks. Some of them with fundamental flaws like
Pier 1 Imports
have plummeted since I suggested that readers avoid these value traps.
Still a Skeptic
On the other hand, with major market averages posting double-digit percentage gains across the board, bearish calls based on valuation, such as
Robert Half International
, have yet to play out. That said, I continue to have a negative outlook on these two names.
My worst call to date was my
bearish take on
in February. Despite the automaker's dividend cut, investors still rallied around the company's massive restructuring plans. While I believe GM still has a lot to prove about its ability to generate consistent profits by selling cars, I clearly underestimated the public's desire not to see the company fail financially as well as management's ability to execute a turnaround so far.
All of that being said, a
bearish call on which I've changed my mind is
Sure, the housing market remains in a secular decline, and the company's earnings will likely be hurt along with it. Even so, the stock trades at just 13 times expected fiscal 2007 (ending January) earnings of $2.84 a share. I believe Home Depot's earnings are more sensitive to its store-base growth than to the overall strength of the housing market.
Additionally, the recent 50% increase in the retailer's quarterly dividend to 22.5 cents a share (2.4% yield) helps place a valuation floor under the stock. In fact, I now believe that Home Depot has 5 points of upside potential from around $38 over the coming months, with just 2 points to the downside.
With that, let's take a look at a tabular roundup of the column's picks and pans
Thank you for continuing to support the weekly column as well as for watching my videos. The regular column will return next week, once readers have had their fill of turkey and football. For more about value stocks, check out TSC's
Value Investor premium newsletter.
David Peltier is a research associate at TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Peltier appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.
Interested in more writings from David Peltier? Check out his newsletters,