Everything is relative.
To win a division, you need to be better than the rest of the teams in the division -- but you don't need to be the best team in the league. The same goes for stocks. To be a good play, you need to be able to perform well against your peers. However, to make money, your relative performance needs to stack up well against your recent performance too.
For today's pick, I like
. However, before I get into the stock play, I want to talk about relative performance on the gridiron and give my predictions for the AFC East.
The race in that division could be a very interesting this year. Yes, I said it! Think about it for a minute: Everyone now has the formula to slow down Tom Brady and Randy Moss of the Patriots. Of course, getting it done could be another question.
What's the formula, you ask? First and foremost, you
put a cornerback in Randy's face at all times. It was proven in the playoffs and Super Bowl that if you do that, he is not as effective. It forces him to run real routes, slants, 10-yard hooks and even 15-yard routes across the middle. Randy wants nothing to do with
Any defensive coordinator who does not employ this scheme should be fired on the spot! Just as the "in your face" scheme was proven effective, every other scheme has been proven ineffective!
The other part of the scheme is to put pressure on Tom up the middle. Don't run cornerbacks off the corner -- go with linebackers up the middle.
The Jets had a bad record last year, but I think they'll have a much better one this year. They have a really good defense, but the quarterback position hurt them last year. That problem should be solved.
The Buffalo Bills certainly has the defense and the running game to compete with the Pats. It's just a matter of what their quarterback will do. Miami is in rebuilding mode, but Bill Parcells will find a team to compete with the Pats. Unfortunately, it won't be this year.
Don't be surprised if the Pats lose one or two games in the East this year. I think they have been exposed to a certain degree and could find themselves in some real dogfights this year.
Oops, I guess I shouldn't say dogfights.
OK, so moving on to the pick: I like Fortune Brands a lot.
Fortune Brands makes, produces and sells home and hardware products, golf products and spirits, including bourbon, tequila, Canadian whisky, scotch and cognacs. You will recognize these under the Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Sauza labels. Fortune Brands also sells cabinetry for home use under various brand names.
It's trading at a great price compared with where it has been. It was recently trading at $60.66. The price has fallen more than 25% in the last year, while the
has declined about 8.5%. That's pretty beaten-up, and, like I said, we're looking at relative performance.
The stock is up from its 52-week low of $51.59, so it has rebounded a bit, but it's a long way from its highest point in the last year of $84.91.
Last month, the company announced that its quarterly profits suffered a steep drop due, in part, to the housing market. But those conditions will improve in the long term. The company has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13.30, meaning it is undervalued, and it has nearly 75% institutional support. That is a good sign and makes me feel confident that the company's stock price should have a certain level of stability.
Keep moving the chains!
At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.