By Yale Bock
As earnings reports have rolled in over the last six weeks, what investors have learned is operational performance is either rewarded or scorned in the always fickle public markets.
Just as companies are rewarded with high valuations when results are impressive, valuations get hit when earnings disappoint. The name of the game is finding companies that can grow and execute quarter after quarter, year after year.
The recent geopolitical events in the Ukraine and Japan remind us one never knows what will pop up to throw a surprise into markets. It is why owning well positioned companies in critical and necessary industries is a risk averse way to approach growing your capital.
I suspect we will see less volume and more volatility as spring and summer roll in, so buckle up your seat belts for a bumpy ride.
Here's an update on my key portfolio holdings:
Liberty Interactive (LINTA) is the owner of QVC, Bodybuilding.com, Provide Commerce, Buyseasons.com,
Backcountry.com, and large passive minority positions in other large, well known internet based business like the Home Shopping Network. Here's a link to the company's latest results.
Iconix Brands (ICON) owns a broad range of well known brands like OP, Mossimo, Joe Boxer, Peanuts, and Sharper Image. Iconix reported earnings on February 20 and initiated a new $500 million stock buyback.
Starbucks (SBUX) is the largest coffee and tea company in the world.
Liberty Media (LMCA) owns a holding company that includes Starz Media, the Atlanta Braves, 50% ownership of Sirius Satellite (SIRI), almost 20% ownership of Live Nation (LYV), 16% ownership of Barnes & Noble, and a few other non-controlling positions of small public and private.
Liberty recently announced they are going to try and consolidate their stake in Sirius Satellite.
IAC Interactive (IACI) is the owner of Ask.com, Match.com, Meetic, Service Magic, Vimeo, CollegeHumor.com, and the Daily Beast, among other web sites. The company recently announced a reorganization to make Match.com and the dating service a separate business unit.
Moneygram International (MGI) is the second largest money transfer and bill payment company behind Western Union.
British Petroleum (BP) is one of the five largest integrated oil companies in the world. BP has many projects in the pipeline all over the globe but the legal issues over the Macondo oil spill keep perceptions about the company's prospects muted.
Unilever (UL) is a massive food company based in the UK that gets over half of it's nearly $50 billion of sales in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa. The company pays a dividend of 3.7% and has the goal of doubling its sales by 2020.
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