Welcome to the 34th edition of Value Investor Digest
The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting will take place tomorrow (click here to set a calendar reminder) and so we have several articles to bring you related to that event, including a link to the live stream which can be accessed below. In addition, this edition has six other featured items including an article from Invesco Perpetual’s Stephen Anness titled The Impact of Electric Vehicles on Oil Demand, a Barron’s cover article with nine investment ideas from veteran fund managers, a Boyar Value Group article on “orphaned” stocks and a Boyar podcast interview with Home Depot’s Frank Blake; a WSJ article on “cheap” stocks in Russia, a CNBC video with Buffett in which he comments on the threat to the car insurers from driverless cars; plus several articles which pay tribute to Third Avenue’s legendary Value Investor Marty Whitman, who died last month aged 93.
The annual meeting will be streamed live on Yahoo Finance on Saturday from 10am ET (3pm BST). For anyone unable to travel to Omaha for the meeting the streaming of the event has been a welcome development. Over 1 million live viewers are expected to tune in from around the world to listen to Buffett and Munger’s wit, wisdom and insights. They normally take questions from journalists, analysts and shareholders in the audience for around five hours. If you can’t watch live then you can also watch on demand at the same link for 30 days after the event.
(Click here to set a calendar reminder)
Stephen Anness will be giving a presentation at the London Value Investor Conference later this month titled The Death of Oil Has Been Greatly Exaggerated. In this article, Stephen looks at one specific area of oil consumption where he believes many investors “under-appreciate the dynamics of global oil demand…out of the 95mb/d of global demand for oil, only 19mb/d, or c.20%, is actually for passenger cars…EVs are hugely topical and it is easy (and lazy) to directly extrapolate their impact on the global demand for oil.”
Barron’s: The Past Decade Has Not Been Kind to Value Investing But Veteran Value Managers are Still Finding Bargains
This excellent Barron’s cover article analyses the performance of Value over the past ten years and then identifies nine stocks recently purchased by the following veteran Value Managers, along with a summary of their rationale for buying each stock: Charles De Vaulx, Amit Wadhwaney, David Winters, Andrew Wellington, Ross Glotzbach, Sarah Kettere, Bill Nygren, John Rogers and Abhay Deshpande.
This Boyar Value Group interview in Seeking Alpha explores the investment opportunities in “orphaned” stocks. Explaining what constitutes an oprhaned stock, Jon Boyar said “An ‘orphaned’ stock is a stock that analysts and investors have for the most part disregarded. A stock can become “orphaned” via a variety of ways. A stock may not be included in one of the major S&P indices (S&P 500, S&P 600, etc.) and therefore cannot be bought by index funds as well as “closet” indexers, which tend to focus on stocks included in the major indices to ensure that their performance doesn’t deviate greatly from their respective benchmark. Some of the reasons why companies may be ineligible for index inclusion include companies that are listed in the U.S., but maintain headquarters outside of the U.S., companies with super-voting share class structures and tracking stocks.These so-called “index orphans” are not limited to small companies.”
In addition, here is a Podcast with Jonathan Boyar who will speak at the London Value Investor Conference this month. Jonathan interviews the ex-CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake who comments on what investors should look for in a turnaround situation, the publicly-traded retailers that he admires and also where he believes we are in the U.S. housing cycle.
Trading at six times forward earnings, this WSJ article by James Mackintosh covers the main issues investors should consider when assessing whether there is a value opportunity investing in the Russian market. The author mentions that GMO is among those adding to their holdings of Russian stocks, and includes a quote from GMO’s head of EM equities: “We’ve always said you make more money when things go from truly awful to merely bad than when they go from good to great”.
In a prior edition of Value Investor Digest we featured Buffett’s 1951 article The Security I Like Best on GEICO, an auto insurance company which Berkshire now owns outright (before Buffett started buying GEICO, Ben Graham was on the Board and had owned stock for many years). Although Buffett has said he thinks driverless cars are a long way off, in this Yahoo Finance video he comments that “Driverless cars will reduce — perhaps dramatically — the need for auto insurance if they’re safer…If driverless cars are successful and people don’t hack into ’em, that will reduce auto insurance premiums — and perhaps drastically reduce them.”
Several articles below remember famed Value Investor Marty Whitman, who died aged 93 on 16th April 2018.
Morningstar: Remembering Famed Value Investor Marty Whitman
Barron’s: Third Avenue’s Marty Whitman Dies at 93
Wall Street Journal: Martin Whitman Invested in Troubled Companies Others Shunned
Value Walk: Martin Whitman: A Value Pioneer Passes Away
Institutional Investor: Martin Whitman, Founder of Third Avenue, Dies at 93