NEW YORK – “Debt is a fixed expense,” explains David Elias, president and chief investment officer at Elias Asset Management, “so when revenues take a hit, you’ve got a problem.” This also means that companies without a heavy debt burden are better prepared to ride out a business slowdown.
Some industries, despite their great need for new plants and equipment, typically do not carry a lot of debt. The best example is semiconductors. Intel’s (nasdaq: INTC – news – people) debt to equity is only 2%. “The capital intensity and unpredictability of the semiconductor business has typically argued against debt financing,” says Richard Whittington, semiconductor analyst at Banc of America Securities. Whittington notes that the big chipmakers have little trouble raising money in the equity markets.
Full story at Forbes.com
Posted by Gillies on December 18, 2000
Each year we ask a dozen Wall Street pros to pick one stock for year-ahead performance. We also ask five bears to each pick one stock for a short sale.
Results: The picks of our five bears declined an average of 23%, handily beating the S&P 500, which was down only 5% over the span of our contest (Dec. 3, 1999 to Nov. 13, 2000). Our 12 bullish contestants had a 3% loss, scarcely beating the market.
The star bear: Joseph L. Toms, president of Hilspen Capital. His short call last year, Internet Capital Group, an incubator of Internet companies, is off 88%. So much for the B2B bonanza.
Runner-up bear is Lou A. Cardinali of Fiero Brothers, who predictedthat 4Kids Entertainment would fall once the Pokemon craze subsided. Good call. The stock is off 74%. Now Cardinali perceives Krispy Kreme, a recently public company trading at 129 times trailing earnings, as another fad: “It is just an overvalued doughnut shop.”
Fulls story (reg. required) at Forbes.com
Posted by Gillies on December 11, 2000