Selling a Long Term Value Pick

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 14, 2013

This is just a quick note on a stock that I haven’t written about much for years, but that I’ve held through a major corporate merger and restructuring. I’ve got a planned personal sale to tell you about from my portfolio – I am putting a stop loss order in for my holdings in Brasil Foods (BRFS) at about 5% below the current price. I’ve held these shares since 2006 and they’ve now just about doubled over that time, after a couple major swoons along the way.

I think that although the company is doing well now that the merger is complete, and is in a good business, they’re no longer cheap – they’re priced for continuing very strong growth in earnings of better than 20% a year, which is certainly possible (they manufacture packaged and processed food in Brazil and export meat, largely poultry), I’m not convinced that they’ll necessarily put in the earnings growth expected and don’t want to make a big growth bet when there are more inexpensive companies available that also benefit from the Brazilian consumer and from global agriculture.

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This isn’t a huge position for me, and I don’t pay a lot of attention to them on a day to day basis, so I’m going to leave it at that – the market now recognizes the value I thought the shares held when I bought them, they’re priced as a growth story and no longer significantly undervalued, they aren’t paying a meaningful dividend, and to me that means it’s a good time to sell. I put in a stop loss order because the shares have been on a big upward swing lately (they’re just shy of a 52-week high) — I want to make sure I have a good chance of selling for at least $21 a share (it’s just over $22 now), but I don’t have alternate requirements for that capital right now so if the stock is going to continue to ride up a bit I’ll let it move and push off the execution of this sale until it finally stops going up. The risk, of course, is that the market or this stock crashes 10% overnight someday and I don’t get to sell at a high price – since it’s a small position, I’m willing to take that risk. I’ll let you know when the ...

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