Pre-VIC thoughts

What's on the table for the Value Investing Congress pre-conference workshop?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 2, 2014

Good morning, Gumshoe friends! The Value Investing Congress in Las Vegas starts tomorrow, but I decided to also attend the pre-conference workshop so I’ll be tied up most of the day in those more in-depth presentations and won’t likely be sharing my notes as we go like I try to do with the regular conference presentations.

The main conference features short presentations, 45 minutes or less in some cases, and they are usually focused on one or two stocks each with some quick analysis and explanation of the value proposition (not all of the presentations focus on individual stocks, there’s some “big picture” stuff, but most of them do… value investors are almost invariably “bottom up” investors who look at the company first, then at the environment in which the company operates).

But this workshop is more analytical, with longer explanations, and I often find I learn quite a bit … but I can’t quickly distill a two-hour workshop into a few bullet points for you. If there’s something worth posting separately on this evening I’ll do that — looks like we’ll have a couple folks presenting about tools and strategies for finding value, and a couple folks looking at case studies of actual value stocks they own or like.

The latter is usually of more interest to Gumshoe readers — so if you want to play along at home, I can tell you about a few things that will come up this morning. It’s a small group here and these aren’t “secret” ideas, so it won’t move the market but it might give you something to chew on.

Whitney Tilson is going to talk about a couple long ideas, Delta Airlines (DAL), which I’ve never looked at but which has been a great investment over the last two years but, like most airlines, has a checkered past when it comes to profitability (he’s looking, really, at whether investing in airlines is really OK again thanks to consolidation), and Micron Technology (MU), which has been a hot button idea for value investors and hedge funds for a while and got a lot of press recently because David Einhorn’s position in MU was prematurely “outed” by someone (who Einhorn then sued Seeking Alpha, unsuccessfully, to identify).

And Dan Ferris, who we cover fairly often when he teases ideas for his Extreme Value newsletter, will be presenting on ...

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