Personal Buys and a Few Updates

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, August 1, 2014

None of the teasers this week struck me as so thrilling that I have to cover them for the Irregulars today, but I’ve been following a few of my favorite stocks and their quarterly updates recently, and bought a few stocks today, so I’ll share some company updates for the Friday File this time around. We’ve also got a new article in the works from Dr. KSS for those who enjoy his educational and entertaining pieces about biotech stocks, so you ought to see notice of that in your inbox at some point in the next day or so if you’re lining up your investment research projects for the weekend.

So what do we have for you today? The shorthand is that Xerox and Cielo had decent earnings but are pretty fairy priced and I’m just holding, Third Point Reinsurance I want to buy before earnings if it stays weak (but haven’t yet), Sodastream had weak earnings but I thought it was worth buying more anyway, and Arcos Dorados, which remained resilient despite having every reason to fall further, is now finally in my personal portfolio.

Xerox (XRX) has been riding the same wave as most of the “old tech” stocks — raising the dividend, buying back stock, and generating a good return for investors even though the business is not growing particularly well or performing spectacularly well. It’s a series of bunts and singles as they continue their transition from sales of big printers and copiers to “document services” and tech services driving their profitability and growth. I still like the company, their earnings were solid and were basically “more of the same” on the same trend they’ve been on for the last year or two. I wouldn’t want to put on a big position in XRX right now, but I love holding the shares — I’d rather see it be cheap again to buy more, and it’s not cheap.

Xerox’s earnings presentation is here if you’d like to see more detail. The company can’t grow revenue and there is a limit to how much earnings growth you can keep getting without growing your revenue — particularly when most of your growth comes from the lower-margin side of the business. The dividend will keep going up, they’ll probably keep generating earnings per share growth of 5% or so, partly from buying back stock, and I’ll keep reinvesting ...

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