Get ready for the bull market in mergers

The Covestor Concentrated GARP portfolio gained 3.7% in December, better than the 2.5% gain of the S&P 500 Index (SPX). For the year, the results were also better than the S&P 500 as the portfolio gained 39.4% while the comparable benchmark was up 32.4%.

I look for 2014 to be a very interesting and especially active year on the merger and acquisition front because of the low financing rates available for any corporate borrower. With the 10-year Treasury bond still yielding just below 3%, companies can use their cash flow and assets to create stronger businesses.

Here’s a rundown on my holdings and some updates:

Gigamedia (GIGM) reported earnings in November that were better-than-expected and is strengthening its board representation with better auditors and independent board members.

DigitalGlobe (DGI) is a satellite provider of commercial earth imagery and information services.

Corelogic (CLGX) is an information provider which specializes in data about real estate related industries. A large part of their data centers on property and mortgage information services.  In addition, they provide credit information in a variety of industries as well.

Cass Information Systems (CASS) provides information, invoice, and payment processing services to a wide variety of enterprises in the United States. Cass also has a small banking division as well.

Dolby Laboratories (DLB) provides audio and video products for the entertainment industry on a global scale.  Much of their revenues come from licensing their technologies on personal computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. In addition, they make sound systems for a wide variety of customers, from movie studios, theatres, and network and satellite television providers.

Jamba Juice (JMBA) is a health food and beverage retailer with a presence in 26 states domestically, as well as operations in Canada, the Philippines, and South Korea.

Cash America (CSH) is the largest operator of pawn shops in the United States. The company reported disappointing earnings for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) is a provider of build-it-yourself teddy bears for small children.

Telefonica Brazil (VIV) is the second largest provider of cable tv and wireless phone services in Brazil.

DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of December 31, 2013. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.