Get ready for more stock market volatility


The Long Term GARP portfolio performed very close to the S&P 500 Index (SPX). The summer is usually characterized by lower volumes and higher volatility in the market, and I suspect this year will be the same.

As always, there will be the unexpected geopolitical events which can affect the market. Merger and acquisition activity has been strong and I would expect this will continue as well. I expect continued activity from our holdings, and July will start the next earnings season.

Here’s an update on my portfolio holdings:

Liberty Interactive (LINTA) owns QVC,, Provide Commerce,,, and large passive minority positions in other large, well known internet based business like the Home Shopping Network.

Liberty Media (LMCA) controls assets that included Starz Media, the Atlanta Braves, 50% ownership of Sirius Satellite (SIRI), almost 20% ownership of Live Nation (LYV), 16% ownership of Barnes & Noble, and a few other non-controlling positions of small public and private companies.

Liberty recently announced it is reversing its decision to try and consolidate their stake in Sirius Satellite. In addition, the company set up a tracking stock for their holdings in Charter Communications.

Iconix Brands (ICON) owns a broad range of well known brands like OP, Mossimo, Joe Boxer, Peanuts, and Sharper Image. Iconix reported earnings on April 30, 2014.

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) is the largest health care diagnostic testing company in the United States. The company reported disappointing earnings on April 24, 2014.

Intuit (INTU) owns of the TurboTax and Quickbooks products and reported units sold of TurboTax were up 10% over 2013.

Starbucks (SBUX) is the largest coffee and tea company in the world.  Starbucks reported results on April 24, 2014.

VCA Antech (WOOF),  the second largest owner of animal hospitals in the United States, also owns the laboratories for diagnostic testing of animals. VCA reported earnings on April 24, 2014.

IAC Interactive (IACI),, Meetic, ServiceMagic, Vimeo,, and the Daily Beast, among other web sites. The company announced earnings on April 30, 2014.

Moneygram International (MGI) is the second largest money transfer and bill payment company behind Western Union (WU) and the company announced earnings on April 29, 2014.

British Petroleum (BP) is one of the five largest integrated oil companies in the world. BP has many projects in the pipeline all over the globe but the legal issues over the Macondo oil spill keep perceptions about the company’s prospects muted. BP announced earnings on April 29, 2014 and raised their dividend 8%.

Unilever (UL) is a food company based in the UK that gets over half of it’s nearly $50 billion of sales in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa. The company pays a dividend of 3.7% and has the goal of doubling its sales by 2020. Unilever reported earnings on April 24, 2014 and raised the dividend 6%.

DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of May 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.