Wednesday, July 20, 2016

10% picks

I'll wrap this up with a story. Basically, what people are thinking is, education in America is dead. The news is all about how technical education is a massive scam and, as for public education, half the citizenry actually wants to kill it. The students are all up to their ears in debt, and any talk of public support for them elicits howls of protest. So, the other day, I looked at a stock that's a famous example of what a ripoff private, basically technical ed is, and to my surprise - amazement, almost - it seems to be kind of a strong company. And then today I find this chart, ITT Educational Services, which is everything I want in a truly crazy chart. It's the kind of chart that has blown up in my face again and again, but I can't stop believing. I believe it's the chart of a stock at a turning point. If it can't turn, the company goes out of business. That drives the price to almost nothing. And then - this is the hypothesis - if it turns, whoever took a chance on it makes a lot of money.

ITT is a pretty big company. It's got some debt, and its cash situation is a bit dicey, but it does make money, and crazy amounts of it, relative to the price. And I find myself kind of liking what they do - I mean, just the idea of it, because I don't actually know much about it - but it's technical education, right? That's a basic necessity. It's part of the foundation of society. I think it's a little silly to think it's going anywhere.

Listen, the student debt problem is a pretty bad problem, and the mood of the moment is that the students should just suck it up, but in a few months we'll have a new president, and, if it's Hillary, I bet she'll do something about it. Heck, if it's The Donald - hey, he's completely nuts, but not actually stupid. He'll do something about it! (By the way, this is in no way a knock on President Obama. He does what he can, and he's beautiful. But we have new presidents every few years for a reason. It keeps the wheels greased.)

Yup, the technical ed stocks are all beat down, down to nothing, practically to zero. Why? because they've been running a scam, as everybody knows. Well, that was the only way they could get money, from the government, from the people, which is what it takes to run education. At this particular moment, there is no money for them. The scam's been closed down, and the legit support isn't in place. I guess I'm predicting a change.

Kind of wish I knew more about these companies. I wonder what they actually do? Maybe their annual reports would make interesting reading.

cute, but not much more to it than that. (a fund, a few assets, some unexplained earnings, low expenses. book seems high, really.) probably headed for 4 by the chart.

very small, biotech, but a decent earnings record, and a crazy rate of return. price book is probably 2, so, a little high, but still decent. interesting chart.

earnings are overstated, but they may have gotten their footing. leveraged, but with a good current ratio. nice chart. bermuda shipping.

smallish, summary info only, very good earnings and book, interesting chart, chinese chemical co.

winger, interesting chart, modest size, earnings, but overstated, leveraged, current ratio ok, greek shipping
ok earnings, leveraged, some goodwill (longstanding), very large, utilities

good earnings, ok balance sheet, very large, hospitals

ok earnings, debt, big

very good earnings, ok balance sheet, big

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