Tags: Fisher | Large | Value | Plays

Finding Ken Fisher's Large-Cap Value Plays

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 01:36 PM

Warren Buffett, probably the best-known modern investor, has cited Philip Fisher as an important influence on his investment philosophy.

Fisher pioneered "growth" investing — essentially, the buy-and-hold strategy — a philosophy near and dear to the heart of Buffett, who holds stocks for decades.

Fisher's work is being carried on by his son, Ken, through Fisher Investments. The firm manages more than $45 billion, and the success of the firm has allowed Ken to become a member of the Forbes 400, with a personal net worth of $1.8 billion derived from his investing strategies.

Ken Fisher is credited with developing the price-to-sales ratio, a fundamental measure of a stock's relative value.

Although Fisher says the ratio has lost some usefulness given its growing popularity, independent research has consistently demonstrated that it is the best fundamental indicator of potential gains.

Fisher also writes a monthly commentary for Forbes magazine and has been bullish recently. He does not agree with conventional wisdom that a worldwide recession is inevitable, and he thinks large cap companies will be the leaders after a brief economic slowdown.

To find companies that meet Ken Fisher's criteria, we screened for:

• Large companies with a market capitalization of at least $10 billion

• Good management as measured by profit margins, that is, profit margins above the average in their industries

• A price-to-sales ratio less than 1, and below the company's industry average

• Dividend yield of at least 2 percent and above the industry average. The market can take a long time to recognize value stocks, and the dividend yield ensures we are paid to patiently wait for potential returns

• An S&P rating of at least three stars, indicating at least average potential for performance

Only a few stocks made the cut. But these nine global powerhouses should benefit from improving economic conditions if Fisher is correct.

If the Fisher model is wrong, they can nevertheless withstand continuing economic weakness:

BT Group (BT)

The former British Telecom pays a safe 5 percent dividend and is slowly but steadily growing earnings. The stock has never recovered from the Internet bubble, trading more than 80 percent below that peak at a recent price of 43.67.

ConAgra Foods (CAG)

Steady insider buying indicates management believes in the future of this company. Profits have been hurt by rising food prices, which will likely force the company to raise prices and increase profits. Trading near 24, the stock yields about 3.1 percent

Eaton Corporation (ETN)

This electrical equipment manufacturer is expected to see revenue growth of 20 percent. Trading near 80 a share recently, ETN has operating margins nearly twice the industry average, indicating good management, and widely distributed international sales increase its potential to meet earning expectations even in a recession.

Nissan Motor Company (NSANY)

A fuel-efficient product line makes this Japanese automaker well-positioned to capture market share as gas prices remain stubbornly high. Steadily increasing dividend yields were 4.88 percent at a recent price of 16.26.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-B)

The oil giant is a bargain compared to others in its industry. Trading near 72 a share recently, RDS-B has a price-to-earnings ratio of 7 and a dividend yield of 4 percent.

Telecom Italia (TI)

Expanding operations in Brazil and Peru offer potential for rapid growth. At the recent price of 22, TI is projected to offer 50 percent total return, according to S&P analysts.

The Allstate Corporation (ALL)

Broadline insurer is limiting homeowner exposure in high-risk areas and raising premiums for auto insurance in many markets. Overall the trend is up for insurers and ALL offers a 3.8 percent yield from the recent price level near 48.

The Home Depot (HD)

If the housing market remains weak, home owners are likely to fix up their existing homes, benefiting this retail giant. It offers a 3.2 percent dividend yield at a recent price of 27.59.

TOTAL (TOT)

A French oil company with worldwide operations, Total offers unique exposure to the Chinese consumer market through a large network of gas stations it owns in that country. Recent price of 78.84.

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MichaelCarr
Warren Buffett, probably the best-known modern investor, has cited Philip Fisher as an important influence on his investment philosophy. Fisher pioneered "growth" investing — essentially, the buy-and-hold strategy — a philosophy near and dear to the heart of Buffett, who...
Fisher,Large,Value,Plays
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2008-36-16
Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 01:36 PM
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