Roundtable: 1 Stock to Buy in November

As we do each month, we asked a handful of our top analysts across sectors for one stock that looks especially compelling right now. Here are the companies they singled out.

Jim Gillies:  I tapped Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI  ) as a stock to buy back in August, and I'm doubling down today. My rationale for buying in August was resolution of the for-profit educator's accreditation issue (no accreditation, no access to Title IV funding -- the ultimate source of about 87% of Bridgepoint's revenue). The stock subsequently rose more than 20% in the next couple of months, before getting whacked this week by twin blows of an analyst downgrade and an earnings miss.

This is opportunity, Fools. The analyst downgrade was based on an assertion that Bridgepoint will have to lower tuition prices to continue to compete -- an assertion ably batted aside by Bridgepoint management on their quarterly earnings call. And the earnings miss reflected continuing lower net and total enrollment (and thus associated revenue) while the company continues to invest in programs to enhance admissions quality and student persistence -- initiatives that you can credit for resolving the accreditation issue in Bridgepoint's favor in the first place.

In other words, the enrollment declines are self-driven and in-line with company expectations; they're also near an end. Management indicated that new enrollments will turn from decline back to growth in the current quarter, and continue through 2014.

Meanwhile the company still sports its $10-per-share cash hoard, continues to generate significant cash flow, and is just plain cheap trading below 3x EBITDA. I believe fair value lies in the mid-$20s. Demonstrating enrollment growth in the near future should propel us in that direction.

Maxx Chatsko: It is pretty rare to find a small biotech company with steady operations and sky-high profit margins, so consider Repligen (NASDAQ: RGEN  ) a hidden gem. The company offers a unique opportunity to tap into the wild growth of the biopharmaceutical industry without the risk of running costly and unpredictable clinical trials. That's because Repligen doesn't develop therapeutic medicines in clinical trials. Instead, the company operates in two commercial segments: bioprocessing and biomanufacturing equipment.

In the first business, Repligen sells the biologic products necessary to produce, purify, and quality check monoclonal antibody therapeutics. You know, the drugs that made up six of the top nine best-selling medicines in the world last year (the same six drugs had combined sales of $37 billion in 2012). The company currently only offers one product line when it comes to biomanufacturing equipment, but it's poised to challenge Amgen and General Electric with its ambitious growth plans. Just let that sink in for a moment.

I'm on a mission to educate investors about Repligen's operations and opportunities, so don't let scientific jargon or concepts make you throw it in the "too hard" bin just yet. If I can't use my bioprocess engineering degree to explain a bioprocessing company, then, well, I should probably return my degree and take a walk of shame looking for a new major. Check the company's CAPS page for my breakdown of third-quarter results and financial outlook. I think you'll be impressed.

Patrick Morris: Despite BofI Holding (NASDAQ: BOFI  ) having an incredible run through the first 10 months of 2013 (with the stock up almost 120%), I think November marks the month to buy this disruptive banking stock. The holding company for Bank of Internet continues to deliver astounding growth -- as its most recent earnings release delivered 35.5% year-over-year net income growth, and 27% earnings-per-share growth. It was the seventh quarter in a row with record earnings.

Yet this isn't some high-growth stock that lacks fundamentals, as its 17.7% return on average equity and 41.4% efficiency ratio (two key banking profitability metrics) are among the best in its class. Consider that highly esteemed peers and industry leaders US Bancorp and Wells Fargo check in at 15.8% / 52.4% and 14.1% / 59.1%, respectively.

While the company has a very high valuation at 3.4 times price to tangible book value, the aforementioned US Bancorp sits at 3.0, so BofI Holdings would not be considered monumentally expensive. Certainly with any high-growth company there are risks, but there could also be great rewards for those who invest in this stock.

Sam Mattera: Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) is a stock to own going into the holiday season. It should benefit from a wave of new tech gadgets, including wearable devices; tablets from Apple, Lenovo and others; more affordable 4K TV sets; and the release of two major video game consoles.

Certainly, if anyone is in the market for a Samsung device, Best Buy is the place they'll go. Now that Samsung has rolled out its Experience Shops, Best Buy has become the premiere Samsung retailer. That's notable, as Samsung's share of the tablet market has exploded -- according to IDC, about one in every five tablets shipped is made by Samsung.

In past years, shoppers may have gone to Best Buy to test these new devices out, then gone home to purchase them online (or even in the store using a mobile device). But Best Buy is combating this practice by price-matching online retailers, including Amazon. Recently, I told two of my friends that I was in the market for a TV; both of them suggested that I go to Best Buy, citing its willingness to match prices. No doubt this is anecdotal, but to me, it suggests that consumers are aware of Best Buy's new policy.

Tim Beyers: For as much as the headlines speak of how well Grand Theft Auto V is performing -- retailers have now purchased more than 29 million copies of the game -- you'd think that shares of Take-Two Interactive  (NASDAQ: TTWO  ) would be touching new highs. Yet you'd be wrong. 

Take-Two is up less than 5% since GTA V's release on Sept. 17. Overall, the market pegs this business as worth $1.6 billion in market cap. GTA V, on its own, should generate that much revenue for the company. Does that seems fair to you? Not to me, but there's also GTA Online to consider. We don't yet know how big Take-Two's online revenue opportunity is, but having an ever-changing Internet edition allows publisher Rockstar to keep racking up sales as the development team works on creating GTA VI

Take-Two should also benefit from this month's console refreshes from Microsoft and Sony. Management says 10 titles are in the works for these and other next-generation platforms, and should begin generating revenue from them next year. Consider it gravy. The meat of this story is GTA V. Right now, Take-Two trades for less than the revenue value of its top property. That's not going to last forever. Heck, I'll be surprised if it lasts more than a quarter.

Jamal Carnette: My stock of the month is LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD  ) . LinkedIn investors sold off the company nearly 10% after its recent earnings announcement. LinkedIn beat consensus estimates for earnings and revenue, but investors were not happy with the company's fourth-quarter guidance. LinkedIn is guiding for around $20 million less than consensus estimates.

However, many investors fail to remember that LinkedIn is cautious with guidance. For the recently reported third quarter, it raised guidance on Aug. 2 and guided from $367 million to $373 million -- it ended up beating its projected top number by $20 million.

In addition, LinkedIn has a strategy to become "mobile friendly" to better engage those users. That's important because mobile users are 2.5 times as active as desktop users. This will provide LinkedIn with better monetization prospects going forward.

If you are looking for a social-media company with a strong moat, amazing growth, and a diverse monetization strategy, LinkedIn should be considered. Valuation concerns persist as it trades at high price to sales and price to earnings ratios, but prudent investors understand that nothing fundamentally has changed in LinkedIn's success story, except the price.

Austin Smith: LeapFrog (UNKNOWN: LF.DL  ) hasn't got any of love from investors this year. It's trending scary close to 52-week lows after management lowered guidance for the holidays, noting the "tough retail climate." As usual though, Wall-Street's short-termism is our opportunity.

This company has constantly sandbagged earnings, beating the consensus for the last 11 quarters. Also, weak holiday guidance isn't exactly new news at this point. With some pointing to the weakest holiday season since 2009, many investors would think to steer clear, but that pessimism is already baked in and frankly misapplied here. LeapFrog is crazy cheap. The company trades at less than six times earnings with zero debt and about 30% of its market cap in cash. Its passionate CEO is just the cherry on top.

More importantly, though, retail is weak, tablets are still red hot. IDC believes this Christmas will mark a paradigm shift with worldwide tablet sales expected to outstrip PC sales for the first time. That's great news for the LeapPad Ultra, which can't stop winning educational awards and has landed a spot on Toys R Us' fabulous 15 list -- the de facto grouping for blockbuster toys each holiday season. While LeapFrog may seem like a lump of coal for investors, I expect Santa's sleigh to come stocked with Ultras this year and investors should prepare for a shiny gift-wrapped diamond instead.

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Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (119)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2013, at 9:10 AM, cmalek wrote:

    What is the difference between MF analysts hawking stocks and Wall Street pundits pushing stocks??? As far as I am concerned, very little. The picture says it perfectly, they're all turkeys.

    Back in the AOL days and when the Fool site was established. MF did differentiate itself from the Wall Street establishement. However, over the years, MF has moved closer and closer to the dark side until now there is very little difference.

    MF even sends out spam emails with embeded videos that go on for what seems like hours, doing a lot of talking but saying absolutely nothing. And for $149.95 MF will let me in on the secret of the "next killer industry" or the "little shop that killed China."

    One thing is still different about MF, they still don't cold-call prospective customers. Or is that in the works?!

  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2013, at 11:34 AM, midnightmoney wrote:

    cmalek, ain't no analysts giving it away the way motley fool does. I owe them a debt of gratitude for the straight up information they provide for free, but more for the fact I know I can trust them to try to do the right thing.

  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2013, at 12:09 PM, steinbrock wrote:

    My only complaint is your videos, which go on forever. When I click to read your number one stock for the month, I'd llike a short description as to why and then the NAME of the stock. I don't have the time or patience to listen to the entire video and so I miss out on hearing the actual stock. I'd rather read then watch and listen and would so appreciate your making those videos much, much shorter. Sillyjack

  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2013, at 9:34 PM, GETRICHSLOW2 wrote:

    The MF is my favorite site. I have learned so much about investing from the great writers they employee and it has not cost me a dime. Cannot complain about that!

    Not a fan of the videos though. If I click on an article and it indicates a video is attached, I hit the back button and move on.

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 1:24 PM, FoolGutek wrote:

    fully agree with @steinbrock, the videos are too long, it looks like brain washing. I assess brother Gardner as successful investors, but hearing it at least 50 times during endless video takes off credibility to the message

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 2:44 PM, wmansvelt wrote:

    I agree videos take endless time and are very repetitive. If you are paying for data download they are a must miss. A short summary followed by the option to read a longer transcript or watch a video if that is your choice will enhance the experience immensely.

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 3:41 PM, art34119 wrote:


    Hasn't BBY gone private? Are shares still available?


  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2013, at 10:01 AM, takapaisa wrote:

    Watch video for entertainment, not for business.

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2013, at 10:28 AM, CraigWPowell wrote:

    Let us check the performance of 1 stock to buy in October.

    Year to date through the end of August, 75% of mutual funds have underperformed the S&P 500, this one:


    was different with +28.86% return Q3/12-Q3/13 versus S&P500 +17.48% return in the period

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2013, at 10:29 AM, CraigWPowell wrote:

    Year to date through the end of August, 75% of mutual funds have underperformed the S&P 500, this one:


    was different with +28.86% return Q3/12-Q3/13 versus S&P500 +17.48% return in the period

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2013, at 2:41 PM, Nupts123e wrote:

    I use the MF site more and more. All I have to say is that the entire site has made me a more successful trader and investor. If you do not like the videos then do not watch them. simple. get a life.

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2013, at 9:54 PM, dav1949 wrote:

    The videos are way to long to get your sell point across.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2013, at 1:57 PM, Mangrovecuckoo wrote:

    I am amazed at the honesty


    And willingness of the motley fools willingness to share their investment advice.

    I pay for it. It's worth it. In a market lead by fear and greed, I find it very comforting to believe they have all of us fools best interest at heart. I'm teaching my children what I wish I had known years earlier. They are having a blast. I feel they are fortunate to learn all they can from their research and full disclosure. Thank you Gardner brothers and the other contributors at the motley fool.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2013, at 7:11 AM, goforit wrote:

    I agree with most that the video is more like a bedtime story which goes on and on to the point of boring. Like jack used to say on Dragnet, "just the facts ma'am"

    I also notice that a lot of the stocks recommended by MF have already peaked and are trading at a high valuation. Is this the time to get on board??

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2013, at 4:03 PM, 62blu wrote:

    plain and simple,mf makes meee!!'money

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, takincontrol9 wrote:

    I also think that the videos are too lengthy and contain much more fluff and repeat than is needed. It results in excessive TIME cost. TIME IS MONEY. The only way to "SAVE" time is to use it more efficiently. Please help your fellow Fools make profits in the "EFFICIENCY SECTOR". Thanks for your TIME.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 5:22 AM, observerbob2013 wrote:

    While agreeing that the videos are a hard sell, no info waste of time I think the purpose of this post was to suggest stocks.

    As with any list of stocks 'to buy' some are good and most are just a re-hash but that is the job of the investor to listen, evaluate and then make your own decision.

    Most sensible investors would value this site as a very important addition to their resources.

    To all the contributors, thanks for your efforts even if I don't always agree.

  • Report this Comment On November 22, 2013, at 12:37 PM, bburr4307 wrote:

    I too am not fond of the videos. I don't have the time for the down loading as I could read the article in the same amount of time. I'm with the rest of the group, boot the videos and just use the printed word. I have never used my computer as a television and never will.

  • Report this Comment On November 22, 2013, at 2:37 PM, fraudfinder wrote:

    I find it very interesting that all the comments on here DO NOT discuss the stocks listed in the articles but rather the MF site in general, many of them complaining about the videos and even more of them defending the site...Makes you wonder if the posters are even real people and not just MF employees acting like paying customers....

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2013, at 2:28 AM, tomd728 wrote:

    rgen is one i simply stumbled upon when doing some research on another operation in that space.

    and certainly glad i did.......

    nice write-up

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 12:02 AM, foolsfool wrote:

    i have been following MF now and then for over 2-3 yrs now. I have been watching the stocks they had suggested and almost 80% of the stock are trading above 100% return some have crossed 400% return, which i must say is fantastic. Though i know little of Share Trading, Whatever i am able to understand a little is from MF. Thanks to all the fools for the help to newbies like me to understand better the Share trades. ya most important those valuable info comes for free....Definitely the audio/video msgs is lengthy but still no complaints...shorter audio would be favourable though

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