Just how well do you know David Gardner? Since founding The Motley Fool with his brother, Tom, David's had a very public passion for stocks. You saw it in the original real-money Motley Fool Portfolio, in which he invited the community to watch and learn from his victories and his mistakes.
These days, you can see that same passion as he picks stocks along with his brother for Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers. He also heads up a team of technology analysts in unearthing the great growth stocks of tomorrow as part of the Rule Breakers newsletter service.
Having the luxury of knowing David for the past 11 years now, I also know that he is passionate about the power of community convergence. Fill up a room with sharp investors, David will tell you, and you are likely to generate better stock-market ideas than you could get out of any single investor.
So it's no surprise to see that David is a master architect behind the new Motley Fool CAPS stock-rating service. It's also not exactly a shock to see that David has been one of the more active participants in the market simulation; he's provided opinionated commentary on several of the hot and cold stocks of the moment.
Let's take a look at what he has written over the past few weeks on public companies that you, too, may have a strong opinion about.
A bit too much "pie in the sky" right now for me, even if that pie may taste better than ever before thanks to this company.
Revenue shortfall based on "timing" leads me to question how quickly or substantially its products will reach the consumer. Lots of agreements, but still only revenue of a few mill a quarter.
I have no long-term strong feeling, here. I mainly am using this as a hedge against a declining market should November feature a sell-off. I think a company like this one that is speculative and unproven would be more vulnerable than the S&P 500 average.
The contrarian in me that wants to root for new, innovative companies even in the face of everyone calling them overvalued does truly root for Crocs. I think what they've done with their product and their brand is impressive, though of course some call it gimmicky or faddish. That said, I'm picking this stock as a short-term underperform because it has really rocked higher and I just have this visceral feeling CROX will give a little back here in the next few weeks.
Sorry, I just don't believe this is an interesting or compelling business. Already now a loser IPO from the get-go. And not a brand that for me has positive associations or any real resonance. In fact, I'm always slightly annoyed when somebody forwards me a link to their photos that they put up on Shutterfly (not that it happens much these days). And the Shutterfly e-mails I continue to get despite having signed up just once for the site years ago are now consigned to the spam filter. Nothing personal, SFLY -- I'm sure you were started by dreamers, like the rest of us. But dream harder about a sustainable competitive business model.
That said, I only hope to leave this one in for a few weeks and grab a few points -- I don't think SFLY is going outa business anytime soon . unlike a few others among my Underperformers.
Highly speculative for a number of reasons. First, this is a small company. Second, the stock price has tripled over the past year already. Third, it's down 30% plus since late summer, in line with other energy-focused companies whose hot stocks have sold off with the price of oil and natural gas. Fourth, while I generally like that it is owned and operated by the original founders, who have been at the helm for the past 15 years (CEO & CFO are founders), from IPO in 1992 to the bottom in 2003 the stock lost almost 100% of its value. That is horrendously bad business performance, with the same people at the helm.
That said, had you found Metretek two years ago today, you'd have made five times your money.
The primary reason behind my MEK backing in CAPS: This company is the latest in my "I'm listening to CAPS and trying out a five-star-rated stock" initiative. I have had success enough in the past with these that I feel pretty good about this one -- knowing, of course, that CAPS is not and never will be infallible. However, I see several very highly rated and respected participants in the MEK corner (including the No. 1-rated Wall Street firm, Roth Capital), and despite the oil/gas selloff, I think the price of the stuff will remain high for a sustained period. So the drop in price for this stock from about $20 to $13 may be a nice entry point.
For these reasons, then, I'm selecting Metretek to OUTPERFORM over the next year.
A company I purely found via Motley Fool CAPS -- use No. 3 of my 17 Favorite Uses of CAPS is flat-out finding new companies I would never otherwise have heard of.
Aspreva partners with larger biotechs and focuses on taking their existing biotech drugs and investigating new, alternative uses for them. In Rule Breakers . one of the breakout signs we look for in our favorite biotechs is those that can find additional indications (uses) for their drugs. Aspreva partners with you to try to enable and facilitate that.
CellCept with Roche is a big deal example of that. CellCept is the brand name, but the medical name is actually mycophenolate (that's my-koh-FEN-o-late), which belongs to a group of medicines known as "immunosuppressive agents." It is used to lower the body's natural immunity in patients who receive organ transplants. When you receive an organ transplant, your white blood cells want to prevent that from happening; they try to reject the transplanted organ; that's part of their job. Mycophenolate works by preventing the white blood cells from getting rid of the transplanted organ.
Under its agreement with Roche, Aspreva is responsible for clinical development of CellCept for autoimmune diseases and will be responsible for sales and marketing upon regulatory approvals. Thus, Aspreva's job is to go beyond the present indications or uses of a drug like CellCept in order to look at additional niche situations where it might work. Obtaining FDA approval can be a lot quicker and less expensive for pursuing additional indications of drugs than for their initial approval.
Aspreva has a market cap of $936 million as I write, and (yep, profitable indeed) a P/E ratio below 10. That's another way of saying the company over the past year has already racked up about $100 million in net income, with over $78 million in cash flow for just the first half of the year alone -- this is not a development-stage biotech. Further, the company has $190 million in cash sitting on the balance sheet and no debt to speak of.
Very little analyst coverage -- only one report issued this calendar year.
On a side note -- and this may be just me, and it's nothing personal -- but I think I'd lose the scary woman at the top of their http://www.aspreva.com home page.
I don't own this stock and I'm not rushing out to buy it or suggesting that anyone does, but I certainly find it interesting and fun to follow in CAPS. Again, hey, CAPS is how I discovered it.
Expecting a bounce over the next four months -- or rather, that the bounce will continue.
This company has had so many black eyes given it by the market -- all earned -- that it looks like a character I left somewhere on the streets of San Andreas a bit earlier this year!
Three up, three down, one you
The great thing about CAPS is that you don't have to take David's opinion for gospel. Whether you agree with him or not, just join the fray and share your perspective. He's got plenty to say about dozens of other stocks too. You're the missing ingredient right now. You're that one incremental voice that will make the lively community of individual investors a more dynamic place.
This article is about what David Gardner has to say, but maybe my next peek at CAPS will be to cover what you have to say, too.
These are just some of the picks that David is intrigued by these days, but they do not represent his best stock ideas for the moment. He saves those for the Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Rule Breakersnewsletter services.
Motley Fool CAPS is a new community-driven experience where individual investors pool their knowledge to seek out superior stock ideas. Are you up for the challenge? Go ahead and give it a shot .
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz was one of the earlier CAPS players, and he is loving the wide variety of opinions on just about any public company. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy .