Monday, December 10, 2012

Why RIM Is Still A Bargain After 91% Rally

On November 13th, I published an article on my tech blog titled Here's Why It's Better To Buy RIMM Than AAPL Right Now.  I listed 6 reasons why RIM was a more attractive investment than Apple.
  1. BB 10 is appealing and unique; iOS 6 is boring and old
  2. BB 10 is on track to have more than enough apps
  3. Investor sentiment is near the bottom for RIM but near the peak for Apple
  4. Consumers are tired of Apple’s product cycles
  5. Valuation
  6. Technicals
At the time, RIMM closed on Nov. 12 at US$8.81.  Since then, the shares have rallied 34.85% (as of today's closing price of $11.88).  Meanwhile, AAPL closed at $542.83 on Nov. 12.  The shares closed at $529.82 today, which represents a fall of 2.40%.  

Despite RIMM's dramatic rally from its 52-week low of $6.22, the shares could still have much upside.

1) Technicals

RIMM continues to be in an uptrend.  Its RSI remains strong (at 69.30).  In addition, the 50 DMA is about to break above the 200 DMA in several days.  This is a bullish signal that is closely watched by traders.  When the Golden Cross occurs, more traders are likely to buy the shares.

2) Wave of Analyst Upgrades Likely

Several analysts have upgraded RIMM in the past two months, due to warm reception of BlackBerry 10 by the mainstream media, tech bloggers and carriers.  For example, analysts from Goldman Sachs, National Bank Financial and Scotiabank have upgraded the shares.  However, many analysts still have target prices of $8-$9, which is far below the current market price.  Thus, a wave of upgrades by analysts who are behind the curve would send the shares higher.

3) RIMM is Trading Far Below The Bullish Scenario

A few analysts, including Peter Misek from Jefferies and Gus Papageorgiou from Scotiabank, have outlined a bullish scenario in which RIMM could achieve EPS of over $4 in FY2014 and trade at above $40.  In my upside scenario of $3.5 in FY2014 EPS and 12X forward P/E, the shares would trade at $42.  This would represent an upside of 253.54% over today's closing price.  Thus, RIMM still has plenty of upside potential if the bullish case materializes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

US Markets Tumble on Weak June Jobs Report

U.S. markets fell on Friday on a disappointing June non-farm payrolls report. The S&P 500 fell 12.90 points or 0.94% to 1,354.68. The Dow dropped 124.20 points or 0.96% to 12,772.47. For the week,
the S&P 500 fell 0.6%, while the Dow dropped 0.8%.

U.S. June Non-Farm Payroll Disappoints

Friday's US jobs report showed a gain of only 80,000 non-farm jobs in June, which was lower than the 100,000 that the market expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%. In addition, it was the third consecutive month in which the increase in jobs was less than 100,000. In the second quarter, job growth averaged 75,000 per month, which was far weaker than the 226,000 per month growth in the first quarter. It was also the worst job growth for a second quarter in two years.

Federal Reserve Not Expected to Launch QE3 Imminently

Despite the weak June jobs report, and the weak job growth in the second quarter, most analysts believe that the numbers are not weak enough for the Federal Reserve to immediately launch QE3. Thus, they expect the Fed to continue with its $287 billion extension of Operation Twist.

Three Central Banks Take Action

On Thursday, China's central bank lowered its interest rate by 0.25%, while the ECB lowered its interest rate by 0.25%, resulting in a rate of 0.75%. In addition, the Bank of England increased the size of its quantitative easing program by £50 billion, resulting in a size of £375 billion. The action by the three central banks was to boost their respective slowing economies. The action by the ECB followed a June PMI reading of 45.1 for the euro zone, which was lower than the 50 mark that indicates contraction.

Spanish Bond Yields Remain Unsustainable

Before the three central banks took action, Spain held a bond auction in which its 10-year bonds were auctioned at 6.43%, which was higher than the 6.044% at the last auction. As a result, the yield on 10-year Spanish bonds rose to 6.842%. On Friday morning, following the action by the central banks, the yield on 10-year Spanish bonds remained elevated, at 6.78%.

US ISM Data Indicates Contraction in Manufacturing

On Monday, the ISM reported that its manufacturing index fell to 49.7% in June from 53.5% in May. It was lower than the 52.3% that the market expected. With a reading below 50%, it indicated that the US manufacturing sector is contracting for the first time since 2009.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Earnings season begins next week, with earnings from Alcoa and JP Morgan. Investors will be paying attention to the size of JP Morgan's trading loss. Investors will also focus on the Fed's meeting minutes, which will be released on Wednesday, to see if there is any indication of a QE3. In addition, investors will watch China's GDP numbers, which economists expect to show a growth of 7.6%.

With U.S. markets little changed from where it was two months ago, better-than-expected earnings could send markets higher. In addition, any indication of a QE3 in the Fed's minutes would provide a boost to markets. However, with the Chinese Central Bank rushing to lower interest rates before its GDP report, the Chinese economy may have cooled more quickly than expected in the latest quarter. Spain will continue to affect the markets, but with investors now accustomed to high Spanish yields, the country is unlikely to affect markets in a significant way next week.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

U.S. Markets Post Biggest Gains of 2012 on Hopes of Spain Bailout

U.S. markets rose on Friday, as investors expected Spain to ask the euro zone for a bailout on Saturday for its troubled banking system. On Friday, the S&P 500 climbed 10.67 points or 0.81% to 1,325.66. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 93.24 points or 0.75% to 12,554.20. For the week, the S&P 500 jumped 3.7%, while the Dow gained 3.6%.

One week after the S&P 500 lost 6.3% in May and dropped below its 200-day moving average, the index posted its strongest weekly gains so far in 2012.

Euro Zone Agrees to Bailout For Spain

Today, the 17-member euro zone has agreed to a 100 billion euro bailout for Spain's banks. This was larger than the amount that the market expected, and followed a 2.5 hour telephone meeting among euro zone finance ministers. On Friday, a report by the IMF had indicated that Spain needed 40 billion euros to inject into its banks. The bailout is likely to erase the market's concerns about Spain, at least in the short term.

Spain Troubles World Markets

Prior to Sunday's bailout announcement, the situation in Spain dogged U.S. markets for the entire week. On Friday, Fitch downgraded Spain 3 by botches, from A to BBB. The agency also gave Spain a negative outlook, meaning further downgrades are likely. In addition, Moody's warned that Spain and other euro zone nations were at risk of a downgrade. On Tuesday, following a meeting of G7 finance ministers, Spain indicated for the first time that it was asking for assistance from the euro zone.

China Cuts Interest Rate By Quarter-Percent

After a slew of data indicated a slowing economy in China, the country's central bank cut interest rates by 0.25% on Thursday. It was the first rate cut in 3 years, and caused markets to rally.

Ben Bernanke Offers No Hints of QE3

Testifying in front of the U.S. Congress on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed was ready to take action, but offered no details or promises on a new round of stimulus. As a result, markets posted reduced gains following Bernanke's statements, after recording strong gains following China's rate cut.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Markets will likely receive a strong boost on Monday, following Spain's 100-billion euro bailout. The focus in the euro zone will shift back to Greece, as investors anticipate the June 17 elections. Thus, U.S. markets are likely to head higher this coming week.

Investors will also be paying attention to China, with recent data indicating a slow-down in the economy. With May CPI in the country falling to 3%, it gives policy makes room for stimulus. Thus, investors will look for hints of further stimulus in the country. In the U.S., economic data to be released in the coming week includes the PPI and retail sales on Wednesday. CPI and initial jobless claims are scheduled for Thursday. The Empire State manufacturing index, U.S. industrial production and the June reading of consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan are expected on Friday.

Monday, June 4, 2012

US Markets Fall Into Correction Territory on Disappointing Jobs Reports

U.S. markets tumbled on Friday on disappointing jobs reports from the U.S. and the euro zone. The S&P 500 fell 32.29 points or 2.46% to 1,278.04; the Dow dropped 274.88 points or 2.22% to 12,118.57. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 3%, while the Dow dropped 2.7%. The S&P 500 is now in a correction, after falling 10% from its April 2nd highs. The index also closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time in 2012 on Friday.

Disappointing Jobs Report from the U.S. and euro zone

On Friday, the U.S. May jobs report showed a gain of only 69,000 non-farm positions, which was far lower than the 165,000 that economists expected. In addition, the unemployment rate rose for the first time since July 2011, to 8.2%.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal also rose in May, causing the unemployment rate in the 17-member euro zone to reach 11%.

Troubles in Spain Continue

On Friday, Spain's central bank announced that in the first quarter, $97 billion euros were pulled from the country's financial sector. The amount is approximately 10% of Spain's GDP. In addition, the yield on 10-year Spanish debt reached 6.63%, as it continued to head towards the dangerous 7% level. Spanish 5-year CDS, which reflects the probability of a default, reached 615 basis points, a historical high.

U.S. Manufacturing Weakens

On Thursday, U.S. first quarter GDP was adjusted downwards to 1.9%. In addition, initial jobless claims was higher than expected, increasing by 10,000 to 383,000. May Chicago PMI fell to 52.7, close to the 50 mark and its lowest level since September 2009.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

A sustained rally in the market in the coming weeks would likely require stimulative measures from the US Federal Reserve. The Fed is scheduled to meet on June 19-20, and an extension of Operation Twist or an introduction of QE 3 would send markets higher by double digits over several months. Some analysts expect the Fed to take action at a later date, in August.  Ben Bernanke is expected to testify before Congress on Thursday, and he might give a hint of how the Fed intends to act.

In the coming week, if euro zone leaders announce concrete measures and few bad news emerge from the euro zone, markets could get an upward bounce as a result of bargain hunting. Regardless of the direction of the market in the coming week, the magnitude of its movement, either upwards or downwards, will likely be large, as volatility increases.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

U.S. Markets Fall Ahead of Long Weekend on Spanish Bank Troubles

U.S. markets fell on Friday on a relatively uneventful day before the long weekend. The S&P 500 fell 2.86 points or 0.22% to 1,317.82. The Dow dropped 74.92 points or 0.60% to 12,454.83. For the week, the S&P 500 ended higher, breaking the index's streak of consecutive declines at 3 weeks. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.7%, while the Dow rose 0.6%. The S&P 500 has fallen 5.7% since the beginning of May, but is still up 4.8% for 2012.

Spanish Bank Bankia Seeks Expanded Bailout

On Saturday, Spanish bank Bankia requested $19 billion euros of additional bailout funding from the Spanish government, which was twice as large as what the market expected. As a result, S&P downgraded Bankia and two other banks to a “junk” rating. On Thursday, the Spanish government had decided to completely nationalize Bankia by injecting $9 billion into the bank. However, that amount was determined to be inadequate by Saturday. In addition, the Spanish government injected $4.5 billion euros into Bankia in early May, which brings the entire bailout to a total of $23.5 billion euros.

EU Leaders Meet But Produce No Results

On Tuesday, EU leaders began to meet for a summit in Brussels to resolve the euro zone debt crisis. French President Hollande pushed for the issuance of Eurobonds, which Germany resisted. The market doubted that the meeting would produce any significant results. In addition, Reuters reported that EU officials were instructing EU member nations in preparing for Greece to exit the euro zone. As a result, the Dow fell around 160 points in early trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the euro fell to its 21-month low of US$1.2615. By Friday, Germany and France were unable to come to an agreement on Eurobonds, and simply suggested 3 measures to help economic growth.

Facebook Shares Tumble In Second Week of Trading

On Monday, Facebook shares tumbled 11% after Friday's disappointing IPO. The shares closed down $4.20 at $34.03. By the end of the week, FB closed at $31.91, after losing 3.4% on Friday. It hit a intraday low of $30.94 on Tuesday.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

With elections in Greece to be held on June 17th, it is likely the situation in the country has stabilized until then. While the possibility of Greece exiting the euro zone will provide a negative overhang for stocks, its effect could be small until the election occurs. Meanwhile, most of the euro zone concerns will be focused on Spain, as a result of the Bankia bailout. Investors will be watching to see whether Spain's other banks also require bailouts.

Next week, investors will be watching a long list of economic data to be released in the U.S. Consumer confidence, GDP and May non-farm payrolls reports will be released. Better-than-expected economic data from the U.S. could send markets higher next week, if few negative news emerge from the euro zone.