Portfolio Update April 2010

Old School Value Stock Portfolio Performance

Portfolio Performance

A volatile month, but as I’ve mentioned in previous monthly reviews, it’s a theme that I’m expecting for 2010. I am surprised that the market in general is up so much. The S&P is up 8% while the Russell 2000 index is up a whopping 18% at the end of April 2010.

The Old School Value portfolio performed satisfactorily. In April my portfolio was up 5.28% compared to 3.19% for the market.

Benchmarking against the Russell 2000, as shown below, I’ve fallen quite behind. However, my absolute gain remains steady and my objective to not lose money remains intact in 2010.

Portfolio Movers

ROIAK [[ROIAK]] moved up steeply this month as did all radio stocks. Overtook VVTV to become my second largest holding behind GGP.

BOLT [[BOLT]] released first quarter earnings and performance wasn’t as strong as anyone would have liked. While the company still managed to profit, revenues declined significantly. If oil prices and demand doesn’t pick up, I’m beginning to think that the intrinsic value could very well drop towards a price just above what it is trading at now. Intrinsic value of $14 opposed to my initial $18 looks very real if the company doesn’t pick it up.

Portfolio Trades

Very busy month with trades this month. It all started at the end of March when I bought more SVT. Forgot to mention the purchase last month.

1. Sold RGCIQ then bought it again.

My initial purchase of RGCIQ was below the 12.8c offered to shareholders so it was simple arbitrage and then I sold for a tiny gain. However, Resilient entered the picture and started to fight the court on the validity of the valuation method used by the debtors. Long story short, the court denied Resilient’s motion and approved the prepackaged bankruptcy plan by the company.

The result is that shareholders will receive 12.8c in cash for each share.

Looking back and after going through what happened, I see that Resilient’s chances of winning the case was thin. But at the time, the risk to reward was stunning. A downside of 15-20% compared to an upside of 300%. Based on the information I had and what I knew, I made the right choice, but in hindsight, I’ve got a lot more to learn about bankruptcy investing.

Distressed investing is all about probabilities and it’s definitely something I will have to learn more about. I’ve picked up several books on bankruptcy and distressed investing so I hope to expand my knowledge in this area.

2. Sold a portion of VVTV at a gain of 934.5%

I’m slowly liquidating my position in VVTV now. With the way the company is operating and the current valuation, there is more downside risk than upside. A 100% return could be achieved within 5 years but the downside looks to be much larger and steeper.

3. Sold EVI for a gain of 15.3%

I needed to free up cash for other purchases this month and EVI was at the top of my sell list if a better idea came up. Nothing wrong with the company. I just had better uses for the money.

4. Sold LTON for a loss of 1.7%

This was the second time I entered LTON after a successful 45% gain last year. LTON is cheap and still trades below net net but it deserves to be. With so much cash and assets, the company is unwilling to acknowledge the existence of shareholders. Instead the CEO buys minority stakes in other companies which he owns. Big alarm.

5. Bought APNC

A reader wrote about Access Plans Inc in the forum, and after going through the numbers and reports, the company is very cheap. It is not a ” true” value investment but more like a cheap growth stock.

6. Bought TRXAQ

Of the bankruptcy stocks, TRXAQ is more the typical type of investment that I will try to get into now. Solid fundamentals, operating well, business improving and financing progressing well.

I also have to mention that people shouldn’t just follow me or anyone into bankrupt stocks. Volatility is HUGE (+/- 30%) and there is a lot of speculation. Traders and penny stock gamblers just bid the shares up even though there is no clear evidence that equity holders will be left with anything.

Although I see more upside with TRXAQ based on the operating reports, the price of TiO2 and assets, the 70+% rise in April certainly has reduced the margin of safety. Again, I can’t stress enough that you find the court dockets and read through it in order to understand where the company stands, who is involved, what the company is doing and what the risks are.

Stock Discussions and Questions for You

1. I’ve suddenly become interested in the paper industry. It is highly leveraged with high capital requirements but I am drawn to it. Problem is that I admit I am no expert and would like to know whether you have an opinion or knowledge that you are willing to share.

2. Books A Million [[BAMM]] is a book store that I’ve been looking into. With specialty retailers such as HAST and CONN doing extremely well, BAMM looks to have potential. You can read and join in the ongoing discussion on BAMM. I would love to hear your opinions.

3. Are you interested in a members section at Old School Value? I envision members having access to more diverse screens, special situation ideas, 100% transparent portfolio holdings, my portfolio live trade alerts, stock analysis and more.


1. Finished reading Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range Bound Markets. Book review to come.

2. Don’t forget to sign up with your email to receive articles and stock analysis tools into your inbox.

3. Working on a free Piostroki spreadsheet.

4. Started reading Distressed Investing by Marty Whitman. One heck of a difficult book to read at my level. Learning though.


I own all stocks mentioned except sold positions.

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