Kurlak Ultra-Negativo - Gzibordi
By: GZ on Mercoledì 30 Gennaio 2002 15:58
Questa estate (e anche l'anno scorso) avevo citato Tom Kurlak, ex-top analista di semiconduttori di merril lynch e per circa 10 anni considerato il migliore del settore. Kurlak da solo spesso dava il segnale di acquisto o vendita per il settore quando era a Merril.
Anche questa estate la chiamata di Kurlak su Intel, tenendo conto della strage del 9/11 non era male perchè Intel è tornata su quei livelli e gli ordini del settore stanno miglorando da allora. E a marzo era stato preciso preciso per non parlare dell'ottobre 1999.
Ma ora vedo che oggi è uscito con una valutazione estremamente pessimistica di tutto il settore tecnologico, senza salvare quasi niente. Notare che non lavora più per Merril e che è in pensione per cui al massimo spinge i titoli che ha comprato lui, ma non è sospettabile di volerli spingere giù per altri motivi.
Dato che è il tizio che per 10 anni ha dettato legge sui trend dei semiconduttori e in generale del tecnologico darei molto peso
".....What I find myself doing is strongly tending toward value, quality and predictability. Maybe I'm just getting older, or maybe it's my years as an analyst with roots in an old-line trust bank (before my sell-side years), but the more I work at personal investments, the more I want to invest away from the most popular sectors, particularly technology, at today's valuations.
I'm thankful that my career as a tech-stock analyst for Merrill Lynch was accomplished over a period when, for the most part, valuations were more reasonable and often very cheap. At the cycle lows, which would last a long time, tech stocks could be bought for 0.7 to 2 times revenue and book value. That certainly wasn't the case even at the September low. Right now, Intel (INTC:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) is valued at 8.5 times revenue, and Broadcom (BRCM:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) is at 12 times.
But what is most disturbing now is the horrendous collapse of revenue. We are not just seeing 15%, 20% or even 25% declines, but complete wipeouts of 40%, 50%, 60% and even 80% down from year-ago levels. This is unprecedented in the past 30 years. For example, in recent fourth-quarter earnings releases, Texas Instruments (TXN:NYSE - news - commentary - research - analysis) reported a 41% revenue decline, Tellabs (TLAB:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) had a 59% drop, Vitesse (VTSS:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) chalked up a 76% plunge and PMC-Sierra (PMCS:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) showed an embarrassing 80% implosion. Intel and Broadcom had 20% and 33% declines, respectively.
One thing I've learned over years of tech research is that when products peak and growth stops, pricing collapses. This literally erases the value of markets for suppliers. Remember calculators, digital watches and VCRs? Component vendors don't even mention them anymore. Now think PCs, cell phones and PDAs.
Poor Texas Instruments; its gross margins on digital signal processors for cell phones are no better than they were on DRAMs, and annualized fourth-quarter revenue is about 30% below where it was five years ago. And if Intel had more than one competitor, its gross margins would probably look quite similar to Texas Instruments'. Although Intel's revenue has grown some since 1996, the cumulative increase has been a total of only 6%.
Tech managements are witnessing the erasure of four or five years of growth. Of course, this means that a lot of that growth was false as bloated inventories in the supply-chain and end markets (such as telecom) became overbuilt. So what was tech's real growth rate? Not 50% or 60%, but probably more like 10% to 15%. Not bad -- but not worth 8 to 12 times revenue or more.
Alternatives to Tech
So where am I going with my "retirement" money to find positive returns in today's market? I've been having success in areas far from high tech, such as railroads and trucking, foods, restaurants, brewers, health care, regional banks and defense. In these sectors, I can still buy stocks with good, predictable fundamentals, some at 10 to 13 times earnings, 1 or 2 times growth and low multiples of revenue with dividend yields that exceed money markets.
Edited by - gzibordi on 1/30/2002 14:58:53
Edited by - gzibordi on 1/30/2002 15:0:46