Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quick Thoughts: PENN, FSLR, BWLD

My apologies for no regular updates recently (if there's even anyone listening...) - I now work full time AND take an evening class (every day). What a fun summer!

Here are some noteworthy happenings:

PENN (Penn National Gaming), which has a pending takeover deal with FIG (Fortress Investment Group) and others at $67/share, has seen its share price crumble over the past week as other deals have fallen through (and maybe because of general market weakness).

Shares have fallen from about $45 this time last week to the current $33. Yep, that's right... if the deal somehow goes through, any arbitrager could make over 100%. That isn't an accidental inclusion of an extra "0."

To me, it seems like the deal failure is now priced in. (Then again, I said that yesterday, when shares were about $2 higher, to my father in an email). PENN trades at a 19x trailing P/E and a 15 forward P/E, which is a much cheaper valuation than when the deal was proposed!

As a regional casino operator, PENN should do well during tough economic times. People may not be able to drop a grand to go to Vegas for a week... but they can afford a little gas to drive to the nearest casino to gamble a couple dollars away.

I believe that the deal, in some form, will go through, whether it's a $67, $57, or $47. If it doesn't, PENN gets $200 million, which is about $2/share. I can't imagine the stock dropping that much farther if/when a non-deal is announced... but I've been thinking that for a while. Either way, I see either a huge short-term or steady long-term gain in PENN shares from this point.

FSLR continues to baffle me. After trending lower from a high of about $320, it has climbed back near the top. Most recently, FSLR jumped $17 yesterday because one analyst upped his price target, and claimed that one particular variable could lead to $30 million more revenue than previously anticipated.

So let me get this straight... the potential for $30 million more revenue leads to... a $1.4 billion increase in market cap?! Makes sense to me!

(I understand that market cap isn't really a metric that should be used on a day-to-day basis... but that statistic helps exemplify my opinion that FSLR's valuation is out of control).

I'm still short.... and hoping that the bottom falls out soon.

Lastly, BWLD is down 15+% over the past few sessions after an analyst downgraded on valuation and chicken-price concerns. However, BWLD has managed to keep growing earnings at its 25%/year target even as chicken prices increased in the past, so I see no material change to their business. I'd say that this is a good entry point for a great company.

I'll try to keep feeding any readers with more regular updates going forward.

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