Election Day

Having spent a long time waiting to vote I am very late with my blog today. There is plenty of good news from our holdings. One of my readers asked why I am not giving people advice over selling positions any longer. My reason was that I was bearish early this year and did some selling which I now regret. The markets did the opposite of what I expected.

However, prodded by Ruth I did decide on a sale today. Prosus, PROSY, the holding company which belongs to South African Naspers, no longer a mere media firm, has been gobbling up Indian tech and yesterday bought for $4.72 bn Indian BillDesk, which competed with PROSY's PayU in India and other countries. I think some of the boost to online payments is the result of covid-19 rather than convenience. India still has a functional system for people to pay their telephone charges with cash and many people will resume doing so once the contagion risk drops. I also suffer a bit of guilt when I own Jo'burg stocks as I have two African American grandchildren. So out with NPSNY!

The replacement share is seriously boring, Manulife Financial of Canada, NYSE-MFC. It has been upwardly mobile along with our neighbor to the north and gained 1.8% over the past two days in US trading. But it is still very cheap, trading at less than 8x earnings and with a yield of 4.5%. There is a loony risk on the dividend of course. There also is growth in earnings, from this year's estimate of C$5.15, vs last year's C$4.18/sh. Insurance is a conservative industry and this is a conservative yield stock. There are also two non-cumulative rate-reset preferreds that only trade in Canada, MNLCF and MNLFF which I don't think are a good idea for US readers. Pay $1978/sh for MFC. Zacks is offering a free report on the share if you give them your email address.

person using macbook pro on black table

Image Source: Unsplash

Drugs

*TEVA rose a whopping 8.34% today after the Israeli drug firm was removed from the list of villains in the 4 county opioid trial in California. It also was cleared for having made false or misleading statements. Had it been found guilty the fine might have been as much as $50 bn for Teva and its cohort for "actionable public nuisance", meaning a risk of bankruptcy for Teva. The 4 cities plan an appeal and there are other states gunning for addiction fines but legal rulings tend to reverberate.

*Astra Zeneca will buy Saga Diagnostics AB which does tests for cancer using liquid biopsy and other non-invasive tools. AZN did not reveal what it will pay for SAGA but its share is up 0.7%.

*Compugen, also Israeli, rose 0.75% for no other reason than Teva's good news. CGEN.

*Merck rose another 0.75% today, MRK is a US stock.

*Pfizer today gained 3.14% on good results, PFE.

*Takeda fell another 0.25%.TAK.

*India's Dr. Reddy's fell 0.8% today right after we exited RDY.

*Novo Nordisk of Denmark gained 0.6% today but is still down for the month. It has a diabetes franchise and is expanding into weight loss. NVO.

*However Enlivex fell another 1.6%, ENLV.

Energy

*British PetroleumBP, fell 3.4% in UK trading after it warned that its YTD earnings would not continue because demand for its products would not continue to rise for the rest of the year. It set its replacement cost profit at $3.32 bn versus a year-ago level of merely $86 mn. Of course, operating revenues and sales will fall. (BP prices oil in dollars). BP did set its dividend at 5.46% sharing its profits with shareholders. It fell as much as 4% so far today. It also will ramp up gas projects and get rid of lower capacity gas assets this winter. Frankly, the fact that Covid19 has led to gas station shortages is not really news, but it was not the only UK firm issuing a warning and the result was a drop in sterling as well. Royal Dutch Shell B fell 2.27% in sympathy.

*Canadian Solar, CSIQ will report Nov. 18 and it fell on that news.

*Mexican Cemex (CX) is up 1.18% helped by a note on materials from Insider Monkey. It says the stock is now $6.41 but there are variations because of options trading.

*CRH of Ireland is up 0.7%. It also makes cement. Both are using less clinker and more green hydrogen.

*Algonquin Power & Ute AQN is down on news it will buy the Kentucky operations of American Electric for which it was criticized by seeking alpha, but not by me. I want more US$ earnings as noted in my article about buying MFC.

*I also bought more AZRE Power which fell 2.8% in US trading on no news but a mistaken link to Omers Infrastructure buying Novisun. There are plenty of other solar and wind buyers out there.

*Hydrogen producer PLUGPlug Power, gained 2.33% today after it got written up for its deals over the green energy source. It has signed up with BAEBaker Hughes, Renault, SK, Airbus to help create hydrogen fuel systems.

*It turns out that Tesla has not yet signed the deal with Hertz, Elon Musk admitted today. One result is that Mr. Musk is looking stupid or manipulative. Will he stick to his promise to sell Tesla shares to fight world hunger if the UN shows how the money is spent? I have my doubts. This led to a rise of 3.33% in our NIO, which competes with Tesla.

*Schlumberger Ltd recuperated by 0.3% today. SLB.

*Nutrien NTR fell 1.91% today and is below $70 US. Yesterday it reported brilliant results, eps of $1.25/sh and a 40 US cent dividend and a share buyback and reduced debt coming. It now expects eps for the full year to be between $5.85 and Ebitda at $6.10 or 6.9 to 7.1 Those are US dollars not Canadian. It makes and sells fertilizer and plant food plus herbicides and expects it will be able to fill demand through its Carpotex export system but investors are worried about the mounting cost of goods sold which are positive for YTD and the 3rd quarter after a sharp drop in 2020 because of the virus. It has pushed some of its cash into working capital which is a sound move but shareholders are greedy.

Miscellaneous

*Baidu BIDU fell about 5% today on fear that China was further restricting the country's Internet and over its call for an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Dec. 7, which is Pearl Harbor Day, in Beijing. BoNY is collecting votes from US ADR owners whose shares are worth 8 Chinese shares. Nobody knows what this means but it sounds sinister.

*Deere DE, a US stock I bought recently, settled its strike and was tipped by Zacks today but fell all the same by 1.43%.

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Comments

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William K. 9 months ago Member's comment

And when I voted Tuesday morning there was only one person in line ahead of me. So evidently the interest was different. Or I picked exactly the right moment to vote?

William K. 9 months ago Member's comment

Glad to see your writings again, V.L., and certainly the financials world can do the unexpected things unexpectedly.

And certainly oil, gas, and energy in general will be interesting, and probably rather exciting, this winter, although not a bit of "fun".