Sunday, June 25, 2017

Observations and Sample of Recent Trades: Eliminated KO at $45.85 (MAPTX, MCDFX, NVS, PRASX)

Trump chooses family event planner to run N.Y. housing programs - NY Daily News

Trump will never provide the public with accurate information. FactChecking Trump's Iowa Rally -

President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List - The New York Times

The Fact Checker’s tally has a list of 669 false statements made by Donald just in his first 151 days as President.

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault: WP article republished at MSN (the CIA "captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives-defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.")

By the way, Donald started saying the election was being rigged by the Democrats against him after reports leaked in early August that Russia was actively engage in efforts to help Trump win. 


It is not surprising that Donald drove his golf cart on a green, something he probably does all of the time:

Donald Trump Drives Golf Cart On The Green 

I started playing golf when I was 9. I have never seen or heard of anyone driving a golf cart on a green until now.  


New Homes Sales

New home sales recovered from their April slump by rising to a 610,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate last month. That is 8.9% above the May 2016 estimate. The average selling price of a new home was $406,400, with the median at $345,800. new residential sales.pdf Those prices create some concern about the affordability of new homes for first time buyers. 

Other recent economic data is discussed by Robert Johnson here.


Novartis (NVS)

I own 134+ shares. Of that number, 30 shares are owned in my IB trading account and the remaining shares are owned in another taxable account: 

I did not reinvest the dividends paid in 2014 and 2015. I discussed buying the 50 share lot in 2013 here. The shares have faced several headwinds over the past few years, including mediocre results from its Alcon division, an unexpected slow uptake of its heart failure drug Entresto, and loss of patent protection for its blockbusters Gleevec and Diovan.   

An Alcon Sale Will Take a Bargain Price - Bloomberg Gadfly
Novartis set to ride Entresto wave, says report | BioPharma Dive
Novartis braces for multibillion-dollar generics hit as Gleevec copies launch | FiercePharma

Over the past week, NVS released the results of several trials that have positively impacted the share price. 

U.S.D Priced ADR

June 20, 2017 $81.6
June 21, 2017 $82.56
June 22, 2017 $86.34 Volume 6.139+M Shares (average volume=2.267+M shares)
June 23, 2017 $86.34  

I discussed earlier the following press releases in a comment: 

Novartis RTH258 (brolucizumab) demonstrates robust visual gains in nAMD patients with a majority on a 12-week injection interval | Novartis (June 20, 2017)

Novartis Phase III study shows ACZ885 (canakinumab) reduces cardiovascular risk in people who survived a heart attack | Novartis (June 22, 2017)

The later press release caused a significant pop in the share price considering the size of the company. 

The following news releases were published last Friday: 

1. Novartis combination targeted therapy Tafinlar® + Mekinist® receives FDA approval for BRAF V600E mutant metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) | Novartis

The preceding FDA approval is discussed at FiercePharma

The targeted population for this combination treatment is small. One firm estimates that this indication will generate "sales of $315M for Tafinlar and $278M for Mekinist by 2025. NSCLC MARKET - Global Drug Forecast & Market Analysis to 2025 Those two drugs generated $672M in sales last year. Novartis acquired Tafinlar, Mekinist and other drugs from GlaxoSmithKline in 2015: Novartis announces completion of transactions with GSK | Novartis$16B deal for GlaxoSmithKline oncology meds turns Novartis into cancer heavyweight | FiercePharma Both drugs were previously approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.  (see also GSK sells cancer and multiple sclerosis drug to Novartis in $1bn deal - Telegraph)

2. Novartis data shows half of eligible Ph+ CML-CP patients remain in Treatment-free Remission nearly two years after stopping Tasigna® | Novartis

3, Novartis pivotal CTL019 6-month follow-up data show durable remission rates in children, young adults with r/r B-cell ALL | Novartis

4. Novartis Kisqali® (ribociclib) receives positive CHMP opinion as first-line treatment for HR+/HER2- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with any aromatase inhibitor | Novartis

Novartis Quarterly Financial Results | Novartis
Novartis Q1 2017 Condensed Interim Financial Report – Supplementary Data
Novartis Financial Results Q1 2017


Tweak in Portfolio Management: Bonds

Over the past week or so, I have sold at profits investment grade bonds maturing in either 2025 or 2026.  

Those dispositions will be discussed briefly in subsequent posts. 

They include the following bonds:  

2 Apple 2.5% SU Bonds Maturing on 2/29/25

2 CSX 2.6% SU Bonds Maturing on 11/1/26

2 CVS 2.875% SU Bonds Maturing on 6/1/26

2 Exxon 2.709% SU Bonds Maturing on 3/26/25

2 Georgia Power 3.25% SU Bonds Maturing on 4/1/26

2 Pepsico 2.75% SU Bonds Maturing on 4/30/25

2 Procter & Gamble 2.7% SU Bonds Maturing on 2/2/26

2 Sysco 3.3% SU Bonds Maturing on 7/15/26 

2 Walgreens 3.45% SU Bonds Maturing on 6/1/26


The proceeds are being redirected to short term bank CDs or temporarily to cash. I may buy one or more of these bonds back in the Roth IRA, assuming I can buy at lower prices. All of the preceding bonds were bought in taxable accounts.   

I am continuing to sell a few low current yield bonds maturing in the 2019-2024 time period range with some of the proceeds being redirected into bonds with higher current yields and YTM's than the bonds referenced above.  

There are several reasons for lightening up on the 2025 to 2026 maturities. 

The primary reasons is that I just made a material allocation in longer term Tennessee municipal bonds with a weighted average tax free yield of 3%. That yield is greater than the taxable current yield of most of the corporate bonds that I sold. I am cognizant that I increased my portfolio's interest rate risk meaningfully with those municipal bond purchases and consequently dialed that risk back a tad by selling $18K in low yielding corporate bonds.  

I have freed up some cash, close to $32K, to buy back these corporate bonds or others in my Vanguard Roth IRA where their purchase makes more sense since I am at least able to turn the taxable yield into a tax free one.  Those funds are currently deposited in a Vanguard money market fund that yields over 1%, so I am in no rush to buy a high quality corporate bond maturing in 2026 with a 3% yield. 

Vanguard - Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (SEC Yield at 1.05%)

I am being far more aggressive than in the past managing my bond and cash positions. Even though I have pared my stock allocation, my interest income this year will be significantly higher than my dividend and interest income in prior years.      


1. Added $650 To Asia Focused Mutual Funds:  

The precipitating event for this minor rotation out of cash was MSCI adding mainland China stocks to its emerging market index. Roughly $17 billion or more could now flow into Chinese stocks, MSCI exec says: CNBC  A catalyst will generally provoke some kind of response from me.

Last Friday, I added to my positions in the following mutual funds that have exposure to China: 

Matthews China Dividend Fund; Investor (MCDFX)

MCDFX Rated 5 Stars by Morningstar

Matthews Pacific Tiger Fund; Investor (MAPTX)

MAPTX Rated 5 Stars by Morningstar

T Rowe Price New Asia Fund  (PRASX) 

PRASX Rated 3 Stars by Morningstar 

PRASX is among the several vintage T.Rowe Price positions that were originally bought a long time ago and no shares have ever been sold.  

I eliminated Matthews China Dividend fund during a 2015 parabolic price spike:

2015 MCDFX 204+ Shares + $821.83
The price went from $13.4 (1/4/13) to $17.49 (5/31/13)-a fast 30.52% rise.  I sold on 6/3/15. I will generally sell minor positions into that kind of parabolic spike that has no underlying justification and simply wait for an opportunity to buy back when the parabola collapses upon itself which happened quickly in this case.  

I did not buy back shares in Matthews China Dividend fund until December 2016. I discussed that purchase here. I discuss there some of my reservations about China.

Overview - Matthews China Dividend Fund

I also eliminated at about the the 2015 summer my position in Matthews Asian Growth & Income Fund (MACSX):

2015 MACSX 565+ Shares +$470.62
I have not reinitiated a position in MACSX. 

Instead, I started a second position in the Matthews Pacific Tiger Fund after the China stock bubble burst: 

I am reinvesting the dividend in that account. 

Overview - Matthews Pacific Tiger Fund

In my Fidelity account, I have a lower per share cost Matthews Pacific Tiger Fund position, with some shares purchased in 2005-2006 and 2009: 

Average Cost Per share = $16.51
I have not reinvested the dividends in that account. 

This position was pared in 2007. Stocks, Bonds & Politics (Sold 32+ for a $338.62 profit)

2. Continued Paring Stock Stock Allocation:

Lately, I have been focusing more on eliminating or paring individual stock positions that have underperformed, are overvalued, and/or are currently facing significant headwinds.

A. Sold 265+ KO Shares at $45.85+:

Profit Snapshot: $5,338.55

Quote: KO Stock Price - Coca-Cola Co.
KO Analyst Estimates (P/E on 2018 Estimated Non-GAAP E.P.S.=23.17)

There is nothing to really like in trends for revenues, net income and E.P.S. for the past six years.

GAAP net income was $5.506B in 2016 and $8.634B in 2011.

Long term debt was at $13.656B as of 12/31/11. Page 78 2011 Annual Report

Long term debt was at $29.684B as of 12/31/16.  Page 75 2016 Annual Report

Free cash flow was $7.865B in 2012 according to Morningstar and $6.534B last year. Cash Flow for Coca-Cola Co (KO) from

Of the $6.534B in 2016 free cash flow, KO spent $3.681B to repurchase stock and another $6.043B was paid in dividends to common shareholders. The math does not add up. KO is borrowing a lot of money to pay the dividend and to repurchase shares.

Cash Used to Pay Dividends and To Buy Stock in 2016 = $9.724B

Free Cash Flow in 2016: $6.534B
Deficit = -$3.19B

A lot of new debt is being incurred to buy stock and to pay the dividends.

The trends are all negative. In my view, KO is overvalued and something will have to give on the dividend raises and/or stock buybacks. The refinancing of debt at much higher rates will only aggravate the situation.

I will need a price less than $38 before considering a small purchase.

KO is rated 3 stars by Morningstar with a $46 fair market value estimate.

Argus has a hold with a $46 price target.

Credit Suisse has a $49 price target and an outperform rating.

S & P has a 4 star rating and a $47 twelve month price target.

A five year chart shows peak prices hit in the $45-46.5 range that was followed by a slide back to $40. Coca-Cola

3. Intermediate Bond/CD Basket Strategy:

A. Sold 2 American Water Capital 3% SU Bonds Maturing on 12/1/26:

FINRA Page: Bond Detail

AWK Stock Price - American Water Works Co.
Moody's Upgrades American Water to A3

1 Bond Sold Out of Fidelity Taxable Account ($1 Commission)

Price: 99.139
Proceeds at 99.039
Total Cost at  98.785
YTM a 99.039 as of 6/1/17 = 3.118%
Current Yield at 99.039 = 3.03%

Profit Snapshot:  $2.54

Discussed at  Item # 1.C. (3/16/17 Post)

1 Bond Sold out of Vanguard Taxable Account ($2 Commission):

Price: 99.126
Proceeds at 98.926
Total Cost at 97.836  (YTM then at 3.238%)

Profit Snapshot: +$8.9

Discussed at Item #1.D.  (4/20/17 POST)

The ten year treasury closed at a 2.21% yield on 6/1/17: Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates

I received the semi-annual interest payment on 6/1/17 ($16.17 per bond):

I am hoping to buy at least one bond back in a Roth IRA when the YTM is over 3.5%.

When I bought this bond in my Vanguard taxable account, I though that I was in my Vanguard Roth IRA account.

B. Bought 1 Ford Motor Credit 2.9% SU Bond Maturing on 6/20/22:

This bond was bought through Fidelity's corporate notes program. No brokerage commission is paid for those purchases. The bonds are newly issued and are sold at par value with no accrued interest.

C. Bought 2 Essex Portfolio L.P. 3.625% SU Bonds Maturing on 8/15/22-In a Roth IRA Account:

Issuer:  Operating Entity for Essex Property Trust Inc (ESS)

FINRA Page: Bond  Detail (prospectus linked)

Credit Ratings:
Moody's at Baa1
S & P at BBB+

YTM at Total Cost (103.756) = 2.805%

Current Yield =  3.49%

2017 ESS 1st Quarter Report

2017 First Quarter Supplemental Financial Information
ESS 2017 10-Q for the Q/E 3/31/17
ESS 2016 Annual Report

4. Long Term Bond Strategy: Tennessee Municipal Bonds:

A. Bought 5 Tennessee Housing Development 3.375% Revenue Bonds Maturing on 7/1/2038:

The quoted price in the preceding snapshot includes the $10 Schwab Commission.


Credit Ratings:

Moody's at Aa1
S & P at AA+

YTM = 3.367%

Current Tax Free Yield at Total Cost (100.123) = 3.371%

Optional Call: At Par Value on or after 7/1/25


B. BOUGHT 10 Washington County Tennessee 3% GO Bonds Maturing on 6/1/34:

Bought 5 in my Fidelity Account:


Credit Ratings:
Moody's at Aa2
S & P at AA

YTM at Total Cost (98.85) = 3.087%

Current Tax Free Yield = 3.03%

Washington County - Google Maps

Optional Redemption: At Par Value on or after 6/1/26


Tax Matters Excerpt:

I later bought 5 bonds in my Vanguard Taxable Account ($10 brokerage Commission):

YTM at Total Cost (98.953): 3.079%

Current Tax Free Yield: 3.03%

5. Short Term Bond/CD Basket Ladder Strategy:

A. Bought 3 Compass Bank 1.25% CDs Maturing on 12/28/17:

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money since I was a teenager. In this post, I am acting solely as a financial journalist focusing on my own investments. The information contained in this post is not intended to be a complete description or summary of all available data relevant to making an investment decision. Instead, I am merely expressing some of the reasons underlying the purchase or sell of securities. Nothing in this post is intended to constitute investment or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or to sell. All investors need to perform their own due diligence before making any financial decision which requires at a minimum reading original source material available at the SEC and elsewhere. A failure to perform due diligence only increases what I call "error creep". Stocks, Bonds & Politics: ERROR CREEP and the INVESTING PROCESS Each investor needs to assess a potential investment taking into account their personal risk tolerances, goals and situational risks. I can only make that kind of assessment for myself and family members.


  1. South Gent,

    Re. the golf cart one can deduce that it might have something to do with the President’s physical condition because he also used it at the G7 summit but we probably will never know the true story.

    If the interest deduction were eliminated as is currently considered in the tax reform plan, how would it impact the stock market?

  2. Y: I would not deduce that Trump was unable to walk from a golf cart parked near the green's fringe to the green, putt his ball until it fell inside the cup, and then walk back to his golf cart like everyone else who plays golf. It is clear that he feels entitled to drive a golf cart on a green rather than around it to get to the next hole.

    Remember his doctor said he had no problems and called him the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency".

    Letter of Dr. Jacob Bornstein Dated 12/4/15

    Donald does not believe in exercise which reduces in his opinion the finite amount of energy available to humans:

    He did use a golf cart when the other G7 leaders walked a 700 hundred yards. That is also attributable to being lazy.

    As to eliminating the deductibility of interest by corporations, I doubt that will be in the bill when and if one is presented by Trump to Congress.

    "The administration’s “preference” is to keep so-called interest deductibility, which allows companies to subtract interest payments from taxable income, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Economist in a joint interview with Trump."

    I have discussed issues relating to Trump's tax plan in prior posts including the following:

    Many corporations would suffer under such a plan since the loss of their interest deduction would offset all other tax cuts contained in a bill.

    The interest rate deduction is the third largest corporation deduction:

    "Goldman Sachs economists estimate that switching to fully expensing capital expenditures while ending the interest deduction could cause investment at companies to increase 0.7 percent in the first year. But in the longer run, a rise in the cost of capital, resulting from eliminating the interest deduction, could reduce investment by 4 percent, Goldman said."

  3. Nestle (own):

    Nestle's stock has popped today based on Dan Loeb building a $3.5B stake, wanting in part Nestle to sell its 23% stake in L'Oreal. That is only a 1.3% stake. Nestle is unlikely to do anything that it does not want to do.

    CHF 85.70 +3.60 4.38%

    USD Nestle S.A. ADR
    $88.35 +3.52 4.15%
    Jun 26, 2017 at 9:33 a.m. EDT

  4. OHI: Yesterday, I pared my OHI position by selling 107 shares at $34.55+. Those were my highest cost shares out of 188+ total shares. I realized a gain of $211.51 and lowered my average cost per share to $30.22. I currently own 81+ shares.

    I will discuss this trade in a subsequent post.

    I will now consider buying back the shares sold yesterday at less than $30.22.

    I manage my OHI position by selling shares into price pops and buying when the price dives into the low 30s and high 20s. I have lowered the range of a "pop" from over $37 to over $34.

    The dominant chart pattern over the past two years governs in part this trading strategy:

    The shares closed at $31.16 on 6/6/17 and at $34.66 last Monday.

    One reason for tightening the transaction range is that interest rates may be starting to move up again which is one reason for lightening up slightly on corporate bonds maturing in 2025-2026 as well.

    10 Year Treasury

    An uptrend in the U.S. 10 year treasury yield this morning was stopped in its tracks when the ECB apparently stated that markets had misjudged Draghi's recent remarks yesterday about continuing stimulus, where he said that stimulus could be cut back if the Euro economy improves.

    In response to those remarks, the Euro rose in anticipation that the ECB's Jihad against its own currency may be about to wind down.

    Earlier this morning, the German ten year went down in yield after the ECB clarified Draghi's remarks:

    Abnormally low foreign sovereign bond yields are keeping U.S. intermediate and long term rates in check.

  5. Regional Banks: The tiny uptick in yields today is giving a lift to regional bank stocks.

    SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF
    $54.30 +$0.74 + 1.38%
    Last Updated: June 28, 2017 at 11:50 a.m. EDT

    That is close to twice the SPX percentage gain so far this morning.

    I still own several regional banks including the following:

    BBT: $44.6 +$0.78 +1.78%
    June 28, 2017 at 11:52 a.m. EDT

    BDGE: $33.25 +$0.70 +2.15%

    BHB: $30.53 +$0.73 +2.45%

    WASH: $51.75 +$.75 +1.47%

    Hope springs eternal on NIM expansion.

    iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF):
    $107.265 -$0.095 -0.09%

  6. I have published a new post: