The Stingy News Weekly (03/29/02)
The Markets This Week
DOW 30: 10,404 -0.23% with a median P/E of 30.8
TSE 300: 7,852 -0.07% with a median P/E of 28.4
The Value View
Dow at a P/E of 20: 6,756 (-35.1%) Poor Value
Dow at a P/E of 15: 5,067 (-51.3%) Fair Value
Dow at a P/E of 10: 3,378 (-67.5%) Good Value
TSE 300 at a P/E of 20: 5,530 (-29.6%) Poor Value
TSE 300 at a P/E of 15: 4,147 (-47.2%) Fair Value
TSE 300 at a P/E of 10: 2,765 (-64.8%) Good Value
Going through the roof
"Despite the sharp fall in share prices and a worldwide plunge in industrial production, business investment and profits, consumer spending has held up relatively well in America, Britain and several other economies, supported by low interest rates and the wealth-boosting effects of rising house prices. Over the 12 months to February average house prices in America rose by 9%, and those in Britain by 15%. Adjusting for inflation, this is the biggest real increase on record in America and the biggest in Britain since 1988."
Hide and seek
"Accounting tricks make it difficult for investors to get a true picture of a company's finances. Here are 10 red flags to watch out for"
Shares do not a shelter make
"On one level, popular capitalism has been successful. Socialism has been seen off. Industry has been privatised in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, with a fair proportion of the equity ending up in the hands of the public. Share options and profit-sharing schemes are now widely used to motivate the workforce. But part of this approach has been muddle-headed. Too little consideration has been given to the long-term economic interests of those involved. Investors have been steered in the wrong direction, at great cost to many."
SEC asked IBM to amend filings
"The Securities and Exchange Commission was concerned enough about International Business Machines Corp.'s financial disclosure practices two years ago that it asked the company to consider amending its 1999 annual report. The SEC request, which didn't lead to any changes in the computer company's annual report, came in a series of testy letters sent to IBM by the agency's Division of Corporation Finance, which is responsible for reviewing corporate filings, in mid-2000."
The wrinkles behind BCE's fresh face
"The rarely-spoken truth behind the rosy picture is that "cash baseline" earnings defy all conventional accounting principles. By stripping out the distortions of baseline earnings, another face is revealed -- one that bears the scars of BCE's acquisition-driven strategy to diversify at any cost."
The trivia questions this week are:
Q1. Who said "When an enterprise pursues questionable accounting policies, all of its securities must be shunned by the investor, no matter how safe or attractive some of them may appear."?
Q2. Who said "In almost every other walk of life, people buy more at lower prices; in the stock and bond market they seem to buy more at higher prices."?
Q3. Who said "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."?
The answers for last week's trivia questions are:
Q1. What was the DOW's low from 1900 to 2002?
Q2. How long was the longest U.S. bear market of the last century?
A2. 1,111 days
Q3. When was the longest U.S. bear market of the last century?
A3. 1946 to 1949
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