A Stock even “MADMEN” Would Love.

As I said in the MY INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY page on this site, I do not consider myself a GROWTH investor nor do I consider myself to be a VALUE investor. I keep reading and researching about different business and industries in an attempt to find those which I believe would make good long-term investments whether or not they fit into GROWTH of VALUE buckets. I have always been fascinated by advertising/marketing, and if my love for finance and investing weren’t so strong, I would have probably tried my hand at marketing.

Continue reading

Watching: Alimentation Couche-Tard

Quebec-based convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard  (TSX: ATD.A, ATD.B) continues its consolidation drive with the recent acquisition of Irish convenience store and gas bar chain Topaz.

While I am generally not a fan of growth by acquisition, I must admit I am impressed with what Couche-Tard management has done while it consolidates what it says is an extremely fragmented industry (i.e. local convenience stores). The Company has managed to integrate most if not all of its acquisitions pretty smoothly and maintain financial discipline both in buying and controlling / paying down debt levels once deals are done.

Key to the Company’s strategy when acquiring convenience store networks is implementing best-in-class processes, improved controls, and a greater selection of private label and prepared food offerings…all of which tend to lead to both higher top and bottom lines.

Couche-Tard shares are currently changing hands at more than 30 times TTM earnings, a trailing yield of about 20bps, and have rallied about 30% YTD.

What do you think…do you like Couche-Tard for the (very) long-haul at these levels? I would rather wait for a pullback.

 

Getting A Great Deal At The Warehouse Club

You’d have to be living under a rock to not know about the amazing growth of warehouse club shopping. I mean everyone has heard of Costco, right? However, many investors may not have heard of PriceSmart, Inc. PriceSmart is to the Caribbean and Central America what Costco is to the United States: A great place for great deals on hundreds of everyday items.

Continue reading