Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Deterioration on those key fundamentals may lead you to sell, but do you also sell on valuation?
Kinnel: On the sell-side, deterioration on those key fundamentals may lead you to sell, but do you also sell on valuation?
Akre: So, in response to your first observation, deterioration to any one of those three will certainly cause us to re-evaluate it. It won't automatically cause us to sell, but it will certainly cause us to re-evaluate it. Our notion is that if we don't get those three legs right where there develop differently in the future than they have in the past, theoretically our loss is the time value of money that it hasn't always been the case. But the deterioration of one of those legs or more than one of those legs diminishes the value of that compounding and, indeed, is likely to cause us to change our view. That's number one.
Number two, the issue of selling on valuation is way more difficult for us. And what we've said is that from a matter of life experience, if I have a stock that's at $40 and I think it's way too richly valued and I sell it with a goal of buying it back at $25, my life experience is it trades to $25.01 or trades through $25 and back up and it trades 200 shares there. The next time I look at it, it's $300, and I've missed the opportunity. It's my way of saying that the really good ones are too hard to find.
If I have one of these great compounders, I'm likely to continue to own it through thick and thin knowing that periodically, it's likely to be undervalued and periodically likely to be overvalued. The things that cause us to sell when one or more of the legs of the stool deteriorates. Occasionally, on a valuation basis, maybe we'll take some money off the table.
Lastly, if we're trying to continue to maintain a very focused portfolio, if we run across things that we think are simply better choices, then we maymake changes based on that.