Thursday, April 19, 2012

JNJ out NOK in

Stock markets, particularly the ones in USA, offered spectacular ride up during the first quarter of the year 2012. U.S. markets raised above pre-crash levels of 2007-2008. European markets did also very well - apart from crisis countries and my home country: Finland. The poor performane of the Finnish market is probably due to following three reasons:
  • There are many export driven cyclical companies in the Finnish stock index (OMX Helsinki 25)
  • Nokia, which still is one of the biggest companies by market cap, has performed poorly
  • Despite of it's AAA-rating for goverment bonds Finland is still a peripheral country very far from the financial centers of the world. It seems that foreign money that left after 2008 hasn't come back to the market and even continues to flow away.
The contrarian and the opportunist in me say that this is exactly the time to bring some of the money back to home from abroad. Therefore, I have decided to exit one position in U.S. (Johnson & Johnson) and reduced the position in a few others (such as Chevron). Johnson & Johnson has had it's share of quality problems and the yield is far less than what I am able to get from corporations closer to home.

Therefore, I increased our positions in Fortum and TeliaSonera before they paid their dividend. I also established a new position in Nokia after the earnings warning they issued (wiped out some 15-20% of it's value). Fortum and TeliaSonera are solid cash cows whereas Nokia is a turnaround bet. For Finlands sake I really hope I am right. Nokia is that important - still. It's now trading close to book value and it still has quite a big pile of cash (even after colossal Q1 losses).