Split Shift

 | Apr 23, 2012 | 4:05 PM EDT
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How quickly everyone was to say that ConocoPhillips (COP) had to be hammered today. I saw the earnings and heard and read the chatter, and it was all negative. But when you are splitting up, you have a lot of immunity, and I think that's what's benefiting ConocoPhillips more than anything else.

Abbott Labs (ABT), Sara Lee (SLE) and Kraft (KFT) all have similar immunity. I have waited for each to drop and drop big to be able to either buy more for ActionAlertsPlus.com or suggest buying Sara Lee. I finally had to give up and just suggest Sara Lee outright, and on a hideous day like today, it is barely down. This, despite the Kellogg (K) factor, which makes it clear that Europe is even weaker than expected -- if that's possible.

What amazes me about this period is that we hear over and over again that valuations aren't keeping up with enterprises, but so few companies feel compelled to do something about it.

Yet, one of the greatest performers of all time was the old Philip Morris, which split into Altria (MO) and Philip Morris International (PM) and then spun off Kraft, which is now splitting into two.

Fortune Brands (FO) -- American Brands -- has also produced a ton of value by breaking up its needlessly put-together conglomerate.

Those should be wake-up calls to so many other companies that might have hidden worth, because not everything deserves to live under one roof, as Philip Morris and American Brands tell you.

Random musings: I am dreading this week because we'll have overblown coverage of the Fed, blaming/citing the Fed for everything that happens in the stock market.


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