With the New Year just days away, the fourth quarter has been time for some portfolio cleanup, as I've said goodbye to some ideas that worked and some that did not. As a deep-value investor, it's a bit tougher for me to close positions, and holding periods are generally longer than many. Some of these moves have been made to balance out the portfolio as well as make room for new ideas.
I closed out citrus name (water rights, too) Limoneira (LMNR) after a several-year holding period. It was modestly profitable, but I came to the conclusion that real value might only be created upon the sale of the company or of some of its major assets, and frankly, I already have too many such situations.
I said goodbye to net/nets Richardson Electronics (RELL) and VOXX International (VOXX) . Richardson Electronics was a longer-term hold, and just when it looked like business was turning the corner, it slipped. It did not help matters and likely constricted shareholder value that the CEO also had the voting rights. I broke even on VOXX, another name that looks decent on paper but just can't seem to deliver value for shareholders. I closed out Dine Brands Global (DIN) after a very nice run. It eclipsed $100 in July (it now trades around $82), so I did not get all the upside. The parent of Applebee's and IHOP is still one of the cheapest restaurant names, but it was time to move on.
Other closed positions include PICO Holdings (PICO) , a name I have owned on and off for umpteen years, JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) , FreightCar America (RAIL) -- which turned into a disaster -- Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC) and Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV) . I'd closed a larger-than-normal position in Fitbit (FIT) after the Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) offer. There has been some doubt introduced that the deal will close, and FIT now trades at an 11% discount to the deal price.
Newer positions include Argentine farming name Cresud (CRESY) , and another run at specialty retailer Fossil (FOSL) . I've continued building a position in Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) , parent of Ann Taylor, Loft and others, which I put in the "long shot" category. On Thursday Ascena underwent 1-for-20 reverse split, which was not a surprise. However, the market dinged ASNA 13% on the day, not atypical in reverse split situations. Typically, reverse splits are a harbinger of doom, and I am rarely if ever a fan of names that have to undertake these in order to stay listed. ASNA is a very rare case for me.
There's still some dry powder that may be put to work in the waning days of 2019.