Happy Friday! Let’s start you out with my favorite article that I read this past week: Michael Batnick’s Twenty Craziest Investing Facts Ever. Go read it whenever you’re convinced that you know what is going to happen over the next few weeks… or even the next few years.
So… what’s going on in the portfolio this week? I’ve not been particularly active, but do have a couple adjustments to the Real Money Portfolio to mention… and we’ve gotten results or meaningful news from a good number of companies, so I’ll share what updated thoughts I have on those and also throw in a few other comments on stocks that I don’t own but have been watching or thinking about (like Boeing this week, for example), and answer a few reader questions.
Ready? Let’s start with Fairfax India (FIH-U.TO, FFXDF), which is basically a Fairfax Financial-managed private equity fund focused on Indian companies… and which I started buying a bit over a year ago and added to last week, though my position is still well under water. You can see the latest investor letter for Fairfax India here.
Book value per share for Fairfax India, a key metric, declined by 4% last year to $13.86… though it actually bumped up slightly when they reported (it had been about $13 at the end of September), and the share price recovered slightly over the past week in response. That number will continue to be pretty volatile, since Fairfax India’s largest publicly-traded investment, IIFL, is going through some big changes this year (that’s a financial services company, and they’re splitting into three separate companies — they just got approval from their regulator, so the split should happen within the next couple months, perhaps part of the reason why IIFL shares have recovered a bit recently… though they’re still in the red for this year). The drop in IIFL last year hurt Fairfax book value, though the increase in the value of Bangalore Airport, their most important asset, and Sanmar Chemicals helped offset it… so much of the drag, in the end, came from the fall in value of the Rupee against the US$ (the drag in the stock was caused mostly by the loss of the “premium to book” valuation as India sentiment worsened, exacerbated by the small drop in book value).