Let get back to this Ken Fisher article from 2/26/2007:
Don’t buy it. For months now the debate has been over whether America will have a hard landing or soft landing, the answer hinging on how big 2007’s housing disaster turns out to be. Well, there won’t be any housing disaster. We won’t have a landing at all, soft or hard. Right now the U.S. and global economies are both accelerating.
When he wrote it back in Q1 the GDP growth was 0.7%.
You can see right through the housing crash story by looking at the prices of housing stocks. The market knows what the economic worrywarts do not, which is that the housing sector is already making a comeback. In the last six months housing stocks are up 24%, well ahead of the overall market. If housing were destined to fall apart in 2007 these stocks wouldn’t be so strong now.
He wrote it two days before the market crashed taking the homebuilders down. Today $HGX, the homebuilder’s index is 26% lower than the day he wrote this nonsense.
Was it not obvious back then? Yes it was. The ABX.HE mortgage credit default swap index was crashing all the late February. Few days before Fisher article I loaded up homebuilders puts that I just unloaded for nice 400% profit. I’m glad I never followed his advices.
The consensus forecast is for single-digit S&P 500 earnings growth tied to a slowing economy. Disbelieve it. Experts’ forecasts have been too low for four years and will be now. First, the accelerating economy will deliver earnings that exceed expectations. Second, the analysts polled for these consensus numbers never factor in the effect of corporate purchases of stock for cash. Whether a company is buying in its own shares or taking over another company, the acquisition of equity stakes (if done cheaply enough) raises earnings per share.
Corporate earnings are in single digits and are trending down.
Home builder Pulte Homes (nyse: PHM – news – people ) (34, PHM ) is the second-largest U.S. homebuilder and in the top five in three-fourths of the largest markets. But its stock has lagged recently. At 11 times 2007 earnings and 60% of annual sales it’s far too cheap.
If the hysteria over the housing pullback has taken a toll on your courage, try Toll Brothers (nyse: TOL – news – people ) (34, TOL ). It’s half of Pulte’s size, more expensive (per dollar of earnings) but less risky. It’s the largest vendor serving the affluent end of the housing market, where qualifying for a mortgage is less of a hurdle. It sells at 19 times depressed earnings that will bounce back by 2008.
Yet another builder worth owning is Beazer Homes (nyse: BZH – news – people ) (44, BZH). At $5.5 billion in sales it’s the same size as Toll but offers both more potential reward and more risk. It focuses on the Southeast and West Coast, which evoke fears of overbuilt condo markets. Beazer shares fell 35% last year, putting them at 30% of annual sales and 18 times depressed earnings. Too cheap for a well-managed company like this one.
All of them are down about 30% since that call.
Conclusion: Ken Fisher is intellectually bankrupt and from now on must be ignored. Go back fishing. Dismissed.