Arch Coal Inc (ACI), Exelon Corporation (EXC), Dell Inc. (DELL): One Person’s Trash Is Another Person’s Treasure Portfolio

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Last November, I announced my intention to create a portfolio of 10 companies that investors had effectively thrown away and given up on, in the hope of showing that deep-value investing, and contrarian thinking, can actually be a very successful investing method. I dubbed this the “One Person’s Trash Is Another Person’s Treasure” portfolio and, over a 10-week span, I highlighted companies that I thought fit this bill, and would expect to drastically outperform the benchmark S&P 500 over the coming 12 months. If you’re interested in the reasoning behind why I chose these companies, then I encourage you to review my synopsis of each portfolio selection:






Arkansas Best

Arch Coal




Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)Now, let’s get to the portfolio and see how it fared this week:

Company Cost Basis Shares Total Value Return
Exelon $31.25 31.68 $954.20 (3.6%)
QLogic $11.46 86.39 $979.66 (1%)
Dendreon $5.97 165.82 $502.43 (49.2%)
Dell $13.37 74.05 $1,025.59 3.6%
Staples $13.48 73.44 $1,081.77 9.3%
Arkansas Best $10.83 91.41 $2,540.28 156.6%
Arch Coal $7.03 140.83 $719.64 (27.3%)
Skullcandy $6.71 147.54 $858.68 (13.3%)
Orange $11.64 85.05 $972.12 (1.8%)
Xerox  $8.16 121.32 $1,248.38 26.1%
Cash $0.06
Dividends receivable $111.82
Total commission ($100.00)
Original investment $10,000.00
S&P 500 performance 12.5%
Performance relative to S&P 500 (2.6%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance, author’s calculations.

This week’s winner
With plenty of winners to choose from this week as the broad-based S&P 500 went a perfect five-for-five in the plus column, coal miner Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) takes home the prize, with a 10.6% gain. Although no one specific news story moved Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) higher, it’s been finding its footing ever since Moody’s raised its outlook on the coal industry from negative to stable in August. I remain one of the few bulls still left in coal, and feel that, with the energy source providing 40% of all electrical generation in the U.S., it certainly isn’t going to disappear overnight. As an added bonus, next week we get a $0.03 per share quarterly payout from Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI).

This week’s loser
My favorite type of loser is one where the worst-performing stock in the portfolio still rose for the week! That’s exactly what happened this week with utility stock Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) adding just 0.1% from where it started. As you might expect, Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is a fairly defensive play, so when the market is in full-rally mode, it often lags the broader S&P 500. However, I’m going to give Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) a pass this week, and you should, as well, because we also collected a $0.31 quarterly dividend from the company, which helped fatten up our dividends receivable! If you notice, we’ve more than covered the cost of our commission just through dividend income over the past seven months.

Also in the news…
The Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)‘s of our Lives day-time drama took an interesting turn this week, with activist investor Carl Icahn announcing that he will no longer try to stop Dell from going private, but issued one last jab at the board and Michael Dell that the offer was not in the best interests of shareholders. With a vote expected today (Sept. 12), we will soon know the fate of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). If you’re curious as to my position, since I own shares of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), I voted in favor of the leveraged buyout. With shares trading about $0.03 below the offer-plus-special-dividend price, shareholder approval of the LBO is expected.

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