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Goldman Sachs, Nostradamus and Genetic Algorithms versus Simple Quantitative Models, Experience and Common Sense

Goldman Sachs, Nostradamus and Genetic Algorithms versus Simple Quantitative Models, Experience and Common Sense

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Published by Stephen Castellano
An Analyst's Guide to Preempting Goldman Sachs and the Rest of the Street to their Conviction Buy Lists

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the power of using deceptively "simple" quantitative models when combined with the experience and common sense of a fundamental analyst.
An Analyst's Guide to Preempting Goldman Sachs and the Rest of the Street to their Conviction Buy Lists

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the power of using deceptively "simple" quantitative models when combined with the experience and common sense of a fundamental analyst.

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Stephen Castellano on Mar 17, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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Ascendere Associates LLC March 17, 2010Steve Castellanosteve@ascenderellc.com Ascendere Associates LLCwww.ascenderellc.com Steve Castellano steve@ascenderellc.comMarch 17, 2010Goldman Sachs, Nostradamus and Genetic Algorithms vs. Simple Quantitative Models, Experience and Common SenseOrAn Analyst's Guide to Preempting Goldman Sachs and the Rest of the Street to their Conviction Buy Lists
If  Al Gore invented the Internet,and if an estimated 4,000,000+ very close and personal Facebook fans bought Citigroup (C) at $0.97 and Bank of America (BAC) at $3.12 last March, well -- we have some of our own pronouncements to make.Specifically, Ascendere Associates LLC -- founded by a self-proclaimed internationally renowned genius -- has beaten Goldman Sachs, usurped UBS AG, outmanned Credit Suisse First Boston, outplayed Davenport & Co., presaged FortuneMagazine and Standard & Poors, and trounced a number of other major Wall Street edifices by auguring a significantnumber of market-moving Wall Street rating actions. It has also concurred with some notable Wall Street downgrades afterthe fact.We are not writing this article to promote ourselves -- nor our model portfolios, weekly long/short focus list ideas,  quantitative ranking systems or deeper fundamental research services-- nor are we implying that we have reverse-engineered the genetic algorithms of Nostradamus. Instead, we wish to demonstrate (in the most academic and objective way possible) the power of deceptively simplequantitative models and some deeper level fundamental research when combined with the common sense of anexperienced professional who holds a varied background in sell-side and buy-side equity research and supply/demandconsulting, and who is adroit in basic VBA programming and is expert financial spreadsheet modeling. (It may come to asurprise to some as to what former liberal arts students from Oberlin College can do -- we are not referring to ourselves so much as we are to memorable characters like Dan Zane and John Gutfreund,among others). Prescient or promotional? Please take a look at recent Wall Street actions with Domtar Corp. (UFS), Starbucks Corp. (SBUX),Joy Global, Inc. (JOYG), Limited Brands (LTD), Fortune Brands (FO), McKesson Corp. (MCK) and Netflix, Inc. (NFLX). Anddecide for yourself:
 
Ascendere Associates LLC March 17, 2010Steve Castellanosteve@ascenderellc.com DOMTAR CORP.Ascendere Associates LLC Pronounces Domtar Corp (UFS) of "Particular Interest" on March 8, 2010
"Of particular interest on the long side are LTD, THI, CMI, WCRX, SNDK
and UFS."
--Ascendere Associates LLC,Potential New Long and Short Ideas" --March 8, 2010
8 Days Later, Goldman Sachs upgrades Domtar Corporation and makes it a Conviction Buy! 
Goldman Sachs upgraded Domtar Corporation (NYSE:UFS) from Neutral to the Conviction Buy List and raised their price target from $63 to $82. The firm cited rising pulp prices, tightening uncoated freesheet markets, stronger EPS and free cash flow outlook, and an attractive 4.6X 2010 EBITDA multiple. " -- StreetInsider.com, March 16, 2010
 
Ascendere Associates LLC March 17, 2010Steve Castellanosteve@ascenderellc.com STARBUCKS CORP.Ascendere Associates LLC Proclaims Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) "A Good Option for Growth Investors"
"At the current level, SBUX is a good option for growth investors that expect significant upside to current consensusforecasts -- because we do think there is some chance of this occurring. SBUX is also currently a good stock ideas for highturnover portfolios driven by constantly updated relative value decisions, such as the Ascendere Long/Short ModelPortfolio."
--Ascendere Associates LLC,Starbucks Improving Across the Board: Is That Enough" -- February 16, 2010
 A month later, UBS AG Raises Starbucks' EPS Estimate, Increases Price Target and Raises Rating to Buy 
Palmer lifted his rating on shares of the Seattle-based company to "buy" from "neutral," and raised his price target to $29, from $27. According to the analyst,We are upgrading Starbucks ( SBUX) based upon our belief that sales and earnings momentum can drive ongoing, significant earnings revisions over the next two or more years." --Forbes, March 16, 2010

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