NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm in New York this week, attending the 9th Annual New York Value Investing Congress, which I consider to be a can't miss event. As usual, I walked away from day 1 with a few interesting ideas, and some homework.
John Mirshekari, co-portfolio manager of Fidelity Low-Priced Stock
, who specializes in industrial names, made an interesting case for engineering name URS
. The company has made some rather expensive acquisitions over the years, but Mirshekari believes that there is change in the air at URS. Last Friday, the company pledged to return at least $500 million to shareholders in 2014 and 2015, which he sees as a positive. Mirshekari believes that URS could be worth $98 a share in two years, more than 80% above current levels.
Clifton Robbins of Blue Harbour Group, presented the bullish case for women's retailer Chico's FAS (CHS). Retailers, and especially women's retailers are not my typical cup of tea, but Robbins presentation was compelling enough that I'll at least be doing some additional digging on this name.
Robbins believes that the chain which currently has 1427 locations could grow to 2,200. He points to the stores smaller size, and considerably higher sales per square foot than competitors such as Ann Taylor
, Coldwater Creek
and Talbot's as another positive.
Of Chico's brands, Robbins is especially bullish on the company's Soma stores, which he likened to Victoria's Secret for women over age 30. Chico's currently trades for 13 times 2015 consensus analyst estimates. The balance sheet is solid with $302 million, or nearly $2 per share and no debt. CHS data by YCharts
Legendary value investor Mark Boyar presented the case for Madison Square Garden
, an asset rich name which owns among other assets, The New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Madison Square Property and associated air rights. The stock has pulled back recently from the $62 range to $55, and Boyar was critical of the $125 million deal the company recently announced for a 50% stake in the artist management business of Eagles manager Irving Azoff. Boyar believes that MSG could be taken private by the Dolan family, which controls nearly 70% of the company's voting rights. MSG data by YCharts