Benj Gallander is president of Contra The Heard Investment Letter. His focus is contrarian investing.
United Security Bancshares (USBI-Q)
This small Alabama-based bank pays a dividend of 2 cents quarterly. At one point, it paid 30 cents quarterly. The current stock price is under $10 and further recovery is likely. It used to trade above $30.
This is the second time that I have owned this stock. The first time, it was bought at $2.50 and sold at $6.44. The balance sheet features a reasonable amount of cash and nominal debt. Insiders own about 5 per cent.
First United Corporation (FUNC-Q)
FUNC sells for less than book value and did not dilute the share count during the recession. I suspect that the company will likely reinstate a dividend before the end of next year. It used to pay 20 cents a quarter. A double in share price is not out of the question as the stock used to trade above $25.
Past Picks: Sept. 18, 2015
Then: $8.05 Now: $9.15 13.66% Total return: 20.03%
Rona Preferred Share A (RON.A-T)
Then: $13.87 Now: $23.99 72.96% Total returnR: 73.80%
Jinpan International (JST.O)
Sold in April on the takeover at $6.00.
Then: $3.76 Now: $5.94 57.98% Total return: 57.98%
Total Return Average: +50.60%
While there have been minor bouts of volatility over the past year, I suspect that it will ramp up dramatically over the next year. Investors should be aware of this, but not necessarily wary. Volatility can be a friend if one reacts selectively and does not get swayed by the noise.