Buffett Rumor Lifts Builders | stockbee

7/13/2007

Buffett Rumor Lifts Builders

This was no brainer trade. Heavily shorted sector, extremely pessimistic prognosis, usual suspects were at work , claiming home builders have more downside and they will trade in single digit. On the short side, stocks don't just go down in one smooth motion, there are vicious counter trend rallies. With todays action more buyers might jump in, making life more miserable for shorts.

Beaten-down homebuilder stocks got a boost Friday after a rumor floated around that Warren Buffett is buying shares of Hovnanian (HOV) .

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) , the investment vehicle of Buffett, is known to buy stocks on the cheap. The firm declined to comment on the rumor, saying its long-standing policy is to never discuss its investment activities except when it is legally required to do so.

Two sources who closely follow the homebuilding industry said they would be surprised if the rumor turned out to be true.

" [Buffett] was never involved in past. I don't think he would get involved now," says one sell-side analyst.

A hedge fund source also expressed skepticism. "Housing has not bottomed yet, so why would he buy now?" he says.

Nonetheless, the rumor lifted nearly all homebuilder stocks. Hovnanian shares were up $1.47, or 8.8%, to $18.02. The company didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Brookfield Homes (BHS) jumped 5.1% to $29.65; Centex (CTX) added 4.4% to $43.45; NVR (NVR) climbed 4.4% to 710.13; and Toll Brothers (TOL) rose 3.7% to $26.41.

"I think it's still too early to start buying the stocks, given that we are barely starting to see the tip of the iceberg in terms of foreclosures, and the biggest impairment charges are still ahead of us," says Alex Barron, an analyst with Agency Trading Group.

5 comments:

christmasfern said...

I still hate homebuilders. Not even for a short squeeze would i try to trade any of em. I think the crowd is right here.

Pradeep Bonde said...

Mr Buffett does not think like the crowd, that is why he is a billionaire.

F. said...

Read in your comments last month, Pradeep. I said new highs in July. I also said that the market would peak in July but with yesterday's economic numbers, we certainly have a good shot at continuing bull market for the next few months. But if $TYX continues to stay elevated it will be interesting to say the least what happens. What do you think?

Pradeep Bonde said...

I think market is setting up for sell the news reaction post earnings. But as usual correction would be buying opportunity. I don' think we are anywhere close to multi year top. Pullbacks yes.
The sentiments are too bearish for a top.

christmasfern said...

These Buffett rumors are frequently untrue. Just because theres a RUMOR hes buying, doesn't mean its something he would even remotley consider buying. He could very well hate the homebuilders. Plus sometimes hes just flat wrong (PIR).