Whitney Tilson was just on CNBC talking about how investing in BP — and other stocks in free fall — are great value buys.
But Tilson said that he would avoid three companies that have been selling off sharply this week because he doesn’t see a cap to their downfall.
Those companies are Nokia, Research in Motion, and First Solar. Tilson is short all three.
“This week, Nokia, RIMM, First Solar are all in the headlines. The businesses are in full scale collapse,” Tilson said. “The stocks are down 60 to 80 per cent, yet we are short those three companies because we don’t think their businesses will stabilise. We see lots more bad news coming. So the key is you have to invest in businesses that are at least going to stabilise their operations and the bad news will fade. If the bad news continues you’re in a value trap.”
Issues at Research in Motion and Nokia have widely been discussed over the past few years. Mainly, since the launch of the iPhone, Apple (and to a great extent Google) has eaten their lunch.
The two have bet their businesses on new product launches: at Nokia it’s the Windows powered Lumia and at RIM it’s the upcoming Blackberry 10 OS.
But First Solar, once a darling of the green energy industry, has seen sales collapse as highly subsidized markets like Germany have seen government funding cut.
First Solar this week said that it would cut its workforce by some 30 per cent, eliminating 2,000 positions across the company’s global operations.
The solar giant plans to close all of its operations in Frankfurt, Germany and indefinitely idle some production lines in Malaysia, adding to reductions already taking place in Europe and the U.S.