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Jonathan Boyar on Liberty Braves, Small-Cap Opportunities, and more

Jonathan Boyar joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss where he sees opportunity in the market today, and areas he would avoid. 

Among the topics discussed:

  • BATRK
  • Why small cap stocks are attractive
  • The case for avoiding commodity dependent businesses

Watch on Twitter

Video Transcript

[THEME MUSIC]

JULIE HYMAN: It's a big, noisy universe of stocks out there. Welcome to Good Buy or Goodbye. Brought to you by E-Trade from Morgan Stanley. Our goal, to help cut through that noise to navigate the best moves for your portfolio. It might get tricky to know when to get in on unusual market moves. We're here to let you in on ways to play performance outliers.

I'm here with Jonathan Boyar. Come on down, Jonathan. And let's talk about your buy stock, which is one we've talked to you a little bit about before. That is the Atlanta Braves. So let's go through your investment case here on why you think people should be buying. But we also want to talk about that this is a small cap name. And in general, you think there are some opportunities within small caps here

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yes. First, thank you for having me. And to talk about small caps, they've been a laggard over the last five years. They've been in a bear market over the past two. And this is a historical anomaly. Since if you look at since 2000, the S&P and the Russell basically have performed evenly.

So this has been-- if you believe in mean reversion-- the Russell should come back with a vengeance, and that's what we believe for a variety of reasons. It's also the cheapest area of the market, especially compared to the Magnificent Seven.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, there are definitely a lot of people who have been talking to us about small caps as well over the past month or so. So let's then get to the one or one of the stocks that you think is a good buy in this environment. Because we are seeing that the Russell 2000, to your point, over time has been an outperformer, but has lagged more recently. So let's get to Atlanta Braves here.

You say, first of all, there's not-- we've talked about this sort of hidden gem thing before, hidden assets before. Atlanta Braves is not necessarily a stock that we talk about very often.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yeah. It's definitely not one that you talk about daily or monthly. It's a stock that is not widely covered by Wall Street. I believe there's only two or three sell side analysts who cover it. You compare that to the Magnificent Seven, where the average stock in the Magnificent Seven has 47 sell side analysts covering it. So that gives you opportunities for people willing to do their own homework to really outperform and find those diamonds in the rough.

JULIE HYMAN: Right. Exactly. And let's also talk about the valuation. That's something we talk about frequently. The stock is down what about 10%, I believe, this year.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yeah. The stock is attractively valued if you look at it compared to its Forbes value. And many of these things when they trade in a transaction, go significantly above their Forbes value. And you're getting a lot of things for free like the battery, which is their real estate development that they own. And it's right now, it's a $37 stock. We think it's a company that's probably in a sale worth $55 a share or so.

JULIE HYMAN: OK, well, and you referred to it a couple of times. And that's kind of the number three maybe most important one that you think that it's going to be sold.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yes, John Malone-- it's controlled by media mogul John Malone, who is simplifying his empire. And we have reason to believe over the next couple of years, he's done things to make us believe this that the Braves will be sold. And if Mark Cuban can sell the Mavericks, he certainly can sell the Atlanta Braves.

JULIE HYMAN: OK. So as always, we'd like to ask people what could go wrong with this thesis? I would think that if it doesn't get sold, that's one thing that could go wrong, you know. And we're also talking about the valuations can fluctuate. So even if it does get sold, maybe it won't get sold at the price that you think.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Exactly. People may say that you're in a bubble of market valuations for sports teams. I don't believe that to be the case, but that is definitely a risk, as well as regional sports networks. A lot of them are in a lot of trouble due to cord cutting, so that's certainly a risk to the thesis.

JULIE HYMAN: Now, we should mention for this goodbye that you do hold the stock.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yes.

JULIE HYMAN: Right So just to disclose that. And then there is an area of the market that for you is a goodbye, and you don't even look at it. It's not even an area of the market that you consider, which I find fascinating. So let's talk about it. Your goodbye is energy companies, kind of broadly here. And here we see the XLE, that's the energy ETF from 2020 to 2023. And we're going to get to that a little more detail in just a second. But the reasons that you don't like energy companies writ large.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yeah. We look at companies as if we're buy-- a stock is if we're buying the entire company. And I wouldn't want to own a business that's entirely dependent on the price of commodity that's outside of our control in order for it to be profitable. So I can't predict whether a barrel of oil is going to trade at. So I don't want to own the stock.

JULIE HYMAN: OK. Fair enough. And then we were just talking about that current outperformance that we have been seeing in the group. That energy stocks have rocketed higher, pretty much since the beginning of the pandemic.

JONATHAN BOYAR: This is highly unusual. They have been the best performer by far of any of the get sectors since the market bottomed in 2020. But over the long-term, that certainly hasn't been the case.

JULIE HYMAN: Right. And more recently, we have seen them kind of roll over and start to deteriorate a little bit. Here's the 10-year period to your point of that underperformance.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Yeah, they're terrible businesses.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. And then lastly, you're cautious on the investor optimism that's out there.

JONATHAN BOYAR: I speak to a lot of value investors. They're all talking about how great energy stocks are, and these are great stocks to hold for the next 5 or 10 years. And I'm a contrarian by nature, and that makes me nervous.

JULIE HYMAN: OK. So you're just not looking there. But what could go right for these guys?

JONATHAN BOYAR: Oil keeps going up in price. They key performance begets performance. But I think over the long run, there will be mean reversion, both for small cap stocks and energy stocks.

JULIE HYMAN: Right. And so I think we made clear you're just not interested in looking at this group. You're not short them, but you're just not-- it's not an investment area that you like to consider. OK. Fair enough. So let's give a summary then of what you've laid out here today. Buy Atlanta Braves holdings on attractive valuations. Small caps, you think broadly are favorable place to be right now.

On the other side, you're saying avoid these energy-related names because you don't want to be subject to the vagaries of the commodity market. And you say it's unusual that it's been seeing outperformance right now. So I think that sums it up.

JONATHAN BOYAR: Exactly.

JULIE HYMAN: All right. Jonathan Boyar, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

Important Disclosures. The information herein is provided by Boyar’s Intrinsic Value Research LLC (“Boyar Research”) and: (a) is for general, informational purposes only; (b) is not tailored to the specific investment needs of any specific person or entity; and (c) should not be construed as investment advice. Boyar Research does not offer investment advisory services and is not an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or any other regulatory body. Any opinions expressed herein represent current opinions of Boyar Research only, and no representation is made with respect to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information herein. Boyar Research assumes no obligation to update or revise such information. In addition, certain information herein has been provided by and/or is based on third party sources, and, although Boyar Research believes this information to be reliable, Boyar Research has not independently verified such information and is not responsible for third-party errors. You should not assume that any investment discussed herein will be profitable or that any investment decisions in the future will be profitable. Investing in securities involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. 

Important Information: Performance Information. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The reports in this sample are for informational purposes only and the performance of the stocks selected is not indicative of the performance of the entire Forgotten Forty. The performance of the stocks selected and the performance of the Forgotten Forty may in fact diverge materially. Additional information regarding the performance of other companies in the Forgotten Forty is available from Boyar Research upon request. This information is not a recommendation, or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy, an interest in any security, including an interest in any investment vehicle managed or advised by affiliates of Boyar Research. Any information that may be considered advice concerning a federal tax issue is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purposes of (i) avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter discussed herein. Clients of an affiliate of Boyar Research and employees of Boyar Research own shares in BATRK.