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Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks - Harry Eisenberg


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[amazonsearch]Walker's Manual[/amazonsearch]

 

Anyone familiar with this book?  I have the 2002-2003 edition on order but I was hoping to find the 2006 edition somewhere.  From what I've heard the 2006 copy was never published but a stop gap paperback was sent out to people who had pre-ordered.

 

Can anyone vouch for the usefulness of this book? 

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I hate replying to myself but...

 

I have the 02-03 book, and it's incredible.  There's a page per company lots of interesting data.  I know the biggest rub is that the data is out of date usually the financials are from 98-02.  I'm not finding that's an issue at all, with most of these companies that were very over capitalized in 2002 they are still over capitalized.  Other companies that grew their earnings in the 01-02 have grown their earnings through the 08-09 as well.

 

I've been finding probably 1/3 of the companies in the book no longer exist, they've gone private (fully) or they've been merged or acquired or gone belly up.  To me this is a bit of an endgame for an unlisted stock investor, some sort of liquidity event.

 

Still interested in the 06/07 edition if anyone has anything.  I'd also be interested in knowing what Harry Eisenberg is up to these days. 

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I have the 1996, 2000 and 2002-03 editions. 

 

I worked for Walker's Manual in 2004 and 2005.  A few years prior Harry Eisenberg had sold it to Andrew Berger, who is based in New Jersey.  What I was told is Harry Eisenberg had a staff of six people doing research and the sales could not support it so he sold.  Last I heard he still lived in the Bay Area.  Andrew occasionally hired people on a contract basis to help on the book and projects.  I helped input and edit the September 2004 edition which came out in paperback in mid to late 2005.  He told me at the time that it was being sent to people who had pre-ordered and I assume pre-paid.  I have never seen the paperback for sale anywhere.  I have given away my extras.  I do not think the 2006 edition was ever printed.  If it had, I am sure Andrew would have tried to get me to buy one.  Your best shot is to contact Walker's Manual directly regarding the paperback version. 

 

They still have a web site. 

 

I would be more than happy to interact with you, or anyone else,  in terms of finding out more information on any of the unlisted stocks in the book.  There are some real gems.

 

 

       

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[amazonsearch]Walker's Manual[/amazonsearch]

 

Anyone familiar with this book?  I have the 2002-2003 edition on order but I was hoping to find the 2006 edition somewhere.  From what I've heard the 2006 copy was never published but a stop gap paperback was sent out to people who had pre-ordered.

 

Can anyone vouch for the usefulness of this book?

 

I had one of the last editions that I think was published.  I read all the entries and then tracked the most interesting ones.  They seemed to lag the market as it rebounded, probably because they didn't have analyst coverage, and they were in "boring" industries.  The only ones that seemed to have good returns were the few that got taken out in M&A.  These were a very small percentage of the whole group that was generally composed of stable businesses that had been around for the better part of a century.  The trading volume for these companies was very low, sometimes zero.        :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I've been bugging Andrew about publishing it again for years... to no avail.  :'(

He's either started, or in the process of starting a fund.

 

If you search for AB Value Partners you can see that he started a fund and has tried to do mini tenders for a few unlisted stocks.  Interesting approach.

 

From my last conversation he told me he sells the data to a few institutions instead of publishing it for retail.  I've considered trying to create an online version myself but you have to have a lot of contacts who will supply annual reports since it takes time and money to buy shares in 500 companies. 

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Tim,

 

I've considered the same thing as you, build out a database of unlisted stocks and put it online.  When I think about this it isn't as easy as just updating the Walkers.  I've been going through it and probably 40% or more of the companies in the 03 edition aren't traded anymore.  So some newer unlisted companies would need to be found to fill these spots.  The second issue is as you mention there would be a substantial upfront cost to buying all of those shares.

 

I've run across a few stocks that are technically traded but shares haven't had a trade since 2009 or early 2010.

 

I wonder how much actual paying interest exists for a thing like this.  As I've been going through the Walkers Manual I've been trying to blog about these companies.  In a few cases I've mentioned that I have financials for unlisted companies and I'd give them out to anyone who emails me, to date I've had one request.  I think this is a niche market within value investing.

 

I've also considered putting together a few reports for minimal costs on some of these companies, but I keep running into the same issue as above, lack of demand.

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Tim,

 

I've considered the same thing as you, build out a database of unlisted stocks and put it online.  When I think about this it isn't as easy as just updating the Walkers.  I've been going through it and probably 40% or more of the companies in the 03 edition aren't traded anymore.  So some newer unlisted companies would need to be found to fill these spots.  The second issue is as you mention there would be a substantial upfront cost to buying all of those shares.

 

I've run across a few stocks that are technically traded but shares haven't had a trade since 2009 or early 2010.

 

I wonder how much actual paying interest exists for a thing like this.  As I've been going through the Walkers Manual I've been trying to blog about these companies.  In a few cases I've mentioned that I have financials for unlisted companies and I'd give them out to anyone who emails me, to date I've had one request.  I think this is a niche market within value investing.

 

I've also considered putting together a few reports for minimal costs on some of these companies, but I keep running into the same issue as above, lack of demand.

 

Shoot me a private email.  I have some ideas to solve the problems you mentioned.

 

Tim

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ageofsocrates,

 

I'm sure they are but I'm not aware of any that follow some of the unlisted value micro-caps.  If there are it would almost be a crime considering that some of these stocks don't see more than an order a month at most.

 

One stock I own Micropac (MPAD) is very illiquid although they do file with the SEC.  They were trading in the $5 range last year and the stock was mentioned in the AAII newsletter as an example of a net-net stock.  The stock ran from $5 to $10 in three days on about 20k of volume.  Right now there's a bid of $5.10 and an ask of $20,000.  I'd hate to be the sucker that punches in a market order on that one.....

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As a bank dealer who places clients orders on OTC stocks, thats definitely an issue. Buffett had invested in micro caps from his earlier days as such areas are inefficient and have v little analyst coverage. I believe Walker's manual was actually mentioned as a source of ideas that Buffett referred to in "Snowball". Would welcome any thoughts on this...

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I don't remember the reference in the Snowball but it wouldn't surprise me.

 

The Walkers Manual is a great book, I have the 03 edition, and the 1999 Penny Stock edition.  I've found that a lot more of the stocks in the Penny Stock Manual aren't tradable anymore, many more than the unlisted stocks.  I think the reason so many unlisted stocks are still around is that they can operate under the radar without much of an issue.

 

I think most people who've gone through the book and looked at this companies would agree with your assessment, this is an inefficient area of the market.  Not only is there little to no analyst coverage, most of the time there is little to no information period.  Most of the time you need to buy a share of the company and then call (and usually talk to the CFO) to get an annual report mailed out.

 

This is a very cool area of the market, I'm having a lot of fun researching these companies.  You need to be innovative to find information, real estate tax records, creative Googling.  This isn't your standard look at a few metrics and move on type of deal.

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  • 8 months later...
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Guest hellsten

walkersmanual.com is just an image… If someone's interested, archive.org has archived the site. Here are links to a few pages from 2007:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070430022310/http://www.walkersmanual.com/ourbooks.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20070509042329/http://www.walkersmanual.com/p00book.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20070502070942/http://www.walkersmanual.com/otherresources.htm

 

Sample reports:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070103130631/http://www.walkersmanual.com/00Corfacts.PDF

http://web.archive.org/web/20070103224843/http://www.walkersmanual.com/00Marlton.PDF

 

Reviews:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070429021818/http://www.walkersmanual.com/Barrons.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20070502070210/http://www.walkersmanual.com/haworth.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20070502070056/http://www.walkersmanual.com/kiplingers.htm

 

Eisenberg looks for worthy stocks that institutional investors and analysts tend to ignore. Some of his favorites now include Smith Investment Co. (symbol SMIC, recent price $109), which owns almost one-third of A.O. Smith, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange that makes electric motors and water-heating systems, and Adrian Steel (ADST, $251), which makes storage components for service vehicles.

 

I guess the homepage explains why community banks can be attractive to value investors:

Community banks are vital to the growth and prosperity of our towns and cities. Walker’s Manual of Community Banks Stocks culls through the community banks across this great country to find some of the best. We believe that early discovery of these banks is an integral part of gaining a high return on your investments.

 

The typical community bank starts small by issuing around a million shares to local business persons, usually at $10 per share. Over time the community bank grows, reinvests its profits back into its operations and establishes additional offices. Eventually it matures and begins to pay dividends, or it buys other banks, becomes listed on an exchange, or sells to one of the larger banks. The end result is a business that serves its local community and when purchased at the right price provides a good return to its shareholders.

 

Might explain why Irwing Kahn owns LARK?

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It's really strange to read stuff that was published on the web in 1996 (I'm a youngin). Especially regarding a company and its financials. I find it completely strange that these books could be of much serious use considering the data is so old. I guess it's a good starting point to learn of the existence of companies in your circle of competence that may be inefficiently priced then do follow up research. But man... it seems strange to look at financial data from 10-15 years ago and hope the companies are still similar (or in business). Although you can get the Walker's Manual of Penny Stocks from 2000 for ~$4 on Amazon. So why not right?

 

Walkers Manual Penny Stocks 2000:

http://www.amazon.com/Walkers-Manual-Penny-Stocks-2000/dp/0970001002/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361415440&sr=1-13&keywords=Walker%27s+Manual

 

Walkers Manual of Unlisted Stocks 2000:

http://www.amazon.com/Walkers-Manual-Unlisted-Stocks-2000/dp/0970001010/ref=pd_sim_b_1

 

Walkers Manual of Micro-Cap Stocks 4th Edition (2002):

http://www.amazon.com/Walkers-Manual-Micro-Cap-Stocks-4th/dp/0972068813/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361415440&sr=1-14&keywords=Walker%27s+Manual

 

(I don't make any money if you click those links)

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Hellsten,

 

Good links, I've read some of that through Google Cache before, there are a number of other articles about unlisted stocks from the 1990s, they were somewhat popular then. 

 

Anyone who digs in this area will quickly find that out of the 3000 unlisted stocks there are about 200 that most unlisted investors are familiar with, and about 40-50 worth investment consideration at any given time.  I liked the reference to Benjamin Moore paints, they wouldn't pick up the phone, had decent earnings and eventually sold to Buffett.  Going private or selling is the end game for most of these companies.  I recognized almost all of the names in the articles, but I also have a few editions of Walkers that I've marched through.

 

Morgan,

 

The books are useful as a starting point, overcapitalized firms in most cases then are still overcapitalized now.  Some firms have completely destroyed themselves.  If you're a DIY person buy the book and go through one by one, marking companies that are around vs gone.  You'll find about 30% of the penny stocks are still around whereas about 60% of the unlisted ones are still trading.  Then go about buying a share of each that looks interesting to get the annual report.  The most famous of these is Paul Sonkin who holds over 400 shares in an account to get reports.  He doesn't own 400 unlisted stocks, some publish to OTC markets, but many are unlisted.  You'll also find many companies that refuse to give out reports.  I called Thermwood a few months back and was told "we don't have an annual report or give anything away", that's patently false, but for a $3 investment it was worth a shot.  I might still press for something there, who knows.

 

 

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While you wait on Andrew and David (which might be forever) I already put together an online version of the Walkers with updated information on many of these companies.  I hesitated to post this on here because the site is a pay site, and I wanted to be mindful of the site's solicitation rules.  Yet at the same time it would be useful to know considering Sanjeev is suggesting people request an online version be built, why wait, one already exists.

 

 

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I just purchased the 2000 version and am eagerly awaiting it in the mail. Any sense how many of the companies from the 2000 version are still traded? Additionally, anyone know where I could find a 2002-2003 or a 2006 version?

 

The 2006 version was never published.  I worked on a contract basis for Walker's Manual from 2004 through early 2006.  Those who pre-ordered received a paperback version dated 9/2004 which actually went out near the end of 2005.  As for how many stocks from 2000 are still traded?  I would estimate more than half.   

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While you wait on Andrew and David (which might be forever) I already put together an online version of the Walkers with updated information on many of these companies.  I hesitated to post this on here because the site is a pay site, and I wanted to be mindful of the site's solicitation rules.  Yet at the same time it would be useful to know considering Sanjeev is suggesting people request an online version be built, why wait, one already exists.

 

Hi Oddball,

 

Feel free to put the link here, as the book is out of print, and I'm sure people are interested in a resource for small/micro cap stocks. 

 

I don't mind links...just don't put the rates, etc, on here.  People should go to the site and decide if they want to pay...I don't want anyone to feel we are endorsing someone specific.

 

Cheers! 

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Hellsten,

 

Good links, I've read some of that through Google Cache before, there are a number of other articles about unlisted stocks from the 1990s, they were somewhat popular then. 

 

Anyone who digs in this area will quickly find that out of the 3000 unlisted stocks there are about 200 that most unlisted investors are familiar with, and about 40-50 worth investment consideration at any given time.  I liked the reference to Benjamin Moore paints, they wouldn't pick up the phone, had decent earnings and eventually sold to Buffett.  Going private or selling is the end game for most of these companies.  I recognized almost all of the names in the articles, but I also have a few editions of Walkers that I've marched through.

 

Morgan,

 

The books are useful as a starting point, overcapitalized firms in most cases then are still overcapitalized now.  Some firms have completely destroyed themselves.  If you're a DIY person buy the book and go through one by one, marking companies that are around vs gone.  You'll find about 30% of the penny stocks are still around whereas about 60% of the unlisted ones are still trading.  Then go about buying a share of each that looks interesting to get the annual report.  The most famous of these is Paul Sonkin who holds over 400 shares in an account to get reports.  He doesn't own 400 unlisted stocks, some publish to OTC markets, but many are unlisted.  You'll also find many companies that refuse to give out reports.  I called Thermwood a few months back and was told "we don't have an annual report or give anything away", that's patently false, but for a $3 investment it was worth a shot.  I might still press for something there, who knows.

 

Reading google cache can be very useful from time to time. Knowing how to use Google creatively is definitely helpful.

 

I am a DIY-er, but I'm a lazy DIY-er.  ;) Going through 3,000 stocks isn't my idea of efficiency, so if there are others to work with (http://unlistedstocks.net) it makes it easier. I'll use the books as a starting point just to learn more about that segment of the market and then get onto the site.

 

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