Today’s letter is slightly abbreviated as we prepare for the first of what we hope will be many Hillside Advisors fall cocktail events. We look forward to seeing many of our New York-area readers and friends tonight.
On the cocktail tour, we will be holding events on the left coast in two weeks. Our San Francisco event on September 30th already has a good turnout booked, but if you would like to attend, please let us know. (I like to think it helps that I grew up in the Bay Area). Of course, my Northern California bias has made the following night’s event in Los Angeles a bit slower to fill up—again, please let us know if you’d like to join us. We would definitely like to see you.
We are also planning to schedule events in Boston and Chicago in October, probably the week of October 13. More information will be forthcoming, but again, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’d like to be involved.
Today’s edition has follow-up thoughts on Twitter and Auxilium, both of which have been topics of previous Hybrid Vigor discussions. We also address new issues from Alcoa and TiVo. Plus, we recommend a cloud-computing swap that Joni Mitchell would probably approve.
We’ve been very happy with early reactions to our new HOCS (Hillside Overall Convertible Score) ratings, which we are including with comments on all convertible bonds. We think HOCS will be a useful incremental tool for many convertible investors and look forward to discussing it with you. As we have explained in the previous issue, HOCS has a 0-100 scale and 50 is an average—not a poor—score, while 70 is excellent. HOCS should help find attractive bonds, including ones that may not do particularly well on traditional models. Our other measure to date, HARP (Hillside Adjusted Risk Points) continues to be our canary in the coal mine of overvalued bonds trading well above par.