The Passing of an Industry Leader, Westjet, RIM and Financials

It is with great sadness that Sir John A. Templeton, founder of Templeton Management Ltd. and the Templeton Growth Fund passed away at the age of 95 today.  He was definitely a visionary who held strong beliefs on how to value stocks and build portfolios. The company under his leadership looked around the world to buy the most undervalued stocks they could find. I remember hearing Sir John talk about the opportunities to find value in emerging markets over 20 years ago. Definitely thinking ahead of the times.

As of writing, the markets are mixed with the US markets trading in positive territory with the Canadian markets down about .5% on the day. Oil, Gas, and other commodity plays are down while financials, cable and telecom have recovered somewhat. 

Research in Motion (RIM) is up over 4% with the big winner being Westjet (WJA) whose stock is up over 10% on the day after being down 21% over the last 12 months. Westjet announced a codesharing agreement to commence in 2009 with Southwest Airlines which has a very similar business model to Westjet in the US. This will give Canadians greater choice in travelling to different markets in the US which were a nightmare to get to in the past. National Bank raised the stock from neutral to outperform with an $18.00 target. The stock is currently trading above $14.00

Do you think that the codesharing arrangement will allow Westjet to grow their business even with higher fuel costs and general expenses?

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