Warren Buffett is a big advocate of investing in stocks that you know. He only buys stocks of companies that operate in industries that he can easily understand. He wants to know exactly how a company makes money when selling its products. Every investor can benefit by employing this type of strategy – even sports fans. Sports lovers can construct a portfolio that allows them to take advantage of their passion for sports. Here is the perfect stock portfolio for the professional sports lover. (They don't call him "The Oracle" for nothing. Learn how Buffett comes up with his winning picks. Read Think Like Warren Buffett.)
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Watch ESPN? Invest in Disney (NYSE:DIS)
Disney is not just Mickey and Minnie Mouse anymore. The Walt Disney Company is the largest entertainment company in the entire world. Disney owns Disney Studios, Parks and Resorts, Media Networks and Consumer Products. Disney makes money on just about everything including films, clothing, toys and music. One of Disney's most significant holdings is ESPN Incorporated. Disney owns 80% of ESPN Inc. and it is one of the largest profit drivers for the media company. Ad revenue at ESPN was up 31% during the most recent quarter.
Every sports fan knows all about ESPN's Sportscenter. ESPN is the must-see channel for sports fan that want to see college football, professional football, major league baseball, golf, soccer, auto racing, little league games and high school sports. (For more on sports stocks, check out 4 Sports-Related Value Stocks.)
Own a Piece Of WWE (NYSE:WWE)
How would you like to own a piece of John Cena, Sheamus and Kane? While wrestling fans may not be able to invest directly in these wrestlers, they can invest in the company that employs them. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is the sports entertainment company behind the WWE wrestling Raw and SmackDown brands. This includes ownership in WWE Studios, Digital Media, Consumer Products, Sales & Sponsorships, and Live and Televised Entertainment.
The company has been able to generate over $475 million dollars in sales revenue over the past three consecutive years. Investors should be aware that 70% of the profits are controlled by the McMahon family. The remaining 30% of the profits are available for public shareholders. (Learn more about investing in the entertainment industry; read Analyzing Showbiz Stocks.)
Shoot Hoops at Madison Square Garden Inc. (Nasdaq:MSG)
You can own a piece of your favorite professional team by investing in Madison Square Garden Inc. MSG Inc. owns and operates the NBA's New York Knicks, NHL's New York Rangers and the WNBA's New York Liberty. The team also owns the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack. This is a New York professional sports fan's dream.
MSG also owns the MSG Network and MSG Entertainment. This includes ownership of Madison Square Garden and the Chicago Theater. Shares currently trade at $20. Revenues are up 9.5% over the past quarter and the company has a 10% operating margin. The balance sheet is great with the company holding $319 million dollars in cash and just $5.6 million dollars in debt.
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Take a Swing at Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY)
Who doesn't love to hit the links on a nice summer day? If golf is your favorite sport then you just may enjoy owning one of the iconic names in golf. The company is Callaway Golf. Callaway Golf is one of the top gold companies in the world manufacturing golf clubs, balls, equipment, clothing, apparel, and footwear. The Callaway name is synonymous with quality in the golfing world. The company sports such famous endorsers as Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
The stock trades for under $7 a share, and Callaway has over $53 million dollars on its balance sheet and no long-term debt. The company is on pace to earn just under $1 billion dollars for the year. Sales may have been hurt during the economic slowdown but the company is still on pace to earn a profit for the year.
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Leave the Starting Gate with Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq:CHDN)
Horse racing enthusiasts may love to own a piece of Churchill Downs Incorporated. Churchill Downs is home to the most famous event in racing every year. The company owns several thoroughbred racing tracks including Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is held each year. The company owns racetracks in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Illinois. It is the most profitable track in the horse racing industry.
The stock is only trading 15% above its 52-week low, very close to book value. The horse racing industry has been hurt by the poor economy since wagering on racing has been down. Despite the poor economy, the company has managed to achieve 7% earnings growth over the past five years. (Learn more about the sports industry in Who's Cashing In On Pro Sports Revenue.)
The Bottom Line
You may not have been aware that there were so many investments tied to professional sports. Investors can profit off of the growing popularity of everything from football to golf. The great thing is that when you are watching sporting events, you can tell your spouse that you are actually doing research on your investments.
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