[This is a backlog for a previous trading transaction. It may not fully represent my thinking at the time of the trading.]
I purchased 140 shares of PPD @ $27.75 each today.
I came across PPD from Quicken.com's one-click scorecard. PPD is listed at the top of "Warren Buffett Way" scorecard with an estimated intrinsic value in three digits.
While I don't believe in the intrinsic value calculation, I do love the stock in the following ways:
1) The stock is cheap. I disagree with SEC's ruling that PPD should treat its commission advance as an immediate cost, but even with the reduced earnings, the stock has a P/E ratio in the low teens with zero debt.
2) The stock is a cash cow. FCF is strong.
3) Management is using FCF to conduct stock buyback, which I appreciate.
4) The business model is appealing. Though persistency rate is low, it is still an annuity business with return customers. Most P&L components are fixed (like 33% for benefits) so net income will be very predictable.
5) Management owns a lot of stock (insider holding) and continue to purchase.
I do understand PPD has some legal battles to fight and short interest is high. However I think shorters miscalculate in this company with consistent cash inflow and zero debt. It is hard to imagine this company will fall into bankruptcy.
Some background for the personal finance situation: At this point I have accepted an offer to work in the US starting July, so I understand I'll have a lot of free cash flow for myself to be able to invest in the second half of the year. I'm eager to have my current cash pile ($6,132 before this purchase) fully invested in the near future.