From the Desk of Irwin Michael – July 31, 2015

Despite a very fickle marketplace for common share trading during the month of July, we are taking advantage of this volatility to purchase relatively undervalued securities. Two recent American stock purchases include:

Amgen is a biotechnology company that discovers, develops and markets medicines for various illnesses. Some of its products include Enbrel and Neulasta, but more importantly, the company will be releasing a new cholesterol drug, Repatha during 2016. Recently, we purchased Amgen’s common shares believing that it was attractively priced at a price to earnings multiple of 16.0x with a free cash flow yield of 5.2% and an extremely valuable portfolio of medical drugs. Of note, yesterday, Amgen announced very favourable earnings as Q2 revenue and EPS grew 4% and 7%, respectively,with the company boosting its full year forecast.

East West Bancorp operates a California-based commercial bank specializing in commercial, construction and real estate lending as well as financing international trade. East West is the 2nd largest independent bank in California and operates within a very profitable niche. Interestingly, East West has 5 full service branches in China, including Hong Kong and Shanghai, and does business with many residents of the Asian American community in California. We believe that the company is attractively valued as it trades below a 16.5x price to earnings multiple, has excellent management, a strong market position and is the leader within their market niche. Lastly, East West Bancorp should benefit from higher earnings when the U.S. Federal Reserve increases interest rates since it is levered to a higher interest rate environment.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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