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Saturday, 13 December 2003
"Six Months Ago" A longer term view from the week of June 2, 2003.
Hello Again Friends! Thanks for stopping by! If you are new here, you will hear me remind you often to check with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions based on this website...please follow that advice! I like to post new stock ideas that I have come across in this space and one weekends look back to our older posts and see how they have done. If you would like to read the original posts, they are all stored on Tripod...and you can access them by clicking on the appropriate date on the calendar at left.

The week of June 2, about 6 1/2 months ago, was a busy week on this website. I actually posted 13 stocks on this site. Let's see how they have done since we identified them. Remember, the market has been quite strong this past six months, so I cannot take full responsibility for the performance.

ExpressJet (XJT) was selected on 6/2/03 at $12.60. XJT closed on 12/12/03 at $15.42. This is a gain of $2.82 or 22.4%. On 10/16/03, on PRNewswire-FirstCall, as reported on Yahoo, XJT reported their third quarter results. Operating revenue increased 27% to $343.6 million, diluted eps was $.48/share up from $.34/share last year. This company is still "on track".

The next stock on 6/2/03 was Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) posted while at $49.18. ACS closed 12/12/03 at $53.40 up $4.22 or 8.6%. Looking through the headlines on Yahoo.com, we find that on 10/21/03, ACS reported their first quarter fiscal year 2004 results. Revenues increased 17% to $1.037 billion compared to $882.6 million last year. Diluted eps was $.60 up 20% from last year's $.50/share. This stock also appears to be still "on track".

The third stock on the list is Coach (COH), which is the only stock I currently own in my trading account. We listed Coach on 6/2/03 at $51.53. COH split 2:1 effected 10/2/03, thus out effective cost on the stock is $25.77. COH closed 12/12/03 at $36.30 for a gain of $10.53 or 40.9%. Looking through the headlines, we find the latest quarterly report on 10/21/03, as picked up from BUSINESS WIRE on Yahoo: Net sales increase 34% from $192.8 million to $258.4 million for this year's first quarter. Earnings per share were up over 80% to $.22 from $.12 last year. Things are going well for Coach!

United Financial Mortgage (UFM) was selected on 6/3/03 at $8.05. UFM closed 12/12/03 at $7.00 DOWN ($1.05) or (20.8%). UFM reported first quarter results for the quarter ended July 31, 2003, on 9/16/03 as picked up by Yahoo.com from PRNewswire-FirstCall: Revenues for the first quarter increased 271% to $22.4 million from $6.05 million last year. Net income increased 328% to $1.8 million or $.43/share compared to $418,442 or $.10/share. Clearly, the company has continued to do well, but the market is punishing interest-rate related and refinancing-dependent growth stories.

Select Medical (SEM) was picked on 6/3/03 at $22.10. SEM closed 12/12/03 at $34.27 for a gain of $12.17 or 55.1%. SEM announced a 2:1 stock split in November, and earnings were reported on 10/29/03 for the third quarter ended 9/30/03: Net operating revenues increased 26.7% to $353.5 million compared to $279.0 million last year. Income increased 64.3% to $36.9 million from $22.5 million last year. Net income was up 99% to $18.6 million compared to net income of $9.4 million last year. On a fully-diluted basis, eps was $.35 this year vs. $.19 last year, an increase of 84.2%.

School Specialty (SCHS) was selected on 6/3/03 at $25.45. SCHS closed 12/12/03 at $31.55. This is an increase of $6.10 or 24.0%. SCHS reported their second quarter results on 11/11/03 as reported on Yahoo.com, picked up from PRNewswire-FirstCall: Revenues were $335.1 million, a 5.6% increase over last year's results. Diluted eps was $1.31, up from $1.30 last year. These numbers are at least positive but they are far from exciting and I would watch this one closely for any faltering in earnings growth next quarter.

Walgreen (WAG) was posted on this site on 6/3/03 at $32.17. WAG closed 12/12/03 at $36.65, at increase of $4.48, or 13.9%. On 12/2/03 WAG reported same store sales growth for November, 2003, at 10.7% an outstanding result! On 9/29/03, WAG reported results for their fiscal fourth quarter ended August 31, 2003: Sales rose 14.0% to $8.2 billion from last year. Net earnings were up 11.9% to $277.1 million or $.27/share vs last year's $247.7 million or $.24/share. It looks like Walgreen is doing just fine!

E-Loan (EELN) was selected at $5.06 on 6/4/03. We briefly owned EELN in our trading account but it was sold as it declined. EELN closed 12/12/03 at $2.70 for a loss of ($2.36) or (46.6%). This is another interest-rate sensitive stock like UFM, feeling the pain of the anticipated bottoming of rates. On 10/23/03, EELN reported their results for their third quarter: revenues were $43.8 million, up 54% from last year. Net income was $8.0 million or $.12/diluted share vs $3.1 million or $.05/diluted share last year. These are great results, but the stock fell anyway! Probably a good reason to stay away from the interest-rate/refinancing boom-sensitive stocks.

Christopher & Banks(CBK) was selected on 6/5/03 at $33.45. CBK had a 3:2 split on 8/28/03 so our effective 'cost' is $22.30. CBK closed 12/12/03 at $22.06 for a loss of ($.24) or (1.1%). My favorite indicator for sales growth is same-store sales numbers, and CBK, while reporting overall sales growth of 14% (on 12/4/03 on Yahoo), noted that same store sales DECLINED 2%. On 9/23/03, as reported on Yahoo.com, from PRNewswire-FirstCall, CBK reported the second quarter results: Net income was up 22% to $8.5 million or $.22/diluted share vs $6.9 million or $.17/diluted share last year. Net sales were up 21% in the second quarter to $89.7 million from $73.9 million last year, and same store sales were still postive during the quarter at 3% growth. However, the recent same store sales declines certainly gives me pause about the near-term potential of this stock!

On 6/5/03, American Pharmaceutical Partners (APPX) was picked at $37.39. APPX had a 3:2 split on 9/3/03 so our effective 'cost' for our pick is actually $24.93. APPX closed on 12/12/03 at $33.71 for a gain of $8.78 or 35.2%. On 10/23/03, as picked up by Yahoo.com from PRNewswire-FirstCall, APPX reported their fiscal third quarter, 2003, results for the period ended 9/30/03: Net sales increase 28% to $90.4 million. Net income rose to $18.3 million or $.25/share from $10.6 million or $.14/share last year. Overall, these are great numbers and this company appears to be right on track!

Mothers Work (MWRK) was selected on 6/5/03 at $25.55. MWRK closed 12/12/03 at $24.66 for a loss of ($.89) or (3.5%). Again we have the comparable store sales figure at play here. On 12/4/03, MWRK reported sales figure for November, 2003: overall sales increased 6.4% to $43.2 million from last year however SAME STORE SALES figures DECLINED 3.7% based on 858 locations. So, as a retail venture, I would be cautious with this stock at this time.

CarMax (KMX) was selected on 6/5/03 at $28.65. KMX closed 12/12/03 at $29.15 for a gain of $.50 or 1.7%. News still o.k. as 12/4/03, on Yahoo.com from Dow Jones, KMX reported same-store used-unit sales grew 2% in the third quarter. On 9/2/03, KMX reported thir second quarter results, as picked up from PRNewswire-FirstCall and reported on Yahoo: Net earnings increased 25% to $39.6 million Or $.37/share compared to $31.7 million or $.30/share last year. Results are o.k., but same store sales growth maybe a bit anemic?

Finally, Cardinal Health (CAH) was selected on 6/6/03 at $64.17. CAH closed 12/12/03 at $63.73, down ($.44) or (.7%). On 10/23/03 CAH reported results that were slightly below expectations, but were quite solid nevertheless. For the peiod ended 9/30/03, Revenue rose 16% to $13.3 Billion from $11.4 billion last year. GAAP operating earnings grew 12% to $522 million over last year. This stock also seems to be on track!

Overall, for the 13 stocks picked for the week we have an average performance of 9.9%. A fair result held back by a couple of those mortgage-refinancing related stocks that were under-performers.

Thanks for stopping by! Please be sure to visit often and drop me a line at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com if you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement!

Bob


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