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Thursday, 27 September 2007
Starbucks (SBUX) "Trading Transparency"

Hello Friends!  Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice!  As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please remember to consult with your professional investment advisers prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website.

A few moments ago I exercised my discretion in selling stocks based on fundamental changes in information available.  I sold my 50 shares of Starbucks (SBUX) in my trading account at $27.00/share.  It has been a great stock for me having purchased shares originally at a cost basis of $11.40/share on 1/24/03, slightly before starting this blog.  Thus this represented a gain of $15.60 on these shares or 136.8% since their original purchase.  This was the seventh sale of shares since my purchase, having sold shares at the 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240% level.  Sticking just with my own trading system, a sale of shares would have been triggered at the 120% gain point, so I pulled the plug on these shares a bit earlier than required.

What concerned me was the downgrade by Andrew Barish to a "sell" on SBUX.   His comment:

"Although we believe that the company controls a very strong brand and can continue to grow, we believe the pace of growth will be slower (with international business still too small to make significant contribution to operating profits, and could be several years away from such a contribution), and that expectations are too high for a short-term recovery," Barish wrote in a note to clients."

I also went back and reviewed the 3rd quarter results which came in at the low end of their own estimates. The critical number that I like to review in retail stocks is the 'same store sales' growth.  Apparently, as noted in the story, "...the number of purchases at U.S. locations grew less than 1% in the fiscal third quarter."  Outside of the United States, growth was at 5%, better than domestically, but still somewhat less than dynamic.  Comments about rising gas prices and other economic pressures didn't really reassure me.  Fortunately, they matched expectations for $.21/share.

Thus,

STARBUCKS (SBUX) IS RATED A SELL

And I sold my shares.  Now the big question is whether this sale with a large gain entitles me to replace this position.  I am going to vote "yes".  I guess I am the master of my own ship.  Since the stock didn't get sold for a price decline reason, and I actually had a greater than 100% gain, it isn't really a truly 'bad news' situation.  Sort of lukewarm I guess.

Anyhow, I am going to see if I can add a new position with a bit more pizzazz.  (It is really a word!) 

Thanks again for visiting!  If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them on the blog or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com.  If you get a chance, drop by my Stock Picks Podcast Website, visit my Covestor Page where my trading account is evaluated, and my SocialPicks Page where all of my 'picks' are tracked...starting sometime since January, 2007.

Finally, thanks for those people who signed up with Prosper.com....let me know what you think.  (Full disclosure, I do receive a small referral fee if you do sign up with them.)  It is an interesting website with person-to-person lending set up by the E-Loan founder.  

Have a great day trading and I shall keep you posted if I find anything of interest that I wish to substitute for my Starbucks stock.

Bob 


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:08 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007 9:36 AM CDT

Thursday, 27 September 2007 - 2:18 PM CDT

Name: "Paul"
Home Page: http://www.casillaprinting.com

Hey Bob,

I see your line of reasoning on your sale.

But what I don't understand is this: If SBUX has been identified as a seasonal mover, and it is at the beginning of it's normal upswing period. Why sell now? Why not hold it until January or there abouts and cash in at the top of the cycle?

I guess what I would like to know most, is if you considered the seasonal fluctuation when you weighed in your other deciding factors?

I too am a novice, far more so than yourself. I have less than a dozen trades to my name and I am trying hard to learn with as few mistakes as possible.

 Thanks,

 Paul

 

Thursday, 27 September 2007 - 2:42 PM CDT

Name: "Bob Freedland"
Home Page: http://bobsadviceforstocks.tripod.com/bobsadviceforstoc

Paul,

Thanks so much for writing. You wrote a very good comment about the seasonality of results.  But same store sales growth takes into consideration seasonality.  It is the growth relative to a year ago on same stores.  

But more importantly, I believe to be successful requires less work than you suggest in investing.  It is my basic philosophy to listen to my stocks as I like to say, sort of a "Zen" approach, which really isn't a good metaphor, but I say it anyhow.  In other words stop thinking so much :).  It is more work than required.

I buy stocks that are appreciating and have all of the characteristics I am looking for.  After that I drop them into my "Stock Market Machine" so to speak....reminds me of a Dr. Seuss image somewhere.  I let my own trading discipline direct me to sell or buy shares.  It works for me.

So while you are correct about seasonality of stocks in general.  I am not a Meteorologist.  I am an investor.  And I strive to use a very disciplined approach to selection and managing my investments.

Every time I depend on my own 'thinking', or at least many times, I have made mistakes.  So don't worry about mistakes.  You will make plenty of them.  I know I still do!  Just try to learn from them.

Thanks again for writing, please do so in the future as well, and let me know if you have any other comments or questions.

Bob 

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