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.
As is my policy on this blog, I try to keep you posted as soon as possible regarding trades in my own 'trading account'. I also try to reasonably follow my own investment strategy that may lead me to part ways with stocks that I otherwise admire and otherwise would be thinking of holding.
Occasionally I 'toss out all of the rules' and do what I call a 'trade' which might mean holding a stock for hours, days or weeks, but otherwise is a purchase outside my own relatively rigid strategy for buying and selling of stocks.
My Microsoft purchase on 1/22/09 was one of these trades.
On that day, the stock was under severe pressure when the earnings announcement failed to meet expectations and an already 'beaten up' stock was beaten up further to levels not seen in over a decade. It was with that thought in mind, that perhaps things had really been 'overdone' that I chose to purchase what for me would be a very oversized purchase of 1,000 shares at a cost of $17.69.
Today, with Microsoft trading about a point higher, I chose to unload those 1,000 shares and sold them at a price of $18.68. This worked out to a gain of $.99/share or a 5.6% gain in the two weeks since my purchase. Overall, with a 1,000 share position, with a total cost of $17,697.99 and a net of $18,671.89, this yielded a gain of $973.90 on this trade.
With about half of my equity tied up with the Microsoft position, and with my own purchase outside of my usual trading rules, I was rather anxious to take my profit and run. However, this does not mean that I do not like Microsoft, but rather that my aim with that purchase was to exploit the short-term over-reaction on the stock price and pick up a short-term gain. Fortunately I was correct on this educated guess.
My other sale today was one of my regular positions: my 72 shares of WMS Industries which were all sold a few moments ago at a price of $19.69. These shares were just purchased 10/28/08, so I had a loss of only $(.43)/share or (2.1)% since purchase.
I have actually sold shares twice at the 30% gain (quite frankly an oversight (!) because the second 1/7th position was sold forgetting the first sale at the 30% gain!). I sold 13 shares 11/4/08 at $26.05, and 11 shares on 12/3/08 at a price of $25.48.
However, in any case, after a single sale at a gain, it has been my policy to sell all shares should a stock holding decline to under break-even. Normally after a purchase of shares I wait for an (8)% decline before pulling the plug. WMS has been sold previously at a gain, and now has declined into a losing position. No matter what my own personal affection for the stock, my 'trading system' was directing me to dispose of shares.
Ironically, the behavior of WMS in the market mimics the activity of MSFT prior to my own purchase. I am torn between wanting to override my own trading policy and actually buying shares at this point or following my rules and selling shares. With the market acting as anemic as it is, I chose the conservative action and entered the sell orders!
Looking hard for news, the best I could come up with today was the announcement of a 'downgrade' of shares by analysts over at JP Morgan who changed their recommendation from "overweight" to "underweight" and the rest is history.
In fact just a few days ago on January 29, 2009, WMS announced 2nd quarter 2009 results with total revenues increasing 12% year-over-year and earnings coming in at $.41/share, a nickel ahead of estimates of $.36/share per Reuters. Revenue at $178.4 million also beat expectations of $175.7 million expected. However, the company did guide slightly lower for the upcoming quarter with revenue of $178 to $185 million now expected, below the street's expectations of $188.1 million.
In any case, I felt that today was a day of sticking to rules, getting out of profitable trades, and otherwise taking stock of the market while maintaining a cautious optimism over future prospects!
Thank you again for visiting! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them right here on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in investing,