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Saturday, 7 February 2004
"Seven Months Ago" A longer term view examining the week of July 14, 2003
Hello Friends! It is Saturday and it is time to do some restrospective looks at the stock picks on this site. I do this to help me try to get a handle on this process and to help you know how this method is working. I sure hope this is helpful. As always, please do your own due diligence on all of this stock stuff and be sure to consult with your financial advisors before acting on any information here!

The week of July 14, 2003, was a busy one for me. Whenever we get into 'earnings season', that is the period shortly after the end of fiscal quarters, there is usually a flood of earnings reports and earnings is what usually causes stocks to move sharply in the short term.

There actually were ten selections made during this busy week. On July 14, 2003, Capital One Financial (COF), Fidelity National Financial (FNF), and Echelon Systems (ELON) were selected. The following day found me posting EPIQ Systems (EPIQ)and Harley-Davidson (HDI). Pharmaceutical Resources (PRX) was listed on 7/16/03, ITT Educational Services (ESI) and Closure Medical (CLSR) were posted on 7/17/03, and on 7/18/03, Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO), and Hansen Natural Corp. (HANS) were listed. I was very busy that week!

Capital One Financial (COF) was posted on the BLOG on 7/14/03 at a price of $55.00. COF closed yesterday, 2/6/04 at $71.64 for a gain of $16.64 or 30.3%. Looking at the news on this banking stock, you can read about their fourth quarter earnings which were reported on January 21, 2004. Net income was $1.11 in the quarter vs $1.05 the prior year and revenue was up 2.4% to $2.1 billion from $2.05 billion the prior year. What was bullish about the report was the "...lower charge-off rate, prompting the credit-card issuer to raise its 2004 earnings guidance." Whenever a company RAISES guidance, this sends ripples throughout the 'street' as investment houses and investors digest the information and adjust appropriate value and price targets on a stock. This is certainly good news for COF. I still do not own any shares though :(.

The next stock, Fidelity National Financial (FNF) was posted on Bobs Advice on July 14, 2003, at the price of $33.66. FNF closed Friday, 2/6/04, at a price of $40.99, for a gain of $7.33 or 17.9%. Unfortunately, I do not own any shares of this one either :(. On 1/28/04, FNF declared a 10% stock dividend, which is a 11 for 10 stock split. On January 28, 2004, FNF announced their fourth quarter earnings. Net earnings overall was up at $196.2 million or $1.28/share compared to $174.9 million or $1.41/share the year earlier. Revenue overall grew to $2.04 billion from $1.59 billion the prior year. The earnings/share dropped because of an increase in the number of shares per the company and met wall street estimates. However, even though the street has shrugged this off, I would still be careful on this stock...you could say I move it to a hold from buy....because if the company is adding shares and the earnings are not increasing, then the acquisitions are NOT accretive to earnings...and this is not bullish imho.

The third stock posted on 7/14/03 was Echelon which was posted on 7/14/03 (ELON) at $17.05. This has been a dismal performer for me (even though I do NOT own any shares), closing at $11.28 on 2/6/04. This represents a loss of $(5.77) or (33.8)%. On January 21, 2004, ELON reported their fourth quarter earnings report, which, buried in this news story is a report that revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, were $23.5 million vs $30.6 million the prior year. The GAAP net LOSS for the quarter was $(520,000) or $(.01)/share vs net income of $3.6 million or $.09/share the prior year. I sure would AVOID this stock! This no longer fits into our criteria on this website.

On July 15, 2003, I posted EPIQ Systems (EPIQ) on this blog. EPIQ was posted at a price of $19.62. EPIQ closed on 2/6/04 at $19.71 for a gain of $.09 or .5%. This is a small company, and the best quarterly report I can find is on the company website, and this was for the three months ended September 30, 2003. Revenues were up strongly at $18.9 million vs $9.7 million in the same quarter the prior year. In addition, net income per diluted share increased 62% to $.21 for the quarter. The company appears to be doing just fine!

Also on July 15, 2003, I posted Harley-Davidson (HDI) on this blog at a price of $43.68. HDI closed 2/6/04 at a price of $52.34 for a gain of $8.66 or 19.8%. On January 21, 2004, HDI reported results for the fourth quarter 2003 reporting fourth quarter revenue of $1.16 billion an increase from the $1.03 billion a year ago. Net income was up strongly to $182.4 million or $.60/share vs $150.9 million or $.49/share last year. However, they DID point out that retail sales appeared to be lower this quarter compared to last year when special 'anniversary' motorcycles were being sold. IMHO, I am not as excited about this stock as when I posted. Overall sales have slowed, and if retail sales are a bit down, then that suggests inventory at the retail level may be growing...did I do that right? Anyhow, keep an eye on this one...let's see what the next quarter shows!

On July 16, 2003, I posted Pharmaceutical Resources on this blog at a price of $52.83. PRX closed 2/6/04 at a price of $57.95. The stock peaked at around $70 in late 2003, and has been trending lower since that time. However, we are still posting a gain of $5.12 since our 'pick' or 9.7%. The latest quarterly report that I can locate is their third quarter earnings report which was posted on their website on 10/23/03. For the quarter ended September 28, 2003, revenues increased 116% to $216.6 million, and net income was up 97% to $38.7 million. Diluted earnings per share were up 88% to $1.11. Let's wait for the next quarter, but this company appears to be doing just fine. I do not own any shares of this company.

ITT Educational Services (ESI) was posted on Bobs Advice at a price of $36.13 on 7/17/03. ESI closed on 2/6/04 at a price of $56.32 for a fabulous gain of $20.19 or 55.9%. (Darn I don't own any shares of this either!). ESI just reported their fourth quarter 2003 earnings on January 22, 2004. Revenues were up 18% to $144.6 million from $122.9 million. Net increased to $24.5 million or $.52/share vs $18.6 million or $.40/share the prior year. ESI is doing great!

Closure Medical (CLSR), a stock that I DID purchase and still own in my trading account, was posted on Bobs Advice on 7/17/03 at a price of $23.40. CLSR had a nice day yesterday trading up just over $3 (!), and closed at $37.19 on 2/6/04. This represents a gain of $13.79 or 58.9%. On October 16, 2003, CLSR announced their third quartrer 2003 earnings. Total revenues for the quarter were up 50% to $8.9 million from $5.9 million in 2002. Net income for the quarter was $2.0 million or $.13/share vs prior-year $434,000 or $.03/share. They have also subsequently provided bullish 2004 performance guidance...so this company and stock appears to be doing just fine!

(Hang in there just two more to review!)

Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO) was posted on Bobs Advice on 7/18/03 at a price of $60.15. BIO has not been quite as exciting a performer closing on 2/6/04 at $53.62 for a loss of $(6.53) or (10.9)%. BIO has been in the news for products related to diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease....and this may have some future importance. However, a loss is a loss! Their fourth quarter should be released on 2/14/04, but their third quarter 2003 results showed sales for the quarter were up 10.2% (4.1% adjusted for currency rates), earnings per share were $.37 in the quarter vs. $.64/share the prior year. This is certainly not what I would call exciting results, and I would be avoiding new purchases for my own account. As you know, we all prefer increasing not decreasing earnings around here!

Finally, our last and tenth pick for the week was Hansen Natural Corp (HANS) which was posted on Bobs Advice at a price of $5.38. This little natural foods company has been a real SLEEPER!...they closed on 2/6/04 at $9.979 for a gain of $4.599 or 85.5%! (I do NOT unfortunately own any shares of this rocket stock either :() On November 13, 2003, HANS reported their third quarter 2003 results which were very nice. Gross sales increased 23.7% to $42.6 million from $34.5 million the prior year. Net income for the third quarter increased 64.8% to $2.1 million or $.19/diluted share vs $1.3 million or $.12/diluted share the prior year. This stock is firing on all cylinders!

Looking at the ten stocks, I had eight gainers and two losing issues for an average performance of a gain of 23.38%. Now that is STUPENDOUS imho for 10 stocks over just 7 months. We don't always do that well by any means, but what the heck, that was a great week we had!

Thanks again for stopping by! Remember, past performance is NO GUARANTEE of future performance. Always remember to do your own due diligence in examining investments, check with your financial advisors, and have the best of luck with all of your decisions in life!

If you have any comments, questions, or best of all words of encouragement, please feel free to post them here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Yours always,

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:35 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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