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Sunday, 21 March 2004
"Seven months ago" A longer term view examining the week of August 25, 2003

Hello Friends! Welcome to Part II of the "Weekend Retrospective". Short-term our performance here has been absolutely lousy. And so has the market's! Longer term, we still look pretty good. As always, please remember to always do your own investigation of all of the stocks mentioned on this website and use your investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website!

During the week of August 25, 2003, I listed eight stocks on this Blog: Electronic Clearing House (ECHO), Invivo Corporation (SAFE), Engineered Support Systems (EASI), Netflix (NFLX), SupportSoft (SPRT), Quiksilver (ZQK), Michaels Stores (MIK), and Wilson Greatbatch (GB).

ECHO was posted on Bob's Advice on August 25, 2003, at a price of $6.36. ECHO closed on 3/19/04 at $9.36 for a gain of $3.00 or 47.2%.

On February, 12, 2004, ECHO reported 1st quarter 2004 results for the quarter ended December 31, 2003. Revenue for the quarter increased 22.1% to $11.4 million from $9.3 million the prior year. Net income was $589,000 or $.09/diluted share in the quarter compared to $518,000 or $.08/share in the prior year. Overall, this appears to be a solid quarter for ECHO and the company is still on track.

Invivo (SAFE) was posted on Bob's Advice on 8/25/03 at a price of $20.39. SAFE last traded on 1/27/04 when it closed at $21.97. SAFE was acquired by Intermagnetics for $152 million or $22/share in cash. This was a gain of $1.61/share or 7.9% at the time of acquisition.

EASI was selected for Bob's Advice on 8/26/03 at $54.77. EASI split 3:2 on 11/3/03 for a net effective selection cost of $36.52. EASI closed 3/19/04 at $49.16 for a gain of $12.64 or 34.6%.

On February 26, 2004, EASI reported 1st quarter 2004 results. Revenues surged 60% to $195.1 million "helped by three acquisitions completed over the past nine months." Net income was $15.7 million or $.57/share compared with $8.6 million or $.34/share the prior year. This company is doing great!

On August 27, 2003, I posted NFLX on Bob's Advice at a price of $32.66. NFLX split 2:1 on 2/12/04 for a net selection price of $16.33. NFLX closed on 3/19/04 at $30.73 for a gain of $14.40 or 88.2%.

On January 21, 2004, NFLX reported 4th quarter 2003 results. Revenue jumped 80% year over year to $81.2 million. "GAAP" net income was $2.3 million or $.07/diluted share vs a net loss of $(3.3) million or $(.10)/share the prior year. The company appears to be on track.

On February 26, 2004, NFLX announced revenue/earnings estimates revisions for 2004 and beyond. They announced that revenues should hit $480-$505 million in 2004, up from its previous estimate of
$450-$475 million made the prior month. Revenue came in at $272.2 million in 2003. However, NFLX cut estimated net income down to an estimated $4 million to $10 million in 2004 from $14.6 million to $21.6 million estimated a month earlier. Net income was $6.5 million in 2003. This was a "mixed-bag" for reports and the stock has traded a bit sideways but still above support levels since that time.

On August 28, 2003, I posted SupportSoft (SPRT) on Bob's Advice at a price of $8.94. SPRT closed on 3/19/04 at $11.00 for a gain of $2.06 or 23%.

Looking for the latest quarterly report, I found that SPRT reported 4th quarter 2003 results on January 20, 2004. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $15.1 million, a 28% increase from $11.8 million for the same period the prior year. In addition this was a 12% increase from the $13.5 million the previous quarter. Net income was $3.4 million or $.08/diluted share compared to $.9 million or $.03/diluted share the prior year and ALSO a sequential increase from the $2.6 million or $.07/share the prior quarter. This company is doing GREAT!

Hang in there sports fans...just three more to review!

On August 28, 2003, I posted Quiksilver (ZQK) on Bob's Advice at a price of $18.42. Quiksilver closed at $20.84 on 3/19/04 for a gain of $2.42 or 13.1%.

Looking through the news, we can see that ZQK reported 1st quarter 2004 results on March 10, 2004. Consolidated revenues increased 33% to $256.1 million compared to first quarter 2003 results. Consolidated net income for the quarter jumped 40% to $9.2 million compared to $6.6 million in the first quarter of 2003. Fully diluted earnings per share were $.16 vs $.12/fully diluted share in 2003. Also bullish for the stock, in the same report Quiksilver increased its guidance to new ranges of $1.10 billion to $1.12 billion for revenue in 2004, and $1.22 to $1.25 for earnings per share. Things look 'just fine' for this company!

O.K....two more to go!

Michaels Stores (MIK) was posted on the blog on 8/28/03 at $43.01. MIK closed at $47.71 on 3/19/04 for a gain of $4.70 or 10.9%.

On March 3, 2004, MIK reported fourth quarter 2003 results. Total sales for the quarter ended January 31, 2004, increased 9% to $1.063 billion. Same store sales for the fourth quarter increased 4%. Net income for the quarter increased 25% to $94.6 million from
$75.4 million last year. Diluted earnings per share jumped 26% to $1.35/share in 2003 vs $1.07/share in 2002. These are great results!

On March 16, 2004, MIK announced that their quarterly cash dividend was increasing from $.10/share to $.12/share effective on the dividend payable on April 30, 2004. This is also bullish for the stock.

In addition, the latest "same-store sales" report for February was excellent with total sales up 18% and same-store sales up a very strong 12%. Everything seems to be "in line" for MIK.

Hang in there...just one more to review!

And last, but not least, I posted Wilson Greatbatch (GB) on 8/29/03 at $39.24/share. GB closed at $36.13/share on 3/19/04, for a loss of $(3.11) or (7.9)% during this period.

On February 10, 2004, GB announced 4th quarter 2003 results. Net sales for the quarter were $49.4 million, a 4.3% increase over sales in the same quarter in 2002. Diluted net income was $4.5 million, or $.21/diluted share vs $5.0 million or $.23/diluted share the prior year. Overall, this is a bit anemic of an earnings report. Recently, GB announced an acquisition of NanoGram Devices Corporation...which should be a nice fit in their medical device business...but overall, I would find it difficult to be too enthusiastic over the results reported by GB and would not be adding to any positions based on these results. This does not mean that the stock price will not rise from this point...just that the earnings results are not as exciting as some of our other stocks we have watched.

So during this week seven months ago, we selected eight stocks of which one was acquired. However, even taking this into consideration, I had an average gain on the selections of 27.1% over the approximately seven month period. This is a great performance during this time period and much better than our more recent seven week showing which was at a loss...during a more difficult market period.

Thanks so much for bearing with me and reading the post! As you know, past performance is NO guarantee of future results...but it is nice to know that sometimes we DO get it right!

Regards to all!

Bob


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