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Saturday, 10 April 2004
"Seven Months Ago" A longer term view examining the week of September 15, 2003

Hello Friends ! Thanks so much for stopping by. As always, I need to remind you to always do your own investigation of all stocks discussed here as I am an amateur investor and not a certified investment advisor. Please consult with YOUR investment advisors in regards to stocks discussed to make sure they are suitable and timely for YOU. Remember that as you may have heard elsewhere, past performance is NO guarantee of future results in stocks or any investment.

So this is Part #2 of my weekend work. This is the longer-term view of Stock Picks Bobs Advice. Since it has been seven months or so since I listed the following stocks, I will try to see if the stocks are still on track per our criteria to maintain their place on this blog. For that I like to check the recent quarter results and the generally available news on the Net.

I had a VERY BUSY week for this period of time actually picking eleven stocks!

The first stock that week, Aeropostale (ARO) was picked for the blog on 9/15/03 at $27.25/share. ARO closed at $34.00 on 4/8/04 for a gain of $6.75 or 24.8%.

Looking at Yahoo headlines for ARO, I found that ARO reported March results on 4/7/04, and they announced that sales for the five week period ended April 3, 2004, increased 44.6% to $67.4 million. More importantly comparable store sales were up 14.2% from last year. Equally bulllish, they raised their 1st quarter guidance to $.11/share from the $.09/share they had previously guided. This was nice news.

Looking for recent earnings, ARO reported 4th quarter 2003 results on 3/11/04. Earnings per share jumped 54% to $.71 vs $.46 the prior year. Sales for the quarter jumped 32.1% to $272.6 million from $206.4 million the prior year. Needless to say, this was a GREAT report! They also announced an upcoming 3:2 split to be effective in the next couple of weeks from THIS post.

On September 16, 2003, I posted Lexar Media (LEXR) on this blog at $19.73. LEXR closed at $18.07 for a loss of $(1.66) or (8.4)%.

On January 29, 2004, LEXR announced 4th quarter 2003 results which were outstanding with a revenue for the quarter of $177.5 million, a 171% increase from the $65.5 million last year. Net income was $18.9 million or $.21/diluted share compared to $5.6 million or $.08/share the prior year. Again a more than 200% increase year over year. However, the stock has been week since the company announced 1st quarter results under the "street's" expectations. This slowed the stock price appreciation, which was nothing short of meteoric previously, but the stock still deserves our attention!

We dabbled in the restaurant business, when on September 16, 2003, I posted Frisch's Restaurants (FRS) on the blog at $23.75. FRS has actually done quite well and closed at $28.50 on 4/8/04 for a gain of $4.75 or 20.0%.

On April 6, 2004, FRS reported 3rd quarter 2003 results. For the period ended March 7, 2004, revenues rose 14.8% to $59.6 million from $51.9 million the prior year same quarter. Earnings form the quarter rose 39.6% to $2.2 million compared to $1.6 million the prior year or $.43/share from $.32/share last year. Sales for the Big Boy restaurants in the chain increased 7.3% for comparable units. This company is doing just fine!

Yikes, three down and EIGHT to go! Hang in there!

On September 17, 2003, I posted Gen-Probe (GPRO) on this blog at $62.90. GPRO split 2:1 on 10/3/03, so our net stock pick price is actually $31.45. GPRO closed on 4/8/04 at $36.89 for a gain of $5.44 or 17.3%.

On February 12, 2004, GPRO reported 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues for the fourth quarter of 2003 came in at $58.1 million, compared to $44.2 million the prior year. Net income for the quarter was $9.7 million, $.19/diluted share vs. $5.0 million or $.10/diluted share in 2002. This is a 90% increase in earnings. This company is doing just fine!

On September 17, 2003, I posted Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) on the blog at $20.99. ENDP closed at $25.38 on 4/8/04 for a gain of $4.39 or 20.9%.

ENDP was recently granted approval from the FDA or generic oxycodone and this has been a boost for the stock. On February 5, 2004, ENDP announced 4th quarter 2003 results: net sales for the fourth quarter of 2003 increased 25% to $142.0 million compared to $113.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2002. However, they reported a LOSS of $(31.7) million or $(.24)/share compared to a profit of $21.7 million or $.21/share the prior year. I am pleased with the recent approval of a new generic medication but am concerned about this recent quarterly report.

On September 17, 2003, I posted TALX (TALX) on this Blog at $26.25/share. TALX closed at $24.05 on 4/8/04 for a loss of $(2.19) or (8.3)%.

On January 28, 2004, TALX reported 3rd quarter 2003 results: for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, revenues rose 1% to $29.4 million from $29.2 million the prior year. Earnings were $2.5 million or $.18/diluted share DOWN from $2.7 million or $.19/diluted share the prior year. The only word I can use for this report is ANEMIC and nothing to write home about. This is not a stock I would be posting on the blog today!

September 18, 2003, found me posting Merge Tech (MRGE) on this blog at $18.99. MRGE closed at $17.531 on 4/8/04 for a loss of $(1.459) or (7.7)%.

On February 19, 2003, MRGE announced 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues for the quarter was $8.5 million, a 26% over $6.7 million the prior year. Net income was $1.9 million, a 48% increase over net income of $1.3 million the prior year. On a diluted per share basis this came in at $.14 for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, vs $.11/share the prior year. These results are just fine!

Hang in there! Just four more to review (PHEW!).

On September 19, 2003, I posted Stratasys (SSYS) on the blog at $50.04. SSYS split 3:2 on 12/22/03, so our ACTUAL pick price works out to be $33.36. SSYS closed at $22.95 for a loss of $(10.41) or (31.2)%.

On February 18, 2004, SSYS announced 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues grew 35% to $15.2 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2003, from $11.3 million for the same period in 2002. Net income came in at $1.5 million or $.14/diluted share DOWN from $1.6 million or $.19/diluted share the prior year. The earnings growth looks nice, but some concern must be placed at the drop in the net income...and the stock price has dropped along with this!

O.K. just three more!

On September 19, 2003, I posted Navigant Consulting (NCI) on this blog at $14.53. NCI closed at $20.71 on 4/8/04 for a gain of $6.18 or 42.5%.

On February 12, 2004, NCI announced 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues for the quarter were up 16% to $81.2 million and earnings per share were $.11/share vs $.04/share in 2002. For the year, earnings were $.40/share vs $.21/share in 2002. Overall, these were nice results!

Finally, on September 19, 2003, I posted Dendrite (DRTE) at $16.99/share. DRTE closed at $17.00 for a gain of $.01 or .1%.

On January 29, 2004, DRTE reported 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues for the quarter increased 74% to $99.0 million from the prior year. Fully diluted net income per share came in at $.14/share vs $.12/share the prior year. The company appears to be on track, but it is of some concern that revenues grew at such a large rate but the earnings barely budged.

FINALLY, on September 19, 2003, I posted IDX Systems (IDXC) on Stock Picks Bobs Advice at $26.20/share. IDXC closed at $35.84 on 4/8/04. This was a gain of $9.64 or 36.8%.

On February 12, 2004, IDXC reported 4th quarter 2003 results: revenues for the fourth quarter 2003 were $108 million up from $93 million in the prior year. Net income came in at $12.2 million or $.39/diluted share vs a net LOSS of $(1.1) million or $(0.04)/diluted share the prior year. These are very nice results.

On March 15, 2004, IDXC DID adjust 2003 results including the fourth quarter due to an audit. They reduced fourth quarter revenue by $1 million to $107 million and cut net income by $370,000 or $.01/share to $.38/share. This does not appear to be a material adjustment, although it does raise some concern, but the resultant numbers are still fine and the stock price shows the confidence the street shows in this company!

So how did we do? Of these ELEVEN (!) selections, seven had gains: 24.8% for ARO, 20.0% for FRS, 17.3% for GPRO, 20.9% for ENDP, 42.5% for NCI, 36.8% for IDXC, and .1% for DRTE. Four stocks showed losses: (8.4)% for LEXR, (8.3)% for TALX, (7.7)% for MRGE and (31.2)% for SSYS. The average performance for these 11 stocks was a GAIN of 9.7%.

Now that was a long-winded review! Thanks so much for bearing with me....if you have any comments, questions, or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

Bob


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