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Sunday, 31 October 2004
"Looking Back One Year" A review of stock picks from the week of September 15, 2003.







Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. With the election coming up quickly for all of us, it is nice for me to look at the investment world and focus away from politics for a moment! As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please do your own investigation into all stocks discussed on this website and consult with your professional investment advisors on all investments to make sure they are appropriate, timely, and likely to be profitable for you! Please feel free to email me if you have any comments, questions, or words of encouragement at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com .

On September 15, 2003, I posted Aeropostale (ARO) on my blog at $27.25/share. ARO split 3:2 on April 27, 2004, making my effective 'pick' price of $18.17. ARO closed at $31.55 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $13.38 or 73.6%.

ARO reported 2nd quarter 2004 results on August 19, 2004. Net sales for the quarter increased an impressive 50% to $194.9 million vs. $129.9 million in the prior year same period. Even more impressive was the 20% same store sales gain in the quarter! Net income came in at $10.9 million for the quarter ended July 31, 2004, or $.19/diluted share compared to net income of $2.7 million or $.05/diluted share last year. These were GREAT results imho.

On September 16, 2003, I posted Frisch's Restaurants (FRS) on Stock Picks Bob's Advice at a price of $23.75/share. FRS closed at $23.00/share on 10/29/04 for a loss of $(.75)/share or (3.2)%.

On October 18, 2004, FRS reported 1st quarter 2005 results. Revenues rose 9.1% to $84.5 million from $77.4 million last year. Net earnings, however, declined 11.8% to $2.9 million compared to $3.3 million in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share decreased to $.56/share this year, compared with $.65/share last year. Same store sales of the Big Boy Restaurants increased an anemic 0.6% during the quarter. These results were less than inspiring imho.

I posted Lexar Media (LEXR) on this blog on 9/16/03 at a price of $19.73/share. LEXR closed at $6.76 on 10/29/04 for a loss of $(12.97)/share or (65.7)%.

On October 14, 2004, LEXR reported 3rd quarter 2004 results. Revenue rose nicely to $165.2 million from $98.7 million during the same period the prior year. However, with operating costs growing, the company reported a net loss of $(3.5) million or $(.04)/diluted share compared with a net income of $9.7 million or $.12/share the prior year. These results are also somewhat less than stellar!

TALX (TALX) was posted on Stock Picks on 9/17/03 at a price of $26.25/share. TALX closed at $28.35 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $2.10/share or 8%.

TALX reported 2nd quarter 2004 results on October 27, 2004. Revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, increased 16% to $36.6 million from $31.5 million last year. Earnings came in at $4.05 million in 2004, vs $3.29 million last year. On a per share fully diluted basis this came in at $.30/share vs $.24/share the prior year. These results are adequate to keep our interest!

I posted Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) on this blog on 9/17/03 at a price of $21.19. ENDP closed at $21.80 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $.61 or 2.9%.

On October 14, 2004, ENDP announced 3rd quarter 2004 results. These were ahead of expectations. Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, came in at $160.3 million compared with revenue last year of $149.4 million. Earnings came in at $41.4 million or $.31/share, compared with earnings of $39.9 million or $.30/share the prior year. Although not spectacular, the stock still moved ahead as the results were ahead of "expectations".

I posted Gen-Probe (GPRO) on Stock Picks on 9/17/03 at a price of $62.90. GPRO split 2:1 on 10/1/03, thus reducing our effective pick price to $31.45. GPRO closed at $35.04 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $3.59 or 11.4%.

On August 5, 2004, GPRO reported 2nd quarter 2004 results. Total revenues for the quarter came in at $61.2 million compared to $50.7 million the prior year. Net income came in at $31.5 million or $.62/share compared with net income of $16.8 million or $.35/share the prior year. The company ALSO raised fiscal 2004 guidance. A great earnings report WITH raised guidance is all an investor could ask for! Third quarter earnings should be released on November 4, 2004, so watch those results closely!

On September 18, 2003, I posted Merge Technologies (MRGE) at $18.99. MRGE closed at $17.965 on 10/29/04 for a loss of $(1.025) or (5.4)%.

On October 27, 2004, MRGE announced 3rd quarter 2004 results. Net sales for the quarter came in at $9.3 million, a 22% increase over net sales of $7.6 million the prior year. Net income was $2.2 million of $.16/diluted share compared with $1.6 million or $.12/diluted share the prior year. These appeared to be solid results imho.

IDX Systems (IDXC) was posted on Stock Picks on 9/19/03 at a price of $26.20. IDXC closed at $33.535 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $7.335 or 28.0%.

On October 27, 2004, IDXC reported 3rd quarter 2004 results. Revenues for the quarter increased 34% to $136.1 million compared to $101.4 million for the same quarter in 2003. Net income came in at $9.8 million or $.31/diluted share, compared with $10.3 million, or $.34/diluted share last year. These results were o.k. for the street but not exactly exciting in my humble opinion. As you know, I always prefer to see growing revenue AND earnings. Regardless of the reasons.

O.K. hang in there!....just 2 more to review.

On September 19, 2003, I posted Navigant Consulting (NCI) on Stock Picks at a price of $14.53. NCI closed at $24.87 on 10/29/04 for a gain of $10.34 or 71.2%.

On October 19, 2004, NCI announced 3rd quarter 2004 results. Revenues for the third quarter, 2004, were $126.3 million, a 55% increase compared with 3rd quarter, 2003, results of $81.4 million. Sequentially, this was also an increase from the $123.8 million in the prior quarter. Net income came in at $11.0 million or $.22/share compared with $10.5 million, or $.21/share the prior year. This was a satisfactory if not spectacular result!

Finally, the last stock selected that week was Stratasys (SSYS) which was posted on 10/19/03 on Stock Picks at a price of $50.04. SSYS had a 3:2 stock split making our effective "pick price" at $33.36. SSYS closed at $29.28 on 10/29/04 for a loss of $(4.08) or (12.2)%.

On 10/28/04, SSYS reported 3rd quarter 2004 results. Revenues climbed 37% to $17.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, compared with $12.9 million recorded the prior year. Net income was $2.5 million or $.24/diluted share compared with $2.0 million, or $.20/diluted share the prior year. Stratasys also went ahead and raised guidance for the full 2004 fiscal year. A great earnings report ALONG with increased guidance is almost ALWAYS a good portender of higher stock prices.

In conclusion, during the week of September 15, 2003, I made ten stock picks with review now showing six with gains and four with losses for an average gain of 10.86%. Please remember that for this exercise, I assume a buy and hold practice, and if you read anything on this blog, I am sure that my actual results are quite different because I do not hang onto my losers after an 8% hit.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob





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