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Sunday, 8 February 2004
February 8, 2004 Mine Safety Appliances (MSA)
Hello Friends. It is late Sunday and I REALLY should be getting to sleep. I have to be up early and get out and walk...trying hard to pick up that activity you know. But it occurred to me that I should check the Friday action one last time to see if I could get any additional stocks to list here...the market was up so STRONG Friday, that I was corrrect, there was at least one more stock I could review here: Mine Safety Appliances (MSA).

MSA which trades of the AMEX, had a nice day on Friday, 2/6/04. It closed at $27.13/share up $1.43 or 5.56%. I do now own any shares of this company.

According to the money.cnn.com "Snapshot" on MSA, Mine Safety Appliances "...manufactures and sells products designed to protect the safety and health of workers. The Company also provides instruments that monitor and analyze environments." It sounds like this might be an additional 'national security' play as an investment. Maybe a little like CRDN and AH, which we have reviewed here.

Looking for the latest quarterly report, I found the MSA third quarter report right on the MSA website. Net sales for the quarter increased 20% to $172.0 million from $143.4 millin in 2002. Net income for the quarter was $24.5 million or $2.00/share vs. $5.8 million, or $.47 for the same quarter last year. I think the national security angle is correct, for the report goes on to outline where all the growth was, and that it occurred primarily in the United States, "...reflecting continued strength in shipments of gas masks to military and homeland security markets and breathing apparatus to the fire service market."

Checking the Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" financials, we can see that MSA has grown fairly steadily from $467.3 million in revenue in 1998 to $631.5 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share have steadily grown since 1999 (when they were down slightly from $.28 in 1998 to the $.22 level in 1999), and have increased to $1.16/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been solidly positive since 2000, when it was $32 million, and still positive at $17 million in the trailing twelve months per Morningstar.com.

While we have reviewed companies with prettier balance sheets, the assets and liabilities are fairly well balanced. MSA, per Morningstar, has $21.2 million in cash and $286.8 million in other current assets, plenty to cover the $99.4 million in current liabilities, and 'make a dent' on the $200.6 million in long-term liabilities.

Looking at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo.com, we can see that this is a $1.10 Billion market cap company with a trailing p/e not too bad at 22.91, and a forward p/e, based on 2004 estimates, of 19.77.

The PEG ratio isn't cheap in 2.04, and price/sales reasonable at 1.58. There are 40.68 million shares outstanding and of those, 29.29 million float. Currently there are 102,000 shares out short representing 1.0 trading days as of 1/8/04, and only 0.35% of the float.

The company DOES pay a dividend of $.28/share yielding 1.09%. The company JUST had a 3:1 stock split as of 1/29/04.

This is an interesting investment. I certainly don't have room in my trading account, what with all of my margin and the fact I have my 25 shares...but appears reasonably priced and in an interesting niche, as I remarked earlier, like Ceradyne or Armor Holding.

If you look at the point and figure chart on stockcharts.com, you can see the extremely bullish price action. The stock is trading way above its support level, and may, in my humble opinion, be in for some short-term price correction, but certainly the stock price is aggressively moving up!

As always, please remember to do your own due diligence in researching this and all other stocks mentioned on this BLOG. And use your investment advisors to answer any questions you might have about the suitabity of investments prior to taking your own action!

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any comments, questions, or words of encouragement, please feel free to leave them right here on the website or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Yours always,

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:32 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
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
Friday, 6 February 2004
"How are we doing?" Looking back on the week of December 1, 2003
Hello Friends! We are now looking at stocks about nine weeks out...at this point from the week of December 1, 2003. As regular readers of this BLOG may know, I like to use the weekend to post updates on past performances of selection. This is my way of determining whether anything I do here really makes sense. I have to look and share with you the results of the selections. I hope you find this informative!

During the week of December 1, 2003, I selected five stocks for this website: Thomas Nelson (TNM) was selected on 12/2/03 at $19.91, Kensey Nash (KNSY) was posted on 12/3/03 at $22.20, Pogo Producing (PPP) was selected on 12/4/03 at $46.66, ResMed (RMD) was picked on 12/5/03 at $41.76, and finally, Medical Action Industries (MDCI) was selected on 12/5/03 at $17.25.

Thomas Nelson was posted on "Stock Picks Bobs Advice" on 12/2/03 at a price of $19.91. TNM closed at $25.56 on 2/6/04 for a gain of $5.65 or 28.4%. I have never had shares of this stock.

Kensey Nash was selected for "Bobs Advice" at a price of $22.20. KNSY closed on 2/6/04 at $26.56 for a gain of $4.36 or 19.6%. I have shares of this stock in my trading portfolio.

Pogo Producing was posted on Bobs Advice on 12/4/03 at a price of $46.66. This stock was purchased in my trading account and sold shortly thereafter with a small loss. PPP closed 2/6/04 at $40.64 for a loss of $(6.02) or (12.9)%.

The fourth stock listed is an interesting company that I have never had the opportunity of owning shares: ResMed. RMD was picked for Bobs Advice on 12/5/03 at $41.76. RMD closed on 2/6/04 at $47.80 for a gain of $6.04 or 14.5%.

The final stock selection of the week is another stock that I have never owned shares: Medical Action Industries (MDCI) which was posted on this website on 12/5/03 at a price of $17.25. MDCI closed today, 2/6/04 at $16.93 for a loss of $(.32) or (1.9)%.

Thus, these five stocks, during a period of only nine weeks, had an average performance of a gain of 9.54%. This was a nice group of stocks that performed well for us.

Please let me know by email if you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement. Please feel free to leave your comments right here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:01 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 6, 2004 Starcraft Corporation (STCR)
Hello Friends! It is Friday and I really got to get going...but wanted to post this one which I saw earlier today. Thank goodness for a decent market...almost got shaken out of AAII...with that 5+ point drop yesterday...but that rebounded today over a point...so will hang in there. The Dow closed today at 10,593.03, up 97.48, and the NASDAQ closed at 2,064.01, up 44.45. Now that's a nice market! As always, please do your own due diligence with all of the stock market ideas on this BLOG and consult frequently with your investment advisor!

Starcraft Corporation (STCR) made the lists today and is a stock that appears attractive to me. They closed at $17.50 up $1.30 or 8.02% on the day. According to money.cnn.com "snapshot", Starcraft (STCR) is "...a second-stage manufacturer of custom van, sport utility vehicle and pickup truck conversions, shuttle buses, and direct OEM automotive supply."

Reviewing their fourth quarter 2003 earnings report from Yahoo, we see that revenues for the quarter were $43 million, an increase of 38% from the $31 million the same quarter the prior year. Net earnings for the quarter were $2.9 million or $.54/diluted share compared to a net LOSS of $(946,000) or $(.20)/diluted share the prior year. This was a nice improvement. However, the prior year included a charge of $2.1 million related to redemption of certain warrants and options. Without this, the company the prior year would have earned about $.25/share (due to the $.45/share effect)...still a nice improvement reported in 2003 vs. 2002.

If we review the Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" Financials, we can see that revenue has grown, although not perfectly steady, from $36.4 million in 1999, to $192.1 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share have been erratic, from $.11/share in 1999, dropping to a loss of $(.71)/share in 2001, to a profit of $2.25/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been improving recently from $(8) million in 2001, $(4) million in 2002, and $5 million in 2003.

Looking at their balance sheet on Morningstar.com, we can see that they do not have much cash at $800,000, but they are reporting $48.2 million in other current assets, plenty to cover the $27.1 million in current liabilities AND the smallish $19.0 million in long-term liabilities combined.

Looking at the "key statistics" on Yahoo for STCR, we can see that the market cap is a MICRO $85.42 million. The trailing p/e is 7.72...one of the cheapest on this website. By the way, I do NOT own any shares of this stock either directly or indirectly. No PEG is present...perhaps due to the lack of analysts providing estimates (?). Price/sales is a cheap 0.41.

There are only 4.88 million shares outstanding with 2.90 million of them that float. Of these, as of 1/8/04, there were 77,000 shares out short, even with the small trading volume, this represents only 2.66% of the float or 0.524 trading days. No dividend is paid, and no stock split is reported on Yahoo.com.

If we look at the technical side of this investment, using the stockchars.com point and figure chart, it looks like STCR just broke a support level at $25 and recently trading up from $16.0. Previously, the company had been on a tear, moving up from $3.25 to the $40 level. Am not sure what to make of the chart, except that it does not currently look overpriced nor does the stock movement appear bullish in the short run.

I actually kind of like this stock a lot. I know about ALL of my margin and that I have 25 positions in my trading account, so I shall be sitting on my hands on this one!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope that my commentary and ideas are helpful for you and educational. Please feel free to leave your comments, questions, or words of encouragement right here on the website or feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:19 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 5 February 2004
February 5, 2004 Claire's Stores (CLE)
Hello Friends! I promised you that I would write a note on Claire's today....so I have a couple of minutes before I run off and down a low-carb, hopefully, lunch....so here goes! As always, please do your own due diligence on every investment idea and discuss this with your investment advisor before acting on anything on this website!

Claire's is having a nice day today, CLE is trading at $20.30, up $1.60 or 8.56% as I write. According to money.cnn.com "snapshot", Claire's "...is a mall-based retailer that specializes in one-stop shopping for teens' accessories." What helped drive this stock higher today was a same-store sales report for the month of January, 2004, showing that store open at least a year jumped 10% in January. In addition, they were positive about fourth-quarter earnings report raising estimates to $.56-$.57/share from prior guidance of $.55-$.56/share. This was bullish for the stock price!

Their latest earnings report was released on November 26, 2003, and covered the third quarter results for the three month period ended November 1, 2003. During this period, net sales increased 15% to $264.2 million compared to $230.0 million the prior year...and during the quarter they reported strong same store sales growth of 8%. Net income for the third quarter was outstanding increasing 104% to a record $25.3 million or $.51/share compared to $12.4 million or $.25/share the prior year.

Looking at the "5-Yr Restated" Financials on Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue has grown fairly steadily from $.6 billion in 1999 to $1.1 billion in the trailing twelve months.

During this same period, earnings/share have increased, not as steadily, from $.67/share to $1.07/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been very nice improving from $60 million in 2001 to $121 million in 2003 with $126 million in the trailing twelve months.

This has contributed to their very nice balance sheet which, per Morningstar, shows $213.4 million in cash, enough to cover their current liabilities of $158.7 and most of the long-term liabilities of $87.1 million. In addition, they report $165.5 million of other current assets.

Looking at valuation issues, if we check "key statistics" on Yahoo.com, we can see that the market cap is a large $1.99 billion. The trailing p/e is nice at only 18.84 with a forward p/e for fye February, 2005, is even nicer at 13.96. The PEG is downright cheap at 1.01, and price/sales isn't bad at 1.68.

There are 98.17 million shares outstanding with 87.40 million of them that float. There are only 696,000 shares out short representing 0.80% of the float or 0.827 trading days. The company even pays a small dividend of $.24/share yielding 1.28%. The last stock split was recently, on 12/22/03!

If I may be so bold as to look at a technical picture for CLE we can use the free point and figure charts on stockcharts.com for CLE and see that this stock broke through a resistance line in early 2002 at about $11.5 and has not looked back since.

Overall I like this stock a lot. In fact I like it enough that I bought it this morning!

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to post them right here on the website or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:16 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"Trading Transparency" CLE
You know how I feel about 24 positions when I could have 25? Like a kid with a quarter in his pocket...and has to buy that box of Cracker Jacks!

Oh well, no self-control. Anyhow, scanning the lists I came across Claires. This is the same "teeny-bopper" store that sells all of those crazy nick-nacks that your teenager just HAS to buy. They have been having nice same store sales figures and earnings and they hit the list today....so what is a person gonna do?

I picked up 300 shares of CLE at $20.14 this morning after bailing out of my Digene. That seems like a nice swap...cervical cell testing equipment for earrings? Oh well...

As always, please do your own due diligence before making any decisions based on information on this website (or any website!), and consult with your own financial advisor. I will post a bit on CLE a little later today...

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:27 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"Trading Transparency" DIGE
Hello Friends! Looks like I am back to 24 positions. Digene (DIGE), a stock I LOVE, but is not performing like I would LOVE IT to do, hit an 8% loss in the portfolio. In light of the significant margin, and my insistence on the rules...at least on the downside, I sold it this morning. I sold 120 shares, my entire position, at $35.05. Digene was recently purchased on 12/17/03 at $38.07. Initially this stock was a screamer, and I peeled off 30 shares recently on 1/27/04 with a GAIN of $278.03.

Also today, AAII reported good quarterly result but had apparently some reservations about the upcoming quarter. The stock has dropped about $5 on the day, but I still have about a 60% gain...and have sold this issue several times peeling off profits. I sold ELAB and FIC a bit early I suspect, so will try to see how this trades as the day progresses and try NOT to sell on what appears to be possibly not major news (?). This is ALL a learning process for me as well...should we sell at the first break in price?

If you have any comments or this or anything else on the BLOG, please feel free to post it right here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:14 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 4 February 2004
February 4, 2004 Avon Products, Inc. (AVP)
Hello Friends! I am pretty amazed that in the midst of this awful day in the market, especially on the NASDAQ, I am finding selections for this BLOG. I am not sure how MANY picks I have made on stocks...but must be over a couple of hundred. Anyhow, Avon was calling today on the NYSE! Avon Products (AVP) was one of the top performers on the NYSE and had a couple of analyst upgrades today along with a nice earnings report. They closed at $68.29, up $2.98 on the day or 4.56%.

According to the "snapshot" on Money.cnn.com, Avon is "...a global manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products including cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries, gifts and decorative apparel and fashion jewelry and accessories."

Yesterday, after the close, Avon announced the fourth quarter 2003 earnings results and the 'street' liked what it saw! For the quarter, the company earned $261.3 million or $1.09/share compared to $193 million or $.80/share in the prior year. This exceeded First Call expectations of $1.04/share. Revenues increased 14% to $2.11 billion in the quarter compared with $1.85 billion the prior year. Since AVP is a multinational corporation, much of its sales are affected positively by the falling dollar. Indeed, even after adjusting for the currency changes, the sales increased 9%.

Looking at Morningstar.com for "5-Yr Restated" financials, we find that revenue growth has been solid but not overwhelming increasing from $5.2 billion in 1998, to $6.6 billion in the trailing twelve months. Earnings have grown almost uninterrupted from $1.02/share in 1998, to $2.49/share in the trailing twelve months.

This company generates a lot of free cash, improving from $129 million of free cash flow in 2000 to $451 million, almost half a BILLION dollars of free cash, in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet looks adequate if not debt-free, with $384.6 million of cash and $1,651.9 million in other current assets, more than enough to cover the current liabilities of $1,365.7 million as listed on Morningstar, but not enough to also pay off the significant long-term liabilities of $1,810.1 million.

If we check out the "key statistics" on Yahoo.com, we find that this is certainly a LARGE cap stock with a market cap of $16.15 billion. The trailing p/e isn't too bad at 24.59 and the forward p/e, based on 2004 estimates, is a bit better at 21.48. Even with the moderate p/e, the value isn't that great as the growth isn't that impressive: the PEG is at 1.90, and the price/sales ratio at 2.25.

There are 236.51 million shares outstanding with 170.30 million of them that float per Yahoo. As of 1/8/04, there are 3.17 million shares out short, representing 1.86% of the float or 2.411 trading days. The company DOES pay a little dividend of $1.12/share yielding 1.64%. The last stock split was a 2:1 split which was executed on 9/14/98.

Overall, this company has a nice scent to it :). What else could a guy say? They make nice hand cream? But seriously, if you would like a large cap company, that pays a dividend, has steady growth, and pretty nice numbers, this stock may be for you. As for me, I would rather get a bit more bang for my buck. I like faster growth and lower PEG ratios...and am not as needy of a dividend. Just my angle I guess.

Thanks again for stopping by. Be sure to do your own due diligence on any stock pick on this site and consult freely with your investment advisor. If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to post them right on the website, or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Thanks!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 8:00 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 4, 2004 Hain Celestial Group (HAIN)
How's this one to spice up your portfolio! The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN), according to the money.cnn.com "snapshot" is "...a natural, specialty and snack food company, selling, marketing and distributing a range of natural foods, cooking oils, medically directed snacks and specialty and herb teas." I do not own any of these shares directly, but as a matter of fact my stock club does have a few shares that we purchased a few months ago.

HAIN had a great day today in the face of a LOUSY market. (I am close to hitting my 8% stop on CREE, a high tech firm that was a recent purchase....maybe we will get a rebound tomorrow?) Hain closed at $22.55 up $1.38 or 6.52% on the day.

Guess What? You won't believe it (jk), but what drove HAIN up in price today on the heels of a LOUSY market...was a GREAT earnings report. HAIN released today, before the opening, the second quarter results. For the second quarter ended December 31, 2003, HAIN reported it earned $10.4 million or $.29/share up from $8.19 milion or $.24/share a year ago. These earnings were actually a MISS by a penny based on a survey of 10 analysts...but I guess this news, along with the news of a soon to be introduced array of low-carb products, was enough to light up the fuse of ATKINS-crazy investors! Revenue for the quarter rose 16% to $142.8 million from $123 million a year ago...but again this was "below Wall Street's mean estimate of $148.6 million."

Looking at Morningstar.com "5-yr restated" financials we find that revenue has been growing very steadily from $315.8 million in 1999 to $497.1 million in the trailing twelve months. Earnings/share have been erratic with $.51 reported in 1999, dropping to a loss of $(.41)/share in 2000, back up to $.68 in 2001, down to $.09 in 2002, but increasing since then from $.79 in 2003 to $.84 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive but again inconsistent with $9 million in 2001, $1 million in 2002, $13 million in 2003, and $8 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet appears healthy, although not loaded with cash listed at $12.9 million, they do report $154.8 million in other current assets. This is compared to $77 million in current liabilities and $74.1 million in long-term liabilities. Looks o.k. to me!

Looking at "key statistics" on Yahoo.com, we see that the Market Cap is a small $772.0 million with a reasonable trailing p/e of 26.85. Forward p/e (fye 30 Jun 05) is 17.50. The PEG isn't bad at 1.33 (anything close to or under 1.0 is great), and price/sales also reasonable at 1.46. There are 34.2 million shares outstanding with 27.50 million of them that float. As of 1/8/04, there are 1.06 million shares out short, representing 3.87% of the float or 5.917 trading days. (What terrible stuff do these short sellers SEE in this stock?) They may very well be feeling a bit of a squeeze with this stock price rise.

Overall, I like this stock a lot. If I were selling CREE today, which I came close, I would probably be thinking about adding this stock as a position....but you KNOW I have already filled my 25 position portfolio...at least for now...and have LOADS of margin which will truly be a problem if this downdraft continues!

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to post them right here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com As always, remember to do your own 'due diligence' and consult with your investment advisors before making any decisions based on information on this BLOG or website!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 4:16 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 4, 2004 American Dental Partners (ADPI)
Hello Friends! Thanks for stopping by. I hope your week goes better than the Dow Jones! Do you remember that GREAT Musical Little Shop of Horrors....one of the great numbers in that show was "Be a Dentist"....Steve Martin sure played that to the hilt. Anyhow, how about another Dental stock for you stock fans? We have Sybron Dental Systems both on the Blog and in my trading portfolio....and here is one that is new to me...and I do not own any shares.

American Dental Partners is having a GREAT day...trading at $13.00/share up $1.20 or 10.17% as I write. According to money.cnn.com, ADPI "...is a provider of dental practice management services to multi-disciplinary dental group practices in selected markets in the U.S."

ADPI filed their latest quarterly earnings report On November 5, 2003. For the three months ended September 30, 2003, revenue was $41.7 million, a 11.2% increase over the net revenue of $37.5 million in the prior year. Found in another article on the New York Times on the Net, revealed that diluted net earnings per share for the quarter were $.20 compared to $.15 in the same quarter in 2002, a 33% increase.

Looking at the , we see a fairly nice picture of revenue growth, with a steady increase in revenue from $84.1 million in 1998 to $159.5 million in revenue in the trailing twelve months. Earnings/share have been unimpressive, reporting from $.78/share in 1999 to $.73/share in the trailing twelve months. The latest quarter is a bit more impressive. Free cash flow has also been improving nicely from $1 million in 2000, to $14 million in the trailing twelve months.

Looking at the Morningstar.com numbers as to the balance sheet, the company has only $800,000 in cash reported with $22.6 million in other current assets. This can cover the current liabilities of $21.3 million, and hopefully the continued free cash flow will help pay down the long-term liabilities of $53.5 million. The balance sheet appears to be adequate if not impressive with a bit more debt vis a vis the assets than I would like to see.

If we look at "key statistics" from Yahoo finance, we find that this is a SMALL, really microcap company with a market cap of $95.58 million. No p/e or PEG reported...there are only 7.35 Million shares outstanding with 4.40 million of them that float.

There are only 3,000 shares out short as of 1/8/04 representing 0.75 trading days so this does not appear to be an issue. No dividend is paid and no stock split is reported on Yahoo. Interestingly, the p/e on the quote page is at 17.88...so the statistics are not quite up to date.

This is an interesting, if tiny stock. It meets our criteria fairly well if not perfectly....I would rather wait for a better fit!....but you know I do have 25 positions in my trading account so I cannot buy any....so maybe it is just sour grapes? Anyway, be sure to do your own due diligence on this and all stocks on this website and use a financial advisor if that is called for!

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave any comments right here on the website or if you would like, feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com with any comments, questions, or words of encouragement!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:23 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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