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Sunday, 14 March 2004
"Seven Months Ago" A longer term view examining the week of August 18, 2003
Hello Friends! Just trying to finish up a little website "housework" here before crashing for the evening. From the last post, we can see how even with a selective stock-picking system it is quite hard to fight the market...and indeed virtually impossible...as the market correction pulled back our stocks as well. Last weekend, I looked at the week of August 11th, 2003. This weekend, let's review the week of August 18, 2003.

During that week, six selections were made on this website: Measurement Specialties (MSS), PolyMedica (PLMD), Dynacq International (DYIIE), Lifeway Foods (LWAY), Electronics Boutique (ELBO) and DJ Orthopedics (DJO). I do not own shares of any of these stocks.

Measurement Specialties (MSS) was selected on Bob's Advice on 8/18/03 at a price of $12.31. MSS closed on 3/12/04 at $18.65 for a gain of $6.34 or 51.5%.

On February 4, 2004, MSS reported third quarter results for the three months ended December 31, 2003. Sales increased 12.4% to $31.9 million compared to $28.4 million in the prior year. Net income, however, without taking into consideration non-recurring events etc., was down at $.06/share vs $.13/share the prior year. It appears that the company is doing 'o.k.' but not blowing away the numbers (imho). With the outstanding performance, I would certainly hold on to the stock to await next quarters results...but would defer adding to or starting a new position at this time.

PLMD was posted on Bob's Advice on 8/18/03 at a price of $46.05. PLMD closed on 3/12/04 at $26.46. PLMD split 2:1 on 9/30/03, thus our effective pick price was $23.025. Thus, the stock has had a gain of $3.435 or 14.9%.

On February 5, 2004, PolyMedica reported 3rd quarter 2004 results. Net revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 were $106.5 million, compared to $89.9 million the prior year. Net income, however, was $2.2 million or $.08/share compared to $10.4 million, or $.41/share the prior year. The decrease was attributed to one-time write downs of "non-cash impairment charge" related to a write-down of certain assets...and for establishing additional reserves for estimated overpayments by Medicare. With the stock price doing well, I would hesitate to sell, but would avoid buying, and certainly, on any additional bad news, would find me a seller of these shares.

Dynacq International (DYIIE) was the greatest disappointment for this week's picks. I picked Dynacq on 8/19/03 when it was at $24.50. DYIIE closed on 3/12/04 at $5.65/share for a loss of $(18.85) or (76.9)%. Dynacq has had reporting problems, resignation of independent auditor, resignation of chief executive and subsequently delays in reporting financial results with multiple lawsuits filed against the company. This stock, if purchased by me, would have been a good test of the old 8% rule...keeping losses to a minimum. In the meantime, I could not recommend purchase of these shares.

Lifeway Foods was posted on Bob's Advice on 8/21/03 at $14.51. LWAY split 2:1 on 3/9/04, just a few days ago, so our adjusted recommendation was at $7.255. LWAY closed today at $17.60 for a gain of $10.345 or 142.6%.

Electronics Boutique (ELBO) was picked for Bob's Advice on 8/22/03 at $32.30. ELBO closed on 3/12/04 at $27.25 for a loss $(5.05) or (15.6)%.

On March 11, 2004, ELBO reported fourth quarter fiscal 2004 ended January 31, 2004. Income was up nicely at $671.5 million vs $533.5 million last year. Earnings per share for the quarter were $1.57 up from $1.21 last year. Same store sales were up 2% in the quarter...a rather tepid growth imho. In addition, ELBO announced growth for the first quarter under analysts expectations. With the tepid same store sales growth and lowered expectations, I would have a hard time recommending this stock for the BLOG.

Finally, on August 22, 2003, I posted DJ Orthopedics on the blog when it was selling at $10.89. DJO closed on 3/12/04 at $20.53 for a gain of $9.64 or 88.5%.

On January 28, 2004, DJO announced fourth quarter 2003 results. Net revenues totalled $54.6 million, an increase of 17.0% over last year's $46.7 million. Net income for the quarter was $4.1 million or $.21/share vs a loss of $(6.0) million or $(0.33)/share the prior year. This company appears to be doing just fine!

Overall, for the six stocks, I had an average gain of 34.2% over the 7 months of observation. Not too bad, and much better than the "seven weeks" review posted earlier today!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Remember to PLEASE do your own reviews and analysis on all of these stocks and consult with your financial advisor for advice on whether the investments are appropriate or not. If you have any questions, comments, or any other queries, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:26 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"How are we doing?" A look back on the week of January 5, 2004

Hello Friends! I got a bit of a late start this weekend...so let's get right down to business. One of the things I like to do is to review the stock picks in a methodical fashion on weekends. Currently, I am looking back about two months, and about seven months. As the BLOG gets older, I will probably drop the two month review and stay with about a 7 month and a 1 year review. If you have additional ideas, please email me and let me know. Also would appreciate knowing if this review process is helpful. I think I owe it to any reader who comes by, to review past picks to find out how this whole process is working! And I am certainly NOT always making profitable picks!

During the week of January 5th, 2004, I made six stock selections: Applied Films (AFCO), Dollar Tree (DLTR), UniFirst (UNF), Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP), Resources Connection (RECN), and American Medical Systems (AMMD).

On January 5, 2004, I posted Applied Films (AFCO) at $37.46/share. AFCO closed 3/12/04 at $31.00/share for a loss of $(6.46) or (17.2)%.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) was picked on Bob's Advice on 1/6/04 at $31.85. DLTR closed on 3/12/04 at $29.63 for a loss of $(2.22) or (7.0)%. Clearly this latest correction in the NASDAQ took a toll on our stocks as well!

UniFirst (UNF) was posted on the blog on 1/7/04 at a price of $27.11. UNF closed on 3/12/04 at $25.41 for a loss of $(1.70) or (6.3)%.

Kennect Cole Productions (KCP) was posted on Bob's Advice on 1/7/04 at a price of $31.95/share. KCP closed 3/12/04 at $32.41 for a gain of $.46 or 1.4%.

Resources Connection (RECN) was selected for the blog on 1/8/04 at a price of $34.50. RECN closed 3/12/04 at a price of $34.00 for a loss of $(.50) or (1.4)%.

Finally, American Medical Systems (AMMD)was picked on Bob's Advice on 1/9/04 at $25.96. AMMD closed 3/12/04 at $28.15 for a gain of $2.19 or 8.4%.

Overall, my six stock picks during this eight week session had an average loss of (3.7)%. This was a tough period for the NASDAQ which has given up all of its gains for 2004, and my picks did not escape the downdraft!

Thanks so much for stopping by! As always, please be sure to do your own due diligence on these and all stock picks on the blog. Be sure to consult with your financial advisor to make sure that the stock discussed is appropriate for you as all investments involve risk of losses as well as gains!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com and I will try to get back to you ASAP!

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:53 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 14, 2004 "A reader Inquires"
Hello Friends,

I always enjoy receiving some mail from readers. It helps me know that you all are out there! Keep those cards and letters coming!

Gus B. writes, "I do not find all the stocks in your portfolio in your picks or all your picks in your portfolio. Am I missing something? It would help for me on your picks to give your entry and exit dates. What determines your entry price? Do you use technical analysis or just enter the next day at the opening?"

First of all, virtually every single one of the stocks in my trading portfolio is listed somewhere in my stock picks. You can check the "Current Trading Portfolio and 2003 Stock Picks" for most of the picks...it is a LONG page, and you need to scroll down to scan through the list. I am NOT an HTML expert in ANY fashion (!), and bear with me. For 2004, I started a new page for "Stock Picks 2004" and my more recent picks are there.

The only stock that comes to mind in my trading portfolio that is NOT in my list is Rite-Aid (RAD), which I picked up in 2002 on a pure VALUE play, before I really set up this system and this web page. I have sold portions of that investment as it has appreciated at my usual target prices, but it does NOT actually fit my current strategy. It HAS actually been wildly profitable for me, thus showing that there are many OTHER methods that may be even MORE profitable than this...and I am sure the jury is still out on what I am doing.

My entry and exit dates are reported in a running fashion on and under my trading portfolio information. Generally, my fashion is to wait until I am in the market for a stock and then to purchase a stock in the next day or so following that...sometimes in the next hour (!), based on stocks that are moving upwards and that I have usually posted that day. You can trace back my trading portfolio purchase dates on the blog, and I try to post each purchase withing minutes, or at least the same day.

I do NOT use any particular technical analysis when purchasing a stock. I generally buy "at the market" or even "at the opening" the next day. I am certain a good technician could improve on this.

Again, the VAST MAJORITY of my "stock picks" have NEVER been in my trading account. I just like to report on what I think are potential stocks of interest. For instance, I posted TASR, and UNFORTUNATELY NEVER PURCHASED A SHARE when it was about $29, before the 3:1 split...and now it is about $55 or so. So I miss a lot of potential winners as well.

Also unfortunately, I DO use a sort of seat of the pants approach when I purchase a stock when I have the funds and it is part of my strategy. I believe in a sort of Natural Selection in the portfolio. (Does this sound corny?). That is, if a stock is to move upwards after my purchase, then I probably selected and purchased correctly. If it moves downward, with my 8% stop, (a manual stop virtually always for me), it quickly exits my portfolio leaving me to find another stock.

I hope this answers your questions! Please excuse me for responding on the web...but I am sure others share your similar concerns. Please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com if this is unclear or if you have other inquiries. Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Please remember that I am an amateur as well, and that you should do your own due diligence (investigation) of all the ideas I post...and consider consulting with an investment advisor if that would be available to make sure the investments are appropriate for you!

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:13 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 14, 2004 Somanetics (SMTS)
Hello Friends! I took a break for a few days. I hope you all managed to survive the correction. Hopefully, the rebound will last longer than a day...but I am certain that next week will be interesting! My trading account is intact without any additional sales due to losses. The closest to a sale is currently Mylan (MYL), which is down about 6% from my purchase price...so will be watching that one especially closely.

Looking over Fridays movers, I came across Somanetics Corp (SMTS) which closed at $11.50, up $1.05 or 10.05% on the day. According to the Yahoo profile, Somanetics "...develops, manufactures and markets the INVOS Cerebral Oximeter, the only non-invasive patient monitoring system commercially available in the United States that continuously measures changes in the blood oxygen level in the brain." On March 11th, 2004, results from a 2,279 patient study were reported at the Cardiothoracic Techniques and Technologies Annual meeting that cardiac surgery patients showed a "...significant reduction in permanent stroke" when monitored with the Company's INVOS Cerebral Oximeter. With the large numbers of cardiac surgical patients in the U.S., and the ever-growing concern about brain status after surgery, this may indeed be a very significant development. The market responded accordingly boosting the price of the stock.

On January 13, 2004, Somanetics reported fourth quarter 2003 earnings results. For the quarter ended November 30, 2003, revenues increased 44% to a record $2.9 million. Net income was a record $321,955 or $.04/basic share, compared to a net loss of $(85,849) or $(0.01)/share the prior year in 2002.

The "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com shows that revenues, while small, have grown steadily from $2 million in 1998, $4 million in 1999, $5.1 million in 2000, $5.7 million in 2001, $6.7 million in 2002 and $8.5 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share, which just turned positive (see above note), have improved steadily from a loss of $(1.01) to $.01/share in 2003, based on the just-reported fourth quarter.

Free cash flow, while negative, has been improving from $(4) million in 2000, $(2) million in 2001, $(1) million in 2002 and per Morningstar, $(1) million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet looks quite nice with $1.9 million in cash, more than enough to cover the current liabilities of $700,000 and NO long-term liabilities at all. In addition SMTS has $2.7 million in other current assets.

Looking at Yahoo "Key Statistics" we can see that this is a TINY company with a market cap of $107.1 million. The trailing p/e (with $.01/share reported), is astronomical at 2,300. However, the PEG, is much better at 2.73, with a price/sales still quite steep at 10.40. There are only 9.31 million shares outstanding with 8.80 million of them that float. Only 11,000 shares are out short, quite insignificant as of 2/9/04, representing 0.12% of the float or 0.079 trading days. No cash dividend is paid, and the last split was actually a reverse split of 1:10 paid out 4/11/97.

Overall, I like this stock a lot. It is quite speculative and I certainly am NOT in a position to add any positions (even though I am at 22 positions of my goal of 25), as I am WAITING, trying to sit on my hands, until I have a sail of a portion of my holdings at a GAIN. The valuation is tough to measure since they are JUST turning profitable this year. However, the track record of growing revenues, improving earnings, and improving free cash flow is terrific. I like the current news a lot regarding the degrease in morbidity just presented associated with cardiac surgery and the use of this company's products.

Taking a quick technical look at the SMTS point and figure chart, we can see this stock was going nowhere until about May, 2003, when it broke through a resistance level at about $2.75/share and has not looked back since!

Please check with your own financial advisor to make sure this stock is appropriate for you as it is a small company that for me at least means that while there may be great potential for gain, may also represent risks on the downside. Always do your own due diligence. As mentioned above, I do not own any shares of this stock.

Thanks again for stopping by and visiting. If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at Bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 4:56 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 9 March 2004
March 9, 2004 ResCare (RSCR)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. Please remember to do your own due diligence on all of the stocks mentioned on this website and to consult with your financial advisors to make sure the selections are suitable and timely for your investment requirements.

I came across Res-Care Inc. (RSCR) this morning which is trading at $11.01, up $.66 on the day or 6.38% as I write. According to the , RSCR's "...principal activities are to provide residential, therapeutic, job training, educational and support services to populations with special needs, including persons with developmental and other disabilities to youth with special needs and to adults who are experiencing barriers to employment."

On February 25, 2004, RSCR reported their fourth quarter 2003 earnings results. For the quarter ended 12/31/03, revenue was $244 million vs. $234 million the prior year. Diluted eps was $.10/share vs $(0.29) the prior year.

If we look at a "5-Yr Restated" financials from Morningstar.com, we find that revenue growth has been steady since 1998 when they reported $708.4 million, increasing annually to $951.2 million in the trailing twelve months. Earnings have been very erratic with $.96/share reported in 1998, dropping to a low of a loss of $(.18)/share in 2001, and then improving the last two years to $.16/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive if a bit erratic with $18 million in 2000, $3 million in 2001, then improving to $22 million in 2002 and $57 million in the trailing twelve months.

Balance sheet-wise, per Morningstar, is fine if not perfect with $95.1 million in cash and $160 million in other current assets as opposed to $117.9 million in current liabilities and $263.8 million in long-term liabilities.

If we check "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we see that the market cap is at $273.56 million making this a small cap stock. The trailing p/e is at 20.46, but the forward p/e for 2004 is at 13.05. PEG ratio, however, is a bit steep at 2.76, but price/sales is cheap at 0.27.

Yahoo reports 24.67 million shares outstanding with 19.00 million of them that float. Currently there are only 180,000 shares out short representing 0.95% of the float or 3.273 trading days. No dividend is paid and the last stock split reported on Yahoo was a 3:2 in June, 1998.

Technicall, if we check a chart, we can see that the stock was actually heading lower between 2000 and 2003, and then about May, 2003, broke out through a resistance area about $4/share, and has headed higher since.

Overall, I am fairly ambivalent about this particular issue. What concerns me is that although revenue growth has been steady, earnings growth has been erratic. Balance sheet looks ok with recent improvement of free cash flow. PEG is high at over 2.5, but forward p/e isn't that bad. I guess as they say around here "It's a horse apiece". Whatever that means!

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

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:12 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 8 March 2004
March 8, 2004 Total System Services (TSS)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting. Please make yourself at home and if this is your first visit, please take a look at the main website accessible from a link at left, as well as the many past posts. As always, please do your own due diligence prior to acting on any investment ideas and consult with your investment advisor to make sure that they are appropriate and timely for your individual situation.

I came across Total System Services (TSS) today while scanning the lists of top % gainers. TSS is having a reasonably nice day trading as I write at $22.30/share up $.99 or 4.65% on the day. According to the "Snapshot" on money.cnn.com, TSS "...through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides credit, debit commercial and private-label card processing services."

Taking a look at the latest quarterly report, which was the fourth quarter 2003 results which were announced on January 20, 2003, we find that revenue for the latest quarter ended December 31, 2003, increased 13.1% to $278.3 million from $246.0 million last year. Net income was up 11.2% to $39.4 million from $35.5 million the prior year and diluted earnings/share jumped 10.9% to $.20/share from $.18/share.

Checking the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we find that revenues have grown steadily from $0.6 billion in 1998, to $1.0 billion in the trailing twelve months. Earnings/share have also grown each and every year from $.28/share to $.69/share in the latest twelve months. Interestingly, in addition, the company DOES pay a small dividend which has been increasing from $.04/share in 1998 to $.08/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow, while erratic, has been consistently positive. $62 million in 2000, $3 million in 2001, $116 millin in 2002 and $47 million in the trailing twelve months.

Balance sheet-wise, TSS has $55.6 million in cash and $170.9 million in other current assets, plenty to cover both the $123.7 million in current liabilities and the $92.2 million in long-term liabilities combined.

Checking some "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we find that this is a large cap company with a market cap of $4.39 Billion. The trailing p/e is a bit rich at 31.16, with forward p/e (fye 31-Dec-05) is still at 25.91. The PEG is at 1.86...so this is not a screaming bargain, and the price/sales is a bit rich as well at 3.98.

There are 196.82 million shares outstanding, and ONLY 31.0 million of them float. Currently there are 3.67 million shares out short, which is a bit steep considering only 31 million that float so this represents 11.85% of the float, or 7.12 trading days. This is probably bullish for this stock...as that is a large # of shares that need to be covered. Any steep rise in price might lead to a squeeze imho.

As I mentioned earlier, TSS does pay a small dividend of $.08/share yielding 0.38%. Nothing to write home about, but an increasing dividend, as TSS reports, is a very nice feature that may add some price appreciation and stabilization to this issue. The last stock split was a 3:2 in May, 1998.

Looking at a Point and Figure Chart on TSS, we can see that this stock has been trading essentially sideways since 2000 with a rise in 2001, followed by a drop down to about $11.5 where it had support. In late 2003, TSS broke through its resistance level at about $17.00/share and has been trading higher since. That is my simplified read on this chart!

Overall, TSS is an interesting, if not cheap selection. They have nice free cash flow, steady growth in revenue and earnings, and a clean balance sheet. The valuation isn't that great as we are not the first to apparently discover this issue, but the consistency is very attractive. The large short posiition may lead to increased buying in the short term. I do not own any shares of this stock myself.

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

Regards to all!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:52 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 6 March 2004
"Seven Months Ago" A longer term view examining the week of August 11, 2003
Hello Again! I just finished posting a review of how this blog is doing seven weeks out and it was a pretty dismal performance on stocks from that week. However, longer term I still seem to do well with these picks. Remember that past performance is NO guarantee of future performance and always, yes always, do your own due diligence investigational work on all of these stocks!

The week of August 11, 2003, was a pretty quiet week for this blog. During that week, I selected Possis Medical (POSS), Techne Corp. (TECH), and Tyler Technologies (TYL) for the blog.

On August 11, 2003, Possis was selected for Bob's Advice at a price of $17.33. POSS closed on 3/5/04 at $26.15 for a gain of $8.82 or 50.9%.

On February 18, 2004, POSS reported 2nd quarter 2004 results for the three months ended 1/31/04. They earned $3.1 million or $.16/share, up sharply from earnings of $2.1 million or $.11/share last year. Quarterly revenue was up 22% from the prior year as well. This stock is right on track!

I posted Techne Corp (TECH) on Bob's Advice on 8/12/03 at $32.08. TECH closed on 3/5/04 at $42.00 for a gain of $9.92 or 30.9%.

Looking for recent earnings or news, on January 27, 2004, TECH reported 2nd quarter 2004 results for the quarter ended December 31, 2003. For the quarter, net earnings were $12.4 million or $.30/diluted share vs. $9.9 million or $.23/diluted share the prior year. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $38.3 million, a 15% increase over the prior year's sales. This company is doing 'just fine!'

Finally, on 8/14/03, I posted Tyler Technologies (TYL) on the blog at a price of $5.75. TYL closed 3/5/04 at $9.64 for a gain of $3.89 or 67.7%.

On February 25, 2004, TYL reported 4th quarter 2003 results whith income from continuing operations of $3.5 million or $.08/share vs $2.6 million, or $.05/share the prior year. Total revenue for the quarter increased 7% to $39.1 million from $36.4 million the prior year. This company appears to be doing just fine!

Looking at the performance of the three stocks we find gains of 50.9%, 30.9%, 67.7%. After probably out WORST seven week performance (see the prior post), this is probably the BEST seven month performance with an average gain of 49.8%. (Unfortunately, I do not own any of these stocks!)

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

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:42 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"How are we doing?" A look back on the week of December 29, 2003
Hello Friends! I made it to Saturday once again. Almost sounds like a REAL accomplishment. The weekend is the time I like to do a little retrospective. Preferably, taking a look back relatively short-term...about 8 weeks, and then a little longer-term...about 7 months. Pretty soon we will have some one year results and I think I will stop the 7 week review, and just take a look at 7 months and 12 months. What do you think?

Remember to always do your OWN due diligence on all of the stocks I discuss here, and quite frankly on all stocks you see mentioned in the media or the internet. Also, please consult with your investment advisor prior to taking any action on stocks mentioned here because they may or may not be suitable or even profitable for you!

During the week of December 29, 2003, I posted five stocks on this blog. They were: American Vanguard (AVD), Matrix Initiatives (MTXX), Surmodics (SRDX), Secure Computing (SCUR), and McKesson Corp. (MCK).

On December 29, 2003, I posted American Vanguard (AVD) on this BLOG at a price of $38.69. AVD closed at $35.65 on 3/5/04 for a loss of $(3.04) or (7.9)%.

Also on December 29, 2003, I posted Matrixx Initiatives (MTXX) at $18.28. MTXX virtually collapsed in price when concerns were raised about possible loss of sense of smell with use of their Zinc-based nasal inhaler. MTXX closed on 3/5/04 at $11.93 for a loss of $(6.35) or (34.7)%.

Surmodics (SRDX) was posted on Bob's Advice on 12/3/03 at a price of $24.38. SRDX closed 3/5/04 at $21.08 for a loss of $(3.35) or (13.7)%.

The fourth stock posted that week was Secure Computing at $16.78 on 12/30/03. SCUR closed at $15.46 on 3/5/04 for a loss of $(1.32) or (7.9)%.

Finally, on 1/1/04, I posted McKesson (MCK) at $32.16. MCK closed on 3/5/04 at $28.43 down $(3.73) or (11.6)%.

I cannot remember another retrospective on this site where ALL stocks were DOWN eight weeks later. It was a tough couple of months on the NASDAQ for sure, but we certainly were NOT bucking the tide for these selections. The five stocks listed had an average LOSS of (15.16)%, and that was over the short eight week period! This just goes to show you that stocks listed here CAN lose money and that careful loss limits need to be placed on these stocks to prevent losses from exceeding whatever your given limit may be. For me it is 8%.

If you would like to see what I ACTUALLY own and how the picks from 2003 and 2004 are doing, please visit the "Current Trading Portfolio" portion of the website.

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

If you do not mind, I will just answer them right on the blog. Your questions may be interesting to others and others may have ideas they would like to contribute!

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 8:27 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 5 March 2004
March 5, 2004 Nutraceutical Intl (NUTR)
Hello Friends! Guess we made it to Friday. It is a relatively quiet day in the market with the Dow up 9.77 at 10,597.77 as I write and the NASDAQ down 3.54 at 2,051.57. Looking through the lists of movers, I came across Nutraceutical Intl (NUTR), which as I write is trading at $19.00, up $1.85 or 10.79% on the day.

As always, please exercise due diligence and do your own investigation on all of these stock market ideas before taking any action. I do not own any shares of this stock. If it would be helpful, I would also like to encourage you to use your investment advisors liberally in deciding whether any investment is appropriate or timely for you.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", NUTR "...develops, manufactures and markets branded vitamin, mineral, herbal and specialty dietary supplements to domestic health food stores and international distributors."

Looking at the latest earnings reports, NUTR reported their first quarter 2004 results on January 29, 2004, for the first quarter ended December 31, 2003. Net sales for the quarter jumped to $33.2 million compared to $28.9 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2003. Net income was $3.2 million this quarter or $.27/diluted share compared to $2.6 million or $.23/diluted share the prior year.

If we take a look at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, We can see that revenue growth has NOT been very exciting, in fact fairly flat between 1999 and 2002, and just the last couple of years has improved nicely from $107 million in 1999, to $111 million in 2002, but $125 million in the trailing twelve months, and with the latest quarter at about $33 million, this should be over $130 million for 2004.

Earnings/share have also been erratic, increasing from $.42/share in 1999, to $.64/share in 2001, but dropping to a loss of $(2.03)/share in 2002, but increasing back to $1.09/share in the latest twelve months.

Free cash flow has been steady, increasing from $11 million in 2001 to $19 million in 2002 and 2003.

The balance sheet, as presented by Morningstar.com, looks nice with $2.2 million in cash and $33.8 million in other current assets, more than enough to cover both the $13.7 million in current liabilities and the $13.0 million in long-term liabilities.

If we examine the "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we can see that the Market Cap is a small cap $212.41 million. The trailing p/e is reasonable at 16.69, and for the fye 30-Sep-05, the forward P/E is 13.22. Price/sales is nice at 1.49.

Yahoo reports 11.16 million shares outstanding with 5.40 million of them that float. There are only 49,000 shares out short representing a small 0.278 trading days or 0.91% of the float. No dividend or stock split is reported on Yahoo.

I do NOT claim to be a technician, but the NUTR Point and Figure chart from Stockcharts.com looks gorgeous, with a slightly declining share price reversed in early 2001, and with the stock heading steadily higher since that time.

NUTR has been in the news with a positive article from Investor's Business Daily and a nice online endorsement from TheStreet.com. All in all, everything seems to be in line for this company.

Thanks so much for stopping by again! Or thanks for the first time. I would love to hear your comments, ideas, criticisms, and most of all words of encouragement at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 2:22 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 4 March 2004
March 4, 2004 Isco, Inc. (ISKO)
Hello Friends! I have been juggling some of my stocks in my trading portfolio....well not really juggling...selling a couple of losers and adding a new one. I try to post all of the changes in my trading portfolio in my Blog so everyone can see what I am actually doing as well as my thoughts on a lot of stocks that come to my attention.

As always, please do your own due diligence, that is do your homework! on everything I write and that you may read online. In addition, please be sure to consult with your investment advisor(s) before acting on any information you may read on this website.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", Isco "...designs, manufactures and markets products used by industry and government to monitor compliance with water quality regulations and used in a variety of research and testing laboratories." ISKO had a nice day today, closing at $12.12 on the day up $1.78 or 17.21%.

What helped ISKO today, was, you will be surprised to know...a second quarter 2004 earnings report. I am only pulling your leg when I say you will be surprised, because that is exactly what seems to drive stocks higher, at least over the short run, is earnings reports. The results for the quarter ended January 23, 2004, was sales of $17.4 million, compared to sales of $14.3 million last year, and net income of $1.5 million or $.26/share compared to a loss of $(10,000) or $(0.0)/diluted share last year.

If we take a look at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue has grown each and every year from 1999 from $52 million to $63 million in the trailing twelve months. Earnings, however, have been more erratic with $.49/share reported in 2001, dropping to $.22 in 2003, and increasing to $.25 in the trailing twelve months. With the current quarter report of $.26/share, this is more that all of 2003...and extrapolated would get us over $1.00/share in 2004. However, extrapolation is a dangerous business!

Free cash flow, while also erratic, has been positive with $6 million in 2001, dropping to $1 million in 2003, and back to $4 million in the trailing twelve months per Morningstar.com.

Balance sheet-wise, this company is quite solvent with $1.8 million in cash and $23.7 million in other current assets, more than enough to cover BOTH the current liabilities of $7.1 million and the smallish long-term liabilities of $1.1 million.

This is a very small company! Looking at the "Key Statistics" from Yahoo.com, we can see that the market cap is a microcap $69.45 million. The trailing p/e is at 49.06, no PEG is noted, I suspect no good estimates are out there...and am not sure if any analysts follow this stock. Price/sales is nice at 0.95, and price/book is also cheap at 1.28.

Yahoo reports only 5.73 million shares outstanding with 2.90 million of them that float. As of 2/9/04, there are only 6,000 shares out short representing only 0.21% of the float or 1 trading day of volume.

Interestingly, this company DOES pay a nice dividend of $.24/share yielding 2.32% which isn't shabby at all. The last stock split was a 6:5 split (don't see THAT too often do you?), on 6/13/88. (almost 16 years ago!).

If we look at a Point and Figure Graph from stockcharts.com, we can see that this company broke out of a narrow range in mid 2001, and recently broke through resistance at about $9.5 in early 2003 and has headed upward since then. I do not think that this is too late to enter this equity with a position.

Quite frankly, except for the TINY size of this company, I like it a lot. The p/e isn't great, but the growth in revenue has been steady and the earnings have improved greatly recently. If this stock gets any attention, it has the potential to rocket a bit like the Escalon Medical Stock (that I SOLD today after buying it AFTER the sharp rise and getting caught in the pullback :(). Anyway, that's an idea for you. I will try to hold off buying any other stocks, (if I can...), until such time as I sell a portion again at a profit.

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope that my rambling is helpful for you to think about stocks and I just encourage all of you to do your own necessary checkup on all of the stocks I suggest and discuss them with your investment advisors. If you have any questions or comments, or of course any words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Yours,

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:24 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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