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Saturday, 17 July 2004
"Looking Back One Year" A review of stock picks from the week of July 7, 2003






Hello Friends! I just finished posting Masonite (MHM) and now for a little house-cleaning...time for the retrospective on this blog. If you are a new reader, I like to pick lots of stocks on my blog, but to determine whether this is even working (!), I have always tried to look back and figure out what happened to these stocks. I must point out that the "system" that drives my trading portfolio includes sales at 8% losses, and other sales on gains as well. This review reflects a "buy and hold" philosophy that I do not personally practice....so my results would be affected by this. Please always remember, that I am an amateur investor, so please remember to consult with your own professional investment advisor to make sure if the investments discussed are appropriate and timely for you!

The week of July 7, 2003, was not a very busy week on this blog. In fact, I only posted two stocks. (About this time in the process, I am relieved to figure that out....so I can get to some personal "chores" around the house!)

On July 7, 2003, I posted FindWhat (FWHT) on Stock Picks Bob's Advice at a price of $22.16. FWHT closed at $18.23 on 7/16/04 for a loss of $(3.93) or (17.8)%.

The 1st quarter 2004 earnings results was released on April 26, 2004. Revenue in the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, increased 56% over the prior year. This represented 18 sequential quarters of revenue growth. Net income in the quarter came in at $3.8 million, or $.16/share, a 41% increase over the prior year's $2.7 million or $.13/share. In addition, FWHT raised fiscal 2004 guidance, based in part on acquisitions of Comet Systems and Espotting. The company does appear to be on track, but the stock price is certainly a bit disappointing....

On July 8, 2003, I posted Websense (WBSN) on Stock Picks Bob's Advice at $20.26. WBSN closed on 7/16/04 at $31.63 for a gain of $11.37 or 56.1%.

On May 7, 2004, WBSN filed a 10-Q report for the quarter ended March 31, 2004. Revenue for the quarter increased to $24.6 million from $18.5 million the prior year. Fully diluted earnings jumped to $.22/share from $.17/share the prior year. The company appears to be doing just fine.

So how did we do that week? Well, one winner WBSN with a 56.1% gain, and one loser, FWHT, with a (17.8)% loss. Ironically, both were the so-called "dot-com" stocks. Averaging these two stocks, we come out with a 19.2% gain on the week. Not too bad over the past year.

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

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:03 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Masonite Intl (MHM)

Hello Friends! I don't usually post any new stock ideas on Saturday, but I had this stock I wanted to share with you on Friday but never got around to it! I am sure glad you stopped by and please do make yourself at home. If you are reading this on a third party website, like thegoldencoast.com, then be sure to come by and visit my blog where you can review all of my endless commentary on stocks of interest. Please do remember, I am an amateur investor, this is my hobby, so please remember to consult with your professional investment advisors before taking any action on stocks discussed on this website to make sure they are timely, appropriate, and profitable for you!

Yesterday, while scanning the list of top % gainers on the NYSE, I came across Masonite (MHM) which closed yesterday at $24.99, up $1.16 on the day or 4.87% in an otherwise mediocre market. First of all, I do not have any shares of this stock nor do I own any options. I believe that the stock is moving up on anticipation of 2nd quarter 2004 earnings, which should be released Monday per an announcement from Masonite this past Tuesday. According to the Yahoo "Profile", Masonite International "...is a manufacturer of doors, door components and door entry systems for new residential construction, home repair, renovation and remodelling, and commercial use."

We will have the 2nd quarter 2004 earnings results in just a couple of days, but let's take a look at the 1st quarter 2004 results which were released April 21, 2004. For the quarter ended March 31, 2004, sales increased 16% to $468 million from $402.2 million the prior year. Net income jumped 36% to $27.7 million from $20.3 million. And on a per share fully diluted basis, earnings jumped to $.51/share from $.38/share, a 34.2% increase. These were pretty nice results.

If we look longer-term, we can see from Morningstar "5-Yr Restated" financials that revenue has grown steadily since even before 1999 when they reported $1.1 billion in revenue, and increased to $1.8 billion in the trailing twelve months. Earnings/share, while dipping from $1.00 in 1999 to $.84 in 2001, have steadily increased from that time. Free cash has been postitive and strong with $44 million reported in 2001 and $105 million reported in the trailing twelve months (TTM).

The balance sheet looks just fine with $129.7 million in cash and $625.9 million in other current assets, enough to easily cover the $370.6 million in current liabilites and much of the $589.6 million in long-term liabilities as well.

Looking at "Key Statistics" on Yahoo we can see that the Market Cap is a mid-cap level $1.36 billion. The trailing p/e is a very reasonable 11.84 with a forward p/e of 8.89. I do not see a PEG on Yahoo, but with an "Analysts Estimates" of $2.81 for Dec 05 on Yahoo and $2.54 from Dec 05, we can see that analysts are expecting a $.27/share growth or a $.27/$2.54 10.6% growth in earnings. If we divide the p/e of 11.84 by the 10.6 we get a PEG of 1.12 which isn't too high either! The Price/Sales is also very cheap at 0.70.

Yahoo reports 54.43 million shares outstanding with 52.30 million of them that float. Currently there are only 60,000 shares out short as of 6/7/04, but this does represent 3.75 trading days due to the low average trading volume on this company. No cash dividend is paid and no stock splits are reported on Yahoo.

How does the chart look like? If we look at a Point & Figure Chart from Stockcharts.com:




it appears that this stock was trading lower through late 2000, then in July, 2001, it broke through a resistance level at about $9.50 and has headed strongly higher since then to its current levels. The chart looks strong to me.

So what do I think. Frankly, I decided to post this one today because I thought it was too pretty a picture to ignore. I would pay close attention to the earnings results coming out Monday morning and this could confirm my assessment or cause me to give pause. I would look for continued strong revenue growth and earnings growth to confirm that this company is continuing on its excellent past record. I like the latest quarter earnings that I have available, the past revenue growth is superb, the cash flow and balance sheet look nice, the valuation is excellent and the chart is impeccable. My only hesitation is the rather low trading volume...but that is only a small footnote to my evaluation. I cannot personally buy any shares as my system of waiting for a sale at a gain to purchase shares is holding me back! But then again there are so MANY stocks that I do like!


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

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:58 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 15 July 2004
A Reader Writes "Check out LEXR"

Hello Friends! In one of my posts today, I discussed SanDisk, the Flash Memory Card manufacturer.

Maxx, from theGoldenCoast.com writes:

Lexar (LEXR) is one to also keep an eye on if you like Sandisk. LEXR also is in the flash market and its price typically correlates pretty closely to SNDK. I have held both in the past but currently I don't have a posistion in either. They are both worth keeping an eye on however.

Regards
maxx


This is a timely question, because just MOMENTS ago, LEXR announced 2nd quarter results and is trading lower in after hours trading. For the quarter, they posted a loss of $(18.1) million or $(.23)/share vs a profit of $7.0 million or $.09 a year earlier. LEXR blamed "aggressive industry price cuts". If you read my earlier post, you will see that SNDK announced EXPANDING margins in the face of price cuts....looks like they are doing a lot of damange to LEXR.

It is interesting that if we look at the Point & Figure chart on LEXR:




we can see that the stock actually broke down in mid-April when it fell through the $13 level, down from its peak at $24. The current news is confirmatory that this price move, that has in the past been quite strong, is now not a trend anymore.

Thanks for the opportunity of contrasting these two major media storage companies. I think the edge clearly goes to SNDK but Lexar has been a winning stock in the past. If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com .

Bob




Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 4:52 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
July 15, 2004 Carlisle Companies (CSL)

Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and giving me the opportunity to share some of my reflections of current stocks of interest. Please remember, however, that I am an amateur investor, so please remember to do your own investigation of all stock market ideas discussed on this website, and please consult with your professional investment advisors to make sure any ideas are appropriate and timely for you!

I came across the Carlisle Companies (CSL) while scanning the top NYSE % gainers. I do not have any shares nor any options in this company. Currently, as I write, CSL is trading at $66.58, up $5.83 or 9.60% on the day.

According to the Yahoo "Profile", Carlisle Companies, Inc. "...manufactures and distributes products across a range of industries, including, among others, roofing, construction, trucking, automotive, foodservice, industrial equipment, lawn and garden and aircraft manufacturing."

What is driving this stock higher is the 2nd quarter 2004 earnings report which was released this morning just prior to the opening of trading. CSL reported results for the quarter ended June 30, 2004, as follows: net sales of $640.7 million were 17% over 2nd quarter 2003 net sales of $545.8 million. Importantly, "organic" net sales growth accounted for essentially all of the sales growth. Currency effects were negligible, and acquisition effects were also under $5 million of the growth. Net earnings of $37.4 million, or $1.19/share were 31% over the prior year's results of $28.6 million or $.93/share. $1.8 million or $.06/diluted share WERE from discontinued operations...but still these were very nice results and the stock price has responded accordingly.

How about longer-term? Looking at a "5-Yr Restated" financials from Morningstar.com, we can see that revenues have grown steadily since at least 1999 when they were $1.6 billion, increasing to $2.2 billion in the trailing twelve months (TTM). Earnings, which dropped from $3.14/share in 2000 to $.82/share in 2001, have rebounded nicely since then with $3.08/share in the TTM. Free cash flow has also been positive, ranging from $138 million in 2001 to $90 million in the TTM.

As reported by Morningstar.com, the balance sheet looks fine in my opinion with $30.1 million in cash and $603.6 million in other current assets, plenty to cover the $362.3 million in current liabilities and to make a significant dent in the $465.2 million in long-term debt.

How about valuation? Looking at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo.com, we can see that this is a "mid-cap" stock with a market cap of $2.09 billion. The trailing p/e is reasonable at 21.74 with a forward p/e of just 16.28 (fye 31-Dec-05). The PEG is o.k. at 1.71 with a price/sales of only 0.86. This PEG should be declining if the current quarter's performance affects future estimates.

Yahoo reports 31.08 million shares outstanding with 29.20 million of them that float. There are only 345,000 shares out short as of 6/7/04, representing 3.52 trading days...so this is borderline significant in my opinion. I like to think of three trading days as my cut-off for significance in the short interest. Greater levels of short interest MAY and I should emphasize the MAY aspect of it...lead to a "short squeeze".

The company does pay a little dividend which IS nice...of $.88/share yielding 1.45%. The last stock split was a 2:1 in January, 1997.

How does the chart look? If we take a look at the Point and Figure chart from Stockcharts.com:




we can see a steady improvement in price performance since November, 2002, when the stock bottomed at about $24/share. Since that time, the stock has been performing quite well and appears to be breaking out into new high ground as I write. Again, I am NOT a technician, so please take a look at the chart yourself!

Well what do I think? I like this stock a lot. The recent quarterly result is very pretty! The record of continued revenue growth is impressive and the balance sheet looks nice. Technically the stock has a nice chart and the valuation is reasonable. Why it even pays a dividend! Of course, I don't have ANY money to invest, but if I did, I probably WOULD nibble on a few of these shares!

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

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
July 15, 2004 SanDisk (SNDK)

Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! If you are viewing this at another website, enjoy the post and come and visit Bob's Advice on your next visit. As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please do your own investigation of all stocks discussed on this blog and consult with your professional investment advisor to make sure the investment is timely and appropriate for you!

Looking at the lists of top % gainers on the NASDAQ, I came across SanDisk (SNDK), a company that I am familiar with but that I do not currently own any shares or options. SNDK is trading, as I write, at $24.96, up $4.98 or 24.92% on the day. According to the Yahoo "Profile", SanDisk "...designs, develops, manufactures and markets flast storage card products used in a variety of electronic systems." In my experience, these are the little memory cards that go into many of those digital cameras we all are using.

What is pushing the stock higher this morning, is the 2nd quarter 2004 earnings results which were reported after the close yesterday. Revenues rose 85% to $433 million from $234.6 million last year. Earnings for the quarter rose to $71 million or $.38/share from $41.3 million or $.26/share last year. Analysts apparently had been looking for the company to earn $.30/share and they beat this estimate handily. Pertinently, even with the "commodotization" of memory products, SanDisk's margins improved to 35% despite a 16% decline in the "average selling price per megabyte."

Looking longer-term, we can see from the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com that revenue has grown steadily from $247 million in 1999, $602 million in 2000, dipping to $366 million in 2001, and then climbing to $1.08 billion by 2003.

Earnings, however, have been quite erratic in the past 5 years, from $.22/share in 1999, climbing to $2.06 in 2000, dropping to $(2.19) in 2001, but have climbed steadily since that time.

Free cash flow has also been improving recently, from $(98) million in 2001, $89 million in 2002, and up to $218 million in 2003.

The balance sheet, per Morningstar, is gorgeous! They have $1.3 billion in cash, enough to pay off the current liabilities of $346.8 million and the long-term liabilities of $176.0 million, about three times over! In addition, SNDK has $425.3 million in other current assets reported.

How about valuation? If we take a look at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo.com, we can see that this is a Mid-Cap stock (if we use the definition of $2-$10 billion), with a market cap of $4.06 Billion. The trailing p/e is reasonable at 21.63 with a forward p/e of 16.11 (fye 28-Dec-05). Even NICER is the PEG which at 0.73 is downright reasonable!

Yahoo reports 161.48 million shares outstanding with 155.60 million of them that float. There are 31.46 million shares out short which represents 4.564 trading days as of 6/7/04. (Anything over 3.0 days is significant imho). Thus, we may be seeing a bit of a squeeze of the shorts in here.

No cash dividend is paid. The stock DID split 2:1 earlier this year, in February, 2004.

What does the chart look like? Looking at Stockcharts.com for a Point & Figure:




The stock was moving sideways between late 2001 through March, 2003, and then broke through a resistance level in April, 2003, at around $10/share and has headed higher since. The stock chart looks strong at this time, although it is off its highs set in November, 2003, of about $43/share.

So what do I think. Heck this is a great-looking stock! What is there NOT to like. The growth has been a bit inconsistent in around 2000-2001 time period, but recently has been quite strong. The latest earnings report was superb. The valuation is wonderful with a PEG of 0.73...and maybe dropping, the free cash flow is terrific, and the balance sheet looks nice. The only thing that does concern me is the dropping prices on these flash memory products but apparently, this company is handling this just fine!

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

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:39 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Wednesday, 14 July 2004
July 14, 2004 Genzyme (GENZ)

Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! And if you are reading this on theGoldenCoast.com, well that is almost as nice...I sure am flattered to participate in as powerful a website as that! Please remember that I am an amateur investor so do your own research on all stocks discussed on this website, and please consult with your professional investment advisor before making any investment decisions.

Genzyme (GENZ) is having a GREAT day in the market trading at $50.06 as I write, up $5.56 or 12.49% on the day. I do not own any shares or have any other positions in this stock. According to the Yahoo "Profile", GENZ "...is a global biotechnology company with a product portfolio focused on genetic disorders, renal disease, osteoarthritis and organ transplant."

What drove the stock higher today was a 2nd quarter 2004 earnings report. Revenue for the quarter rose to $549.6 million from $347.7 million the year earlier. Net profit came in at $78.2 million or $.34/share compared with $70.8 million or $.32/share the prior year. In addition, the company raised revenue estimates for the full year and maintained full year earnings estimates of $1.65 - $1.75/share.

If we look longer term at a "5-Yr Restated" financials statement from Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue has steadily grown from $772 million in 1999 to $1.8 billion in the trailing twelve months (TTM). Earnings, however, have been relatively flat during this period, with $.85/share reported in 1999, and $.43/share in the trailing twelve months. The current estimates (see above) of $1.65 to $1.75 would represent a significant improvement in the earnings picture.

Free cash flow, while variable recently, with $40 million in 2001, dropping to $(3) million in 2002, has improved significantly to $128 million in 2003, and $155 million in the TTM.

Morningstar reports that GENZ has $777.6 million in cash and $907.3 million in other current assets. This is plenty to cover the current liabilities of $923.0 million AND to make a nice dent in the $1.08 billion in long-term liabilities.

What about valuation? Looking at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo, we can see that the Market Cap is a large $11.42 Billion. NO trailing p/e is reported but the forward p/e (fye 31-Dec-05) is a moderate 24.98 with a PEG of 1.60. A little rich but not bad imho.

Yahoo reports 226.52 million shares outstanding with 199.6 million of them that float. There are a LOT of shares out short, with 10.73 million of them reported short as of 6/7/04. This represents 5.38% of the float or 4.624 trading days. If we use 3 days as a cut-off...there is a bit of a risk of a squeeze to watch for.

No cash dividend is paid, and the last stock split was a 2:1 in June, 2001.

What about technicals? Taking a look at a point & figure chart from Stockcharts.com:




we can see that the stock has been moving higher since it broke through a resistance level in December, 2002. However, the chart DID break down in March, 2004, when it fell below $49 at a support level. Whether the stock continues to move higher from its current level is a wait and see. Would like to see this stock close above $52...to demonstrate the upward move is back on track...but then again, I am NOT a technician...so call it like you see it!

Overall, the stock is an interesting pick. The valuation is not perfect....the recent news is compelling with a great earnings report and estimates, the track record on earnings growth is less than perfect, and the technical aspects could be better. The balance sheet and free cash flow are solid however. I just SOLD a stock at a loss today...so I am NOT in the market for a new stock.

Thanks so much for bearing with me! If you have any questions or comments, please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com and you are welcome to visit my main website at http://bobsadviceforstocks.tripod.com . Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:00 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
"Trading Transparency" DJO

Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by! Unfortunately, with every market correction our recent purchases are most vulnerable to sales. And this correction is no exception. DJ Orthopedics (DJO) was just purchased July 1, 2004, at $24.07/share. About 45 minutes ago, I sold my 300 shares at $21.87 as they had passed my 8% limit on losses. Whatever I do on this blog, I am trying HARDER and HARDER to keep with my rules....and out it went.

Just a note to keep you updated. If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com .

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:57 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 13 July 2004
July 13, 2004 Option Care (OPTN)

Hello friends! It is a beautiful Tuesday afternoon here in Wisconsin and the best I can do is to go online and post on my blog. Will definitely need to get into some sort of blog-support group....:). Please remember, as always, that I am an amateur investor myself, so I cannot be responsible for any trades that you make. So please consult with your investment advisors before taking any action based on information on this website.

I came across Option Care this afternoon, while scanning through the lists of greatest % gainers. I do NOT have any shares or options (no pun intended) of OPTN. As I write, OPTN is trading at $17.39/share, up $3.18 or 22.38% on the day. What drove this stock higher today was a report by the company this morning RAISING guidance for the 2004 2nd quarter of $.21/share earnings on $98 million in revenue. The "street" was looking for $.19/share for the quarter and $92 million in revenue. Investors clearly liked the news. In addition, OPTN raised 2004 year guidance to $.84-$.87/share vs a previous consensus of $.78.

According to the Yahoo "Profile", OPTN "...provides pharmacy services to patients with acute and chronic conditions at the patient's home or at other alternate-site settings such as physicians' offices."

OPTN announced 1st quarter 2004 results on May 4, 2004. For the quarter ended March 31, 2004, revenue came in at $103 million, an 11% increase of $93 million in revenue the prior year. Net income was up 8% to $4.3 million from $4.0 million the prior year, or $.20/diluted share vs. $.19/diluted share the prior year.

Looking longer-term at the "5-Yr Restated" financials from Morningstar.com, we can see a steady record of revenue growth from $120.4 million in 1999, to $355.4 million in 2003.

Earnings have been a bit inconsistent increasing from $.31/share in 1999 to $.67/share in 2002, and then dropping in 2003 to $.41 and now increasing to $.42/share in the TTM.

Free cash flow has recently performed quite well increasing from $(12) million in 2001, to $5 million in 2002, $23 million in 2003 and $24 million in the trailing twelve months (TTM).

The balance sheet, as reported on Morningstar.com, is also very healthy with $6.6 million in cash and $82.2 million in other current assets as opposed to $27.7 million in current liabilities and only $7.2 million in long-term liabilities.

What about valuation? If we check Yahoo "Key Statistics", we can see that this is a small cap firm with a market cap of $370.5 million. The trailing p/e is a bit rich at 41.13, but due to the rapid growth anticipated, OPTN carries a forward (fye 31-Dec-05) p/e of only 19.77. Thus the PEG looks great at 1.01, and the Price/Sales ratio is also quite nice at 0.83.

Yahoo reports 21.29 million shares outstanding with only 13.20 million of them that float. There ARE a few shares out short, 361,000 as of 6/7/04, which represents 3.8 trading days of volume. The company does pay a small dividend of $.08/share yielding 0.56%, and did declare a 5:4 split in May, 2002.

If we take a look at a recent Point & Figure chart from Stockcharts.com:




we can see that the stock which was trading sideways between at least August, 2001 and September, 2002, actually broke down and hit about $6/share in September, 2003, and since that time has been trading steadily higher above its support line, and recently has broken out on the upside. I am NOT a technician, so please judge the graph yourself. The stock looks strong...although the most recent move may leave it a bit extended.

So what do I think? I like this stock. Of course personally, I do NOT have any cash to invest in my trading portfolio (I am waiting to sell a portion at a gain before adding ANOTHER position). However, the recent news with upwards guidance for the current quarter and year is quite bullish for the company. The recent earnings report is nice if not brilliant, the 5-yr results look good. The free cash flow is excellent, as is the balance sheet. The valuation is nice with a PEG about 1.01, and a Price/Sales under 1.0. Quite frankly, I haven't found much about this one that I do not like!

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any comments, questions, or words of encouragement, please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:18 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 11 July 2004
A Reader Responds "How about Taxes?"

Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by. You are welcome to make yourself at home....there are LOTS of posts....sort of like my house sometimes with things sort of lying around...you may have to sort through them yourself to find some clean clothes!

One of my readers, John, who wrote earlier this weekend wrote back (!) and has additional comments and questions. He writes:

Wow,

That was really thorough. Sorry, /i asked so many, but you probably knew more about investing than I did, so it made sense to "interview" you to gain other people's perspectives, style, etc. Your not doing bad at all.

As you may have read, I have $10,000 to 'dispose' of. A reader suggested Canadian oil stocks, but I'm really not too sure about that. I opted to go for 100% individual stocks.

I recently got membership to NAIC (National Association of investor's Corp.) and they sent alot of fundamental analysis forms, programs, books, etc.

I have read the same books you have read. O'Neill has several books out, all of which are very good.

I also believe in a 'blend' between growth and value. It is possible to find a value company on the verge of immense growth.

One thing I do like to know is, how much has taxes sucked out of your gains? I consider myself as the 'buy-and-hold' alot contributing to lower taxes on long-term gain! s.

I will visit your site as often as I can, you have some good info on it.

Thanks for answering my questions.


Let me see if I can comment on what you have written. First of all, I am a fellow AMATEUR investor so am not qualified to give you specific stock suggestions. Hopefully, what I write will give you some inspiration about things to discuss with YOUR professional investment advisor who will be better equipped to let you know which investments are most suitable for you.

In general, I cannot predict which direction specific stocks like Canadian Oil Stocks will be moving. They might turn out to be a terrific investment....and then again they might not. As you read through my blog, you will see that I try to practice what I call the "Zen of Investing"....I have an entry on MSN which I comment on that and I am NOT the originator of that term! What I mean by that is that I let the stocks themselves determine whether I invest in them or not. Not trying to sound pseudo-profound, what I mean is that I watch the lists of stocks each day that are making large moves upward, and from THOSE stocks, I pick stocks to invest.

I try NOT to have a bias towards or against a particular stock group when I make a purchase. Thus, I have purchased stocks in Egg producers, chicken producers, and lots of stocks in the Health field. Frankly, I do tend to be a bit biased towards health stocks...but I think it is because of their steady growth. One of my most recent stocks is a Kefir manufacturer (Lifeway), which is some sort of Yogurt drink!

How about TAXES? That IS an important issue. As you will note from my discussion in my portfolio, I have very LITTLE realized gains. Most of my gains are UNREALLIZED and thus deferred and not subject to taxes. I try to take LOSSES quickly which is a very tax-advantaged proposal. My gains I take SLOWLY and the early, or usually short-term gains, are mostly return of principle, with the later-gains being mostly profit...and hopefully falling into the long-term gains category which is taxed at a lower rate.

I think my system is very tax-friendly.

Thanks again for visiting my website. Please visit as often as you feel it is helpful and continue to correspond. I would love to hear how you are doing in your investment quest!

If you or others have questions, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com!

Have a GREAT week trading everyone!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:34 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 10 July 2004
A Reader Writes, "Some questions for you, if you don't mind"

Hello Friends,

It is Saturday evening, and I really SHOULD be doing something better than working on my BLOG...but if you have been a BLOGGER, well, you know what I mean. As always, please remember that I am an AMATEUR investor, so please take all I write with a "grain of salt" and consult with your professional investment advisors to make sure that your investment decisions are appropriate and timely for you.

Received an interesting email from John L. who writes:

Bob,

Some questions for you, if you don't mind:

What is your basis / plan for picking stocks.
What is your average holding period for each stock.
Are you a value or growth investor.
What is your current reading list.
How long have you been investing.
How have you performed in 2003 and mid-2004.

Thanks,

John


John....thanks for writing! Let me try to answer these questions the best that I can.

First: "What is your basis/plan for picking stocks"

As a rule, I pick stocks from the lists of stocks that are making the greatest percentage gains that day. I prefer to pick stocks over $10...but have bought less expensive stocks on occasion. Then, I screen the stocks through several criteria: basically, recent quarter with increasing revenue and earnings, a look at the Morningstar.com review also looking for increasing revenue, earnings, free cash flow, solid balance sheet. (I don't always get EVERYTHING I look for, but the more that is there, the more I like a stock). Then, I usually run it through the "Key Statistics" portion of Yahoo, where I look at PEG ratio, Price/sales, outstanding short interest....and number of shares outstanding. Finally, I would like to see a stock with a solid Point & Figure chart...showing it trading ABOVE its support level, instead of struggling with its resistance level.

I only buy a stock when I CAN buy a stock :). My system allows me to purchase a stock given that I am below 25 in my total portfolio size...and that my last transaction was a sale of a portion of my existing holding at a GAIN. I use this as a signal that it is safe to once again commit some new funds. When I do PICK a stock, there may be several that meet my criteria that day. At that point, quite frankly, I am a bit of a seat of the pants player....that is, I buy a stock that I think INTUITIVELY will be a good purchase....sometimes I am right and other times...well you know the rest of THAT story!

Second Question: What is my average holding period.

O.K. I confess that I do not know. In my Current Trading Portfolio that I recently updated, my holdings have been "held" for varying periods of time, however, this does NOT take into consideration my many sales on losses...sometimes after holding for as little as one day! My long-term plan is to have a portfolio that is held quite long...that grows and allows me to "prune" some profits on a regular basis. That is my "fantasy" at least!

If you read the blog on a regular basis, I continue to post virtually ALL of my transactions as fast as I make them...so you will soon get a better feeling. I am a bit weak on statistics of my own portfolio here.

Third Question: "Are you a value or growth investor?"

I would like to think of myself as a hybrid between the two. I hate to be pegged. I am certainly a growth investor, but maybe GARP is a better term..."Growth at a Reasonable Price"...but in reality, I am a Growth and Momentum investor...because the current price momentum, THAT day's price performance, is the first place I start! Also, I believe the appropriate description is earnings momentum as well...as I am looking for stocks with consistent PAST earnings and revenue growth as a key to predicting FUTURE results. Does THAT answer your question?

Fourth Question (I am feeling like I am being interviewed....lol): "What is your current reading list." On a fairly regular basis, I like to read the Investor's Business Daily...less frequently I get to the Wall Street Journal. I subscribe to Money Magazine, Kiplinger's, John Dessauer letter, Smart Money Magazine, and am letting my subscription to Worth lapse. Book-wise, I have been profoundly influenced by William O'Neill's "How to Make Money in Stocks"...but also feel kin to a lesser known book by Gene Walden, "100 Best Stocks to Own in America". Unfortunately, the latter has NOT been updated recently.

Fifth Question: "How long have you been investing?" I started investing my first personal purchase in 1967 when I purchased 5 shares of Global Marine for $62/share. In 1968 I purchased 5 shares of Litton Industries for a similar price and proceeded in losing my shirt on both investments. I have tried many different things, lost a bunch of money in options about 8 years ago...and more recently started following the percentage gainers list as an indicator of possible future gains. Since January, 2003, I have been trying to use this particular technique exclusively in my "trading account." I have some money, especially retirement funds, under management that I do NOT take ANY responsibiility for. This "Current Trading Portfolio" is the extent of my current investing strategy.

Sixth Question: "How have you performed in 2003 and mid-2004?"

Again, I am not closely monitoring my performance, but if we look again at the Current Trading Portfolio site, as of June 22, 2003, I was showing realized losses of $(2,951.52) with a paper gain of $14,632.35. The overall portfolio "value" was $46,935 on 6/30/03.

By 12/24/03, I had a taxable gain of $1,192.31 with a paper gain of $23,821.71. My Account Net Value at that time was $51,462.01. My trading accout has approximately 45% equity position with margin balance present.

As of 7/10/04, my account Net Worth is $55,712.95. I am at 44.40% equity. My paper gains stand at $28,344.73, and for 2004 I have net short term loss of $(920.40) and Net Long-term gain of $2,476.16.

I hope that helps answer your question. I am NOT an accountant...so I have not been calculating my return. Each month I kick in about $500 into my trading account...unless margin balance is threatening a call and then I add additional cash. I also have been paying off my van each month so I have been withdrawing about $600/month to write payments.

John, I hope that answers the bulk of your questions. Thanks so much for stopping by! If you or anyone else have any other questions or comments, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 8:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

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