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Wednesday, 11 February 2004
February 11, 2004 Giant Industries (GI)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope that you find my incessant commentary helpful and if you have any comments, suggestions or other words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com Also, as always, remember to always do your own due diligence, that is research any ideas you might find on the internet, to make sure they are suitable for you! If you need to, be sure to use an investment advisor. Finally, (am I being too preachy today?), remember to always to try to cut your losses quickly..and let your winners run!

Today I have another oil industry stock to consider. I do not own any shares. In fact, the only stock that I can recall related to the energy business that I have owned has been Pogo Producing (PPP), which unfortunately got caught in a price downdraft shortly after my purchase and out it went. Giant Industries, according to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", "...is engaged in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products that are sold through branded retail outlets, distributors, commercial accounts, and major oil companies."

Looking at the latest quarterly report from the Giant Website, we find results (after signing in with a waiver on the site), for the third quarter ended September 30, 2003. This report was released on November 10, 2003. Net earnings were $7.5 million or $.86/share vs a loss of $(4.6) million or $(0.53)/share the prior year. Net revenues for the quarter were $472 million vs. $382 million for the 2002 third quarter.

Looking at the Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" financials, we can see that revenue has been growing nicely at this company from $0.6 billion in 1998, to $1.8 billion in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings have been erratic, with a loss of $(1.40) in 2002, and a profit of $1.03 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been improving nicely the last few years from $2 million in 2000, $3 million in 2001, $25 million in 2002 and $50 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet is adequate as there are $15.7 million in cash and $202.0 million in other current assets vs. $122.6 million in current liabilities and $423.1 million in long-term liabilities. With the growing free cash flow, hopefully the balance sheet will also show improvements with a decrease in the long-term debt load. (in my humble opinion!)

Looking at "key statistics" on Yahoo.com for GI, we find that this company has a market cap of $130.9 million, making this a small if not micro-cap company. The trailing p/e is very nice at 9.90. The price/sales is probably the lowest on this site at 0.07. The company has a price/book at 0.88.

Yahoo reports that there are 8.79 million shares outstanding with 5.50 million of them that float. Only 53,000 shares are out short as of 1/8/04, representing 0.96% of the float or 0.51 trading days.

No dividend is paid, and no stock dividend is reported on Yahoo.

Let's take a peak at a technical analysis....I do NOT claim to be expert at this, but at least we can see if the chart looks like this stock price is ascending or 'falling out of bed'. If we use the stockcharts.com Point and Figure chart, this looks very "bulllish" to me with a lot of horizontal movement and a recent breakout to the upside. Please don't ask much more of me on technical analysis, it is not my forte but an investor SHOULD look at a graph!

Anyhow, I like this stock just fine and if I didn't own 25 positions in my trading account and wasn't up to my EARS in Margin....about a 40% equity position (yikes), I might buy a little.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:17 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 10 February 2004
February 10, 2004 Thor Industries (THO)
Hello Friends. I feel like I was AWOL today from my website. Fortunately, I don't have to answer to Meet the Press about it! It is late and I decided to scan the lists to see if I could find something for all of you readers. Here is one that I do not own any shares but looks interesting to me! Thor Industries (THO) had a great day today closing at $33.86, up $3.46 or 11.38% on the day.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", Thor "...manufactures and sells a wide range of recreational vehicles and small and mid-size buses in the U.S. and Canada."

On February 2, 2004, THO announced their second quarter results for the quarter ended January 31, 2004. Sales in the quarter were $426 million, a 29% increase from $330 million last year. Their latest full quarterly report was reported on December 1, 2003, when they reported their first quarter results for the quarter ended October 31, 2003. During the first quarter, sales were $490.4 million, up 21% from $406 million the prior year. Net income was $23.7 million, up 14% from $20.8 million the prior year. On a per share basis, this was $.83/share vs $.73/share the prior year.

Looking at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar, we find that revenue has been growing nicely from $0.8 billion in 1999 to $1.7 billion in the trailing twelve months. Earnings/share have grown during this period from $.63/share in 1999 to $1.42/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been erratic but positive ranging from $4 million in 2001, $126 million in 2002, to $32 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet is biased in favor of assets with $113.8 million in cash and $276.8 million in other current assets with $201 million in current liabilities and only $6.7 million in long-term debt according to Morningstar online.

Looking at "key statistics" on Yahoo.com, we find that the market cap is at $1.94 billion. The trailing p/e is 23.90 and the PEG is at 1.11 with price/sales also reasonable at 1.05.

There are 57.24 million shares outstanding and 35.40 million of them that float. As of 1/8/04, there are 1.54 million shares out short representing 4.34% of the float or 3.627 trading days according to Yahoo. The company DOES pay a small dividend of $0.06/share yielding 0.20%. The stock recently split 2:1 on 1/27/04.

Overall, this is an interesting stock. Frankly, I do not know much about the R.V. market and the stocks. I suspect that this may be related to the economy, and as the economy prospers, there will be more spending on things like R.V.'s. But that is just my simple understanding of this company!

Like always, please do your own due diligence before acting on anything posted on this or any other website! Also, use your own investment advisor to determine the suitability of investments discussed here!

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 and I will try to get right back to you!

Regards again!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:38 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 9 February 2004
"Trading Transparency" ISNS
Hello Friends! You know that story about a kid with a nickel burning a hole in his pocket? Well that kid's me! Looking through the lists today, I came across an old favorite, ISNS, Image Sensing Systems, and bought 300 shares at average price of approximately $10.13. I first posted ISNS on this BLOG on October 17, 2003, when it was trading at $10.00 when I made the post, so it has not exactly gotten away from me!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:00 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"Trading Transparency" AAII
Hello Friends! I weathered out the first correction on AAII and it seemed to rebound Friday. However, the stock was down another 10% today on big volume and with some downgrades of the stock and questions about "Pipeline" issues of inventory, etc., I decided we didn't need to own this stock bad enough to ride it back. I sold my entire position, 120 shares, this morning at $20.897. These shares were purchased on 5/12/03 with a cost basis of $13.63, so this was still at greater than a 50% gain on the issue. Like everyone, I have a hard time sorting out news that may be real vs. just the rumor-mongering of short-sellers....and boy does AAII have a load of shorts out there. However, with the weakness, I do not need to own shares that are having their price manipulated one way or another...there I got THAT off my chest!

Thanks for stopping by! I am now back to 24 positions...so you know what that means! I will be looking for another issue to fill out my portfolio!

Remember to do your own due diligence and consult with your financial advisors!

Regards,

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:20 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
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

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