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Saturday, 21 February 2004
"How are we doing?" A look back on the week of December 15, 2003
Hello Friends! It is absolutely a warm-spell here in Wisconsin....I mean the temperature is at least 38 degrees F and the snow is melting everywhere! Short sleeves weather without a doubt!

It is Saturday and one of the pieces of housekeeping that I like to do is to look back both short-term and relatively long-term to see how my stock picks are doing. This week I am up to the week of December 15, 2003, almost exactly two months ago. During that week, I picked four stocks: Advanced Digital Information (ADIC), iPass (IPAS), Overland Storage (OVRL), and Digene Corp (DIGE).

ADIC was posted here when the stock was trading at $13.96. ADIC closed on 2/20/04 at $12.88 for a loss of $(1.08) or (7.7)%.

iPass was also posted on Bob's Advice on 12/16/03 when it was trading at $16.47. IPAS closed 2/20/04 at $13.08, for a loss of $(3.39) or (20.6)%.

Third, Overland Storage (OVRL) was posted here at the price of $17.889. OVRL closed on 2/20/04 at $18.07 for a gain of $.181 or 1%.

Finally, Digene Corp (DIGE) was posted on this blog on 12/17/03 at a price of $37.99. DIGE closed on 2/20/04 at $37.95 for a loss of $(.04) or (0.1)%.

Averaging these four stocks, we have an average loss of (6.85)%. Pretty mediocre, but that is the cost over the short run of these quickly growing issue...at least THAT is my rationale! :)

Regards!



Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 4:10 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 21, 2004 UniFirst Corp (UNF)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. It is WAY too late to be up typing away at my computer posting another entry on my BLOG...but has that ever stopped me before? As ALWAYS, please remember to do your own due diligence on all of the stocks discussed on this website...and quite frankly on ALL websites...and use your financial advisor as frequently as you need!

Anyhow, before I fall asleep at the keyboard, I wanted to post one stock from yesterday...yikes it is past midnight...a stock that performed well and looks interesting from my perspective. UniFirst Corp (UNF) closed at $26.83 on the day, up $.71 or 2.72%. That was enough (!) to make the list of best gainers. I do not own any shares of UNF.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", UNF "...is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective clothing. UNF rents, manufactures and sells a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, jumpsuits, lab coats, smocks and aprons."

On January 12, 2004, UNF announced first quarter 2004 earnings results for the quarter ended November 29, 2003. Revenues for the latest quarter were $180.9 million, a 21.3% increase from the $149.2 million in the prior year. (The news story noted that acquisitions accounted for 16.3% of the revenue growth.) Net income increased 48.3% from $6.4 million or $.33/share in 2003 to $9.5 million or $.50/share in 2004.

If we check "5-Yr Restated" Financials on Morningstar.com, we see a beautiful, steady growth in revenue from $487 million in 1999, $529 million in 2000, $556 million in 2001, $579 million in 2002, and $597 million in 2003 with $629 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share dipped slightly in 2000 from $1.18 in 1999 to $1.01 in 2000, then have increased steadily from $1.20 in 2000 to $1.56 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive if a bit erratic from $42 million in 2001, $19 million in 2002, $23 million in 2003 and $28 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet is o.k. with $8.0 million in cash and $184.1 million in other current assets vs. $112.8 million in current liabilities and $271.7 million in long-term debt.

Checking the "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we see that the market cap is $514.76 million. The trailing p/e is reasonable at 17.11, with a forward p/e (fye 30-Aug-05) at 15.16. TDhe PEG is nice at 1.14, and price/sales downright cheap at 0.80. Whenever the price/sales or PEG hits 1.0 or less, it appears to me that the stock is "reasonably" priced.

UNF has 19.19 million shares outstanding with 16.10 million of them that float. There are only 47,000 shares out short, representing 0.29% of the float or 1.175 trading days.

The stock DOES pay a small annual dividend of $.15 yielding 0.57%. The last stock split was a 2:1 split as of 1/20/04.

Looking a little at the 'technical' aspects of this issue, I like to check the free point and figure chart on UNF. Without claiming to be a technician, this stock broke down breaking through a support level in early 2003, and since that time has been heading higher quite consistently.

As you know, I have promised NOT to buy any additional stocks until I sell something at a gain! Therefore, I will hold off adding to my portfolio which is now down to 22 positions...otherwise, I find this stock intriguing, both on a valuation basis as well as the growth record.

Thanks so much for stopping by! As always, 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 12:32 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 20 February 2004
"Reader Request" Flextronics (FLEX)
Hello Friends! Derek G. wrote in and asked me to take a look at Flextronics (FLEX). I let him know that I would do it in the BLOG....so Derek here it is! By the way, I do not own any shares of this stock.

First of all, I make my picks starting with stocks that are having good daily momentum. At this point FLEX doesn't fit the bill...but we can still take a loot. As I am writing this, FLEX is trading at $18.38, down $(.39) or (2.08)% on the day.

Looking at the latest quarterly results, the best story I could find was posted on the Flextronics website, under news, they related for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, (FLEX 3rd quarter), net sales were $4.15 billion, a 7.8% increase over the prior year's sales. Net income was $93.9 million, or $.17/share, a 41.9% increase from the prior year's net income.

If we look at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue grew quickly between 1999 and 2001, increasing from $4.0 billion/yr to $12.1 billion. However, although growth in revenue has continued since that time, it has done so at a much slower rate increasing from $12.1 billion in 2001 to $13.5 billion in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings turned negative in 2001, when they were at $(1.01) and have stayed negative per Morningstar, totalling $(.72) in the trailing twelve months. It appears that with the recent reports, they are not losing money (?).

Free cash flow which was NEGATIVE 1 BILLION $'s in 2001, improved to $529 million in 2002, but subsequently has been dropping with $399 million in 2003 and $283 million in the trailing twelve months.

FLEX has $699.5 million in cash and $3.5 billion in other current assets, however they also have $3.1 billion in current liabilities and also $1.6 billion in long-term liabilities. It appears that the current assets including cash are adequate to cover the huge current liabilities...and indeed with positive cash flow this may also be improving...but this is not the prettiest balance sheet I have come across.

If we look at "Key Statistics" on Yahoo, we see that the market cap is large at $9.79 billion, the p/e ratio is 28.91 (forward fye 31-Mar-05), with a PEG at 1.42...so the valuation, while not inexpensive, is not overly highly priced. Price/sales is particularly nice at 0.72.

There are 529.17 million shares outstanding, with 435.60 million shares that float. Currently there are 18.33 million shares out short representing 2.727 trading days or 4.21% of the float. No cash dividend is paid, and the last stock dividend was a 2:1 split in October, 2000.

Taking a look at the 'technicals', we can see from a Stockcharts.com point and figure chart on Flextronics that this stock broke through a resistance level in early 2003 and for the last 14 months has been moving upward in a regular fashion. The momentum pricewise looks nice.

So Derek, what do I think? This may indeed be a terrific investment insofar as the technicals and the recent earnings report. I am a bit concerned over the debt load, the relatively poor record of losses, the decreasing free cash flow, and the fact that the stock is not really a terrific value. That does NOT mean that it isn't a good investment, it just means that when I look at this investment through MY 'tinted glasses' that are biased towards my idiosyncratic methods, it just isn't the best investment on my investment horizon. On the other hand, it isn't that bad either!

I hope that is helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any other questions, comments, or words of encouragement!

Regards.

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 2:03 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 20 February 2004 2:06 PM CST
"Trading Transparency" ISNS and WBSN
The NASDAQ correction continues. Thank goodness I didn't spend that nickel in my pocket to buy my position #25. Because now, I have hit an 11% loss with my WBSN and an 8.5% loss on ISNS and have just sold my 200 WBSN and 300 ISNS...and will sit again on my hands....with that nickel burning hotter than ever in my pocket...waiting until I have a sale for a profit at my price goals...and then start buying positions back. Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting here. I try real hard to let you know both about what stocks look interesting in general as well as a virtual look at my trading activity.

If you have any comments, questions, or my favorite....words of encouragement (!)...please drop me a line at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards again!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:59 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 19 February 2004
February 19, 2004 OmniVision Technologies (OVTI)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. Had a real busy day and did not get to my blog until NOW. It is 2/19/04 as I write...but may be 2/20 by the time I get this published! As always, please do your own due diligence on everything I write about and consult often with your own financial advisors to make sure that anything on this website or blog is appropriate and timely for you!

O.K. that being said, OmniVision Technologies (OVTI) hit the lists today. They closed at $29.45, up $3.82 or 14.90% on the day in the face of a lousy day for the NASDAQ...which was down about 30 points to 2045 and change. According to money.cnn.com "snapshot", OVTI "...designs, develops and markets semiconductor imaging devices for computing, communications and consumer electronics applications, used to capture an image in cameras and personal computer cameras." I do not currently own any shares of this stock.

What drove this stock higher this morning was a GREAT third quarter earnings report which was released 'after the bell' yesterday. Revenue for the quarter TRIPLED to $94.5 million from $30.5 million the prior year. Earnings per share, adjusted for a 2:1 split 2/17 rose to $.28/share from $.09/share. In addition, if all of that FABULOUS news wasn't enough, the company projected earnings and revenue for the current quarter "well ahead of Thomson First Call projections."

Looking at Morningstar.com's "5-Yr Restated" financials, we find that revenue has grown from $5 million to $185 million between 1999 and the trailing twelve months. The company DID have a down year in 2002 but has not looked back since. Earnings/share have improved from a loss of $(0.03)/share in 2002 to $.52/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has improved from $(20) million in 2001 to $13 million in the trailing twelve months. On top of this the balance sheet as presented on Morningstar.com, looks SUPERB with $173.8 million in CASH, way more than enough to cover all of the $55.3 million in current liabilities and NO long-term liabilities are even reported. In ADDITION, OVTI has $89.7 million in other current assets per Morningstar.com. IMHO this balance sheet is a thing of beauty!

Looking at "key statistics" on Yahoo, we find that the market cap is a mid-cap $1.60 Billion. The trailing p/e isn't cheap at 41.60, but with the RAPID growth estimated, the forward p/e, for fye 30-Apr-05 is only 15.03. Thus, the PEG is GREAT at 0.89, although price/sales a bit rich at 5.58.

Yahoo reportes 54.28 million shares outstanding with 51.60 million of them that float. There are 7.08 million shares out SHORT representing 13.72% of the float as of 1/8/04. This would take 2.44 trading days to cover. Shorts are getting covered as the prior month, Yahoo reports that there were 7.85 million shares out short.

No cash dividend is paid, and a stock dividend is JUST reported as of 17-FEB-04, with ex-dividend date YESTERDAY at 18-Feb-04.

Looking at the technical picture, we can see with a point and figure chart from Stockcharts.com, that OVTI broke out of its resistance level in late 2002 and has never looked back!

I like this stock a lot. If I WERE in the market to buy a stock I probably would be biting at this one...but you know the old story, I have LOTS of margin, 24 positions, and promised ME and all of you readers that I would NOT buy anything, I repeat, NOT buy anything at least until I sold something for a profit. SHUCKS. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my look at this stock. I really have to get to sleep and get up early for a walk...so signing off to all of you sports fans!

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:39 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 18 February 2004
February 18, 2004 Marine Products (MPX)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to make yourself at home and explore the full range of posts on this BLOG. If you wish to view prior posts, you can just click on the calendar at the lift and even change months by clicking....as always, please remember to do your own due diligence (check out the information yourself in lay terms!)...and utilize your own investment advisor to make sure the investments we discuss are appropriate and timely for you!

I have that nickel burning a hole in my pocket...but it is staying there for awhile. If you have been reading my posts, you will know that what I mean is that in my Trading Portfolio I am down to 24 positions...and quite frankly there is a good chance that ISNS will hit an 8% stop...and then I will have 23. I am waiting for a partial sale of one of my other holdings on a gain...as you may know, I set targets of about 33%, 66%, 99%, 120%, 180%...before I sell 25% of a holding. And I am using this sale as confirmation that the market is healthy...hopefully, by holding off, I will continue to add to my cash...or at least reduce my margin...as the market corrects. That is the theory at least.

ANYWAY, where was I?...yes I was going to say something about Marine Products Corp. (MPX), an AMEX issue that had a nice day trading in an otherwise lackluster market. This is ironic, I do NOT own any shares of this or any other boating company, but this is the SECOND stock involved in boating to be posted on this blog. Do you think something is "afloat?"

MPX closed at $20/share, up $.65 or 3.36% on the AMEX. That small move qualified it for one of the top gainers on the American Stock Exchange! According to money.cnn.com "snapshot", MPX "...design, manufactures and sells recreational fiberglass powerboats in the sportboat, deckboat and cruiser markets." Maybe those tax cuts from the Bush Administration to the upper-income group is helping them get out and buy a boat! I mean SERIOUSLY....:)

What drove the stock higher today, was the fourth quarter earnings report which was released yesterday morning. Also, they announced a 50% stock dividend (3:2), with a 50% increase in the cash dividend! Now that's a nice piece of news!

According to the report, net sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, were up 32.0% to $47 million from $35.6 million the prior year, the highest net sales for any quarter in this company's history. Gross profit was $13.1 million, a 44.4% increase over the same period in 2002. Net income for the quarter was $4.4 million, a 51.1% increase compared to $2.95 million the prior year. On a per share basis, diluted earnings per share were $.25 ($.17 adjusted for the 3:2 split announced 1/27/04) vs $.16 ($.11 adjusted for the split). Things were really firing on all "boat engine cylinders"...groan.

Checking the Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" financials we find that revenue has grown from $103.5 million in 1998, almost perfectly steadily (except for a slight dip in 2001), to $179.2 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share are only listed since 2002 when they were $.69 (probably the year this company went public)...and improved to $.86 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive but slightly erratic, ranging from $11 million in 2000, $5 million in 2001, $8 million in 2002, and $7 million in trailing twelve months. While growing free cash flow is always my preference, the fact that it is consistently positive and fairly consistent is reassuring.

The balance sheet for this company, as reported by Morningstar is impeccable. They have $23.3 million in cash alone, more than enough to cover both the current liabilities of $14.7 million and the long-term liabilities of $2.2 million. In addition, they have $28.1 million in other current assets.

If we look at "key Statistics" on Yahoo.com for MPX, we find that the market cap is a small $343.02 million. The trailing p/e is nice at 19.76. The forward p/e (fye 31 Dec 04) is even nicer at 15.38. And get this, the PEG is 0.84. Price/sales pretty nice at 1.71. But the PEG is the PEG of my heart (YUCK).

Yahoo reports 17.15 million shares outstanding with 6.10 million shares that float. Currently, there are a grand total, as of 1/8/04, of 19,000 shares out short, which represents only 0.31% of the float, but due to the thin trading volume of this stock, still is a short ratio of 2.111.

As an added bonus, the company pays a small dividend of $.24/share (which is being raised) yielding 1.24%.
A stock dividend was recently declared on 1/27/04.

I do like this stock a lot. I do not have any cash to buy a position but would be thinking about it if I were ready to buy something. The valuation is nice, the company even pays a dividend, recently reported OUTSTANDING financial results, and is spinnning off free cash while having enough cash to pay of all of its liaibilities and still have more current assets left over.

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

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:16 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 17 February 2004
February 17, 2004 MarineMax (HZO)
Hello Friends! It is late Tuesday evening and I was watching the election returns from Wisconsin. It looks like Kerry wins again...Edwards hangs in there but loses another state...sounds more like a boxing match than an election...but I guess that is the point. Anyhow, wanted to scan the lists to see if anything looks worthwhile. Here is a boat retailer for you to consider. I do not own any shares of this stock.

MarineMax (HZO) had a nice day today, closing at $26.52 on the day, up $3.72 or 16.32%. Nice is putting it nicely! According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", MarineMax "...is a recreational boat dealer that, through its 66 retail locations in 15 states, sells new and used boats and related marine products including engines, trailers, parts and accessories."

Just a few weeks ago, HZO reported excellent first quarter 2004 results. For the quarter, MarineMax reported a 60% revenue increase to $156.7 million from $98.0 million. More importantly, get this, same store revenues grew 56% (!!!) compared to an 18% decrease in the year ago quarter. Net income was $2.2 million or $.14/diluted share an increase of $.17 compared to the net loss of $480,000, or $(0.03)/diluted share the prior year.

If we look at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we can see that sales growth for HZO has been fairly steady, increasing from $450 million in 1999 to $608 million in the trailing twelve months. Earnings per share have actually pretty much gone nowhere during this period ranging from $1.21/share in 1999 to $1.26/share in the trailing twelve months. Frankly, I would much rather see a trend of growing earnings along with the steady increase in revenue.

Free cash flow has been improving recently from $1 million in 2001, $(3) million in 2002 to $18 million in 2003. The balance sheet is balanced in favor of assets with $10.5 million in cash and $192.8 million in other current assets compared to $136.3 million in current liabilities and $26.8 million in long-term liabilities.

Looking at
"Key Statistics" on Yahoo for MarineMax, we find that the market cap is a small $409.95 million. The trailing p/e isn't bad at 18.80, with a forward p/e from fye 5/05, at 16.17. The PEG is a little rich at 1.56 and price/sales cheap at 0.53.

There are 15.46 million shares outstanding with 8.50 million of them that float. As of 1/8/04, Yahoo reports only 81,000 shares out short with a short ratio (number of trading days to cover) at 1.174. No dividend is paid, and Yahoo does not report any stock splits in the recent past history of the company.

Looking at a Point and Figure chart from stockcharts.com, we find a graph that appears to be trading steadily higher with no evidence of any weakness at least since breaking out in early 2002.

Overall, this is an interesting pick. It has a nice history of revenue growth, fairly reasonable p/e and PEG, as well as price/sales ratios. In addition, they have recently reported a 50%+ same store sales growth figure so they must be going like 'gangbusters'. The graph looks nice, and if the recovery continues, boating and recreational companies are sure to benefit imho.

As always, please consult with your own investment advisors and do your own due diligence. Thanks again for stopping by and if you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to drop me a line at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:50 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 15 February 2004
"Seven Months Ago" A longer term view examining the selections of the week of July 21, 2003
Hello Friends! I am sure glad you chose to stop by here....by all means make yourself at home! Explore the website, the picks, and feel free to let me know what you think. You can reach me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com Remember to always do your own 'due diligence' before making any decisions based on information on this website and that you consult with your own investment advisors!

In order to help me assess the usefulness of the methods I employ, I like to post my ideas on the website, purchase some of them myself (see my current trading account), and then follow-up, by reviewing past selections. That is what I call my 'housekeeping' or 'homework' for the weekend. Today, moving a week ahead of last week's review, I will take a look at the week of July 21, 2003. By that time, this website was up almost three months, and I was definitely getting a system together. This was a busy week for selections, with 10 picks posted here.

On July 21, 2003, I posted Simpson Manufacturing (SSD) at a price of $40.75. Simpson closed on 2/13/04 at $46.07, for a gain of $5.32 or 13.1%. Looking at the news on this stock, SSD announced their 2003 fourth quarter results on January 27, 2004. Fourth quarter net sales were up 22.7% to $133.4 million and net income increased 25.5% to $13.3 million. On a per share diluted basis this was $.53 vs $.43/share the prior year. SSD is doing just fine!

The next stock, DSP Group (DSPG) was posted on Bob's Advice at a price of $25.23 on 7/21/03. DSPG closed on 2/13/04 at $26.01 for a gain of $.78 or 3.1%. Looking at the earnings news on Yahoo.com, I found their fourth quarter 2003 earnings report. This was reported on 1/27/04, revenue came in at $38.1 million, a 36% increase over the $28.7 million the prior year. Net income for the quarter was $6.0 million, a 65% incrrease from the $3.6 million the prior year. DSPG is doing great!

IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) was posted on Bob's Advice on 7/21/03 at a price of $38.29. IDXX closed 2/13/04 at $50.66. This was a gain of $12.37 from the selection price or 32.3%. This was a great performance and looking for the news on this company, we found the fourth quarter 2003 results which were released on 1/26/04. Revenue was up 18% to $124.8 million, however an after-tax charge of $4.5 million in connection with the "extension of its collaboration with Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. (OCD), a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson", led to a decrease in earnings by 3% to $12.4 million. Excluding this charge, earnings were $.46/share, an increase of 28% over the same quarter in 2002. I guess the street shrugged off this charge...so everything appears to be intact!

On July 22, 2003, I posted Cognizant Technology on Bob's Advice at a price of $30.22/share. CTSH closed 2/13/04 at $50.13, for a great gain of $19.91/share or 65.9% (!)(too bad I didn't buy any shares :(). Looking for latest earnings, CTSH reported fourth quarter 2003 results on February 10, 2004. Quarterly revenue increased to $108.2 million, a 61% from the prior year. Diluted earnings/share were $.25/share, up from $.14/share the prior year. This company is doing great! In fact, on the same day CTSH announced increased 2004 expectations. Things appear to be humming along just fine with CTSH.

Vital Images (VTAL) was posted on Bob's Advice on July 22, 2003, at $21.66. VTAL is the one stock that I DID own some shares but no longer own any...and has been a big disappointment price-wise closing at $11.10 on 2/13/04 for a loss of $(10.56) or (48.8)%. On February 11, 2004, VTAL announced their Fourth Quarter 2003 financial results: revenue was $5.2 million for the quarter DOWN from $6.2 million th eprior year. Net income was $7,000 or $0.00/share (including a net tax benefit of $.06/share!), compared to $416,000 or $.04/diluted share in 2002. This company does not fulfill requirements of growing revenue/earnings to be recommended on this website!

(Hang in there....we are half way through our review!)

QLT (QLTI) was posted on Bob's Advice on 7/23/03 at a price of $15.39. This maker of Visudyne, a macular degeneration treatment, closed at $23.26 on 2/13/04. This was a gain of $7.87 or 51.1%. On February 11, 2004, QLTI announced their fourth quarter 2003 earnings results. Revenues for the fourth quarter were up 21% to $38.4 million. Net income in the quarter was $9 million or $.13/share vs a loss of $(825,000) or $(.01)/share the prior year. Everything looks good at QLTI imho.

The outdoor clothing company, Columbia Sportswear (COLM) was posted on Bob's Advice on July 24, 2003, at a price of $52.00. COLM closed on 2/13/04 at $53.30, for a gain of $1.30 or 2.5%. On January 29, 2004, COLM reported fourth quarter 2003 results. Sales, adjusting for currency exchange rates, increased 13.1%. Net income increased for the quarter by 10.5% to $32.2 million or $.79/share compared to $.72/share last year. Columbia appears to be doing just fine.

Sierra Health Services (SIE) was posted on Bob's Advice on July 24, 2003, at a price of $27.09. SIE closed on 2/13/04 at $32.51, for a gain of $5.42 or 20%. On January 28, 2004, SIE reported their fourth quarter 2003 results. For the quarter, net income rose to $4.8 million or $.16/share vs a year ago profit of $4.5 million or $.14/share. Revenue for the quarter rose 14% to $373.4 million from $326.9 million a year ago. This company appears to be on track.

On July 24, 2003, I posted Fair Isaac (FIC) on Bob's Advice at $55.42/share. FIC closed 2/13/04 at $61.56, for a gain of $5.14/share or 9.3%. On January 26, 2004, FIC reported first quarter 2004 earnings: revenue for the quarter increased to $169 million from $146 million the prior year or $.59/share vs $.38/share the prior year. This stock appears to doing fine!

Finally, on July 26, 2003, I posted Zoran (ZRAN) on Bob's Advice at a price of $27.28. I bought some ZRAN and sold them shortly after that at a loss!...ZRAN closed on 2/13/04 at $16.11 for a loss of $(12.17) or (44.6)%. On February 2, 2004, ZRAN announced delays in reporting their fourth quarter and 2003 results "...pending conclusion of the Company's 2003 audit procedures." This was not the first delay in this company's earnings results and this is not encouraging (imho). This would not qualify for a recommendation on this site.

How did we do? We had 8/10 stocks with gains ranging from 2.5% to 65.9% and two losers with sharp losses of (48.8)% and (44.6)%. Averaging the performance, gets us an average gain of 10.39%. Not too bad for seven months....

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

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:05 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"How are we doing?" A look back on the week of December 8, 2003
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I am not eating or giving away much chocolate these days...except maybe some of the low-carb stuff. Not quite the same though!

Weekend is a great time for reviewing the stock picks on this website. I have been reviewing things both short-term, we are about two months out with that, and long-term, where we are about 7 months out.

During the week of December 8, 2003, I posted only two selections: Armor Holdings (AH), which was posted on Bob's Advice on December 8, 2003 at a price of $26.35, and Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL), which was posted on Bob's Advice on December 9, 2003, at a price of $30.89.

Armor Holdings (AH) closed at $29.15 on 2/13/04, for a gain of $2.80 or 10.6%. Comtech (CMTL) closed 2/13/04 at $31.68, for a gain of $.79 or 2.6%.

For the two stocks during the past two months, they have appreciated 6.6%...which isn't too bad considering the short period involved. I do not own either of these issues.

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 3:04 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 15, 2004 The Sportsman's Guide (SGDE)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. It seems whenever I check the counters it seems like we continue to get more visitors at this site. I hope that means I am doing something right! Please remember though to always do your own due diligence before using any information on this or any website. Check with your financial advisors to make sure that any investment that I discuss is suitable for you before deciding what to do! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com and I will try to get right back to you.

Anyway, that's enough for formalities. I didn't get any posts listed on Friday, so I went back today to the big movers to see if there were any interesting selections. This one, The Sportsman's Guide (SGDE) is worth investigating. I do not own any shares of this issue. According to the "snapshot" on money.cnn.com, SGDE "...is catalog retailer and Internet e-tailer of outdoor gear and general merchandise, with a special emphasis on outdorr clothing, equipment and footwear."

SGDE had a nice day Friday, closing at $21.64, up $1.64 or 8.18% on the day.

Looking at the fourth quarter 2003 results as posted on Yahoo on 2/12/04, we find that sales for the quarter were $71.7 million up from $66.3 million for the same quarter the prior year. Net earnings were $3.8 million or $.71/share for the quarter compared to $2.6 million or $.53/share the prior year.

For those of you familiar with my posts, you will know that the next place I go to research a stock is Morningstar.com, in particular I like the "5-Yr Restated" financials for this stock. Except for a super year in 1999, and the return to the trend in 2000, this stock has grown nicely since 1998. Revenues have increased from $143 million in 1998, to $185.8 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings/share have been a bit erratic as well, at least between 1999 and 2000. Except for that, earnings have grown from $.31/share in 1998 to $.89/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow is for me a nice measure as to the ongoing financial health of a company...that is whether it is generating money or consuming assets in its continued operation. For SGDE, free cash flow has been steady, ranging from $9 million in 2000, $12 million in 2001, $8 million in 2002, and $8 million in the trailing twelve months.

I wouldn't be done without taking a look at the balance sheet, at least as presented by Morningstar.com. In this case, we find that SGDE has $11.5 million in cash and $32.1 million in other current assets, far outweighing the current liabilities of $24.0 million and the small long-term debt reported of $200,000.

Contrary to some momentum players, I do think that valuation is important. After all, if you can get large growth numbers at a discount, why not? Anyhow, for this I like to look at "Key Statistics" on Yahoo. For SGDE, we see that this is a SMALL, actually micro cap company with a market cap of $104.61 million. The trailing p/e is nice imho at 18.81. The PEG is reasonable at 1.13, and the price/sales is cheap at 0.50.

There are only 4.84 million shares outstanding and of those, there are only 4.30 million that float. Currently, as of 1/8/04, Yahoo reports only 14,000 shares out short representing 0.378 trading days or 0.33% of the float...so the shorts are not much of a factor in this one.

No cash dividend is paid. The only stock split reported was a REVERSE split (which usually is a TERRIBLE sign for a company)...but this was LONG ago in March of 1997.

Finally, I have lately been trying to use Point and Figure charting to get a feel for the overall pricing action of each investment. For SGDE this is the stockcharts.com graph for SGDE. This stock bounced off its long term support level in late 2001 and has not looked back!

Thanks again for stopping by! I hope that my thoughts and examinations of these investments are useful for you! Again, please do your own work on these investments as they may or may not be appropriate for your investment purposes!

Regards and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

xoxo

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 2:20 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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