Friday, June 11, 2010

Put a Tiger in you portfolio

TIGERLOGIC ( TIGR ) has an installed customer base that includes more than five lac active users representing more than 20,000 customer sites worldwide, with a significant base of diverse vertical applications. With more than hundred employees and contractors worldwide, TigerLogic offers 24x7 customer support services and maintains a strong international presence.

Their website includes a download link for an application called youlink that purports to be a better search engine than any of the other free applications.

The stock came up on my Barchart screener when I went looking for the stocks hitting the most frequent new highs in the last 20 trading sessions. TIGR hit 13 new highs in the last 20 sessions and 4 in the last 5. The last month has shown a 35.14% price appreciation. Barchart registers 11 buy signals on it's 13 technical indicators for an 88% overall buy signal. The stock trades at 4.50 with a 50 day moving average of 3.52.

Wall Street hasn't discovered this stock yet but the analysts who has this on his watch list thinks the sales will increase by 14.20% next year. Earnings per share are expected to increase by 68.40% this year and 83.30% next year, If these estimates are met this could be a nice pick.

Investors over on Motley Fool that have found this stock vote 39 to 7 that the stock will beat the market. The more experienced All Stars have a similar vote 5 to 1.

If you're looking for a speculative pick that the rest of the herd hasn't discovered yet consider these points:
  • The stock has recent price appreciation and is trading above it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
  • Barchart has a buy signal on 11 of it's 13 technical indicators for an 88% buy signal
  • Wall Street predicts double digit increases in sales and earnings
  • Not a large investor following but those that have found it like it

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on investing on Financial Tides and Barchart. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: No positions in TIGR at the time of publication

Other sttock reviews:

S&P Retail Spider ( XRT )

Lehman ABS Corp ( KVU )

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mid-day signs show improvement

The mid-day signs do signal an improvement over recent market softness but please don't panic and let your emotions rule over your mind. I just want to remind you that panic buying is just as bad as panic selling. Let's see where we stand.

Value Line Index -- 1700 stocks so it's more representative than the narrow S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- mixed signals

Bad News
  • Still down 7.73% in the last 30 days
  • Still down 4.15% for the last 5 days
  • 60% Barchart short term sell signal

Good news

  • Up 2.29% at noon
  • Although the Barchart sell signals are there; they are showing a weakening

Barchart Market Momentum - mixed signals

Bad News

  • only 37.26% of the stocks are trading above their 20 day moving average -- I like to see 50%+

Good News

  • Momentum up 1.73%
  • Advances of 5035 vs, declines of 772

Ratio of stocks hitting new 20 day highs/new 20 day lows -- 1.0+ bullish, 1.0 neutral , under .99 bearish -- right now bullish

  • new 20 day highs 217/ new 20 day lows 209 = 1.03 first bullish sign in awhile

Summary and Investing Strategy -- Right now the market is beginning to recover but I'm waiting until the majority of the stocks trade above their 20 day moving average then I'll slowly buy back in.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on investing on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: No positions mentioned

What I'm reading:

The Average Investor Is His Own Worst Enemy by David K Randall on Forbes

Stocks Flirt With Bear Market, But Investors Aren't Panicking by Jeff Cox on CNBC

Who will sit in judgment? by staff on The Economist

Time to Buy BP, Transocean, Or Halliburton? by Wall Street Cheat Sheet on Seeking Alpha

The Deals Are Getting Good Again by Todd Weening on Motley Fool

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Make lemonade from lemons

Over my lifetime I've seen the same story unfold over and over again. Someone accumulates raw land with the idea of building an agribusiness like a dairy, cattle farm or orchard and is pretty successful. A city not far away begins to grow and pretty soon the suburbs stretch right to the border of the farm and the farmer becomes a real estate developer.

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale and saw that happen in Davie as dairies, cattle farms and orange groves became housing projects. My brother lives in Loxahatchee west of Palm Beach and now you see shopping centers and high schools surrounded by orange groves. Before Walt Disney changed it all, sleepy Orlando was a cattle and citrus farming town. I watched this happen on the north side of Atlanta and now I'm watching the same thing happen on the south side of Charlotte.

I've never had the capital to make major investments in real estate except for ventures into small rental units and REITs but maybe you can.

When I was screening for stocks hitting new highs in this down market I came across Limoneira ( LMNR ) hitting 10 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and gaining 37.19% in the last month. The stock has 12 of 13 Barchart technical indicators signaling a buy and trades around 21.95.

At the present time the company farms about 7,300 acres in Ventura County California and produces lemons, avocados oranges plus a few acres of specialty fruits. They have been developing some of the property into income real estate sometime selling, sometimes building and renting the property out themselves. They even have some ventures into solar energy and water management.

The company is a savvy forward thinking company with a great website plus Facebook, Twitter and even You Tube sites.

Website :

So why do I think this quirky little company deserves a look? The main revenue stream is from agriculture of $31 million and rental income of almost $3 million with operating expenses of around $29 million ( of which $2.3 million is depreciation). The profits from operations help fund the carrying costs of the 7,300 acres of land.

The company gives you a chance to buy into an old dream of buying some agricultural land and letting the farm pay the overhead until you can turn the farm into a cash cow as you sell of some property and develop the rest. Give it a look.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: No positions in LMNR at the time of publication

What I'm reading today:

Women Entrepreneurs: Close The Gender Gap And Dream Big by Renee Martin on Forbes

Goldman's Highly Selective Magic Touch by Dan Solin on Huffington Post

US Steps Up Pressure on BP Over Spill; Shares Fall by Reuters on CNBC

Time-Tested Indicator Predicts Big Gains for Gold Stocks by Bill Sielinski on Seeking Alpha

Box-office blahs: Good time to invest? by Bill Brush on MSN Money Central

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Should you own Gold or Gold Producers

Most novice investors in Gold as with any commodity have the same question: Is it better to own Gold or the Gold Producer? The same hold true for any commodity like oil, sugar, coffee or orange juice. Every commodity and commodity producer has a different set of variables. There is no right or wrong answer. The answer really lies in how much research you are willing to do and how much risk you want to take. Let's look at the issues one at a time.

Own the Commodity -- The main issue is supply and demand. When supplies are low and demand is high the price goes up. When supply is high and demand is low the price comes down. Sounds simple but it's really not. Other things effect supply and demand like what causes the supply to go up and down and can the supply be controlled by any type of cartel? What causes the demand to go up and down and can another commodity be substituted if demand gets too high? Is supply effected by weather or political conflict? Is there another commodity that effects the demand for this one like the relationship between the prices of oil and ethanol? Is the supply and demand steady or variable? Should I just use technical analysis and charting to trend the price or can I read the news to ferret out variables I know will effect the supply or demand in the future and buy or sell before the move is evident?

You can see that supply and demand is the mail issue but it sure isn't the only issue. Charting helps but it's just a start.

Own the Commodity Producer -- Now things really get complicated. Producers' profits are not only effected by the price of the commodity -- which effects their revenue but all the other factors of an operating entity come into play. What is their cost of extraction? How efficient are they and do they just extract or do they also refine and fabricate? How effective is their management and sales force in marketing the commodity? Do they supply through long term contracts of do they just go to the spot market? Operations normally need to be financed how effective is their capital management in keeping their financing cost down?

What is the quality of the ore they are extracting? At what price of the refined commodity is this producer meeting their break-even point? Do they have a high fixed cost or do they have high variable costs? What are the odds of this producer earning higher profits than the other producers. Are they a big fish in a big pond or are they a small fish in a big pond? Can a foreign government effect their competitiveness by giving their local producers subsidies? See it really is more complicated to analysis the producers than analysing the price of the commodity.

As with all investments their is a relationship between risk and reward. It is easier to analyze the movements in the price of the commodity but futures contracts give you more leverage than margining the stock of a producer.

I'm sorry but in the first paragraph of this article I told you that there is no correct answer. The answer starts with you determining how much research you are willing to do and how much risk you're willing to take. Why should commodities be any different that any other investment decision?

It depends!

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Monday, June 7, 2010

Some safety in mortgages??

Not much positive news from the equities market these days but income investors can find some good news, Since all equities prices are depressed yields are on the rise. Income on this play is guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie.

Cypress Sharpridge Investments, Inc. (CYS) is a specialty finance company that was created with the objective of achieving consistent risk-adjusted investment income. The company seeks to achieve this objective by investing on a leveraged basis exclusively in whole-pool residential mortgage pass-through securities for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, and collateralized by single-family residential mortgage loans. It refers to these securities as Agency RMBS. The Company is managed by Cypress Sharpridge Advisors LLC, a joint venture between Cypress CSI Advisors LLC, a sponsor of private equity funds and leveraged buyouts of U.S. companies, and Sharpridge Capital Management, L.P., a specialist fixed income asset management company.

In my book the stock is both an income and a price appreciation play:

  • Right now the yield is over 16% -- guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie!!!
  • $2.20 dividend on a 13.34 price

Price Appreciation
  • 6.84% price appreciation in the last month
  • 56% Barchart technical buy signal
  • 13 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions
  • 30.24 price with a 50 day moving average of 29.66

Investor Sentiment

  • Motley Fool CAPS members think the stock will beat the market by a vote of 23 to 1
  • The Experienced All Stars agree 10 to 0
  • Wall Street columnists have written positive articles 5 to 0

Wall Street Recommendations

  • 2 buy
  • 1 out perform
  • 1 over weight

If you're looking for a bright stop on this cloudy day think about this:

  • Guaranteed Income - back by Fannie & Freddie
  • 16% + yield
  • Recent price appreciation
  • Positive investor sentiment
  • Wall Street recommendations
  • Positive press articles

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

No position in CYS at the time of publication

What I'm reading today:

Predicting the Next Big Banks to Exit TARP by Linus Wilson on Seeking Alpha

Market spinning but going nowhere by Bill Fleckenstein on MSN Money Central

Green Investors Pull Out Of BP by David K Randall on Forbes

Trading Strategies to Survive the Coming Week by Drew Sandholm on CNBC

US's 13 Trillion Dollar Debt Poised to overtake GDP by Garfield Reynolds & Was Goodman on Bloomberg

Time to trim some deadwood

I have no crystal ball to tell me what the market will do. I do have a system or discipline that I use. I'm long when the market is rising and the economy is expanding. I'm short when the economy is contracting and the market is tanking. When the market and the economy are in trending in different directions -- as they are now -- I trim poorly performing positions and accumulate cash till things straighten themselves out.

Time to trim a little deadwood from my Wall Street Survivor portfolio for the following reasons:

Grupo Aeroportuario (ASR)
  • 80% Barchart technical sell signal
  • Trading below it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
  • 16.98% off it's previous high

Acxiom Corporation (ACXM)

  • 80% Barchart technical sell signal
  • Trading below it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
  • 20.61% off it's previous high

Franklin Electric (FELE)

  • 64% Barchart technical sell signal
  • Trading below it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
  • 24.88% off it's previous high

American National Insurance (ANAT)

  • 80% Barchart technical sell signal
  • Trading below it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
  • 18.03% off it's previous high

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes about investing on Seeking Alpha, Top Stocks and Barchart. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: I have no positions in the stocks mentioned at the time of publication

What I'm reading:

Friday's Controlled Descent in Equities: A Perfect Storm Is Brewing by Bo Peng on Seeking Alpha

Green Jobs Proposal by Robert Reich on Huffington Post

What Billionaires Do On Their Summer Vacations by Katie Evans on Forbes

These Stocks Have Dangerous Exposure by Tim Hanson on Motley Fool

BP Spending Picks Up on Spill as Capture Rate Rises by Brian Swint on Bloomberg/Business week