Vector Group Stock Catches Fire

Jun.22.07 | About: Vanguard Consumer (VCR)

Say it's the Cramer effect. Say it's Carl Icahn. But don't say it's the 8% dividend. Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) saw its stock explode on Thursday. It closed up nearly 9% on huge volume as VGR realized one of its biggest one-day moves in recent history.

There was good reason to buy this tobacco/real estate company on Thursday. Of course, probably one of the most obvious reasons was that Cramer hawked it as a buy on his Mad Money program. Cramer also broadcast Icahn's tremendous stake in the company, which now stands at approximately 20%. And, he also mentioned the juicy dividend yield guaranteed to make any value investor salivate.

However, the dividend, albeit a great reason to own the $1.25 billion company, may not have had much sway on investors Thursday as they piled into VGR.

Why? Well, after following this stock for more than a year, I found that VGR usually experiences a nice pop right before the dividend payable date in which an investor must own the stock to receive the dividend. The most recent dividend payable date for this quarter was June 20. The big move occurred on June 21. Thus, most of the buying yesterday was obviously not for the quarterly dividend that is to be paid on June 29 to investors of record on June 20.

In mid-May I recommended VGR to subscribers in the Shade Capital Report when it was trading at $18.50, and the uncanny timing of Thursday's buying craze only adds to my positive outlook as VGR is now over $21.

One other piece of speculation that may propel the stock is a buyout rumor. There has been consolidation in the tobacco space during the past year and Carl Icahn's ownership only feeds into the likelihood of such a scenario. Finally, the shorts are loaded into this stock shorting nearly 9% of it. Talk about getting smoked. No pun intended.

All of these factors should keep the price of VGR stock burning a little longer than the cigarettes it sells.

VGR 1-yr chart
VGR 1-yr chart