Dow Upswing: Getting Back in the Game

Includes: COH, ECL, GHM, NWL, RMD
by: Robert Freedland

On Monday, with the Dow up 500+ points (on the way to a 900+ point gain), I decided that it might be wise to go "all in" with my investments. That is, after my partial sale of Graham (NYSEMKT:GHM) at a gain, I had another 'permission slip' to be adding a position. With two positions in my portfolio, my minimum being five, that meant I could move my holdings up to six positions.

These are different times, and while I chose stocks that are generally "growth stocks" and stocks that were indeed moving higher on Monday (weren't all stocks moving higher?), they were what I would call 'favorites' of mine. Stocks that I have owned in the past either in this account or elsewhere and stocks that I have written up before. All of them were what I would call 'value/growth' investments - that is stocks of great value due to their decline in price and yet shared many of the growth characteristics that I have written about in the past.

On October 13, 2008, I purchased 154 shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) at a price of $40.646. As I wrote this on Tuesday, ECL was trading at $44.03, up $0.02 or 0.05% on the day. This represents a gain of $3.384 or 8.3% since purchase.


On October 13, 2008, I purchased 280 shares of Coach (NYSE:COH) at a price of $20.0454. As I write, Coach is trading at $20.67, up $0.43 or 2.12% on the day. This represents a gain of $0.625 or 3.1% since purchase.

Coach is an old favorite of mine. I have owned shares of this stock in the past and have written up this investment previously as well. Trading as high as $50/share in mid-2007, the stock is well below its recent price levels and may represent a 'value' purchase.


Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL) is an old favorite of mine, a stock that my kids have owned shares in and a stock that I have owned on and off in the past. I don't believe I have written this one up previously.

On October 13, 2008, I purchased 420 shares of Newell Rubbermaid at a price of $15.20. NWL is currently trading at $15.64, up $0.51 or 3.37% on the day. This represents a gain from my purchase of $0.44/share or 2.9% since purchase.

Newell Rubbermaid is also a 'value' investment with an underlying growth profile. The stock has been beaten up pretty severely both with the economic slowdown and the soaring price of oil driving up resin costs for all of their plastic products. NWL currently trades at a trailing p/e of 10.08, and yields 6.6% in dividends. Over the past two years, this stock had been trading just above $30/share.

Boy, do I sound like a different investor today!


Finally, I chose to pur ResMed (NYSE:RMD) back into my portfolio. I purchased 154 shares of ResMed at a price of $36.396. As I wrote this, ResMed was trading virtually unchanged from my purchase at $36.42, actually down $0.12 or .33% on the day.

ResMed which traded as high as $55 in early 2007, has not traded at these levels since 2005. But then again, most stocks are trading at multi-year lows as well.


If I get a chance, I will try to write up each of these individually to give you a better assessment of my own view of the prospects. They are not my usual picks; I promise you I shall be getting back to my usual 'strategy' as more 'usual' times return!

But I shall be managing them in my usual approach of limiting losses and taking gains when appropriate.

Disclosure: The author owns GHM, ECL, COH, NWL, RMD.