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  • 7 Stocks To Trade Intra-Day

    By Scott Rubin

    The name of the game for short-term, intra-day traders is volatility. Finding the right stocks to trade can often mean the difference between success and failure for daytraders. There are simply more opportunities and better risk/reward setups in volatile stocks. Traders can hone in on names that are likely to move around a lot by running a simple scan. For example, a scan looking for small-cap stocks (under $2 billion), with high short interest (over 25%) and high betas (over 2) turned up some interesting stocks to trade on an intra-day basis. Benzinga takes a closer look at these names below on the basis of their relative trading attractiveness in terms of short interest, liquidity, and beta.

    ATP Oil & Gas unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This small-cap stock has traded in a range between $5.53 and $21.40 in the last 52-weeks and also has some attractive properties for daytrading - namely, the stock's high short interest, and beta (3.1). ATPG is also quite liquid for such a small name, with a 3-month daily average volume of 2.27 million shares.

    Hovanian Enterprises unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This homebuilder has seen its market cap dwindle to just $146.18 million. Its small-size, sensitive industry, and high short interest has made it a very volatile name with a beta of 3.5. The stock is also liquid enough for smaller daytraders to move in and out. HOV has a 3-month daily average volume of 1.28 million.

    James River Coal unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This is a very volatile small-cap energy name (which was up approximately 10% on Tuesday). The stock has a beta above 2, and around 30% of its float has been sold short, making it susceptible to large short-term price moves. Like the others on this list, JRCC has sufficient volume for traders with a 3-month daily average of 2.1 million shares.

    Coffee Holding Co. unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This was one of the best daytrading stocks of 2011, and millions upon millions of dollars were made and lost by short-term traders in this name over the last year. The stock has a 52-week range of $3.72 to $30.98 and currently trades at $8.16 (volatile enough for you?). Unfortunately, liquidity has dried up as the stock price has collapsed, but the name still offers opportunity every now and again. JVA has a 3-month daily average volume of around 756,000, a beta of 2.72 and short interest of 27%.

    Liz Claiborne (LIZ) - Small-cap retailers are often good trading hunting grounds when the broader market is moving. LIZ, in particular, has some attractive properties. The stock has a very high beta of 2.25, driven in part, by the 29% of its float that has been sold short (and must eventually be bought back). It is also a liquid name with a 3-month daily average volume of 3.75 million. Over the last 52-weeks, LIZ has ranged between $4.02 and $9.18, so this name has yielded plenty of opportunity for swing traders as well.

    Saks unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This is another small-cap retailer that is very active. Saks currently has short interest of around 28%, and a beta of 2.5. The name is liquid with a 3-month daily average volume of 2.8 million and has traded in a range between $7.67 and $12.97 in the last 52-weeks.

    VirnetX Holding (AMEX: unicorn_rails worker[7] -c /data/seekingalpha/shared/config/unicorn.rb -E production -D - This is a very interesting small-cap name which has recently become extremely volatile. In the last 5 years, VHC is up nearly 2,800%. The stock has a beta of 2.23 and around 33% of its float has been sold short. In just the last 3 months, VHC is up over 100%, so more movement in the next couple of months is likely. The stock has a 3-month average volume of 1.072 million.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. 

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Jan 05 10:24 AM | Link | Comment!
  • All in the Family (Dollar)

    By Jonathan Chen

    What a difference a few days makes.

    Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) reported better than expected earnings this morning, raised its guidance, and announced it would be buying back an additional $250 million worth of stock.

    The Charlotte-based company reported earnings of 66 cents per share on $2.13 billion in revenues. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of 63 cents per share on $2.12 billion in revenues. In addition to the better than expected earnings, the company said it expects to earn 65 to 73 cents per share. Wall Street expects earnings of 66 cents per share. It also said it expects to earn $3.50-$3.75 per share for fiscal year 2012, as opposed to estimates of $3.57 per share.

    “A year ago we launched an ambitious, multi-year plan to accelerate revenue growth, expand operating margins and optimize our capital structure, and I am pleased to announce that we have executed well against our plans in a very difficult operating environment,” said Howard Levine, Chairman and CEO.

    "In fiscal 2012, we intend to accelerate investments to drive sales and profitability. We plan to open 450-500 new stores, a more than 50% increase over fiscal 2011 openings. We also intend to renovate, relocate or expand over 1,000 stores,” continued Levine. “I remain confident that these investments, combined with our strategy of providing customers with great value and convenience, will continue to deliver strong shareholder returns in fiscal 2012 and beyond.”

    It looks as if the recent analyst reports from Deutsche Bank and Piper Jaffray were incorrect going into the quarter, as both investment banks were not buyers going into the quarter. Deutsche Bank actually said that it was a negative to have Bill Ackman and Nelson Peltz in the name. Just a little while ago, Deutsche Bank raised the price target on Family Dollar from $53 to $55, as the bank obviously underestimated the company.

    Piper Jaffray was downright bearish, going into the quarter. In its note, it wrote, "We are maintaining our UW rating and $49 PT heading into FDO's Q4 earnings release on Wednesday. We expect in line Q4 EPS, and remain more concerned about the outlook and eventual results during the coming F12. We expect ongoing gross margin pressure as a result of supplier cost increases and FDO's push toward low- margin consumables within its mix. Also, we note expectations for out-year earnings growth heading into F12 are much higher compared to the two previous years, and this is coming off a year when FDO operationally missed its full year guidance." This obviously proved to be wrong.

    Jefferies was proven right going into the quarter, and recently raised its earnings estimates for 2012. In its note, it wrote, "We are raising our FY11 and FY12 EPS estimates of $3.08 and $3.60 from $3.08 and $3.55, respectively. We are also introducing an FY13 EPS estimate of $4.15. We are anticipating comp store sales guidance for FY12 in the 4-6% range and 15-20% EPS growth."

    Back in May at the Ira Sohn conference, Pershing Square's Ackman said that he thought the company was worth eventually $70 per share. He said the management needed to work on improving operating metrics, which it clearly has. The company added to its already existing $750 million share buyback program, and is now growing store count in a meaningful way.

    Levin said the company is going to open 450-500 new stores, a more than 50% increase over 2011, and renovate over 1,000 stores. At the conference, Ackman said that the company spends around $325,000 on a new store, and the company earns anywhere from 37 to 50% on this investment. With renovations, the company spends $115,000, and earns between 30 and 40% on renovations.

    With the earnings beat and raised guidance today, Family Dollar apparently is heeding Ackman's call for management to close the gap with its largest competitor, Dollar General (NYSE:DG). At the conference, Ackman mentioned increasing private label goods, globally sourcing things, improved pricing, and cutting shrink. It loos as if the company is well on its way to getting its operating metrics where it can really compete with Dollar General. The increased guidance is especially important, as this is a strong sign for the growth of the company, as well as the space in 2012, and beyond.

    With names like Peltz, Ackman and other major investors getting into the space, it looks even the investment banks who underestimated the name are getting "all in the family" this morning.

    Perhaps even Archie and Edith will get on the piano to sing about these results.


    Traders who believe that Family Dollar will continue to outperform might want to consider the following trades:

    • Shares are currently trading at 15 times 2012 earnings and sport a 1.4% dividend yield. Shares are still cheap when compared to its competitors.
    • Also consider competitors like Dollar General and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) which are doing well currently.

    Traders who believe that the dollar stores will eventually lose market share to Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) may consider alternate positions:

    • Wal-Mart is well aware of its position being threatened by the dollar stores. If it decides to really attack the dollar store space with Wal-Mart Express, it could significantly hurt these companies.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Tags: WMT, DLTR, DG, FDO
    Sep 28 10:25 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Logan Mohtashami vs Jim Cramer Housing Duel Part 2

    By Logan Mohtashami

    The beauty of a free market system is that eventually all players are held accountable.  Argue with the facts one might,  but the market is a cruel task master and will prove you wrong.   Unless facts change and you are right.     Now, I would have thought Jim Cramer of all people would know this.    He issued his call in 2009 that the bottom of the housing market was in.  He claimed in early 2011 that he was correct about his call,  and claimed he deserved apologies from people who criticized him for his prediction.    I argued otherwise.   In a published challenge at the beginning of this year,  I offered to buy him a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich if I was wrong.  I also promised to publicly admit my misguidedness, in an article,  and give credit to Mr. Cramer for being right.   So where do the market facts stand for each of us today?   Consider that the other day I heard him complaining because he cannot qualify for a refinance.  Is this an admission that the housing recovery he claimed was in progress last year, has not materialized?  Sounds like it to me!   Mr. Cramer can now see what my mantra has been for a while. We don't have enough qualified home buyers to take on the massive inventory this country has.  Nor do we have enough people like Mr. Jim Cramer to take advantage of the low interest rates to refinance.   Mr Cramer saw what happened to Jerry Yang of Yahoo when he made a bad call by saying no to Microsoft's  47 Billion dollar offer.   More recently, The CEO of Netflix , Reed Hastings, issued a much more rapid Mea Culpa when his strategy backfired.  

    Can Mr. Cramer admit he was wrong too?  Will he eat his words while I eat my Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich?   But, that was a gentleman's bet I made.  And I realize Mr Cramer had a bad week.    He had the frustration of being denied a loan like so many other Americans these days.  The Philadelphia Eagles had a crushing defeat by the New York Giants.    There is no glory in kicking a man when he's down.   I will go ahead and buy my own Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.  And wish Mr Cramer and us all a better year in 2012!

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Sep 27 9:41 AM | Link | Comment!
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