Seeking Alpha

John V.'s  Instablog

John V.
Send Message
My methodology is based on William O'Neil's brilliant book "How to Make Money in Stocks" and I'm constantly searching for super-winning stocks. I utilize the CANSLIM strategy popularized by O'Neil and I've added minor modifications to suit my needs. The steps in my process are: 1.... More
My blog:
Keep Investing Simple, Stupid!
View John V.'s Instablogs on:
  • Super Stock Screener results, September 18th

    This weeks results from my Super Stock Screener.  Screening is an excellent starting point for finding winning stocks.

     

    My thoughts:

     

    This past week saw the stock market rise and begin to possibly, possibly start recovering from the crash during August.  Green was found in many places and more importantly, a few leading stocks broke out to new highs on high volume.  In a bad market this does not happen, so this should be taken as good news.

     

    However, not everything is positive.  In Europe we still have a giant mess with defaults hanging like a proverbial sword of Damocles hovering over us, ready to sever our heads from our torso financially.  Just this weekend it was learned that another rogue trader lost $2.3 Billion dollars (yes $2.3 Billion!) in fraudulent trading since 2008 and finally got caught.  What is it with these traders and investment banks that they keep having these types of problems?  Unbelievable.

     

    Despite all these problems things are showing potential improvement and so is the Super Stock Screener.  Last week the screener featured 27 stocks that made the list, and this week the screener improved and is now showing 34 stocks for an overall improvement of 7 new names.  Some are familiar ones that have clawed their way back onto the list while a few others are brand-new.

     

    One thing to keep in mind is that I do not feel stocks are buy-able if they trade below their 50-day moving averages, and several of the stocks on the screen do trade under those levels.  You can always buy them if you want (don't let me stop you), but I feel there is a higher probability of success if the share price is above the 50-day.  Thus that is something to consider when you do your own analysis.

     

    Below you'll see the new stocks highlighted and underlined, so take a look at each one if they interest you.  If you have a process like I do then you can go thru them quickly and efficiently.  I don't think I talk about process enough, so let me re-iterate what mine is:

     

    1.  I first do Screening for stocks.  This ensures that stocks I look at (below) have passed my minim thresholds for Sales growth, Earnings growth, Return on Equity, etc.  That is why my screener is a good starting point in my process and it is amazing how people will buy stocks with unfavorable metrics.

     

    2.  I'll review the charts for every stock on the list as I am looking for very specific characteristics.  I want to see big up-volume spikes with few down-volme moves, I want to see new highs, and an upwards trend.  I want to get a positive impression that big institutional investors like the stock as well.

     

    3.  If I like the chart then I'll go further in-depth into researching the company.  I want to understand what the product is, I want to see the quarterly Sales and Earnings, I want to see Analyst Estimates, and I'll look at recent News as well.  I'll put a lot of thought into why people might be buying the product (and continue to buy) and I want to come away with a good feeling for the business.  This step is probably where I spend the most time because no matter how great a chart may look, if the underlying business is bad or not growing as much in the future then the stock will eventually reflect that and why so many stocks seem fine one day and then get crushed the next.  The best example of this is Sodastream (NASDAQ: SODA). 

     

    4.  After I've done the fundamental work I have to decide whether to buy the stock.  If I decide to buy then I consider what the general market is doing (good or bad) and whether there is a high-probability spot for buying that can help increase the odds of a successful trade.  Also to consider is how much to buy as well.  You never know what will happen so being flexible in this step is important.

     

    5.  After buying I then implement risk-management rules using stop-loss trade-triggers, and after inputting my parameters I then become a big cheer-leader for the stock.  If things are right then I will make money, if I'm wrong then I hope to only lose a little.

     

    And that my friends, is my system in a nutshell.  Hopefully it will help you as you form your own system for investing in the market.

     

    As always this is not a buy list but rather a starting point for doing more research.  Stocks that are new are underlined and have an Asterisk (*) next to their company name.

     

     

    Symbol

    Name

    EPS % Chg Last Qtr

    Sales % Chg Lst Qtr

    ROE

    AAPL

    Apple Inc

    122

    82

    35.3

    ACTG

    Acacia Rsrch Acacia Tech

    1800

    165

    50.6

    ALXN

    Alexion Pharmaceuticals

    45

    48

    21.6

    ATHN

    Athenahealth Inc

    83

    33

    15.2

    BIDU

    Baidu Inc Ads

    106

    87

    54.8

    BKI

    Buckeye Technologies Inc

    162

    25

    17.9

    CF

    C F Industries Holdings

    174

    38

    19.5

    CFX

    Colfax Corp *

    78

    52

    18.6

    CPA

    Copa Holdings Sa

    52

    41

    24.8

    CROX

    Crocs Inc *

    65

    30

    19.5

    CRR

    Carbo Ceramics Inc *

    59

    34

    16.1

    CRS

    Carpenter Technology *

    165

    33

    10.2

    DMND

    Diamond Foods Inc *

    53

    32

    14.1

    EDU

    New Orientl Edu&Tech Ads

    100

    59

    23.6

    FMCN

    Focus Media Holding Ads *

    52

    46

    14.5

    GMCR

    Green Mtn Coffee Roastrs

    133

    127

    15.9

    JCOM

    J 2 Global Communication

    41

    40

    23.5

    KEX

    Kirby Corp

    56

    60

    10.8

    LULU

    Lululemon Athletica

    73

    39

    36.2

    LVS

    Las Vegas Sands Corp

    218

    47

    12.6

    MTZ

    Mastec Inc

    72

    52

    15.3

    OXM

    Oxford Industries Inc

    78

    26

    14.6

    PCLN

    Priceline.com Inc

    78

    44

    44.2

    PII

    Polaris Industries Inc

    82

    41

    51.1

    QCOR

    Questcor Pharmaceutical

    53

    62

    37.7

    RAX

    Rackspace Hosting Inc *

    63

    32

    11.8

    RL

    Ralph Lauren Corp Cl A

    57

    32

    17.7

    RNOW

    Rightnow Technologies

    67

    26

    27.6

    SPRD

    Spreadtrum Comm Inc Ads

    91

    124

    52.4

    TGI

    Triumph Group Inc

    52

    108

    13.5

    TIF

    Tiffany & Co

    56

    30

    18.5

    TPX

    Tempur Pedic Intl Inc *

    65

    30

    105.3

    UA

    Under Armour Inc Cl A

    71

    42

    15.3

    VCLK

    Valueclick Inc *

    40

    26

    16.8

     

     

    Stock that fell off the Super Stock Screener results from September 10th are below:

     

    Symbol

    Name

    NTES

    Netease.com Inc Adr

    ZAGG

    Zagg Inc

    Sep 19 1:11 AM | Link | Comment!
  • A few stocks to look at; a few to avoid

    This week we have set what seems like a new record in the market: four straight up-days in a row!

     

    It seems like months since we've had that kind of move considering how bad the markets have been, and yet it has really only been since August 1st.  I'll definitely take it as I'm not complaining, but it shows how bad things are/were when I'm amazed at a four-day win streak.

     

    In every up-move there are always stocks that breakout to new highs and are the new leaders to watch.  As I looked thru my charts tonight I saw some worth buying or keeping an eye on, and I feel that I also found some that should be avoided as well.  The new leaders are the ones to buy and own because the odds are that we'll make the most money from them in the future.

     

    Before we get to them let's look at the mandatory index charts.  The Nasdaq is the strongest index by far and that makes sense because it is loaded with technology stocks and we live in a technological world.  The S&P 500 is much more of a laggard and that makes sense as it has lots of stocks that the Nasdaq doesn't have.  While the Nasdaq is showing lots of improvement, the S&P has a lot more work to do.

     

     

    The VIX or "Fear" Index is showing elevated fear levels and slowly dropping to reflect a lessening of fear.  This means that market participants are still fearful generally, yet this is also where new bull movements begin as well.

     

    Stocks to consider:

     

    Stocks worth considering are those that are relatively new to our eyes, that are making new highs in price, and are showing positive up-volume that indicates that big Institutional investors like them and are buying the stock.  These below should make the cut and find a home on your watch-lists.

     

    Athena Health (NASDAQ: ATHN) is the first stock that I think makes the new-leaders list.  The price is volatile but lately the stock broke-out to new highs on big up-volume.  That is enough for me and when you see  the chart you'll probably agree.

     

    Next is Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN).  I don't like Alexion as much as I like Athena, but it has a similar chart-pattern and is also making new highs.  I wish the volume was higher but I still think it is a solid name.

     

    The third stock is Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE: RL).  Ralph Lauren is Polo, and I like that he is the company founder and also a fashion-genius and good manager as well.  I am always observant of other people and lately I've seen many wearing Polo shirts with a giant horse emblem on it, so I can only assume Polo has found a marker for these new looks.  The stock recently broke to all-time highs so something must be going right over there.

     

    One other to consider is Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA).  Copa Holdings is actually a very profitable Latin-American airline and I think it is a very interesting stock and story.  However, be aware that the stock is relatively thin and illiquid so one should not buy tons of shares in it because you'll never be able to get out when you want to.  A good rule of thumb is to buy no more than 1% of the monthly average volume.  Thus if the average volume is 100,000 shares then the max one should buy is 1,000 shares.  Despite all that the stock does look interesting.

     

    Lastly, I think Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN) is a stock that appears to have put in what is called a "Double-Bottom" chart pattern.  This can be a powerful pattern though the real test will be whether the stock breaks to new highs or not.  I am not an expert on double-bottoms so I think it would be wise to do more research on this in case it is not.

     

    Stocks to Avoid:

     

    This list of stocks to avoid is much bigger than the stocks to consider and that makes sense since recently it seemed like the economy was on the verge of imploding and taking every stock with it. What is amazing is how many seem to be former leaders whose time is now over.

     

    In alphabetical order, here is CF Industries (NYSE: CF).  CF is the most 50/50 of the bunch.  Yes the stock has moved up into new highs and showed strength when most others were falling, but the volume has not been that great in my opinion and lately the shares have been a little weak.  The way I run my stop-loss trade-triggers is such that I probably would have set it for the low of the most-recent range at about $175, and thus I would have been stopped out of the stock a couple of days ago.  CF could go higher and do great things, or it may not.  I don't know.

     

    The next stock that is  probably one to avoid is similar to CF in that it is 50/50 whether it continues going up or instead fails outright at this point in time.  The stock is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR).  I believe there has been a lot of hidden selling lately as the stock has struggled to break into new highs because high-volume with small price-movement is what gives this away.  GMCR has also been running for a while and is not exactly a new name, so I think it is getting tired and running out of gas here.  I may regret this posting so we'll see what happens.

     

    Another stokc that appeared strong a few weeks ago and now is flashing warnings signs to me is Hansen Natural (NASDAQ: HANS).  The stock looked great until all of a sudden there was some 'big' sell-volume, and since then the stock has risen but on low-volume, thus it appears the demand has disappeared.  I may be wrong on this too so we'll see how it plays out.

     

    One of my favorite stocks that also now looks like an 'avoid' is Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU).  It's chart went from looking great to now looking downright awful as there is lots of 'wide and loose' action, and I find it ironic that the resistance levels for it at this time appears to be the exact same level that I sold the stock at right before the crash.  Coincidence?  I don't know but we'll see what happens.

     

    Good luck out there and let's hope that this upward streak continues.

    Tags: ALXN, ATHN, CF, CPA, GMCR, MNST, LULU, PCLN, RL
    Sep 19 1:09 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Super Stock Screener results, September 10th

    This weeks results from my Super Stock Screener.  Screening is an excellent starting point for finding winning stocks.

     

    My thoughts:

     

    A quick post today.  Apparently the world is be bracing for more bad news from Europe and especially Greece.  Bear Markets typically feature all sorts of bad things financially, and I think the problem is that no one knows what exactly will happen if the Greeks do default on their debts.

     

    Some fears include whether there will be a chain-reaction that hurts banks in France and Germany, or could a default possibly topple financial institutions around the world including in the US?  Because investors don't know the answers to these questions I thus feel that markets will remain in a very negative position with bearish sentiment on stocks and all financial assets in general.

     

    The individual investor has the wonderful good fortune to be able to sit in cash during periods like these until the damage gets done and the danger passes.  Professional investors such as Hedge-fund and Mutual-fund managers get no such benefit.  They have to position things as best as they can, and even if they predict the market correctly they can still lose money because their investors require them to be fully-invested at all times.  What a crazy set of rules!

     

    Years ago I thought I wanted to be a professional portfolio manager at an investment firm, but what I realized is that it would just kill me to own stocks during a bear market and ride them all down.  I would have gone crazy being long stocks and unable to sell, and I think if you're well-intentioned and want to do well for your investors then that would be doubly tough to do.  Instead, I much prefer being able to sit out in cash for as long as necessary and if that means taking an extended break then so be it.

     

    Interestingly, an extended break before a real bounce occurs might only be a few weeks away.  In my prior post I listed a rudimentary table that compared the number of down weeks before meaningful potential bottoms from each of the 2008 and 2010 market drops along with where we are currently.  We have finished 7 full weeks since the markets began falling in August, and since the average length of time before a meaningful bottom from the other two market episodes was 10 weeks then it means that we may be closer than we think to an attempt at a real bottom...provided that the current period rhymes with 2008 and 2010.

     

    Many charts are still broken and there is still plenty of bad news that has not come out yet, so until that bottom attempt arrives then I suggest maximum caution.  I for one will be sitting out, and hopefully I can enjoy margaritas on the beach before it becomes time to get serious about the markets again.

     

    Below is the latest results for the Super Stock Screener and if you're going to watch any stocks then these are a good start.  Have a safe, cautious trading week.

     

    As always this is not a buy list but rather a starting point for doing more research.  Stocks that are new are underlined and have an Asterisk (*) next to their company name.

     

    Symbol

    Name

    EPS % Chg Last Qtr

    Sales % Chg Lst Qtr

    ROE

    AAPL

    Apple Inc

    122

    82

    35.3

    ACTG

    Acacia Rsrch Acacia Tech

    1800

    165

    50.6

    ALXN

    Alexion Pharmaceuticals

    45

    48

    21.6

    ATHN

    Athenahealth Inc

    83

    33

    15.2

    BIDU

    Baidu Inc Ads

    106

    87

    54.8

    BKI

    Buckeye Technologies Inc

    162

    25

    17.9

    CF

    C F Industries Holdings

    174

    38

    19.5

    CPA

    Copa Holdings Sa

    52

    41

    24.8

    EDU

    New Orientl Edu&Tech Ads

    100

    59

    23.6

    GMCR

    Green Mtn Coffee Roastrs

    133

    127

    15.9

    JCOM

    J 2 Global Communication

    41

    40

    23.5

    KEX

    Kirby Corp *

    56

    60

    10.8

    LULU

    Lululemon Athletica

    73

    39

    36.2

    LVS

    Las Vegas Sands Corp *

    218

    47

    12.6

    MTZ

    Mastec Inc

    72

    52

    15.3

    NTES

    Netease.com Inc Adr

    65

    39

    26

    OXM

    Oxford Industries Inc

    78

    26

    14.6

    PCLN

    Priceline.com Inc

    78

    44

    44.2

    PII

    Polaris Industries Inc

    83

    41

    51.1

    QCOR

    Questcor Pharmaceutical

    53

    62

    37.7

    RL

    Ralph Lauren Corp Cl A

    57

    32

    17.7

    RNOW

    Rightnow Technologies

    67

    26

    27.6

    SPRD

    Spreadtrum Comm Inc Ads *

    91

    124

    52.4

    TGI

    Triumph Group Inc

    52

    108

    13.5

    TIF

    Tiffany & Co

    56

    30

    18.5

    UA

    Under Armour Inc Cl A

    71

    42

    15.3

    ZAGG

    Zagg Inc

    138

    158

    45.2

     

     

    Stock that fell off the Super Stock Screener results from September 3rd are below:

     

    Symbol

    Name

    DAR

    Darling International *

    FMCN

    Focus Media Holding Ads *


    Sep 19 1:08 AM | Link | Comment!
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

Latest Comments


Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.