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Richard Thalheimer's  Instablog

Richard Thalheimer
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Richard is the founder and former CEO of The Sharper Image, and is currently running his new online company,
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  • Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF) on steady climb up
    Abertcrombie (NYSE:ANF) has suffered through the Great Recesion, and now is benefiting from the recovery.

    Of course there are plenty of retailers doing well. This one stands out because the store is so appealing both in numbers and aesthetics.

    Recently I visited the Abercrombie flagship store in New York City, on Fifth Ave.
    What an incredible experience. Aside from the deafening music, which evidently their customers like, the merchandise displays, the store staff, and the product on display was incredibly well done.

    It was a very busy, perfect, satisfying experience to be inside that store, and their sales numbers have been backing up the impression. Happy customers, happy sales people, beautiful product offering

    The stock has doubled since last year, and is now trading at its 52 week high, but there does not seem to be much downside. It is perhaps getting pricey at about $47, but there may be a pullback coming if the general market dips, which could provide an entry point.

    Also consider selling $35 puts for October 2010 or later. In my opinion, that is a very conservative bet that will pay off.

    Disclosure: Long
    Apr 05 12:31 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Hyundai Motor Co HYMLF.PK : Think about it!
    You have probably seen some of the terrific advertising for the new Hyundai Genesis and new Hyudai Sonata. These are each superb new cars, the Genesis competes with Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus mid-size luxury cars.

    The new Sonata competes with Camry and Accord.

    South Korea based Hyundai has been coming on strong for several years, and with Toyota's recent woes, is going to do even better. Their quality ratings in J.D. Powers surveys have climbed to the top echelon, the styling is great, the warranties are the longest in the industry, and general word of mouth is excellent.

    March sales sizzled worldwide, propelling the stock 5.8% percent to close at 128,000 won ($107.43) on the Korea Exchange. Sales at the Seoul-based automaker’s Chinese venture jumped 47 percent from a year earlier, while the company boosted U.S. deliveries 15 percent to 47,002 vehicles.

    My personal visit to my Hyundai dealer recently confirmed that the new Sonata is flying off the lot, and inventory is constrained.

    The stock has tripled in the last year, but is probably going higher. It is difficult to buy, as most brokers cannot place the order. I have purchased the stock through Charles Schwab. They have a relationship with a South Korea affiliate to buy the stock, the symbol is HYMLF. If you search a quote for this, it always erroneously shows up as $66, but this is wrong, as the dollar quote today is $107.43.

    One last problem: Schwab charges a total of 3% to handle the transaction going in. So this is not a short term play. I would also suggest using a limit order, and perhaps the price will fall back a few dollars. Buy it, put it away, and look at it in two to five years. I believe you'll be pleased.

    Disclosure: long
    Apr 04 11:28 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Toyota Motors doing better than you think - and check out the October 2010 $65 put option
    Toyota (NYSE:TM) has certainly had its woes in the past six weeks. The stock, as we know, took about a 20% hit, dropping from $91 pre-scandal, to about $73. Since then it has rebounded to 80, and this despite the numerous class-action lawsuits and expensive recalls. All of this might lead one to be cautious.

    However, in my visit yesterday to my local dealer, it was clear that business is good - even robust. Generous incentives and no-interest financing helped propel U.S. sales in March to a 41% year-over-year increase. And this news: I asked about purchasing a new 2010 Highlander Hybrid - one of my favorite models - and was told that the wait is about 6 to 8 weeks for available inventory!

    I do not think the stock is falling anytime soon, to any significant degree. October 2010 put options are about $1.50 bid. This is seemingly about as safe a play as one can make. Sell the October $65 put option, pocket the $1.50 per share bid, and sleep well.

    Disclosure: long
    Apr 04 11:00 AM | Link | Comment!
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