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Okay, Okay. So, I Changed My Mind (A Bit) And Bought A Little Stein Mart Today.

|About: Stein Mart, Inc. (SMRT)

In my July 24th SA article about Stein Mart (SMRT) I listed 7 things that I would require if I were likely to establish a trading position here.  Well, July 24th isn't that long ago and, well, none of those things have materialized -- yet.

I may be rationalizing right now, but I kinda sorta think that "no news may be good news" in the sense that, today, Stein Mart announced that they would release their Q2 results next Wednesday, the 21st.  I realize that is a routine announcement that happens every quarter.  It signifies only that they expect to be in business 9 days hence.  Well, that's something.

In the past, Stein Mart has disclosed that its major trade creditors get to see financial numbers on a more frequent basis than the public in return for promising not to disclose them.  The "trade" is key to providing the liquidity that Stein Mart needs if it is going to turn itself around, so they have a lot of leverage in justifying near-real time access to at least some operating numbers and bank availability numbers.  

So, because they likely have been seeing the numbers all along, I figure suppliers and factors are already aware of how the current quarter is going. If true, then it is unlikely that there will be a knee jerk reaction from them when the 2d quarter numbers come out next week.  Whatever their current strategy is regarding releasing shipments to Stein Mart, it is probably already baked in the cake.  Having no information to the contrary,  I'm taking the position that the combination of payables support and availability at Wells Fargo is sufficient to keep the inventory flowing in.  (I don't know how well the company is doing in getting the inventory to flow out, though.)

I've also been keeping my ear to the ground (the SEC) for any "exploring strategic alternatives" announcements and haven't found any.  That doesn't mean anything, really, but if there were such an announcement, I'd probably consider it a negative, simply because about the only "good" announcement of that type would be a fait accompli announcement that some strategic buyer had agreed to buy all the shares for book value (somewhere around $1.00 a share).

"So, anyway" that was just a long way to explain that my acquisition today of 5,000 shares at $0.775 was made mostly on intuition.  That's not a good strategy, but it's the explanation I resort to when I do something that could turn out bad.

With that in mind, I really, really don't intend to stick my neck out any further between now and the 21st. If I get a chance to sell my shares at a profit between now and then, maybe I will sell some.

In the absence of any analyst coverage, I'm flying solo here.  I don't recommend it for anyone else.

I won't tell the kids.

Disclosure: I am/we are long SMRT.