Tuesday, April 28, 2009

80% Discount at Restaurant.com

Well, for a few days only the guys over at Restaurant.com are giving their best deal ever, this time for an additional 80% off, meaning you can get a $25 value for just $2. The code at checkout is: LUCKY which is valid until 04/30. Happy Eating!!

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author was bullish on food!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Bull In China - Jim Rogers

A Bull In China by Jim Rogers is an excellent book for anyone interested in investing in the huge potential of China. The author explains why China is growing and why it will continue to grow. He starts out with an overview of the different classes of Chinese shares and some of the history of the Chinese economy, and then breaks down all the major sectors of the economy.

The author discusses everything from real estate to agriculture to the Chinese space program, and accompanies each chapter with dozens of companies with brief descriptions of each. Now, a number of these example companies are not open to investment by the average overseas investor, however, many of the companies are traded on US exchanges.

The author stresses that investing in China is a long term process with ups and many downs along the way. He does not specifically recommend any company in the book, he only mentions them to give the reader a broad understanding. I highly recommend this book as it gives the reader a real appreciation of the huge growth potential available through investing in China. I personally have compiled a list of interesting companies that I plan to research as I would like to increase my own exposure to this great country.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

70% Discount at Restaurant.com

Well, the guys over at Restaurant.com continue to provide a steady stream of discount dining certificates, this time for an additional 70% off, meaning you can get a $25 value for just $3. The code at checkout is: FEAST which is valid until 04/20. Happy Eating!!

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author still loves to eat!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quicksilver Gas Services - KGS

Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS) is in the business of gathering and transporting natural gas and liquid natural gas through its pipeline assets and processing facilities in Texas. These services are provided under fee-based contracts, whereby the Company receives fixed fees for performing the gathering and processing services. Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS) does not take title to the natural gas or associated natural gas liquids that it gathers and processes and thus avoids direct commodity price exposure. This is what sets Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS) apart from similar pipeline companies.

Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS) currently trades at a trailing P/E of 13.81, and pays a dividend of 11%. The company has demonstrated good levels of earnings and revenue growth, depsite the economic slowdown, and I anticipate a 12-month price target of $18-20 as the economic outlook improves in the second half of the year. My major concern about the company is the increasing level of debt that the company is taking on.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author did not hold shares in Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2009 - Ideas For The Year Performance Update

At the beginning of the year I made a list of picks and pans for the year which I planned to review at the end of each month. The purpose of this exercise is to provide ideas for your own research, some potential opportunities for 2009, as well as some companies I feel are best avoided. At this point I am just going for a brief overview, I may get into some more in depth analysis later in the year. I will focus on specific companies in this instance, although later in the year I may look in more depth at specific sectors, or the economy as a whole.

So here are the performances for 2009 to date.

My Long Picks for 2009, with 03/31/09 closing prices

Anadys Pharmaceuticals (ANDS) - $6.79 (+332.48%)
Himax Technologies (HIMX) - $2.80 (+73.91%)
Quicksilver Gas Services LP (KGS) - $13.25 (+39.77%)
Natural Resources Partners LP (NRP) - $22.33 (+27.97%)
Ecology & Environment (EEI) - $13.15 (+9.77%)
Urban Outfitters (URBN) - $16.37 (+9.28%)
Dorchester Minerals LP (DMLP) - $16.33 (+2.90%)
Highveld Steel and Vanadium (HSVLY) - $7.85 (+2.21%)
Yanzhou Coal (YZC) - $7.17 (-4.65%)
Raven Industries (RAVN) - $20.78 (-13.78%)
UFP Technologies (UFPT) - $4.4899 (-15.12%)
Chase Corporation (CCF) - $9.30 (-17.63%)
Hugoton Royalty Trust (HGT) - $9.56 (-40.44%)
Versar, Inc. (VSR) - $2.29 (-44.42%)

The top performer of the month was Himax Technologies (HIMX) moving from $1.65 to $2.80. Also of note was Yanzhou Coal (YZC), moving from $5.68 to $7.17. I imagine that oil and commodities will continue to improve in the coming months which should lift struggling pick Hugoton Royalty Trust (HGT). I am considering increasing my stake in HGT, as I feel it is one of the most undervalued royalty trusts.

My Short Picks for 2009, with 03/31/09 closing prices

Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) - $6.07 (+24.90%)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) - $17.63 (+4.75%)
Ann Taylor Stores (ANN) - $5.20 (+3.17%)
Mercantile Bancorp (MBR) - $7.2999 (-30.81%)
LaCrosse Footwear (BOOT) - $8.03 (-35.66%)
La-Z-Boy (LZB) - $1.25 (-42.40%)
Bank of America (BAC) - $6.82 (-51.56%)
Office Depot (ODP) - $1.31 (-56.04%)
Citigroup (C) - $2.53 (-62.30%)
Converted Organics (COIN) - $0.84 (-76.27%)
Circuit City (CCTYQ) - $0.0075 (-94.23%) - Bankrupt
Smurfit Stone Container Corporation (SSCC) - $0.00 (-100%) - Bankrupt

As a group my short picks rallied a little in recent weeks, particularly in the financial sector. The big surprise for me is Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) which is up almost 25% for the year. Converted Organics (COIN) continued its fall into penny stock territory.

Well, I will review the list again at the end of April to see how my picks and pans are performing. Until then, happy investing!

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author held shares in Highveld Steel and Vanadium (HSVLY), Himax Technologies (HIMX), Hugoton Royalty Trust (HGT), Yanzhou Coal (YZC), UFP Technologies (UFPT), and Versar, Inc. (VSR).