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Dykstra: The Second-Oldest Profession

Every week I try to find you a way to make money in the stock market. This week, we are going to do it with one of the oldest trades known to mankind: shipping, and I don't mean oil.

Excel Maritime Carriers (EXM) is an owner and operator of dry bulk vessels and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes. The company's vessels carry major bulk commodities, such as coal, iron ore and grain, as well as minor bulk commodities such as fertilizers, bauxite, alumina and steel products.

These facts underscore my enthusiasm for this company:

  • Roughly 90% of the world's exports are still transported by ship.
  • The company has delivered seven consecutive years of profitability.
  • As long as countries continue to trade, Excel Maritime's fleet of vessels will be needed on the open seas to service their needs.
  • As I have stated many times in the past, we are always looking for an edge.

    When opportunities arise to buy a quality company with proven earnings growth and which is selling at a severe discount, you must use your "edge" and take advantage. Here's what CEO Christopher Georgakis said in early November about Excel Maritime's third quarter, which featured a 234% jump in year-over-year revenue: "These results reflect the successful integration of our new acquisitions into the initial fleet as well as our consistent fleet deployment strategy of period charters."

    Let me continue: This Greek shipping company has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 4.41, the return on equity is 40.75%, and its year-over-year quarterly earnings growth is an unbelievable 489%.

    For $13.75, does this sound like a company you want to own?

    Technically, you can buy the stock right here and set a stop loss or add to your position just above the 52-week low, at $12.15. If you want to trade the stock, you should have no problem seeing $15. I believe this stock has a real possibility to move up to $20 in the next three or four months.

    My second pick this week is Celanese (CE), a global industrial chemical company that isn't talked about much; it's a sleeper. But let me tell you, it's getting ready to wake up.

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