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Trump, Home Solutions Remain Clunkers

Editor's note: "Bricks and Mortar" is a series of columns written by real estate reporter Nicholas Yulico meant to help readers generate real estate and gaming-related stock ideas.

Often, beaten-down stocks are in the garbage bin for a reason. They're not value stocks, but instead just bad stocks, with negative stories that may only get worse.

Casino operator Trump Entertainment (TRMP) and construction-management firm Home Solutions of America (HSOA) fall into this camp, and I continue to expect these stocks to disappoint investors in coming months.

Both companies, which I've flagged as poor stock picks for several months now in the Bricks and Mortar mock portfolio, reported earnings this week. Of the two, Trump is the slightly prettier story, while Home Solutions continues to master the art of limited disclosure.

Trump a Tough Call

Trump Entertainment shares rallied sharply after the company reported its second-quarter results this week. But investors shouldn't take this as a sign that the Atlantic City casino operator's stock is a buy now.

Trump's stock hit a 52-week low of $5.15 prior to its second-quarter report Tuesday, but it rebounded and is now trading around $6.90. The casino operator reported a widened loss as margins dropped sharply because of increased promotion spending in the Atlantic City market, where Trump's three casinos sit.

Revenue fell 4.6% as the Atlantic City market continues to struggle from the introduction of a limited smoking ban and increased competition from new slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York.

I flagged Trump as overvalued in January. Since then, the stock has fallen 62%. I'm keeping my flag rating today, though I believe the stock is closer to being fairly valued.
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