This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

IRA Investing: Still Searching for a Bottom

Commodity-oriented companies continued to be the only game in town last week and two of my holdings benefited, increasing in price even as the broad market declined. Helmerich & Payne (HP) was up 4.5% and Stone Energy (SGY) was up 3.6%. Both of these companies continue to have valuations well below the median for their industry and I consider them to be attractive.

Rofin Sinar Technologies (RSTI) was down 7% last week. I had previously sold half of my position based on valuation concerns and continue to feel that this stock is fairly valued at current prices.

My biggest loser last week was Cal Maine Foods (CALM), which was off 18.1%. There was no news to account for the decline. I assume investors are speculating that earnings in the current quarter are likely to represent peak levels for this company and are therefore interested in selling the stock. This is the type of thinking that could seriously be applied to any commodity company and, therefore, investors need to realize the risk now being taken in energy, fertilizer and other commodity names.

In this particular case, Cal Maine now sells at an enterprise value/EBITDA ratio of less than three times. This seems to discount some future possible earnings weakness. Inasmuch as the company remains on my screening system as a buy, I plan to continue to hold this stock.

The table that follows shows all the current holdings in my IRA as of the end of last week:

Symbol Name Purchase Date Cost Price Gain
Regular Holdings
CALM Cal-Maine Foods 4/16/2007 $13.30 $27.43 106.24%
CPX Complete Production Services 3/27/2008 $22.37 $23.18 3.62%
EXAC Exactech 11/5/2007 $21.00 $26.90 28.10%
GIB CGI Group 3/9/2007 $8.52 $11.24 31.92%
HP Helmerich & Payne 12/27/2007 $39.88 $51.62 29.44%
ISYS Integral Systems 3/5/2008 $25.90 $29.00 11.97%
LSR Life Sciences Research 3/11/2008 $24.22 $27.90 15.19%
OTEX Open Text 9/14/2007 $25.68 $33.50 30.45%
RSTI Rofin Sinar Technologies 9/21/2007 $35.06 $43.79 24.90%
SCL Stepan Co. 2/27/2008 $34.94 $39.50 13.05%
SCX L. S. Starrett 12/10/2007 $18.88 $19.54 3.50%
SGY Stone Energy 11/1/2007 $43.74 $57.76 32.05%
SPY S & P Dep. Receipts 1/14/2008+ $132.12 $133.38 0.95%
SY Sybase 11/13/2007 $25.79 $25.74 -0.19%
USPH US Physical Therapy 1/17/2008 $13.98 $15.42 10.30%
One Month Screen
No Current Holdings
Performance Results As Of 4/11/2008 IRA S&P 500
Full Year 2007 33.0% 5.5%
2008 Year To Date -2.5% -8.8%
Total Return For IRA

S&P 500 does not include income for current quarter.

Richard Moore, CFA, has 40 years of experience in various facets of the investment business. He has been employed by banks, mutual funds and investment advisory organizations during his career and has also owned retail and service businesses. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Moore appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs