We can see some red flags here, and the most obvious one is that PCH has risen a lot from its June 1, 2012 intraday low of $28.02. That's a steep 16.9% climb to Tuesday's closing price!
This looks like a good time to sell shares if you have owned the stock since June.
With a little bit of luck, we're likely to see Potlatch shares retreat to less than $29.
Just think, at a share price of $28.50, the yield on PCH moves up to a pleasing 4.35%, and on top of that you'd have some realistic hope for some capital gains down the road.Two other timber stocks are Plum Creek Timber (PCL), a REIT that also seems richly priced yet still has an attractive yield of about 4.25%; and forest products company Weyerhaeuser (WY). Both PCL and WY are trading at or near 52-week highs. I'd rather sit on my hands and wait to see whether PCL revisits its June 13, 2012 intraday low of $37.03. I wouldn't touch WY until it flirts with the $19-a-share level, which it exceeded on June 4, 2012 when it hit an intraday low of $18.70. So be patient, be picky and wait until the herd is yelling, "Timber!" I don't know how far stocks will fall from current levels, but I'm looking for at least another 5% drop in the S&P 500 before this current correction runs its course. Remember that with the 10-year Treasury yielding a historically low 1.5%, stocks and REITS that yield about 4% will continue to look tempting to income-hungry investors. This should help reduce some of the risk of ownership, if you are patient enough and picky enough to buy at lower levels. At the time of publication the author held no shares of stocks mentioned. To see other articles written by Marc Courtenay please click here. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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