On Wednesday, we saw the market take a big hit the morning after Merrill Lynch( MER) reported a whopping $7.9 billion writedown, only to end the day with minimal overall damage.
The current market seems to regain its legs after each significant fall, but only time will tell the true effect that the subprime crisis will have on the financial sector, the stock market and the economy at large.
While I generally like to buy beaten-down companies, my approach remains cautious in regard to financials. Now is the time to focus on industries with relatively inelastic demand; these companies can better withstand difficult economic conditions. With oil continually moving toward record levels, that industry provides many investment opportunities.
Today I would once again like to focus on
, a company that both drills for its own account and provides contract-drilling services. I have written about this company on several occasions -- most recently
-- and I believe that with oil at its present levels, Unit will once again continue to move higher.
After closing at $46.12 Wednesday, shares are trading well below their high of $65.65, set in June. The company's
price-to-earnings ratio is 7.34, with a PEG of 0.88, metrics that indicate excellent shareholder value. I will place a limit order to buy 10 March 35 calls (UNTCG) for $11.00 or better.
Game of Life
Little boys throughout America don their first baseball gloves when they enter elementary school or even earlier. They learn how to field grounders and catch "high pops," which are initially thrown by their proud dads, before they are hit with a bat. Concurrently, the proud dads work diligently to perfect the art of hitting their sons' bats with a pitch, thereby convincing the little boys that they are sluggers.
As Tee Ball morphs into Pony League, which morphs into Little League, those same little boys fantasize while they are practicing with their dads, or their brothers, or their friends, that they are pitching or hitting in the World Series. They pretend they are the star players, in game-changing moments, mimicking their movements and mannerisms.
Amazingly, in the pretend phase, the faux pitcher always strikes out the batter with the bases loaded, or the mini-Manny invariably hits a walk-off homer to win the World Series.
Alas, young boys in America have counterparts in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and Japan, who dream that they will someday appear on big screens across the globe, competing in the Fall Classic.
I was one of those little boys, but it was my incredible good fortune to fulfill those dreams, as I participated in two Fall Classics, the first one as a rookie in 1986 with the Mets, and the second one with the Phillies in 1993, when I was a wily veteran.
Undeniably, getting to the World Series is awesome; however, the end results of my two trips there left an indelible imprint on me, a true testament to the full spectrum of human emotion. Being a member of the winning Mets dugout in '86 engendered feelings that are virtually indescribable, but you know you want them to last forever.
On the other hand, standing in center field, watching hopelessly as Joe Carter's World Series walk-off clincher cleared the left field wall in Toronto, made me physically ill. I felt as though somebody ripped my heart from my chest, without the benefit of anesthesia.
Nonetheless, I count my blessings, as I realize I am in a super-select minority of little boys, who grew up dreaming and was actually able to realize those dreams.
Rest assured that the rosters of the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies are filled with young men who were once young boys dreaming of arriving at the pinnacle they now occupy. Unfortunately, the rules of engagement mandate that there must be a winner and a loser.
Josh Beckett continued his postseason brilliance last season as the Red Sox routed the Rockies in the opening game of the World Series. This was the Rockies' first loss in the postseason this year, and their first loss in 11 games dating back to the end of the regular season. Has the bubble burst, or does this merely represent a bump in the road in the Rockies magical postseason run?
The Players Club recognizes, appreciates and marvels at the creative imagination of exuberant youngsters who emulate their heroes in the backyard, at the local playground or on a makeshift field in the street. Moreover, we salute those youngsters who evolve into the men who throw that last strike or strike that walk-off home run blow.
By guaranteeing recurring cash flow through our strategic partner, The Players Club endeavors to ensure that the dreams of youth are preserved, with a financial independence that allows the dreams of fathers to be shared with their sons and daughters.
Always remember: Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride!
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."