Updated from 6:32 a.m. EST
Let's break it down: The recent volatility in the market has been extremely difficult to navigate. Heck, the average equity long/short hedge fund was down 4.1% in January, and AQR Capital's largest fund fell almost 15% through mid-February, not to mention all the problems at Goldman Sachs' Global Alpha fund.
However, all is not lost. As readers know, I love to look for stocks with direct catalysts ahead of them, especially in these volatile times. These catalysts can function as a sort of risk-management system. They define risk and allow for flexibility.
Robbins & Myers
-- all of which I've highlighted in my weekly Rocket Stocks articles since January -- readers need to definitely pay attention to the coming week.
includes names like
( MIR) and
. But before we look at this week's picks, let's review how
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. (HPQ) Report: Up 6.7% on the week; the company beat first-quarter earnings estimates by 5 cents a share.
- Olympic Steel (ZEUS) - Get Olympic Steel, Inc. Report: Up nearly 7% at one point and ending the week up 3.8%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) : Up 2.5% on the week as gold rallied.
- Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) - Get Kaiser Aluminum Corporation Report: Flat on the week despite beating earnings estimates by 37 cents a share. Longer term, I believe Kaiser is a strong stock.
- Medco Health Systems (MHS) : Flat for the week despite a nice quarter and increased margins.
- Pride International( PDE): Essentially flat on the week despite seeing positive sector earnings from the likes of Transocean (RIG) - Get Transocean Ltd. Report.
- Nymex Holdings( NMX): Down 1% on the week.
- Medtronic (MDT) - Get Medtronic Plc (MDT) Report: Down 1.3% on the week.
- Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report: Horrible; down 5.2% this week. However, Apple is becoming even more attractive on valuations.
- Crocs (CROX) - Get Crocs, Inc. Report: Horrible; down 26.5% after issuing lackluster '08 guidance.
Now let's take a look at one of the picks from
is set to report earnings Monday morning, and the company, which is highly leveraged to the creation and repair of day-rigs for the oil-drilling industry, could surprise to the upside.
For starters, GulfMark is a $1 billion market-cap company that seems to exist outside the radar of many investors and traders. GulfMark's customers employ the company's vessels for services supporting construction, position and ongoing maintenance of offshore oil and natural gas drilling rigs and platforms. Last week, Transocean noted in its earnings report that it was forced to constantly raise prices for its day-rigs due to massive demand. This demand works in GulfMark's favor.
GulfMark is in all of the right market segments, especially in the deep waters of Africa and India. The company also pushes the fact that it has zero exposure to the weakening U.S oil and natural gas market, a segment that has negatively affected its peers.
With oil trading over $100 a barrel, GulfMark could very well report a strong quarter. It also has a 13% short position and tight trading float. As a result, an earnings beat could result in a short-squeeze.
GulfMark is also extremely cheap; it has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 8.5 vs. the mean average in the industry of 13.3. The company has exceeded analysts' earnings expectations in the past four quarters by an average margin of 38.5%. It has a price-to-book ratio of 1.6, compared to about 4.5 for the industry.
For the rest of this week's picks and more detailed analysis, check out the
As always, to find the snapbacks and potential breakouts on a regular basis, check out these Stockpickr portfolios, which I use in my own research each week:
- Today's Hot List: This daily list is a must-view every midday to see what stocks are making the biggest moves and why.
- Always check the Biggest Percentage Losers, a list of stocks that lost big the day before, because they can snap back hard. When you check this list on Stockpickr, you can see which stocks are owned by the quality hedge funds and mutual funds. Pay attention to those. They will be buying at the lower prices, so you should be also.
- Ditto for the 52-week-low list. You must check the above two lists every day if you hope to find volatile stocks.
- Biotech Short Squeezes: Dendreon (DNDN) and others can often be found in this category.
- Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume: These are potential breakout stocks.
- Stockpickr's System Trades of the Day: These are trades triggering that day in various back tested trading systems we've developed.
- Stocks With Unusual Option Activity: Perhaps someone knows something?
- Latest Activist Situations: These are beaten-down stocks that hedge funds are accumulating shares of and demanding change in. Believe me, these hedge funds piggyback each other. And once they start rocking the boat, things happen quickly. This should be on your must-view list.
One final place to frequent is the
section on Stockpickr, where ideas such as those presented in this article are thrown around daily.
At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
James Altucher is president of
LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the
and the author of
Trade Like a Hedge Fund
Trade Like Warren Buffett
. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.
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