Mother Nature has pitched us myriad curveballs this winter season. We have seen mudslides and cherry blossoms in early January followed closely by whiteouts and ice storms in many parts of the country. One week we are playing an unexpected round of off-season golf, and the next we are housebound by frigid temperatures.
For the first time in eight years, the groundhog did not see his shadow, which only happens about 10% of the time, indicating a swift and imminent arrival of the spring months. This weekend, however, a winter storm crushed parts of the Midwest and Northeast.
Confused? I am.
But I am not confused about the fact that at Friday's close of $66.23,
, the world's largest biotechnology company, is undervalued, to say the least.
Amgen's close Friday was right at its 200-week simple moving average. The company boasts a broad pipeline of potential new medicines designed to improve and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients. The company's financials are rock solid too, with over $6.2 billion in cash and a manageable debt load.
Quite simply, Amgen defines best of breed.
So if the operators on Wall Street want to give the stock away, I will take it. But instead of spending $66,230 for 1,000 shares of common stock, I suggest buying 10 July 55 calls (YAAGK) at $12.70, for $12,700. That gives buyers control of 1,000 shares of Amgen's common stock until July 20. Buyers should also remember to put a good-till-canceled (GTC) sell order in 1 point higher -- $13.70 in this case -- using this limit order to capture your $1,000 gain.
The strategy is simple.
We get to control 1,000 shares of common stock in undervalued, quality companies with as little cash as possible, and Amgen is a perfect example. You can pay $66,230 or $12,700 -- the difference is staggering, especially when the goal is simple: Trade the option/stock as quickly as possible. This allows us to avoid our adversary: margin. (By the way, if anyone is using a margin account, you are going to lose, period. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. So don't even think about applying margin to these trades.)
More on the Players Club
A different forecast gleamed on Hollywood when
Little Miss Sunshine
, which was nominated for Best Picture at the annual Academy Awards show, came out.
An independent film that hit theaters last summer, it depicts the story of a dysfunctional family and their journey to a children's beauty pageant. We meet Olive, a charming, chubby little girl with glasses who skips around her house striking poses and imitating the flabbergasted expression feigned by beauty queens. Grandpa, a fresh-mouthed coke addict, develops a special bond with Olive and choreographs her dance for the talent component of the pageant.
Her Dad, Richard, is a middle-aged man who sells "a success strategy" as his occupation, but ironically, he does so rather unsuccessfully. Her Mom, Collette, is overwhelmed and worn out by the whims of her bizarre family. Olive's older brother, Dwayne, is a Nietzsche fanatic who has taken a vow of silence.
And then there's Frank, a suicidal uncle who brings a spark of rationality to the absurdity that exists in the Hoover household. Serendipity strikes, and Olive is offered a spot in the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty Pageant in Redondo Beach, Calif.
The ebb and flow of this movie closely reflects the unpredictability and reality of life's very own jet stream. In this thrilling and quirky picture, sorrow collides with humor, which creates a weather front of unexpected tears, laughs and a genuine realization of what is truly important in life. While the Hoover clan is an extreme, made-for-Hollywood example, misfortune and strange idiosyncrasies are ubiquitous in all families, and Olive Hoover teaches us to squeeze the lemons that life presents us.
Moreover, while we often become annoyed with the erroneous meteorology reports,
Little Miss Sunshine
presents a flawless representation of life, which is in and of itself always flawed. As the spring months loom, let us realize that the real sunshine is that which we have all along: the love within our families.
The Players Club recognizes the unique bonds that family represents. In fact, maintaining those bonds by enhancing the fabric that keeps families together is of paramount importance to our mission. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing former pro athletes with guaranteed recurring cash flow so as to help strengthen our most precious commodity: our families.
Always remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!
At the time of publication, Dykstra was long Amgen.
Nicknamed "Nails" for his tough style of play during his Major League Baseball career, Lenny Dykstra was an integral member of the powerful Mets of the mid-1980s, including the world champion 1986 squad, and the Phillies in the early 1990s.
Today, Dykstra manages his own stock portfolio and serves as president of several of his privately held companies, including car washes; a partnership with Castrol in "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers; a state-of-the-art ConocoPhillips fueling facility; a real estate development company; and a new venture to develop several "I Sold It on eBay" stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California.