By Chuck LeBeau, Director of Analytics at www.SmartStops.net.
The stocks in this week's "What's Hot" list are mixed while the "What's Not" list is composed of stocks concentrated in the financial services and banking industries. You will also note that even after the severe losses in 2008, it still made sense to protect positions with trailing stops in 2009.
The lesson here is that even stocks that are at low prices can always go even lower. Many investors will fail to recognize that truth until it is too late.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network
Industry: Oil & Gas Operations
Recent low: $7.62 on Nov. 21, 2008. Recent high: $20.00 on Feb. 12, 2009.Price on Feb. 25, 2009: $17.01. SmartStops exit alert occurs at $14.56.
Shares traded as high as $44.33 last May and then declined to a low of $7.62 in November. The fast-moving stock is currently up more than 100% from that low.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel to ships in port and at sea. The company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers, and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines. An International Maritime Organization regulation is causing single-hull bunkering tankers to be phased out by 2015 and replaced with double-hull ships because they are less likely to cause oil spills. This will cause many small suppliers to sell out, and Aegean would be a prime candidate to help them out in this matter. They already have a large number of double-hull tankers on the water and more are expected to be delivered over the next couple years.
Industry: Retail (Apparel)
Recent low: $12.52 on Dec 2, 2008. Recent high: $24.30 on Feb. 6, 2009.Price on Feb. 25, 2009: $23.29. SmartStops exit alert occurs at $19.34.
Aeropostale stock has rallied more than 80% in just a few weeks in spite of being the subject of large insider selling. Aeropostale is a mall-based, specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories, principally targeting 14 to 17 year-old young women and men. The Company provides customers with a focused selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion and fashion basic merchandise at compelling values. Aeropostale maintains control over its proprietary brands by designing, sourcing, marketing and selling all of its own merchandise. Aeropostale products can only be purchased in its stores or on-line through its e-commerce website (www.aeropostale.com). The Company currently operates 875 Aeropostale stores in 48 states and Puerto Rico, and 29 Aeropostale stores in Canada.
Industry: Personal & Household Prods.
Recent low $13.29 on Feb. 2, 2009. Recent high $25.74 on Feb 6, 2009.Price on Feb. 25, 2009 $20.97. SmartStops exit alert occurs at $18.18.
Blyth traded as high as $91 in 2008. There's just not a whole lot of interest these days in a company that operates in the "home expressions" business, which is a fancy way of referring to candles, home fragrances and decorative accessories. However, after adjusting for a reverse stock split on February 2nd of this year, the shares of Blyth, Inc have rallied more than 50% this month in the face of a market making new lows. At current price levels the annual dividend of $2.16 per share yields more than 10%.
Industry: Investment Services
Recent low $6.71 on Oct. 10 2008. Recent high $24.44 on Feb 5, 2009.Price on Feb. 25, 2009 $21.80. SmartStops exit alert occurs at $17.38.
We were surprised to find a financial services company on our list. Morgan Stanley has been in the news almost daily as has the entire banking and financial services industry. The price fluctuations were wild last fall when the company's survival might have been in question but the price action has become more orderly this year. The shares have recovered from the low of $6.71 to a close today at $21.80.
Morgan Stanley is a financial services company, which through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides its products and services to a group of clients and customers, including corporations, governments, financial institutions and individuals.
Sector: Basic Materials
Industry: Chemical Manufacturing
Recent low $11.21 on Nov. 20, 2008. Recent high $25.45 on Feb 10, 2009.Price on Feb. 25, 2009 $23.85. SmartStops exit alert occurs at $19.31.
Terra Industries is the subject of a takeover attempt by
, which recently announced that it has commenced an unsolicited exchange offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Terra at a fixed exchange ratio of 0.4235 CF Industries shares for each Terra common share. Terra's Board of Directors will review and consider CF's exchange offer and make a formal recommendation to shareholders within 10 business days. Terra's shareholders were advised to take no action at this time pending the review of the proposed exchange offer by Terra's Board.
The company produces nitrogen products for agricultural dealers and industrial users, and methanol for industrial users.
What's Not So Hot
Capital One Financial
Industry: Consumer financial services
Recent high $34.67 on Jan 6, 2009. Recent low $8.50 on Feb. 20, 2009. Price on Feb. 25, 2009 was $12.27. Next SmartStops exit alert occurs at $7.71
Even after a sudden rally of 23.9% on Tuesday, Capital One has dropped more than 60% in just seven weeks. SmartStops.net published a sell alert at $27.12 on Jan. 12 that would have prevented much of the recent loss.
Capital One through its subsidiaries, offers various financial products and services in the United States.
First Financial Holdings
Recent high $22.49 on Jan. 6, 2009. Recent low $5.00 on Feb. 24, 2009. Price on Feb. 25, 2009 was $5.56. Next SmartStops exit alert occurs at $4.28.
This unfortunate stock has dropped 77% since January 6th. SmartStops.net published a sell alert at $17.10 on January 15th. Now the next sell alert is pegged at $4.28.
First Financial Holdings operates through First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston and provides a range of financial services designed to meet the financial needs of customers.
Heartland Payment Systems
Industry: Diversified services
Recent high $18.93 on Jan. 6, 2009. Recent low $4.85 on Feb. 25, 2009. Price on Feb. 25, 2009 was $5.49. Next SmartStops exit alert occurs at $4.09.
Heartland Payment Systems provides payment-processing services related to bank card transactions for merchants throughout the United States. Its other merchant services include the sale and rental of terminal equipment and the sale of terminal supplies.
Heartland Payment Systems is now down more than 70% from its January high. SmartStops.net published a sell alert at $15.51 on January 16th.
Industry: Financial services
Recent high $29.84 on Jan. 8, 2009. Recent low $9.50 on Feb. 25, 2009. Price on Feb. 25, 2009 was $9.72. Next SmartStops exit alert occurs at $8.48.
Orix is a joint stock corporation, which operates in six categories: Corporate Financial Services, Maintenance Leasing, Real Estate, Investment Banking, Retail and Overseas Business. The stock has dropped 67% in six weeks. SmartStops.net published an exit at $24.93 on January 13th.
Recent high $30.18 on Jan. 2, 2009. Recent low $6.00 on Feb. 20, 2009. Price on Feb. 25, 2009 was $11.00. Next SmartStops exit alert occurs at $7.17.
SunTrust Banks, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services to consumer and corporate customers. Like most banking stocks SunTrust has suffered this year. It's presently down more than 60% from its January highs. SmartStops published a sell alert on Jan. 12, 2009 at $24.37.