|The Real Story So Far |
Beating the S&P, long and short
|Stock||Story date||Recommendation||Last *||Profit||Percentage|
|APPX||1/19||Short||28.25||9.18||24.5% closed 3/9/06|
|ADBE||2/27||Short||36.33||2.86||7.3% closed 3/23/06|
|Real Story Portfolio||2.6%|
|* as of close 3/30 |
Source: Thomson Financial
Feedback LoopOne of the truly enjoyable aspects of writing for TheStreet.com is interacting with readers. Sure, I get called the occasional unprintable name now and then (and if you're going to attack me personally, at least be brave enough to include a real email address so I can respond). But for the most part, the emails are well thought-out. Most of the critical feedback contains rational arguments against my position. I usually don't agree, but I can still appreciate the other point of view. For example, my
Nothing is moving in the Panhandle. We own a significant amount of land in the Panhandle and I know firsthand that the real estate market is dead. Lots of sellers. No bidders. The area is one hurricane away from flatlining. No amount of hype from the JOE marketing machine can change the fundamentals in the Panhandle right now. There's little hope JOE will meet its full-year guidance. JOE will see $50 before $70.However, the majority of emailers were not on board with my thesis. Leon of Panama City, Fla., wrote:
Read your trashing of St. Joe today, and while it read well, I have to ask: Have you spent much time in the region? I have extensive land holdings here in Bay County. Naturally I am surrounded by St. Joe land and am influenced by everything that they do. I own a lot of its stock; been accumulating it for the last eight years. I intend to hold it for a long time. JOE does a first-class job of creating value ... and that is what this company is about. Its current market cap is very low considering the true value of its assets. It is a unique company, even though constantly compared to homebuilders. Thanks for reading this. Be careful about suggesting shorting this stock. This stock is all about Florida, which you seem not to understand too well.
I would like to buy some swampland that you are selling. Not a very balanced article, but then again I have not seen much balance from journalists lately.I reminded Mike that I am not reporting. I am a columnist expressing an opinion. While I do loads of research to ensure that my facts and statements are accurate, if I believe a stock is a dog or a gem, I'm going to shout it from the rooftops. Rob chimed in with:
You are a typical out-of-area (Jersey?) pundit with both a short-term and distantly myopic view of the current reality and future potential of JOE. Investors buy stocks with holding periods of more than a few weeks or months in mind. In-print "traders" like you are a major reason much of the general public view their purchase of stocks as a volatile form of gambling requiring an attention span of days or weeks, or refrain from investing in stocks at all, fearing manipulation by the "fast buck" crowd.His argument about being short-term is ridiculous. The reason real estate in northwest Florida and many other regions has been so hot is that short-termers are flipping their properties. My bearish stance on St. Joe is because I am taking a longer-term view of the company. The fact that St. Joe is dumping property is not a good sign for the long-term health of its markets. I don't like the stock, but management is anything but dumb. If it thought prices were going to continue to rise, I'm not sure it would be selling as much land as it is. Blind allegiance to a stock or company is what is irrational. And finally, this five-word analysis from an anonymous emailer: "Written by a true Yankee." While it's true that I bleed navy blue pinstripes, Anonymous should know that I saw Johnny Cash in concert years ago, once won a karaoke contest singing "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" by David Allan Coe, love pecan pie and, by the way, currently live in Florida -- on a swamp (but we prefer to call it a "preserve"). Y'all come back now. Y'hear?