Friday, June 6, 2008

Stocks Update

For some reason, I have always tried to highlight the bad news rather than the good. I suppose it keeps me humble, but really, I do it to ensure a sufficient amount of fear. Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavs, was once asked why, after making billions, he kept going. His answer: "Fear." In that vein, I am going to provide a "stocks update" on a day when the Dow and Nasdaq went down over 3%:

Open Positions
CNB = 0
EQ = 0
EWM = (slightly negative; 150 shares)
GE = 0 (slightly negative; 179 shares)
IF = -2.1
PFE = -6.4
PPS = +0.1
WYE = -2.6

Total: losing/negative 2.75%

I am not worried. Except for IF, these are all good dividend plays (meaning, they have enough cash flow or cash to pay their dividend over the next year). Even if Pfizer (PFE) has to "repatriate" (bring some money to its U.S. operations from abroad, thereby taking a tax hit) some cash to pay its dividend, I am guessing it will still do whatever it takes to pay the dividend.

Here is what my friend, who is a tax lawyer, said about repatriation--and it sounds like good news, rather than the bad news the general media is making about the possibility of repatriation:

I took international tax in law school but I am fuzzy on the subject not having reviewed it in awhile. The only thing I remember about repatriation is that foreign earnings of controlled foreign corporations were not subject to tax until they were brought back into the U.S. When the funds were brought back to the U.S., or repatriated, a corporation could then file some sort of election to exclude up to 80 - 90 percent of the repatriated funds from income.

I would guess that PFE would try and take advantage of that generous tax break on repatriated earnings if they did not want to risk cutting their dividend to U.S. shareholders.

If the tax hit is only 10 to 20%, that isn't so terrible. My hunch is that Pfizer's board sees its stock as a "widows and orphans" stock and won't cut the dividend for another year a half at least.

(Today, I bought 100 GE @ 30 and change; also, on June 9, I bought 29 more shares of GE at around 30.)

Overall, I am down about 1400 dollars since I sold off almost all of my holdings earlier. Most of the 1400 dollar loss is because of my recent large buy of Pfizer. My prediction last month or so was correct; i.e., that the market would suffer a large hit. For the most part, I heeded my own advice; otherwise, the damage would have been more severe.

Closed Positions:
Daytrades: PFE (0.5%)

MMM (0.5%), MRK (0.1%), SCUR (15%) (held less than seven days; record in this category is a 5.2% average gain)

The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only and does not constitute investing recommendations. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities or make any kind of an investment. You are responsible for your own due diligence.

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