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This is a long post discussing my current thought about GES.
If you don't want to slog through, my conclusion is:
I AM COMPELLED TO BUY GES at the current price.
I am not directly addressing the business, which I feel is doing well.

Back in March I my opinion about GES was wary after they posted earnings with a beat on revs and earnings,
but decreased SSS, increased cotton prices and guidance on the low side (I was not compelled to buy GES):

I believe that comparing the P/E of GES now to the P/E of GES in the past may have some utility when trying to compare value points.
I do not believe that it is useful to compare the P/E of GES to that of a different business.

Here are some points of reference.
June 2010 kcanant purchase $32.86 P/E 11.7
Dec 2010 ($2 special div) $48 P/E 16.4
(16 March 2011) after hours $41.50 P/E 14
Thinking about value points (in terms of P/E), this was my conlusion:

So, where do I want to "anchor" (if I can't avoid anchoring, I'd like to be at least concious of it).
My original P/E purchase @ 11.7 may be unrealistically low. A P/E of 14 may be a reasonable starting point when making my decision.

Since then, there's been more news.

#1 Cotton prices:
On March 7, cotton futures were $53.44
Since,they've come down nicely. $28.42

#2 A Quarterly Report from GES:
On May 25 GES reported earnings. My take was:
So, how did this quarter look?
Beat on revs...Good
Beat on earnings...Good
Same Store Sales: Down 3.1%...ACK!
YOY Operating margin: Down from 13.2% to 12%...ACK!
(cotton futures are down nicely from $48.04 to 39.54)
They guide to better margins...(BUT, does guidance=perfomance?) Meh
I don't know about the inventory situation yet..

My conclusion: It's a reasonable bet that an opinion that uses the word "ACK" isn't going to be entirely favorable.
Based on what I know so far, I am not compelled to buy more GES at this time. This was a decent quarter on
Revs and Earnings, though the decreased SSS and decreased margins give me pause. Am I a buyer at todays price?
Guess not. In fact, I was wary, and sold the next day @ 44.80.

#3 the price of GES has come down

So what am I doing about this?
I thought that my anchoring to a P/E of 14 represented a reasonable value point, and that waiting for a P/E of 10.7 to 11.7 might be hoping for too much.
Today GES is selling for $34.60
Right now the P/E is down to 11.42
The dividend yield is up to 2.4%

I am back in GES. I purchased some on the 8th @ $31.89 and today
@ $32.86.
I don't make a habit of jumping in and out of positions like this,
but <excuses> I haven't been with GES long enough to have established a trading position and I was fairly antsy this past Spring
and sold some postitions to ensure a nice cash balance in case things went awry this summer.</excuses>
I am indebted to TheMotleyFool for the concepts of buying at "value points" and acquiring "trading postions", as well as for the virtue of patience .

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