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Author: wax Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 766  
Subject: Re: PSUN - Swimming With Sharks Date: 3/6/2003 2:01 PM
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Rex;

All of your points are well taken, and for the most part quite accurate.

My original premise however, was that price determines return, and to support my argument I offered information I had garnered from the web. As Lou pointed out the balance sheet information was out of date, and as such when I replied to her response, I didn't feel it was germane to a continued discussion. If you feel it is, then by all means, please continue. I'm happy to use the old information.

As I said in my original post, I believed the stock is overpriced. Even given the most recent balance sheet information, I believe that to be true.

Have I done an in depth analysis of the stock? No I haven't, and since I believe the stock is overvalued at current levels, there isn't any reason for me to do a detailed analysis.

As to growth. I used to be one of those investors that believed growth was the most important factor when analyzing a stock. Then the bubble popped, and I realized how blind I had been. This is not any secret, and if you have the capability to search for my previous posts, that is precisely what you will find.

It took a long while, but I finally figured it out. As the matter of fact, with the exception of perhaps a single post, I stayed away from Fooldom, and other sites, for over a year.

During that time, I read, and read, and read some more. I learned of a company in Austin, located the owner, and spent hours and hours visiting with him, learning about valuation. As the matter of fact, my oldest son now works for his company.

In short, I learned what I had been doing wrong, and just how to fix it. Cheeze hit the nail on the head a while back when he said I had learned to think for myself.

At any rate, the point about earnings growth was that just because some analyst says growth should be X% doesn't mean a thing. It's nothing more than a guess, a pro format value. In the case of PSUN, the analysts that follow the company have pegged their earnings growth at 15%. The street in turn has allowed for that growth in determining the stock price. My point was, that if earnings growth has averaged about 7% since 1929, what is the catalyst going to be that would create earnings growth for this company of almost twice the historical average, especially given today's poor economic climate?

A case in point relating to earnings growth is Acxiom. This company is in the Customer Relationship Management business. When I bought this company, in March of 2000, I paid $33.38 a share for it, and believed then, as I do now, that I had purchased a great company. Have they had earnings since I purchased it? Yes they have. Has the price increased since I purchased it? Nope. Does that mean it was overvalued when I purchased it? You bet it was, and is today!

But rather than sell it, and take the loss, I learned that I could purchase other stocks at deep discounts to their true value, and thereby offset the loss from Acxiom. And that's exactly what I have been doing. Oh, eventually I'll have to bite the bullet and take the loss, but it isn't tax loss selling season yet.

As to your last comment about TMF articles, you're correct in that the folks you mention do consider value in their articles. But why don't they ever say specifically what the value is? As I said, I can't remember ever seeing a TMF article that included a reasonable value estimate for the stock. I meant no disrespect to any TMFer, your jobs are hard enough jut putting up with folks like me.

It's just that if we are gonna talk about a company, doesn't it seem reasonble that we have some baseline from which to start? A baseline as in what the writer considers to be a reasonable value for the stock.

Wax
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