Update on Stock Picks From 2013

I apologize for not posting for so long. I had every intention of at least posting several times a week, yet life continued to throw curve-balls and kept that from happening. I’m back again though and hope to stay that way for a long time.

I wanted to revisit stock picks that I suggested on this site last year and see how they have been doing since then.

First up was Buckle ($BKE) – On January 22nd, the price was running at $45.26 at the time of my post. During the summer it went as high as $56.32. That would have been good for a 24% gain if sold at the high point. If you continued to hold on all year, you’d be back down to $45.71 currently. You would have earned dividends totaling $2.0059 over that period however. – Grade: A

Next  is VMWare ($VMW) – At the time on January 28th, the price was $98.39. Over the last year it went over a roller-coaster ride. It dropped as low as $64.86 by the time July rolled around. However if you continued to hang on and added to your position, you’d have ridden it back up to a high of $101.52. As of today’s close it was $98.51. So over the span of a year it was break even if you held on. At the high, good for a 3% gain. – Grade: C

Then we have Dollar Tree ($DLTR) – On the 28th of January it was at $41.25 during the time of my writing that day. It dipped a bit down to $38.43 over the next week or so. Then the rest of the year it kept on growing. By the time November rolled around it went as high as $60.19. Since then it’s lost $7. If sold around the high point you’d have looked at a 46% gain. – Grade: A

On February 5th, my pick was Riverbed ($RVBD) – During the time of my post it was $19.76 a share. It quickly went downhill from there and stayed there most of the year. It hit a low of $13.77. So it was down 30% at its worst. In early November it spiked up if you held on getting close to where it was  when i first recommended it. Then it jumped up a bit further and eventually got as high as $21.07 in the past few days. If you held on only you’d have been good for a 6.6% gain at this point. Dollar cost averaging to add to your position, you’d have done a lot better for yourself. – Grade: C

Then February 7th, I recommended Magna International ($MGA) – Their previous close price at that point was $52.96. For a few days it went as low as $50.77. However the rest of the year was phenomenal. It kept heading upward most of the year and went as high as $88.98 as of today. That was good for a 68% gain on the year. Plus you had some dividends along the way as well – Grade: A

February 18th I suggested both Visa ($V) and J.M. Smucker ($SJM) – Visa started off at $157.99. Over the year it grew and then took some breaks along the way. As of the past couple of days, it went as high as $235.50. Plus three sets of dividends payouts as well. If sold at the high, that was good for a 49% gain. – Grade: A

Smucker was at $89.88 at the time of my writing. By mid summer it had grown in price to $114.72 at its high. If you held till now it’s back down to $97.20. There were four dividend payouts during that period. If you sold at the high point, that was good for a 27% gain. Holding on till now would have been only 8%. – Grade: A

The next one was MDC Holdings ($MDC) – On March 1st they were at $38.43. They went as high as $42.41 after a few days. After that, it was nothing but declines, going as low as $27.00 in September. The home-building business just didn’t do very well in that stretch. If you were quick on the trigger, you would have got a 10% gain. However, if you had held on all the way to the bottom, you lost almost 30%. As of today it’s sitting at $31.12. – Grade: F if you held on.

June 12th was my last suggested stock to at least watch, Tesla Motors ($TSLA). On the 12th it was running at $97.73. I said you may want to look for a point on a dip to buy in cause it had a lot of potential. Well after that date, it never got any lower. So, I hope you got in cause it went for quite the ride after that. At the highest point at the end of September, Tesla went all the way to $194.50. You earned yourself a 99% gain if you sold at the high. I personally got out of a large part of my position at that point, but continue to hold the rest for the future growth. As of today it closed at $178.56. Still an 82% gain there. – Grade A

So the final tally was six Grade A large gainers, two at a Grade C that basically broke even and one that fell flat on its face for a Grade F. If you invested a hypothetical $10,000 on each of these stocks and sold at the highs as close as you could, you’d end up with $119,260. On a $90,000 investment total, that’s good for a 32.5% gain. I’d say that was a great year. I hope I can provide a lot more picks for this year and continue to find those Grade A gems.

Down Goes Riverbed – RVBD 2-8-13

Clearly the market didn’t like the earnings report from Riverbed after the close of trading on the 7th. Although they beat revenues forecast and matched the earnings per share expectations, they got hammered in after hours trading. Currently in pre-market trading this morning, they are trading down more than 13%. What seems to have hurt them was that their guidance going forward that it was going to be short of expectations going into it.

The market is funny like that sometimes. You have earnings that beat everyone’s expectations, yet you get killed immediately afterward even though nothing really looks all that bad. I think what’s going on in pre-market this morning is really overdone, so I expect it will make up some ground.