Sunday, November 25, 2007

Portfolio A1 Dragged Down By Perini (PCR)

With a little over a month to go in the trading year, Portfolio A1’s 1.5% gain provides only a slim margin over the 1.0% loss in the benchmark S&P 500 index. That margin shrank substantially last week, on the heels of continued weakness in Perini (PCR).

When stories start circulating with headlines like Stop the Blank Checks to Iraq Contractors, it is no surprise to see the stocks Perini and other top contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer in the wake of a swirl of bad publicity. After losing 11.5% in two weeks, Perini (PCR) is now down 32% from its July high and is being dropped from the portfolio as a result.

Replacing Perini in the portfolio is the first stock to be bought on three separate instances: DryShips (DRYS). Portfolio A1 rode DryShips up earlier in the year and had less success with an early October buy. If the global commodity boom continues, this may look in retrospect to be an excellent buy on weakness; on the other hand, if the anxieties and slowing economic growth in the US start to be felt around the globe, then it may be a long time before DryShips’ stock approaches the October highs once again.

With the addition of DryShips, the portfolio looks to be positioned aggressively for the final five weeks of the year. If it turns out that we are in a bear market, that 2.5% cushion over the SPX will likely be long gone by the end of December.

There are no other changes to the portfolio this week.

A snapshot of the portfolio is as follows:

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