It was fun while it lasted, but it had to come to an end eventually. The Mosaic Company (MOS), which had run up an eye opening 176% in the first five months it was in Portfolio A1, is now gone from stable, victim of a rule that automatically culls any stock that falls 20% from the high recorded during the holding period. Also shown the door as a result of a 20% drop is Brazil Telecom Participacoes (BRP).
Replacing MOS and BRP are LG Philips LCD Co. (LPL) and Terra Industries (TRA). LG Philips LCD Co. is a Seoul-based $16 billion joint venture in the display business between two global giants, LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics. TRA, a nitrogen fertilizer company, demonstrates how some portfolio ‘rules’ can backfire, as this company is a direct competitor of Mosaic in the fertilizer business and at only 10% of Mosaic’s market capitalization is actually a much riskier play in this sector. Nevertheless, the stock ranker has spoken and TRA should do well if this week turns out to be a bottom. As far as the wisdom of holding an LCD manufacturer at a point where consumer demand appears to be drying up, I am skeptical, but this remains a 100% mechanical portfolio, where my perspective does not matter.
After falling 11.4% last week, Portfolio A1 is still sporting a 5% gain since the February 16, 2007 inception, considerably better than the 9% loss in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
There no other changes to the portfolio this week.
A snapshot of the Portfolio A1 is as follows: