Blogs & Comment

Portfolio pooch barking this week

One of the pooches in my portfolio just started barking this week. March Networks announced on Tuesday a large order for its IP video surveillance solutions from a top ten global financial institution.
The stock price jumped 10% Wednesday on 5 times the average daily trading volume. Today (Thursday), the price climbed another 4% on further heavy trading. Two insiders even bought just before the news release (the first time in a year any insiders have bought).
Alas, the shares are still down about 70% from where I bought them four years ago. And that was about the same loss showing 6 months ago when I mused out loud in Should I dump this loserwhether or not this mutt should be cutloose.
It looked like I was getting a great deal buying way back in early 2007, just after the share pricehalved in days on news Wal Mart had pulled back on purchases. It just goes to show that the time for bargain hunting is in the early stages of an upswing in the monetary and business cycle, not in the late innings as the year 2007 was.
Billionaire tech guru Terry Matthews, the force behind the two great growth stories of Mitel Networks and Newbridge Networks in the 1980s and 1990s, still retains 3.1 million shares in March Networks through his holding company, Wesley Clover Corp. Maybe there still is hope of triple hit?
It seems, though, the strong Canadian dollar is getting in the way these days. Earlier this year, third-quarter resultsdisappointed the market thanks in large part to the dampening effect of the soaring loonie. Hopefully Canada’s tradition of export promotion through the Export Development Agency and other fine export-subsidy programs will ease the pain until the loonie reverts back to less overvalued levels.
Well, if the rule is to neverbuy a bargain (orother) stock late in the monetary and business cycle, then perhaps the flip side is to sell the dogs when the late stage of frothy markets comes. Hopefully by the time U.S. house prices are once again showing steady gains and the economy is near full employment, those March Network shares will have earned their keep.