Saturday, June 18, 2011

Slow Motion

A little bit of gloating and lamenting on RIMM, as the stock plunged to $27 yesterday at times on awful guidance. I recommended this loser near $45 as a short just a few weeks ago, and successfully shorted it 3 times over that period. However, with at the money options pricing in a 5% premium in either direction, a hedge on earnings with one day until expiration was out of the question and stellar gains prompted me to close my positions before earnings. What a mistake. When I said analysts were falling over themselves to lower price targets, it was from the $70s to $50s or $50s to $40s. Stung again by their gross overconfidence, geniuses such as JPM lowered their targets to $30 and finally slapped sell ratings on RIMM. Thanks guys.

I also wrote on 5/13 that triple-digit moves were becoming commonplace and in just over a month, we've had around 10 trading days with that kind of swing. The VIX rose 40% in a week (finally) and was even rising with the market at times the last few days. Anyone who thought they'd cleverly buy Pandora on the open this week is sitting with between a 33%-50% loser already, with the stock earning a $5.50 price target on its second day. Please add any company with limited barrier to entry whose CEO openly states the company won't earn any money for the foreseeable future to your short list (I will let you know when puts are available).

Greece. Where does collapse get us? Where does a bailout get us? It's difficult to short French and German banks, and if you had, you got roasted yesterday. The euro took a nice plunge recently but popped and will continue to pop on whispers of ECB injections. Let's wait and see. Interesting to note that the current head of Lehman said yesterday he sees a lot of similarities to its own demise and the current European fiasco. Bankers and governments certainly never learn.

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