Tag Archives: Cisco Systems

Spinning the Weekend

With about 2 hours before the beginning of the end of the week, here in Europe we’re down about 3%. The Euro is consolidating around 1.43 and vacationers are dribbling back into Paris. After yesterday’s list of bad news, today is likely to be calmer – though options expire today, so I’m curious how the VIX presents itself. I’m cleaning out of my expiring option positions today. USO, SPY, FSLR.

Yesterday’s rout of HPQ had to be the craziest, most complicated manipulation of an earnings announcement I’ve seen. I’m guessing they put weeks of effort into this strategy… Or someone completely screwed up… I’d like to know which!

  1. Leak to Bloomberg at noon (Bloomberg falls all over itself for about 3 hours…)
  2. Trading Stopped – confusion
  3. Autonomy confirms leaked rumors – Autonomy trades under AU (Gold…) in the UK and stock jumps 45%
  4. Trading stopped again – more confusion
  5. Earnings are released early.
  6. Stock jumps 3 points for about 10 minutes
  7. Stock starts falling and doesn’t stop… HPQ will open down 12% this morning.
I was thinking about selling straddles at the close, but didn’t get the chance.
Obviously some changes are being made and strategies revised at our favorite tech companies. GOOG is buying Motorola Mobility, CSCO is laying off and starting to re-focus on core competencies and AAPL is surfing the content/platform wave. Extrapolate a bit and we’re seeing “Software Companies” like Google, Microsoft and Facebook preparing to go after Apple, Hewlet Packard and Dell. “Hardware Companies” are desperately trying to get in on the party.
This is a fundamental shift. Eventually we’ll stop referring to them as hardware and software companies, but with words like platform, infrastructure, and service. They might one day be considered conglomerates like TYCO and GE. MSFT is well on it’s way IBM is almost there, but markets will take some time to get used to innovators turning into conglomerates. The markets are just starting to digest this shift. These conglomerates will outsource innovation and start to pay dividends.
I’m going to get lunch, more later!

Cisco Contrarian Thinking

I read a well written post this morning on Ebeling Heffernan about Cisco’s earnings, due today after the close. The post lists the things working against Cisco:

  • Peer Performance – JNPR, BRCD, RVBD are all crashing…
  • Management and Restructuring Signals – Mediocre Management…
  • Austerity Order Risk – Governments aren’t buying…
  • Buy Back vs. Dividend Strategy – Buy back is worse…(?)

But Mr. Ebeling, Jr. fairly points out that at 8 – 9 times earnings Cisco might be on the extreme end of it’s ‘turn-a-round’.

Each time CSCO releases earnings, I try to find a good setup. My track record isn’t great and I hesitate to jump in again. As I mentioned in my post on July 18th we’re seeing concrete changes finally. So should we continue to play with this falling knife? It’s likely to dissappoint, again.

I’m going to buy stock. I’ve worked with their product and have confidence in it. That’s no trading strategy, but I’ll add a little stock today, for that reason only.  Isn’t that why we have the stock market? Under 14 looks cheap. I’m avoiding the options, unless I can come up with a decent spread.

Bear Market Specials

The VIX closing at it’s highs today at over 46 and the talking heads are spewing armageddon. I’ve heard: “falling off the cliff”,  “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”, and “big and bold” too many times today. I bought a few lottery tickets, with all the group pessimism, I couldn’t resist buying some calls and buying some large cap stocks today (AA, CSCO, F ).

The most surprising (for me) non-mover today was the Euro. I was expecting more downside and continue to expect it to break under 1.40.

There’s lots of attention on the Fed tomorrow.

With each soundbyte I cringe.

(Wikipedia on “To Throw out the baby with the bath water“. They say it’s origin is German…)