recent posts

no-cover
May 08, 2011
Other

Seismic Shifts and Contrarian Thinking

Richard Croft

“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” is a history of popular folly authored by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay. According to Wikipedia, the work was first published in 1841. MacKay’s subject matter cast a wide net across philosophical and economic boundaries. Of particular interest to...

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8 years ago
no-cover
May 01, 2011
Other

High Tech Play?

Richard Croft

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX: RIM, Friday’s close: $46.09) released its tablet computer a couple of weeks ago. But the “PlayBook,” as it’s called, met with less than enthusiastic reviews, and produced no line-ups at the local Best Buy store. Many of the big wireless carriers, including elephants...

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8 years ago
no-cover
April 24, 2011
Other

Low Volatility Strategies

Richard Croft

One option strategy that works well of you are in the “sell in May and go away” camp, is calendar or time spreads. It is also a good strategy in a low volatility environment. With the MX Volatility Index (VIXC) at 13.21 and below its 200 day moving average, we can say with clarity that volatility is low. The calendar spread...

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9 years ago
no-cover
April 17, 2011
Other

Sell in May?

Richard Croft

If you have been in the market long enough, you have probably heard about seasonal patterns. Rooted in market conditions such as expectations versus reality during earnings season, quarter-end portfolio tweaking (i.e. window dressing) by fund managers and high profile index re-balancing. Not to mention external factors like tax...

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9 years ago
no-cover
April 03, 2011
Other

Prescription for Takeover Fever

Richard Croft

Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX: VRX, Friday’s close $51.37) last week made a hostile US$5.7 billion (US$73 per share) bid for US drug-maker Cephalon Inc., (NASDAQ: CEPH) a 24.5% premium to Cephalon’s recent price of US $58.75 per share. The transaction would be financed by additional debt,...

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9 years ago
no-cover
March 26, 2011
Other

RIM Shot

Richard Croft

Canada’s Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion Ltd. (TSX: RIM; $55.78) is experiencing a spot of bother. While the company announced on-consensus fourth-quarter earnings, its guidance for weaker future performance got the sell tickets flying. Shares dropped $6.71, or more than 10%, from Thursday’s post-market...

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9 years ago
no-cover
March 23, 2011
Other

Old Standbys Find New Life in No-Nukes Frenzy

Richard Croft

Canada’s reputation as the safest of safe havens was burnished even more last week, as the markets’ giant weighing apparatus decided that Canada’s vast natural resource hinterlands are likely to be worth even more in the future. And the future is always what it’s about in the marketplace. Far from stifling the commodity...

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9 years ago
no-cover
March 14, 2011
Other

Turnaround Candidates?

Richard Croft

Options traders willing to place contrarian bets on companies facing short-term headwinds might consider a couple of Canadian industrials that have seen their share prices slide on what seems simply to be short-term negative sentiment. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX: SNC, Recent price $54.98), the Montréal-based global...

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9 years ago