Oct

26

Being a contrarian doesn’t mean taking an opposing view just for the sake of it. Being a contrarian is all about asking oneself why everybody is following the same idea, mirage or hope, in order to determine which course of action is best suited for the money you are managing. Indeed the contrarian strategy is no longer a feasible one in a financial world lead more by lawyers than investors. Therefore the capable speculator will take the contrarian advice with all the care it needs to avoid lawsuits and such. This year winner in contrarian strategy was for me the Se*@ono saga. The Company announced , sometime between the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, that it was for sale and that it was seeking buyers. The stock started a robust and relatively fast climb from chf 800 to chf 1100 (rough numbers). When the stock peaked along with major world stock markets , the owners of S-@ono announced that since no real bidders showed up, the company was no longer for sale. Bad news for the “longs”. The stock fell from chf 1100 to 900 and, just to add a little “peperoncino” to the sauce, said that at that point it was seeking capital in order to buy a small-medium sized company; enough to send the shares to 800 chf. The question was, why on earth would a smart CEO change its strategy on such a short notice and in such a clumsy way? At times the easiest answer is also the right one: at 1100 chf the company was too expensive for a potential bidder. It became clear to me that the owners never had any other intention than selling the company, but needed a bit of marketing strategy in order to convince shareholders. In September of 2006 the company received a bid for 100 pct of the capital at chf 1100.


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