Monday, January 29, 2007

Sandisk sold in After Hours

Good or bad is yet to be decided but today I finally gave up on SNDK. They report numbers tomorrow and today they dropped yet again. It was hard to give up on it and change the paper loss into the real thing. The loss was big enough to get my attention and make me feel like an idiot for picking this stock, but not so big as to take me out of the game. It could have been worse. But then again it could have gone far better than it did. A smack in the nose every now and then keeps me humble and reminds me to focus and pay attention.

What did I learn? I need to do a better job at not rushing in. I started with the idea of writing some nice covered calls. I did a quick once over and the numbers didn’t look too bad. Sandisk had already taken a hit after the last quarter’s numbers came out and I figured that they were about done falling. Oops. After I was knee deep in stock I got a crash course on flash technology. Depending on who you listen to there seems to be two basic arguments. This is a company facing declining margins and tougher competition than ever before. The 40s are just a pause in a share price on its way to the low 30s. Others argue that its cutting edge leadership, size, and efficiencies will allow it to overcome any NAND gluts, margin contractions, and on and on back to a stock price more in the neighborhood of 70s or 80s. Now here’s the problem. I am just not smart enough about this business or the flash industry to even be able to argue either side. And that my friends is a problem when you don’t even know where to stand. So I had to hang it up. There is just too much uncertainty going into tomorrow’s earnings call.

The numbers: Bought the shares on October 30th 2006 for $48.20 per share. Sold covered calls the same day (Nov. 50s) for $1.20. Since the stock wasn’t called away I sold Dec. 50s for $1.35 on November 20th 2006. Today sold all SNDK shares for $42.24. Final tally not counting commissions and margin interest about a 7.5% loss.

That’s it for today. Here’s to just moving on and to trying to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

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