Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Smoking and a Wet Seal

My large position in Wet Seal is starting to show potential. My initial position is now back to even, but a position I established in my 401k is clearly in the green now (purchases at 2.18 and 1.91). I guess prior to this disclosure, only a few knew of those purchases, because I generally do not comment on my retirement accounts.

The company has been undergoing cost-cutting measures, and I have little doubt that a lot of what's going on in the company right now is a result of the return of their former CEO, Edmond Thomas. Despite the scary (to say the least) drop to the 1.80's, the stock has rebounded sharply and now sits at 2.87 . That's a really large move to the upside in 3 short weeks following good quarterly earnings, stronger than expected SSS, and signs of management's ability to effect change.

My initial position still has 40% of the shares covered by the March 2.50's, which is fine. Sure, I'd be better off had I not sold them, but I was overexposed and still am.

Anyway, tomorrow, Altria (MO) will be announcing their earnings. More importantly, they will be detailing the spin-off of Phillip Morris International. Assuming what they say is good, this should hopefully provide a further catalyst to move shares higher. I also read today that the company is getting a lot more aggressive on the global front. The WSJ came out with a piece on the company and talked a bit about their new China dealings and also the new Marlboro Intense product. These should be seen as strong positives for the company, in my opinion.

I guess that's it for now.

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