Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
9:00 AM Thursday, November 17, 2005:
I hate being lied to. Dr. Paul Sohmer, president and CEO of TriPath Imaging
(TPTH) promised he would send a PowerPoint of his company's presentation
on November 10 -- the one I attended. Yesterday his senior VP and CFO, Stephen
Hall responded to my reminder emails to Dr. Sohmer. Hall said "we are
not providing an electronic version of the presentation." When I emailed
back saying Dr. Sohmer had promised me a copy, Hall didn't reply. And Sohmer
doesn't return phone calls.
I could accept this bad behavior IF the stock were strong. But it's in
the toilet. The management clearly doesn't give a damn. The word is out and
large stockholders are bailing right, left and center.
I would be less
annoyed if I hadn't violated my inviolate 15% stop loss rule with this
stock. I've held it as it has plunged through 15%. I did this complete idiocy
because I believed the company was making serious progress (which it is -- though
there are issues of slowing growth) and that the progress and the improvement
in finances would drive the stock higher.
I was wrong. Dead wrong. Management's arrogant and disdainful attitude to its
poor suffering shareholders is mind-blowing.
The ONLY good news is that on the two previous occasions TriPath has
fallen to this level, it's bounced. And at least one institution I spoke with
yesterday believes it will bounce back again. It bought some shares yesterday.
However, if one looks closely at the chart, you'll this that it has just broken
through and it's now lower than the two previous times. This bodes bad.
There's a strange
irony to this entire TriPath story. Management, after being badgered by its
large institutional holders, finally just hired an investor relations person.
She's called Kathy Waller. She works at the Financial Relations Board. Her phone
number is 312-640-6696. If you call that number you'll find that she's on vacation
and won't return until November 30. I guess she's on a two-week vacation to
celebrate winning the TriPath Imaging contract. Great timing. Just when they
I cannot tell
you how annoyed I am with myself.
in a while I'm right: On October 11, I wrote
"Where is GM headed? Kirk Kerkorian, the raider pushing for changes
at GM, bought about 22 million shares between $25 and $27, nearly 19 million
shares at $31, 8 million shares at $35, and a little over 5 million shares at
$35.71. Last night GM closed at $25.48. Personally I think it's going
lower." Last night it closed at $21.29. Heh, my loss on TriPath is
piddling compared with Kirk Kerkorian's $360 million loss on GM. Maybe they'll
give him a discount on his new GM car?
I Bonds for your IRA. My
friend Dan Good points out that if you put I Bonds into your
IRA, you're getting an effective after tax return of close to 10%.
Nice. And guaranteed by the Federal Government and your tax dollars.
should be a law. People who work for taxing authorities
should read, write and speak English. I repeat my previous advice: The more
entities you create, the more aggravation you will have with taxing authorities.
No one has ever succeeded in closing down an entity and having the taxing authorities
cease dunning them for money and forms. Of course, I'm exaggerating. But filling
forms in which say you owe them no money costs time and frustration. And then,
to cap it all, they lose your paperwork and you have to fax them the paperwork
again and again. State taxing authorities are the worse.
reset works: My BlackBerry was iffy. It would dial some numbers,
but not others. Simple solution: Take the battery out. Count to ten. Put it
back in. Bingo, it works like a charm. Today everything is a "computer."
Everything needs rebooting regularly to clear out the gunk -- and that includes
your phone system, your car, your washing machine, your PC, etc.
write emails in anger: You'll say things you regret. Better: Write
the email. Then discard it. Then mull for a day. Then pick up the phone. If
the matter is serious, go visit the person.
their last sentence: The technique is called "active listening."
It teaches you to repeat what they just said to you, but to turn it into a question.
They'll then explain what they want, or why they're annoyed. Too many of us
hear what we want to hear, not what they're saying.
So stop. Before you reply, take a deep breath and repeat their last sentence
as a question. The book is called "Parent Effectiveness Training."
It was written to teach parents how to speak with their kids. Change kids
to prospects and it becomes a great sales tool.
home we chose
After the christening of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all
the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what
Finally, the boy
replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I want to stay with you guys!"
to say your prayers
Sunday School teacher asks, "Now, Johnny, do you say prayers before eating?"
little Johnny replies, "I don't have to. My mom is a good cook."
A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime
From time to time,
she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek.
She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.
Finally she spoke
up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"
he answered, "God made me a long time ago."
she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?"
honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."
respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't
Technique of Towel Waving
An elderly Jewish gentleman marries a much younger woman. No matter what the
husband does sexually, the woman never achieves orgasm. Since a Jewish wife
is entitled to sexual pleasure, they decide to ask the rabbi.
The rabbi listens
to their story, strokes his beard, and makes the following suggestion: "Hire
a strapping young man. While the two of you are making love, have the young
man wave a towel over you. That will help the wife fantasize and should bring
on the desired event."
They go home and
follow the rabbi's advice. They hire a handsome young man and he waves a towel
over them as they make love. It doesn't help and she is still unsatisfied. Perplexed,
they go back to the rabbi.
he says to the husband, "let's try it reversed."
Have the young
man make love to your wife and you wave the towel over them."
Once again, they
follow the rabbi's advice. The young man gets into bed with the wife and the
husband waves the towel. The young man gets working with great enthusiasm and
the wife soon has an enormous, room-shaking, ear splitting, screaming orgasm.
The husband smiles,
looks at the young man and says to him triumphantly, "You see, you young
schmuck? THAT'S how you wave a towel!"
Tennis Masters in Shanghai: ESPN has it every morning. It ends on
Sunday. Federer is playing and winning, as usual.
This column is about my personal search for the perfect
investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered
with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor.
I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three
reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column
is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect
Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
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