<THE RULE BREAKER PORTFOLIO>
Although, some may look at how this portfolio did as a whole, down 4.76% versus declines of 1.67% and 1.80% for the Nasdaq and S&P respectively, and think today was an important day. Hmmmmmm, not really. You see, as Fools we like to keep an eye on what the companies we own are doing, not what Wall Street is doing to our stocks during any given trading session. Was it an active trading day? Yes. Big deal! Was it an active news day? Nah. Will we remember today a year or even a month from now? Probably not.
About the most exciting thing to happen among the Rule Breaker stocks was a fairly harsh story running in TheStreet.com about Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN). In a nutshell, a short-seller wrote a column about how Amazon's sequential quarterly revenue growth was slowing on a percentage basis.
A few points to remember:
1) Percentage growth will continue to slow as the base of operations becomes larger. No company can sustain 60%, 30%, or even 15% sequential quarterly growth for more than short periods of time. Plus, companies earlier in their growth cycles will obviously have higher growth rates than those that are more mature.
2) Seasonality is a factor, just like in the offline retail world. People take vacations and spend their free time outside during summer. We'll wait another few quarters before proclaiming Amazon's growth dead. After all, Christmas is around the corner, and it's a fairly safe bet that Amazon will be a very busy site in a few months.
3) Early last summer Amazon added music. This essentially doubled Amazon's retail categories since the company was only peddling books before then. This year's second quarter only found the company adding auctions, one category addition on top of a base of three. (Amazon has since added toys and electronics, giving it a total of six retail categories.)
4) It's easy to selectively pick numbers.
Amazon 1996 1997 1998 1999 2nd quarter revenue 2,230 27,855 115,982 314,377 ($ thousands)Either way, one negative story won't shake our faith in Amazon. (Did you ever wonder why these Amazon.bomb type stories always seem to bash the company over the weekend, nailing the stock on Mondays?) For further interactive discussion about anything Amazon, there's always the company's message board available.
And in case you didn't get a chance to listen to the Fool Radio program this week, you can still listen to it online. Last weekend's show had an interview with none other than Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos.
The only other salient news today, and I hesitate to call it "salient," came from eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). The company announced today that it was expanding its offerings in the automotive category. The auction site will now host a wide variety of subcategories relating to collectable cars. Not exactly earthshaking news, but further proof that just about anything can be bought and sold at eBay. For its part and for whatever reason, eBay was down $7 13/16 to close at $119 7/16.
Have you taken a vacation this summer? Taken time to get away from CNBC, real-time quotes, and even Foolish commentary? Lots of Fools have been hitting the road or flying away the past few weeks, which is an endeavor we highly recommend. Some of last week's Rule Breaker columns touched on the importance of taking time off, including Jeff's short missive about doing something (anything!) except chronically worrying about interest rates and Greenspan. There was also Louis Corrigan's excellent column about what he learned while hitting the road last week.
Enjoy the last (unofficial) week of summer, and Fool on!