Post of the Day
March 04, 1998
Subject:The rumors are coming, the rumors are...
Here we go!...the fear and anxiety is beginning to build as we enter T minus 2 weeks and counting. This came from the Oracle discussion group at www.techstocks.com:
I'd hold onto your ORCL short position. I bought a bunch of March puts today (early in the day - like you, I'm already in the profit zone). I don't think they made the quarter. All of a sudden, in the last two weeks, I see a lot of ORCL sales resumes on the street. I live in Redwood City, and can see ORCL buildings from my house. 1/2 the town identifies with ORCL, much like MSFT in Redmond. ORCL has what, 10 - 15,000 employees, probably more, and Redwood City has only 60,000 residents. There's lots of ORCL gossip around town - you can hear it in restaurants, stores and even in gas stations. None of the gossip has been upbeat in the last few days.No problem with the first part. By all means, protect your long term investment or play with puts and calls and for a spread.
I just love this. What does proximity to the Oracle buildings in Redwood City have to do with the earnings report? Does he actually see groups of salespeople being escorted out by security personnel, each clutching a brown box with service awards and pictures of loved ones inside?
"None of the gossip has been upbeat in the last few days."Gee, could it be that they have Oracle stock and are concerned like everyone else and are just guessing like everyone else? The demographics info sounds spiffy but not very relevant to the earnings report.
"All of a sudden, in the last two weeks, I see a lot of Oracle sales resumes on the street."This is the statement that is supposed to strike the nerve down your spine and have you running to your favorite web discount broker shouting "SELL, SELL, SELL!!!" (as in the final scenes of "Trading Places." ;-)) Hmm, maybe the salespeople are putting their resume out on the street for the same reason this guy is buying puts...insurance. By the way, where are they going to go? Sybase? Informix? ;-) Guess it's time to work for Microsoft or an Oracle middleware company or find another type of product to sell.
Here's all that we really know:
Top Oracle officials announced in the last several weeks that they see around 20% growth in North American sales. That's all, no more, zip, zilch, nada. One of those individuals lost 2 billion dollars on paper after the 29% tank job, no thanks to the institutions panicing. Another (forgot his name) has his information from internal financial reports and is well thought of in the market for his integrity. Here's a good question for all of you: Who in their right minds would broadcast growth reports after a bad quarter on more than one occasion to top money managers and then miss their mark by a wide margin?
Every analyst I've read and seen on the news has only bright things to say about Oracle's future. They see a bumpy ride in the next few quarters and a strong long term presence and growth pattern.
To anyone who wants to spread fluff:
What's your point in spreading fear? The tape doesn't know fear. The tape shows the results of buyers and sellers in a market that undervalues and overvalues stocks umpteen times a day. If you buy tech stocks, you're going to see some scarey fluctuations in the short term now and then in most companies. You can buy IBM at the wrong time and get burned too ya' know.
Here's something a little more firsthand ;-) :
I want to hear from the guy who's in the john while Larry and his financial officer are saying, "how are we going to get through another bad quarter this time...they're gonna crucify us for this one. Damn! I wish I could sell my stock without having to pre-announcing it!"
Here's a piece of information that is a fact:
Within the last 6 weeks, there have been a couple of people at decent level positions in Oracle who have gotten nice jobs at other companies. It's been reported on the popular web newswires. One of them was a woman who went over to Borland. That seemed to help their stock by a point or so. At Borland, she's a big fish in a smaller pond, no big shakes about that. She probably got a great deal.
No doubt about it, it's been belt tightening time at Oracle this last quarter. But for some strange reason that I can't fathom, a lot of people seem to have forgotten that the stock market is full of risk wherever you decide to put your money. If you feel that you've made a bad decision or the trend is going down and you want to put your money somewhere else or you don't have the stomach to wait for the truth in two weeks, then sell and accept responsibility for your investment. But *please*, don't whine and cry about Larry lying to you if the stock drops after an average report or moan about being scared out of your position on rumors just when things started falling into place.
The best advice I can give anyone in our situation is to keep your wits about you (there's 2 weeks left), love your significant other and not your stock, and decide NOW what your plan of action is to do and ACT upon it without fear, emotion or regret when the time comes. Can you tell? I've been reading "day trader anthologies" lately. ;-)