Friday File: “18 Days to Lock up Another 127% Gain”

I would be remiss in not at least mentioning two of the bigger stinkers I’ve written about over the last year or so, FTI Consulting (FCN) and China North East Petroleum (NEP). I don’t have a lot to add, but by way of an update here’s what’s up: NEP is still not in compliance and is still in a trading halt, and it’s starting to look more and more as though there’s potential for actual fraud in their numbers and their management, instead of just the oil reserves accounting mistakes that we already knew about. Still can’t do anything until the stock gets delisted and goes to the pink sheets or gets back in compliance and, either way, starts trading again. I have no idea what the results will be of their investigations and the myriad lawsuits that are cropping up from shareholders, but the possibility for good news seems more remote as the weeks pass. I do still hold some call options on NEP, since those are also in a trading halt.

FTI Consulting is a more ordinary stinker — recent weak earnings and soft forecasts. I profiled FCN back when the world was in crisis in the Spring of 2009, and thought it had some great potential as a bankruptcy and restructuring consultant … I even own shares of this one myself. When they released earnings a few days ago the stock fell by 25% because the business has essentially hit the opposite of the “sweet spot” — the economy is good enough that the bankruptcy business hasn’t boomed as I thought it would, but it’s not so good that FCN’s other consulting businesses (the pro-cyclical ones, versus the anti-cyclical restructuring consultancy) are performing up to expectations. I still hold the shares, and haven’t decided what to do with them yet personally since I’m of a mind that we’ll probably still see a dramatic number of bankruptcies in the years to come with the debt piper not really having been paid, but if you’re one who uses a 25% trailing stop you likely have already sold.

But enough bad news — on to our main topic today, which happens to be a much rosier forecast. Of course, it’s from Louis Navellier and he’s got some of the thickest rose-colored glasses I’ve ever seen, but still, I like to see some optimism and growth prospects every now ...

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