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Stock Panic Nets Me 13% Overnight

May 15th, 2014 at 03:41 pm

On Friday May 9th, I bought 1040 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners (NKA) for $13,138. On Monday May 12th -- the very next market day -- I sold those shares for $14,802. That is a gain of $1664, representing a realized profit of 12.7% overnight (since weekends do not count as market days). I made that money thanks to a flash stock panic. I made that money by keeping my head, not falling victim to the panic and taking advantage of it instead. Here is how that went down.

On May 8th, stock analysts panned NKA. They did that based on their perception of "challenging fundamentals for natural gas storage providers." They discounted everything NKA had recently done and is going to do to overcome those upcoming industry challenges. So the analysts threw out the baby with the bathwater and set a $12 price target for NKA -- which was trading around $15 that day. And the selling panic began.

On May 9th, I saw opportunity in the panic. My daily stock monitoring* brought NKA to my attention. I ran the company's financials through my tests** and found NKA solid. I read the company's conference call transcript and saw how NKA was taking big steps to stay ahead of the game. Refinancing its debt so it would not come due until 2019. Reducing the company's interest costs by $15 million a year. Building up a war chest and making concrete plans to use it to diversify away from gas storage. Bringing in new top management experienced in such diversification. It was all good! And it had all been ignored by the stock analysts.

So I bought NKA for its dividend. NKA's stock price had dropped from around $15 on May 8th to around $13 on May 9th. With an annual dividend payout of $1.40 and a price of $13 a share, NKA would yield 10.8% a year. That made the stock what tv stock guru Jim Cramer calls an "accidental high yielder" -- which is the only kind of company I will invest in.*** So, taking into account the stock's downward price momentum, I set my buy price at $12.63 early on May 9th and waited.

I got my buy and it was well hedged. NKA's annual $1.40 dividend made my $12.63 price a safe buy for me even if the stock's price dropped down to $10.23.** And for an extra bonus, the next 35-cents quarterly dividend would lock in on May 15th, less than a week away. That made my buy safe even if the stock price dropped to $9.88.

But NKA's stock price went up, not down. The panic subsided. Other people must have begun seeing what I had seen. And they pushed NKA's stock price up to $13.74 by the close of market May 9th.

So on May 12th I set up to sell. I was up 8.8%. Though I buy a stock for its dividend, I will sell it at a 10% profit.**** And it looked like NKA would get to that point that very day. I got ready to put in an order to sell at $13.89, which would give me that 10% profit. But then (greedy me) I decided I also wanted that May 15th 35-cent dividend. So I upped my asking price to $14.24. And I got it that day. A 12.7% realized profit in just ONE market day.

The Takeaway: Never pay attention to stock brokerage analyst recommendations. If they knew what they were talking about, they would be stock-market rich and not be working for a living. In fact, do not listen to anybody's opinion on a stock (including me). Get the facts and make your own assessment. When you do, never judge a company solely by its industry's prospects. And remember that you must be nimble. The opportunity to grab a ride up -- or jump off before a plunge down -- comes and goes in a flash.

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* How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks:
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** My High Yield, High Risk Investing:
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*** Why I Only Buy Dividend Stocks:
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**** What Makes Me Sell a Stock?:
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