HMN Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: HMNF) Stellar Results but is Anyone Watching?

HMNF Financial, Inc. – Nasdaq: HMNF

Shares of HMN Financial Inc. bucked the banking sector trend today and ended up over 6%. HMNF, traded on the Nasdaq, closed at $17.35 on Wednesday and closed today at $18.50 on heavy volume. Today’s rise in value was notable when positioned against the Thomson Reuters Financials Index that saw a 0.27% drop. However, HMNF has been doing well for years. Since it traded below $2.00 in 2012, the shares of MNF Financial Inc. have had a relatively steady climb upwards.

HMN Financial, Inc. is a stock savings bank holding company, which was incorporated in Delaware in 1994. The Company owns 100 percent of Home Federal Savings Bank. Home Federal, originally chartered in 1934, has a community banking philosophy and operates retail banking and loan production facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The Bank has two wholly owned subsidiaries, Osterud Insurance Agency, Inc. which offers financial planning products and services, and HFSB Property Holding LLC, which acts as an intermediary for the bank in holding and operating certain foreclosed properties.

HMN Financial Inc. had impressive 3rd quarter results. From their press release:

Year to Date Summary

  • Net income of $4.7 million, up $2.8 million, compared to net income of $1.9 million in first nine months of 2015
  • Diluted earnings per share of $0.99, up $0.61, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.38 in first nine months of 2015
  • Net interest income of $19.5 million, up $5.2 million from first nine months of 2015
  • Total assets increased $43 million, or 6.6%, in first nine months of 2016

Interestingly, no analysts cover HMN Financial Inc. An interesting observation when you consider the shares have increased 900% since 2012. There is a lot of inside ownership and little short sales on HMNF.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/29/2016
Ticker Symbol HMNF
Last Price a/o 4:00 PM EST  $                    18.50
Average Volume 3,400
Market Cap $77.9 million
Sales $5.8 million
Shares Outstanding 4.5 million
Share Float 3.52 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 31.36%
Short Float 0.06%
Short Interest Ratio 0.65
Quarterly Return 22.10%
YTD Return 50.22%
Year Return 50.22%
Dataram Corp (NASDAQ:DRAM)

Update! Live Ventures Inc. (Nasdaq: LIVE) Announces 136% Earnings Increase!

Reporting its most successful year in the Company’s history, Live Ventures reported a record $79M in revenues, an increase of 136 percent over the previous year, and net profit of approximately $17.82M, representing earnings per share (EPS) of $8.92.

Stockholders’ equity, which is management’s preferred measurement for performance, increased by 192 percent over 2015.  Since present management took over five years ago, stockholders equity has grown at a rate of 100.58 percent compounded annually.

“Live Ventures has truly come a long way since its founding in 1968, when we were known as Nuclear Corporation of New Mexico,” said Jon Isaac, CEO of Live Ventures Incorporated. “We are elated with these most recent results and are grateful for the hard work of our employees, who were essential to the Company’s recent success.”

Live Ventures Inc. – Nasdaq: LIVE

Today Live Ventures Inc. announced that it will announce financial results from its fiscal year-end 2016 on December 28, 2016 – tomorrow. Shares are traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker LIVE. LIVE shares have done well recently. LIVE traded under $15 at the beginning of December, but today’s high is over $25. This could be an indicator of investor sentiment regarding tomorrow’s earnings announcement.

Live Ventures Incorporated, based in Las Vegas, NV, operates through three segments: Legacy Merchant’s Services, Manufacturing and Industrial Products, and Online Marketplace Platforms. It manufactures and markets carpets and rugs, and yarn products through carpet dealers for residential, niche commercial, and hospitality end-markets, as well as engages in the resale of hard surface flooring products. The company also operates LiveDeal.com, a deal engine that connects restaurants with consumers, as well as offers marketing solutions to restaurants to boost customer awareness and merchant visibility on the Internet. It also engages in the online retail of products that range from kitchen and dining products, apparel, and sporting goods to children’s toys and beauty products. In addition, the company develops and markets a suite of products and services to meet the online marketing needs of small and medium businesses.

LIVE shares have never enjoyed postive EPS. However, 2015 reported sales were $33.4 million – more than four times the reported 2014 reported sales of $7.3 million. While outstanding shares of Live Ventures Inc. have increased each year, there are no reported sales of LIVE even though the company has an inside ownership over 50%.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/27/2016
Ticker Symbol LIVE
Last Price a/o 11:45 AM EST  $             25.05
Average Volume 3.05 million
Market Cap $66.58 million
Sales $78.1 million
Shares Outstanding 2.82 million
Share Float 1.81 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 50.20%
Short Float 26.30%
Short Interest Ratio 2.26
Quarterly Return 126.15%
YTD Return 169.52%
Year Return 124.86%

GoPro, Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) Short Target – But for How Long?

GoPro Inc.; Nasdaq: GPRO

Since November 7, 2016 four of the 15 analysts covering GoPro Inc. have downgraded its shares – traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GPRO. Currently two analysts rate it as a “Strong Buy”, ten rate it as a “Hold”, one gives it an “Underperform”, and two have it rated as a “Sell”.

In 2014 GPRO was trading over $90, today it is trading in the $9 handle. GPRO shares have a Short Float figure over 32%. This means that for all the shares typically available to the investing public, over 32% have been borrowed as part of a short-sale which will profit if the shares decline in price. This is a fairly high figure by industry standard.

But the blame does not fall solely on short-sellers. GoPro Inc made an expensive effort to be a deliverer of content. Although they spent a lot of money trying to develop that market, success never materialized and GoPro Inc recently announce it will lay off about 15% of its workforce in an attempt to return to profitability in 2017.

Should GoPro Inc. continue its sales growth (year-on-year increases since 2011) and reverse GPRO EPS losses, shorts could be forced to cover their positions which might send shares of GPRO up rapidly. One must wonder just how much more the bottom is for this beleaguered stock.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/22/2016
Ticker Symbol GPRO
Last Price a/o 2:48 PM EST  $               9.02
Average Volume 6.19 million
Market Cap $1.1 Billion
Sales $1.08 Billion
Shares Outstanding 135.57 million
Share Float 100.59 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.50%
Short Float 32.59%
Short Interest Ratio 5.3
Quarterly Return -44.55%
YTD Return -50.58%
Year Return -51.47%

Peak Resorts (Nasdaq: SKIS) Gets Capital Injection

Peak Resorts Inc. – Nasdaq: SKIS

SKIS is experiencing higher values on larger volumes. Investors appear to be reacting to the news that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have approved the first I-526 Petition submitted by an investor in its Mount Snow EB-5 program, through which Peak Resorts Inc has raised $52 million in capital for infrastructure improvements for Mount Snow ski resort in West Dover, Vermont.

Peak Resorts Inc., headquartered in Missouri, is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the U.S. It trades under the Nasdaq ticker SKIS. Peak Resorts Inc. operates 14 ski resorts primarily located in the Northeast and Midwest, 13 of which we own. Most Peak Resort’s Inc. properties are located within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Louis. The resorts are comprised of nearly 1,890 acres of skiable terrain and offer dining, lodging, equipment rentals and sales, ski and snowboard instruction, mountain biking, music festivals, and zip line tours.

Per Timothy D. Boyd, president and chief executive officer of Peak Resorts, “Once completed, the West Lake project will allow Mount Snow to start each ski season with as much as 50 percent of its terrain open. It will also provide enough water to eventually cover 100 percent of our trails with snowmaking. Further enhancing the ski experience at Mount Snow should help us gain an even greater share of the Vermont ski market – the No. 1 market in the region.”

Six firms rate SKIS as a “Strong Buy”. Sales have been relatively stable. In 2011, sales topped $82 million and increased to $105 million in 2014 before dropping a bit in 2015 to $95.7 million.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

Ticker Symbol SKIS
Last Price a/o 2:04 EST  $                     5.78
Average Volume 26,500
Market Cap $69 million
Sales $99.7 million
Shares Outstanding 13.7 million
Share Float 10.34 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 23.27%
Short Float 0.50%
Short Interest Ratio 1.94
Quarterly Return 9.31%
YTD Return -16.00%
Year Return -20.76%

Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG) – Ready to Burn the Shorts?

Time to Buy Pure Storage Inc.? – Nasdaq ticker: PSTG

Pure Storage, Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, California invented all-flash enterprise storage. It operates primarily in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The company serves cloud-based software and service providers, e-commerce, education, energy, financial services, governments, healthcare, manufacturing, media, retail, and telecommunications sectors.

Recently the website InsiderMonkey.com claimed that PSTG is the #1 stock pick of the hedge fund community. They write “At the end of the third quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 21% from the second quarter of 2016. On the other hand, there were a total of 14 hedge funds with a bullish position in PSTG at the beginning of this year.” Investors should take note, however, that there appears to be large short positions on PSTG.

Over ten Wall St. investment banks provide coverage on Pure Storage Inc. including JP Morgan, Susquehanna, UBS, and Barclay’s. Their current reported ratings range from “Hold” to “Buy” with price targets ranging from $11 to $27. Yesterday, Thursday December 8, 2016, PSTG closed at $12.33.

While PSTG’s historical EPS was negative and falling, their most recently disclosed numbers saw a narrowing of EPS loss – beating street estimates. Pure Storage reported its Q3 earnings results on Wednesday, November 30th. The company reported a loss of $0.10 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of -$0.15 by $0.05. The company earned $197 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $192.36 million. Sales have not been a concern for holders of PSTG. In 2014 sales were a reported $$42.7 million growing to over $440 million in 2016.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

Ticker Symbol PSTG
Last Price 12/8/2016 2:25 EST  $             12.33
Average Volume 1.1 million
Market Cap 2.4 Billion
Sales $650 million
Shares Outstanding 192.8 million
Share Float 71.3 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership
Short Float 23.55%
Short Interest Ratio 14.54
Quarterly Return 1.23%
YTD Return 20.80%
Year Return -29.78%

 

Oil Rig UDW (Nasdaq: ORIG) Set to Regain Former Price Levels?

The incoming Trump administration is believed to want to pursue an “energy independent America” policy. This will mean reversing many Obama-implemented regulations and asking Congress to pass laws that benefit the fossil fuel industry. One small cap Nasdaq stock that may benefit is Ocean Rig UDW LLC.

Ocean Rig UDW LLC, trading under Nasdaq ticker ORIG, is an international offshore drilling contractor providing oilfield services for offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production drilling, and specializing in the ultra-deepwater and harsh-environment segment of the offshore drilling industry. 

Ocean Rig UDW LLC owns and operates 13 offshore ultra deepwater drilling units, comprising of 2 ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs and 11 ultra deepwater drillships, two of which are scheduled to be delivered to the Company during 2017 and one in 2018.

However, with the incoming Trump administration and the new OPEC deal designed to regulate output, it may be time to consider another look at this former high-flier. In 2014, ORIG routinely traded over $15 with and EPS of $1.97. ORIG now trades under $2. Sales increased from $700 million in 2011 to $1.82 billion in 2014. In 2015, Ocean Rig UDW LLC reported sales of just $1.75 billion with earnings per share of $0.57.

Zacks research has recently given it a #1 rating based on their proprietary analytics. This is important because no investment bank analysts have yet upgraded their recommendations for ORIG. Should the investment bank analysts follow suit, we may see a price target more than double its current trading price of below $2.00. Prior to OPEC flooding the market ORIG was given price targets around $30 by bank analysts.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.

Ticker Symbol ORIG
Price $1.50
Average Volume 2.5 million
Market Cap $146 million
Sales $1.9 Billion
Shares Outstanding 79 million
Share Float 73.5 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership unkown
Short Float 15.30%
Short Interest Ratio 4.46
Quarterly Return 139%
YTD Return 14.11%
Year Return 7.50%