Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bookkeeping: Closing out CGGVeritas (CGV) Position

Well I have to say the reaction in the oil services today to a measly $2 drop in oil is spooking me. This along with my thesis that oil could go meaningfully down has me thinking on how to reduce exposure there. While I still like the oil services names for the longer term the market is irrational right now and even the best stocks with great fundamentals and backlogs are getting punished so I am simply looking for a candidate to cull. I decided on CGG Veritas (CGV) which is a seismic data provider that I am *still* bullish on, but will wait for the technical picture to improve before re-entering. Right now fundamentals don't matter in this market.

I bought in mid October and since then it had a so so earnings (slight miss), and the stock was punished severely with a quick drop to $52. The stock has rebounded now to about $57 so I am going to take my 10% loss and convert to cash. This stock is actually flat today so showing some strength, but the technical picture is still mixed. Like most of these oil service stocks, CGG Veritas is below the 50 day moving average but above the 200 day. If the market weakens there is no reason to believe the stock won't retest $52, so I don't want to give up another 10% here. I will be more bullish on the stock once it clears back over its 50 day moving average which is now in the mid $59s. If that last punch down to $52 was indeed a low and the stock is making a V shaped recovery, than one can buy the stock back about 4% higher from here when it clears resistance ... simple enough proposition.

I had cut back this position a bit in the past few weeks (sold a bit yesterday in the $57), but it remained a 0.9% position which I am exiting today in the upper $56s after about a month and a half. If the market would ever put in a 3-4 day stretch of rallying we could see where the new leadership is in the market - but at this point some of the themes that have been working the past 3-4 years seem at risk of faltering if the consensus turns to a slowing world economy in 2008. Too early to tell right now though.

No position

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