Stock Up on Dramamine and Hold On Tight
This article is part of ourRising Star Portfolio series.
It's been a rough week in the marketplace, right? The gargantuan waves crest up... they crash down. Down... up. All the while you're riding this out, holding on tight, and SCREAMING.
All right, I didn't literally scream, and hopefully you didn't, either. But the kind of volatile market we've experienced this week can be unsettling and scary. It can take quite an effort to keep yourself from running for the exits like everybody else, as stocks you felt confident in just a couple weeks ago get bloodied and battered.
Springing a leak
My Rising Star portfolio has taken a couple of serious hits in the midst of the storm. As of this writing, EnerNOC (NAS: ENOC) has lost 46%. A stock I purchased just last month, IPO Solazyme (NAS: SZYM) , is already down 43%.
These two stocks' downward trajectories don't entirely relate to the recent market bloodbath. EnerNOC has been sandbagged by pessimism pretty much since my original purchase. It recently forecast a loss for this year, causing the stock to plunge 39%.
Solazyme hasn't been public long, but it recently reported a second-quarter net loss of $17 million, or $0.61 per share, versus a net loss of $6.4 million, or $0.55 per share in the prior year. (Still, revenue increased 64% to $7.4 million, which isn't shoddy for a company like this one.)
Granted, I'd characterize both of these stocks as the riskiest in my portfolio. However, they also pack the most potential for explosive long-term returns, even if right now, they seem destined for spectacular drubbings.
EnerNOC is involved in the nascent energy demand response and management field. Solazyme is a start-up that uses algae to make oils, including biofuels. Given the early nature of both of their businesses, there's a chance they could flame out. Still, I'm fighting off any temptation to sell quickly just to staunch the short-term bloodletting. From the beginning, it's been clear that these businesses could take years to come to fruition.
Furthermore, I'm a lot happier with these potentially world-changing businesses than I would be with, say, an IPO like Dunkin' Brands Group (NAS: DNKN) right now. Dunkin' may offer round confections, but it's not exactly reinventing the wheel. There's a great big hole filled with debt in the middle of this company, which sags beneath a total debt-to-capital ratio of 84.8%.
Hold on, don't panic
Given the market's crazy machinations,and major economic uncertainty overall, I am holding these two. But I'm not buying more at these majorly reduced levels, as I recently did with Waste Management (NYS: WM) . I'm gearing up to find some new picks -- stocks I've coveted that are now trading at serious discounts.
Times like these test our own commitments to the long-term buy-and-hold strategy. Whatever you do, don't panic as the storm rages. I'm pretty sure panic never kept anybody's boat afloat.
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