A week or two ago, I wrote an article called Understanding Stock Repurchase Plans for About.com, a division of The New York Times, which discussed Sonic Restaurant and the massive stock buy back program that had taken place over the past few years. In it, I walked the readers through a lot of the math and explained that I had purchased a couple hundred shares to watch and monitor the stock through one of my companies, Mount Olympus Awards, LLC. (I’ve since increased it to about 500 shares to continue watching and waiting to see how events unfold).
Peak earnings are a common value investing trap that most often hurts inexperienced investors who look only at the earnings per share and not the underlying driver of those profits. The last big round of peak earnings value traps occurred at the end of the housing bubble. By knowing what to look for, you’ll be better equipped to spot value traps, lowering the chances your portfolio will be damaged by them.
One of the first things I did when my original company became successful was to order a Douwe Egberts coffee machine for the breakroom. For the uninitiated, Douwe Egberts coffee is the best in the world. There are no exceptions.