July 26, 2007

Two Hours Of Apple Stock Plenty Profitable

For all the noise I made a few weeks ago about my eight worst stock trades ever, you might have the impression I'm the worst stock investor of all time. And while I've certainly had my share of bad calls, the occasional wins here and there keep me trying. Today, I bet big on Apple, hoping the company's earnings report would do us well, and it paid off in a big way.

I very publicly dumped my 200 shares of Apple stock in the low 90s per share earlier this year, and with the stock approaching $140 a share today, it's clear that was a mistake. But as the hours ticked down toward Apple's earning announcement this afternoon, I knew I had to give it one more shot to make money off the Cupertino juggernaut. So I did something crazy...

At 12:48 p.m., I put in enough cash to pick up 250 shares of Apple at $137.43 apiece, less than 15 minutes before market closure. As you likely already know, Apple walloped analyst guesstimates and the stock shot up in after-hours trading. My big bet started to look better and better as the stock rose past $140, then $142, $145 and beyond. By the time it peaked above $148, I knew I'd seen enough. At 2:38 p.m., I had sold it all, at $148.48, clearing more than $2,700 for less than two hours "work".

While that doesn't make up for missed potential earnings from my previous trade, I was fairly pleased. In fact, looking at my eTrade account, Apple has been the one stock I've consistently had success with over the years. While I at times feel too much like an Apple fanboy to tie up a good portion of my portfolio in the company, the truth is that it simply makes sense. The company continues to execute on all cylinders, and surpass expectations, and that's the best type of company to put your money on. It's just too bad I have such a short attention span that I can't stick it out.

If, like my colleagues, you see my trades as a contrarian indicator, now would be the best time to get into Apple, because I'm out. For all I know, the stock could be headed to $150, $160, $180 or beyond. Then you'll be hearing whining from me for certain. But for today at least, I'm content.

More coverage on the Apple earnings boom: Webomatica, Parislemon, Engadget