Friday, September 27, 2013

Cantel Medical (CMN) update

In retrospect, one of my luckiest stock picks has been Cantel Medical (CMN) a manufacturer of sterilization and infection control equipment.

Yesterday the stock hit a record high after the market digested its morning report on its fiscal Q4, and the analyst conference. Hansen is still a small cap, so it is not well-covered by Wall Street, sell-side analysts. I've been covering it since before I bought it in 2009.

My Seeking Alpha article on it is:

Cantel Medical: Proven Aggressive Growth and Stock Returns [September 27, 2013]

My summary of Q4 is: Cantel Medical (CMN) Q4 2013 results and analyst call

For earlier analyst conference summaries and stories see Cantel Medical (CMN) Analysis and News

I own stock in CMN. Because it grew so quickly, at one point it violated one of my portfolio rules (not too much of any one stock) and I sold a portion of my original stake. I has split twice since I bought it. It pays a small dividend.

For those who wonder about how Seeking Alpha works, I would share that contributors get paid per page view. Hence, if you are writing mainly for pay, you want to cover large cap stocks that have a lot of shareholders, and especially stocks that are constantly in the news, like Apple and Facebook. There is basically no pay for covering small caps like Cantel. I made $3.60 on my last Cantel article. Hence, small cap stocks tend to be under-covered at Seeking Alpha, just as they are elsewhere. Another issue is pump and dump. Because they are thinly traded, small caps are subject to attempts to pump and dump them.

Seeking Alpha articles also can warn you about overpriced stocks. Often in the feedback you can read a contrarian view, which at least should discourage hasty decision making.

But for that very reason, small-cap stocks also are more likely to harbor undiscovered value than large-caps.

I am a long-term investor and write for long-term investors. I think  the vast majority of writers on Seeking Alpha are honest, but even honest writers (including me) can get over-excited about a stock. Never buy a stock without first, at minimum, reading the recent SEC documents and running the numbers yourself. That is true of large cap stocks as well. Look for value. Don't try to be a momentum player unless you are an insider. Never fully trust anyone. And above all:

Keep diversified!

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