I sold the remaing Symantec (SYMC) stocks today and I bought an old stock for me: the Ninetown Digital (NINE, recently changed name to Ninetown Internet). Here are my reasoning.
Symantec moved up quite a bit in past serveral months. It reported good earning in Q2, but missed a penny in Q3 due to some weakness in Europe. I think it’s a solid company and may do well in Q4. Note enterprise software companies usually do more sales in Q4 because of end-of-year spending (so is the Wall Street expectation, so don’t expect a big pop). Another reason is Symantec is just too big for me to understand, its main business is from enterprise (storage, security, compliance etc), not just the Norton Anti Virus or Internet Security for individual customers. By the same token, as the world No. 5 software company (by market capital, behind Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Adobe), its stock just does not move too much compared to smaller software companies. I think it’s good for mutual funds or people who just want to get average return without doing much homework.
Now comes to the NINE. This is the stock I bought at IPO in Dec 2004 and lost half the money when I sold in July 2005. But it seems like a value play now. I think they are trying to get to the B2B market in China, which features Alibaba. You can read this thread and yahoo message board if you are curious. Pay attention to the words of “fastisslow” on yahoo mesage board. Also the year 2005 annual report. Note Mr. Duan Yongping, who founded the Bu Bu Gao DVD company, now controls 12% of the company. Mr. Duan now lives in South California. He won the charity bid on eBay and dined with Buffett this summer. He also donated lots of money to his alma mater, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.