I have been away from this board for awhile, I've been preoccupied with stocks that I actually hold. I had to make some decisions as to which ones to hold, sell or buy (bargain hunting). Which brings me to AMRI.
As a former shareholder who started kicking the tires again about two years ago, I have come to the conclusion that this is not a stock that I will own for the long term. This is a trading stock. At the $8-to-$10 level it's a buy, but I sell it whenever it approaches $14-$15 and for the very brave, $16 is the absolute ceiling. For several consecutive quarters it has been pounded on heavy volume, only to drift back in between announcements on lighter volume. That probably means that the pros are selling and allowing retail investors to bid it back up afterward. Then the pros sell it again.
Various events confirm this view. In an attempt to avert a third consecutive quarterly announcement disaster, AMRI pre-announced for its last quarterly release and the stock got pounded on heavy volume. It has drifted back upward since.
In the past, fellow contributor kowtain has made some excellent points: the time to buy a stock is when it's ignored or being beaten down by the market. Yes, that is true in many cases but not all. As I wrote before: don't get married to your stocks; it's not until death do you part; bet with your head not your heart. Yes, bet with you head not your heart. I will point-out that in the NFL pre-season, I was touting the Denver Broncos as a contender. I don't always bet with my head. So, buy AMRI after the sell-offs and sell before their next announcement.
My fund manager/drinking buddy told me that after the two previous disappointing announcements, AMRI's most bullish analyst lowered his target price. He has been very discreet and has avoided mentioning specific names (he thinks that's proprietary).
Senior management seems to be the weak link and I will repeat my assertion that the CEO and CFO should go before this company can succeed. I see the following management related factors:
A) Their strategy sounds good, but it appears they lack the talent/leadership to successfully implement their strategy. Their strategy SOUNDS good.
B) Management seems to have a track record of bungling acquisitions - many in the US and now, how are things going overseas? If they can't excute in the same time zones, how do they expect to execute a world away?
C) Stringing together the cryptic comments posted here, AMRI has experienced a recent string of high profile departures. Of course, people leave companies all the time, but I suspect there is fire below that smoke.
It's time for the Board of Directors to seriously consider changing the CEO and CFO.
Several years ago I made money trading AMRI -- $20 swings in share price were routine. For the past few years this stock has been in a slumber but perhaps it is awakening as it appears to have broken through its trading range on the high end.
I'm willing to sit on the shares I have remaining to see if the upward trend continues.
kowtain wrote: "D'Ambra isn't leaving unless he wants to, according to the bylaws. And the CFO is still rather new, so I assume he isn't in a hurry to leave just yet."
Regarding the CEO, AMRI is a public company. The board of directors can make changes that are in the best interests of shareholders. It might be complicated or ugly, but the board can ask the CEO to resign. They can raise the issue at an annual meeting or call a special meeting.
As for the CFO, I am sure that he isn't ready to leave. Given his level of compensation, I am sure that he is nice and comfy. That's why the board should 'ask' him to leave. He has been at AMRI for almost four years and he has generated negligible shareholder return. I'm sure that Wade Phillips didn't want to leave the Broncos after the 1994 season. Wade was fired after a mediocre season and amassing a 16-17 record after two seasons.
Opps, I shouldn't have mentioned Wade when talking about AMRI. I should have mentioned Buddy Ryan. LOL