Nice post. When an investor continues to see internal rates of return dissipate as they continue to hold a security then not only must one ask what is wrong with the security, but ask what is wrong with the investor.
No tears here. I got out when the getting was good. Just trying to help others. I would certainly think about getting back into this stock and I routinely try and determine an entry point, but it is just such a weak sister that I can never make the trade. If it looks like the Board ever wakes up and realizes they can only help the shareholders by selling the company, then I will pile back in for the acquisition premium, but alas, the Board has been captive rubes of Mgmt. for a long time. I would hope you are a person who appreciates discussion on these boards, not just cheerleading, especially when cheering for a loser makes no sense, except to assuage one's ego when the truth says otherwise.
I did sell it, a long long time ago. To propound the notion that you cannot sell because of taxes is strange. Will your children say the same thing in 30 years, when their returns have been wiped out and purchasing power of their dollar is diminished, just as your's have been stagnant for the last 17? Tax consequences are of course important but you cannot make investment decisions on that basis alone. You say you have tech and biotech to get you "huge returns," but using the same logic you use for BB&T, you can never sell these tech and biotech stocks that have "huge returns" because of taxes on gains. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. The trouble with emotional stock investing is that from the early 90s thru the late 90s this stock was on fire, for a variety of reasons, and investors who rode that wave have been reluctant to part with it, even in the face of nearly 2 decades of moribund returns. The reality is that the S&P, NASDAQ, and Dow all have outperformed this stock since the early 90s. If you simply had made market investments (and there were ETFs going back that far) your risk adjusted returns would have outclassed holding an investment in a single security.
Similar to what I posted last year. I now look at the year end price and over 17 years the stock is up about 50 cents. When you account of the dividend over this period (really all an investor gets), the annualized pre tax returns on this company are about +/-2.5% over this 17 year period. When you account for taxes on dividends and the effects of inflation, the real return for sitting in this stock for that same 17 year period is probably negative or zero. In fact, I know it is negative. Unacceptable. Now I know there are many on here who are immediately going to crow about "I have owned this great stock since Grover Cleveland was President" or "my basis is $5 going back to 1990 adjusted for the split." That is all great, and I congratulate all of you for making a good investment in 1992, but for nearly 20 years this has been dead in the water, and every year that goes by, your vaunted returns are being systemically destroyed. You should have sold a long time ago. This stock has not been an investment for 17 years, just a trade. And anyway, there are precious few, except insiders and senior managers who have been with the company for 20+ years, who have this basis. What has the Company done for shareholders after 1998? Nothing. I guess those shareholders don't count.