Fall 2014 Commentary
Dear Valued Clients and Friends,
MARKET PERSPECTIVE: The third quarter of 2014 was the tale of two trends. The stock indexes based on larger capi-talization companies, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the NASDAQ Composite were higher for the period while the smaller company indexes, like the Russell 2000 Growth Index, were lower. The good news for Rocket Cap-ital Small Cap investors is that we outperformed nicely with the SCG Composite performance of -1.68% compared to the Russell 2000 Growth number of -6.27%. This period of outperformance can largely be attributed to a larger than average cash position (roughly 35%) and strong performance from a handful of portfolio holdings. The tale of two trends also played out in the market action over the quarter featuring a sharp selloff in the early part of the quarter, followed by a meaningful rally, culminated with a close at the low end of the range. While the small cap sector of the market was overpriced earlier in the year, that is no longer the case. Also encouraging is the fact that the leadership in the market has reverted back to the small cap indexes and has broadened out to feature a larger number of market leaders coming from a variety of sectors. We will continue to look for opportunities to commit additional capital to the stock market in companies that have both great fundamentals and great charts.
TECHNICAL COMMENT: Some of the issues we had with the quality of the market’s advance to a new high in the sec-ond quarter have been resolved. Market breadth has improved noticeably and we have seen very nice volume increases in stocks that have recently broken out of long bases. Also good is that those same stocks have had very good follow through after brief periods of consolidation. Since our last newsletter, the majority of individual chart patterns, which were slightly negative to neutral, are now neutral to slightly positive. One of the greatest challenges in finding new names to add to the portfolio is that a number of companies that were high on our watch list have broken out and have moved up, sharply in-creasing the downside risk. We will resist the temptation to chase these and wait for better entry points, or until we find new names which meet all of our criteria. Support should be solid on the Russell 2000 Growth Index at the 130 level. Short term the market is overbought and weakness should be used to put capital to work. While sentiment numbers have improved somewhat the bulls outnumber the bears in both the Investors Intelligence survey and the American Association of Individu-al Investor index which is a cause for concern.
SECTOR COMMENT: After a period of strong performance, the Information Technology Hardware group has cooled off and the leadership has shifted back to sectors that are in the Healthcare industry, led by renewed interest in the red hot Bio-tech-Biomed sector. The Energy Sector, led by a precipitous drop in the price of crude oil, has collapsed and is in a sharp downtrend that should be avoided. The group is extremely over sold and due for a short term bounce. Use this opportunity to reduce exposure here as it is likely that a great deal of time will be needed to repair the damage done to the long-term tech-nical outlook. Computer Software continues to perform well with the best action in the Computer Software-Security sector.
PORTFOLIO ADJUSTMENTS: In the 3rd quarter we added two very exciting companies to our portfolio that fit our technical and fundamental criteria: Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) and Envestnet (ENV). As I mentioned earlier in the newsletter, good stocks have been hard to come by. As a result, it is no surprise that we liquidated more positions than we added. In total, we sold 5 stocks including Chuys Holdings, Inc. (CHUY), Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (LGND), Ko-diak Oil & Gas Corp (KOG), Immersion Corp (IMMR), and On Assignment, Inc. (ASGN). Following our decision mak-ing rules strictly, we sold IMMR and ASGN on large gap-downs. The other liquidations were made based on factors such as chart breakdowns, fundamental performance, and/or sector health.
CALIDUSCLOUD INC. (CALD $12.02*): CallidusCloud is the leading pro-vider of sales and marketing effectiveness software. CallidusCloud enables or-ganizations to accelerate and maximize their “lead to money” process with the Callidus complete suite of solutions that identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution to automate quote and proposal information, and streamline sales compensation-driving big-ger deals faster. CallidusCloud continues to grow its SASS (software as a service) based revenue at a meaningful rate and is expected to grow its both top and bottom-line handsomely over the foreseeable future. CALD has recently broken out of a long-term base pattern and moved sharply higher on expanded volume turning the chart pattern bullish.
Fourth quarter action thus far has been extremely volatile and challenging to say the least. Keeping that in mind, as always we will rely heavily on what the charts tell us to dictate our actions. So far so good and I am very encouraged by our recent performance. Please call us for an update or with any questions or thoughts that you may have.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns do not hesitate to call or email us at any time and will get back to you promptly. Your continued confidence in Rocket Capital Management is greatly appreciated and we look for-ward to a long and meaningful relationship.
President / Senior Portfolio Manager
The information concerning the stocks contained herein should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell them in your individual investment accounts. The opinions expressed are those solely of Rocket Capital Management, LLC and are subject to change. Accounts at Rocket Capital Management, LLC may hold long or short positions of the stocks mentioned in this publication. In addition, employees, members, or other affiliates of Rocket Capital Management, LLC may hold long or short positions of the stocks mentioned in this publication, which may be inconsistent with the information contained herein. Rocket Capital Managed Accounts performance is gross of management fees and wrap fees. Sources: www.onassignment.com. *Closing market price on 9/30/2014.