Ralph Humbertson: ‘Six BoGo lights are off to Africa and six to me for hurricane gifts to family and friends. I think I’ll make this my special little charity. What is the quote? ‘If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be.”

☞ It’s not just a quote, it’s Perry Como!


Jim Gibson: ‘If you like the BoGo promo, you might really like the Nothing But Nets program established by Rick Reilly at Sports Illustrated with the United Nations Foundations. Donate $10 to provide a bed net that protects an African family from malaria – and not a penny of it will be diverted for administrative costs.’


Pregnant? Worried the baby might be gay?

John Kasley: ‘From a Canadian gay website. Click here.’

☞ In North America, we can laugh about a two-minute video clip like that. But not this one:


This four-minute clip speaks for itself.


But wait – watch those videos first. Indeed, this long item will be of no interest at all if you don’t own GLDD warrants. See you Monday.

You do own some? You’ve watched the videos? Okay, here goes:

A friend sent along a copy of a 17-page research report from the Opportunity Research Group. They valued GLDD in various ways, all of which justified a price significantly higher than the current $9 or so a share. Also, Jim Cramer gave it a plug last night. (I know; he also liked Nitromed.)

So here is where it gets a little tricky.

We have now had 10 consecutive days when the stock closed ‘at or above $8.50.’ The company can, at its option, force conversion of the warrants if the stock trades that high for 20 days in any 30-day trading period. (Take two Advil and click here, jumping down to paragraph 6.1, for the details.)

In other words, as soon as two weeks from now, they could let us know we have as little as a month to either (a) sell the warrants for whatever we can get (which was about $4 last night, roughly five to ten times what we paid for them over the last year); or (b) instruct our brokers to exercise them, which means paying $5 each to buy the shares; or (c) sell some and exercise some; or (d) do nothing, in which case the warrants become worthless and, when you realize what you have done, you will not be able to find a building tall enough off the roof of which to fling yourself.

As you can tell, I’m partial to the first three options.

If you hold the warrants in a retirement account (so the profit is tax-sheltered), or have held them more than a year and a day (so the profit is lightly taxed as a long-term gain) this could be a good time to take your profit. No need to rush to do it instantly this morning ‘at any price’ – but sometime in the next week or two.

If you have some warrants that will go long-term within the next few weeks, and you’re in a fairly high tax bracket, I’d wait for them to go long-term. They could go down while you wait, but they could go up – and the one sure thing is that the tax rate on your gain will be lower once the gain is long-term, which tilts the odds toward waiting.

If your profit will be short-term (and thus subject to ordinary income tax), and if you’re in a reasonably high tax bracket (so this matters), and if you can afford to exercise the warrants, I’d exercise at least some if not all. Nothing is sure in life, even in the dredging business, but you would have, in effect, paid somewhere between $5.38 and $5.70 for your currently-$9 shares (the cost of the original warrant plus this $5 you had to pay to exercise it) . . . and in a year or two they might be $12 or $15.

(And, yes, they might be $5 or zero, so don’t go overboard. But GLDD is a large, old-line company with some basic trends going its way.)

NOTE: When you do exercise the warrants, the clock starts all over again on the one-year holding period.

Consider the pros and cons of exercising. Basically: is it worth exercising and holding the stock for a year to avoid paying short-term capital gains tax?

Assume for a minute you are in the 40% tax bracket (between state and local taxes).

Assume, further that the stock doesn’t budge. It was $9 the day you exercised the warrants; and now, a year and a day later, it’s $9 again.

In that case, you have the same gain you would have had selling the warrants instead of exercising them. (You paid 50 cents for each warrant and sold for $4 = $3.50 profit. Or you exercised the warrant and so had a basis of $5.50 in the stock which you sold for $9 = $3.50 profit.) Except the second way, you were lightly taxed on that profit. In your 40% bracket, the tax on a $3.50 profit would have been $1.40. In the 17.5% bracket let’s say (between federal and state capital gains tax), just 60 cents or so.

Was it worth doing all this to save 80 cents a warrant?

Well, in the case of the stock not budging from $9, the answer is probably yes. You tied up $7.60 for a year that otherwise could have stayed in your pocket (the $5 you had to ante up to exercise the warrant, plus the $2.60-after-tax you could have realized just selling the warrants and not bothering with this). But you ‘earned’ 80 cents after tax on this $7.60 – better than a 10% after-tax return.

The risk, of course, is that the stock might fall. But then again – and I think a bit more likely – it might rise.

A lot of it depends on how much risk you can afford and how overweighted your holdings would be toward dredging if you suddenly put up $5 in cash – real money! – for each warrant that you acquired, on a lark, with pocket change.

Next week: Putrefied Inflammable Bated Breath and the Exaflood


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