As ERHC Energy's share price flirts with the $0.70 mark today, that question is very much on my mind. While one tipster says the company has hit oil in its first test well, Chevron is content to say that its exploration so far has yieled "interesting" results. What are we to make of the very neutral word?
As an ERHC investor since May of 2003, I have learned that every time our stock nears record levels, we get a sharp axe to the back of the neck. Will it be different this time? Do leopards change their spots? Do elephants trumpet opportunity?
I am toying with the idea of taking my $28,000 profit somewhere between here and $0.73, as I worry that Chevron, if it is interested in buying part of our equity from us in Block 2, would rather pay $0.40 a share or so than $0.70 or $0.90 or wherever it may go if they do hit oil in a field that straddles Block 2.
Remember, I lost better than $54,000 last summer when I failed to sell after awards and watched the price eventually fall all the way to $0.26. I took a non-deductible $7,000 loss to reposition myself at $0.2922 from $0.363, so selling now for a $28,000 gain would leave me with a net profit of $21,000. Tht's pretty weak for a stock I've held so long, although admittedly I have taken about $45,000 out during that time.
Taking my profit would leave me with about 30,000 shares. It would subject me to a high capital gains tax, too, and very possibly - even if Chevron does have a duster in Block 1 - rob me of the opportunity to make much more when PSCs are signed.
But experience shows that large sellers hit this stock very hard on good news. What's a guy to do?
I'm probably not the only investor asking myself that question right now.
I will try to let you know what I do before the trading day is over. With a three-day weekend ahead and the promise of major news - good or bad - breaking in between now and Tuesday, the stakes have rarely been greater.
On a more positive note, I just saw that after just a couple of months measuring trafic to the site, we had our 100,000th page view today! Here's the latest:
ERHC On The Move
at 4:25pm EST
Average Per Day 1,350
Average Visit Length 3:01
Last Hour 189
This Week 9,450
Average Per Day 1,941
Average Per Visit 1.4
Last Hour 311
This Week 13,590