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As a student of sentiment, I try to keep a sharp lookout for new, wacky ways of taking the mood of the crowd. There are the traditional methods. And then there are other more unorthodox ways of seeing sentiment.
Just recently I’ve been paying more attention to the keywords that people use to find my trading blog. Just a few days ago I started noticing something interesting. Quite a few people were googling: “I Hate Vonage!” and “We Hate Vonage”… which would take them to my post, Vonage: Please Don’t Leave Us!
Not only has Vonage had a very difficult time over the past year to make money and retain customers, recently insult was added to injury when a judge ruled that they had infringed on patents held by Verizon and ordered them to stop taking on new clients. Ironically, this might be just the thing Vonage needs since every new client brings with it much more expenses than concomitant income But the market was ruthless in punishing the stock as it gapped down to reach just below $3.
Tangentially, since I’ve promised to hold myself accountable in my previous opinions, I’ll take this opportunity to give myself an A+ for this call. The red arrow is when I made my first post about Vonage. The next day it gapped down and fell into the ~$9 area, consolidated and fell further. Never to see that level except when it came back a few months later to ‘kiss’ the resistance level.
Getting back to sentiment, when I see people actually typing in ‘I hate Vonage’, the contrarian in me feels an almost irresistable temptation to go long. I’m not sure though if these people are customers or shareholders (or both!). As Rothschild said, ‘Buy when there’s blood on the street!’. There isn’t any blood on the street perse, but definitely it is splattered all over the Vonage chart.
The MarketWatch’s individual stock sentiment measure is slightly negative (52% bears and 48% bulls) but the sample size is very small at slightly above 100 respondants. At the very least, I think that Vonage’s stock has reached a crescendo of negativity. So if you’re still short, I wouldn’t press it. And if you have no position, crazy as it might sound, it just might be smarter to go long than short.
By the way, we’re into the last days of my first trading blog contest. If you’re interested in sentiment, and you haven’t entered yet, hurry!
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