During the next month and a half that U.S. troops fought their way through Iraq, Halliburton’s stock languished, dipping as low as $9.59, then closing at $10.13 on May 1st, the day President Bush announced the end of major hostitilites. Total coalition deaths stood at 1731.
Exactly two months after the start of the “operation”, as it became more and more apparent that our involvement in Iraq wouldn’t end with Saddam’s overthrow, HAL had increased 9.34% to $11.00 per share. That’s good profit. Hopefully, you hung on to that stock. By year-end, Halliburton had rocketed to $12.59. Now, I didn’t own Halliburton stock, but I can tell you, the stock I did have during 2003 pretty much stunk in terms of making me money.
Six months and 862 dead Americans later, it was obvious that the end of major combat operations had been replaced by really deadly minor operations. Not to worry, though, as Halliburton had become a darling of Wall Street, trading at $14.78/share on June 30, 2004 (representing a 46.9% gain in 15 months). If you sold then, you were happy. Until you watched it move even higher, closing the year out at $19.30. No matter that the green was fringed in red. Christmas colors, you say.
As 2005 rolled around, HAL investors were giddy with anticipation. Insurgents in Iraq were literally bathing the country in the blood of American soldiers as well as innocent Iraqi civilians. When you’re in the business of war and oil, carnage and uncertainty are great for profit! Halliburton’s stock performed admirably, closing the year out at $30.78, representing year-over profit of 59.48% for stockholders. Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the 6.25 cents dividend paid out over each of these very good years ($0.1875/share). Those in know held on to their shares from the day the “Operation” began, logging a robust 206% profit. Man, war without end is sounding better and better every day!
The sad news is that HAL has struggled as of late, closing down to $27.84 last night. This was after it hit $41.99 on April 20th, and after another 7.5 cents dividend (wow, stock price up, dividend payouts up). As capitalism demands, HAL has rewarded CEO David J. Lesar, paying him $100 million since the war began. Sell high, and you’d have cleaned up on this whole Iraqi War affair too: 317% profit in 1127 days. That’s 3 years and 1 month of doubling your money every year. That’s 1.18% for every ten US soldiers who gave their lives.
Perhaps it’s time for us to put the words of our Glorious Leader into practice in our stock trading habits:
“Our nation is somewhat sad, but we’re angry. There’s a certain level of blood lust, but we won’t let it drive our reaction. We’re steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we’ll have to start displaying scalps.” â??George W. Bush
Source: George W. Bush