Last Monday, July 9, Pre-Paid Legal's stock (NYSE:PPD - quote) hit an all-time high, closing at $70.10. The price held through the week, finishing the week at $70.56.
Analyst Bob Flaherty offers his analysis on MarketWatch:
[T]he secret short sellers have finally been defeated and are in full retreat as PPD shares have hit record levels and the once bloated short position of 11.7 million shares has shrunk 88% to only 1.4 million shares.
Of course, it might have had something to do with the July 2nd Q2 membership and recruiting results:
Our total active membership fees in force increased approximately 3% during the last year and continue our trend of increasing our membership fees. Membership persistency rate (defined as the number of memberships in force at the end of a 12 month period as a percentage of the total of memberships in force at the beginning of such period, plus new memberships sold during such period) was 72.7% for the 12 month period ended June 30, 2007.
And the fact that the company is buying back its own stock (usually a good sign):
Our second quarter 2007 corporate finance focus has again been on share repurchases. During the 2nd quarter, we returned $11.0 million to shareholders through the repurchase of 185,815 shares of common stock, at an average per share price of $59.44. Since April 1999, we have returned $321.0 million to shareholders through the purchase of 11.9 million shares, average price of $27.00 per share, and $17.1 million in dividends for a combined total of $338.1 million representing more than 110 percent of our net earnings during the same timeframe.
PPL is one of only a handful of network marketing companies that is publicly traded and providing this level of business and financial transparency.