Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Notablecalls paperstand

According to The Wall Street Journal “Heard on the Street” column Kroger (KR) isn't getting enough credit in its battle with Wal-Mart (WMT). While many mainstream supermkt chains struggle, Kroger has made strong gains. "If you're going to invest for growth in the supermkt sector, look to Kroger," says Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group. "Nationally, Kroger is the one co investors can count on to deliver the volume," he says. "At the others, there's too much uncertainty." 10 of 18 industry analysts polled by Thomson Financial rate the stock a Buy or Strong Buy.

Notablecalls: While it sounds interesting, article hardly moves stock much. Mkt cap stands at 14.2bn.

The WSJ reports that The Bush administration, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) and propel legislation stalled on Capitol Hill, threatened to tighten control over the mortgage giants on its own and to ponder using its authority to limit their growth. In a move seen as a warning that the administration may act on its own if Congress doesn't, the Treasury said it will review the process it uses to approve requests by the mortgage co’s to issue debt. The administration is pressing Congress to alter the law to limit the size of the portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities that the two co’s hold.

Barron’s Online discusses Diageo (DEO), saying that despite runup the stock has more room to run. Even if the US economy declines in the coming year, Diageo's big brands should garner price increases, given the value of those names and the popularity of high-priced mixed drinks. Diageo also has international expansion potential, especially in China. Plus, the stock still looks cheap and it offers a decent dividend.

Notablecalls: No comments.

According to the Barron’s Online, top exec and directors (including CFO), have been pouring money into Mueller Water Products (MWA), even as shares of the co sink below the IPO price. On June 1, 17 insiders collectively purchased 114K class A shares for $1.8m at the IPO price.

Notablecalls: Sounds like mgmt believes in bright future.

The NY Post reports that Mark Cuban is getting into the investigative news business. The outspoken Internet entrepreneur is the sole backer of a new blog-style Web site dedicated to digging up financial fraud and corporate skullduggery. The new venture, founded by Christopher Carey, a gumshoe business reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is set to debut next month. Carey, who is leaving the Post-Dispatch at the end of this week, will do most of the reporting for the site,

Notablecalls: Good to know category.

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