Thursday, July 06, 2006

Notablecalls - paperstand

According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel (INTC) is investing $600m in Clearwire as part of a $900m investment that could help spur adoption of WiMAX. Motorola (MOT) said it will contribute an unspecified portion of the extra $300m going to Clearwire and pay an additional undisclosed sum to buy Clearwire's hardware business. Clearwire, as a result of the cash infusion, withdrew plans for an IPO. Clearwire is selling wireless Internet access in 26 metropolitan mkts in the US, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark and Mexico. The co's service is based on a precursor to WiMAX but has been expected to convert to the newer technology.

Notablecalls: This news may spark interest in Alvarion (ALVR), which has pacts with Intel to develop and sell WiMax equipment. Also, Clearwire is the largest customer of Alvarion.

The NY Times reports, citing industry executives, that Microsoft's (MSFT) iPod killer in stores by holiday season. Microsoft's digital device would be equipped with at least one feature the iPod lacks: wireless Internet capability that would allow users to download music without being connected to a PC. The device would also have a more advanced video screen.

According to The WSJ's "Heard on the Street" column, already reeling from slowing housing sales and worries about the economy, shares of home builders face another issue: the value of the land on their books. Land values are becoming a flash point for investors and analysts who watch the builders sector. Bears say the co's land might not be worth what they paid for it, which could lead to painful write-downs. "Ppl are looking at book value as a possible floor for the stock prices. The question is 'should that be a floor?' There could be some risk to that book value from land recently acquired or put under option contract," says BofA analyst Daniel Oppenheim. Homebuilders mentioned include: CTX, HOV, TOL, NVR, PHM, BZH and MDC.

Barron's Online discusses Google (GOOG), highlighting several concerns regarding the co. Among those concerns: growing ad competition posed by the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft. Article suggests that as Google cruises toward its earnings announcement on Jul 17, it may be a better idea to play near-term volatility in the stock using Google's options, rather than betting on a business model whose long-term payoff is uncertain.

Barron's Online reports that four insiders at American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) sold a total of $9.5m in stock during June. Ben Silverman, director of research at, says that with the "aggressive profit-taking" by Vice Chmn, "perhaps it's time for investors to also consider their position [in American Eagle stock] and their cost basis and see if it's a good time to take some money off the table," especially since the stock is near an all-time high.

The WSJ reports that in what would mark a dramatic shift in strategy, Time Warner's (TWX) AOL unit is considering offering its entire menu of services, including email, free of charge to anyone with a high-speed Internet connection. If AOL goes ahead with the plan, it could be giving up as much as $2bn in subs rev in a gamble aimed at boosting the Internet service's advertising rev.

The WSJ reports that Valassis Comm. is in advanced negotiations to purchase Advo (AD), for at least $1.1bn.

Notablecalls: Advo has mkt cap of $770m.

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