Monday, August 07, 2006

Notablecalls - Barron's summary

Barron's discusses International Paper (IP), saying that earnings surprises at IP may finally be pleasant. There's speculation about a dividend hike, and analysts see the share hitting 40, up from 34 last week.

Barron's discusses Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the largest, ethanol refiner, that has seen its shares surge 68% this year. But that stock, at a recent 42, may now be 15% overvalued.

Dell (DELL) shares are down nearly 45% in the past year, to 22, and bears see them fallings as low as 16. But bold speculators could profit nicely if Dell addresses its key problems.

According to the Barron's, the iShares Silver Trust may be the best play on silver, which could climb to $20 an ounce next year. Article suggests that silver producers, like: Apex Silver (SIL), Coeur d'Alene Mines (CDE), Hecla Mining (HL), Pan American Silver (PAAS), Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) and Silver Wheaton (SLW) may also have upside.

"The Trader" column highlights UAL (UAUA), saying that airlines have turned out to be bad investments in history, yet, a pretty persuasive case can be made for UAL, at least for a trade, as some temporary overhangs on the stock lift and its opportunity for a radically improved '07 comes into view. Industry fundamentals are strong. Load factors and yields continue to climb. UAL reported Q2 domestic mainline rev gains of 19.7% last week, while the corporate load factor rose to 87.7%. Without assuming huge gains in traffic, free cash flow in '07 could approach $950m. United has a cash position of $5.1bn and growing, a radically reduced debt load and no unfunded pension liabilities. Other airlines got a break last week when Congress passed new pension regulations, but United didn't need them. As the stock makes its way toward investors who are focused on the bulge in free cash flow that seems imminent in '07, it could make up plenty of the ground it's ceded to its peers. Even given all the standard caveats about airline stocks and vulnerability to an oil spike, Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Linenberg's price target in the mid-30s doesn't seem like a big stretch.

Atheros Comm. (ATHR) profiled favorably in "Technology Trader" column. Article questions that weren't the Goliaths of the industry supposed to squash these little guys? Intel (INTC) was supposed to dominate WiFi with its Centrino package deals, Broadcom (BRCM) was supposed to integrate WiFi into its chips for broadband modems, Texas Instruments (TXN) was supposed to bundle WiFi into its handset silicon. Texas Instruments and Conexant (CNXT) have pulled back from the mainstream WiFi market. Agere (AGR) is long gone. Atheros has taken share from all those guys. CEO Craig Barratt attributes his co's success to two things: a fast-moving technology mkt and some cost-competitive products. WiFi standards keep turning over at a fast rate, as the wireless networking technology improves in bandwidth and mobility. Big chip makers have trouble keeping up with WiFi while they focus on their higher-priority products. Price matters, too. Atheros makes sure that its WiFi products remain small and low-cost. At about 17, the shares of Atheros trade at a bit more than 18.5x the First Call consensus forecast for next year's earnings. That multiple also is less than the WiFi mkt's likely annual growth rate.

Fund manager picks highlighted, top10 holdings include: JPM, BAC, XOM, EOG, COP, PFE, ETR, WMB, WM and BAX. Fund managers most recent buys are CSCO and MOT.

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