Thursday, August 03, 2006

Notablecalls - Paperstand

The CNET News reports that after numerous class action lawsuits and criticism from advertisers, the major Web search co's finally announced on Wednesday plans to work together with two industry groups to quantify click fraud. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and the non-profit Media Rating Council said they are teaming with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft,, LookSmart and others to form the Click Measurement Working Group. The group's mission is to establish guidelines for what constitutes valid clicks and invalid clicks on ads. Guidelines can help the industry measure how prevalent click fraud really is. Third-parties who sell click-fraud combatting services to advertisers claim that click fraud rates are as high as 30%.

Barron's Online discusses coal stocks, saying that some coal co shares slipped more than 20%, given temporary fears about ample supplies and temperate weather weakening demand. But some coal miners have differentiated themselves and their stocks still look attractive, given long-term projections for coal demand growth. Consol Energy (CNX) produces natural gas and coal. The price of gas is recovering from fears of oversupply given the national heat wave. And Peabody Energy (BTU), with a small percentage of sales outside the US, hopes to boost its exposure to high-growth coal demand in China and India with a proposed acquisition in Australia. "If you have a long-term time horizon… coal power demand is growing," says Basu Mullick, manager of the Neuberger Berman Partners Fund. "The cheapest source of power is coal."

According to the Barron's Online, Dow Chemical (DOW) CEOAndrew Liveris spent $688K to buy 20K of the co's shares, boosting his stake to 186K shares, while CFO Geoffrey Merszei paid $511K on 15K shares, increasing his stake to 42K shares. Corporate vice president and general counsel Charles Kalil spent $342K to buy 10K shares. Kalil now holds 32K Dow shares. Ben Silverman, director of research at, says that the cluster of buys after last week's price plunge may mean that insiders at Dow "feel that the bad news is baked into the stock."

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