Monday, September 25, 2006


According to the WSJ's "Heard on the Street"column prisons are shaping up to be a growth business. Crowded jails, stretched state budgets, mandatory sentencing and a border crackdown have put the profit and shares of the nation's biggest private-prison operator, Corrections Corp. of America (CXW), on a jailbreak. The stock price of the co is up 45% since Jan. 1. Shares in private-prison co's were popular in the mid-90s, before tumbling on financial woes. And bulls admit that it is unrealistic to expect Corrections Corp.'s shares to keep up this pace qrtr after qrtr. But they add that the co, manager of more than 60 state and federal detention centers in 19 states and DC, is well-positioned in a little-understood and fast-growing corner of the economy: outsourced incarceration. "They're riding a great wave right now in the industry," says Anton Hie, of Jefferies, who rates the stock a Buy. "We've had a lot of new shareholders coming into the stock, with a shift from value investors to growth investors." The upshot for investors now: The current excitement seems justified, but it will likely ramp up near-term volatility. Those interested in owning a share of the prison business should be thinking long term and bracing for inevitable bumps.

The NY Post reports that Jane Pratt, the founder and former editor-in-chief of Jane magazine, has finally landed her own radio show on the Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI). Sirius is expected to announce today that she will be chatting it up once a week in a live, 3-hour show called Jane Radio that will feature music, rants, and plenty of call-ins.

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