Friday, September 29, 2006


According to the Barron's Online shares of Force Protection (FRPT.OB) have rocketed 513% over the past 52 weeks, but two insiders at the armored-vehicle manufacturer have also sold off hefty portions of their stake in the co. In transactions from Sept. 22 to 26, Force Protection's CEO and general counsel together sold nearly $5m in stock. Ben Silverman, of, notes that both men sold off significant portions of their stake in Force Protection. Considering the amount of insider selling, Silverman says, "This is the perfect time for investors who were in early on the name or came to the party when [Force Protection] still had a lot of upside, to…take some profits."

Barron's Online "Weekday Trader" section suggests that for investors gunning for big returns in the energy sector, the recent drop in oil and natural-gas prices has proved to be a challenge to best-laid plans. But the dip may provide some buying opportunities. According to savvy investors at the John S. Herold Pacesetters Energy Conference Thursday, trusts with dividends near 8%, exploration co's with undervalued assets and alternative energy solutions like wind and ethanol offer promise. "The economy in the next 25 years will be about oil rationing, oil replacement, fads, busts, incredible discoveries," says Ashton Lee, a hedge-fund manager with Lucas Capital Mgmt. "So how do you make a buck?" "We love long [oil and gas] reserve life and cheap co's," Lee told an audience of investors and energy-sector professionals. On his short list is Canadian Oil Sands Trust. Shares in the trust are down 20% from their 52w high. The heavy crude the co produces in Canada has a 35y reserve life, making it likely that its dividend yield will rise, says Lee. But its reserves are trading at $6.40 per barrel. And he likes global integrated oil giant ConocoPhillips (COP), whose reserves of oil and equivalents are valued at $7.43 per barrel. Even if some of those reserves are in political hotspots for energy like Venezuela and Russia, the assets are worth more, Lee says.

DigiTimes reports that Founder Technology, China's 2nd-largest PC provider and the world's 7th-largest desktop PC vendor, on Sep.28 announced it will begin selling desktop PCs based on AMD64 processors in China next month. The co is also looking to expand its sales agreement with AMD (AMD) to cover notebook and server mkts in the near future.

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