Sunday, December 03, 2006

Barron's Summary

Barron’s cover discusses IBM (IBM), which is reinventing itself again under CEO Samuel Palmisano. It's shed its disk-drive and PC businesses to focus on less volatile operations with fatter margins, and has boosted productivity by slashing costs and spreading facilities around the globe. But, the roster of bulls on the stock has shrunk since the horrible 1Q05, when the co badly missed earnings forecasts. Today, even after a hearty rebound from its summer low of 72.73, IBM trades at 15x earnings. Compare that with 25x for EMC (EMC), 23 for DELL (DELL), and 20 for MSFT, the only software co larger than IBM. One bull sees the stock going up to $105, another sees the stock outperforming mkt at least 10-15% in coming years.

Fund manager likes FMD, AMG, PRAA, CCRT, COF, RNR and TNCC.

By skimming the top holdings of the most acclaimed stockpickers, an investor can assemble a best-ideas portfolio without paying hedge-fund mgmt fees. Barron’s has identified 5 well-regarded hedge funds whose investment moves are closely scrutinized. These leaders are Appaloosa Mgmt, Greenlight Capital, Lone Pine Capital, ESL Investment Mgmt and Icahn Partners. These funds largest holdings include: ORCL, MU, AMAT, SHLD, AZO, AN, AMP, MSFT, HSP, TWX, IMCL, ARII. Recent additions include: AMR, FDC, HLT, SLB. Recent sale include: MIR, LYV, SYMC, RIMM.

After the spinoff, Duke Energy (DUK) could trade for $23 and change; Spectra, for $16.45, one analyst says. Together, the 2 co’s will maintain the current payout, $1.28 a share.

Follow Up section discusses DirecTV (DTV). At about 18x estd '07 earnings, DirecTV "is undervalued," says Templeton Investments analyst Matthew Nagle. Longer-term, he says, the stock is worth at least 10% more than its current price.

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