Sunday, February 04, 2007

Barron's Summary

“Preview” section highlights Cleveland BioLabs (CBLI), which is developing treatments against radiation exposure. Any day now the Department of Defense will put out a request for a proposal for a contract for a drug to treat exposure to radiation. A pre-announcement from DoD emphasized treating gastrointestinal exposure, which Cleveland BioLabs is equipped to handle through the drugs it is developing, says its CEO, Michael Fonstein. "When radiation goes up, you die from GI syndrome," Fonstein told. He says the drug has been successfully tested on monkeys. The contract will be awarded in July. While its value isn't known, Fonstein notes that a similar contract recently awarded for a nerve-gas antidote was valued at about $200M. He thinks the radioprotector could be sold to DoD by year's end. Meanwhile, the co expects to start human trials on its drug to protect good cells during cancer radiation this fall.

Notablecalls: Barron’s mention of such a small co might cause a pop in the shares on Monday morning. CBLI mkt cap stands at $75M.

Fund manager picks include ANAD, DISH, WFR and SIFY.

Microsoft's (MSFT) shares shot up 40% in the months before Vista's launch. Some bulls think Vista could deliver a further 20% gain, but the downside, at this point, looks even greater.

The shares of Mohawk Industries (MHK) are primed to climb at least to 90 and probably above 100. The stock looks to have been unduly punished by worries about the housing mkt.

While the stock of Ceridian (CEN) has run up some 20% since William Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Mgmt, started buying, more gains lie ahead. If Ceridian is split up, investors could reap another 20%, or far more.

“The Trader” discusses Allstate (ALL), saying that the co continues to effectively put its capital to work. Last qrtr, it generated an annualized ROE of 22.4%, the 5th straight qrtr it steered ROE above 20% and well in excess of the industry avg of 15%. Bear Stearns analyst David Small expects this outperformance to continue in ‘07, given its strong profitability, the aggressive pace of share buybacks and the prospect of increased dividends. His price tgt: 69.

“The Trader” column highlights SVB Financial Group (SIVB) as takeover tgt. The co’s shares popped last week after Merrill Lynch announced a $1.8bn deal to acquire First Republic Bank. If Merrill was willing to pay a 44% premium to reach First Republic's coterie of wealthy clients, then prospects look bright for SVB's niche business and its coveted clientele. At 47, shares trade at about 15x ‘07 earnings. Oppenheimer's Christopher Nolan reckons the stock should be worth 54, or 61 if SVB were bought, based on what a potential acquirer can pay and still have the deal earnings-accretive in the 2nd year, or about 20x ‘07 earnings.

“Technology Trader” column discusses Dell (DELL), saying that the return of Michael Dell means no quick fix for the co. The return of Dell doesn't signal any great shift in strategy or operations at the struggling computer maker. The fact is, Michael Dell has never strayed far from the controls, even while Kevin Rollins was CEO. Over time, however, Michael Dell, as the single leader of the co, could help restore confidence among employees, investors and others. Though often brusque and not particularly well liked within the co, he has always commanded respect as the visionary founder. "That can go a long way to help," says Cindy Shaw, an independent analyst. "He faces a host of challenges, but he is tenacious and he has a very good feel for what needs to be done." Article suggests that with his name above the door, and his fortune in the stock, Michael Dell has every incentive to succeed. But his co's position and the industry's conditions aren't going to make it easy.

1 comment:

mde said...

Thanks for the heads up on CBLI this morning. Got in premarket at 6.55 and sold around open.