Sunday, February 25, 2007

Barron's Summary

Barron’s cover highlights co’s that should benefit from the graying of the boomer generation. Those include AGN, AHS, EL, HIG, PHM, HOT, SRCL, UNH, WAG and WFMI. Wall Street consultant favors SAI and RJET, dislikes MHK, FOSL and HWAY.

Universal Electronics' (UEIC) 50% jump suggests a pause ahead. But there's still as much as 50% upside left for the next 12-18 months, says a bullish hedge-fund shareholder.

With profits and revenue up, Siemens' (SI) stock should climb at least 10% this year. But all bets are off if the scandal reaches Kleinfeld, the architect of the company's revival.

Shares of McDonald's (MCD), up nearly 25% in the past years, could easily rise another 10%, thanks to expanded breakfast offerings and double-digit profit gains.

Barron’s suggests that Brookfield Asset Mgmt’s (BAM) stock, now at 55, easily could approach 70 in the next few years. Brookfield enjoys several advantages over rivals. It is bigger than many, and can raise debt rapidly. It has experience with nontraditional assets, and perhaps most important, has built the operating structure around targeted industries, such as hydropower and Brazilian real estate.

Barron’s highlights Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), saying that just 2 of the score of analysts following Fifth Third rate the bank's shares a Buy; the remainder are split between Hold and Sell. The Street's hardened consensus has obscured some key moves that Fifth Third wisely made in recent qtrs to fix what has ailed its performance and reputation. Before its troubles began, Fifth Third routinely commanded 18-20x expected earnings. While its P/E isn't likely to return to such lofty levels, "they can get some multiple appreciation," T. Rowe's Mike Holton says. "The new mgmt team is rebuilding credibility, and should improve results QbyQ," he says. "If they can continue to execute on plan, you'll see the Street go from hating the stock, to a more neutral stance, to liking it." The upside, Holton figures, is "into the 50s."

“International Trader” section discusses Reuters (RTRSY) growth opportunities, among other is acquisition. Potential targets include FDS, ITG, PSO and BK. Buying FactSet, best known for its Company Explorer and Marquee products, would be a major deal for Reuters, whereas acquiring ITG would be more strategic b/c its main asset is a broker-neutral trading platform.

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