Friday, February 16, 2007

Paperstand (RDEN, TWX)

Barron's Online out on Elizabeth Arden (RDEN), saying that things are looking up for the co. Despite a sizable rally in recent months, the stock is more than 7% off its 52w high reached almost a year ago. And it's lagged the S&P's 500 over the last 12mo's amid worries about dilutive acquisitions and sales hobbled by dept-store closings and inventory cuts at Wal-Mart Stores. Yet Elizabeth Arden is sitting pretty. Though profits should accelerate and outgrow industry rivals, the stock still trades at a discount to the industry and the broader mkt. "The co's problems are reflected in the stock price, which is cheap compared to its growth rate," says Bill Chappell, of SunTrust, who recently upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral. "Earnings should grow close to 15% annually over the next 3 years."

"Inside Scoop" section reports that Carl Icahn sold off nearly 2/3 of his stake in Time Warner (TWX) a year after the media conglomerate acquiesced to his demands in a proxy fight. Icahn and his vehicle Icahn Mgmt reported in quarterly filings on Wed that their combined stake in Time Warner stock shrank to 25M shares, or less than 1% of Time Warner's outstanding, at the end of the 4Q from the 68.7M shares, or 1.7% stake, held at the end of the 3Q. Joshua Hong, of, says that while the percentage of Time Warner shares held by institutions has held steady over the past year, Icahn's sale may send out a bearish signal to other money managers. "It gives a negative signal that a major shareholder is selling off shares, given that the recent run-up wasn't based on fundamentals, and was pushed in part by the buyback program, which is coming to an end," says Hong.

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