Sunday, March 25, 2007

Barron's Summary

Barron’s lines up most influential CEO’s. The ultimate CEO who matters is Steve Jobs, of Apple (AAPL). Jobs' departure probably would result in a greater loss of stock-mkt value than the loss of any other CEO in the world. Jobs might be worth 20 or so points to Apple shares, roughly $16bn.

Fund manager likes NLY, ANH, ORGN and OPX. Dislikes FMT, RATE, MCO and MHP.

Starbucks (SBUX) has skidded 20% since Nov, to the low 30s. But the stock could rally into the mid-40s as same-store sales and profit margins improve. "We are at the point where a long-term investor can make a strong case for buying the stock," says Marc Greenberg, of Deutsche Bank. "This is a great brand, with great pricing power, an excellent operating model and good prospects. And now the stock is much cheaper" than it used to be.

They've already jumped, but RadioShack (RSH) shares could rise 30% or more in the next 12-18 months if new chief Julian Day hammers costs further and gets the product mix right. "There is a tremendous amount of room to cut, and this is what ppl are missing," asserts Dennis Bryan, of First Pacific Advisors.

Barron’s discusses stocks with pending lawsuits. World Wrestling (WWE), American Express (AXP) and Qualcomm (QCOM) could be helped by court cases. MasterCard (MA) and Sherwin-Williams (SHW) could be hurt.

The Veterans Affairs is one of Uncle Sam's most efficient agencies but still must make improvements to provide adequate care. That effort should benefit patients…and the agency's contractors. Those include MCK, BDX, CPHD and RHHBY.

“The Trader” section discusses Apple (AAPL), saying that any day now Apple TV will debut in stores across the country. For $299, the digitally savvy can play music, movies and videos stored on a home computer through television. Given the unknown potential, many analysts have yet to count Apple TV in their ests, but a marginally successful rollout could snag a slice of the $26bn mkt for DVDs and CDs. Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore says it is conceivable that Apple TV will cannibalize 20-30% of the existing DVD mkt within several years. It "opens substantial new mkt opportunities to Apple," he notes, and builds on Apple's stronghold in digital-content distribution. That's not the only compelling catalyst. Barron's sees a boost in Mac sales when "Boot Camp" gets delivered free this spring with Apple's new Leopard OS. Apple shares aren't cheap at 24x expected earnings, but the stock's P/E multiple has been higher before. And a premium is warranted for profits projected to grow by 20% annually in the next 5 years, presuming Apple continues to capitalize on this still-budding digital product cycle.

“International Trader” section highlights Nidec (NJ), whose stock is down 12% in last 12 mo’s. Blame the plunge in NAND flash-memory chips. At ¥7,830 last week, Nidec trades at 28x earnings, and sports a mkt cap of ¥1.13trln ($9.7bn). Nidec’s long-term growth rate, by Bloomberg's reckoning, is 52%. It isn't a cheap stock, and CEO Shigenobu Nagamori has said that the right mkt cap on his tgt of a trillion yen in sales is at least ¥2.5trln. Indubitably true is that those who bet against Nagamori over the long haul have been wrong.

“Technology Trader” column highlights positively CMGI (CMGI). Article was ran by Barron’s Online on March 21. See archives.

“Plugged In” column highlights Telanetix (TNXI). The co boasts a mkt value of only $58.5m, but it has proven that it can compete with its bigger rivals in the high-end video-conferencing mkt: Cisco (CSCO), H-P (HPQ) and Polycom (PLCM). In Jan, Telanetix beat its larger rivals by winning a major contract from Mercedes-Benz USA. The Telanetix system delivers full-size, face-to-face images in high res on large flat-panel screens, along with real-time audio and data. It really gives the perception that users are in the same room, says Bob Jesenik, of Aequitas Capital. "If they can make it CEO-proof, which we think they can, it could achieve mass-mkt growth," he comments. Jesenik says that Telanetix has been breaking even and could turn a profit this year. Sales could take off, he adds, given its announcement last week that it will lease systems to corporations for as little as $1,000 a month. Analyst Joe Noel of Dutton Associates, pegs ‘07 rev at $8.5m. He predicts annual earnings of 18c a share and rates the stock a Strong Buy, with tgt of 5. But even without a takeover offer, Jesenik contends that this small-cap could get big in a hurry. He says that mgmt has a proven track record with technology start-ups. In addition,
"the senior team doesn't take salary, which tells us that they are aligned with shareholders' interests."

Notablecalls: This one may fly but keep a tight leash as youre certainly not the first one on this train.

No comments: