Monday, March 19, 2007

Paperstand (CYH, TRI, IFX, AUO)

The WSJ reports that Community Health Systems (CYH) was last night nearing a deal to Triad Hospitals (TRI), breaking up an existing $4.5bn buyout plan by a group of private-equity funds. Exact details of the offer weren't clear late yesterday, but one person familiar with the plan described it as being "several hundred million dollars" greater than the offer tabled in Feb by a duo of CCMP Capital Advisors and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

”Heard on the Street” column out saying that Infineon (IFX) could be singing an upbeat new tune by the end of the year, all b/c of a ringtone. And that could be music to the ears of Infineon's investors. The share price of Europe's largest maker of microprocessors has risen some 65% since the start of ’06, up 7% this year alone. But even at its current price, the co still trades at about half the going rate of its US-based peers. Investors are buzzing over industry speculation that Infineon will supply the main chip to drive the highly anticipated iPhone from Apple (AAPL). "We believe Infineon is the dominant supplier of the [electronic brains] for the iPhone," says Jagdish Rebello, of iSuppli. Proponents of Infineon take the long view: By the end of ‘07, the co will have cashed out big from its majority stake in its old memory-chip business and completed the turnaround of a money-losing cellphone technology division, which had been a drag on earnings. Now is a good time to buy, they say. Infineon has new contracts in the pipeline, including a deal with Nokia (NOK), and "it's trading at a deep discount" to its peers, says Robert Turner, of Turner Investment Partners.

The NY Times reports that more than 60m cans and pouches of dog and cat food sold under dozens of brand names were recalled on Saturday after being linked to the deaths of 10 animals. The food was manufactured by Menu Foods, which makes wet food sold as store brands for co’s like Wal-Mart (WMT), Kroger (KR) and Safeway (SWY).

DigiTimes reprots that Samsung Electronic and LG Electronics recently visited AU Optronics (AUO), Chi Mei Optoelectronics and Chunghwa Picture Tubes to secure TV panel supply, with the TV makers placing orders 2 months earlier than originally planned. Since Samsung and LGE will source 50% (5.5m units) and 35% (2.5m units), respectively, of their TV panels this year from Taiwan, a tight supply of TV panels is expected to occur, with TV panel prices to switch from dropping to rising by May at the earliest should Taiwan-based panel makers stick to their quotations.

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