Sunday, September 02, 2007

Barron's Summary (GRMN, IPCR)

Barron’s cover highlights its new stock index, called The Barron’s 400, a new index built not as a mere reference point but as a money-making tool for investors. The Barron's 400 collects the most fundamentally sound and attractively priced stocks from all corners of the mkt using a proven and disciplined stock-selection process. The index is based on the research methods of MarketGrader a Miami firm that rates stocks by a proprietary formula that incorporates companies' growth profile, profitability and stock valuation. According to the article, The Barron’s 400, based on current selection criteria, would have handily beaten the major indexes over the past 10 years. Current best large gap idea is Garmin (GRMN) and best small cap idea is IPC Holdings (IPCR).

Notablecalls: Expect decent pop in shares of GRMN and IPCR on Tuesday morning.

Highlighted fundmanager likes Mizuho Financial (MFG).

Helped by the upswing in the aircraft cycle, Goodrich's (GR) shares, recently around 63, could rise by nearly 20% over the next 12 months. The dividend is likely to go up, too.

UBS’ David Bianco says “Financial stocks have been priced for disaster." He also believes that the Fed might soon cut rates to 4.75%, and financial stocks' historical outperformance as rates fall. Bianco likes Bank of America (BAC) and State Street (STT). Credit Suisse's Robert Parker sees increased capital spending on technology infrastructure, especially on "tech nuts and bolts" co’s like Cisco (CSCO).

Bayer (BAY) shares look undervalued, given the promising pipeline that its pharmaceutical unit boasts. One bull thinks the company's stock could rise 15% over the next year.

Barron’s ranks the stock recommendations of 14 brokers. Barron’s relys on data compiled by Zacks Investment that analyzes brokers' research and keeps a running tally of the focus lists, or best stock ideas, of these brokers for various periods over the past 5 y’s. In the latest contest, ended June 30, Matrix USA, the out-of-the-blue rookie winner of the previous ranking, is showing some impressive legs. Matrix once again took the stock-picking title for both the 6-mo and 12-mo periods, with a 33% total return in the latter contest. Top honors for the 3-y race go to another repeat performer, Morgan Keegan, which dusted the competition and the mkt with an 84% return. In the long term, Goldman Sachs dethroned reigning champion Charles Schwab, but only barely, beating it out for the 5-y gold by a matter of inches, with a 110.8% return.

“Follow Up” section highlights State Street (STT), whose shares dropped 7% after there were rumors, denied by the bank, that the co might have to step in to backstop $29bn in four conduits that hold various asset-backed securities off the bank's own balance sheet. Barron’s sees no reason to sell and believes the shares continue to hold value. State Street maintains that it has had no problem selling commercial paper backed by the conduits. What's more, the rating agencies have reaffirmed their investment-grade ratings on the conduits. S&P's figures State Street could bring all four onto its balance sheet if needed and still remain "well capitalized." Moody's said it remains confident funding calls will not cause a liquidity strain b/c of the high quality of assets, the special mechanics of the firm's liquidity-support program and its constant stress- testing. Meanwhile Glenn Schorr, of UBS, maintains his $85 price tgt, concluding after conversations with State Street CFO Ed Resch that investor concerns seem "overdone."

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