Friday, November 16, 2007

Paperstand (GOOG, CBI, CHE)

The WSJ reports that Google (GOOG) is gearing up to make a serious run at buying wireless spectrum in a FCC auction in Jan. Google is prepared to bid on its own without any partners. It is working out a plan to finance its bid, which could run $4.6bn or higher, that would rely on its own cash and possibly some borrowed money.

Barron’s Online discusses Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), saying that tougher comparisons after strong growth and concerns about the economy mean this stock could start to lose some gas. The co became a Wall St darling in recent years as one of the few ways to play demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG). That has resulted in an outsized valuation and stock price. Shares are up 95% this year alone and have increased more than ten-fold in the past 5ys. Big energy co’s have been funneling cash flow from rising commodity prices into projects that expand existing production facilities or building new ones to meet growing global demand for energy. And CB&I has been at the center of that movement. LNG accounted for 60% of the co's awards of $4.9bn for the first 9mo’s of ‘07, boosting CB&I's backlog of contracts for new projects to $6.4bn. While CB&I has been getting more positive attention from Wall St as of late, the good news is already baked into the stock. David Yuschak, of SMH Capital, says the reasons he was bullish on CB&I for the past 3 or 4 ys, the potential to win big contracts amid LNG growth expectations, "have played out." He recently downgraded the stock to Sell on concern over where the potential upside surprises would come from. And in the intermediate term, "we couldn't answer that question," says Yuschak.

“Inside Scoop” section reports that President and CEO of Chemed (CHE), Kevin McNamara, sold 15K Chemed shares for $836K Tue and Wed. Looking at the sale, Jim Barrett, of CL King, says: "Net-net, I never like to see insider selling. But if I were a shareholder, I would not be overly concerned about this particular sale." He notes that McNamara's sale represented less than 10% of his direct stake in the co. While Barrett rates Chemed at Neutral, he says, "Overall they've done very, very well" and calls them "mkt leaders in both segments."

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