Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Morning Musings

Morning News of Note:
  • GOOG: In the Drink INVESTORS HAVE BEEN FIXATED on Google the past few weeks, as its shares have tumbled nearly 25% from a peak of $475 -- and the fact is, there could be a lot more tumbling ahead. The share price could well be cut in half over the next year as the Internet giant grapples with growing competition from Microsoft and Yahoo!, increased pricing pressures in its online ad sales and mounting concern about what's known as click fraud. Suffice it to say, there are those who disagree: Fans insist that Google (ticker: GOOG) is headed to $500, maybe even $2,000. But the list of challenges the company faces is nothing short of mind-googling. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • MDRX CERN: At Last, Digital Doctors DOCTORS HAVE COMPUTERIZED THEIR PRACTICES at a rate I find hard to describe: Unhurried? Sluggish? Snail-paced? Enter your doctor's office and the administrator still hands you a clipboard, stacked with paper forms for you to bring up to date. Errors in medical records cause a significant share of pain and spending, so a couple of years ago I wrote hopefully about electronic-prescribing products from vendors like Allscripts Healthcare Solutions ("Here Come e-Pills," May 17, 2004). I'm even more hopeful now. Success came slowly to the little Chicago-based company (ticker: MDRX), but it has become a growing supplier of software for all sorts of medical record-keeping, doubling its shares from a 2004 level of 8 bucks, to a recent 17. Hospital suppliers of health-care information technology like Cerner (CERN) have also seen their shares double, as the medical industry becomes -- at long last -- automated. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • BLK MER: Merrill and BlackRock Are Said to Be Near Deal Merrill Lynch is nearing a deal to sell its asset management division to BlackRock, a fast-growing fund manager, in exchange for a large stake in the company, according to people close to the discussions. The deal, which could be completed this week, would be a coup for Merrill Lynch and a disappointment for John J. Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, who just weeks ago had pursued a similar agreement with BlackRock and its chief executive, Laurence D. Fink. (Full Story) NY Times
  • MFST RIMM: Microsoft Challenges BlackBerry With New Mobile-Email Devices In an effort to muscle in on BlackBerry's stronghold on the mobile email market, Microsoft Corp. today plans to unveil several devices as well as offers from cellphone-service providers to make it easier for its customers to get messages on the go. The initiatives build on software upgrades Microsoft announced in June to give customers immediate access to new email messages. Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry devices long have offered services that continuously deliver -- or push -- email to the handsets. (Full Story) WSJ
  • Mad Money Summary: Jim Cramer opened his show on Friday discussing a German company, Fresenius Medical Care (FMS), a company which is involved in dialysis machines. He said the company is a play on the aging baby boomers. He said he also liked DaVite (DVA), and said it would be OK to buy that along with Fresenius. Cramer then discussed an upgrade that he "would actually listen to" from Friedman Billings Ramsay. The call was an upgrade to Outperform from Market Perform on InfraSource Services (IFS), a company which he said could make some mad money. Cramer then discussed a way to make money off of the introduction of the 30-year bond, by investing in futures index CBOT (BOT), which will see increased volume as 30-year futures contracts will now trade on the index. Opening his mailbag, Cramer discussed optionsExpress (OXPS), which he likes despite their high fees; Bennetton Group (BNG), which he would ring the register on; Cree (CREE), which he would not buy; and Broadcom (BRCM), which he likes as a tech stock. In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on NTMI, HSY, JDSU, CAJ, CNXT, ACAD, KMI, DOW, YHOO, TJX, SHLD, APH, DIGE, NBR, PEP and PG, and was bearish on CKCM, AMZN, KNOT, CIEN, BKH, HUN, VCLK and CVH

Market Comments: Barron's did a hatched job on Google, but I think we may look back on this as helping to put in a bottom for the stock. ELOS missed EPS by 2 cents, but that stock looks like the miss was already priced in.

Management at CHK announced they have hedged a considerable portion of their production for 2006, 2007, & 2008. Does that mean that are finally calling a top in the spot prices for crude oil and natural gas?

The market is lower so far this morning, which sets us up for a possible change in trend. That being, a weak open followed by a strong close, which is how I prefer it. Bernanke gives his first testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday. I think these meetings will be more hype than substance, but there is the possibility that Ben tries to sound a little hawkish and jawbone the markets.

long MSFT


Post a Comment

<< Home