The Week of Buyout Picks (April 9-13, 2007)

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Stock Tickers: GOOG, AQNT, VCLK, TFSM, MSFT, YHOO, TWX, SLM, NNI, FMD, MEDI,HAL, WHT, MEH, AAI, COT, IPS, PALM, DELL, NFI, BCE, AA, DOW, WYN, NDAQ,GFI, KR, ABN, BNI, DCX

This week was a huge week for the all of the buyout investors and speculators.  There were more ongoing discussions being reported in the media than you could imagine.  In a world of private equity gone wild, its hard to not be a bit cynical on the raw number of these.  This is also after Google (GOOG) announced it would pay $3.1 Billion to acquire the master online advertising company DoubleClick.

Since the Google buyout of DoubleClick you might as well go ahead and throw these three into the hat: aQuantive (AQNT), ValueClick (VCLK), and 24/7 Real Media (TFSM).  We addressed these back pre-market on April 2 when the DoubleClick buyout was starting to surface.  Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo! (YHOO), and even Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL unit may have to all look after these companies now that they let Google takeover DoubleClick.

Sallie Mae (SLM)….media saying it could go to private equity, of course.  This even has Nelnet(NNI) and First Marblehead (FMD) up in hopes that if one student loancompany gets gobbled it means the others could too (or at least maybethe worst could be behind)…. who knows.

MedImmune (MEDI) exploring alternatives…."put itself up for sale."

Halliburton (HAL) for Weatherford (WFT)….WFT up 3% today as a result.

Midwest Air (MEH) snubbing Airtran (AAI) again, Airtran says the bid is high enough.  Do you believe them?

Cott (COT) in talks with private equity firms on a Cadbury Beverage combination…..stock up 28%…."Welcome Back Cot….."

IPSCO (IPS)….up $20 since earlier in the week, company confirmed "talks that could lead to a sale," but not with whom…..

Palm (PALM) re-rumored as potential bait for Dell (DELL), these rumors just won’t die.

Novastar Financial (NFI) exploring options….a Takeunder for subprime slime?

Bell Canada (BCE) now under potential takeouts by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, so to speak.

Alcoa (AA) survived its earnings after a crummy history…..many think this one still gets gobbled…..

Dow Chemical (DOW) rumors of a private equity buyout just won’t die,even if they deny the rumor and fire 2 executives for "holdingunauthorized talks" with outside parties.

Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) could be the next buyout for its valueaccording to Cramer, as the only Cendant piece that hasn’t made thegrade.

Kroger (KR) denied it is interested in going private…..maybe WallStreet recalls that grocery store margins are low.  The good news isthat you can now get a huge portion of the items you can at WholeFoods, without the "Whole Paycheck" price.

NASDAQ (NDAQ) held talks with the Oslo Stock Exchange.  Supposedly nodeal is imminent, but right now if you are an exchange you arebasically takeover bait (hence, our BAIT SHOP).

ABN AMRO (ABN) still on deck…..who, what, when, where????? Barclays (BCS)?

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) went up on what may have been a fake "buyout rumor or interest" from a Mr. Pastorini…..can you say "Weird?"

Interest in rails after Warren Buffett disclosed stake in BurlingtonNorthern Santa Fe Corp (BNI)….looks like Buffett feels differentlyabout rail companies than airline companies.

Magna International confirmed its role in ongoing Chrysler talks, part of DaimlerChrysler (DCX).

Jon C. Ogg
April 14, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.