Investing

This Week's Top Active Stock News Stories (June 22, 2007)

Stock Tickers: WB, GE, SMH, TYC, BRK/A, BX, SBUX, KFT, SIRI, XMSR, CAKE, BAM

Most stories come out, affect a stock or a sector, and then cease to matter.  We have numerous stories that started this week, but should be kept up for an active review because many of these will matter in the week or weeks ahead.

If you can believe it, Wachovia (WB) hit a new 52-week low today.  Where did that come from???? Speaking of, many of these ethanol stocks got a boost Friday because of a bill, but some of these were choking on year lows just two days ago.  General Electric (GE) was hitting a new multi-year high this week, as did the chip stock ETF called the Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH); neither high held for the week, but these will both be areas to watch.

Tyco International (TYC) will still spit up as of the end of June and start trading for real rather than when-issued on July 2.  At this point, we aren’t all that impressed with the valuation hopes.

Poor Warren Buffett.  He’s the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ and the third richest man, with a great track record.  Yet short sellers are betting more gainst his positions and Jim Cramer gave a breakdown with his own opinion on 10 Buffett picks and then 10 more picks that are current Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A) holdings.

 

Jim Cramer did something unique this week, and it wasn’t Eddie Lampert praise.  He endorsed the exceptionally performing Brookfield Asset Management (BAM-NYSE) as The Next Berkshire Hathaway, but on more of an international and infrastructure basis.”  Now I can personally vouch that this company is a beast and a great company, but it doesn’t matter what I have to say.  If that wasn’t just put on more long-term radars for traders to buy on weakness, then it would mean something went very wrong….

If you ask me, I don’t think it is ‘fair or balanced’ but the media is going after the Apple (AAPL-NASDAQ) iPhone.  Yep, the tide of hype and over-coverage has started creating a tough coverage and negative bias.  The stock should get a ‘sell the event’ right before and after the iPhone launches next Friday, but it doesn’t seem like Steve Jobs has created the first dud for the company.  The media is trying to pawn it that way though. “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.”

General Electric (GE-NYSE) is forking over $1 Million for a TV interview with Paris Hilton when she gets out of jail.  She should have to donate that money to MADD or to Tramps Anyonymous.  This is rewarding for bad behavior.

Blackstone (BX-NYSE) made it public, despite all the media gossip against the private equity behemoth.  They are now a force to be reckoned with, or ‘wreck-ened’ by if you get in their way.  Like you didn’t know that.  They even closed up at $35.06, above the $31.00 pricing.  KKR and Carlyle are said to be filing any day now.

Starbucks (SBUX-NASDAQ) on skid row.  It isn’t the coffee, it isn’t the merchandise.  It’s the point of their growth cycle versus the earnings multiple people will pay for it.

Kraft (KFT-NYSE) may have been be on its own for a few weeks now, but activist investor Nelson Peltz has taken a decent stake in the company.  You can be sure he’s going to be rattling the cages over there to drive shareholder value for the next year.  They don’t have to like him, but they’ll make money if they follow him! This one’s going to be live news for some time.

SIRIUS (SIRI-NASDAQ) and XM Satellite (XMSR-NASDAQ) are cranking up their efforts to get merger support.  It can’t be an accident that both shares were up close to 6% on Friday when the market was in the tubes.  Stay tuned.

We came up with a plan for Cheesecake factory (CAKE-NASDAQ) to fix what it got downgraded over this week.  We didn’t really call it a personal buyout pick, although that could be possible if the stock gets too much weaker after a thrashing Thursday.

Jon C. Ogg
June 22, 2007

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