3 Risky Stock Plays for Speculators

by: Mark Riddix

National Bank of Greece

With Greece on the verge of insolvency, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund stepped in and provided Greece with $61 billion in liquidity. This is just a drop in the bucket to the total funding that Greece needs but it is a positive development. How did Greek bank stocks react to the news? They responded with barely a whimper. National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Credit Agricole (OTCPK:CRARY) barely moved at all. There may be some upside potential in NBG for the speculative investor. National Bank of Greece stands to benefit the most from any sort of rescue package. NBG is the biggest lender in Greece and its balance sheet is saddled with risky debt. A bailout for Greece is a bailout for NBG.

Advanced Micro Devices

Is Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) blowout quarter is a harbinger of things to come for the chip sector? Can AMD (NYSE:AMD) show the top line growth that the Street is looking for? Analysts are expecting an 8 cent loss for AMD when the tech company reports on Thursday. If AMD reports a positive earnings number the stock should skyrocket. AMD is hoping to benefit from increased corporate IT spending. Intel has set the bar high for other chip companies, so AMD had better be prepared to deliver.

Palm Inc.

Palm Inc. (PALM) has surged over 34% amid takeover rumors. There has been talk of Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), HTC, Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Research in Motion (RIMM) and Motorola (MOT) buying out the smartphone maker. There are even rumors that the Asian company Huawei Technologies is interested in acquiring Palm. Now Palm has reportedly put itself up for sale. It’s amazing that a company with such a high cash burn rate and huge operating losses has so many potential suitors.

Things will only get progressively worse for Palm, the longer that this process drags on. The problem with Palm is that there is no reliable metric that allows you to value the stock. Palm is worth whatever a competitor will pay for the firm. The bigger question for potential buyers is, will Palm’s developers and CEO Jon Rubinstein stay on board long term if Palm is acquired by a larger competitor?

Disclosure: I do not own shares in any of these companies

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