Top 10 Most-Traded Stocks for Wednesday and Why

by: Richard Saintvilus




Shares Traded

Current Price

Sirius XM Radio


Fell 5.6%



Cisco Systems


Fell 1.4%



Huntington Bankshares


Rose 1.4%



Intel Corp.


Fell 1.1%



Microsoft Corp


Fell .5%



Level 3 Communication


Fell .5%



Micron Technology


Fell 5.0%



Oracle Corp


Fell 1.9%





Fell 16.2%





Rose 2.2%



Sirius XM shorts have been on a winning streak lately, as the stock has lost 15% over the past week and left Sirius longs to ask what's wrong with the company. The stock has closed down for four consecutive days and appears to be heading that way as of this writing. Sirius' shares hit an intra-day low of $2.05 as of this writing (1:49pm on 6/8), their lowest level since hitting $2.07 intraday on May 17. After hitting an intra-day high of $2.44 on May 31, Sirius' stock closed down for the day at $2.35 on almost 292 million shares. We soon learned that the reason for the increase surge in volume was due to the rebalancing of the MSCI Global Indices as reported by Satwaves Pro.

When one looks at Cisco from a fundamental perspective, one sees a company with $25 billion of net cash that trades at nine times earnings (excluding net cash). Cisco has also provided double-digit returns on capital, and is a dominant player in the industry poised to grow at a faster rate than the economy. Fundamentally, the company is strong. Cisco grew at a rapid rate primary due to its string of acquisitions during Chambers’ tenure. Though the company is now striving to return to its core business -- a move that I am entirely in favor of -- I think it might require one more strategic acquisition to spur the growth that investors have been looking for.

Huntington Bancshares was the winner among the largest banking names Tuesday, with shares rising 2.5% to close at $6.21.The broad indexes were down slightly as investors reacted to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments at the International Monetary Conference in Atlanta. The Fed chairman said "accommodative monetary policies are still needed," as "we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established." Of course, with short-term rates near zero and seemingly nothing benefiting from the Fed's accommodative policy except for stock prices, investors may have trouble envisioning what further moves the central bank can make to stimulate economic growth.

U.S. chipmaker Intel announced "multi-million" investments in two Russian online firms on Thursday, in a fresh sign of investor confidence in growth prospects of internet businesses. Intel Capital, charged with backing business models that complement its Santa Clara, California parent's long-term strategy, said it provided financing for social networking company AlterGeo and online shoe retailer The company, which invested a total of $327 million in 119 deals last year, did not disclose financial detail of the latest transactions.

Microsoft may disclose the source code for Skype Technologies SA’s Internet telephone programs to Russia’s Federal Security Service after it completes its acquisition of the company, Vedomosti said. Microsoft already provides the main successor agency to the Soviet KGB with the source codes for its own products, the Moscow-based newspaper said. The FSB, as the agency is known, won’t be able to listen to individual Skype calls with only the source codes, though the data may help it hack the service, Vedomosti said. Microsoft, in a statement, said it has no plans to make Skype’s encryption codes available to the FSB.

Level 3’s stock remains expensive. It has been on a tear over the past three months. I have been one of the biggest supporters of the company and the stock. I had previously written about the excitement that the company had generated when it announced earlier this year of its pending merger with Global Crossing (GLBC). I wrote then how I thought the Global Crossing transaction made Level 3 more valuable or even undervalued upon the announcement. I pointed to how the deal would create a company with a unique capability to meet local, national and global customer requirements in a wide range of markets. By combining the strengths of each company, the new entity will offer enterprise, government, wholesale, content and web-based customers a comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end data, video and voice solutions.

MU's valuation and volatility premium, coupled with a mostly upbeat sector outlook, make bullish MU option plays one of the best bets in the semiconductor space. Micron has two segments -- memory (DRAM/NAND flash memory) and Numonyx (NOR flash memory.) Its "other" category includes imaging products. DRAM sales account for approximately 60% of FY11 sales, NAND flash about 28%, NOR flash 7%. Intel and Micron are close partners, with MU representing the largest position in Intel's investment portfolio.

When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year, it also bought three of the leading open source projects – the Java programming language, the productivity suite, and the mySQL database. While the company's rhetoric before the acquisition indicated it wanted the open source assets, the big money at Sun was always in its server business. To open source advocates, it became clear just months after the deal went down that what Oracle wanted with these open source crown jewels was to either make them proprietary or ruin them: Oracle killed low-cost support options for mySQL, and doubled prices on commercial support. Oracle caused a split within the community which led to its developers creating a “fork” called LibreOffice. Oracle caused Apache to leave the Java Community Process, essentially rendering the “write once, run anywhere” programming system Oracle proprietary.

Shares of eBay Inc. rose Thursday after an analyst upgraded the stock, citing prospects for growth in the company's core business, its PayPal division and through its proposed acquisition of e-commerce firm GSI Commerce. Momentum in eBay's core business is growing, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Weinstein said in a research note. In addition, new opportunities, such as the proposed GSI Commerce acquisition, are improving the company's growth outlook, and its stock is at an attractive price. That has Weinstein expecting the shares to rise more than 30 percent.

Ciena, the maker of network gear for the biggest U.S. phone companies, fell the most in 2 1/2 years after reporting second-quarter results that missed analysts’ estimates, hurt by acquisition costs. Ciena fell $3.92, or 16 percent, to $20.29 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the biggest decline since December 2008. The shares have lost 3.6 percent this year. The loss, excluding charges such as an adjustment to the value of its inventory, widened to $22.4 million, or 24 cents a share, the Linthicum, Maryland-based company said today in a regulatory filing. Analysts projected 11 cents, the average of 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Disclosure: I am long SIRI, CSCO, MSFT, ORCL.