A Look at Six Stocks

by: Richard Saintvilus




Shares Traded

Current Price

Sirius XM Radio


Fell 3.89%



Cisco Systems


Fell 1.24%



Intel Corp.


Fell 1.75%



Microsoft Corp


Fell 1.06%



Level 3 Communication


Fell .9%



Oracle Corp


Fell 1.42%



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Thursday, Nasdaq released its bi-monthly short interest report and (you guessed it) Sirius' short interest has once again risen for the seventh consecutive reporting period. What is remarkable about this is that this in of itself is a phenomenon according to many Sirius longs. Do you remember Joe Dimagio's 56 game hitting streak? If you are not old enough to have witnessed that (neither am I), how about tuning in just to watch Tiger Woods making the cut on a particular tournament to continue his streak of 142 PGA cuts made? Sirius' streak of rising short interest has now reached that status. It is now something that I actually look forward to just to see how high and how strong the sentiment against the stock can go.

A new networking technology called "OpenFlow," developed at Stanford University, could commoditize the networking market, spelling trouble for Cisco Systems as well as other networking giants. OpenFlow takes some of the packet forwarding intelligence out of switches, making them dumber and cheaper, in theory. When one looks at Cisco from a fundamental perspective, one will see 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.

Is it just us, or does it sound hostile if Asustek says that the era of Windows-Intel computers is over? Tablets, it seems, are not just seen as an opportunity for PC vendors to sell products into a new market. It's also seen as the chance to break free from the chains of Intel and Microsoft. Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih recently said that there is a new era coming in which no CPU and OS can dominate PCs, tablets, or smartphones anymore. Shih said that his company is learning from vendors such as Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

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. 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.

When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year, it also bought three of the leading open source projects – the Java programming language, the OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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.

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