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Contagion: no one is immune from fear --

|Includes: AstraZeneca Group plc (AZN), GSK, HENKY, JNJ, NVS, RBGPY, SNY, TWX

No better way to get your mind off losing your shirt in the stock market than going to see a movie about a virus pandemic that wipes out a goodly portion of the world's population, including Gwneyth Paltrow in the first 5 minutes of digital celluloid. (Minute 5.01 - Can  I get my money back?).

Scientists race to find the problem and then a cure as civilized society begins to fray and collapse. The movie is fiction, but is shot in a documentary style.  There are echoes of real events like the SARs virus, the London riots and the post-Katrina chaos.

"Contagion" is chock full of appealing but cliched stock characters: cheating blonde wives; devoted husbands; cute children; devoted public health doctors; scheming wiki-leaks-type bloggers; officious Homeland security officers; unscrupulous hedge fund operators; unruly rioters; and behind the scenes, powerful Congressmen ready to call a public hearing when anyone stumbles.  

I'd give "Contagion" about a B-/C grade as a movie, about where I'd put the original "Wall Street" movie. But like "Wall Street", I think I'll remember the movie for a long time for its themes andbroad brush characters. 

In the short run, I'll think twice before I eat Chinese. I'll be  washing my hands regularly, maybe with an anti-bacterial soap. I'll be getting my flu shot early. And if my Congressman wants to disband the Center for Disease Control, I'll demand that he give up his taxpayer-paid health plan.

Investment spin: "Contagion" is a Time-Warner production. It earned about $14 million last week for a total take of $44 million.

My check of the local supermarket's  shelves found anti-bacterial soaps branded by Dial, Purell and Lysol. (For what its worth, a 2006 Emory University study showed that washing with water worked better than the chemicals.)

I checked the Center for Disease Control's list of approved flu vaccines for this year. Their manufacturers are listed below.  You can run the metrics on them.

Just my opinion.


TimeWarner -TWX
Price= $28.91
Yield, 3%
PE, ttm = 12.46
Price / book = 0.99
Return on Equity = 7.94%

Health care products - two of these are foreign with multiple Pink Sheet Listings. You'll need to check 'em out.

Lysol hand soap
Reckitt-Benckiser Group ---  RBGPY.PK - ADR
Price = $9.69
Yield = 3.6%
PE, ttm = ~14
Price / book = 4.3
Return on Equity = 32%

Dial Antibacterial Soap
Henkell AG  -- HENKY.PK
Price = $41.56
Yield = 1.7%
PE, ttm = 10.65
Price book = 1.78
Return on Equity = 16.2%

Purell - Private to PFE to JNJ to Private
Johnson & Johnson --- JNJ
Price = $61.92
PE = 14.8
Price book = 2.78
Return on Equity = 20.2%


Approved flu vaccine makers, 2011
Novartis - NVS
Sanofi- SNY
GlaxoSmithKline - GSK
CSL Biotherapies  - CSL Limited - CSL on the ASX
MedImmune - AstraZeneca - AZN