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Barron’s Summary – Sat Feb 12, 2011

  • The World’s Most Respected Companies – new Barron’s survey – Apple is #1, followed by AMZN and Berkshire. 
  • Pharma – companies like ABT, PFE and MDT should start shedding non-core businesses – the stocks could jump 30% or more if the companies broke themselves up.  PFE is already moving ahead w/a plan to restructure.  ABT could have the most upside if it decided to break apart.
  • InterContinental (NYSE:IHG) – positive comments; the Holiday Inn revamp is almost done while the overall lodging industry is seeing rising profits and revs.  The stock may have near-term downside if an upcoming earnings report is anything but stellar.
  • Egypt – some stocks there could rally as a result of the Mubarak resignation – pos. on the broader Egyptian market as well as Orascom Construction Industries, Orascom Telecom, and Maridive & Oil Services.  Also pos. on ElSwedy Electric and Misr Duty Free.
  • Crude – a leading analyst, Charles Maxwell of Weeden, thinks crude will hit $300 by ’20.  Says nat gas prices have hit a bottom.  Bullish on oil sands companies SU and CVE.
  • Pamela Rosenau – the CIO of Rosenau/Paul – positive comments on ECT, AWK, EPB, and ARG.
  • MMI – positive review of the new MMI Atrix (although not a big fan of the phone’s laptop dock).  Says this is the best Android device on the market.
  • CSCO, NOK – both stocks are prob. dead money.
  • CSCO – downside limited and a rally into the mid $20s is plausible although it will require a surprise-free Q and a realization of a dividend.  
  • QCOM – repeats pos comments on the stock.
  • HPQ – next critical date for the stock will be Mar 14, when new CEO Leo Apotheker meets w/Wall St.
  • AMZN – negative comments; the stock is expensive and margins are shrinking as it moves into lower-margin categories.
  • AZO – neg. comments – similar story to AMZN…stock has run a lot and valuation rich.  Says demand was strong during the recession for car parts but this will slow as the economy recovers.
  • SGI – mentioned in Barron’s – no real opinion – notes that the co had blow-out earnings and the stock has rallied a lot.
  • KLAC – positive comments; the stock is cheap w/strong rev + earnings growth.
  • IP – positive comments; the stock is cheap; operations + cash flow generation are improving; the co could hike its dividend another 33% as well as buyback 10% of its shares.
  • ANR – positive comments; the MEE deal is a good one and fundamentals in met coal are strong; the stock could easily top $60 in 12 months.
  • NYX – pos. comments; the deal will prob. wind up going through and shouldn’t face any fatal anti-trust opposition; the NYX shrs now are pricing in most of the transaction’s upside although there is still some left.
  • Exchange M&A – the article speculates that CME could look to buy NDAQ; the article also postulates that NDAQ may look to buy CBOE.
  • DVN – positive comments – production and earnings growth will both be strong while valuation is cheap.  The co’s balance sheet is strong.  Stock could top $100.
  • Gold is unlikely to continue rallying at the pace seen in ’10.
  • QE2 – the program will prob. stay in place despite some skepticism from certain Fed officials.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.