Sunday, February 17, 2008

Trading Alerts: Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Abbott Laboratories (ABT-$55.55) said late Friday the Food and Drug Administration approved its cholesterol medication Simcor. The medication combines Niaspan, Abbott's extended-release niacin product that raises "good" cholesterol, and simvastatin, which lowers "bad" cholesterol.

Alico, Inc. (ALCO-$41.66), a land management company, reported a
decrease in operating revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2007, a result of lower prices in citrus.

Will bond insurer Ambac Financial Group (ABK-$10.22) follow in the footsteps of Financial Guaranty Insurance and split into
two separate companies?

Moody's Investors' Service on Friday signaled it could cut the
credit ratings of several of American International Group Inc.'s (AIG-$46.11) subsidiaries amid concerns over the insurance giant's exposure to the troubled subprime mortgage market. Nonetheless, the insurance company's long-term prospects may not have been too badly hurt, Barron's reported in its latest issue.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZBY-$109.23) announced that it anticipates profit for 2008 to be offset by higher
credit-related provisions associated with the changing global credit environment.

Australian shopping center owner Centro Properties Group (CNP-$0.65) said Monday its Australian and US bankers have agreed to further
extend financing arrangements for $1.3 billion dollars in short-term debt to September 30.

Though Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG-$105.25) missed the fourth-quarter profit forecast, analysts say the restaurant chain still has a
better chance of attracting cost-conscious diners than other brands.

Motley Fool columnist, Rick Munarriz,
opines on why footwear retailer Crocs Inc (CROX-$33.43) will achieve redemption after issuing fourth-quarter numbers on Tuesday morning.

Genentech (DNA-$72.67) is
awaiting word from the Food and Drug Administration on its cancer drug, Avastin, for breast cancer. In December 2007, an advisory committee voted 5-4 against recommending that the agency approve marketing for the drug, basing its decision on a separate study that found the drug's effectiveness in slowing the progression of the disease did not outweigh its toxic side effects. Nonetheless, some analysts and investors think the FDA could still say "yes."

Hewlett Packard (HPQ-$43.87) should report earnings of 81 cents a share in the fiscal first quarter on sales of $27.60 billion, on average, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial. Investors will be
listening to what CEO Mark Hurd has to say about current IT demand/ spending and forward earnings guidance, given the slowing U.S. economy.

Medtronic (MDT-$49.12) is slated to report earnings for its third fiscal quarter before the open of trading on Tuesday. Current projections call for the medical technology company to post EPS of 61 cents on revenue of $3.34 billion, on average. Investors will want some
updates on how implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) sales are doing as well as comments on the U.S. approval of the Endeavor drug-eluting stent.

Mediware Information Systems (MEDW-$6.16), a provider of software clinical systems for blood and medication management, is under pressure to put itself
up for sale by a major shareholder. Cannell Capital, which owns a 12.9 percent stake in the firm, sent a letter to the board of directors illustrating just how cheap MEDW was on both an absolute and relative basis.

After dipping in recent months, the shares of Phillips Electronics NV (PHG-$37.90) look cheap. They could climb by 30% or more as the company
powers up in lighting and medical gear, and reaps more cost savings, according to Barron’s.

On "Speculation Friday," host Jim Cramer
touted diagnostic company Quidel (QDEL-$15.97). "Diagnostics is one of the best long-term stories out there," said the Mad Money host. And, since diagnostics lowers medical costs and makes people healthy, it makes Quidel a twice- blessed stock, he added. Quidel currently holds 70% of the market share for flu testing and 40% to 50% of the market for strep and pregnancy detection.

Bloomberg News columnist, William Pesek, ponders what could come from
joining Apple Inc (APPL-$124.63) and Sony Corp. (SNE-$44.78).

Troubles at Sovereign Bancorp (SOV-$12.60) could sink the chances of what was once seen as an inevitable sale to Spain's largest bank, Banco Santander SA (STD-$17.25).

Stanley, Inc (SXE-$24.02), a provider of systems integration and professional services to the U.S. federal government
trades at a premium to the government IT sector, but doesn’t deserve to, Mad Money host, Jim Cramer, told his television audience on Friday night.

Steven Madden Ltd (SHOO-$16.78) is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday morning. Last month, Jeff Mintz of Wedbush Morgan
downgraded the footwear retailer to 'hold' from 'buy,' citing "consumer weakness combined with a lack of a strong fashion trend." On February 12, Mintz trimmed his price target by $1 to $18 and his 2008 profit estimate by 9 cents to $1.46 per share. He still sees the shoemaker posting fourth-quarter earnings per share of 19 cents, a penny ahead of the Thomson Financial estimate.

Toshiba Corp. (TOSBF-$7.15) is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high definition DVDs,
conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp, a company source said on Saturday.

Given continuing problems in the US mortgage market, Zacks believes additional write-downs and losses are likely at UBS AG (UBS-$33.14) and is
downgrading the stock of the Swiss bank from 'Buy' to 'Hold.' A bearish equity report by Citigroup estimates UBS could need up to $18 billion in additional write-downs in 2008. Contrary to comments made by Chief Executive Marcel Rohner on Sunday.

Company observers question the ability of Internet phone service provider Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG-$2.07) to continue as a
‘going concern.’

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart (WMT-$49.44) will report its fourth-quarter results. Analysts expect the discount retailer to earn $1.02 for the quarter on revenues of $106.9 billion. Lehman Brothers analyst Robert Drbul said in a
research note on Friday that the company is well positioned with its low-price business model. In particular, Drbul predicts Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will be one of the biggest gainers from economic-stimulus checks when they begin to be distributed in May.

Recent approval of rhThrombin by the FDA for topical hemostasis in surgical procedures and the
clinical progress made by ZymoGenetics, Inc (ZGEN-$9.10) will for the company, according to Grant Zeng, CFA, of Zacks Equity Research. Zeng believes rhThrombin will provide a significant boost to top line growth in the coming quarters and maintains a ‘Buy’ rating with a price target of $16a share.

Editor David J. Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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