Sunday, March 02, 2008

Trading Alerts: Monday, March 3, 2008

Affymetrix, Inc (AFFX-$19.18) has languished in the biotechnology sector for years, but billionaire investor Ken Griffin sees some potential in the microarray company. Earlier this week his hedge fund, Citadel Investment Group LLC, announced it had taken a 5.5% stake in the developer of genetic data-managing systems.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A-$4,674.50) reported an
18 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, for its divisions linked to construction were hurt by nationwide housing woes. Buffet’s diversified holding company generated smaller insurance underwriting profits and investment gains, too.

U.S. egg producer Cal-Main Foods, Inc (CALM-$34.50) sees
profit rise along with the price of eggs. columnist, Bob Fricke, suggests that
income investors look at Cedar Fair Entertainment (FUN-$23.12), an owner of amusement parks, which currently pays a cash distribution of 8.2% per annum—before the rest of the market catches on to this cheap thrill.

Cheniere Energy, Inc (LNG-$29.33), a Houston-based developer of natural gas import terminals, is rumored to have received dozens of acquisition offers and will consider
selling a plant stake [in Cheniere Energy Partners LP (CQP-$16.79), of which Cheniere Energy retains a 90% interest] or the entire company to raise cash needed for expansion. But, with a number of liquefied natural gas-receiving terminal companies adding capacity for 2008, it's looking doubtful that shareholders would be happy with any potential offers.

With improving fundamentals
driven by substantial demand for more tower space to facilitate high-speed data services, possible expansion into other end markets, and a management team that plans on growing recurring cash flow by 20%-25%, Crown Castle International (CCI-$36.09), an operator of wireless communications towers, could soon be the type of stock everyone wants to own.

In light of continuing deterioration of global credit markets, Deerfield Capital Corp (DFR-$6.49) said it recently sold the vast majority of its AAA-rated non-Agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) portfolio and significantly reduced its Agency RMBS holdings at a significant net loss. The REIT, therefore, expects
future distributions in 2008 and perhaps thereafter, to be less than amounts paid in prior years.

Online auction leader eBay Inc (EBAY-$26.36)
warned in its annual report on Friday that it faces difficulty getting former customers to return, adding to the normal challenge of attracting new users to its sites.

As a result of the 20% sell off in its stock price since October, spurred by concerns about the Playtex purchase, the economy and competition in the battery business, Energizer Holdings, Inc (ENR-$9283) now may be one of the most
compelling buys in the consumer-products sector, according to a column in Barron’s Monday edition.

Enthusiasm about the
prospects in big solar projects and an increase in orders lifted First Solar Inc (FSLR-$205.15) to a stunning 795.2% total return in 2007, reported The Wall Street Journal. Is the long-term oulook just as sunny?

In a
press release issued after the close of trading on Friday, armored vehicle maker Force Protection (FRPT-$4.11) said its management team has discovered "significant accounting errors" in the quarterly report that it issued just three months ago.

Sources tell that Goldman Sachs Group, Inc (GS-$169.63) is aggressive about getting
rid of its backlog of some $42 billion in leveraged loans and has shown a willingness to shop assets even at discounts.

Hang Seng Bank Ltd, a local lender controlled by HSBC Holdings plc (HBC-$75.25) is expected
to post a 32 percent rise in 2007 net profit on Monday, driven by strong loan growth and higher fee income, analysts said.

On January 28, Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc (IMA-$29.15), manufacturer of vitro diagnostic products, said that it would
acquire health management firm, Matria Healthcare, Inc (MATR-$25.12), for $39.00 per share. Now, the merger agreement has a high probability of collapsing, for shareholders in both companies are looking for better terms, and lenders are unlikely to favorably restructure the deal.

Analysts expect 51Job, Inc (JOB-$18.14) to post fourth-quarter profits of 14 cents per share on revenue of $27.81 million, on average, when the staffing company reports on Monday. Shares in the provider of integrated human resource services in China have dropped about 18% in the last three months, reflecting investors’
uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the impact of US economic weakness on China.

Maguire Properties Inc (MPG-$22.72), the biggest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles, rose 5.85% in after-hours trading, on
reports that at least three and possibly four bidders are interested in buying the company, in the low-$30 range.

Motorola Inc. (MOT-$9.97) said on Sunday that it received a $335 million
contract to supply a communications network and related services to a Saudi Arabian member of Kuwait's Zain Group.

Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc (NSTK-$2.31) will host a conference call with investors and security analysts on Monday, March 3, 2008, at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the Company's corporate restructuring initiatives and future strategy. Shares in the developer of nasally administered drugs have fallen about 85 percent in the last three months. On November 6, partner Procter & Gamble
cancelled an agreement between the two companies to co-develop a nasal spray for osteoporosis.

Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC-$78.61) and Airbus parent EADS (Paris) won a $35 billion U.S. Air Force
refueling plane deal on Friday in a surprise blow to Boeing Co (BA-$82.79), until now the Pentagon's sole supplier of aerial tankers.

Electricity and natural gas company Pepco Holdings, Inc (POM-$25.27) said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit rose, but
missed analysts' estimates by 5 cents. The earnings increase was primarily due to higher weather-related kWh electric energy sales and higher network transmission revenue, partially offset by higher operation and maintenance expenses.

Penn National Gaming (PENN-$45.83) has a buyout offer in progress for $67 per share. With Penn National shares taking a year-long beating in the eye of the credit storm (with its stock at a 31.5% discount to the offer), buyout sponsors Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG-$14.00) and Centerbridge Partners LP are aware that the original deal price for the racetrack and casino operator might not be the best reflection of today’s market or of the
fair value of Penn’s properties.

E.W. Scripps Company (SSP-$41.77) said Friday it swung to a
fourth-quarter loss of $256 million on a $411 million pre-tax write-down in the value of its online search and comparison-shopping site, uSwitch.

SLM Corp (SLM-$19.61), also known as Sallie Mae, said it received a subpoena from New York's attorney general for information related to its direct-to-consumer Tuition Answer loans. SLM, the biggest U.S. student lender, received the subpoena on February 11, the company
said today in a regulatory filing.

On Feb. 20, Suntech Power Holdings Co (STP-$37.17) fell 12.3%, to close lower at $40.24 a share, after the solar cell maker stuck by its initial production outlook of 530 megawatts of power to be shipped this year. Most analysts had projected shipments of 600 to 700 MW in 2008, and based on the company's track record, believed Suntech would boost its estimate. Nonetheless, CitiGroup sees a
brighter future, expecting the company to become the world’s top solar module manufacturer in 2008.

new bidders emerge for video game maker Take Two Interactive Software, Inc (TTWO-$26.50)?

3Com Corporation (COMS-$3.29) announced that talks are back on with Bain Capital to
revise the buyout deal for the networking equipment maker.

'Mad Money' Jim Cramer recommends wireless provider Turkcell (TRK-$25.23), the largest mobile operator by subscribers in Turkey (controlling some 60% of customer base according to figures from the Mobile World analysts), is
adding more subscribers than both its competitors and increasing revenue per user, all because of its strong brand and higher quality service.

United Parcel Service, Inc (UPS-$70.24), the world's largest shipping carrier, said Friday a
bookkeeping error caused it to inflate its reported earnings for the 4Q:07 and full-year by $65 million. The error means the company missed Wall Street expectations instead of meeting them, as reported previously.

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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