Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekend Beach Reading: Monday, September 1, 2008

It’s an addiction that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security — oil. In a four-minute video and legends of commercials on television, Boone Pickens, the legendary oil tycoon, says the U.S. can reduce dependence on foreign crude by harnessing domestic energy alternatives (the "Pickens Plan"), such as wind and natural gas.

Jianqiu Yu, Chairman and Principal Executive Officer, said Gushan Environmental Energy (GU-$10.30) plans to raise its annual biodiesel production capacity from 290,000 tons to 400,000 tons by the end of 2008 and 600,000 tons by the end of 2009. Despite a continuing shortage of diesel supply in China, however,
operating profitability at the company could come under pressure in coming quarters.

CEO Jack Friedman’s total pay at toymaker JAKK’s Pacific (JAKK-$24.95)
remains insensitive to stock performance — the ultimate benefit to shareholders.

Rupert Murdoch continues to make CEO succession a high-profile issue at News Corp (NWS-$14.36). In the company’s just-filed
2008 proxy filing, the first item of note is that the company’s longtime No. 2, News Corp. President Peter Chernin, gets paid as much as the top boss.

The Chairman and CEO of Quest Resource Corp (QRCP-$4.81), Jerry Cash, resigned Monday after the Oklahoma Department of Securities
launched an investigation into alleged fund transfers from the natural gas exploration company to an entity controlled by Cash. Initial indications are that the questionable transfers could involve about $10 million. What were the monies to be used for?

Suntech Power (STP-$47.81) said its gross margin rose to 24.1 percent in the second-quarter ended June 30, from 20.3 percent a year ago.
The gross improvement was mainly due to stronger pricing driven by strong product demand and appreciation in the euro versus the U.S. dollar — less to do with an expected drop in polysilicon pricing.

Continued rapid growth at United Therapeutics (UTHR-$106.13)
is contingent upon the company expanding commercial development of its Remodulin platform from refractory treatment (in the sickest patients) to front-line therapy for newly diagnosed patients.

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

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