Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Wednesday, July 27, 2005: Hot.
Humid. Earnings season bustles nicely along. Durable goods orders are up better
than expected. U.S. manufacturing is doing well.
(TPTH) has popped to over $9. It reports earnings and holds an 11 AM conference
call next Thursday. Insite Vision (ISV) is popping also. Yesterday I
bought a little HMS Holdings (HMSY), Charles River Labs (CRL),
Gevity HR (GVHR) and Bright Horizons Family Solutions (BFAM).
Each are in interesting, growing, niche businesses.
good are securities analysts? Most are not very good. Today's New
York Times has a piece today:
Yup. You got it.
The stock is way above his target and lately rising.
An Analyst Receives
a Time Out From Altera
For the 25 years
that Tad LaFountain has been a technology stock analyst on Wall Street, he
has often written negatively about the strategies or prospects of the companies
he followed. Not once did a company retaliate, he said.
who follows 21 semiconductor companies at Wells Fargo Securities in New York,
said yesterday that he was dropping coverage of the Altera Corporation, an
industry giant, because its executives had told him they would not take his
phone calls, would not let him ask questions on analyst conference calls and
would no longer give him the information he needed to analyze its business.
Why the cold
shoulder? According to Mr. LaFountain, the company objected to his negative
opinion on Altera stock. Before he withdrew his coverage, Mr. LaFountain had
a sell rating on Altera shares.
final report on the company yesterday, Mr. LaFountain said he expected to
replace Altera in his list of companies with one "that takes a more appropriate
view of the role of independent investment research."
Out of the 21
semiconductor companies Mr. LaFountain follows, he has buy ratings on seven,
hold ratings on nine and sell ratings on five....
coverage on Altera, Mr. LaFountain forecast a price target of $14 for
the stock. It closed yesterday at $22.45.
Check. Check. Check -- Part 1. NorVergence offered cheap long distance
to small businesses. To get the service, you had to agree to rent a device for
five years. The rent ranged from $200 to $2,300 a month. The company sold its
leases to big financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp.
NorVergence apparently collected around $200 million from the sale of the leases.
Then it declared Chapter 11. The financial companies are still trying to collect
their dues. They are suing the small businesses. The leases all have an escalation
clause. If you're late with your payment, all remaining lease payments are due.
The upshot for NorVergence's customers is they now have no long distance
service and owe huge sums for equipment that is no longer working.
After the Federal
Government changed the rules in telecommunications in 1996, the industry attracted
scam artists and crooks. Some are in jail, or on their way. Many are still out
there. Please be careful before you let anyone mess with your precious phone
Check. Check. Check -- Part 2. I subscribe
to QCharts, which makes pretty charts like this one:
It also lets you keep track of a portfolio. But it has bugs up the ying yang.
For example, I own 22,500 shares of Blackrock Muni Fund which closed last night
at $15.40. QCharts happily tells me each morning that the value of my holdings
is -$82,996.73. That's a minus $83,000. It should be a plus $346,500.
I've pointed this bug out to QCharts for the past year and it's still there.
Lycos bought the company. Service deteriorated. The moral of this boring story
is check your online accounts. They're often wrong.
The chart shows a nice bump up on Nasdaq since early May.
safety revisited: From a reader:
I picked up one common theme from the safety tips on todays postings;
AVOID BEING RECOGNIZED AS AN AMERICAN!
As a person
who came from thousands of miles away to get here in order to fulfill my lifes
dreams, it makes me rather sad to see that the worlds attitude on America
has changed so much. It used to be that most people saw this country as the
land where ones imagination and hard work would be the only limitations
to fulfilling ones dreams. Most of us (including the legendary Harry
Newton) left EVERYTHING behind in our home land and came here to do just that.
That, in turn, bred such admiration for anything American by most of the world.
Sad, how mixing politics with religion can change that so fast."
Week's magazine this week:
+ Police in India punished 200 people caught watching an illegal porn movie
by making them do situps.
+ The manager of a Hungarian supermarket unexpectedly ordered his staff to slash
the price beef tenderloin by two-thirds shortly before his wife came in and
bought 47 pounds of it. Police are investigating whether the two events are
+ A study in the Journal of the American Medical Associationreported
that up to 32% of scientific studies may be inaccurate and misleading. Some
scientists have already disputed the accuracy of the report.
+ Animal rights activities are calling for the town of Fishkill, NY to change
its name. The "kill" in Fishkill derives from the Dutch word for creek.
But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says that fact is lost
on the general public. "When they think of Fishkill, they think of abusing
fish and that's not the right message," says Karin Robertson of PETA. By
that standard, says Fishkill town historian Willa Skinner, PETA should also
challenge Otterkill, Beaverkill and Catskill.
What's staging? Yesterday
I wrote that to sell your house for maximum dollars, you should "stage"
it. Several readers asked "What's staging?" Basically it's changing
your house from the quirky, messy place you live in to a decor that will more
appeal to the people you're trying to sell your house to. There are professional
"stagers," who understand the minutiae of what sells -- far better
than your real estate broker. One talented stager I met in Phoenix has a warehouse
full of acceptable furniture which she can deliver quickly, making your crappy
house suddenly look saleable. I've seen investment returns on staging expenses.
If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib.
If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood
vessel in your head or neck and die. And, if you keep your eyes open by force,
they can pop out.
Solution to Every Problem
high school coaches in Boise, Idaho went to a coaches' retreat. To save money
they had to room together. No one wanted to room with Coach Daryl because he
snored so bad. They decide it's not fair to make one of them stay with him the
whole time, so they vote to take turns.
The first coach
sleeps with Daryl and comes to breakfast next morning with his hair a mess,
eyes all bloodshot. They say, "Man, what happened to you?"
He said, "Man,
that Daryl snored so loud, I watched him all night."
The next night
it was a different coach's turn. In the morning, same thing -hair all standing
up, eyes all bloodshot. They say, "Man, what happened to you? You look
He said, "Man,
that Daryl shakes the roof. I watched him all night."
The third night
was Frank's turn. Frank was a big burly ex-football player-looking type of man's
man. Next morning, he comes to breakfast bright eyed! and bushy tailed.
They can't believe
it! They say, "Man, what happened?"
He said, "Well,
we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Daryl into bed and kissed him good night.
He watched me all night long."
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click
+ All turned on by biotech. Click
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available:
Click here. The full audio is available. Click
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click
+ When to sell your stocks. Click
This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't
give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities,
which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday
through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting
things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing
called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage
my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can
all learn together. My email address is .
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