Forbes Focuses on Nanotech

02/06/2004 12:00 am EST


Josh Wolfe

Editor, Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report

From education to research, from venture capital to business development, and from publishing to stock analysis, Josh Wolfe is a leading expert in the emerging field of nanotechnology.  Forbes recently featured one of Josh's picks as its "Stock of the Week".

"Josh Wolfe, strongly recommends buying FEI, (FEIC NASDAQ) the Hillsboro, Oregon-based supplier of charged particle-beam systems used in electron microscopes. At $24.56 a share, FEI trades at the higher end of its 52-week range of $13.55 and $28.75. The company's current market capitalization is $817 million and it has $252 million in cash; it burned through $25 million last year. FEIC is highly leveraged, with a debt/equity ratio of .91.

"Although FEI operates in the semiconductor and data storage markets, Wolfe likes it for its growing business as a 'picks and axes' player in nanotechnology's metaphorical 'gold rush'. FEI's electron optics business manufactures and markets scanning electron microscopes and transmission electron microscopes, used by a growing number of firms, foundations, and academic institutions doing nanotechnology research. Last month, President Bush signed the 21st Century Nanotech Research and Development Act, which commits $3.7 billion to fund nanotech research over the next four years.

"Wolfe likes FEIC stock partly because it has lagged the performance of its peers in both the nanotech tool and semiconductor capital equipment markets over the past several months. Wolfe notes that the fourth quarter is traditionally a seasonally strong one for sales of equipment to research outfits. In addition, several of FEIC's semiconductor peers have guided expectations for fourth-quarter sales higher with positive pre-announcements. Wolfe is optimistic that the market will value FEIC significantly higher over the next several months, and he is confident in the company's future as a supplier to the growing ranks of nanotechnology researchers."

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