Alternative Briefs...

03/17/2006 12:00 am EST


We conclude our report with a variety of "alternative" ideas from small-cap specialist Jim Oberweis, technical analyst Yola Edwards, fundamental advisor Dennis Slothower, resource experts, Eric Roseman and Larry Edelson, and swing trader, Jon Markman. (Click on their photos for more information on the advisors.)

Oberweis, Jim"Hoku Scientific (HOKU NASDAQ) designs and produces electrode assemblies for proton exchange membrane fuel cells," notes Jim Oberweis, editor of The Oberweis Report. "Hoku has significant relationships with Nissan and Sanyo and has begun making fuel cell systems for the US Navy. In its latest reported third quarter, sales increased to $1.7 million versus a negligible amount in 2005. Hoku reported earnings per share of $.03 versus a loss of $.03 in the same quarter of last year. Clients of Oberweis Asset Management own 390,000 shares. The shares may be appropriate for risk oriented investors."

Edwards, Yola"Altair Nontechnologies (ALTI NASDAQ) has broken out of a technical pennant pattern followed by a successful retest of its breakout," notes Yola Edwards, technician with Internet Wealth Builder. "Although the rally appears to have resumed, the stock may need to do a little more work before it is totally out of the woods, as the MACD hasn’t turned positive yet. However, the pattern suggests a target of $5 over the next two months. Also, over the past 18 months the share price has traced out a rising double bottom. This pattern’s technical measurement suggests a target of about $8 over the next year. Buy."

Slothower, Dennis"Pacific Ethanol (PEIX NASDAQ), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Kinergy Marketing, LLC, markets ethanol in the western United States," notes Dennis Slothower, editor of Stealth Stocks. "The company also offers transportation, storage, and delivery of ethanol through third-party service providers. It sells ethanol primarily in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon, as well as throughout the Western US. The company is also constructing an ethanol production facility in Madera County, California. In our view, the stock has the potential to double in price over the next year."

Roseman, Eric"Our newest Best Buy is Northwest Natural Gas (NWN NYSE)," says Eric Roseman, editor of The Commodity Trend Alert. "Natural gas prices have stabilized and now trade below $7 BTUs a spectacular crash since December's all-time high. Natural gas prices are going to rebound this year; the world continues to use cleaner-burning fossil fuels, including China. It's only a matter of time until this commodity reverses course. Meanwhile, we're supported by strong insider buying at $34 a share and a 4% dividend yield. Buy up to $36.50."

Edelson, Larry"There can be no doubt that alternative energy’s time has come," says Larry Edelson. "Over the long run, we have no choice but to find other ways of producing energy. Uranium Resources (URIX OTC BB) mines uranium; its primary customers are utilities, has projects in Texas and New Mexico. Uranium demand is outpacing supplies and this supply/demand problem will be present for years. Buy at $1.25 or better with a protective sell stop at $0.78. Canadian Hydro Developers (CA:KHD Toronto) develops hydroelectric power generating facilities and operates 17 power-generating plants in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Its facilities use water, wind, and biomass technologies to generate power. Buy, with a protective sell stop at $5.27 (Canadian)."

Markman, Jon"One of my favorite plays this year to exploit the revival in the fortunes of semiconductors is MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR NYSE)," notes Jon Markman in his Strategic Advantage . "WFR is a global supplier of ultra-pure polysilicon wafers and the firm is expanding exceedingly well into the market of supplying wafers to the solar-power industry. I think the company can grow at least 20% annually over the next couple of years, which means as much as $2 in earnings per share in 2007. At that estimate, the stock is cheap at 17 times forward earnings. It probably deserves a multiple more in the 20-22 range, and if the market agrees with me then the stock has potential in the $45 area over the next 12 months."

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