Briefly Speaking: A Six-Pack of Picks

08/29/2003 12:00 am EST


Here's a six-pack of intriguing investment ideas: A former COO of Soros Fund has joined the board of the latest growth pick from Ian Wyatt. Kevin Kennedy picks three medical stocks. Lou Dobbs reaffirms his view on Greenpoint. Donald Rowe opts for a machine vision firm. Larry McMillan picks a commodities play. And Gregory Spears selects a "bad news hedge". (For more information on these advisors, click on their photos.)

Wyatt, Ian"iMERGENT (IMGG NASDAQ Bulletin Board), which provides Internet training and services, is a turnaround situation," says Ian Wyatt’s The Growth Report . "The firm announced the appointment of Gary Gladstein to the board of directors. Mr. Gladstein served as the COO of Soros Fund from 1985 to 1999. Previously, he served as CFO at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. We believe this is an amazing announcement, especially coming from a small company such as iMERGENT. Mr. Gladstein certainly appears to be a whale, and his contacts in the area of finance can only help this small and growing company reach new heights. We believe the future is bright for IMGG, with a pending Nasdaq listing on the horizon. Our target is $11."

Kennedy, KevinKevin Kennedy, editor of The Coolcat Report , has added three medical tech stocks to his list of momentum buys; each shows relative strength of 99 (out of 100) and trades for below $15: "I-Flow (IFLO NASDAQ) designs and markets technically advanced, low-cost ambulatory infusion systems that are redefining the standard of care by providing life enhancing, cost-effective solutions for pain relief and infusion therapy. LCA-Vision (LCAV NASDAQ) owns and operates 33 LasikPlus laser vision correction facilities in the US, plus two centers in Canada and a joint venture in Europe. Vascular Solutions (VASC NASDAQ) is an interventional medical device company with a focus on sealing technologies."

Dobbs, Lou"Earnings have been strong for the last quarter," says Lou Dobbs in The Lou Dobbs Money Letter. "Results from nearly all of the S&P 500 companies are now in and 86% of them have matched or beaten targets, and profits are up roughly 10% on the quarter. Now that’s what I call good news. One of our featured companies, GreenPoint Financial (GPT NYSE), had record earnings this quarter. The company issued a 15.2% dividend increase this month, and has had a total dividend increase of 44% this year. GreenPoint’s stock also had a 3-for-2 split this week. That’s the kind of news we all want to hear."

Rowe, Donald"Cognex (CGNX NASDAQ) designs machine vision systems that are used to automate a wide range of manufacturing processes," says Donald Rowe, editor ofThe Wall Street Digest . "These interpret video images to determine if a part is defective. It also detects defects on the surface of products including the paper used to print US currency. In 2002, Cognex posted $114 million in revenue and achieved its 16th consecutive year of profitability. Over the past three quarters, it has realized earnings growth of 367%, 167%, and 500% on sales increases of 37%, 51%, and 34%, respectively. The company is expecting earnings of $0.34 per share this year, an increase of 780% from last year. Long-term earnings growth is expected to average 20% annually."

McMillan, Lawrence"In the past, we have taken bullish positions in the CRB Index as a way of ‘playing the field’ in commodities," says Larry McMillan in The Option Strategist. "In addition, there is a Commodity-Related Stocks Index ($CRX) that includes stocks such as Phelps Dodge, Newmont Mining, Alcoa, Baker Hughes, etc., that is designed to be a way that ‘stock traders can trade commodities as a basket.. The $CRX stock index has been stronger than the actual commodities since March. Buy 2 November CRB futures contracts at 238.50 or less. We're recommending the futures because they are more liquid than the $CRX options. However, if you prefer the $CRX index, then buy the $CRX October 270 calls –priced at about $7; stop yourself out on a close below 236."

Spear, Gregory "There is a bull market in small-cap security and defense companies," says Gregory Spears, editor of The Spears Report. "Engineered Support (EASI NASDAQ) is just such a company. It is in the business of preparing for the worst. EASI has particular expertise in environmental engineering for both civilian and military emergency situations. The company has developed a 150-bed prototype of a 500-bed mobile hospital, which could be used to provide observation, quarantine, isolation, and treatment to victims of infectious disease outbreaks, or other natural or man-made disasters. For the six months ended 4/30/03, revenues rose 35% to $246 million, while net income from continuing operations rose 36% to $16.9 million. Technically, the stock has been in a beautiful uptrend since 1992. EASI could, at the very least, function as a 'bad news hedge’."

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