Ticker Tape's Forensic Favorite

09/11/2002 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Leo Fasciocco

Investment Columnist and Publisher, Ticker Tape Digest

Leo Fasciocco’s Ticker Tape Digest focuses on isolating stocks that are breaking out of significant price consolidations and showing major accumulation. (For short-sale recommendations, he looks for stocks that show breakdowns and significant distribution.) Here’s his latest featured recommendation.

FTI Consulting (FCN NYSE), based in Annapolis, provides expert testimony through its litigation support and consulting services. Annual revenues are $170 million. The firm’s consulting ranges from forensic analysis, jury consulting, and courtroom visual aids to accident reconstruction, fire investigation, and consulting on intellectual property and scientific issues. The company also provides financial services such as forensic accounting and fraud investigation. The company has around 2,500 clients including corporations, law firms, banks, and insurance companies. The company has been expanding through acquisitions including the purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers' US business-recovery-services division in 2002. It has 33 offices in the US.

FTI showed strong earnings growth in the first half of 32%. It has said the general level of business activity experienced in the first half is continuing into the second half. For the year, FCN’s profits should climb 50% to $1.26 a share. Looking to 2003, we anticipate a 26% improvement in net to $1.59 a share. Technically, this is one of the leading stocks of the past year-and-a-half, having climbed from six to 42. The stock has pulled back after a strong run up and is now in the mid-30s. In our opinion, the recent pullback sets up a great opportunity to get in. The positives of strong accumulation on the pullback give the green light. We would initiate partial positions now and then average up on a move over 38. We are targeting the stock for a run to 45 within six months. A protective stop can be placed near 34.”

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