3 Big, Big Trends to Watch in 2012

01/02/2012 7:30 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Michael Murphy

Former Editor, New World Investor

While a couple of these are perennial themes, you have a good opportunity to grab some good companies while the companies have drifted to the lower part of their range, writes Michael Murphy of New World Investor.

I am tempted by Cree (CREE), a stock we have traded twice in the last eight years or so, making more than 100% each time.

Cree makes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that last much longer than conventional light bulbs, and use less energy because they create much less heat. With incandescents being phased out and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) having color spectrum and disposal problems (mercury), LEDs eventually will take over. But they’re much more expensive than CFLs right now.

Cree has bought companies specializing in lighting fixtures as a way to lower product prices, and they understand that there is more to the cost of LED lighting than making cheaper chips. The stock is pressured by tax-loss selling right now.

I’m also looking at Mawson Resources (MWSNF), an $86 million market cap gold explorer with a huge prospect in Finland. The Rompas project has returned bonanza-grade gold and uranium, and Mawson has locked up all the ground in the area with their claims applications covering 75,340 hectares.

The company has large blue chip backers—Areva, the French company that discovered the gold, has 9% with an option for an additional 8%, Pinetree Capital has 10%, and the Sentient Group is the largest shareholder with 16%.

The stock is up from 45 cents in July 2010 to $1.67, but down from $2.50 in April and $2.10 in November. The small market cap compared to the large, probably rich acreage looks a lot like Paramount Gold & Silver (PZG) when I originally recommended it.

Finally, I’m going to sort through several companies for a potential new MegaShift: American Fascism. KBR (KBR) has contracted to build and run the new FEMA camps. The biggest companies providing services like cybersecurity to government departments like the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and intelligence agencies are SAIC (SAIC), URS Corp, (URS) and CACI International (CACI).

With President Obama not only signing, but secretly demanding, a bill to allow the President to order the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial, on top of their 40-page paper explaining why the President can order the assassination of an American citizen without even an arrest, we’re probably past the tipping point. Unless people can tear themselves away from American Idol and the Kardashians for a few minutes to think about what is going on, things won’t change anytime soon.

I don’t like any of it, of course, but the money is going to flow to these four companies and many others as they tighten the noose. We may wind up cashing in from another country—Belize and Chile look good to me—but MegaShifts are about capital gains, not my personal politics.

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