Our panelists give you the scoop on all the inside business information before you hear it anywhere else in The Informer segment:
David Asman: August 14th was the cut-off date for companies to fix their books. Did all the companies make it?
Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor: We're still waiting for about two hundred companies. There are two companies that are still fiddling with the numbers, Verisign (VRSN) and ESS Technology (ESST).
David Asman: So why aren't we seeing executives being taken away in cuffs?
Elizabeth MacDonald: It's a good question. I think you should be checking the SEC Web site to see if your company is on that list.
Bill Baldwin, editor: I think companies should be allowed to chisel for a few million dollars here, which is what we're talking about here.
David Asman: Okay Bill, let's stay with you. Made in China, we're going to be seeing a lot more of those signs?
Bill Baldwin: A lot of American jobs are already being sucked into the Far East. I think a way to profit from this is to invest in companies that are taking part in this. Two companies are Emerson Electric (EMR) and Delphi (DPH).
David Asman: Okay, Mike Ozanian, consumers are spending less but retailers are doing okay, right?
Mike Ozanian, senior editor: I think companies like Borders (BGP) and Limited Brands (LTD) are going to surpass what analysts are predicting. Both stocks are still very cheap relative to earnings.
David Asman: Okay Chana, no one can be wrong by doing what Warren Buffett did, right?
Chana Schoenberger, staff writer: Warren owns Dairy Queen, which is everyone's favorite fast food ice cream place. They announced last spring that they would start a fast food restaurant. So Warren thinks fast food restaurants are hot right now. We looked at some that are publicly traded like, Jack in the Box (JBX), McDonald's (MCD), Papa John's (PZZA), and CEC Entertainment (CEC).
Elizabeth MacDonald: What about these lawsuits that have been coming out recently, the fat suits?
Mike Ozanian: The only thing that scares me about companies like Burger King and McDonald's is that when they started to expand with other products is when their growth started to slow.
Chana Schoenberger: McDonald's is trading very near its 52 week low so they're doing pretty well right now.
Makers & Breakers
T. Rowe Price (TROW)
Jonathan Simon, J.P. Morgan: T. Rowe Price is a manager of mutual funds that you can actually invest in. Even in a depressed market, this is a very profitable company.
Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: There's a lot of people disillusioned with mutual funds and now they face new competition from Spiders and iShares. That's when you buy an index of stocks that aren't managed. You can trade them like regular stocks. I wouldn't buy this stock.
Bill Baldwin, editor: My only problem with Price is price. I think it's a $20 stock and it's a bad market.
Jonathan Simon, J.P. Morgan: The good thing about Price though is that it has an average expense ratio of only about 60 or 70 basis points. I think they'll do pretty well as the market recovers.
David Asman: Okay, let's move on to your second pick.
Deluxe Corp. (DLX)
Jonathan Simon, J.P. Morgan: Deluxe Corp. is the largest printer of checks in the world. Even though debit cards and credit cards are being used more, checks are not going away. They have phenomenal cash flow, rewarding their shareholders with high dividends.
Bill Baldwin: This is a company with a commanding 51% share of check printing.
Jim Michaels: I used to write 30 to 40 checks a month but now I only write 5. I do most of my banking on the Internet. In ten years everyone will be doing that. No one will be using checks.