Our panelists give you the scoop on all the inside business information before you hear it anywhere else in The Informer segment:
David Asman: Smallpox, it hasn't reared its ugly head yet but there is a company that makes a vaccine. Tell us about it.
Bruce Upbin, senior editor: A company called, Acambis (ACAM). They're half British, half American. They have a huge $300 million contract with the government to accelerate its smallpox vaccine. It's a purer vaccine. This stock is a pox on your portfolio. It's got very little revenue.
Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor: Bottom line is there is no bottom line. There's millions of dollars of losses at this company.
Bruce Upbin: People are just jumping into it just to make a quick buck.
Leigh Gallagher, staff writer: I would be worried because the company initally said its vaccine was coming out in 2004 and now all of a sudden it's going to have it ready by 2002. How are they going to do that?
David Asman: What have you got for us Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Corcoran, Silicon Valley bureau chief: I had dinner with some big heads in New York like Bill Gates. The whole industry is hoping that Microsoft's XP will boost things. Bill was really confident and upbeat at the dinner. Craig Barrett of Intel on the other hand seemed a little bit more nervous. He told me their revenue growth is strongest in Latin America, China, and India. But Latin America is melting right now. I think Intel is still in for some rocky waters.
Bruce Upbin: But aren't these guys joined at the hip anyway?
Elizabeth Corcoran: Overseas they're not. It's a lot easier to collect revenue on hardware sales than software sales.
David Asman: Everyone is afraid of flying so you have videoconferencing. Is there a bet there?
Leigh Gallagher, staff writer: Polycom back in July was at 21, now it's at 31. Everybody thinks nobody's going to travel and this is the way to do it.
Elizabeth MacDonald: I think videoconferencing would save a lot of jobs. You wouldn't be able to see how annoying someone is in person. In fact, I wish we had more videoconferencing at Forbes.
David Asman: Okay Elizabeth MacDonald, what have you got for us?
Elizabeth MacDonald: Kmart and Wal-mart are two stocks that really haven't been doing well lately. Kmart is trading at 5, down from a 52-wk high of 14. Wal-mart is at 50 and it'll probably go down to 45. Their same store sells are only at 7%.
Makers & Breakers
Rich Williams, Summit Analytic Partners: Retek is a software company that has really good numbers in a time when most software companies are really suffering. They provide software for retailers so companies like Gap buy Retek software to make their companies for more efficient.
Matt Schifrin, senior editor: MAKER
I like Retek. This is a company that is the best in its breed. They have a great strategic alliance with IBM. This is a good stock.
Jim Michaels, editorial vice president: MAKER
In a very competitive market, they're gaining market share. I like their finances. If you want to take a tumble on technology this is a good place to look.
David Asman: This next stock is a fun stock. If you like to fix your car you got to like this stock right?
Rich Williams: I have no problem with AutoZone's (AZO) management but I think the do-it-yourselfers are becoming like dinosaurs. Cars are becoming more and more complex with much more microprocessors going in the lowest end of cars. The problem is how do you fix a computer in a car. We think this stock has run a bit too far and this is a heads up, a warning. What you could do is short it on the way down.
Jim Michaels: BREAKER
Six months ago the stock was in the low 20's. It's gone up a 150%. They took a write-off that I don't like the looks of at all. I would stay clear of this one.
Matt Schifrin: BREAKER
The stock price for this is way too high. Most analysts have this stock at 59, it's at 57. I have an AutoZone by my house. I've only been there once this whole year.