Our panelists give you the scoop on all the inside business information before you hear it anywhere else in The Informer segment:
David Asman: This week we have senior editor Matt Schifrin, senior editor Pete Newcomb, staff writer Chana Schoenberger and senior reporter Victoria Murphy. Matt, let's start with you. Henry Schein (HSIC), what do you know about that company?
Matt Schifrin, senior editor: It's a great company that distributes dental and medical products. The stock has been hammered because there was a surge in influenza vaccine sales and Wall Street thought they were stuffing the channels. They weren't stuffing the channels. The results will be the same for the year. People will order their influenza vaccines a little early. The stock sells at .65 percent of sales (price of sales ratio), which is really low. PE is 15. This is a real bargain. A lot of our gurus are buying up this stock.
David Asman: Sounds good. Chana, what do you think?
Chana Schoenberger, staff writer: It does, but what happens with the rise in health insurance cost? What happens if insurance companies don't pay for all of this stuff that they're selling?
Matt Schifrin: Well, the analysts are still bullish because the demographics are in favor of all medical and health distributors.
David Asman: Chana, let's stick with you. ATM's. Is there a way to make money off these money machines?
Chana Schoenberger: Yes. There's a company called Concord EFS (CE). We have an article in this week's issue that talks about this company. They do the transactions for ATM and debit cards and there's been some controversy over their stock because a lot of their banks are up for renewal right now and there's a big lawsuit that they're not involved with. The stock is really cheap right now and the debit card business is growing like gangbusters. So, we think it's good.
Pete Newcomb, senior editor: It's cheap. It's down 60 percent. Shouldn't you be worried about such a thing?
Chana Schoenberger: It's just 57 percent, but people are just pessimistic about the stock and they shouldn't be.
David Asman: All right. Pete let's go over to you. You're going to be talking about stereos?
Pete Newcomb, senior editor: Harman International (HAR). The stereo junkies have known this company for years. Unfortunately for all the criticism it gets, it just can't earn any money. It hasn't earned any money for years.
David Asman: We just had two bulls here, but here's your bear with this company.
Pete Newcomb: It's all changed. It's now earning money. The last quarter reported profits up 90 percent and they were getting all sorts of new businesses and I like it. It sounds good to me.
David Asman: Victoria, what do you think?
Victoria Murphy, senior reporter: I'm a little hesitant because I think BOSE is the heavyweight here. And, they're relying on the sales of autos and PC's, that we know aren't so great these days.
Pete Newcomb: Which is exactly what is driving the sales these days. They got a big contract with Ford (F), so they're going gangbuster here.
David Asman: Victoria, we just heard from you. Macromedia (MACR), what do you think of that company?
Victoria Murphy: I like Macromedia. I think they're going to get a boost from their sales this spring, thanks to technology that makes online ads more interactive. They've signed a deal with online ad giant, Double Click. So, they're not just getting sales from kits they sell to the developers who create these ads, but also the Doubleclick deal is revenue sharing, so it's going to be a big boost.
David Asman: But, Matt, these are the companies we hate. The companies who put up all those pop up ads on the Internet.
Matt Schifrin: I agree. I would hate to bet my future on web advertising anyway. It's been dog and not likely to recover anytime soon.
Victoria Murphy: Web advertising has had a bad rap lately, but we all use the web. There are ads on the web. This is a real business.
Makers and Breakers
David Asman: This week our guest stock picker is Chris Baggini, portfolio manager of Gartmore Global Trust. He's brought along a couple of stocks. Symantec, the software security company and the big biotech company Amgen. Chris owns some of that. Will the Forbes folks own them? Let's ask senior editors Matt Schifrin and Elizabeth MacDonald.
Chris Baggini, Gartmore Global Trust: MAKER
Symantec is a $6 billion market cap company. They are the leaders in anti-virus, both for consumers, enterprises, and government. It's got a great macro going on. Companies and consumers worldwide are looking to increase their security software. This is a company whose earning estimates are way too low.
David Asman: Ok, Matt, particularly in a time of war, it sounds like a good bet.
Matt Schifrin, senior editor: MAKER
This is a case where I say, "Don't fight the tape." This stock has been very strong. I don't pay much heat to chartists, but they've been right a lot lately. This stock is strong and it's a great company.
David Asman: Elizabeth, what do you think?
Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor: BREAKER
I think it's going to face a lot of competition from network associates. Network associates who have a big AOL Time Warner account for the AOL unit. In terms of computer viruses, I think it's pricey. Its PE's around 57. I'd like to see the stock's 52 week low come down to about 30.
Chris Baggini: MAKER
Amgen is the largest biotech company in the world. A $60 billion market cap company. They have three franchises, in anemia, cancer treatment and rheumatoid arthritis.
Elizabeth MacDonald: BREAKER
Again, I'm a breaker on this stock. I like Amgen. I think this company has a great inventory of drugs, but I think it's a little pricey. I'd like to see it come down a little bit before I buy.
Matt Schifrin: MAKER
This is a great company. Extremely profitable and they've got a new anemia drug that's extending people's lives.
David Asman: All right, two in favor. Elizabeth, what is a good price for this to come down to?
Elizabeth MacDonald: About 30. It's got about $2 billion in trailing 12-month losses. That's why I have a problem with it.