Barron’s Stock Mentions to Watch: HPQ, NVDA, GIS, MF, QLGC, NFLX, AGU

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ)
acquisition raises possible conflicts. Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) acquisition of business-software provider Vertica raises possible conflicts of interest as the tech giant failed to disclose its nonexecutive chairman, Ray Lane, is a minor investor in Vertica, Barron’s reports.

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)
Chip makers could be hurt by glut of tablet computers. The number of companies expected to release tablet computers could lead to a glut in the market later this year, potentially hurting shares of Nvidia (NVDA) and ARM Holdings (ARMH), according to Barron’s.

General Mills, Inc. (GIS)
could yield 20%-plus over next 12 months. General Mills (GIS) is better positioned than peers to offset rising commodity prices by boosting prices, according to Barron’s. However, the company’s stock trades at a discount to the food sector, meaning investors could see a potential 20%-plus return over the next 12 months, Barron’s says.

MF Global Holdings Ltd (MF)
Don’t bet against Corzine’s efforts to transform MF Global, Barron’s says. .(MF) has fortified its capital levels and brought in Jon Corzine to run the company over the past year, according to Barron’s. Corzine’s efforts to broaden MF’s capabilities and transform the company should not be bet against.

QLogic Corporation (QLGC)
Teton Advisors CEO Nick Galluccio believes many small-cap stocks are undervalued, specifically Webster Financial Corporation (WBS), First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG) and QLogic (QLGC), according to Barron’s.

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) (Barrons admits they were way off on there bearish view in Dec)
In movie terms, you could say our negative call in late December on Netflix, the online movie-rental company, has been a horror flick. The stock has jumped 30% just since Jan. 26, when Netflix announced fourth-quarter results that beat expectations, as customers to its subscription service topped 20 million. In addition, prominent short sellers Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue of T2 Partners covered their position last week, explaining in a widely read report that they no longer had confidence in their investment thesis.

Agrium Inc. (AGU)
A Return Visit To Earlier Stories: Agrium Holders Are Poised To Harvest More Gains. Everything’s been coming up roses for Agrium since we flagged the Calgary, Alberta-based fertilizer company in the spring of 2009. Things are so rosy, in fact, that the company’s shares (ticker: AGU) have more than doubled, to a recent 97, since the publication of our story (“A Fertilizer Play That Is Dirt Cheap,” April 20, 2009).

Agrium might not be dirt cheap any- more, but the stock isn’t expensive and could continue to rally. “It is reasonable that Agrium will retest its prior highs of 115 [a share] in the U.S., and it could well happen within the first half of this year,” says Fred Sturm, lead manager of Ivy Global Natural Resources Fund, which initiated a position in the fourth quarter.

By: Timothy Kelleher

Disclosure: No positions mentioned

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