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Seven Stocks That Rise With the Temperatures

Editor's Note: Every couple of months, Jon Markman answers his mail as readers implore, "Hey Modelman!" The mail continues to pour in on lousy corporate CEOs and their excessive pay. But first, something different.

Hey Modelman: You used to write about stocks that had a tendency to go up in a certain month -- the HIMARQ model described in your book. What does it look like for July or August?

Modelman: In July, two stocks with perfect records for the month are J2 Global Communications (JCOM), up 20% on average over four years, and Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH), which is six for its last six with an average gain of 17% during the month.

For August, perfect scores have been posted by First Horizon Pharmaceutical (FHRX), four for four with an average gain of 44%; WebEx Communications (WEBX), also four for four with an average gain of 24.6%; Praecis Pharmaceuticals (PRCS), four for four and up 22%; Mobile TeleSystems (MBT), four for four and up 21.8%; and Kensey Nash (KNSY), which is eight for its last eight Augusts for an average gain of 20%.

Let's take a closer look at small-cap Kensey Nash, which has the longest August winning streak here. It makes specialty medical devices in the cardiovascular market, including such products as Angio-Seal Vascular Closure Device, which seals and closes femoral artery punctures made during diagnostic and therapeutic cardiovascular catheterizations.

Its sports medicine products include meniscal repair tacks, ACL and rotator cuff repair screws, and a rotator cuff repair patch. On a more exotic plane, Kensey Nash also develops and manufactures synthetic biomaterials for use by orthopedic, dental and vascular surgeons.

In April, the company reported record results for its fiscal third quarter and lifted estimates for its fourth quarter. It reported total revenue up 35% to $15.8 million and net income up 78% to $3.5 million. Later this month, analysts expect the company to report that income rose another 50% to a level that would put its forward price/earnings multiple at around 30 -- a little below its historic average. The big news on the horizon is the potential for FDA approval of a major new product, the TriActiv System. Already approved for use in Europe, it helps cardiac surgeons create better vein grafts when performing bypass surgery.

Kensey Nash shares have backed off the historic high of $36.85 set last month to around $32. They're up 35% in 2004, well ahead of the pace of their medical appliances industrial group. These stocks are up 12% this year. With a little help from the overall market, they should be able to hold around this level for the rest of the month before potentially fulfilling the destiny of past Augusts.

A 20% gain, if it materializes, would put shares around $38 by the end of summer, which seems reasonable. Certainly the company seems on track to get to $40 or better by the end of the year, even if there's a hitch with TriActiv. That would put it over the $500 million mark in market capitalization.

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