Dykstra: Jolting Returns at Ametek

The September calls in this company should pay off.
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The end of last week proved profitable for the deep-in-the-money calls strategy. On Thursday, McDermott (MDR) - Get Report and Rowan (RDC) both reached their good-till-canceled sell price, and on Friday United Technologies rounded third for its second score in the past month. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report was also filled for a $1,000 win.

Today I want to turn your attention to

Ametek

(AME) - Get Report

, a rock-solid company based in Paoli, Pa. (It just happens to be next to Devon, Pa., the town I lived in for eight years when I played for the Fighting Phillies.)

Ametek specializes in a variety of electronic instruments, and it has delivered double-digit growth for each of the past three years, with all indications pointing to continued growth. With its presence in more than 30 countries, foreign sales account for nearly half of Ametek sales and should continue to rise through expansion into new foreign markets.

Most of the company's sales come from its electronic instruments group. That group sells monitoring, calibration and display devices to aerospace, heavy equipment and power-generation companies and other industrial markets. The company also operates an electromechanical group.

Ametek enjoys high profit margins because it serves niche markets, which means its products compete on the strength of features rather than price. As a result, Ametek can focus on producing the best products without worrying about undercutting cost.

Acquiring companies is a key component of Ametek's expansion strategy. It says it seeks businesses that can distinguish their products in the same way that Ametek does, allowing the company to benefit from the higher profit margins in niche markets.

Look for the benefits of the company's product strength and acquisitions to shine when it reports earnings before the bell on Thursday. For my trade, I am going all the way out to the September 30s (AMEIF) to buy 10 calls, and I will place a GTC (good till cancelled) buy order at $5.40, or better. The stock closed Friday at $34.24.

Also:

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

is showing some strength in the premarket; keep an eye on it today. This is a

current pick

that might give readers a chance for a fill.

Game of Life

Yesterday saw many players, and some whole teams, with their uniforms adorned with the No. 42 in salute to Jackie Robinson, a gem of a man who broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947.

It has been 60 years since Branch Rickey, president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers at that time, had the intestinal fortitude to select Jackie Robinson as the first African-American to don a major league baseball uniform. Unfortunately, Robinson's phenomenal athletic prowess did little to curtail the racial epithets and denigrating remarks hurled at him daily.

But Robinson not only endured, he excelled, leading the Dodgers to six National League pennants in 10 years, and a World Series title in 1955. Moreover, he removed the deadbolt from the door, allowing greats such as Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Henry Aaron, Willie McCovey, Bob Gibson, Joe Morgan and many others to follow in his enormous footsteps.

Because of the indelible imprint he left, Robinson's No. 42 was retired by Major League Baseball 10 years ago. But on Sunday, major leaguers paid homage to that number and the man who had it emblazoned on his back, as he shouldered an unfathomable load.

Jackie Robinson's true identity, as well as his legacy, have been firmly entrenched in the American consciousness for decades. He was, quite simply, a pioneer, who cut and cultivated a path such that those of similar ancestry could not only follow, but prosper.

The Players Club recognizes the tremendous sacrifices that all athletes endure in order to achieve their goals. Jackie Robinson, through his incredible sacrifice and courage, ensures that the generations who followed would be provided with the opportunity to excel. The Players Club endeavors to do the same, by providing recurring cash flow through our strategic partner, such that athletes' offspring are given ample opportunity to flourish.

Always remember

: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!

At the time of publication, Dykstra was long Amgen.

Nicknamed "Nails" for his tough style of play during his Major League Baseball career, Lenny Dykstra was an integral member of the powerful Mets of the mid-1980s, including the world champion 1986 squad, and the Phillies in the early 1990s.

Today, Dykstra manages his own stock portfolio and serves as president of several of his privately held companies, including car washes; a partnership with Castrol in "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers; a state-of-the-art ConocoPhillips fueling facility; a real estate development company; and a new venture to develop several "I Sold It on eBay" stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California.