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A selection of some of the most intriguing stock newsletter suggestions on the Web. The items presented do not represent the views of; rather, the collection is offered as a service to our members who may be scanning the Web for stock-related information.


William Schaff


Between its purchase of

Tele-Communications Inc.


and its telephony joint venture with

Time Warner




(T) - Get Free Report

will be in a position to provide cable telephony services to 40% of U.S. homes, says William Schaff, chief investment officer of

Bay Isle Financial Corp.

in San Francisco.

AT&T's strong move to break into the Baby Bell's local phone monopoly is a signal that CEO C. Michael Armstrong isn't "waiting for regulators to dictate his business for him," says Schaff. Despite increasing competition for its share of the long-distance market, AT&T is a $53 billion "powerhouse" in the telecommunications sector, has a great franchise name and is still the largest long-distance carrier in the U.S., he says.

The big payoff for AT&T is down the road when local phone service is deregulated. At that point, AT&T won't have to fork over 30% of its sales to regional Bell companies for the right to connect with their networks. At that point, AT&T's 30% cash-flow margin will be rising at the expense of the now-40% margins of the regional Bells, says Schaff.

More information can be found at:


Online Investor


Tennis shoe maker



is producing high-performance, high-quality shoes without hoopla, says

Online Investor

, while rivals


(NKE) - Get Free Report




have faltered.

K-Swiss has more than tripled its stock price in the last two years, announced a 2-for-1 stock split and increased its dividend 50%. The company just keeps producing its all-leather tennis shoe (not running shoes, basketball shoes or cross-training shoes) in its classic tone-on-tone styles. The company makes a big deal about not spending money on expensive endorsements from athletes or "flashy" marketing campaigns.

The company is much smaller than Nike and Reebok. Its market capitalization is under $200 million, and the average daily volume of shares trading is just 42,000. "If K-Swiss continues to deliver phenomenal growth like it has in the past few years, though, it's bound to show up on Wall Street's radar screen," says

Online Investor

. "With only two brokerage firms currently following it, K-Swiss could really benefit from new analyst coverage."

More information can be found at:

Imperial Chemical Industries

George Putnam



Imperial Chemical Industries


announced plans to move from bulk and industrial chemical production to higher-margin specialty chemicals and then didn't deliver fast enough, its stock took a roller-coaster ride: up to 80 from 50 last summer on the announcement, down to the 30s subsequently.

At a recent 35 7/8, the stock is at "bargain-basement levels," says turnaround expert George Putnam of

The Turnaround Letter

. Putnam maintains that ICI is doing fine, its strategy is on base and the company should "ultimately create considerable value for shareholders." Management is cutting costs and divesting business lines that don't fit. The company also acquired


(UL) - Get Free Report

specialty chemical business, raising debt levels. Nevertheless, Putnam doesn't see a problem, "unless the current businesses drop off a cliff," he says.

He recommends buying ICI up to 45.

More information can be found at:

Comfort Systems USA

Norman G. Fosback


Comfort Systems USA

(FIX) - Get Free Report

, a leading commercial and heating, ventilating and air conditioning, or HVAC, contractor, has posted steady revenue and income gains, thanks to a spate of acquisitions, says Norman Fosback of

The Insiders

, a newsletter that tracks insider buying.

The company has acquired more than 60 companies since its 1997 initial public offering and produces nearly $700 million in revenue each year. Its most recent acquisition,

Shambough & Son

, added $180 million to the total, and estimates of $1 billion in annual revenues are not far off, Fosback says.

In late December, CEO Fred Ferreira bought 1,000 shares at 16 13/16, bringing his holdings to 402,620 shares. By the end of the year, four other insiders had purchased 4,500 more shares at about the same price. Fosback says he's encouraged by the buying.

Comfort Systems should boost per-share earnings to around $1.35 this year from $1.05 last year, a better than 25% increase, according to analysts' projections. The stock is trading at a "very comfortable" 13 times earnings, Fosback says. Comfort Systems "is attractive for purchase at the insiders' average purchase price of $17 or better," says Fosback. It was trading at 16 late in the week.

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