Skip to main content

Sunday's Little Letters, Big Ideas

A selection of some of the most intriguing stock newsletter suggestions on the Web.

By David Landis
Special to


Money Talks


(DD) - Get DuPont de Nemours Inc. Report

may be on the verge of a sea change in its profit structure, reports former

New York Times

financial columnist Robert Metz, and that may make the chemical giant an attractive buy even while trading at or near its all-time high.

Citing a report by

Morgan Stanley

analyst Leslie Ravitz, Metz says Life Sciences, now a relatively minor DuPont division, could grow to account for 40% of after-tax income in five years. The major components of the burgeoning Life Sciences business are pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Pharmaceutical sales, through a partnership with


(MRK) - Get Merck & Company Inc. Report

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

, could hit $6 billion in about five years. The partnership already has produced Cozaar, an antihypertensive drug with projected 1997 sales of more than $600 million. Two other promising drugs, DMP 266, an HIV therapy, and DMP 754, a cardiovascular medication, are in clinical trials. In agriculture, a refocusing from herbicides to biotechnology could triple sales to $7.5 billion in 10 years. Shareholders could start seeing the results within two years.

DuPont shares are now trading in the low 60s, and Ravitz is looking for a $70 stock, based on a price-to-earnings ratio of 15 on her 1999 earnings estimate of $4.60 per share.

More information can be found at

Omniquip International

Standard & Poor's

Shares of

Omniquip International


, maker of telescopic construction equipment, are up more than 60% since a March IPO. And with a backlog of orders that jumped to $116 million at the end of second quarter from $77 million the previous quarter, prospects are bright enough to earn Omniquip Stock of the Week honors from

Standard & Poor's


The Port Washington, Wis., firm is the largest North American manufacturer of telescopic material handlers, which are particularly useful in rough terrain or cramped construction sites where cranes and forklifts have difficulty maneuvering. Customers include residential and commercial builders as well as the military. The stock went public at $14 a share and was trading around 23 last week.

Notes S&P: "The share price is above its 50-day moving average and recently broke out of consolidation to post an all-time high." Still, shares sell for just 17 times projected '97 earnings and 13 times projected '98 earnings, based on consensus estimates of $1.40 for '97 and $1.77 for '98.

More information can be found at

Arterial Vascular

San Francisco Chronicle

Arterial Vascular Engineering


is a small Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company that hopes to ride the boom in sales of coronary stents. The market for the small metal devices that prop open arteries unclogged by angioplasty is believed to be $800 million in the U.S. alone.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

rules the market, but other contenders are emerging. Just last week,


(MDT) - Get Medtronic plc. Report


Food and Drug Administration

approval to sell its own stent. Arterial Vascular, with annual sales of $55 million, mostly in Europe, is expected to apply for FDA approval in August.

The potential for breaking into the U.S. market has driven share prices above 30 from a low of 10 last October, and

Goldman Sachs

analyst Lawrence Keusch recently upgraded his recommendation to market outperform with a 12-month target of 45. Still,

San Francisco Chronicle

columnist Herb Greenberg urges caution. The medical device industry, he says, "is notorious for sucking investors in with overly ambitious stories." He also notes that by the time Arterial Vascular gets FDA approval next year, the U.S. market could be crowded with competitors, forcing down prices.

More information can be found at


DBC StockWatch


(NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report

earnings stumble last week may be a signal it's time to run with the stock, say analysts surveyed by

DBC StockWatch


The sportswear giant's fourth-quarter profits, announced Tuesday, fell a penny short of the

First Call

consensus estimate of 53 cents a share. But even while lowering her fiscal 1998 earnings forecast to $2.95 from $3.20,

Goldman Sachs'

Margaret Mager noted in a report, "We continue to rate Nike a market outperformer."

Robertson Stephens

urged investors to "look for attractive entry points in the low 50s." The stock was trading in the high 50s at week's end. And

Alex. Brown's

Marcia Aaron and Joseph Grillo said that despite slowing U.S. footware sales, prospects remain "very bright," particularly internationally.

More information can be found at

Frank Barnako, the regular contributor of this feature, is on vacation.

The items presented above 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.

Previous Sunday's Little Letters Features

June 29.

June 22.

June 15.