With the dollar weak internationally, particularly compared with the euro, an effective investment strategy is to locate companies with growth potential abroad.
A common theme among the companies reporting strong profits recently is a strong presence in Europe. That's because the weak dollar makes American products more attractive to foreign buyers, while at the same time the revenue generated abroad has a corresponding effect on the earnings reports back home.
Adding this approach to my highly effective strategy of locating beaten-down stocks, I believe today's pick,
Varian Medical Systems
, makes for an excellent deep-in-the-money call play.
The stock had hard times this year, as earnings suffered and competitors moved ahead in technology. Varian designs and manufactures radiological equipment for the treatment of cancer. Recently the company announced that it is opening a new hub for its international locations in Switzerland. This provides for significant tax benefits, but additionally, it provides Varian Medical with a centrally located strategic base in Europe.
Varian has also made great strides in increasing the capacity of its own technology, while at the same time improving its bottom-line profitability. While the company increased its revenue guidance for the third quarter, the profit expectation decreased because of one-time tax charges.
Investors should note that revenue is on the rise, and future tax rates will be lower from the restructuring in Europe after the one-time charges. This now puts Varian Medical in the same ballpark with competitors such as
Koninklijke Philips Electronics
, an Amsterdam-based electronics company involved in health care, medical systems and technology, and
, which also competes in this area.
The company's stock has exceptionally strong fundamentals, including a 33% return on equity and an operating cash flow of $255.7 million. CIBC World Markets analyst Amit Hazan recently upgraded Varian, claiming that if orders are stable or increase, the company could very well beat analysts' expectations over the next few years.
With the moves Varian has made, I believe the company is once again in an excellent position to move back up. Varian closed Wednesday's trading session at $41.90, and I will place an order to buy 10 November 35s (VARKG) for $7.90 or better.
Game of Life
In major league baseball, inclement weather forced the postponement or delay of several games last night. Nonetheless, the Mets maintain a slim lead over the Phillies in the National League East with an important four-game series between the two coming this weekend. I would not be surprised if my two former teams produce some fireworks on the field, in addition to the postgame fireworks scheduled for Citizens Bank Park.
In the NL Central, the Brewers continue to enjoy a comfortable margin in a division in which the remaining five clubs are playing below .500 ball. It should be mentioned that the Chicago Cubs, riding a six-game winning streak, are now within one game of .500. The three-team race in the NL West between the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres continues to yield a different division leader every few days.
In the AL East, the Red Sox continue to maintain a double-digit lead over the Blue Jays, as the Yankees have begun to fade again. The AL Central has the Tigers leading the Indians by the slimmest of margins, half a game. The Angels lead the AL West with a five-game cushion over the resurgent Mariners, who have won five straight.
As we in the U.S. prepare to celebrate our Independence Day, our friends in England are enjoying the first week of Wimbledon. To date, there have been no major upsets; however, three-time champion Venus Williams had to go three sets and was down in the third set 4-5 to beat Russian teenager Alla Kudryavtseva, who was playing her first match at Wimbledon.
The locals were particularly enamored with the victory by Britain's own Tim Henman, who defeated Carlos Moya in five sets, winning the fifth set 13-11.
In the sport known as football all around the world, the U.S. defeated Mexico at Soldier Field on Sunday to win the Gold Cup final. The face of U.S. soccer, Landon Donovan, scored his 34th international goal to tie him with Eric Wynalda as the U.S.' career leader. Furthermore, it validated Bob Bradley, the first-year U.S. coach who has gone with youth and has been rewarded with a 10-0-1 start to help the Americans resurrect themselves after their first-round elimination from the World Cup last year.
As most of us know, Indianapolis is renowned for the greatest car race, the Indianapolis 500. Last weekend, speed of the two-legged variety took center stage at the USA track and field championships.
Tyson Gay, the new superstar of U.S. sprinting, doubled in the 100 and 200 meters, running the fastest single-meet 100-200 double in history by recording 9.84 seconds in the 100 and a 19.62 in the 200, the second-fastest 200 run ever, with only the great Michael Johnson's world record of 19.32 at the 1996 Olympics being better.
Tonight, NBA fans get to experience yet again the draft pundits who will analyze every aspect of the potential draftees in the NBA draft. It is a foregone conclusion that Greg Oden and Kevin Durant will be the first two picks in the draft. However, there remains some uncertainty as to which order they will go.
Thereafter, it is anticipated that there could be some draft picks traded in order to facilitate the trading of superstars such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. Moreover, it is always interesting to see where the foreign players will go in the draft. The wild card this year would seem to be Yi Jianlian, a seven-footer from China.
The Players Club appreciates the anticipation and excitement experienced by the draftees, as well as the anxiety and uncertainty of the teams picking them. After all, the team is making a substantial investment in a youngster who could potentially make or break their franchise.
Undeniably, despite the sophisticated tools available to teams today, there is no such thing as a guarantee on investment. In contradistinction, The Players Club, by guaranteeing recurring cash flow through our strategic partner, will ensure that our players' investment will be devoid of uncertainty.
Always Remember: Life is a journey; enjoy the ride!
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
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.