For Some Winners, Check the Supermarket Shelves

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By Jamie Heller
Executive Editor

This week's review of our own picks and pans yields some winners in the food and drug area and some, let's say, nonwinners among the financials.

Since reporter Suzanne Kapner's upbeat piece about two natural food markets

Jan. 21, the companies have been hitting the acquisition trail, to Wall Street's pleasure.

Wild Oats

(OATS)

bought

Squash Blossom

and

Oasis Fine Foods

and is now up 8%. Similarly,

Whole Foods

(WFMI)

acquired

Bread of Life

and is up 20%.

On the biotech front, reporter Andrew Morse provided some healthy skepticism

Monday as

Organogenesis

(ORG) - Get Report

got a 21% stock price boost from some favorable news about Canadian regulatory approvals. Morse pointed out hurdles that the firm continues to face, and sure enough the stock has fallen 8% since then.

Some stocks that Morse took a look at last season are holding their own.

Osteotech

(OSTE)

is up 12% to 7 13/16 since a bullish story

Dec. 23, and

PathoGenesis

(PGNS)

is up 6% to 26 1/2 since an upbeat review

Jan. 30.

We cannot boast of the same success rate this week with the financials. Reporter Erle Norton was right on with his assessment of

Onbancorp

(ONBK)

last month. Since Norton suggested that the rising stock had seen its top, it's fallen 8%. But three stocks that enjoyed more favorable Norton reviews have a mixed record:

First Empire State

(FES)

is down less than 1%,

Beneficial

(BNL)

is nearly flat and

BancTec

(BTC)

is down 6%.

Taking a look at some specific equities, rather than sectors, we've got a good report on

Republic Industries

(RWIN)

. Reporter Avi Stieglitz saw through the hype surrounding Wayne Huizenga's auto giant with a piece pointing out some roadblocks it faced. The stock is down 23% since the

Feb. 28 story. But Stieglitz's timing was off with

Just For Feet

(FEET)

. Stieglitz suggested that the momentum managers' flogging had created a buying opportunity. As it turned out, the punishment hadn't ended. Since the

Feb. 25 story the stock is down 27%.

On the software front, our beat reporter Justin Lahart -- among others -- did not anticipate that

Rational Software

(RATL)

would buy

Pure Atria

(PASW)

. While Rational's stock had held its own since Lahart's March 11 story, the announcement this week shaved off more than a third of its value. Ouch!

Lahart, however, did take notice of one potentially profitable phenomenon as earnings season arrives. In a

story Friday he pointed out that CEOs on

CNBC

usually have some good news to discuss. Let's put it this way: They ain't seeking out Mark Haines for turnaround advice. So take a look at our TV Tipsheet (in the left-hand column on the home page) to see who's on the talking heads schedule each day.

And if you think we're talking off the top of our heads, or are right on target, don't hesitate to squawk. Reach us by emailing

feedback@thestreet.com.