Van Kampen Merritt Value Muni Trust (VJV) ... Lufkin (LUFK) ... Masco (MAS) - Get Report ... Outback Steakhouse (OSSI) ... Xtra (XTR) ... Eastman Kodak (EK) ... Lennar (LEN) - Get Report ... Championship Auto Racing Teams (MPH) ... Pan Pacific Retail Properties (PNP) .
A random list of stocks? Hardly. That was one stretch of a stack of research that greeted me at work this morning. Every morning I get a stack of research about a foot high. It is invariably filled with lengthy documents about companies I could care less about. Like the above companies. That's because when you get down to it, the research departments of all of the major houses on the Street are pretty oblivious to the new economy. Sure they cover the ones that they brought public. That's part of the silent quid pro quo.
But for the most part research departments haven't changed a whit. They haven't embraced the new economy in a way that makes much sense. They cover hundreds of companies people aren't interested in trading and leave out hundreds of exciting new companies that we all are desperate for information about.
Of the 100-odd items of research that hit my desk today only about 23 had anything to do with the new economy. The rest are name-brand companies that are well known, that trade in small increments, that I don't have the luxury of caring about.
Right now enough people still own the old stuff that these research departments aren't total anachronisms. But it is only a matter of time before someone realizes that 80% of the companies covered shouldn't be and that there are hundreds of multibillion dollar companies that are being slighted.
There are dozens of analysts who follow smaller capitalization stocks like the airlines and the mining stocks and the appliance stocks. But how about giant multibillion dollar companies like
? Only a handful covers them. They are too new.
Wall Street research departments are badly out of touch with the new companies except the ones they have been assigned by the initial public offering process. The one that figures this out first will make a fortune and leave the others in the dust. Who will it be?
: David Dreman watch. A few weeks ago David Dreman, a Forbes columnist, bashed me for not caring about the fundamentals. Of course I took umbrage to that. I care hugely about the fundamentals; I just care about different fundamentals than he does.
But in that article, less than a month ago, he gave the market six undervalued picks that he thought would make you a whole lot more money than you would ever make by reading me. Let's check in and see how he is doing.
Ouch. Not all that well, I am afraid. Get a load of these stinkers:
was at 30, now it is 24.
was at 42, now it is 29.
First Tennessee National
just took a nasty hit, courtesy of some bookkeeping shenanigans. He liked it at 26; he must love it at 17 where it is two weeks later!
has fallen from 22 to 17.
has tumbled from 25 to 22.
, which was at 68, traded at 61 on the close of last night's trading.
The defense rests.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Ariba. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at