Editor's Note: Tim Brown is a former National Football League player and Heisman Trophy winner. During the last two decades, he was one of the most prolific wide receivers in pro sports for the Raiders, earning him the nickname "Mr. Raider." He is taking the same skills he applied on the field and applying them to his stock picking prowess here in a regular column for TheStreet.com
Sports fans will likely recognize me from my years with the National Football League's Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders. I spent the bulk of my career in the silver and black after winning the Heisman trophy with Notre Dame.
However, since my retirement from the gridiron, I have been involved in a number of different ventures, including the stock market. And just like I sized up opposing defenses, I have taken to scanning public the financials of public companies and trying to spot strengths and weaknesses. Having played alongside some of the all-time greats, like Jerry Rice, I know how to spot a winner both on and off the field.
Today is my first shot at writing a column for
. I will be a regular, and I will try and point out stocks that I think are worth backing. I've had some success with my own portfolio and I am hoping to share some of my insight with you the readers in a way that is both interesting and that gives you insight into my thinking. Thanks for listening and please send me your feedback.
Now, let's move on to today's pick. I am starting with the best of the best:
. Not only is this a world-class company, it is a steal at this price. It closed at $29.39 on Friday and is much closer to its 52-week low ($26.87) than it is to its high ($37.50).
The idea behind my picks is just like my approach on the field: find a weakness and exploit it. On the football field, I would look for any advantage I could get on the opposing cornerback. In this case, the weakness is not with the company, but rather with Wall Street's valuation of the company. The Street has unfairly picked on Microsoft, and we will pounce on this opportunity. Not long ago, Microsoft was trading at approximately $35.00.
But a little more than a week ago, Microsoft withdrew its bid for
. At the time, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he was withdrawing his firm's increased offer of $33 a share to acquire Yahoo! because Yahoo!'s management was looking for $37 a share. In my opinion, now is the time to grab Microsoft.
Even before the takeover talk, Microsoft was preparing a game plan to challenge
in the online advertising game. Microsoft is well behind Google in this arena, but that means they have a lot of upside. Plus, Microsoft is way out ahead of Google in the display advertising market. That area should grow much quicker than search advertising, leaving Microsoft in good shape to take advantage of that trend. If you listen to Microsoft's execs, they are talking like they are the favorites in this matchup vs. Google.
Regardless of how it plays out, I am confident Microsoft is a great play today. You can ride it to a quick 10-yard first down, or go deep and take it in for a score.
"Keep moving the Chains!"
At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.