Nothing harder than being given your chance. At least, that's what I hear. -- Uncle Joe from "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.I know it will come as a shock to most, but I am not a literary buff. While I may know precious little about literature, however, I do know Uncle Joe was certainly on the money with his statement. With great expectations in mind, here are my picks for the week.
Home RunPetSmart ( PETM) is the largest specialty retailer of services and products for pets. The company operates more than 760 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada, a growing number of PetsHotels, a large pet supply catalog business, and it's the Internet's leading provider of pet products and information
TripleIsraeli-based Koor Industries ( KOR) is active in the fields of telecommunications, defense electronics, agro-chemicals and other chemicals, and venture capital investment. The company provides digital telecommunications products for evolving new services and converging networks in approximately 145 countries. It also provides switching and networking products to various countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia Pacific. Koor Industries also develops and manufactures defense electronic system products for air, sea, and land deployment in approximately 25 countries.
Koor has been called the " GE ( GE) of Israel" by some commentators, and I think it can similarly be a winner for investors. From a technical perspective, I would look to buy this stock at $10.35 and sell at $14.95.
glossary for TheStreet.com's Options Alerts newsletter.)
DoubleThe American conglomerate 3M ( MMM) operates in seven segments, covering everything from health care and office supplies to safety and security. The stock is struggling to stay above its 50-day moving average, which is $73.25. If 3M doesn't hold support (and it closed Monday at $72.53) it will most likely test its 52-week low of $70.40. The play here is a deep-in-the-money call. Why spend $73,000 for 1000 shares of common stock when you can go out to January and buy a call, which is exactly what I did Monday morning! I bought a January $65 call for $8.80. Once again, you must use all your weapons when playing for big dollars. I am now in control of 1000 shares of 3M until the third Friday in January for $8.80 -- as opposed to spending approximately $73,000. There are downsides, though: Remember, nothing in life is free. The clock is working against you as the January expiration approaches -- this is known as time decay, or theta, in options parlance. You have to pull the trigger when you get a nice bounce up. Take your profit and look for the next victim! (For a list of options definitions, please check out the
SingleTC Pipeline ( TCLP) is a small pipeline company that transports natural gas in the U.S. As a holding company with exactly two investments, TC is easy to understand. Its larger investment, responsible for 86% of the firm's income last year, is its 30% stake in the Northern Border Pipeline System. Stretching 1250 miles from the Canadian border of Montana to Chicago, this system is responsible for transporting roughly 22% of the natural gas that Canada exports to the U.S.
TC Pipelines also owns a 49% general partner interest in Tuscarora Gas Transmission, which in turn owns an interstate pipeline system that originates at an interconnection point with facilities of Gas Transmission Northwest in Oregon and runs southeast through northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. Now, here comes the best part: TC Pipelines is a master limited partnership that holds a large chunk of the U.S. assets of TransCanada, the largest Canadian pipeline company. Fundamentally, TC fits
my criteria : a forward P/E of 12.7, which is lower than its ROE of 17.40%, plus free cash flow over $30 million and a minuscule debt-to-equity ratio (less than 0.1). TC trades above its 50- and 200-day moving averages, a positive technical development. And now, a quick word about some prior picks. Yahoo! (YHOO) rose over 4% last week and I sold my position on the rally. Remember, I am a trader! I lock in profits when I feel the market is volatile, as it has been lately. Pfizer (PFE) is up a hair in the past week despite a lawsuit filed last Wednesday claiming that it oversold the benefits of Lipitor and a story in The New York Times outlining the company's recent woes. I'm still bullish on this name for reasons outlined last week . Judging from some email, many readers were under the impression that I recommended buying Fannie Mae (FNM), whose shares fell hard last week on reports regulators have found more accounting fraud. In fact, I recommended deep-in-the-money calls -- the January 2007s, to be precise, after noting I didn't get filled on the January 2006s. I also wrote: "This is not the kind of stock or option I would chase, so if it doesn't come my way, so be it." I don't make excuses and I am willing to take the heat when I'm wrong, but the vitriolic finger-pointing was misplaced in this instance.