This column was originally published on RealMoney on May 3 at 9:36 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine -- Steely Dan
Commodities and Old Economy stocks just seem to run every day.As I started this post, I decided to pull a chart of Phelps Dodge. The daily chart sure looked pretty nice, and the stock is near 52-week highs. Then I noticed the market cap: $18,000,000,000. Eighteen billion dollars. If you buy PD in the open market today, that's how much you're paying for this company, which employs a business model that, in many ways, has been around for thousands of years. (Of course, the same business model was apparently worth about $500 million just about a thousand days ago.) I'm not sure $18 billion is a good price for a company that makes a product manufactured in Chinese factories that can only be run 80% of the time because of energy rationing, as my friend and mentor John Rutledge told us on Kudlow & Company recently. And $18 billion is a lot for a company whose only real competitive advantages are it has access to billions of capital that can be invested to produce a product pretty much without any sustainable pricing power, and the fact that the company is located in the most capitalistic country on Earth.
It's always been my opinion that it pays to have more -- not fewer -- expert market views and analyses when you're making investing or trading decisions. That's why I recommend you take advantage of our free trial offer to TheStreet.com's RealMoney premium Web site, where you'll get in-depth commentary and money-making strategies from over 50 Wall Street pros, including Jim Cramer. Take my advice -- try it now. At the time of publication, the firm in which Willard is a partner was net long MSFT, although positions can change at any time and without notice.