Serwer: Looking at summer stocks
Beer, wine and lawn mowers not only mean summer, but also opportunity.
Oil is at a record high again. Methinks the center will not hold, as in stocks can't stay up, or go up forever in this environment. As for Ken Lay, strange stuff. Wonder what this does to his legacy, etc.? Does he become some sort of martyr? ...
CONSTELLATION BRANDS: Ah summer time! When a well-balanced person's brain turns to thoughts of beer and wine. Wine companies include: Pacific Wine Partners, Icon Estates, Centerra Wine, and North Lake Wines. Beer brands (distribution and otherwise) include: Corona, Negra Mondelo, St. Pauli Girl (never forget your first girl), TsingTao, and others. Ticker is STZ (Charts). If you look at this stock over the past five years, you can see that it has more than doubled, whereas the market is absolutely flat. I would expect this company to continue to outperform the market, though perhaps not to this degree, over the next five years. Stock is not super pricey either.
TORO: This continues our theme of summer fun (an idea which comes courtesy of reader Deep Blue). Yes, of course, they make mowers, but also a whole line of lawn care products including irrigation systems. TTC (Charts) is the pride of Bloomington, Minn. The stock has been, dare I say, growing like a weed ... up 300 percent over the past five years. Yet no one knows the sucka! That's great! Basically this is a play on the increasing affluence of America, both in terms of more people owning fancy yards, AND golf courses. How big is that? Other summer stocks from Deep include Crocs (CROX (Charts)), Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG (Charts)), and Cedar Fair (FUN (Charts)).
FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS: This is a Canadian property and casualty insurer that's, well, controversial. The company is being sued out the whazzoo by plaintiffs' lawyers over what these firms are terming improper disclosure. FFH (Charts) has also owned a big stake in Overstock.com (Charts), another very controversial company run by Patrick Byrne. A hedge fund manager also told me that the company has had a stake in Level Three (Charts). All these stocks have been trading like crazy lately. FFH itself has become like a piece of catnip being batted around by hedge funds. The company recently released a statement saying it didn't know why the stock has been so active. Pass on this one, but watch it for amusement sake.
Loose Change: World Cup: So Paul is on track predicting France will win! Ever notice how the countries that are good in soccer aren't world powers? U.S., Russia, China, Japan are all pretty lame. Then you have France, Italy, Portugal, etc. Well, they have the food and the football!.... Sung to the tune of 'Maria' from the "Sound of Music." To wit: "What do you do about a country named North Korea....."
E-mail Andy Serwer at firstname.lastname@example.org