Monday, November 20, 2006

Sparky News

Today was a busy day for stocks in the Finance Wonk Buy List.

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Apple Computer has all but verified the upcoming iPhone (also here) and the buzz is great. Just this week, the Taiwanese financial daily, Commercial Times, reported that Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. (Taiwan:2317.TW - News) is building the iPhone. Meanwhile fairly solid rumors say Broadcom will be providing the codec chips. I was an engineering grad student alongside many of the founding members of Broadcom while they were starting up (and almost wound up a member of the group working with Henry Samueli that founded the company, darnit) -- but I'm not saying that I've heard anything from the horse's mouth because that might get someone in trouble (see the bit about the apple lawsuit a bit further down).

At this point I almost worry the buzz will be too much for the phone. It will be hard for the iPhone to live up to the hype, but a solid design will truly add a lot to the companies bottom line. Right now with the recent runup AAPL stock is about correctly valued for a rosy future. If the iPhone is anything other than a blockbuster it might be time to sell on the news when the iPhone comes out. I'll be monitoring the situation closely.

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IPSCo Steel had a great day. Up 6% based on the buyout of Oregon Steel by Evraz (after I recommended again last thursday that people should get in). This sparked a revaluation of many steel companies based on potential buyout prices. I think the jump is probably getting a little ahead of the market, so I sold a few covered calls at out-of-the-money strike prices. [This means that if IPS doesn't keep climbing pretty steeply I'll collect a premium and still hold the stock, and if IPS continues jumping steeply I'll be forced to take profits at a good price.]

I still think IPS is a good buy at current prices or thereabouts, I just don't expect it to get into triple digits before next calendar year.
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