Betting on silver and credit cards
Silver could continue to roll and MasterCard's IPO looks good, but a perfume outfit may be stinky.
NEW YORK (Fortune) - Is Dow 12,000 coming? Record was 11,722 on Jan. 14, 2000. What's your guess? Think we'll get there this go round? Or will we go down before we break through?
SILVER: You got the silver? (Jagger/Richards, off "Let It Bleed.") You know I'm big on this stuff now. Unlike gold, silver has many industrial uses. Demand is very strong now. (Is it a coincidence that the Canadian dollar - Canada is a big silver producer - hit 90 cents for the first time since June 1978?) And remember I told you that a silver ETF was due? Well, it's here. Came out in late April, and it (Research) soared, up from $128 to $144. Or how about Western Silver (Research), up from $7 to $29 this year? Or Silver Wheaton (Research) or Standard Silver (Research)? No, it's not too late. Buy 'em by the bag!
PARALUX: This is a spicy one. Remember Perfumania? Yes, a hot (for a time) perfume company several years back. Well, its successor is PARL (Research), run by the same gentleman, Ilia Lekach. And yes, the big deal here is that it sells Paris Hilton perfume. Other than that, some say there is not a whole lot going on at this little outfit. Some wonder if there is enough to justify the company's valuation. Then there is an issue of a related party transaction between this company and another Lekach venture called Ecom Ventures. Critics say they do business with each other in a sketchy manner because both sides claimed that they received above market consideration in the same transaction. (Not possible, folks!) Some active hedge funds are playing in this one, including SAC Capital Associates, run by the elusive, the mysterious, the sensational (!) Steve Cohen. SAC owned a chunk of stock. Hmm. Wonder if we're trying to get short squeeze going? And in case you're wondering, no, I am not suggesting you buy this stock.
MASTERCARD: Priced its IPO at $40 to $43... value of the public piece will be $2.8 billion. No date was set, but it will be coming down the pipe soon. This is a very high-profile deal for Goldman Sachs - lead underwriter - and even though this business is very much tapped out (though it's a nice annuity based model), I think this particular transaction will be a success, if for nothing else that both Master and Goldman will make it so. And I'm not talking about a one-day wonder here. I'm talking about a nice year or so, then a "you are on your own" kind of deal. By the way, MasterCard's ticker can't be MC... unfortunately for the big card, that's already taken by Matsushita Electric (which is up fourfold since 2003... hmm.) So it's MA. By the way, this IPO was delayed so that company CEO Bob Selander could recover from prostate cancer. Bottom line: I think this could work out really well, even if you don't get in on the IPO.
Loose Change: So Apple beat back the record companies and is keeping the price of iTunes songs at 99 cents a song. Was there ever any doubt?... Remember the SF band Chrome? Yikes!
E-mail Andy Serwer at email@example.com
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