Just one follow-up note (as promised) on the Sirius XM situation.
Just days before Sirius XM purportedly was going to default on its next loan payment, Direct TV came through with a $534 bridge loan to keep Sirius afloat so it can continue to reorganize – possibly as a takeover target for (guess who?) Direct TV.
The lifeline will keep Sirius XM out of bankruptcy (for now) and gives shareholders a shred of hope that the satellite radio pioneer can still pull the proverbial fat out of the fire.
Another follow-up, this time to my post this week spotlighting retail stocks guru Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Associates and his view of the “new normal” facing U.S. consumers. In short, he says we’re heading back to a savings-based economy, instead of a debt-driven one, and that’s going to mean some pretty serious changes on the American economic landscape.
For starters, Davidowitz expects about 220,000 stores to close in the U.S. in 2009. As more Americans save and spend less, it's clear there's too much retail space, he says on Tech Ticker this morning. He cited the Web site deadmalls.com, which track retail's growing body count, as the latest harbinger of doom. High-end retailers? They're on "life support," Davidowitz adds.
Among the marquee stores Davidowitz says are in trouble:
-- Neiman Marcus
-- Jeweler Zale Corp.
-- J.C. Penney
Technology companies may feel like they’ve dodged a bullet here, but Davidowitz also feels that retail giants like Office Max, Comp USA, and Staples, will all feel the heat. There’s just not enough consumer demand for high tech office products to go around, he explains.
Elsewhere, some more tech stock tips, this time from Henssler Equity Fund's Ted Parrish on CNBC this morning. The watchword for Parrish right now is "quality."
"We invest in high quality, and I think high quality is going to do well on the other side of all of this mess," he told CNBC.
Specifically, Parrish likes large-cap technology companies, including: Apple (AAPL); Automatic Data Processing (ADP); Oracle (ORCL); and IBM (IBM). “I think they all have defensive growth in a sense,” he adds. “Apple's product cycle's great, IBM has a huge amount of recurring revenue, but they also have great balance sheets, and they pay dividends that are stable."
One more tip today, from Ron Sloan of the AIM Charter Fund. "We're in a trend-less markets," he told CNBC today. "(The key is to) find a good, old-fashioned stock selection; do your homework; there's plenty of value out there, but it's all about selection." Sloan takes issue with those who say valuation is the name of the game. "It's earnings," he said. "Who can sell finance? Who doesn't need liquidity? Who has the plus sign in front of that organic growth rate?"
So who does Sloan like right now in the technology market?
"One of my big ideas is (anti-virus software developer) Symantec (SYM)" he said. "I love the software business right now: A free cash flow yield of 15 percent, plus new products, earnings — blue sky!"
Hey, any port in a storm . . .