June 27, 2000 |
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) (Jim: Buy) (Mike: Buy) Mike: If I understand correctly, Jim, this is a company that owns every hotel in the world, right? Jim: No, just every glamorous hotel in the world. Or so Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Chief Executive Barry Sternlicht would like you to believe. Mike: Yeah, we'll get to him in a minute. All kidding aside, Starwood is one of the biggest players in the lodging world.
January 12, 1999 |
Sears, Roebuck & Co. (S) Jim: Here's a challenge, Mike: Can we discuss Sears without making some stupid play on words with its "softer side" slogan? I mean, if I see one more newspaper or magazine snicker about "the softer side" of Sears being its profit, or its fuzzy strategy, or its . . . . Mike: Don't worry, I'm happy to break the mold. But I have to tell you, I've always had a problem with Sears both as a company and a stock.
January 23, 2001 |
SBC Communications (SBC) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy * Jim: SBC Communications isn't a household name in Southern California, Michael, but everyone's familiar with its main division here--an outfit called Pacific Bell. Mike: Yeah, in the same way that a company named Vivendi is a closed book to anyone outside France, but we all know its big California property--Universal Studios.
February 1, 2000 |
FedEx Corp. (FDX) Jim: This outfit started as Federal Express and then created a holding company called FDX, which was the parent of FedEx, and now it has just changed the parent's name back to FedEx. This name nonsense, to me Mike, points up an identity crisis that's part of what's ailing this company, wouldn't you say? Mike: Yes. If FedEx stopped worrying about its name and started doing better in the delivery game, it might be much further ahead. Jim: And we'll get to that.
January 18, 2000 |
EBay (EBAY) Jim: Now, Mike, if you think the day traders who dart in and out of stocks like EBay are addicted souls, they're pikers next to what I understand are the multitudes addicted to buying and selling stuff on EBay, the online auction site. Mike: Of course EBay is now a great marketplace for all sorts of weird things. Hollywood scripts, human kidneys and, for all I know, the parts that make up a 747 jumbo jet. Jim: Then there are those really dangerous objects it handles--Beanie Babies.
December 7, 1999 |
Excite@Home (ATHM) Jim: This outfit was originally known as @Home, until it bought Internet portal site Excite not long ago. And now, Mike, Excite @Home is somewhat of an interesting animal out there in the Internet world. Mike: Yes, it's a camel. And thanks for that straight line. This is the quintessential company designed by a committee. Jim: Yikes! And I was going to be charitable and just call it a hybrid. Mike: First, though, let me make full disclosure.
August 15, 2000 |
Kmart (KM) * Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy Jim: I'm getting tired of this story, Mike. Here's yet another big, lumbering retailer that's going nowhere. Kmart, just like Sears and J.C. Penney, is restructuring itself yet again to try to get its earnings and stock price back up. To which I say: Good luck. Mike: Stop whining, Jim. To me, Kmart today sort of defines the youth movement. For starters, it has a new, 40-year-old chief executive, one Charles Conaway.
October 26, 1999 |
Dayton Hudson (DH) Jim: Now here's what you'd call a department store conglomerate, Mike. Dayton Hudson, with about $30 billion-plus in sales, has 1,200 stores in 44 states, but they serve all range of pocketbooks. Mike: Right. Dayton Hudson is everything from soup to nuts. Or to put it another way, everything from consomme to lobster bisque. Jim: The lobster bisque being Marshall Field's, which is mainly in the Midwest and East, along with Dayton's.
October 31, 2000 |
AT&T (T) Jim: Buy Mike: Don't buy * Mike: We're looking only at AT&T today, Jim. We've reviewed it before, but now it's very much in the news again and in the hearts and minds of investors everywhere. Jim: And what a perfect stock for Halloween, Mike, because this one is a nightmare. Mike: First, I want to take credit for one of the world's greatest "to be sures," which as you know is a term of art in our business.
April 11, 2000 |
Microsoft (MSFT) JIM: (Don't Buy) MIKE: (Buy) * Jim: Well, Mike, we're taking another look at Microsoft today, and it's only the second time we've revisited a stock we've already reviewed. Mike: Ironically, the first time was when we reconsidered Microsoft's archrival, Apple Computer. We both recommended Microsoft's stock last summer, but it seems there's been a spot of news lately that warrants a chat about whether the stock is still a buy.