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Batman, Industry On Imax's Side


Bigger "experiences" means bigger profits.


Greetings from New York, where I consider myself to be an "Idea Guy" by nature. That may sound like a boast, but it's actually more of an unattractive whine. There's no internal quality filter on my ideas: They just flow forth in a way that makes occupying the space between my ears deafening - kind of like being in the middle of a flock of geese, or a particularly bad fraternity party.

Don't worry - I do have an actual investing idea in mind, and it's this: I'm fresh out of ideas on how to play the trading moves, given our current point in the recovery rally.

I don't want to buy Friday's trends. The financials I might have cared to add going into this morning all popped at the open, and are still rolling over as I type. I'll pass on buying a 2% drop in Lehman (LEH) when it's still up 50% for the last week.

Tech trades? Lousy. The good news is getting sold in more "boring" longs like Hasbro (HAS) - but not so much that I might be inclined to add.

We're back to summer trading, in other words, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to pick through it for opportunities. To that end, here's what I'm mulling:

  • Batman did crazy, crazy box office. In theory, this is good news for Mattel (MAT). In reality, and despite a PG-13 rating, this version of the Dark Knight is the antithesis of a kiddie flick. There's no "Batusi" going on in this one, Minyans. The toy tie-ins will be collectibles; a lucrative but smaller market than you'd get from a more kid-friendly title. Between Mattel winning the rights to trampy Bratz dolls last week and the success of Batman this week, Mattel has improved as a company but has sold zero additional toys to the Macke Household.

  • What does win as a stock? How about Imax (IMAX), selling out theaters everywhere. The company is rebuilding after a failed deal two years ago, but the trend is its friend in the movie industry (bigger pictures, bigger screens, bigger "experiences"). Put 'em on a list if and when the stock starts consolidating.

  • Apple (AAPL) is trading like pure misery today and for the last week, despite the fact that the company will hold its quarterly estimate-stomping earnings call tonight. Today's NY Post touches on one of the issues facing the company: The health of Steve Jobs.

    The man gets much justified credit for turning Apple around - perhaps too much credit, for the sake of the stock. As Karen Finerman noted in Fast Money: No CEO, not even Warren Buffett, is more important to his stock than Steve Jobs.

    Apple is one of the least forthcoming public companies - a good thing, when it comes to beating estimates quarter after quarter. But it works against a stock when your most important employee's health is in question and no one can name number 2.

  • Yahoo (YHOO) is reporting tomorrow. If Google (GOOG) is suffering a little ad spending malaise, one shudders to think of the misery going on at Yahoo on a fundamental basis.

    You can argue the Icahn effect until you're blue in the face, but I'm sticking with my Yahoo sell after the Microsoft (MSFT) bid, declaring victory over Yahoo and running as fast as possible away from the name.

  • Obviously I have no victory to declare on Microsoft itself. At this point, I'd settle for a bad plan from Microsoft - anything but this perpetual waffling and whining about Chinese piracy.
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Position in HAS, MSFT

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