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Ticker Shock: Pfizer May Seek Merger; Steve Jobs, Apple Feeling Fine


Monday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.


Is it just me, or did this past weekend go a little too fast?

One quick thought before we get started: My youngest daughter recently had a birthday, and one of the things my wife and I gave her was a toy puppy that walks and -- I'm told -- swims. No joke - it took me close to 15 minutes to get the thing out of the box for her. Seriously, why do they pack toys these days as if they're going to have to survive a fall from an airplane?

Anyway, Asian markets rose as we slumbered. The Hang Seng was up more than 3%, and the Nikkei was up more than 2%. European stocks however were showing me some red earlier this morning. And here in the US we are currently trading lower.

Here's what's got my eye this morning.

Monaco Coach (MNC):
With shares trading in the sub-$1 range and Wall Street apparently expecting a bunch of red ink, the Oregon-based RV-maker disseminated a press release, saying that it "intends to consider a variety of financial and strategic alternatives including joint ventures, mergers or other strategic transactions, with a focus on improving liquidity and maintaining its strong balance sheet."

Also per the release: "it has engaged Imperial Capital, LLC as a financial advisor to assist with its evaluation of strategic alternatives."

I'm not all that surprised - but I am left wondering what might happen to other recreational vehicle/motor home companies (See Here Lies the Winnebago for more on this.)

Winnebago (WGO) is trading in roughly the mid-single digits and is expected to lose money in the current year. I plan on steering clear (no pun intended) of that stock at this point.

Ohio-based Thor Industries (THO) is trading near it's 52-week low; however, it's expected to post a profit in the current year.

This doesn't mean I'll be buying the stock. After all, I remain concerned about consumers' willingness to spend their money on bigger ticket items. But if I had to be in 1 of the 3 aforementioned stocks right now, this would be it.

Pfizer (PFE):
There was an interesting article in the Financial Times this past weekend discussing the well-known drug company, which is reportedly "willing to acquire a large rival drug company to improve its financial health."

Pfizer marrying with another company might make sense, and perhaps bring some much-needed life back into the stock. Furthermore, this news alone could spur some interest in the shares.

My question: If Pfizer wants to scoop up another company, how much leverage will it have right now, given its lowly share price?

Just as an FYI - Amgen (AMGN) is a name currently being tossed around.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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