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What's Cooking at Kraft

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The company with the recipe for success.

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I had the privilege of sitting next to a serial cougher last night on the bus ride home, and now my throat's scratchy. Terrific -- just in time for the holidays.

Asian stocks slumped overnight. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were off 1.23% and 0.22%, respectively. European stocks were in negative territory earlier this morning, too. And here in the US, we're currently trading lower.

Here's what I'm seeing this morning:

Kraft (KFT):
Will Kraft and Cadbury link up? I don't know how this whole situation is going to cook up, but I continue to be a big fan of Kraft either way.

Why?

1. Its dividend, its worldwide reputation, its brands (which will rock with the economy rebounding), the fact that it's pounded estimates the last three quarters, and the fact that 2009 and 2010 estimates have been rising are just a few are the things that get me excited.

2. I'm looking past all this Cadbury news. In fact, I can't wait till it's out of the way and we can focus more on earnings.

For my last take on the company, see Ticker Shock: Why Kraft Is Still Sweet Without Cadbury.

Oracle (ORCL):
Are Oracle and Sun Microsystems (JAVA) finally sitting in a tree?

The chatter on the Street yesterday was that the Europeans could ultimately give a thumbs up to an Oracle/Sun combo, and not surprisingly, the shares of both companies traded up in Monday's session.

My thoughts:

1. My guess is this deal gets done, and there could be some positives with such a marriage, including cost savings. So I'm not overly concerned one way or the other.

2. I remain a fan of Oracle regardless of whether or not it exchanges vows with Sun. Not only do I think the shares have plenty of room to run long-term, but short-term, this company scratches me right where I itch. It's beat estimates in two of the last four quarters (which is decent), has a great management team, and has the potential to grow its earnings per share in and around a double-digit percentage clip each year over the next few years. A link-up with Sun would simply be whipped cream and a cherry on top of this cone.

For my previous take on the company, see An Oracle Pummeling Could Be Your Opportunity, as well as today's article, A Look at Oracle's Near Future.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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