Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four Stocks to Look at on a Quiet and Boring Trading Day: MSFT, CRYP, EPCT, MSBT

Although it was a small and largely insignificant dip by the tech giant on Tuesday, I added some shares of Microsoft (MSFT) as it dipped below $23. Microsoft is not the dominant giant in the tech sector that it once was and will always face constant competition from Google (GOOG) and Apple(APPL), but with all that cash on hand the software giant will always be a player through innovation and/or acquisitions.

Microsoft, in an attempt to challenge Google's dominance in the web-search arena, also recently launched an upgraded search engine at bing.com. Although I don't foresee Microsoft's new search engine unseating Google's dominance in the web-search arena, there is a chance that Bing, with some nifty 'scroll-over' previews and initial hype, could steal market share from Google. If that happens, more advertising dollars will roll in to the MSFT coffers.

To try out the new Bing service, I 'binged' "VFC's Stock House" and the results spit out pretty much the same pages as a Google search, with some minor variations. While the Bing page looks a less cluttered (post-search) than Google's, there's nothing significantly different at Bing that would prod web-surfers to switch search engines; aside from those that just like to jump on-board the 'next hip thing.'

That being said, I don't do a whole lot of web searching so I may not be the best judge of Bing's effectiveness. To be clear, my long term investment is based on the power of Microsoft as a whole and not on the launch of a new search engine.

My shares of MSFT are tucked away in the 'safe' and dividend-yielding portion of my portfolio for the long term- barring any unforeseen trouble by the company.

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CRYP: As shares of Cryptologic (CRYP) dipped below six bucks I took the opportunity to add to my position. Cryptologic is on the rebound and the company has been solidifying it's licensing and development contracts after the stock took a dive in the last half of last year.

Additionally, if Barney Frank's proposed legislation to once again legalize online gambling in the United States comes to fruition, CRYP could be looking at a double on that news alone.

Another benefit to owning CRYP is the fact that the company still pays a dividend, all-be-it, a small one.

Definitely not as attractive a stock as it was when it was trading for $2, the potential for significent percentage gains is still there.

Buy the dips.

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EPCT: Shares of Epicept (EPCT) dipped below sixty cents on Tuesday, triggering a limit BUY order that I had in place.

I still remain positive on the potential of this stock, mainly based on the brain cancer drug, Azixa, that Epicept has partnered with Myriad Genetics (MYGN), but my patience is wearing thin while waiting for news of a Ceplene partner in Europe.

The Ceplene partner, barring any updates on Azixa, is the potential short-term mover for EPCT, but slowly I'm beginning to write Ceplene off.

I'm satisfied with my position of EPCT and it's likely that today's dip below sixty cents will be the last time that I add for the time being.

However, I remain long EPCT.

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MSBT.ob: Medasorb Technologies (MSBT.ob) is a risk- a risk placed solely on the progression of the company's treatment for Sepsis, Cytosorb, which is currently being tested for effectiveness in Europe.

Although the company claims to expect a revenue stream for Cytosorb by the end of 2010, the success or failure of this company and it's 'blood-cleaning' product is highly speculative.

As I like to say, money spent on shares of a speculative play such as MSBT.ob is money you would have spent on a night on the town. If MSBT proves successful, you will have gained huge percentage gains; if it fails, you saved yourself a hangover.

The stock dropped to below six cents on Tuesday, and I added shares at that point.

Disclosure: VFC has long positions in MSFT, EPCT, CRYP and MSBT.

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