Barron's weekend summary: Cover positive on CBS and speculates about it buying VIAB; positive on COF, SAVE
Cover story: Amid ongoing turmoil at VIA, simple management changes, such as the departure of interim chief executive Tom Dooley, won't be enough to fix the problems; The company should consider a sale, with CBS the most natural buyer-though the network's investors will likely prosper with or without such a deal. With or without a Viacom deal, CBS shares might double in the next 4 years.
1) Positive on COF: Firm's skillful loan underwriting and its growing commitment to credit cards that offer rewards have put it in a strong competitive position relative to other issuers and regional banks;
2) Positive on SAVE: Though rivals have adapted some of the discount carrier's business strategies, both the fares it charges and the share price should rise soon, giving earnings a boost.
Technology Trader: Positive on DLPH, MAG: Automotive parts makers play a key role in the development of new cars, so their shares-which have reasonable valuations-are a good way for investors to gain exposure to the growing autonomous vehicle sector.
Trader: The Fed's lower rate expectations have longer-term implications for defensive stock sectors such as utilities, telecoms, and staples, according to Michael Yoshikami of Destination Wealth Management; Positive on WFM: Concerns about growing competition, slowing sales growth, and the need to lower prices have been discounted into the grocer's share price, and a little good news could send it higher; Spending on healthcare is denting consumer finances, despite a healthy jobs and housing market, low gas prices, and rising wages.
Interview: Jamie Cook, an analyst at CSFB, talks about what companies will benefit if the next president ramps up infrastructure spending (Positive on CMI, DE, CAT, PH, ACM).
Alternative Investments: Richard Merage runs MIG Capital with a long/short strategy that focuses on the consumer and invests with a longer time line than most peers (top 10 holdings: S, RCL, AAPL, Liberty Global, CCOI, CPRT, CCI, VSAT, DSW, CMG).
Small Caps: Positive on KLXI: "Distributor of aerospace parts is poised to benefit from a new aircraft-maintenance cycle, which could help lift the stock price more than 30%."
Follow-Up: Positive on SRPT: Following the recent FDA approval of Sarepta's Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug, Exondys 51, shares could see more upside, and the company could become a lucrative biotech play in the coming years.
International Trader: Positive on Dufry: Operator of duty-fee and retail stores at airports, seaports, and railway stations has 24% market share in airport travel retail and should continue to provide investor gains.
Asian Trader: Even if the Bank of Japan succeeds in boosting long-term bond yields, earnings at Japanese banks will hardly improve, says BNP Paribas analyst Toyoki Sameshima; Unlike in Europe, negative interest rates don't work in Japan.
Emerging Markets: It's not yet clear whether infrastructure spending can contribute to Brazil's economic growth, though that question shouldn't dampen investor enthusiasm for the country.
Commodities: Demand for lead in China has slowed, and supplies of the metal are ample, but that won't necessarily halt recent price gains.
Streetwise: The Fed should take its time raising rates, says columnist Ben Levisohn, who adds that "Economic growth is still sluggish, and inflation is low, leaving no real reason for an increase except a desire to get one done."