Some stock market news and notes

For the past couple months I haven't posted anything much stock market related. I guess it is a combination of being busy, procrastinating and stocks that I'm holding not doing anything all that fantastic.

At least for the past little bit Napster (Ticker: NAPS) has been providing me some excitement and a fast rising stock price. Napster was trading as low as $2.70 back in early August (if the price dipped below $2.50 I was going to buy more), then just about 5 weeks ago they announced that they had partnered with UBS to discuss "strategic alternatives" including the sale of the company. That sent the stock up to $4.00 and since then the stock has been steadily ticking higher, with speculation getting more press over this past week. Today's close was a healthy $4.86. I would be happy if Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Sandisk or whomever stepped up to the plate and made a buyout offer prior to the next earnings report, whichh if I recall is set up for November 8th or thereabouts. I would not be all that surprised to see a buyout at $6.00 or above. As a disclaimer I currently own shares in the company, and I was a Napster2go user in the past. Earlier this week I did visit the site and spent a couple hours listening to random tunes (for free) while surfing the net. The technology and platform that Napster is running works great and is user friendly and makes a decent Ipod alternative for those of us with mp3 players from Creative and others.

While we are on the subject of buyouts I should have put my money where my mouth is and bought some shares of Yankee Candle (Ticker: YCC). It was just back on August 6th that I posted about Crystal and I going to MassMOCA and then stopping off at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield. I mentioned that going to the Yankee Candle flagship store is always a treat, the stock was trading in the mid $20's at the time and they had just put themselves out there as far as being a takeover target. Well that has all come true as YCC announced this week that they will be bought out by a private equity firm for $34.75 a share in cash. But of course I never bought any. Hopefully the company will remain in their current location as the flagshipp store is always a great place to stop off on the way home from Northampton and beyond.

I will now take this time to put out a buy recommendation on Lifeway Foods (Ticker: LWAY). I've been watching the stock for the past year and a half without dipping into the piggybank and buying any shares. I have tried their kefir product and think it is great. It is basically a drinkable yogurt filled with probiotics, which are good bacteria. If you have any nagging gastro intestinal issues I suggest you try this product out for a couple weeks and I bet it might help regulate your system. It is pretty darn tasty too. Look in your grocers natural foods or dairy sections. They can be found stocked in Shaw's and Price Chopper supermarkets here in my area, and have a strong footprint in their home base of Chicago. This past week they just announced a deal to be carried in all Ralph's stores as well as ACME in the Philadelphia area. I feel that Lifeway geeting into Ralph's is great for the company. They currently only trade about 32,000 shares a day and their market cap is under $150 million which shows that there is plenty of room for this company to grow. Plus they get a fair amount of exposure from The Motley Fool website, which never hurts.


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