Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR), a silicon wafer manufacturer, reached a 52-week high Friday after fourth-quarter profits more than doubled and vastly exceeded analyst’s expectations.
An audio podcast of this article is available at: poweropt.com/podcasts/2007_01_29_WFR.mp3 .
The company posted a fourth-quarter profit of $129 million last Thursday, up from $50.2 million. This equates to a 157% profit increase for the company. Volume for the stock was also at a stratospheric 490% of average.
In the coming quarter, MEMC projects $440 million in sales. A Thomson Financial poll reports an estimate of $424.7 million.
An analyst with CIBC, Jeff Osborne, increased his stock price target to $59 from $50. He has publicly proclaimed his “extremely bullish” view of the company’s long-term outlook.
Osborne, in a message to investors, wrote, “We continue to highlight MEMC Electronic Materials as our top pick in the alternative energy sector for 2007. While some investors may still be skeptical of the semiconductor cycle, we believe MEMC is somewhat insulated due to high memory exposure and ability to divert semi silicon to the solar spot market at higher margin.”
Other fans of the stock include Mehdi Hosseini, a Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst, who lists the stock as “Market Perform.” His target is a somewhat less optimistic $45, but he has stated he would adopt a more bullish attitude if the company closes on anticipated solar wafer contracts.
Jim Cramer, in his daily prognostic fit, declared the stock a winner on December 5th of last year.
Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials have hovered between the mid-20’s to high-40’s over the last year. The stock gained nearly 20% on Friday.
Competitors for WFR include: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd. (private), Siltronic AG (private), and SUMCO Corporation (private).
All of the following option trades have 47 days until expiration. MEMC is currently trading at $52.21. These trades were discovered using the powerful suite of option search tools found at PowerOptions .
|Covered Call â€“ MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) $ 52.21 (47)|
|WFRCJ||07 MAR 50.00||$4.30||8.20%||4.40%||4.40%|
|WFRCK||07 MAR 55||$1.80||3.40%||3.60%||9.10%|
The first covered call trade, an in the money covered call, offers 8.2% downside protection and a potential profit of 4.4% if the stock remains unchanged or rises. The net cost of this trade, per 100 options, is $4,791.00.
The second covered call trade, an out of the money covered call, offers 3.4% downside protection and a potential profit of 3.6% if the stock remains unchanged. If the stock rises above the $55 strike price of the option, the potential profit becomes 9.1%. The net cost of this trade, per 100 options, is $5,041.00.
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[tags]Thomson Financial, CIBC, Jeff Osborne, semiconductor, Mehdi Hosseini, Friedman Billings Ramsey, Jim Cramer, Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd., Siltronic AG, SUMCO Corporation, WFR, MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., covered call investment strategy, investment strategy, iron condor, poweroptions, stock option trading, stock options[/tags]