Stock Option Investment Advice

Altera (ALTR) Shares are on the Rise

Altera Corporation (ALTR) San Jose, California is the pioneer of programmable logic solutions, enabling system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Altera combines the programmable logic technology originally invented in 1983 with software tools, intellectual property, and customer support to provide high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers.

New announcements include the corporation’s first quarter sales of $336.1 million, up 4% from the fourth quarter of 2007 and up 10% from the first quarter of 2007. First quarter net income was $83.9 million, $0.27 per diluted stock market share, up from net income of $65.5 million, $0.20 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. So, when you are investing in stock options, these are things you want to look for.

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Stock market shares also rose after the chipmaker guided toward the high end of its second-quarter revenue forecast late Tuesday. They previously forecasted second-quarter revenue would grow 1 percent to 4 percent from the previous quarter. The guidance implies revenue of $339.5 million to $349.5 million.

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With the repurchase of 15.5 million stock market shares in the first quarter of 2008, at a cost of $275 million, Altera has completed its previously announced $1.5 billion share repurchase plan. The plan was originally targeted for mid-2008 completion. Approximately 16 million stock market shares remain available for additional repurchases under the existing board of directors’ authorization. Cash flow from operating activities was $149.7 million. Altera ended the quarter with $995 million in cash and short-term investments.

When it comes to stock investing, Altera’s board of directors has increased the company’s quarterly cash dividend to $0.05 per stock market share, up from the previous dividend of $0.04 per share. The board of directors has declared that the next quarterly dividend will be paid on June 2, 2008 to shareholders of record on May 12, 2008.

According to stock investing researchers, “Revenue growth was better than expected, as new products grew strongly,” said John Daane, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. “We are very pleased to see the quarter’s improved operating efficiency which represents a significant step toward our long-term 30 percent plus operating margin target.”

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect revenue of $344.8 million. This would be a smart stock investment. “Clearly, Altera is benefiting from a continued rebound in (communications) infrastructure, and its update is consistent with our checks which indicate that the strength from customers in Japan and China seen in the past quarter has continued,” wrote Goldman Sachs analyst James Schneider in a note to investors late Tuesday.

Lehman Brothers analyst Tim Luke raised his profit forecast to $1.09 per share from $1.07 per share for the 2008 calendar year. However, he said Altera competitor Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) is a more attractive stock investment due to its valuation. Luke maintained an “Equal Weight” rating on Altera. Altera shares rose 65 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $23.54 Wednesday.

A covered call investing position for Altera could potentially be a good investment play as a long position in Altera stock combined with a short call option, LTQGS July 22.5, has a potential unchanged potential return of 4.7%. So even if the price of Altera’s stock does not change at options expiration, the position will return 4.7% in just a little over a month’s time.

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[tags] San Jose, California, programmable logic, semiconductor, John Daane, Thomson Financial, Goldman Sachs, James Schneider, Lehman Brothers, Tim Luke, ALTR, Altera Corp., XLNX, Xilinix Inc., covered call investing, covered call investment strategy, investing in stock options, investment strategy, iron condor, poweroptions, stock investing, stock option trading, stock options [/tags]

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