Fatten your portfolio by going on a diet!

March 26, 2002 9:39 AM
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GO ON DIET! SureQuest Systems, a company that trades on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol DIET, is a fuzzy being sent our way by Strategic Stock Intelligence Inc. (SSII).

I’ll explain fuzzy below. In the meantime, be aware that SSII is on a roll picking stock winners.

SureQuest is in the healthcare food service industry. Among other things, they provide software to help institutions such as nursing homes, with one or multiple locations, manage their menus, recipes, nutrition analysis and other food service operations.

The company is providing its services to over 750 facilities in 43 states and Canada with its main focus on long-term care properties. Their products, they say, help institutions save money, a big plus in today’s world of high-cost medical care.

DIET’s preliminary 2001 financials show great improvement. They went from minus $552,318 to plus $309,000. And, there’s plenty of room for expansion, which is high on the company’s list of things to do. Only about 20% of this country’s 17,000 long-term care facilities currently use any type of nutritional software. They’re also looking at hospitals and other institutional food clients.

The stock closed Monday at 18 in light trading. It’s 52-week range is $.01-$.27.

Now, for fuzzy. It’s an old horseplayer’s term. Instead of saying someone has a hot horse, it was said that he had a fuzzy.

ALLIANCE GAMING: “OUTPERFORM!” Salomon-Smith Barney initiated coverage of Alliance Gaming (ALLY) last week with an “out perform” rating. The company said ALLY is now in a period of sustained growth as a maker of gambling equipment.

Shares of the company were given a target price of $38.

At the same time, ALLY announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

YOU GOTTA KNOW THE TERRITORY! “And,” said a rosebud who has been blooming in the desert for nearly 50 years, “if you’re marketing toward gamblers, offer winnable propositions. If you’re going for the masses, call in the architects and dress up the joint.”

IF THE MONEY WILL LAST . . . the dice will pass! Harrah’s New Orleans casino posted its highest revenue generating month ever in February.

Some observers think the revenue record was due to the Super Bowl and Carnival crowds. A total of $23.8 million in revenue was counted last month. It beats the previous best performance of $23.7 million posted in September 2000.

In my opinion, Harrah’s rates an attaboy for not jumping ship when everyone around them was yelling, “Jump! Jump! Jump!”

NO CAP ON THE WHALE: Political donations have dominated conversations in Washington, D.C., of late but there has been less publicity given to plans to cap political donations by gaming companies in Australia.

Being proposed is legislation in Victoria that would prohibit “holders of government licenses” from donating more than $50,000 to political candidates and parties. The proposal is part of an effort to establish a procedure for publicly funding election campaigns.

But, the wording that focuses on the “holders of government licenses” wouldn’t prohibit Packer from making any size donations he pleases since the cap would only affect the actual casinos that hold the licenses, not the parent companies such as Packer’s Publishing & Broadcasting Limited.

SLAM BANG, THANK YOU FANS: Does any sport (if you can call it a sport) have a more dedicated following than wrestling, or more precisely, the World Wrestling Federation? True, NASCAR fans pack the Winston Cup tracks and the rodeo fans fill the seats of the championship arenas. But, week after week, WWF fans religiously tune in to see The Rock, the Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin and their other favorites beat themselves around a ring in a highly-choreographed spectacle.

How many, of these fans, are aware, however, that Vince McMahon’s creation is a publicly-traded company. Surely, there’s little notice taken of the company on the pages of most Wall Street publications, but the company hasn’t escaped the view of Jason Ader and his associates at Bear Stearns.

The analysts recently issued an equity research paper on WWF with an “attractive” rating. The vehicle for growing the company, the report indicated, was the company’s intention to raise its international business to 25% of total revenues. Tours in Asia, Europe and Australia will begin this spring.

SHE’S A HO, HO, HO ALSO: As Asian gaming guru attempts to keep his operations going, despite major changes in the way Macau deals with casinos, Stanley Ho has designated his daughter, Pansy, as his heir-apparent.

Last week, Pansy was elected to the board of directors of Ho’s company, the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM).

But, not all is well within the Ho Family. Sibling rivalry involving Ho’s sister Winnie, has erupted. She has been able to develop the support of one of STDM’s major shareholders, Henry Fok. They strongly opposed niece Pansy’s election to the board.

Stanley Ho dismisses his sister’s opposition, saying her vote against Pansy was invalid. He also plans to replace his sister on the board.