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I follow quite a lot of companies -- some closer than others -- so the usefulness of a watchlist to me cannot be overstated. Without my watchlist, I'd be unable to keep up on my favorite sectors and what's really moving the market. Even worse, without my watchlist, I'd be lost when it came time to choose what stock I'm buying or shorting next.
What I intend to do as an experiment is to make every Wednesday "Watchlist Wednesday," where I'll discuss three companies that have crossed my radar in the past week and at what point I may consider taking action on these calls with my own money. Keep in mind these aren't concrete buy or sell recommendations, nor do I guarantee I'll take action on the companies being discussed weekly. What I can promise is that you can follow my real-life transactions through my profile, and that I, like everyone else here at The Motley Fool, will continue to hold the integrity of our disclosure policy in the highest regard.
Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR )
The Clearwire drama sort of reminds me how Sirius XM dragged out its "will they or won't they declare bankruptcy?" saga for months. Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) , Clearwire's lifeline and primary business partner, agreed this week to extend its contract agreement with Clearwire for an additional four years in a pact that could be worth up to $1.6 billion. This deal comes on the heels of an announcement this week by Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA ) that it would no longer participate in a wireless wholesale agreement it has set up with Clearwire.
Then came the kicker of all kickers: how Clearwire would raise the precious capital it needed to survive. That answer was partially solved yesterday when Clearwire announced it was going to drown shareholders in a secondary offering worth up to $300 million. It also was getting yet another round of financing from Sprint, which agreed to purchase $295 million worth of Clearwire's Class B stock. The concern is that this financing solves nothing. Clearwire is hemorrhaging money, and that shows no signs of slowing. If the stock rallies significantly off this news, I may choose to short the stock or buy puts.
Protalix BioTherapeutics (AMEX: PLX )
Speaking of egregious abuses of secondary offerings, no stock stands out more in my mind over my 13 years of investing than Protalix BioTherapeutics. Back in October 2007, with its stock trading north of $36, the company priced a secondary offering at just $5, or more than 85% below its closing price from the day before. Since early 2006, Protalix's share count has more than quadrupled as it continues to issue shares to finance its Gaucher disease phase 3 experimental drug, taliglucerase alfa.
Yesterday, the FDA had its turn in smacking around Protalix by delaying its decision on the company's experimental drug until May. While no reason was specifically given for the delay, this marks the second time that the FDA has asked for more time. Like Clearwire, Protalix has been a destructor of shareholder value over the years, and I see no reason that you shouldn't consider buying puts in the stock here. If taliglucerase fails to get approved, Protalix will likely lose a significant chunk of its value.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG )
Let's buck the pessimism train here and look at a stock catching my eye as a potential upside play: Google. "But Google is trading above $600 and that's usually a good time to sell," you might be thinking -- and you're correct. Historically, any time Google crested $600, it has been a good time to part ways with your shares. But I think this time might be different.
Next to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , which have cash piles that could rival those of a small country, Google has perhaps the third most impressive "wallet" on Wall Street. Factoring out debt, Google has $35.3 billion, or $109 per share, in cash. This gives the company incredible leverage when it comes to outdueling its competition. Right now, Google's forward P/E of 14 and its price-to-cash-flow of 14 are just about the lowest they've ever been. With revenue growth slowing to a "mere" 23% in 2012 , consider me a Google bull.
Is my bullishness or bearishness misplaced? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider taking my cue by adding these three companies to your free and personalized watchlist to keep up on the latest news with each company.