3 Stocks to Get on Your Watchlist

I follow quite a lot of companies, 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 see what's really moving the market. Even worse, I'd be lost when the time came to choose which stock I'm buying or shorting next.

Today is Watchlist Wednesday, so I'm discussing 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.

OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI  )
Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS  ) may have about 70% of its revenue tied to the orders from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , but it appears OmniVision is the company with the most at stake from the introduction of the iPhone 5.

Under most circumstances, it's both costly and time-consuming for Apple to switch suppliers for the iPhone, but that's exactly what it did with the 4S, booting OmniVision as the sole camera supplier and bringing in Sony. As my Foolish colleague Evan Niu has noted, OmniVision's blowout earnings forecast calls for year-over-year revenue growth of 71% (using the midpoint of OmniVision's forecast), which likely signifies it has re-won its imaging sensor contract with Apple. The question I have is: For how long?

OmniVision shares cratered from north of $35 in 2011 to as low as $10.15 in 2012 after the loss of sales to Sony, proving just how intertwined its growth is with Apple. Personally, I see Cirrus Logic's position as the audio chip supplier to the iPhone being light-years safer than OmniVision's position as the imaging sensor supplier -- especially given that Apple's already replaced the company once before. This is a shaky relationship that bears watching.

Arkansas Best (Nasdaq: ABFS  )
It's a rare day when I admit that a trucking company has me excited, but Arkansas Best is firmly planted on my radar as a possible real-money buy.

As I highlighted last month, Arkansas Best has been the victim of higher fuel prices, a stagnant economy, and has struggled to keep its unions and pension holders happy. However, looking on the bright side, Arkansas Best is one of the best trucking companies at controlling its expenses, fuel costs have now fallen from their highs, and the recently acquired Panther Expedited looks poised to boost its higher-margin logistics business.

The reason Arkansas Best has my attention is its recent 6.9% price hike that it passed along to customers late last quarter, as well as my belief in the company's management team to turn its business around. If you look closely at its management team, you'll note that its 11 executives have all been with the company for an extensive period of time. Only two of Arkansas Best's 11 executives have been with the company for less than 10 years. As a firm believer in cohesive management teams being essential to turnarounds, I'm closely watching Arkansas Best.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALXA  )
If at first you don't succeed, keep trying... and trying... and trying, and maybe cross your fingers and your toes, rub your rabbit's foot, and sacrifice a goat. Then maybe, just maybe, you'll succeed.

To say that Alexza's path in attempting to gain approval for its lead schizophrenia and bipolar disorder drug candidate Adasuve has been arduous would be a serious understatement. Alexza first submitted its new drug application for Adasuve in December 2009. After waiting until October 2010 to hear back from the FDA, the agency rejected Alexza's inhalable and non-invasive treatment on the grounds that additional safety tests would be required. After complying with those tests, Alexza resubmitted its NDA with the FDA in August 2011 only to have the FDA push back its PDUFA ruling date an additional 90 days, from Feb. 4, 2012, to May 4, 2012 (are you beginning to see how absurd this is getting?). In May, Alexza received a second complete response letter from the FDA which noted its manufacturing process was deficient. A third NDA has been submitted with the FDA that has an expected PDUFA on or before Dec. 21, 2012... but don't hold your breath!

Although Alexza has also submitted Adasuve for approval in Europe with the European Medicines Agency, the overwhelming number of generic and branded competitors when compounded with its cash burn over the past three years may be too much to overcome. Investors still have a glimmer of hope, I suppose, but this is looking more like a short-selling candidate each and every day.

Foolish roundup
Is my bullishness or bearishness misplaced? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider following my cue by adding these companies to your free, personalized watchlist to keep up with the latest news on each company.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He's a total nerd when it comes to making lists. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Cirrus Logic and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that believes transparency comes first.


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