Great Call on Akamai! What's Next?

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) is the kind of company that's easy for most consumers to miss -- despite the fact that they come face to face with it regularly.

Akamai concocts products that make it easier for companies to manage and distribute Internet content, especially bandwidth-demanding content like music and video.

Although Akamai has been growing like a weed, its stock price apparently got ahead of itself and as a result has bounced around over the past year. Keeping up with a stock like this can be tough, but CAPS All-Star AssetMangler has done an outstanding job, earning himself 80 points by making 16 calls -- both outperform and underperform -- on Akamai since late 2006.

AssetMangler is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and he has managed an impressive stock-picking accuracy of 70% on his calls while racking up 315 points. Akamai hasn't been his only great call.

Here's a look at a few of his other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points^

CAPS Rating
(5 max)

Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HALO)

5/1/07

Underperform

99

**

Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN)

5/2/07

Underperform

60

**

Rainmaker Systems (NASDAQ:RMKR)

11/15/07

Underperform

41

***

Data from CAPS. ^Number of percentage points a pick outperformed the S&P 500.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few of his recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR)

5/13/08

Outperform

****

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)

5/14/08

Underperform

**

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

5/13/08

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

Not all of these picks may pan out, but they are a good place to start further research. I decided to take a look at MEMC Electronic Materials.

An easy choice in solar
If solar power were a recent movie, it'd be Iron Man, clutching viewers' attention with a steely fist. And if Paris Hilton were talking about solar, the quote would definitely be "Solar, that's hot" -- which conveniently works on multiple levels.

As governments and corporations around the globe continue to work on new sources of energy to replace the fossil fuels that are soaring in price, solar has been neck and neck with ethanol in trying to become the energy industry's next big thing. Looking at the valuations for solar companies, it's apparent that investors haven't missed a beat either. First Solar trades at 117 times its trailing-12-months' earnings,  JA Solar  has a P/E of 58, and  Suntech Power's is 45 -- just to name a few.

Although all these companies have been growing like crazy, and are expected to continue to, the industry is becoming increasingly crowded. And like any new technology, it's inevitable that there will be winners and losers in the solar industry. The winners will make their investors happy, but the question is, how do we pick the winners ahead of time?

One way to do that is to take a step back from the solar cells and invest in the companies that supply the solar cell manufacturers. MEMC does exactly that -- it supplies the silicon wafers that the solar companies use to build their cells. While MEMC certainly isn't without competition, there are fewer companies jockeying for position in its industry, and there are some significant barriers to entry. Tight silicon supplies have also put MEMC's products in high demand and padded its bottom line.

On CAPS the stock has fetched four out of five stars and can claim a fan club more than 1,400 investors strong. CAPS All-Star odenpaul gave the stock a thumbs-up recently and wrote:

I'm recommending this on the strength of the increasing demand for solar silicon chips. Among the chip makers, [MEMC Electronic] is poised to gain a lot from this market. Solar is of course driven by rising oil/gas prices, so in its way, this boils down to an oil play (as so many things do). Eventually, overall chip demand will likely return, but for now, this is the only chip maker I'm going to recommend.  

So what's your take on MEMC? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free and already has over 105,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:


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