LONDON -- "Platinum Miners Won't Be This Cheap Forever," wrote Fool writer Roland Head in mid-July. Indeed so -- but that doesn't mean they have to start rising immediately. And following an intensification of the very labor disputes that Roland presciently warned of, shares in Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L ) were the fifth-most popular buy among private clients of stockbroker TD Direct Investing between the market's opening and noon.
Trading at 620 pence this morning as opposed to 694 pence a month ago, Lonmin shares have had a torrid time. And the recent killings of mine workers won't help a boardroom agenda that is already challenged by concerns over output levels, a CEO who has been hospitalized, net debt levels close to banking covenants, and high capital-expenditure requirements. Is this a bargain or an imminent rights issue waiting to be called? We'll see.
There's a clearer picture when it comes to the sixth-most purchased share by TD Direct Investing's private clients this morning. Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L ) -- always a popular pick among income investors -- could be set to receive a 2.9 billion pound special dividend from Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with America's Verizon. The reason? American regulatory approval of a wireless bandwidth acquisition by Verizon Wireless.
Finally, mining giant Xstrata (LSE: XTA.L ) made an appearance as the seventh-most popular pick by the broker's clients this morning. Also with a generally beaten-down share price -- down almost a third since February -- Xstrata faces two problems. For one, there's the question of its own 25% stake in Lonmin and that company's possible future rights issue. Two, there's the small question of the merger with Glencore, which already owns a third of Xstrata. A growing stake by the Qatar government -- which now stands at almost 12% -- is making the Glencore merger increasingly unlikely, prompting a 4% fall in Xstrata shares this morning.
Finally, what are super investors Neil Woodford and Warren Buffett buying today? We can't tell you that, but we can tell you the names of the shares that they've been buying in the recent past -- and why they've been buying them. So download this free report to discover the shares that interest Neil Woodford right now, and this free report to learn the name of the British share that Warren Buffett has been buying recently.
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Investing ideas from Malcolm Wheatley: