The Democratic National Committee may have chosen Boston as the site of this year's party convention for its rich history and old-school charm, or perhaps it was another reason altogether. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Boston area is home to 1,050 doughnut shops -- one for every 5,750 residents. Even in the midst of our current anti-carb craze, can delegates really pass that up?

Dunkin' Donuts, now owned by Allied Domecq PLC(NYSE: AED), dominates the market with 875 of its 3,900 stores in the Boston area. Mom-and-pop operations still abound as well, but Krispy Kreme(NYSE: KKD) now has a footprint, so Boston doughnut makers and eaters alike should beware.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Google's Pricey Come-On


Tom Taulli

A typical initial public offering (IPO) will have a price range of, say, $12 to $14. Or, if the offering is red-hot, it could be $22 to $24.

Google need not be restrained by such limiting traditions. Rather, it decided to set its price range in the triple digits: $108 to $135. Based on its current share count, that's a valuation range of $29 billion to $36 billion. That's Yahoo!(Nasdaq: YHOO) country.

Some pundits say that the high stock price may scare away retail investors. Well, whenever there is a mania, no stock price is too high. After all, in the late 1990s, investors had no mental hang-ups when paying over $200 per share for stocks like, well, Yahoo!

A company with a $100-plus stock price is unusual in technology. In fact, it has become much more common to see tech stocks at lower prices. Even marquee tech giants, such as Intel(Nasdaq: INTC) or Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT), are in the $20 zone.

In fact, a triple-digit stock usually has a dividend payment attached. Perhaps Google may go against conventional wisdom and declare a dividend?

One thing that is traditional about the Google IPO, though, is the float. The float is the number of shares freely tradable on an exchange.

In an IPO, the float is usually small. This means it is easier for investors to push the stock up or down. Look at the recent IPO of CRM). The stock price has been a virtual roller coaster.

With the expected large valuation of Google, the float is relatively small: 24.6 million shares. Combine this with the emerging power of hedge funds and their obsession with short-term trading opportunities, and a stock like Google is likely to be quite volatile.

Eventually, the float for Google will expand, but this could take a year or so. In the meantime, unless you have a strong stomach and a willingness to speculate, Google is probably not your stock.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli is the author of The EDGAR Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements . He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.

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Amazon's Got Game


Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

If you thought that Toys "R" Us(NYSE: TOY) and Amazon(Nasdaq: AMZN) were mixing it up in the legal equivalent of Rockem Sockem Robots, it may very well become a battle royale now that GameStop(NYSE: GME) is entering the ring.

The popular video game retailer has teamed up with Amazon to roll out its new online storefront. The move is unusual in a couple of ways. First, it adds fuel to the fire of the Toys "R" Us claims that it is paying up for exclusivity, even though video games were never really the issue in the legal scuffle.

Yet the real fireworks lie not in the details but in the bloodline. Do you know which company spun off GameStop and still retains a meaty financial interest in the venture? Well, it's Barnes & Noble(NYSE: BKS). These are certainly odd bedmates given how Amazon and Barnes remain fierce competitors in their flagship bookselling ways.

With Borders(NYSE: BGP) already an Amazon partner when it failed at making its online bookstore profitable on its own, is it safe to say that the road to online enrichment runs through the Amazon? From Target(NYSE: TGT) to Office Depot(NYSE: ODP), the bricks-and-mortar titans have come knocking on Amazon's virtual door to gain entry into e-tailing haves after struggling as have-nots. Wasn't it really just a matter of time before Barnes and Amazon were tied to the financial success of a single venture?

Yet the real winner here -- beyond whoever collects on having to keep Amazon's deservedly elevated ego in check -- might actually be Electronic Arts(Nasdaq: ERTS). Yes, EA. All day today, folks making a purchase at the new GameStop store will receive a free copy of EA's Sims Online for the PC.

With EA's chances of growing the online base of Sims users -- and collecting $9.99 a month after the first trial month -- all but certain, it's not Rockem or Sockem that stands to ultimately land the knockout blow.

Both Amazon and Electronic Arts have been worthy Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations in the past.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been an Amazon customer since the 1990s, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.

Discussion Board of the Day: Amazon

Can a retailer succeed online without going through Amazon? Yes, there are quite a few out there, but is it a viable strategy, or is it best to just embrace Amazon? Share your views with other Fools in the Amazon discussion board.

Apple's Cellular Future


Alyce Lomax (TMF Lomax)

Apple's(Nasdaq: AAPL) musical genius is about to hit another platform -- the cell phone. Judging by today's news of its arrangement with Motorola(NYSE: MOT), you could be inserting your earbuds and listening to songs from the iTunes jukebox via cell phone by the first half of 2005.

If you've tuned out Apple's musical mania, then you've probably been living under a rock. The company's recent earnings were a testament to the popularity of the company's iPod, as well as online music site iTunes, which is seen as a catalyst for the iPod devices.

In the companies' press release, it was pointed out that the 1.5 billion cell phone subscribers anticipated to be toting mobile phones by the end of this year represent a large opportunity for Apple's musical ventures. Sure enough, it could be a good way to funnel in users who are not quite ready for the iPod or iPod minis and give them a taste of the lure of music on the go.

And with hands-free laws meaning more and more people will be using earbuds, headsets, and other accoutrements that take the hand out of handset, the more it makes sense that music over cell phones could be a popular service. (It might even make a little more sense than Microsoft's(Nasdaq: MSFT) planned media player, with its movie-playing features that may not translate well to portability.)

On the cell phone side of things, many market research firms have forecasted a hot market for musical ring tones. It stands to reason that if such ring tones are a hot commodity with young people, the ability to listen to music via cell phone is almost a shoo-in for success.

It's also yet another sign that cellular handset providers, such as Motorola and archrival Nokia(NYSE: NOK), will have to continually come up with more and more value adds for their offerings, which have become increasingly feature-rich over recent years. Add music to the variety of things you can access on higher-end phones, such as the Web, email, games, and so forth.

As Foolish contributor Tim Beyers recently pointed out, Apple's iTunes, though popular, hasn't really functioned as a revenue generator but rather a way to sell iPods. However, regardless of the hype, it's certain that loads of competitors will soon be having the same idea.

Alyce Lomax doesn't own any of the stocks mentioned in this story.

Quote of Note

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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