NTL Inc. The stocks of Comcast and Time Warner have been roaring ever since they introduced the triple play of voice, data, and cable to bargain-hunting users of both Verizon/AT&T and the cable companies. NTLI, Britain’s cable company, is just now introducing the same product under the Virgin nameplate, because of Richard Branson’s investment in the company. NTLI’s a stock that’s been stuck in the twenties seemingly forever. If it gains only a fraction of the performance Comcast has logged, the stock sees mid-30s in 2007.
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce. Brazil-based CVRD may be the greatest natural-resources company you’ve never heard ofunless you are a huge buyer of nickel or iron ore. The Chinese need all sorts of minerals to keep their growth humming, and CVRD is the Whole Foods of raw materials. It’s also a great hedge against inflation, something that we’ve begun to generate with Bush’s reckless spending.
Sony. The once-dominant consumer-electronics colossus has sunk into oblivion despite still having huge revenues and decent brands. This will be the year that CEO Howard Stringer sees the futility of managing so many disparate parts, including a large insurance company, and splits Sony into its much more valuable pieces. The stock, which sells for $47 as a whole, could be worth mid-60s after a breakup.
Toyota. There’s only one way to save Ford and GM: Make them smaller, more efficient, and more profitable. Toyota will be there to pick up the market share. Toyota’s hiring more Americans than any big U.S. company. It has a full-size pickup coming this year, and it actually makes money selling cars, not on the financing of them, as GM and Ford do. Toyota probably spends less money on windshield wipers for its cars than GM spends on Viagra for its aging workforce.