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STOCK SPLITS > New Candidates Sunday, December 31, 2000

APA - Apache Corporation $70.06 (+5.93) This natural gas and oil exploration and production company has been red hot while most of the U.S. has remained cold this winter. It has just broken out of a four-month range and is closing in on what we feel is a logical split level. The stock has not split since 1981 but it currently has enough shares to enact a 3:2 split. We are targeting a possible split announcement out of their earnings release on February first.

AYE - Allegheny Energy, Inc. $48.19 (+3.00) This utility holding company has been on an energetic run this year, thanks in most part to increases in power prices to end users across the country. After investors recently turned up the heat in AYE, it is now bumping up against historic split- levels of $50. The last split announcement came in November of 1993, at a BoD meeting. We will, however, watch the next earnings release, unofficially set for 01/26, as a likely trigger event for an announcement.

CERS - Cerus Corporation $75.25 (+3.75) Fighting viruses at their source, the nucleus, is Cerus' specialty. Through extensive R&D efforts, CERS has now entered Phase-three trials for its Intercept Plasma System. Although the details behind Cerus' DNA inactivation of virus bacteria are complicated, the fact that CERS may now be at split-levels is not. Although the stock has never split, we believe the recent parabolic move higher justifies a 2:1 split. We are targeting the company's next earnings report unofficially set for 01/25/01 as a likely target for the split announcement.

LPNT - Lifepoint Hospitals, Inc. $50.13 (+4.38) As the name of the company implies, Lifepoint operates hospitals and healthcare centers. The stock has been on a steady climb all year and is bumping up against levels that we feel may justify a 3:2 split at least. The company has plenty of authorized shares and has an earnings report date of 01/22/01, which would make a dandy time to reward investors for their patients with a split announcement.

NFG - National Fuel Gas Co. $62.94 (+2.94) NFG has been the beneficiary of higher natural gas prices. As of the beginning of the year natural gas was at $2.69 a unit, it is now at $9.98 a unit. It's easy to see why investors have latched onto this gravy train. Although NFG does not have a split history, it has plenty of authorized shares and other stocks within the same sector have split around these levels in the past. NFG's earnings report date is 01/25/01, so we will be keeping an eye on a split announcement, especially if the stock continues on its northerly tract until then.

TBL - Timberland Company $66.88 (+7.06) Although apparel retailers have been suffering, footwear retailers have been on a tear. Timberland manufactures, designs and distributes premium footwear that has obviously remained in high demand. TBL just announced a split on 05/18/00, but has climbed right back to split-levels. The company last announced a split at a shareholder meeting, but we will target the next earnings announcement on 01/18/01 as a potential announcement event. The company currently has enough authorized shares to enact a 3:2 split.

 


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