Inside Wall Street
A REAL FOB (FRIEND OF BILL)?
Want to play the Clinton market? Look no farther than Thermo Electron. It will hit it big as the new Administration's policies take hold, explains Larry Marks, managing director of Harbor Capital Management in Boston. "The twist to Thermo Electron is that it looks like a Clinton mini-mutual fund," he says.
Now trading on the Big Board at 50 a share, up from 38 last August, the stock is also a way to participate in the boom in small-cap issues. That's because Thermo Electron has sold minority interests in six subsidiaries to the public. Among them is the 87%-owned Thermo Energy Systems, which develops and operates alternative-energy power plants, such as waste-to-energy electric-power plants and fossil cogeneration facilities. The 80%-owned Thermo Fibertek makes processing machinery for the paper-making and recycling industries.
Marks figures that demand for Thermo Electron's products will soar because the government will require strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act for hazardous wastes, and the Clean Water Act. Another big plus, says Marks, is the intent of Clinton to support research and development of technologies that will enhance the environment and energy output.
Analyst Paul Knight, of NatWest Securities, sees earnings jumping to $3.10 a share in 1994 from 1993's estimated $2.60 and 1992's $2.12. Marks notes that Thermo Electron's stock is trading below the combined value of its six publicly traded units, which he puts at $60 a share. He thinks Thermo Electron will rise to the 60s in a year.GENE G. MARCIAL