S&P Says Hold Motorola
Motorola (MOT ): Reiterates 3 STARS (hold)
Analyst: Kenneth Leon
S&P thinks Motorola is on the right track, although execution on camera handsets and more competition in the CDMA market from Nokia may hamper sales in the fourth quarter. At an investor meeting, Motorola cited outsourcing delays with its camera phones, which are being fixed, and says it will expand outsourcing from one to three firms in 2004. Management does not expect to lose future orders beyond the fourth quarter for its camera phones. While it gained total share in the third quarter, Motorola stated it may lose share in the CDMA handset market to Nokia. Shares are trading below peers at 1.2 times S&P's 2004 sales estimate.
Freddie Mac (FRE ): Reiterates 2 STARS (avoid)
Analyst: Erik Eisenstein
Freddie Mac named Richard F. Syron as chairman and CEO. Syron, the executive chairman of Thermo Electron Corp., is also a former chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange, with experience at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Home Loan Bank system. S&P views Syron as qualified to deal with Freddie Mac's financial and political challenges and is pleased with the appointment, though not surprised that Freddie Mac looked outside its ranks for leadership. Still, from a corporate governance viewpoint, S&P is disappointed to see the reunification of the CEO and chairman positions.