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'Master Stock Picker' Names His Media Investments

When "people don't really understand" an evolutionary trend, that's when Barton Crockett strikes. A media analyst at J.P. Morgan, Crockett was named the top picker of advertising and publishing companies in the Wall Street Journal's 2006 Master Stock Pickers list. He shared his methods -- and favorite names -- with "Power Lunch" viewers.

Crockett told CNBC's Sue Herera that his investment criteria involve small and mid-cap media firms with the potential for "a lot of volatility, both up and down." His particular expertise: "the intersection of new technology and traditional media," where industry developments seem cryptic to most.

One example of Crockett's thinking: Arbitron. He concedes that the radio-audience measurement firm sounds mired in another age, but said it is going through a "technology transition": Arbitron is rolling out PPM, an electronic ratings measurement system that will replace the old paper diary -- and perhaps have many more applications.

The analyst praised Greenfield Online as a "home run" ever since J.P. Morgan initiated coverage in December 2005. A "very small" microcap, Greenfield's businesses include Internet surveys and New Ciao, the No. 1 comparison-shopping site in Europe -- which has seen triple-digit revenue growth since its May 4, 2006 inception.

Crockett said Marvel Entertainment had been one of his preferred stocks. But shortly after the third "Spider-Man" came out, the analyst shifted his rating to neutral from overweight. Why? He said the stock -- climbing to nearly $30 from "17 and change" -- had already factored in all the blockbuster buzz. He wanted to take some profit and bide his time until Marvel's "Iron Man" movie release next year.

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

  • "Power Lunch" & “Nightly Business Report” Co-Anchor

Power Pitch

Kenny Polcari