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Street Fight: Herb Greenberg On Starbucks

It’s been a while since the boys have tussled with Herb Greenberg. Well, he’s back and he’s taking issue with some of the guys’ recent comments.

Round 1:

Herb, who is a CNBC contributor and senior columnist for MarketWatch, is all over Guy Adami for saying on Monday’s show he doesn’t think Starbucks (SBUX) is a growth stock as it has its hand in too many things. “Where have you been hiding all this time?” Herb asks. “Have you heard about China? Have you heard about the rest of the world?” If there is any company that can penetrate any of these markets, its Starbucks, Herb says.

Opening a new store every three-and-a-half hours over the next 4 years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work, Guy says. “The stock is down 18.5% since October and down 3% since I said to avoid it.”

The stock tells the story, Dylan says. Round 1 goes to Guy.

Round 2:

Herb’s also got a problem with perennial chip-lover Tim Strazzini. Tim has said the risk-reward with the semis has been favorable and he recommends staying with companies like SanDisk (SNDK) and Broadcom (BRCM). He believes flash memory prices are stabilizing and, while first quarter earnings will be bad, it has already been priced into the stocks.

When it comes to the semis, all Herb sees is a bunch of companies who keep saying they’ve hit bottom but whose stocks paint a different picture. The demand isn’t there, Herb says, and, contrary to what Tim believes, memory prices are going down. The semis are also seeing less demand from big customers such as Apple as it’s iPod sales are stalling out, he says.

As much as he hates to do it – Dylan is calling Round 2 in favor of Herb. The economy is slowing, he says, and the chip stocks just got hammered today.

Round 3:

Herb’s got a chance to break the tie. He’s going after Eric Bolling for bashing Republic Airways (RJET). Eric said the airlines just have too many things going badly for them – the fleets are old, airports are crowded and slow, and fuel costs are rising “insanely.”

But Herb must have done some homework before this battle. He points out that Republic, like many regionals, doesn’t pay the cost of oil. Instead, it passes that cost along to the companies that contract with them, which is typically the major airlines. It flies the lowest-cost fleets in the air, he says, and it’s winning contract after contract. Since it isn’t beleaguered by oil prices, Herb is predicting Republic Airways stock to go up 50%.

Assuming Herb is right – that Republic is passing along the cost of oil to its contractors – then Dylan has no choice but to side with him. He gets the win, going 2-3in tonight’s ‘Street Fight’ … but he didn’t have to face the Lone Wolf. That could have changed everything.

Street Fight

Questions? Comments?

Trader disclosure:
On MAR 29, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders:
Macke Owns (SWY), Strazzini Owns (MO), (NBG), (SNDK), (STM) Bolling Owns (NYX), (ICE), Gold, Silver, Is Short Natural Gas