While the NCAA tournament reaches fever pitch, another competition is getting pretty exciting, here at Fast Money. As you might know by now, we're pairing off the most-talked about 64 companies on The Street, then the guys determine the winners through debate, and ultimately we’ll arrive at a national champion -- Fast Money's favorite stock.
Here’s the first of the "Elite 8" match-ups, as two of the toughest in tech, EMC Corp. (EMC) and Apple (AAPL), fight for a spot in the final four.
First, a quick review of how they got here:
EMC's PRIOR MATCH-UPS...
Round 1: EMC vs. Applied Materials (AMAT) – The traders were evenly split on this one, but EMC Corp.’s bet on the digital revolution, clickable content and storage helped the company edge out AMAT.
Round 2: EMC vs. Google (GOOG) - Another tough decision, but The Fast Money Five felt that the EMC story was stronger, and in a surprise upset, sent Google searching for another competition.
Sweet 16: EMC vs. (Yhaoo!) YHOO – Without EMC, the guys decided Yahoo! wouldn’t exist and EMC advanced.
APPLE'S PRIOR MATCH-UPS...
Round 1: APPL vs. Intel (INTC) - Apple was able to overtake Intel on a buzzer beater, as graphics issues with the Apple TV sorted out.
Round 2: AAPL vs. Cisco (CSCO) - In a game also known as the iPhone grudge match, the Fast Money Five sent Cisco packing.
Sweet 16: AAPL vs. Disney (DIS) – Because content is king, the decision was a tough one, but in the end the panel decided that Apple had too much momentum.
TONIGHT'S MATCH-UP (EMC vs. AAPL)
Guy Adami says EMC had two upgrades last week. It has 18% annualized growth rates and they’ve been doubling revenues since 2002. EMC is his pick.
Tim Strazzini says EMC is not good enough to beat Apple, because it's still trading cheap – in relation to where it’s going to be trading when the iPhone rolls out.
Jeff Macke goes with AAPL. Dylan Ratigan says that's a pair of Apple’s.
Eric Bolling says he’s also voting with AAPL.
Dylan Ratigan declares AAPL the winner and it advances. It’s the first name to make the Fast Money Madness Final 4.
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*The teams were seeded using analyst ranking data from the Wall Street blog http://tickersense.typepad.com/