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Look over these overlooked plays

After the recent market flux, investors are looking for low-priced, overlooked plays. Here are some of our advisers' favorites:

TOPPS Headquarters: New York

Ticker: Nasdaq (Symbol: TOPP)

52-week range: $4.25-$7.12{

Friday's close: $4.93}

"Topps is well known for its sport collectors trading cards. Its Series I and II baseball card sets are already sold out for 1996. Its higher-priced Stadium Club card set also looks like a sellout for 1996.

"It has benefited from the return of collector interest after the long baseball and hockey strikes. And collectors are eagerly awaiting Topps' August release of its Bowman baseball card set, the industry leader in avidly sought rookie cards. Management has also sensibly diversified its base with non-sports cards to include a series based on major movie releases. Its chairman owns 2.2-million shares. and its president owns 837,500 shares. Both have compensation plans that are tied to performance. This is a top pick. Buy."


Intelligence Report

Potomac, Md.

FIBERSTARS Headquarters: Fremont, Calif.

Ticker: Nasdaq (Symbol: FBST)

52-week range: $3.50-$6.25

Friday's close: $5.43}

"Fiberstars makes innovative fiber optic lighting products. The unique flexible nature of fiber optic plastic allows for uses not available with light bulbs or neon tubing. And the energy source can be 100 feet from the actual source of the energy. Customers include McDonalds, Burger King, Toys "R" Us and Hallmark. Disney and Universal Studios use them in their theme parks, and San Francisco's waterfront has a 2-mile ribbon of fiber optic light.

"Fiber optics also consume only 10 percent to 25 percent of the electricity used in conventional lighting systems. The company went public in 1994 at 4{. In 1995, Mitsubishi, its principal supplier of fiber optic plastic, bought 3.6 percent of the company at 7. We feel the stock could triple in the next three years."

TUESDAY MORNING Headquarters: Dallas

Ticker: Nasdaq (Symbol: TUES)

52-week range: $5.12{-$14.12{

Friday's close: $11.50

"Tuesday Morning operates the largest chain of deep-discount close-out specialty stores in the United States, with 271 stores in 32 states that offer close-out household items. It doesn't stock continuing lines of merchandise; shoppers never know what they will find, which keeps customers intrigued and coming back, as do the prices, which are 50 percent to 80 percent off retail.

"In 1993, after several years of steady growth, earnings crashed from $0.72 to a loss of $0.19. It has since installed a state-of-the-art inventory system, and profits are now on the rise. Earnings should jump 50 percent this year to $0.90. The stock is a buy to 15."

BI Research

Redding, Conn.

UNIVERSAL DISPLAY Headquarters: Penn Valley, Pa.

Ticker: Nasdaq (Symbol: PANL)

52-week range: $4-$10.50

Friday's close: $5.50

"Universal Display is developing transparent, organic light-emitting devices that are used in flat panel displays. Existing products that use flat panel displays include notebook and laptop computers, video cameras and electronic games.

"Despite the advances made over the last few years, flat panel displays have not been able to replace the bulky cathode ray tube that protrudes from the back of your computer and TV. Universal does not intend to manufacture or market these; it will seek licensing agreements with major companies. This is a development-stage firm with no revenues or earnings. It's a speculative, high-risk issue in which you could lose your investment."


Strategic Investing

Waban, Mass.

Steve Halpern reviews more than 400 stock market newsletters and services, choosing what he believes to be the most interesting or informed recommendations. Investors should do their own research before buying or selling a stock. Halpern is editor of the Dick Davis Digest. For subscription information, call (800) 654-1514.