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Better picture is developing for Polaroid Corp. stockholders


Q. None of my stocks are going anywhere. I had hoped for better. What should I do about my shares of Polaroid

A. Positive signs are developing. Hold your shares of Polaroid Corp. (around $25 a share, New York Stock Exchange) because this famous maker of photographic equipment and film has improved its bottom line in this lean earnings period, advised Alexander Henderson,analyst with Prudential Securities." Polaroid cut its work force by a large margin when its instant camera sales dipped and it also ventured into other areas, such as VCR tapes," said Henderson." The company has an excellent market presence, and has kept up its extensive and innovative programs to promote all of its products."

Q.I have saved a small nest egg to invest in the stock market. really can't afford to be speculative with this money.What do you think about Hershey Foods?

A. So long as America has a sweet tooth, this famous company will be around. Hershey Foods (around $44, NYSE) is the right long-term investment for a conservative investor because it is an American institution with strong market presence, said Nomi Ghez, analyst with Goldman Sacks.It is a well-managed firm with stable and strong earnings,capable of 13 percent annual growth. " There are faster-growing and glitzier investments but this is a sure one," concluded Ghez." You can rely on Hershey management and product line to provide consistent growth."

Q.I am thinking about buying shares of Stone Container, but thcompany's debt load is holding me back.What do you think about the company?

A. Buy shares of Stone Container (around $18, NYSE), the paperboard packing products firm, but bear in mind that it is a speculative investment with inherent risks, said George Adler, analyst with Smith Barney, Harris Upham. The company is the third-largest paper firm, and is well-positioned in the corrugated box business. Based on the likelihood that this industry will be one of the first to turn around in an economic recovery,Wall Street recently turned bullish on the stock of Stone Container."Stone Container does have a substantial debt level and,because it had difficulty funding its sinking fund, it recently took out additional loans against its receivables, " observed Adler." There is a risk with Stone Container if the economy doesn't turn around by 1992."

Q. I have 100 shares of Siboney Corp., purchased in 1968. Doethis stock have any value? Is the company even in existence anymore

A. It's around, but hardly robust. Siboney Corp. is located at 16N. Meramec, Clayton Mo. 63105, according to Robert Fisher,vice president with the New York-based R.M. Smythe & Co. 'f stock-search firm.Unfortunately,its stock doesn't hold much value,recently trading at less than 1 cent a share over the counter.

Q. I won 100 shares of Big O Tires. Is this a good stock to hold

A. Congratulations on your win. However, only speculativinvestors should hold the shares of Big O Tires Inc. (around $1, over the counter), which provides tires and service through 350 Big O Tire stores in 15 states, said Sharon Conway, based in Chicago with A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. Slack industry conditions have hurt earnings but controlled expenses will hopefully help Big O return to profitability.Sales increases are expected to to gain momentum and 39 new stores are expected to open this year." Since you won the shares, hang on and watch management as it works hard to recover," advised Conway. " But it's too soon for any new commitments of money."

Q. Oneida stock seems like a good investment to me. Thproblem is that no one I talk with seems to agree.What your opinion

For a very patient investor, Oneida Ltd. (around $13, NYSE) has the potential to be a great investment, said Richard Wholey of Chicago-based Wayne Hummer & Co. The company is the world's largest producer of stainless steel and silver-plated flatware. It also makes sterling and gold-painted flatware, and its Camden Wire subsidiary is a leading maker of copper wire and cable."Oneida's tremendous reputation for service has beaten back the competition in the flatware business," said Wholey, who considers the stock undervalued. " Once the recession is clearly over, profits should show nice advances, and in the meantime, the stock's downside seems limited."

Q. I filed my tax return more than 2 1/2 months ago and haven'recieved my refund. It has never taken this long before. Is there anything I can do?

A. he usual waiting period for an IRS check is four to six weekssaid Robert Greisman, tax partner with Grant Thornton. Even if you made a mistake in calculating your return, the IRS simply corrects the error and sends you the adjusted amount.If the error results in your not recieving a refund,you'd recieve written notification. " Since you have been waiting beyond the normal waiting period, you should contact your local IRS office, which will fill out a form on your behalf," said Greisman."This form will allow the IRS to run a trace on your return to find out the reason for the delay."

Andrew Leckey answers questions only through his column. Address such inquiries to Andrew Leckey Chicago Tribune,435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 606ll.

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