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2 LI companies on investor 'Whale Watch'

Hain Celestial Group chief executive Irwin Simon at

Hain Celestial Group chief executive Irwin Simon at his Melville headquarters. Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2009

The Hain Celestial Group and Forest Laboratories Inc. are on a "Whale Watch" list on the financial blog -- a list that some smaller investors use as a guide to the stock market.

They're on the list because the stocks are favored by "whales"  as big investors   like Warren Buffett, George Soros, Carl Icahn, Henry Paulson are known.

Hain is based in Melville; and Forest Laboratories, based in Manhattan, has four production and office locations in Commack, two in Hauppauge and one in Farmingdale.

Hain and Forest Labs qualify for the Whale Watch in part because they rank highly in terms of free cash flow and "levered free cash flow" — defined as available cash after paying interest on company debt.

Hain, the natural foods purveyor, is No. 6 on the Whale Watch list of 17 stocks. Forest Labs is No. 11.

Other companies on the list  are Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Target, GlaxoSmithKline plc., Whirlpool, Monsanto and The Washington Post Co.

Photo:  Hain Celestial chief executive Irwin Simon in his Melville headquarters. (2009)

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