Saturday, March 10, 2012

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013

Active trading is a risky endeavor. To stay one step ahead of the pack, active investors need to continually monitor existing stock holdings while also researching new investment ideas. It takes a lot of time, and for many, simply parking money into an index fund or a mutual fund is a much easier path.
What is the downside of this strategy? These funds hold a range of investments that can bring mixed results. Moreover, the expenses on the funds can often eat into returns, and that really adds up when the power of compounding kicks in.

Perhaps the wisest move is to find a handful of great investments and hold on to them for a very long time. The transaction costs will be minimal, and your portfolio won’t be weighed down by “flash-in-the-pan” stocks.

Here are five companies that could easily form the core of a well-rounded portfolio. Each company has been around for a long time and is likely to remain as a major force for many years to come. In fact, you could probably hold onto these five stocks forever.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:DISH Network Corporation (DISH)

 DISH Network Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides direct broadcast satellite (DBS) subscription television services in the United States. It offers programming that includes approximately 280 basic video channels, 60 Sirius satellite radio music channels, 30 premium movie channels, 35 regional and specialty sports channels, 2,800 local channels, 250 Latino and international channels, and 55 channels of pay-per-view content. The company also offers local HD channels in approximately 160 markets and 215 national HD channels; and receiver systems, including a small satellite dish, digital set-top receivers, and remote controls. In addition, it provides, which enables DISH Network subscribers to watch 150,000 movies, television shows, clips, and trailers; DISH Remote Access that enables subscribers to remotely manage their DVRs using compatible mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops through their broadband-connected receiver; and Google TV that enables DISH Network subscribers to search the Internet, check email, interact with social media, and find additional online programming content while simultaneously watching television. As of March 31, 2011, the company had approximately 14.191 million customers. DISH Network provides receiver systems and programming through direct sales channels; and independent third parties, such as small satellite retailers, direct marketing groups, local and regional consumer electronics stores, nationwide retailers, and telecommunications companies. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:Eaton Corporation (ETN)

 Eaton Corporation operates as a power management company worldwide. It provides electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution, and control; hydraulics components, systems, and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics, and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain, and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy, and safety. The company also manufactures screw-in cartridge valves, custom-engineered hydraulic valves, and manifold systems; and electrical and electromechanical systems. In addition, it designs, manufactures, and distributes intake and exhaust valves for diesel and gasoline engines; supplies electrical components for commercial and residential building applications and industrial controls for industrial equipment applications; and manufactures human machine interfaces, programmable logic controllers, and input/output devices. Further, the company also operates as a provider of customized enclosures, rack systems, and air-flow management systems to store, power, and secure mission-critical IT data center electronics; and manufacturer, distributor, and service provider of single-phase and three-phase uninterruptible power supply systems. Eaton Corporation was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Curtis Hesler At 2011-9-28
    Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN): Down 0.23% to $34.73. Eaton Corporation manufactures engineered products which serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial, and aerospace markets. The Company’s principal products include hydraulic products and fluid connectors, electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck drivetrain systems, engine components, and a wide variety of controls.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:TotalFinaElf S.A. (TOT)

 TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, such as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Dave Friedman At 2011-9-23
    Institutional investors bought 15,892,820 shares and sold 13,997,360 shares, for a net of 1,895,460 shares. This net represents 0.08% of common shares outstanding. The number of shares outstanding is 2,234,829,040. The shares recently traded at $46.80 and the company’s market capitalization is $109,165,864,774.97. About the company: Total SA explores for, produces, refines, transports, and markets oil and natural! gas. Th e Company also operates a chemical division which produces polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, rubber, paint, ink, adhesives, and resins. Total operates gasoline filling stations in Europe, the United States, and Africa.
  • By Glenn At 2011-8-26
     TOT has a market capitalization of $130 billion. Its dividend yield last year of 5% is among the best in the industry. Current P/E ratio of 9.2 seems very attractive compared to the industry average of 12. The stock prices did not participate much in the recent bull market. While smaller sized competitors such as ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) and Statoil ASA (STO) offered spectacular returns (ranging from 30% to 50%), Total’s return in 2010 was only 2%. One may find that the price will catch up with profits.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:Emerson Radio Corporation (MSN)

 Emerson Radio Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in designing, sourcing, importing, marketing, selling, and licensing various house ware and consumer electronic products in the United States and internationally. It offers house wares products, such as microwave ovens, compact refrigerators, and wine coolers; audio products comprising digital clock radios, portable stereo systems, and other audio products; and video and other products, including televisions, digital video disc (DVD) players, mobile electronics, and telephone and telephone accessories. The company provides its products under the Emerson, HH Scott, and Olevia brands. It markets its products primarily through mass merchandisers. The company was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Moonachie, New Jersey. Emerson Radio Corp. operates as a subsidiary of Grande Holdings Limited.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:DTE Energy Company (DTE)

 DTE Energy Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company in Michigan. It also involves in non-utility operations. The company?s Energy Utility segment engages in the generation, purchase, distribution, and sale of electricity in southeastern Michigan. It generates electricity from various fuels, including coal, as well as from nuclear and hydro facilitates. As of December 31, 2010, this segment owned and operated approximately 674 distribution substations and approximately 412,100 line transformers; and supplied electricity to 2.1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in southeastern Michigan. The company?s Gas Utility segment engages in the purchase, storage, transmission, distribution, and sale of natural gas in Michigan. As of December 31, 2010, this segment?s distribution system included approximately 19,000 miles of distribution mains, 1,036,000 service lines, and 1,319,000 active meters. It also owned approximately 2,000 miles of transmission lines that deliver natural gas; and supplied natural gas to approximately 1.2 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout Michigan, as well as to approximately 17,000 customers in Adrian, Michigan. The company?s non-utility operations include natural gas pipelines and storage; unconventional gas exploration, development, and production; power and industrial projects, and coal transportation and marketing; and energy marketing and trading operations. Its customers include electric utilities, merchant power producers, integrated steel mills, and industrial companies. DTE Energy Company was founded in 1995 and is based in Detroit, Michigan.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Martin At 2011-10-6
    Deutsche Telekom AG is a diversified telecommunications & Information technology company operating in 5 areas: Germany, the United States, Europe, Southern and Eastern Europe. The company has a solid strategy in place to become the larg! est 4G n etwork in the United States, increase its annual revenue to $3 billion by 2014 & increase its profit margins while decreasing churn. Currently, the company's stock trades at almost 19 times earnings and sports a nice 6.52% dividend yield. The company has a market cap of almost $43 billion and it trades on the Frankfurt stock exchange. For the 3rd quarter of 2010, the company generated Euro 4.8 billion of free cash flow from which Euro 4 billion was paid in dividends. While this represents a high payout ratio, most companies in the telecommunications sector are known to pay a large portion of their cash to shareholders as dividends, in a bid to increase shareholder value.

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:ENSCO plc (ESV)

 Ensco plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry. The company engages in the drilling of offshore oil and natural gas wells by providing its drilling rigs and crews under contracts with international, government-owned, and independent oil and gas companies. As of February 15, 2010, it owned and operated 42 jackup rigs, 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs, and 1 barge rig. The company also has 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs under construction. It operates in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. The company was formerly known as Ensco International plc and changed its name to Ensco plc in March 2010. Ensco plc was founded in 1975 and is based in London, the United Kingdom.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Jake Lynch At 2011-10-6
    Ensco(ESV) sells offshore contract drilling services to other oil and gas companies. The company is based in London.
    Ensco is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 24. Its third-quarter adjusted earnings of 92 cents exceeded Wall Street's consensus forecast by 3.5%. Revenue of $428 million beat the target by 2.1%. Nevertheless, net sales are down 10% over 12 months and GAAP profit has declined year-over-year in seven consecutive quarters, hurting its stock.
    But, the stock is cheap relative to those of peers, trading at a trailing earnings multiple of 13, a forward earnings multiple of 13, a book value multiple of 1.3 and a cash flow multiple of 9.1, 80%, 38%, 56% and 46% discounts to oil-and-gas industry averages.
    Currently, 56% of analysts covering Ensco rate its stock "buy." Jefferies has a price target of $64 on the stock, suggesting 20% of upside in 2011. The highest target comes from FBR Capital Markets, which predicts a rise to $70 in the next 12 months.
  • By Skousen At 2011-10-6
    Ensco is a global offshore contract drilling company. Cramer holds 2,100 shares of ESV stocks. ESV has a dividend yield of 2.97% and returned -5.86% since the beginning of this year. It has a market cap of $10.94B and a P/E ratio of 16.54. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick invested $429 million in ESV

Best Stocks To Watch For 2013:Internap Network Services Corporation (INAP)

 Internap Network Services Corporation provides information technology (IT) infrastructure services. The company operates through two segments, Data Center Services and IP Services. The Data Center Services segment provides colocation services, which include physical space for hosting customers? IT infrastructure network and other equipment, as well as offers associated services, such as redundant power and network connectivity, environmental controls, and security. This segment also offers managed hosting services that enable its customers to own and manage the software applications and content, as well as provides and maintains the hardware, operating system, collocation, and bandwidth. The IP services segment provides patented performance Internet protocol (IP) service; XIP acceleration-as-a-service solution; and flow control platform, a premise-based intelligent routing hardware product for customers, who run their own multiple network architectures, known as multi-homing. In addition, this segment offers content delivery network services that enable its customers to stream and distribute media and content, such as video, audio software, and applications to audiences through points of presence, as well as offers capacity-on-demand services to handle events and unanticipated traffic spikes. Internap Network Services Corporation provides its services and products through 76 IP service points, which include 20 CDN POPs and 1 standalone CDN POP, as well as through 37 data centers across North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. It serves the entertainment and media, financial services, business services, software, hosting and information technology infrastructure, and telecommunications industries. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Harding At 2011-9-11
    Internap Network Services Corporation is an Internet solutions and data Center Company providing a suite of network optimization and de! livery s ervices and products that manage deliver and distribute applications. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.12 and next year is 0.21. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 2.85% current year and 9.34% next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 34.33. Out of eight analysts covering the company, three are positive and have buy recommendations and five have hold ratings.

SOPA and PIPA attract huge lobbying on both sides

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Two controversial anti-piracy bills, now effectively dead in the water, attracted enormous lobbying attention on both sides.
A total of 145 companies and organizations lobbied the House of Representatives for and against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), while 157 groups lobbied for and against its sister bill in the Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500), which supported both bills, was by far the biggest lobbyist, spending upwards of $5 million on the issue. In opposition to the bills, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) was the largest lobbyist, spending about $4 million. Lobbying totals are only very rough estimates, because companies often include multiple bills and issues in their lobbying reports to Congress.
SOPA and PIPA were proposed bills that aimed to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that hosted or facilitated the trading of pirated content.

SOPA explained: What it is and why it matters

Though opponents agreed that protecting content is a worthy goal, they argued that the way the bills were written effectively promoted censorship and were rife with the potential for unintended consequences.
The largest proponents came primarily from the commerce and media industries. Visa (V, Fortune 500) and Mastercard (MA, Fortune 500) spent several hundred thousand dollars, as did National Amusements, AT&T (T, Fortune 500), News Corp. (NWS) and Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500), CNNMoney's parent company. The cable, motion picture and recording industry lobbies also spent heavily in support of the bills.
The opposition was headed by Internet companies like eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500), Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500), Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) and the Web's domain registry, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
But some unexpected names also lobbied Congress about SOPA and PIPA, including Tiffany (TIF),! Ultimat e Fighting Championship and Pepsi (PEP, Fortune 500). However, companies are not required to disclose whether they lobbied for or against a particular bill.
It was a tremendous lobbying effort on both sides, though it was not enough to crack the top-10 most-lobbied bills of 2011.
Interestingly, the lobbying effort may not have been what ultimately sealed the bills' fate. After a massive pushback from tech companies and their supporters in online and physical protests, both SOPA and PIPA were officially "postponed" on January 20.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Chinese Stocks In 2014

Encouraging data earlier this month led to a bullish beginning for the markets in September. Thus far, the S&P 500 Index is up 8.8% — propelled higher on good global economic news. At the top of the stock market news is strong data from China’s manufacturing sector.
According to two recent surveys, Chinese manufacturing activity rose in August for the first time in four months. The two surveys showed production, new orders and purchasing prices all climbed higher in the month. Given the strength in the Chinese economy, I continue to expect China stocks to outperform in the coming rally with another 25% to 40% upside by year-end.
Overall, despite the inevitable volatility in the markets along the way, the unprecedented growth drivers in China will continue directing investors to where the real opportunity resides.
Here are my top five China stocks to buy as we enter October.

Good Chinese Stocks In 2014:China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd (CHU)

 China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited, an investment holding company, engages in the provision of GSM and WCDMA cellular, and related telecommunications services in the People's Republic of China.. The company offers cellular and fixed-line voice and related value-added services, broadband and other Internet-related services, information communications technology services, business and data communications services, and domestic and international long distance and related services. Its 3G services include mobile Internet, mobile music, mobile TV, video handsets, mobile newspapers, and 3G data cards. As of December 31, 2010, the company served approximately 153.366 million GSM subscribers, 47.224 million fixed-line broadband subscribers, and 96.635 million local access subscribers in 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions in Mainland China. It also offers its services in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited was founded in 2000. The company is based in Central, Hong Kong, and is considered a Red Chip company due to its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited is a subsidiary of China United Network Communications Group Company Limited.

Good Chinese Stocks In 2014:General Steel Holdings Inc. (GSI)

 General Steel Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel products in the People's Republic of China. It offers hot-rolled carbon and silicon steel sheets primarily for use in the production of small agricultural vehicles and other specialty markets; spiral-weld pipes for the energy sector primarily to transport oil and steam; and high-speed wire and reinforced bar products for the construction industry. The company sells its products primarily to distributors. General Steel Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Good Chinese Stocks In 2014:Perfect World Co. Ltd. (PWRD)

 Perfect World Co., Ltd., through its subsidiaries, engages in the research, development, operation, and licensing of online games primarily in the People?s Republic of China, the United States, and the Rest of Asia. It develops online games based on its game engines and game development platforms. The company?s 3D massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) include Perfect World, an adventure and fantasy game with traditional Chinese settings; Legend of Martial Arts, an adventure story of Chinese swordsmen set in an ancient kingdom; and Perfect World II, which is set in a similar content and graphic background as Perfect World. It also offers Zhu Xian that is based on martial arts focused adventure set in a fantasy world; Chi Bi, a war story developed based on ancient Chinese history known as the Three Kingdoms; Hot Dance Party, a 3D online casual game; Pocketpet Journey West, a 3D MMORPG based on the classical novel of Chinese literature, Journey to the West; Battle of the Immortals, a mysterious adventure, which enables game players to travel between eastern and western cultures, and adventures in historic sites and turf wars; and Fantasy Zhu Xian, a 2D turn-based MMORPG based on the Internet fantasy novel Zhu Xian. It also involves in the production and distribution of films, as well as television advertising activities. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Good Chinese Stocks In 2014:Vanceinfo Technologies Inc (VIT)

 VanceInfo Technologies Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of information technology (IT) services. The company offers research and development services in various phases of development, including requirements analysis, concept generation, product realization, quality assurance and testing, and technology and information transfer; and develops software products, such as middlewares, Internet protocols, and other software. It provides enterprise solutions for packaged evaluation and selection, packaged implementation, customization, regional rollout, version upgrades, and business intelligence/data warehouse, as well as enhancement, maintenance, and product support; and designs, develops, and implements software solutions to meet various client requirements, and provides maintenance services for software systems. VanceInfo also offers customized and automated testing practices, which include functional testing, globalization and localization testing, automation testing, performance testing, remote testing, and test process consulting; and globalization and localization services that comprise software and content localization, localization engineering, localization testing, internationalization engineering, and internationalization testing. The company serves technology, telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing, and retail and distribution industries primarily in China, the United States, Europe, and Japan. VanceInfo Technologies Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

These Are the Retailers to Watch This Earnings Season

There are a handful of savvy retailers that prepared for the tough economy by positioning themselves to profit - and now they're being rewarded with blockbuster earnings.

So far this earnings season, more than half of retailers have beat analysts' estimates for same-store sales, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

These earnings season winners have streamlined inventories and catered to the consumers who are still spending - and the efforts have paid off. They're exceeding sales expectations, watching their stocks climb, and are expected to continue the streak in future quarters - meaning profit opportunities for investors.

Here are the companies coming out on top of the retail sector.

Discounters Deliver Profits

Discount retailers continue to profit from price-conscious consumers, and many chains saw a solid boost from a healthy back-to-school shopping season.

"Despite being buffeted by the winds of inflation, [Hurricane] Irene and unemployment, this back-to-school season was the best since 2006," Craig Johnson, president of retail consultant Customer Growth Partners, told Reuters.

One of the best performing discount retailers so far has been Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO), which reported record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Aug. 27. Net sales for the quarter were up 9.1% from the year before to $2.13 billion, with sales totaling $5.55 billion for the whole year.

At a time of weak consumer sentiment, Family Dollar saw comparable store sales increase 5.5% for the year. The retailer expects another 4% to 6% jump in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

Now it plans to open 500 stores and remodel 1,000 in 2012.

"I think the most important thing is that the remodeled stores are positioned much better to provide customer service and it's a m! uch more compelling place to shop," said Family Dollar Chief Financial Officer Kenneth T. Smith. "That's evidenced by not only the customer surveys that we received, but also the fact that they're buying more. This program is positioning us nicely with our customer, and we feel great about it as indicated by our decision to continue the very aggressive pace of the program."

The bright outlook prompted analyst Dan Wewer of Raymond James & Associates last week to raise the stock's rating to "Strong Buy" from "Outperform." Family Dollar stock is up more than 8.5% for the year.

Upcoming earnings to look out for in the discount-retailing sector include big-name competitors Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). Both are expected to report higher sales.

Wal-Mart executives said Wednesday at the company's annual meeting that the discount giant was ready to end its streak of declining sales. After nine straight quarters of lower sales at U.S. stores open at least a year, Wal-Mart is expected to report an increase when it releases earnings next month.

Wal-Mart has some catching up to do because while it was struggling to reach positive sales numbers, chief competitor Target forged ahead.

Target has started to focus on consumable items as a strategy to generate more same-store sales and it's paying off.

Since hitting a 52-week low of $45.28 in June, Target has climbed more than 16% to close Thursday at $52.69. Target's September sales were up 6.5% from last year, boosting sales so far this quarter up 6% year-over-year.

"Target's got a better shopping experience, they understand their consumers better, and I think it's a clean place to go," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "They're not even getting started in international sales so they've still got that opened to them as well."

Target will release earnings Nov. 14 aft! er its t hird quarter ends Oct. 31.

Also expect Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) to beat analyst expectations when it announces third-quarter earnings at the end of November. The discount chain on Aug. 30 reported record second-quarter sales and earnings, and its stock since then has gained 8%. It's up 25% year-to-date. Sales were up 11.2% from the prior year, and adjusted net income rose 25%. The company expects total sales to rise 12% to 14% for its fiscal year 2011 ending Feb. 3, 2012.

High-End Earnings

On the other end of the retail spectrum, high-end companies are appealing to wealthier consumers who continue to spend more, despite fears of a double-dip recession.

"We've been seeing in these more challenging times that the high-end retailers have been doing very well because those who can afford it are opening their purses," Steve Riordan, global managing director for PRGX Global Inc, told MarketWatch.

Burberry Group PLC reported a 44% increase in retail sales for its fiscal first half. The result was a 30% jump in revenue, which came to $1.3 billion (830 million pounds).

And Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) in August reported a 10.6% jump in same-store sales of for the 2011 fiscal year.

High-end retailer earnings to watch for this quarter include Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), reporting Nov. 29. The luxury brand's second-quarter revenue was 24% higher year-over-year, same-store sales rose 22% and earnings climbed 33%. The company adjusted earnings per share to 86 cents, 20% higher than analysts expected.

Tiffany's stock is up about 11% since its last earnings release. Analysts' average 12-month price target is currently $83.44, an 18.25% premium to Thursday's $70.26 closing price.

Also, look for men's clothing manufacturer Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ: JOSB) when it announces third-quarter earnings Nov. 28. The company's profits rose 25% in the second quarter and its stock is up 21.5% f! or the y ear.

The company has consistently raised sales and revenue by appealing to consumers with amazing deals like "buy one, get two free" promotions and 70% discounts. The initiatives have helped sales grow 20% annually the past few years and allowed the company to open 110 U.S. stores since 2008.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Citi wins OK for Chinese credit card

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Citibank won approval to issue its own credit card in China, making it the first non-Asian bank to enter that market.
The approval from Chinese banking authorities was announced by the bank's parent, Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Monday. The card is expected to be issued sometime later this year.
"This approval represents a significant milestone in the continued expansion of Citi's business in China, a priority market for Citi," said Stephen Bird, CEO of Citi's Asia Pacific unit.
Citi has had a co-branded credit card in China since 2004 through a joint venture with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB). But those card holders are considered to be SPDB's customers, not Citi's. Citi has 16 million other credit card customers elsewhere in Asia.
The Bank of East Asia, based in a Hong Kong, is the only other bank from outside of China that's permitted to issue cards by itself in the country.
The United States, through the World Trade Organization, been pushing China to open its market to U.S. credit card and debit card issuers without the use of domestic joint venture partners which the Chinese regulators typically require.
For example, last month Citi won approval to establish a joint-venture securities firm in China, together with Orient Securities Company Ltd. The entity, Citi Orient Securities Co Ltd, will be based in Shanghai, and will engage in investment banking business in the Chinese domestic market, including securities underwriting, as approved by China Securities Regulatory Commission.
General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) is another example of a U.S. firm that is forced to operate only with joint venture partners. It has the leading share of the rapidly-growing Chinese market for autos, which is the now the largest in the world. But virtually all those sales are through various joint ventures that GM has with Chinese automakers.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012

"Buy low and sell high" is more than just a trite investing axiom - it's the formula for investing success.

But exactly what do we mean when we say "buy low?"

Take that $1-a-share stock. If a company has falling profits, negative net worth and a dying product line (e.g., typewriters), that $1.00 stock could actually be quite expensive.

But if the company whose shares are trading at a buck has cash in the bank, no debt, a high "intrinsic value" and a growing market for its trendsetting products, it could easily be a real bargain at $100.

The key in both cases, of course, is value. Finding stocks that are selling at a cheap price relative to their true worth can be an investors' next big portfolio winner.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:American Income Fund Inc. (MRF)

 American Income Fund Inc. is a closed-ended fixed-income mutual fund launched and managed by FAF Advisors, Inc. It is co-managed by Nuveen Asset Management. The fund invests in fixed income markets of the United States. It seeks to invest in companies operating across diversified sectors. The fund primarily invests in combination of mortgage-backed securities and higher-yielding corporate bonds. It maintains an average minimum credit quality of BBB and effective duration of the portfolio at five years. The fund benchmarks the performance of its portfolios against Lehman Brothers High Yield Index and Lehman Brothers Government/Mortgage Index. American Income Fund Inc was formed on December 30, 1988 and is domiciled in United States.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Ross Stores Inc. (ROST)

 Ross Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home accessories stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd?s DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. Its Ross Dress for Less brand stores sell brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices; and dd?s DISCOUNTS brand stores sell apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. As of January 29, 2011, the company operated 1,055 stores, of which 988 were Ross Dress for Less brand stores in 27 states and Guam, and 67 were dd?s DISCOUNTS brand stores in 6 states. Its Ross Dress for Less brand stores primarily target middle income households and dd?s DISCOUNTS brand stores target moderate income households. Ross Stores, Inc. was founded in 1957 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Bristow Group Inc (BRS)

 Bristow Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry primarily in Europe, West Africa, North America, Australia, and internationally. Its helicopters are used principally to transport personnel between onshore bases and offshore platforms, drilling rigs, and installations, as well as to transport time-sensitive equipment to offshore locations. The company also offers helicopter flight training services to commercial pilots and flight instructors through its Bristow Academy with facilities in Titusville, Florida; Concord, California; New Iberia, Louisiana and Gloucestershire, England. In addition, it provides military training; and helicopter repair, engineering support, aircraft leasing, airport management, and search and rescue services. Bristow Group provides its helicopter services to integrated, national, and independent oil and gas companies. As of March 31, 2011, it operated a fleet of 569 aircraft. The company was founded in 1969 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Bank of Nova Scotia (The) (BNS)

 The Bank of Nova Scotia, together with its subsidiaries, offers various personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking services in Canada and internationally. It has four segments: Canadian Banking, International Banking, Global Wealth Management, and Scotia Capital. The Canadian Banking segment includes retail and small business banking, which provides mortgages, loans, credit cards, investments, and day-to-day banking products to individuals and small businesses; and commercial banking business that delivers a product suite to medium and large businesses, including banking, cash management, lending, and leasing. This segment operates in Canada through a network of 1,024 branches and 2,998 automated banking machines (ABMs), as well as telephone, Internet banking, and third party channels. The International Banking segment provides retail and commercial banking services to customers located in the Caribbean and Central America, Mexico, Latin America, and Asia. It operates through a network of approximately 2,000 branches and offices, 3,686 ABMs, telephone and Internet banking, in-store banking kiosks, and specialized sales forces. The Scotia Capital segment provides corporate lending, equity and debt underwriting, and mergers and acquisitions advisory services, as well as capital markets products and services, such as fixed income, derivatives, prime brokerage, securitization, foreign exchange, equity sales, and trading and research services to corporate, government, and institutional investor clients. This segment also provides precious and base metals related banking services, through ScotiaMocatta. The Global Wealth Management segment comprises wealth management, insurance, and global transaction banking businesses. It collaborates and works in partnership with Canadian Banking, International Banking, and Scotia Capital segments. The Bank of Nova Scotia was founded in 1832 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Acme United Corporation. (ACU)

 Acme United Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, develops and markets cutting, measuring, and safety products to the school, home, office, hardware, and industrial markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Its cutting device products include scissors, shears, guillotine paper trimmers, rotary paper trimmers, rotary cutters, knives, hobby knives and blades, utility knives, pruners, loppers, saws, manicure products, medical cutting instruments, and pencil sharpeners. The company?s measuring instruments products comprise rulers, math tools, tape measures, erasers, compasses and protractors, and rulers and math kits; and safety products that consist of first aid kits, personal protection products, over-the-counter medication refills, emergency care responder kits, and flu care kits. It sells its products through its independent manufacturer representatives and directly under the Westcott, Clauss, Camillus, and PhysiciansCare brand names. The company serves wholesale, contract, and retail stationery distributors; office supply super stores; school supply distributors; drug store retailers; industrial distributors; wholesale florists; mass market retailers; and hardware chains. Acme United Corporation was founded in 1867 and is headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Company (SKBI)

 Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Company engages in the research, development, production, marketing, and sale of veterinary healthcare and medical care products in the People?s Republic of China. Its products include veterinary medicine for poultry and livestock; micro-organism products; bio-pharmaceutical veterinary vaccines; and feed additives. The company offers its products through distributors and directly to customers. Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Company is headquartered in Xi?an, the People?s Republic of China.

Good Stocks To Invest In 2012:Desarrolladora Homex (HXM)

 Desarrolladora Homex, S.A.B. de C.V. operates as a vertically integrated home development company principally engaged in the development, construction, and sale of affordable entry-level, middle-income, and tourism housing in Mexico; and affordable entry-level housing in Brazil. As of December 31, 2010, the company had land reserves of approximately 82.3 million square meters, which include the titled land and land in the process of being titled. It operates in 34 cities located in 21 Mexican states, including Mexico City metropolitan area and Jalisco. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Culiacan, Mexico.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013

The political uproar from the debt-ceiling negotiations has resulted in high volatility and heavy selling in the past week. But despite the uncertainties, along with an economic slowdown in Europe and the United States, stocks are still confined to a trading range that began early this year.
But offsetting the uncertainties is the fact that with more than three-quarters of all companies reporting earnings, almost three-quarters of them have exceeded Q2 earnings estimates. Thus, it appears that the current trading range will be maintained. Patient investors should use the current pullback as an opportunity to acquire undervalued securities.
Here are your top stocks to invest in March:

Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN)

 Texas Instruments Incorporated engages in the design and sale of semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company?s Analog segment offers high-performance analog products comprising standard analog semiconductors, such as amplifiers, data converters, and interface semiconductors; high-volume analog and logic products; and power management semiconductors and line-powered systems. Its Embedded Processing segment includes DSPs that perform mathematical computations to process and enhance digital data; and microcontrollers, which are designed to control a set of specific tasks for electronic equipment. The company?s Wireless segment designs, manufactures, and sells application processors and connectivity products. Its Other segment offers smaller semiconductor products, which include DLP products that are primarily used in projectors to create high-definition images; and application-specific integrated circuits. This segment also provides handheld graphing and scientific calculators, as well as licenses technologies to other electronic companies. The company serves the communications, computing, industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, and education sectors. Texas Instruments Incorporated sells its products through a direct sales force, distributors, and third-party sales representatives. It has collaboration agreements with PLX Technology Inc.; Neonode, Inc.; and Ubiquisys Ltd. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Fabian At 2011-12-26
    Texas Instruments (TXN) has been given an Overweight rating by J.P. Morgan and is the top pick of the industry because it has positive potential to Consensus estimates over the next year. Currently, its stock is trading at $30.42 and is expected to reach a target price of $33. Earnings per share of $2.63 are likely to see a 10% accretion in C12 due to the company’s acquisition of National Semiconductor. Texas Instruments has market capitalization of $34.76 billion and its P/E ratio of 16.6x is likely to rise to 17.4x by the end of next year.
  • By Fabian At 2011-10-30
    Texas Instruments investment returned 46.3% during the past year. The amount of investment is $403 Million. Miller reduced his TXN holdings by 25% during the last quarter of 2010. Since then the stock returned 11.1%. David Tepper also bought TXN during the third quarter.
  • By Paul Goodwin At 2011-8-26
     How do they make their money? TXN makes the PA Duplexer Module and the CDMA PA that goes into every iPhone. With a PEG ratio of 0.2 reveals huge discount compared to peers. This is a cash rich company and one I feel will be a strong performer within the next year.
  • By Chuck At 2011-8-26
     PEG ratio of 0.2 reveals huge discount compared to peers. This is a cash rich company and one I feel will be a strong performer within the next year.

Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:EZchip Semiconductor Limited (EZCH)

 EZchip, a fabless semiconductor company, engages in the development and marketing of Ethernet network processors for networking equipment. Its products include network processor chips, evaluation boards and network-processor based systems, and development software toolkits. The company offers network processors for use in forming the silicon core of networking equipment, such as switches and routers; and for voice, video and data integration in various applications. Its network processors are single-chip solutions, which enable its customers to design multi-port line cards, such as processing and classification engines, traffic managers, media access controllers, as well as a range of specialized hardware blocks that accelerate various functions. The company offers Evaluation systems which enable customers to test NPU-based systems; and toolkits that assist customers in creating, verifying, and implementing solutions based on its network processors. It provides a library featuring data plane code for a range of applications, which include Metro Ethernet protocols, Multi-Protocol Label Switching, IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Access Control Lists, GPON/EPON OLT functionality, Network Address Translation, and Server Load Balancing. The company sells its products directly, and through contract manufacturers and distributors to network equipment vendors. It markets its products in Israel, China, Hong Kong, the Far East, Canada, the United States, and Europe. The company was formerly known as LanOptics Ltd. and changed its name to EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. in July 2008. EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is based in Yokneam, Israel.
Advisors' Opinion:
  • By Paul At 2011-8-26
     Known for designing high-speed networking equipment chips. They had a solid first quarter as revenue gained 38% and now they are sitting on $75 million of cash with no expenses or debt. I believe this is a strong technology bet and I place a target of $30.
  • Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Panera Bread Company (PNRA)

     Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Its bakery-cafes offer fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products, as well as provide catering services. The company also manufactures and supplies dough and other products to company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes. As of March 29, 2011, it owned and franchised 1,467 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Sy_Harding At 2012-1-11
      Panera is a great growth story that continues to get better. Panera is thriving in the casual dining arena with fellow Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG). Quick food that is good and good for you. The company is now moving i! nto citi es, which provides another strong revenue stream for the company and continues to build up their image. It has the potential for a lot more stores, and we believe the company is ready to move into new markets. We have a $170 PT on the company, and we see this stock as a growth story about to take off even further in 2012.
      Allocation: $2000
      Entry: $137.00
      Target: $150, $170
    • By Fabian At 2011-8-26
       Most of you have probably eaten at one of these franchise bakery-cafes. If not I highly recommend it, as for the company itself they are exceptional. Profit soared 50% in the first quarter, operating margins rose several percentage points, and Panera is sitting on $300+ million of cash. Right now it’s at a 30% discount to its peer averages and the stock is very cheap when valued against future earnings. Strong buy expect it to rise to $105.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Manitowoc Company Inc. (The) (MTW)

     The Manitowoc Company, Inc. engages in the manufacture and sale of cranes and related products, and foodservice equipment. The company operates through two segments, Cranes and Related Products, and Foodservice Equipment. The Cranes and Related Products segment designs, manufactures, and markets a range of lattice-boom crawler cranes, mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, and boom trucks. Its crane products are used in various applications, including energy; petrochemical and industrial projects; infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges, and airport constructions; commercial and high-rise residential construction; and mining and dredging. This segment provides its crane products under the Manitowoc, Grove, Potain, National, Shuttlelift, and Dongyue brand names. It also offers crane-related product support services comprising maintenance and repair services, and parts supply principally under the Crane Care brand name. The Foodservice segment designs, manufactures, and sells primary cooking and warming equipment; ice-cube machines, ice flaker machines, and storage bins; refrigerator and freezer equipment; ware washing equipment; beverage dispensers and related products; serving and storage equipment; and food preparation equipment. This segment markets its products under the Cleveland, Convotherm, Delfield, Frymaster, Garland, Jackson, Kolpak, Kysor Panel Systems, Kysor Warren, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Merrychef, Multiplex, and SerVend brand names. It serves commercial and institutional foodservice operators, such as full service restaurants, quick-service restaurant chains, hotels, industrial caterers, supermarkets, convenience stores, hospitals, schools, and other institutions. The company operates in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Africa, south Pacific and the Caribbean, and Australia. The Manitowoc Company was founded in 1853 and is based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Michael At 2011-8-26
       < p>Some are touting this as a home run trade. I agree it has high-risk high reward benefits. With incremental savings from cost cutting initiatives, strong sales outlook, and wider margins this stock could very likely double in the next 12-months.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Rackspace Hosting Inc (RAX)

     Rackspace Hosting, Inc. operates in the hosting and cloud computing industry. It provides information technology (IT) as a service, managing Web-based IT systems for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises worldwide. The company?s service suite includes dedicated hosting comprising customer management portal and other management tools that manage data center, network, hardware devices, and operating system software; and cloud computing that enables customers to provide and manage a pool of computing resources, as well as delivery of computing resources to business when they need them. It offers cloud servers, cloud files, and cloud sites, as well as cloud applications, such as email, collaboration, and file back-ups; and hybrid hosting that provides a combination of dedicated hosting and cloud computing services. The company also offers customer support services. It sells its service suite through direct sales teams, third-party channel partners, and online ordering. The company was formerly known as, Inc. and changed its name to Rackspace Hosting, Inc. in June 2008. Rackspace Hosting, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Sherry Jim At 2011-8-26
       This computing specialist that provides web-based IT systems has soared 60%+ in the past year.  With a P/S above 3 and Price to Cash of 10 this stock is poised to continue to soar and outperform it’s peers. $25 in a year is a realistic bet.
    • By Hutchinson At 2011-8-26
       This computing specialist that provides web-based IT systems has soared 60%+ in the past year.  With a P/S above 3 and Price to Cash of 10 this stock is poised to continue to soar and outperform it’s peers. $10 in a year is a realistic bet.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:OmniVision Technologies Inc. (OVTI)

     OmniVision Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets semiconductor image-sensor devices. The company offers CameraChip image sensors, which are single-chip solutions that integrate various functions, such as image capture, image processing, color processing, signal conversion, and output of a processed image or video stream for use in various consumer and commercial mass-market applications; and CameraCube imaging devices that are image sensors with integrated wafer-level optics. It also provides companion chips used to connect its image sensors to various interfaces, including the universal serial bus and other industry standard interfaces; and companion digital signal processors that perform compression in standardized still photo and digital video formats. In addition, the company designs and develops software drivers for Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows, as well as for embedded operating systems, such as Blackberry OS, Palm OS, Symbian, Windows CE, Windows Embedded, and Windows Mobile. Its products are used in mobile phones, notebooks, Webcams, digital still and video cameras, commercial and security and surveillance, and automotive and medical applications, as well as in entertainment devices. The company sells its products directly to original equipment manufacturers and value added resellers, as well as indirectly through distributors worldwide. OmniVision Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is based in Santa Clara, California.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Karim At 2011-8-26
       They make the 5-megapixel sensors in the camera of every iPhone. Along with this they carry a strong balance sheet and upbeat earnings expectations boding well for future growth.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Sify Technologies Limited (SIFY)

     Sify Technologies Limited provides enterprise and consumer Internet services primarily in India. The company offers various corporate network/data services comprising e-commerce and network connectivity solutions, such as end-to-end services network, application, and security services; voice origination and termination services; co-location and managed hosting services; and system integration services for data centre build, hardware distribution, security solutions, and turnkey projects. It also provides application services, including SLEMS and Microsoft Exchange messaging platforms; I-test for online assessment and LiveWire, which enable management of training processes across the organization; document management system for the management of documents electronically; and Forum, a forward supply chain solution. In addition, the company operates e-Ports that offer browsing, chat, email, gaming, utility bill payment, travel ticketing, hotel booking, mobile recharge, Internet telephony, and online share trading services; and portals, which provide news, views, reviews, interactions, and services in the areas of movies, sports, finance, food, videos, astrology, online games, shopping, and travel, as well as offers content offerings and broadband services. Further, it provides infrastructure management services, such as network management, datacenter and helpdesk outsourcing, desktop and storage outsourcing, IT security outsourcing, LAN and WAN outsourcing, database and telecom outsourcing, and application monitoring and management services to automotive, chemical, media, and financial enterprises; and virtualization design, integration, and deployment services for servers, storage, networks, and end user clients. Sify has approximately 1,278 e-Ports in 200 towns and cities; and serves 1,06,000 broadband subscribers through 1500 cable TV Operators. The company, formerly known as Sify Limited, was founded in 1995 and is based in Chennai, India.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Wyatt Rese! arch Sta ff At 2011-8-30
      Shares of SIFY skyrocketed last week after the company announced a new partnership with Saudi telecom. SIFY will provide ICT services to the Middle East's largest telecom carrier.
      Shares of the Indian-based internet and network services have doubled over the past four months.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:InterDigital Inc. (IDCC)

     Interdigital, Inc. engages in the design and development of digital wireless technology solutions. The company offers technology solutions for use in digital cellular and wireless products and networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and IEEE 802-related products and networks. It holds patents related to the fundamental technologies that enable wireless communications. The company licenses its patents to equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular and IEEE 802-related products; and licenses or sells mobile broadband modem solutions, including modem IP, know-how, and reference platforms to mobile device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and other equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular products. InterDigital?s solutions are incorporated in various products comprising mobile devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, notebook computers, and wireless personal digital assistants; wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations; and components, dongles, and modules for wireless devices. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By SmallCap Investor At 2011-8-30
      The wireless technology company said it's exploring its options, including a possible sale, following last month's successful auction of Nortel Networks intellectual property which brought in $4.5 billion. IDCC owns about 1,300 patents related to mobile phone technology.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Petroquest Energy Inc (PQ)

     PetroQuest Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company. It engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of oil and gas properties in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as onshore and in the shallow waters offshore the Gulf Coast Basin. As of December 31, 2009, the company had estimated proved reserves of 1,931 thousand barrels of oil and 167,361 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. It owned working interests in 9 net producing oil wells and 277 net producing gas wells. PetroQuest Energy was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By SmallCap Investor At 2011-8-30
      Shares traded sharply higher after the oil and gas explorer issued an operational update that revealed details of a discovery at its La Cantera site in Louisiana. Raymond James analysts bumped the stock rating to market perform based on the new findings and an improving balance sheet.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Voyager Oil & Gas Inc. (VOG)

     Voyager Oil & Gas, Inc. engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas in the United States. It primarily focuses on oil shale resource prospects in Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming. As of May 17, 2011, the company controlled approximately 141,500 net acres in the five primary prospect areas comprising 28,000 net acres targeting the Bakken/Three Forks in North Dakota and Montana; 14,200 net acres targeting the Niobrara formation in Colorado and Wyoming; 800 net acres targeting a Red River prospect in Montana; 33,500 net acres in a joint venture targeting the Heath Shale formation in Musselshell, Petroleum, Garfield, and Fergus counties of Montana; and 65,000 net acres in a joint venture in the Tiger Ridge gas field in Blaine, Hill, and Chouteau counties of Montana. It supplies energy and fuel for industrial, commercial, and individual consumers. The company is based in Billings, Montana.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By SmallCap Investor At 2011-8-30
      Shares of this explorer, which has operations in the Western U.S., crossed back above $3 and have risen 40 percent in the past month, amid increasing investor interest in companies drilling in the Bakken region.

    Great Small Cap Stocks To Hold In 2013:Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (AXAS)

     Abraxas Petroleum Corporation, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and production of oil and gas in the United States and Canada. Its oil and gas assets are primarily located in the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin, and Gulf Coast regions of the United States, as well as in the province of Alberta, Canada. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s estimated net proved reserves were 26.6 million barrels of oil equivalent. As of the same date, it owned interests in 143,606 net acres; and operated 1,307 wells. The company was founded in 1977 and is based in San Antonio, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Guru Focus At 2011-9-20
      Former EVP/CFO of Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS) Chris E Williford sold 100,000 shares on 09/15/2011 at an average price of $3.42. Chris E Williford owns at least 98,974 shares after this. The price of the stock has decreased by 0% since.

      Abraxas Petroleum Corporation is an independent energy company engaged primarily in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation and production of crude oil and natural gas. Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has a market cap of $313.9 million; its shares were traded at around $3.42 with and P/S ratio of 5.3.

      Abraxas Petroleum Corp recently released its second quarter 2011 results. During this quarter, the company saw revenues of $17.0 million and net income of $8.9 million ($0.10 per share) – compared to $15.0 million and $5.3 million respectively last year. EBITDA was $7.4 million.
    • By SmallCap Investor At 2011-8-30
      The oil and gas company has far-flung operations across North America, including in the hot Bakken region. Shares have popped 60 percent in the past month, regaining some ground lost earlier this year.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Trimble Navigation Limited's Earnings Are Outstanding

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.
Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Trimble Navigation Limited (Nasdaq: TRMB  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. FCF = free cash flow. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.
Over the past 12 months, Trimble Navigation Limited generated $218.4 million cash while it booked net income of $150.8 million. That means it turned 13.3% of its revenue into FCF. That sounds pretty impressive.
All cash is not equal
Unfortunately, the cash flow statement isn't immune from nonsense, either. That's why it pays to take a close look at the components of cash flow from operations, to make sure that the cash flows are of high quality. What does that mean? To me, it means they need to be real and! replica ble in the upcoming quarters, rather than being offset by continual cash outflows that don't appear on the income statement (such as major capital expenditures).
For instance, cash flow based on cash net income and adjustments for non-cash income-statement expenses (like depreciation) is generally favorable. An increase in cash flow based on stiffing your suppliers (by increasing accounts payable for the short term) or shortchanging Uncle Sam on taxes will come back to bite investors later. The same goes for decreasing accounts receivable; this is good to see, but it's ordinary in recessionary times, and you can only increase collections so much. Finally, adding stock-based compensation expense back to cash flows is questionable when a company hands out a lot of equity to employees and uses cash in later periods to buy back those shares.
So how does the cash flow at Trimble Navigation Limited look? Take a peek at the chart below, which flags questionable cash flow sources with a red bar.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. TTM = trailing 12 months.
When I say "questionable cash flow sources," I mean items such as changes in taxes payable, tax benefits from stock options, and asset sales, among others. That's not to say that companies booking these as sources of cash flow are weak, or are engaging in any sort of wrongdoing, or that everything that comes up questionable in my graph is automatically bad news. But whenever a company is getting more than, say, 10% of its cash from operations from these dubious sources, investors ought to make sure to refer to the filings and dig in.
Trimble Navigation Limited's issue isn't questionable cash flow boosts, but items in that suspect group that reduced cash flow. Within the questionable cash flow figure plotted in ! the TTM period above, stock-based compensation and related tax benefits provided the biggest boost, at 5.7% of cash flow from operations. Overall, the biggest drag on FCF came from changes in accounts receivable, which represented 13.2% of cash from operations.
A Foolish final thought
Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' cash flow. I think that's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home-run stocks that provide the market's best returns.
We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service.
  • Add Trimble Navigation Limited to My Watchlist.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Senate Bill Threatens Life of Stretch IRAs

Industry trade groups are up in arms over a provision in a Senate highway bill that would reduce the value of inherited IRAs, commonly referred to as stretch IRAs, and are determined to have it removed.

The bill, S. 1813, the Highway Investment, Job Creation, and Economic Growth Act, includes a provision that would no longer permit tax deferred stretches of IRAs for beneficiaries other than a spouse, minor children or the disabled. Others, such as adult children, would only be permitted a five-year window to defer.

The provision would require beneficiaries to pay taxes on inherited IRAs over five years instead of spreading them over their lifetime. If passed, the provision would apply to deaths after Dec. 31, 2012.

The proposal is designed to reduce the value of a tax-planning technique that allows inside buildup of tax-deferred funds inside inherited retirement accounts.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, added the provision on Feb. 7 during markup of the bill by his committee, but after pushback he promised to have the provision removed.

During the markup of the bill, Baucus said that “IRAs are intended for retirement,” adding that IRAs are being “used by some taxpayers to give tax-free benefits” to future generations. The taxes from the stretch IRAs provision was to be used to help pay for the highway bill, and would raise $4.6 billion over 10 years.

As it stands now, the provision was adopted by Baucus’ committee and remains intact in the highway bill, which awaits action by the full Senate. Once taken up by the Senate, industry officials believe that the IRA provision will be replaced with one that raises the funds by changing the way assets are valued in defined benefit plans.

Judy Miller, chief of actuarial issues at the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, says that the new provision would likely "reduce the current required contribution to defined benefit plans; when you do that there are fewer deductions taken so it raises money."

But given that the IRA provision has yet to be taken out, the Financial Services Institute is mobilizing its members to have it removed.

Chris Paulitz, spokesperson for FSI, says that FSI “won’t rest" until it's removed. "We’re keeping the pressure on from our members to try and ensure it eventually is indeed stripped out.”

FSI said in a Feb. 15 letter to its members that “while we expect the provision to be removed from the highway bill, it is important that we send the Senate the message that taxes on inherited IRAs should not be used to pay for other governmental spending.”

IRA guru Ed Slott told AdvisorOne on Tuesday that Congress “sees gold in IRAs,” and that the provision on stretch IRAs being inserted into the highway bill “is an indication of where Congress intends to find money to pay for the future.”

Slott said that advisors must “look at the money that their clients may intend to leave over [to heirs] and leverage that now, whether through life insurance or a charitable trust or changing beneficiaries” because Congress believes that IRA money “was never meant to be used as an estate planning vehicle to pass on to beneficiaries.”

Robert Miller, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, told AdvisorOne that NAIFA "is concerned that changing the tax rules on inherited IRAs and other retirement products would place an added burden on middle-income Americans at a time when numerous studies show that Americans are financially under-prepared for retirement."

At the very least, he said, "legislation changing the rules should receive more study rather than being rushed through as part of a highway bill. NAIFA is pleased that the Senate leadership has proposed to remove changes to inherited IRAs from the current bill.”