Saturday, March 31, 2012

Approach Resources Inc. currently trading above From Target Price while Gross Margin Remained More Than 85% - NASDAQ:AREX

Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:AREX) recently hit 52 week peak price $33.89, opened at $31.17 scored +5.18% closed $32.48. AREX traded on over 0.204 million shares in comparison to average volume of 0.222 million shares.
AREX has earnings of $4.92 million and made $53.17 million sales for the last 12 months. Its quarter to quarter sales remained 69.75%. The company has 27.28 million of outstanding shares and 24.40 million shares were floated in the market.
AREX has an insider ownership at 0.59% and institutional ownership remained 90.41%. Its return on investment (ROI) for the last 12 month was 1.55% as compare to its return on equity (ROE) of 2.18% for the last 12 months.
The price moved ahead +18.92% from the mean of 20 days, +31.57% from 50 and went up 129.51% from 200 days average price. Company�s performance for the week was 15.34%, +33.50% for month and yearly performance remained 289.92%.
Its price volatility for a month remained 4.42% whereas volatility for a week noted as 4.66%. Company�s price to sales ratio for last 12 months was 16.66 while its price to book ratio for the most recent quarter was 3.05 and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained 36.10 million for the past twelve months.

Venoco Beats Expectations but Takes a Step Back Anyway

Venoco (NYSE: VQ  ) filed its 10-K on Feb. 16. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Venoco missed slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly and GAAP earnings per share increased significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Revenue details
Venoco recorded revenue of $83.4 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw a top line of $84.7 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 16% higher than the prior-year quarter's $72.1 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.35. The 10 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.11 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.50 for Q4 were much higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.07 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 68.0%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 46.9%, 6,080 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 36.5%, 3,030 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $99.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.10.
Next year's average es! timate f or revenue is $432.8 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.08.
Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 133 members out of 152 rating the stock outperform, and 19 members rating it underperform. Among 51 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 47 give Venoco a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Venoco is hold, with an average price target of $12.93.
Are you missing a major story in the energy space? Read about "One Stock to Own Before Nat Gas Act 2011 Becomes Law." Click here for instant access to this free report.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Many stocks are on the move this Friday morning.� Active traders and day traders are likely to be watching the moves seen in Capstead Mortgage Corp. (NYSE: CMO), GT Solar International Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR), Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU), MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR), National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM), Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK), The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE), Allied Irish Banks plc (NYSE: AIB), and Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC).
Corinthian Colleges Inc. (NASDAQ: COCO) is up again, still on rumors that Pershing Square’s Ackman may have a very heightened interest.
Capstead Mortgage Corp. (NYSE: CMO) is lower by 5.6% at $11.15 on thin trading volume after its $0.26 dividend declaration yesterday represented another cut.
GT Solar International Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR) is actually higher after pricing its secondary offering of 11 million shares at $7.39 per share.� Shares are up 1% at $7.47 on more than 1 million shares.� This stock was above $8.70 before the deal became known this week.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) is surging after strong earnings this morning; shares are up9.3% at $39.20 on over 70,000 shares.
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) is trading up on thin volume after its subsidiary signed a memorandum of understanding for 400MW of solar plants in a Korean province.� Shares are indicated up 2.9% at $11.00.
National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) is trading lower after earnings and after seeing little growth ahead. Shares are down 5.8% at $12.15 on over 60,000 shares.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) is trading higher after naming a new CEO, which the company has been trying to reluctantly fight for weeks or months.� Shares (ADRs) are indicated up 4.4% at $10.19 on more than 2 million shares.
Irish banks are getting hit, partly on new capital raise concerns from larger healthier banks: The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) is down 3% at $3.53 and Allied Irish Banks ! plc (NYS E: AIB) is down 1.5% at $1.92.
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC) is soft this morning after lower gun sales in the latest period were reported.� Shares are down 8.6% at $3.62, although trading volume is muted and barely 10,000 shares pre-market.
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AGL Resources Catches Analysts Sleeping Again

AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS  ) reported earnings on Feb. 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), AGL Resources missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue improved significantly and GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.
Gross margins expanded, operating margins expanded, net margins dropped.
Revenue details
AGL Resources recorded revenue of $790.0 million. The four analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $812.2 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 19% higher than the prior-year quarter's $665.0 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.87. The eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.93 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.36 for Q4 were 56% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.81 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 33.8%, 460 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 23.5%, 200 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.2%, 540 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.46 billion. On the bottom! line, t he average EPS estimate is $1.44.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.53 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.06.
Investor sentiment
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on AGL Resources is hold, with an average price target of $41.29.
If you are interested in gas utilities, then you'll want to read about "One Stock to Own Before Nat Gas Act 2011 Becomes Law." Click here for instant access to this free report.
  • Add AGL Resources to My Watchlist.

Great Stocks To Hold 2013

Well, January sure set a pleasant tone for 2013. The market recorded its best first month of the year since 1997, with the S&P 500 up 5%, the Dow up over 4% and Nasdaq up a stunning 9% from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1.
Warren Buffett didn’t seem to fare as well, though, with his iconic Berkshire Hathaway(NYSE:BRK.B) underperforming with a less than 3% return in January. But investors should know by now that Buffett stocks aren’t meant to be in your portfolio for a matter of weeks but for many months. The Oracle of Omaha has famously said that even if the market was open for just one day a year, he would still buy shares.
So don’t take this as a sign that Buffett has lost his edge just yet.
Which stocks is Buffett banking on in 2013? Here are the leaders so far. Share totals are as of the November filing for Berkshire Hathaway disclosure of equity stakes:

Great Stocks To Hold 2013:Service Corporation International (SCI)

 Service Corporation International provides deathcare products and services in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Its funeral service and cemetery operations consist of funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and related businesses. The company provides various professional services relating to funerals and cremations, including the use of funeral facilities and motor vehicles, and preparation and embalming services. It also sells funeral related merchandise, including caskets, burial vaults, cremation receptacles, cremation memorial products, flowers, and other ancillary products and services at funeral service locations. The company?s cemeteries provide cemetery property interment rights, including mausoleum spaces, lots, and lawn crypts; and sell cemetery related merchandise and services comprising stone and bronze memorials, markers, merchandise installations, and burial openings and closings. It also sells preneed funeral and cemetery products and services whereby a customer contractually agrees to the terms of certain products and services to be delivered and performed in the future. As of December 31, 2009, Service Corporation operated 1,254 funeral service locations and 372 cemeteries, including 208 combination locations, covering 43 states in the United States, 8 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as 12 funeral homes in Germany. The company was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Great Stocks To Hold 2013:Eastman Chemical Company (EMN)

 Eastman Chemical Company, a chemical company, engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers, and Inks (CASPI); Fibers; Performance Chemicals and Intermediates (PCI); and Specialty Plastics. The CASPI segment manufactures resins, specialty polymers, and solvents that are used in the production of paints and coatings, inks, adhesives, and other formulated products. The Fibers segment offers Estron acetate tow and Estrobond triacetin plasticizers used in cigarette filters; Estron natural and Chromspun solution-dyed acetate yarns for use in apparel, home furnishings, and industrial fabrics; and cellulose acetate flake and acetyl raw materials for acetate fiber producers. The PCI segment offers intermediates; performance chemicals; and complex organic molecules, such as diketene derivatives, specialty ketones, and specialty anhydrides for medical, pharmaceutical, fiber, and food and beverage ingredients, which are used in specialty market applications. This segment?s products are used in various markets and end uses, including agriculture, transportation, beverages, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, coatings, medical devices, toys, adhesives, household products, polymers, textiles, and consumer and industrial products, as well as used for health and wellness uses. The Specialty Plastics segment primarily offers engineering and specialty polymers, specialty film and sheet products, and packaging film and fiber products. This segment?s products include specialty copolyesters and cellulosic plastics, which are used in specialty packaging, in-store fixtures and displays, consumer and durable goods, medical goods, personal care and consumer packaging, photographic film, optical film, fibers/nonwovens, tapes/labels, and LCD?s. The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Great Stocks To Hold 2013:KBR Inc. (KBR)

 KBR, Inc. operates as an engineering, construction, and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, and industrial sectors worldwide. Its Downstream business unit provides front end engineering design; detailed engineering; engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC); EPC management; and program management services to petrochemical, refining, coal gasification, and syngas markets. The company?s Government and Infrastructure business unit provides program and project management, contingency logistics, operations and maintenance, construction management, engineering, and other services to military and civilian branches of governments and private clients. Its Services business unit delivers engineering, construction, construction management, fabrication, maintenance, and turnaround services. It also offers maintenance, construction, and drilling support services for offshore oil and gas producing facilities using semisubmersible vessels. This segment serves oil, gas, petrochemicals, and hydrocarbon processing industries, as well as power, alternate energy, pulp and paper, industrial and manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries. The company?s Technology business unit offers various process technologies, including value-added technologies in the coal monetization, petrochemical, refining, and syngas markets. Its Upstream business unit constructs liquefied natural gas, gas-to-liquids, onshore oil and gas production facilities, offshore oil and gas production facilities, and onshore and offshore pipelines. The company?s Ventures business unit invests in and manages projects, where the company provides engineering, construction, construction management or operations, and maintenance services. KBR, Inc. was founded in 1901 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Great Stocks To Hold 2013:3M Company (MMM)

 3M Company, together with subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company?s Industrial and Transportation segment offers tapes, coated and non-woven abrasives, adhesives, specialty materials, filtration products, energy control products, closure systems for personal hygiene products, acoustic systems products, and components and products that are used in the manufacture, repair, and maintenance of automotive, marine, aircraft, and specialty vehicles. Its Health Care segment provides medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, inhalation and transdermal drug delivery systems, dental and orthodontic products, health information systems, and food safety products. The company?s Display and Graphics offers optical film solutions for LCD electronic displays; computer screen filters; reflective sheeting for transportation safety; commercial graphics sheeting and systems; and mobile interactive solutions, including mobile display technology, visual systems products, and computer privacy filters. The company?s Consumer and Office segment provides office supply products, stationery products, construction and home improvement products, home care products, protective material products, certain consumer retail personal safety products, and consumer health care products. Its Safety, Security and Protection Services segment offers personal protection products, safety and security products, cleaning and protection products for commercial establishments, track and trace solutions, and roofing granules for asphalt shingles. The company?s Electro and Communications segment provides packaging and interconnection devices; fluids that are used in the manufacture of computer chips, and for cooling electronics and lubricating computer hard disk drives; high-temperature and display tapes; insulating materials, including tapes and resins; and related items. The company was founded in 1902 and is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Advisors' Opinion:

  • < P>By Richard Young At 2012-2-22Click to EnlargeThis is 3M’s (NYSE:MMM) 100th year in business and 100th year of innovation. 3M uses its research and development teams to churn out new products for its customers. One of 3M’s newest innovations is an ingenious patch that injects immunizations using hundreds of micro-needles. The invention allows injections without intimidating syringes. To create the micro-needle patches, 3M repurposed micro-replication technology it had pioneered to enhance the visibility of reflective road signs. 3M’s breakout over its 50-day moving average is a strong signal. Buy.

  • By Carlson At 2011-9-26
    The shares closed at $73.99, up $1.09, or 1.5%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $52.50 billion. About the company: 3M Co. conducts operations in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, health care, safety, and other markets. The Company’s businesses share technologies, manufacturing operations, brands, marketing channels, and other resources. 3M serves customers in countries located around the world.

  • By Dave Friedman At 2011-9-22
    The shares closed at $83.31, up $0.77, or 0.93%, on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $78.01 to $98.19. Volume today was 4,130,195 shares, against a 3-month average volume of 4,252,690 shares. Its market capitalization is $59.11billion, its trailing P/E is 14.14, its trailing earnings are $5.89 per share, and it pays a dividend of $2.20 per share, for a dividend yield of 2.70%. About the company: 3M Co. conducts operations in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, health care, safety, and other markets. The Company’s businesses share technologies, manufacturing operations, brands, marketing channels, and other resources. 3M serves customers in countries located around the! world.< /p>

  • By Jim Cramer,TheStreet At 2011-9-7
    The disappointing analyst meeting and the negative previous quarter haunt this stock going into 2011. But if you are like me and believe there will be worldwide growth, you would be nuts not to consider buying this 13% grower for just 15 times earnings. 3M (MMM) has got so much going for it in Asia and has so many new businesses -- it remains the most potent inventor of new products among the major companies I follow -- that I think it will drift back up to its 52-week high of $91, if not higher. Perhaps $100, which I think is my stretch goal, given its $6.16 in composite EPS estimates.
    Why $100? I think the dollar gets weaker, and this is one of the most sensitive companies to the greenback, which means that $6.16 could be too low. Cheap stock that's in the penalty box because of the ever-so-slight shade down of earnings, a shade down that, when I analyze the company, is something that will be left behind in 2011.
  • Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Sen. Akaka to File Fiduciary Duty Amendment to Financial Reforms Bill

    Wealth Manager has obtained a draft of the amendment. It mandates the extension of the fiduciary standard as it applies to investment advisors under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, to broker/dealers who provide, "personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer (and such other customers as the Commission may by rule provide)..."

    It calls for the SEC to write rules:

    "to provide that, with respect to a broker or dealer, when providing personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer (and such other customers as the Commission may by rule provide), the standard of conduct for such broker or dealer with respect to such customer shall be the same as the standard of conduct applicable to an investment adviser under section 211 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

    The receipt of compensation based on commission or other standard compensation for the sale of securities shall not, in and of itself, be considered a violation of such standard applied to a broker or dealer. Nothing in this section shall require a broker or dealer or registered representative to have a continuing duty of care or loyalty to the customer after providing personalized investment advice about securities."

    The amendment also calls for additional authority for the SEC to:

    * require broker/dealers to disclose the "range of products offered"
    * prohibit or restrict "certain sales practices, conflicts of interest, and compensation schemes for brokers, dealers, and investment advisers that the Commission deems contrary to the public interest and the protection of investors."
    * enforce "violations" of these rules with broker/dealers.

    It also requires that advice givers:

    * "act in the best interest of the customer"
    * that "any material conflicts of interest shall be disclosed"
    * and that, "the Commission will facilitate the provision of simple and clear disclosures to investors regarding the terms of their relationships with brokers, dealers, and investment advisers, including any material conflicts of interest"

    Comments? Please send them to Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.

    Asian stocks move solidly lower

    MUMBAI (MarketWatch) ? Asian shares fell sharply Tuesday, with steel makers among the top decliners, following global peers lower on growth concerns.

    Hong Kong?s Hang Seng Index HK:HSI ?lost 2.2%, the Shanghai Composite Index CN:000001 fell 1.4%, and Japan?s Nikkei Stock Average JP:NIK ?ended 0.6% lower.

    South Korea?s Kospi KR:0100 ?dropped 0.8%, and Australia?s S&P/ASX 200 index AU:XJO ?closed with a 1.4% loss.

    Click to Play
    Stocks slip on growth data

    Stocks bounce back from morning losses but still end the day lower amid concerns about slowing global economic growth.

    U.S. shares had ended the day with small losses Monday, with investors taking their first chance to react to China?s cut to its 2012 growth estimate. Read more on Chinese GDP target.

    Data out later Monday weren?t inspiring, with a gauge of euro-zone business activity falling into contraction territory in February. Read more on European PMI.

    U.S. data showed a better-than-expected reading for the Institute for Supply Management?s non-manufacturing index, but orders to U.S. factories declined in January for the first time in three mo! nths. Read more on factory orders.

    Monday?s U.S. numbers were just the start for this week?s data-heavy calendar, which culminates with U.S. nonfarm jobs data on Friday.

    ?I think that people are focusing very heavily on what?s going to happen with the U.S. jobs number on Friday. Up until now we?ve been mostly worried about Greece and oil, and this is the third man at the party,? said Andrew Sullivan, a strategist at Piper Jaffray.

    As for the cut to China?s GDP forecast, Sullivan said: ?I think some were slightly hopeful that [China] was going to maintain with 8% growth ? being the lucky number. That would mean that we would have got more stimulus.?

    With global growth back under the spotlight, commodity-linked firms weakened in Asian trading, after many key resource prices moved lower overnight.

    In Australia, BHP Billiton Ltd. AU:BHP ? BHP ?and Rio Tinto Ltd. AU:RIO ? RIO ?lost 2.3% apiece.

    Japanese oil majors declined, with JX Holdings Inc.JP:5020 ? JXHGF ?down 1.2%, and Inpex Corp. JP:1605 ?IPXHY ?lower by 0.9%.

    In Hong Kong, Aluminium Corp. of China Ltd. HK:2600 ? ACH ?fell 5.3%, while Jiangxi Copper Co. HK:358 ? JIXAY ?lost 4.8% and PetroChina Co. HK:857 ?PTR ?fell 2.3%.
    Molten steel stocks

    The cut in China?s economic outlook and indications the nation will scale back infrastructure spending weighed on steel makers across the globe, with U.S. Steel Corp. X ?ending down 4.7% in New York, and ArcelorMittal SA NL:MT ?MT ?dropping 3.8% in Europe on Monday.

    ?If you believe there?s going to be a slowdown in China, and that they are maintaining all their tough policies on property, then there?s going to be less requirement for steel construction,? said Piper Jaffray?s Sullivan.

    ?Certainly with non-construction steel, specialist steels and the marine-type steels, the other thing to bear in mind there is that...if China is slowing down, there?s going to be less need for shipping as they are going to importing and exporting less.?!

    Asia-Pacific steel firms under pressure included OneSteel Ltd AU:OST ?OSTLF , down 3.4% in Australia, while in Seoul, Posco PKX ?shares were down 3.4% and Hyundai Steel Co. HYNSY lost 1.8%.

    Japanese steel maker Kobe Steel Ltd. JP:5406 ?KBSTF fell 3.8% after the firm said that it won?t pay a term-end dividend due to challenging trading conditions. Rival JFE Holdings Inc. JP:5411 ?JFEEF ?declined 3.1%, and over in Hong Kong, Angang Steel Co.HK:347 ? ANGGF ?fell 7.6%.

    Shares exposed to global trade also suffered Tuesday. Hong Kong-listed ports operator Cosco Pacific Ltd. CSPKY ?fell 5.1%, while Seoul-listed shipping firm STX Pan Ocean Co. lost 4.6%.

    Among Japanese shippers, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. JP:9104 ? MSLOY ? dropped 2.8%, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. JP:9107 ?KAIKY ?fell 3.8%, and Nippon Yusen K.K. JP:9101 ?NPNYY ?dropped 2.5%.

    Back in Hong Kong, AIA Group Ltd. HK:1299 ?AAIGF ?tumbled 8.4% as shares resumed trading after news that American International Group Inc. AIG ?had sold off shares in the insurer. See report on AIG sale of AIA shares.

    Other Hong-Kong listed insurance firms were also under pressure, with Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. PNGAY ? HK:2318 ?and China Life Insurance Co. LFC ? HK:2628 ?both down 3.7%.

    Mazda Motor Corp.JP:7261 ? MZDAF ?climbed 2.! 3% after the firm set the price late Monday for a share offering that?s expected to raise $1.8 billion.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    At ASPPA 401(k) Summit, IRON Financials Friedman Mitigates Fiduciary Risk

    “No matter how much they may want to, they can never completely offload their liability as it applies to their fiduciary responsibilities,” says Richard Friedman, managing director of corporate retirement services for asset management firm IRON Financial. “For the investments made within the plan, 3(38) is the only mitigation of liability that plan sponsors and brokers can rely on.”

    Friedman is referring to section 3(38) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides that a plan sponsor can delegate the responsibility and liability of the selection, monitoring and replacing investment options and functions to an ERISA described investment manager who then takes on the fiduciary responsibilities—and therefore liabilities.

    Friedman, in an interview with AdvisorOne at the ASPPA 401(k) Summit on Monday in Las Vegas, says there is a “jumble” of information about what constitutes a fiduciary. Many firms might call themselves experts in section 3(38) of the ERISA, but not all of them are, and it becomes a case of figuring out who really has that liability expertise.

    “If you engage with a poor liability mitigation firm in this area, you actually could do more damage and expose yourself to more liability than if you had never engaged one at all,” Friedman warns. “We’ve taken what works for our clients in-house, and offered it as an outside service for other firms. We do educational seminars on the fiduciary topic that helps answer the following: What is a fiduciary; who is a fiduciary; and, what does being a fiduciary really mean?”

    He notes it is extremely difficult for advisors and plan sponsors to know in this regulatory environment if they are one. They are either a fiduciary by title or by function, he says. They might say they are not a fiduciary, but if they walk like a fiduciary and talk like a fiduciary, then they are a fiduciary.

    “What we do is add a game plan and a roadmap to what the plan is doing, and that begins by including 3(38) in the investment policy statement,” he explains. “The IPS has to address 3(38)—period. So we provide them with that IPS as well as a quarterly report with what they need to ensure 3(38) compliance.”

    If a 3(38) firm does it right, then the selection, monitoring and replacement of the investment options will lead to a successful retirement on behalf of participants, he says.

    “All of this is really first and foremost about the plan participants,” Friedman adds. “People think that what the SEC, FINRA and the DOL is doing is onerous, but it is well-intentioned and with participants in mind. Of course, it’s the unintended consequences we have to worry about, which is really what our government seems to be all about.”

    As for the other major plan provider issue, fee disclosure, Friedman thinks 408(b)2 is good for the industry, and would actually like to take it one step further.

    “Rather than simply disclosing fees to the plan sponsor, I think making them public and having them appear on a Form 5500 would be great, as well,” he says. “It would provide a level of transparency and competition not previously seen, which would ultimately benefit the plan participant. If fee amounts showed up on 5500s, everyone would be combing through it and asking questions, and that’s ultimately good for consumers and our industry.”

    Well Traded Stocks at NASDAQ NVDA, OVTI, JDSU, CMCSA

    NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) opened at $23.26 and with a gain of 2.08% closed at $23.12. Company�s fifty days average price is $20.51 whereas it has a market capitalization $13.43 billion.
    The total of 19.40 million shares was transacted over last trading day.
    OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI) opened at $28.74 and with a gain of 31.78% closed at $31.43. Company�s fifty days average price is $28.09 whereas it has a market capitalization $1.75 billion.
    The total of 15.46 million shares was transacted over last trading day.
    JDS Uniphase Corporation (NASDAQ:JDSU) opened at $25.00 and with a gain of 1.89% closed at $24.80. Company�s fifty days average price is $18.13 whereas it has a market capitalization $5.56 billion.
    The total of 14.20 million shares was transacted over last trading day.
    Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) opened at $24.99 and with a gain of 1.28% closed at $25.26. Company�s fifty days average price is $23.00 whereas it has a market capitalization $70.89 billion.
    The total of 13.01 million shares was transacted over last trading day.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Great Stocks 2012

    Since I was compiling the list above, I thought I’d share the highest paying stock on my watch list so you can see the difference between simply looking at yield versus other elements. The yield by itself can be an indicator to look further into an investment but by itself, it should not signal a purchase.
    I have purposely excluded REITs from this list. The yields are usually high for many of them and I did not feel they belonged with the others. When there isn’t a score, it’s because the P/E is negative.

    Great Stocks 2012:CalAmp Corp. (CAMP)

     CalAmp Corp. develops and markets wireless communications solutions that deliver data, voice, and video for critical networked communications and other applications in the United States. It operates in two segments, Wireless DataCom and Satellite. The Wireless DataCom segment provides wireless communications technologies, products, and services to the wireless networks and mobile resource management (MRM) markets for various applications. It also designs and builds multi-network wireless systems that permit first-responder fire, police, and emergency medical services personnel to access data and communicate remotely with colleagues, dispatchers, and back-office databases. In addition, this segment designs and provides applications involving various combinations of private and public networks, narrow-band and broad-band frequencies, licensed and unlicensed radio spectrum, and mobile and fixed-remote communications. Further, its MRM wireless solutions include global positioning system location, cellular data modems, and programmable events-based notification firmware as main components. This segment sells its products and services for utility, governmental, and enterprise customers through direct and indirect sales channels. The Satellite segment develops, manufactures, and sells direct broadcast satellite (DBS) outdoor consumer premise equipment for digital and high definition satellite television reception. Its DBS reception products include reflector dish antennae and outdoor electronics that receive, process, amplify, and switch satellite television signals for distribution over coaxial cable to multiple set-top boxes inside the home. These DBS reception products are installed at subscribers? premises to receive subscription television programming signals transmitted from orbiting satellites. CalAmp Corp. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Oxnard, California.

    Great Stocks 2012:United Community Bancorp (UCBA)

     United Community Bancorp operates as the holding company for the United Community Bank that provides banking products and services to individuals and businesses in southeastern Indiana. It offers a range of deposit instruments, including noninterest-bearing demand accounts, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing accounts, consisting of NOW and money market accounts; regular savings accounts; and certificates of deposit, as well as municipal deposits. It also originates one- to four-family residential real estate, multi-family real estate, and nonresidential real estate and land loans, as well as construction and commercial loans. In addition, the company provides a range of consumer loans consisting of home equity loans and lines of credit, as well as loans secured by savings accounts or certificates of deposit (share loans); new farm and garden equipment, automobile, and recreational vehicle loans; and secured and unsecured personal loans. The company is headquartered in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. United Community Bancorp is a subsidiary of United Community MHC.

    Great Stocks 2012:RF Industries Ltd. (RFIL)

     RF Industries, Ltd. provides interconnect products and systems for radio frequency (RF) communications devices and wireless digital transmission systems in the United States and internationally. Its Connector and Cable Assembly division designs, manufactures, and distributes coaxial connectors and cable assemblies that are integrated with coaxial connectors. The company?s Aviel Electronics division engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of specialty and custom RF connectors primarily for aerospace and military customers. Its division primarily sells coaxial, fiberoptic, and other connectors and cable assemblies on a retail basis to local multi-media and communications customers. The company?s Bioconnect division manufactures and distributes cabling and interconnect products to the medical monitoring market. Its Neulink division engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of RF data links and wireless modems for receiving and transmitting control signals for remote operation and monitoring of equipment, and personnel and monitoring services. The company?s RadioMobile division provides original equipment manufacturing services of end-to-end mobile management solutions implemented over wireless networks that supplement the operations of its Neulink division. RF Industries markets and distributes its products through warehousing distributors, original equipment manufacturers, hospital suppliers, dealers, distributors, directly or manufacturers representatives, system integrators, value added resellers, and dealers, as well as through the operation of an e-commerce Website, known as The company was formerly known as Celltronics, Inc. and changed its name to RF Industries, Ltd. in November 1990. RF Industries, Ltd. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

    Great Stocks 2012:Thor Industries Inc. (THO)

     Thor Industries, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells a range of recreation vehicles and small and mid-size buses, as well as related parts and accessories in the United States and Canada. The company offers a range of travel trailers and motorhomes under the trade name of Airstream, which include Airstream Safari, International, Flying Cloud, and Bambi travel trailers, as well as Interstate Class B motorhomes. It also manufactures and sells conventional travel trailers and fifth wheels under the trade names of Dutchmen, Four Winds, Aero, Grand Junction, Colorado, Cruiser, Seville, Zinger, and Sunset Trail; travel trailers and fifth wheels under trade names of Montana, Springdale, Hornet, Sprinter, Outback, Laredo, Everest, Mountaineer, Challenger, Cougar, Komfort, and Trailblazer; and gasoline and diesel Class C, Class A, and Class B motorhomes under the trade names of Four Winds, Hurricane, Windsport, Mandalay, Dutchmen, Chateau, Serrano, Ventura, and Fun Mover. In addition, it manufactures and sells gasoline and diesel Class A motor homes under the trade names of Daybreak, Challenger, Astoria, Tuscany, Outlaw, and Avanti; travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, and park models under the trade name of General Coach; and park models under the trade names of Tranquility, Westchester, and Breckenridge. Further, the company manufactures small and mid-size transit and commercial buses under the trade names of Aerolite, AeroElite, Aerotech, Escort, MST, Transmark, EZ Rider, Axess, Challenger, Defender, Crusader, American Cruiser, Classic Coach, EZ Trans, GC II, and Pacer. It markets its vehicles through independent dealers to municipalities and private purchasers, such as rental car companies and hotels. The company has a joint venture agreement with Cruise America, Inc. to provide short-term rentals of motorized recreation vehicles to the public. Thor Industries was founded in 1980 and is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

    Great Stocks 2012:Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)

     Vornado Realty Trust is a privately owned real estate investment trust. The trust engages in investment, ownership, and management of commercial real estate. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. The trust primarily invests in office, industrial and retail properties. Vornado Realty Trust is based in New York, New York.

    Great Stocks 2012:Terra Nova Royalty Corporation (TTT)

     Terra Nova Royalty Corporation operates as a mineral royalty company in Canada. It owns a royalty stream on the Wabush iron ore mine located in Labrador Newfoundland. The company was formerly known as KHD Humboldt Wedag International Ltd. and changed its name in March 2010 to Terra Nova Royalty Corporation as a result of spin off of KHD Humboldt Wedag International Ltd. Terra Nova Royalty Corporation is based in Vancouver, Canada.

    Great Stocks 2012: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 Stocks 2012:Rentrak Corporation (RENT)

     Rentrak Corporation, an information management company, provides content measurement and analytical services to companies in the entertainment industry. The company delivers content performance data for various entertainment platforms and media technologies, including television, theatrical, home entertainment, mobile, and broadband video. It operates in two divisions, Home Entertainment, and Advanced Media and Information. The Home Entertainment division delivers home entertainment content products, such as DVDs and blue-ray discs; and offers related rental and sales information for the content to home video specialty stores and other retailers in the United States and Canada. It leases products from various suppliers, including motion picture studios; and retailers sublease and rent these products to consumers. This division also includes direct revenue sharing (DRS) services, which encompasses the collection, tracking, auditing, and reporting of transaction and revenue data generated by DRS retailers to its respective DRS clients. The AMI division offers Essentials Suite of business information services. This division?s Essentials Suite software and services provide data collection, management, analysis, and reporting functions. It also collects and process data from across 26 countries. This division has operations in California, New York, Florida, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Russia. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with additional offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
    Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Smith At 2011-9-11
      Rentrak Corporation operates in two business divisions: Home Entertainment, and Advanced Media and Information (AMI). Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.58 and next year is 1.11. According to consensus estimates! , its to pline is expected to grow 8.18% current year and 16.27% next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 24.37. Out of six analysts covering the company, three are positive and have buy recommendations and three have hold ratings.

    GOP tax plans: What would Buffett pay?

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- How would millionaire and billionaire investors like Warren Buffett fare under the GOP presidential hopefuls' tax plans?
    Here's a good bet: Much better than Buffett would like.
    The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500), of course, has famously called for higher taxes on the super-rich. Last year, he paid only 17.4% of his nearly $40 million in taxable income in federal income taxes -- a much lower rate, he said, than his secretary.
    One big reason why: Investment income makes up a large portion of Buffett's total income, as it does for many of the wealthiest taxpayers. And the 15% tax rate on long-term capital gains and dividends is well below the 35% top income tax rate on ordinary income.
    How much the wealthy should pay in taxes is always a hot-button issue, but particularly so in an age of record deficits.
    The Republican candidates are pushing to lower taxes across the board, including for the wealthy, arguing such a move would spur investment and economic growth.
    President Obama is also pushing for lower taxes on most Americans, except on the wealthy. In September, he proposed the "Buffett Rule," a guideline to ensure that millionaires pay a higher percentage of their income in federal taxes than those who make less.

    Millionaires ask Congress to raise their taxes

    For his part, Buffett has kept a low public profile in the GOP presidential race, and he did not respond to a request for comment on the candidates' plans.
    But if most of those seeking the Republican nomination have anything to say about it, Buffett would be taxed less on his investments, not more.
    Rick Santorum would reduce the capital gains rate to 12% from 15% for everyone.
    Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Perry would exempt long-term capital gains from taxation. A few of them would also treat dividends and interest as tax-free.
    As for Mitt Romney, he would eliminate the capital gains and dividen! d tax on adjusted gross income up to $200,000 for a couple, $100,000 for singles.
    So a rich couple could enjoy tax-free investment income on up to $200,000 if all of their money came from investments, according to the Tax Policy Center, which has analyzed several of the GOP candidates' plans.

    Billionaires with 1% tax rates

    Or, to take another example, if the couple made $100,000 in salary or other non-investment income, they would still pay 0% on up to $100,000 of their investment income.
    Now, it's likely that Buffett's total non-investment income tops $200,000, so he wouldn't benefit from that provision.
    But he would be spared an increase in the capital gains rate, since Romney would preserve the current investment tax rate of 15%, rather than let it increase as scheduled next year to 20% for long-term capital gains and to the ordinary income tax rate for dividends.
    Buffett and other wealthy shareholders also would potentially prosper under the GOP hopefuls' plans to lower the corporate tax rate. That's because relative to most Americans, a large share of their income comes from investments in corporations. And generally speaking, a lower corporate rate could boost shareholders' after-tax return.
    Gingrich would like to lower the corporate tax rate to 12.5%; Paul to 15%; Santorum to 17.5% (although 0% for manufacturers); Perry to 20%; and Huntsman and Romney to 25%.
    Economists argue that a lower corporate rate could also benefit workers by way of higher wages and consumers by way of lower prices.
    "However, it would not change the basic conclusion that cutting corporate taxes disproportionately benefits high-income taxpayers," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.
    The wealthy may also dodge a tax bullet under the Republican candidates' plans since they all would repeal the new health reform law. That law calls for a new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income starting in 2013. Currently investment inc! ome is e xempt.

    Look Out Below! Patriot Coal (PCX) & VirnetX Holding (VHC) in Technical Trouble

    There are really only two schools of thought in the world of stock-picking.... trade them based on what they should be doing, and trade them based on what they are doing. The former feels right, but it's the latter that tends to put the most money in your pocket. Enter VirnetX Holding Corporation (AMEX:VHC) and Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX), stage right. Regardless of whatever pro/con arguments are being made for either, both PCX and VHC have dropped key technical hints that say the trading masses have their pitchforks and torches in hand.

    Not that Patriot Coal Corporation was on the mend just yet, but after finding a floor at $6.86 last week for the third time since October, it was at least beginning to look like the bleeding stopped. Wrong. PCX has fallen 8.0% today, reaching $6.34 in the process and opening up a whole new door of bearish territory that up until now had been closed. And, given the way the 50-day and 100-day moving averages have been pressing down the whole time, it's not like there's a lot of hope for a quick fix now.

    At the heart of the problem for PCX is falling coal prices. Coal prices have been sliding since early 2011, but the tumble started to reach 'in earnest' levels in January. Although coal's tumble may finally be coming to an end - thermal coal has been hovering $60-short ton since late January, and coking coal is getting in a groove around $200/tonne - it's down again today. Investors seem to be uninterested in waiting it out any longer with Patriot Coal Corporation simply because there's no end in sight for the slacking demand.

    As for VirnetX Holding Corporation, a couple of months ago it looked like this pseudo-technology stock was ready to make a bullish run. We had just s! een VHC win a hard fought battle to get back above all of its key moving averages as well as a key resistance line. And, traders were getting excited about owning it again; the company had just been awarded a favorable ruling in a patent infringement case that stood to start generating some solid recurring revenue. Since then though, a reopening of the USPTO patent case has exposed this company's vulnerability in the mobile patent game.

    To put it in technical trading terms, VHC has fallen back under all of its key moving averages, and back under that key ceiling at $24.09.... and it's still moving lower. We're also close to seeing a so-called 'death cross' of the 50-day moving average line (purple) under the 200-day moving average line (green), which would suggest the momentum for VirnetX Holding is bearish is multiple timeframes - the last thing any owner wants to see.

    Is PulteGroup Making You Fast Cash?

    It takes money to make money. Most investors know that, but with business media so focused on the "how much," very few investors bother to ask, "How fast?"
    When judging a company's prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it's booking in the accounting fantasy world we call "earnings." This is one of the first metrics I check when I'm hunting for the market's best stocks. Today, we'll see how it applies to PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM  ) .
    Let's break this down
    In this series, we measure how swiftly a company turns cash into goods or services and back into cash. We'll use a quick, relatively foolproof tool known as the cash conversion cycle, or CCC for short.
    Why does the CCC matter? The less time it takes a firm to convert outgoing cash into incoming cash, the more powerful and flexible its profit engine is. The less money tied up in inventory and accounts receivable, the more available to grow the company, pay investors, or both.
    To calculate the cash conversion cycle, add days inventory outstanding to days sales outstanding, then subtract days payable outstanding. Like golf, the lower your score here, the better. The CCC figure for PulteGroup for the trailing 12 months is 500.1.
    For younger, fast-growth companies, the CCC can give you valuable insight into the sustainability of that growth. A company that's taking longer to make cash may need to tap financing to keep its momentum. For older, mature companies, the CCC can tell you how well the company is managed. Firms that begin to lose control of the CCC may be losing their clout with their suppliers (who might be demanding stricter payment terms) and customers (who might be demanding more generous terms). This can sometimes be an important signal of future distress -- one most investors are likely to miss.
    In this series, I'm most interested in comparing a company's CCC to its ! prior pe rformance. Here's where I believe all investors need to become trend-watchers. Sure, there may be legitimate reasons for an increase in the CCC, but all things being equal, I want to see this number stay steady or move downward over time.
    Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.
    Because of the seasonality in some businesses, the CCC for the TTM period may not be strictly comparable to the fiscal-year periods shown in the chart. Even the steadiest-looking businesses on an annual basis will experience some quarterly fluctuations in the CCC. To get an understanding of the usual ebb and flow at PulteGroup, consult the quarterly-period chart below.
    Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FQ = fiscal quarter.
    On a 12-month basis, the trend at PulteGroup looks less than great. At 500.1 days, it is 110.2 days worse than the five-year average of 390.0 days. The biggest contributor to that degradation was DIO, which worsened 108.4 days when compared to the five-year average.
    Considering the numbers on a quarterly basis, the CCC trend at PulteGroup looks good. At 412.0 days, it is 77.8 days better than the average of the past eight quarters. With quarterly CCC doing better than average and the latest 12-month CCC coming in worse, PulteGroup gets a mixed review in this cash-conversion checkup.
    Though the CCC can take a little work to calculate, it's definitely worth watching every quarter. You'll be better informed about potential problems, and you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    FOREX-Swiss franc slides on SNB measures but to stay high – Reuters

    Reuters UK
    FOREX-Swiss franc slides on SNB measures but to stay high
    NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) – The Swiss franc fell from record highs against the dollar and euro on Wednesday after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates, a direction that should prove fleeting as global growth concerns
    WORLD FOREX: SNB Surprises Market But Risk Aversion Still KingWall Street Journal
    Forex – SNB Moves in to Weaken the
    Forex – Swiss Franc Plummets on SNB Intervention
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    all 504 news articles »
    {forex} – Google News

    HP To Boost Spend On Palm; Expect WebOS Tablets, Netbooks

    Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is preparing to crank up spending on the capital-starved Palm (PALM) WebOS platform.
    On a conference call this afternoon to discuss HP’s deal to acquire Palm, HP investor relations VP Jim Burns said in response to a question that the company plans to increase R&D spending on the Palm platform above the $190 million a year that one analyst on the call said he has been modeling.
    “We’re going to be increase that,” he said. “We’re going to be increasing the sales and marketing also. So we are going to be taking this platform, which today exists in smartphone and taking it much broader than that….we are definitely going to be investing heavily in this business in the next year.”
    A few other items from the call:
    • Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP’s personal systems group, noted that the smart phone market is over $100 billion in size and growing over 20% a year; he also says there are “further opportunities beyond smart phones into additional connected mobile form factors.”
    • Bradley said HP will “continue to be a strategic partner for Microsoft (MSFT).”
    • Burns said the deal will likely result in “mild dilution” in FY 2011, with accretion beyond 2011.
    • Burns noted that the company has put into place “a significant retention program” for Palm execs.

    Consumer frugality, increased business spending benefits you

    Dollar General (NYSE:DG) is a discount retailer in the U.S. that has been thriving on the wave of self-imposed frugality we’ve seen in the last several years.
    Cost-conscious customers are watching their wallets closely, and their dollars go further at Dollar General. The company’s stores offer a big variety of products — from paper towels, trash bags, cleaning supplies, packaged foods, salty snacks, over-the-counter medications, pet supplies, seasonal products, kitchen supplies, small appliances as well as apparel for every member of the family. And the best part is that all of these products are mostly priced at $10 or less.
    The company currently operates about 9,800 stores in 38 states and has big expansion plans this year that will serve as a near-term catalyst. Dollar General expects to open 625 new stores in 2012 and create 6,000 new jobs. Plus, the company has done a lot of work redesigning its current stores to make sure customers are able to get in and get out quickly with what they need.
    In DG’s latest earnings call in early December, the company reported its third quarter of accelerated growth. And as a result of its strong November sales, the company raised its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $2.29 to $2.32 — up from the previously expected range of $2.22 to $2.30. Dollar General also announced a $500 million stock buyback program that bodes well for shares going forward in 2012.
    The analyst community is expecting that Dollar General’s latest quarterly sales will rise 17.8% and that its earnings will rise 26.2% to 82 cents per share.
    Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) is a “nuts and bolts” store. Essentially, what Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is to retail shoppers, Fastenal is to businesses that need all kinds of specialty equipment and parts.
    In fact, the company’s 2,500 stores offer 395,054 items for sale! — from nuts, bolts, rivets, screws, anchors, plumbing, hydraulic items and gobs of other equipment and accessories. The company has a reputation of a “can-do” supplier for contractors, engineers, repair shops, plumbers, welders and any number of other specialized industrial workers. Plus, Fastenal operates testing labs, custom manufacturing and inventory services to help customers’ operations run more smoothly and reduce related waste.
    Earlier this month, the company announced its Q4 sales rose 22% to $697.8 million — compared with $573.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. During the same period, Fastenal’s earnings rose 34% to $87.5 million, or 30 cents per share — compared with $65.2 million or 22 cents per share. The analyst community was expecting $695.6 million in sales and earnings of 30 cents per share, so the company largely matched the consensus estimate. Looking ahead, Fastenal expects to increase its new store openings by 4% to 6% in 2012.
    Right now, Fastenal is benefiting from increasing business spending.
    W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) is our third new buy recommendation this month. Like Fastenal, Grainger’s industrial supply stores are strongly benefiting from increased business spending, and the company also is seeing a solid boost in overall sales due to its presence in China, India and Latin America.
    And although Grainger operates in the same industry as Fastenal, they often aren’t quite head-to-head competitors as you might expect. In fact, both companies are growing market share — at the expense of smaller players in the market. In addition, Grainger is largely a catalog-based operation — selling primarily to industrial and facilities maintenance operations.
    Grainger’s big product categories include material handling equipment, security supplies, electrical products, power tools, plumbing supplies, cleaning supplies, building inspection supplies, vehicle components, and servic! es for i nventory management and energy efficiency. Grainger also distributes tools, fasteners, safety supplies, instruments, welding and shop equipment.
    The company’s sales in November rose 15% compared to the same month a year ago. Grainger said that acquisitions accounted for 5% of this sales growth, so its organic growth actually was 10%. However, it hit a speed bump in its most recent earnings, with net income of $2.04 per share coming in less than the $2.10 analysts expected, though it was more than 12% higher than the year-ago period. Revenue of $2.08 million was up almost 14% and was on par with estimates.
    Still, it was Grainger’s fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth. Snap up shares of this Conservative company below $215.
    For more stocks to buy, click here for the top blue-chip stocks for February.

    Apple: A Sector Unto Itself, Says JP Morgan

    JP Morgan hardware analyst Mark Moskowitz this morning teams up with the folks at the firm’s portfolio strategy confab to discuss Apple (AAPL) as a “cyclical” sector unto itself. Not a cyclical company, but a sector.
    Moskowitz’s colleague, portfolio strategist Thomas Lee, offers up some observations on how massive Apple is relative to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, how under-owned it is by funds, and how it is relatively undervalued:
    AAPL carries greater weight than most industries and several sectors. At 3.7% of the S&P 500, AAPL carries a larger weight in the index than Basic Materials, Utilities, and Telecom Services (see Figure 7) and would be the 6th largest industry (GICS Level 3). YTD, AAPL has accounted for 11 of the 104-point move in the S&P 500. In other words, as a stock, AAPL is more important than most industries and many sectors. The stock remains underowned institutionally. Of the 282 mutual funds indexed to the Russell 1000, a surprising 40% do not have AAPL as a top 10 holding � this despite the fact that AAPL is the largest stock in the Russell 1000. AAPL at current valuation is undervalued on absolute P/E (12.0x vs. 12.7x S&P 500), its relative P/E (94% vs. historical avg of 164%), or PEG ratio. By our ests, moving to historical avg adds 24- 38 points to the S&P 500 � in short, showing AAPL is important to our Cyclical call.
    The report is in part prompted, no doubt, by the observations this week of how influential Apple is on the S&P, made by S&P’s own index veteran Howard Silverblatt, and written up on Tuesday by my colleague Brendan Conway.
    Moskowitz and Lee are hosting a conference call this morning at 10 am, Eastern time.
    In a companion note, Moskowitz this morning writes that he sees “substantial appreciation potenti! al from current levels” for Apple shares given that the company “continues to disrupt the tech playing field.”
    With its optimized smartphone, tablet, and notebook PC form factors, complemented by its iTunes/App Store ecosystem, the company single-handily has disrupted the technology playing field. The supply chain has been impacted, and there also has been a splintering of the Wintel and Android-based camps. As a result, we expect many industry participants to be left scrambling to restore relevance in the next few years.
    Moskowitz notes the company has “low penetration rates,” including just 19% share of smartphones, 5% share of PCs/
    Apple shares this morning are up $3.57, or 0.7%, at $519.96.
    Moskowitz and Lee offer a few tables of com parables to size how Apple ranks relative to cyclical stocks, industries, and sectors:

    TierOne (TONE) Gains on Asset Sales; Ulta Salon (ULTA) Beats Forecasts; Matrixx (MTXX) CEO Restructures

    In light, pre-holiday trading, mixed employment news provided a flat market in the early session. The Labor Department said employers cut a total of 216,000 jobs last month, less than the 276,000 jobs lost in July however, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.7%, the highest rate since June 1983.
    Taking advantage of today's flat, drowsy market, bank holding company TierOne (TONE) announced it is selling some banking assets to offset Q2 losses. Ulta Salon (ULTA) shares soared this morning as it handily beat Q2 forecasts and drug maker Matrixx (MTXX) gained today on Wednesday's filing noting the new CEO is restructuring parts of its core business model.
    Gaining 37.04% ($0.80) today is TierOne Corp., (TONE) which is currently trading in the $2.70 range on the Nasdaq. TONE has a new market cap of $49 million. TONE has a 3-Month average daily trading volume of 34,678 shares which shot past 220,849 shares traded by 11 a.m. EST.
    Management at TONE announced today the Company will sell $1.1 billion in deposits, transfer or sell $800 million in loans and assets of 32 branch offices to Great Western Bank, a South Dakota subsidiary of National Australia Bank (NAB on the AX). The sell-off is expected to be completed by late 2009. Many of the branch offices being sold were acquired by TONE in its 2004 acquisition of United Nebraska Bank. When the transition is completed, TONE will have 37 banking offices located in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas and approximately $2.0 billion in assets, or about the same asset size TONE had prior to its United Nebraska Bank acquisition.
    "After the branch office sale, TierOne Bank will return to its historic community bank footprint and will enhance its capital position," said Gilbert G. Lundstrom, chairman and chief executive officer.
    On August 7, TONE reported a Q2 net loss of $16.1 million, or ($0.95) per diluted share, for the three months! ended J une 30, 09. The Q2 09 results compare to a net loss of $12.7 million, or ($0.75) per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 08. For the first half of 09, TONE reported a net loss of $25.9 million, or ($1.53) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $73.6 million, or ($4.36) per diluted share, for the first six months of 08.
    TONE provides a range of consumer, commercial, and agricultural banking products and as of May 21, 09, it operated through a network of 69 banking offices in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. The company was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    At $2.70, TONE is far below its 52-week high of $6.38 set on 09-08-08 and is above its 52-week low of $1.13 set on 02-04-09. At $2.70, TONE is ahead of both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. TONE has trailing twelve month revenues of $61 million. TONE is widely held by insiders. Its shares out versus float ratio is a little lopsided and I would like to see more shares in the public float.
    Gaining 13.77% ($1.72) this morning is Ulta Salon (ULTA) currently trading on the Nasdaq in the $14.21 range. ULTA has a new market cap of $821 million. ULTA has a 3-Month average daily trading volume of 301,494 shares and it had tripled that number in early trading topping 1,041,473 shares traded.
    Late yesterday, ULTA reported a 56% rise in Q2 profits. For the three months ending Aug. 1, the Company earned $5.8 million, or 10 cents per share. That compared with $3.7 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. ULTA sales for the quarter grew 9.8% to $273.5 million from $249.1 million last year. Sales at stores open at least 14 months dipped 1.7%. The ULTA Q2 beat forecasts of a nickel a share on revenue of $271 million. ULTA opened 13 new stores during Q2, for a total of 333 stores.
    ... a little gu! idance . ..
    ULTA plans to add another 35 stores by the end of this year and management forecasts Q3 earnings of 8 cents to 11 cents per share on sales of $270 million to $278 million.
    ULTA (Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.) is a beauty retailer, providing prestige, mass, and salon products; and salon services in the U.S. ULTA stores offer approximately 21,000 beauty products. As of January 31, 09, ULTA operated in 36 states.
    At $14.31, ULTA is below its 52-week high of $14.95 set on 09-18-08 and above its 52-week low of $4.11 set on 03-06-09. At $14.31, ULTA is ahead of both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. ULTA has trailing twelve month revenues of $1.11 billion and a trailing twelve month diluted EPS of $0.44. ULTA is widely held by both insiders and institutions. Its shares out versus float ratio is 57m/37m and I would like to see more share in the public float.
    Gaining 15.40% ($0.83) today is Matrixx Initiatives (MTXX) currently trading in the $6.22 range on the Nasdaq. MTXX has a new market cap of $58 million. MTXX has a 3-Month average daily trading volume of 1,712,790 shares and it easily tripled that in early trading surpassing 4,392,779 shares traded.�
    MTXX shares are still riding high from an 8-k filed on Wednesday that noted during the Aug 26 shareholders meeting, the MTXX board appointed an insider, William Hemelt, the now-former COO as the Company's acting President and CEO. Mr. Hemelt, joined MTXX has its CFO in 1998.
    At the meeting, the new CEO addressed the major concerns of the shareholders and said MTXX will work with the FDA on a warning letter and will address pending litigation utilizing the Federal Multidistrict Litigation program. MTXX estimates it has sufficient financial resources to defend itself against the claims that have been filed to date. The new CEO said that MTXX will discontinue its operations in Canada and will focus on rebuild! ing its sales in the U.S.
    MTXX makes and sells over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare products. MTXX sells the �Zicam Cold Remedy nasal pump, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs Zicam Cold Remedy Chewables, Zicam Cold Remedy RapidMelts, Zicam Cold Remedy Oral Mist, Zicam Cold Remedy RapidMelts + Vitamin C, and Zicam Cold Remedy RapidMelts + Vitamin C and Echinacea, which are oral cold remedy products that deliver a dose of ionic zinc to the oral mucosa. MTXX also makes and sells: Zicam Allergy Relief, Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief, Zicam Sinus Relief and various Zicam Cough Spray products.
    At $6.22, MTXX is far below its 52-week high of $19.74 and above its 52-week low of $4.39 set on 06-23-09. At $6.22, MTXX is ahead of its 50-day moving average and behind its 200-day moving average. MTXX has trailing twelve month revenues of $110 million. MTXX is widely held by institutions. Its shares out versus float ratio is near-parity.
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    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014

    Best-traded stocks may not be the best stocks to invest in for the year. But there are still good stocks to invest in 2014 with high return on investments . It’s up to you to study stock market analyst predictions.
    In the Philippine Stock Market, Prince Anthony Yeung of AB Capital Securities advises investors who want to start buying good stocks for short-term and long-term investment to look at the banking and utilities sector particularly Security Bank (SECB), RCBC (RCB), Aboitiz Power (AP), Energy Development Corporation (EDC).
    These stocks are expected to appreciate next year, supported by the strong fundamentals of the companies. With the economy started to show signs of recovering, many are now optimistic of a stock market rally for the whole year in the Philippine Stock Exchange. Certainly, the equities market is ripe for a rally. And if it happens, be ready in investing in the stock market and looking for the good stocks to invest in with your hard-earned money.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014: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.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:Citigroup Inc. (C)

     Citigroup, Inc., a global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a range of financial products and services. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The Citicorp segment operates as a global bank for businesses and consumers with two primary businesses, Regional Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. The Regional Consumer Banking business provides traditional banking services, including retail banking, and branded cards in North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Institutional Clients Group business provides securities and banking services comprising investment banking and advisory services, lending, debt and equity sales and trading, institutional brokerage, foreign exchange, structured products, cash instruments and related derivatives, and private banking; and transaction services consisting of treasury and trade solutions, and securities and fund services. The Citi Holdings segment operates Brokerage and Asset Management, Local Consumer Lending, and Special Asset Pool businesses. The Brokerage and Asset Management Business, through its 49% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture and Nikko Cordial Securities, offers retail brokerage and asset management services. The Local Consumer Lending business provides residential mortgage loans, retail partner card loans, personal loans, commercial real estate, and other consumer loans, as well as western European cards and retail banking services. The Special Asset Pool business is a portfolio of securities, loans, and other assets. Citigroup Inc. has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company was founded in 1812 and is based in New York, New York.
    Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Fabian At 2011-12-16
      Citigroup (C) appears to be getting started on its plan to trim its workforce by about 4,500 people. Th! e compan y filed papers with the government showingthat it may lay off 413 people in New York City by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported.
      Many of the layoffs are expected to occur in the bank’s Global Markets division, located at 388 Greenwich Street.
    • By David Sterman At 2011-12-6
      This may seem to be an odd choice for a long-term portfolio. Citigroup has caused all kinds of pain for investors in recent years. But behind the scenes, Citigroup has been transforming itself into a major global player. CEO Vikram Pandit has sought to reduce Citigroup’s exposure to the weak U.S. economy while aggressively investing in the world’s most dynamic emerging economies. Right now, North America and Europe constitute about two-thirds of revenue. But emerging markets are expected to grow at a faster pace than Europe and North America in coming years, so that revenue mix may move closer to 50/50.
      If the dollar weakens further, as many economists predict, then that international exposure will really pay off as Citigroup’s foreign earnings rise in value.
    • By Louis Navellier At 2011-11-17
      Citigroup provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions across the globe with a range of financial products and services. A year-to-date drop of 46% for C stock has left shareholders shaking their heads throughout 2011.
    • By Vodicka At 2011-10-31
      Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), recent price $4.55: To prove that all bargain stocks don't have to be hidden gems, consider this "too-big-to-fail" bank. After trading above $55 a share in 2007, Citi got crushed in the 2008 financial collapse and has struggled since. However, it's now profitable again, plans a 10-for-1 reverse stock split in May and will also be resuming its dividend. What makes it most attractive for the long run, however, is its price-to-tangible-book-value ratio of just 1.02 - down from a 10-year-high of 5.24. In essence, you're getting right at a dollar's worth of real assets for every dollar you invest now.
    • By Sy_Harding At 2011-10-30
      Citigroup is one of Miller’s long-term holdings. He had $252 Million worth of C at the end of December. Dur! ing the past year, C returned 43.6% and outperformed the SPY by a huge margin. Stock holdings were reduced by 16% during the 4th quarter. Stock returned 3.8% since then, slightly underperforming the SPY’s 5.8% return. Citigroup is also a hugely popular stock among several hedge funds.
    • By Dave Friedman At 2011-10-23
      On 3/31/11 Maverick Capital reported holding 0,000 shares with a market value of $0. This comprised 0.00% of the total portfolio. On 6/30/11, Maverick Capital held 10,730,265 shares with a market value of $446,808,228. This comprised 4.36% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is 10,730,265. About the company: Citigroup Inc. is a diversified financial services holding company that provides a broad range of financial services to consumer and corporate customers around the world. The Company’s services include investment banking, retail brokerage, corporate banking, and cash management products and services. On 3/31/11 Maverick Capital reported holding 0,000 shares with a market value of $0. This comprised 0.00% of the total portfolio. On 6/30/11, Maverick Capital held 10,730,265 shares with a market value of $446,808,228. This comprised 4.36% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is 10,730,265. About the company: Citigroup Inc. is a diversified financial services holding company that provides a broad range of financial services to consumer and corporate customers around the world. The Company’s services include investment banking, retail brokerage, corporate banking, and cash management products and services.
    • By Goldman At 2011-8-28
      Citigroup(C) is a diversified financial-services company, with retail-, commercial- and investment-banking units. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy two years ago, weighed down by subpr! ime mort gage investments gone bad. Citigroup's stock traded for less than $1 in early 2009.
      Citigroup swung to an adjusted fourth-quarter profit of four cents from a year-earlier loss, but missed analysts' consensus target by 48%, sending shares down more than 6% in reaction. Citigroup's sales figure missed consensus by 6.4%. Still, its stock, among the heaviest-traded in the market, receives positive reviews from researchers, with 16, or 53%, "buy" recommendations, nine "hold" ratings and three "sell" rankings. It is up 52% in 12 months.
      Goldman's $5.50 target suggests a one-year potential rise of 13%. Dick Bove, at Rochdale Securities, remains the stock's greatest advocate, forecasting an advance of 42% to $6.96. Citi's stock is still cheap relative to financial-services peers, costing 8.7-times forward earnings, 0.9-times book value and 1.3-times sales. Those figures reflect discounts of 25%, 10% and 31% discounts to industry averages. Citigroup has reformed its risk profile markedly since the recession. Its Tier I common ratio widened to nearly 12% in the latest quarter and leverage fell to 12:1.
      Goldman, dismayed by lower capital-markets revenue during the quarter, is encouraged by Citi's asset sales, strengthening balance sheet and emerging markets exposure. Citi Holdings is shedding assets faster than anticipated, which is bolstering liquidity. Investment-banking revenue increased 25% during the quarter.
    • By Roger At 2011-8-28
      Citigroup is one of the toughest companies to value because it is the largest trader in off balance sheet derivative contracts in the world. Citi falls into the "too hard to value" category for me and has for years ever since I read a book by Aswath Damodaran on mortgage derivatives and realized that these contracts are incredibly hard to value let alone understand. The company is cheap, however, trading at around tangible book and for 12.7X trailing earnings and 8.7X forward earnings. Citigroup is another company that will likely not go under while trading for a discount to future cash flows.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:J P Morgan Chase & Co (JPM)

     JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. Its Investment Bank segment provides various investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity and debt markets, risk management, market-making in cash securities and derivative instruments, prime brokerage, and research services serving corporations, financial institutions, governments, and institutional investors. The company?s Commercial Banking segment provides lending, treasury, investment banking, and asset management services to corporations, municipalities, financial institutions, and not-for-profit entities. Its Treasury & Securities Services segment offers cash management, trade, wholesale card, and liquidity products and services to small and mid-sized companies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and government entities. It also holds, values, clears, and services securities, cash, and alternative investments for investors and broker-dealers, and manages depositary receipt programs worldwide. JPMorgan?s Asset Management segment provides investment and wealth management to institutions, retail investors, and high-net-worth individuals. This segment offers investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity, and liquidity products, as well as trust and estate, banking and brokerage services, and retirement services. Its Retail Financial Services segment offers retail banking and consumer lending services that include checking and savings accounts, mortgages, home equity and business loans, and investments through ATMs, online banking, and telephone banking, as well as auto dealerships and school financial-aid offices. The company?s Card Services segment issues credit cards and processes various credit card payments. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was founded in 1823 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
    Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Fabian At 2011-10-! 30
      Bill Miller had $245 Million in JPM shares at the end of December. These shares have returned 17.5% since February 2010, underperforming the SPY by 4 percentage points. Stock holdings are almost unchanged during the 4th quarter, stock returned 10.5% since the end of December.
    • By Dave Friedman At 2011-10-23
      On 3/31/11 Maverick Capital reported holding 5,980,977 shares with a market value of $275,723,031. This comprised 2.93% of the total portfolio. On 6/30/11, Maverick Capital held 10,792,867 shares with a market value of $441,859,960. This comprised 4.32% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is 4,811,890. About the company: JPMorgan Chase & Co. provides global financial services and retail banking. The Company provides services such as investment banking, treasury and securities services, asset management, private banking, card member services, commercial banking, and home finance. JP Morgan Chase serves business enterprises, institutions, and individuals.
    • By Putnam At 2011-9-28
      JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): On 3/31/11 Viking Global Investors reported holding 10,114,100 shares with a market value of $466,259,995. This comprised 4.02% of the total portfolio. On 6/30/11, Viking Global Investors held 9,539,400 shares with a market value of $390,543,023. This comprised 3.27% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is -574,700. About the company: JPMorgan Chase & Co. provides global financial services and retail banking.? The Company provides services such as investment banking, treasury and securities services, asset management, private banking, card member services, commercial banking, and home finance.? JP Morgan Chase serves business enterprises, institutions, and individuals.
    • By Roger At 2011-9-10
      Thi s leading global financial company operates in more than 50 countries.?Its strong balance sheet and competitive position place the stock on the buy list of almost all of the major banking analysts despite the pullback in the banking sector — it is the premier big bank on their list.?Technically JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) retreated to its major support zone at $39 to $41 after making a high at over $48 in February.
      The stock’s stochastic is telling us that it is oversold, and the stock had a reversal day late last month that could provide a short-term trade to $43.?Fundamental analysts have an average target of $58 within 12 months, but technically we’d be pleased with a move back to its high of $47-plus by the end of this year. The annual dividend is $1.00 providing a yield of 2.51%.
    • By Jim Cramer,TheStreet At 2011-9-7
      The dividend's going to be boosted, the buyback enlarged, the earnings power revealed, the shroud gone. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is still the best-run bank in America, if not the world, and CEO Jamie Dimon is one of our greatest bankers.
      The company really did come through this period relatively unscathed and with a better branch network, courtesy of the dirt-cheap price of Washington Mutual. This company's stock has done nothing, literally nothing, year over year. Unchanged! That won't be the case in 2011.
      I see it going to $50, propelled by earnings power and the dividend hikes. It will be the pre-eminent financial to own and become a staple of many a mutual fund portfolio.
    • By Goldman At 2011-8-28
      JPMorgan Chase(JPM), like Citigroup, is a diversified financial-services company, albeit one with a better track record and reputation.
      JPMorgan's fourth-quarter adjusted earnings rose 84% to $1.12, beating analysts' consensus forecast by 12%. Its top-line tally, up 13%, exceeded expectations by 7.8%. The bank is lending more. Loans grew 1%, up in five of six business units. Trading revenue was down 8%. The bank's net interest margin, at just below 2.9%, missed Wall Street's target of 3%. Still, the quarter was considered an overwhelming positive, with JPMorgan topping the investment-bank league tables for global fees, even though its operating profit dropped 24%.
      JPMorgan's retail and card-services businesses swung to profits from year-earlier losses. Amid a strengthening recovery, diversified financial stocks have fallen out of favor, but JPMorgan is expected to more than double its dividend in 2011. Based on aggregate ratings, JPMorgan is analysts' favorite Dow component. It receives 28 "buy" recommendations and five "hold" calls. No researchers rank JPMorgan "sell." Although Goldman rates the stock "buy", its $54 target is below the median, at $54.29. Barclays forecasts that the stock will rise 32% to $60 in 12 months.
    • By Goodwin At 2011-8-28
      JPMorgan reported earnings that rose by 67% on a YOY quarterly basis and the shares are another large position for FAIRX. JPM is a well managed company, with the best leadership team out of all of the Fed member banks discussed in this article. Jamie Dimon is a one of the few investment banking leaders whose integrity is unquestionable, although in this case, such a statement is akin to calling a used car salesman "honest" after the bailouts unfortunately stripped the investment banking profession of a substantial amount of respect. Maybe it's a good thing they are well paid after all.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:Royal Bank Of Canada (RY)

     Royal Bank of Canada provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services under the RBC name worldwide. Its Canadian Banking segment offers personal financial services, business financial services, and cards and payment solutions. The company?s Wealth Management segment provides wealth and asset management, and estate and trust services to affluent and high net worth clients through distributors, as well as directly to institutional and individual clients in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Its Insurance segment provides various life and health insurance, including universal life, accidental death and critical illness protection, disability, long-term care insurance, and group benefits; and property and casualty insurance comprising home, auto, and travel insurance, as well as wealth accumulation solutions; and reinsurance products through retail insurance branches, call centers, independent insurance advisors and travel agencies, financial institutions, and career sales force. The company?s International Banking segment offers various financial products and services to individuals, business clients, and public institutions in the U.S. and Caribbean. This segment also provides global custody, fund and pension administration, securities lending, shareholder services, analytics, and other related services to institutional investors. Royal Bank of Canada?s Capital Markets segment engages in the trading and distribution of fixed income, foreign exchange, equities, commodities, and derivative products for institutional, public sector, and corporate clients; and involves in investment banking, debt and equity origination, advisory services, corporate lending, private equity, and client securitization businesses. The company was founded in 1864 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:Wells Fargo & Company (WFC)

     Wells Fargo & Company, through its subsidiaries, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. The Community Banking segment offers deposits, including checking, market rate, and individual retirement accounts; savings and time deposits; and debit cards. Its loan products comprise lines of credit, auto floor plans, equity lines and loans, equipment and transportation loans, education loans, residential mortgage loans, health savings accounts, and credit cards. This segment also provides equipment leases, real estate financing, small business administration financing, venture capital financing, cash management, payroll services, retirement plans, loans secured by autos, and merchant payment processing services; purchases sales finance contracts from retail merchants; and a family of funds, and investment management services. The Wholesale Banking segment offers commercial and corporate banking products and services, including commercial loans and lines of credit, letters of credit, asset-based lending, equipment leasing, international trade facilities, trade financing, collection services, foreign exchange services, treasury and investment management, institutional fixed-income sales, commodity and equity risk management, insurance, corporate trust fiduciary and agency services, and investment banking services. This segment also provides banking products for commercial real estate market, and real estate and mortgage brokerage services. The Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement segment offers financial advisory, brokerage, and institutional retirement and trust services. As of December 31, 2010, the company served its customers through approximately 9,000 banking stores in 39 States and the District of Columbia. Wells Fargo & Company was founded in 1929 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
    Advisors' Opinion:
    • By Philip At 2011-11-8Wells Fargo's (WFC) forward P/E was 7.9, based on Friday's closing price of $25.40 and consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $3.22. The shares trade just over the company's reported book value of $24.13, as of Sept. 30.
      Out of 895 publicly traded U.S. bank and thrift stocks -- excluding those trading on the Pink Sheets -- 273 trade for less than $5 a share, according to data supplied by SNL.
      We narrowed down the list down to 21 names with three-month daily average trading volume of more than 50,000 shares.
      We further pared the list to the five names with the most upside implied by mean price targets among analysts polled by FactSet, limiting the group to bank and thrift holding with "Buy" ratings from at least half the covering analysts.
    • By Sherry Jim At 2011-10-30
      Miller had $361 Million WFC shares at the end of December. WFC gained 24.7% during the last 12 months and outperformed the SPY by 3.2 percentage points. Stock holdings increased by 18.5% during the last quarter and WFC returned 9.1% since then. Warren Buffett was extremely bullish about Wells Fargo during the fourth quarter, adding another 6+ Million shares to his $11+ Billion WFC holdings.
    • By James K. Glassman At 2011-10-21
      Bill Miller's incredible streak of beating the S&P 500 for 15 straight calendar years came to an end in 2006, but the CEO of Legg Mason Capital Management is still worth listening to. He always has interesting, contrarian ideas, and right now he's high on what many investors despise: bank stocks. He especially likes Wells Fargo (WFC), which is down about one-fourth since May and is trading at a modest 11 times estimated earnings.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:Comerica Incorporated (CMA)

     Comerica Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial products and services in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Its Business Bank segment comprises middle market, commercial real estate, national dealer services, international finance, global corporate, leasing, financial services, and technology and life sciences businesses. This segment offers commercial loans and lines of credit, deposits, cash management, capital market products, international trade finance, letters of credit, foreign exchange management services, and loan syndication services to medium-size businesses, multinational corporations, and governmental entities. The company?s Retail Bank segment provides small business banking and personal financial services consisting of consumer lending, consumer deposit gathering, and mortgage loan origination. This segment offers various consumer products, including deposit accounts, installment loans, credit cards, student loans, home equity lines of credit, and residential mortgage loans. Its Wealth Management segment provides products and services comprising fiduciary services, private banking, retirement services, investment management and advisory services, investment banking, and discount securities brokerage services. This segment also sells annuity products, as well as life, disability, and long-term care insurance products. The company was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

    Best Bank Stocks To Watch In November 2014:FirstMerit Corporation (FMER)

     FirstMerit Corporation operates as the bank holding company for FirstMerit Bank, N.A. that provides a range of banking, fiduciary, financial, insurance, and investment services to corporate, institutional, and individual customers in northern and central Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. The company?s commercial business offers commercial term loans, revolving credit arrangements, asset-based lending, leasing, commercial mortgages, real estate construction lending, letters of credit, cash management services, and other depository products. Its retail business provides various financial products and services, including consumer direct and indirect installment loans, debit and credit cards, debit gift cards, residential mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, fixed and variable annuities, and ATM network services, as well as deposit products comprising checking, savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. The company?s wealth business provides asset management, private banking, financial planning, estate settlement and administration, and credit and deposit products and services. FirstMerit Corporation also offers trust and investment services, including personal trust and planning, and investment management; retirement plan services; retail mutual funds, other securities, variable and fixed annuities, personal disability and life insurance products, and brokerage services; and private banking services, including credit, deposit, and asset management solutions. As of December 31, 2009, it operated a network of 160 full service banking offices and 182 ATMs. The company was founded in 1855 and is headquartered in Akron, Ohio.