Saturday, May 31, 2014

Anti-Depressants: The Secret to Preventing Alzheimer's?

The Science Translational Medicine journal recently published research about the generic antidepressant citalopram, which was developed by Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX  )  under the brand name Celexa, as a potential way to help slow down the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Now this study was small and further research needs to be done, but it shows that anti-depressent use may reduce the production of beta-amyloid plaques, seen as a contributing factor for the development of Alzheimer's. However, there is a long way to go and a lot of science to discover before these common drugs are seen as a preventative tool for those at risk.

In this episode of The Motley Fool's health-care show Market Checkup, analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss this trial, how our knowledge of the disease is evolving and the many other new Alzheimer's treatments being developed right now.

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Top 10 Asian Companies To Watch In Right Now

Top 10 Asian Companies To Watch In Right Now: Pimco High Income Fund(PHK)

PIMCO High Income Fund is a closed ended fixed income mutual fund launched and managed by Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC. The fund is co-managed by Pacific Investment Management Company LLC. It invests in the public fixed income markets across the globe. The fund invests in U.S. dollar denominated high-yield corporate debt obligations. It employs fundamental analysis along with a top down stock picking approach to make its investments. PIMCO High Income Fund was formed on April 30, 2003 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Morgan Housel]

    Interest rates have risen over the last month, offering a taste. Pimco High Income Fund (NYSE: PHK  ) is down 10% in the last month. The Vanguard Long Term Corporate Bond Fund (NASDAQ: VCLT  ) lost 4.6%. Mortgage REITS sensitive to the same interest rate risk have been pummeled; Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY  ) shares are off by one-fifth over the last year.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Consumer Spending Slips in April, Inflation Creeps Up

consumer spending Ross D. Franklin/AP WASHINGTON -- U.S. consumer spending fell for the first time in a year in April after two months of solid gains, but the decline is likely temporary given a strengthening jobs market. The Commerce Department said Friday consumer sentiment slipped 0.1 percent, which was the first decline since April 2013. But the drop followed an upwardly revised 1 percent jump in March that was the largest gain since August 2009. "The disappointing spending report should be viewed in the context of a stronger handoff into the second quarter," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York. "We look for ongoing labor market progress to encourage further growth in consumer spending." Last month's decrease, which was driven by weak spending on durable goods and utilities, didn't change expectations economic growth would top a 3 percent annual pace this quarter after output shrank in the first three months of the year. A separate report showed consumer sentiment slipped in May as households worried about income, but that too was viewed as temporary in light of the steady labor market improvement. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 81.9 in May from 84.1 in April, but was up slightly from earlier in the month. Another report from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago showed factory activity in the U.S. Midwest reached its highest level in seven months in May, boosted by a surge in new orders. Order backlogs jumped to a three-year high and inventories rose for a second consecutive month. "It provides more evidence that the economy and manufacturing are in an upswing, and points to rising employment," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. U.S. Treasury debt prices fell on the mixed data, while the dollar slipped against a basket of currencies. U.S. stocks were slightly lower. Inflation Creeping Up The report on consumer spending provided the latest evidence that inflation was starting to stir. Prices rose 0.2 percent in April, pushing the year-on-year reading up to 1.6 percent -- the largest gain since November 2012. It had advanced 1.1 percent in March. Excluding food and energy, prices increased 0.2 percent. These so-called core prices were up 1.4 percent from a year ago, the biggest increase since March 2013. The pickup is welcome news for Federal Reserve officials, who have been worried that inflation was running so far below the central bank's 2 percent target. Weak medical care costs has kept inflation down but that anchor is slipping away. Economists say a rise in those costs plus increasing rents should lift inflation this year and pave the way for an interest rate hike from the Fed. "We believe the inflation backdrop will keep the Fed on a gradual path to normalization and look for the first rate increase in June 2015," said Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays in New York. The Fed has held benchmark overnight interest rates near zero since December 2008.

Best Valued Stocks To Buy Right Now

Best Valued Stocks To Buy Right Now: Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR)

Dollar Tree, Inc. operates discount variety stores in the United States and Canada. Its stores offer merchandise primarily at the fixed price of $1.00. The company operates its stores under the names of Dollar Tree, Deal$, Dollar Tree Deal$, Dollar Giant, and Dollar Bills. Its stores offer consumable merchandise, including candy and food, and health and beauty care, as well as household consumables, such as paper, plastics, household chemicals, in select stores, and frozen and refrigerated food; variety merchandise, which includes toys, durable housewares, gifts, party goods, greeting cards, softlines, and other items; and seasonal goods, such as Easter, Halloween, and Christmas merchandise. As of April 30, 2011, it operated 4,089 stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 88 stores in Canada. The company was founded in 1986 and is based in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) is down 3.5% at $64.19. Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) is down 2.9% at $59.93 on a wider loss and tepid outlook. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is up 14.1% at $70.57 indicating that investors liked the results posted after markets closed on Wednesday. Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) is down 4.5% at $56.28. Abercrombie & Fitch Inc. (NYSE: ANF) is down 0.1% at $34.97.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) was maintained as a Buy but was removed from the prized Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

    Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $79 price target at Argus.

  • [By Mani]

    Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) is one of the companies that are set to exploit the ongoing trend of consumers' increasing focus on value with significant opportunity to grow its store base, and expand margins.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Deep! discounter Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR  ) announced today that its current chief operating officer, Gary Philbin, will now also carry the title of president, a position previously held by company CEO Bob Sasser.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pending Home Sales Rise in April but Miss Forecasts

Top Canadian Stocks To Buy Right Now

Pending Home Sales Show Signs of Stabilizing Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images WASHINGTON -- More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in April than the prior month. But the pace of buying is still weaker than last year, as higher prices and relatively tight supplies have limited sales. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.4 percent to 97.8 last month. The index remains 9.2 percent below its level a year ago. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale. The index indicates that home buying has barely increased in May. The gain in signed contracts partly reflects the slight decline in mortgage rates and the economic rebound from the brutal winter. But prices have risen by 12.4 percent year-over-year, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. That has put home ownership out of reach for a growing share of Americans who are stuck with stagnant incomes in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The number of signed contracts increased in the Northeast and Midwest month-to-month, suggesting that a modest weather-based rebound has occurred. However, pending sales dropped last month in the West and South, a sign to many economists that the price increases have muted buying activity more than nasty weather. "The end of the severe winter weather will not bring with it a sustained revival in the housing market," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "The real problem is last year's massive deterioration in affordability." Would-be buyers have gotten some help in recent weeks from falling mortgage rates. Average rates for 30-year, fixed mortgages declined for the fifth straight week to 4.12 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Still, rates remain above their lows of 3.51 percent a year ago. The rising rates in the second half of 2013 and higher home prices appear to have reduced the pool of potential homebuyers. The Realtors said last week that sales rose 1.3 percent in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million. Purchases of homes over the past 12 months have dropped 6.8 percent.

Top Industrial Conglomerate Companies To Invest In 2015

Top Industrial Conglomerate Companies To Invest In 2015: Orkla ASA (ORK)

Orkla ASA is a Norway-based company active in various sectors. The Companys operations are structured into two segments: Branded Consumer Goods and Other Businesses. The Branded Consumer Goods segment is divided into five units: Orkla Foods, which comprises the Companys food businesses in the Nordic region and the Baltics; Orkla Confectionery, which comprises five branded consumer goods businesses which serve the Nordic region and the Baltics as their home markets; Orkls Home & Personal consists of five branded consumer goods businesses, including Lilleborg, Lilleborg Profesjonell, the Axellus Group, Pierre Robert Group and House Care; Orkla Food Ingredients cover product categories, including margarine, marzipan, bread improvers and mixes, and yeast, and Orkla International includes branded consumer goods companies outside the Nordic region and the Baltics. The Other Businesses segment covers the Companys operation in aluminum, real estate and hydropower sectors, am ong others. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Orkla ASA (ORK), the Norwegian industrial conglomerate transforming itself into a consumer-goods producer, slumped 11 percent to 46.78 kroner, the largest drop since November 2011. The company reported second-quarter pretax profit of 514 million kroner ($86 million), missing estimates of 965 million kroner in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 Reasons Why Media Execs Top CEO Pay Lists

5 Reasons Why Media Execs Top CEO Pay Lists Evan Agostini, Invision/APCBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves ranked No. 2 on a list of highest paid CEOs. LOS ANGELES -- Once again, media company CEOs are among the highest paid executives in the nation, occupying six of the top 10 earning spots, according to an Associated Press/Equilar study. Compensation experts say a variety of factors are at play, including the gain in media stocks, the intangible value of talent in a hit-or-miss business, the control of shareholder power in very few hands, and the decline of the financial sector. Stock Outperformers Outsized stock growth boosts the value of stock and option grants. Media companies' shares have rebounded strongly since the 2008 recession, mainly because advertising spending grows in tandem with a growing economy. That means higher-priced ads and higher-priced execs. Stocks of the six media companies on the list all outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC), which grew 128 percent in the five years through December 2013, according to FactSet. CBS (CBS) shares grew a whopping 699 percent in that period; Discovery Communications (DISCA) went up 539 percent; Viacom (VIA) rose 377 percent; Walt Disney (DIS) rose 250 percent; Time Warner (TWX) climbed 259 percent and Comcast (CMCSA) grew 223 percent. "If shareholders are happy they don't care how much a person makes," said Paul Dorf, managing director of consulting firm Compensation Resources. "When they complain most is when the market doesn't do well and their stock is going down the tubes." Talent Quotient Making it big in media means generating hits. And while top executives may not be hands-on with every decision, they are where the buck stops. Take Disney's animated blockbuster "Frozen," which grossed $1.2 billion at box offices worldwide. While Disney CEO Bob Iger didn't make the movie, he did orchestrate Disney's $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar in 2006, which brought in talented executives to help reform Disney's faltering animation studio. "With movie studios and the media, it's more of a talent business. You have highly paid people at all levels," said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, a compensation consultant in New York. "The view is the right CEO can make a big difference." Voting Power Control of voting power by a single shareholder can dilute the impact of "say on pay" advisory votes, experts say. A major shareholder can override other shareholders' concerns. For instance, Sumner Redstone controls 79.7 percent of the vote at CBS and 79.3 percent of the vote at Viacom, possibly contributing to the higher pay of CEOs Les Moonves and Philippe Dauman, who were ranked No. 2 and No. 5. CEO Brian Roberts, ranked No. 10, controls 33.3 percent of the voting power at Comcast. And Discovery CEO David Zaslav, ranked No. 8, answers to one big boss: cable magnate John Malone, who controls 28.9 percent of the vote. "When you have the vote in your back pocket, you do not need to negotiate in the same way," said Nora McCord, managing director at Steven Hall & Partners, an executive compensation consulting firm in New York. Other Industries' Decline Lists in previous decades might have had more financial and banking executives. Since the Great Recession punished those companies with government bailouts, bank collapses, accounting revisions and writedowns, they have dropped in the pay rankings. "If you were to go back in time, a lot of these lists would have had financial executives," Johnson said. "They're not part of it anymore." All Boats Rise When one company boosts pay, others compensate to remain competitive. That's why executive pay within industries tends to "move in lock step," McCord said.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten Companies Expected to Double Revenues in the Next Few Years

If you have analyzed the myriad earnings reports over the summer of 2013, the trend that you will notice is a lack of revenue growth from most major companies. Many have continued to grow earnings because of cost containment and share buybacks, but the problems in Europe have caused slower spending and growth in Asia and in emerging markets. That is the bad news. The good news is that some public companies would still be considered as extreme growth stocks. In fact, some companies are still doubling their revenues.

24/7 Wall St. has evaluated many existing public companies to identify ones with high growth rates. With 2013 now in the second half, we wanted to look at a group of public companies that are expected to double their sales in the next few years. Our main focus is for companies expected to double sales by the end of 2016 from the end of 2012, but a couple may take until 2017 or so. Doubling sales at a time of slow economic expansion is very impressive whether it takes three and a half years or four and a half years.

In order to not have the deck stacked with small tiny companies that most people have never heard of, we tried to avoid repetitive industries. There almost always seems to be some small turnaround company or some smaller companies in biotech and software that are growing rapidly. We wanted to broaden the search for companies expected to double their revenues.

In some cases you will see that the company has itself projected that it plans to double its sales. In other cases, it is the group of analysts covering each company that are forecasting sales to double. Some of these public companies will double as soon as 2014, while others will not realize their doubling in sales until 2015 or 2016.

We would also warn that this rapid growth can come at an expensive price. We have shown a 52-week trading range on each public stock, and we have given a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for the fiscal year ahead so that you can see how Wall Street is valuing the stock based on current share prices.

The 24/7 Wall St. list of public companies expected to double sales in the next few years includes the following: Kona Grill Inc. (NASDAQ: KONA), LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Noodles & Co. (NASDAQ: NDLS), Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS), Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR), Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY) and Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP). Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) might as well be considered a runner-up here, but it was a direct competitor of LinkedIn in the selections.

We looked at past sales growth, expected or stated sales growth expectations ahead, where the stocks have traded and what their market capitalization rates are now, and we even gave a forward earnings projection to see how much you have to pay up for such strong growth. A detailed analysis of each company follows.

Kona Grill Inc. (NASDAQ: KONA) is the smallest growth chain by far of the companies we analyzed. Frankly, this may be tied to a doubling off of a smaller base since its market cap is a mere $100 million. At $12.35, its stock has a 52-week range of $7.80 to $13.90. Sales in 2012 were $96 million, and the 2013 growth might not indicate a doubling. It said at the start of August with earnings that its second-quarter restaurant sales increased 3.2% to $25.8 million and its same-store sales increased 2.5%. Berke Bakay, president and CEO, said, “The sales growth is a testament to the strength of our brand. … Our vision over the next five years is to double our sales, which translates to an approximately 15% compounded annual growth rate.” Kona trades at roughly 25 times expected 2013 earnings expectations.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) is the social network for professionals, and now the company wants to swoop its expansion down to the student level. This may come with a risk. It trades at $230.79 in a 52-week range is $94.75 to $244.00, and its market cap is almost $26 billion. The company already has doubled sales more than once and is expected to keep doing so. Revenue was $972 million in 2012, versus $522 million in 2011 and up from $243 million in 2010. It is widely expected that sales will double again by the end of 2015. Thomson Reuters has a consensus revenue target of $1.51 billion for 2013, and that is expected to be $2.14 billion for fiscal year 2014. In short, LinkedIn’s sales doubling should happen shortly before the end of 2014. Facebook would also be in this social media doubling camp as well, but LinkedIn actually is expected to grow faster than Facebook, according to analysts. LinkedIn is valued at a whopping 105 times expected 2014 earnings, versus a valuation of about 40 times expected 2014 earnings from Facebook.

Why Pandora Looks Like A Dead-Money Investment

The number of companies which offer a music subscription or internet radio service seems to be growing larger every day. There's Pandora (P), which has proven to be exceptionally popular with its free ad-supported model and an ad-free subscription service. Then there's Spotify, which has a much larger library than Pandora and also offers a free ad-supported version. Pandora has about three times as many active users as Spotify does, but the company has also been around a lot longer. There's also iHeartRadio, which allows you to stream live radio, and the smaller Slacker Radio.

Here comes Google

This already crowded space got a new competitor recently as Google launched the Google Play Music All Access service. This new service is similar to Spotify, where users pay $10 per month to be able to stream an unlimited number of songs. But Google introduces some unique features, like the ability to merge your personal music library with the streaming catalog. This allows you to listen to songs which you already own in addition to Google's catalog all in the same place. The service also has a radio feature similar to Pandora's, where playlists are automatically generated.

The benefit that Google has is its already large and ubiquitous ecosystem of products and services. With Android being the dominant OS in the mobile space integrating the new music service into Google Play gives the service a big advantage over the competition.

The problem with online music

Any business model which involves paying royalties to content owners in order to serve that content is not a very attractive one. A huge portion of the revenue which these companies generate is spent on royalties, and that fact is unlikely to change anytime soon. This means that profits, if they exist at all, will necessarily be small.

Pandora and Spotify pay royalties in different ways. While Spotify negotiates directly with the content owners Pandora pays a royalty rate which is determined by the federal government. So every time Pandora plays a song it must pay a fraction of a cent in royalties, and this is the reason that the company limits its free service to 40 hours per month.

Pandora's struggles

Most of Pandora's revenue comes from selling advertisements, but thus far costs have grown just as fast as revenue. In the most recent quarter revenue jumped by an impressive 54% year-over-year but operating income fell from $-8 million to $-14 million as costs rose. This is a fundamental problem with the business model which will not go away unless federal laws are reformed.

Buying Pandora stock essentially boils down to a gamble on the actions of the federal government regarding royalty rates. You're paying $2.8 billion for a company that is not profitable and will likely never be profitable unless laws are changed. And even if royalty rates come down Pandora faces an onslaught of competition. Pandora only has about 900,000 songs in its library compared to Spotify's 20 million, putting it at a major disadvantage.

What about Apple?

Apple (AAPL) has been long rumored to be working on a music streaming service. Apple's iTunes remains popular, with the service passing the 25 billion songs mark in February. But with Google launching a service it's likely only a matter of time before Apple joins the fray. Recently rumors have emerged suggesting that Apple is close to an agreement with Universal Music Group, the largest of the major record companies, on a streaming deal.

Apple's goal with the service will be similar to Google's - locking people into the companies' respective ecosystems. Apple's service will likely have some sort of iTunes integration, meaning that users of iTunes with considerable libraries will have a reason to choose Apple over the competition. Competing with both Google and Apple in an industry like this is not exactly a recipe for success.

The bottom line

Pandora is in a world of trouble. Not only is its current business model unable to turn a profit, competition from Google and likely Apple along with the current competition from companies like Spotify puts Pandora's future in jeopardy. Investing in Pandora is almost certainly a huge mistake.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

There's More to Amazon Than Price

A group of analysts over at BB&T price-compared a basket of 30 items between (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY  ) , and found Bed Bath & Beyond to be victorious. On average, Bed Bath & Beyond's prices were 6.5% better than Amazon's, and after accounting for its ubiquitous 20% off coupons, the gap widened to 25%.

Fool contributor Steve Heller believes that investors should take this finding with a grain of salt, given the limited scope of the comparison. Additionally, he believes there's one underlying factor that brick-and-mortar retailers simply cannot compete with Amazon on: convenience. Check out the video below to get his full thoughts on the subject.

The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

Aeropostale: Oops

There’s no pleasing teens–or investors–as Aeropostale (ARO) is learning today.

Bloomberg News

Shares of Aeropostale have dropped a whopping 25% to $3.41 after the teen retailer said its second quarter loss would come in between 55 cents to 61 cents a share, larger than the 51 cent loss predicted by economists. Aeropostale also said that it would burn through $70 million this quarter, though they would also get about $45 million from a tax refund.

RBC Capital Market’s Howard Tubin and Courtney Willson downgraded Aeropostale to Sector Perform from Outperform. They explain why:

Top 10 Recreation Stocks To Own Right Now

To say our call on ARO shares has been bad would be a colossal understatement. We have stayed with it over the last several quarters because we believed and continue to believe that management is making the appropriate changes to the merchandise. Where we went wrong was in the timing. We expected the changes made in-store, online, and within the marketing strategies to have already gained traction. However, business remains difficult….In addition, their progress is being hampered by difficult business conditions in the teen space, overall. Hence, we are moving to the sidelines until we have more visibility on the improvement in business trends.

Interestingly, Aeropostale’s colossal drop hasn’t had much impact on other teen retailers today. American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) has gained 0.6% to $10.83 today, while Tilly’s (TLYS) has dropped 0.3% to $10.48, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) has declined 0.3% to $37.10, and Buckle (BKE) has fallen 2.1% to $45.10.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top 10 India Companies To Invest In Right Now

Looks like McGraw-Hill dodged a sticky situation by getting rid of its education unit.

Late last year, the financial news and data publisher announced the sale of its education unit -- McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) -- to private equity firm Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO  ) in a $2.4 billion deal. The change of control officially took effect only a week ago, and within just a few days, MHE ran into its first big PR problem as an Apollo Global subsidiary.

As described in a company press release issued Wednesday, students taking online proficiency tests in Indiana and Oklahoma "as well as other test takers ... experienced system interruptions, which have led some local districts to temporarily suspend testing." According to news reports, the other test takers stretched across at least two additional states -- Kentucky and Minnesota�-- with students in all four states having difficulty logging onto MHE's servers to take their tests, or in some cases being kicked offline in the middle of testing.

Top 10 India Companies To Invest In Right Now: Stewart Information Services Corporation(STC)

Stewart Information Services Corporation provides title insurance and related information services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries. It operates in two segments, Title Insurance-Related Services and Real Estate Information. The Title Insurance-Related Services segment offers services that include searching for and examining documents, such as deeds, mortgages, wills, divorce decrees, court judgments, liens, paving assessments, and tax records, as well as provides titles insurance for residential and commercial properties, undeveloped acreage, farms, ranches, and water rights. This segment serves attorneys, builders, developers, home buyers and home sellers, lenders, and real estate brokers. The Real Estate Information segment offers products and services, which primarily include lender services, title technology, foreign and domestic government services, mapping, title information, Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 tax-deferred property e xchanges, pre-employment services, and online filing and transaction management. Its customers include mortgage lenders and servicers, mortgage brokers, mortgage investors, government entities, commercial and residential real estate agents, land developers, builders, title insurance agencies, and others interested in obtaining property information, as well as accountants, attorneys, investors, and employers. The company has operations primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, central Europe, Mexico, central America, and Australia. Stewart Information Services Corporation was founded in 1893 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James Fink]

    My housing pick is Houston-based Stewart Information Services (STC), a 120-year-old real estate business founded in 1893, that is still owned and managed by the founding family.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tower Group has dropped 12% to $3.88 today at 11:39 a.m., while Stewart Information Services (STC) has dipped 0.1% to $31.16, the�Navigators Group�(NAVG) has fallen 1.4% to $54.78 and HCI Group�(HCI) has gained 1% to $38.16.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tower Group has dropped 40% to $4.43 today, and some other small insurers are also getting dinged this morning. HCI Group (HCI) has fallen 1.8% to $39.36, Stewart Information Services (STC) has declined 0.7% to $31.36 and the Navigators Group (NAVG) has ticked down 0.4% to $56.10.

Top 10 India Companies To Invest In Right Now: Tata Motors Ltd(TTM)

Tata Motors Limited, an automobile company, engages in the manufacture and sale of commercial and passenger vehicles primarily in India. The company offers cars, utility vehicles, trucks, buses and coaches, and defense vehicles, as well as develops electric and hybrid vehicles for personal and public transportation. It also involves in distributing and marketing cars; and financing the vehicles sold by the company. In addition, the company engages in the provision of engineering and automotive solutions, as well as machine tools and factory automation solutions; construction equipment manufacturing; automotive vehicle components manufacturing and supply chain activities; tooling and plastic and electronic components for automotive and computer applications; and automotive retailing and service operations. It offers its products and services through its dealership, sales, services, and spare parts network. The company also markets its commercial and passenger vehicles in Eu rope, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia, and South America. The company was formerly known as Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Limited and changed its name to Tata Motors Limited in July 2003. Tata Motors Limited was founded in 1945 and is based in Mumbai, India.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Trey Thoelcke]

    The rise of VW could hit GM particularly hard, both in terms of reputation and in earnings. GM said it was looking to introduce four new Chevrolet models in China next year, as well as to expand its low-cost Baojun brand. Chinese buyers could already be looking elsewhere though, given the rise of VW and of Tata Motors Ltd. (NYSE: TTM), which sells cars under the Jaguar and Range Rover brands. Sales of Tata vehicles have risen sharply in the past year, and the company is set to begin producing cars in China.

  • [By Justin Loiseau]

    March sales data from�Tata Motors� (NYSE: TTM  ) �show business is booming for its Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary.

    Overall sales clocked in at 53,772 units, up 16.4%�from March 2012, and longer-term trends tell a similar story. In the past 12 months, sales have headed even higher, up 22.5% to 374,669. Jaguar sales are up 8.1% in the last year, while Land Rover carried the carline with a 25.6% boost.

  • [By Justin Loiseau]

    2. Gimme those car keys
    Sniff ... they grow up so fast. Before we know it, little Georgie's going to be ready to sit his royal tuckus in the driver seat. Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM  ) offers a flashback to the days of British colonialism, although this time it's India with the ownership. Although the South Asian automaker is most famous for its Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, Prince George would probably have his eyes set on Tata's Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary.

Hot Chemical Companies For 2015: Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd(RDY)

Dr. Reddy?s Laboratories Limited, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a pharmaceutical company. It produces finished dosage forms, active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, and biotechnology products. The company also conducts research in the areas of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, inflammation, and bacterial infection. In addition, it involves in the contract manufacture generic prescription and over-the-counter products for branded and generic companies in the United States. The company primarily focuses on therapeutic categories of cardiovascular, diabetes management, gastro-intestinal, and pain management. It markets its products in India, the United States, Europe, and the Russian Federation. The company has a co-development and commercialization agreement with Rheoscience A/S for the development and commercialization of Balaglitazone/DRF 2593, a partial PPAR-gamma agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes; an agreement with ClinTec Internatio nal for the development of an anti-cancer compound, DRF 1042; collaboration with the National Cancer Institute in Maryland; and an agreement with Argenta Discovery Limited for the joint development and commercialization of a novel approach to the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also has an agreement with 7TM Pharma for drug discovery collaboration on selected drug targets; and an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop and market pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, oncology, gastroenterology, and pain management. Dr. Reddy?s Laboratories Limited was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Hyderabad, India.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE: RDY) is expected to report its Q4 earnings at $0.52 per share.

    YuMe (NYSE: YUME) is estimated to post a Q1 loss at $0.15 per share on revenue of $35.36 million.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE: RDY  ) reported earnings on May 14. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q4), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

  • [By Benjamin Shepherd] We’re now into day 15 of the US government shutdown, as House Republicans stubbornly try to defund Obamacare. No matter what sort of deal is eventually struck, health care costs aren’t likely to come down any time soon. And that’s good news for generic drug makers.

    Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE: RDY) is one of the biggest players in generic drugs, offering more than 200 off-brand medications in the areas of cardiovascular disease, pain management and oncology, among others. In fact, this India-based company has become one of the largest makers of generics in the world, helping to drive more than 20 percent annual compounded earnings growth at the company over the past decade.
  • [By Dan Carroll]

    The company's generic drug segment should also help push emerging market sales. Abbott markets generic pharmaceuticals outside the U.S. only, and while the division isn't growth-oriented -- sales actually fell around 2% for the quarter -- it provides an entry for the company to push into lucrative new markets such as India, where generics make up the large majority of the country's retail market. The company will face tougher competition in this industry, however: Firms such as India-based Dr. Reddy's (NYSE: RDY  ) have also pushed hard into emerging markets lately, and Dr. Reddy's in particular should benefit from its being headquartered in one of the industry's top locales.

Top 10 India Companies To Invest In Right Now: Infosys Technologies Limited(INFY)

Infosys Ltd. provides information technology (IT) and consulting services worldwide. It offers IT services, such as application, architecture, independent validation and testing, information management, infrastructure, packaged application, SOA, systems integration, and knowledge services; product engineering services, manufacturing process and plant solutions, and product lifecycle management services; and consulting services in the areas of information and technology strategies, product innovation, next generation commerce, process excellence, and learning and complex change. The company also provides business process outsourcing solutions in the areas of business platforms, customer service outsourcing, finance and accounting, human resources outsourcing, legal services, sales and fulfillment, and sourcing and procurement outsourcing. In addition, it offers collaborative analytics solutions; digital consumer platform; Finacle universal banking solution; iProwe, a Web ac cessibility assessment product; mConnect, a real-time enterprise middleware; and research and analytical support services. Further, the company offers unified communications and collaboration solution that streamlines business processes between employees, customers, and suppliers; iTransform that helps healthcare organizations accelerate transition to new platforms; and supply chain visibility and collaboration product suite. It serves aerospace and defense, airlines, automotive, banking, capital markets, communication services, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, education, energy, healthcare, high technology, hospitality and leisure, insurance, life sciences, logistics and distribution, publishing, resources, utilities, and retail industries. Infosys Ltd. has a strategic partnership with Alstom SA. The company was formerly known as Infosys Technologies Limited and changed its name to Infosys Ltd. on June 16, 2011. Infosys Ltd. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered i n Bengaluru, India.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Overall, the most popular emerging market ETFs experienced much sharper declines than the less-than-1% drop the Dow posted this week. Vanguard Emerging Markets (NYSEMKT: VWO  ) and iShares Emerging Markets (NYSEMKT: EEM  ) were both down just under 3% for the week. But when you drill down to look for particular culprits in the emerging markets, you don't have to look very far to find that it was generally a broad-based decline:

    In China, more concerns about a slowdown in the manufacturing industry put pressure on stocks. The Shanghai index didn't move much, but one key ETF tracking the Chinese market sank nearly 4% in response to the news, largely on weakness in telecom giant China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) , which plays a commanding role in many emerging market-focused ETFs.
    � Indian stocks suffered from some of the same macroeconomic issues, with the Bombay market's index down about 3% and ETF tracking the market falling 4% to 5%. The Indian finance minister responded to the decline, which many blamed on Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's comments, by saying, "We think that Bernanke's statement has been misunderstood or misinterpreted." Yet that didn't seem to appease investors in outward-directed industries like Infosys (NYSE: INFY  ) , whose IT offerings require health activity levels not just in India but in the U.S. and other customer-heavy countries as well.
    � Stocks in Mexico suffered declines of almost 5%, retracing some ground after an extraordinarily strong stretch of gains on optimism about the country's ability to reinvigorate its economy beyond its core reliance on petroleum and to resolve ongoing conflicts with drug cartels.

    But there were some relatively bright spots in other emerging markets. Brazilian stocks were actually up a bit on the week, as the nation found itself better insulated from all the happenings in Asia related to China and Japan. Russian stocks also remained relatively stable,

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Infosys (NASDAQ: INFY) is expected to report its Q2 earnings at $0.70 per share on revenue of $2.01 billion.

    Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Infosys (NYSE: INFY  ) will release its quarterly earnings report next Monday, but investors are already skittish about how well the IT services company will be able to perform. In a sluggish environment for global economic growth generally and for IT spending in particular, the entire outsourcing and consulting industry has felt the pressure, and as a primary beneficiary of more positive trends in the industry over the years, Infosys is potentially vulnerable to a reversal in those trends.

Top 10 India Companies To Invest In Right Now: Sify Technologies Limited(SIFY)

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

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Technology stocks gained Tuesday, with Ku6 Media Co (NASDAQ: KUTV) leading advancers. Among leading tech stocks, gains came from Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ: RBCN), Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) and Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY). Utilities shares dropped by 0.11 percent in the US market today.

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Technology stocks gained Tuesday, with Ku6 Media Co (NASDAQ: KUTV) leading advancers. Among leading tech stocks, gains came from Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ: RBCN), Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) and Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) Q1 Earnings Preview: Q1 – The Unkind Quarter

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is scheduled to report first quarter, 2014 sales and earnings before the open of the financial markets on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. On the same day, management will host a conference call at 9 a.m. ET to discuss the results.

Wall Street anticipates that home improvement retailer will earn $0.99 per share for the quarter, which is $0.16 more than last year's profit of $0.83 per share. iStock expects HD to top Wall Street's consensus number, the iEstimate is $1.00.

Revenue, like earnings, is expected to trend higher, increasing 4.3% year-over-year (YoY). The Home Depot's consensus revenue estimate for Q1 is $19.95 billion, more than last year's $19.12 billion.

[Related -May 20 Breakdown Trend Day Trading Update]

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,263 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.

Predicting an earnings surprise from HD is almost like predicting that the sun sets in the west and rises in the east. The specialty-retailer has exceeded Wall Street's consensus estimate 15 of the last 16 quarterly checkups. On average, Home Depot earned $0.04 more than projected with a range of $0.01 to $0.08 beyond expectations.

For the most part, EPS-Driven price sensitivity followed along with all the bullish surprises. Shares gained ground in the days surrounding 10 of the last 16 earnings announcements. Typically, HD stock moved 3.79% higher when Wall Street was satisfied with the profit scorecard.

[Related -The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD): More Room For Improvement]

Meanwhile, investors sold-off shares of The Home Depot six times, dropping an average of -3.37%. There appears to be some seasonality to negative reaction as the May announcement i.e. Q1 accounts for three of the six EPS driven corrections, which includes the two worst selloffs of -7.10% and -6.40%. The Emerald month has been anything but green for HD shareholders in the last four years.

The harsh winter has been a problem for many retailers. Anecdotally, The Home Depots near this author say many empty parking lots during the polar vortex months. However, the spots filled up as the weather warmed up and the most recent trip saw less available parking than can be recalled. That might be bad for Q1 but good for Q2 guidance.

Overall: The Home Depot, Inc.'s (NYSE:HD) history and iEstimate suggest a better than expected result for the home improvement retailer; however, the first quarter has not been kind to investors so earnings traders might consider taking a pass on HD.  

Avago Technologies: This Chipmaker Can Add Value to Your Portfolio

Avago Technologies (AVGO) has made a good comeback. The company, despite seeing weakness all through the year, posted fantastic results. The company's good results make it a promising investment. The operational efficiencies led Avago to see a good 20% growth in its top line. But looking at the ratios, the company is still expensive with a trailing P/E of 29. Also, the decline in the dividend yield to 1.70% might scare a few investors away.

Moreover, the stock is trading close to its 52-week high. Avago, being associated with some of the top companies such as Apple and Samsung, is confident about a solid performance in the future. With the growing mobile segment and Avago being a solid player in it, it has bright opportunities to hit gold in the future.

Avago's wireless communication business should prove to be a primary growth driver for the company. So, with the growing traction of Apple's iPhone, Avago is expecting to benefit. Also, in the past, despite weakness in Apple's iPhone production, Avago has managed to increase its wireless revenue. Avago sees bright opportunities in association with Apple and Samsung.

The Road Forward

With increasing demand for Samsung's Galaxy 5, Avago is confident going forward. Moreover, Apple is in the course of introducing bigger iPhones later this year, which will benefit Avago in the long run. The company is expecting great traction from the iPhone as it has gained content in the device.

Moving on, with the booming market and increasing traction, Avago is expected to see tailwinds in the future as Apple launches its bigger iPhone. Rumors going around on the web suggest that the next iPhone's screen will be 4.7 inches or larger as the company tries to woo Android users into its ecosystem. In addition, since Avago also supplies content for the iPad, it could see more Apple goodness later this year with the new iPad cycle.

LTE to Drive Growth

In addition to this, Avago is focusing on various aspects to improve its profitability. To fetch more profit and to diversify the risk, Avago has come up with a strong diversification strategy. Under this, it is focusing on landing few design wins in China. With the introduction of the LTE platform, China is seeing a growing demand for LTE-enabled smartphones. On the other hand, management of Avago is pleased with such a scene and is confident of winning meaningful content in smartphones in China.

With the growing demand for LTE smartphones, Avago has significant opportunity since 4G Smartphone shipments in China are expected to rise to 72.6 million this year from 4.6 million units last year. It is expected that by 2017, there will be 300 million 4G handsets in the Middle Kingdom. So, Avago has made a smart move by targeting this market.

A Look at Wired Infrastructure

Moving on to Avago's wired infrastructure business, the company is expecting a lot from it as in the past, it grew by an impressive 60%. Avago is also counting on Cisco, which is one of its 10%-plus customers. The proliferation of connectivity around the globe with different applications in the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet will lead to demand for data center equipment and faster connectivity equipment going forward.

Product Moves and Conclusion

Avago is also working on bringing in new products out of its pipeline. Its two new launches namely MicroPOD and MiniPOD in association with Corning are expected to take it to new highs with exciting features. It allows datacenters and enterprise networks to switch from 10G to 100G Ethernet. This new suite of products also increases the link distance to 550 meters, thereby increasing the efficiency of data centers.

Avago has appreciated strongly this year and the stock isn't as cheap as it was in December last year. The company has many catalysts which make it a solid performer and chances for a better performance are concrete. Avago seems a good pick as of now.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rogue trader's long walk to prison

jerome kerviel

Former Societe Generale trader Jérôme Kerviel gained a following of fans as he trekked from Rome back to France to serve a three-year prison sentence.

LONDON (CNNMoney) A rogue trader who racked up one of the biggest losses in history has begun serving a three-year prison sentence after walking hundreds of miles to surrender to French police.

Jérôme Kerviel, whose actions nearly destroyed Societe Generale (SCGLF) in 2008, was arrested after walking from Rome in a bid to publicize his case.

Kerviel was found guilty in 2010 of betting 50 billion euros of the French bank's money without its knowledge, leading to losses of nearly 5 billion euros. That was worth about $7.2 billion at the time.

He was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay 4.9 billion euros in damages. France's highest court struck down the damages award in March, and a new trial will be held to determine how much Kerviel owes.

Top Companies To Own For 2015

After appealing unsuccessfully against his conviction and jail term, Kerviel was given until midnight Sunday to give himself up.

Kerviel claims he is the victim of a dysfunctional banking system, where his superiors knew about his trading and covered for him. He also argues that there were "major malfunctions" in the way his case was handled by the judicial system.

After meeting the Pope in Rome in February, he resolved to serve his sentence but not before trekking more than 400 miles on foot back to France. His odyssey drew a big following of supporters on social media, and crowds of reporters gathered as he prepared to cross the border.

At the 11th hour, his resolve appeared to waver and he threatened to stay in Italy. Kerviel called on French President Francois Hollande to prote! ct witnesses who could speak on his behalf. But, without an answer from Hollande, he turned himself in.

Kerviel's trading losses dwarfed those made by many other famous rogue traders, including Nick Leeson. The trader's losses of over a billion dollars in 1995 brought down Barings Bank, one of Britain's oldest private banks which counted the Queen among its clients.

A more recent rogue trading incident at JP Morgan (JPM, Fortune 500) -- dubbed the "London Whale" -- led to a loss of roughly $6 billion at the bank. During 2013, the bank agreed to pay $1 billion in fines to U.S. and U.K. regulators for lack of proper oversight of its traders related to that loss.

-- CNN's Sandrine Amiel and Paris bureau contributed reporting. To top of page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why You Should Never Wash Your Jeans

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-50163{display:none}.cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-50163,#postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-50163{width:570px;height:411px;display:block} Why You Shouldn't Wash Your Jeans

Levi's CEO Chip Bergh says you should keep your jeans out of the washing machine. Bergh lives by his words and hasn't washed his own jeans in more than a year, reports Neha Prakash at Mashable. The executive claims that eschewing the washing machine keeps your jeans in mint condition and is better for the environment. Bergh was speaking at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, where business leaders discuss ways to be more sustainable. Bergh also discussed how Levi's created a line of jeans that take less water to produce. Here's a video of his comments from Fortune. In the past, Levi's has suggested freezing your jeans instead of putting them in a washing machine. The company told Elle Magazine that doing this once a month would keep jeans from smelling bad. Not washing jeans has become somewhat of a craze. TV host Anderson Cooper famously said he wears the same pair daily and only washes them once a year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Google to buy mobile-device management startup

Google Inc. said it is buying Divide, a mobile device management startup, to help the Internet giant's Android business reach more business customers.

A purchase price wasn't disclosed.

Divide, founded by former Morgan Stanley information-technology executives, helps companies manage the growing number of mobile devices that employees use for work. The startup's main service gives staff the freedom to use a range of devices while letting companies maintain security and control.

Android is the world's most popular mobile-operating system, but isn't as popular within companies. This lucrative enterprise market used to be dominated by BlackBerry (CA:BB)  , (BBRY)  but Apple (AAPL)  , Google (GOOG)  and Microsoft (MSFT)  are making a big push to take share away from the troubled Canada-based company.

AFP/Getty Images

Complicating matters, many companies now allow employees to connect their own smartphones and tablets to the corporate network, a practice known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. That's made life more challenging for corporate-technology managers.

A full version of this story can be found at

Monday, May 19, 2014

Top Media Stocks For 2015

With shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) trading around $560, is AAPL an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let�� analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, third-party digital content, and applications. The company�� products and services include the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and further accessory, service, and support offerings. Apple also delivers digital content and applications through its iTunes, App, iBook, and Mac App stores.

Since a federal appeals court weighed in on Apple�� smartphone war with Samsung (SSNLF.PK) last month, the iPhone-maker�� quest to implement a sales ban against its rival�� devices has gained a new lease on life. Smartphones have created a nearly $300 billion industry, and the battle to control market share is no longer limited to winning over customers. Equally important is protecting the ideas behind the innovations that propel the multi-billion industry forward.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Time Warner Cable Inc(TWC)

Time Warner Cable Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a cable operator in the United States. It offers video, high-speed data, and voice services over its broadband cable systems to residential and commercial customers. The company provides a range of video services, including on-demand, high-definition (HD), and digital video recorder (DVR) services; residential high-speed data services with connection to the Internet; wireless mobile broadband Internet services; and digital phone services to residential customers. It offers video programming tiers and music services; high-speed data, networking, and transport services; and commercial digital phone service to small and medium-sized businesses under the Time Warner Cable Business Class brand. Further, Time Warner Cable Inc. sells advertising to various national, regional, and local customers. As of June 30, 2011, the company served approximately 14.5 million residential and commercial customers in the New Yor k State, the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California, and Texas. Time Warner Cable Inc. is based in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Steven Russolillo]

    By comparison, retail giant Target Corp.(TGT) has a $39 billion market cap, Yahoo Inc.(YHOO) has a $41.1 billion market value and Time Warner Cable(TWC) has a market cap of $37.6 billion.

  • [By Tim Brugger]

    Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) , Comcast, and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR  ) , have all been on the other side of the Internet subscriber fence. Phone companies such as AT&T�and Verizon began losing customers to these and other cable Internet providers some time ago, largely because of speed and connectivity issues. And now along comes Google Fiber with an alternative that blows the doors off anything Comcast, Time Warner, or Charter can offer, and often for the same or less money. If the cable industry isn't worried, it should be.


    Time Warner Cable provides entertainment, voice, and high-speed data services to a growing customer base in the United States. Charter is willing to push Time Warner Cable hard for a deal. The stock has been moving higher over the past several years but is currently trading sideways. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been on the rise. However, investors have had conflicting feelings about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Time Warner Cable has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for Time Warner Cable to OUTPERFORM.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Time Warner Inc.(TWX)

Time Warner Inc. operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Networks, Filmed Entertainment, and Publishing. The Networks segment provides domestic and international networks, premium pay and basic tier television programming services, and digital media properties, which primarily consist of brand-aligned Websites. Its premium pay television services consist of the multi-channel HBO and Cinemax premium pay television services. This segment provides programming to cable system operators, satellite service distributors, telephone companies, and other distributors; sells advertising; and licenses original programming to domestic and international television networks. The Filmed Entertainment segment produces and distributes feature films, television and other programming, and videogames; distributes home video products; and licenses rights to its feature films, television programming, and characters. T he Publishing segment publishes magazines and books; and operates various Websites, as well as engages in marketing services and direct-marketing businesses. This segment publishes magazines on style and entertainment, lifestyle, news, and sports. The company?s brands include TNT, TBS, CNN, HBO, Cinemax, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, People, Sports Illustrated, and Time. Time Warner Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    The future of online video content and advertising sales relies tremendously on video, according to most experts. Video ads carry a premium over old display ones. Premium video content is something people pay for, through services such as Hulu and even paid television content. Time Warner Inc.’s (NYSE: TWX) HBO’s new “Go” project allows subscribers to stream 1,700 programs, and the pay television property has aggressively marketed this to people who use tablets regularly. At some point soon, most pay TV and network TV companies will target the slew of devices with screens smaller than traditional PCs, but large enough, usually, to view video clearly.

  • [By Adam Levine-Weinberg]

    Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) HBO service has been incredibly successful in maintaining a big subscriber base despite offering a limited content library. If Netflix can develop some of its originals into popular franchises, the company may realize its dream of becoming the next HBO, even if its content library shrinks on a "net" basis.


    Time Warner provides media and entertainment through a variety of mediums to consumers and businesses all around the world. The stock has tripled its prices in the last four years but is currently trading near a multi-year selling price level. Earnings have been increasing while revenue has decreased over the last four quarters which has kept investors happy. Relative to its strong peers and sector, Time Warner has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for Time Warner to OUTPERFORM.

Top 10 Computer Hardware Companies To Invest In Right Now: DISH Network Corporation(DISH)

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

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Intel's�longtime CEO, Paul Otellini, met with SoftBank leader Masayoshi Son, then voiced strong support for Son's Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) buyout bid. "Son-sanas vision to build a high speed competitive third national network is very compelling," Otellini wrote to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. He didn't point out any particular flaws in the competing bid from satellite TV vendor DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH  ) , but the letter did present a strong preference for SoftBank.

  • [By Matt Thalman]

    The first few of the companies are the major cable providers, such as Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) , Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH  ) , and�DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV  ) . For every new home built, one of the cable companies is going to receive a new customer. In Comcast's situation, the lines must be laid, but Dish and DirecTV only need to install a satellite in your yard. General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) is another company that derives a decent portion of its revenue from appliances and lighting, and this unit should see increased revenues as new homes are built.


    Dish Network offers a television subscription service that provides national and local programming to consumers in the United States. The company has made positive changes to its spectrum that continue to produce great things for the company. The stock is currently pulling back from highs for the year, so it may need some time before it retests those levels. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been decreasing, which has produced conflicting feelings among investors in the company. Relative to its peers and sector, Dish Network has been a year-to-date performance leader. WAIT AND SEE what Dish Network does in coming weeks.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH  ) may have lost the high-stakes poker game over some serious wireless operations, but the satellite broadcaster has plenty of backup ideas up its sleeve. First up: a fresh marketing agreement with Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) that delivers free movies and TV shows to Southwest passengers, courtesy of DISH.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Cablevision Systems Corporation (CVC)

Cablevision Systems Corporation provides telecommunications and media services. It operates in two segments, Telecommunications Services and Other. The Telecommunications Services segment is involved in television business, including video, high-speed data, and VoIP operations, as well as the provision of commercial data and voice services. The Other segment offers Newsday, a daily newspaper; amNewYork, a free daily newspaper; and Star Community Publishing, a group of weekly shopper publications; and and This segment also engages in motion picture theatre business, Clearview Cinemas; provision of the News 12 Networks, a regional news programming services; and the MSG Varsity network, a network covering high school sports and activities, and other local programs, as well as cable television advertising. Cablevision Systems Corporation was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Bethpage, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tim Beyers]

    Who loses in all this? Pure-play content distributors such as Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC  ) and DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH  ) . Like partner Netflix, Apple is taking steps to eliminate the barriers between viewers and content created by these gatekeepers. Color me grateful -- both as an investor and as a fan of great television.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The analysts sound as if they believe CBS got the better of the deal-and the market appears to agree. Shares of CBS have gained 3.7% to $53.00, while Time Warner has gained 1.1% to $61.19. Shares of Disney (DIS) are little changed at $60.81, while shares of Cablevision Systems (CVC) have dropped 0.3% to $17.69.

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    If other cable companies — like Charter Communications (CHTR), Cablevision (CVC) and Cox Communications — decide to merge in order to keep pace with Comcast, content providers could be under the gun once more.

  • [By Jonathan Berr]

    Its doubtful that federal antitrust regulators would ever allow Comcast (CMCSA) to buy the company because some might argue it would restrict competition. The company might be able to acquire Cablevision (CVC) if the Dolan family, which controls the smaller cable company, would sell. But that seems unlikely.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: CBS Corporation(CBS)

CBS Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mass media company in the United States and internationally. The company?s Entertainment segment distributes a schedule of news and public affairs broadcasts, sports, and entertainment programming; produces, acquires, and distributes programming, including series, specials, news, and public affairs; produces and distributes theatrical motion pictures across various genres; and operates online content networks for information and entertainment. Its Cable Networks segment owns and operates multiplexed channels that offers subscription program services, including recently released theatrical feature films, original series, documentaries, boxing, mixed martial arts and other sports-related programming, and special events; and CBS College Sports Network, a 24-hour cable program service related to college sports. This segment also owns and manages Smithsonian Networks, which operates Smithsonian Channel, a basic cab le service in the United States. The company?s Publishing segment publishes and distributes adult and children?s consumer books in printed, audio, and digital formats. Its Local Broadcasting segment owns 29 broadcast television stations; owns and operates 130 radio stations in 28 U.S. markets and related online properties; and owns local Websites that combine television and radio local media brands online to provide the latest news, traffic, weather, and sports information, as well as local discounts, directories, and reviews. The company?s Outdoor segment sells advertising space on various media, including billboards, transit shelters and other street furniture, buses, rail systems, mall kiosks, stadium signage, and in retail stores. CBS Corporation was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) is coming indoors -- or at least swearing off Outdoor.

    On Tuesday, the media company announced that it has received an irrevocable binding offer from private equity shop Platinum Equity to buy all assets of its CBS Outdoor International business for $225 million. Outdoor sells billboard advertising space to corporate customers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and China.

  • [By Mike Deane]

    CBS Corporation’s (CBS) outdoor advertising subsidiary, CBS Outdoor Americas Inc., has filed a registration with the SEC for the public offering of 20 million shares.

    CBS Outdoor Americas will trade under the ticker “CBSO,” and the IPO is expected to trade between $26 and $28 per share. According to CBS’s press release: “After the IPO, CBS Corporation will own approximately 83% of CBSO (or approximately 81% of the outstanding stock of CBSO if underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full). CBSO plans to convert into a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) later this year, following CBS’s divestiture of its shares through a tax-free split-off.”

    CBS stock was inactive in pre-market trading. YTD, the company’s stock is up 3.35%.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Charter Communications Inc.(CHTR)

Charter Communications, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides entertainment, information, and communications solutions to residential and commercial customers in the United States. The company offers cable video programming services, such as basic and digital video, premium channels, OnDemand, pay-per-view, high definition television, digital video recorder, and online video services; Internet services;, which provides multiple e-mail addresses, as well as various entertainment, games, news, and sports content; and telephone services. It also provides broadband communications solutions, such as Internet access, data networking, fiber connectivity to cellular towers and office buildings, video entertainment services, and business telephone services under the Charter Business brand name to business and carrier organizations. As of December 31, 2011, the company served approximately 4.1 million video customers; approximately 3.5 million Internet customers; appr oximately 1.7 million telephone customers; and approximately 476,200 commercial primary service units. Charter Communications, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Moskowitz]

    Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) �doesn't have the best reputation among its customers, but all that matters to investors is whether or not the company can make shareholders money through stock appreciation and dividend payments. Let's take a look at the Time Warner Cable situation and compare the company's potential to that of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR  ) .

  • [By Tim Brugger]

    A dose of reality
    Along with airlines, the cable industry consistently ranks among the worst for customer service, year in, year out. The animosity consumers feel toward the cable industry is across the board -- Time Warner Cable finds itself on most of these lists, along with competitors including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR  ) . Both Comcast and Charter have the distinction of owning even lower customer service ratings than Time Warner Cable, and that's saying something.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Liberty Global Inc.(LBTYA)

Liberty Global, Inc. provides video, broadband Internet, and telephony services primarily in Europe and Chile. The company offers broadband services over cable distribution systems, including video, broadband Internet, and telephony; and video services through direct-to-home satellite, or through multichannel multipoint distribution systems. Its analog video services comprise basic and expanded basic programming; and digital cable services include basic and premium programming, digital video recorders, and high definition programming, as well as pay-per-view programming, such as video-on-demand and near video-on-demand. In addition, the company offers voice-over-Internet-protocol and circuit-switched telephony services, as well as mobile telephony services using third-party networks. Further, it owns programming networks that provide video programming channels to multi-channel distribution systems owned by the company and the third parties. As of December 31, 2011, the com pany owned and operated networks that passed 33,262,100 homes; and served 18,405,500 video subscribers, 8,159,300 broadband Internet subscribers, and 6,225,300 telephony subscribers. Liberty Global, Inc. was founded in 2004 and is based in Englewood, Colorado.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Amy Thomson]

    Vodafone has already expanded beyond wireless service, and in June beat John Malone�� Liberty Global (LBTYA) Plc to take over Germany�� Kabel Deutschland Holding AG. (KD8) Vodafone and Verizon accelerated talks on the stake sale after the Kabel Deutschland offer, which put additional pressure on the British company�� finances, a person familiar with the matter said.

  • [By GuruFocus]

    Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) added to his holdings in Wal-Mart Stores Inc by 17.32%. His purchase prices were between $72.66 and $78.91, with an estimated average price of $75.43. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.62%. His holdings were 58,052,412 shares as of 03/31/2014.

    Added: Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA)

    Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) added to his holdings in Liberty Global PLC by 149.19%. His purchase prices were between $40.36 and $45.96, with an estimated average price of $43.34. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.17%. His holdings were 7,346,968 shares as of 03/31/2014.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: DIRECTV(DTV)

DIRECTV provides digital television entertainment in the United States and Latin America. The company provides direct-to-home (DTH) digital television services, as well as multi-channel video programming distribution services in the United States. It offers various channels of digital-quality video entertainment and CD-quality audio programming directly to subscribers' homes or businesses, as well as video-on-demand services; and approximately 160 national high-definition television channels and 4 3D channels. The company also provides premium professional and collegiate sports programming, such as the NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, which allows subscribers to view the NFL games. In addition, it offers DTH digital television services in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. The company provides its local and international programming under the DIRECTV and SKY brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it served approximately 19.2 million subscribers in the United States; and 8.9 million subscribers in Latin America. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in El Segundo, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Michael Lewis]

    The company does not need a buyer, but it may happen anyway. DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV  ) has been killing it in Latin America, adding millions of subscribers in a relatively short period of time. Even in the U.S., where pay-tv penetration approaches total saturation, the company has increased its average revenue per user, and found ways to boost its North American cash flows. Meanwhile, DISH's numbers have suffered, similar to the numbers of cable companies.

  • [By Doug Ehrman]

    With streaming video king Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) announcing the addition of five new Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) shows, it takes another step toward becoming a veritable premium channel. It is hard to quantify the value parents place on solid programming for kids, so the addition of these shows may make it easier for Netflix to compete directly with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) or DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV  ) . As CEO Reed Hastings continues to follow his vision, Netflix is looking increasingly attractive.

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Discovery Communications Inc(DISCA)

Discovery Communications, Inc. operates as a non fiction media and entertainment company worldwide. The company provides original and purchased programming across various distribution platforms. Its content covers science, exploration, survival, natural history, sustainability of the environment, technology, docu-series, anthropology, paleontology, history, space, archaeology, health and wellness, engineering, adventure, lifestyles, forensics, civilization, and current events. The company owns and operates nine national television networks in the United States, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery, Military Channel, Planet Green, Discovery Fit & Health, and Velocity. Discovery Communications also has interests in Oprah Winfrey Network, a pay-television network and Web site; The Hub that features original programming, game shows, and live-action series and specials; and 3net, a three-dimensional network. In addition, it o ffers network branded Web sites, and mobile and video-on-demand services; and distributes various national and pan-regional television networks. Further, the company develops and sells curriculum-based products and services to public and private K-12 schools, such as access to an online VOD service that includes curriculum-based tools, professional development services, and student assessment and publication of hardcopy curriculum-based content; and postproduction audio services to motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies, and interactive producers. As of December 31, 2011, it operated approximately 150 distribution feeds in 40 languages. The company is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Harold L. Vogel]

    *Includes AMC (AMCX), Cablevision (CVC), Charter, Comcast Cable (CMCSA) and networks, Discovery (DISCA), Disney (DIS) cable networks, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and cable networks, Viacom (VIAB) networks.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) has been on the radar of many investment gurus like Paul Tudor Jones (Trades, Portfolio) and John Hussman (Trades, Portfolio) for some time now, given its position as the second largest toy manufacturer in the industry, only outranked by Mattel, Inc. (MAT). But the company�� first quarter earnings report showed that it could possibly outperform industry giant and rival Mattel in terms of growth, as Europe and Latin America registered 8% and 17% growth respectively, while Mattel saw declines in the same regions. Furthermore, quarterly earnings were driven mainly by the girls��category, which sported a 20% increase in demand for My Little Pony, Equestria Girls, and Nerf Rebelle products. So, with profitability on the right track, what can investors expect from this industry player in the long term?Licensing agreements and emerging market growthAlthough Hasbro�� quarterly earnings were boosted by the girls��toy category, while the boys��segment showed merely 2% growth, fiscal 2014 should balance out the segments when the Transformers and Spiderman films launch in the second quarter. Owning a licensing agreement for Marvel has also helped boost results in the domestic market and Canada, as the recent launch of ��aptain America: The Winter Soldier��was a box office hit, thereby boosting sales of the Captain America action figure in the U.S. Moreover, the firm has been clever to focus its energy some years ago on the digital and entertainment business, giving it a competitive advantage over industry rivals. In fact, while Hasbro�� relationship with Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) has been significant in positioning the firm in the digital market, its joint venture with Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) ��The Hub ��has helped generate very strong brand loyalty, as well as new revenue streams.Furthermore, management has made a point of increasing its stewardship of shareholders via a dividend yield of nearly 3%, as well as its

  • [By Sean Williams]

    To begin with, partnerships are a key component to Hasbro's ongoing success. In 2009, Hasbro entered into a deal with media company Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA  ) to create a channel known as the Hub, which would feature programming based on Hasbro's owned toy lines. Since 2010, when the channel made its debut, sales of My Little Pony have taken off. In the wake of its renewed success, the franchise released a new movie in June, which will go onto DVD later this summer.�

  • [By Julianne Pepitone]

    At $45 a share, Wieser pointed out, Twitter's valuation isn't too far below more established media companies like CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500).

Top Media Stocks For 2015: Comcast Corporation(CMCSA)

Comcast Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides entertainment, information, and communications products and services in the United States and internationally. Its Cable Communications segment provides video, high-speed Internet, and phone services to residential and business customers. As of June 30, 2011, its cable systems served approximately 22.5 million video customers, 17.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 9.1 million phone customers. The company?s Cable Networks segment operates cable entertainment networks, such as USA Network, Syfy, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, Style, G4, Chiller, Sleuth, and Universal HD; news and information networks, including CNBC, MSNBC, and CNBC World; cable sports networks comprising Golf Channel and VERSUS; regional sports and news networks; international entertainment, and news and information networks, such as CNBC Europe, CNBC Asia, and Universal Networks International portfolio of networks; cable television production oper ations; and digital media properties consisting primarily of brand-aligned Websites and other Websites, such as DailyCandy, Fandango, and iVillage. Its Broadcast Television segment operates the U.S. broadcast networks, NBC and Telemundo; 10 NBC and 15 Telemundo owned local television stations; broadcast television productions; and related digital media properties. The company?s Filmed Entertainment segment operates Universal Pictures, which produces, acquires, markets, and distributes filmed entertainment and stage plays worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television, and other distribution platforms. Its Theme Parks segment operates Universal Studios Hollywood park and Wet ?n Wild water park, as well as licenses intellectual properties and provides services to third parties that own and operate Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore. Comcast Corporation was founded in 1963 and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Chris Hill]

    Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) ESPN and Twitter are expanding their partnership. ESPN will�begin posting short video clips on Twitter after they have already aired on ESPN. FOX just signed a promotional deal with Twitter to promote FOX shows as people are live tweeting. Twitter�is also in discussions with�Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) and CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) . In this installment of MarketFoolery, our analysts talk Disney and Twitter.


    Comcast provides communications and entertainment products and services to consumers and companies. Netflix is reportedly in talks with Comcast, among other pay-TV providers, to bring its services to the cable TV giant. The stock has been surging higher in recent years and is currently trading near all time high prices. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been increasing which has left investors pleased about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Comcast has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for Comcast to OUTPERFORM.