After enjoying banner years in 2013 and 2014, investors need to prepare for market volatility. While investors can't predict economic or market declines, they should examine how well their top holdings could fare in tough times.
Today, let's look at Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) ,�a widely held�stock that has disappointed investors recently. It may actually make sense in a conservative portfolio.
2014: A year of transition
Last year was tough on Wal-Mart investors. The stock underperformed the S&P by nearly 4%. The primary culprit was weak top-line sales, which were due to lagging foot traffic at U.S.-based Supercenters. There are, however, reasons to believe that brighter days may be ahead.
Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon has been very proactive in meeting the threat of e-commerce and�smaller square-footage stores. While online sales still only make up less than 1% of Wal-Mart's sales, online sales�grew 30% in 2013. Wal-Mart ranked�fourth among all retailers in global e-commerce sales, according to trade publication Internet Retailer's 2014 list. (Amazon.com was No. 1 on that list.)
Top 10 Performing Stocks To Buy Right Now: Tree.com Inc.(TREE)
Tree.Com, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in lending business in the United States. It owns various brands and businesses that provide information, tools, advice, products, and services for consumers looking to comparison shop for loans, real estate, and other services from businesses and professionals. The company?s LendingTree Loans segment originates, processes, approves, and funds various types of residential real estate loans primarily under the LendingTree Loans brand name. It offers a range of adjustable and fixed rate mortgage loans, including conforming and prime loans, as well as non-conforming and FHA loans. This segment sources its leads through online and telephone services, as well as through various non-LendingTree channels, such as third-party online lead aggregators and direct mail marketing campaigns. Its Exchanges segment consists of online lead generation networks under the LendingTree.com, GetSmart.com, DegreeTree.com, HealthTree.com, LendingT reeAutos.com, DoneRight.com, and InsuranceTree.com brands; and call centers that connect consumers and service providers, principally in the lending, higher education, home services, insurance, and automobile marketplaces. This segment also provides unsecured loans, automobile loans, credit cards, and various consumer insurance products, as well as opportunities for students seeking institutions of higher education, and home improvement professional services with contractors. The company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock You may not have noticed it, but recently, it's gotten easier to buy a new home. Last year, a strong housing market combined with fears that the Federal Reserve would eventually begin tapering its purchases of mortgage bonds. Together, these factors helped drive up the cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from about 3.3 percent in January 2013 to nearly 4.6 percent by September. Since then, mortgage rates have backed off those recent highs, bobbling back and forth between 4.5 percent or so, and, recently, 4.2 percent. This has helped to keep housing affordable for those who want to buy a home. But it did pose the bankers a dilemma: How could they get more people to want to buy homes in the first place, so that they could sell more mortgages? Answer: Make it easier to apply for a mortgage. Mortgage Down Payments Live Down to Their Name Last spring, lending data website LendingTree.com (TREE) released a report showing that the average down payment demanded by mortgage bankers to obtain a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had fallen 9.4 percent since mid-2011. At 16.1 percent, it was nearly 4 full percentage points shy of the old rule of thumb that a home buyer should put 20 percent down on a new home. Six months later, average down payments had fallen to 15.73 percent of the value of a home. Now, LendingTree has put out an updated report showing that after down payment demands inched back up in 2013 (to 16.01 percent), they've begun to fall once more. At last report, mortgage bankers on average want to see a 15.78 percent down payment -- a bit more than what we saw last fall, but still continuing the downward trend in down payments. Why? One clue may be found in recent comments from Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft, who's been highlighting declines in existing-home sales, in new-home sales as well, and even in permits taken out to build houses, in a series of reports through April. If home-buying is
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Tree.Com (NASDAQ: TREE), down 4.7 percent, and Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), off 6.7 percent.
Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) reported upbeat first-quarter results and announced its plans to close at least 400 stores in the United States. For the full year, Office Depot also lifted its adjusted operating income outlook to at least $160 million versus $140 million. Office Depot posted a quarterly net loss of $109 million, or $0.21 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $17 million, or $0.06 per share.
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: Inca Minerals Ltd (ICG)Inca Minerals Limited, formerly Condor Metals Limited, is an Australia-based exploration company. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company's principal activities were conducting exploration and evaluation work on its existing tenements, as well as seeking out additional tenements. It focuses on nickel, iron, manganese and base metals exploration in Australia. During fiscal 2011, it concentrated on the Kallona iron and manganese prospect in the East Pilbar, where the first drilling was commenced in June 2011. Results received confirmed the presence of manganese, along with consistent iron intersections. The Company also continued to explore on the Dingo Range tenements south east of Wiluna. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Fede Zaldua]
For its third quarter, Citi reported net earnings of $3.2 billion or Earnings Per Share (EPS) of $1, which was just below consensus expectations of $1.02 per share. The bank explained its poor performance through lower than expected earnings at the Institutional Clients Group (ICG) division (mainly trading activities in equities, commodities and fixed income) but also lower Consumer Banking revenues on weaker mortgage results. Its extremely relevant to stress that third quarter ICG and mortgage related results came weaker than expected at most banking institutions, including JP Morgan (JPM) and almighty Goldman Sachs (GS). On my opinion, much more relevant metrics (because they can be more directly affected by management's decisions) such as those metrics related to expenses and credit quality came in line with expectations.
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: CapitalSource Inc (CSE)
CapitalSource Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides financial products to small and middle market businesses in the United States. It offers depository products and services, such as savings and money market accounts, individual retirement account products, and certificates of deposit. The company also provides senior secured real estate and asset-based loans, and cash flow loans, which have a first priority lien in the collateral securing the loan. Its asset-based loans are collateralized by specified assets of the client, primarily the client�s accounts/notes receivable, inventory, and machinery; and real estate loans are secured by senior mortgages on real property. The company focuses on providing equipment loans and leases; loans to healthcare providers; commercial real estate and multifamily real estate loans; loans secured by timeshare, auto, and other consumer receivables; student loans; traditional life insurance premium finance loans; and loans to technology companies, small businesses, dentists, physicians, pharmacists, and optometrists, as well as to companies in the physical security, government security, and public safety sectors. It operates through 21 retail bank branches in southern and central California, as well as lending offices in the United States. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Paul Ausick]
PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW) is a small cap regional bank that mainly serves southern California. A likely merger with CapitalSource Inc. (NYSE: CSE) enhances the outlook for the coming year, bringing the bank��s assets to more than $10 billion. The bank��s stock closed at $41.66 on Friday in a 52-week range of $24.27 to $42.69. Sterne Agee projects 2014 EPS of $2.80, up 43% compared with estimated 2013 earnings. The implied gain to the target price of $48.00 is about 15% and the forward P/E ratio is 14.9.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE ) soared 20% today after bank holding company PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW ) agreed to acquire the financial services specialist in a deal valued at about $2.3 billion.
- [By Eric Volkman]
CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE ) and PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW ) are soon to be one and the same. The two companies have agreed to merge, both announced in a joint press release. CapitalSource investors will receive a cash payout of $2.47 and 0.2837 shares of PacWest common stock for each CapitalSource share they hold. This values the latter's stock at $11.68 per share, a nearly 19% premium to its most recent closing price. The total transaction value is estimated at roughly $2.3 billion.
- [By Nicole Seghetti]
Let's take a closer look at three stocks Fisher recently bought, including drugmaker Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD ) , materials manufacturer Owens Corning (NYSE: OC ) , and financial services provider CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE ) .
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: Synalloy Corporation(SYNL)
Synalloy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells pipes and piping systems in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Metals and Specialty Chemicals. The Metals segment manufactures pipe and piping systems from stainless steel, carbon, chrome, and other alloys for use in the chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, waste water treatment, LNG, mining, power generation, water treatment, brewery, food processing, petroleum, alternative fuels, and pharmaceutical sectors. The Specialty Chemicals segment produces specialty chemicals and dyes for the carpet, chemical, paper, metals, mining, agricultural, fiber, paint, textile, automotive, petroleum, cosmetics, mattress, furniture, janitorial, and other industries. Synalloy Corporation sells its metal products through outside and inside sales employees, manufacturers? representatives, and authorized stocking distributors, as well as directly to engineering firms, construction companies, and project owners. It markets its specialty chemicals directly to various industries through outside sales employees and manufacturers' representatives. The company was formerly known as Blackman Uhler Industries, Inc. and changed its name to Synalloy Corporation in July 1967. Synalloy Corporation was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By GuruFocus]
New Purchase: Synalloy Corporation (SYNL)
Tom Gayner initiated holdings in Synalloy Corporation. His purchase prices were between $13.36 and $16, with an estimated average price of $14.21. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.27%. His holdings were 485,343 shares as of 06/30/2013.
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: Wausau Paper Corp. (WPP)
Wausau Paper Corp. manufactures, converts, and sells paper and paper products in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Tissue and Paper. The Tissue segment produces and sells paper towel and tissue products for the ?away-from-home? market, including washroom roll and folded towels, windshield folded towels, industrial wipers, dairy towels, household roll towels, and various towel, tissue, and soap dispensers, as well as other premium towel and tissue products to paper and sanitary supply distributors under the DublSoft, EcoSoft, OptiCore, Revolution, Dubl-Nature, and Dubl-Tough names. The Paper segment focuses on four core markets comprising food, industrial and tape, coated and liner, and print and color. This segment manufactures products for food processing, food packaging, and foodservice, such as products used for baking applications, microwave popcorn, and other cheese and meat processing products; products for interleaving, saturating, coating, unsaturated crepe base, and a range of micro markets; specialty liners, and siliconized release papers for use in pressure sensitive tapes, specialty label applications, the production of fiber composite applications, and casting sheets used in the production of solar cells; and uncoated printing, writing, text, cover, and board grades for commercial printers, in-plant print shops, quick printers, copy centers, and office supply and mass merchandisers under the Wausau Paper, EcoSelect, ExperTec, DuraTec, InvenTec, ProGard, ProRedi, ProPly, ProTec, Astrobrights, Royal, Exact, Professional Series, Intrigue, and Creative Collection names. This segment also produces a range of custom color products, which include matte board, end leaf, and luxury packaging applications. Wausau Paper Corp. was founded in 1899 and is headquartered in Mosinee, Wisconsin.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Wausau Paper (NYSE: WPP ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Holly LaFon]
In the second half of the year, Crescent established new positions in a few companies that have more such global footprints. We initiated investments in Google (GOOG), as well as the advertising agencies Interpublic (IPG) and WPP (WPP). The fortunes of all three are tied directly to the level of global advertising spend, and they all saw their shares prices decline due to concerns of a recession-related slowdown. At our purchase price, we believe we were buying each at roughly 11-13x our estimated earnings for 2012 should the fears of a macroeconomic slowdown prove correct. This strikes us as a very reasonable multiple to pay for asset-light global businesses that generate strong free cash flow across the business cycle and have the capability to grow earnings greater than GDP in a normal economic environment.
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
WPP Plc (WPP), the world��s biggest advertising company, advanced 3.6 percent to 1,210 pence in London trading.
LSE advanced 7.4 percent to 1,590 pence, the highest price since February 2008, as the operator of Europe��s oldest independent bourse reported a 39 percent increase in first-quarter revenue.
- [By Mariko Yasu]
Dentsu paid 3.16 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) for Aegis as Japan��s biggest agency competes with global firms including WPP Plc (WPP) and Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC) With Japan��s benchmark Topix index on pace for its best result since 2005, the 112-year-old company is tapping an equities boom to fund the deal that added the largest independent buyer of advertising space and reduced its reliance on the domestic market.
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: WABCO Holdings Inc (WBC)
WABCO Holdings Inc. (WABCO) is a provider of electronic, mechanical and mechatronic products for the commercial truck, trailer, bus and passenger car manufacturers. The Company manufactures and sells control systems, including advanced braking, stability, suspension, transmission control and air compressing and processing systems. Its products are included in approximately two out of three commercial vehicles with advanced vehicle control systems and offered in niche applications in cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). WABCO develops, manufactures and sells advanced braking, stability, suspension and transmission control systems primarily for commercial vehicles. In September 2012, it acquired Ephicas.
The Company��s products include pneumatic anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electronic braking systems (EBS), automated manual transmission systems, air disk brakes, and a large variety of conventional mechanical products, such as actuators, air compressors and air control valves for heavy- and medium-sized trucks, trailers and buses. It also supplies advanced electronic suspension controls and vacuum pumps to the car and SUV markets in Europe, North America and Asia. The Company sells replacement parts, diagnostic tools, training and other services to commercial vehicle aftermarket distributors, repair shops, and fleet operators and provide remanufacturing services.
The Company��s key product groups include Actuator, Air Processing/Air Management System, Foundation Brake, Conventional Braking System, Electronic and Conventional Air Suspension Systems, Transmission Automation, Vehicle Electronic Architecture (VEA), and Vehicle Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Roll Stability Support (RSS). WABCO sells its products primarily to four groups of customers worldwide: truck and bus (OEMs), trailer (OEMs), commercial vehicle aftermarket distributors for replacement parts and services, and major car manufacturers. Its customers include Daimler, Volvo, Ashok Leyland, BMW, China! National Heavy Truck Corporation (CNHTC), Cummins, Fiat (Iveco), Hino, Hyundai, Krone, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG (MAN), Meritor, Meritor WABCO (a joint venture), Paccar (DAF Trucks N.V. (DAF), Kenworth, Leyland and Peterbilt), First Automobile Works, Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik (SAF), Scania, Schmitz Cargobull AG, TATA Motors and ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF).
The Company competes with Knorr-Bremse, Haldex, Bosch, Continental and Siemens-VDO.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Yoshiaki Nohara]
Australia��s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.7 percent, led by energy and financial shares. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL), Australia��s second-biggest oil and gas producer, dropped 2 percent to A$34.67. Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC), Australia��s No. 2 lender by market value, shed 1.2 percent to A$27.47.
10 Best Sliver Stocks To Invest In 2015: NuPathe Inc.(PATH)
NuPathe Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of branded therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system, including neurological and psychiatric disorders. The company?s advanced product candidate includes Zelrix an active single-use transdermal sumatriptan patch that is used for the treatment of migraine. Its proprietary product candidates in preclinical development stage comprise NP201 for the continuous symptomatic treatment of Parkinson?s disease; and NP202 for the long-term treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. NuPathe Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By James E. Brumley]
It's not hard to find an attractive stock with the market is rallying - the rising tide lifts all stocks. The real test for a ticker is when the whole market is tanking (like Thursday), and a stock manages to make gains against the grain. Enter NuPathe Inc. (NASDAQ:PATH). This little biopharma stock is up 3% today, which isn't much, but given the market it's a virtual windfall. It's the reason for the rally - or lack of a reason to be more specific - that makes PATH such a compelling buy here.