Image source: Groupon.
Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN ) shares are plunging in after-hours trading, following the release of the online deal provider's�fourth-quarter results.
In the holiday quarter, Groupon saw sales jump 20% year over year to land at $768 million. Non-generally accepted accounting principles earnings stopped at $0.04 per share, up from $0.03 per share a year ago. Analysts were looking for about $0.02 of earnings per share on $718 million in sales.
So the company easily exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter, boosted by strong consumer engagement with Groupon deals over the holiday season. But shares are down 10.3% at press time, because the forward guidance was far less rosy.
In the first quarter, Groupon expects a pair of recent acquisitions to add $50� million to revenue while hampering EBITDA profit by $20 million. Given these puts and takes, revenue guidance for the upcoming period centers around $735 million while the earnings estimate ranges from a $0.02 loss per share to a $0.06 profit per share.
Top Undervalued Companies To Buy For 2015: Generac Holdlings Inc. (GNRC)
Generac Holdings Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a range of generators and other engine powered products for the residential, light commercial, industrial, and construction markets in the United States and Canada. It offers generators and other products fueled by natural gas, liquid propane, gasoline, diesel, and Bi-Fuel under the Generac and Magnum brands. The company�s product line includes residential power products, commercial and industrial power products, and other products. Its residential power products comprise automatic residential standby generators that range in output from 6kW to 60kW; air-cooled residential standby generators, which range in outputs from 6kW to 20kW; and liquid-cooled generators that range in outputs from 20kW to 60kW. The residential power product line also includes portable generators consisting of GP series ranging from 1,850W to 17,500W for homeowners; the XG series ranging from 4,000W to 10,000W for the premium homeowner market; the XP series ranging from 4,000W to 8,000W for the professional contractor market; and the iX series ranging from 800W to 2,000W for the recreational market. The company�s industrial and commercial power products comprise light-commercial standby generators ranging from 22kW to 150kW for grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, retail banks, and healthcare facilities; single-engine industrial generators, which range in output from 10kW to 600kW; and generator systems ranging from 20kW air-cooled generators to 3mW modular power system for the telecommunications market, as well as aftermarket service parts and RV generators. The company sells its generators through independent residential and industrial dealers, wholesalers, national accounts, private label arrangements, retailers, catalogs, e-commerce merchants, equipment rental companies and dealers, and construction companies. Generac Holdings Inc. was founded in 1959 and is headquartere d in Waukesha, Wisconsin.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Roberto Pedone]
One diversified machinery player that insiders are snapping up a decent amount of stock in here is Generac (GNRC), which designs, manufactures, and markets power generation equipment and other engine powered products for the residential, light commercial, industrial, and construction markets in the U.S., Canada, and internationally. Insiders are buying this stock into weakness, since shares have dropped notably by 22% so far in 2014.
Generac has a market cap of $3 billion and an enterprise value of $3.8 billion. This stock trades at a fair valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 17.6 and a forward price-to-earnings of 12.7. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -27%, and for next year it's pegged at 8.9%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $173.16 million and its total debt is $1.11 billion.
A director just bought 25,000 shares, or about $1.05 million worth of stock, at $42.17 per share.
From a technical perspective, GNRC is currently trending above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock recently formed a triple bottom chart pattern at $39.08, $38.75 and $38.64 a share. Following that bottom, shares of GNRC have started to rebound sharply higher as the stock has pushed back above its 50-day moving average of $42.41 a share. That move has now pushed shares of GNRC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.
If you're bullish on GNRC, then I would look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above its 50-day at $42.41 a share or above more near-term support at $40 a share and then once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $45 to $45.72 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that registers near or above its three-month average action of 1.17 million shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then GNRC wi
- [By Eric Volkman]
Generac (NYSE: GNRC ) has reached abroad for its latest asset buy. The company announced Thursday that it inked an agreement to acquire Tower Light, an Italy-based company that develops and sells mobile light towers.
Best Consumer Companies To Invest In Right Now: Control4 Corp (CTRL)
Control4 Corporation, incorporated on March 27, 2003, is a provider of automation and control solutions for the connected home. The Company provides its consumers with the ability to integrate music, video, lighting, temperature, security, communications and other functionalities into a unified home automation solution. The Company's solution functions as the operating system of the home, making connected devices work together to control, automate and personalize the homes of its consumers. Control4 Home Operating System (C4 OS) is one of the product line of the Company. It embeds its C4 OS in a range of products, including controller appliances, interfaces and connected devices that interact with various music, video, lighting, temperature, security, communications and other devices. The Company offers its 4Sight subscription service, which allows consumers to control and monitor their homes remotely from their smartphone, tablet or laptop, and allows its dealers to perform remote diagnostic services. The Company's 4Sight allows consumer to remotely unlock the front door to let in a repairman, to turn on the air conditioning on the way home, and to monitor the home security cameras from a smartphone. In addition, its 4Store application marketplace offers a range of third-party applications for use with the Company's products. The Company's solution provides consumers with access to over 6,400 third-party devices.
At the center of the Control4 product line is the Control4 Home Operating System, and the associated application software and software development kits (SDKs). The high-level software components include Director, Navigator, Composer Professional Edition, Composer Home Edition and Composer Media Edition, DriverWorks SDK, and Navigator SDK and Application SDK. Director is a real-time, extensible home operating system kernel that is responsible for monitoring and receiving events from numerous devices and services, processing those events according ! to consumer personalized settings, and then dispatching commands to the appropriate devices to perform predefined actions. Navigator displays intuitive and rich graphical user interfaces on televisions, in-wall and table-top touch panels, smartphones and tablets, as well as list-based devices, such as a remote controls with LCD text-displays. Composer Professional Edition is a software application that enables trained and certified Control4 dealers and installers to design, configure and personalize a Control4 home automation system for consumers. Composer Home Edition and Media Edition enable consumers to view and configure their Control4 managed devices. These drag-and-drop programs provide the ability to manage digital media and create and modify simple programs and policies (such as changing lighting scenes, modifying custom buttons and controlling behaviors among devices based on schedules or times of the day). DriverWorks SDK is a software development kit that enables dealers, programmers and device manufacturers to independently develop and test custom two-way interface drivers to support the integration of a new device or device model into its system, or to customize and enhance an existing driver. Navigator SDK and Application SDK are software development kits that enable third-party dealers and programmers to customize and deliver new application functionality within Navigator user interfaces on Control4 interface devices through the development of applications.
Products with Embedded Software and Services
The Company's controller appliances run its Director software to monitor, process and automate events, statuses and actions for numerous devices and services, creating a connected home experience. It offers the HC-800, a whole home controller appliance, and the HC-250, a single-room controller appliance. It also licenses its Director software on the new Sony ES 5800 and 2800 receivers, transforming them into controller appliances with home theater audio and video ! capabilit! ies. The Company offers touch panels, handheld remote controls and keypads as interface devices. It also develops and delivers software applications for Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets that enable these personal devices to become control interfaces to Control4 connected homes, both on-premise and remotely. The Company offers network-enabled 4x4 and 8x8 zone audio amplifiers, and a 16x16 audio matrix switch for versatile multi-room and whole-home audio distribution. It also offers an integrated digital media player for integration of local digital audio and video, as well as Wi-Fi and Ethernet amplified speaker points for streaming digital audio to speakers in areas without an audio receiver.
The Company offers a suite of lighting products that provide personalized control and energy management. Its suite of wireless light switches and dimmers can replace devices in an existing home or be installed in new homes. It offers in-wall wireless switches and dimmers for 120V, 240V and 277V electrical loads, which meet the requirements of North America and many international markets. The also plan to offer panelized systems, where all of the lighting control will be done on a remote panel. Its new Control4 lighting products will have the ability to measure how much energy each load is using and provide suggestions to the consumer on how to conserve energy and reduce costs. The Company offers devices that provide energy savings, convenience and efficiency for temperature control. Its wireless multi-stage thermostat is completely programmable with up to six set points per day and, using its 4Sight subscription service, is remotely accessible and controllable. The Company provides a set of products and software services created by the Company, as well as distribute certified third-party products, including deadbolts, door and window sensors, motion sensors, garage access systems and water leak detection systems, from its security partners, such as Baldwin, Card Access, Kwikset and Yale. ! The Compa! ny offers full motion video and hi-fidelity audio intercom capability through its in-wall and tabletop touchscreens, as well as its exterior weather-resistant door stations. 4Sight is a subscription service that enables 24x7 home monitoring and control from virtually anywhere, remote home programming and support, and instant email alerts based on home events so that homeowners are always in-the-know.
The Company offers a subscription service called 4Sight that enables remote access to the connected home without exposing the installer or consumer to the complexities of communicating around firewalls and private Internet Protocol addresses. This service facilitates connections between remote client devices and its systems through a cloud-based service. Using 4Sight, consumers can remotely monitor and control their Control4 systems as if they were at their homes.
The Company competes with AMX, Crestron, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, Savant, Logitech, Lutron, Nest, Roku, Sonos and Universal Remote Control, ADT, Comcast, Verizon and Vivint.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Alamy You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From food giants to tech bellwethers, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street. Monday -- Organic Growth: The market for organic foods has never been hotter, and Annie's (BNNY) is there to cash in on consumers craving more natural edibles. It makes organic pastas, crackers, frozen pizzas, and other food products. Annie's reports after the market closes on Monday. It should be another quarter of healthy growth. Analysts see revenue and earnings growing by roughly 20 percent for the quarter that ended in December. The one thing that investors will need to watch out for is that Annie's has missed Wall Street's profit targets in the previous two quarters. Tuesday -- In Control: One of last month's big winners was Control4 (CTRL). Shares of the home automation specialist soared 29 percent in January, bucking the market, which took a bit of a tumble. And you don't have to look too hard to spot the catalyst behind its rally. Google's (GOOG) acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest drew attention to Control4 as another play on automated home technology. The thinking here is that if Google is buying into the niche of Web-fueled home automation, other dot-com giants may consider acquiring Control4 to establish a presence in this new battlefield. Control4 reports on Tuesday. It's unlikely to admit that it's receiving buyout interest on the heels of Google's move, but you know it's going to be asked. Wednesday -- The Cisco kid: It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time when Cisco (CSCO) was this country's most valuable company. Just before the dot-com bubble popped, the leading provider of routers, switches, and other networking gear commanded the market's largest market cap. Then again, at the time we thought that anything Web-related was worth a whole lot of money, and Cisco was the co
- [By Jason Moser]
In this edition of The Motley Fool's "Ask a Fool" series,�Motley Fool�analysts Jason Moser and Brendan Mathews take a question from a reader who asks, "Is there any specific reason why�Control4 (NASDAQ: CTRL ) is pretty volatile? Seems like it's up or down over 5% everyday!"
Best Consumer Companies To Invest In Right Now: Sharp Corp (SRP)Sharp Corporation is a Japan-based company mainly engaged in the manufacture and sale of electric telecommunication, electric and electronic equipment. The Company operates in two business segments. The Electronics Equipment segment offers audio and video (AV) and communication products, including liquid crystal color televisions, projectors and various telephones; health and environmental equipment, including refrigerators, microwaves and air conditioners, as well as information equipment, such as handy terminal equipment, electronic registers, information displays and copy machines. The Electronic Component segment provides liquid related products such as liquid crystal display modules, solar cells, as well as other electronic devices, such as parts for satellite broadcasting, regulators and optical sensors. The Company withdrawed from solar battery production in United Kingdom by end of Feb. 2014. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alexis Xydias]
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. fell 3.7 percent, as a gauge of London-listed commodity producers dropped. BAE Systems Plc (BA/) retreated 2.1 percent after Deutsche Bank AG downgraded Europe�� biggest defense company. Serco Group Plc (SRP) advanced 2.7 percent after saying first-half sales will grow at a faster pace than it had estimated.
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Vivendi SA climbed 2.7 percent after posting better-than-estimated third-quarter profit and saying it plans to spin off its French phone carrier SFR by July 2014. Serco Group Plc (SRP) increased 1.7 percent as UBS AG upgraded the stock. Safran SA (SAF) lost 3.2 percent as its largest shareholder sold a stake.
Best Consumer Companies To Invest In Right Now: Bridgepoint Education Inc (BPI)
Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (Bridgepoint), incorporated in May 1999, is a provider of postsecondary education services. The Company�� academic institutions include Ashford University and University of the Rockies. Its institutions deliver programs primarily online, as well as at their traditional campuses. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 86,642 total students enrolled in its institutions. Bridgepoint�� institutions conduct ongoing faculty and student assessment processes and provide a range of student services. The Company is also focused on developing new technologies, such as through Waypoint Outcomes, Constellation, and the development of its institutions' mobile learning platforms. The Company has developed Constellation to replace third party textbooks with digital course materials. Constellation materials are displayed in a browser-based platform. In January 2012, Bridgepoint introduced Thuze.
Ashford University offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor's degree programs at its campus in Clinton, Iowa. Ashford University consists of four colleges: the College of Business and Professional Studies, the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services and Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts. University of the Rockies is a graduate institution that offers master's and doctoral degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences. Classes at University of the Rockies are presented in a progressive online format, as well as at its campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Waypoint Outcomes provides learning and assessment software to K-12 and higher education institutions nationwide.
Constellation provides mobile access to students over the Internet, as well as on a variety of devices, including Web-enabled smartphones and tablet devices. Constellation is a cloud-based and is compatible across operating systems, browsers and mobile technologies. The Company has developed Constellation-enabled courses pri! marily in core classes to reach students. As of December 31, 2011, approximately 76% of Bridgepoint�� institutions' students had taken a Constellation-enabled course. As of December 31, 2011, it had 32 Constellation titles available. Thuze is a cloud-based, multi-platform, collaborative learning environment for students to interact with their course digital materials and with each other. Thuze provides students with the resources to work from both their desktop computers and also from their tablets and smartphones. It launched Thuze as a pilot program with publishers in higher education. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company deployed new mobile application technology at Ashford University. The Company has online students from all 50 states and from the District of Columbia. It has students from 69 different countries. As of December 31, 2011, over 34,400 students have graduated from the Company�� institutions, with approximately 15,200 students graduating from its institutions, during 2011.
Students finance their education at the Company's institutions through Title IV programs and Non-Title IV funding sources. Title IV programs includes The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and Federal Direct Loan Programs. FFEL and Federal Direct Loan Programs consist of two loans: Stafford loans, which are either subsidized or unsubsidized, and PLUS loans, which are made available to graduate and professional students, as well as parents of dependent undergraduate students. Non-Title IV funding sources include other funding sources, which consist of cash, private loans, state grants, corporate reimbursement, military benefits and institutional loans. The Company has engaged Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS) to provide call center and transactional processing services for the online financial aid student populations at its institutions, including services related to disbursement eligibility review and Title IV fund returns. If Bridgepoint�� engagement with ACS were terminate! d, it wou! ld handle these processing services using its own resources or engage another third party vendor.
The Company�� institutions provide student support services, including academic, administrative and technology support. As of December 31, 2011, Bridgepoint�� institutions offered approximately 1,430 courses, 85 degree programs and 140 specializations. Its institutions offer programs and specialization areas through Ashford University's four colleges: the College of Business and Professional Studies; the College of Education; the College of Health, Human Services and Science; and the College of Liberal Arts, and through the University of the Rockies' two schools: the School of Organizational Leadership and the School of Professional Psychology. The Company�� leads are primarily generated from online sources. Its main source of leads is third party online lead aggregators. It also purchases keywords from search providers to generate online leads directly. In addition, the Company has an in-house team focused on generating online leads.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) shares tumbled 11.37 percent to $14.11 after the company announced a Q1 preliminary loss of $0.10 per share on sales of $160.5 million. The company also reported that it will be unable to file 10Q by May 12th.
- [By Jim Royal]
Earlier this week, Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI ) revealed that the Western Association of Schools and Colleges had approved the company's Ashford University application for accreditation for five years. Investors had been concerned about this accreditation issue for the last year or so, and shares jumped on the news. They're now up about 50% from where my Special Situations portfolio bought in late April.
- [By Jim Royal]
One of my favorite reasons to reinvest in stocks I already own is when an uncertain, but favorable catalyst occurs, but the stock does little. So my Special Situations portfolio is adding $1,000 to each of the following three stocks: Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB ) , Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI ) , and First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ: FFNW ) . Read on to see why.
Best Consumer Companies To Invest In Right Now: Rallye SA (RAL)Rallye SA is a France-based holding company organized around two sectors of activity: large scale distribution to the food stores and supermarkets and distribution of sports items. The Company is present in France, Latin America, Poland, and Asia through its interests in brands, such as Geant, Monoprix, Leader Price, and United Grocers Cash & Carry, among others. It also has its interst in the Groupe Go Sport. Rallye SA is notably present in France, the United States, Luxembourg, Poland and Colombia, among others. The Company operates through its subsidiaries and affliated companies, such as Cobivia SAS, L��abitation Moderne de Boulogne, Magasins Jean SAS, Matignon Sablons SAS, MFD SA, Parande SAS, Casino Guichaqrd Perrachon DA, Groupe Go Sport, Sivigral SCI and French Develompent Venture SA. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
A risk involved with the company is that its Republic Bank & Trust business derives 78% of its net income from TRS, which offers bank products that help get customers who electronically file their tax returns their payments. RB&T is only of the few financial institutions in the U.S. that provide the service. Under the program, the taxpayer may receive a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL), which has been questioned by various governmental and consumer groups. In May 2011, RB&T received an order to cease and desist which could result in an order by the FDIC to terminate its RAL program. It has a hearing on Feb. 12, 2012 in Kentucky regarding the matter.
Best Consumer Companies To Invest In Right Now: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jessica Alling]
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) is also down in trading this morning after reporting lighter sales in many of its territories. Asia was the weakest geographical region, with lower sales in Japan and negative results in China. Overall revenue was up 1% and earnings were flat at $1.3 billion for Mickey D's, but the company still reported a 2% increase in EPS, though the $1.26 per share missed expectations by a penny. The fast-food chain is contending with some difficult comparisons to a strong period in 2012, making its results look weaker. The stock is down 1.84% as of this writing, with investors concerned about continued impacts of international economic headwinds and tougher outlooks for the coming quarters.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Alamy Fried chicken and waffles is a staple menu item at countless soul food and comfort food restaurants, but that's not stopping Burger King (BKW) from trying to give the meal a fast-food spin. Burger King is testing a new sandwich in the Northeast that takes the breaded chicken patty used in its Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich from its King Deals Value Menu and replaces the bun with a split waffle. Burger King's Chicken & Waffle Sandwich isn't as hearty as the meal that it's based on. It's selling for as little as $2.29. But the chain's latest attempt to turn heads with a unique menu item will at least attract curious nibblers if it does decide to broaden the offering across the country. Waffling About Burger King isn't the first popular chain to attempt to reinvent this classic dish. As Nation's Restaurant News points out, last summer, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) offered Chicken Waffle Tenders -- consisting of chicken tenders dipped in a vanilla maple-scented waffle batter, served with a honey maple dipping sauce. DineEquity's (DIN) IHOP did it three years ago by combining its chicken strips with Belgian waffle quarters. Yum! Brands (YUM) tried to breathe new life into its breakfast business last summer by testing a Waffle Taco -- an egg, sausage, and waffle breakfast sandwich. Even if it doesn't succeed -- and some of the early taste tests haven't been very flattering to the chain's new sandwich -- it's at least comforting to see that Burger King isn't just copying McDonald's (MCD) the way that it has for the past couple of years. Burger King followed McDonald's in offering fancy coffee drinks, fresh fruit smoothies, and popcorn chicken. It has gone on to roll out doppelgangers of the Egg McMuffin and McRib sandwiches. In November, it introduced the Big King, which any patron will quickly recognize as a body double to the Big Mac. Then again, it's not as if following McDonald's lead is such a clever idea right now. The world's largest re
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
A day after reporting disappointing comparable sales, McDonald's� (NYSE: MCD ) shares jumped today, gaining 3.8% after its CFO said the fast-food chain could take greater steps to return cash to shareholders. CFO Pete Bensen said the company was looking at ways to optimize its capital structure, which could include selling stores in Asia to franchisees or cutting SG&A costs, and taking on more debt to fund greater share buybacks. Over the last three years, the company has returned to $16.5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, not bad for a stock with a market cap just under $100 billion. At a time when the Golden Arches' operations are struggling, perhaps a change in the capital structure is the best way to make sure this cash cow keeps delivering for investors.
- [By Erin Kennedy and Jason Moser]
Fast-food colossus McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) reported third-quarter earnings this morning, and it proved to be a mixed bag. Investors bid the stock down at the open, but shares have mostly recovered since.