Saturday, December 3, 2011

Philip Morris crossed 52 Week High Price - NYSE:PM

Philip Morris International Inc (NYSE:PM) achieved its new price of $76.40 where it was opened at $75.93 UP 1.78 points or +2.39% by closing at $76.24. PM transacted shares during the day were over 9.49 million shares however it has an average volume of 7.19 million shares.

PM has a market capitalization $132.43 billion and an enterprise value at $146.80 billion. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 4.35 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 62.29. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 27.76% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 43.42%.

The company made a return on asset of 22.62% in past twelve months and return on equity of 178.87% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $30.46 billion gaining $17.11 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was 26.40% holding 30.50% quarterly earnings growth.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $3.39 billion cash in hand making cash per share at 1.95. The total of $17.76 billion debt was there putting a total debt to equity ratio 486.02. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 0.94 and book value per share was 1.22.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 2.08% where the stock current price exhibited up beat from its 50 day moving average price $70.40 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average price $68.54.

PM holds 1.74 million outstanding shares with 1.73 million floating shares where insider possessed 0.09% and institutions kept 71.00%.

Altria Slips Late After Court Judgment

Altria (MO), the company that sells Philip Morris cigarettes in the U.S., slid less than 1% late on Friday after announcing a judgment against Philip Morris USA by Oregon’s Supreme Court that will cost the company $119 million.

The judgment in the 15-year-old case will strip 2 cents of EPS from the company’s results in 2011, the company said.

“Altria Group today announced that its operating subsidiary, Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA) is recording a fourth- quarter pre-tax charge of $62 million related to tobacco and health judgments in the Williams and Bullock cases as well as incurring approximately $57 million in interest costs related to those two cases.”

Infinera: The Home Run Tech Stock I'm Buying

The trend for Internet usage remains clear: up and to the right.

Look at these statistics.

  1. There are 2.1 billion Internet users around the world, which is only 30% of the world's population.
  2. Cisco predicts there will be 15 billion Internet devices in 2015 -- twice the population.
  3. Global data consumption will increase fourfold to nearly 1 zettabyte by 2015.

I had to look up a zettabyte? It's a 1 with 21 zeros behind it. If I stacked enough $100 bills to ... forget it. It's a big number!

Houston, we have a problem
With more people using more data, can the Internet, in its current form, push that much traffic around the world or will it come to a screeching halt? As you will see below, network owner/operators know they have to find a way to scale up their networks while reducing their costs. That's a difficult problem to solve -- and according to venture capitalist Peter Thiel, a huge opportunity.

To hit home runs with start-ups, his Founders Fund looks for companies that:

  1. Go after big problems.
  2. Develop transformational technologies.
  3. Have management teams with "the vision and the flexibility to create a success."

Founders Fund investments include social networking giant Facebook, digital music provider Spotify, and robot designer RoboteX.

Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN  ) is well past the start-up phase but fits perfectly within Thiel's framework. Here's why I am buying shares for the Trends and Trades portfolio. Click here to follow all the action on Twitter.

The challenge
Stuart Elby, the vice president of technology at Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , recently outlined the challenges his company faces given the growth of Internet usage. According to Elby, "The network is becoming too complex and costly." And in order to meet the future demands, Verizo! n is loo king for a "dramatic change in [the] long-term cost structure" of its network -- on the order of 30%-50% less. But at the same time, Verizon needs to deliver faster performance to its customers. It wants speeds of 100 gigabits/second to 400 gigabits/second.

Significantly higher performance and dramatically lower costs are diametrically opposed. But that's the challenge telecommunication companies confront. Users want data today and more tomorrow, without paying higher prices for it. Take streaming video, for example. Together, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) and YouTube account for more than 38.9% of aggregate Internet traffic. Streaming is the wave of the future and Netflix et al continue to invest heavily to meet the growing demand. In fact, experts predict video will grow to 61% of all Internet traffic by 2015.

In 2000, Infinera looked forward and saw Internet coming to a point where networks would have problems scaling up to meet demand. The company then spent its whole life developing a solution.

The better mousetrap
Infinera caught a big break as the Internet bubble burst. The company developed its breakthrough technology, the photonic integrated circuit, at a time when capital for technology companies had dried up. Like its electrical counterpart, the PIC takes discrete pieces of the network and puts them on a chip. In addition, the PIC performs optical-to-electrical-to-optical transformations cost-effectively, allowing data to move from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

As the Internet bubble deflated, big network equipment suppliers such as Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN  ) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU  ) experienced declining sales. Rightly, they started conserving cash, which included cutting back on R&D budgets. But Infinera found smart backers with deep pockets and lots of patience. I! nfinera rewarded those investors by creating the first commercially viable PIC, at a time when no one else could take a chance on developing a transformational technology.

The PIC delivers the innovation Verizon and other big network operators need to scale up their networks: lower investments and operating costs, smaller space requirements, and lower power consumption. At the same time, the PIC delivers higher transport speeds. Infinera's 10 gigabit/sec product (10G) was a huge success, capturing almost 50% market share from 2004 to 2007. But tier 1 telecommunication companies like Verizon need more capability. That's why Infinera will launch its 100 gigabit/sec PIC (100G) in 2012. Its transformational technology will help Verizon and others generate higher performance with lower costs.

The right management team
Going from 10G to 100G was not in management's original plan. But the market threw Infinera a curveball, skipping over the 40G product and demanding 100G. Infinera has had to invest $155 million over the last 12 months to meet the market's new demands and reduce its revenue forecasts. With higher than expected costs and lower than anticipated revenue, the stock market did not take the news very well, sending the stock price lower.

Management deserves considerable credit for sticking to its vision and yet being flexible to handle the new demands from the market. That's not an easy thing to do. Netflix began life as a DVD reseller, not a DVD rental company. Success came after management changed course midstream. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) followed a similar pattern, switching from a memory manufacturer to microprocessor producer.

The path to success is never straightforward. The right management team can be the difference between a huge success and a colossal failure, as Netflix and Intel show. I think Infinera's management team has been making all the right moves -- and the payoff is just around the corner.

Why I am buying shares
Infinera went after a big problem: scaling network to meet increased traffic. It developed a transformational technology, the photonic integrated circuit, and set itself apart from the crowd. Management adjusted to the changing demands of the market, developing its 100G product much earlier than expected.

Infinera's technology is about to become very valuable. Exactly how valuable is difficult to predict precisely. But that's OK. Let's get a sense of just how much it could be.

Market-research firm Infonetics expects the 100G market to be about $3 billion in 2014. If Infinera can capture 40% of that share and hit its previous goal of 15% operating margins, the stock could be a five-bagger in three years. Success is not guaranteed, however. If the 100G product launch is a disaster or a competitor comes out with a significantly better offering, the stock could easily get cut in half. I think the latter is very unlikely. After all, Infinera is the only company with a commercially available photonic integrated circuit, a true game-changing technology that helps companies scale up their networks in an efficient, effective manner. That puts the odds of success squarely in Infinera's favor, which is why I will be purchasing a 5% allocation for my Trends and Trades portfolio. Click here to follow along on Twitter and see all of my future purchases.

Credit Suisse: 10% To 15% Upside Seen For Asian Equities Next Year

Credit Suisse AG anticipates an upside of 10% to 15% for Asian equities next year, saying slowing inflation and monetary policy easing will be catalysts for a "reflation rally" in 2012.Sakthi Siva, Credit Suisse's Global Emerging Markets and Asia Pacific Strategist said she continued to prefer markets that are "under-owned" by foreign investors, such as Korea, China, Hong Kong and Australia, over more "crowded" markets such as India or those in South East Asia.

Basic Materials, Financials, Energy and Real Estate are the four most undervalued sectors in Asia, Siva said while presenting Credit Suisse's model Asian equities portfolio for 2012.

Credit Suisse, the financial services provider, announced a year-end target of 527 for the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index. This represents an upside of 10% -15%. Siva said the year-end target took into account a 15% probability of a 2008-style financial crisis, a 25% probability of a "muddle through" scenario similar to that of the last few months and a 60% probability of a "mini 2009" in which quantitative easing by the European Central Bank helped to fuel a rally in equity markets.

Siva said that the price to book ratio for Asia Pacific ex-Japan had already fallen to 1.52 times, close to the 1.4 times level reached during the 2001 recession. She also noted that Asian balance sheets were strong, with the region's net debt to equity ratio having fallen to an expected 23% this year from a high of 47% in 1998.

On the equity investment implications of the macro environment, Siva said companies with a structural growth and return on equity story would be a natural choice for investors at the moment. That said, many well-known companies of this kind traded at a substantial premium to the rest of the region, and companies with a trend of rising return on equity were more attractive, she added. Siva suggested Keppel, COLI, Cheung Kong and TSMC as examples of stocks with rising return on equity, and said that Kia and Hyundai Motors also offered value! as thes e companies were gaining market share.

Siva also said she preferred "trough valuation stories," or stocks where the absolute price to book ratio is at the lows of 2008 or 2009, and which trade at a discount according to Credit Suisse's price to book versus return on equity valuation model. Stocks in this category include COLI, China Mobile, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Hang Seng Bank, POSCO, Cheung Kong, UOB, Sun Hung Kai, Hyundai Heavy, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Noting on the impact of the euro-zone debt crisis on Asia, Siva said there has been a very strong correlation between increases in European banks' cost of short term funding and declines for Asian equities, and vice-versa. She said was a -0.89 correlation between Euribor spreads - the difference between the Euro interbank offered rate and overnight index swaps �C and the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index.


WSJ Says Google Discusses Ways To Foray Into Online Retailing

The search engine giant Google Inc. (GOOG) is planning to foray into the Internet service to arrest the web traffic loss to online retailer Inc. (AMZN), reports Wall Street Journal.

Plans for Online Retailing

After tasking success in almost every area they entered, Google is said to be in discussions with some of the leading retailers and shippers such as Gap Inc. (GPS), Macy's (M) and OfficeMax for setting up the service.

The report indicated that's Prime service is a hit in the U.S. during the last few years and threatens the web traffic of Google. The prime services present the shoppers with free two-day shopping for $79 for a year in the U.S. Google is getting about 40% of revenues from retail sources and it is obvious for the company to ensure that they don't lose this major share.

Quoting persons familiar in the matter of discussions, the report indicated that the company is considering plans that come close to preparing direct selling to consumers. The company is also having option to work with retailers' web portals clubbing its existing product-search facilities, which will direct online shoppers to those sites. These will be supported by a new shipping service to create and oversee the shipment.

Google is also having a proposal to test run the project in the San Francisco Bay area for this new venture involving logistics company United Parcel Services (UPS).

When it comes to searching of products on the web, undoubtedly Google dominates the scene. Therefore, their next logical steps would be to purchase and getting items delivered at the consumers place. For the shipping, the company needs to rely on third-party and how things would shape up remains to be seen.

Amazon is having massive warehouses chain with its own inventory and has good control over the order processing and goods delivery system.

Google is sitting with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $10.6 billion at the end of its t! hird qua rter results.

Google History

Google's growth over the years needs no mention. The initial product was only a search engine and slowly and steadily the company started offering various services to take on even the biggies in the field, including Microsoft. Their Google Chrome is directly targeting Microsoft's Internet Explorer besides operating system finding its way in specialized laptops named Chromebooks. The company also leads the Android mobile operating system development.

Over the years, the search engine leader acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion, DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, Grand Central for $50 million, On2Technologies for $106.5 million and Aardvark for $50 million. The transaction value clearly indicates that the company is not averse to buy a small or big company as long as it extends its leads in its core business.

The company began its journey in 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin during their PhD studies in Stanford University in California. Both of them engaged in theorizing for a better system that analyzed the relationships between websites. Andy Bechtolscheim was the first person to fund the project in 1998 with a contribution of $100 thousand. On finding that it the project was taking longer time than expected, the duo offered to sell it to Excite CEO George Bell for $1 million, which was rejected. In 1999, major investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital announced a $25 million funding.

It took five years for Google to come out with an IPO of 19.6 million share for $85 a share. From then on, Google is one of the favorites of any investors.

iStock Punch

Given the kind of funds that Google has under its kitty and it will not be a tough proposition for the company to enter into strategic alliances with both retailers as well as logistics company for smooth run of the project.


U.S. Unemployment Rate Dropped to Two-Year Low in November

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a two-year low in November as employers stepped up hiring in response to the slowly improving economy.

The jobless rate declined to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Such a steep decline was unexpected, as employers added fewer workers than projected in November and earnings eased.

Payrolls climbed 120,000, with more than half of the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies. Many new jobs may only be seasonal — January figures will be the true test of whether the labor market is improving.

The unemployment rate, which is derived from a survey of households, was forecast to hold at 9 percent. The decrease in the jobless rate reflects a 278,000 gain in employment at the same time 315,000 Americans left the labor force.

The labor participation rate declined to 64 percent from 64.2 percent, while private hiring rose 140,000 after a revised gain of 117,000 in October. It was projected to rise by 150,000.

Employment at service providers increased 126,000, including a 50,000 gain in retail as companies hired for the holiday shopping season. The number of temporary workers increased 22,300.

Meanwhile, construction companies shed 12,000 workers, government payrolls decreased 20,000, and average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent to $23.18. The average work week held at 34.3 hours.

The underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who would prefer a full-time position, and people who want work but have given up looking, decreased to 15.6 percent from 16.2 percent.

The report also showed an increase in long-term unemployed Americans. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased as a percentage of all the jobless, from 42.4 percent to 43 percent.

Rockwell Automation EPS Growth this Year Remained More than 100% - NYSE:ROK

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) recently hit 52 week peak price $85.34, opened at $84.19 scored +1.20% closed $85.13. ROK traded on over 1.98 million shares in comparison to average volume of 1.59 million shares.

ROK has earnings of $511.60 million and made $5.16 billion sales for the last 12 months. Its quarter to quarter sales remained 27.94%. The company has 142.35 million of outstanding shares and 141.59 million shares were floated in the market.

ROK has an insider ownership at 0.53% and institutional ownership remained 72.43%. Its return on investment (ROI) for the last 12 month was 14.52% as compare to its return on equity (ROE) of 34.64% for the last 12 months.
The price moved ahead +9.76% from the mean of 20 days, +15.73% from 50 and went up 39.74% from 200 days average price. Company��s performance for the week was 3.49%, +17.49% for month and yearly performance remained 75.92%.

Its price volatility for a month remained 2.13% whereas volatility for a week noted as 1.83% having beta of 1.70. Company��s price to sales ratio for last 12 months was 2.35 while its price to book ratio for the most recent quarter was 7.64 and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained 801.50 million for the past twelve months.

Pfizer Passes This Key Test

There's no foolproof way to know the future for Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result.

A cloudy crystal ball
In this series, we use accounts receivable and days sales outstanding to judge a company's current health and future prospects. It's an important step in separating the pretenders from the market's best stocks. Alone, AR -- the amount of money owed the company -- and DSO -- the number of days' worth of sales owed to the company -- don't tell you much. However, by considering the trends in AR and DSO, you can sometimes get a window onto the future.

Sometimes, problems with AR or DSO simply indicate a change in the business (like an acquisition), or lax collections. However, AR that grows more quickly than revenue, or ballooning DSO, can also suggest a desperate company that's trying to boost sales by giving its customers overly generous payment terms. Alternately, it can indicate that the company sprinted to book a load of sales at the end of the quarter, like used-car dealers on the 29th of the month. (Sometimes, companies do both.)

Why might an upstanding firm like Pfizer do this? For the same reason any other company might: to make the numbers. Investors don't like revenue shortfalls, and employees don't like reporting them to their superiors.

Is Pfizer sending any potential warning signs? Take a look at the chart below, which plots revenue growth against AR growth, and DSO:


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. FQ = fiscal quarter.

The standard way to calculate DSO uses average accounts receivable. I prefer to look at end-of-quarter receivables, but I've plotte! d both a bove.

Watching the trends
When that red line (AR growth) crosses above the green line (revenue growth), I know I need to consult the filings. Similarly, a spike in the blue bars indicates a trend worth worrying about. As another reality check, it's reasonable to consider what a normal DSO figure might look like in this space.


LFQ Revenue


Pfizer $17,193 82
Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) $5,345 58
Novartis (NYSE: NVS  ) $15,034 67
Teva (Nasdaq: TEVA  ) $4,344 117

Source: S&P Capital IQ. DSO calculated from average AR. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. LFQ = last fiscal quarter. Dollar figures in millions.

Differences in business models can generate variations in DSO, so don't consider this the final word -- just a way to add some context to the numbers. But let's get back to our original question: Will Pfizer miss its numbers in the next quarter or two?

I don't think so. AR and DSO look healthy. For the last fully reported fiscal quarter, Pfizer's year-over-year revenue grew 7.5%, and its AR grew 10.1%. That looks OK. End-of-quarter DSO increased 2.4% over the prior-year quarter. It was up 2.4% versus the prior quarter. Still, I'm no fortuneteller, and these are just numbers. Investors putting their money on the line always need to dig into the! filings for the root causes and draw their own conclusions.

What now?
I use this kind of analysis to figure out which investments I need to watch more closely as I hunt the market's best returns. However, some investors actively seek out companies on the wrong side of AR trends in order to sell them short, profiting when they eventually fall. Which way would you play this one? Let us know in the comments below, or keep up with the stocks mentioned in this article by tracking them in our free watchlist service, My Watchlist.

  • Add Pfizer to My Watchlist.
  • Add Bristol-Myers Squibb to My Watchlist.
  • Add Novartis to My Watchlist.
  • Add Teva to My Watchlist.

Hedge Fund GMO Reduces 3M and UTX Shares, Increase General Electric Interest

Wall St. Watchdog reveals information regarding GMO Co��s top holdings in the Conglomerates sector for the quarter ending September 30th, 2011. The firm held 6 stocks in the Conglomerates sector at the end of the quarter with an aggregate market value of $272.54 million.

  • 3m Co. (NYSE:MMM): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 3,280,486 shares with a market value of $311,154,092. This comprised 1.07% of the total portfolio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 2,446,726 shares with a market value of $175,650,462. This comprised 0.61% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is -833,760. About Company: 3M Co. conducts operations in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, health care, safety, and other markets. The Company��s businesses share technologies, manufacturing operations, brands, marketing channels, and other resources. 3M serves customers in countries located around the world.
  • United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 1,881,666 shares with a market value of $166,546,262. This comprised 0.57% of the total portfolio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 825,587 shares with a market value of $58,088,302. This comprised 0.2% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is -1,056,079. About Company: United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and support services to customers in the aerospace and building industries worldwide. The Company��s products include aircraft engines, elevators and escalators, heating and air conditioning equipment, helicopters, aerospace systems, fuel cell systems, and fire and safety equipment.
  • Danaher Corp. (NYSE:DHR): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 347,900 shares with a market value of $18,435,222. This comprised 0.06% of the total portfolio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 409,100 shares with a market val! ue of $1 7,157,653. This comprised 0.06% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is 61,200. About Company: Danaher Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets professional instrumentation, medical technologies, industrial technologies, and tools and components.
  • Clorox Corporation (NYSE:CLX): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 675,287 shares with a market value of $45,541,357. This comprised 0.16% of the total portfolio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 135,584 shares with a market value of $8,993,287. This comprised 0.03% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is -539,703. About Company: The Clorox Company produces and markets non-durable consumer products sold primarily through grocery and other retail stores. The Company��s principal products include household cleaning and bleach products, charcoal, cat litter, automotive care products, dressings, and trash bags. Clorox markets its products in the United States and other countries around the world.
  • General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 421,200 shares with a market value of $7,943,832. This comprised 0.03% of the total portfolio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 492,200 shares with a market value of $7,491,284. This comprised 0.03% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is 71,000. About Company: General Electric Company is a diversified technology, media and financial services company. The Company offers products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, and water processing technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and industrial products. General Electric conducts operations globally.
  • Ppg Industries Inc. (NYSE:PPG): On 06/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 78,707 shares with a market value of $7,145,809. This comprised 0.02% of the tota! l portfo lio. On 09/30/2011, GMO Co reported holding 73,007 shares with a market value of $5,158,675. This comprised 0.02% of the total portfolio. The net change in shares for this position over the two quarters is -5,700. About Company: PPG Industries, Inc. supplies products for the manufacturing, construction, automotive, chemical processing, and other industries worldwide. The Company makes protective and decorative coatings, flat glass, fabricated glass products, continuous-strand fiber glass products, and industrial and specialty chemicals.

Latest issue brought to the fore: profitability

groupon IPOWhen a company goes through the IPO process, it needs to make various amendments to its initial filing (which is known as the prospectus or S-1). Often, the changes are fairly technical. For Groupon, these amendments often are bombshells.

For example, in late June, Groupon indicated that the Securities and Exchange Commission required that the company change its accounting for its revenue recognition. It could include only the commission on a groupon, not the total value of the voucher. So for 2011, revenues were $688.1 million, not the juicy figure of $1.52 billion.

Such things can be a buzzkill for IPO investors — especially in today��s jittery markets. In fact, it looks like the value of Groupon might be as low as $3 billion now. That’s after it reached a whopping $24 billion estimate earlier in the year.

Will Groupon change its crazy ways? Perhaps. In its most recent amendment, the company actually showed some realism. Groupon said it will — at some point — ��significantly�� reduce its marketing expenditures, without impacting its overall business.

This definitely is encouraging news. Consider that for the first six months of 2011, the marketing expenditures came to a whopping $345.1 million, compared to $241.5 million for all of 2010. So by bringing these down, Groupon hopefully should get much closer to profitability, which is a reasonable goal. Hey, other top IPOs, such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and (NYSE:CRM), were able to do this, right?

But the big question is: When will Groupon cut back on things? As of now, we’re in the dark. Groupon’s merely stating a fuzzy goal. So — ironically enough — Groupon just gave investors some! thing el se to worry about. “Will Groupon ever be a profitable company?” And without an answer to that question, Groupon’s IPO will be even more difficult to make a reality.

Tom Taulli is the author of ��All About Short Selling�� and ��All About Commodities.�� You can also find him at Twitter account @ttaulli. He does not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

3 Stocks That Blew the Market Away

Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

Every week, I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations, since I believe that it's the biggest factor in a stock beating the market. Leaving Wall Street's pros with stunned expressions can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured. Capital appreciation typically follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators over the past few trading days.

?We can start with Spreadtrum Communications (Nasdaq: SPRD  ) . The leading maker of smartphone radio chips for the wireless standard championed by Chinese market leader China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) posted blowout quarterly results last week. Spreadtrum's earnings of $0.75 a share -- or an adjusted profit of $0.83 a share -- blew past the $0.68 a share that analysts were expecting.

Graphics chip pioneer NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) is also a speedster these days, benefiting from booming growth in mobile and steady demand on the PC front. NVIDIA's latest quarter featured adjusted earnings soaring 75% to $0.35 a share. Its reported income more than doubled to $178.3 million -- or $0.29 a share. Wall Street was targeting earnings of only $0.26 a share.

Finally, we have Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW  ) in the limelight. The content-delivery network delivered a quarterly loss of $0.02 a share, but it was actually much smaller than the $0.06-a-share deficit that analysts were projecting. Market leader Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) had also posted market-thumping results for the same quarter, though Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT  ) did fall short.

It's impor! tant to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a lucrative experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise that we look for?in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. Want in? Check out a 30-day trial subscription.

Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

If you want to track these stocks to see if they come out ahead next quarter, add them to My Watchlist:

  • Add Spreadtrum?Communications to My Watchlist.
  • Add NVIDIA to My Watchlist.
  • Add Limelight?Networks to My Watchlist.

The Easiest Way I Know to Make Money in Stocks

I call it the "apple tree" loophole. I think it's one of the best ways I know to make money in the market, especially if you don't want to fuss over your investments every day.

But before I tell you what the loophole is, let me first tell you what it's not...

It's not illegal. It's not confusing. And it's not a get-rich-quick scheme.

When used properly, this loophole can greatly reduce the risk of losing money in any market.

But before I go on, I must say that there are a few caveats to how you use it. First, you have to follow this simple strategy exactly as I'll outline below. Second, it only works with high-yield stocks and funds.

It all started with a simple saying I heard years ago…

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today."

That saying has stuck with me. And if you hadn't noticed, it's talking about a lot more than planting a couple of apple trees in your backyard and enjoying the fruit later.

The real lesson here is this: It's the moves we make today that deliver the greatest payoff down the road.

And that's the perfect analogy for investing in consistent, high-quality dividend payers. I firmly believe the high-yield stocks we buy today -- those with steady and increasing dividend payments -- are the ones that will end up paying us the most in the long run.

Just imagine if you had bought no more than a handful of the market's top dividend payers just 10 years ago.

  • Altria (NYSE: MO) pays 5.9%, has increased the dividend 41% in the past three years, and has returned 331% in the last 10 years thanks to all the dividends paid.
  • Realty Income (NYSE: O) brags of being the "Monthly Dividend Company" and returned 347% in ten years, thanks in part t! o its 5. 5% yield.
  • Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP) has returned 504%, thanks in part to its 5%-plus yield and the fact that it has increased payments 437% since 2001.

As you can see, thanks to dividends each of these investments easily returned triple digits in the past decade. Compare that with the paltry 28% return by the S&P 500 in the same period, and the power of dividends becomes apparent.

But the benefits don't stop there. If you were to hold those stocks for a longer period, then the difference would be even more pronounced.

And that's the premise for the loophole. Every time you're paid a dividend, the risk of losing money on that position gets smaller. And over time, those steady -- and increasing -- dividends can add up to unlikely returns, even from "boring" companies. Hold your stocks for long enough and eventually you're collecting pure profit with each dividend payment.

Of course, because it takes a while to make any dent if you're only being paid 2-3% a year, this strategy works best with high-yield stocks that pay 5% or more.

Now, with investing there is never a surefire thing. I can't guarantee success with the "apple tree" strategy, or any other investing strategy. But one thing you can't deny is that every dividend you receive makes it that much more likely that you will see a winning position.

> And in a market that's keeping investors up at night, I can't think of a better way to make money without worrying over your investments every day.

CSRH Consorteum Holdings Inc. “My Golf Rewards Canada Inc. to Enter Loyalty and Rewards Industry” (DrStockPick News Report!)

DrStockPick Stock Report!

DrStockPick News Report!

CSRH, Consorteum Holdings Inc, CSRH.OB

“My Golf Rewards Canada Inc. to Enter Loyalty and Rewards Industry”

DrStockPick News Report! Friday, July 17, 2009

My Golf Rewards Canada Inc. to Enter Loyalty and Rewards Industry

Consorteum Holdings Inc. (OTCBB: CSRH) announced that My Golf Rewards Canada Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Consorteum Holdings Inc., has entered into an agreement with FideliSoft Inc. to provide innovative technology solutions.

My Golf Rewards has established a relationship with Montreal-based firm FideliSoft Inc. to offer a loyalty, rewards and retention program to the North American golfing industry benefiting from FideliSoft��s innovative and robust technology.

Quent Rickerby, President and COO of Consorteum Holdings Inc., said, ��We are very pleased to establish this relationship with FideliSoft Inc. Their leading-edge technology will enable us to provide our clients with state-of-the-art loyalty and rewards solutions.��

As previously announced, My Golf Rewards will provide the North American golf industry a new and innovative way to better serve and reward its members, while generating new revenue and profit opportunities within the golf course. The program will enable golf courses to market to their members in a more defined and targeted ma! nner.

Marcel Vienneau, FideliSoft��s CEO, commented, ��Our focus is to surpass the ROI objectives of each of our clients by providing the very best turnkey (and yet fully customizable) solutions �C that��s how we measure our success - to this FideliSoft is extremely excited to be associated with My Golf Rewards.��

About Consorteum Holdings Inc. (CSRH.OB)

Consorteum Holdings Inc.��s business strategy is to build on extensive expertise within the Payments and Transaction Industry in North America, Europe and Internationally. By identifying new technologies and trends in the changing global marketplace, Consorteum Holdings Inc. aims to increase revenues in existing markets, enter new markets, and deliver unique products and services more effectively and efficiently. Consorteum Holdings Inc. has built its reputation with one goal, ��For our customers to look at us as partners, not just a technology provider.��

For more information on Consorteum Holdings Inc. visit:

About FideliSoft Inc.

FideliSoft Inc. is a global company with Business Development Offices in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Mexico. We offer innovative technology and solutions allowing the redemption of loyalty points directly at point of sale. FideliSoft has a proprietary transaction processing network that interfaces at the merchant��s POS to permit the immediate redemption of rewards points for products and services.

Our exceptional management team with over 3 decades of loyalty industry expertise has applied our technology and solutions to the benefit of major organizations throughout North America.

Our mission is simple; we provide technology and expertise to unleash the true power of loyalty.

For more information about FideliSoft Inc., please visit

Forward-Looking Statements:

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21! E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain as they are based on current expectations and assumptions concerning future events or future performance of the company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only predictions and speak only as of the date hereof. In evaluating such statements, prospective investors should review carefully various risks and uncertainties identified in this release and matters set in the company’s SEC filings. These risks and uncertainties could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.

Source: Consorteum Holdings Inc.


Consorteum Holdings Inc.

2900 John Street, Suite 202,
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 5G3

Telephone: +1 866 824 8854

Keep a close eye on CSRH, do your homework, and like always BE READY for the ACTION!

Any turnaround is going to take a while

Back in the 1980s, Carl Icahn was known as a corporate raider. He would target troubled companies and try to force an outcome such as a going-private transaction, a huge dividend or a merger.

Icahn now calls himself an ��activist investor�� but his approach hasn��t changed much. And he still has no trouble finding companies to agitate. So it makes sense that there is buzz that he has taken a hefty position in troubled tech company Research In Motion (Nasdaq:RIMM).

RIMM��s BlackBerry smartphone looks like a technological museum piece. Apple��s (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhone and iPad continue to take market share in the premium market, while Google��s (Nasdaq:GOOG) Android is cleaning up on the low end. In fact, now (Nasdaq:AMZN) is poised to make inroads with its highly-anticipated Kindle Fire tablet.

As a result, there isn��t much room left for other rivals, such as Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK).

Despite all this, RIM does have some hope. In the corporate market, the company still has entrenched customers. They realize the value of strong security and compliance features as well as seamless integration with Microsoft products. Such things are not easy to develop.

In addition, RIM has a portfolio of more than 2,000 patents. In today��s highly litigious world — especially in the mobile market — this is certainly an attractive asset.

So can Icahn be the catalyst to realize these advantages? Maybe there will be a short-term bump. But keep in mind that RIM��s Co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, control nearly 11% of the outstanding shares. In other words, they will have lots of leverage in repelling an attack. At the same time, the Canadian government has shown its willingness to block hostile bids on companies that are considered strategic.

True, Icahn has had some wins. The! most re cent was Google��s purchase of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), a company in which Icahn had a stake. Yet there have been some high-profile failures as well, including Clorox (NYSE:CLX) and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF).

Even if Icahn is successful in provoking some kind of benefit for shareholders, it could easily take six months or longer. Corporate activism usually requires lots of patience.

But in light of the competitive environment, there is likely to be continued deterioration in RIM��s business. It��s probably best to stay away from the stock for now.

Tom Taulli is the author of ��All About Short Selling�� and ��All About Commodities.�� You can also find him at Twitter account @ttaulli. He does not own a position in any of the stocks named here.


Penny Stock Amerilithium Surges 30%

Amerilithium Corp. (OTC: AMEL) entered into a drilling contract agreement to commence work on its planned 8-hole drill program on the Paymaster Canyon Lithium brine project in Nevada, USA. The company is expected to commence the drilling work on March, 2011. The program began on the positive results from several months of gravity and magnetic surveying that concluded in mid-September 2010.

The program’s three initial holes are expected to test areas of significant Lithium brine potential identified by the company’s exploration program, followed by the remaining five holes depending on the initial drilling results. The penetration in the formations comprising the basin fill in Paymaster Canyon, the hole's should allow the company to examine and sample the stratigraphy and lithology of the sedimentary sequence; the nature and extent of the saturated zones; and the concentration of Lithium and other constituents in the groundwater in these target zones. Each hole is expected to take one week’s time, according to GeoXplor Corp., who will run the program along with Robert Allender, AmeriLithium’s vice president of Exploration.

Recently, the company received its fourth draw down from its $10 million finance agreement on July 26, 2010. The purpose of the $200,000 draw is the continued development of the business through its exploration stages, in particular the currently progressing Lithium exploration program on its Nevada-based Paymaster Project.

Also, the company received its second draw down from its $10 million finance agreement on April 29, 2010, to accelerate the company’s U.S. exploration program on its Paymaster Project in Nevada.

The penny stock of Amerilithium is currently trading at $0.352, up 24.14% from its previous close. Amerilithium shares touched the high of $0.38 and lowest price in today's ses! sion is $0.28.

The company stock traded in the range of $0.20 and $3.00 during the past 52 weeks. The company's market cap is $23.58 million.

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Big Cap Stocks Scoring 52-Week Price Highs as Dow Jones Climbs 162 Points

Wall St. Watchdog reveals information about 19 stocks that hit 52-week highs in today��s trading. Note that this list excludes all stocks with a market capitalization less than $10 billion:

  1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Up 1.16% to $57.37. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates discount stores, supercenters, and neighborhood markets. The Company’s discount stores and supercenters offer merchandise such as apparel, housewares, small appliances, electronics, and hardware. Walmart’s markets offer a full-line supermarket and a limited assortment of general merchandise. The Company operates nationally and internationally.
  2. GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK): Up 1.86% to $44.83. GlaxoSmithKline plc is a research-based pharmaceutical group that develops, manufactures and markets vaccines, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as health-related consumer products. The Group, which also provides laboratory testing and disease management services, specializes in treatments for respiratory, central nervous system, gastro-intestinal and genetic disorders
  3. Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE:EPD): Up 1.86% to $45.36. Enterprise Products Partners L.P. provides processing and transportation services to producers and consumers of natural gas liquids. The Company generally processes products that are ultimately used as feedstocks in petrochemical manufacturing, in the production of motor gasoline, and as fuel for residential and commercial heating.
  4. National Grid plc (NYSE:NGG): Up 1.08% to $51.42. National Grid PLC owns, operates and develops electricity and gas networks. The Group’s electricity transmission and gas distribution networks are located throughout the United Kingdom and in the north-eastern section of the United States. They also own liquefied natural gas storage facilities in Britain and provide infrastructure services to the mobile telecom industry.
  5. Simon Property! Group I nc. (NYSE:SPG): Up 2.05% to $123.59. Simon Property Group, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed, real estate investment trust. The Company owns, develops, and manages retail real estate properties including regional malls, outlet centers, community/lifestyle centers, and international properties.
  6. Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB): Up 9.4% to $116.92. Biogen Idec Inc. develops, manufactures, and commercializes therapies, focusing on neurology, oncology, and immunology. The Company’s products addresses diseases such as multiple sclerosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, crohn’s disease, and psoriasis.
  7. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE:KMP): Up 1.3% to $77.83. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., is a pipeline transportation and energy storage company. The Company operates pipelines and terminals. The pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, carbon dioxide and other products; and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals, and handle bulk materials like coal and petroleum coke.
  8. Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE:PCP): Up 0.8% to $172.63. Precision Castparts Corp. is a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products. The Company manufactures large, complex structural investment castings and airfoil castings used in jet aircraft engines. Precision has also expanded into the industrial gas turbine, industrial metal working tools and machines, and other metal products markets.
  9. ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE): Up 2.9% to $71.00. ACE Limited is the holding company for the ACE Group of Companies, a property and casualty insurance business. The Group provides a diversified range of products and services to clients through operations in countries around the world. ACE provides specialty insurance and reinsurance products.
  10. Public Storage (NYSE:PSA): Up 1.83% to $124.69. Public Storage is a real estate investment trust! . The tr ust’s principal business activities include the acquisition, development, ownership and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States. Public Storage also own an equity interest in an owner and operator of self-storage facilities in Europe.
  11. El Paso Corp. (NYSE:EP): Down 0.2% to $25.50. El Paso Corporation operates natural gas pipeline and storage facilities, transports natural gas, and imports liquefied natural gas. El Paso also explores for and produces natural gas. The Company has operations in the United States, Brazil, and Egypt.
  12. American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP): Up 0.39% to $38.80. American Electric Power Company, Inc.(NYSE:AEP)is a public utility holding company. The Company provides electric service, consisting of generation, transmission and distribution, on an integrated basis to their retail customers. AEP serves portions of the states of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
  13. Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE): Up 2.24% to $28.78. Spectra Energy Corporation transmits, stores, distributes, gathers, and processes natural gas. The Company provides transportation and storage of natural gas to customers in various regions of the northeastern and southeastern United States, the Maritime Provinces in Canada and the Pacific Northwest in the United States and Canada, and the province of Ontario, Canada.
  14. Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ): Up 1.07% to $57.50. Williams Partners LP is a master limited partnership that owns natural gas gathering, transportation, processing and treating assets.
  15. Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG): Down 1.21% to $39.87. Dollar General Corp. operates a chain of discount retail stores located primarily in the southern, southwestern, midwestern and eastern United States. The Company offer a broad selection of merchandise, including consumable products such a! s food, paper and cleaning products, health and beauty products and pet supplies, and non-consumable products such as seasonal merchandise.
  16. iShares iBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bond (NYSE:LQD): Down 0.07% to $114.02. iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund is an exchange-traded fund incorporated in the USA. The Fund seeks results that correspond to the price and yield performance of a segment of the US investment grade corporate bond market as defined by the iBoxx $ Liquid Investment Grade Index. The Index measures the performance of a fixed number of investment grade corporate bonds.
  17. Edison International (NYSE:EIX): Up 1.14% to $39.98. Edison International, through its subsidiaries, develops, acquires, owns, and operates electric power generation facilities worldwide. The Company also provides capital and financial services for energy and infrastructure projects, as well as manages and sells real estate projects. Additionally, Edison provides integrated energy services, utility outsourcing, and consumer products.
  18. Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MMI): Up 0.23% to $38.90. Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. provides advanced mobile media solutions and multi-screen technologies. The Company develops products that include consumer mobile phones, business-ready smartphones accessories, cordless phones, and home networking products.
  19. ONEOK Partners, L.P. (NYSE:OKS): Up 1.25% to $50.41. ONEOK Partners, L.P., through a subsidiary limited partnership, owns a general partner interest in a master limited partnership. The partnership owns an interstate pipeline system that transports natural gas primarily in the upper Midwest and Mid Continent regions of the United States.

Three Etfs To Watch This Week (XRT, EGPT, VROM)

Last week was a slow period for U.S. markets, with exchanges taking some down time for the Thanksgiving holiday. With investors returning from the long weekend away, the upcoming week has historically been a busy one; there is additional data to digest, especially since international markets plowed ahead as Wall Street took a few days off.

Unfortunately, the holiday did little to ease any of the concerns that have been weighing on global markets in recent weeks; jobless rates in the U.S. are still a major issue, and Europe's debt crisis is beginning to spiral out of control. Add to that a fresh surge in geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, and we have the makings of an eventful week in financial markets. The coming week has no shortage of data releases, and trading volumes are expected to be heavy throughout. A few asset classes in particular should experience a fair amount of volatility, which could create opportunities for investors [for more ETF ideas, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter]:


XRT In Focus: The coming weeks will be a critical stretch for XRT, as many of this ETF's components derive a substantial portion of their revenues during the final five weeks of the year. Reports of Black Friday activity are already beginning to trickle out, and more complete insights into the shopping activity in the last week should follow throughout the course of the week. Last year retailers topped modest expectations, pushing this sector to a strong finish in 2010. This year there is considerable uncertainty over consumer appetite for holiday spending; a pleasant surprise in receipts could boost XRT, while disappointing figures may sink this ETF [see Shopping For A Retail ETF].

XRT is linked to an equal-weighted index comprised of close to 100 different retail companies, including both online-focused firms and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

While focused exclusively on the retail sector! , the po rtfolio is balanced across this asset class; XRT holds apparel companies, specialty stores, auto retailers, department stores, computer and electronics companies, and catalog retailers.

Market Vectors Egypt ETF (NYSEARCA:EGPT)

EGPT In Focus: When Hosni Mubarak was pushed from power earlier this year, investors around the globe hoped that the path towards a prosperous future had finally been cleared after decades of human rights abuses and economic mismanagement. But the transition in one of Africa's largest markets has been anything but smooth, as the last week has been marked by a number of increasingly violent protests. The wave of uncertainty that has suddenly washed over Egyptian markets dealt another blow to EGPT, which is already one of the worst performers among all equity ETFs during 2011. EGPT shed more than 6% on Monday of last week and followed with another steep decline during Tuesday's trading session. Over the last two weeks, EGPT has shed more than 15% of its value.

Egypt's military has agreed to speed up the process of transferring power to a civilian government and the Prime Minister of the civilian government agreed to step down as well. If the protests subside in Cairo and throughout Egypt, the ETF could be poised to bounce back from a dismal performance over the last week. But it seems unlikely that we've seen the last of the chaos here; ongoing political uncertainty could continue to weigh on EGPT in coming sessions.


VROM In Focus: After being pushed to the bring of bankruptcy during the recent recession, the U.S. automotive industry has made an impressive comeback that was continued last month with stellar results from several manufacturers. November results will be forthcoming late this week, and investors will be anxious to see if carmakers were able to build on the stellar October results. Coming days will also shed some light on incentive plans being rolled out during the holiday season! s; if de alerships are able to resist deep discounting to move inventory, it could be a promising sign for Q4 profitability.

VROM maintains a global focus, including both domestic automakers and those with a focus on operations in emerging economies throughout Asia and South America. This ETF has struggled during the past six months, losing close to a quarter of its value. But another strong month of sales could help VROM get back on track.

Written By Michael Johnston From ETF DatabaseDisclosure: No positions at time of writing.


Salesforce.Com Retains Buy Rating At Deutsche Bank

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained Buy rating on the shares of Inc. (NYSE: CRM) with a price target of $205. They state that CRM's fiscal 2011 third quarter billings miss was purely optical driven by more ramped contracts.

DB analysts state that in the CloudForce New York City event, the message of Social Enterprise continues to resonate well with customers. They add that checks at their CloudForce Partner Investor Track showed that ServiceCloud growth could be reaching 100 percent year-over-year, while active Chatter usage adoption could be approaching 40 percent of the install base. They also said that SFDC is not facing weakness in Europe and that there are 10,000 to 20,000 seat ServiceCloud project which could be a function of European companies looking to cut information technology operating budgets by switching away from expensive Siebel implementation or upgrades. They add that their partner checks also consistently showed that 40 percent of customers of Chatters are quickly realizing the technology's potential and are adopting it for their specific workflows. They state that the slowdown in billings growth to 29 percent year-over-year was strictly optical, driven by proliferation of ramped contracts. They believe these ramped contracts are also instrumental in creating pricing power and higher customer lifeline value.

On a year-to-date basis, CRM has a share performance of -20.51 percent, and as compared to Standard & Poor's, it has an YTD share performance of -13.72 percent. provides customer and collaboration relationship management services to various businesses and industries worldwide. It also offers a technology platform for customers and developers to build and run business applications. It has a market capitalization of $16.09 billion with a P/E ratio of 327.910. It has more than 135 million outstanding shares.

Shares of fell 0.22 percent, or $0.26, to ! trade at $118.16.


PRGX Global Acquires Business Strategy To Extend Its Footprint In North America

PRGX Global Inc. (PRGX) announced on Thursday that it has acquired privately held provider of recovery audit and related contract compliance services Business Strategy Inc. The company has not disclosed any material terms of the transaction.

The Atlanta-based PRGX expects the acquisition to extend its commercial recovery audit footprint in North America in areas of contract compliance, where the company expects to see a growth and in the recovery audit services space.

The company would retain the erstwhile Business Strategy offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Zumiez Zooms Ahead

Zumiez (ZUMZ) reported much better than expected sales and earnings for the third quarter, sending shares 12% higher in trading after the market closed.

Zumiez posted 45 cents of EPS, 3 cents better than expectations. The sports retailer also reported that its same store sales grew 8.7% in November, above expectations for 2.7%.

Zumiez projected forth quarter earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents, versus expectations for 52 cents.

“Our merchandise, new store opening, and e-commerce strategies once again allowed us to deliver on our goal of consistent sales and earnings growth. During the third quarter we continued to execute on key initiatives aimed at driving productivity, expanding our geographic footprint, and bringing our unique in-store experience to the internet,” said CEO Rick Brooks in a statement.

ULTA Earnings Cheat Sheet: Net Income Climbs

Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrances is a beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for salon products and salon services in the United States.

Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. rose to $26.8 million (42 cents per share) vs. $14.2 million (23 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 88.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 21.8% to $413.1 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ULTA beat the mean analyst estimate of 38 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $406.1 million.

Quoting Management: “Our outstanding third quarter results were highlighted by a 21.8% increase in total net sales, a 350 basis point increase in operating margin to 10.7% and an 88.5% increase in net income with diluted earnings per share of $0.42, exceeding the high-end of our guidance by $0.04 per share,” stated Chuck Rubin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ulta Beauty. “During the quarter, we gained market share, driven by a 9.6% increase in comparable store sales following a 12.2% comparable store sales gain in the third quarter last year. Ulta continues to increase its leadership position in beauty as we offer the broadest selection of products and services, all focused on compelling trend and value statements.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 20.8%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter when revenue rose 22.6% from the year earlier quarter.

L! ast quar ter marked the fifth consecutive quarter of gross margins expanding as the company’s gross margin expanded 1.1 percentage points to 36.1% from the year earlier quarter. Over that span, margins have grown on average two percentage points per quarter on a year-over-year basis.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 83% and in the first quarter, the figure rose 70.5%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 6 cents in the second quarter, by 6 cents in the first quarter, and by 5 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: For next quarter, analysts have a more positive outlook about the company’s expected results. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is 60 cents per share, up from 59 cents ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fiscal year has climbed from $1.63 per to share to $1.74.

Competitors to Watch: Sally Beauty Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:SBH), Perfumania Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PERF), Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), Alberto-Culver Company (NYSE:ACV), Revlon, Inc. (NYSE:REV), Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (NASDAQ:RDEN), Inter Parfums, Inc. (NASDAQ:IPAR), Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS), The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG), Parlux Fragrances, Inc. (NASDAQ:PARL), Physicians Formula Hldgs., Inc. (NASDAQ:FACE), Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

Stock Performance: Shares of ULTA were down 1.6% from the previous close.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Central Banks Take On Euro Crisis: Will These Stocks Benefit?

Central banks (finally) took action on Wednesday to stifle the euro crisis by providing cheaper dollar liquidity to starved European banks facing credit crunches.

Reuters reports that the move came as a surprise. The coordinated intervention of central banks include The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and the Swiss National Bank.

Together their actions "enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system," according to the full announcement from the ECB. Essentially the move makes it easier for the ECB, and thus European banks, to borrow dollars.

"It's not a solution to the euro crisis by any means; it just means that the most acute liquidity problems will be mitigated for now," writes Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider.

The market has rallied around the news. The euro's value as well as European stocks soared. The DJIA is up over 400 points. NASDAQ is up 83 points.

Of course, whenever breaking news leads to rallies, opinions will differ on whether the positive reactions will continue in the long term.

According to one pessimist, PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian, the supply of credit to households and businesses and help[ing] foster economic activity may be a nice goal, but it's not one the banks can achieve with these current measures.

Investing ideas
Interested in trading on the idea that stocks will continue to benefit from the news?

To find some ideas, we created a list of S&P 500 stocks seeing bearish short trends, meaning over the last month, short-sellers have increased bets the stock will fall.

These names could have the most to gain from a reverse in the economic trend. If that's the case, short sellers should be prepared for a short squeeze. This is when short-sellers must close out their positions (buying back the stock), causing the stock to rally even higher than before. If you are holdin! g the st ock, this is a good event.

Do you think these stocks are about to see a short squeeze? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS  ) : Operates as an energy company primarily in Michigan. Market cap of $5.17B. Shares shorted have increased from 12.77M to 17.60M month-over-month, a change representing 1.94% of the company's 249.50M share float. Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.54), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.96% (equivalent to 5.42 days of average volume). The stock has gained 18.47% over the last year.

2. Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR  ) : Engages in the acquisition, exploitation, drilling, and extraction of oil and natural gas properties in the Gulf Coast region located in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. Market cap of $6.26B. Shares shorted have increased from 15.37M to 19.64M month-over-month, a change representing 1.10% of the company's 389.58M share float. The stock has lost 12.1% over the last year.

3. First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR  ) : First Solar, manufactures and sells solar modules using a thin-film semiconductor technology. Market cap of $3.79B. Shares shorted have increased from 21.08M to 22.43M month-over-month, a change representing 2.27% of the company's 59.57M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 37.09% (equivalent to 5.61 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 18.86%.

4. GameStop (NYSE: GME  ) : Operates as a retailer of video game products and personal computer (PC) entertainment software. Market cap of $3.16B. Shares shorted have increased from 37.92M to 39.36M month-over-month, a change represe! nting 1. 05% of the company's 136.96M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 28.76% (equivalent to 10.73 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 13.17%.

5. R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NYSE: RRD  ) : Provides pre-media, printing, logistics, and business process outsourcing products and services to private and public sectors worldwide. Market cap of $2.72B. Shares shorted have increased from 18.63M to 21.87M month-over-month, a change representing 1.74% of the company's 186.21M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.58% (equivalent to 6.67 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.06%.

6. TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL  ) : Provides engineered electronic components, network solutions, specialty products, and subsea telecommunication systems. Market cap of $13.19B. Shares shorted have increased from 1.40M to 11.52M month-over-month, a change representing 2.39% of the company's 423.34M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 13.98%.

7. Teradyne (NYSE: TER  ) : Provides automatic test equipment products and services worldwide. Market cap of $2.22B. Shares shorted have increased from 14.97M to 19.99M month-over-month, a change representing 2.74% of the company's 183.30M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.85, and P/FCF ratio at 7.34. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.91% (equivalent to 5.04 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.14% over the last week.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.!

Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman owns shares of FSLR. Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.

In Dodd-Frank Slap, Looser Derivatives Rules Approved by House Panel

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee voted to send on three pieces of legislation that are designed to loosen derivatives rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

They are H.R. 2586, the Swap Execution Facility Clarification Act; H.R. 2682, the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act; and H.R. 2779, to exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The three bills will now move on for a full House vote.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee who co-authored the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, had announced Monday that he would not seek reelection in 2012, and will retire after completion of his term next December.

H.R. 2586, according to the committee’s website, directs the CFTC and SEC to devise rules for swap execution facilities and security-based swap execution facilities (SEFs) to carry out congressional intent for SEFs to serve as an alternative to exchanges and to provide an execution facility for illiquid or thinly traded swaps.

H.R. 2682 clarifies the derivatives title of the Dodd-Frank Act by reconfirming the end user exemption from margin and capital requirements, and defines end users as firms and companies that use derivatives to manage their risks and not to speculate.

H.R. 2779 clarifies the Dodd-Frank Act derivatives title and exempts inter-affiliate swaps from the margin, clearing and reporting requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) issued a statement in support of the three measures on Wednesday, and urged full House and Senate approval.

4 Super Hot Stocks: AMR Flies Lower, St. Jude Pops 2.8%, BNY Up 1.4%, and Visa Down After Dividend Increase

AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR) is trading nearly 8% lower at the open.? The company reported a third-quarter loss of $162 million (48 cents per share).? A 40% increase in fuel costs and exchange rates played a role.? Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) are also trading lower.

St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) is up 2.8% this morning after reporting third quarter results. ? Net income for St. Jude Medical Inc. rose to $226.5 million (69 cents per share) vs. $208.4 million (63 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 8.7% from the year earlier quarter.? Other medical plays include Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE:BSX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

Shares of The Bank of NY Mellon (NYSE:BK) are popping 1.4% after announcing a 4.7% rise in net income.? Net income for the financial services company rose to $651 million (53 cents per share) vs. $622 million (51 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.? The company competes with State Street (NYSE:STT), which is also trading higher on strong earnings.

Visa (NYSE:V) is down 1.3% after increasing its dividend by 47%.? It is the third consecutive year in which Visa has increased its dividend.? The stock now yields a dividend close to 1%.? Some major credit card issuers recently posted increases in the number of credit card payments that were at least 30 days late in September, following a steady decline in delinquency rates since early 2009.? Other credit card investment plays include American Express (NYSE:AXP), Capital One (NYSE:COF), and Mastercard (NYSE:MA).

DNA Brands Inc. (DNAX) posts Q3, Nine-month Financial Results and Business Highlights

DNA Brands Inc. (OTCBB: DNAX), producers of DNA Energy Drinks? and DNA Meat Snacks, today announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2011.

The company reported revenues of $467,337 for the third quarter of 2011, a significant increase compared to revenues of $165,151 reported for the comparable quarter of 2010. Nine-month revenues for the period ended Sept. 30, 2011, were $1.15 million, a 22 percent increase over revenues in the same period of 2010.

Loss per share for the third quarter of 2011 was $(0.02) compared to a loss of $(0.08) for the third quarter of last year. For the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2011, the company reported a loss per share of $(0.08) compared to a loss of $(0.25) for the comparable nine months of the year prior.

DNA Brands highlighted achievements over the last year, noting that gross margins have increased to 46.1 percent compared to 32.0 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

The company introduced its DNA Diet CRANRAZBERRY, as well as a new taco flavored meat product this year, and entered into a new promotional agreement with the Miami Dolphins. It also expanded its retail distribution to include more than 800 Walgreens locations.

"We continue to make significant progress in expanding the DNA brand, increasing revenues, improving gross margins while at the same time carefully managing expenses and our liquidity. We remain focused on our objective of attaining profitable operations and on increasing shareholder value," Darren Marks, DNA's CEO stated in the press release.

Mel Leiner, DNA's executive vice president, summarized recent expansion efforts and what the company anticipates moving through 2012.

"During 2011 we have expanded our presence in Florida and geographically to include California and Wisconsin. We are very excited by the results achieved last quarter while only commanding 10 percent of the points-of-distribution (POD) available to us," Leiner stated. "We are confident that our! goal of 50 percent plus POD penetration will be achieved in 2012. Our long term goal is for DNA to be a national brand. Our intermediate goal is to replicate the Florida program in 10 markets with similar demographics as Florida by 2014. Additionally, I am encouraged by our progress and response of first time and ongoing users of DNA products."

Article written by QualityStocks �� Visit for more emerging growth companies to discover and evaluate.

For Quality Stocks full disclaimer, visit the company's Web site

Double up profit potential between value appreciation and dividends

Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, are designed to pool capital to buy and operate income-producing real estate. Because of the nature of the structure, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their income to shareholders. REITs tend to focus on specific types of income-producing properties or geographical locations. The vast number of REITs available makes the selection, analysis and purchase of shares in the right program difficult. ETFs offer the average investor exposure to this asset class without having to analyze each potential investment.

REITs offer returns to investors in two ways: the combined pricing of the shares, and the dividend return. Investors should keep in mind that the appraised values of the real estate holdings do not influence the day-to-day price of the shares. However, looking at the underlying real estate value and comparing it to the share price might give some indication of purchasing REITs (or REIT ETFs) at a discount.

One ETF that brings a packaged program to market is the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSE:VNQ). VNQ, established Oct. 1, 2004, has a current dividend yield is 3.41%, based on a share price of $50.87. The returns as of Aug. 31, 2011, are listed below.

  • 1 month: -5.62%
  • 3 months: -7.33%
  • YTD: 5.65%
  • 1 year: 18.59%
  • 3 years: 2.84%
  • 5 years: 0.61%

VNQ makes ongoing portfolio changes, so quarter-over-quarter holdings might result in significant rebalancing. The exact composition and weightings are subject to reporting bias by VNQ and the tracking services that collect this data. The top 10 holdings as of Aug. 31, 2011, are Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG), Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), Public Storage (NYSE:PSA), Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP), H! CP (NYSE:HCP), Ventas (NYSE:VTR), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VOR), Avalon Bay Communities (NYSE:AVB), ProLogis (NYSE:PLD) and Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN). The total weighting is 46.7%.

Another participant in the REIT marketplace is Cohen & Steers, which manages several real estate mutual funds and a few ETFs. One of the ETFs is the Cohen & Steers Global Realty Majors ETF (NYSE:GRI). GRI was established on May 7, 2008, and seeks opportunities in Europe, Asia, North America, and Latin America.?It has delivered the following returns:

  • 1 month: -5.84%
  • 3 months: -7.57%
  • YTD: 1.03%
  • 1 year: 15.56%
  • Since inception: -18.11%

These returns are based on market price behavior only. The dividend rate of 6.25%, based on a share price of $30.44 as of Sept. 30, 2011, offers some downside protection against price declines.

The top 10 holdings and weightings inclue Simon Property (4.44%), Mitsubishi Estate (4.33%), Sun Hung Kai Properties (3.61%), Unibail-Rodamco (3.56%), Westfield Group (NYSE:WDC, 3.46%), Public Storage (3.36%), Equity Residential (3.3%), HCP Inc. (3.07%), Ventas (3.06%), Vornado Realty Trust (2.97%).?GRI’s?holdings and country concentrations are subject to change.

Another ETF that focuses on REITs is the State Street Global Advisors SPDR Dow Jones Wilshire REIT ETF (NYSE:RWR). RWR was established on April 23, 2001, and thus has a lengthy track record in this space. RWR currently offers a 3.01% dividend yield. The returns history, as of Aug. 31, 2011, is listed below:

  • 1 month: -5.48%
  • 3 months: ?-3.76%
  • YTD: 6.76%
  • 1 year: 19.79%
  • 3 years: 1.65%
  • 5 year s: 0.46%
  • 10 years: 9.9%
  • Since inception: 10.82%

The top 10 holdings and weighting of RWR, as of Sept. 29, 2011, are Simon Property (10.96%), Public Storage (5.33%), Equity Residential (5.25%), HCP Inc. (4.86%), Vornado Realty Trust (4.76%), Boston Properties (4.49%), Ventas (4.37%), ProLogis (3.88%), Avalon Bay Communities (3.7%) and Health Care REIT (2.86%).

RWR holds 81 REITs, but the top 10 represent 50.46% of the portfolio.

Jeffrey L. Stouffer is the principal of Mercantile Capital Group, a Herndon, Va.-based introducing broker registered with the CFTC and a member of the National Futures Association. He can be reached at As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.

Ultimate Market Recap: Dow Breaks 12,000, Germany Faces Recession

Wednesday Morning’s Top Stories

According to the German Institute for Economic Research (known as DIW Berlin), Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) may find itself in a recession in the upcoming months as the euro zone debt crisis affects industrial output; however, it��s not likely to be as bad as the one three years ago. The research institute added that?Germany��s economy will probably shrink by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter and may contract in the first quarter of 2012.

Ferdinand Fichtner, head of economics at DIW, said of Germany��s economic outlook,?��The euro zone crisis is having an ever-increasing effect on Germany��s economy. We therefore don��t rule out further negative growth in the first quarter of 2012.��

Don��t Miss:?Euro Finance Ministers Approve Critical Greek Aid Payment.

China��s (NYSE:FXI) central bank, the People��s Bank of China, cut reserve requirements for banks by 0.5 percentage points; this will begin on December 5. This is the first cut since December 2008 and it is intended to boost liquidity and support for China��s economy during the European debt crisis.

S&P?(NYSE:MHP) reviewed the credit ratings on 37 of?the world��s largest banks?(NYSEARCA:KBE) on Tuesday with new rating criteria and went on a cutting spree for several of them. This included U.S. banks:?Bank of America?(NYSE:BAC),?Citigroup?(NYSE:C),?Morgan Stanley?(NYSE:MS),?Goldman Sachs?(NYSE:GS),?Wells Fargo?(NYSE:WFC),?J.P. Morgan?(NYSE:JPM), and the?Bank of New York Mellon?(NYSE:BK); the Bank of China had been cut from A- to A and across the pond, UK banks including?Barclays?(NYSE:BCS),?HSBC?(NYSE:HBC),?Lloyds?(NYSE:LYG)and?Royal Bank of Scotland?(NYSE:RBS) were also slashed by the rating agency.

AT&T?(NYSE:T) faced another hurdle in its pr! oposed?< strong>T-Mobile USA?merger when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a scathing 109-page review of the acquisition on Tuesday. The regulator said the acquisition would limit competition in almost all U.S. cities and cause increased customer prices.?The FCC��s decision to release the report came from an effort to show transparency in the proposed plan.

Investing Insight:?These are the Most Popular Financial Stocks Held by Hedge Funds.

Wednesday Morning Hot Stocks

Shares of?AT&T?(NYSE:T) bounced 1.7% before the opening bell.? The announced early Wednesday that it will expand its current internet and voice services to multinational companies in China.? Competitors trading on the news include:?Verizon(NYSE:VZ) and?Sprint?(NYSE:S).

Don��t Miss:?AT&T and T-Mobile Withdraw Merger Application After FCC Report Undermines Deal.

Transocean?(NYSE:RIG) is popping nearly 2% early Wednesday.? The oil drilling giant held a sale of 26 million shares, as the company seeks to raise funds to help refinance its acquisition of Norway rival Aker Drilling ASA.

Despite a 19% rise in profits,?Jos A Bank Clothiers Inc.(NASDAQ:JOSB) is falling 5% early this morning. For the third quarter, the company reported a profit of $15 million (54 cents per share), compared to $12.6 million (45 cents per share) last year.? Competitors to watch include:?The Men��s Wearhouse, Inc.?(NYSE:MW) and?Macy��s Inc.?(NYSE:M).

Investing Insights:?These are the Most Popular Financial Stocks Held by Hedge Funds.

Shares of?Raytheon?(NYSE:RTN) are jumping 3% this morning, after winning approval from the US Congress and the State Department to upgrade Saudi Arabia��s missile defense system for $1.7 billion.

Although?a number of banks received a downgrade late Tuesday, large US banks such as?Morgan Stanley?(NY! SE:MS),? JP Morgan?(NYSE:JPM),?Citigroup?(NYSE:C),?Wells Fargo?(NYSE:WFC),?Bank of America?(NYSE:BAC), and?Goldman Sachs?(NYSE:GS) are surging after a joint effort by central banks to inject liquidity into the markets.

Don��t Miss:?Here��s Why the Eurozone Solution is Fraught with Uncertainty.

Wednesday’s Trending Stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is exploding higher 429 points to 11,984 and the S&P 500 Index is up 3.68% to 1,239. Here are the hottest stocks on Wall Street buzzing among traders and investors:

  1. AMR Corporation?(NYSE:AMR): Shares of AMR Corporation are trading?higher?49% today. AMR Corporation operates an airline that provides scheduled passenger, freight, and mail service throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific. The Company also provides connecting service throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In addition, AMR provides aviation services, call center management services, and investment advisory services.
  2. The Fresh Market Inc?(NASDAQ:TFM): Shares of The Fresh Market Inc are trading?up?1.88% today. Fresh Market, Inc. retails food. The Company operates a chain of stores that retail fresh premium perishable food items. Fresh Market operates in the southeastern, midwestern and mid-Atlantic states.
  3. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.?(NASDAQ:JOSB): Shares of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. are trading?lower?5% today. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. manufactures classic men��s clothing. The Company sells its clothing through conventional retail stores and catalog direct marketing located throughout the United States.
  4. Zoltek Companies, Inc.?(NASDAQ:ZOLT): Shares of Zoltek Companies, Inc. are trading?higher?24% today. Zoltek Companies, Inc. manu! factures and markets carbon fibers and develops applications for carbon fibers. The Company also develops, manufactures, and markets reinforcements, specialty resins, consumable supplies, and manufacturing equipment. In addition, Zoltek manufactures and markets acrylic fibers, nylon products, and industrial materials.
  5. Eltek Ltd.?(NASDAQ:ELTK): Shares of Eltek Ltd. are trading?higher?20% today. Eltek Ltd. manufactures printed circuit boards, primarily multi-layer and flexrigid boards. The Company��s products are used as the core circuitry in sophisticated and compact electronic products.
  6. BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P.?(NASDAQ:BBEP): Shares of BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. are trading?flat?today. BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. is an independent oil and gas partnership focused on the acquisition, exploitation and development of oil and gas properties. The Company primarily manages its oil and gas producing properties for the purpose of generating cash flow and making distributions to its unitholders.
  7. Ralcorp Holdings, Inc.?(NYSE:RAH): Shares of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. are trading?flat?today. Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. produces a variety of store brand foods that are sold under the individual labels of various grocery, mass merchandise, and drug store retailers. The Company��s products include cereals, crackers and cookies, snack nuts, chocolate candy, salad dressings, mayonnaise, peanut butter, jams, syrups, and sauces. Ralcorp also holds a partial interest in Vail Resorts, Inc.
  8. American Eagle Outfitters?(NYSE:AEO): Shares of American Eagle Outfitters are trading?higher?4% today. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. retails men��s and women��s casual apparel, footwear, outerwear, and accessories. The Company��s products include jeans, khakis, T-shirts, and other similar apparel. American Eagle operates in the United States.
  9. Tiffany & Co.? (NYSE:TIF): Shares of Tiffany & Co. are trading?flat?today. Tiffany & Co. operates jewelry and specialty retail stores and designs and manufactures its products through subsidiary companies. The Company retails its products through stores and boutiques in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil, and wholesales outside the United States. Tiffany also markets through the Internet and catalogs.
  10. Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc.?(NYSE:PNY): Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading?higher?2.82% today. Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. is an energy and services company that primarily transports, distributes, and sells natural gas. The Company serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Piedmont also, through subsidiaries, markets natural gas to customers in Georgia, and distributes propane in various states.

Market Recap

Markets closed up on Wall Street today:?Dow?+4.23%,?S&P+4.33%,?Nasdaq?+4.17%,?Oil?+0.60%,?Gold?+1.83%.

On the commodities front,?Oil?(NYSE:USO) climbed to $100.39 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with?Gold?(NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,750.40 an ounce while?Silver?(NYSE:SLV) rose 2.94% to settle at $32.89.

Hot Feature:?Pent-up Demand and Record Low Interest Rates Give Pending Home Sales a Boost

Today��s markets were up because:

1) Central banks.?Stocks staged a huge rally today after the?Federal Reserve and five of the world��s major central banks?issued a joint statement saying that they would take coordinated steps to prevent a global liquidity crunch as the euro zone fights to end the debt crisis. The Federal Reserve said it will work with the European Central Bank, as well as the centr! al banks of Britain, Canada, Japan, and Switzerland, to boost liquidity and support the global economy.

2)?Jobs.?The?private sector added 206,000 jobs?in November for the biggest gain since December 2010, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Figures reported Wednesday far surpassed economists�� expectations for a gain of 130,000 jobs, prompting them to raise their forecasts for Friday��s more comprehensive report from the U.S. Department of Labor, which includes both public and private sector employment.

3) Banks.?Bank stocks rallied on news of the central banks�� plans as investors ignored Standard & Poor��s downgrade of big bank stocks that came Tuesday evening. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all shot up more than 7% in trading today, while Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), which hit a 52-week low on Tuesday, moved up 7.30% by closing bell.

BONUS:?Euro Leaders Will Seek Greater Role for IMF and ECB in Fighting Crisis

After Hours Radar Stocks

After closing 5.44% higher,?Walt Disney Co.?(NYSE:DIS) continues to edge higher in late market trading.? The media and theme-park giant announced it is raising its annual dividend by 50% to 60 cents per share, compared to 40 cents per share.? The dividend boost will cost the company an extra $360 million a year.

Shares of?Guess? Inc. (NYSE:GES) are down .43% after reporting third quarter earnings.? Net income for the company decreased to $66.3 million (71 cents per share), compared to $69.1 million (75 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 4% from the year earlier quarter.? Competitors include:?Liz Claiborne, Inc.?(NYSE:LIZ),?Express, Inc.(NYSE:EXPR), and?The Talbots, Inc.?(NYSE:TLB).

Don ��t Miss:?Guess Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Slides Again.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.?(NYSE:KKD) is trading more than 2% lower after the closing bell, despite reporting earnings above expectations.? Net income for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. rose to $4.7 million (7 cents per share), compared to $2.4 million (3 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 97.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Shares of?Aeropostale Inc.?(NYSE:ARO) are falling .84% after reporting third quarter results. Net income for the clothing retailer fell 58.8% to $24.1 million (30 cents per share), compared to $58.5 million (63 cents per share) last year.? Thomas P. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, commented, ��We are making incremental progress on our strategic initiatives by bringing more color and fashion to our merchandise assortment, managing our inventories appropriately and controlling our expenses carefully. However, we are not satisfied with our overall performance, and we remain cautious in our outlook.��? Competitors include:?Abercrombie & Fitch Co.?(NYSE:ANF),?American Eagle Outfitters?(NYSE:AEO), and?The Gap Inc.?(NYSE:GPS).

Coldwater Creek?(NASDAQ:CWTR) shares are surging 11% higher after posting its sixth consecutive quarterly net loss.? The company reported a third quarter loss of $29.2 million (31 cents per share), compared to a loss of $10.9 million last year.? Analysts were expecting a loss of 33 cents per share for the quarter.

Investing Insights:?Aeropostale Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Margins Suffer for Five Quarters Straight, Profit Drops.