Saturday, January 7, 2012

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. Files for Patent on “Diagnosis of Early Stage Parkinson¡¯s Disease” (DrStockPick News Report!)

PWRM, Power 3 Medical Products Inc, PWRM.OB

Dr Stock Pick HOT News & Alerts!

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. Files for Patent on

��Diagnosis of Early Stage Parkinson��s Disease��


Thursday August 6, 2009

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. Files for Patent on ��Diagnosis of Early Stage Parkinson��s Disease��

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. (OTCBB:PWRM), (, announced recently that the Company has filed a patent for ��Diagnosis of Early Stage Parkinson��s Disease: Abnormal: Blood Serum Concentrations of a Select Group of Protein Biomarkers.��

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. filed a provisional patent on the diagnosis of early stage Parkinson��s disease: abnormal blood serum concentrations of a select group of protein biomarkers. This not only announces to the industry the progress of the Nuro-Pro-PD test for Parkinson��s, in validation, utility, but that the importance of the Power3 protein biomarkers are statistically valid for use as a diagnostic test. This work was done in conjunction with Transgenomic, Inc. license/collaboration agreement. The patent provides coverage of biomarkers and the computation/statistical methods used to discriminate the disease vs. the normal controls.

��Power3 Medical is continuing the portfolio of it intellectual property in Neurodegenerative diagnosis��, We recently filed a patent on the ability of Power3;s Nuro-Pro-PD test, using a ser! ies of a bnormal blood serum biomarkers, to distinguish the early onset of Parkinson��s disease ,�� stated Dr. Ira L. Goldknopf, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Power3. ��This patent is a break through declaration of new discoveries in this field��

��We are continually increasing our value with the exemplary patent filings for our biomarker discovery and validation. This is especially timely for the Nuro-Pro PD since we are striving to commercialize with our Collaborator, Transgenomic, Inc., via. CLIA testing in the late fall of 2009.�� Commented Ms. Helen R. Park, CEO of Power3. ��This adds value to Power3 and to our Licensee/Collaborator, Transgenomic, Inc.��

About Power3 Medical Products, Inc.

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. (OTCBB:PWRM) (, is a leading Bio Medical company engaged in the commercialization of neurodegenerative disease and cancer biomarkers, pathways, and mechanisms of diseases through the development of diagnostic tests and drug targets. Power3’s patent-pending technologies are being used to develop screening and diagnostic tests for the early detection and prognosis of disease, identify protein biomarkers, and drug targets. Power3 operates a state-of-the-art CLIA certified laboratory in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas. The Company continues to evolve and enhance its IP portfolio.

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. With the exception of historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release involve risk and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.


Power3 Medical Products, Inc., The Woodlands, TX
Helen R. Park, M.S., 281-466-1600
Fax: 281-466-1481
_________________________! ________ _______

Source: Power3 Medical Products, Inc.

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

Deutsche Bank Starts Advance Auto Parts With 'Buy'

Deutsche Bank (DB) initiated coverage of Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE:AAP) with a "Buy" rating and price target of $80.

DB analyst Mike Baker said his positive view is based on favorable industry trends, company specific market share drivers in the commercial segment and operational improvements, and a strong balance sheet.

"We believe these factors should drive better than expected EPS and an above average growth rate that is not captured in AAP's current valuation. Our long term earnings power estimate is $8.50 per share," Baker wrote in a note.

Baker said AAP can grow its margins primarily by improving its cost structure relative to peers as the company seeks to harvests past investments. Margin expansion will be the main driver to AAP's above average earnings growth rate.

AAP will generate close to $400mm in free cash flow annually, returning cash to shareholders through buybacks, contributing to earnings growth, the analyst adds.

The stock is down $0.04 at $69.60.


When Citigroup (C) Becomes A Penny Stock

Two years ago, Citigroup shares traded for $55.? Last week, after the government said it might own as much as 36% of the company, the stock dropped to $1.40.? Citigroup is about to become a penny stock like AIG (AIG), which hit this milestone in the middle of last month.

The plan to save Citigroup has two flaws. The first is that it assumes that the bank will not suffer tens of billions of dollars in losses as the year goes by. That has not been said explicitly, but if it is not true, then the federal government will be expected to put much more capital into Citi and will end up owning much more than 36%.

The weak link in the program to sustain the viability of the big bank is the government's requirement that it raise private funds as a condition for the government to do its part. As the BBC noted "The deal does not require extra taxpayer investment, but is dependent on Citi raising extra private capital."

Private investors, whether those are sovereign funds, private equity firms, or institutional investors, are not going to put a dime into Citi equity or debt. The reason is simple. If the company faces more significant write downs, the federal government will have to provide the money to keep the bank afloat. That puts all of the other capital invested in Citi at risk.
Without private capital infusions into Citi, what are the government's options? The answer is that it does not have any. If the big bank needs more capital, the Treasury will have to provide it. Without other alternatives, tax payers will own a larger and larger piece of the firm with each new investment.

When the government announced its intentions, Citi's shares fell by 39% in part because of the dilution that was part of the program to buttress the bank's financial condition. The next round of capital the bank needs, and it will need it because the economy and credit markets are still getting worse, will take the stake that taxpayers own even higher. Citi will become a $.50 ! stock bo ught and sold by day traders. Not terribly long ago, it was the largest bank in the world. Soon it will be listed on the pink sheets.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Tests for several new therapeutic vaccines are well underway

In a 2009 article in Time magazine, developing a vaccine against cancer was likened to creating the biological version of a stealth weapon encased in a smart bomb equipped with a guided missile. A challenge, to say the least. Yet, despite years of disappointment with efforts to get the body��s own immune system to attack tumors and fight diseases, it appears that we are on the cusp of a new era in vaccines.

Vaccines, of course, are not novel. For years they��ve been used to provide lasting protection against infection. Therapeutic vaccines are different. They��re intended to actually combat disease once it appears in the body. In April 2010, the FDA approved the first therapeutic vaccine, Dendreon��s (NASDAQ:DNDN) Provenge, which was shown to extend life about four months in men with a certain type of metastatic prostate cancer. The vaccine provokes an immune response against a particular antigen, or identifying molecule, found on most prostate cancer cells.

Cancer vaccines seem ideally suited for use in patients whose disease has already been diagnosed and treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. They would then be immunized as a way to prevent the cancer from coming back and spreading. Such metastases are actually the leading cause of death from cancer.

Given the huge financial potential of therapeutic cancer vaccines, investors may want to closely follow the progress being made by the following companies currently testing such vaccines in humans:

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (OTC BB:IMUC.OB ) is testing ICT-107 in patients with glioblastoma, a fast-moving and deadly form of brain cancer. The company recently began a Phase II trial of the vaccine candidate after an initial study in 16 newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients delivered a three-year overall survival rate of 55%, compared with 16% based on traditional methods of care.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE :INO) has VGX-3100, a therapeutic DNA vaccine candidate now in Phase II testing for the treatment of cervical dysplasia and cancer caused by two types of ?human papillomavirus (HPV). These sexually transmitted strains are thought to cause up to 70% of cervical cancer cases.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is betting it has found a mixture of proteins that can boost the body��s natural ability to battle several kinds of cancers, all of which express the MAGE-A3 antigen. The company is in the midst of Phase III trials, testing its vaccine candidate against metastatic melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer.

Advaxis (OTC BB:ADXS.OB) is working to develop an immunotherapy against HPV, the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Its therapeutic vaccine candidate, ADXS-HPV, is being evaluated in four Phase II clinical trials, including two trials in cervical cancer and one in head and neck malignancies.

Also, privately held GlobeImmune has a deal worth $40 million upfront and up to $500 million with?Celgene?(NASDAQ:CELG) for the development of cancer vaccines. GlobeImmune is developing Tarmogens — Targeted Molecular Immunogens — for cancer and infectious disease. Its lead oncology candidate is GI-4000, a vaccine that targets pancreatic cancer caused by mutated versions of specific protein.

As of this writing, Barry Cohen was long GSK.

Friday, January 6, 2012

People's Bank of China May Skip Weekly 3-Month Bill Sale

Signs indicate that the People's Bank of China will skip its weekly 3-month bills sale. (Photo: AP) Signs indicate that the People's Bank of China will skip its weekly 3-month bills sale. (Photo: AP)

As banks sat on cash in preparation for meeting year-end capital requirements and money market rates reached their highest level since October, word came Wednesday that the People’s Bank of China may cancel a scheduled weekly Thursday sale of three-month bills.

According to a Bloomberg report, People's Bank has held such a sale every Thursday since the weeklong National Day holiday in October, but on Wednesday it did not even gauge demand for such a sale, according to two anonymous trader sources.

Liu Junyu, a bond analyst in Shenzhen at China Merchants Bank Co., the nation’s sixth-biggest lender, was quoted saying, “It’s probably a temporary suspension because of the cash crunch. The central bank may cut the reserve requirement ratio before the Lunar New Year to add liquidity to the financial system.”

He added that altogether, 13 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) of central bank bills and repurchase contracts will mature this week; that is down from 17 billion yuan last week. In the five days beginning Jan. 2, the bill redemption will rise to 51 billion yuan, Chinas markets will be closed Jan. 2 and 3, and also for a week beginning Jan. 23.

The yuan continues to be very strong, and on Tuesday the U.S. Treasury Department said it would continue to push for additional appreciation of a currency that it says is still undervalued.

In its semiannual report to Congress on currency policies of the major trading partners of the U.S., Treasury said it will “closely monitor the pace” of yuan appreciation and “press for policy changes that yield greater exchange-rate flexibility.”

Hong Lei, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday that China would continue to push for the flexibility of the yuan’s exchange rate.

The Arrogant Investor

I was reading through fund letters from The Baupost Group, managed by value investor Seth Klarman, and came across an interesting topic in the firm��s year-end 1996 shareholder letter:

��We regard investing as an arrogant act; an investor who buys is effectively saying that he or she knows more than the seller and the same or more than other prospective buyers. We counter this necessary arrogance (for indeed, a good investor must pull confidently on the trigger) with an offsetting dose of humility, always asking whether we have an apparent advantage over other market participants in any potential investment. If the answer is negative, we do not invest.��

This is an interesting concept, and one that many people don��t fully consider when purchasing a stock: When you��re buying, somebody is simultaneously selling, and vice versa. While many people understand that concept (the definition of a ��market��), the implications of that action should lead one to ask two important questions before completing the transaction:

1. What��s the flip side of this transaction and why would another investor want to be on that side of the table?

While this question should be a part of one��s analysis to begin with, it can often get swept aside when emotions (��I��ve got to get in now before it��s too late��) and biases (such as confirmation bias, where one spins any bit of information to agree with their ex ante position) get involved. Stopping to ask this question can avoid serious errors of judgment; in other situations, it may lead to a dead end (a good thing) that can only be answered by the second inquiry:

2. What is my advantage in this situation? Am I dealing with an unwilling, forced or illogical counter party?

Sometimes, there might not be a logical reason for being on the other side of the transaction; for example, when a bond falls below investment grade, many funds are forced to sell for the simple fact that their! mandate says they cannot hold ��junk��; as a result, the prudent investor may have an advantage to pick up a security with a serious trade-off imbalance between risk and reward due to the forced hand of the counter party.

In today��s market, investors are given a significant competitive advantage due to the short term nature of traders, which constitute a significant portion of the daily trading volume. A great example of this is Berkshire Hathaway stock (BRK.B); with a market cap of nearly $200 billion and a diverse mix of businesses, one would safe to assume that Berkshire��s intrinsic value is relatively steady from year to year. However, if one looks at the stock chart over just the past year, you can see price has peaked around $87 and bottomed around $66, a difference of more than 30%. This isn��t a handpicked example, and can be found in multiple large caps (the stocks that should be the most efficient of them all based on their analyst/institutional following) over the past year; having a long term perspective and being patience is a huge competitive advantage that the investor holds over traders.

As Mr. Klarman notes, investing involves a bit of arrogance; for the intelligent investor, this adds the burden of rational and well-tested analysis, not just emotional conviction, before committing capital.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple, Google ¨C Both Undervalued Stocks by the Numbers

Some questions just seem so far-fetched that they practically answer themselves. Is it really possible (or even plausible) to think that the stock of tech giants Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG) could be considered undervalued? Although Apple is trading for over $380 per share and Google for around $625, it actually takes some investigation to come up with answers that may surprise more than a few investors. Share price does not accurately portray the standing these leaders have or their ability to react positively, even in the currently unstable markets found worldwide.

Although Saxo Bank (with its prediction of a 50% drop in AAPL share price in 2012) seems to think otherwise, most analysts agree that the strength and momentum of these two powerhouse companies will carry them to continued success in 2012. Great metrics, market domination and incredible momentum are likely to keep both companies moving forward well into the future.

Apple Inc. �C The $400 bargain

Apple's growth in share price and market cap at Apple has been nothing short of astounding. Selling for around $6 per share in 2003, the stock climbed to $80 in just three years, and sits at approximately $400 now, about five times its 2006 price. Once on the verge of collapse, Apple was insulted by rival Dell��s (DELL) CEO, Michael Dell in 1997, who said if he ran Apple, he would, "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." Nine years later, Apple��s market cap exceeded that of Dell, and today, it stands at an amazing $368.5 billion.

In spite of Job��s passing in 2011, Apple��s future looks incredibly bright. Declared by many analysts as the ��most undervalued large-cap stock in America,�� the company appears poised to make another move. Due to its strong growth, its impressive product offerings and swelling profits, the company's earnings have allowed it to consistently outpace competitors like Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) In 2011 alone! , Apple recorded a year-over-year quarterly growth rate of 39%, while Hewlett-Packard dropped to -3.5% and Research In Motion stumbled by a troubling 9.8%. Apple��s P/E of 14.32 dwarfs that of HP at 7.66 and Research In Motion��s 2.52.

Looking ahead, Apple Inc. appears prepared to experience more success. Buoyed by upcoming releases of the iPad3 table and iPhone5 cellular, its 1-year target of $510 suggests upcoming growth. Using PEG to predict its future trend, it is possible to analyze the P/E of a stock against is annual EPS. Most experts who use the metric consider anything over 1.0 to indicate that a stock is overpriced. Apple currently stands at a scant 0.61 for its five-year estimate, while HP struggles at an unnerving 1.43. Of its usual list of competitors, only RIMM at -1.29 and Google at 0.73 join Apple as stocks that appears to be undervalued.

Value shopping for Google��s $625 stock

Much like Apple, Google has been overlooked as an investment by many people. Size, sustained growth and dominance of its market sector have all helped to push the share price up to the $625-$640 range. While it��s easy to dismiss a high-priced stock as having little room to grow, the numbers don��t suggest that is true for this Internet juggernaut.

Much like Apple and RIMM, Google's PEG suggests that the stock is under priced. With a current P/E of 21.33 and an EPS of 29.34, it flaunts a PEG of 0.73, well below the mean valuation line of 1.00. Neither AOL Inc. (AOL) nor Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), two of Google��s biggest competitors, has fared very well. AOL's PEG is an unsettling 10.36, while Yahoo! appears to be overvalued as well, sneaking in at 1.48.

Beyond its PEG, Google has a number of other strong metrics, all suggesting that the stock is still a great value. While its competitors are experiencing negative year-to-year quarterly growth, (AOL at -5.8% and Yahoo! at -24%) Google continues to build on its strong performance. Over the past six months, the! stock h as continued to grow, with the low in each cycle outperforming the previous.

While the metrics confirm Google��s previous success, they indicate continued growth as well. In addition to its PEG, the company��s one-year target estimate indicates its climb still has legs. Google��s one-year target is just under $732, or almost a 15% increase over its current price; meanwhile, AOL is a little over 14% and Yahoo! at 11%. Simply put, the numbers support the fact that Google, like Apple, is an undervalued stock.

Looking for bargain amid the heavyweights

The value of a stock is a combination of share price and strength of the company within the market. Apple and Google continue to show investors stability in their sectors and a dedication to excellence that makes them leaders. This commitment is evident in their products and in their profitability.

As 2011 draws to a close, investors have a variety of places to look for values on the stock market. In spite of their higher share prices, tech giants Google and Apple are both primed to continue their runs, capitalizing on their technical success to register solid fundamentals in the investment market. When compared to their metrics, both companies are undervalued and appear to be excellent investments to consider for 2012.

N.Y. Oil to Average $92 to $96 a Barrel in 2012, Again Capital Forecasts

Crude oil futures in New York willaverage $92 to $96 a barrel in 2012 as slowing economic growthcurbs fuel demand, according to Again Capital.

Prices may slip from 2011��s record average of $95.11 as theeuro declines against the dollar amid the European debt crisisand uncertainty about the economic recovery, John Kilduff andMichael Fitzpatrick, Again Capital analysts based in New York,said in a Dec. 29 report distributed today.

��The austerity is going to be a problem for growth aroundthe world,�� Kilduff said in a telephone interview.

The strengthening of the dollar against the euro curbscommodities�� appeal as an alternative investment to U.S.currency.

Unrest in the Middle East may cause a supply disruptionthat could send prices to records above $150 a barrel,triggering a recession or depression, Kilduff and Fitzpatricksaid. The analysts cited the possibility of civil war in Iraqand Libya and the threatened closing of the Strait of Hormuz byIran.

Brent oil in London will average $100 to $105 a barrel thisyear, down from $110.91 a barrel in 2011, Kilduff said.

��If supply is suddenly shut in, the consequences could bedevastating,�� the analysts said in the report. ��Price spikesto upwards of and beyond the 2008 high near $150 have beendiscussed, which if sustained, even briefly, would push Europeand the U.S. over the cliff into recession, possiblydepression.��

Oil in 2011 reached its highest annual average price sincetrading began on the New York Mercantile Exchange in 1983.Futures for February delivery slipped 82 cents, or 0.8 percent,to $98.83 a barrel on Dec. 30.

Seagate Ups FYQ2, Q3 Outlook; Estimates Rise

Shares of disk-drive maker Seagate (STX) rose $1.25, or over 7%, to $18.07 in late trading after the company pre-announced fiscal Q2 sales and gross profit above what analysts had been expecting.

Seagate sees revenue for the three months ended in December in a range of $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion, above the $2.87 billion analysts had been modeling, based on sales of 47 million disk drives in the quarter. Seagate had warned as recently as November 28th that its revenue would total $2.8 billion and units would total perhaps 43 million.

The shipment figure includes 700,000 drives from the drive business of Samsung Electroncis (SSNLF), which Seagate acquired in December.

The company sees gross profit margin of “at least” 30.5%, it said, versus the 28% analysts had been modeling, and the 27.5% to 29% range Seagate had forecast back in November.

The better-than-expected results come amidst a global meltdown, of sorts, in the hard-disk drive business, which was has seen severe cutbacks to capacity as a result of floods that hit Thailand starting last July, and that have have shut down numerous manufacturing plants, including those for disk drives.

Seagate CEO Steve Luczo said the results were a product of “the company��s outstanding operational performance and overall strong execution [��] best-in-class operations, diversified supply-chain and differentiated manufacturing footprint that let the company “continuously optimized our builds for customers during the quarter.”

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue in a range of $4.2 billion to $4.5 billion, well above the average $3.8 billion estimate.

The company’s management said it still sees hard-disk drive demand outstripping supply through all of this year.

In a note to clients last night, R.W. Baird’s Jayson Noland, who ha! s an Out perform rating on the shares, and a $20 price target, wrote that, “We continue to believe Seagate will benefit in the near term from its relative position of strength versus WD and others due to the Thailand floods.”

Noland raised his estimates for this year to $14.8 billion in revenue and $4.84 per share in profit from a prior $13.2 billion and $3.31 per share.

BMO Capital Markets’s Keith Bachman reiterated a Market Perform rating on the shares, while raising his EPS estimate for next fiscal year to $5.95 from $4.01, to include the results of the former drive business of Samsung. Bachman raised his price target on the stock by a dollar to $22.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2008 Tech Kickoff: Macworld Versus Consumer Electronics Show, CES (MSFT, AAPL, INTC, MCZ, S)

January is always an interesting month for gadget lovers, techies, programmers, computer geeks, gamers, and more.  The year is always kicked off with the biggest event of the year as the Consumer Electronics Show, the CES, starts the year.  A week later we get the beloved Macworld exposition from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).  These are both huge events.  CES is a bigger event as far as an entire industry in concerned, and Macworld has been  one of the launch platforms for Steve Jobs’ new product directions.  We wanted to give you a breakdown of some of the events and resources in one central location:

CES, the Consumer Electronics Show January 07 to January 10, 2008 in Las Vegas:

  • Homepage
  • Press Center
  • CES Blog
  • BUSINESSWIRE center for press releases
  • WiMAX official joint launch from ASUS/Intel/Sprint (NASDAQ: INTC) (NYSE: S)
  • MadCatz (AMEX: MCZ)demonstrating new accessories for Xbox360 and PS3.
  • Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. Pre-show Keynote: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates.  Click here for a full list of keynote speeches and address.

List of some public exhibitors at CES: 8X8, Amcor, Analog Devices, Audiovox Electronics Corporation, Broadcom, Corel, Delphi, Digicom Digital, Directed Electronics, DIRECTV, Dolby Laboratories, Entropic Communications, Gemstar-TV Guide, Imation Corp, Immersion Corporation, iRobot, Jabil Circuit, Leggett & Platt, LG Electronics, LG.Philips LCD, Mad Catz Interactive, Microvision, Motorola, Palm, Philips, Silicon Image, Synaptics, Texas Instruments, Visteon, Xilinx, XM Satellite Radio…

MACWORLD: Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention CenterJanuary 14-18, 2008.  Keynote address will be held on Tuesday,January 15, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at Moscone West.

  • Homepage
  • Keynote
  • Exhibit floor featuring over 350 companies
  • D! emo of M icrosoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)Office 2008 for Mac before it hit hits the shelves….
  • HERE is the Press Center to watch…….

CES has a one week jump so by the calendar alone it will already have more data on exhibitors and the exact schedule.  But these are the two tech events to watch in the first two weeks for technology companies in 2008.

Jon C. Ogg
December 28, 2007

Is Nature's Sunshine Products' Cash Machine Fast Enough?

It takes money to make money. Most investors know that, but with business media so focused on the "how much," very few investors bother to ask, "How fast?"

When judging a company's prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it's booking in the accounting fantasy world we call "earnings." This is one of the first metrics I check when I'm hunting for the market's best stocks. Today, we'll see how it applies to Nature's Sunshine Products (Nasdaq: NATR  ) .

Let's break this down
In this series, we measure how swiftly a company turns cash into goods or services and back into cash. We'll use a quick, relatively foolproof tool known as the cash conversion cycle, or CCC for short.

Why does the CCC matter? The less time it takes a firm to convert outgoing cash into incoming cash, the more powerful and flexible its profit engine is. The less money tied up in inventory and accounts receivable, the more available to grow the company, pay investors, or both.

To calculate the cash conversion cycle, add days inventory outstanding to days sales outstanding, then subtract days payable outstanding. Like golf, the lower your score here, the better.

Here's the CCC for Nature's Sunshine Products, alongside the comparable figures from a few competitors and peers.


TTM Revenue


?Nature's Sunshine Products $366 ?186
?Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) $440,141 ?11
?Herbalife ( NYSE: HLF  ) $3,308 ?95
?Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE: EL  ) $9,195 ?153

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. TTM = trailing 12 months.

For younger, fast-growth companies, the CCC can give you valuable insight into the sustainability of that growth. A company that's taking longer to make cash may need to tap financing to keep its momentum. For older, mature companies, the CCC can tell you how well the company is managed. Firms that begin to lose control of the CCC may be losing their clout with their suppliers (who might be demanding stricter payment terms) and customers (who might be demanding more generous terms). This can sometimes be an important signal of future distress -- one most investors are likely to miss.

While I find peer comparisons useful, I'm most interested in comparing a company's CCC to its prior performance. Here's where I believe all investors need to become trend-watchers. Sure, there may be legitimate reasons for an increase in the CCC, but all things being equal, I want to see this number stay steady or move downward over time.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Because of the seasonality in some businesses, the CCC for the TTM period may not be strictly comparable to the fiscal-year periods shown in the chart. Even the steadiest-looking businesses on an annual basis will experience some quarterly fluctuations in the CCC. To get an understanding of the usual ebb and flow at Nature's Sunshine Products, consult the quarterly period chart below.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FQ = fiscal quarter.

On a 12-month basis, the trend at Nature's Sunshine Products looks less than great. At 185.9 days, it is 8.8 days worse than the five-year average of 177 days. The biggest contributor to that degradation was DPO, which worsened 8.5 days when compared to the five-year average.

Considering the numbers on a quarterly basis, the CCC trend at Nature's Sunshine Products looks OK. At 191.8 days, it is little changed from the average of the past eight quarters. Investors will want to keep an eye on this for the future to make sure it doesn't stray too far in the wrong direction. With both 12-month and quarterly CCC running close to historical averages, Nature's Sunshine Products gets a passing grade in this cash-conversion checkup.

Though the CCC can take a little work to calculate, it's definitely worth watching every quarter. You'll be better informed about potential problems, and you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

To stay on top of the CCC for your favorite companies, just use the handy links below to add companies to your free watchlist.

  • Add Nature's Sunshine Products ?to My Watchlist.
  • Add Wal-Mart ?to My Watchlist.
  • Add Herbalife ?to My Watchlist.
  • Add Estee Lauder Companies ?to My Watchlist.

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. Succeeded New Record Price - NYSE:AMG

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG) recently hit 52 week peak price $108.77, opened at $104.02 scored +3.93% closed $108.60. AMG traded on over 0.62 million shares in comparison to average volume of 0.45 million shares.

AMG has earnings of $138.63 million and made $1.36 billion sales for the last 12 months. Its quarter to quarter sales remained 71.98%. The company has 51.57 million of outstanding shares and 50.98 million shares were floated in the market.

AMG has an insider ownership at 0.96% and institutional ownership remained 98.53%. Its return on investment (ROI) for the last 12 month was 9.10% as compare to its return on equity (ROE) of 9.53% for the last 12 months.

The price moved ahead +6.69% from the mean of 20 days, +8.80% from 50 and went up 33.43% from 200 days average price. Company��s performance for the week was 8.87%, +3.90% for month and yearly performance remained 58.06%.

Its price volatility for a month remained 2.77% whereas volatility for a week noted as 2.98% having beta of 2.11. Company��s price to sales ratio for last 12 months was 4.12 while its price to book ratio for the most recent quarter was 3.11 and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained 448.17 million for the past twelve months.

3 Tech Stocks With Big Upside in 2012

The following video is part of our nationally syndicated Motley Fool Money radio show, with host Chris Hill talking to Motley Fool writers Tim Beyers and Matt Koppenheffer about what investors should expect in 2012. In this audio segment the guys share three technology stocks they believe could be poised for a strong 2012. Looking for more tech stocks? Apple is featured in The Motley Fool's new report,"3 Hidden Winners of the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution." The report highlights three other companies that are poised to cash in on the booming smartphone and tablet trend in the United States. You can get instant access to these companies by clicking here -- it's free.

Energy Investing Strategies: Three Ways to Profit From the Rebound in Natural Gas Prices

I love autumn.? The leaves start to turn color, and the first hint of winter is invigorating. It is also a great time to peruse each of the financial markets for the shorter-term, seasonal trades that are always lurking - if you know where to look, that is.

One place that's worth looking at right now is the global currency markets, where a major war is currently being waged. As part of the so-called "race to the bottom," the U.S. dollar is down 14% since June. This drop in the greenback has come at a time when a major bull market in commodities has broken out everywhere in the world.?

Gold, silver, wheat and corn have all recently achieved multi-year highs. Cotton just hit its highest price in 140 years.

There has been an exception, however - a headline commodity that's been left behind. Indeed, this particular commodity has been in decline for six months, dropping almost daily. But that's about to change.

As we move deep into fall, the leaves on the trees will change color, die, and then fall to the ground. But the commodity in question will return to the land of the living, and will head for high ground - generating windfall profits for those with the courage to make their move right now.

I'm talking about natural gas.

Natural Gas Numbers

I am a Contrarian investor by nature. So it's no surprise that some of my biggest gains as a professional trader came after I bought something that was so far out of favor that only a lunatic would've followed my lead.

I love those trades.

Right now, natural gas is out of favor.? So out of favor, in fact, that people do not realize the true value of what it represents in the U.S. market. The spot price of a cargo of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is around $14 per thousand cubic feet (MCF).? In the United States, the same British Thermal Unit (BTU) of energy ! in the f orm of natural gas is priced around $3.50 per MCF.?

The drop in natural gas prices in the U.S. market was so precipitous that, in August 2009, the weekly average price was $2.72 per MCF. I love price differentials like this, because I know that a capitalist will find a way to arbitrage the difference.?

Let's do some quick BTU conversions so that you can see what is happening here.? If you take a barrel of crude oil, and divide it by natural-gas-equivalent BTUs, you would find that the ratio is 6-to-1.?

What that tells us is that one barrel of oil is equal to 6,000 cubic feet (MCF) of natural gas.? When you buy LNG on the spot market, it is priced as an equal with a plus-or-minus differential to crude oil.? However, in the U.S. market, that same BTU value of natural gas is currently discounted.

The bottom line: If crude oil were priced using its natural-gas equivalents in the U.S. market, that "black gold" would be trading at $21 a barrel - a 75% discount to the $88 it was trading at yesterday, its highest price in two years. In late 2008, crude oil was in the low $30's.? It's up 150% in 18 months.

That's the price differential that I'm talking about here. Crude bounced. Liquefied natural gas bounced.

But natural gas never bounced.

Why didn't natural gas bounce like its two other energy brethren? That's easy. Once the United States discovered an abundant supply of natural gas in its shale basins, the fear that this country would run out of this critical source of energy basically disappeared.

This new supply of natural gas is changing the way the United States views energy.? In the past, we expected to have to use imports to meet our energy needs. But that may not be the case going forward.

But make no mistake. Natural gas is going to bounce. In fact, once the United States is able to export liquefied natural gas, conventional natural gas prices will rise t! o match worldwide natural gas futures contracts.

The Energy Cycle

Currently, the United States has eight liquefied-natural-gas import facilities, but only one small LNG export facility - and that's in Alaska.

So as the United States discovers more natural gas reserves, that gas is essentially trapped, and cannot currently be exported.

This gives domestic U.S. consumers of natural gas access to a very cheap source of energy.

Seasonal demand issues also affect U.S. natural gas prices.? It's a fairly predictable cycle.

During U.S. winters, demand for domestic natural gas exceeds available supply, meaning the United States must pull natural gas out of storage to make up the difference.

This causes gas prices to climb each winter as demand increases. This storage is typically old converted gas fields, with compressors installed so that natural gas can be shoved back into the field, for use when it is needed.

Each spring, when the weather warms up, the U.S. demand drops and prices fall as the surplus returns. The natural-gas surplus allows the United States to refill its storage facilities, in anticipation of the winter to follow.

A few years ago, when the United States found itself running short of conventional natural gas, liquefied natural gas was considered the solution to long-term winter energy needs.? At one time, more than 40 proposed LNG facilities were on the drawing boards - each of which carried a construction price tag of $500 million to $1 billion.

Today, six have been finished with a total of 10 locations that are available to import LNG to the U.S. market.? But they currently all sit idle.

That may soon change.

The United States is looking to start exporting LNG.

The End of Foreign Dependence?

Liquefied natural gas is a commodity that America could use to free itself from imported Middle Eastern oil. In re! cent ye ars, U.S. financier T. Boone Pickens has been a vocal advocate for change in the way the United States addresses its energy needs - and its so-called "energy security."

He has posted his thesis about how to free America from its energy import needs - and that thesis includes this excerpt:

"Transportation has to lead the way - it accounts for two-thirds of our oil imports.? No energy strategy can be effective unless it promotes the use of domestic natural gas as a transportation-fuel-alternative to foreign oil/diesel, and the focus has to be on America's eight million heavy duty vehicles.? The NAT GAS Act, a bipartisan bill proposed in both sides of Congress, would advance the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel."

It won't happen overnight, but with intentional changes to our transportation fleet - such as to railroad trains and long-haul trucks, for example - this country could become energy self sufficient.

For that to happen, natural gas will have to play a substantial role. That could boost demand, and natural-gas prices, over the long haul.

And that's just one of the potential catalysts for higher natural gas pries.

A Look at the Price Catalysts

Given what we now know about the U.S. natural-gas market, it's time to look at the catalysts that will ultimately send prices higher. First, however, let's do a quick review of where natural gas is today.

This key U.S. energy source is:

  • Near its yearly lows, while other commodities are already breaking out to yearly highs.
  • Is discounted in the terms of its BTU values here in the U.S. market.
  • Prone to price changes based on seasonal shifts in demand.
  • Slated to increase in price as the price disparity is exploited in the domestic U.S. market.
  • Destined to remain a key energy source in the U.S. market, since this is the only major market in the world with signif! icant a nd highly innovative storage capacity.
Natural gas is destined to be a major commodity story in the months and years to come, as winter demand kicks in and international spot prices continue to rise, and as the U.S. dollar drops in overall value.

It's time for us to go along for the ride.

Action to Take: It's time to invest in natural gas, one of the few key commodities that failed to take part in the global bull market in commodities. The devaluation of the U.S. dollar is causing a price arbitrage event to appear in the U.S. natural gas market, where prices are much lower than they are in the rest of the world.

In the next five years, a group of energy companies will be building LNG-export faculties in the United States.

That is going to close the market-price gap between liquefied natural gas and conventional natural gas.? While the world has a lot of natural gas available, most of it is trapped in non-exporting or easily accessible locations.?

We can expect that natural gas is going to bottom soon, as the weather gets progressively colder in the days and weeks to come.? Let's invest in natural gas while it's still out of favor.

There are three quick-and-easy ways to benefit from natural gas prices. They consist of:

  • An exchange-traded fund - specifically the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (NYSE: UNG).
  • The futures approach, in which case I would be looking at the March 2011 contracts.
  • The options on futures approach.? This gives you the same type of leverage as the futures contract, but without the margin risk.? If you only purchase calls on the futures, you will not be subject to margin risk in holding this position.
(**) Special Note of Disclosure: Jack Barnes holds no interest in United State! s Natura l Gas Fund LP, or any company listed in this article.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Don't Get Bullied out of Bonds

Bonds have provided a welcome safe-haven for investors seeking shelter from the financial maelstrom of the past two years, offering steady returns while stocks bounce up and down.

Now some analysts are afraid that once the selling of bonds begins it will be indiscriminate, and there will be a bloodbath. But that fear totally ignores the new investment reality in which we're living.

The fact is, stocks won't be crawling out of the gutter anytime soon, and until they do, investors will continue to look elsewhere for a store of value. They have already decided they can find it in two places: U.S. bonds and gold.

American equity mutual funds this year have seen net outflows of $7 billion, and bond funds have had inflows of $191 billion, The Economist reported last week. In fact, bond funds attracted $559 billion in the 30 months through June, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In that same period, investors withdrew $209.4 billion from U.S. stock funds and $24.4 billion from funds that buy foreign stocks.

That certainly appears to be bubble territory, but it still doesn't mean that bonds are destined to come completely unraveled. The only thing that could truly dislodge bonds would be if stocks made a decisive climb upwards. Such a surge would have to be persistent enough to make investors feel like they're about to miss a new bull market. And I'd say there's only about a 30% likelihood that such a climb will occur. The far more likely case would be a continuation of the recent muddle-through, with major indexes struggling to build momentum.

So I disagree with the assumption that there's something wrong with owning bonds. Despite their risks, bonds have a role in most investors' portfolios to varying degrees.

Here's a thought: During the late 1970s and early 1980s, people around the world grew to trust central banks run! by Paul Volcker in the United States, and Karl Otto Pohl in Germany. They tamed inflation and preserved the value of their national currencies.

But now after the failures of the 2008 credit crisis, investors have no heroes among monetary authorities. Responsible bankers like Volcker and Pohl are scarce, and this makes investors queasy. Moreover, investors are uncomfortable with the euro, and shell-shocked over the size of the devaluations implicit in monetary stimulus.

Meanwhile, developed-world investors are growing older, and have long-term obligations to their families. So there is high demand for reliable investments like bonds.

I doubt that even a surge in U.S. and European economic growth, should it occur, would alter this decision. And when stocks do begin to levitate and attract more funds, there is plenty of money in cash that can be moved into them, while bonds retain their own role in portfolios.

And remember, there is a great wide world of debt to own besides Treasuries, including U.S. corporate bonds, emerging market sovereign and corporate bonds, closed-end funds that own distressed debt, and more. I don't think we have seen the end of investors' need or desire to own stable, income-paying securities.

[Editor's Note: Money Morning Contributing Writer Jon D. Markman has a unique view of both the world economy and the global financial markets. With uncertainty the watchword and volatility the norm in today's markets, low-risk/high-profit investments will be tougher than ever to find.

It will take a seasoned guide to uncover those opportunities.

Markman is that guide.

In the face of what's been the toughest market for investors since the Great Depression, it's time to sweep away the uncertainty and eradicate the worry. That's why investors subscribe to Markman's Strategic Advantagenewsletter ever! y week: He can see opportunity when other investors are blinded by worry.

Subscribe to Strategic Advantage and hire Markman to be your guide. For more information, please click here.]

ECB to Lend Greater-Than-Forecast $645 Billion as Banks Line Up for Funds

The European Central Bank will lendeuro-area banks a record amount for three years in its latestattempt to keep credit flowing to the economy during thesovereign debt crisis.

The Frankfurt-based ECB awarded 489 billion euros ($645billion) in 1,134-day loans today, the most ever in a singleoperation and more than economists�� median estimate of 293billion euros in a Bloomberg News survey. The ECB said 523 banksasked for the funds, which will be lent at the average of itsbenchmark interest rate -- currently 1 percent -- over theperiod of the loans. They start tomorrow.

��It was obviously an offer the banks could not refuse,��said Laurent Fransolet, head of fixed-income strategy atBarclays Capital in London. ��It shows the ECB is not out ofammunition and it gives banks security on liquidity for a fewyears. On the other hand it means banks will rely on the ECB forlonger.��

Europe��s debt crisis has increased the risk of governmentand bank defaults, making institutions wary of lending to eachother and driving up the cost of credit. The ECB is trying toensure that banks have access to cheap cash for the medium termso that they can keep lending to companies and households. Inaddition to the longer-term loans, the ECB has widened the poolof collateral banks can use to secure the funds.

New Money

Barclays estimates today��s operation will inject 193billion euros of new money into the system, with 296 billioneuros accounted for by maturing loans. The ECB also lent banks$33 billion for 14 days in a regular dollar offering, up from$5.1 billion a week ago, and 29.7 billion euros for 98 days.

The euro jumped half a cent to $1.3198 before retreating to$1.3092 at 1:25 p.m. in Frankfurt.

��More important than the size of the operation is whatbanks do with this cash,�� said Simon Smith, chief economist atforeign-exchange broker FXPro Group Ltd. in London. ��Thedichotomy between size and use explains why the euro struggledto maintain its initial positive reaction to the! news.��

Spanish two-year notes extended a decline, snapping aneight-day gain and sending yields 14 basis points higher to 3.49percent. Italian notes also dropped, pushing the yield 29 basispoints higher to 5.27 percent.

��Through the Backdoor��

Yields on government bonds in Italy and Spain fell in thedays after the ECB announced the loans on Dec. 8 as banks boughtthe securities to use them as collateral in today��s tender.French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested banks could usethe loans to buy even more government debt.

Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at Bank of NewYork Mellon Corp, said the loans amount to quantitative easing��through the backdoor.��

��What the ECB is doing is providing ultra-cheap money tobanks, which in turn are going to be in there buying thesovereign debt up,�� Derrick told Linzie Janis on BloombergTelevision��s ��First Look�� earlier today. ��That��s good news inthe sense that it��s clearly going to help sovereigns in the nearfuture, but it��s also printing more money. That��s going to startto weigh on the euro over time.��

Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING Group in Amsterdam,said banks are more likely to use the loans to ��finance creditto the private sector or to repay maturing bank debt.��

��We doubt whether the money will be used extensively tofund purchases of peripheral debt,�� he said.

Refinancing Needs

ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio in a Dec. 19 interviewpredicted ��significant�� demand for the loans as banks face��very high refinancing needs early next year.��

Some 230 billion euros of bank bonds mature in the firstquarter of 2012 alone, ECB President Mario Draghi told theEuropean Parliament this week.

��Banks represent about 80 percent of lending to the euroarea,�� Draghi said. ��The banking channel is crucial to thesupply of credit.�� He predicted banks will experience ��verysignificant funding constraints�� for the ��whole�� of 2012.

Banks from the 17-nation euro reg! ion need to refinance 35percent more debt next year than they did this year, accordingto a Bank of England study. Lenders have more than 600 billioneuros of debt maturing in 2012, around three quarters of whichis unsecured, the study says.

Focus on Banks

The ECB is focusing on greasing the banking system to fightthe debt crisis as it resists calls to increase its bondpurchases to reduce governments�� borrowing costs. Today��slending exceeded the 442 billion euros awarded in the ECB��sinaugural 12-month loan in 2009.

The ECB said 123 banks shifted a total of 45.7 billioneuros into the three-year loan from an existing one-yearfacility allotted in October. The central bank will offer asecond three-year loan on Feb. 28 and borrowers have the optionof repaying the funds after a year.

��It��s very significant and very helpful for the banks,��Jacques Cailloux, chief European economist at Royal Bank ofScotland Group Plc in London, told Bloomberg Television. ��Butit��s not going to bring about a turning point in this crisis.��

As long as Europe��s leaders fail to agree on the rightpolicy mix, which should include sovereign-debt restructuring ora move to common bonds, the ECB��s measures won��t end theturmoil, Cailloux said.

A Roadmap to Build Wealth Through Dividend Stocks

Most investors aren't very good at investing. I suspect over their lifetimes, most investors will end up losing money in the stock market. So why do they keep coming back, and is there anything that can be done to turn the losses into gains?

The formula for success in the market is relatively simple. Buy low, sell high. So why do so many people do so poorly? It seems they are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing.

Byran Harris, a senior editor at Dimensional Fund Advisors, put together an analysis that showed many investors in 2008 and 2009 "fled equities during the worst months of the global financial crisis, while others waited for signs of a turnaround before investing more. Their emotional reactions may have exacted a large price on their wealth." Investors during this period sold over $266 billion of U.S. equity mutual funds.

Following their emotions, investors will significantly under-perform a mutual fund by jumping in and out of it. A University of Nebraska study confirmed this by examining the the timing of mutual fund investors. The study found that between 1991�C2004 the average active fund investor substantially underperformed the growth of a dollar invested in the fund over the entire measurement period.

If we can't trust our emotions, how can we succeed in the stock market and still sleep at night? Here is how to do it...

Stop Watching the Daily Market Gyrations

If horror movies scare you and you don't want to be scared, stop watching horror movies. In the same vein, if listening to the main stream media watching the stock market daily causes you to do foolish things, stop listening and watching.

Look at the sponsors of financial/market news shows. It is brokers and others with a vested interest in people trading. The more you trade the more commissions brokers earn. When the market is going up, these shows appeal to your greed and desire to not "miss out," and when the market is g! oing dow n the appeal is to your fear of "losing it all."

This behavior is the exact opposite of the path followed by successful investors. As Warren Buffett so aptly stated, investors should be "fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful."

So how do you build the confidence to put this in practice?

Adopt A Winning Investment Strategy

You are probably thinking, "Duh, that's easier said than done." My response, "not really." Winning investment strategies are laying out there in front of everyone; they are well documented and proven. I have selected dividend growth stocks as my vehicle to success.

Ned Davis Research found that between 1972 and 2006, S&P 500 stocks that consistently increased their dividends returned 10.4% total (dividends and share price appreciation), while those that did not increase their dividends returned only 8.2%.

In "Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns (2002)," the authors looked at equity returns from capital gains and dividends from 1900 to 2000. They determined that performance in any given year was driven by capital appreciation, but long-term returns were largely the result of reinvested dividends. Looking at 101 years of data in the U.S. and UK, they found that a market-oriented portfolio with dividends reinvested would have generated nearly 85 times the wealth of the same portfolio relying solely on capital gains.

According to Jeremy J. Siegel, if an investor had put $1,000 in a portfolio of the 100 highest-yielding S&P 500 stocks on Jan. 1, 1957, by Dec. 1, 2009, he would have accumulated more than $450,000 (assuming all dividends were reinvested). That��s a hefty annualized return of 12.5%, an average of almost 2.5 percentage points per year greater than the return on the S&P index.

Convinced? For your consideration, here some dividend growth stocks with a rich history of growing their dividends:

Divid end Growth Stocks

McDonald's Corporation (MCD) | Yield: 2.7%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 35
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1976
McDonald's Corporation is the largest fast-food restaurant company in the world, with about 32,900 restaurants in 117 countries.

Pepsico Inc. (PEP) | Yield: 3.2%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 39
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1952
PepsiCo Inc. is a major international producer of branded beverage and snack food products.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) | Yield: 3.5%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 39
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1926
Abbott Laboratories is a diversified life science company that is a leading maker of drugs, nutritional products, diabetes monitoring devices, and diagnostics. In mid-October 2011, Abbott announced plans to split the company.

Target Corporation (TGT) | Yield: 2.1%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 44
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1965
Target Corp. operates about 1,500 Target and 250 SuperTarget general merchandise stores across the U.S.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) | Yield: 2.6%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 48
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1895
Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate) is a major consumer products company that markets oral, personal and household care and pet nutrition products in more than 200 countries and territories.

Coca-Cola Company (KO) | Yield: 2.8%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 49
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1893
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest soft drink company, and it also has a sizable fruit juice business.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) | Yield: 3.5%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 49
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1944
Johnson & Johnson is a leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries.

! 3M Compa ny (MMM) | Yield: 2.7%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 53
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1916
3M Co. provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer, office, telecommunications, safety & security and other markets via coatings, sealants, adhesives and other chemical additives.

Procter & Gamble (PG) | Yield: 3.3%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 55
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1891
The Procter & Gamble Company is a leading consumer products company that markets household and personal care products in more than 180 countries.

Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) | Yield: 3.2%
- Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth: 56
- Dividends Consistently Paid Since: 1947
Emerson Electric Co. designs and supplies product technology, and delivers engineering services and solutions to a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.

To succeed in investing you must first adopt a winning strategy and be totally confident in the strategy. So confident that you can't be swayed by the naysayers, including friends, family and the media. It takes time to build this level of confidence. Then again, it takes time to build lasting wealth.

Full Disclosure: Long MCD, PEP, ABT, TGT, CL, KO, JNJ, MMM, PG, EMR . See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

How To Eliminate Credit Card Debt

There is almost nothing more troublesome than having too much debt to pay each month. Consumers incur debt for many different reasons. Sometimes illness, accidents, or just bad luck can make it seem impossible to get finances under control. Other times it is simply because we spend more money than we earn. The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to learn how to eliminate your credit card debt.

Develop a budget. Start by listing all sources of income. First list fixed expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and auto loans. Next, list the expenses that vary from month to month such as utility bills, recreation and clothing. If there is any hope of controlling your credit card debt you must create and stick to a budget.

There are different kinds of debts. Mortgages and auto loans are debts secured by collateral. In the event of default on a secured debt, a lender may foreclose on your home or repossess your car. Unsecured debts are loans with no collateral and often have variable interest rates and are assessed a fee for late payments. In the event of default on an unsecured debt a lender may report to a credit-reporting agency, contact the debtor repeatedly by mail or telephone, and in general make life miserable for those who find themselves in financial trouble.

If you are among the millions who have found themselves in a financial crisis, consider your options - budgeting, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy. Which works best for you? It depends on your level of self-discipline, how much debt you have, and your future financial prospects. While eliminating debt may seem next to impossible, your life does not have to go from bad to worse.

Self-help may be the easiest, cheapest way to eliminate debt. First, stop charging now. Incurring more debt will only compound the problem. Make a list of all your credit card bills starting with the smallest. Pay as much above the minimum payment as you can afford on the card with the lowest balanc! e. Conti nue until this debt is paid in full, and then proceed to the next card. Systematically paying off your credit cards one by one will reduce your debts dramatically. The fastest way to eliminate credit card debt is to put every penny you can towards paying off your credit cards. Do not underestimate the effect an extra five or ten dollars paid repeatedly over time can have on eliminating debt.

You may be able to reduce the amount of your combined monthly payments and lower the interest rate by obtaining a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage. Think carefully before taking this route. Your home becomes collateral with these loans. If you make late payments or miss payments you could lose your home. These types of loans may provide certain tax advantages but the fees can really add up. The same goes for debt consolidation. You eliminate or reduce interest rates and the amount of your monthly payments, but the length of the contract and the fees can be more than your original debt.

As a last resort, bankruptcy could be considered. A bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 10 years, making it difficult to obtain credit, get life insurance, or buy a home. However, it can be a fresh start for those who cannot otherwise satisfy their debts.

Royal Bank of Canada: Why News Corp is a Top Pick for 2012

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) advanced after Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RBC) upgrades the stock to Top Pick. RBC says NWSA offers the best combination among big media firms of “operating momentum, return of capital potential, company-specific catalysts and reasonable valuation” in 2012. Additional reasons the Royal Bank of Canada upgraded the stock to Top Pick: the potential of $15 billion in dividends and stock buybacks, ratings growth at the FX station, and a syndication deal if The Simpsons ends its long run.

Here’s how News Corp shares reacted to the news:

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA): NWSA shares recently traded at $17.87, up $0.42, or 2.41%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $13.38 to $18.35. Volume today was 14,448,851 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 20,362,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 17.54, while trailing earnings are $1.02 per share.

Guru Stocks at 52-Week Low: NSRGY, ORCL, TEF, MTU, GS

Last week��s top five stocks that reached their 52-week lows were NSRGY, ORCL, TEF, MTU, and GS. According to GuruFocus list of 52-week lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-week lows.

Nestle S A Reg (NSRGY) Reached the 52-Week Low of $54.37

The prices of Nestle S A Reg (NSRGY) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $54.37, which is 18.4% off the 52-week high of $64.8. Nestle S A Reg is owned by 3 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 1 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 2 reduced their positions.

Nestle is the world's #1 food company and the world leader in coffee (Nescafe), mineral water (Perrier), and ophthalmology products. Nestle S A Reg has a market cap of $188.1 billion; its shares were traded at around $54.37 with and P/S ratio of 1.78. The dividend yield of Nestle S A Reg stocks is 3.1%.

Kenneth Fisher owns 9,527,994 shares as of 09/30/2011, which accounts for 1.7472% of the $30.08 billion portfolio of Fisher Asset Management, LLC.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) Reached the 52-Week Low of $25.65

The prices of Oracle Corp. (ORCL) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $25.65, which is 31.9% off the 52-week high of $36.37. Oracle Corp. is owned by 24 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 17 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 11 reduced their positions.

Oracle Corporation is one of the world's suppliers of software for information management. Oracle Corp. has a market cap of $129.39 billion; its shares were traded at around $25.65 with a P/E ratio of 11.4 and P/S ratio of 3.6. The dividend yield of Oracle Corp. stocks is 0.9%. Oracle Corp. had an annual average earnings growth of 19.3% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Oracle Corp. the business predictability rank of 3.5-star.

Oracle Corp. recently announced fiscal 2012 Q2 GAAP and non-GAAP total revenues were up 2% to $8.8 billion. Both GAAP and non-GAAP new softw! are lice nse revenues were up 2% to $2.0 billion.

Ken Heebner bought 665,000 shares in the quarter that ended on 09/30/2011, which is 0.4475% of the $4.27 billion portfolio of Capital Growth Management LP. Lee Ainslie owns 6,228,713 shares as of 09/30/2011, a decrease of 26.44% of from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 2.4991% of the $7.16 billion portfolio of Maverick Capital. Ronald Muhlenkamp owns 595,980 shares as of 09/30/2011, a decrease of 27.61% of from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 4.2134% of the $407 million portfolio of Muhlenkamp Fund.

President Mark V Hurd bought 1,000 shares of ORCL stock on 07/29/2011 at the average price of 30.46. Mark V Hurd owns at least 1,000 shares after this. The price of the stock has decreased by 15.79% since. Other insiders have also decreased their positions in the company.

Telefonica S.A. ADS (TEF) Reached the 52-Week Low of $17.19

The prices of Telefonica S.A. ADS (TEF) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $17.19, which is 38.7% off the 52-week high of $27.08. Telefonica S.A. ADS is owned by 13 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 7 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 5 reduced their positions.

Telefonica is the largest supplier of telecommunications services in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world. Telefonica S.a. Ads has a market cap of $78.46 billion; its shares were traded at around $17.19 with a P/E ratio of 4.3 and P/S ratio of 0.9. The dividend yield of Telefonica S.a. Ads stocks is 10%. Telefonica S.a. Ads had an annual average earnings growth of 25.5% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Telefonica S.a. Ads the business predictability rank of 4.5-star.

Telefonica S.A. recently reported its third quarter 2011 results. The company reported that it reached 300 million accesses at the end of September of 2011. The strong increase in commercial activity was led by a growth of 6% to the customer base, according! to the company.

David Dreman bought 147,330 shares in the quarter that ended on 09/30/2011, which is 0.0705% of the $4 billion portfolio of Dreman Value Management. Bruce Berkowitz bought 220,000 shares in the quarter that ended on 09/30/2011, which is 0.0512% of the $8.21 billion portfolio of Fairholme Capital Management. Mario Gabelli owns 48,000 shares as of 09/30/2011, which accounts for 0.0084% of the $10.95 billion portfolio of GAMCO Investors. Charles Brandes owns 3,040,902 shares as of 09/30/2011, which accounts for 0.5381% of the $10.81 billion portfolio of Brandes Investment.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. ADS (MTU) Reached the 52-Week Low of $4.19

The prices of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. ADS (MTU) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $4.19, which is 28.5% off the 52-week high of $5.64. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. ADS is owned by 5 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 3 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 4 reduced their positions.

Mitsubishi Tokyo provides a variety of financial and investment services such as commercial banking, asset management services and trust banking. Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group Inc. Ads has a market cap of $59.27 billion; its shares were traded at around $4.19 with a P/E ratio of 7.3 and P/S ratio of 1.1. The dividend yield of Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group Inc. Ads stocks is 3.4%. Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group Inc. Ads had an annual average earnings growth of 6.2% over the past 10 years.

Kenneth Fisher owns 41,007,509 shares as of 09/30/2011, which accounts for 0.6067% of the $30.08 billion portfolio of Fisher Asset Management, LLC. Charles Brandes owns 20,649,631 shares as of 09/30/2011, which accounts for 0.8505% of the $10.81 billion portfolio of Brandes Investment.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Reached the 52-Week Low of $90.43

The prices of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) shares have declined to cl! ose to t he 52-week low of $90.43, which is 49.9% off the 52-week high of $175. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is owned by 29 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 14 have added to their positions during the past quarter. 17 reduced their positions.

Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities firm, providing a full range of investing, advisory and financing services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high net worth individuals. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has a market cap of $44.52 billion; its shares were traded at around $90.43 with a P/E ratio of 14.2 and P/S ratio of 1.2. The dividend yield of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. stocks is 1.5%. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had an annual average earnings growth of 9.8% over the past 10 years.

Goldman Sachs recently reported net revenues of $3.59 billion and a net loss of $393 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011. The diluted loss per common share was $0.84 compared with diluted earnings per common share of $2.98 for the third quarter of 2010 and $1.85 for the second quarter of 2011.

Whitney Tilson bought 57,656 shares in the quarter that ended on 09/30/2011, which is 1.9901% of the $274 million portfolio of T2 Partners Management, LP. Richard Snow owns 24,674 shares as of 09/30/2011, an increase of 47.68% from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 0.1219% of the $1.91 billion portfolio of Snow Capital Management, L.P.. Mohnish Pabrai owns 289,933 shares as of 09/30/2011, an increase of 25.6% from the previous quarter. This position accounts for 10.5892% of the $259 million portfolio of Pabrai Mohnish.

Director James A /dc/ Johnson sold 6,000 shares of GS stock on 10/26/2011 at the average price of 106.44. The price of the stock has decreased by 15.04% since.

Striking Machinists to Vote Saturday on Deal To End Boeing Walkout – Shares Soar

Westell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:WSTL) witnessed volume of 8.73 million shares during last trade however it holds an average trading capacity of 308,023.00 shares. WSTL last trade opened at $3.60 reached intraday low of $3.40 and went -4.46% down to close at $3.43.

WSTL has a market capitalization $235.16 million and an enterprise value at $159.23 million. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 1.29 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 1.55. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 35.72% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 8.15%.

The company made a return on asset of 6.00% in past twelve months and return on equity of 55.01% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $190.18 million gaining $2.80 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was 31.10%.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $86.90 million cash in hand making cash per share at 1.27. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 3.99 and book value per share was 2.32.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 17.80% where the stock price exhibited down beat from its 50 day moving average with $3.56 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average with $3.41.

WSTL holds 68.56 million outstanding shares with 34.76 million floating shares where insider possessed 3.33% and institutions kept 50.10%.

Derma Sciences, Inc trading with highly above from price from average prices - DSCI

Derma Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSCI) shares were transacted unexpectedly with a volume of 0.249 million shares as compared to its average volume of 0.101 million shares. DSCI opened at $12.62 dropped -0.32% closed $12.56. Its 52 week price range is $4.40 - $12.72.

DSCI has earnings of $-1.94 million and made $54.82 million sales for the last 12 months. Its quarter to quarter sales remained 17.18%. The company has 6.56 million of outstanding shares and 5.38 million shares were floated in the market.

DSCI has an insider ownership at 30.40% and institutional ownership remained 26.44%. Its return on investment (ROI) for the last 12 month was -7.40% as compare to its return on equity (ROE) of -7.93% for the last 12 months.
The price moved ahead +68.89% from the mean of 20 days, +115.59% from 50 and went up 142.86% from 200 days average price. Company��s performance for the week was 16.95%, +166.67% for month and yearly performance remained 116.55%.

Its price volatility for a month remained 11.46% whereas volatility for a week noted as 12.17% having beta of 1.06. Company��s price to sales ratio for last 12 months was 1.50 while its price to book ratio for the most recent quarter was 3.02 and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained 1.24 million for the past twelve months.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

PetroChina Bulls Bet on Rising Prices

PetroChina(PTR) is not a common target for option traders, but bulls were piling into the name at the end of last week.

About 2,200 December 130 calls were purchased on the Beijing-based energy company on Friday, mostly for 90 cents and 95 cents. Volume was almost twice open interest in the strike, according OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems.

These long calls, which give traders the right to buy the stock for $130, will expire worthless at the end of this week if the stock remains below that level. But they can also appreciate by double, triple or more if PetroChina rallies quickly.

The stock rose 0.41% on Friday to close at $124.58 and has been slowly working its way higher since the summer. Energy has been one of the stronger sectors in the last two weeks as investors bet that a resolution to the European debt crisis will boost commodity prices.

Overall option volume in the name was seven times greater than average on Friday, with calls outnumbering puts by a bullish ratio of 10 to 1.

Russell has no positions PTR.

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Carl Icahn Holdings Show No Immunity To Market (IEP, BIIB, AMLN, MOT, YHOO, WMB, APC, TWX, TWC, AMD, TELK, QRCP, LEA, TIN, JCP)

Billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn has made some? large changes to his portfolio holdings.? He and Icahn Capital, L.P. have not been immune to the market sell-off as you have seen in his Icahn Enterprises, L.P. (NYSE: IEP) share performance.? Here we have commented on some of his larger stakes and larger changes or exits in positions.

Stock Tickers noted as IEP, BIIB, AMLN, MOT, YHOO, WMB, APC, TWX, TWC, AMD, TELK, QRCP, LEA, TIN, and JCP.

His largest position in biotech is Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) where? Icahn Capital owns 12.8 million shares worth about $612 million.? With all the calls for mergers in biotechs and speculation rampant that this one could be bought, this is no surprise.? But? Icahn is betting on more than just the MS treatment TYSABRI here.? Also worth noting is his almost-$124 million stake of 11.42+ million shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), which some have also hoped could get past its troubles and get acquired.

Icahn has two huge disappointments in technology.? His 119+ million share stake in Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) was listed as being worth $530.672 million. At current market prices, that would be worth about $460 million.? And he is in much much higher than the year-end price and today’s price.? This appears lower because Motorola listed him as holding 144.1 million shares before this.? The other thorn is the Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) stake listed as 60.45+ million shares worth some $737.5 million at the 12/31 filing. The good news is that would be worth around $777 million today.? But Icahn has been buried by this.? He is very long and very wrong so far, and he probably wished he never thought he could force Jerry Yang into a moment of intelligence.

In energy is where this also gets interesting.? Icahn really juiced up his position in Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB) where his 17.475 million shares were listed as being worth over $253 million.? That was a large increase.? His oth! er big h olding is Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), with over 7.6 million shares being listed as worth more than $293 million.

Icahn Capital is out of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and also holds no Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).? He had greatly pared down his stake there already, but that is now history.? Jeff Bewkes has to answer one less unpleasant telephone call.? Others he has dropped entirely are Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Telik (NASDAQ: TELK), Quest Resources (NASDAQ: QRCP), Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA), Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN), and J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP).

Again, these are not the only position he listed.? The list would be double the size if you included his positions worth a few million.? But as you can tell, billionaires and activists can have deep pockets yet no immunity from the market.? Icahn Enterprises, L.P. (NYSE: IEP) trades at $34.78, and its 52-week trading range is $19.95 to $111.53.

Jon C. Ogg
Febbruary 14, 2009

24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell (BHP, MCP, CCL, SHLD, PKD, DLPH, PNY, RDI, ACAT, DCTH, END, LEDS)

Stocks open slightly higher this morning, but quickly reversed course to begin falling in less than five minutes of trading. The DJIA hit a morning low just before noon and has bounced around off that ever since. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 have followed the same pattern. Italy's successful auction of short-term debt was quickly followed by a drop in the euro to below $1.30, where the single currency has remained throughout the day. Commodity prices have been generally lower today, although wheat, corn, and coffee have posted gains. Crude oil prices have fallen following a statement by Saudi Arabia that other countries would pick up any shortfall in crude deliveries caused by possible Iranian action in the Strait of Hormuz. Brent crude is down -1.85% at $107.42/barrel and WTI is down the same amount at $99.49/barrel. Gold is down sharply, nearly -2.5%, at $1,556.40/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 140 points to 12,151.64 (-1.14%), the NASDAQ fell more than 35 points (-1.34%) to 2,589.98, and the S&P 500 fell -1.25% or nearly 16 points to 1,249.66.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including BHP Billiton plc (NYSE: BHP) cut from ��neutral' to ��underperform' at Zack's Investment Research; Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) target price and estimate lowered to $39 at JPMorgan; Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) maintained as ��hold' but estimates cut at Argus; Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) maintained as ��underperform' and target price lowered to $20 at Credit Suisse; Parker Drilling Co. (NYSE: PKD) named ��value stock of the day' at Zack's; and Delphi Automotive (NASDAQ: DLPH) started as ��buy' at Goldman Sachs.

There are no earnings reports of note out yet today. After markets close today Piedmont Natural Gas Co. (NYSE: PNY) and Reading International Inc. (NASDAQ: RDI) are scheduled to report earnings.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Arctic Cat Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAT) is up more! than 20 % at $22.80, after posting a new 52-week high of $24 earlier today. The recreational vehicle maker announced that it had repurchased a 33% stake in the company owned by Suzuki, reducing outstanding shares by about a third.

Delcath Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH) is up nearly 11% at $3.38. The drug development company has received EU standards certification for its plant in Galway, Ireland.

Endeavor International Corp. (NYSE: END) is up nearly 11% to $8.78. The independent oil & gas company continues to receive attention for its purchase of North Sea assets from ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and an ratings upgrade from ��market perform' to ��outperform' at Rodman & Renshaw.

Molycorp shares are down nearly -14% at $24.12 after posting a new 52-week low of $24.03 earlier today. The rare earths miner was downgraded this morning and a Chinese announcement on exports of rare earth minerals are both weighing on the company. More on Molycorp here.

SemiLEDS Corp. (NASDAQ: LEDS) is up more than 18% at $3.81. The LED lighting maker hit a technical target at around $3.29/share. Trading in SemiLEDS shares is about 6x average daily volume.

Stay tuned for Thursday. Here are the noteworthy events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 8:30 a.m. – Initial unemployment benefits claims
  • 9:45 a.m. – Chicago PMI report
  • 10:00 a.m. – National Association of Realtors pending home sales index
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly natural gas status report
  • 11:00 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
  • 4:30 p.m. – Federal Reserve balance sheet and money supply reports

Why You want to do Your role to fix mother earth

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So, even though you aren��t working toward saving the environment for yourself, you at least owe future generations �C your descendants �C the opportunity to live in an environmentally sound world �C don��t you? If you can��t do it for them, then you must think of yourself. Today, there are more cases of cancer than ever before in the history of the world �C despite medical advances.

Most triggers of cancer may well be traced returning to something inside the environment �C asbestos, tobacco smoke, pesticides, refineries, along with toxins �C even electricity clusters. So, if you happen to can��t possibly imagine future generations, and you also can��t mull over the current population generally �C a full group of persons who will be all, essentially, inside the same boat �C at the very least possibly imagine your individual health.

Tiny changes which you make not only possess a huge affects mankind as well as the earth, however they also will serve to enable you to live on a superior �C longer �C life. In case you can��t give thought to your lifes health, think of the foods which you enjoy. All food, essentially, starts off with soil or grass, water, and sunshine. When the environment is continuing to decline, you better think that! what fo od sources should disappear �C or even become unsafe.

Finally, if you just can��t see any good reason why you should conserve energy and save the environment, look towards your pocket book. That��s right. By conserving energy and helping to save the environment, you will actually be saving yourself loads of money over the years. No matter what reason you find to save the environment �C whether it is noble and self sacrificing, or totally selfish and self-serving �C just understand that you must do your part to save the environment��the chances are good that few other people are going to do this for you.

Saving energy doesn’t require anyone to exert an excessive amount of effort. Merely adapt to doing things that can assist you save energy. Saving energy is simply straightforward of course if you follow the steps, you ll certainly be more than happy to discover your energy bill every month.You could have green homes by getting a tesla generator, more info about tesla secret.