Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nokia’s Lumia 900: ‘Handset of the Future,’ ‘Mixed Bag,’ Say Reviews; Will It Fuel Comeback?

The reviews are in: Nokia‘s (NOK) Lumia 900, running Microsoft‘s (MSFT) “Windows Phone 7,” goes on sale exclusively at AT&T (T) this Sunday and those reviewers who’ve been granted a unit were unleashed last night to write what they thought. I’ll have my own review later this week, but for now, let’s see what they said.

In sum:

  • Wall Street Journal: It’s a “mixed bag.” “Provides the best home yet for the attractive Windows Phone software, but still doesn’t measure up to rival smartphones.”
  • Engadget: It’s “yet another decent offering” in AT&T’s lineup of 4G phones, but “too plain, too ordinary,” to really be a flagship phone for Nokia.
  • USA Today: The competition is formidable, but at $99, and with a fresh operating system, “Nokia may be well on the way to crafting a compelling comeback story.”
  • Gizmodo: “A phone that every single person should consider owning. It’s so quick and elegant [�] Sure, the apps could be better, and there are occasional imaging inaccuracies and overblown colors. Let them overblow. You’re holding a pixel feat.”
  • Ars Technica: “Deserves to be taken seriously,” and much better than most Android phones in the same price range. May lure first-time buyers, although the subtlety of the UI may get to them over time. For those looking for the best phone at any price, “As of right now, it’s still a little too much form over function to beat [iOS and Android] at the game they invented.”
  • The Verge: “I really wanted to love this phone [...] But while the hardware � at least externally � delivers, the phone as a whole does not.! 221; Nok ia “hasn’t lost its ability to enchant through hardware.” But “after nearly two years on the market, I struggled to find a single thing this platform [Windows Phone] could do better than Android 4.0 or iOS 5.1 [�] The sheen has worn off of Windows Phone for me.”
  • The New York Times: “This Nokia phone and its Microsoft operating system are truly lovely — more beautiful than the iPhone or Android software, and for most functions, just as powerful [�] But I have a sinking feeling that this breed of underdog will turn out to look more like a Pekingese than a Doberman.”

Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal: Despite the 900′s larger size, it was comfortable to hold. The LTE connection got 10 megabits to 15 megabits per second on the download, which Mossberg describes as being faster than most home Wifi connections. Mossberg was “underwhelmed” by the battery life, the browser, and its photo-taking ability. Regarding the camera, “despite having the same resolution as the new iPhone, took notably worse pictures of the same scenes in my tests. To my eye, colors were oversaturated, and details were less sharp.” The “ecosystem” for content is weak, with no ability to download TV shows and movies, and fewer magazine and newspaper apps. The Metro UI, however, is “refreshing.” The biggest issue for Mossberg was that on WiFi, the Web browser stalled sometimes when loading pages, something other phones didn’t do and that Nokia couldn’t explain. The screen resolution of 800 x 480 was not as sharp as the iPhone, he notes, and the polarizing filter for making the screen more readable in direct sunlight delivered only modest improvement.

Joseph Volpe, Engadget: He’s a mite disappointed that the smooth contour of the 900′s predecessor has been degraded somewhat by having the screen rise a hair above the polycarbonate frame of! the dev ice, rather than being flush with the body, as with the 800. Still, the solid construction and some fine details such as the carving of the speaker grill are pleasing. Althoug the phone is generally zippy in terms of the Windows UI, it actually scores not as well on some benchmarks. More to the point, the operating takes its own leisurely time strolling through its animations, rather than the snappy feel of some other phones, including the 800. Battery life was decent, perhaps giving real-world use of as much as 72 hours on a charge, despite the machine having a 4G LTE connection. Volpe praises the 8-megapixel camera, writing that it “displays a knack for depth of field, crisp replication of detail and balanced color.” LTE speeds on average ranged from 17 to 20 megabits per second.

Ed Baig, USA Today: He likes the software, he likes the hardware. Images with the camera were “all over the map.” Windows Phone is “fresh and different from iOS and Android and offers a strong alternative to the status quo.” he notes the weight of 5.6 means it’s not the lightest among smartphones. He got through a day of “mixed usage” with a single battery charge. The 70,000 apps available in Microsoft’s “Marketplace” store is “respectable.” Despite the single-core apps processor from Qualcomm, the phone’s performance “never felt like a laggard.”

Sam Biddle, Gizmodo: The Lumia is “a beautiful object,” a “handset of the future” given the “spaceship hardware” and “super-futuristic Metro vibe.” There’s too much to enjoy to worry about the specs, he writes. Nokia has managed to take the best design aspects of the 800 and “broaden” them. He tried tossing it in the air in a muddy field, and it turned out fine. The LTE connections were “swift,” around 10 megabits per second, on average. Photos were “sharp ! and vidi d” on the screen and it was a pleasure to swipe through the UI. Internet Explorer was “on the slow side.” The top-tier apps for the phone “need polish.” The camera is “okay-I-guess,” with pictures “often over-saturated, washed out, or underexposed.”

Casey Johnson, Ars Technica: The operating system has some maturing to do and although power users will find things to like, they “may not be won over.” The “screen margins and casing” make it “feel bigger than you might expect,” but the “velvety” texture makes it easy to hold. Call quality is “fine,” no different from the iPhone, while the speaker is “pretty quiet.” Taking pictures is “cumbersome” because the shutter release is tied to the tap-to-focus gesture. The camera maintains better focus than the iPhone at different distances. Johnson was a little “dismayed” at first by how the pictures looked on the camera screen, but found they can stand up to the iPhone’s. “In closeups and dim scenarios” the camera “stumbles.” The screen is a magnet for fingerprints and the lack of “oleophobic” capability is “glaring.” Windows Phone is easier to use out of the box as far as its integration of Twitter and Facebook. And threaded messages between text and Facebook preserve one of the best aspects of Palm’s webOS’s messaging function. Some erroneous interpretations of swipe gestures are annoying, as is hiding the status bar at the top of the screen, but they are “minor points.” Windows Phone “needs to play catchup” with other alerts systems such as iPhone’s “Notification Center.” The browser is one of the weak spots, sometimes three times slower than other browsers, and a bit “janky” in rendering text. In general Windows has two problems, writes Casey, the overly “subtle̶! 1; hidin g of clues or cues, relying too much on intuitive touch; and the overly dense arrangement of some information, as “Often apps split too much between too many menus, requiring several swipes to access all of the options.” The battery delivered “pretty healthy performance,” with about 12 hours of “stop and go” use on a single charge.

Joshua Topolsky, The Verge: The hardware design is “gorgeous,” “beautiful,” “it may be the best looking phone on the market right now,” and a “breath of fresh air.” Topolsky had “very little to complain” about as far as the design and materials. Despite unremarkable specs, the Lumia was “snappy and responsive, with few (if any) hiccups or pauses.” The display was a disappointment, being overly saturated in addition to being lower resolution. Despite Nokia’s long history of great optics, the phone does not excel in the camera department. The rear camera pictures “just weren’t particularly good [�] it’s really simply mediocre.” Topolsky was “pleasantly surprised” by battery life. There was “no problem” getting through a day of calls, email, Twitter and browsing on LTE on a single charge. Data speed was “pretty awesome,” with downloads as high as 19 megabits per second. There were no dropped calls, and quality was “crisp and clear.” Topolsky’s main beef is with Windows Phone, and he says it’s time to “stop giving the software a pass.” “At the end of the day, Windows Phone is just not as competitive with iOS and Android as it should be right now.” The software is “death by a thousands cuts,” including erratic scrolling in third-party apps, and despite multitasking, it doesn’t actually feel like apps are waiting. Internet Explorer seems “incapable of rendering certain web elements properly.”

David Pogue, The New Yo! rk Times : “It is beautiful, fast and powerful” and a “top of the line machine.” He notes the “bright, vivid” screen nevertheless is of lower resolution than an iPhone, though the size is handy for reading e-books, etc. The consequence of “incredibly fast” surfing speed on 4G LTE, is battery, writes Pogue, as the unit “might not make it through the day” if you use 4G a lot. Call quality was “excellent.” Pogue lauds the “thoughtful touches” in the “rolling canvas” of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s Bing search “covers the basics extremely well.” Live tiles’ use of information updates “works,” he writes. The speech recognition falls short of Apple’s “Siri” assistant. As far as apps, “many of the essentials are there,” Pogue opines, checking off his personal list: Netflix, IMDB, Flixster, Yelp, OpenTable, Delta, American Airlines, Groupon, Foursquare, Kindle, Spotify, RunPee, SpeedTest, FlightTrack, Twitter, Facebook, and Angry Birds.


China's Continued Failure to Rebalance Growth Threatens Global Economic Stability

China announced yesterday (Wednesday) that its trade surplus grew 60.7% in October from the month before as efforts to rebalance its economic growth this year have failed. Furthermore, recent policy tightening measures mean domestic demand is unlikely to pick up in the near future.

"The rebalancing of China's economy has an awfully long way to go � in fact it's hardly even got started," Mark Williams, an economist at Capital Economics Ltd. who previously worked at the U.K. Treasury as an adviser to China, told Bloomberg. "In normal circumstances, the world might be willing to wait, but not when the likes of the U.S. are struggling with very high unemployment."

In a sign China's export-driven growth has not shifted to an increase in domestic consumption, China's trade surplus hit $27.15 billion last month, up from $16.9 billion in September.� Exports rose 22.9% in October from the year before and imports climbed 25.3%. The trade surplus was slightly higher than expectations of $26.4 billion, according to a poll reported by Dow Jones Newswires.

A report by the World Bank released last week said large trade surpluses in some countries, including China, paired with large account deficits in developed economies like the United States would remain a huge risk to global growth.

"In this connection, a lack of success in rebalancing China's growth pattern would be among the more serious medium-term risks, for China and the world economy," the report said.

China's central bank announced Wednesday yet another measure to ease inflationary pressures. It lifted banks' reserve ratio requirements by 0.5 percentage point, limiting the amount of money lenders can spare, effective Nov. 16. This put the standard ratio for large banks at 17.5%, although the central bank can alter rates for individual banks.

The reserv! e requir ement move came a month after China's central bank raised interest rates and economists expect another rate increase before year-end. China's central bank raised rates three times earlier this year, but stopped in May under expectations of a sharp fall in global economic recovery. China's economic growth evened out, but economists think it has again picked up its pace in recent months, causing the government to adjust economic policy.

"[W]ith overheating pressures in the domestic economy rising quickly, further policy tightening is likely," Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) analyst Yu Song wrote in a note. "This will tend to depress domestic demand growth and import growth and the underlying trade surplus may be at risk at widening again."

The continued policy changes mean an increase in Chinese consumption is unlikely to take hold any time soon, frustrating China's trade partners who are also looking to increase exports.

"Beijing's policy focus has shifted decisively from concerns about domestic growth and external demand to concerns about inflation pressures and liquidity management," Brian Jackson, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY), told The Wall Street Journal.

Economists expect China's inflationary concerns to heighten Thursday when consumer price index numbers are released. Experts expect the CPI to be up 4% from a year earlier, higher than China's 3% target.

China also has attempted to alleviate concerns over a real-estate bubble, but so far its adopted policies have done little to stop growth. Property prices were up 0.2% in October from the previous month, after climbing only 0.5% in September, shown in data reported Wednesday. Real estate sales also gained after falling for a few months earlier this year.

China's policy tightening measures are also offshoots of concern over the U.S. Federal Reserve pumping more liquidity into the economy through its quantitati! ve easin g policy. China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said last week he's concerned the Fed's policy will boost capital inflows to China, complicating its economy.

"There is worry in emerging economies that quantitative easing will result in substantial hot-money inflows," Mitul Kotecha, head of global currency strategy at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. "They see this as difficult to control. With the run-up in asset prices, it is understandable where this concern is coming from."

While the United States will face criticism from foreign policy makers regarding its stimulus measures at this week's Group of 20 (G20) summit, China's latest trade numbers are likely to spark increased pressure on the country to change its currency policy.�

"This large trade surplus will likely add to global pressure for China to allow more currency appreciation," said Royal Bank of Canada's Jackson.�

Too much pessimism suggests call options could rise

Though earnings season is winding down, this week is far from light on reports. In fact, around 65 S&P 500 companies are on the schedule this week for options trading investors. Though most of the week�s bigger-revenue names aren�t among the typical �hot� plays � Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT), Disney (NYSE:DIS), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), and a bunch of insurers � don�t be lulled into thinking that there aren�t some attractive trade possibilities.

One such �big� name is defense contractor Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC). One thing you can say about both political parties. They may mess with a lot of government programs, including the previously untouchable Social Security and Medicare (at least they�re talking about it). But no one is willing to stick their neck out by slicing away at the Pentagon�s budget. Perhaps the growth rate won�t be what it was. But defense contractors should continue to be well fed at the government trough.

NOC reports earnings before the open on Wednesday, with analysts expecting a 23% decline in earnings from a year ago. The company usually does pretty well in the earnings confessional, having missed just one estimate in the past 14 quarters. And the stock usually shows strength after earnings. In fact, the stock has gained ground in four of the past five quarters one week after reporting.

On the charts, the stock is poking above potential resistance in the 70 area, the site of a 19-month high in April 2010. The 10-day and 20-day moving averages have been working in tandem to support the stock, which is on a 17% rally over the past couple of months.

Northrup Gru!  mman

Northrup Grumman Stock

NOC�s sentiment picture also supports the bullish cause. Short interest has been unwinding for the past month, but remains at an elevated level. The put/call ratio is likewise on the decline from a relative high peak. And just four of 23 covering analysts rate the stock a �buy.� The bottom line is that there�s plenty of pessimism toward NOC. More importantly, we�re seeing signs of this negativity unwinding as the stock presses higher. That tells us buying pressure is increasing.

With all signs pointing toward NOC continuing its run higher, look for a boost after earnings and pessimism to continue unwinding into more buying power. Buy the NOC March 70 Call in the $2.25 range.

Stocks with Negative Closing at NASDAQ FSLR, DECK, NFLX, PCLN

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) opened at $161.51 and with a decrease of 5.44% closed at $155.72. Company�s fifty days average price is $146.46 whereas it has a market capitalization $13.35 billion.

The total of 3.32 million shares was transacted over last trading day.

Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQ:DECK) opened at $94.00 and with a decrease of 1.67% closed at $88.30. Company�s fifty days average price is $81.20 whereas it has a market capitalization $3.40 billion.

The total of 5.21 million shares was transacted over last trading day.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) opened at $214.63 and with a decrease of 1.27% closed at $212.44. Company�s fifty days average price is $198.51 whereas it has a market capitalization $11.24 billion.

The total of 4.21 million shares was transacted over last trading day. Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) opened at $465.94 and with a decrease of 0.5% closed at $460.03. Company�s fifty days average price is $428.17 whereas it has a market capitalization $22.59 billion.

The total of 1.23 million shares was transacted over last trading day.

Express-Medco Marriage to Get FTC's Blessing

The wait might finally be over. Pharmacy benefits management heavyweights Express scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX  ) and Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS  ) may get the long-awaited regulatory approval to merge businesses as early as next week. Last July, Express had agreed to buy Medco for a proposed $29.1 billion. Since then they have been fighting antitrust concerns that seem to have died down for the time being. �

A significant merger indeed
The merged unit is slated to serve upward of 115 million customers and can earn a whopping $110 billion a year. �

The combination will create the largest pharmacy benefits operator in the U.S. and control nearly one-third of the market. Most customers and regulators feared that the deal would create a monopoly in the market and could mean that the two together may unfairly drive up prices. However, Express has argued that the deal between the two will give consumers greater power to bargain over prices.

The merger could increase efficiency, as the company will have a wider reach without incurring any extra costs.

The merger has an edge
Along with Express and Medco, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS  ) is one of the three largest pharmacy benefits operators in the U.S. In fact, CVS is the largest specialty pharmacy retailer. But CVS Caremark's pricing coming under question recently could work in favor of the Express-Medco merger.

CVS just fought its own battle with the Federal Trade Commission and was made to pay $5 million to the FTC to compensate for having manipulated the prices of some Medicare Part D prescription drugs. This may allow Express and Medco to gain more market share and steal CVS's customers away.�

One gains, the other loses�
One retailer that will surely lose out from this merger is Deerfield-based d! rug reta iler Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) . Walgreen split up with its PBM Express scripts as the two were unable to come to an amicable agreement. Express' contribution was more than 10% of the total number of prescriptions filled by Walgreen last year. A merger could also mean that the drug retailer may end up ruining its relationship with Medco. Walgreen is set to fill 108 million prescriptions for Medco members this year, and around 74 million of them next year. But a merger may change all that.

We'll know soon, if the two get regulatory approval to merge. It may be a good time to take a close look at the two as they try to change the face of the pharmacy benefits space. To keep tabs on the impending merger, click on the links below to add the stocks to your free watchlist, and we at the Motley Fool will keep you updated on the latest happenings.

  • Add Express scripts to My Watchlist.
  • Add Medco Health to My Watchlist.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why Now Isn't a Terrible Time to Invest

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which analyst John Reeves and advisor David Meier discuss topics across the investing world.

John Hussman recently made a pretty strong case against investing in the market right now. Dave appreciates that view, but argues that he's not investing in the market per se. Rather, he's investing in individual companies. In this video, Dave talks about three amazing companies that will do well over the long run, regardless of the short-term gyrations of the market.

Every now and again, we come across a stock, like MAKO Surgical, that has us so excited we can hardly contain our investing enthusiasm. We've uncovered one such pick with so much promise that we've dubbed it: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." We've created a special free report for investors to uncover this soon-to-be rock star. The report highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America, and you can get instant access to the name of this company by clicking here to download it now.

New Investor Strengthens Hoku Scientific (HOKU), Lawson Software (LWSN) Product Launch, SeaChange (SEAC) Receives Awards

Manufacturing activity: down. August home sales: jump 6.4%. Jobless claims: rise. Construction spending: Up. This is the sort of good news, bad news that traders had to sort through at the open of today's markets and in the first hour, traders slightly leaned towards bearishness while Hoku Scientific (HOKU), Lawson Software (LWSN) and SeaChange (SEAC) all staged percentage gains in value .

Gaining 9.76% ($0.29) today is Hoku Scientific, Inc., (HOKU) currently trading in the $3.25 range on the Nasdaq. HOKU has a new market cap of $68 million. HOKU has a 3-Month average daily trading balance of 208,011 shares and had easily passed 5 times that volume by mid-session topping 1,136,796 shares traded.� �

HOKU has undergone a lot of buzz and hype since its Tuesday's announcement when it announced that Tianwei New Energy Holdings (private) was coming to the financial rescue of HOKU in its continuing effort to build a large solar manufacturing facility in Pocatello, Idaho.

HOKU had slowed construction at the solar materials plant in July to preserve cash while it sought to raise capital, and the builder, JH Kelly, had filed a lien against HOKU for $12 million in past due payments. Last week, JH Kelly agreed to resume construction if Hoku paid $5 million and to not foreclose on the property if the rest is paid by January 14, 2010.

Enter Tianwei New Energy which makes silicon wafers and photovoltaic cells and systems. Tianwei has the cash to satisfy the builder and complete the HOKU project. The HOKU deal will convert $50 million of $79 million in secured prepayments by Tianwei to HOKU under supply agreements into HOKU stock and warrants. It also provides $50 million in debt financing, with the promise of helping secure more if needed. The deal that was struck included: HOKU issuing approximately 33.4 million new shares, which ! represen t 60% of its outstanding stock, and granting Tianwei warrants to buy an additional 10 million shares at $2.52 per share.

All of the HOKU funding will go the Idaho facility. The ultimate cost of the plant is estimated to be $390 million. The HOKU-Tianwei deal will close this month.

HOKU manufactures solar-grade polysilicon, which is used in photovoltaic (PV) modules; and design, engineering, and installation of turnkey PV systems and related services using solar modules purchased from third party suppliers. HOKU also designs, develops, and manufactures membranes, and membrane electrode assemblies for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

At $3.25, HOKU is below its 52-week high of $6.24 set on 10-02-08 and is above its 52-week low of $1.67 set on 07-14-09. At $3.25, HOKU is ahead of both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Since the outstanding shares, float and percentages of stock ownership are subject to change in the new few weeks, I've left the 'old' numbers out.

Gaining 6.41% ($0.40) this morning is Lawson Software Inc., (LWSN) which is currently trading on the Nasdaq in the $6.65 range. Lawson has a 3-Month average daily trading volume of 878,678 shares and it handily doubled that volume by mid-session surpassing 2,120,884 shares traded.

LWSN released its latest version (3.2) of the Lawson Talent Management Suite today with a wide range of new enhancements that include: Compensation Management, Performance Management, Talent Acquisition and Succession Management.

The LWSN suite is an integrated system combining core human resources applications with a leading Talent Management solution. This allows an organization to gain valuable insight into its workforce by delivering actionable information about employees that ties directly to the organization's business strategy. The LWSN suite also provides "bench streng! th" repo rting, which can help companies better understand the talent within their organization and align employee activities with broader business objectives.


Today's announcement comes on the heels of the LWSN announcement yesterday that management forecasts the Company will earn up to 3 cents per share in its Q2 which ends November 30. Excluding one-time items, LWSN expects 7 cents to 9 cents per share. LWSN earned 3 cents per share, or 10 cents per share when excluding items, in the year-ago period. LWSN also gave guidance for revenue of $175 million to $180 million in Q2 which is lower than the $206.4 million it earned last year. LWSN management also noted the Company expects adjusted earnings for the full year will rise 8-10% percent over fiscal 2009.

LWSN offers a range of software applications and industry-specific solutions that help its customers in enhancing their business processes. Its software includes enterprise financial management, business intelligence, asset management, enterprise performance management, supply chain management, service management, manufacturing operations, business project management, and industry-tailored applications.

At $6.65, LWSN is pennies below its 52-week high of $7.03 set on 10-01-08 and is above its 52-week low of $2.71 set on 11-21-08. At $6.65, LWSN is ahead of both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. LWSN has trailing twelve month revenues of $757 million and a trailing twelve month diluted EPS of $0.11. LWSN is widely held by institutions. Its shares out versus float ratio is near-parity.

Gaining 5.07% ($0.38) this morning is SeaChange International Inc., (SEAC) which is currently trading on the Nasdaq in the $7.88 range. SEAC has a new market cap of $243 million. SEAC has a 3-Month average d! aily tra ding volume of 186,926 shares and it topped 302,996 shares traded by mid-session.

Yesterday, SEAC announced the Company had received multiple honors and awards for advancing Europe's television industry. SEAC is a key provider in Europe's on-demand television markets. SEAC garnered recognition from: Cable & Satellite Intl., the International Broadcasters Convention, and the Cable and Television Communications Association for Marketing in Europe. SEAC was also recognized for its advanced technologies in digital video by Virgin Media, OTE and 3UK.

"SeaChange companies are honored to receive this validation of the real value of their ongoing actions to innovate so Europe's service operators can continuously enhance and monetize video to any screen," said Simon McGrath, CMO, SeaChange.

SEAC manufactures, and markets digital video systems worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Software, Servers and Storage, and Media Services. SEAC was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts.

At $7.88, SEAC is below its 52-week high of $9.98 set on 08-10-09 and is above its 52-week low of $4.20 set on 03-06-09. At $7.88, SEAC is behind its 50-day moving average of $8.30 and ahead of its 200-day moving average of $7.49. SEAC has trailing twelve month revenues of $201 million. It also has a trailing twelve month diluted EPS of $0.28. SEAC is widely held by institutions. Its shares out versus float ratio is near-parity.

Sign-up for Free to Receive Future Commentary and Trading Alerts on HOKU, LWSN and SEAC

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. made New 52 Week High Price - NASDAQ:BBBY

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) achieved its new 52 week high price of $62.00 where it was opened at $60.64 up 2.10 points or +3.52% by closing at $61.81. BBBY transacted shares during the day were over 3.51 million shares however it has an average volume of 3.18 million shares.

BBBY has a market capitalization $14.84 billion and an enterprise value at $13.10 billion. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 1.57 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 3.67. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 9.67% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 15.64%.

The company made a return on asset of 15.94% in past twelve months and return on equity of 22.92% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $9.12 billion gaining $36.89 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was 8.30% holding 26.20% quarterly earnings growth.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $1.74 billion cash in hand making cash per share at 7.26. The total debt was $0.00 billion. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 3.01 and book value per share was 16.29.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 4.66% where the stock current price exhibited up beat from its 50 day moving average price of $58.51 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average price of $56.08.

BBBY holds 240.07 million outstanding shares with 232.27 million floating shares where insider possessed 2.57% and institutions kept 91.40%.

Don't Get Too Worked Up Over CMS Energy's Earnings

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. FCF = free cash flow. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, CMS Energy generated $287.0 million cash while it booked net income of $415.0 million. That means it turned 4.4% of its revenue into FCF. That sounds OK. However, FCF is less than net income. Ideally, we'd like to see the opposite.

All cash is not equal
Unfortunately, the cash flow statement isn't immune from nonsense, either. That's why it pays to take a close look at the components of cash flow from operations, to make sure that the cash flows are of high quality. What does that mean? To me, it mean! s they n eed to be real and replicable in the upcoming quarters, rather than being offset by continual cash outflows that don't appear on the income statement (such as major capital expenditures).

For instance, cash flow based on cash net income and adjustments for non-cash income-statement expenses (like depreciation) is generally favorable. An increase in cash flow based on stiffing your suppliers (by increasing accounts payable for the short term) or shortchanging Uncle Sam on taxes will come back to bite investors later. The same goes for decreasing accounts receivable; this is good to see, but it's ordinary in recessionary times, and you can only increase collections so much. Finally, adding stock-based compensation expense back to cash flows is questionable when a company hands out a lot of equity to employees and uses cash in later periods to buy back those shares.

So how does the cash flow at CMS Energy look? Take a peek at the chart below, which flags questionable cash flow sources with a red bar.


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

When I say "questionable cash flow sources," I mean items such as changes in taxes payable, tax benefits from stock options, and asset sales, among others. That's not to say that companies booking these as sources of cash flow are weak, or are engaging in any sort of wrongdoing, or that everything that comes up questionable in my graph is automatically bad news. But whenever a company is getting more than, say, 10% of its cash from operations from these dubious sources, investors ought to make sure to refer to the filings and dig in.

With questionable cash flows amounting to only 9.8% of operating cash flow, CMS Energy's cash flows look clean. Within the questionable cash flow figure plotted in the TTM! period above, other operating activities (which can include deferred income taxes, pension charges, and other one-off items) provided the biggest boost, at 3.4% of cash flow from operations. Overall, the biggest drag on FCF came from capital expenditures, which consumed 75.4% of cash from operations.

A Foolish final thought
Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' cash flow. I think that's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home-run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service.

  • Add CMS Energy to My Watchlist.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013

I was a bit surprised when I took a look at the best performing ETF’s in 2013, especially when I saw that coal related stocks had done so well. There is so much discussion about the older energy sources such as coal, oil and natural gas that have been moving our economy for decades. Climate change discussions as well as rising commodity prices have helped bring alternative or renewable energy discussions to the front table.

The problem of course is that these new energy sources are often much more expensive and while that may change in the future, it is not clear how much time it will take. It seems like I have been reading about electric or hydrogen cars for over a decade and yet there is no sign of when a gasoline free car will be mass produced.

However, I don’t think anyone could argue that there will be some big winners in the alternative energy field. Just imagine the company that can produce that first battery or solar car?? There will be some big winners in this field, just as there were in the early days of pc’s or of the internet. But finding the right one is the tricky part.

The million dollar question is also how much time it will take to get alternative energy in the driver’s seat. Could coal and oil be at the top of the 2013 best performing stocks? It could happen. In the end, I decided not to use any energy picks in my top stock picks for 2013 but I do still believe there is money to be made. By far, the biggest alternative energy category is solar energy.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE)

 Markwest Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas. The company also transports, fractionates, storages, and markets natural gas liquids; and gathers and transports crude oil, as well as owns a crude oil transportation pipeline in Michigan. It conducts its operations in the Southwest, the Northeast, Liberty, and the Gulf Coast. MarkWest Energy GP, L.L.C. serves as the general partner of the company. MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. was founded in 1988 and is based in Denver, Colorado.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)

 Exxon Mobil Corporation engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products, as well as transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. The company manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, and other specialty products. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 35,691 gross and 30,494 net operated wells. The company has operations in the United States, Canada/South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. Exxon Mobil Corporation was founded in 1870 and is based in Irving, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Hawkinvest At 2012-2-23

    Exxon (XOM) is a must-own stock for many oil investors. This company has a strong balance sheet and a very significant reserve base, which grows in value with the price of oil. Exxon recently reported solid results with earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011 coming in at $1.97 per share. The company also reported that it bought back about $5 billion worth of shares. Weaker margins in the refinery business did impact results, but overall, the report shows that the company is poised for a solid year ahead. Exxon has a very strong balance sheet and it can afford to continue buying back shares which will help to boost future earnings. This stock was trading for about $80 per share in December, but has been trending higher. Exxon shares have recently been finding support around $83 per share, so buying on dips at that level are particularly attractive.


    Here are some key points for XOM:


    Current share price: $86.57

    The 52 week range is $67.03 to $88.23

    Earnings estimates for 2011: $8.25 per share

    Earnings estimates for 2012: $8.99 per share

    Annual dividend: about $1.88 per share which yields about 2.2%

  • By John Reese At 2012-1-11

    Again, another company that will win either way.  This is the largest company by market cap on the US stock market.  That makes them a safe haven asset when the economy is going south.  But in addition to their defensive qualities, they also have great long term prospects for growth.  They are always finding new reserves of oil.  But they are also investing in other energy sources as well like natural gas.  I think they will be a huge player in the natural gas power generation business in years to come.  I’m bullish here because I think gas will become a major player in the power generation industry in the US.  It burns cleaner than coal and safer than nuclear.

  • By Dave Friedman At 2011-9-23

    Institutional investors bought 79,917,190 shares and sold 113,327,900 shares, for a net of -33,410,710 shares. This net represents 0.68% of common shares outstanding. The number of shares outstanding is 4,885,000,000. The shares recently traded at $72.64 and the company’s market capitalization is $353,184,000,000.00. About the company: Exxon Mobil Corporation operates petroleum and petrochemicals businesses on a worldwide basis. The Company’s operations include exploration and production of oil and gas, electric power generation, and coal and minerals operations. Exxon Mobil also manufactures and markets f! uels, lu bricants, and chemicals.

  • By Jim Cramer At 2011-9-7

    Hmm. This is a tough one. Oil up $10 will certainly help, but the overpay of XTO Energy (XTO), a nat gas company bought when prices were so much higher, will continue to bite earnings and the company's conservative nature will make it seem plodding versus the other companies here. I don't share the appreciation many have for this company. I regard it more as a bank than an exploration and production company. That's why I see it only inching up about $5 to $78 and change, a very disappointing member of the Dow considering what is does for a living.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (ETE)

 Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., through its direct and indirect investments in the limited partner and general partner interests in Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., engages in midstream, intrastate, and interstate transportation of natural gas, as well as in storage of natural gas in the United States. The company?s Intrastate Transportation and Storage segment engages in the ownership and operation of natural gas transportation pipelines and natural gas storage facilities. As of December 31, 2009, it owned and operated approximately 7,800 miles of natural gas transportation pipelines and 3 natural gas storage facilities. This segment sells natural gas to electric utilities, independent power plants, local distribution companies, industrial end-users, and other marketing companies on the Houston pipeline system. Its Interstate Transportation segment involves owns and operates interstate natural gas pipeline. It owned and operates approximately 2,700 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline with an additional 180 miles under construction. The company?s Midstream segment engages in the ownership and operation of in service natural gas gathering pipelines, natural gas processing plants, natural gas treating facilities, and natural gas conditioning facilities. This segment owned and operated approximately 7,000 miles of in service natural gas gathering pipelines, 3 natural gas processing plants, 11 natural gas treating facilities, and 11 natural gas conditioning facilities. Its Retail Propane segment operates a retail distribution network consisting of approximately 440 customer service locations in approximately 40 states. The company was formerly known as La Grange Energy, L.P. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. was founded in 2002 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA)

 Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. It owns or contracts for approximately 185.5 billion cubic feet of total gas storage capacity. The company owns and operates gas storage facilities in Alberta, Canada, as well as in northern California and Oklahoma, the United States. Its gas storage customers include financial institutions, producers, marketers, power generators, pipelines, and municipalities. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Pengrowth Energy Corporation (PGH)

 Pengrowth Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. It primarily explores for crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia. As of December 31, 2010, the company had total proved plus probable reserves of 318.4 millions of barrels of oil equivalent; and had an interest in 8,277 gross producing and 2,463 gross non-producing oil and natural gas wells. Pengrowth Energy Corporation was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:REX American Resources Corporation (REX)

 REX American Resources Corporation engages in the production and sale of ethanol and distillers grains. It also leases real estate properties. The company was formerly known as REX Stores Corporation and changed its name to REX American Resources Corporation on June 10, 2010. REX American Resources Corporation was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:ENSCO plc (ESV)

 Ensco plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry. The company engages in the drilling of offshore oil and natural gas wells by providing its drilling rigs and crews under contracts with international, government-owned, and independent oil and gas companies. As of February 15, 2010, it owned and operated 42 jackup rigs, 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs, and 1 barge rig. The company also has 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs under construction. It operates in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. The company was formerly known as Ensco International plc and changed its name to Ensco plc in March 2010. Ensco plc was founded in 1975 and is based in London, the United Kingdom.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Jake Lynch At 2011-10-6

    Ensco(ESV) sells offshore contract drilling services to other oil and gas companies. The company is based in London.

    Ensco is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 24. Its third-quarter adjusted earnings of 92 cents exceeded Wall Street's consensus forecast by 3.5%. Revenue of $428 million beat the target by 2.1%. Nevertheless, net sales are down 10% over 12 months and GAAP profit has declined year-over-year in seven consecutive quarters, hurting its stock.

    But, the stock is cheap relative to those of peers, trading at a trailing earnings multiple of 13, a forward earnings multiple of 13, a book value multiple of 1.3 and a cash flow multiple of 9.1, 80%, 38%, 56% and 46% discounts to oil-and-gas industry averages.

    Currently, 56% of analysts covering Ensco rate its stock "buy." Jefferies has a price target of $64 on the stock, suggesting 20% of upside in 2011. The highest target comes from FBR Capital Markets, which predicts a rise to $70 in the next 12 months.

  • By Skousen At 2011-10-6

    Ensco is a global offshore contract drilling company. Cramer holds 2,100 shares of ESV stocks. ESV has a dividend yield of 2.97% and returned -5.86% since the beginning of this year. It has a market cap of $10.94B and a P/E ratio of 16.54. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick invested $429 million in ESV

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ)

 Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the exploration, development, production, marketing, and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. The company?s products include light and medium crude oil, primary heavy crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its midstream activities include operation of three crude oil pipelines and an electricity co-generation facility. The company operates in North America; the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea; and Cote d Ivoire and Gabon in offshore West Africa. Canadian Natural Resources Limited was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Skousen At 2011-10-26

    Shares are trading around $31.50 at the time of writing, as against their 52-week trading range of $25.69 to $52.04. At this share price the company’s market capitalization is $34.72 billion. Earnings per share last year were $1.14, and the shares trade on a price to earnings multiple of 27.79. The company paid a dividend to shareholders of $0.36 last year, a yield of 1.20%.

    The price of natural gas has been held back over recent years as shale gas production has increased supply, and margins at the main exploration companies may be held back as economic malaise limits demand. With Canadian Natural Resources’ gross margin of 56.47% converting to an operating margin of 16.84%, the company holds up well against its main competitors. Encana (ECA) has a better gross margin (60.90%), but high overheads work this down rapidly to 10.25% at the operating level. Whilst Suncor Energy (SU) and Imperial Oil (IMO) both have operating margins of around 13.5%, Suncor benefits from gross margins of 47.26% versus Imperial’s more meagre 21.35%. With a better mix of oil, petroleum, and gas in its business structure than both Canadian Natural Resources and better gross margins than Imperial Oil, I think Suncor Energy is the better buy of the three.

  • By Admin At 2011-9-28

    Canadian Natural Resources Limited (NYSE:CNQ): Down 2.13% to $29.40. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. acquires, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and related products. The Company operates in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, northeastern British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Canadian Natural also operates in areas which have access for exploration activities and where pipeline systems already exist.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF)

 Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, produces iron ore pellets, lump and fines iron ore, and metallurgical coal products. The company operates six iron ore mines in Michigan, Minnesota, and eastern Canada; two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia; five metallurgical coal mines located in West Virginia and Alabama; and one thermal coal mine located in West Virginia. It also owns a 45% economic interest in a coking and thermal coal mine located in Queensland, Australia; and a 30% interest in Amapa, a Brazilian iron ore project in Latin America, as well as chromite properties in Ontario, Canada. The company, formerly known as Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, was founded in 1847 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Sam Collins At 2011-9-11

    Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF ), formerly Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., is an international mining and natural resources company that produces iron ore pellets and metallurgical coal. CLF should benefit from a strong market position in North America and a platform for expansion to Asia.

    Technically the stock is in a powerful bull market, holding above both its bullish support line and 200-day moving average . Within the past month, two buys signals were triggered from our internal indicator, the Collins-Bollinger Reversal (CBR), and on Sept. 27, the stochastic issued a buy signal. The technical target for CLF is $75. S&P rates the stock a "four-star buy" with a 12-month target of $78.

  • By Michael At 2011-9-8

    Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) also had a great February, and finished up 48% for the month. The company reported fourth quarter of 2009 earnings of $0.75 per share, beating analystestimates of $0.39. The momentum from this positive earnings surprise carried the stock for the rest of the month.

10 Best Energy Stocks To Invest In 2013:Joy Global Inc. (JOYG)

 Joy Global Inc. engages in the manufacture and servicing of mining equipment for the extraction coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, and other minerals worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Underground Mining Machinery and Surface Mining Equipment. The Underground Mining Machinery segment produces continuous miners, longwall shearers, powered roof supports, armored face conveyors, shuttle cars, flexible conveyor trains, roof bolters, battery haulers, continuous haulage systems, feeder breakers, conveyor systems, high angle conveyors, and crushing equipment, as well as longwall mining systems consisting of powered roof supports, an armored face conveyor, and a longwall shearer. This segment also rebuilds and services equipment, and sells replacement parts and consumables in support of installed base. The Surface Mining Equipment segment produces electric mining shovels, walking draglines, and rotary blasthole drills for open-pit mining operations. This segment also sells used electric mining shovels; and provides logistics and life cycle management support services, including equipment erections, relocations, inspections, service, repairs, rebuilds, upgrades, used equipment, new and used parts, enhancement kits, and training, as well as offers electric motor rebuilds and other products and services to the non-mining industrial segment. In addition, it offers wheel loaders, as well as jack-up rigs and ancillary equipment for the oil and gas drilling industries. Joy Global Inc. sells its products primarily to global and regional mining companies. The company was founded in 1884 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Sam Collins At 2011-9-11

    Joy Global (NASDAQ: JOYG), a manufacturer of surface and underground mining equipment, is expected to increase revenues by 18.5% this year versus a 2% decline in 2010 (October FY). It has an order backlog of $1.8 billion, and S&P expects it to continue to see bo! th highe r orders and backlog.?

    Ford Research rates JOYG a “strong buy” and S&P’s rates it a “four-star buy” with a target price of $98. The stock has found support on its 50-day moving average since the major breakout at $63 in August. The technical target for JOYG is $100.

A Low-Risk Pick for my $100,000 Real-Money Portfolio

I've been thinking about biotech stocks a great deal lately. The sector seems to be trading much better in the early weeks of 2012, with a few spectacular gainers already in the bag and likely more to come.

Yet investors are also well aware many biotech stocks simply flame out as cash dwindles or as a drug fails to meet clinical testing hurdles. So how do you gain potentially big upside without suffering significant downside (which is my entire $100,000 Portfolio mission) in this speculative sector?

I think I've found the perfect vehicle.

It's a company with ties to a range of promising drugs and only needs to see a few hits to give its shares a solid boost. I'm talking about Ligand Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: LGND), which has been around for more than 20 years. After a major revamp about five years ago, the company is just now hitting its stride.

Just-released fourth-quarter results underscore a long-awaited milestone. Ligand had been losing money because its portfolio of drugs had yet to mature, but now it's finally profitable -- and potentially hugely profitable within a few years.

Before I get into Ligand's slate of investments, let me show you what this company has looked like by the numbers.

As you can see in the table above, Ligand's heavy investments to acquire the rights to promising drugs have led to a string of money-losing years. EBITDA is the more salient metric than earnings per share (EPS), because it best highlights an ongoing cash burn. Not only did Ligand sharply reduce the EBITDA drain in 2011, it actually delivered positive EBITDA in the fourth qu! arter -- for the first time in a number of years. And now that Ligand is in the black, it's highly unlikely to slip back into the red.

Credit for this company's coming turnaround goes to CEO John Higgins, who took the reins in January 2007. Since then, he has deployed the company's cash into four key deals, which have provided a pipeline of drugs, and more important, some key biotechnology platforms that can boost the efficacy and safety of many other companies' drugs.

Reaping what they sow
Through its investment in various small biotech firms, Ligand now has exposure to 60 different drugs that are either in clinical trials or are already on the market. Specifically, roughly 10% of its drug pipeline has already received Food and Drug Administration approval, another 10% is in Phase III testing, another 25% is in Phase II testing, with the remainder either in Phase I or pre-clinical testing.

Here's a quick summary of a few key programs that are already generating income:

*Captisol. Captisol is a chemical solution that makes drugs more stable and can lead to more precise dosing. More than 20 drugs currently in development are being tested with Captisol. This platform is providing a boost to many of Ligand's drugs in development, and is being licensed by major pharmaceutical firms to improve the performance of existing drugs. Partners include Baxter (NYSE: BAX), Merck (NYSE: MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMS) and Medicines Co. (Nasdaq: MDCO).

*Promacta. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) currently sells this drug, which stimulates platelet formation and targets patients with bleeding disorders. Glaxo is also t! esting P romacta to gauge its efficacy in patients with hepatitis C. According to the World Health Organization, about 170 million people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus, which can result in cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. If Promacta proves to be efficient in the treatment of the disease, then it could potentially become a blockbuster drug.

Ligand earns a sliding 5% to 10% royalty scale, depending on sales volume. It is likely to make around $10 million in Promacta royalties this year, but this figure could be 10 times higher by the middle of the decade. UBS projects sales of Promacta to rise 150% to $123 million this year, and sees 2013 sales exceeding $200 million, on the way to $500 million in sales by 2015.

Ligand's sales are expected to remain stable or trend moderately higher over the course of 2012 as these two drug platforms gain greater traction. Management has formally issued guidance for 2012 sales of $30 million and positive cash flow, though this figure appears to be conservative in light of recent quarterly sales run rates.
Not only do the two platforms have significant growth opportunities in the years ahead, but Ligand's pipeline of yet-to-be-approved drugs also looks quite promising.

For example, Ligand's partner Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX) is testing a drug called carfilzomib, which is a Captisol-based protease inhibitor that has appeared quite effective in the treatment of multiple myelomas (blood cancers). Phase II testing is underway, and carfilzomib could be on the market a year from now. The company and the analysts who follow Ligand say this drug also has the potential to be a blockbuster.

Behind carfilzomib stands a fairly deep drug pipeline, though it's too early to place a value on it. The company is spending about $16 million in general overhead each year and another $10 million on research and development (R&D) -- with partners spending much more on t! heir own R&D that could yield royalties to Ligand.

So combined, we're talking about roughly $26 million in annual expenses. Notably, Ligand's revenue stream has already surpassed this amount and is likely to march much higher in 2013 and beyond. That's why I think this former money-loser should be a money-maker from here on out.
The Downside Protection --> Shares have traded as low as $9 when the market was in full sell-off mode last summer. If the market hits another deep rough patch in 2012, then that's a floor that you need to think about. Insiders tend to step in and support the stock with open market purchases in the $11 range. Now that Ligand is profitable, shares may never touch those lows again.

Upside Triggers --> The two drug platforms noted above are just beginning to hit their stride. As a result, 2012 should see a steady stream of announcements from Ligand and its partners regarding clinical trial progress or new sales agreements. Analysts are still hard-pressed to specifically gauge forward quarterly revenue streams, but the projected income statements should get much more clarity over the course of 2012.

As a very rough gauge, assume 2012 sales of $30 million, 2013 sales of $40 million and sales approaching $100 million by 2015. Notably, these sales carry very high margins, which is why analysts say Ligand could earn $3 to $4 a share by 2016. If this scenario plays out, then shares could rise from a current $14 to $30 or $40 in the next few years.

I will be buying 700 shares of Ligand (or roughly $10,000 worth) 48 hours after you read this.

I'm not expecting rapid appreciation for this stock. Indeed, it carries a fairly low beta and wouldn't necessarily surge in value just because the market takes off! . More c yclical holdings in my $100,000 portfolio, such as Ford (NYSE: F) and Alcoa (NYSE: AA), have much greater leaverage to expectations of a rebounding U.S. economy. That said, Ligand's shares are more likely to hold their own if the U.S. economic outlook becomes constrained. Frankly, this isn't a stock to hold for the next six months, and instead should be seen as a solid long-term growth portfolio holding.

[Note: Be sure not to miss out on my next portfolio investment.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

M&A Frenzy Stays Hot With Pfizer's $3.6 Billion Deal for King Pharmaceuticals

The frenzy of activity in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) continued yesterday (Tuesday), when Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) agreed to pay $3.6 billion in cash to buy King Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: KG).

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, is paying $14.25 per share for King. That's a premium of 40% to the stock's Monday closing price of $10.15. As part of the deal, Pfizer will receive such products as Avinza and EpiPen, a pre-filled injection designed to quickly treat serious allergic reactions.

King also gives Pfizer access to the Flector pain patch and morphine pill Embeda. Pfizer has been looking to expand its pain products beyond the arthritis treatment Celebrex and nerve pain remedy Lyrica. King had $1.78 billion in revenue last year and is focused on making pain medications that patients can't abuse.

Pfizer needs new products to help offset revenue losses expected next year when generic copies of its top-selling drug, the Lipitor cholesterol pill, enter the market. Lipitor sales topped $11.4 billion last year.

"We view King as a solid asset at a somewhat elevated price for Pfizer," Joel Levington, managing director with Brookfield Investment Management Inc., said in an email to Bloomberg News. "The transaction should modestly help Pfizer's growth profile in 2012 through 2013, and we do not see the deal having an impact on the company's strong creditworthiness."

The deal comes a year after Pfizer bought Wyeth for $68 billion - a deal that kicked off a flurry of merger activity in the pharmaceutical industry. Big drug makers face the expiration of patents on many flagship drugs, which opens the doors for much cheaper generic versions of those drugs to enter the market.

Fitch Ratings Inc. cut its outlook on Pfizer to negative earlier this month, saying the effects that expiring patents will have on revenue and m! argins w ill likely be worse than expected. But Pfizer's stock has rallied lately, as the Wyeth acquisition boosted revenue.

With the deal, Pfizer expects to increase its exposure to the pain medication market, a business that is expected to grow as baby boomers hit retirement age.

"We are highly impressed by King's innovative products and technology in the pain relief disease area, as well as by its success in advancing promising compounds in its pipeline," said Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer's chief executive. "The combination of our respective portfolios in this area of unmet medical need is highly complementary and will allow us to offer a fuller spectrum of treatments for patients across the globe who are in need of pain relief and management."

Global mergers and acquisitions activity is at its highest level since late 2009, providing a glimmer of hope to investors struggling to decipher stock and bond markets roiled by a weakening U.S. economy.

Global takeovers announced so far this year have totaled $1.29 trillion, up 23% from the same time last year, according to Bloomberg.

The value of worldwide M&A totaled $1.75 trillion during the first nine months of 2010, a 21% increase from comparable 2009 levels and the strongest nine month period for M&A since 2008, according to Thomson Reuters.

The pharmaceutical business has been particularly active this year.  Last week, France's Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE ADR: SNY) launched an $18.5 billion hostile bid for Massachusetts-based Genzyme Corp. (Nasdaq: GENZ), offering $69 per share directly to investors, raising pressure on the U.S. biotech to start negotiations.

That followed U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) plan to buy the rest it doesn't already own of Leiden, Netherlands-based vaccine manufacturer Crucell NV for $2.4 billion.

Stock market investors u! sually c heer the deals because acquisitions are seen as a sign companies are confident the economy will grow and business will improve

"Increased M&A activity is giving decent support to equities in a fairly illiquid market," Jeffrey Davis, who oversees $5 billion as chief investment officer at Lee Munder Capital Group in Boston told Bloomberg. "We're looking at growth stocks and technology stocks in particular which have taken a beating over the past weeks, so there may be some attractive valuations there."

News & Related Story Links:

  • Bloomberg:
    Pfizer's $3.6 Billion Deal for King Boosts Pain Drug Focus
  • Wall Street Journal:
    Pfizer to Buy King Pharmaceuticals
  • Money Morning:
    International M&A Boom Fueled by Global Currency War
  • Money Morning:
    Let's Make a Deal: How the Mergers-and-Acquisitions Boom Will Hurt the U.S. Economy
  • Money Morning: HP, Dell Land In Pricey Bidding War as Tech Sector M&A Heats Up
  • Money Morning:
    Investors' Hopes Riding on Surge in M&A Activity

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015

With 2015 just around the corner, it’s time to take look at our favorite sector heading into the new year.


While there’s still plenty of uncertainty in the markets, particularly with Europe’s ongoing debt crisis, there’s also significant opportunity.  Remember, volatile markets can often lead to enormous upside potential.


Take the tech sector for example…


Some investors consider technology stocks risky because they often trade at higher multiples and don’t typically pay dividends.  And at times, the sector has had the tendency to underperform during sluggish economic periods.


Here’s the thing…


There are plenty of solid, growing tech companies out there if you know where to look.  And you can make a fortune on them even in a down market.


So why tech in 2015?


There are several reasons…


First off, we’re seeing a resurgence of the internet company.  Social media companies are redefining how people spend time and money online.  Of course, Facebook is leading the charge with over 800 million users.  And, the Facebook IPO is probably the most anticipated market event of 2015.


Speaking of IPOs, several new tech and internet IPOs hit the market in 2015.  Many of these IPOs saw huge gains right off the bat.  Clearly, many investors still get excited about the prospects of a tech IPO.


What’s more, the mainstream adoption of the smartphone and the tablet PC are leading to a wide range of tech opportunities.


You see, smartphones and tablets are selling like hot cakes.  And they’re driving growth in several related industries.  Think about it… processors, games, data storage, wireless technology… they all benefit directly from surging demand for these red hot mobile devices.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Harvard Bioscience Inc. (HBIO)

 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets apparatus and scientific instruments used in life science research in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, and government laboratories in the United States and internationally. The company?s products target ADMET testing, and molecular biology and liquid handling application areas. Its ADMET testing products comprise absorption diffusion chambers that measure the absorption of a drug into the bloodstream; well equilibrium dialysis plates for serum protein binding assays; organ testing systems; infusion pumps for infusing liquids; behavioral products used in neuroscience, cardiology, psychological, and respiratory studies to evaluate the effects of situational stimuli, drugs, and nutritional infusions on motor and sensory, activity, and learning and test behavior; cell injection systems; ventilators; and electroporation products. The company also distributes various devices, instruments, and consumable items used in experiments involving cells, tissues, organs, and animals in the fields of proteomics, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, cell biology, molecular biology, and toxicology. It sells its ADMET testing products under the Harvard Apparatus, BTX, KD Scientific, Hugo Sachs Elektronik, Panlab, and Warner Instruments brands names. Its molecular biology and liquid handling products include molecular biology spectrophotometers, DNA/RNA/protein calculators, multi-well plate readers, amino acid analysis systems, liquid dispensers, gel electrophoresis systems, and consumables primarily consisting of pipettes, pipette tips, autoradiography films, gloves, thermal cycler accessories, and reagents. The company sells its products to researchers through catalogs, its Website, and distributors, as well as directly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Canada. Harvard Bioscience, Inc. was founded in 1901 and is headquartered in Holliston, Massachusetts.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:O2Micro International Limited (OIIM)

 O2Micro International Limited designs, develops, and markets semiconductor components for power management and security applications, as well as systems security solutions. It offers power management and cardbus controller products, which include ICs to provide power for LCD and LED lighting, control and monitor battery charging and discharging, DC/DC conversion, provide connections between notebook computers and external plug-in cards, and provide select and switch functionality between power sources. The company also provides system security solutions, such as VPNs and firewalls, which provide security functions for communications between computer systems and networks, including the transmission of data across the Internet. It offers integrated circuits for consumer electronics, computer, and industrial and communications products, including LCD computer monitors, LCD televisions, notebook computers, Internet security devices, GPS, mobile phones, and portable DVD players. The company sells its products through its direct sales force, independent sales representatives, and distributors to OEMs, ODMs, and module makers in China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in George Town, the Cayman Islands.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Mohawk Industries Inc. (MHK)

 Mohawk Industries, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of floor covering products for residential and commercial applications primarily in the United States and Europe. The company operates through three segments: Mohawk, Dal-Tile, and Unilin. The Mohawk segment designs, manufactures, sources, distributes, and markets floor covering product lines, which include carpets, ceramic tiles, laminates, rugs, carpet pads, hardwood, and resilient. This segment offers its products under the brand names of Mohawk, Aladdin, Mohawk ColorCenters, Mohawk Floorscapes, Portico, Mohawk Home, Bigelow, Durkan, Horizon, Karastan, Lees, and Merit. In addition, this segment markets and distributes its soft and hard surface products through independent floor covering retailers, home centers, mass merchandisers, department stores, commercial dealers, and commercial end users, as well as through private labeling programs. The Dal-Tile segment designs, manufactures, sources, distributes, and markets a line of ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and natural stone products. This segment offers its products primarily under the Dal-Tile and American Olean brand names through company-owned service centers, independent distributors, home center retailers, tile and flooring retailers, and contractors. The Unilin segment offers laminate and hardwood flooring under the brand names of Quick-Step, Columbia Flooring, Century Flooring, and Universal Flooring through retailers, independent distributors, and home centers. This segment also produces roofing systems, insulation panels, and other wood products. Mohawk Industries, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Brunswick Corporation (BC)

 Brunswick Corporation provides recreation products worldwide. Its Marine Engine segment offers sterndrive propulsion systems, and inboard and outboard engines under the Mercury, Mercury MerCruiser, Mariner, Mercury Racing, Mercury SportJet, Mercury Jet Drive, MotorGuide, Axius, and Zeus brand names, as well as marine parts and accessories under the Quicksilver, Mercury Precision Parts, Mercury Propellers, Attwood, Land ?N? Sea, Kellogg Marine, Diversified Marine Products, Sea Choice, and MotorGuide brand names. The company?s Boat segment manufactures and markets fiberglass pleasure and fishing boats, luxury sportfishing convertibles and motoryachts, offshore and aluminum fishing boats, pontoon and deck boats, yachts, sport yachts and cruisers, runabouts, and motoryachts. Brunswick?s Fitness segment provides cardiovascular fitness equipment, such as treadmills, total body cross-trainers, stair climbers, and stationary exercise bicycles; and strength-training equipment under the Life Fitness and Hammer Strength brands. Its Bowling and Billiards segment produces bowling products, consumer billiard tables, air hockey table games, foosball tables, and other gaming tables and related accessories; and billiards, video games, redemption and other games of skill, laser tag, pro shops, meeting and party rooms, snack bars, restaurants, and cocktail lounges. As of December 31, 2010, it had 100 bowling centers. Brunswick Corporation serves primarily the state/local/foreign governments, independent boat builders, health clubs, fitness facilities operated by professional sports teams, the military, governmental agencies, corporations, hotels, schools, and universities. The company was founded in 1845 and is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)

 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. operates as a semiconductor company in the United States, Japan, China, and Europe. Its microprocessors for server platforms include multi-core AMD Opteron processors; notebook PC platforms consist of the AMD Dual-Core Accelerated Processor E-350, AMD Dual-Core Accelerated Processor C-50, AMD Phenom II Dual-Core Mobile Processor, AMD Phenom II Quad-Core Mobile Processor, AMD Turion X2 Mobile Processor, AMD Turion II Mobile Processor, AMD Turion II Ultra Mobile Processor, AMD Turion Neo X2 Mobile Processor, AMD Athlon II processor, AMD Athlon Neo processor, AMD Athlon Neo X2 Dual-Core processor, and the Mobile AMD Sempron processor products; and desktop PC platforms comprise AMD Phenom II, AMD Phenom, AMD Athlon II, AMD Athlon X2, AMD Athlon, and AMD Sempron processors. It also provides embedded processor products for vendors in industrial controls, digital signage, point of sale/self-service kiosks, medical imaging, set-top box, and casino gaming machines, as well as enterprise class telecommunications, networking, security, storage systems and thin-clients, or computers. In addition, the company offers chipset products, including integrated graphics processor chipsets and discrete chipsets for desktop and notebook PCs, professional workstations, and servers. Further, it provides graphic products consisting of 3D graphics, and video and multimedia products for use in desktop and notebook computers, such as home media PCs, professional workstations, and servers, as well as technology for game consoles. The company's graphics products comprise discrete desktop graphics, discrete notebook graphics, professional graphics, FireStream processors, and game consoles. It serves original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, system builders, and independent distributors through direct sales force, independent distributors, and sales representatives. The company was founded in 1969 and is based in Sunnyvale, California.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Dav id Sterman At 2011-12-6

    This chip maker showed real promise in the middle of the last decade. Its Opteron micro-processors were very popular with PC and server vendors, but its momentum faded as mighty Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)fought back.

    I ran through AMD’s business model in late July, (which you can read about here) and little has changed since then. Part of the company’s turnaround plans are based on a successor to Opteron, known as “Bulldozer.” Those chips just started shipping to customers this week, and we won’t need to wait too long to get a sense of how much demand the chip will see. AMD is likely to discuss the chip’s progress when quarterly results are released in October. This will also provide investors with the first communication from new CEO Rory Read, who was hired in late August from PC giant Lenovo. In my view, he’s inheriting a business that is far healthier than many suspect, and I still see more than 50% upside in this stock.

  • By Eric Fox At 2011-10-24

    Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) had a spectacular month and rose 56% in November. The company benefited from a $1.25 billion legal settlement with competitor Intel (Nasdaq: INTC). The parties agreed to end all litigation involving antitrust and patent issues between them. AMD promptly used the funds to delever its balance sheet, which has always been a concern to investors. Th! e compan y is buying back part of a convertible bond issue and redeeming another note issue in full. 

  • By Larry Gellar At 2011-8-31

    Best known for its work as a food processor, Archer Daniels Midland has been on a steady decline after nearly reaching $38 per share earlier in the year. Part of this has been due to some unfortunate events in the commodity markets, but prospects for ADM look rosy. As future estimates for world population continue to rise, this stock will benefit. In fact, some demographers have the world population going to 8 billion by 2023. Archer Daniels Midland also has an ethanol division that many investors are hoping the company will spin off. We agree with this sentiment and believe such a move would add value to the company. Additionally, ADM will benefit as the price of oil rises regardless of what happens with its ethanol business. (Note that future increases in the price of oil are almost inevitable). This is because the company has other divisions besides ethanol that represent alternative energy sources. As the price of oil goes up, these segments will surely see greater demand. Shareholders have also noted that company insiders do not buy the stock very often, but this may simply be due to the executives’ desire to diversify. Also, note that P/E and PEG for ADM are quite low at 9.28 and 0.94 respectively. This beats out rivals Bunge (BG) and Corn Products International (CPO).

  • By Vita At 2011-8-26


    The brokerage said the chip maker outlined more competitive PC/server platforms for 2011, new Fusion-integrated central processing unit/graphics processing unit (CPU/GPU) platforms for PCs with over 100 design wins, and the transition to a fables flexible operating model.

    The brokerage added AMD's product mix and gross margins will likely continue to improve, driven by an improved product mix such as Fusion PC platforms, more competitive Opteron 4000/6000 server platforms, continued strength in discrete PC graphics, and better operational execution.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Teleflex Incorporated (TFX)

 Teleflex Incorporated designs, manufactures, and distributes specialty medical devices for a range of procedures in critical care and surgery worldwide. It offers disposable medical products for critical care that includes medical devices used in critical care procedures for vascular access, respiratory care, anesthesia and airway management, treatment of urologic conditions, and other specialty procedures; and devices used in the treatment of patients with severe cardiac conditions, including intra aortic balloon pump systems and intra aortic balloon catheters and accessories. The company also provides surgical devices and instruments used in general and specialty surgical procedures, such as ligation and closure products, including appliers, clips, and sutures; access ports used in minimally invasive surgical procedures comprising robotic surgery; fluid management products for chest drainage; and hand-held instruments for general and specialty surgical procedures under the Deknatel, Pleur-evac, Pilling, Taut, and Weck brand names. In addition, it offers cardiac care products, including diagnostic catheters and capital equipment; instruments and devices for other medical device manufacturers; and customized medical instruments, implants, and components to original equipment manufacturers. The company sells its medical products through its sales forces, and independent representatives and distributor networks. Teleflex Incorporated was founded in 1938 and is based in Limerick, Pennsylvania.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Imperial Oil Limited (IMO)

 Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration and production of conventional crude oil, natural gas, synthetic oil, and bitumen primarily in the Western Provinces, the Canada Lands, and the Atlantic Offshore. Its primary conventional oil producing asset includes the Norman Wells oil field in the Northwest Territories. The Downstream segment engages in the transportation and refining of crude oil, as well as blending, distribution, and marketing of refined products. It owns and operates crude oil, and natural gas liquids and products pipelines in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. The Chemical segment engages in the manufacture and marketing of various petrochemicals, including ethylene, benzene, aromatic and aliphatic solvents, plasticizer intermediates, and polyethylene resin. As of December 31, 2010, Imperial Oil Limited had 1,204 million oil-equivalent barrels of proved undeveloped reserves; maintained a nation-wide distribution system, including 24 primary terminals, to handle bulk and packaged petroleum products moving from refineries to market by pipeline, tanker, rail, and road transport; and sold petroleum products through 1,850 Esso retail service stations, of which approximately 510 were company owned or leased. The company was founded in 1880 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada. Imperial Oil Limited operates as a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Best Stocks To Watch In 2015:Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

 Chesapeake Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and production of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. It also provides marketing and other midstream services. The company?s properties are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. As of December 31, 2010, it had interests in approximately 45,800 gross productive wells. The company?s proved reserves include 17.096 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. Chesapeake Energy Corporation was founded in 1989 and is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Sam Collins At 2011-9-11

    Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) is one of the largest independent exploration and production companies in the United States. It focuses on U.S. onshore natural gas production east of the Rocky Mountains.?

    On Jan. 30, the company said that Cnooc Ltd. (NYSE: CEO) would pay $1.3 billion for access to acreage held by Chesapeake Energy. CHK has also developed a dominant natural gas shale position, and S&P “expects its expertise in unconventional drilling to carry over to liquids development.”?

    Technically, the close above $28 represents a major breakout from a three-year consolidation. The target for CHK is $39.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015

As a dividend growth investor, I typically hold mostly U.S.-based dividend stocks. There are several reasons behind that, which I outlined in this article on the best international dividend stocks. Another reason why I hold U.S.-based multinationals has been outlined in this article.

Canadian dividend stocks seem to be having characteristics that make them similar to their U.S. counterparts. First, most Canadian stocks pay a regular distribution every quarter. Second, most Canadian blue chips pay a stable or rising dividend. This is unlike most European companies for example, which typically target a payout ratio based off earnings. Last, U.S. investors get 15% of their Canadian dividend income withheld at the source. At tax time, however, US investors get an offsetting credit against this tax withholding in taxable accounts. So the net effect is zero for most high-income investors.

In order to find the best Canadian dividend stocks, I obtained a list of Canadian Dividend Achievers. These are Canadian companies, that have increased dividends for the past five or more consecutive years.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Giga-tronics Incorporated (GIGA)

 Giga-tronics Incorporated designs, manufactures, and markets various test and measurement equipment used in the development, test, and maintenance of wireless communications products and systems, flight navigational equipment, electronic defense systems, and automatic testing systems worldwide. Its products are primarily used in the design, production, repair, and maintenance of commercial telecommunications, radar, and electronic warfare equipment. The company operates in two segments, Giga-tronics Division and Microsource. The Giga-tronics Division segment produces signal sources, generators and sweepers, and power measurement instruments for use in the microwave and radio frequency range of 10 kilohertz to 50 gigahertz. This segment also manufactures switch modules and interface adapters that operate with a bandwidth from direct current to optical frequencies for defense, aeronautics, communications, satellite, electronic warfare, commercial aviation, and semiconductor markets. The Microsource segment develops and manufactures a line of Yttrium, Iron, and Garnet tuned oscillators, filters, and microwave synthesizers, which are used in various microwave instruments or devices. The company markets its products through various independent distributors and representatives to commercial and government customers. Giga-tronics Incorporated was founded in 1980 and is based in San Ramon, California.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Emerson Radio Corporation (MSN)

 Emerson Radio Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in designing, sourcing, importing, marketing, selling, and licensing various house ware and consumer electronic products in the United States and internationally. It offers house wares products, such as microwave ovens, compact refrigerators, and wine coolers; audio products comprising digital clock radios, portable stereo systems, and other audio products; and video and other products, including televisions, digital video disc (DVD) players, mobile electronics, and telephone and telephone accessories. The company provides its products under the Emerson, HH Scott, and Olevia brands. It markets its products primarily through mass merchandisers. The company was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Moonachie, New Jersey. Emerson Radio Corp. operates as a subsidiary of Grande Holdings Limited.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Alico Inc. (ALCO)

 Alico, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a land management company in central and southwest Florida. It involves in harvesting, hauling, and marketing citrus, as well as purchasing and reselling citrus fruit; cultivating citrus trees; and cultivating raw sugarcane for sale. The company also engages in producing and selling beef cattle, feeding cattle, and replacement heifers to packing and processing plants and contract cattle buyers, as well as through local livestock auction markets. In addition, it grows, harvests, and sells vegetables for wholesale; produces sod; sells native plants and trees for landscaping purposes; and subdivides, develops, and sells real estate property. Further, the company involves in rock and sand mining; and rents land on a tenant-at-will basis for grazing, farming, oil exploration, and recreational uses. Additionally, it engages in the planning and strategic positioning of company owned land, and negotiating and renegotiating sales contracts. As of September 30, 2010, Alico owned approximately 139,607 acres of land located in the Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Polk counties. The company was founded in 1960 and is based in Fort Myers, Florida.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Cinemark Holdings Inc (CNK)

 Cinemark Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the motion picture exhibition business. As of June 30, 2011, it operated 436 theatres with 4,983 screens in 39 states of the United States, as well as in Brazil, Mexico, and 11 other Latin American countries. The company is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Jeff Reeves At 2011-10-21

    Cinemark Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CNK) owns movies theaters across the United States and Latin America, with a total of about 5,000 screens in America alone.

    Current Yield: 4% (84 cents a share annually)

    Dividend History: In June 2010, Cinemark paid a quarterly dividend of 18 cents a share. This July, it will pay 21 cents, for a nearly 17% increase.

    Dividend Outlook: According to Bloomberg, the three-year expected dividend growth rate of CNK is 2.5%.

    Recent Performance: Cinemark has surged over 20% so far in 2011, more than doubling the market. It is approaching a new 52-week high as of this publication.

    Strong Outlook for Shares: Cinemark has seen improving revenue each year since 2007, connecting with movie-goers despite the recession. That’s in part because of growth and acquisitions — most recently it plans to buy a 12-screen cinema in South Carolina. The movie industry may not be booming right now, but CNK could cash in big time when box office receipts improve thanks to its growth over the last few years.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:DISH Network Corporation (DISH)

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

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:LifePoint Hospitals Inc. (LPNT)

 LifePoint Hospitals Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities in the United States. The company?s hospitals provide a range of medical and surgical services comprising general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, emergency room care, radiology, oncology, diagnostic care, coronary care, rehabilitation services, and pediatric services, as well as specialized services, such as open-heart surgery, skilled nursing, psychiatric care, and neuro-surgery. Its hospitals also offer outpatient services, including one-day surgery, laboratory, x-ray, respiratory therapy, imaging, sports medicine, and lithotripsy. As of December 31, 2009, LifePoint Hospitals owned or leased 47 hospitals with a total of 5,552 licensed beds in 17 states. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. (NasdaqNM:LPNT) operates independently of HCA Inc. as of May 11, 1999.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Vatalyst At 2011-10-28

    Life Point Hospitals (LPNT) operates general acute care hospitals in growing, non urban areas in the US. It looks to acquire hospitals where it will be the sole provider to the community.

    On the earnings front, it had a good first quarter, beating analyst estimates. The common stock currently trades at a price to earnings ratio of 10.1, well below its 10 year historical average of 13.5. Its price to book ratio stands at 0.82 with price to cash flow being 5.1.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Celsion Corporation (CLSN)

 Celsion Corporation, an oncology drug development company, develops and commercializes targeted chemotherapeutic oncology drugs based on its proprietary heat-activated liposomal technology. The company is developing its lead product, ThermoDox that is in Phase III clinical trial for primary liver cancer; and in phase II clinical trial for treatment of recurrent chest wall breast cancer. It has a license agreement with Yakult Honsha to commercialize and market ThermoDox for the Japanese market. The company also has a license agreement with Duke University under which it received exclusive rights to commercialize and use Duke's thermo-liposome technology. In addition, Celsion Corporation has a joint research agreement with Royal Phillips Electronics to evaluate the combination of Phillips' high intensity focused ultrasound with its ThermoDox to determine the potential of this combination to treat a range of cancers. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Columbia, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Putnam At 2011-8-29

    This is another play on clinical trial progress as a catalyst for higher share prices. This micro-cap stock uses heat-sensitive nano-particles to precisely place cancer-treatment drugs within specific tumors. A number of approaches are currently being tested. The first approach uses its ThermoDox technology in conjunction with radio frequency (RF) ablation for primary liver cancer. ThermoDox is being evaluated under a special protocol assessment with the FDA in a pivotal 600-patient Phase III trial. Results from this study are expected to be released in the next few months.

    Celsion shares weakened in the first quarter, as the company has sold new stock on a pair of occasions to keep the balance sheet healthy. Further equity offerings appear likely, but with positive feedback from the FDA, shares could pop nicely higher before that happens.

Best Stocks To Watch 2015:Fuel Tech Inc. (FTEK)

 Fuel Tech, Inc. uses a suite of advanced technologies to provide boiler optimization, efficiency improvement, and air pollution reduction and control solutions to utility and industrial customers worldwide. It operates through two segments, Air Pollution Control Technologies and FUEL CHEM Technologies. The Air Pollution Control Technologies segment includes technologies, such as low and ultra low NOx Burners, over-fire air systems, NOxOUT and HERT selective non-catalytic reduction systems, and advanced selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce NOx emissions in flue gas from boilers, incinerators, furnaces, and other stationary combustion sources. This segment distributes its products through direct sales force and agents. The FUEL CHEM Technologies segment uses chemical processes in combination with advanced computational fluid dynamics and chemical kinetics modeling boiler modeling for the control of slagging, fouling, corrosion, opacity, and other sulfur trioxide-related issues in furnaces and boilers through the addition of chemicals into the furnace using Targeted In-Furnace Injection technology. This segment?s programs improve the efficiency, reliability, and environmental status of plants operating in the electric utility, industrial, pulp and paper, waste-to-energy, university, and district heating markets; and are installed on combustion units in North America, Europe, China, and India for treating various solid and liquid fuels, including coal, heavy oil, biomass, and municipal waste. It provides operational, financial, and environmental benefits to owners of boilers, furnaces, and other combustion units. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Warrenville, Illinois.

Advisors' Opinion:

  • By Carlson At 2011-9-11

    Fuel Tech, Inc. is an integrated company that uses a range of advanced technologies to provide boiler optimization, improvement and air pollution reduction and control solutions to utility and industrial custome! rs globa lly. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.23 and next year is 0.4. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 21.56% current year and grow 20.26% next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 22.11. Out of eight analysts covering the company, two are positive and have buy recommendations and six have hold ratings.