Saturday, December 28, 2013

CSX Corp Announces Q3 Earnings; Beats Estimates (CSX)

After the bell on Tuesday, CSX Corp (CSX) announced its third quarter results, with earnings increasing from last year’s same quarter.

The Jacksonville, FL-based transportation company reported revenues of $3 billion, which came in higher than analysts’ estimates of $2.94 billion. CSX announced earnings of $463 million, or 46 cents per share, which were up from last year’s Q3 figure of $455 million, or 44 cents per share. The company’s quarterly EPS results beat the analyst outlook of 43 cents.

Best Medical Companies To Own For 2014

Looking ahead, the company stated that it expects its EPS results for the full year to be up from 2012′s earnings.

CSX shares were up 8 cents, or 0.31%, by Tuesday’s market close. YTD, the company’s stock is up 29%.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cisco, IBM slip, but Micron, Autodesk rise

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Technology stocks were mostly in the red Wednesday as the federal government shutdown entered its second day, but the sector got a boost from some social media and chip stocks.

The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP)  shed 0.2% to 3,811, while the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH)  and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX)  were each off a fraction.

Reuters BlackBerry slides after it says it expects even bigger restructuring charges.

IBM Corp (IBM)  was down 0.5%, while Cisco Systems (CSCO)  was off 0.3% and Intel Corp. (INTC)  gave up 0.2%.

BlackBerry (BBRY)   shed nearly 5% after the company said it expects even bigger restructuring charges and disclosed even more serious facing challenges. The mobile tech company had announced a $4.7 billion deal to go private.

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On the upside, Apple Inc. (AAPL)  , Facebook Inc. (FB)  , LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD)  and Yelp Inc. (YELP)  were each up a fraction.

Micron Technology (MU)  stood out in early trades, rising 1%. A Sterne Agee report on Tuesday pointed to signs of strong demand for mobile DRAM processors, playing down worries of a slowdown.

Hot Gold Stocks To Invest In 2014

Shares of Autodesk Inc. (ADSK)  also rallied more than 3% after the design-software company announced Wednesday that it was acquiring Graitec's Advance Steel and Advance Concrete product lines.

Higher earnings limit applies in the year worker reaches 66

retirement, social security, earnings, mary beth franklin

My recent column on how the Social Security earnings cap is applied during the first year of retirement triggered several more questions.

Normally, people who collect Social Security benefits before the full retirement age of 66 must forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 earned over a prescribed limit. For this year, the earnings cap is $15,120.

It is important to note that these benefit reductions aren't truly lost but merely deferred. Benefits will be increased at full retirement age to account for benefits that were withheld due to earnings.

So, say an individual collected benefits at 62 and ultimately forfeited 12 months' worth of benefits over the next four years. Once that person reached full retirement age, Social Security would recalculate the benefits as if they began to be collected at 63, instead of 62, resulting in a higher amount going forward.

As I noted in my recen

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Larger-than-Life Kyle Bass - Top Yields

Top Dividend Stocks For 2014

Looking through a kaleidoscope of facts about J. Kyle Bass, this guru quickly takes on a colorful and larger-than-life mythos. Hailing from the big-thinking state of Texas, Bass is often described as a big dreamer with a studious and practical streak. His career blossomed almost overnight when he reportedly made around a half a billion dollars betting against subprime CDOs in 2007. Bass comes across as a visionary who asks why not instead of why. He told CNBC that he likes to reduce email time and cut out the noise by learning about world markets through symbiotic relationships with friends like Alan Fournier and other billionaires. Every year Bass invites his notable friends to his ranch in Larue, Texas, for a special event called The Barefoot Economic Summit, Texas (BEST). Bass said he learns more in two days of the summit than in two months of emails.

Kyle Bass is the managing member and principal of Hayman Advisors LP’s general partner formed in December 2005, with $10 million of his own money. Based in Dallas, Hayman Advisors serves as the investment manager to the Hayman Capital Master Fund LP and Japan Macro Opportunities Master Fund LP. According to GuruFocus research, Guru Kyle Bass shows a pattern of making bold bets based on his view of macroeconomics. He returned 340% in his firm’s first four years, establishing a worldwide reputation for Bass.

Kyle Bass is a unique super-investor. According to D Magazine, Bass is politically connected – Texas Governor Rick Perry has attended his summit. Bass reportedly does not vote or read the local newspaper. Well-known for his investment analysis of the subprime crisis that borders on prescience, Bass has also carved out opportunity in the Japanese market, and more recently, turned his sites towards Argentina, saying, “Argentina’s problems can be fixed in two years and now is the tim! e to start investing.”

Kyle Bass has been called to high places to offer his authoritative opinion. In September 2007, Bass appeared as an expert witness before the House of Representatives Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee. Three years later, he appeared as a Financial Market Participant before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, established by Congress to examine the causes of the financial crisis. He is on the Board of Directors for The University of Texas Investment Management Co. (with $16 billion assets under management) and is a founding member of the Serengeti Asset Management Advisory Board.

The updated portfolio of Hayman Advisors lists 14 stocks, eight of them new, with a total value of $408 million, and a quarter-over-quarter turnover of 91%. The portfolio is heavily weighted with consumer cyclical at 26.6% and real estate at 19.8%. The stocks bought by Kyle Bass have averaged a 12-month return of 7.14%.

Here’s a review of the top-yield stocks in the Hayman Advisors portfolio. All of them were new buys as of Sept. 30, 2013.

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT)

Current Shares: 3,570,000

Value: $80,968,000

Weighting: 19.8%

Down 9% over 12 months, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, a residential REIT, has a market cap of $1.61 billion; its shares were traded at around $22.94 with a P/E of 7.30. The dividend yield is 10%.

PMT is not ranked for business predictability.

Track historical data:


Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Kyle Bass made a new buy of 3,570,000 shares at an average price of $21.84 per share, for a gain of 4.3%.

The GuruFocus analysis of PMT shows five warning signs.

Vodafone Group PLC (VOD)

Current Shares: 1,349,200

Value: $47,465,000

Weighting: 11.6%

Up 55% over 12 months, Vodafone Group PLC has a market cap of $189.2 billion; its shares were! traded a! t around $39.14 with a P/E of 273.80. The dividend yield is 4.00%.

Vodafone Group PLC is a provider of mobile communications services and products in Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Europe, India and Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

GuruFocus ranked VOD with one out of five stars for business predictability.

Track historical data:


Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Kyle Bass made a new buy of 1,349,200 shares at an average price of $31.01 per share, for a gain of 25.9%.

The GuruFocus analysis of VOD shows nine warning signs.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Current Shares: 1,500,000

Value: $49,920,000

Weighting: 12.2%

Up 38% over 12 months, Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $309.54 billion; its shares were traded at around $37.45 with a P/E of 13.70. The dividend yield is 2.60%.

GuruFocus ranked MSFT with three out of five stars for business predictability.

Track historical data:


Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, Kyle Bass made a new buy of 1,500,000 shares at an average price of $32.90 per share, for a gain of 12.7%.

The GuruFocus analysis of MSFT shows two good signs and five warning signs.

Here is the complete portfolio of Kyle Bass.

Prior to starting his own company, Kyle Bass worked as a Senior Managing Director at Bear, Stearns & Co., and as a Managing Director at Legg Mason Inc. Bass graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Christian University.

If you are not a Premium Member, we invite you for a 7-day Free Trial.

GuruFocus Real Time Picks reports the stock purchases and sales that Gurus have made within the prior 2 weeks. The report time lag can be as short as 2 days after the date of the transaction. This feature is for Premium Members only.

Also ch! eck out: Kyle Bass Undervalued Stocks Kyle Bass Top Growth Companies Kyle Bass High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Kyle Bass keeps buying
About the author:

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Sally Jones writes about Real Time Picks. She says, "I truly enjoy watching the Gurus in realtime and telling their story."
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PMT STOCK PRICE CHART 22.88 (1y: -8%) $(function() { var seriesOptions = [], yAxisOptions = [], name = 'PMT', display = ''; Highcharts.setOptions({ global: { useUTC: true } }); var d = new Date(); $current_day = d.getDay(); if ($current_day == 5 || $current_day == 0 || $current_day == 6){ day = 4; } else{ day = 7; } seriesOptions[0] = { id : name, animation:false, color: '#4572A7', lineWidth: 1, name : name.toUpperCase() + ' stock price', threshold : null, data : [[1356588000000,24.92],[1356674400000,24.85],[1356933600000,25.29],[1357106400000,26],[1357192800000,26.2],[1357279200000,25.82],[1357538400000,26.42],[1357624800000,27.28],[1357711200000,27.2],[1357797600000,27.64],[1357884000000,27.66],[1358143200000,27.64],[1358229600000,27.74],[1358316000000,27.74],[1358402400000,28.06],[1358488800000,28.27],[1358834400000,28.73],[1358920800000,28.49],[1359007200000,27.37],[1359093600000,27.07],[1359352800000,26.9],[1359439200000,26.93],[1359525600000,26.32],[1359612000000,26.6],[1359698400000,26.71],[1359957600000,26.27],[1360044000000,26.43],[1360130400000,26.6],[1360216800000,25.47],[1360303200000,25.88],[1360562400000,25.85],[1360648800000,26.14],[1360735200000,26.05],[1360821600000,25.6],[1360908000000,25.36],[1361253600000,24.76],[1361340000000,24.36],[1361426400000,24.17],[1361512800000,24.62],[1361772000000,24.61],[1361858400000,24.78],[1361944800000,25.37],[1362031200000,25.42],[1362117600000,25.52],[1362376800000,25.32],[1362463200000,25.59],[1362549600000,25.25],[1362636000000,24.79],[1362722400000,24.73],[1362978000000,24.58],[1363064400000,24.59],[1363150800000,25.51],[1363237200000,25.62],[1363323600000,25.41],[1363582800000,25.31],[1363669200000,25.14],[1363755600000,25.07],[1363842000000,25.01],[1363928400000,25.3],[1364187600000,25.55],[1364274000000,25.73],[1364360400000,25.63],[1364446800000,25.89],[1364792400000,25.41],[1364878800000,25.38],[1364965200000,24.68],[1365051600000,25.26],[1365138000000,25.63],[1365397200000,26.07],[1365483600000,25.97],[1365570000000,26.02],[1365656400000,25.81],[1365742800000,25.35],[1366002000000,24.12],[1366088400000,24.34],[1366174800000,23.81],[1366261200000,23.53],[1366347600000,23.8],[1366606800000,24.13],[1366693200000,24.22],[1366779600000,23.87],[1366866000000,23.78],[1366952400000,24.47],[1367211600000,25.25],[1367298000000,25.25],[1367384400000,24.9],[1367470800000,25.04],[1367557200000,24.61],[1367816400000,24.62],[1367902800000,25.32],[1367989200000,25.36],[1368075600000,25.65],[1368162000000,25.51],! [1368421200000,25.04],[1368507600000,23.99],[136859400000

The Only "Crash Talk" Worth Trading

You've no doubt heard the "crash talk" intensifying after two triple-digit down days. But after reviewing more than 100 commentaries, there are exactly two and a half I take seriously.

The one we'll start with can not only help you now - as in today. It can also give you a permanent edge, because most people will never know how it works.

That's a shame.

The indicator you're about to see has predicted every major market inflection point since 1985.

And that's why I need to show you its current "readings" while there's something you can do about it all. We'll look at four moves, in fact. Taking an initial stake in the shares below - or adding to your position - is just one of them...

First, here's the indicator that can give you as much as a 30-day "heads up"...

The "Hindenburg Omen," and Why We Take It Seriously

Named after the airship disaster of May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg Omen is about as doom-and-gloom as it gets. It's also esoteric, which leads a lot of people who don't understand it to pooh-pooh it.

That's a mistake.

The Hindenburg is one of the most insightful indicators out there, for two reasons:

1.) It's predicted every major market inflection point since 1985; and
2.) It's up to 90% accurate in predicting market selloffs resulting in at least a 5% correction within 30 days.

That sounds bad, but it doesn't have to be.

The Hindenburg is like a warning light on the dashboard in your car. In that sense, the real value is not that it's flashing... or even that it's lit.

What the Hindenburg is telling you is to prepare ahead of time or, for lack of a better description, to check under the hood before you have a problem.

There are very few stock market indicators that afford you the luxury of knowing what could happen before it does.

The other important thing to understand here is that 90% is not 100%. Despite the fact that the Hindenburg had triggered five readings in the last nine trading sessions as of Tuesday night, there are no guarantees the markets will crash - 10% is a lot of wiggle room.

Remember, the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Everything else is just a possibility.

Bernanke's meddling and trillions of dollars, for example, should have us living in a modern-day version of the Weimar Republic with 1,000% inflation or more. But we're not.

The Fed was guaranteed to fail, according to plenty of economists - yet it hasn't. I wish they'd dismantle it, but that's another issue.

Everybody "knew" Facebook was a slam-dunk IPO - only investors were the ones who got slammed.

That's why it's important to put things in perspective and view the Hindenburg for what it is: a dashboard warning light, albeit a very accurate one - especially since we've had back-to-back triple-digit declines this week.

So here's what to do when it flashes... 

Reading the Hindenburg Omen

1.) It has correctly predicted a market crash up to 90% of the time.

2.) It picks up on something really weird going on in the markets. The "Omen" triggers when two things happen on the same trading day: 1) at least 2.8% of all 2,800+ securities listed on the NYSE hit a 52-week HIGH and 2) at least 2.8% hit a 52-week LOW. We just don't see that kind of extreme pricing action under "normal" market conditions. It suggests a lack of conviction that may spell trouble.

3.) It usually signifies a serious crash ahead - and soon. A confirmed Hindenburg Omen sets up at least a 77% likelihood of a move to the downside of 5% or more in the next 30 days.

4.) It's "flashed" 11 times in the past four months. First on April 5, again in May, three times in June, and six times (so far) in August. This clustering is extremely unusual. It happened just ahead of the 2000 and 2007 crashes.

Check the Market's "Oil"

It's hard to view the markets in isolation; there is no silver bullet. Therefore, the first thing I do when I get a reading from the Hindenburg is to check it against other trusted indicators.

Again, I'm not looking for absolute answers but, rather, relative information.

Right now, the markets are very long in the tooth, meaning the rally has run a long way without a substantial correction. How long may actually startle you.

We've been riding the bull for 54 months off of March 2009 lows. Since 1953, the average bull run has ended after 43 months, so you could easily argue that we're overdue for a correction. The very longest rallies have been 56 to 60 months, so we are coming close to record-setting territory.

That, in and of itself, makes me nervous because any time you start talking about extremes, you have to factor in the unthinkable. To me there's one way to spell that - B-E-R-N-A-N-K-E.

He and his financial boffins have meddled with these markets so long and so extensively that anything resembling normal market functions has gone by the wayside.

They keep pumping money into a system that was destroyed by too much money in the first place. They might as well yell last call in a room full of bar-flies on the assumption that doing so will help them stop drinking.

Which brings me to the remaining one-half piece of worthwhile "crash talk"...

It's Time to Make a Decision

Top 5 Heal Care Stocks To Watch For 2014

Structurally, the economy is a disaster. Earnings are slowing, breadth is not what it should be for a real recovery, and the jobs situation is still several million people in the hole.

Normally, these things would kill a financial market. But right now, the meme is that "bad is good"... as in, good enough for more stimulus. Days like today (Wednesday) with the Dow off triple digits make me question how long the Fed can continue pulling rabbits out of the proverbial hat, but that's really another question entirely.

What we have to do right now is decide whether to play ball or not.

I say, play ball.

So here's what to do...

1.) "Don't fight the fed" is now "don't fight the feds" - plural; every central banker around the world is in on it. As long as they don't pitch a taper tantrum, odds favor yet more upside, as hard as that is to believe. So we want to be along for the ride with the best "glocal" companies we can find. Very shortly, we'll begin transitioning to "global challengers" to keep up with Bernanke's successor and as a means of hedging our bets. I don't know about you, but I'd rather place my eggs in a basket overseen by experienced, savvy C-Level executives than a bunch of politicians who haven't got a clue how real money works.

2.) We're already taking profits and tightening up our trailing stops. This ensures that we are along for the ride, while also protecting us against the possibility of a market pause or something more serious if it develops.

3.) We're confining new purchases to companies still involved in unstoppable growth and backed by trillions of dollars in upcoming spending. It's important to remember that markets come and go but companies can continue to grow through it all. Many corrections occur with no changes whatsoever in the underlying business fundamentals, which means the best companies - our recommendations - are put on "sale." I know that's hard to stomach, but ask yourself this if you can't get past the notion... would you rather go to your favorite store and pay too much or pick up something after it's been put out at a discount?

4.) Over the past few months I've been following other indicators as the markets have risen and recommending that we add to holdings like the RYURX, GLD, and RCS among others. These are all important stabilizers that have historically risen even as other assets have fallen. This means we can afford the luxury of riding out a correction calmly, logically, and with an eye to the future. Studies show that as little as 3-5% of overall assets invested in these sorts of things can preserve income, too which is vitally important to our financial success.

What to Watch Now

I'm following 10-Year Treasuries closely. Yields shot up to 2.821% - a two-year high - which suggests that the Fed is losing control over interest rates.

If there is no support for bonds in the months ahead, you can bet the nearly $500 trillion global interest rate derivatives market will reset... and that really will cause a crash.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Citigroup Beats Q2 Earnings Consensus; Joint Venture Results Disappoint

Citigroup reported a stronger-than-expected 26% rise in adjusted quarterly profits, thanks to stronger home prices, which reduced losses on mortgages, and better trading revenue.

Adjusted net income rose to $3.89 billion, or $1.25 per share, in the second quarter, from $3.08 billion, or $1 per share, a year earlier, the bank said Monday. (The adjusted results exclude changes in the value of the company's debt.)

Adjusted revenue jumped 8% to $20 billion. Sales in the fixed-income unit improved 18% to $3.37 billion, and equity market revenue grew 68% to $942 million.

“Generating consistent and quality earnings is a key priority and this quarter met that goal,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat said in a statement.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Venture

Citi Holdings, which includes Citi’s remaining interest in the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture, reported negative revenues of $20 million for its brokerage and asset management business versus sales of $87 million a year ago.

Citi also acknowledged that it had completed the sale of the final 35% stake it held in the venture over the past few weeks. With $131 billion in assets, Citi Holdings now includes about 7% of total company assets.

(Morgan Stanley plans to report its wealth management and other earnings on Thursday.)

“Our businesses performed well during the quarter … We also continued to make progress in several critical areas," Corbat said. "We reduced the earnings drag caused by Citi Holdings, where we saw the largest percentage reduction of assets since 2010.”

Array - Loxo Collaborate - Analyst Blog

Array BioPharma, Inc. (ARRY) and Loxo Oncology, Inc recently announced a license and collaboration agreement. The agreement involves a multi-year licensing and collaboration deal for a preclinical development candidate (discovered by Array) and related intellectual property. Loxo and Array will also collaborate for the discovery and development of small molecule drugs targeting novel oncology indications.

Array's preclinical research activities under the deal will be funded by Loxo. Loxo will select targets and carry out studies. The agreement makes Array eligible for milestone payments up to $434 million as well as royalties on sales of any drugs developed and commercialized under this deal. Array also received shares in Loxo.

This deal is in line with Array's strategy of focusing on oncology. Array has entered into several collaborations with big companies and amassed a total of $577.9 million in research funding and up-front and milestone payments from collaboration partners from inception till Jun 30, 2012.

The company has also been quite active in collaboration activities this year. In May 2013, Array entered into a collaboration agreement with Oncothyreon Inc. (ONTY) to develop and commercialize ARRY-380, which is being developed for the treatment of breast cancer. According to the agreement, Array will receive an upfront fee of $10 million on the initiation of the collaboration. Similar to the collaboration with Loxo, this agreement also includes the funding of clinical development by Oncothyreon.

Array is focused mainly on the development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer patients. We note that it has graduated into a late-stage development company with a few candidates approaching phase III by the end of 2013.

The company recently initiated a phase III study (MILO: n=300) on MEK162 in patients suffering from low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC). It consequently received a $5 million milestone payment ! from partner, Novartis AG (NVS), following the initiation of the study.

Currently, Array BioPharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). However, biopharma stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Will Electronic Arts Surge Higher?

With shares of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) trading around $21, is EA an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let's analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Electronic Arts develops, markets, publishes, and distributes game software content and services that can be played by consumers on a variety of video game machines and electronic devices. Its offers video game products through gaming consoles such as the Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Electronic Arts’s products can also be used on personal computers, mobile devices, tablets, electronic readers, and social networking sites which include popular platforms such has PCs, Apple Mac, Apple iPhone, Google Android, Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, and Facebook. Consumers are always looking for new forms of entertainment, through its product offerings, Electronic Arts is able to provide valuable experiences worldwide.

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong

Electronic Arts stock has displayed a downtrend over the last several years. However, the stock has made a magnificent run since hitting multi-year lows just last year. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Electronic Arts is trading above its rising key averages which signal neutral to bullish price action in the near-term.


(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Electronic Arts options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Electronic Arts Options




What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a very small amount of call and put options contracts, as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Top Penny Companies To Buy For 2014

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

June Options



July Options



As of today, there is an average demand from call buyers or sellers and low demand by put buyers or high demand by put sellers, all neutral to bullish over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a very small amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral to bullish over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Decreasing Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on Electronic Arts’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Electronic Arts look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2013 Q1

2012 Q4

2012 Q3

2012 Q2

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)





Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)





Earnings Reaction





Electronic Arts has seen decreasing earnings and revenue figures over most of the last four quarters. From these figures, the markets have been very excited about Electronic Arts’s recent earnings announcements.

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

P = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Electronic Arts stock done relative to its peers, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and sector?

Electronic Arts

Activision Blizzard




Year-to-Date Return






Electronic Arts has been a relative performance leader, year-to-date.


Electronic Arts provides entertaining game experiences that are highly valued by consumers worldwide. The stock has seen an amazing run over the last couple of years is and is still surging higher. Earnings and revenue figures have been decreasing over most of the last four quarters, however, investors have generally been pleased with Electronic Arts’s earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Electronic Arts has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for Electronic Arts to OUTPERFORM.

4 Tech Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume

 DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders running mutual funds and hedge funds don't just look at a stock's price moves; they also track big changes in volume activity. Often when above-average volume moves into an equity, it precedes a large spike in volatility.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

Unusual volume can also be a major signal that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. These types of traders like to get in well before a large spike, so it's always a smart move to monitor unusual volume. That said, remember to combine trend and price action with unusual volume. Put them all together to help you decipher the next big trend for any stock.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.


AOL (AOL) is a global Web services company whose business consists of online content, products and services that it offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. This stock closed up 1.4% to $36.69 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.52 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.15 million

Volume % Change: 285%

From a technical perspective, AOL jumped modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $36.29 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of AOL within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AOL manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $38.48 to $40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AOL as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $36.29 or above more support at $35 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.15 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AOL will set up to re-fill its previous gap down zone from May that started at $42.12. Any high-volume move above $42.12 will then give AOL a chance to tag $45 to $50.


VimpelCom (VIP) provides voice, data and other telecommunication services through an array of wireless, fixed and broadband internet services, as well as selling equipment and accessories. This stock closed up 4.4% at $10.32 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.62 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.03 million

Volume % Change: 230%

Shares of VIP ripped higher on Wednesday after Deutsche Bank upgrade the stock to buy from hold citing valuation following the company's second-quarter results.

From a technical perspective, VIP ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $10.09 with strong upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $9.75 to $9.78. Following that bottom, shares of VIP have started to spike higher and quickly move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VIP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.64 to $11 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VIP as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $10.09 or above more support at $9.78 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 1.03 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VIP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $11.38 to $11.82.

WebMD Health

WebMD Health (WBMD) provides health information services to consumers, physicians and other health care professionals, employers and health plans through its public and private online portals and health-focused publications. This stock closed up 1.6% at $33.70 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.32 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 690,686

Volume % Change: 170%

From a technical perspective, WBMD spiked modestly higher here with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $25.18 to its recent high of $35.28. During that move, shares of WBMD have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of WBMD within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if WBMD manages to clear its 52-week high at $35.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WBMD as long as it's trending above $32 or $31 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $35.28 with volume that's near or above 690,686 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then WBMD will set up to enter new 52-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $43.

Geospace Technologies

Geospace Technologies (GEOS) designs and manufactures instruments and equipment used by the oil and gas industry in the acquisition and processing of seismic data as well as in reservoir characterization and monitoring activities. This stock closed up 0.29% at $72.35 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 620,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 158,544

Volume % Change: 270%

From a technical perspective, GEOS spiked higher here and briefly traded back above its 50-day moving average of $75.28 with strong upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last five months, with shares plunging from its high at $111.36 to its recent low of $65.31. During that move, shares of GEOS have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of GEOS have started to rebound over the last month from $65.31 to its recent high of $79.91. That rebound could be setting up GEOS to reverse its downtrend and begin a more sustained uptrend.

10 Best Gold Stocks To Watch Right Now

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GEOS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $70.40 and then once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $77.83 to $79.91 with volume that's near or above 158,544 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GEOS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 200-day moving average of $84.97. Any high-volume move above $84.97 will then give GEOS a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $90 to $93.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

Monday, December 23, 2013

What Does the Future Hold For Zillow?

The Fool recently explored Seattle. Today, CEO Spencer Rascoff introduces us to Zillow (NASDAQ: Z  ) , telling us how the online home and real estate marketplace works, what he considers its greatest strengths, and what investors should know about it.

Looking ahead five years, Spencer foresees a major emphasis on mobile services, and expects the brand name to become a household word. Spencer also explains why he identifies with tech companies such as OpenTable and WebMD.

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Austin Smith: A lot of young products in your pipeline. Five years out, you've got some slightly more mature revenue streams. What does Zillow look like?

Spencer Rascoff: Wow. Well, five years from now we're -- almost exclusively might be a little bit of an overstatement -- but a predominantly mobile company. We already are, 55%-60% of our usage is mobile. Five years from now, who knows what that number will be, but it'll be very, very significant. Usage of Zillow on smartphones and tablets will be massive.

I think we'll have a much bigger brand. Today we're about 50 million uniques in the U.S., but only about 12% of Americans recognize the brand name Zillow. We're spending tens of millions of dollars on advertising in 2013 to try to change that. By five years from now, I think the Zillow brand name will be as widely recognized as Netflix or Expedia or other vertical-leading brands.

Of course at that point, we become more of a must-buy for local advertisers in real estate, mortgages, rentals, and home improvement because if they want to grow their business they need to advertise on Zillow, which will be the leading brand in our category.

Austin: I know we talked about maybe companies that you guys might ... what other young, successful tech companies -- maybe Netflix -- do you guys identify with, associate with?

Spencer: From a strategy standpoint, I identify a lot with OpenTable because they have a great mobile presence and a desktop presence, which attracts an audience of consumers, and then they provide software tools to the restaurants, so they marry lead generation with SaaS B2B software tools so, strategically, I look at OpenTable quite a bit.

I look at WebMD a lot from an industry standpoint, in the sense that WebMD is no more a threat to doctors than Zillow is a threat to real estate agents. Consumers go to WebMD to learn information about their ailments, but then they go to a doctor to help them interpret it.

Consumers go to Zillow to learn about real estate, but then they go to a professional real estate agent or mortgage lender to help them interpret the information.

Google Introduces Upgraded Maps App

Nearly a month after its acquisition of mobile map service provider Waze, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) has updated its map app for both smartphones and tablets, the company announced today.

The new, upgraded Google Maps is compatible with both smartphones and tablets running Android OS, and will soon be available for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhones and iPads. Google's December 2012 release of Maps was not compatible with iPads.

According to Google's blog, the new Maps app has several enhanced features, including one-touch browsing, enhanced navigation, and Zagat reviews of local businesses. Similar to Waze, the new Google Maps allows users to access potential road condition problems, including incident details, and suggest an alternative route, if one is available.

Google also announced that beginning Aug. 9, Google Maps Latitude, which lets users share their location, and check-in features will no longer be compatible with the upgraded Maps, and will "be retired from older versions." Google also said its offline Maps feature is no longer available.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best Buy Is One Step Closer to J.C. Penney

Ron Johnson's flawed experiment to turn J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) around by opening branded mini-stores in the department-store chain is alive and well at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) .

Shares of Best Buy moved higher on Thursday on news that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) will open hundreds of stores inside Best Buy's cavernous superstores this summer. Best Buy stock also moved nicely higher when Samsung announced an even larger mini-store initiative two months ago.

The market eventually soured on Johnson's vision when it failed to generate sales growth at J.C. Penney. A similar fate may also await Best Buy.

On paper, the move is brilliant. Best Buy has extra room. As consumers migrate to digital music, games, and movies, there's less reason for Best Buy to continue stocking CDs, software, and DVDs. Best Buy's recent fadeout of musical instruments also creates more space. The company is an empty-nester. Why shouldn't it rent out the extra rooms after its children move out?

The "store in a store" concept should also help attract shoppers, and that's been sorely lacking at Best Buy, with physical-store sales declining for most of the past two years.

Microsoft also has plenty to gain here by opening 500 stores -- some as big as 2,200 square feet -- inside Best Buy locations, where shoppers continue to choose non-Microsoft smartphones and tablets. It will be staffing the stores with 1,200 employees, and while that breaks out to two to three Microsoft ambassadors per location, that's two to three more people at Best Buy who can talk an undecided shopper into choosing its PC, mobile, and gaming solutions.

The ultimate question is whether two brands that aren't as cool as they were a decade ago can regain some of that swagger by teaming up. At least J.C. Penney has the luxury of fleshing out its makeover by picking out brands that are on the rise. Best Buy did that with Samsung earlier this year, but it may be a different story with Microsoft if shoppers avoid Lumia smartphones and Surface RT tablets the way they are outside of Best Buy. 

In what may prove to be a cruel case of foreshadowing, Microsoft's video promoting the new Best Buy stores features a single person checking it out.

Microsoft and Best Buy had better hope that isn't the case, just as Samsung may be wondering if it just got hosed by having to set up shop alongside Mr. Softy.

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