Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) announced its intentions to resume talks with parties interested in purchasing its metals warehousing business – many of these companies are based outside of U.S borders.
The metals warehouse business, dubbed Metro International Trading Services, has become something of a burden to the company as it is not only subject to new rules and regulations, but has also been a point of controversy for the financial giant. The warehouse stores aluminum and other metals as a part of the London Metal Exchange (LME).
The latter fact is important due to the controversy surrounding U.S. financial instutions and the physical commodity world. Goldman was accused of intentionally increasing wait times and prices for metals buyers in order to turn a profit. Amid all the speculation and accusations of wrongdoing, which is nothing new for Goldman, it seems that the company is looking to unload the unit that has become a liability in recent months.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Primoris Services Corporation(PRIM)
Primoris Services Corporation, a specialty contractor and infrastructure company, provides a range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater, and product engineering services in the United States and internationally. It offers construction services, including installation of underground pipeline, cable, and conduits for entities in the petroleum, petrochemical, and water industries; installation and maintenance of industrial facilities for petroleum, petrochemical, and water industries; installation of commercial and industrial cast-in-place structures; and construction of highways, as well as industrial and environmental constructions. The company also engages in designing, supplying, and installing high-performance furnaces, heaters, burner management systems, and related combustion and process technologies for clients in the oil refining, petrochemical, and power generation industries, as well as furnishes turnkey project management se rvices and delivers custom engineering solutions. It serves public utilities, petrochemical companies, energy companies, municipalities, state departments of transportation, and other customers. Primoris Services Corporation is based in Dallas, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon] ris is a contractor and infrastructure company founded in 1946. It provides services related to construction fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater and engineering to clients that are typically major public utilities, petrochemical companies, energy companies, municipalities and others. It doubled its size in 2009 and 2010 when it purchased the James Construction Group and Rockford Corporation, respectively. Primoris��predecessor company, Rhapsody acquisition Corp., had its IPO in 2006, and Primoris merged with Rhapsody in 2008.
Joel Greenblatt bought 59,076 shares at an average price of $13.56 in the fourth quarter. After being relatively flat since its IPO, Primoris��stock price began to rise dramatically in 2011, and Greenblatt bought on a dip in the fourth quarter. In the last year it has appreciated 87 percent.
Primoris��free cash flow and revenue in 2010 bounced back from a down year in 2009 and EBITDA grew each year in the same span of time. Return on equity and return on assets have both declined over the three years, but in the third quarter of 2011 came back strongly. ROE increased to 29.3 percent from 16.1 at year-end 2010, and ROA has increased to 11.4 percent from 4.8 percent at year-end 2010.
The third quarter was good in other ways. The company reached its highest revenue and net income in its 60-year history. However, fluctuations in revenue and earnings may occur over the next several quarters as it completes several major projects. On November 30, it announced $181 million in new contracts.
Primoris��P/E, P/S and P/B ratios:
PRIM pe,ps,pb Interactive Chart
Caribou Coffee (CBOU)
Caribou Coffee is a gourmet coffee company that owns the second-largest number of coffeehouses in the U.S. After rising significantly in the second quarter of 2011, its stock price dropped in the fourth quarter, when Joel Greenblatt purchased it. He bought 52,794 shares at an average price of $13.27.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Belden Inc (BDC)
Belden Inc. (Belden), incorporated on May 18, 1988, designs, manufactures and markets cable, connectivity, and networking products in markets including industrial, enterprise, and broadcast. The Company operates in three segments: the Americas segment, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) segment and the Asia Pacific segment. The Company�� offers cable, connectivity and networking products, including power generation and distribution, data centers, oil and gas, broadcast, transportation, healthcare and industrial automation. In December 2012, Carlisle Companies Inc acquired Thermax-Raydex business from the Company. In December 2012, the Company sold Consumer Electronics Assets in China to Shenzhen Woer Heat-Shrinkable Material Co Ltd. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company acquired Miranda Technologies Inc. (Miranda).
The categories of cable products are copper cables, including shielded and unshielded twisted pair cables, coaxial cables, and stranded cables, fiber optic cables, which transmit light signals through glass or plastic fibers and composite cables, which are combinations of multiconductor, coaxial, and fiber optic cables jacketed together or otherwise joined together to serve complex applications and provide ease of installation. Connectivity products include fiber and copper connectors for the enterprise, broadcast, broadband, and industrial markets. Networking products include Industrial Ethernet switches and related equipment and security features, fiber optic interfaces and media converters used to bridge fieldbus networks over long distances, networking infrastructure for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV industry, and load-moment indicators for mobile cranes and other load-bearing equipment.
For industrial end markets, the Company supplies cable, connectivity, and networking products for applications ranging from advanced industrial networking and robotics to traditional instrumentation and control systems. The Compa! ny�� cable products are used in discrete manufacturing and process operations involving the connection of computers, programmable controllers, robots, operator interfaces, motor drives, sensors, printers and other devices. The Company sells its industrial products primarily through value-added resellers, industrial distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It designs, manufactures and markets Industrial Ethernet switches and related equipment, both rail-mounted and rack-mounted, for factory automation, power generation and distribution, process automation, and infrastructure projects, such as bridges, wind farms and airport runways. It also designs, manufactures and markets fiber optic interfaces and media converters. In addition, it designs, manufactures, and markets a range of industrial connectors for sensors and actuators, cord-sets, distribution boxes, and fieldbus communications. These products are used both as components of manufacturing equipment and in the installation and networking of such equipment. The Company also designs, manufactures and markets load-moment indicators. Its switches, communications equipment, connectors, and load-moment indicators are sold directly to industrial equipment OEMs and through a network of distributors and system integrators.
For enterprise end markets, the Company supplies structured cabling solutions, connectors, and networking products for the electronic and optical transmission of data, sound, and video over local- and wide- area networks. Products for this market include copper cables including 10-gigabit Ethernet technologies, fiber optic cables, connectors, wiring racks, panels, interconnecting hardware, intelligent patching devices, and cable management solutions for complete end-to-end network structured wiring systems. End-use customers include hospitals, financial institutions, governments, service providers, and data centers. Its systems are installed through a network of trained system integrators and are supplied t! hrough au! thorized distributors.
For broadcast end markets, the Company is a provider of hardware and software solutions for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV industry. Its solutions also span the full breadth of television operations, including production, playout and delivery. The Company also manufactures a variety of multiconductor and coaxial cable and connector products, which distributes audio and video signals for use in broadcast television including digital television and high definition television, broadcast radio, pre- and post-production facilities, recording studios, and public facilities such as casinos, arenas, and stadiums. Its audio/video cables are also used in connection with microphones, musical instruments, audio mixing consoles, effects equipment, speakers, paging systems, and consumer audio products.
The Company manufactures networking infrastructure products for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV industry. Its primary market channels for this broadcast, music, and entertainment products are broadcast specialty distributors and audio systems installers. It also sells directly to music OEMs and the television networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. The Company also provides specialized cables for security applications such as video surveillance systems, airport baggage screening, building access control, motion detection, public address systems, and advanced fire alarm systems. It manufactures flexible, copper-clad coaxial cable and associated connector products for the high-speed transmission of data, sound, and video (broadband) that are used for the drop section of cable television (CATV) systems and satellite direct broadcast systems.
For the broadband end market, Belden manufactures and develops connectivity solutions in several product categories: coax connector products that allow for connections from the provider network to the subscribers��devices, hardline connectors that allow service providers to dist! ribute th! eir services within a city, a town or a neighborhood and entry devices that serves to manage and remove network signal noise that could impair performance for the subscriber, and traps and filtering devices that allow service providers to control the signals that are transmitted to the subscriber.
During 2012, the Americas segment contributed approximately 64% of its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets. The EMEA segment contributed approximately 19% of its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets. The Asia Pacific segment contributed approximately 17% its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Signal transmission specialist�Belden� (NYSE: BDC ) �announced yesterday�its second-quarter dividend of $0.05 per share, the same rate it has paid since 2004 when it first began making a payout.
- [By Damian Illia]
Finally, I always like to see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm's management: the return on equity. The ratio has decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. Currently, a ROE of 45.9% is higher than all the 1,805 companies in the Diversified Industrials industry. Competitors such General Cable Corp. (BGC) has a very low ROE of 0.3% which is clearly not attractive. An alternative could be Belden Inc. (BDC) with a positive ROE of 24%.
Hot Performing Stocks To Buy For 2014: Fifth Street Finance Corp (FSC)
Fifth Street Finance Corp. is a specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. The Company�� investment objective is to maximize its portfolio's total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity investments. As of September 30, 2011, 90.9% of its portfolio consisted of debt investments that were secured by first or second priority liens on the assets of its portfolio companies. As of September 30, 2011, it held equity investments consisting of common stock, preferred stock or other equity interests in 27 out of 65 portfolio companies. It is managed and advised by Fifth Street Management LLC. In June 2013, Fifth Street Finance Corp. announced that it has closed its portfolio company acquisition of Healthcare Finance Group, LLC (HFG).
The Company tailors the terms of its debt investments to the facts and circumstances of the transaction and prospective portfolio company. As of September 30, 2011, it directly originated a majority of its debt investments. It is focusing its origination efforts on first lien, second lien and subordinated loans. Its first lien loans have terms of four to six years, provide for a variable or fixed interest rate, contain prepayment penalties and are secured by a first priority security interest in all existing and future assets of the borrower. Its first lien loans may take many forms, including revolving lines of credit, term loans and acquisition lines of credit. Its second lien loans have terms of four to six years, provide for a fixed interest rate, contain prepayment penalties and are secured by a second priority security interest in all existing and future assets of the borrower. Its second lien loans often include payment-in-kind (PIK), interest, which represents contractual interest accrued and added to the principal that generally becomes due at maturity. Its unsecured inve! stments have terms of five to six years and provide for a fixed interest rate. It may make unsecured investments on a stand-alone basis, or in connection with a senior secured loan, a junior secured loan or a one-stop financing. Its unsecured investments may include payment-in-kind (PIK), interest, which represents contractual interest accrued and added to the principal that becomes due at maturity, and an equity component, such as warrants to purchase common stock in the portfolio company.
In addition, the Company from time to time non-control, equity co-investments in connection with private equity sponsors. It structures equity investments, such as direct equity co-investments, to provide the Company with minority rights provisions and event-driven put rights. The Company make investments in the private equity funds of certain of its equity sponsors. It makes these investments where it has a long term relationship and is comfortable with the sponsor�� business model and investment strategy. As of September 30, 2011, it had investments in six private equity funds, which represented less than 1% of the fair value of its assets as of such date.
As a business development company, the Company offers managerial assistance to its portfolio companies and to provide it if requested. It monitors the financial trends of each portfolio company to assess the appropriate course of action for each company and to evaluate overall portfolio quality. It has several methods of evaluating and monitoring the performance of its investments, which includes review of monthly and quarterly financial statements and financial projections for portfolio companies; periodic and regular contact with portfolio company management; attendance at board meetings; periodic formal update interviews with portfolio company management, and assessment of business development, including product development, profitability and the portfolio company�� overall adherence to its busine! ss plan.
In addition to various risk management and monitoring tools, the Company uses an investment rating system to characterize and monitor the credit profile and expected level of returns on each investment in itd portfolio. It uses a five-level numeric rating scale. In the event that it determines that an investment is underperforming, or circumstances suggest that the risk associated with a particular investment has significantly increased, it monitors the effected portfolio company.
Valuation of Portfolio Investments
As a business development company, the Company invests in illiquid securities, including debt and equity investments of small and mid-sized companies. The Company perform valuations of its debt and equity investments on an individual basis, using market, income, and bond yield approaches as appropriate. Under the market approach, it estimates the enterprise value of the portfolio companies, in which it invests. To estimate the enterprise value of a portfolio company, it analyze various factors, including the portfolio company�� historical and projected financial results. It requires portfolio companies to provide annual audited and quarterly and monthly unaudited financial statements, as well as annual projections for the upcoming fiscal year.
Under the income approach, the Company prepares and analyze discounted cash flow models based on projections of the future free cash flows of the business. Under the bond yield approach, it uses bond yield models to determine the present value of the future cash flow streams of its debt investments. It reviews various sources of transactional data, including private mergers and acquisitions involving debt investments with similar characteristics, and assess the information in the valuation process.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
But one concern is that investors are paying too much for BDCs. Like Ares, peers Prospect Capital (NASDAQ: PSEC ) and Fifth Street Finance (NASDAQ: FSC ) also carry share prices that are higher than the net value of the assets on their books. Yet Ares trades at a substantially higher premiums to NAV than Prospect or Fifth Street, suggesting that they're more comfortable with the quality of Ares' assets compared to its rivals.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Network Exploration Ltd (NET)Network Exploration Ltd. is an exploration and development-stage company. The Company�� principal business activities include the exploration of minerals in its mineral properties. It focuses on base and precious metal properties in North and South America. Its activities include the process of exploring its mineral properties, reviewing and subsequently acquiring mineral properties and conducting exploration programs to determine whether these properties contain ore reserves that are recoverable. The Picha copper-silver project is located within the Tertiary Volcanic Arc of Southern Peru. The Pistala project is located east of the NW-SE trending Incapquio fault system in the Department of Tacna, Southern Peru. The Company is in the business of mineral exploration in Canada, Chile and Peru. Network Exploration Chile Limitada is its wholly owned subsidiary. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
The MSCI World Index (Net) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the global equity market performance of developed markets. This benchmark calculates reinvested dividends net of withholding taxes using Luxembourg tax rates. This index is unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in this index.
- [By Damian Illia]
Although the company is overly relying on Afrezza, there is to say that MannKind has inked some deals in the recent past. These were primarily aimed to furthering its pipeline development but with less risk and with less research and development expenditure directly for the firm. In November, 2012 it signed a license agreement with Colby Pharmaceutical Company granting the latter exclusive rights to its early stage cancer program. Currently, the firm is also looking for partners regarding Afrezza. Last year in July, it entered one with Deerfield that ensured financing worth $160 million for MannKind. Also, in October 2012, the company raised $86 million (net) through the issuance of shares and has almost $120 million left under its credit facility. This has removed some concerned about a financial crisis in the company, although it hasn't done so throughly.
- [By Jason Rivera]
Assets:Book Value:Reproduction Value:Current AssetsCash And Cash Equivalents506506Accounts Receivable (Net)3,6193,076Inventories10,0006,000Deferred Income Taxes919460Prepaid Expenses799400Total Current Assets15,8439,986PP&E Net2,4151,449Equity and Other Investments4,5763,432Intangible Assets3,1391,570Deferred Income Taxes991496Total Assets26,96417,387
Number of shares is 7,383.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Spansion Inc(CODE)
Codere, S.A. engages in the management of gaming machines, bingo halls, horse racing tracks, casinos, and off-track betting facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Panama, and Uruguay. As of December 31, 2008, the company managed 54,818 slot machines and electronic bingo terminals, 137 bingo halls with 30,803 seats, 106 off-track betting facilities, 3 horse racing tracks, and 6 casinos. It also operated 15,963 AWP machines in approximately 10,886 bars and restaurants in Spain. Codere, S.A. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Alcobendas, Spain.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tim Brugger]
Based on a review of "preliminary financial results," embedded systems solutions provider Spansion (NYSE: CODE ) has lowered its second quarter 2013 revenue and earnings guidance, the company announced today.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Spansion (NYSE: CODE ) reported earnings on April 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Spansion missed estimates on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was up over 4% at $14.59 and hit a new multiyear high of $15.27 earlier on Wednesday. SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) is up right at 3% at $56.95 against a 52-week range of $38.47 to $63.97. Jefferies also reiterated its Buy rating and $21 price target for Micron. We are seeing similar gains in Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), up 2.3% at $10.69, but we would warn that its 52-week range is $9.96 to $14.54. Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and a $12 to $14 valuation.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: 1st NRG Corp (FNRC)
1st NRG Corp., incorporated on January 18, 1988, is an exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in the development of the Clabaugh Ranch Field, which is a project developing and producing coal bed methane reserves (CBM). This project includes a development of 6,025 gross acres in the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming. The Company is expanding its activities into unconventional shale through a participation agreement covering approximately 7,000 acres initially and subsequently acquired acreage covering an Area of Mutual Interest in South Eastern Ohio. Its production revenues are entirely from the natural gas produced at Clabaugh Ranch.
The targeted coal seams in the Powder River Basin are part of the Tongue River Member of the Fort Union formation and have been mapped as natural resource developments and exploration have occurred throughout the region. The Company has 42 drilled wells, which have encountered developed coal seams in the Werner, Upper and Lower Smith, Wyodak/Anderson Lower, Gates and Wall formations. In total the Company has identified 515 separate coals seams for development of which only 126 (42 wells X 3 seams) have been completed.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
What�� the Catch With Quantum Energy Inc? According to various disclosures, transactions of $2k and $3.5k have or will occur to mention Quantum Energy in various investment newsletters. On Friday, Quantum Energy released the pricing of its recently announced $5,000,000 BDC funding to be arranged by Data Capital Corp (DCC) where the latter has agreed to assist the former in the formation of a Business Development Company (BDC) by forming Quantum Funding, Inc. as a BDC to raise an initial $5,000,000. Upon receipt of the funding, Quantum Funding, Inc. will then be acquired as a subsidiary by QEGY in a share exchange where the $5,000,000 subsidiary will be acquired for 10,000,000 shares of newly issued restricted common stock for a valuation of $0.50 cents per share. Otherwise and early in the month, Quantum Energy announced it was shifting its focus from the West Texas Barnett Shale fields to North Dakota with the opening of an office in Williston, North Dakota. However, a quick look on Google Finance (as there are no up to date financials on Yahoo! Finance) reveals Quantum Energy has no revenues; a net loss of $0.01M (most recent reported quarter), net income of $2.01M and a net loss of $0.02M for the past three fiscal quarters; and $0.01M in cash to cover $0.34M in current liabilities at the end of last August. Then again, the recent financing deal could get things moving for Quantum Energy next year.1st NRG Corp (OTCMKTS: FNRC) Gives a Drilling and Production Update
Small cap 1st NRG Corp is an exploration and production company currently developing and producing coal bed methane reserves (CBM) in Wyoming. On Friday, 1st NRG Corp fell 25% to $0.0003 for a market cap of $5.02 million plus FNRC is down 97.1% since the start of the year and down 99.8% since July 2010 according to Google Finance.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Janus Capital Group Inc (SLS)
Janus Capital Group Inc., and its subsidiaries (JCG), incorporated on January 23, 1998, provide investment management, administration, distribution and related services to financial advisors, individuals and institutional clients through mutual funds, other pooled investment vehicles, separate accounts and sub advised relationships (collectively referred to as investment products) in both domestic and international markets. JCG provides investment management competencies across a range of disciplines, including fundamental the United States and global equities (growth and value), mathematical equities, fixed income and alternatives through its subsidiaries, Janus Capital Management LLC (Janus), INTECH Investment Management LLC (INTECH) and Perkins Investment Management LLC (Perkins). JCG's investment products are distributed through three primary channels: retail intermediary, institutional and international.
The institutional channel serves the United States corporations, endowments, foundations, Taft-Hartley funds and public fund clients and focuses on distribution direct to the plan sponsor and through consultants. As of December 31, 2012, assets in the institutional channel totaled 24% of total Company assets under management. The international channel primarily serves professional retail and institutional investors outside of the United States, including central and local government pension plans, corporate pension plans, multi-managers, insurance companies and private banks. International products are offered through separate accounts, sub advisory relationships and Janus Capital Funds Plc, a mutual fund trust. As of December 31, 2012, assets in the international channel totaled 11% of total Company assets under management. JCG operates international offices in London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Frankfurt, The Hague, Dubai, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne and Taipei. The retail intermediary channel serves financial advisors, third-party intermediaries and retirement platf! orms in the United States. In addition, this channel serves existing individual investors who invest in JCG products through a mutual fund supermarket or directly with JCG. As of December 31, 2012, assets in the retail intermediary channel totaled 65% of total Company assets under management.
Janus manages primarily growth equity portfolios. As of December 31, 2012, Janus managed 63% of total Company assets under management. The Janus Overseas Fund is included in the assets managed by Janus and represented approximately 6% during the year ended December 31, 2012.
INTECH has managed institutional portfolios. INTECH's investment process is based on a mathematical theorem that seeks to add value for clients by capitalizing on the volatility in stock price movements. As of December 31, 2012, INTECH managed 26% of total Company assets under management.
Perkins has managed value-disciplined investment products. With its fundamental research and careful consideration for downside risk, Perkins has established itself as a value manager. Perkins offers value equity investment products across a range of the United States asset classes and global equity. As of December 31, 2012, Perkins managed 11% of total Company assets under management.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Victor Selva]
In addition, leading the solid rocket propellant market should ensure increased annual revenue. The new Space Launch System (SLS), for which ATK is working with the NASA, is expected be as successful as the Space Shuttle program years ago.
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Hillshire Brands Co (HSH)
The Hillshire Brands Company, incorporated on September 4, 1941, is a manufacturer and marketer of food products. The Company�� portfolio includes brands, such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame. The Company operates in two segments: Retail and Foodservice/Other. Retail sells a variety of packaged meat and frozen bakery products to retail customers in North America. Foodservice/other sells a variety of meat and bakery products to foodservice customers in North America. On February 4, 2013, the Company completed the sale of its Australian bakery business.
Products in the retail segments include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages, breakfast convenience items, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls, dinner sausages, deli and luncheon meats and cooked hams, as well as frozen pies, cakes, cheesecakes and other desserts. The Company�� brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair and Sara Lee, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame. The sales of the Retail business are generated in the United States Sales are made in the retail channel to supermarkets, warehouse clubs and national chains. Retail�� business accounted for 74% of the Company�� sales during the fiscal year ended June 29, 2013 (fiscal 2013).
Products in the foodservice/other segment include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages and sandwiches, dinner sausages, deli and luncheon meats, ham, beef and turkey, as well as a variety of bakery products, including pastries, muffins, frozen pies, cakes and cheesecakes. Sales are made in the foodservice channel to distributors, restaurants, hospitals and other large institutions. Foodservice/Other�� business accounted for 26% of the Company�� sales in fiscal 2013.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Reuters]
Toby Talbot/AP NEW YORK -- A voluntary effort by the world's largest food and beverage companies to remove billions of calories from the products they sell in the United States to help combat the nation's obesity epidemic has far exceeded its five-year goal, according to an independent evaluation released Thursday. In May 2010, 16 of the nation's biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola (KO) to Kraft Foods Group (KRFT), pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline. In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Reports like this, and the fact that they exceeded their commitment by fourfold, really shows that you can make progress in giving American families more healthy options," said Larry Soler, president of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit chaired by first lady Michelle Obama. The group was formed in 2010 to work with the private sector on anti-obesity strategies. At the time, critics said the Partnership relied too heavily on the good will of the industry and couldn't replace the role of tighter regulation on how food is manufactured and marketed. Such voluntary efforts by industry "are not a magic bullet," said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, a non-profit policy group. "Particularly with kids, there is a role for regulation" in reducing demand for unhealthy, high-calorie fare. It isn't clear yet how the companies accomplished the dramatic calorie reduction, said UNC public health researcher Barry Popkin, who led the analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest public health philanthropy. Some of the decline may have come from the recession, as financially strapped families cut back on junk food. When the pledge was announced, companies said they would substitute lower-calorie pro
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Although the Hostess acquisition was high profile, Flowers has made many similar though smaller acquisitions in recent years, taking advantage of the fragmented bakery industry to pick off targets individually with attractive buyout offers. Moreover, late last year, the company bought licensing rights for the Sara Lee brand in California, after Sara Lee changed its name to Hillshire Brands (NYSE: HSH ) and shifted its focus toward meat products. The move helped Sara Lee reap more money from its brand while giving Flowers more market share in the important California market.
- [By Matt Thalman]
And finally, Hormel. The stock fell after the CEO of Hillshire Brands (NYSE: HSH ) said that his company will look to make some acquisitions in the coming year and focus more on chicken products as consumers begin to demand healthier options. It is clear that the competition will continue to intensify for Hormel in the coming months and years and, as Hillshire is still a smaller company, it could change very quickly if the acquisition-happy CEO goes on a shopping spree. With many of these food brands, it is all about shelf space and location within a store and, more times than not, the bigger the player, the better the location. Hormel investors shouldn't be overly concerned today, but need to watch how things play out in the future. �
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Spdr S&P Retail Etf (XRT)
SPDR S&P Retail Exchange Traded Fund (The Fund) seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before expenses, the performance of an index derived from the retail segment of the United States total market composite index. The Fund uses a passive management strategy designed to track the total return performance of the S&P Retail Select Industry Index (the Retail Index).
The Retail Index represents the retail sub industry portion of the S&P TMI. The S&P TMI tracks all the United States common stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), American Stock Exchange (AMEX), National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (NASDAQ) National Market and NASDAQ Small Cap exchanges.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap storage and organization system retailer Container Store Group Inc (NYSE: TCS) is the latest hot consumer IPO to�temp�investors�and while there are no direct peers for the quirky but money loosing retailer, could investors just�be better off sticking with retail ETFs like the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) or�more traditional large cap home improvement stocks like�Lowe's Companies, Inc (NYSE: LOW) and The Home Depot, Inc (NYSE: HD)?
- [By Anthony Mirhaydari]
As a result, the Retail SPDR (XRT) is looking about as appealing as a cold shower, falling out of its month-long trading range on a surge of negative volume. Here are five industry stocks you need to avoid, or could even consider playing on the short side:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of J.C. Penney have dropped 2.5% to $13.48 today, while Vornado has fallen 1.7% to $81.44. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has fallen 0.4% to $165.75, and the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) is of 0.8% at $79.42.
- [By John Udovich]
TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com has a shocking�post entitled, ��0 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind,��which might make you want to consider shorting or reevaluating any investment strategies involving retail or retail ETFs like the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR), Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: RTH) and Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares (NYSEARCA: RETL).�Before you dismiss something from a blog with the words ��conomic Collapse��in it (they are, after all, peddling ��oom and gloom�� because the Obama administration plus Joe Biden�and their surrogates in the media keep telling you there is an economic recovery along with growth in jobs, consider just the following retail store closure plans or job cuts mentioned in the post:
10 Best International Stocks To Watch Right Now: Herbalife Ltd (HLF)
Herbalife Ltd., incorporated on April 4, 2002, is a global network marketing company that sells weight management, nutritional supplements, energy, sports and fitness products and personal care products through a network of approximately 2.7 million independent distributors, except in China, where the Company sells its products through retail stores. The Company is a network marketing company that sells a range of weight management products, nutritional supplements and personal care products. As of December 31, 2011, the Company sold products in 79 countries throughout the world. Herbalife�� products are grouped in four principal categories: weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports and fitness and Outer Nutrition, along with literature and promotional items. The Company�� generates revenue from its six regions: North America, Mexico, South and Central America; EMEA, which consists of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific (excluding China), and China. On December 31, 2012, the Company acquired a manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The Company�� products are manufactured by third party providers and by the Company in its Suzhou, China facility and in its manufacturing facility located in Lake Forest, California, and then are sold to independent distributors who sell Herbalife products to retail consumers or other distributors. As of December 31, 2011, Herbalife marketed and sold 138 products encompassing over 4,400 stock keeping units (SKUs) through its distributors.
Weight Management is the Company�� largest product category representing 62.5% of its net sales during the year ended December 31, 2011. Formula 1, its product, is a healthy meal with soy protein, essential vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients that is available in seven flavors and can help support weight management. Personalized Protein Powder is a soy and whey protein product designed as a boost to Formula 1 to personalize a pe! rson�� daily protein intake to help achieve their desired weight and shape. Weight-loss enhancers, including Herbal Tea Concentrate, Total Control and Prolessa Duo address specific challenges associated with dieting, such as lack of energy, hunger and food craving, fluid retention, decreased metabolism and digestive challenges, by building energy, boosting metabolism, curbing appetite and helping to promote weight loss. Healthy snacks are formulated to provide between-meal nutrition and appetite satisfaction.
Herbalife markets numerous dietary and nutritional supplements designed to meet its customers��specific nutritional needs. Each of these supplements contains botanicals, vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients and focuses on specific life stages of its customers, including women, men, children and those with health concerns, including heart health, healthy aging, digestive health, or immune solutions. Niteworks is a product that supports energy, circulatory and vascular health and enhances blood flow to the heart, brain and other vital organs. Garden 7 is designed to provide the phytonutrient benefits of seven servings of fruits and vegetables and has anti-oxidant and health-boosting properties. Best Defense is an effervescent drink that helps boost immunity. In 2011, the Company expanded distribution of its Active Fiber line by introducing its Apple flavored Active Fiber Complex in the South and Central America region.
Energy, Sports and Fitness
Herbalife entered into the energy drink with the introduction of Liftoff, an energy drink containing a blend of B-vitamins, guarana, ginseng, ginkgo and caffeine to increase energy and improve mental clarity for better performance throughout the day. It launched H3Otm Fitness Drink to provide hydration, sustained muscle energy plus antioxidant protection for people living a healthy, active lifestyle. It also introduced H30 Pro in EMEA to provide an isotonic drink to indivi! duals par! ticipating in high activity sports.
The Company�� Outer Nutrition products complement its weight management and targeted nutrition products and aim to improve the appearance of the body, skin and hair. These products include skin cleansers, toners, moisturizers and facial masks, shampoos and conditioners, body-wash items and a selection of fragrances for men and women. Its Herbal Aloe line is its introductory line providing distributors with cleansers, lotions and soaps that help sooth the skin. NouriFusion Multivitamin skin care products are formulated with antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E. It launched a line of anti-aging products as an extension of its Skin Activator product, an advanced face cream that contains a collagen-building Glucosamine Complex to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also launched a number of regional products including a Soft Green Body Care line in Brazil, the Whitening Serum under the NouriFusion brand in the Asia Pacific region, and the Lively Fragrances perfume line.
Literature, Promotional and Other Products
Herbalife also sells literature and promotional materials, including sales aids, informational audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs (CDs) and digital versatile discs (DVDs) designed to support its distributors��marketing efforts, as well as start-up kits called International Business Packs for new distributors. It introduced BizWorks, a customizable retail Website for its distributors to enhance the on-line experience.
The Company competes with NuSkin Enterprises, Nature�� Sunshine, Alticor/Amway, Melaleuca, Avon Products, Oriflame, Tupperware and Mary Kay, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, General Nutrition Centers and Wal-Mart.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Anora Mahmudova]
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) �shares initially rose after the company said it plans to offer $1 billion of convertible notes and use the proceeds to buy back shares. However, shares fell 2.4%.
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
In a trade that has turned into a proverbial clash of the hedge fund titans, Ackman is still on the short side of Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) -- only the sixth short position in Pershing's history -- and it's estimated he could be down as much as $300 million on the trade. Ackman continues to stand by his short, defending it against major hedge funds on the long side, which include Carl Icahn and George Soros. Ackman built his short position in late 2012 after publicly calling Herbalife a pyramid scheme. Ackman has also launched a website and put together a 334-slide presentation to support his thesis. Ackman also engaged in a war of words during a half-hour CNBC segment with Icahn, who has said that Herbalife could turn out to be the mother of all short squeezes.
- [By John Maxfield]
He invested in Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) when it was trading below $100 a share at the end of last year; the video-streaming company is now selling for $215 a share -- that's a 210% increase versus the S&P 500's (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) 13%. He's going toe-to-toe with hedge fund manager Bill Ackman over Herbalife (NYSE: HLF ) ; Ackman claims the multilevel marketing company is a Ponzi scheme, while Icahn's amassed a 15.8% long stake in it. He purchased shares of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK ) , after the natural gas company's chief executive officer was exposed for a variety of misdeeds. And Icahn has now thrown himself into the middle of the proposed buyout of personal-computer maker Dell (NASDAQ: DELL ) . Indeed, like the G.I. Joe theme song, wherever there's trouble, Carl Icahn is there.
- [By Hibah Yousuf]
Ackman also is sitting on a huge loss on paper with his short against nutritional supplement maker Herbalife (HLF). Shares of Herbalife have more than doubled this year even though Ackman has claimed on numerous occasions that he thinks the company is a pyramid scheme that has no value.