Investors love stocks that consistently beat the Street without getting ahead of their fundamentals and risking a meltdown. The best stocks offer sustainable market-beating gains, with robust and improving financial metrics that support strong price growth. Does Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM ) fit the bill? Let's look at what its recent results tell us about its potential for future gains.
What we're looking for
The graphs you're about to see tell Akamai's story, and we'll be grading the quality of that story in several ways:
What the numbers tell you
Now, let's look at Akamai's key statistics:
10 Best Construction Stocks To Buy For 2015: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Among holdings in which Viking Global increased its stake was Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) , a specialist in robotic surgical equipment. The company has had a bumpy year, thanks to bearish comments from a research firm and questions about the efficacy of its systems. Some legal worries were eased recently, with a victory in court. While some wonder whether the company's growth prospects are slowing down, others love Intuitive's competitive advantages and dominance in its promising market. It has been posting double-digit revenue and earnings growth rates for quite a while and has a forward P/E ratio near 23, which is not exactly nosebleed territory.
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); ]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are Alcoa Inc.(AA), Constellation Brands Inc.(STZ) and Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
- [By Sean Williams]
Reducing VTEs through more precise instrumentation
One possible way to reduce the potential for developing a blood clot is to reduce the incision size or invasiveness of a surgical procedural. Two companies working diligently on doing just this are robotic surgical system developers Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) and MAKO Surgical (NASDAQ: MAKO ) .
- [By Sean Williams]
Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG )
I know I've highlighted Intuitive Surgical as a Watchlist worthy stock previously, but following yesterday's out-of-the-blue revenue warning I think investors would be foolish not to add the robotic surgical device maker to their Watchlist if they haven't done so already.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Vanin Aegea]
I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).
- [By Dimitra DeFotis]
Many other insurers are trading lower today, chief among them Aflac (AFL), down 3.65%. CNO Financial (CNO) fell 1%. The best performer: life insurance giant Prudential (PRU), whose shares rose more than 1%.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Up first is CNO Financial Group (CNO), a mid-cap financial stock that's rocketed close to 60% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. Yup, it's been a great year for the market, but it's been a far better one for investors who own CNO. But that strong performance isn't showing any signs of slowing yet. In fact, CNO looks primed for even more upside in the fourth quarter.
That's because CNO is currently forming a bullish pattern called an ascending triangle. The ascending triangle pattern is formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares -- in this case at $14.75 -- and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CNO bounces in between those two technical price levels, it's getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above that $14.75 resistance level. When that breakout happens, it's time to become a buyer.
ACCO's price action isn't exactly textbook. After all, the pattern is coming in at the bottom of a downtrend, not after an uptrend. But ultimately, that doesn't change the trading implications of a move through that $7.50 level.
Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in a stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That $7.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above it so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Don't be early on this trade.
- [By David Fried, Editor, The Buyback Letter]
Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group (CNO) and its insurance subsidiaries��rincipally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company��erve pre-retiree and retired Americans.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: Nordstrom Inc.(JWN)
Nordstrom, Inc., a fashion specialty retailer, offers apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children in the United States. It offers a selection of brand name and private label merchandise. The company sells its products through various channels, including Nordstrom full-line stores, off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, Jeffrey? boutiques, treasure & bond, and Last Chance clearance stores; and its online store, nordstrom.com, as well as through catalog. Nordstrom also provides a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards, and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The company?s credit and debit cards feature a shopping-based loyalty program. As of September 30, 2011, it operated 222 stores, including 117 full-line stores, 101 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store, and 1 clearance store in 30 states. The company was founded in 1901 and is based in Seattle, Washington.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sue Chang]
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) �on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter earnings of $1.37 a share, marginally down from $1.40 a share a year earlier. The retailer also forecast full-year profit of $3.75 to $3.90 a share and first-quarter profit of 60 cent to 70 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for a profit of $4.07 a share for the year and 79 cents a share in the first quarter. Shares of Nordstrom were down 1.1% in after-hours trading.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) shares were also up, gaining 12.85 percent to $69.39 as the company reported upbeat first-quarter results. Nordstrom posted a quarterly profit of $0.72 per share on revenue of $2.93 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $0.68 per share on revenue of $2.86 billion. Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded Nordstrom from Neutral to Outperform.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
They also drove up the share prices of its suppliers and department store rivals. Nordstrom (JWN) and Kohl�� Corp. (KSS ), both reporting Thursday, rose more than 2% each. Its suppliers Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) and Calvin Klein parent PVH Corp. (PVH) saw their shares up 2% and 4% each.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: MEDIFAST INC(MED)
Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
Medifast (NYSE: MED) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million.
Full House Resorts (NASDAQ: FLL) is estimated to post a Q4 loss at $0.06 per share on revenue of $33.24 million.
- [By Robert Hanley]
Consumer-goods marketer Blyth (NYSE: BTH ) , owner of weight-loss upstart ViSalus, has been in the doghouse lately, sitting near a 52-week low due to poor results in its weight-loss unit.� Despite a large potential customer base of overweight people worldwide, the industry has had difficulty generating growth lately, with data provider Marketdata Enterprises estimating that industry sales rose only 1.7% in 2012.� However, Blyth caught a bid in late October from a proposed combination with marketing-services provider CVSL, indicating that some people see incremental value in Blyth's businesses.�So, should small investors bet on this small cap or should they focus their attention on Weight watchers International (NYSE: WTW ) and Medifast (NYSE: MED ) instead?
- [By Ali Berri]
In trading on Friday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.09 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Medifast (NYSE: MED), down 9.6 percent, and Universal (NYSE: UVV), off 3.9 percent.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: Crocs Inc.(CROX)
Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
[Related -Upside Calls Active On United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) And Put Options Active In Crocs, Inc. (CROX)]
Crocs is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of footwear and accessories for men, women and children. The Company sells its products in more than 90 countries through domestic and international retailers and distributors and directly to end-user consumers through its Company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks and Webstores. Its footwear products are divided into four product offerings: Core-Comfort, Active, Casual and Style.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Crocs (CROX) announced a number of moves–including an investment by Blackstone Group (BX) that could restore the bounce to its shares.AFP
Bloomberg has the details on Crocs:
Crocs Inc. rose as much as 14 percent in early trading after saying Chief Executive Officer John McCarvel will retire and�Blackstone Group LP will invest $200 million in the maker of colorful plastic clogs…
The shoemaker said in a statement yesterday that it will use the funds from Blackstone�� investment in convertible preferred stock to increase share repurchases to $350 million. McCarvel will step down on or about April 30…
Blackstone, based in New York, will be restricted from acquiring more than 25 percent of Crocs common shares until a time frame expires for appointing board directors, the shoe manufacturer said in a filing. Crocs said it will pay $2 million as a closing fee and reimburse as much as $4 million of Blackstone�� transaction fees and expenses once the preferred-stock sale is concluded.
Sterne Agee’s Sam Poser and Ben Shamsian upgrade Croc’s shares to Neutral from Underperform. They explain why:
The retirement of John McCarvel from his CEO post and from the board of Directors removes a large road block to success. Blackstone�� involvement (13% ownership upon conversion) may serve as a catalyst for positive change, including closing underperforming stores and limiting future store openings. While increased share repurchases should help EPS growth, fixing the fundamentals of the business will require more extensive efforts.
Wedbush’s Corinna Freedman explains how Blackstone’s involvement helps� Crocs find a McCarvel’s replacement:
We expect the shares to react positively to the announcement as we believe that a regime change and a shift of balance of power in the Board (with Blackstone having 2 board seats with veto power and presumably, a significant say regar
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of plastic shoe specialist Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX ) plummeted 21% today after its quarterly results and outlook easily missed Wall Street expectations.
- [By William L. Watts]
Shares of Crocs Inc. (CROX) �rose nearly 17% after Chief Financial Officer Jeff Lasher said in an interview that Blackstone Group LP (BX) �will invest $200 million in the shoe company and that Chief Executive John McCarvel will retire by late April.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Steve Symington]
Though shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD ) rose more than 4% in Monday's after-hours trading following a strong quarterly report from the company, the stock fell into a tailspin Tuesday morning after a pair of analyst downgrades stemmed investors' excitement.
Hot Growth Stocks To Watch For 2014: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Smith]
Three months after settling upon a new chief executive officer, it looks like Thorofare, N. J.-based Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP ) will soon have itself a new CFO as well.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap Checkpoint Systems, Inc (NYSE: CKP) fights shoplifting or retail theft and other forms of�"shrink��that costs retailers over $112 billion worldwide last year (according to a study funded by the company), meaning it might be an interesting stock to take a closer look at and to compare its performance with that of SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR). Just how bad can shoplifting or shrink be for a retailer? Troubled retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP) has just reported that shoplifting took a full percentage point off the department store chain's profit margins during the quarter. Moreover and given that tens of millions of Americans are now facing higher health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare (which will likely impact consumer discretionary spending),�retailers�will need to find ways to shore up their margins and bottom lines by preventing�retail theft with solutions from company�� like Checkpoint Systems.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) surged 17.73% to $14.21. The volume of Checkpoint Systems shares traded was 525% higher than normal. Checkpoint announced its intent to extend the filing date of its annual report.