Saturday, April 12, 2014

1 Big Problem for This Popular Retailer

Yesterday, teen apparel retailer American Eagle (NYSE: AEO  ) posted its first-quarter results. The company has struggled over the last year as it tries to find its niche. Recently, management has tried to shift from supplying just basics to a wider range of fashion items. Apparently, it hasn't caught on just yet.

Total sales in the reported quarter were down 4%, with comparable sales falling 5%. Along the way down the balance sheet, margins dropped and resulted in a drop in earnings per share, which came in at $0.18 compared to $0.22 last year. The company has a well-known brand and good store footprint, so what's the missing piece?

Subpar results from American Eagle
If there's a recurring theme with apparel retailers this year, it's how much the weather has affected the business. It's no surprise that American Eagle cited the long, cold winter as one of the main problems it faced this quarter. Target (NYSE: TGT  ) rolled out the same reasoning when it announced a less-then-stellar performance yesterday, citing weakness in weather-related apparel sales.

The difference at Target was that the company had other products to fall back on, so comparable sales only fell slightly, while they dove at American Eagle. Even with that fall, the market rewarded American Eagle yesterday. The stock rose slightly, though it gave up those gains in early trading today.

The problem American Eagle has is that it fails to keep up any of the momentum that it gains. Case in point: Last year at this time, American Eagle managed a 17% increase in comparable sales. A 22-percentage-point drop in comparable sales isn't just weather-related. American Eagle is losing out to trendier brands like Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN  ) . Urban managed a 9% increase in comparable sales last quarter. Sales rose because teens like the brand, and they're turning away from American Eagle.

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Where's the shortfall?
If it's not weather, then where's the problem at American Eagle? I'd argue that it's at the management level. The company has failed to capture the trendy fashion market-share that it's been planning to attack for some time now. Core items still make up 40% to 45% of the company's sales, which means that the company is still relying heavily on those items.

The problem with that approach is that it pegs American Eagle as a basics company, and basics aren't fashionable. Looking at Urban Outfitters, as the other end of the spectrum, the company has managed to grow its Anthropologie line into an aspirational brand. Last quarter, the company not only improved sales but actually grew gross margin by more than a full percentage point, up to 36.8%. That's a reflection of brand strength, something that American Eagle lacks.

With more than 1,000 locations in the U.S. and strong brand recognition, American Eagle has the potential to jump on the trendy end of the fashion bandwagon, but management has to go for it. Right now, the company is playing to its historic strengths, and that means that it's going to keep repeating the past. I like American Eagle's potential, but I'm worried that management isn't ready to unlock it.

Should you take a chance on this struggling department-store stock?
J.C. Penney's stock cratered under Ron Johnson's leadership, but could new CEO Mike Ullman present the opportunity investors have been waiting for? If you're wondering whether J.C. Penney is a buy today, you're invited to claim a copy of The Motley Fool's must-read report on the company. Learn everything you need to know about JCP's turnaround -- or lack thereof. Simply click here now for instant access.

Yahoo! Should Stream Taylor Swift's Next Tour

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm not trying to start a social movement among legions of diehard Taylor Swift fans. (Though if anybody could start one it'd be them. And I don't mind if they do).

I just believe, from a business perspective, it's an absolute no-brainer for Yahoo! (YHOO) to take ownership of a live concert streaming space nobody, outside of a handful of startups and random musical acts, seriously dabbles in.

Consider the following logic that hypothetically lays out one of the many ways a Marissa Mayer-led live concert streaming strategy could take shape.

If I'm Mayer I'm doing two things right now: Buying up and/or partnering with live concert streaming startups such as iRocke and even smaller outfits like Concert Window (the way she she did Evntlive). Going after a big name act (or two) as a proving ground for the popular and economic viability of the space. Taylor Swift comes in on point two. I use her as an example because there's no better example to use. The passion Swift's fans have for her parallels the passion Bruce Springsteen's fans have for Bruce and (recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees) The E Street Band. It's this passion that debunks the inane notion that live video streaming of concerts might dampen enthusiasm for the in-person live performance. Some folks -- in the music industry of all places -- are actually against live concert streaming because they think it will detract from ... exactly what I don't know. Have any members of the music industrial complex ever been, how you say, diehard fans? Have they gone through the emotional processes that take place pre-show, in-show and post-show with respect to the Swift, Springsteen or (insert your favorite here) experience? I don't think they have or live concert streaming would be a widespread thing that's happening right now. The Music Industry Doesn't Serve the Emotional Needs That Result From Extreme Fandom There's a Springsteen fan message board I used to visit frequently. Prior to each show, a member starts a "Setlistvision thread." Then during the show people who are not at that night's show are in touch, via smartphone, with fellow fans in attendance. Throughout the night, the "caller" feeds the setlist to the poster song-by-song. For the entire three to four hours of the Springsteen experience, these people are eagerly waiting for words on a screen -- not even audio or video. The community feel of it all -- which could be easily tied into a streaming media platform -- helps keep them engaged. However, even if you took that away, I'm pretty confident they would keep coming back absent any other reliable and consistent setlist source.  Springsteen fans visit multiple sites that track the setlist in real-time night after night, either in anticipation of the show (or shows) they plan to see or as therapy to ease the sadness associated with not being able to attend a stop on the tour. This practice is not just a Bruce thing. Then there's Google's (GOOG) YouTube. It's the place you go to search for bootleg recordings of live concerts. Many diehards browse YouTube immediately after a concert ends, refreshing the screen at regular intervals waiting for videos to hit. If you happened to have been at a show, the YouTube component takes on even more meaning. Seeing a musician and/or band you have a strong emotional bond with is nothing short of a cathartic experience. It's intense. It's euphoric. It's a bit like a drug. On that Springsteen site I mentioned, you'll sometimes see the term "post-Bruce depression" pop up. Granted -- there might be more going on with you psychologically if you suffer Springsteen withdrawal to the point of melancholy or worse, but that doesn't make the affliction any less real. By and large, the music industry does a wholly pitiful job meeting the emotional needs of its customers. We're forced to scrap and scavenge third-party platforms from fan sites run on a shoestring to YouTube to get our fix. And that's the point, we need our fix. Once we get a taste of the live experience, we go searching for other ways to self-medicate. To feel like we're part of something we know can't match, but is better than nothing vis-a-vis being there. If serious and casual fans can become addicted for periods of time to refreshing a freaking message board thread to see the name of the next song an artist played, don't you think they might pony up for high-quality streaming access to the tour?

A rhetorical question which leads into exactly what music lovers might be buying after the click to Page Two ...

Stock quotes in this article: YHOO 

Yahoo! Should Emulate Live Concert Tour Streaming After Major Professional Sports Apps

I use NHL Game Center and the far superior Major League Baseball At-Bat (premium edition) to follow hockey and baseball. The basic concept of both is that for a monthly fee you receive access to a live stream of pretty much every game every night (with the exception of local blackouts and national telecasts), plus you receive instant archive access to games as well as statistics and other features geared toward diehard as well as casual fans. There's even smart integration with each league's e-commerce merchandise sites.

To my knowledge, these apps have done nothing to hurt the leagues. In fact, they're promoting them like crazy because the loyalty and passion they nurture can help drive everything from ticket sales to ratings to merch sales. For goodness sake, this season, you receive free MLB At-Bat online access if you purchase DIRECTV's (DTV) MLB Extra Innings package. That deal put me over the edge to buy. And shortly after I made that investment, I bought a Blue Jays cap and hoodie. Go figure.

Anyway, Yahoo! -- or somebody else -- could structure it any number of ways. By artist. By genre. They could allow you to select X number of artists for this much per month (or year) on an ascending scale. They could go a la carte by show. Or both. And more. Whatever. The particulars don't matter at this stage. What matters is that Yahoo! -- or whomever seizes this massive opportunity -- should model live concert streaming after the sports apps. Using Taylor Swift as an example ... She's likely to tour later this year or in 2015 at the latest after she releases a new record. That's the ideal time to launch a live concert streaming package, via Yahoo!, which provides subscribers access to a live stream of each stop on the tour, archived video access to each show on the tour and other bells and whistles, which could range from discounted event tickets and merch to other Taylor-related features. This would be a goldmine. If the sports leagues can do it and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) can do something similar, there's no reason in the world why Taylor Swift and a whole host of other acts cannot do likewise. In fact, they're leaving money and synergy on the table by not doing likewise. If money's an issue for younger Swift fans still under parental control, not a problem. These diehards will cancel Netflix (NFLX) subscriptions left and right to cover or supplement the cost (probably the latter) of a Taylor Swift tour subscription. And it won't be merely a kid thing. It's ignorant misnomer to believe Swift's audience consists solely of penniless school kids. First, just because they're school kids doesn't mean they're penniless. But, beyond that, the country audience is massive. And it's young. It's precisely the demo that's apparently leaving Facebook (FB) (though I don't buy that). A thought that triggers hysteria among the financial and tech media. I include that simply to say -- the teen to 34-year old demo is a vitally important one.  A recent The NY Times article on the "young, rich and ruling" class of country music fans noted: On the radio, (country) has displaced Top 40 as America's most popular musical format. Its biggest star is Taylor Swift, a 24-year-old phenomenon who last year earned more from music than any other singer ... ... country's increasingly mainstream appeal was on display during the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS, which last year had 15.5 million viewers, its biggest audience in 15 years, according to Nielsen. ... Country's popularity on the radio is reflected on the road. Live Nation (LYV) recently reported that audiences for its country concerts grew 50 percent last year to seven million, and the company said that it now views country as one of its two fastest-growing genres, along with electronic dance, the hot youth trend of the moment. Ms. Swift's tour last year, which was promoted by Live Nation's rival, AEG Live, was the biggest in North America over all, with $113 million in ticket sales ... But here's the deal -- Swift's appeal isn't merely that she's country. Because she's really not, at least by any traditional definition of the term. It's that she's the most successful, dynamic and talented crossover artist of our time. And maybe ever. Top 40 shouldn't worry much because Swift's carrying it as much as she's carrying country, no matter what the official numbers state. There's precedent for what Swift has done -- Canadian Shania Twain -- but nothing that matches the scope and scale. Or the passion ... from fans. This phenomenon should strongly suggest a hot iron to the music industry. One it should strike NOW. But there's no organizing (or smart enough) force within the industry to do what needs to be done. That's where a dynamic leader and visionary such as Mayer comes in. She walks into a meeting with whomever needs to be there from Swift's camp and associated factions and says something to the effect of I don't care what your rules and regulations are. I don't care about your backwards royalty and licensing structures. I don't want to hear why we CAN'T do this. All of the above is why you have seen industry wide revenue decrease. Because you didn't properly seize the future. Because you live by rules as opposed to make them suit what you should want and need to have happen. Well now we're going to help you do things the right way for once. And we're going to start with Taylor Swift. Mayer will probably be nicer than that. Or maybe she won't. Doesn't matter. Because the thrust of her desire (assuming she has one) to make live concert streaming a major part of Yahoo!'s online video strategy is righteous. It would be an offer they -- be it Taylor's label, Big Machine, or anybody else who claims a piece of her action -- would be certifiably insane, not to mention inane, to pass up. Others would watch and, in no time, they'll be calling Yahoo! asking how they can sign up.  Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Stock quotes in this article: YHOO  Rocco Pendola is a full-time columnist for TheStreet. He lives in Santa Monica. Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Friday, April 11, 2014

You Should Pick Up This Dropped Stock

The transportation industry is one of the most exposed to oil prices increments. Fixed way transport however, is also especially affected by weather. There is no clearer example than Canadian railroad companies today. There is a record wheat harvest to be carried, but the impossibility to pick up the rails and relocate them away from bad weather, continue to slow grain arrivals. Most importantly, some oil is being transported through rails increasing demand for cars. The situation prompted the intervention of government authorities and drafting of a bill to regulate rail transportation. Responses to the initiative have not been uniform, and while railroad operators bashed the project, terminal lifters have supported it. Last, some traffic will be deviated south, through the US in order to meet stipulated transported quotas. Did gurus anticipate the move? Can it explain the reason for heavy investing on Norfolk Southern (NSC)?

Keeping the Train Going

In an effort to continue profiting from otherwise sitting capital, but also attracting public back to a downtrodden mode of transport, Norfolk Southern announced a new service Tri-County Mountaineer. The ex-Southern Railway 2-8-0 #630 steam locomotive, has been refurbished to cruise a 72-mile round trip every Saturday and Sunday. Such tourist attraction is expected to have a small impact in overall revenue, but an important social impact. In other words, the project intents to caught the attention of the American public, and remind them the train remains an option for travelling and shipping goods.

Out of 15 reports issued on Norfolk Southern by 13 different financial institutions between January and March, only Zacks, Barclays and Deutsche Bank assigned the stock a "Hold" rating. During the last few days, however, Atlantic Securities downgraded the rating to "Neutral" and analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein reduced target price. In all, target price is expected to remain above the $100 mark. But, analysts began to look at future overall performance more careful, as 2013's results may be hard to match.

The difficulty to match 2013's growth arises from Norfolk Southern's 2012 performance. In other words, performance in 2013 recovered from the decline seen in 2012 exceeding results posted in 2011. Difficulties do not arise only from an intention to keep performance at high levels, but also from unresolved legal issues. Specifically, management is uncertain about the liability the company is exposed, and in consequence cannot asses the expected impact over performance.

Pushing for Success

Norfolk Southern currently trades at 15.6 times its trailing earnings, and carries a 17% discount to the industry average. Most importantly, the company has reached a growth ceiling that has stalled growth for the last three years. Debt deserves a special mention due to the high level at which it stands, putting a serious threat to the viability of the business model. The gravity of the situation is somewhat eased by the ample operating margins held by the firm, close to 30 points for the last four years.

The losses experienced in the coal segment, Norfolk Southern has replaced with improvements in the merchandise and intermodal segments coupled with enhanced productivity measures. Crude shipment, frac sand shipments, along with shipment of shale-related liquid petroleum gases are expected to shoot demand in the short-term. Additional pushes in performance are expected from the automobile and metal industries. Most importantly, capital investment for 2014 has been set at $2.2 billion, of which over $910 million will be dedicated to roadway spending. The strategy will be sealed with long-term cost control measures and a strong free cash flow.

As of today, Peter Lynch would likely recommend prospect investors purchase this stock as earnings have dropped below the price. Most importantly, rewards should be greater than those obtained by gurus who purchased the stock during the last quarter of 2013. With a moderate quarterly dividend of $0.54, representing an annual yield of 2.29%, the stock is an attractive investment for the long term.

Disclosure: Vanina Egea holds no position in any of the mentioned stocks.

About the author:Vanina EgeaA fundamental analyst at Lone Tree Analytics

Visit Vanina Egea's Website

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Tax Q&A: Settlement from a 401(k) lawsuit

As the April 15 tax deadline fast approaches, you probably have questions. Fortunately, we have answers. Every day until April 15, members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have agreed to answer selected tax questions from USA TODAY readers. Submit your questions to

Q: I received a check from a settlement lawsuit against a stock that I still own on my 401(k). Can I deposit that check in my 401(k)? What would happen if I keep it and cash it?

A: The answer to this question depends on a few missing facts.

The settlement check belongs to the 401(k) plan's trust, assuming it is to make you whole for lost earnings or profits on your investment in the plan. The check should have been made out to your 401(k) plan, not to you personally. If the check is made out to you personally, with your Social Security number, you should determine how to get the check reissued in the name of the plan. The check should have been issued to the account holder on record as of the date(s) of the loss. If the name of the account is not accurate, you should be sure to get the name corrected, not just for this transaction, but for future tracking of the tax-deferred status of the plan's account value.

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If you keep the check, it should be considered a premature distribution, unless you otherwise qualify for the distribution. If it is considered to be from your salary deferral account, the distribution without a qualifying distributable event could disqualify the plan. Refer to your plan's Summary Plan Description for more details on distributable events your plan allows for.

The payer will send you a 1099 for the check — and should do that whether you cash it or not — so you will want to be sure the payer has his facts correct: proper name, tax identifying number a! nd address for the 401(k) plan.

Lisa Germano, J.D., CPA, CGMA, President and General Counsel, Actuarial Benefits & Design Company, Midlothian, Va.

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5 Best Prefered Stocks To Buy For 2015

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) broke through to new record highs today on some strong earnings reports, and good news from the Fed. The blue chips finished the day at 15,549, gaining 76 points, or 0.5%. Earlier in the day, the Dow also set a new intraday-trading record, hitting 15,589.40, while the S&P 500 nearly reached 1,700, setting a new record of its own.

Speaking before the Senate Banking committee today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke again shored up concerns that the Fed would act hastily, and put the onus on Congress to do more to focus on reviving the economy rather than cutting the debt.� Investors interpreted his remarks, which followed his comment yesterday that the Fed had no "preset course" in its stimulus taper as evidence that the central bank would not pull the trigger ahead of time.

Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims from last week beat expectations, coming in at 334,000 versus estimates of 348,000, though continuing unemployment claims spiked. The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing report also hit its highest mark in over two years, soaring to 19.8, indicating a robust expansion in manufacturing activity. Economists had projected a figure of just 5.3. Morgan Stanley also beat estimates this morning, sending the financial sector higher, as every big bank has outperformed this earnings season.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Buy For 2015: Limited(CYOU) Limited develops and operates online games in the People?s Republic of China. It involves in the development, operation, and licensing of massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs), which are interactive online games that might be played simultaneously by various game players. The company operates seven MMORPGs that include its in house developed Tian Long Ba Bu; and licensed Blade Online, Blade Hero 2, Da Hua Shui Hu, Zhong Hua Ying Xiong, Immortal Faith, and San Jie Qi Yuan. As of December 31, 2010, Changyou?s games in China had approximately 111.4 million aggregate registered accounts; 1.0 million aggregate peak concurrent users; and 2.7 million aggregate active paying accounts. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China. Limited is a subsidiary of Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Yiannis Mostrous] (CYOU)

    A subsidiary of Internet portal, video game developer specializes in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).

  • [By Kevin Chen]

    To be fair, these revenues come from their stake in game company Changyou (NASDAQ: CYOU  ) . Because Sohu owns a majority stake in Changyou, Sohu must consolidate all financials into its statements -- even as Changyou is independently listed on stock exchanges. Whatever the case, Sohu actually created Changyou -- it started as a business unit in 2003, then was spun out in 2007. In any case, Sohu should do some serious soul-searching.

  • [By Seth Jayson] (Nasdaq: CYOU  ) is expected to report Q2 earnings on July 29. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict's revenues will increase 24.3% and EPS will expand 1.5%.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of Chinese online gaming operator (NASDAQ: CYOU  ) plummeted 19% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Buy For 2015: Intellicell Biosciences Inc (SVFC)

Intellicell Biosciences, Inc., formerly Media Exchange Group, Inc., incorporated on March 8, 1999, is engaged in regenerative medicine company focused on the expanding regenerative medical markets using a process to separate adult autologous vascular cells (AAVC's) from blood vessels in adult adipose (fat) tissue. The Company is also exploring and undertaking, either on its own or in collaboration with a third party, providing a service for the collection, processing and storage of autologous cells for future use. As of December 31, 2011, the Company has developed technologies that allow reproducible separation of stromal vascular fraction (IntelliCell) containing adipose stem cells that can be performed in tissue processing centers and in doctors��offices. On June 3, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of Intellicell Biosciences, Inc. The Company formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, ICBS Research, Inc.

The Company's process involves the application of ultrasonic cavitation (sound waves) to the extracted adipose tissue, which results in the separation AAVC's from the blood vessels in adult adipose (fat) tissue. This AAVC, or stromal vascular fraction (IntelliCells), are removed from the patient at the point of care, and separated at the point of care under the supervision of its certified technicians following current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) and current good tissue practices (cGTPs), and the cells are then returned to the medical professionals at the point of care for use a patient's own body (autologous treatment), by way of a same-day clinical procedure for homologous use of these cells.

Intellicell Biosciences, Inc., formerly Media Exchange Group, Inc., incorporated on March 8, 1999, is engaged in regenerative medicine company focused on the expanding regenerative medical markets using a process to separate adult autologous vascular cells (AAVC's) from blood vessels in adult adipose (fat) tissue. The Company is also exploring and undertaking, either on ! its own or in collaboration with a third party, providing a service for the collection, processing and storage of autologous cells for future use. As of December 31, 2011, the Company has developed technologies that allow reproducible separation of stromal vascular fraction (IntelliCell) containing adipose stem cells that can be performed in tissue processing centers and in doctors��offices. On June 3, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of Intellicell Biosciences, Inc. The Company formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, ICBS Research, Inc.

The Company's process involves the application of ultrasonic cavitation (sound waves) to the extracted adipose tissue, which results in the separation AAVC's from the blood vessels in adult adipose (fat) tissue. This AAVC, or stromal vascular fraction (IntelliCells), are removed from the patient at the point of care, and separated at the point of care under the supervision of its certified technicians following current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) and current good tissue practices (cGTPs), and the cells are then returned to the medical professionals at the point of care for use a patient's own body (autologous treatment), by way of a same-day clinical procedure for homologous use of these cells.

The Company competes with Cytori Therapeutics, Stem Cell Assurance, Inc., Osiris, Aastrom Biosciences, Aldagen, BioTime, Baxter International, Celgene, Geron, Harvest Technologies, Mesoblast, Regenexx, NeoStem, X-Cell Center, Stem Cells, Athersys, and Tissue Genesis, Life Technologies, Asterand, pacific biosciences of california inc. and AllCells, LLC.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    To say that shares of IntelliCell BioSciences, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SVFC) has been disappointing since 2011 would be an understatement. SVFC has been an outright disaster since 2011, falling from a peak of $19.00 to a low of, well, just a few pennies as of late last year. In fact, there are those who are understandably wondering how the company is still alive, only producing about a half a million dollars in revenue in 2012, and then dialing that figure back down to nothing for the last few quarters. Yet, there's just something about a company that refuses to go away.... something compelling now.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Well, though I give myself a C for timing, it looks like I'm going to be able to give myself an A for stock-picking. Back on January 27th I deemed IntelliCell BioSciences, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SVFC) was a compelling buy, and though SVFC was stagnant for a month after that, it looks like the stock's finally getting on its horse. If you didn't get it then, you may want to get in now.

Top 10 Shipping Stocks To Invest In Right Now: TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP)

TripAdvisor, Inc. (TripAdvisor), incorporated on July 20, 2011, is an online travel research company, enabling users to plan and have a trip. TripAdvisor features reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, vacation packages and travel guides. TripAdvisor�� travel research platform features reviews and opinions from its community of travelers about destinations, accommodations (hotels, bed and breakfasts, specialty lodging and vacation rentals), restaurants and activities worldwide, through its TripAdvisor brand. TripAdvisor Websites include in the United States and versions of the Website in 30 countries, including in China under the brand TripAdvisor Websites also include links to the Websites of its travel advertisers allowing travelers to directly book their travel arrangements. In addition to the TripAdvisor brand, TripAdvisor, Inc. manages and operates Websites under 18 other travel media brands, providing travel planning resources across the travel sector. On December 20, 2011, Expedia, Inc. (Expedia) completed the spin-off of TripAdvisor, Inc. (TripAdvisor) to Expedia stockholders. TripAdvisor consists of the domestic and international operations previously associated with Expedia�� TripAdvisor Media Group. In October 2012, it acquired Wanderfly. In March 2013, it acquired Tiny Post ( In April 2013, the Company acquired and Gilt Travel Inc. In May 2013, TripAdvisor Inc acquired key technology and talent from CruiseWise Inc. In May 2013, TripAdvisor Inc acquired Guia de Apartamentos Niumba SL. In June 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired GateGuru.

TripAdvisor provides access worldwide to online travel agencies, including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity,, Priceline and TripAdvisor Media Group offers travel suppliers graphical advertising and cost-per-click marketing platforms. TripAdvisor operates sites in 30 countries and in 21 languages, including sites in the United S! tates (, the United Kingdom (, France (, Ireland (, Germany (, Italy (, Spain (, India (, Japan (, Portugal and Brazil (, Sweden (, The Netherlands (, Canada (, Denmark (, Turkey (, Mexico (, Norway (, Poland (, Australia (, Singapore (, Thailand (, Russia (, Greece (, Indonesia(, Argentina (, Taiwan (,Malaysia(, and Egypt ( TripAdvisor also operates in China under the brand ( and (

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Timothy Lutts, Publisher, Cabot Heritage Corporation]

    In 2004, TripAdvisor (TRIP) was purchased by conglomerate Interactive Corp (IACI), which spun off its travel businesses under the name of Expedia in 2005. In December 2011, TripAdvisor was spun off from Expedia in an IPO.

  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP)�� price-earnings ratio surged 85 percent as profit rose 4.8 percent in 2012 and is projected to increase 11 percent in 2013, according to Bloomberg data. Stephen Kaufer, chief executive officer of the Newton, Massachusetts-based online travel-recommendation service, said on Aug. 14 he�� ��ot seeing a lot of positive stuff��in the third quarter as the summer has been ��umpier��and traffic is weaker than expected.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Buy For 2015: Energizer Holdings Inc (ENR)

Energizer Holdings, Inc. (Energizer), incorporated on September 23, 1999, is the manufacturer and marketer of primary batteries, portable lighting and personal care products in the wet shave, skin care, feminine care and infant care categories. The Company manufactures and sells products in five product categories: wet shave, skin care, feminine care, infant care, battery and portable lighting products. On October 23, 2013, it completed the acquisition of the Stayfree pad, Carefree liner and o.b. tampon feminine hygiene brands in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean from McNeil PPC, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, Inc., members of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

Personal Care

The Personal Care division includes wet shave products sold under the Schick, Wilkinson Sword, Edge, Skintimate and Personna brand names, skin care products sold under the Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Wet Ones and Playtex brand names, and feminine care and infant care products sold under the Playtex and Diaper Genie brand names globally. The Company manufactures and distributes Schick and Wilkinson Sword razor systems, composed of razor handles and refillable blades, and disposable shave products for men and women. The Company markets its wet shave products globally. The Company also manufactures, distributes and sells a complete line of private label and value-priced wet shaving disposable razors, shaving systems and replacement blades. These wet shave products are sold primarily under a retailer's store name or under value brand names such as Personna and GEM.

Household Products

Energizer's Household Products division manufactures and markets product portfolios in household batteries, specialty batteries and lighting products. In household batteries, the Company offers batteries using carbon zinc, alkaline, rechargeable and lithium technologies. The Company distributes its portfolio of household and specialty batteries and portable lighting products th! rough a global distribution network, which also provides a platform for the distribution of its personal care products.

The Company competes with Duracell International, Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Procter & Gamble Company, Bic Group, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Merck & Co., Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Within the Dow, gains were broad-based with relatively few standouts. Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) gained 1% after competitor Energizer Holdings (NYSE: ENR  ) blamed P&G's promotional practices for the weak performance of Energizer's Schick line of shaving products. Although some investors have been concerned with the extent to which P&G may rely on promotions to try to recover market share, P&G executives have said the company's spending on promotions is in line with the industry and down from last year's levels. Still, P&G needs to keep demonstrating continued strength in order to regain confidence from its shareholders, who have been critical of CEO Robert McDonald and the company's business strategy.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Buy For 2015: Aercap Holdings N.V. (AER)

AerCap Holdings N.V., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated aviation company worldwide. It engages in leasing and trading aircraft and engines; and selling parts. The company also provides aircraft management services, as well as aircraft and limited engine MRO services, and aircraft disassembly services through its repair stations. In addition, it offers aircraft services, including remarketing aircraft; collecting rental and maintenance payments, monitoring aircraft maintenance, monitoring and enforcing contract compliance, and accepting delivery and redelivery of aircraft; conducting ongoing lessee financial performance reviews; inspecting the leased aircraft; coordinating technical modifications to aircraft to meet new lessee requirements; conducting restructurings negotiations in connection with lease defaults; repossessing aircraft; arranging and monitoring insurance coverage; registering and de-registering aircraft; arranging for aircraft and aircraft engine valuations; and providing market research. The company?s management services include leasing and remarketing, cash management and treasury, technical advisory, and accounting and administrative services. As of March 31, 2011, it owned 272 aircraft and 95 engines, which it leased under operating leases to 118 lessees in 53 countries. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Paul Ausick]

    More than two years ago, American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) in its aircraft leasing group, International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC). That filing came to nothing, and AIG found little interest from buyers for ILFC, until Monday morning when it announced that AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) will buy the leasing operation for $3 billion in cash and 97.56 million shares of new AerCap stock. The total value of the deal is approximately $5.4 billion.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday around midday,�Netherlands based aviation leasing stock�AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) began surging on rumors and closed up 11.6%, meaning its probably time to take a closer look at those rumors along with aviation leasing peers like small caps or mid caps�Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR), Air Lease Corp (NYSE: AL), Fly Leasing Ltd (NYSE: FLY) and AeroCentury Corp (NYSEMKT: ACY).

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    AerCap (AER) provides aircraft leasing and aviation finance services. This stock closed up 3.3% at $18 in Wednesday's trading session.

    Wednesday's Volume: 740,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 318,589

    Volume % Change: 85%

    From a technical perspective, AER jumped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $17.27 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $14.84 to its recent high of $18.16. During that uptrend, shares of AER have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of AER within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AER manages to take out its 52-week high at $18.16 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AER as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $17.27 or above more near-term support at $17.17 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $18.16 with volume that's near or above 318,589 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AER will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

  • [By Tess Stynes]

    AIG confirmed it will sell its stake in International Lease Finance Corp to aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V(AER). for $5.4 billion in cash and stock.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stocks slip as Street hopes to extend rally

Wall Street investors hoping that stocks could extend their three-day rally are way out of luck -- stocks plunged and closed sharply lower Thursday.

A drop in the biotechnology sector led stocks lower as Biogen Idec, Gilead Sciences and other biotech companies extended a recent slump.

The Nasdaq composite index, prone to big drops lately, tumbled 129.79 points, or 3.1%, to 4,054.11. It was the worst point drop since Aug. 18, 2011, when the index dropped 131.05 points.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 266.96 points, or 1.6%, to 16,170.22 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index plunged 39.10 points, or 2.1%, to 1,833.08.

NEW: USA TODAY's live markets blog

After making big gains last year, biotechs have been crushed in recent weeks as they come under pressure to lower prices for their drugs. Biogen dropped 4.4% to $287.35 and Gilead slid 7.3% to $65.48. Both roughly doubled in value last year.

Many "momentum" names like Facebook, Netflix and Twitter also fell. Many of these stocks have had huge runs to the upside and have gotten pricey, and many investors are selling to protect profits.

If investors think the Nasdaq has taken them on a roller-coaster ride in the past week, they are right. Getting killed Thursday on the Nasdaq:

10 Best Telecom Stocks To Invest In Right Now

1. Biotech. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF dropped 5.6%.

2. Facebook: Shares of the social media stock are down 5.2% to $59.16, erasing a big chunk of Wednesday's 7.3% surge, which was the best gain on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index.

3. Tesla. The electric-car maker tumbled 5.9% to $204.19.

4. Netflix. Shares of the video-streaming company fell 5.2% to $334.73.

5. Twitter. It hasn't been a "tweet" day for Twitter, either, with shares down 2.7% to $41.34.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.6! 5% from 2.69% late Wednesday. The price of crude oil fell 20 cents to close at $103.40 a barrel. Gold climbed $14.60 to settle at $1,320.50 an ounce.

Ally Financial's stock slumped in its market debut. The former financing arm of General Motors raised $2.4 billion in an initial public offering Wednesday, allowing the federal government to recoup the money used to bail out the company during the 2008 financial crisis. Ally dropped $1.02, or 4.1%, to $23.98.

The stock drop Thursday wiped out the gains made in the previous two session. Stocks rose Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's March 18-19 meeting revealed a consensus that short-term rates shouldn't be increased anytime soon.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 181.04 points, or 1.1%, to 16,437.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 20.22 points, or 1.1%, to 1,872.18 and the Nasdaq composite index jumped 70.91 points, or 1.7%, to 4,183.90.

Contributing: USA TODAY's William Cummings, Associated Press

Can Adam Carolla Defeat a Patent Troll and Save Podcasting?

5 Best Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now

29th Annual Nightclub & Bar Convention And Trade Show - Day 2 David Becker/Nightclub & Bar Media Group/Getty ImagesAdam Carolla is defending his popular podcast. I'm going to tell you a secret. When I was a child, I was terrified of trolls -- those terrible creatures inappropriately placed throughout children's books who lived under bridges and apparently would eat you if you crossed their path. Of course, once I got older, I realized that trolls only existed in the pages of storybooks. Then I got even older, and discovered there really are trolls out there after all. They just don't live under bridges. Case in point: The patent troll -– or, to call him by a less pejorative name, the "patent assertion entity" –- is a person or group who tries to enforce patent rights against infringers in an attempt to collect fees, but who doesn't actually produce any product or technology related to that patent. Traditionally, a company or individual with a proprietary product or technology seeks to protect its use with a patent. A patent troll might buy a patent from a bankrupt company, then sue another company, claiming that one of its products infringes on the patent. The Future of Podcasting Is at Risk Patent trolls sometimes sue over technology that was created before the patent they hold was granted, but that the troll asserts contain elements of that which was originally patented. That is what is happening in podcasting. A mysterious group that calls itself Personal Audio claims the patent it owns for a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" applies to podcasts. And that means anyone who does a podcast is infringing on that patent and is liable for licensing fees. In essence, the group is saying the very act of podcasting itself is controlled by their patent. Personal Audio is no stranger to the world of trolling, having sued Apple (AAPL) on the claim that the iPod infringes on its patent for "downloadable playlists." It originally sought $84 million in damages, and a court awarded it $8 million. Patent infringement suits are nothing new between large companies, but this latest attack by Personal Audio is significant because it targets a technology that has been a boon for individuals. The podcast revolution is so remarkable because the costs to produce and distribute content are minimal –- anyone who has a microphone and a personal computer can create and upload a show. Most podcasts are free, and most podcasters produce them as a labor of love or as an additional platform to broaden their brand. But if Personal Audio gets its way, these podcasters will have to pay a fee if they want to continue producing them. 'Adam Carolla Show' Targeted Personal Audio has set up shell offices in East Texas, a jurisdiction known to be favorable to patent trolls, and sued three of the best known podcasts, including "The Adam Carolla Show." It claims that a patent that was applied for in 2009 and granted in 2012 is being violated by Carolla –- even though podcasting has been around since at least 2004 -– and has offered to settle with him for $3 million. The intent is to win a judgment against Carolla, whose podcast is the most-downloaded in history, with the idea that once he pays up, everyone else will fall in line. What will probably happen is that if Carolla loses, most individual podcasts will fold or be forced to charge listeners in order to pay the licensing fees. If Personal Audio wins, the public loses. Carolla has united with some high-profile podcasters -- including Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Greg Fitzsimmons and Joe Rogan -- to raise a legal fund to fight Personal Audio. Using the crowd-sourcing website FundAnything, they hope to raise the $1.5 million in legal fees that it is estimated will be needed to fight Personal Audio. "Normally people settle up with these guys because it's so expensive to fight them in court," says Carolla. "Well guess what? We're going to circle the wagons, band together, and come out throwing punches, because remember, if I go down, well then your favorite podcast is going down next, and we all fall like dominoes."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Expert: This Opportunity Makes Me Most Excited About 3-D Printing

According to industry watchdog Wohlers Associates, the 3-D printing industry brought in about $2.2 billion in revenues in 2012 -- peanuts compared to the trillions in GDP the global manufacturing industry produces each year. Clearly, 3-D printing has a long way to grow before it'll even make up 1% of the worldwide manufacturing base. Applications involving 3-D printing will have to expand greatly in the future for 3-D printing to truly become a disruptive force in manufacturing.

In order to get some perspective on what some of the biggest opportunities are today for 3-D printing companies, I turned to Rich Stump, principal of FATHOM, a highly experienced Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) reseller and 3-D printing service center. The way Stump sees it, a major driver of future 3-D printing growth will be downstream and one-off applications. In other words, finished products and customized solutions will likely fuel 3-D printing growth in the years ahead. This line of thinking aligns with Wohlers Associates, which believes the 3-D printing industry will grow by 19.3% a year through 2021 to become a $10.8 billion industry.

Check out the video below to get the full story.

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Top 10 Communications Equipment Stocks To Watch Right Now

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014

With shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) trading around $85, is CAT an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let�� analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Caterpillar is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. It operates in two segments: Machinery and Power Systems, and Financial Products. Infrastructure investment is increasing around the world, in particular, in developing countries. A global supplier of industrial equipment, like Caterpillar, is poised to see rising profits from this trend. As long as countries continue to grow and develop, Caterpillar will provide the tools essential to create this progress.

In trading on Friday, shares of Caterpillar crossed above their 200 day moving average of $85.26, changing hands as high as $85.38 per share. Caterpillar Inc. shares are currently trading up about 1% on the day.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Emak SpA (EM)

Emak SpA is an Italy-based company primarily engaged in the manufacture of outdoor power equipment for gardening, forestry, agriculture and industry. The Company�� portfolio includes chainsaws, brush cutters, lawnmowers, garden tractors, water pumps, high pressure washers, transporters, rotary cultivators, motor hoes and power cutters, among others. It also manufactures spare parts, accessories and protective clothing. The Company sells its products under various brand names, such as Oleo-Mac, Efco, Bertolini, Nibbi and Staub. Emak SpA directly manages distribution in the Italian market and it sells products, through its commercial subsidiaries, in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, the countries of Benelux, Poland, Ukraine, among others.The Company is controlled by Yama SpA, which is an industrial holding company. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Holly LaFon]

    As true value investors, Brandes oft en moves against the crowd amid markets' constantly changing performance cycles. Take the recent equity market weakness in a number of emerging market (EM) countries for example. Over the last year, while macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns cast a cloud of uncertainty over the asset class in general, we started to see some interesting investment opportunities at the company level as a result of such market weakness.

  • [By Canadian Value]

    For 20+ years there has been a coherent growth story around Emerging Markets (EM), where the label "Emerging Market" had real meaning within a common knowledge perspective. Today ��not so much. Today the story is that it was easy money from the Fed that drove global growth, EM or otherwise. Today the story is that Emerging Markets are just the levered beneficiaries or victims of Fed monetary policy, no different than anyone else��

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Energy Recovery Inc (ERII)

Energy Recovery, Inc. incorporated in April 1992, is engaged in developing, manufacturing and selling of energy recovery devices and circulation pumps primarily for uses in seawater desalination plants that use reverse osmosis technology. The Company's products are sold under the trademarks AquaBold, AquaSpire, ERITM, PXT, Pressure Exchanger, PX Pressure Exchanger, PEIT, Pump Engineering and Quadribaric. The Company develops and sells two main lines of energy recovery devices: PX pressures Exchanger devices and turbochargers. Each line includes a range of models and sizes to address the breadth of required process flow rates, plant designs and sizes. The company has two wholly owned subsidiaries: Energy Recovery Iberia, S.L. and ERI Energy Recovery Ireland Ltd. During the year ended December 2011, the Company merged three subsidiaries including, Osmotic Power, Inc.; Energy Recovery, Inc. International and Pump Engineering, Inc. into the parent company, Energy Recovery, Inc.

Energy recovery devices

The Company's PX offering includes: the PX-300 and PX-Q300; the 65 series (the PX-260, PX-220 and PX-180); the 4S series (PX-140S, PX-90S, PX-70S, PX-45S and PX-30S) and brackish PX devices (for the desalination of water with a lower concentration of salt than seawater). The Company's turbocharger offering includes: the HTCAT series (HTCAT-1800, HTCAT-2400, HTCAT-3600, HTCAT-4800, HTCAT-7200 and HTCAT-9600); the HALO line (HALO-50, HALO-75, HALO-100, HALO-150, HALO-225, HALO-300, HALO-450, HALO-500, HALO-600, HALO-900 and HALO-1200) and the LPT series for brackish water desalination applications (LPT-63, LPT-125, LPT-250, LPT-500, LPT-1000, LPT-2000 and LPT-3200).

High-pressure and Circulation pumps.

The Company manufactures and sells high-pressure feed, circulation and booster pumps for uses with its energy recovery devices in reverse osmosis desalination plants. The Company's line of pumps includes the AquaBold series (AquaBold 2x3x5, AquaBold 3x4x7 and ! AquaBold 4x6x9); the AquaSpire series (AquaSpire-300, AquaSpire-450, AquaSpire-600, AquaSpire-900, AquaSpire-1200, AquaSpire-1800, AaquaSpire-2400, AquaSpire-3600, AquaSpire-4800, AquaSpire-7200 and AquaSpire-9600) and a line of small circulation pumps.

Technical support and Replacement parts

The Company provides engineering and technical support to customers during product installation and plants commissioning. The Company also offers replacement parts and services for its PX devices and turbochargers. The Company's PX devices and turbochargers are also used to retrofit or replace older energy recovery devices in existing desalination plants.

The Company Competes with Flowserve Corporation (Flowserve) based in Irving, Texas and Fluid Equipment Development Company, Clyde Union Ltd., Duchting Pumpen Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co KG, KSB Aktiengesellschaft, Torishima Pump Mfg. Co., Ltd. and Sulzer Pumps, Ltd.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Antè´¸nio Costa]

    Energy Recovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII) broke out of a small consolidation area with heavy volume and will likely have the attention of the swing-traders in the next days.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Stanley Black & Decker Inc (SWJ)

Stanley Black & Decker Inc., June 4, 1901, is a diversified global provider of power and hand tools, mechanical access solutions (automatic doors, commercial and residential locking systems), electronic security and monitoring systems and products and services for various industrial applications. The Company�� operations are classified into three business segments: Construction & Do-It-Yourself (CDIY), Security, and Industrial. In September 2011, Stanley Black & Decker acquired Niscayah Group AB. In September 2011, the Company acquired Microtec Enterprises, Inc. In January 2011, the Company acquired InfoLogix, Inc. In December 2012, Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc acquired Hardware & Home Improvement Group (HHI) of the Company. In February 2013, the Company completed its acquisition of Infastech.


The CDIY segment consists of the professional power tool and accessories business, the consumer power tool business, which includes outdoor products, plumbing (Pfister) and the hand tools, fasteners and storage business. The segment sells its products to professional end users, distributors and retail consumers. The majority of sales are distributed through retailers, including home centers, mass merchants, hardware stores, and retail lumber yards. During the year ended December 31, 2011, annual revenues in the CDIY segment represented 50% of the Company�� total revenues. The professional power tool and accessories business sells professional grade corded and cordless electric power tools and equipment, including drills, impact wrenches and drivers, grinders, saws, routers and sanders. The business also sells power tool accessories, which include drill bits, router bits, abrasives and saw blades.

The consumer power tool business sells corded and cordless power tools sold under the Black & Decker brand, lawn and garden products and home products. Lawn and garden products include hedge trimmers, string trimmers, lawn mowers, edgers and related accessories. Home pro! ducts include hand held vacuums, paint tools and cleaning appliances. The hand tools, fasteners and storage business sells measuring and leveling tools, planes, hammers, demolition tools, knives, saws and chisels. Fastening products include pneumatic tools and fasteners including nail guns, nails, staplers and staples. Storage products include tool boxes, sawhorses and storage units.


The Security segment consists of the electronic security solutions and the mechanical access solutions businesses. Annual revenues in the Security segment represented 26% of the Company�� total revenues in 2011. The electronic security solutions business designs, supplies and installs electronic security systems and provides electronic security services, including alarm monitoring, video surveillance, fire alarm monitoring, systems integration and system maintenance. Purchasers of these systems typically contract for ongoing security systems monitoring and maintenance at the time of initial equipment installation. The electronic security business also sells healthcare solutions, which includes medical carts and cabinets, asset tracking solutions, infant protection, pediatric protection, patient protection, wander management, fall management, and emergency call products.

The electronic security solutions business sells to consumers, retailers, educational, financial and healthcare institutions, as well as commercial, governmental and industrial customers. Products are sold predominantly on a direct sales basis. The mechanical access solutions business sells and installs automatic doors, residential and commercial hardware, locking mechanisms, electronic keyless entry systems, keying systems, tubular and mortise door locksets. The mechanical access solutions business sells to both residential and commercial customers, with distribution through direct sales, through retailers (including home centers) and, through third party distributors.



The In! dustrial segment consists of the industrial and automotive repair tools, engineered fastening and infrastructure businesses. Annual revenues in the Industrial segment represented 24% of the Company�� total revenues. The industrial and automotive repair business sells hand tools, power tools, and engineered storage solution products. The business sells to industrial customers in a variety of industries and geographies. The products are distributed through third party distributors, as well as a direct sales force. The engineered fastening business primarily sells engineered fasteners designed for specific applications. The product lines include stud welding systems, blind rivets and tools, blind inserts and tools, drawn arc weld studs, engineered plastic fasteners, self-piercing riveting systems and precision nut running systems.

The business sells to customers in the automotive, manufacturing, and aerospace industries, amongst others, and the Company's products are distributed through direct sales forces. The infrastructure business consists of the CRC-Evans business, and the Company�� hydraulics business. The business�� product lines include custom pipe handling machinery, joint welding and coating machinery, weld inspection services and hydraulic tools and accessories. The business sells to the oil and natural gas pipeline industry and other industrial customers. The products and services are primarily distributed through a direct sales force.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Rooney]

    Stanley Black & Decker (SWJ) tumbled roughly 10% after the power tools maker lowered its full-year earnings outlook. The company said it expected "uncertainty created by the U.S. government's sequestration and shutdown" to hurt business and consumer spending.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: CNH Industrial NV (CNHI)

CNH Industrial NV is a Netherlands-based company primarily engaged in the manufacture of heavy machinery and vehicles equipment. It divides its activities into four main businesses. The Agricultural Equipment offers agricultural equipment under the New Holland Agriculture, Case IH brands and the Steyr brand. The Construction Equipment produces excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, compactors and other construction equipment under the New Holland Construction and Case Construction Equipment brands. The Trucks & Commercial Vehicles manufactures trucks and a commercial vehicles, including buses, coaches and special vehicles under Iveco, Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus brands, as well as it produces quarry and mining equipment through Iveco Astra, and fire fighting vehicles through the Iveco Magirus brand. The Powertrain offers transmission systems, engines for marine application and power generation through FPT Industrial brand. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Holly LaFon]

    The largest detractor for the quarter was CNH Industrial (CNHI), a global agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer, which fell 11%.� CNH released its nine-month results, which showed revenue growth of 0.6%, but the company�� margins were adversely affected by Iveco, its trucks and commercial vehicles segment.� Iveco�� margins fell short of expectations due to tough pricing, high launch costs, negative mix and increases in bad debt provisions.� Management maintains full-year guidance of 3-4% revenue growth.� We believe improvements in the Iveco division will help CNH Industrial achieve its long-term margin targets.�

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    CNH Industrial NV (NYSE: CNHI) shares tumbled 2.47% to reach a new 52-week low of $11.44. CNH Industrial reported an 11% drop in its third-quarter profit.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Sterling Consolidated Corp (STCC)

Sterling Consolidated Corp., incorporated on January 31, 2011, is a holding company. The Company�� operations are conducted through its four subsidiaries: Sterling Seal & Supply, Inc. (Sterling Seal), ADDR Properties, LLC (ADDR), Q5 Ventures, LLC (Q5), and Integrity Cargo Freight Corporation (Integrity). The Company through its subsidiary, Sterling Seal engages primarily in the distribution and sale of O-rings, rubber seals, oil seals, custom molded rubber parts, custom Teflon parts, Teflon rods, O-ring cord, bonded seals, O-ring kits, and stuffing box sealant. The Company also owns real property through its subsidiaries ADDR and Q5. In addition, the Company�� subsidiary Integrity Cargo Freight Corporation (Integrity) is a freight forwarding business. In September 2013, the Company announced the acquisition of Superior Seals and Service in High Point, NC.

Sterling Seal sells directly to smaller distributors and original equipment manufacturers in need of seals. It offers a catalogue of standard sizes, and will take orders for special sizes not available in the standard catalogue. O-rings and the other products that Sterling Seal sells are used in a variety of industries, including automotive, pump, transmissions, oil and energy, machinery, and packaging. Integrity are primarily responsible for transporting products the Company order from its suppliers back to its warehouse in Neptune, NJ. After Sterling Seal confirms from its supplier that a product is ready to be picked up, Integrity Cargo is responsible for picking up the products and getting them to the dock and delivered to the Sterling Seal warehouse. ADDR owns a 28,000 square foot facility in Neptune, NJ. Q5 Ventures, LLC owns a 5,000 square foot facility in Apopka, Florida, which is used by Sterling Seal for its Florida operations.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Pulse Network Inc (OTCBB: TPNI), Sterling Consolidated Corp (OTCBB: STCC) and diaDexus, Inc (OTCMKTS: DDXS) have or could start to sizzle for investors. However, I should also mention that two of these stocks have been the subject of paid promotions while a third apparently has not been, and could be the real deal. With that in mind, here is a closer look along with a quick reality check about all three small caps to help you decide whether they are hot or not:

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Renishaw PLC (RSW)

Renishaw plc is a metrology company. The Company is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of advanced precision metrology and inspection equipment together with products for the healthcare sector, including Raman spectroscopy systems, dental systems, molecular diagnostic equipment and neurosurgical products. The Company operates in two segments: metrology and healthcare products. The Company�� metrology segment product include Machine Tool Probe Systems, Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) products, large scale metrology, fixtures, materials research, styli for probe systems, performance testing products, gauging and position encoders. Its healthcare products include Dental Scanners, Raman Microscopes, Dental CAD Software, Neurosurgical robot, Structural and Chemical Analyser, In situ monitors and Neurosurgical Implantables. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Renishaw Plc (RSW) tumbled 5.7 percent to 1,580 pence, its lowest price since Aug. 7. The maker of precision tools said revenue for the quarter ended in September fell to 79 million pounds from 95.9 million pounds in the year-ago period.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Toro Co (TTC)

The Toro Company (Toro), incorporated on November 7, 1983, designs, manufactures, and markets professional turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems, agricultural micro-irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and lighting, and residential yard and snow removal products. The Company operates in three business segments: Professional, Residential, and Distribution. Its products are advertised and sold at the retail level under the names of Toro, Exmark, Irritrol, Hayter, Pope, Lawn-Boy and Lawn Genie. In October 2013, the Company acquired Xiamen Xiangfeng Water Saving Equipment Co., Ltd.


The Company designs professional turf, landscape, and agricultural products and markets them worldwide through a network of distributors and dealers, as well as directly to Government customers, rental companies, and retailers. These channel partners then sell its products to professional users engaged in creating and renovating landscapes, irrigating turf and agricultural fields, and maintaining turf, such as golf courses, sports fields, municipal properties, and residential and commercial landscapes.

Landscape Contractor Market

The Company market products to landscape contractors under the Toro and Exmark brands. Products for the landscape contractor market include zero-turn radius riding mowers, heavy-duty walk behind mowers, mid-size walk behind mowers, stand-on mowers, and turf renovation and tree care equipment. It also offers some products with electronic fuel injection engine options. In fiscal 2013, it enhanced its line of Toro Z Master Commercial 3000 Series mowers, featuring its TURBO FORCE cutting deck, integrated pump, and wheel motors designed for professional results, performance, and dependability. In addition, in fiscal 2013, it introduced the new Exmark Vantage X-Series stand-on mower.

Sports Fields and Grounds Market

Products for the sports fields and grounds market include riding rotar! y mowers and attachments, aerators, and debris management products, which include versatile debris vacuums, blowers, and sweepers. Other products include multipurpose vehicles, such as the Toro Workman, that can be used for turf maintenance, towing, and industrial hauling. These products are sold through distributors, who then sell to owners and/or managers of sports fields, Governmental properties, and residential and commercial landscapes.

Golf Course Market

The Company�� products for the golf course market include large reel and rotary riding products for fairway, rough and trim cutting; riding and walking mowers for putting greens and specialty areas; greens rollers; turf sprayer equipment; utility vehicles; aeration equipment; and bunker maintenance equipment. In fiscal 2013, it introduced the Reelmaster 3550-D, which features a productive 82 inch cutting width, enhanced ground-following capability with turf-friendly tires, and three-wheel drive system designed for traction in hilly and wet conditions. In addition, in fiscal 2013, it began offering versions of its golf products which are compliant with Tier 4 diesel engine emission requirements. It also manufacture and market underground irrigation systems for the golf course market, including sprinkler heads, controllers, turf sensors, and electric, battery-operated, and hydraulic valves. Its 835S/855S Series golf sprinklers are equipped with a unique TruJectory feature that provides enhanced water distribution control. Its Turf Guard wireless soil monitoring systems are designed to measure soil moisture, salinity, and temperature through buried wireless sensors that communicate through an Internet server for processing and presentation to a user through the Web.

Residential/Commercial Irrigation and Lighting Market

Turf irrigation products marketed under the Toro and Irritrol brands include rotors; sprinkler bodies and nozzles; plastic and brass valves; drip tubing and subsurface irrigation; ! electric ! and hydraulic control devices; and wired and wireless rain, freeze, and climate sensors. These products are designed to be used in residential and commercial turf irrigation systems that are installed into new systems or used to replace or retrofit existing systems. Most of the product lines are designed for underground automatic irrigation. Electric and hydraulic controllers activate valves and sprinkler bodies and nozzles in a typical irrigation system. Its retail irrigation products are marketed under the Toro and Lawn Genie brand names. These products are designed for homeowner installation and include sprinkler heads, valves, timers, and drip irrigation systems. Its ECXTRA sprinkler timers can be used with a home computer and its Scheduling Advisor recommends the proper watering schedule based on the local weather, plant type, and sprinkler. It manufactures and market lighting products under the Unique Lighting Systems brand name.

Micro-Irrigation Market

Products for the micro-irrigation market include products that regulate the flow of water for drip irrigation, including Aqua-Traxx PBX drip tape, Aqua-Traxx PC (pressure-compensating) drip tape, Blue Stripe polyethylene tubing, BlueLine drip line, and NGE emitters, all used in agriculture, mining, and landscape applications. In addition to these products, it offers control devices and connection options. These products are sold primarily through dealers and distributors who then sell to end users for use primarily in vegetable fields, fruit and nut orchards, vineyards, landscapes, and mines. In fiscal 2013, it expanded its product offering of the Neptune thinwall dripline into the North America market, featuring a medium-durability dripline that enables growers to install a subsurface drip irrigation system designed to last for up to ten years and to allow growers of medium-length crops to adopt drip irrigation. In addition, in fiscal 2013, it introduced AquaFlow 3.2 Drip Irrigation Design Software, a new software packag! e used to! help design drip irrigation systems.

Rental and Construction Market

The Company offers over 35 attachments for our compact utility loaders, including trenchers, augers, vibratory plows, and backhoes. In fiscal 2013, it launched the STX-38 Stump Grinder featuring high maneuverability and hydraulic sweep control. Products for the rental market include compact utility loaders, walk-behind trenchers, stump grinders, and turf renovation products, many of which are also sold to landscape contractors. Its presence in the construction market is driven by an equipment line of vibratory plows, trenchers, and horizontal directional drills, all of which are used in the installation, repair, and replacement of underground utilities with minimal impact on surrounding landscapes or structures. In fiscal 2013, it introduced the Toro Pro Sneak Vibratory Plow that delivers consistent and powerful plowing in a compact, maneuverable package.


The Company markets its residential products to homeowners through a variety of distribution channels, including outdoor power equipment dealers, hardware retailers, home centers, mass retailers, and over the Internet. These products are sold mainly in North America, Europe, and Australia, with the exception of snow removal products that are sold primarily in North America and Europe.

Walk Power Mower Products

The Company manufactures and markets a number of walk power mower models under its Toro and Lawn-Boy brand names, as well as the Pope brand in Australia and the Hayter brand in the United Kingdom. Toro also offers a line of rear-roller walk power mowers, a design that provides a striped finish, for the United Kingdom market.

Riding Products

The Company manufactures and markets riding products under the Toro brand name worldwide and under the Hayter brand name in the United Kingdom. Riding products primarily consist of zero-turn radius mowers. Lawn and garden tra! ctor mode! ls are sold worldwide. In addition, its rear engine and direct-collect riding mowers are manufactured and sold in the European market. A number of models are available with a variety of engines, decks, transmissions, and accessories.

Home Solutions Products

Toro designs and markets home solutions products under the Toro and Pope brand names, including electric and battery-operated grass trimmers, electric blower-vacuums, electric blowers, and electric snow throwers. In Australia, the Company also designs and markets underground and hose-end retail irrigation products under the Pope brand name.

Gas Snow Removal Products

The Company manufactures and markets a range of gas-powered single-stage and two-stage snow thrower models. Single-stage snow throwers are walk behind units with lightweight two- and four-cycle gasoline engines. Its two-stage snow throwers are designed for large areas of deep, heavy snow and use four-cycle engines. The Company�� two-stage snow throwers include a line of models featuring the Power Max auger system and the Quick Stick chute control technology.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Consumer landscape equipment maker�Toro� (NYSE: TTC  ) �announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.14 per share, the same rate it paid the past two quarters after raising the payout 27% from $0.11 per share.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    There's no foolproof way to know the future for Toro (NYSE: TTC  ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Stuart Varney took it a step further, mentioning Toro Company (TTC), the maker of many of the snow blowers that have become a common sight across much of America this year. I agreed, adding that Toro is a major manufacturer of lawn and turf maintenance equipment — and because virtually every lawn, park and golf course in America has suffered damage this year, and Toro is well positioned to profit from the repairs.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Terex Corporation(TEX)

Terex Corporation manufactures capital goods machinery products worldwide. Its Aerial Work Platforms segment offers portable material lifts, portable aerial work platforms, trailer-mounted articulating booms and light towers, self-propelled articulating and telescopic booms, scissor lifts, telehandlers, and bridge inspection and utility equipment under the Terex and Genie brands. The company?s Construction segment provides off-highway trucks and material handlers; loader backhoes, compaction equipment, mini and midi excavators, site dumpers, compact track loaders, skid steer loaders, wheel loaders, and tunneling equipment; and asphalt and concrete equipment, and landfill compactors principally under the Terex name. Its Cranes segment offers mobile telescopic and tower cranes, lattice boom crawler and truck cranes, and truck-mounted cranes; and straddle and sprinter carriers, gantry cranes, ship-to-shore cranes, reach stackers, empty and full container handlers, and genera l cargo lift trucks under the Terex brand. The company?s Material Handling and Port Solutions segment provides standard and process cranes, rope and chain hoists, electric motors, and light crane systems; and crane components and port equipment, such as mobile harbor and automated stacking cranes, and automated guided vehicles, as well as terminal automation technology, including software under the Demag and Gottwald names. Its Materials Processing segment offers crushers, washing systems, screens, apron feeders, chippers, and related components and replacement parts under the Terex and Powerscreen brands. The company provides financing solutions to assist customers in the rental, leasing, and acquisition of its products. It serves construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, manufacturing, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, and utility industries through dealers, rental companies, direct sales, and major accounts. The company was founded in 1925 and is based i n Westport, Connecticut.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    That happy company was Terex (NYSE: TEX  ) , which was awarded $327.5 million in a fixed-price with an economic-price-adjustment contract for the sale and purchase of "commercial type cranes." The company will perform this contract over the course of five years, through May 30, 2018, delivering cranes to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agency sites in Virginia, Iowa, and South Dakota, and also abroad in Italy, France, and Germany.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDD)

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is a German producer of solutions for the print media industry. The Company divides its activities into the three business segments Heidelberg Equipment, Heidelberg Services as well as Heidelberg Financial Services. Its product portfolio includes the prepress area with the Suprasetter product family; the press area, which comprises Speedmaster product families, that are used for classical offset printing, as well as for special applications, such as ultraviolet (UV) printing; as well as the postpress area, that includes cutters, folders, saddle stitchers, adhesive binders, die-cutting products, folding carton gluing machines and label systems. The Company also offers a range of spare parts and used equipment, as well as training programs and its own printing process automation software, Prinect. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated three domestic subsidiaries and a number of foreign subsidiaries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Brazil, among others. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDD) jumped 14 percent to 2.20 euros, its biggest gain since February 2009, as it announced a digital partnership with Fujifilm Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Heidelberger Druck will gain access to Fujifilm�� inkjet technology and its partner will in return benefit from the German company�� engineering and manufacturing activities, Heidelberger Druck said.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    Seagate Technology (STX) has the ability to look for strategic acquisitions that easily synergize with the current operations. As a consequence, Seagate is going to acquire Xyratex, whose shares went up 27.3% on the announcement day and remain at that price level. The deal will help Seagate acquire testing equipment for its hard disk drives (HDD) along with storage systems to analyze and manage network data. It is expected that the deal will close in mid-2014, and add about $500 million or more in revenue in its fiscal year 2015.

Hot Machinery Stocks For 2014: Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche SpA (DAS)

Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche SpA is an Italy-based company primarily engaged in industrial sector. The Company designs, manufactures, sales and makes installation of machines and plants for the metallurgical industry. The Company's portfolio includes mines; pellet production plants; blast furnaces; direct reduction equipment; machinery for the treatment of scrap metal; steelworks for production of liquid steel; continuous casting machinery for blooms, billets and slabs; rolling mills for long products, seamless tubes and flat products; production lines for welded tubes and flat products; plants for secondary processing, such as peeling, rolling and drawing; forging presses and manipulators; extrusion presses for ferrous and non-ferrous metals; plants for longitudinal and transversal cutting; automation and control systems, and cranes and lifting equipment. It is also active in the production and sale of special steel for automotive, machine tools and railway industry, among others. Advisors' Opinion:

    EMC�� products ��both hardware and software - are litearlly a geek�� wonderland alphabet soup, which include Storage Area Network (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Virtual SAN, All-Flash XtremIO, Atmos, Avamar, �Data Domain, Isilon, Pivotal, ViPR Software Defined Storgae, VMAX, VNX, VNXe, VPLEX, VSPEX (none of these are typos).� Information storage makes up 70% of revenues and virtualization 23% of revenues.� Products generate 55% of revenues.� Services generate 45% of revenues.� The Company�� gross profit split is approximaltey 67% data storage and 31% virtualization.

Why Is Bank of America Getting Slaughtered by Analysts?

Here's a depressing piece of news if you're a shareholder of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) : Over the last four months, analysts have reduced their first-quarter earnings-per-share targets for the Charlotte-based bank by a whopping 83%, going from $0.30 per share at the beginning of the year down to $0.05 per share today.

According to The Wall Street Journal, estimates related to the majority of the nation's largest lenders started being slashed in February "amid mounting evidence that bank traders found fewer opportunities to make money in debt and currency markets and bond underwriting slumped."

"The easy money has been made on U.S. banks," a person at Manulife Asset Management told the Journal.


Consensus Estimate (January 1)

Consensus Estimate (April 3)


Wells Fargo




JPMorgan Chase




Morgan Stanley




Goldman Sachs








Bank of America




Source: The Wall Street Journal.

Although Bank of America's shareholders may be relieved to know it isn't the only bank to have taken a hit, this doesn't answer the question of why the nation's second-largest lender by assets has fared so much worse than its peers. Indeed, even Citigroup (NYSE: C  )  wasn't downgraded as much, and it was the sole U.S.-based bank to have its dividend request denied by the Federal Reserve in last month's Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review.

Fortunately, there's less to this than meets the eye. At the end of March, Bank of America announced it had reached a multibillion-dollar settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over charges stemming from the sale of faulty mortgages.

The deal requires Bank of America to pay a total of $9.5 billion, split between $6.3 billion in cash and $3.2 billion for the repurchase of mortgage-backed securities. Together, these are expected to decrease Bank of America's first-quarter net income by approximately $3.7 billion before taxes. On an after-tax basis, that equates to $0.21 per share of common stock.

Thus, excluding the FHFA settlement, the average EPS target for Bank of America is down by a much more manageable 13%. While still lower, it isn't the unexpected bloodbath that the numbers might have otherwise suggested.

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