Margins matter. The moreEnergy (NYSE: NVE ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strongEnergy's competitive position could be.
Here's the current margin snapshot forEnergy over the trailing 12 months: Gross margin is 54.9%, while operating margin is 26.4% and net margin is 10.8%.
Unfortunately, a look at the most recent numbers doesn't tell us much about whereEnergy has been, or where it's going. A company with rising gross and operating margins often fuels its growth by increasing demand for its products. If it sells more units while keeping costs in check, its profitability increases. Conversely, a company with gross margins that inch downward over time is often losing out to competition, and possibly engaging in a race to the bottom on prices. If it can't make up for this problem by cutting costs -- and most companies can't -- then both the business and its shares face a decidedly bleak outlook.
Top 5 Prefered Companies To Buy Right Now: LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc (RIT)
LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (the Fund) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund�� primary investment objective is to provide high current income. Its secondary investment objective is capital appreciation. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (LMPFA) is the Fund�� investment manager and AEW Management and Advisors, L.P. (AEW) is the Fund�� subadviser. LMPFA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc.
The Fund invests in securities related to the real estate industry. Its portfolio includes common stocks, preferred stocks and short-term investments. The Fund invests in sectors, such as office, healthcare, diversified, apartments, industrial, shopping centers, home financing, lodging/resorts, regional malls and specialty.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Joe Eqcome]
Actionable Items:Highest Positive Spread: Nuveen Mortgage Opportunity Term Fund (JLS)Focus Stock: LMP Real Estate Income Fund (RIT)Last Week's Focus Stock: ASA Gold and Precious Metals (ASA)
ECB cuts its rates: The European Central Bank (ECB) will cut its benchmark rate a quarter-of-a-point to 0.5%.
- [By GURUFOCUS]
Special Purpose Funds- Eaton Vance Tax-Adv. Global Dividend Oppor. Fund (ETO) | Yield: 7.3%
- The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust (GLU) | Yield: 6.2%
- Pimco Global Stocksplus Income Fund (PGP) | Yield: 9.5%
- LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (RIT) | Yield: 7.0%
Top 5 Integrated Utility Companies To Watch For 2015: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company(PHI)
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company provides telecommunication services in the Philippines. Its Wireless segment offers cellular mobile services; Internet broadband distribution and services; call center services; mobile applications development and services; software development and sale of maintenance and support services; mobile commerce solutions; mobile commerce platforms; mobile applications development and services; solutions and systems integration services; satellite communications services; and satellite information and messaging services. This segment also involves in the promotion of the sale and/or patronage of debit and/or charge cards; offshore financing and risk management activities for smart; international trade of satellites and global system for mobile communication, or GSM enabled global telecommunications; and delivery of GSM communication capability for the maritime sector, as well as operates as a content provider. The company?s Fixed Line s egment provides fixed line telecommunication services, such as local exchange, international long distance, national long distance, data and other network services, as well as infrastructure and related services. Its Information and Communications Technology segment offers integrated information and communications technology services focusing on infrastructure and solutions for Internet applications, Internet protocol based solutions, and multimedia content delivery. This segment also provides knowledge processing solutions, customer relationship management, Internet and online gaming services, and information technology consulting and professional services; and operates Internet data center under the Vitro brand name. As of December 31, 2010, the company had served approximately 49 million subscribers. It also resells software licenses, server solutions, networking products, storage products, and data security products. The company was founded in 1928 and is based in Makati City, the Philippines.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The mixed signals were apparent even among the S&P 500′s best performing stocks, including� Exelon (EXC), a utility that’s nearing completion of a merger with Pepco Holdings (PHI), and Priceline (PCLN), a high-flying internet stock that rose, well, because it could. Exelon gained 7.9% to $36.83 this week, while Priceline rose 6.8% to $1,278.63.
- [By Jonathan Yates]
The economy is also expected to recover quickly from the storm's devastation, making Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (NYSE: PHI) more attractive to long-term investors than other communications firms such as BCE (NYSE: BCE), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).
- [By David Dittman]
Question: What are your thoughts on Exelon Corp�� (NYSE: EXC) buyout of Pepco Holdings Inc (NYSE: PHI)?
Answer: It’s going to expand Exelon’s regulated operations, which is a good thing. And Pepco Holdings has been executing on a turnaround plan, with regulatory relations much improved.
Top 5 Integrated Utility Companies To Watch For 2015: Cash Store Financial Services Inc (CSFS)
The Cash Store Financial Services Inc., incorporated on January 17, 2002, under its Cash Store Financial, Instaloans and The Title Store banners, provides consumers with alternative financial products and services, serving everyday people for whom traditional banking may be inconvenient or unavailable. The Company acts as both a broker and lender of short term advances and offers a range of other products and services to help customers meet their day to day financial service needs. The Company employs a combination of payday loans and lines of credit as its primary consumer lending product offerings and earns fees and interest income on these consumer lending products. The Company also offers a range of financial products and services including bank accounts, prepaid MasterCard and private label credit and debit cards, cheque cashing, money transfers, payment insurance and prepaid phone cards. The Company has agency arrangements with a variety of companies to provide these products.
The Company typically arranges for advances to customers that range from $100 to $1,500. As of September 30, 2013, the Company�� total branch count was 537, addition of two new branches in the United Kingdom as well as 10 new Title Store branches and a new Cash Store Financial branch offset by the closure of 12 branches in Canada. The Company owns The Cash Store Australia Holdings Inc. The Company also has an investment in RTF Financial Holdings Inc., which is in the business of short-term lending, by utilizing automated mobile technology.
The Company competes with Dollar Financial Corp.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Despite�a slow global economy and continued high unemployment in many countries, small cap payday or pawn stocks Cash Store Financial Services Inc (NYSE: CSFS), DFC Global Corp (NASDAQ: DLLR) and Cash America International, Inc (NYSE: CSH) have not exactly been performing well since the start of the year. In fact, these three stocks are the worst performers in the payday or pawn loan sector, down 38.5%, down 14.4% and up 4.6%, respectively, since the start of the year.
Top 5 Integrated Utility Companies To Watch For 2015: New Western Energy Corp (NWTR)
New Western Energy Corporation, incorporated on September 25, 2008, is an oil and gas and mineral exploration and production company with current projects located in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The Company�� principal business is in the acquisition, exploration and development of, and production from oil, gas and mineral properties. The Company�� project includes Oklahoma Project, Texas Project, Kansas Project and Pennsylvania project. As of December 31, 2011, the Company�� total estimated unproved reserves were approximately 1,495,757 barrels of oil reserves. On January 2, 2012, the Company acquired of 100% interest in Royal Texan.
This project comprises of two leases Glass and Phillips. The Glass Lease is located in Roger County, Oklahoma. The Glass leasehold property contains approximately 120 acres. The Phillips Lease is located in Rogers County, Oklahoma. The Phillips leasehold property contains approximately 150 acres. The Company�� oil leases located in Oklahoma were originally obtained from one lessor RC Oil Co.
This project comprises of three leases Swenson, Reves and McLellan. On January 27, 2011, the Company�� subsidiary New Western Texas acquired a 50% working interest in 160 acres of oil and gas leases in Jones County, Texas, known as the Swenson Lease. On August 8, 2011, the Company�� subsidiary New Western Texas was assigned from a third party a Paid Up Oil and Gas Lease agreement with Michael L. McLellan and Paula McLellan (Lessors), which provided us a 50% working interest in approximately 160 acres of land for the purpose of exploring for developing, producing and marketing oil and gas, along with all hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon substances produced.
On December 20, 2011, entered into an assignment of oil and gas lease with an independent third party for an oil and gas property in Kansas referred to as Chautauqua Lease, whereby the assignor gra! nted the rights to the Company to carry on geographical and other exploratory work, including core drilling, and the drilling, and operating for producing, and marketing all of the oil, gas, including all associated hydrocarbons. As of December 31, 2011, the Company has not started any oil and gas exploration on Chautauqua Lease.
The property is approximately 23 acres and is located on a glacial aged kame terrace. The terrace sands, gravels and finer sediments were deposited in response to blockage by glacial ice. Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas producers operate approximately 50,000 wells and deliver more than 158 billion cubic feet of natural gas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham] New Western Energy Corp (OTCMKTS: NWTR) May Have Enough Cash for Now
Small cap New Western Energy Corp is an independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, development, production, and exploration of oil, gas and minerals primarily in North America. On Friday, New Western Energy Corp fell 16% to $0.189 for a market cap of $13.02 million plus NWTR is down 37% over the past year and down 10% since February 2012 according to Google Finance.