Tag Archives: BRK.A

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018

In this multi-article analysis, we’ve been analyzing JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) Q3 earnings report by first breaking out the areas that drove revenue and led to an EPS beat for the quarter. Also, we have been looking at how those revenue drivers will likely position the bank for Q4 and 2018.

In my first article, we looked at loan and net interest income growth for the bank and how the balance sheet was managed so effectively.

In this article, we’ll tackle the problem area for the quarter – fixed-income trading revenue which was down 27% on a year over year basis. If you follow the news, you couldn’t miss the trading revenue headline following the earnings release.

However, I believe Q3 was a good quarter for JPM’s fixed-income trading division particularly given the market challenges. And to take my thesis a step farther, for long-term investors, the bank is doing all the right things despite the headlines of a 27% decline in revenue.

If you follow my articles on Seeking Alpha, you know we’ve been touting that the economic backdrop is favorable for banks this year and into next year. Economic growth typically leads to loan demand from businesses as they increase capital investment and loan demand from consumers in the form of credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRK.A)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) was upgraded to a “stable” rating outlook at S&P (SPGI) from a “watch negative” outlook on Tuesday.

  • [By Diane Alter]

    The sector took off in November when 13F filings revealed Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) bought shares in American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), and Delta.

  • [By Virendra Singh Chauhan]

    Warren Buffett-ledBerkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) has been on a tear following the US Presidential election. The BRK.A stock is up 12.2% since November 8, outperforming the S&P 500 (INDX:SPAL), which is up 6% in the same period. While Buffett was a clear and staunch supporter of Hillary, it could come across as a surprise that investors have been buying BRK.A stock in droves. Can Berkshire Hathaway maintain its strong uptrend? Well, while the stock seems to be on a run, this rally could be far longer taking the stock higher under the Trump Presidency. Berkshire Hathaway looks set for a big 2017. Here is why.

  • [By Ashley Moore]

    At $257,200.00 a share, investing in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) is simply not an option for most retail investors like us. But the nearly 50 other “Warren Buffett stocks” that Berkshire invests in come at a much lower price point.

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018: SPAR Group Inc.(SGRP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Wednesday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested going long on small cap international merchandising and marketing services stockSPAR Group Inc (NASDAQ: SGRP):

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018: Frontier Communications Corporation(FTR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) dropped about 4.2% on Wednesday to record a new 52-week low of $2.51 against a high of $5.75. The stock closed at $2.62 on Tuesday. Volume was about a third higher than the daily average of around 25 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday, but the struggling company continues getting slaughtered.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Telecommunications services shares climbed by 1.24 percent in the US market on Thursday. Top gainers in the sector included Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ: FTR).

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Tuesday was Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) which jumped about 4.7% to $1.35. The stocks 52-week range is $1.19 to $5.31. Volume was 46.4 million compared with the daily average 51.0 million shares.

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018: Enphase Energy, Inc.(ENPH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    UPDATE: I stand corrected. There does appear to be a reason for First Solar’s market-leading move today. Axiom Capital’s Gordon Johnson attributes the rise to the $10 million investment in Enphase Energy (ENPH), which makes “microinverter systems for the solar photovoltaic industry,” by investors T.J. Rodgers and John Doerr.

Top 5 Bank Stocks For 2018: Data I/O Corporation(DAIO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Wednesday, technology shares fell 2.51 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), down 15 percent, and Data I/O Corporation (NASDAQ: DAIO) down 13 percent.

Companies That Offer Additional Benefits For Shareholders

Usually, when I talk about equity ownership, I’m going on and on about wealth creation, passive income streams, financial freedom, yahdayahdayahda. I’m always harping on valuations and buying stock at a discount. Well, in this piece, I’ll discuss another benefit of owning certain equities: the discounts on the goods and services that certain companies offer their shareholders. Not every company in the market offers shareholder rewards outside of the usual realm of dividends and buybacks, but there are a select few that give shareholders added rewards. From discounts on travel, tissues, and tools, to cheaper insurance rates and even bottles of wine, investors in the seven companies listed below have the opportunity to receive unique shareholder benefits.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway is one of the few positions that I own that doesn’t contribute to my income stream. Even though it doesn’t pay a dividend, Berkshire is one of my favorite defensive holdings. And although Mr. Buffett and Co. aren’t lining my pockets with cash directly, being a Berkshire shareholder does come with numerous added benefits (outside of the astronomical historical returns that Berkshire has provided long-term investors). Due to the conglomerate nature of this business, Berkshire’s shareholders are owners of a wide variety of businesses. During the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, investors are able to reap the rewards of this exposure with discounts across many of the merchants that Berkshire owns. But, if you’re not interested in traveling to the heartland (which I would suggest, I’ve been to Omaha before and it’s great!), one easy way to get a shareholder benefit is to call your GEICO agent. We insure our cars with GEICO and received a discount on our coverage. It wasn’t massive, but every little bit helps, right?

Carnival Cruise Line (NYSE:CCL)

Investors who own 100 shares of CCL, which will cost you ~$6,500 at current share prices, are offered discount credits when booking cruises with the company.

Source: Carnival Benefits Page

I’ve considered going on a cruise several times before. Assuming I bought 100 shares, getting a $100 credit for a weeklong cruise is like a 1.5% dividend (on top of CCL’s current ~2.4% yield). CCL is solid dividend grower. Although the company doesn’t have a long annual dividend increase streak due to the very cyclical nature of its business which relies heavily on consumer disposable income, the company’s dividend has posted a 9.6% CAGR since 1999, and after freezing its dividend in 2012, 2013, and 2014, CCL has rewarded shareholders with three consecutive years of double-digit increases.

Right now, trading for less than 16x 2018 EPS expectations, CCL appears to be trading with a reasonable valuation. Obviously making a $6,500 investment just to save a few hundred bucks on a cruise isn’t a justifiable investment thesis, but then again, if you’re an avid cruise goer and you’re looking to add some cyclical, consumer discretionary exposure to your portfolio, I think CCL is worth a look because of the money it will save you on your travels combined with the likelihood of capital appreciation and dividend growth benefitting from the strong demand we’ve been seeing for travel in recent years.

Source: F.A.S.T. Graphs

Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL)

If you’re interested in a cruise, this list is getting better and better for you. Carnival isn’t the only cruise company offering shareholder benefits, Royal Caribbean Cruises offers a program that essentially mirrors Carnival’s. However, since RCL’s share price is currently north of $121/share, it will cost you a bit more money to purchase the 100 shares necessary to qualify for this company’s benefit program.

With that said, from a dividend growth standpoint, it doesn’t get much better than the 53.6% five-year dividend growth rate that RCL currently boasts. RCL currently trades for ~16.5x 2018 expected EPS, meaning that the market is putting a slightly higher premium on RCL than the much larger CCL. RCL’s growth has been and looks to continue to be higher than CCL’s, indicating that this smaller and more nimble cruise line carrying a premium valuation relative to its peers is likely warranted.

Source: F.A.S.T. Graphs

Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ:NCLH)

Source: NCLH Benefits Page

Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t pay a shareholder dividend, but it does offer a shareholder benefits package very similar to both CCL’s and RCL’s. 100 shares of NCLH will come with the cheapest price due to its $55 share price. What’s more, even though NCLH isn’t a dividend growth company, it has produced outstanding growth in recent years and appears to the the cheapest major cruise line on the market, selling for just 11.7x 2018 expected EPS.

Source: F.A.S.T. Graphs

3M Company (NYSE:MMM)

It should come as no surprise to investors that 3M, known for its 59-year annual dividend increase streak, is also generous when it comes to alternative shareholder benefits. I’d also heard that MMM offers a holiday gift box for shareholders and employees, but even though I’ve been a shareholder for a couple of years now, I’ve never ordered one before. I contacted MMM’s investor relations team and was quickly sent a link to buy the holiday gift box as well as a promo code for the correct pricing. This year’s box cost is $26 (within the contiguous U.S.; it’s $34 if you live in Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico) and contains 18 3M items. The contents of these boxes come to MMM shareholders at a discount to retail value. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out exactly which 18 items come in the box when doing my research, but all in all, I assume that an annual 3M holiday box order will go a long way towards covering regular home chores/repairs at a friendly discount.

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)

KMB is another dividend aristocrat that offers investors a holiday themed basket of goods at a discounted price. Unfortunately, it’s too late to claim 2017’s basket, but shareholders who’re interested in cheap tissue and diapers should check back in with KMB’s investor relations team in the fall/early winter next year.

Willamette Valley Vineyards (NASDAQ:WVVI)

In the last piece I wrote, I talked about my love for Vermont playing a role in my purchase of Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) due to its recent purchase of Stowe Mountain Resort. Well, Willamette Valley Vineyards is another company that I have an emotional draw to. The Willamette Valley brings back fond memories of my wife’s professional running career and the 2012 Olympic Trials that were held in Eugene, Oregon. That was an amazing week, and without a doubt, that is a special area of the country. What’s more, I have a background in vineyard management and I’m a believer in the long-term viability of this industry.

Willamette is an interesting small-cap. The company owns a handful of vineyards across Oregon and seems to be doing a good job of using its profits to reinvest back into its vineyards and expand. This isn’t the type of company that I usually consider buying, but the idea of owning a vineyard is a romantic notion (especially for someone who has a history of managing the grapes). But you don’t have to be a former farmer to be interested in buying shares of this company. I imagine that wine lovers would also like the idea of exposure to the industry within their portfolios, not to mention the fact that WVVI offers a 25% discount to shareholders on its products (which includes several bottles with scores above 90 by Wine Enthusiast).

Obviously, a discount on wine isn’t a good enough reason to buy equity in a company alone, but I think WVVI is at least worth a look for investors interested in this benefit and increasing their domestic small-cap exposure.

Conclusion

As always I look forward to your feedback. I’m sure that I’ve missed a company or two that also offered generous benefits outside of the typical realm of dividends and buybacks. I’d certainly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for stocks to add to this list for next year. Best wishes all!

Disclosure: I am/we are long BRK.B, MMM, KMB.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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The 10 Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade

Last year, InvestorPlace contributor Dan Burrows highlighted the 10 best-performing S&P 500 stocks of the past decade. The most important lesson one finds studying these high-flying stocks is that patience wins out over all other attributes of a successful investor.

A classic example of how true this is involves the Fidelity Magellan Fund (MUTF:FMAGX), the large mutual fund made famous by portfolio manager Peter Lynch. Lynch ran the fund for 13 years from 1977 until 1990, growing it from $20 million to $14 billion before stepping aside.

Fidelity studied the returns of Fidelity Magellan unitholders over those 13 years to see how they did compared to the legendary portfolio manager. While Lynch managed to achieve a 29% annual return over this period, the average investor lost money.

Patience would have served those investors well, as the ups and downs of the stock market shook them out of their positions — and in doing so, deprived them of millions of dollars in profits. A $10,000 investment in 1977 held until 1990 was worth $273,947 by the end of that 13-year period.

I’m not Peter Lynch, but I can say with some confidence that the examples to follow are the 10 best stocks to buy for the next decade.

Let’s take a look.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Amazon (AMZN) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Amazon (AMZN)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/amznmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Via Amazon

Not only is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO and founder Jeff Bezos a great chief executive, but Amazon has its hands in so many pies — including a very profitable cloud business that generates almost $1 billion in annual operating income — that it’s hard to fathom just how big Amazon could be a decade from now.

While Amazon’s AWS cloud business is a big deal, Amazon Prime is the service that delivers the goods when it comes to building the foundation for AMZN stock. More than 100 million people subscribe to Amazon Prime at $99 per year.

It’s not the $9.9 billion in annual subscription revenue that matters, but the amount each of those subscribers spends on other Amazon products. Statistics show that 76% of Amazon Prime members spend more than they did before paying the annual $99 fee.

That’s what you call “pulling power,” and it’s a big reason why AMZN stock will be a winner for the long haul.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-78×43.jpg78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/buffmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

If you bought Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc (NASDAQ:BUFF) at its July 2015 IPO price of $20 and you’re still holding it, you’ve made money — barely.

The pet food maker has been on a wild ride since going public almost two years ago. It opened with a first-day return of 36%, but proceeded to fall from $28 to $16 in the span of a couple months, only to gain most of that back by its one-year anniversary.

However, BUFF is an explosive stock lying in wait.

Blue Buffalo is investing $150 million-$170 million in 2017 to expand its manufacturing capacity so that it can accommodate further growth beyond 6% of the $28 billion U.S. pet food market.

In 2016, its adjusted earnings-per-share increased 27.2% to 79 cents; it expects that number to increase by as much as 19% in 2017 to between 91 and 94 cents-per-share.

Over the past five years, Blue Buffalo has more than doubled its revenues, from $523.0 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion in 2016, while growing net income from $65.5 million to $130.2 million in the same period.

People will continue to spend more on healthy food in the coming decade, and that includes for their pets. Blue Buffalo is ready to capture more of those gains, and BUFF shareholders will benefit as a result.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Apple (AAPL) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Apple (AAPL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/aaplmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

You can say what you want about the iPhone maker’s best days being behind it, but I have a feeling Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will continue to create products people want to buy for years to come.

What they are, I couldn’t tell you.

What I do know is that Apple will continue to generate a huge amount of free cash flow — $52.5 billion in the trailing 12 months through Dec. 31, 2016 — to reward shareholders for their patience and loyalty.

AAPL currently converts 71.7% of its EBITDA into free cash flow, which is pretty darn close to the 77.7% conversion rate of Amazon — a company known for doing a good job converting cash.

The most recent rumor on Wall Street has Apple and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) hooking up to form a media and tech conglomerate. While speculative in nature, the combination would provide Apple with a few more avenues to generate ideas for new products.

At this point, while I like Disney, I’d say it needs Apple more than Apple needs it.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/brkmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett is 87 years old. Eventually, he’s going to step out of the game. The argument is that his departure will create a panic that will send Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) stock spiraling downward.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to that theory.

Businesses — whether it be a huge holding company like Buffett’s or something much less grandiose — are valued by calculating the present value of its future cash flows. Berkshire Hathaway’s are significant.

Another way is to value a business is to look at the sum of all its parts.

Berkshire Hathaway owns hundreds of businesses; each of these firms, if sold at auction, would be worth more than the current stock price would seem to reflect. If Buffett moved on and the company was broken up in a prudent manner over an extended period, Berkshire Hathaway investors would benefit greatly from such a process.

The best part of Berkshire Hathaway? You get a quasi-mutual fund with a diversified group of holdings and no management fees.

That’s the best kind of buy-and-hold investment.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Ulta Beauty (ULTA)

 

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Ulta Beauty (ULTA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ultamsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

The retail industry is in a free fall at the moment, yet Illinois-based Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) is busy growing its network of stores — which currently number 974 — by 100 per year. It expects to build out its brick-and-mortar footprint to 1,700 stores over the next decade.

Ulta’s business model provides a shopping experience that is unique in a beauty market where no one firm controls a big chunk of market share, not even Sephora. In fact, Ulta controls just 4% of the $127 billion U.S. beauty market despite having almost $5 billion in annual revenue.

10 Under-the-Radar Stocks to Buy Now for Explosive Upside

With consumer confidence growing, Ulta stands a good chance over the next decade of bumping this number significantly higher. ULTA shares might be expensive at 30 times earnings, but that’s the price you pay to own the best.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Sherwin-Williams (SHW) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Sherwin-Williams (SHW)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/shwmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Ulta Beauty helps women with their beauty needs; Sherwin-Williams Co (NYSE:SHW) does the same for houses and businesses around the world.

What’s the one thing real estate professionals suggest you should do when selling your home? Give it a fresh coat of paint. It’s the most cost-effective improvement you can make to bring in better offers.

Sherwin-Williams originally tried to buy Mexican paint company Comex in 2014, but it was beaten out by PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG). More than two years later, it’s in the homestretch of closing its $11.3 billion acquisition of The Valspar Corp (NYSE:VAL), which will significantly improve its position in the coatings business outside North America.

Over the past decade, SHW has achieved a return of more than 600%, significantly greater than the S&P 500’s 82% climb in that same period.

If any stock can repeat this kind of performance over the next decade, Sherwin-Williams has to be at the top of the list.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Kraft Heinz (KHC) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Kraft Heinz (KHC)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width:728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Earlier this year, the management of Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) put quite the scare into the 169,000 Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) employees with a potential $143 billion offer to buy the company. Fortunately (for employees), Unilever’s management told the Brazilians — 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway control KHC — to take a hike.

Kraft Heinz is going to make another acquisition, most likely this year. And when it does, the first thing the Brazilians are going to do is trim the fat. (Read this article about Tim Hortons to understand their cost-cutting ruthlessness.) That’s going to mean the loss of a lot of jobs.

While that’s terrible for the people on the receiving end of the pink slips, it’s been proven by 3G Capital time and again to significantly increase the bottom line. Shareholders definitely will win as Kraft Heinz guts PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) or some other vulnerable target.

I’m of two minds when it comes to 3G Capital’s blitzkrieg management style: On the one hand, people suffer greatly from these job cuts. On the other, I wonder whether those jobs should have been created in the first place.

7 Tech Stocks That Will Crush the Market for Years

If you can live with this kind of management ruthlessness, KHC is a great business to own, because people will always have to eat.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Five Below (FIVE) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Five Below (FIVE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fivemsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)

Teen discount clothing chain Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE) saw same-store sales increase by 2% in fiscal 2016. That might not seem like a lot, but when you have retailers going out of business left and right, Jim Cramer is right to rave about this stock.

In today’s retail, you either want to be in the discount or luxury businesses … but not in the deadly middle.

Five Below has a plan to grow revenues and earnings by 20% every year until 2020 and beyond. In 2016, revenues and earnings grew 20.2% and 24.5%, respectively, to $1 billion and $71.8 million respectively.

In 2017, FIVE expects to open 100 new stores, bringing the total across the country to more than 600. Five Below sees 2,000 stores open in the U.S. at some point in the future. While it seems like an ambitious goal given how many stores are closing these days, Five Below has a very talented management team led by CEO Joel Anderson, whose previous job was CEO of Walmart.com.

At prices $5 or below, Five Below delivers a concept that’s unique to teen and pre-teen customers. And it should deliver plenty of returns over the next 10 years.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: Cracker Barrel (CBRL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cbrlmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Over the past decade, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) has doubled the performance of the S&P 500 by delivering consistent results. Its return on invested capital in 2006 was 8%; today, it’s 14%, well above the restaurant industry average of 9%.

CBRL’s unique restaurant/retail concept generates approximately 80% of its revenue from its restaurants, with its retail shop the remaining 20%. The average store throws off revenue of $4.6 million. The retail business generates sales per square foot of $440 and 50% gross margins.

On April 17, Cracker Barrel opened its first store on the West Coast in Tualatin, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. It plans to open three more locations in the Portland area. Expect continued growth out west in coming years.

Cracker Barrel features a strong female presence in upper management, representing what a modern progressive American company is supposed to look like at the top. Good on them … and good for you, because that kind of diversity will pay off in spades.

Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: ResMed (RMD) Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Decade: ResMed (RMD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rmdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Who knew that sleep apnea paid so well?

ResMed Inc. (NYSE:RMD) manufactures medical devices and provides cloud-based software applications for medical professionals to treat and manage sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Treating 2 million patients daily, ResMed has become good at reducing healthcare costs by minimizing the effects of chronic disease.

Good businesses make and save people and companies money. ResMed does both.

Over the past decade, ResMed has delivered an annual return to shareholders of 11.9%, 478 basis points greater than the S&P 500. Year-to-date, RMD is up 40% and on its way to its fourth year of gains in the past five.

According to a recent study, 26% of adults have sleep apnea — a disorder that can wreak havoc on a person’s heart, not to mention a marriage due to both partners’ lack of sleep. My dad died as a result of COPD, a disease that effects more than 200 million people worldwide and costs the healthcare system more than $50 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

ResMed has growth opportunities in Latin America, Eastern Europe and China and India — all huge markets that will keep it busy for the next decade and beyond.

Of all the stocks to buy for the next decade, ResMed is my pick for most reliable given the markets it serves.

As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) Shares Hit $300,000 Mark

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) had an impressive Monday as the company’s stock briefly topped the $300,000 mark before sliding back down a bit.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Berkshire-Hathaway-150×150.jpg 150w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Berkshire-Hathaway-65×65.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Berkshire-Hathaway-100×100.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Berkshire-Hathaway-80×80.jpg 80w” sizes=”(max-width: 185px) 100vw, 185px” />The stock’s recent surge could be at least partially related to the fact that the GOP tax plan looms on the horizon and such a large tax reform in the U.S. could reshape the face of certain major companies such as Warren Buffett’s hedge fund.

If such a plan received the green light from Congress, Berkshire Hathaway’s earnings report for the current quarter will be a profitable one. BRK.A shares gained 0.9% by late in the afternoon Monday, now trading at $298,980 per share.

At one point Monday, the stock gained as much as 1.3% to get up to $300,100 per share. It has been a wild ride for Berkshire Hathaway as the stock has gained almost 10% since November 16, which marked the first step towards passing the tax bill as House Republicans voted in favor of the plan that would reduce U.S. corporate taxes.

BRK.A shares are up about 22.55% year-to-date, which is larger than the 20% average gain marked by the S&P 500 Index. Since 2017 kicked off, the value of a Berkshire Hathaway share has increased by $55,049.

The company’s business is very closely attached to the fate of the U.S. economy. Buffett’s company’s deferred tax liability — which is the valuation of possible future taxes — is currently at $86.5 billion, but this figure may be reduced by $30 billion with the GOP tax plan.

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George Soros 7 Best Stock Picks of 2017

Sometimes identifying the best stocks to buy can be difficult, but you could do a lot worse than check out the stocks selected by one of the world’s wealthiest hedge fund managers — George Soros.

Self-made Soros fled Hungary and funded his way through an economics degree by working as a railway porter and waiter. Years of successful investing gave him a net worth of $25.2 billion and the no. 1 ranking on Forbes’ hedge fund manager rich list. (Warren Buffett, who has a whopping $75 billion net worth, wins the no.1 title for the wider finance and investments community). In 1992, Soros shorted the British pound and reportedly made a profit of $1 billion. He became known as the man who broke the Bank of England.

Now we can track the latest trades of his family office, Soros Fund Management. Just-released SEC forms reveal a valuable glimpse into which stocks Soros likes, and which he doesn’t. I looked back over 2017 and pinpointed Soros’ best stock picks this year. These are the stocks that this legendary hedge fund manager is most bullish on. Note that Soros has just shifted an incredible $18 billion from the fund to charity. Following the move, the fund manages about $4 billion in portfolio assets.

Here I also include TipRanks’ stock insights from Wall Street’s best-performing analysts. Does the Street sentiment match Soros’ stocks to buy — or is Soros going rogue with his stock picks? We can check the overall analyst consensus as well as the average target price. This indicates how far the stock can spike over the coming months.

“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring” says Soros. With this sobering thought in mind, let’s dig down into Soros’ top seven stock picks of 2017: George Soros Stocks to Buy: Altaba (AABA) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Investment company Altaba Inc (NASDAQ:AABA) is seen by many as a cheap play on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA). Since initiating the position in Q217, Soros has built up a position of 2.8 million shares valued at $185.7 million. This makes AABA the fourth-largest stock in the fund’s portfolio.

AABA, formerly Yahoo!, has a 15% stake in Alibaba which is now worth a massive $65 billion. AABA is up 81% year-to-date largely due to its valuable BABA stake. Nonetheless, the stock still trades at a big discount to the sum of its assets. It is likely that at some point the company will wind down and distribute its value to shareholders.

In the meantime, however, five-star Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein is bullish on AABA’s outlook. He says shares are undervalued and reiterated his buy rating on Nov. 7. “We are raising our AABA target to $99 from $75, following a more bullish outlook for BABA shares. BABA reported strong F2Q results, with the Ant Financial SME loan business growing ~400% y/y. As a result, we increased our BABA target price to $220.” Other elements supporting AABA include: the market value of Yahoo Japan shares ($9 billion) as well as its cash & marketable debt securities portfolio.

Overall the stock has a relatively positive Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating on TipRanks. The average analyst price target of $85 indicates 23% upside from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) George Soros Stocks to Buy: SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Soros has just initiated a new position in solar energy leader SolarEdge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG). He snapped up 695,305 SEDG shares worth close to $20 million in Q3. The company has just delivered very impressive third quarter earnings results with “near flawless” execution. For the quarter, SEDG reported revenue of $166.5M, easily beating guidance of $155M to $165M.

“We’re staying buyers as this innovator is delivering what growth investors want — big revenue and margin upsides/guides (with the added benefit of solid cash flow)” comments top Canaccord Genuity analyst John Quealy. He has a buy rating and $40 price target on the stock.

“While the broader solar market is experiencing the typical boom/bust dynamics that many other industrial growth sectors have, SolarEdge’s differentiated power conversion and control offerings offer a clearer path toward secular profit improvement, in our view” says Quealy. However he adds that “shares will still likely exhibit volatility given the dependence on solar, risks around increased competition, and pricing pressures.” A key date to look out for is President Trump’s final import tariff decision expected on January 12/13.

Overall, this “Strong Buy” stock has received seven buy ratings in the last three months and just one hold rating. (Note however that if we look at only top analysts the stock has 100% buy ratings.) Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at close to 10% upside from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: InterXion (INXN) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  InterXion (INXN)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Throughout 2017, Soros has been ratcheting up his stake in data storage pioneer InterXion Holding NV (NYSE:INXN). Now Soros holds 400,000 INXN shares worth almost $20.4 million. Luckily for Soros, INXN has just delivered very strong earnings results for the third quarter. Five-star Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan also ramped up his INXN price target from $55 to $62 last month.

“INXN reported strong growth helped by an improved European economy, strong cloud growth and charging for cross-connects” says Horan. He believes that “Europe is in the early stages of cloud adoption; we see a long runway for growth.” Meanwhile demand dynamics remain favorable in key markets with INXN pricing its services below demand to expand its interconnectivity-focused datacenters.

We can see from TipRanks that this “Strong Buy” stock boasts an impressive six back-to-back buy ratings from analysts over the last three months. These analysts believe (on average) that INXN will spike 10% to hit $62 over the coming months.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Kraft Heinz (KHC) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  Kraft Heinz (KHC)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) is one of the big stock picks from Soros this year. He poured money into the food and drink powerhouse in Q1, Q2 and Q3. Indeed, in the last quarter Soros boosted the fund’s Kraft position by 48% with the purchase of 299,587 shares. Following this move Soros now has a $53.1 million position in the stock.

And Soros isn’t the only fund guru betting on KHC. Perhaps he was inspired by Warren Buffett, aka the Oracle of Omaha, who has a huge KHC position of $25.5 billion. In fact, Kraft Heinz is Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) second biggest position after Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC).

From the Street side, David Palmer is a five-star RBC Capital analyst with a bullish $94 price target on the stock. He says 2018 may be a year of accelerating top and bottom line growth for KHC, boosted by the full-year benefits of 2H17 supply chain investments. The company is also looking to repatriate key brands like Ketchup in Europe and Australia to scale up ex-U.S. growth.

Overall, KHC has a cautiously optimistic “Moderate Buy” rating from the Street. In the last three months this breaks down into five buy and three hold ratings. The $88 average analyst price target indicates 13% upside potential from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: EQT Corporation (EQT) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  EQT Corporation (EQT)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Maciek Lulko (Modified)

Soros revealed a very bullish sentiment on natural gas producer EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) over just two quarters. In Q217 he initiated a $38 million position — and then quickly snapped up a further 609,165 shares in Q3. After this 93% boost, Soros now holds $82.5 million shares of EQT. As a result, the stock is now no. 11 in the fund’s portfolio.

On Nov. 13, EQT completed its takeover of Rice Energy for roughly $8.2 billion. “With the closing of the transaction, we are combining two of the leading operators in the Appalachian Basin to create an even stronger company that is positioned to deliver greater returns to shareholders through operating efficiencies and improved overall well economics,” commented Steve Schlotterbeck, EQT’s CEP. The deal should make EQT the largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. — and could create synergies of up to $2.5 billion.

This “Strong Buy” stock has an encouraging outlook from the Street. Five analysts have published buy ratings on EQT in the last three months, versus just one hold rating. These analysts are predicting (on average) a spike of 35% from the current $57 share price over the next 12 months.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA) cmcsa stock comcast stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw,728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Last quarter, Soros made a new play for mass media corporation Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). He initiated a serious position in the stock of 1 million shares worth $41.7 million. And the 100% bullish outlook from the Street is also an encouraging sign for investors. In the last three months eight analysts have published buy ratings on CMCSA. Meanwhile the $44 average analyst price target indicates that the stock can rise over 16%.

Top Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak is even more confident on CMCSA than the average analyst. He sees $50 as a price target — which suggests sweet upside potential of 30%. According to Wlodarczak $35 is as low as CMCSA can go (it is currently at $38) but investors will need to be patient as Comcast ‘proves the sky is not falling out.’

The stock is cheap right now because CMCSA is currently transitioning from a focus on video/data/phone revenue to customer growth driven by high margin data. “Investors historically don’t like transitions which is partly why the cable names and Comcast have underperformed, however we believe the current Comcast valuation (7.3X 2018 EBITDA) is so low (and the risk/reward so high) that the shares are quite compelling” says Wlodarczak. He is now looking for solid financial guidance for 2018 — boosted by increasing data speeds and share taking.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Monsanto (MON) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Last but not least we have biotech giant Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) — one of the world’s top suppliers of farm pesticides and seeds. Throughout 2017, Soros made a number of bullish MON trades. Starting in Q1 he initiated a position — which he then increased in both Q2 and Q3. Now the fund holds 188,539 MON shares worth close to $22.6 million.

German drugs and pesticide group Bayer AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) is planning a massive $66 billion takeover of Monsanto. The deal was supposed to go through in 2017, but it has been delayed by an antitrust review from the European Commission (EC). The EC will now deliver its verdict in January 2018.

However, Reuters is already reporting that EU regulators are about to warn Bayer that its proposed takeover may hurt competition. According to sources, the EU now has a charge sheet of objections to the deal — although a final decision has not yet been made. As a result Bayer could be forced to make further concessions for the deal to go through.

The Street has a more divided take on Monsanto. With a “Moderate Buy” analyst consensus rating, analysts are predicting 8% upside from the current share price.

Which stocks are top 25 hedge fund managers buying? Find out here.

TipRanks doesn’t just rank hedge fund managers. We also give investors the latest insight into the activity of 4,500 analysts, 5,000 financial bloggers and even 37,000 corporate insiders.

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international stock markets

iStockphoto The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged as was widely expected.

U.S. stock-market benchmarks on Wednesday finished modestly higher, with all three gauges recording all-time highs, supported by better-than-expected corporate results, and as the Federal Reserve offered an update to its monetary-policy outlook.

international stock markets: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK-A)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos]

    The next few trading days include highly anticipated earnings reports from some of the biggest names in their respective industries, including Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), and Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN).

  • [By WWW.USATODAY.COM]

    When Buffett took control ofBerkshire Hathaway(NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) in 1965, it was an ailing textile company with a bleak future. Today, thanks to Buffett’s brilliance at capital allocation, Berkshire is the fourth-biggest company in the S&P 500as measured by market capitalization.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    When Warren Buffett speaks, people listen. Being the richest man and being considered the greatest investor of modern times makes people care. Now that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) is out with its annual report and annual letter for 2016, 24/7 Wall St. has broken out many of the top gems from the report.

  • [By Shanthi Rexaline]

    Incidentally, Facebook has secured shareholder approval for issuing Class C share at its shareholder meeting in June 2016, although it is yet to issue the shares.

    Other Companies With Dual-class Voting Shares
    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) and (NYSE: BRK-A), with Class A shares having 1/10th interest in the company but only 1/200th of voting power. Echostar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS)’s CEO Charlie Ergen owns a 43.4 percent stake in the company through his holding of Class B shares but has 63.6 percent of the voting rights. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) uses the dual-class structure to give its founding family more voting power.

    Related Links:

international stock markets: Tandy Leather Factory, Inc.(TLF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    These companies also reported insider buying last week: Armour Residential REIT Inc. (NYSE: ARR), Ducommun Inc. (NYSE: DCO), PJT Partners Inc. (NYSE; PJT), Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE: SAH)and Tandy Leather Factory Inc. (NASDAQ: TLF).

international stock markets: Investors Real Estate Trust(IRET)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

     

    General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.60 per share on revenue of $3.86 billion.
    Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $420.05 million.
    Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $2.03 per share on revenue of $847.79 million.
    Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $2.40 per share on revenue of $4.49 billion.
    Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WOR) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.64 per share on revenue of $692.48 million.
    Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $94.64 million.
    UniFirst Corp (NYSE: UNF) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $1.34 per share on revenue of $366.28 million.
    Exfo Inc (NASDAQ: EXFO) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $60.87 million.
    OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $205.40 million.
    8Point3 Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: CAFD) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $11.60 million.
    Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE: PKE) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.22 per share on revenue of $35.30 million.
    Xplore Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: XPLR) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.01 per share on revenue of $24.00 million.
    Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $56.87 million.
    Tel-Instrument Electronics Corp. (NYSE: TIK) is estimated to post earnings for the latest quarter.
    Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEMD) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.20 per share.
    Ossen Innovation Co Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: OSN) is projected to post ea

international stock markets: Northern Oil and Gas, Inc.(NOG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Tuesday, energy shares slipped by 1.36 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE: NOG), down 9 percent, and North American Energy Partners Inc.(USA) (NYSE: NOA), down 6 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Friday, energy shares slipped by 0.20 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE: NOG), down 9 percent, and Tidewater Inc. (NYSE: TDW), down 8 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Tuesday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.57 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Tesco Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ: TESO), down 7 percent, and Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE: NOG), down 8 percent.

international stock markets: Agenus Inc.(AGEN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Shares of Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN), a biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapies, had fallen about 14.5% as of 3:20 p.m. EST on Wednesday. Investors weren’t too thrilled about its cancer vaccine’s recent clinical trial failure.

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT) shares jumped 35 percent to $34.64 in response to failed DBVT peanut allergy trial.
    Exactech, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXAC) shares surged 30.9 percent to $41.88 after the company agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital for $42 per share in cash.
    Dextera Surgical Inc (NASDAQ: DXTR) shares climbed 27.6 percent to $0.238 after surging 40.48 percent on Friday.
    Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ: PETS) jumped 21.8 percent to $44.73 as the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results.
    SenesTech Inc (NASDAQ: SNES) shares surged 21.7 percent to $1.95 after the company disclosed that Univar will be marketing and selling ContraPest.
    Yulong Eco-Materials Ltd (NASDAQ: YECO) shares gained 18.3 percent to $0.560.
    One Horizon Group Inc (NASDAQ: OHGI) shares rose 18 percent to $1.18.
    Atossa Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: ATOS) shares climbed 18 percent to $0.566. Atossa Genetics is schedule to host a conference call to announce preliminary results from Phase 1 study of oral Endoxifen on October 25, 2017.
    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) shares rose 15.3 percent to $2.72
    Renren Inc (NYSE: RENN) shares gained 11.9 percent to $10.71 after gaining 2.68 percent on Friday.
    Kalvista Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: KALV) shares rose 11.8 percent to $12.59. KalVista Pharma 13D filing from Longwood Fund showed registration for an 8.7 percent stake.
    Xunlei Ltd (NASDAQ: XNET) shares gained 9.4 percent to $7.20 after surging 25.33 percent on Friday.
    VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) shares surged 7.1 percent to $71.09 after the company reported upbeat earnings for its third quarter and raised its FY2017 guidance.
    CAI International Inc (NYSE: CAI) rose 6.6 percent to $39.70. Cowen & Co. upgraded CAI from Market Perform to Outperform.
    Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN) shares gained 5.7 percent to $4.58 as the company disclosed that GSK's shingle vaccine received FDA approval.
    Deltic Timber Corp (NYSE: DEL) shares climbed 5.6 percent to $94.11
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Agenus (NASDAQ: AGEN) rose 22.99% to $3.37 after the company reported positive follow-on Phase 2 results for brain cancer vaccine.

    Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) shares jumped 18.23% to $10.18 after private equity firm Sycamore Partners bought a 7.96% stake in the company.

stock market books

Stocks finished down but well off their worst levels following China’s dismal data.

Getty Images

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 2,132.55 today, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 45.26 points, or 0.3%, to 18,098.94. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5% to 5,213.33. The S&P 500 traded down as much as 1.1%, while the Dow Industrials traded off as much as 154.25 points, or 1%.

RBC Capital Markets economists Tom Porcelli andJacob Oubina downplay the Chinese export data:

As a daily theme, the poor trade data out of China was the topic most mentioned today in our various conversations. Apparently this has set off worry about global trade flows. For starters, let’s first draw out a technical point about this data. The China trade balance is reported in not-seasonal-adjusted terms. This is an important point when you consider the month of September (the month for which these data were reported). On a sequential basis September nearly always declines. In fact over the last decade it has declined 70% of the time (and over the entire history for which we have data it has done so nearly two-thirds of the time). Moreover, the recent decline pales in comparison to the last two Sep drops. This is all a long way of saying the decline was simply seasonal. So the fact that this technically unstable September trade report was the catalyst for todays conversation du jour feels sort of silly

stock market books: Mercury Systems Inc(MRCY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Mercury Systems Inc (NASDAQ: MRCY) shares shot up 15 percent to $19.00 after the company agreed to acquire the embedded security, RF and Microwave and custom microelectronics businesses of Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ: MSCC).

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Mercury Systems Inc (NASDAQ: MRCY) shares shot up 15 percent to $18.94 after the company agreed to acquire the embedded security, RF and Microwave and custom microelectronics businesses of Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ: MSCC).

stock market books: Gladstone Land Corporation(LAND)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cameron Swinehart]

    Gladstone Land Corp (LAND) –

    A U.S. based farmland investment company that currently offers a plus 9% annual distribution. It owns and leases farmland in Florida, California, Michigan and Oregon with appraised land value of $79 million. The distribution is paid monthly which should attract income investors.

stock market books: Nuance Communications Inc.(NUAN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report", Pete Najarian spoke about unusually high options activity in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN).

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report, Jon Najarian spoke about high options activity in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN). Traders were buying the June 19 calls for $1. The trade breaks even at $20 or 2.20 percent above the closing price on Wednesday. Najarian followed the trade and he is going to hold the position for two weeks.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) got a boost, shooting up 10 percent to $17.05 after the company posted better-than-expected Q4 earnings. Raymond James upgraded Nuance Communications from Outperform to Strong Buy.

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ: MARA) shares surged 30.2 percent to $5.01 after dropping 40.86 percent on Tuesday. Marathon Patent Group filed for sale of 1.85 million shares of common stock by selling stockholders.
    Capricor Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CAPR) shares jumped 17.2 percent to $2.25 after the company reported the FDA clearance of Investigational New Drug application for CAP-1002.
    Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) gained 13.2 percent to $2.15 following 16.5 percent rally on Tuesday.
    Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAB) shares climbed 11.8 percent to $10.45 after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.
    China Distance Education Hldgs Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: DL) shares surged 11.3 percent to $8.67. China Distance Education reported Q4 profit of $5.9 million on revenue of $41.7 million.
    Cytokinetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTK) shares gained 11 percent to $8.05 after falling 7.05 percent on Tuesday.
    Ooma Inc (NYSE: OOMA) shares surged 8.5 percent to $10.85 as the company posted strong Q3 results.
    Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) climbed 8 percent to $17.12 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter on Tuesday.
    American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC) surged 7.8 percent to $3.59 after the company reported $8 million in D-VAR system orders.
    Thermon Group Holdings Inc (NYSE: THR) rose 6.3 percent to $24.17. William Blair upgraded Thermon Group from Market Perform to Outperform.
    Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) surged 6.1 percent to $182.88. Nomura upgraded Domino's from Neutral to Buy.
    Xencor Inc (NASDAQ: XNCR) rose 5.9 percent to $21.17. Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on Xencor with an Overweight rating.
    Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDRA) gained 5.1 percent to $2.28 after the company disclosed that it has been granted FDA Fast Track designation for IMO-2125.
    Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) gained 5.1 percent to

stock market books: HCI Group, Inc.(HCI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Small cap Florida insurance stock HCI Group Inc (NYSE: HCI) has taken a hit with shares down around 21% over the past week on predictions that Hurricane Irma would hit Florida albeit sharesrose 2.74%on Friday when it became clear that it would not be as catastrophic as feared:

stock market books: Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc.(SCAI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Surgical Care Affiliates Inc (NASDAQ: SCAI) shares were also up, gaining 16 percent to $56.55 after UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) disclosed that its unit agreed to acquire Surgical Care Affiliates for around $2.3 billion.

stock market books: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRK.A)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    While self-driving cars tend to get a lot of press with consumers, Buffett said in May that significant growth of autonomous trucks in particular could cut into the market for rail transporter Burlington Northern, which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.A) owns.

  • [By Yasin Ebrahim]

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is an American conglomerate with investments in a variety of businesses from American Express to Coca-Cola. It reported Q3 earnings last week, which were in line with analysts expectations, as the group revealed a 7% increase in operating profit compared to the same period last year.

  • [By Yasin Ebrahim]
     

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is an American conglomerate with investments in a variety of businesses from American Express to Coca-Cola. It reported Q3 earnings last week, which were in line with analysts’ expectations, as the group revealed a 7% increase in operating profit compared to the same period last year.

Newell Brands: Get The Liquid Paper Out For 2017

HOBOKEN, N.J. – Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) is a bit of a Smithsonian.

It arguably has one of the greater collections of brand names of any U.S. company. Sunbeam, Shakespeare, Blue Diamond, Oster, Coleman, Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Elmer’s, Rawlings, to start. Each brand is well-known in its sector, well respected and unfailingly iconic, even if that is an overused word. Most often, and this is key to brands, it is either the leader in the category, or still better, the sole owner. Think Elmer’s Glue, Ball jars, X-ACTO knives, Crock-Pots, and even those Dymo label printers, ubiquitous in every Mad Men office.

In some sectors like Dymo, it is the inventor of the category; think Mr. Coffee, Yankee Candle and Rubbermaid. In other situations, it has become the best known provider in a dependable but un-glam product sector, such as Graco baby products, NUK binkies, Stearn’s life vests, Calphalon cookware and First Alert fire detectors.

Turn of the century Bicycle playing cards.

With the quality and number of brands it owns, all led by clever staff, it asserts that it is “building one of the most transformative consumer products companies in the world.” The company has recovered from a Great Recession low of $5.65 in 2008. But this Nov. 21, the First Alert alarm rang when it hit a low of $27.97, off from a high of $54.85 on June 16, 2017. It is still profitable, and with dividend, but the market has partially lost interest, though the stock has recovered to the $31 range, indicating some confidence.

Chief Executive Michael Polk called third-quarter results “below expectations” as their “transformation progress” was overshadowed by “retailer inventory rebalancing” related to “decelerating U.S. market growth through the Back-to-School period.” Sales for third quarter were down 7 percent, and a $1 billion stock repurchase was announced. Translated into the sort of English perhaps heard by Newell’s sales reps visiting Bentonville, Ark., I can reword: Sales are dropping, and our plan to bring all of these odd businesses into one company failed when we put the glue and pens out in July.

One of its more dependable products is the Coleman two-fuel lantern, sold for $99. It works with both Coleman fuel or unleaded gas. Dozens of Coleman products are as interesting as this, and as well made, and all essential items in a hurricane. But this year, astonishingly, Newell made hurricanes an excuse for sales and production numbers. The reality? Coleman products should have been the FIRST things flying off the shelves before Harvey, Nate, Irma and Maria, as the coolers, cookers and the like are essentials during disasters. After, it should have sought the royal warrant as supplier to the Cajun Navy.

The question is why, when on paper (not Liquid Paper, yet another Newell product), the company makes sense and does all the “right” things. Sometimes, the market just does not respond properly to what a company is doing. Only time, consistency and dividends prove the situation.

Results for 2017

Digging into the financials indicates some questions about the restructuring, and perhaps answers the questions as why the stock is 44 percent off its 52-week high.

Its 10-Q filed on Nov. 8, 2017 indicated over $1 billion in restructuring and other costs expected through 2021 to integrate Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden, what it calls the Jarden Integration. From 2016 to 2021, Newell expects to see $1.3 billion in cost savings through this restructuring. So that means it is going through a wrenching process, moving around and changing all of the guts of the company, to save only $300 million in over a half dozen years. While every dollar saved helps the bottom line, this type of disruptive cost cutting only helps the company if the restructuring grows sales.

This restructuring, as described, is completely reorganizing the total company along new reporting lines as of Jan. 1, 2017. Instead of nine mostly logical sectors that include writing, home solutions, tools, commercial products, baby and parenting, branded consumables, consumer solutions, outdoor solutions and process solutions, the company is now organized along the lines of what it calls a New Growth Game Plan. The goal? Newell Brands makes life better for hundreds of millions of consumers every day, where they live, learn, work, and play.

The Game Plan has formal segments that include Live, Learn, Work, Play and Other. While this segmentation would seem to be a useful set of general goals to help explain the company, it unfortunately too much reminds of an un-serious work, rest or play Milky Way television commercial. In addition, these unfortunately named units are actually now broken out on their 10-Q into accounting financial sectors. Can you imagine telling someone that you are in charge of the Play sector and you are moving to the “Work” sector?

The breakdowns do not always make sense. Dymo labeling tapes are in Learn whereas one would expect them to be in the Live or Work categories. It would stand to reason that Waterman pens, a luxury item, are about either “Live”, “Work” or “Play”. But they are in the Learn sector. Its Nov. 2, 2017 third-quarter earnings report confirms some of this confusion. In its Learn sector, operating margin was 10.5 percent vs. 19.5 percent in the prior year. Normalized operating margin was 15.6 percent of sales compared with 22.2 percent last year. It attributed it to lower margins on high margin writing products, not a good sign in a year of Trump and one percenters.

Sorting through its 2016 Annual Report and 10-K shows other issues. In April, it bought Sistema, a food container company based in New Zealand, for $472 million. While the products are well made and handsome, and certainly profitable, they are the sort of products Rubbermaid used to sell and design, begging the question of why the company is unable to develop these products on its own.

On September 4, 2014, the company bought Ignite Holdings LLC, makers of Contigo and Avex drink containers, for $313 million. That year, Newell also bought Bubba Brands, a drink container company, for $82 million. There is nothing wrong with buying another company in the same sector. But when your main brand is Coleman, and your core company and brand is the inventor of the idea of coolers and molded plastic containers, to have to spend a third of a billion on outside acquisitions to remain up with trends indicates that you are unable to keep up with market fashions. And if the company were to buy such a brand, Tervis Tumbler of Sarasota might have been the more hip choice.

Imagine if that $400 million had been invested in the core Coleman brand over the same period of time in elements like a Super Bowl ad, in store marketing, product research, camping events and promotions in National Parks. In this market run-up of 2017, we might not have had the 2017 selloff.

Sorting Brand Clutter

In 2011, the company announced a revamp entitled Project Renewal. It called it an “initiative designed to reduce complexity in our operating structure and realign resources to our highest potential businesses.” The plan would achieve $90 to $100 million in savings over 12 to 18 months and “invest the majority of these funds back into the business in increased brand building support, strengthened demand creation capabilities in customer development and marketing, and the development of our business system in emerging markets.” That’s shorthand for cut out the overhead, and put it into marketing. The question is how much it has worked seven years out. And has it translated into products, margins and profits?

Part of the problem is not of their making; many of the brands like Coleman and Sunbeam were part of the “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap mess, and they have not recovered. Institutional history is gone.

Most of brands that it owns can be categorized as emblems of America, the sort of products you would have found in any general store back around 1940. In some ways, they sell themselves. But for their long-term success, they can’t rest. For those brands, you need to have creative people behind them, understanding the essence of the brand; these people also need to be completely empowered.

Again, on paper, this should be working. Company leadership is experienced; CEO Michael Polk has experience at Unilever, P&G and Kraft. They do not lack imagination or the appreciation for the visual aspects needed to sell brands in stagnant categories; one of the board members is Domenico Del Sole, the chairman of the fashion brand Tom Ford and former Gucci chairman. He certainly has the oomph to ask the right questions when the packaging is frumpy and the advertising is tired. He almost certainly appreciates the design of a new Sistema food container.

There is a strong design sense; it even shows off its Michigan-based “Newell Design Center” on its Instagram page, led by Nate Young, senior vice president, “design and ideation.” This is a self-consciously self-aware au courant company. The photos of the design center on its website tell us that some of the design staff are multicultural (Sikh), others have tats, and yet others have clever toys on their cubicles. The fifties modern design includes quotes from design guru Charles Eames and conspicuously captioned Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) chairs. A handsome space, but it may not connect well with the average Joe picking up a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater rod from privately held Bass Pro Shops.

In 2016, Newell announced a move of its headquarters from Atlanta to Hoboken, though many positions would stay in Georgia. This is a disconnect; company management should be near to some part of their product. In this case, an incentive package helped them decide; we wonder if the real decision was that management just wanted to be near New York.

Underperforming Against Competitors

Chart
BC data by YCharts

Competitors are doing better, though defining what they are is a challenge as Newell is in so many sectors. Johnson Outdoors (NASDAQ: JOUT), which owns the likes of Boston Whaler and Johnson outboards, has accelerated its per share price from around $20 in 2013 to $72.25. The challenge, however, is comparing the Newell stock with other companies, as it competes in so many sectors. Is it a sporting goods company like Brunswick (NYSE: BC)? An appliance company like Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK)? A brand licensing outfit? A housewares company? A commodity metals producer?

1915 Newspaper Ad for a Boston Sharpener

Perhaps individual products can tell the story of the company. How have they missed the mark? And what is the opportunity?

Boston Sharpeners: The Boston pencil sharpener, sold for over a century, is one of those great American products that we all know and love. The company began around 1899 as the Boston Pencil Sharpener Company with later owners Hunt Manufacturing, X-ACTO and Elmer’s. The products from even the ’60s and ’70s still work. But what Newell has done is un-improved it and lost margins. It even changed the name to X-ACTO, totally destroying all Boston brand value. Back around 1912, the predecessor Boston Pencil Sharpener Company was selling them for $1. Today, they are now only about $7.50 or up, which makes them vastly cheaper today than they were originally. Made overseas, they are not as durable as the original. Blogger Patrick Ng laments, Although these X-ACTO branded sharpeners have their origins from the original Boston Pencil Sharpener Company, they are now made in China and the charisma is almost all gone. His alternative? Buy a $300 to $600 deluxe El Casco sharpener from Spain, if you want something that lasts. Opportunity: Bring back the Boston name, and offer a solidly priced, over engineered, high-margin model for about $20 that will last for generations, look elegant, and again be in every home, office and school. Ohio Blue Tip: Back in 1983, the book Quintessence detailed great consumer brands that “offer more to us than we specifically ask of them and to which we respond more strongly than is easily explained.” One of those brands was the Ohio Blue Tip match, a Newell product. Cigar Aficionado writer Andrew Nagy, a fan, wrote a column in 2013 on predecessor Jarden Corp., that quietly pulled the Ohio Blue Tip in 2011 to focus on its other match brand, Diamond Matches, though brought it back. “Cigar and pipe enthusiasts who have come to rely on the tiny wooden bringers of fire bemoaned the day,” wrote Nagy. Opportunity: Products like Ohio Blue Tip can be high margin items, if made exceedingly well and properly marketed. Price, market and advertise them accordingly. Prismacolor: The colored pencils, so favored by artists and students, were for decades known as Berol Prismacolor. Today, Newell owns the company, but it has allowed what was a robust group of high end artist materials under the Berol name to become a one-dimensional product line, thereby losing margins. Opportunity: Re-Berol Prismacolor, and focus on quality in packaging and product, reminding that the Prismacolor and other Berol products are an essential set in any artistic household, and not just for insipid adult coloring books. Coleman, a Bellwether Brand

Coriscana, Texas, entrepreneur and attorney Enoch Basnett sells Coleman parts to high-end collectors and lovers of the brand with his E.J. Basnett Co. Basnett believes the appeal of the Coleman brand is its quality, calling their lantern the best liquid fuel lantern ever sold by anyone in all time.

Coleman ad from 1932 in the farm section of a Washington state newspaper, the Deer Park Union.

Newell predecessor Jarden did not understand how to nurture Coleman, and other brands, a practice continued by Newell. The strategy was to outsource and license out the brand, and make it available at mass market stores. They cheaped-out and Chinesed-out all of their product, said Basnett.

Coleman has missed out on trends. For instance, Coleman invented the molded plastic cooler, an innovation of an engineer who by legend came up with the idea while his kids were playing with balloons.

Today, startup Yeti Coolers of Austin, Texas, far surpass Coleman in price margins and customer perceptions of quality and coolness. Its a lifestyle brand built on a cooler, said Basnett of Yeti, an approach that Coleman used in the past to great success. They [Coleman] could have become a great lifestyle brand.

As younger and more affluent consumers lose touch with the original merits of these once ubiquitous brands, they eventually become irrelevant, and forgotten. In a company as large as Newell, faceless brand managers are unable to make decisions, and consumers begin to only know the brands through mass retailers.

You get these companies that have lost authority, said Basnett. The answer is to devolve decision making. For generations, Coleman had headquarters in Wichita, Kansas; pushing decision making down close to manufacturing and distribution would help keep the brand unique. Nevertheless, Basnett believes the predecessor Newell Rubbermaid does have a strong design and quality sense that has not yet translated to brands like Coleman that were part of Newell’s purchase of Jarden.

Comparison With Leaders

Chart
CHD data by YCharts

Among Newell’s brands and subsidiaries is a metals processing company, Jarden Zinc. Nothing wrong with running a zinc processor and making money off the penny and U.S. Treasury, but it is a very different business proposition than Penn fishing reels, Waterman pens and Quickie kitchen mops.

Roughly comparable Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) focuses on about 70 brands, but it is a much bigger company with many $1 billion brands. The other parallel company in philosophy is Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), which has discrete companies, each run as separate units, and not company divisions. Perhaps the more practical comparison is Church & Dwight (NYSE: CHD) which takes a handful of American brands and turns them into dependable machines that print cash, year after year.

The chart above has each of the stocks since 1990; to be comparable, Newell should be around $60 to $70 a share, not $30. There would be an excuse for this slump if Newell made bad products or it had off-brand names, but Newell has some of the most recognizable brand names around. It just needs to invest in them, and not continue to turning every Elmer cow into glue.

There is value in Newell, and no immediate danger, as the dividend history keeps it viable. But that does not mean it has a certainty about how to live into its legacy, and that is a big question for those who search for long opportunities. A good strategy might be to look for a few consecutive quarters of improving margins, per share earnings and sales volume before getting back in.

Recent years are proving destructive to Newell’s great brands; it needs focus, and a concern for quality. A new philosophy and approach could unlock value. Newell should treat each sacred brand as would a venture investor and custodian. Each of these great companies, so important to American business history, deserves the attention.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

About this article:ExpandAuthor payment: $35 + $0.01/page view. Authors of PRO articles receive a minimum guaranteed payment of $150-500.Tagged: Investing Ideas, Long Ideas, Consumer Goods, Housewares & Accessories, Editors’ PicksWant to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.Disagree with this article? Submit your own.To report a factual error in this article, click here

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018

“Mors tua, vita mea” (literally “your death is my life) probably was the motto that gladiators, in the ancient Rome, recited before entering in the Coliseum and fighting for their life. Over and above its literal translation, this Latin expression means that what is a damage for one person is often an advantage for another. There can only be one winner in a competition; that is the reason why we can apply it to biotech companies like Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), which are both fighting to gain the lead into immunotherapy market.

In this column, I will introduce these two companies, whose destinies are intertwined and, as Bristol-Myers Squibb is an undervalued stock with great upside potential, I will explain why it could be a good investment. Despite sales could be at risk in 2017, although is not a sure thing, I think it could be worth buying Bristol-Myers Squibb’s shares now.

A short introduction to immuno-oncology (I/O) and checkpoint inhibitors

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited(YGE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wayne Duggan]

    Despite the potentially positive recent developments for solar investors, Johnson remains extremely bearish on solar stocks. Axiom maintains Sell ratings on the following U.S.-listed names:

    JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: JASO) Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: YGE) Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: SEDG) Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)

    Related Link: Politics Here And Abroad: Muted Market Volume Amid Comey’s Testimony And UK’s Election
    _______
    Image Credit: Screengrab from “Trump Makes Statement On Paris Accord” By The White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • [By Spencer Israel]

    Axiom Capital Managing Director Gordon Johnson upgraded the entire alternative energy sector from Market Underweight to Market Overweight and upgraded SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ: SCTY) from Sell to Hold and Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE: TSL), Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: YGE) and JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: JASO) from Sell to Buy.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: YGE) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $1.48 per share on revenue of $372.30 million.

    Ameren Corp (NYSE: AEE) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.38 per share on revenue of $1.51 billion.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Spirit Airlines Inc.(SAVE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Yesterday, shares of United Continental (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) got pummeled after Delta Air Lines (DAL) offered disappointing guidance. Today, airline stocks are getting smacked again, this time after Credit Suisse Julie Yates and Parker Kim cut their ratings on American and United Continental, while stating a preference for airlines like Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE) that have low exposure to international air travel. They explain why:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    There were 67 times this happened, the first coming in June 2011 (airlines didnt guide to margins before that), and 66 of these instances came from Delta, United, andAmerican (the 67th wasSpirit Airlines (SAVE)). As we said earlier the most short term alpha, +5.3%, was generated over the subsequent four days by being long airlines into a guidance update where an airline would merely affirm a PRASM guide but raise the margin guide. This only happened four times and obviously was a result of airlines holding some semblance of price as costs declined.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Given YTD performance, everything looks cheap. But we remain selective. Ex-Spirit Airlines (SAVE), our entire coverage universe is down year-to-date, with most names also underperforming the S&P 500. Multiples have compressed, with diminishing differentiation between (for example) those with declining leverage (Delta) vs. those where leverage is on the rise (America). In a vacuum, a Buy could potentially be argued for any individual name. Based on estimated risk and upside potential, Delta and Southwest are our top two picks.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Radiant Logistics, Inc.(RLGT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Wednesday afternoon, the cyclical consumer goods & services sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE: LAD) and Radiant Logistics Inc (NYSE: RLGT).

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

    United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNFI) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter on Monday. United Natural Foods shares gained 1.51 percent to $42.45 in the after-hours trading session.
    Wall Street expects Radiant Logistics Inc (NYSE: RLGT) to post quarterly earnings at $0.03 per share on revenue of $202.06 million after the closing bell. Radiant Logistics shares rose 3.68 percent to close at $3.10 on Monday.
    Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) announced the acquisition of Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE: FCX)’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets for $2 billion. The company also reported an offering of 35.25 million shares of common stock. Anadarko Petroleum shares dropped 2.92 percent to $56.10 in the after-hours trading session.

    Find out what's going on in today's market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga's PreMarket Prep.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: EQT Midstream Partners, LP(EQM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Elizabeth Balboa]

    Not only does Jana consider the deal price overvalued, but it looks to redirect EQT’s focus to a breakup of pipeline operations to transform the core company into an exploration & production firm. The pipelines already trade publicly under EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: EQM) and EQT GP Holdings LP (NYSE: EQGP).

  • [By WWW.INVESTOPEDIA.COM]

    Companies in the oil storage business can take advantage of what is known as contango, which is when forward prices are higher than current prices, allowing the purchase of cheap oil to be stored and sold at a later date while securing income using derivatives. Five companies that appear to be in a good position to take advantage of reduced oil storage capacity are Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP), Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EDP), Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP), Buckeye Partners (NYSE: BPL) and EQT Midstream Partners (NYSE: EQM).

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Royal Bank Scotland plc (The)(RBS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul R. La Monica]

    European banks worse off than 2008? Lamensdorf is concerned about the exposure to bad loans (especially energy company debt) held by big banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Credit Suisse (CS) and Deutsche Bank (DB). He’s shorting all three.

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Adidas AG slid 2.9 percent after lowering its profit forecast for 2013. Direct Line Insurance Group Plc lost 2.5 percent as Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) sold a 630 million-pound ($1 billion) stake in the U.K.s biggest car insurer.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRK.A)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jack Delaney]

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) doesn’t pay a dividend, but the company and the stock both benefit greatly from owning shares of some of the best dividend aristocrats on the market.

  • [By Yasin Ebrahim]
     

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is an American conglomerate with investments in a variety of businesses from American Express to Coca-Cola. It reported Q3 earnings last week, which were in line with analysts’ expectations, as the group revealed a 7% increase in operating profit compared to the same period last year.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    While self-driving cars tend to get a lot of press with consumers, Buffett said in May that significant growth of autonomous trucks in particular could cut into the market for rail transporter Burlington Northern, which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.A) owns.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) was upgraded to a “stable” rating outlook at S&P (SPGI) from a “watch negative” outlook on Tuesday.

  • [By Sarfaraz Khan]

    Shares of Warren Buffett-ledBerkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B)delivered a blowout performance in 2016 by easily beating the S&P 500 (INDX:SPAL) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDX:INDU) and ending the year with a market cap of almost $400 billion for the first time in its history. And I believe the good times will continue in 2017.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Cancer Genetics, Inc.(CGIX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Related HTGM 20 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Thursday 25 Stocks Moving In Thursday's Pre-Market Session HTG Molecular Diagnostics Obtains CE Mark for its HTG EdgeSeq ALKPlus Assay EU (GuruFocus)
    Related SSH 15 Biggest Mid-Day Gainers For Wednesday 12 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Tuesday Healthcare – Top 5 Gainers / Losers as of 11:00 am (Seeking Alpha) Gainers
    HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: HTGM) rose 63.6 percent to $3.50 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that it has obtained CE marking in the EU for HTG EdgeSeq ALKPlus Assay.
    Sunshine Heart Inc (NASDAQ: SSH) rose 20.3 percent to $2.61 in pre-market trading after the company issued a business update regarding execution of its strategic growth plan.
    bebe stores, inc. (NASDAQ: BEBE) shares rose 11.1 percent to $4.29 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that it is exploring strategic alternatives.
    Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGIX) rose 10.3 percent to $3.20 in pre-market trading after the company posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.
    Five Below Inc (NASDAQ: FIVE) rose 8.8 percent to $41.50 in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.
    FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) rose 8 percent to $12.40 in pre-market trading. Goldman Sachs upgraded FireEye from Sell to Buy.
    PVH Corp (NYSE: PVH) shares rose 7.4 percent to $97.60 in pre-market trading after the company posted upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a strong earnings forecast.
    Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: BITA) shares rose 7 percent to $26.00 in pre-market trading after dropping 1.30 percent on Wednesday.
    Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd (NASDAQ: PME) rose 6.6 percent to $4.50 in pre-market trading after gaining 0.48 pe
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGIX) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $3.39 after the company posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: PVH Corp.(PVH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos]

    Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) and PVH (NYSE:PVH) were two of the biggest individual stock movers following surprises in their latest quarterly earnings reports.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

    Wall Street expects Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) to report quarterly earnings at $1.3 per share on revenue of $8.34 billion before the opening bell. Accenture shares gained 0.41 percent to $127.00 in after-hours trading.
    Analysts expect Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) to post quarterly earnings at $0.85 per share on revenue of $4.64 billion after the closing bell. Micron shares gained 0.88 percent to $26.29 in after-hours trading.
    Five Below Inc (NASDAQ: FIVE) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter on Wednesday. Five Below shares climbed 8.23 percent to $41.27 in the after-hours trading session.
    Before the markets open, Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.44 per share on revenue of $1.98 billion. Conagra shares rose 1.73 percent to $41.18 in after-hours trading.
    PVH Corp (NYSE: PVH) posted upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a strong earnings forecast. PVH shares surged 7.15 percent to $97.35 in the after-hours trading session.

    Find out what's going on in today's market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga's PreMarket Prep.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    PVH (PVH) slipped to the bottom of the S&P 500 today as consumer discretionary stocks fell.

    Getty Images

    Shares of PVH dropped 5.1% to $102.45 today, while the S&P 500 finished little changed at 2,191.95. The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Sector index fell 0.6%

    PVH reported better-than-expected earnings on Nov. 30, but offered disappointing guidance. In a note released on Dec. 1, Wunderlich analyst Eric Bederkept the faith with the stock:

    We are reiterating our Buy rating, $125 price target and FY18 EPS and raising our FY17 EPS to $6.75 (From $6.63) after PVH Corp. (PVH) once again handily beat conservative guidance for 3Q, driven by market share gains in the domestic wholesale business and strong international growth, and provided what we view as conservative guidance for 4Q. We believe the company has continued to make strides in driving solid upside despite material FX and related tourist traffic issues. Further, we believe PVH, with Tommy Hilfiger womens domestic business shifting to a licensed model, should drive further margin upside. We continue to view PVH as a key winner in the apparel segment and believe the company continues to have numerous levers to drive bottom line upside.

    PVH’s market capitalization fell to $8.2 billion today, from $8.7 billion yesterday.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    PVH (PVH) soared to the top of the S&P 500 today after its earnings topped the Street consensus.

    Getty Images

    PVHgained 8.5% to $98.55, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 2,345.96. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) rose 0.8% to $41.21 as it bounced back from losses earlier this week.

    Wunderlich’s Eric Beder claims there’s a “worldwide power grab at PVH.” He explains:

    We are reiterating our Buy rating and $125 price target and raising our FY18 and FY19 EPS projections after PVH Corp. (PVH) handily registered top and bottom line upside for 4QFY17, driven by international upside at both Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Despite continued FX-driven weakness, the international operations registered solid top and bottom line growth, as the company’s fashion brands continue to resonate and take market share. We believe that with strong international results remaining in force into 1Q, PVH is once again positioned to drive solid upside to guidance. Further, we believe the company has continued to take share in the domestic markets. We view PVH as one of the best positioned plays in our universe and reiterate our Buy rating on PVH.

    PVH’s market capitalization rose to $7.8 billion today from $7.2 billion yesterday.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Akamai Technologies, Inc.(AKAM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) dropped about 15% Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $45.45 after closing at $53.28 on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $71.64. Volume of about 13 million was roughly 5 times the daily average. The company reported decent results, but soft guidance for the current quarter sank the stock in Wednesday’s session.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Shares of Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) rose 26.7% in 2016, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Coming off a drastic 28% drop in the last 10 weeks of 2015, the content distribution specialist bounced back quickly.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The S&P 500 stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) which traded down over 14% at $45.51. The stocks 52-week range is $45.41 to $71.64. Volume wasover 14 million versus the daily average of 2.6 million shares.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Watch For 2018: Yandex N.V.(YNDX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Yandex N.V. (NASDAQ: YNDX) is the Google of Russia. It was very bold on the growing marketplace there, and its beta tests of a new back end have been very positive and should be rolled out soon. Deutsche Bank has a $38 price target, and the consensus is $40, in U.S. dollars.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Alphabet Inc being in a relatively steadyuptrend compared withsearch engine peerslike Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ: YHOO), China basedBaidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Russiafocused mid cap Yandex NV (NASDAQ: YNDX):

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Monday’s regular session.

    Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR) Dec16 5.0 Puts Sweep: 1191 @ ASK $0.80: 1354 traded vs 102 OI: $5.32 Ref
    Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA) Jul16 9.5 Puts Sweep: 1494 @ ASK $0.13: 14k traded vs 6682 OI: $10.09 Ref
    Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) Jul16 10.0 Puts: 3536 @ ASK $0.50: 5506 traded vs 54k OI: Earnings 8/4 $22.50 Ref
    Tableau Software Inc (NYSE: DATA) Jul16 47.5 Puts Sweep: 837 @ ASK $0.30: 995 traded vs 37 OI: Earnings 8/3 $50.60 Ref
    Yandex NV (NASDAQ: YNDX) Aug16 18.0 Puts Sweep: 532 @ ASK $0.30: 2143 traded vs 78 OI: Earnings 7/28 Before Open $22.02 Ref
    Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) Aug16 22.5 Puts: 719 @ ASK $1.35: 1032 traded vs 0 OI: Earnings 7/19 $22.22 Ref
    Conn's Inc (NASDAQ: CONN) Jan17 5.0 Puts Sweep: 605 @ ASK $0.85: 1355 traded vs 3132 OI: $7.16 Ref

    Posted-In: Huge Put PurchasesNews Options Markets

  • [By Steve Symington]

    Yandex N.V.(NASDAQ:YNDX)announced exceptional first-quarter 2017 results on Thursday, highlighted by a recent antitrust deal with Google, stabilizing market share in its core search segment, and strong growth from its various other business units.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    For the details of Somerset Capital Management LLP’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=Somerset+Capital+Management+LLP

    These are the top 5 holdings of Somerset Capital Management LLPFomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX) – 1,268,818 shares, 36.15% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 9.36%Yandex NV (YNDX) – 3,352,412 shares, 25.48% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 3.61%ICICI Bank Ltd (IBN) – 5,074,899 shares, 13.19% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 11.08%Infosys Ltd (INFY) – 1,596,414 shares, 6.95% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 15.58%KT Corp (KT) – 1,330,431 shares, 6.41% of the

financial trading

By Scott Tzu

It wasn’t just a couple of weeks ago that we wrote an article essentially defending Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) after Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain decided he was going to resign and move on. Twitter is almost already making us regret defending it because days later it has come out that the company issued a significant raise for Anthony Noto, who will be playing the role of both COO and CFO at the company. We’re not amused, and in this article, we’re going to talk about why.

It certainly is an interesting dynamic when you think of it, isn’t it? Here is a company that has a CEO who is splitting his time between two companies. Then, You have a CFO who up until this point has done a pretty good job, who will now be splitting his time with taking on the role of COO as well. We don’t think it is a bad idea for Noto to take on the role of COO in an interim fashion, but keeping him there with such permanence that would be a prompt to give him a substantial raise alarms us for a couple of reasons.

financial trading: Real Goods Solar, Inc.(RGSE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ashley Moore]

    Here is a list of the top 10 best small-cap stocks based on price gains per share so far in 2017:

    Company (Ticker)Price per Share% Change AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB)$14.338,646.99%Rennova Health Inc. (Nasdaq: RNVA)$3.133,333.73%China Gengsheng Minerals Inc. (OTCMKTS: CHGS)$0.021,718.18%Sunshine Heart Inc. (Nasdaq: SSH)$3.851,071.43%CTI BioPharma Corp. (Nasdaq: CTIC)$4.30991.76%Catalyst Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: CBIO)$6.22853.85%TearLab Corp. (Nasdaq: TEAR)$4.20707.85%Pulmatrix Inc. (Nasdaq: PULM)$3.86566.10%Real Goods Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: RGSE)$1.43498.75%Calithera Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: CALA)$11.70281.54%

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Vivint Solar Holdings and fellow small cap solar installation stock Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ: RUN) below their IPO prices while Real Goods Solar, Inc (NASDAQ: RGSE)has imploded from its previous highs:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Vivint Solar Holdings along with small cap solar installation stock Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ: RUN) below their IPO prices while Real Goods Solar, Inc (NASDAQ: RGSE)has imploded after being a highflyer:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Real Goods Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGSE) got a boost, shooting up 15 percent to $1.26 after the company issued a business update. RGS Energy expects Q1 sales of $1.96 million, up from $670,000 in the fourth quarter.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Real Goods Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGSE) got a boost, shooting up 22 percent to $2.98 after dropping 7.89 percent on Monday. RGS Energy disclosed that it has completed its $11.5 million public offering of common stock and warrants.

financial trading: Medidata Solutions, Inc.(MDSO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of Veeva Systems outperformingunderperforming small cap peerModel N Inc (NYSE: MODN) while mid cap Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO) has been a huge outperformer that has just moved past its 2014 peak:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Wednesday, technology shares climbed by 0.94 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) and Medidata Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: MDSO).

financial trading: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRK.A)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Diane Alter]

    The sector took off in November when 13F filings revealed Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) bought shares in American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), and Delta.

  • [By Sarfaraz Khan]

    Shares of Warren Buffett-ledBerkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B)delivered a blowout performance in 2016 by easily beating the S&P 500 (INDX:SPAL) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDX:INDU) and ending the year with a market cap of almost $400 billion for the first time in its history. And I believe the good times will continue in 2017.

  • [By Yasin Ebrahim]

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is an American conglomerate with investments in a variety of businesses from American Express to Coca-Cola. It reported Q3 earnings last week, which were in line with analysts expectations, as the group revealed a 7% increase in operating profit compared to the same period last year.

financial trading: Citizens Financial Group, Inc.(CFG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    Citizens Financial Group (NYSE: CFG) reports $152 billion in assets and a higher concentration of branches in the Northeast, but has a strong market share of 12% in its top ten metropolitan areas. Business is nearly evenly split between consumer lending (45%) and commercial loans (55%) and a technology investment program is driving a target for up to $60 million in cost savings by the end of 2018.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Citizens Financial (CFG) was downgraded to neutral from outperform at Wedbush. The valuation is less attractive, based on a $31 price target, Wedbush said. 

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report, Jon Najarian said he noticed a large call options volume in Citizens Financial Group Inc (NYSE: CFG). Around 13,000 contracts of the April 40 calls were traded in the first half of the trading session.

financial trading: Exelon Corporation(EXC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Utilities shares climbed by 0.64 percent in trading on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE).

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.68 per share on revenue of $7.52 billion.

    CST Brands Inc (NYSE: CST) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.22 per share on revenue of $2.30 billion.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Analysts are expecting Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) to have earned $0.68 per share on revenue of $7.52 billion in the latest quarter. Exelon shares rose 0.34 percent to close at $35.38 on Thursday.

  • [By Casey Wilson]

    That brings us to General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). The 125-year-old American mainstay signed a deal with Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) last fall for the energy utility to use its own predictive analytics software, fittingly dubbed “Predix.”

  • [By Horizon Investments]

    For the past year, Exelon Corp. (EXC) has had a roller coaster ride, with the stock having plummeted 15% since September 2012 – the company had announced a dividend cut of 41%, which led to a drop in the share price. Separately, the recent weak PJM auction prices did not bode well for the company. However, I believe the worst is priced in the stock price, and the company’s management is committed to improving its financial flexibility and cost structure in order to strengthen its financial performance. Also, the company is planning to incur capital expenditure (CAPEX) in the upcoming years, which will result in rate base growth for Exelon.

financial trading: TCF Financial Corporation(TCB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The twenty stocks in Worth’s basket are: Ameriprise Financial (AMP) Bank of America, Banner (BANR), Citigroup, Citizens Financial Group (CFG), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First NBC Bank Holding (FNBC), HFF (HF), KeyCorp(KEY), Legacy Texas Financial Group (LTXB), Lincoln National (LNC), Morgan Stanley, Old National Bancorp (ONB), PacWest Bancorp (PACW), PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Stifel Financial (SF), SVB Financial Group (SIVB), TCF Financial (TCB), and Wells Fargo.