There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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This oil & gas firm continues to pump money into exploration, stock buybacks and dividends.
As with any energy producer, Devon Energy (DVN) has no control over the descent in natural gas prices and can only take what the market is willing to pay. But the company does control its own destiny when it comes to production and reserve levels -- both of which have just reached new record highs.
Its past investments are now bearing fruit. Devon exited 2011 with average production of 680,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, up from 618,000 per day in 2010. In addition, Devon continues to invest heavily (but prudently) to fuel future growth opportunities.
Federal Mogul's aftermarket spin-off is a green light for the sector.
By Susan J. Aluise
Two conflicting trends -- white-hot new auto sales and the increasing age of vehicles on the road -- are combining to create a sweet spot for auto parts manufacturers. And companies that straddle the original equipment (OE) and aftermarket businesses have the opportunity to cash in big at both ends of the auto parts lifecycle.
Auto parts imports rose 10.4% in January to $25.3 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last week. But U.S. auto and auto parts exports also rose during the month, hitting a record $12.7 billion.
Analysis: The company will pay a quarterly $2.65 per share and buy back up to $10 billion in stock. It's an admission that the company has reached a certain level of maturity and that its expansion may slow.
By Jeff Reeves
Apple Inc. (AAPL) has been sitting on a mountain of cash for ages. As of its most recent earnings report in January, that stockpile included $30.1 billion in cash and short-term investments and $67.4 billion in long-term investments.
Rumors have always swirled around what Apple was planning to do with that money. Buyouts, crazy new product developments and a dividend have been on the radar as moves Apple could make -- orshould make, according to certain stockholders.
This morning, Apple finally put the speculation to rest. It will pay a dividend of $2.65 per share quarterly, first payable on July 1, for a yield of around 1.8% at current pricing. Apple also will repurchase up to $10 billion in stock.
The Irish government takes action to rekindle investor interest in the nation.
With St. Patrick's Day just behind us, what's a better and more propitious time to talk about investing in Ireland? I spoke on Friday with Joan Burton, the minister for Social Protection and the deputy leader of the Irish Labour Party, who was visiting New York to help celebrate the most globally popular Irish holiday.
I had a very informative and refreshing interview as she updated me on the positive change that apparently is taking place in Ireland amid the messy financial conditions in some countries in Europe -- and in spite of continuing fears among worried and less-informed investors about Ireland's developing situation.
Oracle is set to report its latest quarterly earnings this week, and analysts are concerned.
Oracle (ORCL) has repeatedly made excuses for falling short of earnings estimates, often blaming the global economy for its suffering. However, growing evidence suggests that its problems are rooted in the company's own failure to compete with rivals like SAP (SAP), the loss of a key IT partner Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and a hardware business that is constantly causing problems.
Analysts worry that that Oracle's $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems has turned into a liability, as sales have fallen short of expectations. Even Oracle's business management software has been slow to take off since its 2011 release.
The iPad maker announces a $2.65 dividend and a $10 billion buyback program for next year. The shipping company agrees to buy its Dutch rival TNT Express for $6.8 billion.
Apple (AAPL) said Monday it will initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. It also said it would maintain a "war chest for strategic opportunities." Over three years, the company expects to spend $45 billion of its nearly $100 billion cash pile. Apple also said a repurchase program of $10 billion will begin next year and be executed over three years.
United Parcel Service (UPS) said Monday it agreed to buy TNT Express, the second-largest express delivery company in Europe, for almost $7 billion. UPS will buy TNT for 9.5 euros a share ($6.77 billion). Last month, UPS offered to buy TNT for 9 euros a share, or $6.4 billion, but the offer was rejected. The acquisition is the biggest ever for UPS, which is the No. 1 delivery company in the world. UPS said the deal would expand its reach in Europe and other markets where TNT has operations like Latin America and Asia.
In the food sector, the company is focusing on developing better soy supplements and creating improved products to boost agricultural production.
Its bet on solar and other renewable energy seems to have stalled for the time being, with cutbacks in orders from companies making solar panels, electronics and other equipment. So DuPont has zeroed in on two products it thinks will drive most of its bottom line in coming years.
Both products are related to food industry -- one of the most important divisions of DuPont, accounting for nearly 32% of our $59 price estimate.
The new approach should boost the company's margins.
The company has begun to focus more on its mining operations in order to offset those rising input costs, and we believe that this focus, coupled with its restructuring efforts, will help the company improve its margins, going forward.
Investors are racing to get a piece of the social network before it launches its feverishly anticipated IPO.
Facebook has the hottest stock around -- and it's not even public yet.
Shares of the social network are highly coveted in the booming "secondary" market, an "illiquid, opaque bazaar populated by shady characters" that bears all the hallmarks of a black market, says Mark Gongloff at The Huffington Post.
Through these less-than-upstanding transactions, investors can buy into privately held companies before they go public. Because Facebook shares are expected to soar in value once the company launches its IPO, people are clamoring for them.
Brewers have been cutting the alcohol percentage in beer to save money on taxes.
The reason comes down to taxes. The "beer duty" is incredibly steep; about a third of a pint's total price goes to taxes, the BBC reports.
But there's a twist: The stronger the beer, the more taxes brewers have to pay. So the brewing industry is hoping to cut its tax burden with weaker beer, but not so weak as to lose customers.
The company will need to raise capital eventually; might as well take advantage of the recent spike in the stock price.
The company's market value beats out the entire sector. How long until it's worth more than every other stock combined?
ZeroHedge noted this earlier this week when Apple's market value was about $542 billion. It had just edged by the total market cap of the U.S. retail sector, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500.
Apple's market cap has increased since then, and on Friday afternoon stood at about $545.2 billion.
Complacency is a risky proposition, but there are some ways to hedge your risk.
As better economic data has streamed across the news wires over the past two months, and Europe has -- for the moment, at least -- put a ring-fence around its sovereign debt issues, the stock market has developed a troubling case of complacency.
There is little-to-no fear in the market, which to me is a blaring warning sign.
After 2 months in the doldrums, smaller, more sensitive shares are charging higher.
Wall Street denizens love to use battlefield metaphors. I guess it makes staring at trading screens a little more exciting. Over the past two months, despite the rise of huge glamour issues like Apple (AAPL), the majority of the market, especially small-cap stocks, has been stuck in a sideways crawl.
Interpretation: The generals were marching without the support of their infantry. You don't have to be a West Point graduate to know that behavior won't win wars.
Things are changing as bonds come under pressure (from higher inflation expectations, mainly) and commodities come under pressure from newfound strength in the U.S. dollar, sending hot money into stocks. But unlike what was happening back in February and early March, investors are changing their focus. Even as economic storm clouds gather over the horizon, this sets the stage for impressive gains for a few select sector groups in the weeks to come.
These stocks pass a screen based on the value-investing criteria of guru investors Ben Graham and Warren Buffett.
Benjamin Graham has been recognized for decades as the father of value investing. Warren Buffett was a student of Graham at Columbia University and later worked for him for several years.
Here, I combined the criteria of both men for choosing stocks. Over the past seven years, my Graham-Buffett picks have risen 55.7% versus 10.3% for the S&P500. I believe these high-quality stocks sell at sensible prices, offer reasonable appreciation potential and provide solid dividends. I am conﬁdent they will fare very well during the next six months.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on a modestly lower note, but a late-morning rebound lifted the indices off their lows. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% with seven sectors ending in the red.
This morning, European equities and U.S. futures slumped around 6:00 ET after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news pressured the markets, but a brief uptick took place after a correction to ... More
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