The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.


The master of sound technlogies is attracting fresh attention from investors.

By Gene Marcial Feb 27, 2012 2:13PM

Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)Dolby Laboratories (DLB) wasn't up for an academy award Sunday night, but some investors consider it one of the Oscar winners as almost all major movie soundtracks around the world use its technology to maintain the highest sound quality.


"There is an underlying demand and growing need for the Dolby format to view the enormous library of motion pictures and DVDs," says Joseph F. Hunt, a principal at Northwest Criterion Asset Management. And Dolby's valuation is attractive, he adds, as its stock is still inexpensive.


Technical signals in some of the S&P's strongest stocks indicate now is a high-risk time to buy.

By Feb 27, 2012 1:48PM

By Tom Aspray 

Risk, to me, is the key for every investment decision, and that is why it always comes first when I am buying or recommending a stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF). Starc band analysis plays an important role in my selection process, as often it will convince me that the risk in buying is not attractive.

While the Spyder Trust (SPY) is still 4% below its weekly Starc+ band, there are many stocks that are uncomfortably close to their weekly Starc+ bands. This is in contrast to last October (see The Most Oversold Dow Stocks) when Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) was the most oversold stock.


The home improvement company, however, maintains a cautious view on the housing market recovery.

By Trefis Feb 27, 2012 1:24PM
Image: Bathroom remodel (© Digital Vision/Photolibrary)Home Depot (HD) continued to beat analyst estimates last quarter as its sales grew 6% (year over year) to $16 billion, riding on holiday and warmer winter sales. 

For the complete fiscal 2011, the home improvement retailer's sales rose 3.5% from fiscal 2010 with 3% growth in same store sales. With signs of positive sentiment in the housing market, its stock price has gained 20% over the last three months. 

Long-term growth is on tap for this leading Latin American beer and beverage distributor.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 27, 2012 1:04PM
Image: Beer (© Corbis)By Paul Goodwin, Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report

Companies with good leadership, attractive product lines and growing customer bases just naturally tend to maintain their leadership, and investors notice. One company that continues to prove itself as a leader is Companhia de Bebidas das Américas (ABV).

The firm sells beer, soda and other beverages in its home country of Brazil, 12 other Latin American companies and Canada. Its name is Portuguese for Beverage Co. of the Americas, but is usually shortened to AMBEV. 
Tags: ABV

The total amount of cash on the tech giant's books is at absurdly high levels. It's well past time for Tim Cook to take action.

By The Fiscal Times Feb 27, 2012 12:51PM

Apple moneyBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal TimesThe Fiscal Times

Apple (AAPL) has a problem.

It's actually not the kind of problem most businesses experience. There is no lack of buyers eager to snap up its iPhones, iPads and other gizmos. It's a problem other companies (like Kodak, to name only one) would love to have, and it flows directly from Apple's success: It has a lot of cash on its books. More cash than the GDP of several small nations -- rolled together. And CEO Tim Cook and Co. are just sitting on it.


The satellite broadcaster takes steps to add subscribers and build a larger base to market its other products.

By Trefis Feb 27, 2012 12:35PM
Image: Watching television (© Corbis)Dish Network (DISH) released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results last week, beating analyst estimates for profit. 

A few days before the release, we wrote an article regarding our expectations for Dish, stating that we expected a significant improvement in net subscriber additions for the company (see Dish Network earnings preview: what we are watching). As it turns out, Dish Network improved from a loss of 111,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2011 to a gain of 22,000 subscribers in the fourth. 

Improvement was primarily led by strong performance of the commercial and retail banking and wealth management segments.

By Feb 27, 2012 12:15PM

Cory Docken/Spots Illustration/JupiterimagesBy Zacks Equity Research

HSBC Holdings (HBC) reported full-year 2011 earnings of 91 cents per share, up from 72 cents in 2010. Profit came in at $16.8 billion, up 28% from $13.2 billion in the year-ago period. Results in 2011 included favorable credit-spread movements of $3.9 billion on the fair value of the company's recognized debt.

The year-over-year improvement was primarily led by strong performance of the commercial and retail banking and wealth management segments. However, performance of two other businesses showed deterioration compared to 2010.


Viacom is downgraded to 'neutral' at Goldman, and Dunkin' Brands is initiated with a 'buy' at Citigroup.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 27, 2012 11:50AM
Information provided by

Monday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Tyco (TYC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
  • Interpublic Group (IPG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
  • Disney (DIS) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman

Warren Buffett hasn't updated his investing methods to keep up with the changing times.

By Jim Cramer Feb 27, 2012 11:20AM

Warren Buffett wants you to buy his stock. He is pleading with you to do so -- begging you. He's talking about its substantial undervaluation. He's making it very clear that the market truly does not understand his company. He is also making a compelling case for why it is so much cheaper than he has ever seen it.


Here's the problem: The metrics he uses to evaluate and substantiate the undervaluation are quaint and, frankly, atavistic in this era.


The company's profits are down 30% in 2011, and the market-lagging performance seems to persist.

By InvestorPlace Feb 27, 2012 11:12AM
By Jeff Reeves

Warren Buffett, the iconic investor who leads Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), wrote in his annual letter to shareholders that he and Berkshire's board are "enthusiastic" about the prospect of a new CEO to take the reins of the company. At 81, Buffett is painfully aware of his mortality.

And after lagging the market recently, investors are painfully aware that Berkshire hasn't delivered quite the returns that it used to.


Scorching 2011 results prove Volkswagen's German engineering rules.

By InvestorPlace Feb 27, 2012 10:58AM

By Jim Woods, Stocks & Markets Contributor

In a recent story on General Motors (GM) and PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUGY), I offered my thoughts on the purported deal between the two, which is clearly aimed at staunching the bleeding from their respective losses in Europe. But on Friday, rival automaker Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) showed that a European-based carmaker can drive fast regardless of treacherous economic roads in its home region.


Volkswagen reported robust preliminary earnings results for 2011, announcing that it sold more than 8 million vehicles last year, an all-time record for the 75-year-old German company. VW already is atop the heap when it comes to European automakers, and as a result of last year's sales surge, it has taken over the No. 2 spot on the list of world's largest car companies. GM currently is No. 1, after passing Toyota Motor (TM), which struggled to recover from supply-chain problems caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March of last year.


Revenue and profits of railroads will rise from increased activity as the economy recovers.

By Trefis Feb 27, 2012 10:42AM
Cheap natural gas and environmental laws are driving utilities away from coal. As more coal-fired plants shift to natural gas, we expect the drop in demand for coal will affect railroads, such as CSX Corporation (CSX), Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), and Union Pacific Corporation (UNP), which transport coal to these utilities.

In its fourth quarter and annual results announced last month, CSX Corporation reported a 3% year-on-year decline in volume of coal transported, even as it realized a 10% growth in annual revenues to $11.74 billion, backed by core pricing gains, greater fuel surcharges and a  slight increase total volumes compared to last year. 
Tags: csxNSCUNP

New services have begun to threaten Netflix's already thin margins.

By Benzinga Feb 24, 2012 6:01PM

Image: Watching television (© Onoky/SuperStock)By Tuomo Kallio, Benzinga Staff Writer

This has been the year of new streaming video services. Coinstar's (CSTR) Redbox and Verizon Communications (VZ) announced this month that they will partner on a new service to challenge the market leader, Netflix (NFLX).

And two days ago, Comcast (CMCSA) unveiled plans to enter the competition by offering a streaming-video service to its Xfinity customers.


The search king says it's serious about insuring users' privacy, but doubts persist.

By Feb 24, 2012 5:26PM
Image: Couple looking at computer (© Corbis)Not being evil is tougher than it looks.

Following a spate of online privacy controversies, Google (GOOG) (which has long touted its "don't be evil" mantra) and other Web companies have agreed to install a "Do not track" feature in their browsers.

The promise is meant to assure users of Google's Chrome browser (and its competitors) that they can surf the Web without being tracked by advertisers, hundreds of whom have also pledged to honor these privacy requests. 
Tags: GOOG

Carriers are looking for additional spectrum to meet strong consumer demand for higher speeds and congestion-free networks.

By Trefis Feb 24, 2012 5:08PM
The asphyxiation may finally be over.

The wireless industry can breathe freely now that Congress has passed a payroll tax bill that also includes a plan to raise billions of dollars by auctioning off television airwaves. The proceeds from the auction will be used to fund an extension of jobless benefits as well as the creation of a nationwide public safety wireless network.  
Tags: STVZ


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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +3.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.20. U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market highs amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points above fair value, which puts the benchmark index on track to challenge its all-time closing high of 1987.98 and the intraday high of 1991.39. Participants have received several quarterly reports since yesterday's close with results coming in somewhat mixed.

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