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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 Theflyonthewall.com

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 TheWeek.com 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

It looks like Wall Street's fashion sense may be improving.

By Minyanville Feb 24, 2012 4:54PM
minyanville media,inc.Image: Shoebox of money (© Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images/Getty Images)Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

It's a bad day for anyone who invested in the long-term potential of appalling shoe fads.

Deckers Outdoor Corp. (DECK), which sells the much-hated but reputedly comfy Ugg brand of boots, is getting slammed by investors after its earnings release. The stock closed down nearly 14% Friday.

Deckers actually earned its highest profit ever, far more than expected by analysts, most of whom must be flabbergasted at the company's continued ability to convince women to wear big, unflattering sheepskin boots with no arch support. 
Tags: CROX

This toy company is rated E for everyone.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Feb 24, 2012 3:50PM

By Jason Moser

 

What do Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Uno have in common? No, I'm not talking about the latest "Toy Story" movie. But they are all toys and they're all members of the happy Mattel (MAT) family. And now Mattel is becoming a part of my Motley Portfolio family.


In simplest terms, Mattel is a toy company. Along with the aforementioned names, the company also owns the ubiquitous childhood brand Fisher-Price, which gives it additional exposure to popular names such as Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go!, and Sesame Street. Add Toy Story into the mix and I think you get it: The company has a knack for knowing what kids want and what parents want for their kids.

 
Tags: DISHASMAT

The already-healthy dividend from the energy company could get an increase with the acquisition of El Paso.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 24, 2012 3:48PM
Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)In my Feb. 3 post, I added three stocks to my dividend income portfolio and dropped three.

The reason, I argued then, was that the growing popularity of dividend-paying stocks at a time when income vehicles such as Treasuries and CDs pay almost nothing had created a glorious but still real problem for income investors. 

As investors flocked into dividend-paying shares, they drove up share prices. That was great for investors already fully invested, but for investors looking to get into new positions or for investors looking to put more cash into existing positions, it meant that yields were in constant danger of erosion. 
 

The big drops in these stocks on Thursday were all preceded by clear technical warning signals.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 24, 2012 2:58PM

Image: A green chalkboard with the alphabet written on it © Ocean/Corbis /CorbisBy Tom Aspray


Quite a few stocks dropped sharply this month, even while the overall market moved higher. One of the most dramatic was Gilead Sciences (GILD), which we featured in early-February: 3 Stocks You Shouldn't Buy Now.


GILD dropped from a high of $56.50 to a low this week of $43.81. It closed well above its weekly Starc+ band in early February but is now close to the weekly Starc- band. (Learn more about trading with Starc bands here.)

 

Google is reportedly developing some high-tech specs that could display information to the user.

By Kim Peterson Feb 24, 2012 2:53PM
Credit: © 2012 Oakley, Inc.
Caption: Oakley Thump 2 glassesThe tech world is buzzing about the computerized eyeglasses Google (GOOG) may be developing for release later this year.

The New York Times' Nick Bilton spoke to several Google employees and reports that the specs will be able to display information in front of the wearer's eyeballs. The glasses are expected to cost about as much as a smartphone, or in the range of $250 to $600.

Seth Weintraub, who writes for the 9 to 5 Google site, says they'll look a little like the Oakley Thumps pictured above. The glasses are expected to be based on Android, the operating software that Google has developed for smartphones and tablet computers. 
Tags: GOOG

Zacks ranks this industrial tools manufacturer an aggressive growth 'buy' for consistent performance.

By Zacks.com Feb 24, 2012 2:46PM

Image: Nuts and Bolts © Andrew Bret Wallis/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Brian Bolan
    
Actuant Corporation (ATU) has a good history of positive earnings surprises and an attractive valuation. The stock is a Zacks No. 2 rank (buy).


Actuant designs, manufactures, and distributes industrial products and systems worldwide. The company's industrial segment provides hydraulic and mechanical tools, including heavy-lifting solutions. Its energy segment offers joint integrity products that consist of hydraulic torque wrenches, bolt tensioners, and portable machining equipment.

 
Tags: ATU

Strong growth at home and in China offset the automaker's $600 million loss in Europe in the fourth quarter.

By Trefis Feb 24, 2012 1:57PM
Image: Man Looking at Brochure in Car Dealership (© Fuse/Getty Images)General Motors (GM) posted strong earnings results for 2011 and reclaimed the title of world's largest automaker (in terms of sales volume) from Toyota (TM) in January this year.

The automotive giant's bottom-line grew by about 62% to reach $7.6 billion for the full year. It sold 9,025,942 vehicles in 2011, registering a growth of 7.6%.  
Tags: gmTM

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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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