The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.
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The business uniform supplier blows past analyst estimates and raises 2012 guidance.
By Todd Bunton
Cintas (CTAS) delivered excellent second-quarter 2012 results Tuesday. Earnings per share came in at 57 cents, crushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents. It was a whopping 50% increase over the same quarter in 2011.
Revenue rose 9% to a record $1.02 billion, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1 billion. Organic revenue increased a solid 7% as the company maintained momentum in its rental uniforms and ancillary products segment, as well as in its first aid, safety and fire protection services segment. Operating income improved 30% year-over-year, while operating margin improved from 10.9% to 13%.
The video-streaming and DVD company is cutting the annual stock-option allowance for Reed Hastings.
The company has cut Hastings' annual stock-option allowance by half to $1.5 million, Bloomberg reports. A year ago, he was given $3 million in stock options.
Hastings didn't get a raise, either. His salary of $500,000 will stay the same.
Despite many challenges, Jamie Dimon's bank will be one of the winners on the new Wall Street.
Analyst Todd Hagerman of Sterne Agee hit the nail on the head when he identified headwinds that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is going to face in the coming months. They range from the sluggish global economy to the new regulatory environment and other "structural changes that are affecting most of the bank’s core businesses."
And maybe Hagerman is right to suggest caution when it comes to loading up on the bank's stock -- on Wednesday he cut his rating on JPMorgan shares to "neutral" from "buy." Certainly, JPMorgan's much-lauded CEO Jamie Dimon appears to have a tin ear regarding the world beyond Wall Street, having dismissed the financial crisis as just another cyclical downturn and, more recently, shrugged off populist outrage at the behavior of behemoth banks.
Did management pass on possible acquisition talks?
There are plenty of ways it could have avoided its current quandary, starting by taking the advice of shareholders and employees instead of allowing co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to blindly charge ahead with their misaligned strategy. Reports are now surfacing that there could have been another outcome; it didn't have to be this way.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto and Accenture are a few names that could benefit if these events come to pass.
By Peter Leeds, guest columnist
The coming year will see major events play out, such as the presidential election, continued turmoil in Libya, and the potential fall of the euro. Each of these will create some key investment opportunities. Based on analysis I conduct for my financial newsletter, I'm expecting the following events to occur in 2012. I normally focus on penny stocks, but here I list some larger stocks I think will enjoy strong performances as a result of these events.
1. Obama will be re-elected
Based on percentages coming in from 9 battle ground states, and the number of electoral college votes from each, it appears that Obama would win if the election were held today. I expect his lead to increase as the campaign enters full swing.
The list includes names poised for capital appreciation over the next year.
A dynamic, actively managed portfolio, the S&P Top Ten Portfolio is comprised of stocks that S&P Equity Research believes to be well positioned for solid capital appreciation over the next 12 months.
Stocks must have our highest five-stars ranking to enter the portfolio. If the ranking drops below four stars, the stock will be removed.
In addition, any stock in the portfolio may be replaced with a five-star stock at any time.
Will the card giant be able to reinvent itself in 2012?
American Greetings (AM) shares plunged Thursday after the company said that third-quarter earnings fell almost 40% as sales and marketing costs rose. With those expenses eating into the bottom line, the company sharply cut its forecast for 2012.
Quarterly profit of 50 cents a share severely missed analyst estimates of 81 cents a share. The company further irritated investors by refusing to answer many analyst questions on its conference call, instead opting for "no comment" responses.
There are so few banking and tech stocks that buck the economy's headwinds, so why bother with them?
There's good tech and then there's bad tech. There are good banks and then there are bad banks. These are huge sectors and they can't be regarded as unified or uniformed. Yet that's what people do.
There has always been a sector pull to these two, but it's never been as great as now because of the ETF-ization of everything, making it so that stocks that shouldn't trade together trade together, and it causes someone like me, who wants to endorse particular stocks, to be tarred as changing his mind and flip-flopping like "Jim, you hate tech, how can you like Google (GOOG)?"
The restaurant chain, which saw shares hit a new 52-week high Thursday, has strategies for both good times and bad.
The world's largest restaurant chain appeals to the budget-conscious consumer through its dollar menu and its value meals. People with more money to spend are buying more expensive items such as coffee drinks and premium chicken sandwiches. This dual strategy is working like a charm for the Oak Brook, Ill. company.
If Europe slumps to recession levels next year, the company could see sales growth stall.
In a year that saw stunning underperformance by some big-name stocks, one indicator proved most useful.
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com
No matter what happens in the last few days, this trading year has been an especially rough one for stock investors. While the S&P 500 is still down for the year, the Dow Industrials are actually up almost 5% (at time of writing).
Cigarette sales by subsidiary Philip Morris underpin profitability, stock price.
Cigarette manufacturers across the country have continued to raise prices as they adjust to shrinking demand. Reynolds American (RAI) is also raising prices by 5 cents per pack, while Lorillard (LO) will increase prices by 6 cents per pack.
Deutsche Telekom will look to other suitors, including Sprint, or dispose of network operator piecemeal.
While spectrum and roaming agreements will benefit T-Mobile from a network coverage standpoint, we do not expect that Deutsche Telekom will invest the $3 billion in the U.S. carrier, given its plans to exit the market. Although a portion will certainly be used to cover some of the struggling company's expenses.
A rumored device from Sony could raise the stakes in the smartphone market.
One hot subject undoubtedly will be the next generation in mobile phones: bigger and far more advanced. Sony (SNE) is thought to be making a splash in the U.S. soon with a device it calls its "superphone."
Amazon's success could prompt a major redesign of the iPad.
According to DigiTimes, Apple could come up with a 7.85-inch iPad next year in order to overcome the challenge posed by the 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets, even as other competitors such as Research in Motion (RIMM) and Motorola Mobility (MMI) continue to struggle in the tablet market.
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Pipeline owners are making big profits on oil coming from North Dakota's Bakken fields. But a lot of natural gas continues to be flared due to low prices.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Just like the geopolitical environment, things could have been better today for the stock market and they could have been worse. They were worse in the early going as the major indices backpedaled quickly at the start of trading. The ostensible catalysts for the opening retreat were geopolitical concerns over Israel's ground assault in Gaza and the troublesome diplomatic dealings in the wake of Malaysian Air flight MH17 being shot down over eastern Ukraine last ... More
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