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It's no Alibaba, but the Citizens Financial Group offering is important to the market.


At first glance, the financial giant had a knockout quarter. But there's more to the numbers than meets the eye.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 17, 2011 4:30PM
Just shows you should never believe the headlines when it comes to quarterly earnings -- especially for banks right now.

According to the headline numbers, third-quarter earnings at Citigroup (C) climbed by 74% to $3.8 billion. The headline number put Citigroup’s earnings per share at a huge $1.23.

So according to the headlines, Citigroup killed this quarter, since Wall Street had been projecting that the bank would earn just 82 cents a share for the period.
Tags: CJPM

Examining the company's most recent conference call for clues to this week's earnings.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Oct 17, 2011 4:03PM

By John Reeves


Excellent companies transform entire industries. Prior to Starbucks, for example, restaurants could get away with selling "bottomless" cups of coffee, because the coffee usually tasted so bad that you didn't want a second cup. And Netflix changed the way we bought our movies -- no longer do you have to go out to the video store and be subject to long lines and late fees.


Chipotle (CMG) is another example of an excellent company that is transforming its industry. In advance of its earnings release later this week, I took a look at its most recent conference call transcript. I was extremely impressed with what I discovered.


Despite noting that its business was facing some challenges in the current environment, the company's two co-CEOs, Steve Ells and Monty Moran, spent most of the call talking about two things not always associated with the fast-food industry: quality food and outstanding people.


The company is on a nutritious-foods mission, and wants to start producing yogurt for U.S. supermarkets.

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 3:18PM
The yogurt section in the supermarket keeps getting bigger, and for good reason. Yogurt is a huge seller -- the U.S. market has doubled in the last decade.

And Pepsi (PEP) wants in.

Pepsi? Maker of all things junk? Yep, the soda and snacks company wants to go nutritious in a big way. And its plans include yogurt. 

These new funds are designed to minimize volatility and ease market bumps.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 2:47PM

By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet



Why do you invest? What really is your objective?


For most individual investors, whether they invest on their own or hire someone, the real objective is simply having enough money when they need it. In most instances, this means retirement.


If you want to retire, then chances are your accumulated savings will go toward supplementing the benefit you will receive from Social Security and you will either have enough saved to offer the lifestyle you want or you won't.


For those who can reorient their thinking to the long term and to their real objective, a whole new way of investing opens up by using the low-volatility ETFs that have recently been created.


Shares climb after the company says it sold more than 4 million new iPhones in 3 days.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 2:36PM

TheStreetBy James Rogers, TheStreet


Apple's (AAPL) stock hit a new high Monday shortly after the gadget maker announced record sales of the new iPhone 4S.


"IPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend -- the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, explained in a statement released before the market open on Monday.


Investors responded positively to the iPhone 4S numbers, pushing the company's stock up to a new 52-week high of $426.70 during morning trading, though later in trading shares pulled back to just under the $420 mark.


Investors are waiting for news of the latest negotiations between American Airlines and its pilots.

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 2:24PM
Investors are still very jittery about American Airlines.

Shares of the airline's parent, AMR Corp. (AMR), were briefly halted Monday after falling as much as 11%. The drop was so intense that it triggered an automatic circuit breaker to keep other shares from falling as well. 
Tags: amr

This ETF holds midstream energy master limited partnerships and offers a 6.4% yield.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 17, 2011 2:24PM
By Benjamin Shepherd, Passport to Profits

In this low interest rate environment, it’s been tough for income investors to find worthwhile payouts that don’t entail inordinate amounts of risk.

But there’s one income-producing sector that has become increasingly attractive as the markets have sold off -- midstream master limited partnerships.

These midstream MLPs operate the pipeline and storage infrastructure for our oil, gasoline and natural gas resources. 

The struggling retailer wants to allow competitors to sell its most valuable brands. Smart move or disaster in the making?

By Kim Peterson Oct 17, 2011 1:33PM
Sears (SHLD) is in bad shape. Sales are down, profit is nonexistent, and stores are closing. Even the chairman has described the company's finances as unacceptable.

But is Sears' latest move a stroke of genius or the final nail in the coffin?

The company doesn't have much going for it, but what it does have are its brands. Craftsman tools. DieHard batteries. Kenmore appliances. People know and trust them. They are some of Sears' most valuable assets. 
Tags: COST

Here are some exchanged-traded funds to follow during this busy week of earnings reports.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 12:03PM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.


1. Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI)


The industrials have run into trouble in the past few months as investors have begun to question the strength of the global economy. Since its July breakdown, shares of XLI have struggled to recover lost ground, as the fund has jockeyed back and forth along a generally sideways path.


Though its shares trade at a tremendous discount to book value, the company's ultimate mortgage risk is unknown, and there are better bargains out there.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 17, 2011 11:54AM

the streetBy Philip van Doorn, TheStreet


While it may seem like a bad time to sell Bank of America (BAC) shares, there are other similarly valued bank stocks to be found with a much less downside risk for investors.


Shares of the nation's largest bank holding company closed at $6.19 Friday, and while they gained 5% last week, the stock is down 53% year to date. After a second-quarter net loss to common shareholders of $9.1 billion, or 90 cents a share, Bank of America will announce its third-quarter results Tuesday, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting the company to post earnings of 28 cents a share.


Bank of America's shares on Friday traded for less than half the company's June 30 tangible book value of $12.65, according to SNL Financial. The shares were also historically cheap relative to forward earnings, trading for just 5.6 times the consensus 2012 earnings-per-share estimate of $1.12, according to analysts polled by FactSet.


These low-priced carriers are jumping up even as established competitors are flat or down.

By Oct 17, 2011 11:39AM

By Tom Aspray,

The Baltic Dry Shipping Index has surged more than 68% since early August, which likely has left some economists, who have been racing to lower their economic forecasts, shaking their heads.

The surge has been attributed to an increase in booking to ship thermal coal, iron ore and grains through the Panama Canal. Because the number of large ships that can pass through the canal does not change much year over year, an increase in shipping rates is often interpreted as a sign of future economic activity.


These stocks are poised to benefit as hospitals shift from paper records to electronic systems.

By TheStockAdvisors Oct 17, 2011 11:27AM
By Andy Obermueller, Game-Changing Stocks

One of our favorite game-changing sectors is electronic medical records. Here's a look at our four top picks in this growth market.

The best estimates say that hospitals will need to spend $100,000 per licensed bed to implement these new programs, which render paper files obsolete.

With 950,000 hospital beds in the country, that's $95.5 billion in revenue, and there are only a handful of companies that stand poised to collect it.  

Two blockbuster energy deals reflect the foreign interest in our crude and our growing need for a bridge fuel to renewables.

By Jim Cramer Oct 17, 2011 10:31AM

the streetWe will all be buzzing, as we should be, about the huge Kinder Morgan (KMI) deal to buy El Paso (EP) and how it will make Kinder Morgan a colossus of a pipeline that will be able to move natural gas through much of the country.


It is a deal meant to ensure the Kinder entities dominate the transport of the fuel. Of the three entities -- Kinder Morgan, which owns and operates the pipelines; Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), the toll collector of the group; and Kinder Morgan Management (KMR), a limited partner of KMP  that controls its business -- I like KMP best because it is a master limited partnership that gives you a high 6.4% yield.


Game developer Rovio floats the possibility of 2012 public offering, saying the company could be worth $1B.

By InvestorPlace Oct 17, 2011 9:58AM
By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the mobile boom iPhone is Rovio Entertainment. Based in Finland, the company is the mastermind behind the hugely popular game "Angry Birds."

Rovio's chief marketing officer, Peter Vesterbacka, says the company is probably worth more than $1 billion, thanks to its hit game, according to Bloomberg, and it looks like the company might be prepping for an IPO.


Some gearheads may not like to hear it, but sales momentum and lack of a bailout give Ford the edge.

By InvestorPlace Oct 17, 2011 5:49AM

By Jeff Reeves,

Americans can be fierce defenders of their cars, refusing to drive certain brands and claiming others can do no wrong. And after the 2009 automaker bailouts for Chrysler and General Motors (GM) and an industry-wide push into fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles, that brand war might be more heated than ever.

But when you take emotions out of the equation and stack up Detroit auto icons GM and Ford (F), it's easy to see that one automaker is head and shoulders above the other.

Here's why, from a business perspective, Ford is just plain better than GM:



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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