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CFO Frank Sklarsky says growth in key businesses and a strong cash balance should help the one-time film giant weather any storm.
Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Eastman Kodak (EK) shares have been on a rollercoaster ride in 2010, as investors and analysts debate whether the troubled digital imaging company's surprisingly strong fourth quarter is a mirage or a sign of a fledgling rebound.
Eastman Kodak, the one-time film giant whose fortunes soured with the rise of digital photography, saw a surge in share price on Jan. 28 after the reporting a fourth-quarter profit, which broke a string of four straight quarterly losses. The stronger-than-expected earnings, which came thanks to lower costs, licensing gains and consumer and commercial printer sales, pushed the stock more than 30% higher to its best level in more than a year.
"We're very pleased about how we had a very strong close to the year and a fourth quarter that demonstrated some momentum," Eastman Kodak Chief Financial Officer Frank Sklarsky said in an interview.
The restaurant chain is reportedly up for sale. Can babes and wings cut it in this economy?
The restaurants -- known for waitresses wearing short-shorts and down-to-there tank tops -- could sell for more than $250 million, analysts tell The New York Post.
The Post reports that Hooters has hired North Point Advisors, a San Francisco investment bank, to help with the sale. The restaurant isn't officially commenting on rumors that it has been shopping itself to private-equity firms.
What went wrong for Hooters?
An options call raises the profit.
When I'm playing on XBOX Live, I often see around 1 million people playing ATVI's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." After seeing them report record sales of the game and seeing its amazing popularity first hand, I knew Activision Blizzard’s earnings this quarter would be great.
I bought a bunch of their common stock and two weeks ago, when it was trading at 10.22, my friend Ivaylo Ivanov (Ivanhoff from StockTwits http://twitter.com/ivanhoff ) showed me an options play to increase my leverage 8-9x which lead to greater than 40% profits this morning:
Here's why now is the time to sell bonds and buy stocks.
Over the last few years, the average investor has fallen in love with bonds while shunning stocks. Since last March, nearly $180 billion in new capital has flowed into the bond market while just $24 billion moved into equities -- despite a rally that took the S&P 500 ($INX) up 73% to its January high.
I can't say I blame them. As a noted in a recent column, stocks have lost about 10% over the last 10 years as recession, war and the bursting of the housing bubble have resulted in incredible stock market volatility. In comparison, the low volatility and steady cash receipts from bonds looked very, very attractive.
But things are changing now as investors prepare for a robust economic recovery and interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Almost certainly, some people would be physically healthier. But the impact on the nation's fiscal health is murkier.
By Paul Ausick
A recent survey by International Communications Research found that 60% of Americans would support a tax increase of $1 per pack on cigarettes, preferring it to both budget cuts or other tax increases. The increased tobacco tax would raise more than $9 billion for the federal government.
Let's see -- the federal deficit projection for 2011 is $1.35 trillion. So a higher tobacco tax would reduce the deficit by about 0.07%. That's not even a rounding error.
There are, of course, some very good reasons to increase the tobacco tax.
Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' campaign aimed at ending childhood obesity might have a negative impact on some food stocks.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace.com
In what she hopes will be her signature issue, Michelle Obama announced the "Let's Move" campaign yesterday, a plan designed to rid America of childhood obesity. Her multi-front attack on the issue involves encouraging kids to exercise more and helping teach parents how to make better food choices. The plan also includes improving the quality of food in schools, building supermarkets in poor neighborhoods and making food nutrition information easier to understand.
Now on its face, it's hard to argue that there is something wrong with wanting America's youth to be in better physical shape. I'm certainly not objecting to that noble goal. But I think there is a downside to this plan, and it's one that could impact some of corporate America's biggest food companies.
Buying stocks with accidentally high yields can keep you above water.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Is it too hard? Has it become too hard?
Yes and yes.
That's right, this market has become too difficult to fathom on a given day. We know that. We wake up and we see the oil futures up 50 cents and we think it is going to be a good day and then they dip 37 cents and we know that it is going to be a bad day. Dollar down the equivalent of a penny, something we would leave in a cup, because of some motivated seller or a short-sell? Dump everything because of that penny. Someone big liquidating gold? Sell all the stocks that do well in a deflationary environment. Yeah, it is that stupid.
Seems that romantic getaways are the new chocolate this year, and these travel stocks are set to cash in.
Valentine's Day has moved way beyond cards and candy, with ads for diamonds and new cars becoming more frequent in February. In fact, total Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion this year, up 3.3% over 2009, according to consumer spending researchers at IBISWorld. And it looks like this year a different V-Day gift is going to be in style: The romantic getaway.
IBIS expects cash spent on romantic getaways to gain just over two percent to $2.05 billion. When you consider that Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday and that many consumers will have a three-day weekend because of Presidents' Day the following Monday, the occasion could be extra sweet for hotel and travel stocks.
Here are five romantic getaway stocks I expect to cash in on this trend.
The buyers are coming in the form of index funds making Berkshire ripe for a trading opportunity.
Warren Buffett’s decision to split the B-class shares of his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) last month is still generating lots of speculation. Most immediately: Will the shares see a boost on Friday, the last day before shares are added to the S&P 500 index?
Well here’s a secret about Warren Buffett that might help answer that question: He cares about making money, and that’s it!
And the strategy -- making shares available to smaller investors by reducing the price from around $3,500 to around $64 -- has generated positive public relations and made him a lot of money already.
With the market pushing up the share price in anticipation of BRK.B joining the S&P 500 index, the stock is in the $70s and up 12% this year.
But amid all the hype, shares no longer look underpriced -- so I'd be careful here. You may see a one-day bounce, but a long-term decline. (10 stocks on the rise)
Have no illusions about these moves. It's not about altruism. The most well-known investor of his generation is in this business to make a buck, plain and simple.
As the Mid-Atlantic battles record-breaking snow, these stocks could bring red-hot returns to savvy investors.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace.com
Already, the storms of February 2010 have brought blizzard conditions to the Washington, D.C. metro area, New York City and many other Northeastern cities. In addition to record-breaking snowfall, temperatures in many areas of the country have been way below normal this winter, especially in the Midwest and East Coast.
And according to the 2010 Farmers' Almanac, this winter will likely see many more days with below-normal average temperatures -- not just in the Midwest and East Coast but for about three-quarters of the nation. The fallout from these cold temps is a constriction of outdoor activity, more time indoors, increased use of heaters, and when you have to go outside, the need to bundle up.
Fortunately, this year's cold spell isn't all bad. In fact, a grumpy Old Man Winter could actually bring warmth to investors savvy enough to take advantage of the extreme weather. And with this in mind, here are three cold weather stocks that might just heat up your portfolio.
China sees a record jump in imports, which is a boon for its trading partners.
China's imports jumped a record 86% in January from the same month in 2009. This increase, the third straight monthly climb, far outstripped a 21% increase in exports.
The growth in exports, however, was the second monthly increase after 13 monthly declines.
One great big caveat -- with lion dancers and firecrackers: Lunar New Year, which fell in January last year, falls in February in 2010. So, a lot of economic activity that was postponed by the holiday last year wound up in January's monthly numbers this year. (For more on the Lunar New Year's effect, see this post).
The jump in Chinese imports is a boon for China's trading partners
A promising hedge fund focusing on gold is suffering so far, with 10% losses. Have investors turned on the precious metal?
Paulson started a hedge fund this year to bet big on gold, and it was generally expected that he'd be successful. After all, Paulson correctly anticipated the housing meltdown in 2007 and 2008, and made about $20 billion in profits from placing smart bets against mortgage and financial companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And so gold bugs were mighty excited about Paulson's new fund, hoping that it would bring more investors and push gold even higher.
Dynamic Materials is among companies that remain well-regarded by the MSN Money CAPS community despite being beaten down over the past month.
This post comes from The Motley Fool's Matt Koppenheffer.
I'm always looking for a good deal, whether that means buying an extra box of Golden Grahams when they're on sale or pouncing on an undervalued stock.
The idea that anybody would sell a stock for less than it's worth might seem silly, but legendary value investor Ben Graham (no relation to the cereal) tells us, by way of allegory, how we can look out for these situations.
In "The Intelligent Investor," Graham introduces readers to a wacky guy named Mr. Market, who pays you daily house calls, offering to sell you interest in businesses he owns or to buy interest in businesses you own.
The upcoming iPad doesn't support the Flash format. What does this move say about Apple?
There's been quite a bit of back and forth regarding the goodness of Apple (AAPL) after the company unveiled its new iPad tablet.
See, Apple made an important decision to exclude Adobe's Flash from the iPad. And that likely means we'll have a harder time accessing Hulu videos, parts of Google Street Maps and other sites.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs even had the temerity to pull up a New York Times page with a broken Flash link while he was presenting the iPad. It was a move that Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post swears was intentional -- to prove that no one needs Flash.
Adobe (ADBE), understandably upset, wrote that "there's something important missing from Apple's approach to connecting consumers to content" on the iPad.
The largest Coke bottler is attractively priced, but is the stock a classic value trap?
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) may or may not be the real thing. But one thing that is real is that the largest bottler of Coca-Cola (KO) drinks can still generate a ton of cash for its balance sheet.
This morning CCE reported earnings of 22 cents per share in the fourth quarter. That number met analyst expectations, but the revenue number of $5.12 billion was a bit short of the $5.28 billion estimate.
Citing the proverbial lingering economic weakness, CEO John Brock noted tough competition. Interestingly, KO on Tuesday had reported strong revenues in the fourth quarter that also exceeded expectations.
Both CCE and KO got a boost from overseas that helped to offset declines in North America. Clearly the U.S. market remains a bit unsettled for both companies. (10 stocks that are the real thing)
At the bottling company, there does not appear to be much to get excited about with this report.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A bit of a tug-of-war in the early going between buyers and sellers and neither side gaining much ground. The major averages have bounced back from early losses, but in their bid to press higher they have been unable to put much distance between themselves and the unchanged line.
The technology sector (+0.2%) is a pocket of relative strength, helped by early gains in Apple (AAPL 441.56, +8.30) and Google (GOOG 917.00, +7.82). ... More
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