Surge brought back from the dead
Surge is back from the dead

Coca-Cola launched the soda brand in the 1990s to compete with Mountain Dew. Sales didn't exactly take off.

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The beverage maker continues to lag Coca-Cola.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 9, 2012 11:19AM

If there were a mercy rule in the cola wars, PepsiCo (PEP) would have triggered it long ago. Now the company is starting to fight back, though investors have to wonder whether the effort is too little too late.

PepsiCo on Thursday announced plans to cut about 8,700 jobs, which about 3% of its work force. At the same time, it will ratchet up marketing spending by as much as $600 million with a particular emphasis on North America.

 
Tags: KOPEP

However, the big payouts come with some serious risks.

By InvestorPlace Feb 9, 2012 10:47AM

By Daniel Putnam


While the energy sector typically isn't viewed as a source of yield, there is no shortage of energy-related dividend plays to consider even after the strong gains of the past four months. But not all dividends are created equal. In some cases, investors need to look past the headline dividend number to see if there's more to the story.


With this in mind, here's a look at six of the highest-yielding plays in the energy sector.

 

The streaming wars are heating up. Should you sell this video pioneer?

By Minyanville Feb 9, 2012 10:08AM
CorbisBy Vincent Trivett

The long-awaited "Netflix (NFLX) killer(s)" seemed to have finally arrived.

On Monday night, Coinstar (CSTR), the owner of the Redbox DVD kiosks, announced it will enter into a joint venture with Verizon (VZ) to supplement the physical DVD-rental business with streaming. Coinstar also bought out a DVD kiosk rival and posted profits that blew away expectations and have nearly tripled since the end of 2010. Coinstar executives say they are poaching physical DVD customers from Netflix.   

The Israeli drugmaker has outstanding management and a history of aggressive acquisitions.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 9, 2012 9:59AM
By J. Royden Ward, Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Letter

To qualify for a spot in our model portfolios, companies must be leaders in their industries, have a history of rock-solid sales and earnings growth, and be led by outstanding management that will find ways to increase growth.

One such buy is Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA). Based in Israel, the company develops, makes and sells generic and proprietary drugs. It has become the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, led by management's aggressive acquisition and product-development programs. 
Tags: TEVA

Expect the site's monthly user base to hit 1 billion this year, producing more opportunities for the growing social commerce market.

By Trefis Feb 8, 2012 6:51PM
Facebook has established itself as a dominant force in the display advertising business, given its ability to drive heavy engagement and grow a base that reached 845 million monthly active users in December.

We expect that monthly users will pass 1 billion this year, and with such growth, Facebook will create more distance between itself and other display advertisers such as Yahoo (YHOO) and AOL (AOL).  

A slumping movie business is hurting revenue, but Disneyland and other parks are keeping investors enthusiastic about the stock.

By Jim J. Jubak Feb 8, 2012 6:10PM
When I sold Walt Disney (DIS) out of my Jubak's Picks portfolio on Jan.10, I flagged problems at the company's movie business as the reason.

Well, when the company reported earnings Tuesday for its recently concluded first quarter of fiscal 2012, the movie unit was a concern. Revenue at Walt Disney Studios dropped 16% from the year-earlier quarter.

And that was a big contributor to the company's revenue miss for the quarter.
 
Tags: DIS

While the stock is under pressure, it's at the core of what could work here, and I think it could rally by as much as 50%.

By Jim Cramer Feb 8, 2012 5:31PM

Yes, Blackstone (BX) is now all-in. Yes, there are way too many bulls in the bull/bear survey. Yes, it bothers me that Nouriel Roubini is talking positively about the market.


Yes, I worry that Greece seems not to matter. Yes, Israel could attack Iran, and gasoline is going north. Yes, we've got real issues with inflation, as each company I deal with calls out rising costs, and we can witness the corn levitation, even as plantings are up, because of our ridiculous commitment to burning our food in the name of renewable energy.

 

Fertilizer stocks are at their cheapest valuations in 2 years.

By TheStockAdvisors Feb 8, 2012 3:23PM
Image: Corn field (© Bob Rashid/Brand X/Corbis)By Yiannis Mostrous, Global Investment Strategist

Fertilizer stocks should be major beneficiaries of a rally in agricultural sector equities later this year. In fact, declines in  the past year have reduced valuations to levels last seen more than two years ago.

At these levels, fertilizer stocks are more than pricing in the recent decline in agricultural commodity prices, and further downside appears limited unless there's a new global recession.   
Tags: POT

Macau and Singapore were the major revenue contributors to the company's fourth-quarter results.

By Trefis Feb 8, 2012 3:04PM
Image: Four aces (© Image Source/Corbis)Las Vegas Sands (LVS) recently reported a strong fourth quarter, with revenue increasing 26% from a year earlier. Consolidated full-year revenue rose 37% to $9.4 billion.

The casino operator's Macau and Singapore properties were major contributors to this impressive revenue growth. The company also reported a 58% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2011, driven by higher margin table and slots businesses.

LVS competes with Wynn Resorts (WYNN), MGM Resorts International (MGM), Caesars Entertainment (CZR) and Genting Singapore. 

Poor recent performance and heavy bearish sentiment shouldn't overshadow the technical signals that the industry could be bottoming.

By MoneyShow.com Feb 8, 2012 3:00PM

Image: Globe (© image100/Corbis)By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com


While hopes for a sustainable economic rebound continue to grow, the potential demand for rare earth metals has not impressed investors.


The supply of rare earths has increased since the frenzied highs of early 2011, but weakening in the Chinese economy has dampened demand.

 
Tags: AVLMCPREE

A surge in vacancy rates has left many locations struggling to fill empty stores and maintain revenue.

By Kim Peterson Feb 8, 2012 2:41PM
Image: Young woman clothes shopping (© Image Source/Getty Images)The shopping mall is changing, having lost its spot as the retail epicenter for much of America.

Many malls across the country are a shell of what they once were, having said goodbye to the likes of Mervyn's, Blockbuster, Circuit City and Borders.

The store closings continue. Sears Holding (SHLD) is closing as many as 120 Sears and Kmart locations. Gap Inc. (GPS) is closing 200 stores and downsizing others. Talbots (TLB) will close 110 stores by 2013. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) closed 50 stores and is struggling financially.  

Menu price increases contribute to a spike in the chain's comparable restaurant sales.

By Trefis Feb 8, 2012 2:34PM
Image: Peppers (© imageDJ/Jupiterimages)Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) continued on its impressive growth trajectory as it reported strong fourth-quarter financials last week. Revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% to $596.7 million, and net income rose 23.7% to $57.5 million. Revenue growth was driven primarily by new restaurant openings and robust comparable sales growth of 11%.

Chipotle's stock continues to outperform its rivals and has gained more than 10% so far this year. Chipotle competes mostly with quick-service and casual dining restaurant chains like Chili's, McDonald's (MCD), Burger King, Yum Brands (YUM) and Papa John's, among others. 
Tags: CMGMCDYUM

The red-hot chain is expanding testing of at-table tablets.

By InvestorPlace Feb 8, 2012 2:04PM

By Kyle Woodley


For decades, scores of customers have flooded Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) for its sauced-up chicken.


Soon, they might be sticking around for the Apples.


Buffalo Wild Wings recently announced an expansion of its tester program to put Apple (AAPL) iPads in the hands of customers -- a tech initiative that could keep the good times rolling for this successful restaurant stock.

 

Why would anyone buy shares of this casino operator after looking at the fine print?

By Kim Peterson Feb 8, 2012 1:54PM
Image: Gambling (© Corbis)Investors took a gamble on shares of Caesars Entertainment (CZR), pushing shares up more than 75% Wednesday in the first day of trading.

Traders paid little heed to all the red flags surrounding the stock, such as the vast number of shares that will flood the market in the future. Caesars sold shares at $9 each, but by midday Wednesday the stock price had climbed to $16.

This is an incredibly tiny IPO.  

Will Coinstar be able to ride on the success of its new joint venture?

By Benzinga Feb 8, 2012 1:46PM

Image: Hollywood (© Comstock/SuperStock)By Scott RubinBenzinga Staff Writer


Shares of Coinstar (CSTR) surged more than 19% Tuesday following a very strong fourth-quarter earnings report that was released after the closing bell Monday. In addition, the parent company of Redbox, the ubiquitous DVD rental kiosks, announced a joint venture with Verizon (VZ) that will give it a footprint in the fast-growing streaming video content market. Coinstar also revealed that it was acquiring NCR Corp.'s (NCR) DVD rental kiosks, which are operated under the Blockbuster Express brand, for $100 million.


Shares slipped slightly Wednesday, opening at $57.69 and settling in around $57.23 by midday.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] In case anyone needed a reminder how beholden the stock market has gotten to the Fed keeping rates at the zero bound, they were offered one today when the major indices pretty much turned on a dime following a report out of The Wall Street Journal's Fed watcher, Jon Hilsenrath, that suggested the Fed may very well keep the "considerable period" language in tomorrow's directive.

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