You can still find small-cap superstars
Small-cap superstars still abound

There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.


From pipelines to water, a panel of experts explains which buys make sense.

By Jan 25, 2012 4:07PM

Wondering what are the top stocks to invest in 2012?

The Zacks panel of experts gives its picks for pipelines, engines, rails and water in the following video. Plus, with earnings season in full swing, our roundtable of Zacks analysts and editors discusses the new Federal Reserve transparency and what it means for opportunities in the market. 


If the social gaming giant enables users to play its casino-themed games with real money, it could lead to a significant increase in revenue.

By Trefis Jan 25, 2012 3:13PM
Image: Ball on Roulette wheel , close-up (© Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Zynga (ZNGA) is the leader in social gaming and is charging forward in the mobile gaming sector by acquiring mobile gaming studios and launching new games on iOS and Android.

We recently posted about a significant new opportunity for Zynga -- online gambling -- which could potentially generate billions of dollars in additional revenue, if Zynga makes a move in the sector soon. Zynga has now confirmed that it is seeking partners to launch new online gambling initiatives. 

Rig supplier and operator Helmerich & Payne is a promising play on the domestic drilling boom.

By Jan 25, 2012 2:54PM

Image: Oil drums (© Kevin Phillips/Digital Vision/age fotostock)By Igor Greenwald,

These are momentous times in the North American drilling industry.

On Monday, natural gas prices soared some 10% from a decade-low after key producer Chesapeake Energy (CHK) said it would cut its drilling of wells containing only natural gas by half, shifting resources to shale plays yielding the much more profitable crude and other liquids.


The Chinese New Year has given rise to the year of the Water Dragon, an excitingly positive period throughout history.

By Jan 25, 2012 2:32PM

Image: Bull (© Photographers Choice RF/SuperStock)By Tom Aspray,

Last week, Asian brokerage firm CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets published its CLSA Feng Shui Index (CLSA FSI), a "Tongue-in-cheek look at what's in store for the Hang Seng, key market sectors" for the coming year.

I have had the pleasure of speaking in many of the Asian financial centers and have analyzed their markets for many years, and as such, I have always looked forward to this report. This year, it is of particular interest.


If you exclude the company's significant pile of cash, the stock trades at a strikingly low 10 times trailing earnings.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 25, 2012 2:18PM
Image: Money (© image100/SuperStock)Apple (AAPL) reported December quarter earnings Tuesday that blew away Wall Street estimates. And then the company raised guidance for the March 2012 quarter. 

The stock was up 6% at midday Wednesday in a generally lackluster U.S. market.

Should you buy? Well, the stock is still very cheap -- especially once you subtract the company’s nearly $100 billion in cash.

These companies have been buying back tons of their own stock, and the trend is likely to continue this year.

By Jan 25, 2012 2:14PM

By David Fried, The Buyback Letter

Our Buyback Premium Portfolio is beating the S&P 500 by more than 30% since its inception in 2000. Here's a look at four of our recent additions to this portfolio:

ConocoPhillips (COP) is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the U.S. and a worldwide leader in refining. It has extensive oil and gas reserves, which will increase in value as energy prices rise.


A $500 price target for the stock looks too low, given the company's strong sales of iPhones and iPads.

By Jim Cramer Jan 25, 2012 1:45PM

By Jim Cramer

The story arc is remarkable. Less than two years ago, Apple (AAPL) introduced a product that nobody initially seemed to be able to figure out what to do with, the iPad. It didn't take long for people to figure out that the iPad pretty much did everything anybody would ever want it to do, serving as a text tool, a movie screen, a tv screen, a records keeper, a teaching tool, you name it.

As soon as the other companies figured out how revolutionary the iPad was, they instantly copied it and offered what many critics said were superior products.


Is the beleaguered maker of heavy construction material a buyout target?

By Gene Marcial Jan 25, 2012 1:42PM

Image: Construction workers (© image100/Corbis)The U.S. construction industry continues to be in the dumps, and companies like Texas Industries (TXI), a maker of heavy construction materials that has been losing money since 2009, remain under tremendous pressure. For fiscal 2011, Texas Industries posted another loss that was worse than analysts had expected. 

Its stock -- which dropped from $46 a share to a 52-week low of $21 in November 2011 -- has since been moving up, closing at $31 on Wednesday. But analysts who track the stock remain bearish, with none of them recommending it as a "buy." They expect TXI to remain on the ropes and continue to rate it as "underperform."

Tags: TXI

The tech giant's market cap jumped $37 billion after record fourth-quarter results, and the board has a mountain of cash to put to work.

By The Fiscal Times Jan 25, 2012 1:04PM
Apple EconomyBy Suzanne McGee, The Fiscal Times

After the death of Steve Jobs Apple (AAPL) investors wondered if the company would continue to thrive.

That question was answered resoundingly late Tuesday when Apple reported a blockbuster fourth quarter -- the best on record for both sales and revenues. Total revenue soared 73% from year-earlier levels, meaning that the company booked more in sales in that fourth quarter than it had in the other nine months of 2011. 

Starbucks is upgraded while McDonald's is downgraded. Zynga is initiated with a 'buy' at Goldman.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 25, 2012 12:25PM
Information provided by

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Starbucks (SBUX) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
  • CSX (CSX) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
  • Regions Financial (RF) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
  • Brinker (EAT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
  • Watson Pharma (WPI) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • Alkermes (ALKS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners

A huge quarterly performance sends shares of the company up 6%.

By Kim Peterson Jan 25, 2012 12:07PM
Image: Arrow Up (© Photodisc/Photolibrary)Updated 5:20 p.m. ET

(AAPL) smashed through its former 52-week high Wednesday to once again become the world's most valuable company -- for less than a day.

Investors are still reeling from Apple's truly momentous earnings report for the final quarter of last year. We were expecting big numbers, but nothing this big: Profit more than doubled in a year to $13.1 billion, and revenue soared 73% to top $46 billion.

And Apple's cash holdings have grown to almost $98 billion. Its cash alone is worth more than all but 52 companies on Earth, notes Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal. 

EU officials uphold original decision: ViaGuara sounds too much like Viagra.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 25, 2012 11:44AM
A European Union high court on Wednesday ruled that a Polish company can't market a sports drink under the name ViaGuara because it is too similar to Pfizer's (PFE) famous little blue pill that treats erectile dysfunction, Viagra.

Warsaw-based Viaguara SA applied for an EU trademark in 2005, but was refused. The company appealed the decision to the EU General Court, which upheld the earlier decision. Despite the ruling, the company still advertises ViaGuara on the web. 
Tags: PFE

For both growth and income, here are 3 attractive tech stocks with dividend reinvestment plans.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 25, 2012 10:57AM
Maciej Frolow/Brand X/Getty ImagesBy Chuck Carlson, The DRIP Investor

In our latest special report, we featured three favorite investment ideas for 2012 -- all from the technology sector.

Here's a look at Cisco Systems (CSCO), Motorola Solutions (MSI) and Qualcomm (QCOM). These three stocks each offer dividend reinvestment plans and are attractive ideas for the coming year. 

Hang in there, Kodak. Bankruptcy doesn't have to mean the end.

By InvestorPlace Jan 25, 2012 10:29AM

Cory Docken/Spots Illustration/JupiterimagesBy Jeff Reeves

Eastman Kodak (EKDKQ) surprised few investors by declaring bankruptcy last week. It was clear to many business insiders back in September that Kodak was headed to zero after a panicked move to tap its credit line. As those who have watched the corporate history of Kodak know, years of big debts and a lack of innovation have been weighing on the iconic photography company for quite some time.

So is bankruptcy the end of Kodak? Will the brand disappear forever?


The company's Yi platform could be instrumental in maintaining its dominant search market share in China.

By Trefis Jan 25, 2012 10:15AM
Baidu (BIDU) gained significantly from online advertising growth in China in 2011, and its eyes are now fixed on expanding beyond its home country.

Stopping this advance could be Google (GOOG), which is looking to reboot its relations in China after making its much publicized exit from Chinese soil. This could be especially important for Google given the explosion of Android-powered devices that use Google as the default search option. 


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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More


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