Some companies hit all-time records last month, while others missed forecasts.
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Apple's Smart TV could make its debut later this year, according to analyst firm Ticonderoga Securities.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
"At a China electronics trade show today, we picked up data points that are suggesting a Smart TV launch by Apple could occur near the end of this year," said Brian White, an analyst at Ticonderoga Securities, in a note released on Wednesday.
Apple overhauled its Apple TV device last year, adding streaming content from Netflix (NFLX), Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe. But rumors have surfaced about an Apple-branded Smart TV, prompting talk that this could be Apple's next big product area.
Mike Lazaridis calls off a chat with the BBC after deciding the questions were unfair.
The co-chief executive of Research In Motion (RIMM) abruptly ended an on-camera interview with the BBC because he thought the journalist's questions were unfair. Click here to see the interview.
The interviewer asked Lazaridis about Research In Motion's recent problems with governments in the Middle East and India over the security of the BlackBerry platform. The governments want decryption tools to be able to monitor messages sent from BlackBerry devices.
Lazaridis got prickly as soon as the subject was approached by Rory Cellan-Jones. "You implied that we have a security problem. We don't have a security problem," Lazaridis said. "We've just been singled out because we're so successful around the world."
The US taxes companies that repatriate foreign profits. Here are the ones with the biggest hoards.
Fortune asked an accounting expert to find the companies with the most cash parked on foreign soil, and his top result should be no surprise: General Electric (GE). The company is awash in controversy these days for allegedly not paying any U.S. corporate income tax for 2010 (the company denies that but isn't saying what amount it did pay).
GE has a very aggressive tax team, led by a former Treasury official, and has spent decades trying to cut its tax bill. Fortune's accounting expert thinks the company has about $94 billion in untaxed foreign profit.
Post continues after this video about a proposal to give companies a tax break on bringing foreign profits home:
A Canada-related fund offers a conservative international play.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
This year Canada has become a beacon of strength as clouds remain gathered over many parts of the developed and emerging world.
Thanks to stability from its financial system and its expansive exposure to energy and other natural resources, ETFs designed to target our neighbor to the north have managed to outpace not only the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) but also the broader internationally focused Vanguard Total World ETF (VT).
Recently, Canada's economy received a vote of confidence when the International Monetary Fund boosted its outlook for 2011. According to a report from the Globe and Mail, the IMF expects Canada to grow 2.8% this year, up from 2.3% previously. Although this marks a considerable decline from the forecast 4% growth witnessed during the first quarter of 2011, the article notes that this was the largest upward revision seen in the IMF's report.
An activist group snookers some media outlets with a phony press release claiming GE would return a tax refund.
The Yes Men, a group known for snookering everyone with fake announcements, sent an email message appearing to be from GE to the media today. The message said GE would return a $3.2 billion tax refund to the federal government.
Sounds ludicrous, right? But maybe not, given all the bad press GE has received for allegedly not paying any corporate income tax for 2010. (GE disputes that, by the way, but won't say what taxes it did pay for the year.)
The Associated Press bit and published a story based on the email. AP says the news release looked legitimate, with a GE logo included and a link to a hoax website that looked just like GE's website. After about 35 minutes, AP pulled the story and reported the fraud.
Upcoming earnings reports from Google and Apple could help the struggling shares reverse course. A look at the charts for both stocks reveals the key levels to watch.
Typically, new versions of the smartphone debut in June, but not this time. Analysts say production won't start until September.
By Anthony John Agnello, InvestorPlace.com
Verizon officially got the iPhone 4 in February. Apple (AAPL) rolled out the iPad 2 in March. And any day now, the house Steve Jobs built will roll out the next version of its iconic smartphone, right?
Wrong. Though the iPhone 4 debuted June 24, 2010, and the iPhone 3GS on June 19, 2009, Apple fanatics will have to wait months later than the typical summer release window.
And that date, according to reports, is in September at the earliest.
The thesis is playing out well, so it's time for more shares.
By Jim Mueller
This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series.
First, each of the company's four production divisions -- Cessna (business jets), Bell (commercial and military helicopters), Textron Systems (military hardware), and Industrial (auto parts and specialized vehicles like golf carts and golf-course care) -- had been hit hard by the recession, but three of them have begun to bounce back.
Now, as of the last quarter, the fourth division, and formerly the biggest in terms of revenue -- Cessna -- has also begun to turn around.
The Civil War anniversary may drive up prices of firearms, which beat most tech stocks for returns.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
Seeking more bang for the buck?
Set aside your views on gun control or perceptions of survivalist arsenals. People who collect and sell firearms, many of whom are white-collar and affluent, often have turned a profit from their hobby.
For example, a small pistol that the gangster John Dillinger was carrying in a sock when he was arrested in Arizona (six months before he was fatally gunned down in Chicago in 1934) sold for $95,600 at an auction held by Heritage Auction Galleries, a Dallas auction house that is the nation's largest. The winning bid was more than double the pre-auction estimate of $35,000 to $45,000.
Investors who dubbed the aluminum giant's first-quarter earnings 'disappointing' didn't do any real homework.
It was like an orchestrated smear campaign -- one of the most effective I have ever seen. I am talking about the across-the-board Web-radio-TV-print campaign to use the word "disappointing" in front of Alcoa's (AA) earnings report.
I have followed Alcoa through thick and thin for many, many years, through several CEOs and many cycles. I have seen the company's fortunes wax and wane and the business get hammered beyond recognition and the business throw off amounts of cash flow that were obscene.
Every time I always had the same feeling: When is this company going to get a CEO with a worldwide vision who can take advantage of all of the fantastic growth markets for aluminum, lower its costs of production, take share and expand to where the real demand is, the emerging markets?
Finally, Alcoa has that CEO, Klaus Kleinfeld. Finally, the company has the vision, has the growth where it should be and is lowering costs and taking share. Finally, it reports a really good quarter and raises the growth rate for its end markets and therefore for itself. Finally, it is delivering what it said it would do -- or a little bit better -- on the way to opening some gigantic new plants that will be the lowest-cost smelters on earth.
And now it's "disappointing"? Now it's not what people want? Now people don't like the growth and the end markets and the projections? Now people doubt the management team?
Movie tie-ins might give Hasbro the boost it needs to gain an advantage over larger rival Mattel. The toy-makers report first-quarter results this week.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
Forget the year of the rabbit -- 2011 might turn out to be the year of the Potato Head.
This week Hasbro (HAS), the second-largest toy company in the world, and No. 1 Mattel (MAT) are expected to post first-quarter earnings. And Hasbro is gearing up for a busy summer of blockbuster movie tie-ins that could lift its profit by 20% this year.
Investors will size up the toy rivals this week, with Hasbro reporting quarterly results on Thursday and Mattel on Friday. The strengthening economy and ancillary businesses such as movie tie-ins and TV programs could bring surprises for investors this year. And these revenue sources may prove especially lucrative for Hasbro, which is best known for its Mr. Potato Head doll, G.I. Joe action figures and iconic board games.
It's not hard to find and buy good stocks, but it takes a lot of work and a disciplined approach. Includes video.
See the end of this post for a chance to win a $100 gift card.
A good friend recently told me his retirement savings strategy, and I use the word "strategy" loosely here. He was terrified of stocks, so he chose to put his savings in bank certificates of deposit.
He now has $40,000 in cash earning less than 2% interest, and at that rate will retire with, oh, about two years of spending money. But who can blame him for his fear of the market? The ups and downs of the past few years have wreaked havoc on nest eggs everywhere, and no one wants to get burned again.
But how to do it? How do you avoid the investing pitfalls yet still build that fat mountain of cash? One key step is confronting your fears about stocks and building the knowledge and confidence to invest. It will take work and you'll do it one baby step at a time, but soon enough your inner Buffett will lead the way.
Speaking of the Oracle of Omaha, he gives his tips for basic investors in the following video. Below the video are my five steps to get you started on finding great stocks:
Post continues after video:
Financial markets are punishing the dollar instead of Treasury bonds.
The world is running out of helium. The gas, which is used in numerous medical applications, isn't being recycled because it's so cheap.
Helium is used in all kinds of serious applications, such as MRI scanners, superconductors and radiation monitors. It could be recycled, but it's not because helium is so cheap now there's no point.
As a result, scientists say the world could run out of helium in 25 to 30 years. How could this be happening? Blame the U.S. government.
A little back story is in order: Back in 1925, when the U.S. needed a stable supply of helium for dirigibles, the U.S. established the National Helium Reserve. And a massive store of the gas was kept near Amarillo, Tex., the Independent reports.
After leading the market for months, oil and gas stocks plummet as energy prices cool. Risky assets are following them down. But aren't lower energy prices a good thing?
Energy stocks have been the big losers over the past week. The drop accelerated Monday on word that Libya's embattled Muammar Gadhafi has accepted a cease-fire/peace plan put forth by the African Union. It was hoped that such a deal would quell the unrest and minimize further damage to Libyan oil infrastructure. Already, the loss of more than 1.3 million barrels per day of Libyan sweet has resulted in the eighth-largest supply disruption since 1950.
The deal was rejected by the rebels, but the hope of peace was enough to send oil tumbling. Also contributing was a small 2011 GDP growth estimate cut from the IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook. Also contributing was a research note from Goldman Sachs warning of a "substantial pullback" for crude as global supplies remain "adequate."
We've written a lot about the risk that the current energy price strike presents to economic growth because of the negative impact on inflation and consumer confidence. Through this lens, any drop in oil prices -- especially the large and dramatic one we've seen that has taken prices from near $114 a barrel Friday to $106 today-- should be a huge positive for stocks, since it relaxes inflation's grip around the throat of the economy. So why aren't stocks moving higher?
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The Street's 'corrective action' made an attractive company that is growing profitability even more appetizing.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major indices hit news lows for the session in the last half hour as buyers simply aren't showing a lot of conviction so far. Strikingly, the Russell 2000 is bucking the broader trend and is up 0.1% (not a big gain but an intersting one in light of the weakness in most other areas).
There has been a lot of talk today about economic activity improving given the headline surprises in the initial claims and Q3 GDP reports, yet there isn't any clear strength in the ... More
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