Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014

Investors often have to grapple with more than one investment option. Debt, equities, gold are some of the common investment options and the average investor spends considerable time and effort in evaluating where to invest and how much to invest, how to allocate and when to re-allocate. If all this sounds complicated, it is.

Make no mistake investing is a full time activity. If the individual dons the role of an investor, it leaves him little time for his primary role as a professional or businessman. He is called upon to juggle dual roles which can be stressful making him compromise on one to fully accomplish the objectives of the other.

So, the individual has to decide whether he wants to be a full-time investor or ‘outsource’ the job to a money manager and continue with his role of a professional/businessman.

Since most investors have limited skills in managing investments, it is an easy choice to make about what they want to continue doing and what they want to give up.

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: Visa Inc.(V)

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    After announcing last Friday that they would not be processing any transactions for Russian banks, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) restarted payment processing on Saturday. Payment processing was halted following the inclusion of individuals who own banks on a list of 20 Russian officials and businesspeople who have been identified as targets of U.S. sanctions related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    And it’s easy to understand why. Alibaba’s offering—likely in New York rather than Hong Kong—could well come in as the biggest IPO ever, easily surpassing the $16.1 billion Facebook (FB) raised in 2012 and the $19.65 billion raised in Visa’s (V) 2008 offering.

  • [By DealNews]

    Ben Husmann/Flickr The words “friendly” and “fraud” may not seem to go together, but friendly fraud — also known as chargeback fraud — is a real problem for a lot of online merchants. Friendly fraud happens when a customer fraudulently reports to their financial institution that a charge on their credit card isn’t legitimate; the customer will typically be refunded the money immediately, leaving the merchant on the hook for the cash. Friendly fraud may be intentional theft, like shoplifting, but some customers may do it accidentally — reporting a charge because they don’t realize another member of their household made the purchase or the charge information on their statement doesn’t match up to a recognized retailer name, which can happen if the retailer uses a third-party payment system like PayPal. With identity theft at an all-time high and banks eager to reassure consumers that their identity (and their money) is safe with fraud protection guarantees, it’s become increasingly easy for cardholders to use these protections to commit fraud. Retailers Shoulder the Burden Whether chargeback fraud is intentional or not, retailers are losing billions; Visa estimates $11.8 billion was lost to friendly fraud in 2012. For online merchants, who never physically swiped a card, it can be difficult to prove that a charge was legitimate — making chargebacks a game of he said, she said, where the customer usually wins. What’s more, if a merchant has more than 1 percent of their charges reversed as chargebacks, they can find themselves shut down by Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) — which can mean going out of business entirely. As a result, businesses are fighting friendly fraud in a lot of different ways. To protect themselves from chargebacks, many merchants require customers to enter credit or debit card’ security codes in order to prove ownership and physical access to the card. Some merchants will only ship to the address associated with a charge card, which ca

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: Chevron Corporation(CVX)

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The sales big spender was Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) which posted 16 high bids, totaling just over $321 million. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) offered six high bids, totaling $106 million, followed by Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) with 16 high bids, totaling nearly $50 million, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) with four high bids, totaling more than $45 million.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is down some 7.4% so far year to date, but it is down 10.2% from its 52-week high of $127.83. It is trading at $114.60, and the consensus target of $129.56 implies upside of just over 13% for the oil giant. While Exxon was barely behind this one, Chevron does at least have that higher 3.5% dividend yield, and that dividend is likely to rise yet again. The company’s capex and drilling outlook failed to excite Wall Street, but that happens sometimes, and vast fields are getting harder to find at economical levels.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    After falling nearly 1.2% yesterday after announcing that production would be falling and capex spending would be lower, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) trades up 0.96% today at $115.61 in its 52-week range of $109.27 to $127.83 shortly before the closing bell. Trading volume for Chevron’s shares was about 12% below the daily average of around 6.5 million shares.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Stocks went nowhere today after making back early losses, as Chevron (CVX) and Wal-Mart (WMT) gained, while Visa (V) and Boeing (BA) fell.

    REUTERS

    The S&P 500 gained 0.03% to 1,868.20, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.07% to 16,340.08. Chevron’s 1% gain, which came after being added to the Focus List at Credit Suisse, and Wal-Mart’s 0.8% rise helped balance out Visa’s 0.5% fall and  Boeing’s 1% drop, which came after UBS cut its price target. Tesoro (TSO) jumped 4.1% to $54.50 after oil prices fell, making the refiner the S&P 500′s biggest winner.

    Once again, concerns about China are reputed to have driven early weakness in the stock market. Rhino Trading Partners’ Michael Block expresses his concern about the falling Chinese yuan:

    …cheaper Chinese exports could wreak havoc on non Chinese exporters around the world.  The most obvious losers would be South Korean, Japanese, U.S. and European stocks that are heavy exporters to countries other than China…In the U.S., I am concerned about export heavy sectors like autos and steel the most.  Given the weaker yuan and lower Chinese purchasing power, consumer companies selling into China, whether they be luxury goods makers or QSRs, are also ones to avoid here.

    The big picture is that this could end up being an issue that affects everyone going into this November.  If a weaker CNY causes U.S. exports to fall and jobs and GDP suffer, you better believe that protectionism becomes a byword going into mid term elections and then beyond that into the 2016 campaign.   The risk of this escalating into a full scale currency war is the biggest risk that China’s new path may entail.   And yet I see good reasons for why it will happen.  China may have no choice but to give it a try.  Any questions or comments, please contact me.

    Hey, maybe I wasn’t wrong when I wrote about China’s problems hitting t

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matthew Coffina]

    Philip Morris International (PM)

    Among our holdings, Philip Morris is arguably the most exposed to depreciating emerging market currencies, since it doesn’t have any US sales. Unfortunately, currency fluctuations are an unavoidable tradeoff for emerging markets’ relatively stable cigarette volumes.

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    That means you should go with either Altria Group (MO) or Philip Morris International (PM). And if you’re only interested in buying one, I think I’d select MO stock. It pays a slightly better divided (5.2% vs. 4.7%).

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    And Starbucks will be nagged forever by the fact it was flanked by McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) in the coffee business. Wall Street has not forgotten that one of America’s oldest fast-food companies trumped one of its newest ones using distribution heft, brand and a huge store chain size to stagger Starbucks within the business in which it claimed to be the leader.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    If those traders are right, and food commodity prices are headed much higher, it would be bad news for consumers and for consumer companies such as McDonald’s (MCD) and PepsiCo (PEP) that have to pay higher prices.

  • [By Steven Russolillo]

    Gap Inc.(GPS), McDonald’s Corp.(MCD) and General Motors Co.(GM) were among other companies that cited the weather as a factor in their results and projections. Companies in the energy, consumer-discretionary and industrial sectors mentioned the weather the most on their calls, FactSet data show.

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nate Pile]

    Steve Halpern: A really good example of your long-term approach is how you built positions in Apple (AAPL), not just focusing on the stock over the course of weeks or months, but having followed the company and built positions over many years. Could you share your thoughts on the company?

  • [By Tabitha Jean Naylor]

    Part of the blame can be attributed to the “I’m a Mac” advertising campaign, launched by Microsoft’s chief competitor, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). This campaign was initiated just after, and in response, to the release of Vista. It essentially demonized the operating system as user-unfriendly and rife for viruses and other major operating issues.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images Amazon (AMZN), according to persistent rumors, is putting the finishing touches on a set-top box that will allows users to stream video content from a chosen device or devices to their TVs. If it’s true, the company is coming fairly late to a stuffed segment. But grabbing market share — and even making a buck on the device — might not be its top motivation for wading into this fray. A Razor-and-Blades Strategy For the past few years — ever since it launched its first Kindle — Amazon has been willing to sacrifice making a profit on its tablets in order to push its digital content, a growing library of TV shows, feature films, video games and other material. It sells the current Kindle HD iterations at cost (starting at $139 for the standard HD, and going to $229 for the 7-inch-display HDX version and $379 for the 8.9-inch HDX). Since Kindles are packed with software that guides users to the retailer’s offerings — most compatibly, those TV shows and movies, which users can rent or buy, but also the company’s online catalog of physical goods — the business strategy is a variation on the classic razor-and-blades model. In other words, the company sells the razor (the Kindle) relatively cheaply, in the hopes of producing a long-tail revenue stream with the blades (the digital content). Amazon doesn’t break out detailed numbers for revenue derived from Kindle user activity, so it’s hard to gauge how effective the strategy has been. But the company is selling a lot of digital media. According to research conducted by investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) last year, Amazon stood to take in around $3.8 billion worth of digital media sales in 2013. The bank predicts that this will surge to a projected $5.7 billion this year. The latter figure is around 6 percent of total anticipated net sales for the entirety of 2014. Tablet Sales are Tumbling Putting a damper on that happy growth story is development of the overall ta

  • [By Reuters]

    cinz/Flickr Apple (AAPL) is in talks with Comcast to enter into a deal for a streaming-television service that would allow Apple set-top boxes to bypass congestion on the Web, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The discussions are in early stages and there are a lot of hurdles to be crossed before a definitive agreement could be reached, the Journal said. Apple, which wants its TV service’s traffic to be separated from public internet traffic over the “last mile” for faster transmission, is looking for special treatment from Comcast’s (CMCSA) (CMCSK) cables to bypass congestion, the report said. Comcast and Apple declined to comment on the report. Apple has been in talks for a faster TV set-top box with Time Warner Cable (TWC), which recently agreed to be bought by Comcast. Apple’s $99 TV box competes with similar streaming devices from Roku and Google (GOOG). Netflix agreed last month to pay Comcast for faster speeds, throwing open the possibility that more content companies will have to shell out for better service.

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)

Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) is a top consumer staples name to make the UBS. Colgate sells its products in more than 200 countries and makes more than 75% of its revenue outside the United States, which provides geographic diversification and growth opportunities in emerging markets for the company. This diversity, matched with a huge list of consumer products, keeps revenues and dividends growing. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend. The consensus target is $67.14. Colgate closed Tuesday at $64.34.

  • [By TaniaC]

    Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL) is a consumer products company whose products are marketed in over 200 countries and territories throughout the world. It operates in two segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care and Pet Nutrition.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) will release its quarterly report on Friday, and investors have watched the stock hit new all-time record highs in November before falling back in the past two months. Despite the optimism, Procter & Gamble earnings face pressure from international giant Unilever (NYSE: UL  ) as well as domestic rivals Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB  ) . The question facing investors is whether P&G can sustain its longtime competitive advantages against its rivals and bolster its growth.

Best Blue Chip Companies For 2014: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 1,857.44 as Netflix plunged, 6.7% to $378.90, Facebook declined 4.7% to $64.10 and Alexion Pharmaceuticals dropped 6.3% to $149.76 as biotech stocks continued to sell off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, dropped just 0.2% to 16,276.69 thanks to its lack of stocks like Netflix, Facebook and Alexion Pharmaceuticals. The Dow was also helped by the strong performance of International Business Machines (IBM), which rose 0.9% to $188.25 and Procter & Gamble (PG), which advanced 1.8% to $79.30.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Every one of the 30 Dow stocks is trading higher about half an hour before Monday’s closing gell. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has posted the largest gain today, up 1.82% at $185.55 in a 52-week range of $172.19 to $215.82 just ahead of the closing bell. Volume is on track to be about 20% below the daily average of some 5 million shares traded. IBM’s share price is second-highest among the Dow stocks.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Before thinking that these five are the biggest drags on the DJIA for 2014, other DJIA stocks have been dead weight for a bit longer then 2014. Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) are down some 18% from their 52-week high, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are down some 14% from their 52-week high. Their problems began in 2014, so they are not on the year-to-date loser list of the DJIA stocks.