Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix today launched a makeover of the streaming video service, a move that comes after a succession of new entertainment titles.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company has redesigned its interface for better discovery of its catalog on TVs. The new look will display three large slide-show images, a teaser synopsis and one personalized detail chosen by Netflix.

“We want discovery to be richer,” says Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix “I knew one of my personal frustrations was I felt like today’s Netflix experience didn’t give me enough reasons for why I should watch this vs. that.”

Netflix’s old look gave viewers less detail and was dated. The streaming service’s titles appeared much like rectangular images of VHS boxes, with descriptions, information on the number of episodes and ratings. The new version has taken two large Netflix-selected still images from scenes and added them to the studio art.

Best Blue Chip Stocks 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 Rahul Chattaraj]

    The mighty Apple (AAPL) has greatly reaped benefits from its epic innovation –iPhone. Smartphones have been around us in various forms since early 2000. But, right from its introduction in 2007, till the present day Apple has made millions by revolutionizing the smartphone experience, the latest and the greatest contribution being made by the iPhone 5S.

  • [By Andrew Tonner]

    On the surface this seems slightly absurd. How could a market that began less than five years ago with Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) introduction of the iPad in 2010 be approaching mass-market saturation? Fast forward to today and both Apple and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) have carved out dominant portions of what’s now become a truly global market.

  • [By Tim Beyers, Nathan Alderman, and Ellen Bowman]

    Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) wants Android in everything.  Will Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) respond with iOS-powered scarves? Who stands to profit more from the release of the highly anticipated Xbox One game, Titanfall? And does Lady Sif’s ratings-boosting appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mean we’ll see more Asgardians soon? Ellen Bowman, Nathan Alderman, and Tim Beyers have these stories and more in this week’s episode of 1-Up on Wall Street!

Best Blue Chip Stocks 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 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

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Three more rigs will delivered this year and next. Those rigs in operation are contracted out to energy giants Chevron (CVX), Total (TOT) and Petrobras (PBR). And having three of the largest oil majors sending you checks every day has worked in PACD’s favor.

Best Blue Chip Stocks 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 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.

  • [By Philip Springer]

    What’s this week’s big story for investors?

    Candidate #1: RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) said it will close up to 1,100 of its nearly 5,200 US stores amid widening losses. The company also announced that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 fell 20 percent from year-earlier levels.

    It doesn’t matter whether the latest announcement is in addition to or merely an expansion of the company’s Feb. 5 statement that it would close 500 stores. That, in turn, shortly followed the beleaguered company’s $4 million expenditure for a widely praised but clearly ill-timed 30-second ad during the Super Bowl.

    Also this week, Radio Shack agreed to pay its top executives “retention” bonuses, saying their skills are critical to the company’s comeback plan. CEO Joe Magnacca will get a $500,000 payment, while other executives will receive $187,500 to $275,000.

    The stock currently trades around $2, down from its 1999 peak of $61.
    No, that’s not the week’s big story. But it was too good to ignore.

    Candidate #2: The current bull market celebrates its fifth birthday this week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 delivering a total return of about 175 percent during that time.

    Since 1921, the median bull market has been 50 months long and has delivered 115 percent in price appreciation. So this market is older and better than most. Still, the conditions aren’t yet present to suggest the end is near. Indeed, Wednesday’s advance, the best of the year to date, was exceptional for both its breadth and heavy volume.

    The five-year anniversary also means that stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds and so on will boast very good five-year returns. Don’t be overly impressed. Reason: Almost everybody will be a winner. (Other than Radio Shack.) But you should dig deeper: Comparisons will be useful to sort out leaders and laggards f or potential investme

Best Blue Chip Stocks 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%).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Lorillard have jumped 4.6% to $51.29 at 1:32 p.m. today, while Reynolds American has gained 2.5% to $52.12 and British American Tobacco has dropped 1.1% to $107.62. Altria Group (MO), meanwhile, has risen 0.4% to $36.43 and Philip Morris International (PM) has declined 0.9% to $80.21.

  • [By Kelley Wright]

    Tobacco is a controversial business; but for Philip Morris International (PM), it’s a market basically unaffected by economic slowdowns or rising commodity prices, which means it is stable and defensive; a combination we can live with. We also like the $3.76 dividend, outstanding growth, and a five-year average return on equity of over 160.

Best Blue Chip Stocks 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 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.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number CINF is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 36.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $34.96. CINF did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% CINF earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1954 and has increased its dividend payments for 54 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $62 is below the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as CINF has. If CINF grows its dividend at 1.2% per year, it will take 5 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: CINF is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Divid

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Energy stocks, well, I don’t see oil moving up a whole lot. It doesn’t look like it is going to be necessarily a bad time for energy stocks because oil is going to be dropping, but I don’t see a whole lot of energy in the sector. But the real problem, I think, is consumer stocks. These are kind of like the safe stocks that people go to when they want to be in the market but they’re a little worried about the market. You know the stocks I mean, McDonald’s (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP), the companies that have theoretically steadily growing earnings. The problem is we’ve had a lot of bad news from those stocks in the fourth quarter and in, sort of, month-to-month figures from companies like McDonald’s for January and February that we’re not seeing much in the way of growth. Two problems there, one of which is sort of general, which is that we’re not seeing a whole lot of increases in growth, sort of acceleration in the growth rate in emerging mark ets. In fact, we have seen a deceleration, and that has had an effect on companies like McDonald’s. The other is that we’re battling some individual, or sector trends, so that McDonald’s, for example, is fighting against a lot more competition, in the sense that, for some percentage of the market, they are really not very exciting anymore as destination restaurants. For Coke and Pepsi, we’re dealing with the fact that cola drinks and sweetened fizzy drinks, in general, are sort of losing market share, again, losing some pizzazz. If you look at all of these sectors and say, “Okay, so what’s going to drive the market higher from here,” a lot of the sectors that were doing the job in January, and the first half of February, seem to have run out of gas, and that may leave us with very little, other than technology, and it’s hard to see technology being sufficient in and of itself to drive the market from here and that is what I ‘d look for in the week ahead, what’s our leaders

  • [By Daniela Pylypczak]

    On Thursday, workers from three states filed lawsuits against fast-food giant McDonald’s Corporation (MCD).

    Filing in California, Michigan, and New York, workers are accusing McDonald’s in engaging in a variety of practices to avoid paying employees what they are owed. Some of the violations include the use of software that monitors the ratio of labor costs as a percentage of revenue. Lawyers noted that the class action lawsuits could affect roughly 30,000 workers; the suits seek back pay and other damages [see also A Brief History of JP Morgan’s Massive Fines (JPM)].

    Commenting on the allegations, a McDonald’s franchise in Oak Brook, Illinois stated that they will be investigating the matter; “McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants.”

    McDonald’s shares fell 1.38% during Thursday’s session. Year-to-date, the stock is up 2.39%.