What is Reinheitsgebot and why does it matter? Well, it’s also known as the “German Beer Purity Law”, and it has come up recently because German brewing companies are protesting against using hydraulic fracturing for natural gas exploration in Germany because they are afraid it will contaminate water sources and put them in violation of this purity law.
This story may sound made-up, but there is something for investors to gather from it: the struggle to produce gas is much greater than we think. Several countries have banned the practice of hydraulic fracturing outright, and those who allow it are struggling to produce. In this video, Fool.com contributor Tyler Crowe looks at some of the recent struggles to get Europe’s shale gas industry off the ground and what it means for investors here in the U.S.
With domestic natural gas production growing faster than consumption, the United States is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas by the end of the decade. Cheniere Energy will become the first LNG exporter approved to ship to high-margin countries that are not members of a free trade agreement. With natural gas prices expected to rest in the $4-$5 range per MMbtu, Cheniere is primed for solid gains once the initial LNG trains start chugging in the first half of 2015. Don’t wait until then – this 2013 darling continues to outperform the broad markets. Be sure to read all the details in this premium research report.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [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!
- [By Ishfaque Faruk]
A company’s move to buy back substantial amounts of its own stock can create a lot of value for long-term shareholders. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB ) , and Yahoo! are doing just that, which will aid earnings-per-share growth by lowering the outstanding share count. Companies that bet heavily on their own stock tend to be good investments, as management — which very likely has better information about the operation than outside investors — is showing confidence in the organization.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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 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.
- [By James Well]
Analysts’ Consensus Position on Pfizer
Thirteen analysts including those at TheStreet, Thomson Reuters/Verus, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley and Argus Research are optimistic about the performance of Pfizer going forward and, hence, reiterated a consensus buy recommendation at an average target price of $31.78 per share. Last Wednesday, analysts at Goldman Sachs removed Pfizer from Goldman’s conviction buy list (CL) where Pfizer has been since Aug. 9, 2011, and placed it on the buy list but raised its price target from $34 to $35 per share. Jami Rubin, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, claimed that Pfizer has gone up by 82.5% since being added to the CL as against 53.9% for the S&P 500 during the period and, therefore, there was the need to replace Pfizer with AbbVie at a price target of $60 because they claimed AbbVie has greater upside at this time.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [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%.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [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.
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 Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [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
- [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]
IBM is a global technology company that provides essential products and services to companies and consumers worldwide. Hundreds of workers at a plant run by IBM have gone on strike. The stock has been struggling over the past couple of years, but is currently surging higher. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been rising while revenues have been declining, which has produced conflicting feelings among investors. Relative to its peers and sector, IBM has been a poor year-to-date performer. WAIT AND SEE what IBM does next.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
Of course, a roster of A-list clients helps a great deal. Some of Open Text’s stable of blue chip clients include The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), BP plc (NYSE: BP), and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V).
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks have tumbled after a slightly stronger open as Visa (V), American Express (AXP), United Technologies (UTX), Noble Corp (NE) and PVH Corp. (PVH) slide.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.2% to 1,846.34, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 231.19 points, or 1.4%, to 16,108.89.
While a solid U.S. jobless claims number helped boost U.S. markets this morning, international concerns are coming to the fore once again. Tensions in the Ukraine are escalating– Russia is said to have 200,000 troops at ready and is reported to be readying itself for Iran-like sanctions–while China’s industrial production rose just 8.6% in January and February, down from a 9.7% increase in December. And though largely forgotten, all this turmoil comes against a backdrop of monetary policy uncertainty in the US.
Capital Economics’ Julian Jessop says “China concerns still look exaggerated.” He writes:
China’s continuing economic slowdown is clearly bad news for some commodity exporters. However, the world as a whole should actually benefit from slower but better-balanced growth in China. The risk of a “hard landing” is also still small and perhaps even diminishing as a result of recent policy moves, despite the latest concerns about the health of the shadow banking system…
[We] we would be wary of interpreting the recent slump in the price of copper as a warning sign of broader problems in the global economy. This slump has been compounded by factors specific to the industry, such as the impact of the China’s credit clampdown on the use of metals for financing. And as it happens, the Baltic Dry Index of global shipping costs, a rival bellwether, is actually rebounding again. However, we would put more weight on direct evidence from economic indicators such as the global PMIs, which have held up pretty well.
Societe Generale’s Albert Edwards takes coppers decline as just that&#
- [By Dan Burrows]
VeriFone has 60% of the global market share of EMV-enabled payment terminals — EMV stands for Europay, Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) — and has wide reach on the web with VeriShield protect, among other products and services. But competition has eaten away at its business, while fast-growth mobile payments services have attracted attention from behemoths like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG).
- [By Paul Ausick]
More than offsetting the drop in Disney stock, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) saw its share price rise 0.71% today and the stock’s high per share price carries a lot of weight on the DJIA. The stock will close at around $225.46 in a 52-week range of $155.68 to $235.50. Volume was almost 50% below the daily average of around nearly 3.4 million shares traded.
Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.
- [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%).