Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2014

The Labor Department has released guidance on same-sex couples who are legally married, defining them as spouses — regardless of which state they live — in the context of retirement plans. The agency’s ruling hews closely to the Internal Revenue Service’s and Treasury Department’s Ruling 2013-17, which expands “spouse” and “husband and wife” to include gay couples in the context of federal tax law.

Further, both the IRS/Treasury ruling and the DOL guidance recognize same-sex marriages based on where the couples were married, rather than the state in which they live.

“A rule for employee benefit plans based on state of domicile would raise significant challenges for employers that operate or have employees in more than one state or whose employees move to another state while entitled with benefits,” the Labor Department noted in its guidance.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own 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 To Own 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]

    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.

  • [By David Dittman]

    Answer: Growth: Magna International, Ag Growth International Inc (TSX: AFN, OTC: AGGZF), NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE: NEE), Aqua America Inc (NYSE: WTR) and, at these levels, Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX). I like Verizon too.

    Income: Brookfield Renewable Energy, Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU), Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE: EPD), Plains All American Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: PAA), Pembina Pipeline.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own 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 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.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), with its driverless cars, is also committed to being the leader in new technology for automakers. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are other contenders for platform dominance.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Again, Buffett talks up intrinsic value as the real yardstick. After all, he is not going to give short sellers and critics a reason to bash him. Berkshire Hathaway purchased additional shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) to a 9.2% stake versus 8.7% a year earlier, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to a 6.3% stake versus 6.0%. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is far from being one the “Big Four” holdings, but that may change in time.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own 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 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%.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    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 T is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. Since T’s tangible book value is not meaningful, a Graham number can not be calculated. The stock is trading at a 11.6% premium to its calculated fair value of $28.64. T 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% T earned one Star in this section for 3.) above and earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1984 and has increased its dividend payments for 31 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 T earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $1,161. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as T has. The stock’s current yield of 5.76% exceeds the 3.68% estimated 20-year average MMA rate. Memberships and Peers: T is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: CenturyLink, I

  • [By abirk] and operates in approximately 34,000 restaurants in 120 countries around the world. Recently, most of the company’s growth efforts has been concentrated abroad, and international growth has been booming.

    However, the company has the resources and innovative muscle to acclimate itself to the challenge. It now needs to exhibit the patience and determination to keep experimenting with its menu and alternative revenue streams to preserve its vaunted, decades-long success.

    Raining Dividends

    McDonald’s is a dividend rich company. The dividend has grown from $2.05 a share in 2009 to $3.12 for 2013, a CAGR of 11%. The payout ratio has crept up from 49% in 2009 to 56% (projected) in 2013, which still leaves the company plenty of room to grow their dividend.

    It is one of the highest-yielding stocks in the sector, and its current dividend yield is close to 3.4%. The company has a long history of growing its quarterly dividend, and its annual dividend increase comes after the third quarter of the year. At the moment, the stock pays an annual dividend of $3.24, up from $3.04 for the last year. Due to the solid dividend yield, the stock has attracted a large number of investors over the last few years.

    Partnership Plans

    McDonald’s Corp. is partnering with Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT). to sell McCafe packaged coffee in U.S. grocery stores in various test markets. The coffee will be sold this year in whole-bean, ground and single-cup formats for use in brewers such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR)’s Keurig machines.

    McDonald’s has been selling its McCafe beverages in its restaurants for several years, an effort to compete with big java-selling chains such as Starbucks Corp (SBUX) and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (DNKN). The move has been one of McDonald’s more successful initiatives in recent years.

    Plans in India

    MCD has a relatively small market in India, so the beef-centric fast-food chain plans

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own 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 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.

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    Rival Colgate-Palmolive (CL) has different concerns, namely sluggishness in emerging markets where it enjoys commanding market share and derives more than half its revenue.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Own 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 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.

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    First, this information tells us that consumers are using their credit cards at increasing rates. Consequently, the no-brainer stocks to buy are credit card stocks. I personally prefer Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), because they both have the largest market shares.

  • [By Bloomberg]

    Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images American Express (AXP) is seeking to broaden its customer base by offering its first no-fee credit product that grants holders access to all of the lender’s rewards programs. The “EveryDay” card is AmEx’s biggest debut in terms of the amount of money spent on development and marketing since AmEx launched its “Blue” brand in 2000, according to Ed Gilligan, president of AmEx. The card issuer, already the biggest by purchases, is seeking new kinds of customers including U.S. mothers by offering incentives such as extra points for shopping at supermarkets, Gilligan said. “This segment didn’t think AmEx had a product that fit their needs,” Gilligan said in an interview at the firm’s New York headquarters. AmEx, whose business was built on charge cards that didn’t allow consumers to carry a balance, is seeking ways to increase loans and net interest income, which Gilligan has said comprise a smaller part of revenue than for competitors. Loans are increasing at AmEx slightly faster than the rest of the industry and they’re regarded as an important source of future revenue growth, he told analysts last month. Unlike with AmEx’s charge cards, EveryDay customers will have a spending limit and won’t be required to pay their balance in full each month, according to AmEx. They also won’t get extra perks such as earning triple rewards for travel and dining or access to entertainment events that are available to some customers who pay an annual fee on other types of cards. Terms call for the new card to carry a zero-percent interest rate for the first 15 months and 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent afterward, according to the company. Customers will have access to the full rewards program, which includes perks like transferring travel points that aren’t available on other AmEx products that don’t have an annual fee such as Blue, the firm said. The new card comes with EMV anti-fraud technology — named for founders EuroPay Interna