Nucor (NYSE: NUE ) earnings came out this morning, and the news was not good.
Sales for the fiscal second quarter dropped nearly 9%, to $4.7 billion. Earnings, at $0.27 per diluted share, were down 23%, due primarily to the reduction in revenues, and exacerbated by an increase in monies spent on marketing, administrative, and other expenses.
Yesterday, rival mini-mill operator Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ: STLD ) reported weak pricing in its steel, and similarly eroded earnings.
At Nucor, the steep slump in sales arose from a combination of factors. For one, shipments were down. Tons of steel shipped slipped 1% in comparison to last year’s Q2, owing to lower demand from customers. Adding to Nucor’s woes, and hurting Nucor earnings, the company noted that while steel prices have firmed up somewhat since Q1 of this year, they remain down 8% in comparison with last year’s Q2.
Result: Less steel shipped, and at far lower prices, added up to a 23% reduction in profit earned.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc (BEE)
Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (SHR), incorporated on January 27, 2004, operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s portfolio included 18 full-service hotel interests located in urban and resort markets in the United States; Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico; Hamburg, Germany, and London, England. SHR conducts its operations through its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including its operating partnership, Strategic Hotel Funding, L.L.C. (SH Funding), which holds all of the Company’s assets. SHR is the sole managing member of SH Funding and held approximately 99% of its membership units as of February 27, 2013. SHR manages all business aspects of SH Funding, including the sale and purchase of hotels, the investment in these hotels and the financing of SH Funding and its assets. In September 2012, it acquired the JW Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City. In October 2013, the Company annou nced that it has sold the Lakeshore Athletic Club property adjacent to the Fairmont Chicago hotel.
As of December 31, 2012, SH Funding owned interests in or leased 18 hotels, which included Fairmont Chicago, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort, Four Seasons Silicon Valley, Four Seasons Washington, D.C., Hotel del Coronado, Hyatt Regency La Jolla, InterContinental Chicago, InterContinental Miami, JW Marriott Essex House Hotel, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Marriott Hamburg, Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, Marriott London Grosvenor Square, Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and Westin St. Francis.
The Hotel del Coronado is operated by a specialty management company, KSL Resorts. As of February 27, 2013, the Company wholly owned or leased 14 hotels, had a 53.5% and 51.0% interest in an affiliate that owned a hotel where it asset managed such hotel, and had 50.0% and 36.4% interests in, and acted as asset manager for, two affiliates that eac! h owned one hotel, and owned land held for development, including 20.5 acres of oceanfront land adjacent to its Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit, Mexico and 60 acres of oceanfront land near the Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort; a 20,000 square-foot parcel of land on the ocean in Santa Monica, California adjacent to its Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel entitled for development and residential units; a 50% interest in an affiliate that owned 10 acres of land adjacent to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel, and a 31% interest in an affiliate with two parties that was developing the fractional ownership program known as the Four Seasons Residence Club Punta Mita.
- [By Anders Bylund]
Strategic Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: BEE ) raised its takeover defenses in 2008 in order to ward off opportunistic raiders amid general market turmoil. The REIT, which specializes in high-end hotels, extended its poison pill last year as the “lingering economic uncertainty” never went away. Six months later, in May 2013, the extension was cut short. No real explanation, but you could take this action as a vote of confidence in an improving economy. The stock has gained 14% in the seven months since, just ahead of the S&P’s 11% improvement. No takeover bids here.
- [By James E. Brumley]
In a perfect world, an investor could simply look at a company’s history and its plausible earnings forecasts, and jump in (or out) knowing the stock’s current price basically made sense with respect to past and future performance. We don’t live or trade in a perfect world though. In the world we’re actually in right now, most stocks, sectors, and industries have run up far beyond a justifiable value… perhaps except for hotel and lodging REIT stocks Host Hotels and Resorts Inc. (NYSE:HST), Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc. (NYSE:BEE), and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB).
- [By Rich Duprey]
Luxury hotel and resort operator Strategic Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: BEE ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend on three series of cumulative redeemable preferred stock.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: iShares S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF (IJS)
The iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Value Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600/Citigroup Value Index (the Index). The Index measures the performance of the small-capitalization value sector of the United States equity market. The Index is a subset of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and consists of those companies exhibiting the strongest value characteristics within the S&P SmallCap 600 Index.
The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) acts as the investment advisor of the Fund.
- [By Gary Gordon]
On behalf of most of my clients in 2013, I chose to overweight tech and health care. However, I did so with areas that are traditionally less volatile. I continue to own Powershares Pharmaceuticals (PJP) and/or SPDR Select Healthcare (XLV). I’ve been a proponent of “old tech” with the attractive prices and dividends; First Trust NASDAQ Tech Dividend (TDIV) fits the bill. Additionally, I have remained faithful to iShares Small Cap Value (IJS) for small-cap exposure, rather than hop on the IWO express.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: Axxess Unlimited Inc (AXXU)
Axxess Unlimited, Inc., incorporated on June 8, 2000, is the holding company for the Axxess family of companies. The Axxess family of companies includes both vertically-integrated operating businesses and horizontally-integrated companies with each supported by a common software technology – the Axxess RISE Platform. The Company provides next-generation business intelligence for a range of businesses and organizations. It provides information-driven business solutions through interactive marketing, interactive technologies, application and product development, customer relationship management, business intelligence, portals and collaboration, and infrastructure solutions. Its companies include Axxess Digital (AxxuD), Axxess Apps (AxxuA) and Axxess Brands (AxxuB).
AxxuD is an interactive digital agency company. The Company relies on the core logic of the Axxess Unlimited RISE platform.
AxxuA is a software development company. The focus of AxxuA includes: enterprise applications, custom applications, cloud applications and mobile applications. The Company has software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions and custom and mobile products available in the government services, automobile dealership, medical and consumer goods sectors.
AxxuB is a marketer and manufacturer of specialty brands in better-for-you and indulgent categories under a variety of Company owned and licensed brand names. AxxuB licenses brands and provides outsource management.
- [By James E. Brumley]
If the names Axxess Unlimited Inc. (OTCMKTS:AXXU) and MagneGas Corporation (NASDAQ:MNGA) ring a bell, it might be because yours truly posted some bullish thoughts on both names earlier this week. Although neither small cap stock had done everything they needed to do in order become a fully bullish trade at the time, both MNGA and AXXU have cleared those hurdles in the meantime. So, in case you forgot (or in case you missed the first look), an updated review of Axxess Unlimited and MagneGas is merited.
- [By James E. Brumley]
A week and a half ago, yours truly penned some bullish thoughts on Axxess Unlimited Inc. (OTCMKTS:AXXU). Not too many traders read that take, and/or if they did, they didn’t seem to care. The response to the commentary was non-existent (good or bad), and there was no sudden rush to go out and buy AXXU. Today’s second look may have a different outcome.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Even if you’re one of the few reading this now, odds are good that you’d still never heard of Axxess Unlimited Inc. (OTCMKTS:AXXU) until the beginning of February. Prior to that, trading in AXXU was thin and uneventful. The evidence? Prior to February 4th, the average daily volume was less than 10,000 shares per day, and had been stuck right around the $0.20 mark since the middle of last year. Since February 4th, though, things have changed for the better. Since then, volume has been considerably stronger, and Axxess Unlimited shares have finally woken up and decided to forge ahead.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: Sinner AG (SIN)
Sinner AG is a Germany-based company active in the lease of property. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, 55% of the Company’s rentals were leased to commercial and service companies, 31% were leased to manufacturing companies, 8% were leased to public authorities, public institutions, craft factories and others, and 6% were leased as office and residential properties. Sinner AG is majority owned by STINAG Stuttgart Invest AG, which holds a 75.14% of total share capital in the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Vanina Egea]
As China enters a new phase of economic development, characterized by slower growth, analysts begin to wonder about the future of companies deeply related to state activities. Common knowledge indicates that as the economy’s growth slows down, activities at the industries associated with that growth will slow too. Nonetheless, that simple take on economics can be deceiving and an analysis of Sinopec (SIN) will uncover considerable growth opportunities. The reasoning is the following. First, the Chinese economy will not stop growing. Second, the slowdown is not a product of model exhaustion, but a mere capacity readjustment. Third, the oil and gas industry will remain a key to continue growing for the Chinese economy. And the priority placed upon the oil and gas is where growth opportunities for the industry lie. Gurus are divided over this position, but their trading activities on Sinopec have not ceased.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (FCH)
FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated is a publicly owned real estate investment trust. The firm engages in investment and management of properties in the hospitality industry. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The firm primarily invests in hotels with a focus on the ownership of upper-upscale, full-service hotels and resorts. It was formerly known as FelCor Suite Hotels, Inc. FelCor Lodging Trust was founded in 1994 and is based in Irving, Texas.
- [By George Putnam]
Steve Halpern: Now, one of the positions that you’ve looked at is FelCor Lodging (FCH). Could you tell us a little about that?
George Putnam: Sure. Well, it grew fairly rapidly before the downturn in 2008 and didn’t really have a great focus. With the new management team after 2008, they have sold off a lot of non-core properties and are focusing on more upscale properties and strong markets, and they’ve used the proceeds from asset sales to help the balance sheet. They have paid down a lot of high-priced debt, which also helps the bottom line.
- [By Rich Smith]
Irving, Texas-based FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH ) will soon have a new chief financial officer.
On Monday, the real estate investment trust announced that CFO Andrew J. Welch intends to retire from the company at the end of this year. He will resign his post on July 1 but remain with the company a few months longer to facilitate the transition to a new CFO. Said new CFO will be Michael C. Hughes, the current company treasurer and senior vice president for finance, who will be promoted to CFO on July 1.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Luxury hotel REIT FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividends for two series of preferred shares. For its Series A cumulative convertible preferred stock, it would pay $0.4875 per share, while on its 8% Series C cumulative redeemable preferred stock it would pay $0.50 per depositary share.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI)
Navigant Consulting, Inc., incorporated in 1996, is an independent specialty consulting firm. Professional services include dispute, investigative, economic, operational, risk management technology, financial and regulatory advisory solutions. The Company provides companies, legal counsel and governmental agencies facing the challenges of uncertainty, risk, distress and significant change. It provides a range of offerings to its client base. It operates in four segments: Business Consulting Services, Dispute and Investigative Services, Economic Consulting and International Consulting. On July 15, 2011, the Company acquired assets of Ignited Solutions, LLC. In October 2011, the Company acquired Paragon Health, a national physician practice management and consulting firm specializing in Cardiovascular practices. Effective July 9, 2013, the Company acquired The Anson Group LLC.
The Business Consulting Services reporting segment provides strategic, operational, f inancial, regulatory and technical management consulting services to clients, principally C suite and corporate management, governmental entities and law firms. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the reporting segment consisted of three operating segments, Energy, Healthcare and Other Business Consulting. The Energy and Healthcare business units are defined as operating segments due to their size, importance and organizational reporting relationships. The Energy and Healthcare operating segments provide services to clients in those respective markets and the Other Business Consulting operating segment provides operations advisory, valuation and restructuring services to clients in the financial services and other industries..
The Dispute and Investigative Services reporting segment provides a range of services to clients facing the challenges of disputes, litigation, forensic investigation, discovery and regulatory compliance. The clients of this segment are principally law firms, corporate general counsel and cor! porate boards and government agencies.
The Economic Consulting reporting segment provides economic and financial analyses of legal and business issues principally for law firms, corporations and governmental agencies. Expertise includes areas, such as antitrust, corporate finance and governance, bankruptcy, intellectual property, investment banking, labor market discrimination and compensation, corporate valuation and securities litigation.
The International Consulting reporting segment provides a mix of dispute and business consulting services to clients predominately outside North America. The clients are principally C suite and corporate management, governmental entities and law firms. The clients are principally C suite executives and corporate management, governmental agencies and law firms.
- [By MONEYMORNING]
In fact, of the 10 companies examined, Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE: NCI) is the only one that has received no new contract awards since the GAO’s March 31 study cutoff date. (The firm is tasked with data collection and customer outreach.)
In late October, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified under oath to Congress to address the Obamacare website launch disaster. She began with a prepared statement, with comments like “You deserve better,” “I apologize,” and “I’m accountable to you.”
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Navigant Consulting (NYSE: NCI ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Cheapest Stocks To Watch For 2015: Analog Devices Inc (ADI)
Analog Devices, Inc. (Analog Devices), incorporated on January 18, 1965, is engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of a range of analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits (ICs). The Company produces a range of products, including data converters, amplifiers and linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology and other sensors, and processing products, including DSP and other processors, which are designed to meet the needs of a base of customers. The Company’s products are embedded inside many different types of electronic equipment, including industrial process control systems; instrumentation and measurement systems; wireless infrastructure equipment, and aerospace and defense electronics. The Company designs , manufactures and markets a range of ICs, which incorporate analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing technologies. The Company ‘s product portfolio includes both general-purpose products used by a range of customers and applications, as well as application-specific products. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired Multigig, Inc.
The Company’s product portfolio includes several thousand analog ICs. The Company’s analog IC customers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers who build electronic subsystems for integration into larger systems. The Company is a supplier of data converter products. Data converters translate real-world analog signals into digital data and also translate digital data into analog signals. The Company is also a supplier of amplifiers. Amplifiers are used to condition analog signals. The Company provides precision, instrumentation, intermediate frequency/radio frequency (RF), broadband, and other amplifiers. The Company also offers a range of precision voltage references, which are used in a range of applications. The Company’s analog product line also includes a range port! folio of RF ICs covering the RF signal chain, from RF function blocks, such as phase locked loops, frequency synthesizers, mixers, modulators, demodulators, and power detectors, to broadband and short-range single chip transceiver solutions.
The Company’s RF ICs support the requirements of cellular infrastructure and a range of applications in the Company’s target markets. Also within the Company’s analog technology portfolio are products, which are based on MEMS technology. This technology enables the Company to build small sensors, which incorporate an electromechanical structure and the supporting analog circuitry for conditioning signals obtained from the sensing element. The Company’s MEMS product portfolio includes accelerometers used to sense acceleration, gyroscopes used to sense rotation, inertial measurement units used to sense multiple degrees of freedom combining multiple sensing types along multiple axis, and MEMS microphones used to sense audio. T he Company’s current revenue from MEMS products is derived from the automotive end market. In addition to the Company’s MEMS products, its other analog product category includes isolators. The Company’s isolators have been designed for applications, such as universal serial bus isolation in patient monitors, where it allows hospitals and physicians to adopt the advances in computer technology to supervise patient health and wirelessly transmit medical records. In smart metering applications, the Company’s isolators provide electrostatic discharge performance. In satellites, where any malfunction can be catastrophic, the Company’s isolators help protect the power system while enabling designers to achieve small form factors. Power management & reference products make up the balance of the Company’s analog sales. Those products, which include functions such as power conversion, driver monitoring, sequencing and energy management, are developed to complement analog signal chain components across core market segments from micro power, en! ergy-sens! itive battery applications to power systems in infrastructure and industrial applications.
Digital Signal Processing Products
Digital Signal Processing products (DSPs) complete the Company’s product portfolio. DSPs are optimized for numeric calculations, which are essential for instantaneous, or real-time, processing of digital data generated, from analog to digital signal conversion. The Company’s DSPs are designed to be fully programmable and to execute specialized software programs, or algorithms, associated with processing digitized real-time, real-world data. Programmable DSPs are designed to provide the flexibility to modify the device’s function using software. The Company’s DSP IC customers write their own algorithms using software development tools provided by the Company and third-party suppliers. The Company’s DSPs are designed in families of products, which share common architectures and therefore can execute the same software across a r ange of products. The Company’s customers use the Company’s products to solve a range of signal processing challenges across its core market and segment focus areas within the industrial, automotive, consumer and communications end markets. As an integrated part of the Company’s customers’ signal chain, there are other Analog Devices products connected to its processors, including converters, audio and video codecs and power management solutions.
The Company competes with Broadcom Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., Cirrus Logic, Inc., Microchip Technology, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Infineon Technologies, ST Microelectronics, Intersil Corporation, Silicon Laboratories, Inc., Knowles Electronics, Texas Instruments, Inc. and Linear Technology Corporation.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ: BOBE), Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI), TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), DSW (NYSE: DSW) Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ: SAFM) Economic Releases Expected: U.S. consumer confidence, U.S. house price index, U.S. Redbook, U.S. durable goods orders
- [By Harsh Chauhan]
It is not just auto companies that are benefiting from this growth. Even chipmakers have cashed in on this trend as vehicles get more advanced and are equipped with more technology. Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI ) is one such semiconductor company which has trained its sights on the resurgent auto market. It recently announced the acquisition of Hittite Microwave (NASDAQ: HITT ) to bolster its position in automotive, along with other verticals.