Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now

Ex-dividend dates are very important to dividend investors, since you must purchase a stock prior to its ex-dividend date in order to receive its upcoming dividend payout. For more information, check out Everything Investors Need to Know About Ex-Dividend Dates.

Below we highlight 10 big-name stocks going ex-dividend for the week of April 21-25.

1. Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble (PG) is set to trade ex-dividend on April 23. The personal products company offers a dividend yield of 3.15% based on Wednesday’s closing price of $81.65 and the company’s quarterly dividend payout of 34.36 cents. The stock has been flat year-to-date. Dividend.com currently rates PG as “Recommended” with a DARS™ rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By kcpl]

    However, there are a few restaurants who have managed to brave the headwinds and have come out as winners. Some of these are Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Sonic (SONC), and Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) — which have bucked the industry trend.

  • [By abirk]

    The restaurant sector is always a hot favorite among people as there are many varieties of restaurants that cater to the demographics of people in the U.S. One player in this industry with a casual dining facility is Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD).

  • [By Damian Illia]

    Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD) owns, operates and franchises a chain of more than 900 casual dining restaurants across the United States and Canada. Buffalo Wild Wings has a strong brand prospect and is considered one of the most popular casual dining restaurant chains – with a dine and watch concept and 40 television sets per outlet. The company offers its chicken wings, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and beers until 2am. Not only sports fan love Buffalo but also families which enjoy taking their children to restaurants where their children can watch TV and play videogames.

  • [By Nickey Friedman]

    “Customers have been telling us for some time… ‘I don’t like to wait for the check,'” said Julia Stewart, CEO of DineEquity  (NYSE: DIN  ) , in an interview on CNBC. DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s, and other restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD  ) and Chili’s of Brinker International (NYSE: EAT  )  are in the process of rolling out pay-at-the-table computer tablets across the nation. While giving consumers a more convenient way to order and pay for their meal is a plus, there is an indirect motivator for the tablets that may lead to higher sales and profits.

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) have jumped this morning after the maker of surgical robots announced that it would buy back $1 billion dollars of its shares from Goldman Sachs (GS).

    ISI Group’s Vijay Kumar calls the buyback “huge for investors.” He explains why:

    This is a huge positive for shareholders, and reiterates our belief in the long term opportunity for robotic surgery. Recall that the company reiterated its commitment to grow OpEx by 12-15% on its 1Q call (April 22) while lowering procedure estimates by ~500bps at the mid-point, implying its belief in new product opportunity and willingness to spend. We had urged management…to back this belief by share repurchases and send a proactive message to the Street. We are encouraged to see this announcement, and would further note that our recent channel checks on the new Xi product has been very positive. Given this, we reiterate our Strong Buy rating of [Intuitive Surgical] shares.

    …[Intuitive Surgical] could repurchase ~2-2.8MM of shares, which implies earnings accretion by ~5-7% (and consequently expect shares to be up at least ~7%).

    Shares of Intuitive Surgical have gained 1.7% to $365.24 at 2:04 p.m., while Goldman Sachs has dropped 1% to $158.81.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Can you decide which is the bigger disaster? On the one hand, there’s the Other Woman, the new Cameron Diaz flick that’s most notable for a slow motion shot of her and a bikini-clad Kate Upton running. On the other, there’s the stock market which finished down this week after tumbles by Netflix (NFLX) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) outweighed big gains in Apple (AAPL), Micron Technology (MU) and Diamond Offshore (DO).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    All good things must come to an end. And so it is with the S&P 500′s six-day winning streak, as AT&T (T), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), International Game Technology (IGT), Amgen (AMGN) and Netflix (NFLX) helped lead the market lower.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Providing disappointing numbers before the fact can be a good strategy as long as a company does a good job of setting the right expectations. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) clearly didn’t.

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Crocs Inc.(CROX)

Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Suravi Thacker]

    Skechers has also been able to outpace its peers such as Wolverine World Wide (WWW) and Crocs (CROX). Skechers has provided a return of 88.8%, in terms of stock price appreciation, in the last year. On the other hand, Wolverine World Wide’s stock price dropped by 1.1% and Crocs’ price declined 15.1%. This highlights Skechers’ attractiveness and its outperformance against its peers.

  • [By Pratik Thacker]

    Strong recovery from the past
    Although the shoe retailer’s performance has been remarkable, this isn’t the case when we look at its stock price. Over the last five years, Skechers did not perform as well as peer Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX  ) , as evidenced by returns. However, it did manage to outperform Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) during the same period.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Getty Images/Scott Olson The demise of Crocs (CROX), it seems, may have been greatly exaggerated. Remember the company’s signature product? Close to a decade ago, those colorful, clunky resin clogs were all the rage. The company that made them couldn’t sell the things fast enough, at one point reaching sales of 50 million pairs in 2007. Then fashion moved on, as it always does, and the economic slowdown started to bite into sales. Crocs plunged from a $168 million net profit in 2007 to a $185 million loss in 2008. In 2009, the company nearly ran out of cash and had a hard time making payroll. But Crocs’ fortunes have improved. In its most recent quarter, the firm posted a loss, but it was narrower than the market was expecting. And it’s found an investor that believes in its future — private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX), which recently provided a $200 million cash investment in return for a block of preferred shares eventually convertible into a stake of around 13 percent of the company. Perhaps the time has come to take those old clogs out of the closet, dust them off, and slip them on for a stroll. Stepping It Up Fashion is highly susceptible to consumer whim. The hot item is never hot for very long, and once consumers move on, it can be hard for the company to recover. In Crocs’ case, this was exacerbated by its limited product line — almost exclusively the clogs. The company learned from its mistakes. Since consumer tastes moved out of clog-land, Crocs has significantly broadened its product line to 300 styles. It now offers boots, flip-flops, deck shoes and slip-ons akin to the casuals from VF Corp.’s (VFC) Vans subsidiary. In terms of profitability, Crocs recovered quickly from its time in the fashion wilderness. From that 2008 bottom-line deficit of $185 million, the company sliced its loss to $42 million the following year, then stepped back into the black in 2010 (to the tune of $68 million). After two straight years of declines, revenue

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Thoratec Corporation(THOR)

Thoratec Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. The company?s primary product lines include ventricular assist devices, such as HeartMate II, an implantable left ventricular assist device consisting of a rotary blood pump to provide intermediate and long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and HeartMate XVE, an implantable and pulsatile left ventricular assist device for intermediate and longer-term MCS. Its ventricular assist devices also comprise Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device, an external pulsatile ventricular assist device, which provides left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for bridge-to-transplantation (BTT), including home discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery; and Implantable Ventricular Assist Device, an implantable and pulsatile ventricular assist device designed to provide left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for BTT comprising hom e discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery. The company also provides CentriMag, an extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platform that offers support up to 30 days for cardiac and respiratory failure. In addition, it offers PediMag and PediVAS extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platforms designed to provide acute surgical support to pediatric patients. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors internationally. Thoratec Corporation was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Campbell]

    Competing for heart pump market share
    Abiomed’s products provide circulatory support for up to six hours and are designed for use in cardiac cath labs or during heart surgery, but competitors Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR  ) and Heartware (NASDAQ: HTWR  ) target the intermediate- and long-term-use market instead.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of medical device company Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR  ) sank 12% today after its quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations.  

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) surged 17.73% to $14.21. The volume of Checkpoint Systems shares traded was 525% higher than normal. Checkpoint announced its intent to extend the filing date of its annual report.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap Checkpoint Systems, Inc (NYSE: CKP) fights shoplifting or retail theft and other forms of “shrink” that costs retailers over $112 billion worldwide last year (according to a study funded by the company), meaning it might be an interesting stock to take a closer look at and to compare its performance with that of SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail ETF (NYSEARCA: PMR). Just how bad can shoplifting or shrink be for a retailer? Troubled retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP) has just reported that shoplifting took a full percentage point off the department store chain’s profit margins during the quarter. Moreover and given that tens of millions of Americans are now facing higher health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare (which will likely impact consumer discretionary spending), retailers will need to find ways to shore up their margins and bottom lines by preventing retail theft with solutions from company’s like C heckpoint Systems.

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Three months after settling upon a new chief executive officer, it looks like Thorofare, N. J.-based Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP  ) will soon have itself a new CFO as well.

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)

CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    Up first is CNO Financial Group (CNO), a mid-cap financial stock that’s rocketed close to 60% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. Yup, it’s been a great year for the market, but it’s been a far better one for investors who own CNO. But that strong performance isn’t showing any signs of slowing yet. In fact, CNO looks primed for even more upside in the fourth quarter.

    That’s because CNO is currently forming a bullish pattern called an ascending triangle. The ascending triangle pattern is formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares — in this case at $14.75 — and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CNO bounces in between those two technical price levels, it’s getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above that $14.75 resistance level. When that breakout happens, it’s time to become a buyer.

    ACCO’s price action isn’t exactly textbook. After all, the pattern is coming in at the bottom of a downtrend, not after an uptrend. But ultimately, that doesn’t change the trading implications of a move through that $7.50 level.

    Whenever you’re looking at any technical price pattern, it’s critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what’s going on in a stock, but they’re not the reason it’s tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.

    That $7.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it’s a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That’s what makes a breakout above it so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.

    Don’t be early on this trade.

  • [By Vanin Aegea]

    I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).

Best Growth Companies To Own In Right Now: Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI)

Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides workers compensation insurance and reinsurance products in the United States. The company?s Workers Compensation Insurance segment provides traditional workers compensation insurance coverage products, including guaranteed cost policies, policyholder dividend policies, retrospectively-rated policies, deductible policies, and alternative market products to employers. This segment distributes its workers? compensation products and services through its independent insurance agents primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, and Virginia. Its Segregated Portfolio Cell Reinsurance segment offers alternative market workers compensation solutions comprising program design, fronting, claims administration, risk management, segregated portfolio cell rental, asset management, and segregated portfolio management services to individual companies, groups, and associations. Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    ProAssurance Corp.(PRA) agreed to acquire Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI) for about $205 million, expanding the insurance company’s casualty insurance offerings. Eastern Insurance is a domestic casualty insurance group specializing in workers’ compensation products and services, among other things. ProAssurance plans to pay $24.50 in cash for each outstanding Eastern share, a 16% premium over Monday’s closing price.