As a taxpayer, you have two options for claiming deductions: Take the IRS standard deduction ($6,300 for single filers 2015 returns and double that for joint filers, and even more for folks 65 and older) or itemize your deductions if doing so gives you a bigger writeoff. Most taxpayers take the standard deduction because, for them, itemizing is both more hassle and less valuable.
See Also: The Most Overlooked Tax Deductions
But there’s a handful of tax breaks that people taking the standard deduction can still claim to lower their tax bills. The IRS calls these “adjustments to income,” but another term is above-the-line deductions, because they show up on the 1040 form above your adjusted gross income (and you get to subtract them from your total income.) A few of the adjustments are available if you use the short-form 1040A, but, for most, you need to use the 1040.
Best Mid Cap Companies To Watch For 2016: Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(PTLA)
Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes therapeutics for patients in the areas of thrombosis, other hematologic disorders, and inflammation. Its lead compound, Betrixaban, is an oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor in Phase III clinical trial for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in acute medically ill patients in-hospital and post discharge. The companys other lead development candidate, Andexanet alfa, a recombinant protein that is in Phase III registration studies designed to reverse the anticoagulant activity in patients treated with a Factor Xa inhibitor who suffer an uncontrolled bleeding episode or undergo emergency surgery. It has collaboration agreements with Biogen Idec Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Pfizer Inc.; Bayer Pharma, AG; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.; and Lees Pharmaceutical (HK) Ltd. The company is also developing Cerdulatinib, which is in Phase I/IIa proof-of-concept study, an orally available kinase inhibitor that inhibits spleen tyrosine kinase and janus kinases enzymes, which regulate signaling pathways, as well as for hematologic, or blood, cancers, and inflammatory disorders. In addition, it is involved in the development of PRT2607, a selective Syk inhibitor. Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Inc. to develop and commercialize apixaban, an oral anticoagulant. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PTLA) shares dropped 23 percent to $21.92 after announcing Phase III Betrixaban results.
Shares of Spark Energy Inc (NASDAQ: SPKE) were down 16 percent to $20.43. Spark Energy reported Q4 GAAP EPS of $(0.01) and adjusted EBITDA of $16.3 million.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PTLA) shares dropped 30 percent to $20.08 after announcing Phase III Betrixaban results.
Shares of Spark Energy Inc (NASDAQ: SPKE) were down 14 percent to $20.96. Spark Energy reported Q4 GAAP EPS of $(0.01) and adjusted EBITDA of $16.3 million.
Best Mid Cap Companies To Watch For 2016: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)
Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Javier Hasse]
As stated above, the market strength led to net selling of some big companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), which rebounded in July. Similar was the situation for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).
10 Best Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Vera Bradley Inc.(VRA)
Vera Bradley, Inc., through its subsidiary, Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., engages in the design, production, marketing, and retail of functional accessories for women under the ?Vera Bradley? brand. Its products include a range of handbags, accessories, and travel and leisure items. The company sells its products to independent retailers located in the United States, as well as to national retailers and third party e-commerce sites. As of January 29, 2011, Vera Bradley, Inc. sold its products directly through 35 full-price stores, 4 outlet stores, verabradley.com, and an annual outlet sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Wall Street expects Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA) to report its quarterly earnings at $0.05 per share on revenue of $106.75 million. Vera Bradley shares declined 0.65 percent to close at $15.32 on Tuesday.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
My first earnings short-squeeze play is designer, producer and retailer of functional accessories for women Vera Bradley (VRA), which is set to release numbers Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Vera Bradley to report revenue of $124.81 million on earnings of 32 cents per share.
Just this morning, Lazard Capital said it expects Vera Bradley’s second quarter results to miss guidance and consensus estimates and reiterates a sell rating on the stock with a $16 price target. The firm also said the company’s third quarter outlook will miss estimates due to sales below plan and promotions above plan.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float Vera Bradley is extremely high at 55.2%. That means that out of the 21.61 million shares in the tradable float, 11.09 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 5.4%, or by about 565,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a bullish quarter, then shares of VRA could easily rip higher post-earnings.
From a technical perspective, VRA is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares falling from its high of $26.33 to its intraday low of $18.67. During that move, shares of PBY have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action.
If you’re bullish on VRA, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $20.09 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 423,263 shares. If that breakout hits, then VRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 50-day moving average at $21.79 or its 200-day moving average of $23.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
At first glance, Vera Bradley’s (VRA) earnings report looked great. The retailer reported a profit of 37 cents a share, above analyst forecasts of 32 cents.
But in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of the stock market, that was the past, and the present and future, well they don’t look so hot. For the third quarter, the Vera Bradley, which competes against Coach (COH) and Michael Kors (KORS), among others, now expects sales between$128 million to $130 million, below forecasts for about $147 million, and a profit of 30 cents to 35 cents, below forecasts for a 48-cent profit. In 2014, Vera Bradley expects sales of$535 million to $540 million, below forecasts for $575, while its earnings should come in between$1.47 and $1.52, below expectations of $1.72.And did I mention that its margins are expected to decline too?
Put it all together and you have a recipe for a big drop. Vera Bradley’s shares have plunged 10% to $17.50 in after-hours trading.