Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Brussels-based supermarket operator Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG ) climbed 10% today after its preliminary quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations.
So what: Delhaize sales were hit pretty hard during the downturn, but today’s first-quarter beat — profit of 214 million euros versus the consensus of 175 million euros — coupled with upbeat full-year guidance suggests that management’s restructuring plan continues to gain traction. Of course, favorable weather conditions helped fuel the 1.9% same-store sales increase in the U.S., so Fools should be cautious about getting too excited over the report.
Now what: For 2013, management now sees a year-over-year profit decline of just 4.3%. “As a consequence of our continued focus on our strategic priorities, Delhaize Group expects underlying operating profit of approximately EUR775 million for the full year 2013 at identical exchange rates,” the company said in a statement. Of course, when you combine Delhaize’s still-hefty debt load with its red-hot stock price, I’d wait for a wider margin of safety before buying into that bullishness.
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: WEX Inc (WEX)
WEX Inc., formerly Wright Express Corporation, incorporated on June 18, 1999, is a provider of corporate card payment solutions. The Company operates in two segments: Fleet Payment Solutions and Other Payment Solutions. The Fleet Payment Solutions segment provides customers with fleet vehicle payment processing services specifically designed for the needs of commercial and government fleets. The Other Payment Solutions segment provides customers with payment processing solutions for their corporate purchasing and transaction monitoring needs through the Company’s payment products. The Company’s United States operations include WEX Inc., and the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries Fleet One, WEX Bank, rapid! PayCard, and Pacific Pride. On October 4, 2012, the Company acquired Fleet One. On August 30, 2012, the Company acquired a 51 % controlling interest in UNIK S.A. On May 11, 2012, the Company acquired CorporatePay Limited.
The Company’s virtual card is used for transactions where no card is presented, including, for example, transactions conducted over the telephone, by mail, by fax or on the Internet. The Company’s virtual card also can be used for transactions that require pre-authorization, such as hotel reservations. The rapid! PayCard product, a pre-paid payroll card, provides a paycard benefit and ePayroll program designed for employers choosing to convert to electronic delivery of payroll in the United States, replacing paper employee payroll checks. The Company also has several other product offerings, including corporate purchase cards and pre-paid and gift cards.
Fleet Payment Solutions
The Company’s closed-loop fuel networks afford the Company access to a higher level of fleet-specific information and control than is widely available on open-loop networks. This allows the Company to improve and refine the information reporting the Company provides to its fleet customers and strategic relatio nships. The Company offers a differentiated set of products ! and services, including security and purchases controls, to allow its customers and the customers of its strategic relationships to better manage their vehicle fleets. The Company provides customized analysis and reporting on the efficiency of fleet vehicles and the purchasing behavior of fleet vehicle drivers. The Company’s software facilitates the collection of information and affords the Company a high level of control and flexibility in allowing fleets to restrict purchases and receive automated alerts.
Other Payment Solutions
The Company’s virtual products offer corporate customers enhanced security and control for payment needs. The Company’s strategic relationships include three of the United States based online travel agencies. The Company’s operations in the United Kingdom provide corporate prepaid solutions to the travel industry. In addition, the Company offers virtual products in the insurance/warranty and healthcare markets in the Unite d States. The Company offers paycard products in the United States and Brazil. These products include payroll cards which are used to replace paper payroll checks.
- [By Seth Jayson]
WEX (NYSE: WEX ) reported earnings on May 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), WEX met expectations on revenues and beat slightly on earnings per share.
- [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 WEX (NYSE: WEX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Empire State Realty Trust Inc (ESRT)
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., incorporated on July 29, 2011, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), which owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area. The Company operates in two segments: real estate and construction contracting. As of June 30, 2013, the Company owned 12 office properties (including one long-term ground leasehold interest) encompassing approximately 7.7 million rentable square feet of office space, which were approximately 83.5% leased (or 86.2% giving effect to leases signed but not yet commenced as of that date). Seven of these properties are located in the midtown Manhattan market and encompass in the aggregate approximately 5.9 million rentable square feet of office space, including the Empire State Building. Its Manhattan office properties also contain an aggregate of 440,615 rentable square feet of retail space on their ground floor and/or lower levels. Its remaining five office properties are located in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York, encompassing in the aggregate approximately 1.8 million rentable square feet.
The Company has entitled land at the Stamford Transportation Center in Stamford, Connecticut, adjacent to one of its office properties, that supports the development of an approximately 380,000 rentable square foot office building and garage, which refers to herein as Metro Tower. As of June 30, 2013, its portfolio also included four standalone retail properties located in Manhattan and two standalone retail properties located in the city center of Westport, Connecticut, encompassing 204,452 rentable square feet in the aggregate. As of June 30, 2013, its standalone retail properties were 100% leased in the aggregate. In addition, the Company has an option to acquire from affiliates of its predecessor two additional Manhattan office prop erties encompassing approximately 1.5 million rentable squar! e feet of office space and 153,209 rentable square feet of retail space at the base of the buildings.
The Empire State Building is the Company’s flagship property. The 102-story building consists of 2,701,938 rentable square feet of office space and 167,788 rentable square feet of retail space. The building also includes its observatory and broadcasting operations. The Company’s portfolio includes retail properties located in retail corridors in Manhattan and Westport, Connecticut. Tenants at 10 Union Square in Manhattan include Best Buy Mobile, Starbucks, A&P, Panera Bread, FedEx/Kinko’s, Au Bon Pain, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and GameStop. In the greater New York metropolitan area, its portfolio includes high quality suburban office properties in densely populated metropolitan communities in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. tenants of the greater New York metropolitan area flagship Metro Center (at the Transportation Center i n Stamford, Connecticut) include Thomson Reuters, Jefferies Group, Columbus Circle Investors, Torm Shipping, Olympus Partners, BP Energy, Tweedy, Browne Company and Susquehanna International.
The Company approximately has 242 million square feet of rentable space, which are contained within Midtown’s multi-tenant office buildings. Downtown Chicago and the Washington, D.C. CBD combine has a total of 230 million square feet of office space. Three-quarters 75.3% of Midtown’s office stock is classified as Class A with total square footage of 182 million square feet. The Company approximately has 43.9 million square feet of Midtown office space is counted as Class B stock, accounting for 18.2% of the total market. The remaining 6.5% of Midtown office space (15.8 million square feet) is categorized as Class C space. The Grand Central submarket is a office submarket in Midtown Manhattan with 44 million square feet and is located on the east side of Midtown Manhatta n, to the north of Murray Hill and to the south of the Park ! Avenue co! rridor.
The West Side office submarket, located to the south and west of Central Park and including the area around Columbus Circle, consists of 25.8 million square feet of office space. Westchester County contains approximately 28.9 million square feet of office space and is split into six submarkets: White Plains CBD and non-CBD, Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern. The White Plains CBD is situated in south central Westchester County, along the Cross-Westchester Expressway (Interstate 287) corridor between the Sprain Brook Parkway and the Hutchinson River Parkway. The submarket consists of approximately 6.3 million square feet of office space and is defined to include the area south of Barker Avenue, north of Quinby Avenue, east of the Bronx River Parkway and west of South Broadway/Post Road. Westchester’s Eastern office submarket consists of 6.5 million square feet of space and is located to the east of White Plains, between New Rochelle and the Connec ticut state border.
- [By Reuters]
John Moore/Getty Images NEW YORK — Investors in the Empire State Building have filed a lawsuit accusing the real estate magnates who took it public of short-changing them $300 million by refusing to sell the iconic skyscraper at a premium price. According to a complaint filed Tuesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Peter Malkin and his son Anthony put their own interests ahead of the building’s investors by spurning all-cash offers of as much as $2.3 billion for the building and $1.4 billion for Empire State Building Associates, which held the title and master lease. Instead, the Malkins put the landmark building and 17 other properties into Empire State Realty Trust Inc., whose Oct. 1 IPO valued the property at just $1.89 billion and ESBA at just $1.1 billion, according to the complaint. The lawsuit by plaintiff Marc Postelnek seeks class-action status on behalf of more than 2,800 investors who hold shares in ESBA, which was created in 1961 and was supervised by a Malkin company, Malkin Holdings. It claimed the Malkins acted in bad faith by aborting a “bidding war” for the building, and instead enriched themselves by hundreds of millions of dollars through an IPO. “Given their positions of control and authority over the fate of the Empire State Building, the Malkins had a duty to act in the best interests of their investors,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer, John Rizio-Hamilton, a partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, representing Postelnek, told Reuters. “By failing to properly consider offers to maximize the building’s value, the Malkins breached that duty.” The lawsuit seeks to recover profit that building investors allegedly lost because of the Malkins’ refusal to sell. Empire State Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust, is a successor to Malkin Holdings. “These claims are wholly without merit and we will respond to them in court,” a spokeswoman for the REIT said Thursday. ESBA had been created by Lawrence Wien, the father
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Aegon NV(AEG)
AEGON N.V. provides life insurance, pensions, and asset management products and services worldwide. The company?s life insurance products include traditional, term, universal, whole, and other life insurance products sold as part of defined benefit pension plans, endowment policies, post-retirement annuity products, and group risk products; supplemental health insurance products comprise accidental death, other injury, critical illness, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, and student health; specialty lines consists of travel, membership, and creditor products; and long term care insurance products for policyholders who require care due to a chronic illness or cognitive impairment. It also offers a range of savings and retirement products and services, including mutual funds, and fixed and variable annuities, savings accounts and investment contracts, segregated funds, guaranteed investment accounts, and single premium immediate annuities, as well as investment advice to individuals. In addition, the company offers employer solutions and pensions, such as retirement plans, pension plans, and pension-related products and services; investment products, including onshore and offshore bonds, and trusts; reinsurance products and solutions to life insurance and financial services companies; general insurance products comprising house, car, and fire insurance; and asset management products and services, including general account assets, unit-linked funds, and third party activities. AEGON N.V. markets its products through independent and career agents, financial planners, registered representatives, independent marketing organizations, banks, broker-dealers, benefit consulting firms, wirehouses, affinity groups, institutional partners, independent managing general agencies, and specialized financial advisors, as well as through online, direct, and worksite marketing. The company was founded in 1900 and is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherl ands.
- [By Will Ashworth]
Assuming it delivers on its outlook for 2014, its current free cash flow yield is a very enticing 20%. This isn’t a growth stock, but its brands still possess hidden value. As cheap stocks go, it’s very attractive.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Aegon (AEG)
It’s not often that you can buy a $19 billion market cap for under 10 bucks. Aegon’s a Dutch insurance company that’s had a rough ride over the past few years, and its stock’s suffered as a result. In the late ’90s AEG stock traded around $60 — it hasn’t been anywhere close since. However, it’s got some good assets that should bear fruit in the years to come. Aegon has 12,000 employees in the Americas doing business primarily under the Transamerica brand, which has been a part of AEG since 1999.
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Gastar Exploration Ltd (GST)
Gastar Exploration Ltd (Gastar) is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the United States. The Company’s principal business activities include the identification, acquisition, and subsequent exploration and development of natural gas and oil properties with an emphasis on unconventional reserves, such as shale resource plays. As of December 31, 2011, it is pursuing the development of liquids-rich natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachia area of West Virginia and, to a lesser extent, central and southwestern Pennsylvania. The Company also holds prospective acreage in the deep Bossier play in the Hilltop area of East Texas and conduct limited coal bed methane (CBM) development activities within the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. The Company is a holding company. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Robert Rapier]
Gastar Exploration (NYSE: GST) is another Aggressive Portfolio pick made on Dec. 11, and so far it has rallied quite aggressively, producing a three-week capital gain of 26 percent. It helped here too to catch the very bottom of the recent correction, but Gastar has continued to report strong test well results from the Hunton Limestone play it’s pioneering in Oklahoma.
- [By Heather Ingrassia]
Gastar Agreement: On April 1st it was announced that Gastar Exploration, Ltd. (GST) had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire proven reserves and undeveloped leasehold interests in Kingfisher and Canadian counties of Oklahoma from Chesapeake Energy Corporation, repurchase Chesapeake’s common shares of the Company and settle all litigation for $1 million. Although smaller in scope than most of Chesapeake’s previous asset-shedding transactions, the agreement with Gastar accomplishes two things. First, is the fact the settlement resolves the legal wrangling both companies were engaged in and as a result Chesapeake walks away with $85 million of the potential $130 million they were suing for. Second, is the fact Chesapeake wipes it hands of acreage, that although producing, may not be producing as much as Chesapeake had once hoped, and therefore was worth much more to Gastar in the long run.
- [By David Smith]
Earlier, the company had pocketed $75.2 million by selling to Gastar Exploration (NYSEMKT: GST ) leasehold acreage in Oklahoma’s Kingfisher and Canadian counties. It’ll obviously require a passel of sales of that magnitude to shore up an overweight balance sheet.
- [By Josh Young]
The parallel to Goodrich in the transaction is Gastar Exploration (GST), which has approximately 100,000 net acres in the Hunton (excluding additional exposure from the WEHLU deal). Gastar, similar to Goodrich prior to the Sanchez TMS deal, seems to trade at a discount to a $2,000 per acre implied value for its unconventional oil acreage. In fact, Gastar’s CEO recently said he thought the current liquidation value of Gastar’s Marcellus assets would be $4-7 per share, net of debt, versus the current $4.25 share price.
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO)
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd., through its subsidiaries, develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems. It operates through three segments: Retail, Bulk, and Services. The Retail segment produces and supplies water to end-users, including residential, commercial, and government customers, as well as tourist properties. The Bulk segment supplies potable water to government utilities and private customers. The Services segment designs, constructs, and sells desalination plants to third parties, as well as provides desalination plant management and operating services to plants owned by others. The company uses reverse osmosis technology to produce fresh water from seawater. It operates approximately 14 reverse osmosis desalination plants in the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, and the United States. Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. was founded in 1973 and is based in Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Utilities shares dropped by 0.37 percent in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO) was down more than 2.3 percent, while Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM) tumbled around 1.5 percent.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Among the sector stocks, Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO) was down more than 1.9 percent, while Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM) tumbled around 0.9 percent.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Utilities sector surged 0.26%, saw CPFL Energia SA (NYSE: CPL) as the top gainer. Among leading sector stocks, gains came from Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO), Companhia Paranaense de Energia (NYSE: ELP) and Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).
- [By David Dittman]
Answer: I like Consolidated Water Co Ltd (NSDQ: CWCO), which specializes in large-scale desalination systems.
Question: Why has the Australian currency shown such weakness recently compared to the US dollar and the euro?
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Corporate Executive Board Co (CEB)
Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB), incorporated on September 11, 1997, is an advisory company that equips senior executives and their teams with actionable solutions to drive corporate performance. The Company operates in two segments: SHL Group Holdings I and its subsidiaries (SHL) and CEB. The CEB segment includes its membership programs for senior executives and their teams to drive corporate performance by identifying and building on the practices of companies. The SHL segment provides cloud-based solutions for talent assessment and talent mobility, as well as professional services to support those solutions. Personnel Decisions Research Institutes, Inc. (PDRI) is included in the CEB segment. PDRI provides customized personnel assessment tools and services to various agencies of the United States government. In February 2012, it acquired Valtera, Inc. In August 2012, it acquired SHL Group Holdings I. In February 2014, Corporate Executive Board Co acquired Talent Neuron, a provider of market intelligence technology.
The Company delivers its products and services to a global customer base primarily through two relationship models: an annual, fixed-fee subscription for membership programs and engagement-based fees for assessment services, development curriculum, customized analytics reports, and best practice implementation. It spans more than 100 countries, 10,000 individual organizations, and 225,000 business professionals. Its membership programs deliver research and advisory services that align with executive leadership roles and enable members to focus efforts to address emerging and recurring business challenges.
The Company serves executives and professionals in corporate functions at corporate and middle market institutions in more than 100 countries. The corporate functions, which it considers its primary end market includes human resources, finance, legal and compliance, sales and marketing, and te chnology. It also serves operational leaders in the global f! inancial services industry and United Sates government. For both the financial services industry and the United States government, it delivers a product and service portfolio of practices, operational insights, analytical tools, and peer collaboration designed to drive executive decision making.
The Company helps senior executives and their teams drive corporate performance by equipping them with the actionable insights, analytic tools, and advisory support they need to improve performance. It sells a combination of resources to address business challenges, such as best practices and decision support, talent management and measurement, and management tools and solutions. It helps its members set direction for their team, function, and company by providing performance insights, benchmarks, and best practices. It also provides members with networking opportunities, including through online peer discussion groups, on-request advice, feedback, and other peer intera ction at both in-person and virtual events. It helps organizations select, engage, and align their organizational talent against corporate objectives. The Company’s assessment and development solutions help companies identify and manage talent investments. Its talent management and measurement products generally are implemented into pre-hire and post-hire assessments. The offerings include cognitive ability assessments, skills and/or knowledge assessments, personality questionnaires, and job/role simulations.
The Company helps organizations secure performance gains through consulting and technology. It delivers a suite of professional services, including best practice implementation, survey and diagnostic tools, and executive education. It offers targeted survey and diagnostic technology to aid executives in assessing the performance of their functions, processes, and teams. It provides additional implementation support to executives seeking to improve their f unctional performance. For executives seeking to enhance ski! ll develo! pment for themselves or their staff members, it delivers an executive education curriculum supported by e-learning resources. The curriculum may include skills diagnostic reports, learning portal access, classroom-based development sessions, Webinars, and virtual office hours with faculty.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB ) reported earnings on May 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Corporate Executive Board missed slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Corporate advisory specialist Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.225 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after it raised the payout 29% from $0.175 per share.
Best Mid Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Radiant Creations Group Inc (RCGP)
Radiant Creations Group, Inc., formerly Nova Mining Corporation, incorporated on December 29, 2005, is an exploration-stage Company. The Company’s principal business is the acquisition and exploration of mineral resources.
As of February 28, 2013, the Company has not determined whether its mineral claims contain reserves that are economically recoverable. During the fiscal 2013, the Company had not generated any revenue.
- [By Peter Graham]
What’s the Catch With Axxess Pharma Inc? According to various disclosures, transactions of $2.5k, $3k, $4k, $14k, $25k, $50k and $85k have or will occur to mention Axxess Pharma Inc in various investment newsletters plus the company has been busy announcing new deals. Last Wednesday, Axxess Pharma Inc announced it had signed term sheet from TCA Global Credit Masters Fund to secure a $4 million revolving line of credit which was expected to close within 14 days pending final due diligence. The press release stated the revolving line of credit would enable Axxess Pharma to “generate significant revenue in the near-term with high gross profit margins” plus the deal was expected to be the beginning of a long-term long-term partnership between the two companies. Last Monday, Axxess Pharma Inc also announced an exclusive agreement providing them the world-wide exclusive rights to develop, market and sell a line of pain relief and muscle recovery products, as we ll as develop and market a vitamins and minerals line under the TapouT brand name; while back in September, the company announced an agreement for the acquisition of the assets of Revive Bioscience Inc. – a leading Canadian OTC healthcare company. However, a quick look at both Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance reveals no financials for Axxess Pharma Inc – meaning its investor beware.
Radiant Creations Group Inc (OTCBB: RCGP) Is Launching Its Direct to Consumer Sales Model
Small cap Radiant Creations Group Inc says it has achieved exciting breakthroughs creating remarkable products in skin protection and hydration, anti-aging, liver health and weight balance by combining DNA technologies developed in the Western World and naturally acting traditional Chinese medicine ingredients believed to be never before used in western culture by any bioscience company. On Friday, Radiant Creations Group Inc fell 9.1% to $0.20 for a market cap of $6 million plus RCGP is up 53.85 ov