It’s no secret. Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL ) cheap. Competitive pressures from other large tech companies have investors wondering if Apple will be able to stay on top. Consumers, however, are more certain about how they feel about Apple. The latest report from MarketingWeek suggests customers are enthused with the company’s products. Apple’s brand, the report states, is more valuable than ever.
In the video below, Fool contributor Daniel Sparks explains this great disconnect between Apple’s stock price and how consumers feel about Apple’s products.
There’s no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology’s largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Magellan Midstream Partners L.P.(MMP)
Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation, storage, and distribution of refined petroleum products and crude oil in the United States. Its pipeline system transports petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gases from the Gulf Coast refining region of Texas through the Midwest to Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The company owns and operates marine terminals, which store and distribute refined petroleum products, blendstocks, crude oils, heavy oils, and feedstocks, as well as inland terminals that consist of storage tanks connected to third-party interstate pipeline systems to deliver refined petroleum products. Its ammonia pipeline system transports ammonia from production facilities in Texas and Oklahoma to terminals in the Midwest. The company also stores, blends, and distributes biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. As of March 31, 2011, it operated approximately 9, 600 miles of petr oleum products pipeline system and 51 terminals; 6 marine petroleum terminals located along the United States Gulf and East Coasts; a crude oil storage in Cushing, Oklahoma; 27 petroleum products inland terminals located principally in the southeastern United States; and a 1,100-mile ammonia pipeline system and 6 associated terminals. The company also provides ancillary services, such as heating, blending, and mixing of stored petroleum products and additive injection services. Its customers comprise independent and integrated oil companies, wholesalers, retailers, railroads, airlines, and regional farm co-operatives. The company serves various markets, including retail gasoline stations, truck stops, farm co-operatives, railroad fueling depots, and military and commercial jet fuel users. Magellan GP, LLC serves as the general partner of the company. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Vanina Egea]
The natural upside to any midstream operation is the strong cash flow, a resource which if well used can help finance an important capital investment. Most importantly, the assets built can then be sold to oil and gas producers in order to reward those who trusted management with initial investments. That’s it. There is not much of a secret behind midstream oil and gas companies. Hence, from this analyst’s point of view, the key element to success is quality leadership. Such a characteristic allows the business model to identify market trends, and transform synergies into real growth. Magellan Midstream (MMP) may just be the case that exemplifies the argument. However, gurus have not been too enthusiastic about the stock and trading volumes remain low. Let us see why, and if you should take a position.
- [By Richard Stavros]
Focusing on the energy infrastructure segment of the MLP market can provide a high level of cash flow stability while preserving inflation-hedging and diversification benefits. There is an explicit hedge against inflation in certain MLP contracts—for example, interstate crude oil pipeline companies, are allowed to increase their prices explicitly.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates pipelines and has established tariff rates that are adjusted on an annual basis to the PPI for finished goods plus 2.65%. MLPs also own real assets that provide value over replacement costs that generally increase during inflationary periods. Additionally, some MLPs considered to be “midstream” also have diversified business lines with commodity exposure through upstream operations and experience increased revenues during periods of inflation due to higher commodity prices.
As Morgan Stanley explains in a report, looking at the fixed income side, many M LPs have a “toll-road” business model, resulting in cash flow stability. These MLPs receive a fee, or “toll,” for handling a customer’s product on their infrastructure system.
The MLP does not own the commodity, virtually eliminating commodity price exposure and smoothing out its cash flows. For example, natural gas pipelines receive stable income (essentially rental fees) from pipeline capacity reservations, independent of actual throughput, largely via “ship-or-pay” contracts.
Other product pipeline revenues typically depend on throughput, as noted above, but are protected by inflation escalators that act as a hedge. Finally other midstream assets have similar fee-based contracts that vary in risk depending on their position in the energy value chain. That’s why a potential MLP investor that wants to hedge against inflation will have to find the right combination of exposure to the commodity and its “toll-road” earnings.
And MLP price perfo
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: InterXion Holding N.V. (INXN)
InterXion Holding N.V. provides carrier-neutral colocation data center services in Europe. It enables its customers to connect to a range of telecommunications carriers, Internet service providers, and other customers. The companys data centers act as content and connectivity hubs that facilitate the processing, storage, sharing, and distribution of data, content, applications, and media among carriers and customers. The company offers colocation services, including space and power to enable customers to deploy IT infrastructure in its data centers; connectivity services; cross connect services; and monitoring services. It also provides managed services comprising systems monitoring, systems management, engineering support services, data back-up, and storage services. The company serves the digital media and distribution sector, enterprises, the financial services sector, managed services providers, and network providers. It serves 1,200 customers through 31 data centers in 11 countries. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Schiphol Rijk, the Netherlands.
- [By Damian Illia]
The company has a current ratio of 11.8% which is higher than the one registered by Facebook (FB), InterXion Holding N.V. (INXN) and AOL Inc. (AOL). But for investors looking for a higher ROE, Tencent Holdings Ltd. (TCEHY) could be the option.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Interxion Holding N.V. (NYSE: INXN) provides data colocation services through its 34 data centers in 11 European countries. In 2012, the company generated approximately 62% of its total revenues from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which represents Interxion’s “Big 4″ markets. The remaining 38% revenue came from seven other European countries. The company’s data centers act as content and connectivity hubs that facilitate processing, storage, sharing and distribution of data, content and applications. The consensus price target for the stock is $20.78. Interxion closed at $22.52.
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Beacon Roofing Supply Inc.(BECN)
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. distributes residential and non-residential roofing materials. The company?s residential roofing products include asphalt shingles, synthetic slates and tiles, clay and concrete tiles, slates, nail base insulation, metal roofing, felt, wood shingles and shakes, nails and fasteners, metal edgings and flashings, prefabricated flashings, ridges and soffit vents, gutters and downspouts, and other accessories. Its non-residential roofing products comprise single-ply roofing; asphalt; metal; modified bitumen; built-up roofing; cements and coatings; insulation?flat stock and tapered; commercial fasteners; metal edges and flashings; skylights, smoke vents, and roof hatches; and sheet metal products, including copper, aluminum, and steel. The company also provides complementary building products, such as vinyl siding; red, white, and yellow cedar siding; fiber cement siding; soffits; house wraps; vapor barriers; and stone veneer, as well as vinyl windo w s, aluminum windows, wood windows, turn-key windows, and wood and patio doors. In addition, it offers specialty lumber products comprising redwood, red cedar decking, mahogany decking, pressure treated lumber, fire treated plywood, synthetic decking, PVC trim boards, millwork, and custom millwork. Further, the company provides waterproofing systems, building insulations, air barrier systems, gypsum, moldings, cultured stone, and patio covers. Its customer base consists of contractors, home builders, building owners, and other resellers. Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. distributes its products through 194 branches in 38 states of the United States; and 6 Canadian provinces. The company was founded in 1928 and is based in Peabody, Massachusetts.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Beacon Roofing Supply Inc.’s(BECN) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings declined slightly as higher costs offset a jump in sales. “We continued to experience a challenging pricing environment, which drove down our gross margins from the prior year,” Chief Executive Paul Isabelle said. Results missed estimates, sending shares down 4.4% to $34.50 in light premarket trading.
- [By Lee Samaha]
It’s been a volatile year for the roofing industry, and over the last three months, investors have seen more downside. Roofing materials distributor Beacon Roofing Supply (NASDAQ: BECN ) is down 11.5% in the last three months, and building products manufacturer Owens Corning (NYSE: OC ) fell 5.5% in the same period — all in a year when many commentators thought this sector would outperform.
- [By Investment Contrarians]
In the small-cap area, take a look at the suppliers to the housing market. Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (NASDAQ: BECN) is a stock that you should keep an eye on. The company supplies builders and roofing companies with roofing supplies.
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc (RH)
Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc. (Restoration Hardware Holdings), incorporated on August 18, 2011, is a holding company. The Company is merchants of home furnishings. Restoration Hardware Holdings offers merchandise assortments across a number of categories, including furniture, lighting, textiles, bath ware, decor, outdoor, garden, and baby and child products. The Company’s business is integrated across its multiple channels of distribution, consists of its stores, catalogs and Websites. As of July 28, 2012, the Company’s operated a total of 73 retail stores, consisted of 71 Galleries and two full line Design Galleries, and 10 outlet stores throughout the United States and Canada. RH is a brand in the home furnishings. During the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), the Company opened five stores and closed 22 stores. In fiscal 2011, the Company distributed approximately 26.1 million catalogs, and its Websites logged over 14.3 million visits.
Restoration Hardware Holdings operates a Website for its Baby & Child brand at www.rhbabyandchild.com. The Company opened its two full line Design Galleries in Los Angeles in, June 2011 and Houston in November 2011. In May 2011, the Company launched catalog applications for Apple’s iPad and iPhone that enable customers to view and purchase its product assortment. Restoration Hardware Holdings operates three store types: the Company’s full line Design Gallery format, approximately between 22,000 and 28,000 gross square feet; its Gallery format of approximately 7,000-15,000 gross square feet, and its Baby & Child Gallery format of approximately 2,000-3,000 gross square feet.
- [By Jack Kramer and Nick Martell] Trying to figure out which country’s World Cup team bandwagon you’re going to jump on isn’t easy. So take a few minutes and check out what sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) down from record highs over the last week.
1. Stock market winners …
Just in time for you to clean out your closets and replace the furniture in your living room for some spring cleaning, Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH ) has been on quite a roll as well. Restoration Hardware stock popped in after-hours trading Wednesday following an earnings report worth putting on a mantel in your bedroom, as the company announced that revenue for the last quarter came in at $366.3 million.
So what’s in the cards for the maker of all the kinds of home furnishings your mom is now into? Expansion. Restoration Hardware has 69 stores on this side of the Atlantic and wants to open another 30 that it expects will lead to $5 billion in annual sales. That kind of strategy got investors excited — and so did word that profits were up 200% from last year.
CEO Gary Friedman had plenty of other fine goods to share with Wall Street as well. The financial analysts over at Restoration Hardware are quite an optimistic bunch — as part of the earnin gs report, the company announced that it expects full-year 2014 revenue to reach $1.8 billion, with the help of $443 million to $453 million in revenue in the second quarter. 2. … And stock market losers
While America seems to have been loading up on Restoration Hardware goods this past spring, they weren’t buying Lululemon clothes for their workouts. Shares of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU ) plummeted nearly 16% Thursday after a tied-up earnings report. On one hand, revenue beat Wall Street’s expectations, rising 11% from last year to $385 million. But same-store sales fell 4% and the company also cut its full-year revenue projections, down to $1.8 billion from $1.82 billion.
- [By Maria Armental and Anna Prior]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Thursday’s session are Lululemon Athletica Inc.(LULU), Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc.(RH) and Geron Corp.(GERN)
- [By Lisa Levin]
Home Furnishing Stores: The industry gained 1.78% by 10:25 am. The top performer in this industry was Restoration Hardware Holdings (NYSE: RH), which gained 13.5%. Restoration Hardware reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings. The company’s adjusted earnings came in at $0.18 per share, topping analysts’ expectations of $0.11 per share.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Restoration Hardware Holdings (NYSE: RH) shares moved up 12.82% to $80.50. The volume of Restoration Hardware shares traded was 1093% higher than normal. Restoration Hardware reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings. The company’s adjusted earnings came in at $0.18 per share, topping analysts’ expectations of $0.11 per share.
- [By Maria Armental and Anna Prior]
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: iShares Russell Mid-Cap ETF (IWR)
iShares Russell Midcap Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the mid-capitalization sector of the United States equity market as represented by the Russell Midcap Index (the Index). The Index is a capitalization-weighted index consisting of the 800 smallest companies in the Russell 1000 Index. The Index is a subset of the Russell 1000 Index, and serves as the underlying index for the Russell Midcap Growth and Value Index series.
The Fund uses a representative sampling strategy in seeking to track the Index. iShares Russell Midcap Index Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.
- [By John Udovich]
One of the most famous scenes in the cult classic, the Graduate, was when Mr. McGuire took Dustin Hoffman’s character aside and said “Ben, I want to say one word to you, just one word: Plastics”; but what about the Berry Plastics Group Inc (NYSE: BERY) and its performance verses that of the iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IVV), iShares Russell Midcap Index Fund ETF (NYSEARCA: IWR) and iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Index ETF (NYSEARCA: IJR)? I should mention that plastics and the Berry Plastics Group was not the place to be yesterday as the stock took a tumble on reduced guidance.