Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company’s economic output. That’s because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.
Earnings’ unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.
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 Responsys (Nasdaq: MKTG ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Again today the big market mover among the DJIA stocks was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which dropped 1.39% and traded at $189.94 in a 52-week range of $172.19 to $214.89 just ahead of the closing bell. Volume was on track to be about 10% above the daily average of around 5.2 million shares traded. A fund manager at AlphaOne Capital told CNBC he is shorting IBM stock, saying “the cloud is deflationary” for the company.
- [By Jim Jubak]
This is the part of the cloud market where Google competes—and where Google cuts prices. The public cloud sector is dominated by Amazon.com (AMZN) with Microsoft (MSFT), Google, IBM (IBM), and Rackspace Hosting (RAX) competing for the Number Two slot.
- [By Annalisa Kraft-Linder]
Nati Harnik/AP Warren Buffett, chairman of the board of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), is surprisingly open about his mistakes, chronicling them for all to read — and learn from — in his annual shareholder letters. The Cigar Stubs The textile mill that gave Berkshire Hathaway its name turned out to be an albatross for more than two decades as Buffett dithered over shutting it down. Located in Massachusetts, far from the new textile and cotton hubs down South, it was a money-loser from the start. He has since admitted his stubborn attachment to it probably cost Berkshire $200 billion in lost opportunity costs to invest in better companies. Back then, Buffett was more a proponent of the “cigar stub” theory of investing — buying a downtrodden company or stock and smoking out the last few puffs of profit. Another iteration of this thesis gone wrong was his purchase of Blue Chip Stamp Co. in the late ’60s. It was a lesser rival of the Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps Co. Both involved an early form of loyalty program in which shoppers collected stamps that could be redeemed for merchandise. “When I was told that even certain brothels and mortuaries gave stamps to their patrons, I felt I had finally found a sure thing,” Buffett said in his 2006 shareholder letter. However, Blue Chip revenues declined by more than 80 percent from 1970 to 1980 and by almost 99 percent by 1990 as credit-card loyalty programs and increasing affluence made shoppers reluctant to waste time pasting stamps in books. What Buffett learned became a new leg of his investing stool: to only buy businesses for their demonstrated profitability. The Economic Moat Buffett coined the term “economic moat” to describe the competitive and hopefully monopolistic advantages that will help a company thrive. He has long said he regrets buying Dexter Shoes in 1993, purchasing it with Berkshire Hathaway stock then worth $433 million for an estimated loss of $3.5 billion. He admits now it didn’t have t
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: Alliance Holdings GP L.P.(AHGP)
Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 697.4 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition, the company leases land; and operates a coal loading terminal, with a capacity of 8.0 million tons with ground storage of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons, on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Further, it engages in purchasing and selling coal; and providing services, including ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. Alliance GP, LLC, serves as the general partner of the company. Allian ce Holdings GP, L.P. is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Robert Rapier]
The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).
- [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 Alliance Holdings GP (Nasdaq: AHGP ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: Popular Inc.(BPOP)
Popular, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of retail and commercial banking products and services primarily to corporate clients, small and middle size businesses, and retail clients in Puerto Rico and Mainland United States. It offers deposit products; commercial, consumer, and mortgage loans, as well as lease finance; and finance and advisory services. The company also offers trust and asset management, brokerage and investment banking, and insurance and reinsurance services. As of December 31, 2010, it owned and occupied approximately 94 branch premises and other facilities in Puerto Rico; and 119 offices, including 20 owned and 99 leased in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Texas. Popular, Inc. was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Among multinationals, Sterne Agee recommends three banks. The first is Puerto Rico’s Popular Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP). The mid-cap bank’s stock closed at $28.21 on Friday in a 52-week range of $20.31 to $34.34. Based on Sterne Agee’s 2014 price target of $40.00, Popular has an upside potential of nearly 42% and a 2014 EPS estimate of $2.90. The investment firm’s forward multiple is just 9.6, below the Thomson Reuters consensus multiple of 10.3. Popular received TARP funds in 2009 and could repay the loan in the first quarter of next year, which will give the stock a shot in the arm as well.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Popular (NASDAQ: BPOP) shares tumbled 5.54 percent to $27.48 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock from Equal-weight to Underweight.
Pacific Coast Oil Trust (NYSE: ROYT) down, falling 7.13 percent to $16.70 after the company priced a public offering by Pacific Coast Energy Company LP and other selling unitholders of 13,500,000 trust units at a price of $17.10 per unit.
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: Advance Auto Parts Inc(AAP)
Advance Auto Parts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items. It operates in two segments, Advance Auto Parts (AAP) and Autopart International (AI). The AAP segment operates stores, which primarily offer auto parts, including alternators, batteries, chassis parts, clutches, engines and engine parts, radiators, starters, transmissions, and water pumps; accessories comprising floor mats, mirrors, vent shades, MP3 and cell phone accessories, and seat and steering wheel covers; chemicals consisting of antifreeze, freon, fuel additives, and car washes and waxes; and oil and other automotive petroleum products. This segment also provides battery and wiper installation, battery charging, check engine light reading, electrical system testing, video clinics and project brochures, loaner tool programs, and oil and battery recycling services; and sells its products through online. The AI segm ent operates stores that offer replacement parts for domestic and imported cars, and light trucks to customers in northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, as well as to warehouse distributors and jobbers in North America. As of January 1, 2011, the company operated 3,369 AAP stores, including 3,343 stores located in the northeastern, southeastern, and Midwestern regions of the United States under the Advance Auto Parts and Advance Discount Auto Parts trade names; 26 stores situated in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands under the Advance Auto Parts and Western Auto trade names; and 194 stores under the Autopart International trade name in the United States. It serves do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or commercial customers. The company was founded in 1929 and is based in Roanoke, Virginia.
- [By Matt Thalman]
Competitor Advanced Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP ) also announced earnings this morning, which resulted in shares of the company increasing by 12.74% today. Revenue at Advanced rose 6% year over year to hit $1.41 billion, but that was below the $1.43 billion analysts were expecting. Despite that miss, earnings per share came in at $0.94, which was $0.13 higher than Wall Street had predicted. The company maintained a strong gross margin at 49.8%, but that fell from 49.9% during the same quarter last year, which was explained as a side effect from a higher mix of commercial sales, an area that has lower margins. Lastly, management forecasted that 2014 fiscal year earnings per share will fall within a range from $7.20-$7.40, while analysts had that number pinned at just $7.03 per share.
- [By Ning Jia]
Reuters Description: Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (Advance), incorporated on August 1, 2001, is a specialty retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items primarily operating within the United States. The Company operates in two segments: Advance Auto Parts (AAP), and Autopart International (AI). The AAP segment is comprised of its store operations, which operate under the trade names Advance Auto Parts and Advance Discount Auto Parts.The AI segment consists of the operations of Autopart International, Inc. which operates under the Autopart International trade name. The Company’s stores carry a product line for cars, vans, sport utility vehicles and light trucks.The Company serves both do-it-yourself (DIY), and do-it-for-me (Commercial), customers. Its Commercial customers consist primarily of delivery customers for whom the Company delivers product from its store locations to it Commercial customers’ places of business, including in dependent garages, service stations and auto dealers. On December 31, 2012, the Company acquired B.W.P. Distributors, Inc.
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: Partner Communications Company Ltd.(PTNR)
Partner Communications Company Ltd. provides various telecommunications services in Israel. It offers cellular telephony services on GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA networks. The company also provides basic services, including domestic mobile calls, international dialing, roaming, voice mail, short message services, intelligent network services, content based on its cellular portal, data and fax transmission, and other services. In addition, it offers Internet services provider services that provides access to the Internet, as well as home WiFi networks; value added services, such as anti-virus and anti-spam filtering; and transmission services; and Web video on demand services, music tracks, and games. Further, the company provides voice over broadband and primary rate interface fixed-line telephone services; and data capacity services. Additionally, it offers content services comprising voice mail, text, and multimedia messaging, as well as downloadable wireless data application s, including ring tones, music, games, and other informational content; and sells handsets, phones, routers, and related equipment. The company markets its products through its sales centers, business sales representatives, traditional networks of specialized dealers, and non-traditional networks of retail chains and stores under the Orange brand name. Partner Communications Company Ltd. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Rosh Ha-ayin, Israel.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another under-$10 wireless telecom player that’s starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Partner Communications (PTNR), a telecommunications company, provides cellular and fixed-line telecommunication services in Israel. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up sharply by 29%.
If you take a look at the chart for Partner Communications, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last month, with shares moving between $7.28 on the downside and $7.96 on the upside. Shares of PTRN are bucking the overall market weakness today as the stock starts to move within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its sideways trading chart pattern.
Market players should now look for long-biased trades in PTNR if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $7.80 to $7.85 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high at $7.96 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that registers near or above its three-month average volume of 107,303 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PTNR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $10 to $12.20 a share.
Traders can look to buy PTNR off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $7.38 to $7.28, or below its 50-day at $6.97 a share. One can also buy PTNR off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
Hot Cheap Companies To Own In Right Now: S&P Smallcap 600(PH)
Parker Hannifin Corporation manufactures fluid power systems, electromechanical controls, and related components worldwide. Its Industrial segment offers pneumatic and electromechanical components, and systems; filters, systems, and instruments to monitor and remove contaminants from fuel, air, oil, water, and other liquids and gases; connectors that control, transmit, and contain fluid; hydraulic components and systems for builders and users of industrial and mobile machinery and equipment; critical flow components for process instrumentation, healthcare, and ultra-high-purity applications; and static and dynamic sealing devices. This segment sells its products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their replacement markets in the manufacturing, transportation, and processing industries. The company?s Aerospace segment provides flight control systems and components, including hydraulic, electrohydraulic, electric backup hydraulic, electrohydrostatic, and electro -mechanical components for precise control of aircraft rudders, elevators, ailerons, and other aerodynamic control surfaces. It also provides electronics thermal management heat rejection systems, and single-phase and two-phase heat collection systems for radar, ISAR, and power electronics. This segment markets its products primarily to OEMs in the commercial, military, and general aviation markets, as well as to end users. Its Climate and Industrial Controls segment offers systems and components primarily for use in the mobile and stationary refrigeration, and air conditioning industry; and in fluid control applications in various industries, such as processing, fuel dispensing, beverage dispensing, and mobile emissions. This segment serves OEMs and their replacement markets. Parker-Hannifin Corporation markets its products through direct-sales employees, independent distributors, wholesalers, and sales representatives. The company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered i n Cleveland, Ohio.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Motion and control technology manufacturer Parker-Hannifan (PH) raised its quarterly dividend 7% to 48 cents per share, payable on Mar. 7 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 10.
PH Dividend Yield: 1.69%
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Parker Hannifin Corp.’s(PH) fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 40% as the maker of motion and control equipment’s orders continued to grow and gains from a joint-venture agreement with General Electric Co.(GE) (GE) offset a costly write-down. Adjusted earnings were ahead of expectations, yet the company lowered its per-share earnings estimate for the year. Shares dropped 3.8% to $122 premarket.