According to Freddie Mac, the average American homeowner can get a 30-year mortgage today for as little as 3.5%. That sounds pretty good — but right now corporate America is borrowing money for less than half that rate.
IBM (NYSE: IBM ) just snagged $2.25 billion worth of loans for aggregate interest of less than 1.5% total. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , Texas Instruments, Unilever, and Walt Disney are all loading up on debt as well. But why?
To get the lowdown on low rates, why companies like them, and the risks of taking advantage of them, just watch the video below.
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Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: MutualFirst Financial Inc.(MFSF)
MutualFirst Financial, Inc. operates as a holding company for MutualBank that provides financial products services to individuals and businesses. It accepts various savings deposit accounts, NOW and demand accounts, and certificates of deposit. The company also provides one- to four-family residential mortgage loans, multi-family and commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans, commercial business loans, and consumer loans, including home equity and lines of credit, home improvement, auto, boat, and recreational vehicle loans, as well as loans secured by savings deposits, and credit card and unsecured loans. In addition, it operates as an insurance agent and sells life insurance, and credit-life and health insurance products. Further, the company provides investment money management and trust services. It operates 33 full service financial centers located in Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph, and Wabash counties, Indiana. The co mpany was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana.
- [By Tim Melvin]
PL Capital has not filed any 13Ds in a couple of months, but earlier this year it disclosed a 5.99% position in shares of First Advantage Bancorp (FABK). The Clarksville, Tenn.-based bank has seven branches and trades at about 75% of book value. PL Capital also filed a 13D announcing 8% ownership of Mutual First Financial (MFSF) over the summer. The bank has 31 branches and is based in Muncie, Ind. — an area that has seen substantial consolidation in the past few years.
- [By Tim Melvin]
MutualFirst Financial (MFSF) makes the list, trading at 80% of book value and yielding 1.61%. The bank has total assets of about $1.4 billion and is located in Muncie, Ind. Like a lot of small banks today, the story here is one of steady credit improvement and compressed net interest margins. It is one of many smaller institutions that I think will eventually be taken over; the current regulatory climate simply does not favor little banks. Insiders own about 10% of the stock, so they are invested in the idea of a much higher stock price.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Tim Hortons Inc.(THI)
Tim Hortons Inc. develops, franchises, and operates quick service restaurants primarily in Canada and the United States. Its restaurants serve coffee and other hot and cold beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and other food products. As of April 03, 2011, the company and its restaurant owners operated 3,169 restaurants in Canada and 613 restaurants in the United States under the Tim Hortons name; and had 274 primarily self-serve licensed locations in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom Tim Hortons Inc. was founded in 1964 and is based in Oakville, Canada.
- [By Nickey Friedman]
Growth continues to turn from good to better for Tim Hortons’ (NYSE: THI ) competitors Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) , Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN ) , and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD ) . Though Little Timmy has lagged behind, that could change, beginning with the five-year strategic plan the company will outline on Feb. 25.
- [By Charles Carlson]
If you are new to DRIP investing, treat yourself to a few DRIPs this holiday season. Trust me—It’ll change your life.
American Water Works (AWK)—yielding 2.7% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Cincinnati Financial (CINF)—yielding 3.2% with a DRIP minimum of $25
CVS Caremark (CVS)—yielding 1.4% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Dominion Resources (D)—yielding 3.4% with a DRIP minimum of $40
Domino’s Pizza (DPZ)—yielding 1.2% with a DRIP minimum of $65
Eaton (ETN)—yielding 2.3% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Flowserve (FLS)—yielding 0.8% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Kellogg (K)—yielding 3.0% with a DRIP minimum of $50
New Jersey Resources (NJR)—yielding 3.7% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Quest Diagnostics (DGX)—yielding 2.0% with a DRIP minimum of $100
Tim Hortons (THI)—yielding 1.7% with a DRIP minimum of $25
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- [By Rich Duprey]
Canadian restaurant chain Tim Horton’s (NYSE: THI ) declared today its regular quarterly dividend of $0.26 per share, slightly higher than the $0.2534 per share it paid back in February.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Energy and Minerals Australia Ltd (EMA)
Energy & Minerals Australia Limited is an Australia-based uranium exploration and development company. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company continued with exploration and development of its tenement package and progression of development studies on the Mulga Rock project. The Company operates one business segment: exploration. The activities undertaken by the exploration segment includes the exploration on tenements in Western Australia and scoping study activities on the Mulga Rock project. The Mulga Rock project is located about 250 Kilometer northeast of Kalgoorlie. The Mulga Rock Deposits (MRD) comprises four separate deposits being: Ambassador, Emperor ,Shogun and the Princess Deposit, The Company holds over 900 square kilometers of land surrounding the MRD. Narnoo Mining Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company , is the registered holder of exploration licenses numbered E39/876 and E39/877. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Tom Aspray, Senior Editor, MoneyShow.com]
To calculate the Mass Index:
Calculate a nine-day exponential moving average (EMA) of the difference between the high and low prices. Calculate a nine-day exponential moving average of the moving average calculated in Step 1. Divide the moving average calculated in Step 1 by the moving average calculated in Step 2. Total the values in Step 3 for the number of periods in the Mass Index (e.g., 25 days).
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: CVS Corporation(CVS)
CVS Caremark Corporation operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. The company?s Pharmacy Services segment provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services, including mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy services, plan design and administration, formulary management, and claims processing; and drug benefits to eligible beneficiaries under the Federal Government?s Medicare Part D program. This segment primarily serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, and individuals. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 44 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 18 specialty mail order pharmacies, and 4 mail service pharmacies located in 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This segment operates business under the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, Caremark, CVS Caremark, CarePlus CVS/pharmacy, CarePlus, RxAmerica, Accordant, and TheraCom names. The company?s Retail Pharmacy segment sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its pharmacy retail stores and online, as well as offers film and photo finishing, and health care services. This segment operated 7,182 retail drugstores located in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; and 560 retail health care clinics in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the MinuteClinic name. It has a strategic alliance with Alere, L.L.C. for the management of disease management program offerings that cover chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. CVS Caremark Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
- [By Bloomberg]
Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images Cerberus Capital Management’s $9 billion deal to merge Safeway (SWY) with Albertsons is a bet that a larger supermarket chain can better fend off an attack on the grocery business by big-box stores and online retailers. Safeway, the No. 2 grocery-store operator in the U.S., agreed Thursday to be acquired by Cerberus’s Albertsons for about $40 a share. The deal will unite two chains with locations across the country — especially in the West — and narrow Kroger’s (KR) lead as the nation’s top supermarket company. Cerberus, a private-equity firm that has spent years investing in the supermarket industry, will use the new company’s heft to combat a growing array of threats. Big-box retailers such as Walmart Stores (WMT) and warehouse clubs are increasingly targeting grocery customers, using their size and breadth of products to attract shoppers. Online food sellers and delivery services, including Amazon.com (AMZN), also have made neighborhood supermarkets less essential than before. “This merger will improve our competitive position,” Safeway Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who will be in charge of the combined company, said Thursday on a conference call. “Our customers will benefit from significant cost saving synergies and a stronger management team.” Safeway shares fell as much as 6.3 percent to $37 in extended trading, reflecting concerns the deal may not close at the current price. The shares had increased 21 percent this year through the close of regular trading Thursday, outpacing the 1.6 percent gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Blackhawk Network As part of the agreement, investors will get $32.50 a share in cash, plus stock in Safeway’s gift-card unit Blackhawk Network Holdings (HAWK), according to a statement Thursday. Safeway, based in Pleasanton, Calif., had said last month that it was in talks about a sale of the company. Assuming a diluted share count of about 235 million shares,
- [By GURUFOCUS]
Healthcare stocks in the Fund had a strong fourth quarter and year. CVS (CVS)’s 26% performance for the quarter is reflective of the fact that 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day and will for the next 15 years. Businesses that are able to serve this growing segment with improving service, innovation, technology, product quality and value should continue to win.
- [By Grace L. Williams]
CVS Caremark (CVS) has found the perfect prescription for stock market gains after reporting earnings results this morning.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, CVS reported adjusted EPS of $1.12, up from 96 cents a year ago and ahead of analyst expectations of $1.11. Revenue rose to $32.8 billion from $31.4 a year prior and forecasts for sales of $32.6 billion. CVS also disclosed that it opened 60 new retail drugstores and closed one during the period.
Last week, CVS made headlines on the announcement that it would end tobacco sales and the market reacted accordingly. In a Barron’s Take, Teresa Rivas wrote, “With the number of U.S. smokers on the decline and regulation on the rise, CVS will likely more than make up for lost sales with public goodwill and a boost to its health-care brand. It also gets first mover advantage on a ban that may eventually have been forced on it.”
Raymond James analyst John Ransom notes that CVS has a healthy future:
First-quarter 2014 adjusted EPS guidance was actually raised to $1.03-$1.06 (up seven cents at the midpoint), suggesting better-than-expected near-term trends versus prior outlook. Net-net, fourth quarter capped another solid year out of CVS, with today’s stock price reaction likely less tied to the report itself and more focused on the…tobacco headwind offsets as well as initial comments with regard to the 2015 selling season and the retail competitive landscape (promotional activity high?).
Shares of CVS have advanced 2.7% to $68.74 at 3:0 p.m., trailing Walgreen’s (WAG) 5.3% rise to $63.87 but besting Rite Aid’s (RAD) 1.5% gain to $5.72.
- [By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan]
CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) shares fell 0.9%. CVS said it would stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in stores by Oct. 1. The change is estimated to cost the company $2 billion in annual revenues or 17 cents a share, but CVS said it won’t affect its 2014 per-share earnings guidance.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Iberdrola SA (IBE)
Iberdrola SA is a Spain-based company principally engaged in the energy sector. The Company’s business is structured in four segments: Network Business, including all the energy transmission and distribution activities, and any other regulated activity originated in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil; Deregulated Business, including electricity generation and sales businesses as well as gas trading and storage businesses carried on by the Group in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and North America; Renewable: activities relating to renewable energies in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and the rest of the world; Other Businesses, comprising the engineering and construction businesses and the non-power businesses; and Corporation which includes the costs of the Group’s structure (Single Corporation), of the administration services of the corporate areas that are subsequently invoiced to the other companies through either specific service. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Sarah Jones]
Iberdrola SA (IBE), Spain’s biggest power company, fell 3.4 percent to 3.87 euros. Endesa SA (ELE) slumped 4.6 percent to 16 euros, while Acciona SA (ANA), which owns more than 4 gigawatts of wind farms in the country, tumbled 8.5 percent to 37.95 euros. Red Electrica Corp. slid 7.5 percent to 38.34 euros.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Model N Inc (MODN)
Model N, Inc., incorporated on December 14, 1999, is a provider of revenue management solutions for the life science and technology industries. The Company’s solutions enable its customers to maximize revenues and reduce revenue compliance risk by transforming their revenue lifecycle from a series of tactical, disjointed operations into a strategic end-to-end process. The Company’s customers use its application suites to manage mission-critical functions, such as pricing, contracting, incentives and rebates. Its solutions include two complementary suites of software applications, Revenue Management Enterprise and Revenue Management Intelligence. On January 18, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of LeapFrogRx, Inc. (LeapFrogRx), a privately held cloud-based analytics solution provider for the pharmaceutical industry.
The Company provides solutions that span the organizational and operational boundaries of functions such as sales, marketing and financ e, and serve as a system of record for key revenue management processes including pricing, contracts, rebates and regulatory compliance. Its application suites are purpose-built for the life science and technology industries and are designed to work with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications that do not typically provide revenue management capabilities by enabling real-time pricing, managing contracts and automating channel incentives management, including rebates.
Revenue Management Enterprise suite
A broad set of transactional applications that serve as a system of record for, and automate the execution of revenue management processes such as incentive and rebate management, pricing and contracting. This suite includes its Price Management, Deal Management, Contract Management, Incentive and Rebate Management and Regulatory Compliance Management applications, which can be purchased together as a suite or as separate stand-alone applications.
Revenue Management Intelligence suite
A broad set of intelligence applications that provide the analytical insights to define and optimize revenue management strategies. This suite includes its Price Strategy, Brand Strategy, Channel Strategy, Managed Markets Strategy and International Reference Pricing applications, which can be purchased together as a suite or as separate stand-alone applications.
- [By Rick Munarriz]
I went out on a limb last week, and now it’s time to see how that decision played out.
I predicted that Model N (NYSE: MODN ) would post a smaller loss than analysts were expecting. The provider of revenue management solutions has been a dud since going public nearly a year ago, but one thing it has consistently done is post a smaller deficit than what the pros are forecasting. Wall Street was settling for a loss of $0.12 a share, and Model N sported only $0.03 a share in red ink. The stock soared 19% on Tuesday after the better-than-expected report. I was right. After more than a year of predicting that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , I mixed things up two weeks ago. I simply predicted that the Dow would bounce back after plunging 3.5% and 1.1% over the prior two weeks. I repeated the call this time around, and the Dow responded with a hearty 2.3% gain. I was right. My final call was for LeapFrog (NYSE: LF ) to beat Wall Street’s income estimates in its latest quarter. The maker of electronic learning toys has been routinely beating Wall Street projections over the past year. I was banking on a repeat performance, but it wasn’t to be. LeapFrog merely broke even on a sharper drop in revenue than expected. Analysts had been braced for a profit of $0.14 a share. I was wrong.
Two out of three? I can do better than that. Let me once again whip out my trusty, dusty, and occasionally accurate crystal ball to make three calls that may play out over the next few trading days.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Model N Inc. (NYSE: MODN) develops applications, such as managed care and government pricing, for life science companies and channel incentives based on design wins for technology companies. The company’s customers use its application suites to manage mission-critical functions, such as pricing, contracting, incentives and rebates. The company had a recent initial public offering (IPO) that traded as high as $24.80 before badly missing earnings and being taken to the woodshed. Deutsche Bank still rates it as a stock to buy and has a $12 price target. The consensus target is at $15. The stock closed Friday at $9.88.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Sabine Royalty Trust(SBR)
Sabine Royalty Trust receives a distribution of royalty and mineral interests from Sabine Corporation. Its royalty and mineral interests, include landowner?s royalties, overriding royalty interests, minerals, production payments, and other non-participatory interests in various producing and proved undeveloped oil and gas properties in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Dallas, Texas.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
The Sabine Royalty Trust (SBR) is diversified from a geographical perspective, with interests spreading across both producing and undeveloped gas properties in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It essentially operates as a holding company into which all the royalties get deposited and all the money gets distributed to shareholders via its 9.2% yield.
Hot Companies To Watch In Right Now: Endurance Gold Corp (EDG)
Endurance Gold Corporation (Endurance) is a precious and rare metals exploration, acquisition and development company focused on the mineral properties in North America. The Company’s properties are in the exploration stage. Endurance’s commodity focus is on gold, rare earth, nickel and copper. Endurance’s properties include Bandito property, Fuego Property, Pardo Gold Property, Nechako Gold Property, Rattlesnake – Natrona Gold Property, McCord Gold Property, Vana Gold Property and Elephant Mountain Gold Property. The Company’s other properties in Canada includes BQ-Endurance Property and Virginia Silver Property. The Nechako Gold Property consists of several mineral claims located within the Cariboo Mining Division, West of Quesnel in British Columbia. Rattlesnake-Natrona Gold Project includes 10 properties totaling over 3,840-acres in the Rattlesnake Hills area of Wyoming. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its claims on BQ-Endurance and Virginia Silver proper ties were expired. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Monica Wolfe]
Edgen Group (EDG)
Gabelli made his first buy into Egden last week, buying 339,154 shares. The guru bought these shares at $12 per share. He holds 0.78% of the company’s shares outstanding, and his new buy makes him the only guru shareholder with a stake in Edgen Group
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are Diamond Foods Inc.(DMND), Edgen Group Inc.(EDG) and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc.(LXRX)
- [By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan]
Edgen Group Inc. (EDG) shares jumped 56%. Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. (SSUMY) on Tuesday agreed to acquire Edgen Group for $12 a share in cash, and the transaction is expected to close by year-end.