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 Gentex (Nasdaq: GNTX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: China Fund Inc (CHN)
The China Fund, Inc. (the Fund), incorporated on April 28, 1992, is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to achieve long-term capital appreciation through investment in companies and other entities with significant assets, investments, production activities, trading or other business interests in the People’s Republic of China, or which derive a significant part of their revenue from the People’s Republic of China.
The China Fund, Inc. may invest in equity-linked securities, such as linked participation notes, equity swaps and zero-strike options, and securities warrants collectively referred to as Access Products. The Fund invests various sectors, including industrials, consumer discretionary, energy, information technology, financials, consumer staples, materials, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications. Martin Currie Inc. serves as the investment manager for the Fund’s listed assets. Asi an Direct Capital Management is the investment manager for the Fund’s assets allocated to direct investments.
- [By Stephen Leeb, Founder and Research Chairman, Leeb Group]
Healthy economic data, coupled with low inflation, make Chinese stocks attractive as well. Our first choice here is the China Fund (CHN). It holds a diverse portfolio of stocks primarily focused on the Chinese domestic market.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Metro Bancorp Inc(METR)
Metro Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Metro Bank, which provides a range of retail and commercial banking services to consumers and small and mid-sized companies in Pennsylvania. Its deposit products include personal and business checking accounts, regular savings accounts, money market accounts, interest checking accounts, fixed rate certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, and club accounts. The company?s loan products portfolio comprises commercial and industrial, owner occupied real estate, commercial construction and land development, and commercial real estate loans; consumer loans, including home equity, overdraft checking protection, and consumer credit cards, as well as installment loans for home improvement, and the purchase of consumer goods and automobiles; and construction loans and permanent mortgages for homes. It also offers debit card services, online banking services, safe deposit facilities, and automated teller fa cilities. As of July 14, 2011, Metro Bancorp operated 33 stores in the counties of Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. The company was formerly known as Pennsylvania Commerce Bancorp, Inc. and changed its name to Metro Bancorp, Inc. in June 2009. Metro Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- [By Tim Melvin]
Metro Bancorp (METR) is one bank that might consider selling based on these metric. The company’s return on assets has consistently been well below its peer group, and the equity-to-asset ratio is just 8.46 — well below the 11 average across the United States.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (BKD)
Brookdale Senior Living Inc. owns and operates senior living communities in the United States. It operates in six segments: Retirement Centers, Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)Rental, CCRCs-Entry Fee, Innovative Senior Care, and Management Services. The Retirement Centers segment owns or leases communities comprising independent living and assisted living units in a single community that are primarily designed for middle to upper income senior citizens. The Assisted Living segment owns or leases communities consisting of freestanding, multi-story communities, and freestanding single story communities, which offer housing and 24-hour assistance to mid-acuity frail and elderly residents. This segment also operates memory care communities for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The CCRCs-Rental segment owns or leases communities that offer various living arrangements and services to accommodate physical ability and health. The CCRCs-Entry Fee segment allows residents in the independent living apartment units to pay a one-time upfront entrance fee to use certain amenities and services. The Innovative Senior Care segment provides outpatient therapy, home health, and hospice services to residents of its communities and other senior living communities. The Management Services segment operates third party communities under the management agreements. As of December 31, 2012, it operated 76 retirement center communities with 14,528 units; 433 assisted living communities with 21,594 units; 27 rental CCRC communities with 6,748 units; 14 entry fee CCRC communities with 5,866 units; and 97 communities with 17,998 units for third parties. Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.
- [By Sean Williams]
One company with seemingly limitless upside potential today was senior housing operator Emeritus (NYSE: ESC ) , which gained 35.2% after agreeing to be purchased by Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD ) for $1.4 billion, excluding debt. Under the terms of the deal, Emeritus shareholders will receive 0.95 shares of Brookdale, and would effectively own 23% of the outstanding shares of the company once the merger is complete. Brookdale anticipates the deal being EPS neutral in 2014, and forecasts it adding $0.40 in EPS by the third year. The move certainly makes sense on paper, as cost synergies will help these two senior housing companies fight back against the expectation of declining Medicare reimbursement rates. However, over the long run, the Medicare reimbursement picture is still very cloudy, making Brookdale a riskier buy at the moment following today’s announcement.
- [By John Kell]
Brookdale Senior Living Inc.(BKD) has agreed to merge with Emeritus Corp.(ESC) in a deal that values the operator of long-term, assisted-living facilities at about $1.4 billion, as the companies look to form a national senior-living-solutions company. Emeritus surged 34% to $28.75 premarket.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Superior Energy Services Inc.(SPN)
Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides specialized oilfield services and equipments to serve the production and drilling-related needs of oil and gas companies. It operates through three segments: Subsea and Well Enhancement; Drilling Products and Services; and Marine. The Subsea and Well Enhancement segment provides integrated subsea and engineering services, coiled tubing, electric line, pumping and stimulation, gas lift, well control, hydraulic workover and snubbing, recompletion, stimulation and sand control equipment and services, well evaluation, offshore oil and gas tank, vessel cleaning, decommissioning, plug and abandonment, and mechanical wireline services. This segment also manufactures and sells drilling rig instrumentation equipments; and involves in the production and sale of oil and gas from its properties in the Gulf of Mexico. The Drilling Products and Services segment manufactures, sells, and rents equipments for use with offshore and onshore oil and gas well drilling, completion, production, and workover activities. This segment?s products and services include pressure control equipment, drill pipe and landing strings, connecting iron, handling tools, stabilizers, drill collars, and on-site accommodations. The Marine segment owns and operates a fleet of liftboats in the Gulf of Mexico. The company operates 25 rental liftboats with leg lengths ranging from 145 feet to 265 feet. Superior Energy Services, Inc. sells its products and services in Latin America, North America, North Sea and Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. The company was founded in 1991 and is based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
As a result, the knives have come out. Cowen’s analysts downgraded six stocks–Baker Hughes (BHI), Cameron International (CAM), Nabors Industries (NBR), CGG (CGG), Superior Energy Services (SPN) and Helmerich & Payne (HP)–and cut their estimates on even more. Its analysts explain why:
- [By Sara Murphy]
Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS ) derived more than a quarter of 2012 revenues from its fluid services unit. Its operations rely heavily on the legacy model of hauling water. Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN ) counts on its traditional fluid services offerings for about 20% of revenues.
- [By David Smith]
Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN )
The largest of the three “smaller” oil-field services companies for this discussion carries an approximately $4.4 billion market cap. The Houston-based company has been accorded a rating of 1.6 by the analysts, with no single rating below a buy. (All three of the companies discussed here are headquartered in Houston. But that’s a coincidence, not a requirement.)
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: JAKKS Pacific Inc.(JAKK)
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. designs, produces, markets, and distributes toys and consumer products worldwide. The company offers traditional toys and electronics, such as action figures and accessories, including licensed characters under Pokemon name; toy vehicles and accessories under Road Champs, Fly Wheels, and MXS names; electronics products under EyeClops Bionic Eye, Laser Challenge, and Plug It In & Play TV Games names; dolls and accessories, including small and large dolls, fashion dolls, and baby dolls under Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Taylor Swift, Fancy Nancy, Hello Kitty, Graco, and Fisher Price names; private label products; pet products, including toys, consumables, and accessories under American Kennel Club and The Cat Fanciers? Association; and vehicles, play sets, plush products, construction toys, and infant and pre-school toys. It also offers role play, novelty, and seasonal toys, including food play and activity kits under Girl Gourmet, Creepy Crawlers, and BloPens names; role-play, dress-up, pretend play, and novelty products for boys and girls under Black & Decker, McDonald?s, Dirt Devil, Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Barbie, and Dora the Explorer names; indoor and outdoor kids? furniture, activity trays, tables and room d Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Toy maker Jakks Pacific Inc.(JAKK) posted better-than-expected results, including revenue not falling as much as feared and profit surprisingly rising. Shares surged 22% to $6.03 premarket.
- [By Sean Williams]
What: The fun and games are over for toy and consumer products maker JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK ) , which saw its shares get mauled by 37% after reporting its second-quarter results.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Global Cash Access Holdings Inc. (GCA)
Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides cash access and data intelligence services and solutions to the gaming industry in the United States and internationally. Its cash access products and services include Casino Cash Plus 3-in-1 ATM, a cash-dispensing machine that offers patrons to access cash through ATM cash withdrawals, point-of-sale debit card transactions, and credit card cash access transactions; check verification and warranty services, which allow gaming establishments to manage and reduce risks on patron checks that they cash; QuikCash, a non-ATM cash access kiosks; and money transfer services. The company also offers cash access equipment, such as full service kiosks, a multi-function patron kiosk for cash access into self-service kiosks for slot ticket redemption and bill breaking services, as well as jackpot kiosks. In addition, it provides information services, such as Central Credit, a gaming patron credit bureau that allows g aming establishments in credit-granting decisions; QuikCash Plus Web and QCPXpress that are cash access transaction processing systems for cashier operations; QuikReports, a browser-based reporting tool that provide access and analysis of information on patron cash access activity; and QuikMarketing/Casino Share Intelligence database services, as well as various Xchange Xplorer products. Further, the company offers cashless gaming products comprising QuikTicket that allows cash access transaction to be completed with a bar coded ticket in lieu of cash. Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. sells its products and services primarily through direct sales force to traditional land-based casinos, riverboats and cruise ships with gaming operations, gaming establishments operated on Native American lands, pari-mutuel wagering facilities, and card rooms. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
What: Shares of Global Cash Access (NYSE: GCA ) have plunged today by as much as 10% after the company reported first-quarter earnings.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Global Cash Access Holdings (NYSE: GCA ) reported earnings on May 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Global Cash Access Holdings missed slightly on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- [By Leo Fasciocco]
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) has annual revenues of $1.3 billion. Its owned and franchised restaurants feature a variety of boldly flavored, made-to-order menu items, including Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in one of their signature sauces.
- [By Steve Symington]
Meanwhile, its significantly larger beer-and-wings cousin, Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD ) , had just managed to grow revenue 12% year over year — a performance driven not only by new restaurant openings, but also by B-Wild’s respective 5.2% and 3.1% same-store sales increases at company-owned and franchised restaurants. Of course, Buffalo Wild Wings shares also plunged the following day as a result of its cautious forward outlook, but the stock has since rebounded nicely as investors take solace knowing diners are still coming back in droves.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD), Hillenbrand Inc (NYSE: HI), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) Economic Releases Expected: German retail sales, French consumer confidence, German unemployment rate, eurozone CPI, eurozone PPI, US trade balance, US redbook
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
AP It’s OK to say that Pizza Hut is full of hot air when it comes to its latest marketing move. It almost certainly won’t mind. Yum! Brands’ (YUM) iconic Pizza Hut introduced a new crust for its hand-tossed pizzas on Thursday. Instead of stuffing crusts with various types of cheese or even pepperoni as it has done in the past, Pizza Hut is promoting the fact that its new hand-tossed pizzas now feature a more airy texture. Pumping more air into the dough is supposed to give the pies less of a cookie-cutter appearance, an unusual choice among chains that sell themselves on their consistency. Every snowflake is unique, but every chain order is supposed to be uniform across the various locations. It’s what customers expect. However, just as the term “hand-tossed” conveys a personal touch, having a few more air pockets in the pizzas should generate some retro charm akin to an indie pizzeria. So Pizza Hut is proud of the “noticeable imperfections” of the new pies. It’s not that big of a gamble. The rest of Pizza Hut’s menu options will remain the same. If this move doesn’t “pan” out, it can be quickly replaced with the next evolutionary step of crust stuffing in the pizza giant’s playbook. Pizza Hut doesn’t stand still, even if it’s odd to find it stuffing its pies with air. Pizza Hut is Bigger Than You Think There are more than 14,000 Pizza Hut locations across 100 different countries, making the chain a major component of the Yum! Brands family that also includes Taco Bell and KFC. It could also use a boost. Comparable-store sales at domestic Pizza Hut locations slipped 1 percent in Yum! Brands’ latest quarter. These are competitive times, and for Pizza Hut, the challenge now is about more than beefing up its delivery business to compete with Papa John’s (PZZA) and Domino’s (DPZ), which seem to always have some ridiculous price promotion going on. (This is a business that has become cutthroat enough that Pizza Hut even feels the need to explicitly offer f
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Ibio Inc (IBIO)
iBio, Inc. (iBio), incorporated on April 17, 2008, is a biotechnology company focused on commercializing its technologies, the iBioLaunch platform for vaccines and therapeutic proteins, as well as the iBioModulator platform for vaccine enhancement. Vaccine candidates on its platform are applicable to newly emerging strains of hemagglutinin type 1 and neuraminidase type 1 (H1N1), swine-like influenza, hemagglutinin type 5 and neuraminidase type 1 (H5N1) avian influenza, yellow fever, and anthrax. The Company licenses or otherwise grants use rights to government and non-governmental organization (NGO) entities for not-for-profit applications of the intellectual property for the development or application for which they granted or were granted funding, and to Fraunhofer USA, Inc. (FhCMB) for research purposes and applications in other fields.
The Company’s platform technology is referred to as iBioLaunch technology or the iBioLaunch platform, and the category o f this technology is referred to as plant-based technology or as a plant-based platform. The Company has exclusive control over, and the rights to ownership of, the intellectual property related to all human health and veterinary influenza applications of the plant-based technology developed by FhCMB. Its property consists of the technology platform pursuant, to which hydroponically grown green plants can be used for the accelerated development and manufacture of high-value proteins of interest as candidate therapeutic products and vaccines applicable to a range of disease agents, such as influenza, sleeping sickness, anthrax, plague, human papillomavirus (HPV), and veterinary influenza applications.
Through FhCMB and their funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it is developing vaccine candidates targeting pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) viruses based upon the iBioLaunch platform. These candidates have demonstrated immunogenicity and have been succ essfully tested in mice and ferrets for protective efficacy.! Like its candidate vaccines for seasonal influenza, its candidate vaccines for avian influenza are subunit vaccines. iBio has commercial rights to vaccine candidates developed pursuant to its business structure based on fusing a protein component of HPV called the E7 antigen, to the LicKM protein of the bacterium Clostridium thermocellum. It has commercial rights to an oral anthrax booster vaccine candidate developed by FhCMB in collaboration with the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC).
- [By Bryan Murphy]
If the name Ibio Inc. (NYSEMKT:IBIO) rings a bell, it may be because I put some bullish thoughts into print regarding the stock back on June 21st. I reiterated my optimism on July 12th. What can I say? It’s fun to be right. IBIO shares have advanced 17% since my first look in late June. Then again, most of that big jump has unfurled in the last couple of days, meaning Ibio Inc. is overbought. Do we trust the breakout move, or do we fear a pullback? Answer: That depends.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: MFS Intermediate Income Trust (MIN)
MFS Intermediate Income Trust (the Trust) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The Trust seeks to preserve capital and provide high current income. It maintains a portfolio that includes investments in short and intermediate-term United States Government and foreign high-grade securities.
MFS Intermediate Income Trust’s portfolio includes non-United States Government bonds, mortgage-backed securities, the United States Government agency securities, the United States Treasury securities, emerging market bonds, commercial mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities and high-grade corporate securities. The Trust can invest in foreign securities, including securities of emerging market issuers. The Trust’s investment advisor is Massachusetts Financial Services Company.
- [By Akaralph]
I have written about MFS Intermediate Income Fund (MIN) on a few previous occasions, most recently here. I have extolled its virtues as a defensive play in a bear market scenario.
Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. (BIO)
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. manufactures and supplies the life science research, healthcare, analytical chemistry, and other markets worldwide with a range of products and systems used to separate complex chemical and biological materials and to identify, analyze, and purify their components. It operates in two segments, Life Science and Clinical Diagnostics. The Life Science segment develops, manufactures, sells, and services reagents, apparatus, and instruments used for biological research. This segment sells its products to university and medical school laboratories, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, food testing laboratories, and government and industrial research facilities. The Clinical Diagnostics segment develops, manufactures, sells, and services automated test systems, informatics systems, test kits, and specialized quality controls for the healthcare market. This segment sells its products to reference laboratories, hospital laboratories, screening faci lities, physicians? office laboratories, transfusion laboratories, and insurance and forensic testing laboratories. The company was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Hercules, California.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE: BIO ) reported earnings on May 7. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Bio-Rad Laboratories met expectations on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.