On this day in economic and business history…
Millions of children in two successive generations — the Boomers and Generation X — first experienced “computing” technology through video games. Credit for that cultural legacy is owed largely to Atari, which did more to popularize the first video games in arcades and on consoles than any other company. It all began on June 28, 1972 , when Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded the company in California.
Atari’s first hire, 24-year-old Al Alcorn , was assigned to work on an arcade knockoff of the Magnavox Odyssey’s tennis game, which Bushnell had seen in demonstration a month earlier. The Odyssey, despite becoming the first home game console in history when launched that August, was not a great commercial success. Atari’s knockoff, however, became legendary. You might have heard of it; it’s called Pong (click the link to read more about Pong and Atari).
Pong established Atari as the preeminent video-gaming company in an industry it more or less created out of nothing. This early success forced Atari to expand rapidly. By mid-1974, it was up to 39 employees, but employee number 40 is the one that went on to the greatest success. Al Alcorn met the kid in Atari’s lobby, and he later recounted the incident to video game historian Steven Kent :
Hot Stocks For 2015: Ingredion Inc (INGR)
Ingredion Incorporated (Ingredion), formerly Corn Products International, Inc., incorporated on March 27, 1997, is a global manufacturer and supplier of starch and sweetener ingredients to a range of industries, including packaged food, beverage, brewing and industrial customers. The Company’s product line includes starches and sweeteners, animal feed products and edible corn oil.
The Company’s starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches. The Company’s sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins and glucose and syrup solids. The Company’s products are derived primarily from the processing of corn and other starch-based materials, such as tapioca, potato and rice.
The Company’s sweetener products represented approximately 44% of the Company’s net sales for the year ended December 31, 2012. G lucose syrups are fundamental ingredients used in food products, such as baked goods, snack foods, beverages, canned fruits, condiments, candy and other sweets, dairy products, ice cream, jams and jellies, prepared mixes and table syrups. Glucose syrups offer functionality in addition to sweetness to processed foods. High Maltose Syrup is special type of glucose syrup, which is primarily used as a fermentable sugar in brewing beers. High maltose syrups are also used in the production of confections, canning and some other food processing applications. The Company’s high maltose syrups actually speeds the fermentation process, allowing brewers to increase capacity without adding capital.
High fructose corn syrup is used in a variety of consumer products, including soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, baked goods, dairy products, confections and other food and beverage products. In addition to sweetness and ease of use, high fructose corn syrup provides body,hum ectancy and aids in browning, freezing point and crystalliza! tion control.
Dextrose has a range of applications in the food and confection industries, in solutions for intravenous and other pharmaceutical applications, and numerous industrial applications like wallboard, biodegradable surface agents and moisture control agents. Dextrose functionality in foods, beverages and confectionary includes sweetness control; body and viscosity; acts as a bulking, drying and anti-caking agent; serves as a carrier; provides freezing point and crystallization control; and aids in fermentation. Dextrose is also a fermentation agent in the production of light beer. In pharmaceutical applications dextrose is used in IV solutions as well as an excipient suitable for direct compression in tableting.
Polyols products are sugar-free, reduced calorie sweeteners primarily derived from starch or sugar for the food, beverage, confectionery, industrial, personal and oral care, and nutritional supplement markets. In addition to sweetn ess, polyols inhibit crystallization; provide binding, humectancy and plasticity; add texture; extend shelf life; prevent moisture migration, and are an excipient suitable for tableting.
Maltodextrins and Glucose Syrup Solids products have a multitude of food applications, including formulations where liquid syrups cannot be used. Maltodextrins are resistant to browning, provide solubility, have a low hydroscopicity (do not retain moisture), and are ideal for their carrier/bulking properties. Glucose syrup solids have a bland flavor, remain clear in solution are easy to handle and provide bulking properties.
The Company’s starch products represented approximately 37 % of the Company’s net sales for 2012. Starches are an important component in a range of processed foods, where they are used for adhesions, clouding, dusting, expansion, fat replacement, freshness, gelling, glazing, mouth feel, stabilization and texture. Sta rches are also used in paper production to create a smooth s! urface fo! r printed communications and to improve strength in recycled papers. Specialty starches are used for enhanced drainage, fiber retention, oil and grease resistance, improved printability and biochemical oxygen demand control. Industrial starches are used in the production of construction materials, textiles, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as in mining, water filtration and oil and gas drilling. Specialty starches are used for biomaterial applications including biodegradable plastics, fabric softeners and detergents, hair and skin care applications, dusting powders for surgical gloves and in the production of glass fiber and insulation.
Co-Products and others
Co-products and others accounted for 19% of the Company’s net sales for 2012. Refined corn oil (from germ) is sold to packers of cooking oil and to producers of margarine, salad dressings, shortening, mayonnaise and other foods. Corn gluten feed is sold as animal feed. Corn gl uten meal is sold as high protein feed for chickens, pet food and aquaculture.
The Company competes with ADM Corn Processing Division (ADM), Cargill, Inc. and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc.
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Ingredion (NYSE: INGR ) were down as much as 10% today after the ingredient seller cut its full-year and current-quarter EPS forecast.
- [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 Ingredion (NYSE: INGR ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: ADM is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: Bunge Limited (BG) with a 1.6% yield, Ingredion Incorporated (INGR) with a 2.4% yield and Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. (GRIF) with a 0.7% yield.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Kroton Educacional SA (KROT3)
Kroton Educacional SA (Kroton), formerly Opportunity Officepar Participacoes SA, is a Brazil-based company active in the private education sector. The Company and its subsidiaries are engaged in the management of preschool, elementary, secondary and college preparatory schools, as well as higher, professional and post-graduation education, courses and other related educational activities. In addition, it is involved in the wholesale, retail, distribution, import and export of textbooks, course books, magazines and other publications related to preschool, elementary, secondary and adult education, as well as higher, professional and post-graduation education. Kroton operates in both the On-Campus and Distance Learning business, primarily through its 53 Postsecondary units and 447 active Undergraduate Distance Learning centers, as well as cooperates with approximately 800 Associated Schools in basic education. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Ney Hayashi]
Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA (AEDU3) tumbled after Brazil’s antitrust regulator signaled it may limit the education company’s merger with competitor Kroton Educacional SA. (KROT3) Lojas Renner SA (LREN3) led retailers higher after a report showed Brazil’s industrial production expanded faster than expected in October, easing concern that growth is faltering.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Deckers Outdoor Corporation(DECK)
Deckers Outdoor Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of footwear and accessories for outdoor activities and casual lifestyle use to men, women, and children. The company offers luxury footwear and accessories under the UGG brand name; high performance multi-sport shoes, rugged outdoor footwear, and sport sandals under the Teva brand name; casual and sustainable-lifestyle sneakers and accessories under the Simple brand name; casual footwear under the TSUBO brand name; and outdoor performance and lifestyle footwear under the Ahnu brand name. Its accessories include handbags and cold weather outerwear. The company sells its products primarily to specialty retailers, department stores, outdoor retailers, sporting goods retailers, shoe stores, and online retailers. Deckers Outdoor Corporation also sells its products directly to end-user consumers through its Web sites, call centers, retail concept stores, and retail outlet stores, as well as through ret ailers in the United States. In addition, the company distributes its products through independent distributors and retailers in Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. It has a joint venture with Stella International Holdings Limited for the opening of retail stores and wholesale distribution for the UGG brand in China. Deckers Outdoor Corporation was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Goleta, California.
- [By DailyFinance Staff]
Concerns about the political uncertainty in Ukraine caused some volatility in the markets Friday afternoon, with the major indexes making several U-turns ahead of the weekend. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI), which had been up by as much as 125 points, briefly dropped into loss territory before rebounding to end 49 points higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) edged up 5 points, adding to Thursday’s record high, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 10 points. AP/Darko VojinovicPro-Russian militias have seized local government buildings in Crimea, Ukraine; the unrest there is making investors around the world nervous. February was a great month for investors. All three major averages jumped by about 4 percent. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) led the blue chips, gaining 1½ percent. Other health providers – Aetna (AET), Wellpoint (WLP), Cigna (CI) and Humana (HUM) — all gained between 1½ and 2 percent. And retail stocks remained active. Target (TGT) added another 3 percent. Best Buy rose 4 percent, and Fred’s (FRED), a regional department store chain, jumped 10 percent. But Pier 1 (PIR) fell 5½ percent after lowering its earnings outlook for a second time. That led to a series of brokerage downgrades. Decker Outdoor (DECK) tumbled 12 percent. The maker of footwear brands such as Ugg and Teva issued a weak outlook. And apparel maker Lululemon (LULU) fell 5-percent on negative comments from Credit Suisse. It seems as though there are always some big movers in the drug and biotech sectors – and that was certainly the case today. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) rose 2 percent after the FDA granted orphan status to its drug to treat a rare form of childhood epilepsy. But most of the action was on the downside. Endologix (ELGX) slid 24 percent after forecasting lower revenue growth. Questcor (QCOR) fell 10 percent. It’s lost big for three straight days amid allegations of questionable business practices. Jazz Pharma
- [By John Kell]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday’s session are Deckers Outdoor Corp.(DECK), KBR Inc.(KBR) and Pier 1 Imports Inc.(PIR)
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ: DECK) shares tumbled 13.30 percent to $73.65 after the company expected a Q1 loss of $0.16 per share. Analysts at Jefferies downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $100 to $75.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ: DECK) shares tumbled 13.61 percent to $73.15 after the company expected a Q1 loss of $0.16 per share. Analysts at Jefferies downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $100 to $75.
Hot Stocks For 2015: C&J Energy Services Inc (CJES)
C&J Energy Services, Inc., incorporated on December 15, 2010, is a provider of hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, wireline and other complementary services with a focus on complex, technically demanding well completions. The Company also manufactures and repairs equipment to fulfill its internal needs and for third-party companies in the energy services industry. The Company operates in three reportable segments: Stimulation and Well Intervention Services, Wireline Services and Equipment Manufacturing
The Company provides hydraulic fracturing coiled tubing and related well intervention services through its Stimulation and Well Intervention Services segment to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. On June 7, 2012, the Company acquired Casedhole Holdings, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries, including Casedhole Solutions, Inc.
Stimulation and Well Intervention Services
The Company’s Stimulation and Well In tervention Services segment provides hydraulic fracturing and coiled tubing and other well intervention services, with a focus on complex, technically demanding well completions. The Company’s customers use the Company’s hydraulic fracturing services to enhance the production of oil and natural gas from formations with low permeability, which restricts the natural flow of hydrocarbons. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping a fluid down a well casing or tubing at sufficient pressure to cause the underground producing formation to fracture, allowing the oil or natural gas to flow more freely. The Company’s engineering staff also provides technical evaluation, job design and fluid recommendations for the Company’s customers as an integral element of its fracturing service. The Company’s engineering staff also provides technical evaluation, job design and fluid recommendations for the Company’s customers as an integral element of its fracturing service.
Wireline Ser vices
The Company’s Wireline Services segment p! rovides cased-hole wireline and other complementary services. Its services includes logging, perforating, pipe recovery, pressure testing and pumpdown services, which are critical throughout a well’s life cycle.
The Company’s Equipment Manufacturing segment constructs oilfield equipment, including hydraulic fracturing pumps, coiled tubing units, pressure pumping units and other equipment for the Company’s Stimulation and Well Intervention Services and Wireline Services segments as well as for third-party customers in the energy services industry. This segment also provides equipment repair services and oilfield parts and supplies to the energy services industry and to meet the Company’s own internal needs.
The Company competes with Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford International, RPC, Inc., Pumpco, an affiliate of Superior Energy Services, Frac Tech, Stewart & Stevenson, Enerflow Industries Inc ., United Engines Manufacturing, Dragon Products and National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
- [By Lee Jackson]
C&J Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: CJES) undertook an aggressive expansion plan for 2013. That strategy culminated in several deals during the fourth quarter and further plans for 2014. The domestic hydraulic fracturing specialist has spent the past couple of years expanding the business line and, surprisingly, building new equipment. Now with natural gas inventories plunging to five-year lows, C&J Energy is positioned to take advantage of a market where utilization is already firming. Jefferies price target holds steady at $28, and the consensus estimate is $25. Shares closed Friday at $24.50.
- [By Aaron Levitt]
For investors, the choice is clear — you need to focus globally when it comes to oil stocks. North American-focused oil stocks like C&J Energy (CJES) and Basic Energy Services (BAS) might not be up to snuff in such a highly challenging pricing environment.
- [By Traders Reserve]
C&J Energy Services (CJES) grew more than 25% in 2012, after tripling in 2011, but has stalled in 2013 and will come in with near-zero growth. Part of the reason is the softening of oil prices and the shuttering marginal fields – C&J Energy Services provides fracking-related oil field services on a spot basis with prices defined under long-term contracts.
- [By Matt DiLallo]
C&J Energy Services (NYSE: CJES )
One of the more interesting purchases this quarter is the $7.4 million Soros poured into C&J Energy Services. The oilfield service company specializes in complex well completions, making it an important company for extracting ever-harder-to-reach oil and gas. With operations spanning the most active shale plays, an investment in C&J is one that benefits as oil and gas companies drill more wells using even more complex hydraulic fracturing techniques.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Concho Resources Inc. (CXO)
Concho Resources Inc., an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition, development, and exploration of producing oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its operations are focused in the Permian Basin of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. The company also has acreage positions in the Bakken/Three Forks play in North Dakota. As of December 31, 2010, Concho Resources had estimated proved reserves of 323.5 million barrel of oil equivalent. The company is headquartered in Midland, Texas.
- [By Jim Jubak]
Having done about all it could to increase US crude exports, by granting export licenses to Canada (permitted under the current system), I think the Obama administration is likely to move to grant new export licenses to countries other than Canada in 2014. That policy change would turn US oil producers into a rare bright spot in an energy sector that is looking at stable or falling global oil prices in 2014. Stocks I’d take a look at are Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Concho Resources (CXO) and Targa Resources Partners (NGLS). Pioneer Natural Resources is a member of my Jubak Picks 50 long-term portfolio. Targa Resources Partners is a member of my Jubak’s Picks 12-18 month portfolio
- [By Robert Rapier]
There are numerous drillers making major investments in the Permian Basin. The list is long, but it includes Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD), Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Apache (NYSE: APA).
- [By Russ Krull]
Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO ) reopened an issue from last August and sold $850 million of 10-year, 5.5% paper. Concho got a better deal on this round, selling the paper at 103.75% of par, compared with even par last August. About $320 million of the new money is funding a tender offer for some higher-rate 2017 paper. The rest of the money goes toward paying down a credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Virgin Media Inc.(VMED)
Virgin Media Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides entertainment and communications services in the United Kingdom. The company offers cable broadband Internet, television, and fixed line telephone services under the Virgin Media brand to residential customers; mobile telephony services through Virgin Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator; broadband and telephone services to residential customers through third-party telecommunications networks; and video on demand services, including access to movies, television programs, music videos, and other on-demand content, as well as provides digital video recorders. It also offers voice, data, and Internet solutions to commercial customers comprising analog telephony and managed data networks and applications, as well as supplies communications services to health and emergency services providers. As of December 31, 2011, the company provided cable broadband services to approximately 4 million subscribers; cable television s ervices to approximately 3.76 million residential subscribers; cable telephony services to approximately 4.2 million residential subscribers; mobile telephony services to approximately 3 million customers; non-cable fixed line telephone services to approximately 163,300 subscribers; and voice, data, and Internet solutions to approximately 50,000 businesses and 250 public sector organizations. The company offers its products and services through telesales, customer care centers, and online, as well as through its sales force. It serves mobile and fixed-line service providers, systems integrators, and Internet service providers; and private and public sector organizations. The company was formerly known as NTL Incorporated and changed its name to Virgin Media Inc. in February 2007. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in New York, New York.
- [By Tim Brugger]
Upon Liberty Global’s (NASDAQ: LBTYA ) successfully closing its acquisition of Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED ) , Tom Mockridge will assume CEO responsibilities of the U.K. communications firm, Liberty Global announced today.
- [By Markos Kaminis]
Whether the stock is overvalued or not does not matter at this point, because an impact to its subscriber base due to the data sharing news would probably change market expectations for the company’s operations and affect both earnings estimates and valuation multiples. It would probably drive the shares lower in my view, and I see no reason to risk that by holding the stock. Long-term holders, of course, have tax considerations to consider, and the news is still filing out. If Verizon’s peers are also implicated clearly, perhaps with the aid of a Verizon PR push, this issue would be effectively mitigated. Though even in that case, there could be market share loss by all major American firms, with companies like T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Virgin Media (VMED) benefiting, whether they have also been involved or not. In any event, for new stakeholders, or those willing to deal with tax implications; or for those interested in a potential short opportunity, I would sell the stock today. I see no reason to bear risk while this issue and its implications are still unraveling, and while VZ has thus far not been significantly discounted for it.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Denny’s Corporation(DENN)
Denny’s Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of a chain of family-style restaurants. The company operates traditional American-style food restaurants under the Denny?s brand name. As of December 28, 2011, it had 1,479 franchised/licensed restaurants and 206 company-owned and operated restaurants in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guam, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
- [By Michael Lewis]
Family-style restaurant chain Denny’s (NASDAQ: DENN ) delivered earnings early this week, and the numbers weren’t so shabby, but they also weren’t much to rally behind. Denny’s as a concept has long been considered dated, and many of its peers are finding it difficult to attract new customers. But the largely franchised chain is actually seeing more customers coming through the doors and higher transactions, if only slightly. Of course, there is much more data to digest and analyze beyond one period’s store-level sales growth, but investors should keep in mind that this is a chain that’s looking toward 2,000 locations — making it one of the largest of its kind. Here’s what investors need to know.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Cracker Barrel have gained 0.9% to $113.29 and Biglari Holdings (BH), Sandar Biglari’s holding company, has fallen 0.4% to $516.96, on a day when DineEquity has advanced 1% to $85.03, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) has risen 0.5% to $76.64 and Denny’s (DENN) is up 0.7% at $7.45.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Givaudan SA (GIVN)
Givaudan SA is a Switzerland-based holding company engaged in the fragrance and flavor industry. The Company has two business divisions: Fragrances and Flavors. The Fragrances business segment comprises the manufacture and sale of fragrances into three global business units: Fine Fragrances, comprising signature fragrances and line extensions, Consumer Products, comprising fabric and personal care, hair and skin care, household and air care, as well as oral care, and Fragrance Ingredients. The Flavors business division comprises the manufacture and sale of flavors into four business units: Beverages, comprising flavors for soft drinks, fruit juices and instant beverages; Dairy, comprising ice cream, yoghurt, desserts and yellow fats; Savory, covering soups and sauces, among others; and Confectionery. The Company is also engaged in research and development activities, which comprises the development of a palette of perfumery raw materials, both synthetic and natural. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Berkeley Group Holdings Plc (BKG) surged 8.3 percent after saying first-half profit rose 22 percent. London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) climbed 2.4 percent after Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit recommended buying the stock. Givaudan SA (GIVN) lost 1.3 percent after Nestle SA said it will sell $1.27 billion of shares in the world’s largest flavorings maker.
- [By Celeste Perri]
Nestle SA (NESN) is selling Givaudan (GIVN) SA shares worth $1.27 billion at yesterday’s closing price to institutional investors, winding down its stake in the world’s largest flavorings maker.
- [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 Given Imaging (Nasdaq: GIVN ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Stocks For 2015: Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF)
Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (the Fund) seeks to replicate as closely as possible the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap Index (the Index). The Index is a rules-based, modified market capitalization-weighted, float-adjusted index consisting of publicly traded small-capitalization companies that are domiciled and primarily listed on an exchange in Brazil, or that generate at least 50% of their revenues in Brazil. The Index is the exclusive property of 4asset-management GmbH, which has contracted with Standard & Poor’s, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. to maintain and calculate the Index. The Fund is passively managed and may not hold each Index component in the same weighting as the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Van Eck Associates Corporation. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: BRF) has performed closely with the larger ETF group, with a drop of almost 4% so far in 2014. By its name, you can assume it tracks small-cap stocks. It aims to track the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap Index. At $28.51, its 52-week trading range is $27.99 to $44.17.
- [By Hilary Kramer]
Brasil Foods SA (BRF) is South America’s largest food processing company, involved in everything from meat and dairy products to pasta, frozen vegetables and soybean-related products. The company has been around since 1939, and Forbes ranked it 39th on its list of the world’s most innovative companies. It brings in about $13 billion in sales each year, and analysts are estimating that earnings will grow from 94 cents per share in 2012 to $1.94 for all of 2013, with additional growth to $2.78 in 2014