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 Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: OCZ Technology Group Inc(OCZ)
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes computer components for computing devices and systems worldwide. It primarily offers solid state drives, flash memory storage, memory modules, thermal management solutions, AC/DC switching power supply units, and computer gaming solutions. The company?s products are used in industrial equipment and computer systems; computer and computer gaming solutions; mission critical servers and high end workstations; personal computer (PC) upgrades to extend the useable life of existing PCs; high performance computing and scientific computing; video and music editing; home theatre PCs and digital home convergence products; and digital photography and digital image manipulation computers. OCZ Technology Group, Inc. offers its products to retailers, on-line retailers, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and distributors. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, Califo rnia.
- [By Rich Duprey]
The not-so-great and wonderful OCZ
There was no company-specific news that caused solid-state-drive maker OCZ Technology (NASDAQ: OCZ ) to fall almost 8% Wednesday. But an article that appeared on Seeking Alpha questioning whether the company had six months or less to live before it filed for bankruptcy seemed to coincide with its fall.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Texas Instruments Incorporated(TXN)
Texas Instruments Incorporated engages in the design and sale of semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company?s Analog segment offers high-performance analog products comprising standard analog semiconductors, such as amplifiers, data converters, and interface semiconductors; high-volume analog and logic products; and power management semiconductors and line-powered systems. Its Embedded Processing segment includes DSPs that perform mathematical computations to process and enhance digital data; and microcontrollers, which are designed to control a set of specific tasks for electronic equipment. The company?s Wireless segment designs, manufactures, and sells application processors and connectivity products. Its Other segment offers smaller semiconductor products, which include DLP products that are primarily used in projectors to create high-definition images; and application-specific integrated circuits. This segment also provides handhe ld graphing and scientific calculators, as well as licenses technologies to other electronic companies. The company serves the communications, computing, industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, and education sectors. Texas Instruments Incorporated sells its products through a direct sales force, distributors, and third-party sales representatives. It has collaboration agreements with PLX Technology Inc.; Neonode, Inc.; and Ubiquisys Ltd. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
- [By Victor Selva]
Several tech vendors like Intel (INTC), IBM (IBM), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) have announced job cuts for 2014. These reductions will take effect in the near future while management will continue to explore additional opportunities to improve profitability.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) saw short interest fall by 2.1% to 22.85 million shares, or 2.1% of the float. TI reported earnings last week, pulling the shares back from a 52-week high and cooling, for the moment at least, any added interest from short sellers.
- [By Douglas A. McIntyre]
Big tech seems to get smaller and smaller, both in terms of sales and number of employees. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) said it would rebalance its workforce. Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) announced it would cut 1,100 people. These announcements come shortly after Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) said it would fire 5,000 people. While job cuts from the recession may have ended, old tech cannot afford to hold on to its workers.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: InterDigital Inc.(IDCC)
Interdigital, Inc. engages in the design and development of digital wireless technology solutions. The company offers technology solutions for use in digital cellular and wireless products and networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and IEEE 802-related products and networks. It holds patents related to the fundamental technologies that enable wireless communications. The company licenses its patents to equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular and IEEE 802-related products; and licenses or sells mobile broadband modem solutions, including modem IP, know-how, and reference platforms to mobile device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and other equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular products. InterDigital?s solutions are incorporated in various products comprising mobile devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, notebook computers, and wireless personal digital assistants; wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations; and components, dongles, and modules for wireless devices. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
- [By Holly LaFon]
The most disappointing investment in the portfolio for 2013 was InterDigital (IDCC). This stock declined approximately 28% during the year, despite posting roughly 25% operating margins. Our thesis on IDCC is that the company should benefit from its wireless technology patents as more smartphones and mobile tablets are connected to the in ternet. IDCC creates wireless technology, applies for patents for the technology it creates, and then licenses its technology to manufacturers who produce the aforementioned products. In the past, Nokia, Samsung, Apple, LG, and many other manufacturers hav e licensed the company’s technology to use in their products and paid IDCC royalties.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Endeavor IP isn’t the only publicly-traded intellectual property enforcement company out there. It is, however, the only one to focus on quality over quantity. Whereas other players like patent portfolio names like InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) and Vringo, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNG) will literally buy patents by the hundreds – perhaps sometimes without even knowing what some of those patents even cover – in an effort to arm itself with any and every possible patent for any and every contingency. Most are likely worthless, which means companies like InterDigital or Vringo may have wasted shareholder money by buying IP that isn’t capable of bearing revenue.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: KongZhong Corporation(KONG)
KongZhong Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides wireless interactive entertainment, media, and community services to mobile phone users in the People’s Republic of China. It also involves in the development, distribution, and marketing of consumer wireless value-added services, including wireless application protocol, multimedia messaging services, short messaging services, interactive voice response services, and color ring back tones. In addition, it offers interactive entertainment services, such as mobile games, pictures, karaoke, electronic books, mobile phone personalization features, entertainment news, chat, and message boards; and through Kong.net offer news, community services, games, and other interactive media and entertainment services; and sells advertising space in the form of text-link, banner, and button advertisements. Further, the company develops and publishes mobile games, including downloadable mobile games and online mobile games cons isting of action, role-playing, and leisure games. As of December 31, 2009, it had a library of approximately 300 internally developed mobile games. Additionally, it develops online games; and provides consulting and technology services, as well as media and net book services. The company was formerly known as Communication Over The Air Inc. and changed its name to KongZhong Corporation in March 2004. KongZhong Corporation was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China
- [By Roberto Pedone]
One under-$10 wireless services player that looks poised for a big spike higher is KongZhong (KONG), which is a provider of WVAS and mobile games to mobile phone users and a wireless media company providing news, content, community and mobile advertising services through its wireless Internet sites in the PRC. This stock is off to a hot start in 2013, with shares up sharply by 53%.
If you take a look at the chart for KongZhong, you’ll notice that this stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares plunging lower from its high of $14.92 to its recent low of $7.78 a share. During that downtrend, shares of KONG have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of KONG into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 30.21. Shares of KONG are now starting to spike higher off its recent low of $7.78 a share and off its 200-day moving average of $7.95 a share. This spike could be signaling that the downside volatility for KONG is over in the short-term and the stock is ready to trend higher.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KONG if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $8.50 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 519,857 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then KONG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $10 to its 50-day moving average at $11.33 a share.
Traders can look to buy KONG off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support at $7.78 a share. One can also buy KONG off strength once it takes out $8.50 a share with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
- [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 Kongzhong (Nasdaq: KONG ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Sky-mobi Limited(MOBI)
Sky-mobi Limited engages in the operation of a mobile application store in the People?s Republic of China. It works with handset companies to pre-install its Maopao mobile application store on handsets and with content developers to provide users with applications and content titles. The users of its Maopao store could browse, download, and purchase a range of applications and content, such as single-player games, mobile music, and books. The company?s Maopao store enables mobile applications and content to be downloaded and run on various mobile handsets with hardware and operating system configurations. It also operates a mobile social network community, the Maopao Community, where it offers localized mobile social games, as well as applications and content with social network functions to its registered members. The company owns proprietary mobile application technology in the cloud computing, the MRP format, and SDK development environment. As of March 31, 2011, it had entered into cooperation agreements with approximately 523 handset companies to pre-install Maopao. The company was formerly known as Profit Star Limited and changed its name to Sky-Mobi Limited in October 2010. Sky-mobi Limited was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another stock that’s starting to move within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Sky-mobi (MOBI), which, through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of a mobile application platform embedded on mobile phones to provide mobile application store and services in the Peoples Republic of China. This stock has been red hot so far in 2013, with shares up a whopping 88%.
If you look at the chart for Sky-mobi, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a triple bottom chart pattern at $3.31, $3.28 and $3.40 a share. That bottoming pattern occurred over the last two months. Shares of MOBI have now started to uptrend and flirt with its 50-day moving average of $3.76 a share. That move is quickly pushing MOBI within range of triggering a big breakout trade.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MOBI if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.71 to $3.83 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 145,934 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MOBI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $4.96 a share. Any high-volume move above that level will then give MOBI a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $5.55 to $6.13 a share.
Traders can look to buy MOBI off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $3.40 to $3.28 a share. One can also buy MOBI off strength once it takes out that breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Hot Topic Inc.(HOTT)
Hot Topic, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mall- and Web-based specialty retailer in the United States. The company operates Hot Topic and Torrid store concepts, as well as an e-space music discovery concept, ShockHound. Its Hot Topic stores sell music/pop culture-licensed merchandise, including tee shirts, hats, posters, stickers, patches, postcards, books, novelty accessories, CDs, and DVDs; and music/pop culture-influenced merchandise comprising women?s and men?s apparel and accessories, such as woven and knit tops, skirts, pants, shorts, jackets, shoes, costume jewelry, body jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics, leather accessories, and gift items for young men and women primarily between the ages of 12 and 22. The company?s Torrid stores sells casual and dressy jeans and pants, fashion and novelty tops, sweaters, skirts, jackets, dresses, hosiery, shoes, intimate apparel, and fashion accessories for various lifestyles for plus-size females primarily betw een the ages of 15 and 29. As of July 30, 2011, it operated 636 Hot Topic stores in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada; 145 Torrid stores; and Internet stores, hottopic.com and torrid.com. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
In May True Religion (TRGL) announced a buyout offer from TowerBrook Capital for $826 million. Also in May, Rue21 decided to sell itself to Apax Partners for $2.2 billion. Before that, in March, Hot Topic (HOTT) announced that Sycamore Partners was buying out it out for $600 million.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Petroquest Energy Inc(PQ)
PetroQuest Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company. It engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of oil and gas properties in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as onshore and in the shallow waters offshore the Gulf Coast Basin. As of December 31, 2009, the company had estimated proved reserves of 1,931 thousand barrels of oil and 167,361 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. It owned working interests in 9 net producing oil wells and 277 net producing gas wells. PetroQuest Energy was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
PetroQuest Energy Inc. (NYSE: PQ) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.
Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) was downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: bebe stores inc.(BEBE)
bebe stores, inc. engages in the design, development, and production of women?s apparel and accessories. Its products include a range of separates, tops, dresses, active wear, and accessories in career, evening, casual, and active lifestyle categories. The company markets its products under the bebe, BEBE SPORT, bbsp, and 2b bebe brand names targeting 21 to 34-year-old woman. As of July 2, 2011, it operated 252 retail stores, and an online store at bebe.com in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Japan, and Canada, as well as 60 international licensee operated stores in south east Asia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Russia, Mexico, and Turkey. The company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Brisbane, California.
- [By Rich Smith]
This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines include upgrades for both industrialist Aixtron (NASDAQ: AIXG ) and fashionista bebe stores (NASDAQ: BEBE ) . But the news isn’t all good, so let’s start off with a few words on…
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE ) were back in style today, gaining as much as 11% after receiving an upgrade from Janney Capital from Neutral to Buy.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: Panera Bread Company(PNRA)
Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Its bakery-cafes offer fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products, as well as provide catering services. The company also manufactures and supplies dough and other products to company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes. As of March 29, 2011, it owned and franchised 1,467 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Although Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) and Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA ) have become shorthand for fast casual dining, and are seen as the reason fast food restaurants are fast losing sales, there may be a different culprit at work — one that, until now, has been surreptitiously siphoning off sales.
- [By Adrian Campos]
The attractive combination of high margins and aggressive revenue expansion has caused Starbucks’ value to increase enormously. How did Starbucks manage to create a strong coffee empire despite increasing competition from traditional players such as Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN ) , and the emergence of challengers like Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA ) ? More importantly, how long will Starbucks’ dominance in the coffee world last?
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) shares fell 3.3% to $157.10 after the bakery-cafe chain cut its outlook after reporting third-quarter earnings.
- [By Steve Symington]
Even so, investors have remained frustrated by Chipotle’s refusal to either open stores at a faster pace or raise prices to improve tepid same-store sales growth, which came in at just 3.8% last quarter. That’s shy of competing healthy eateries, including Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA ) which recently said its same-store growth came in at an impressive 5.1% last quarter. Even still, by not immediately raising prices, Chipotle is intelligently building customer goodwill, and remains open to the possibility of raising prices as economic conditions improve.
Top 10 Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2014: OmniVision Technologies Inc.(OVTI)
OmniVision Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets semiconductor image-sensor devices. The company offers CameraChip image sensors, which are single-chip solutions that integrate various functions, such as image capture, image processing, color processing, signal conversion, and output of a processed image or video stream for use in various consumer and commercial mass-market applications; and CameraCube imaging devices that are image sensors with integrated wafer-level optics. It also provides companion chips used to connect its image sensors to various interfaces, including the universal serial bus and other industry standard interfaces; and companion digital signal processors that perform compression in standardized still photo and digital video formats. In addition, the company designs and develops software drivers for Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows, as well as for embedded operating systems, such as Blackberry OS, Palm OS, Symbian, Windows CE, Windows Embedded, and Windows Mobile. Its products are used in mobile phones, notebooks, Webcams, digital still and video cameras, commercial and security and surveillance, and automotive and medical applications, as well as in entertainment devices. The company sells its products directly to original equipment manufacturers and value added resellers, as well as indirectly through distributors worldwide. OmniVision Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is based in Santa Clara, California.
- [By John Kell]
OmniVision Technologies Inc.’s(OVTI) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 43%, boosted by a one-time benefit related to the initial public offering of the company’s equity investee China WLCSP Ltd. Shares rose 15% to $18.60 premarket.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) got a boost, shooting up 7.22 percent to $17.38 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) got a boost, shooting up 8.27 percent to $17.54 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) shares tumbled 6.32 percent to $14.98 after the company issued downbeat third-quarter forecast.
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) was down, falling 7.90 percent to $51.16 after the company’s CEO Edward Lampert cut his stake in the company to 48.4% from 55.4%.