Margins matter. The more Spartan Stores (Nasdaq: SPTN ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Spartan Stores’s competitive position could be.
Here’s the current margin snapshot for Spartan Stores over the trailing 12 months: Gross margin is 20.9%, while operating margin is 2.4% and net margin is 1.1%.
Unfortunately, a look at the most recent numbers doesn’t tell us much about where Spartan Stores has been, or where it’s going. A company with rising gross and operating margins often fuels its growth by increasing demand for its products. If it sells more units while keeping costs in check, its profitability increases. Conversely, a company with gross margins that inch downward over time is often losing out to competition, and possibly engaging in a race to the bottom on prices. If it can’t make up for this problem by cutting costs — and most companies can’t — then both the business and its shares face a decidedly bleak outlook.
Top 10 Undervalued Companies To Buy Right Now: Tupperware Corporation(TUP)
Tupperware Brands Corporation operates as a direct seller of various products across a range of brands and categories through an independent sales force. The company engages in the manufacture and sale of kitchen and home products, and beauty and personal care products. It offers preparation, storage, and serving solutions for the kitchen and home, as well as kitchen cookware and tools, children?s educational toys, microwave products, and gifts under the Tupperware brand name primarily in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific, and North America. The company provides beauty and personal care products, which include skin care products, cosmetics, bath and body care, toiletries, fragrances, nutritional products, apparel, and related products principally in Mexico, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, and Uruguay. It offers beauty and personal care products under the Armand Dupree, Avroy Shlain, BeautiControl, Fuller, NaturCare, Nutrimetics, Nuvo, and Swissgar de brand names. The company sells its Tupperware products directly to distributors, directors, managers, and dealers; and beauty products primarily through consultants and directors. As of December 26, 2009, the Tupperware distribution system had approximately 1,800 distributors, 61,300 managers, and 1.3 million dealers; and the sales force representing the Beauty businesses approximately 1.1 million. The company was formerly known as Tupperware Corporation and changed its name to Tupperware Brands Corporation in December 2005. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.
- [By Jonathan Berr]
Multilevel marketing (MLM) groups such as Herbalife operate through independent sales representatives, who earn money both through the sales of product and by recruiting other people to join their team. This business model — which is used by scores of companies, including Pampered Chef, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Tupperware (TUP) and Mary Kay Cosmetics — is legal provided that actual products are sold.
- [By Johanna Bennett]
Corporate earnings took a back seat today to the Fed’s latest policy decision. Still, quarterly financial results, and other news sent shares of McCormick & Co. (MKC) and Tupperware (TUP), falling during regular market hours Here’s a rundown of several of today’s moves:
- [By John Kell]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are Dow Chemical Co.(DOW), Tupperware Brands Corp.(TUP) and Yahoo Inc.(YHOO)
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Herbalife have gained 0.9% to $79.51 this morning in pre-open trading. Its shares have gained 139% this year, a nice gain, but lagging Nu Skin Enterprises 271% rise. Avon Products (AVP), another multi-level marketer, has gained 21% so far this year, while Tupperware Brands (TUP) has risen 49%.
Top 10 Undervalued Companies To Buy Right Now: Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR)
Dollar Tree, Inc. operates discount variety stores in the United States and Canada. Its stores offer merchandise primarily at the fixed price of $1.00. The company operates its stores under the names of Dollar Tree, Deal$, Dollar Tree Deal$, Dollar Giant, and Dollar Bills. Its stores offer consumable merchandise, including candy and food, and health and beauty care, as well as household consumables, such as paper, plastics, household chemicals, in select stores, and frozen and refrigerated food; variety merchandise, which includes toys, durable housewares, gifts, party goods, greeting cards, softlines, and other items; and seasonal goods, such as Easter, Halloween, and Christmas merchandise. As of April 30, 2011, it operated 4,089 stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 88 stores in Canada. The company was founded in 1986 and is based in Chesapeake, Virginia.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
This isn’t some growing new industry set to take the world further into the 21st century. It’s an old concept that hasn’t innovated, won’t innovate, and will slowly but surely die out over this century. When I walk into a Walgreens, I see a miniature Target (TGT), a more expensive Dollar Tree (DLTR), and a provider of prescriptions in a world where everything is becoming mail order.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The other stock the firm likes is Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR). The company’s shares have lost about 4.6% since reporting an earnings per share (EPS) miss for the third quarter and the Sterne Agee analysts see the lower price as a “great entry point” for buying the stock. Dollar Tree raised fiscal year 2013 EPS guidance from a range of $2.66 to $2.77 to a new range of $2.72 to $2.78, effectively raising the mid-point by $0.04. Sterne Agee reiterated its Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $63. Dollar Tree’s shares are trading down nearly 0.4% at $55.99 in a 52-week range of $37.47 to $60.19.
Top 10 Undervalued Companies To Buy Right Now: Caterpillar Inc.(CAT)
Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. It operates through three lines of businesses: Machinery, Engines, and Financial Products. The Machinery business offers construction, mining, and forestry machinery, including track and wheel tractors, track and wheel loaders, pipelayers, motor graders, wheel tractor-scrapers, track and wheel excavators, backhoe loaders, log skidders, log loaders, off-highway trucks, articulated trucks, paving products, skid steer loaders, underground mining equipment, tunnel boring equipment, and related parts. It also manufactures diesel-electric locomotives; and manufactures and services rail-related products and logistics services for other companies. The Engines business provides diesel, heavy fuel, and natural gas reciprocating engines for Caterpillar machinery, electric power generation systems, marine, petrol eum, construction, industrial, agricultural, and other applications. It offers industrial turbines and turbine-related services for oil and gas, and power generation applications. This business also remanufactures Caterpillar engines, machines, and engine components; and offers remanufacturing services for other companies. The Financial Products business provides retail and wholesale financing alternatives for Caterpillar machinery and engines, solar gas turbines, and other equipment and marine vessels, as well as offers loans and various forms of insurance to customers and dealers. It also offers financing for vehicles, power generation facilities, and marine vessels. The company markets its products directly, as well as through its distribution centers, dealers, and distributors. It was formerly known as Caterpillar Tractor Co. and changed its name to Caterpillar Inc. in 1986. Caterpillar Inc. was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Susan Walsh/APSen. Carl Levin of Michigan. WASHINGTON — Caterpillar executives defended a tax strategy Tuesday that has saved the manufacturing giant billions in U.S. taxes. They got support from Republican senators, including one who said the company deserves an award. Caterpillar (CAT) has avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes since 2000 by shifting profits to a wholly-controlled affiliate in Switzerland, according to a report released by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Levin chairs the Senate investigations subcommittee. On Tuesday, Levin grilled Caterpillar executives and their accountants at a hearing on the company’s tax strategy. “Caterpillar is an American success story that produces iconic industrial machines,” Levin said. “But it is also a member of the corporate profit-shifting club that has transferred billions of dollars offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.” Julie Lagacy, a Caterpillar vice president, was adamant that the Peoria, Ill.-based manufacturer follows all tax laws. “We pay everything we owe,” she told the subcommittee. Caterpillar got support from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who questioned why the subcommittee was even holding the hearing. “I think rather than having an inquisition, we should probably bring Caterpillar here and give them an award,” Paul said. “You know, they’ve been in business for over 100 years. It’s not easy to stay in business.” Paul said Caterpillar and its accountants have an obligation to shareholders to minimize their taxes. “It is a requirement that you try to minimize your costs. So rather than chastising Caterpillar we should be complimenting them,” Paul said. Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, with sales and revenues last year of nearly $56 billion. The company says it has increased U.S. employment by 13,000 jobs since 1999, growing to nearly 52,000 workers last year. The company says it has 118,000 employees in 21 countries. In the U.S., it has 69 ma
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks bounced back from yesterday’s losses–and it was blue chips like International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Jonson (JNJ), Caterpillar (CAT), Merck (MRK) and 3M (MMM) that led the market higher.
Top 10 Undervalued Companies To Buy Right Now: Schlumberger N.V.(SLB)
Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. The company?s Oilfield Services segment provides exploration and production services; wireline technology that offers open-hole and cased-hole services; supplies engineering support, directional-drilling, measurement-while-drilling, and logging-while-drilling services; and testing services. This segment also offers well services; supplies well completion services and equipment; artificial lift; data and consulting services; geo services; and information solutions, such as consulting, software, information management system, and IT infrastructure services that support oil and gas industry. Its WesternGeco segment provides reservoir imaging, monitoring, and development services; and operates data processing centers and multiclient seismic library. This segment also offers variou s services include 3D and time-lapse (4D) seismic surveys to multi-component surveys for delineating prospects and reservoir management. The company?s M-I SWACO segment supplies drilling fluid systems to improve drilling performance; fluid systems and specialty tools to optimize wellbore productivity; production technology solutions to maximize production rates; and environmental solutions that manages waste volumes generated in drilling and production operations. Its Smith Oilfield segment designs, manufactures, and markets drill bits and borehole enlargement tools; and supplies drilling tools and services, tubular, completion services, and other related downhole solutions. The company?s Distribution segment markets pipes, valves, and fittings, as well as mill, safety, and other maintenance products. This segment also provides warehouse management, vendor integration, and inventory management services. Schlumberger Limited was founded in 1927 and is based in Houston, Texas .
- [By Vanina Egea]
To explore and produce, a great investment is required in tools, and one of the leading equipment suppliers is Schlumberger (SLB). A key to remaining on top of the industry is innovation, and of that the company has a whole load. Throughout 2014 alone, the firm has introduced a microseismic surface acquisition system, a new fracturing technique for unconventional reserves, launched a degradable alloy technology to improve well productivity, a multilayer bed boundary detection service for clastic and carbonate fields, and a rotary steerable system that increases directional control and drilling efficiency. These product introductions have been done during the first quarter of 2014, making a strong statement about the company’s research and development pipeline. Gurus, however, mostly dropped the stock during the end of 2013. Let us see whether you can take advantage of the dumping and take a large position with long-term prospects.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) is a top mega cap oil field services stock rated as an Overweight at Baird. Strong offshore drilling activity combined with a seasonal rebound in western Canadian activity have driven Schlumberger’s recent growth. The company said it expects double-digit earnings growth for the rest of the year when it reported earnings recently. For 2014 and beyond, Schlumberger sees five markets providing strong growth: Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, China and Australia. Shareholders are paid a 1.8% dividend. The consensus price target is $110.83. Schlumberger closed Thursday at $91.11.
- [By Jim Jubak]
But it just doesn’t seem to matter for Schlumberger (SLB). Schlumberger is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.
On January 17, the oil services and technology company reported fourth quarter earnings of $1.35 a share, beating Wall Street estimates by two cents a share. Earnings grew by 29.8% year over year.