By Shirley Pulawski
It’s well-known that one of the biggest retirement mistakes people make is to fail to begin planning and saving until after reaching their 40s or 50s, but even with a good, solid retirement program well underway, there are important retirement mistakes to avoid once you’re in your 50s. While approaching retirement, it’s important to avoid bad habits and take steps to ensure you are maximizing your investments and will have a safe retirement, whether you have a 401(k) or IRA.
Revisit and re-evaluate your financial plans A weekly or monthly allowance you may have thought would provide you with comfort and plenty 10 or 20 years ago may not be as realistic today. Take a good look at how much you’ve saved and how you plan to spend it, and for how long. Does your old plan suit your current lifestyle, and have you saved enough to meet those expectations? If not, start putting more into savings.
Max out your contributions This should be a no-brainer: If you haven’t already, now more than ever is the time to max out the amount you put into your retirement account. Do it.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2015: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
- [By Gregory Wallace and Charles Riley]
While many of its fast food rivals have rushed to cut ties with OSI, McDonald’s (MCD) said it will continue to do business with the supplier. The American fast food chain will shift its sourcing to a Husi plant in Hebei, before fully transitioning to a new facility in Henan.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) announced it will continue using its Chinese meat supplier despite a government inspection claiming that it used expired meat. Shares finished the day unchanged at $95.35.
- [By Paul Vigna]
Coca-Cola, McDonald’s (MCD), DuPont, United Technologies (UTX) and Verizon (VZ) all reported earnings before the bell. Microsoft reports after the market closes. The Street was not impressed. Of the five that reported, only Verizon is higher in midday trading; the others are all in the red, with Coke down 3%. That’s on a day when the Dow itself is up about 70 points.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2015: Visa Inc.(V)
Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
- [By Jared Cummans]
Credit card giant Visa (V) reported Q3 earnings after the closing bell on Thursday.
V Earnings in Brief
The company reported EPS of $2.17, easily beating analyst estimates of $2.10 and marking a 15% growth from the same quarter a year prior. Revenues for the quarter came in at $3.16 billion, edging out The Street’s expectation of $3.15 billion. Total operating expenses for the quarter came in at $1.1 billion, a 3% decrease YoY; this stemmed from a reduction in personnel and marketing fees. Total processed transactions for the quarter was a massive 16.7 billion.
CEO Charlie Scharf had this to say concerning the release: “We are pleased to report 15% earnings per share growth in the face of a continued, subdued global economy. As expected, revenue growth was affected by a strong U.S. dollar and tepid growth from cross-border transactions. More importantly, global payments volume and processed transactions remained healthy and strong. While some of the headwinds will likely continue in the short-term, we are confident our investments in products such as Visa Checkout, new technologies like tokenization, and new relationships with financial institutions and merchants will continue to drive double-digit revenue growth over the long-term.”
The company declared a dividend of $0.40 per share, which will be paid on 9/3/2014.
Wall Street was not impressed with Visa’s numbers, as the stock fell nearly 3% in after-hours trading, leaving some scratching their heads as to what was bringing the ticker down.
V Dividend Snapshot
As of Market Close on July 24, 2014
Click here to see the complete history of V dividends.
- [By Ben Rooney]
Starbucks (SBUX) and Visa (V) will report after the close.
Stronger economy: The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to a more than 8-year low, according to the Labor Department’s weekly report.
- [By JulieYoung789]
In the DJIA financial stocks Visa (V) and Goldman Sachs led the index higher. Visa was up 1.86% ending at $221.03 and Goldman Sachs was up 1.33% ending the day at $167. Laggers in the index included Merck (MRK) which was down 0.44% to $58.18 and Wal-Mart (WMT) which was down 0.35% to $76.55.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2015: Chevron Corporation(CVX)
Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.
- [By Jesse Solomon]
Big oil earnings are also in the pipeline. Chevron (CVX) and Exxon (XOM) release earnings Thursday and Friday, respectively. While it’s probably still too early to tell what, if any, effects the geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East are having on their finances, investors will be looking for guidance about their profits and oil prices.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected From: Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX), Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) Economic Releases Expected: U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI, U.S. nonfarm payrolls, U.S. unemployment rate, British manufacturing PMI, eurozone manufacturing PMI, German manufacturing PMI, French manufacturing PMI, Italian manufacturing PMI, Spanish manufacturing PMI
Posted-In: Earnings News Previews Global Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga
- [By David Dittman]
Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) provides relatively low-risk exposure to the global energy story, with future production growth driven by new Gulf of Mexico and oil shale projects as well as the start-up in 2015 and 2016 of Australia-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Yes, say the folks at Barclays. They took a long, hard look at integrated oil companies like Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP)–but only one came away with a downgrade: ExxonMobil (XOM).
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2015: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)
Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.
- [By Melvin Backman]
Reynolds American (RAI) fell 2.6% in early trading, and Lorillard (LO), which Reynolds agreed to buy last week, is down 2%. Philip Morris (PM) shares fell nearly 1%, and Altria Group (MO) was down about 1.5%.
- [By Aaron Smith]
The stock price for Reynolds American (RAI), parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., fell about 3%. Other Big Tobacco stocks followed suit, with shares of Altria Group (MO) slipping about 2%. Philip Morris (PM) falling about 1% and Lorillard (LO) dropping nearly 3%.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Philip Morris International (PM) has risen the most in five months after reporting earnings that easily topped analyst forecasts.
Philip Morris International reported a profit $1.41 a share, beating forecasts for $1.24, on revenue of $7.8 billion, topping the Street consensus for $7.52 billion. Morgan Stanley’s David Adelman and team explain why investors are so enthusiastic about Philip Morris International’s results:
Our key take-away is that Q2 was considerably stronger than expected and given the absence of any new issues results in less risk to the company’s full-year outlook…Although F/X was less onerous than our forecast ($0.06 of EPS favorability), the $0.18 quarterly EPS beat was predominantly driven by improved profitability in EEMA and Europe. While elevated spending and a difficult 4Q comparison should result in more moderate second half EPS growth, we continue to expect full-year results to be within PM’s 6-8% currency neutral range…
Despite the same core issues remaining an ongoing concern – Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and Indonesia – we were encouraged by the lack of any emerging issues, following the recent pattern of disappointing guidance.
Shares of Philip Morris International has gained 1.7% to $86 at 1:08 p.m., while Altria Group (MO) has advanced 1.2% to $42.07, Lorillard (LO) has risen 2.1% to $61.25 and Reynolds American (RAI) is up 1.1% at $58.40.
- [By Ted Cooper]
Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM ) returned 146% in stock price increases and dividends over the last five years. That’s an average of nearly 30% per year. Clearly, investors who owned Philip Morris for any significant length of time during the last five years made out pretty well. Unfortunately, two new developments have emerged to make future returns less certain. All Philip Morris investors need to know about these two things before deciding whether to hold or sell their stock.
Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2015: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.
- [By David Dittman]
A rapid slowdown in iPad sales outside the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) is actually the driving force behind Apple’s new partnership with former fierce rival IBM Corp (NYSE: IBM), which was announced in mid-July.
- [By rsconsultant]
As the personal machine business is shrinking, fittings giants like International Business Machines (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are diversifying into fresher areas to accomplish development. Among the most talked-about markets in IT solutions are digital security and distributed computing. Both these segments have been developing at a brisk pace. IBM and HP, as well as other huge companies such as Oracle and Microsoft are also moving into these markets.
- [By Vera Yuan]
Shares of diversified information technology company International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) declined during the quarter as investors continued to worry about the company’s ability to grow revenue, particularly in China and other emerging markets. We continue to have a favorable view of the company’s long-term competitive position.From Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio)’s Select Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary.Also check out: Diamond Hill Capital Undervalued Stocks Diamond Hill Capital Top Growth Companies Diamond Hill Capital High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Diamond Hill Capital keeps buying Currently 0.00/512345
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- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
In its recent ranking of top Cloud players, researcher Gartner gave Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform a No. 2 rating. It trailed only Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). That means it finished ahead of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC), and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM).