The S&P 500 index rose another 3% last week, continuing a winning stretch that began last fall.
Since Nov. 7, the S&P has risen 22%. That works out to be a roughly 35% annualized gain. Trouble is, the rally is increasingly due to a perception by individual investors that stocks can only move in one direction: up.
In its most recent survey, the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) noted that the percentage of investors who are currently bearish is now less than 20%. That’s the lowest reading in 18 months, yet as legendary fund manager Sir John Templeton once noted, “The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.”
I’ve already researched one half of that maxim. Back in 2010, I noted that stocks tend to rally when that AAII survey finds few bullish investors. The logic is quite simple: When investors are in a negative mood, they have already pushed stocks down to levels that are too low to ignore. As Templeton notes, maximum optimism should be of equal concern.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks For 2014: Kohl’s Corporation(KSS)
Kohl?s Corporation operates department stores in the United States. The company?s stores offer private and exclusive, as well as national branded apparel, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children; soft home products, such as sheets and pillows; and housewares primarily to middle-income customers. As of January 29, 2011, it operated 1,089 stores in 49 states. The company also offers on-line shopping on its Web site at Kohls.com. Kohl?s Corporation was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
- [By Rich Duprey]
The combination of the two retailers will create the fourth largest retailer of menswear, behind department-store chains Macy’s (NYSE: M ) , Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS ) , and J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) with 1,700 stores, 23,000 employees, and pro forma sales of $3.5 billion. Yet Men’s Wearhouse has rightly said it’s not going to rebrand Bank’s stores in recognition of the two companies’ separate customer bases and different corporate cultures.
- [By Dan Moskowitz]
When it comes to investing in department stores, most people would opt for Macy’s (NYSE: M ) or Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS ) over J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) or Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD ) .
- [By Reuters]
Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images NEW YORK — Looks like the best suitor won. After an extended chase that included overtures on both sides, Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank will combine to create the nation’s fourth largest seller of menswear. Men’s Wearhouse (MW) said Tuesday that it’s buying its rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) for $1.8 billion. The company will pay $65 a share, a 5 percent premium to Jos. A. Bank’s most recent closing price. As part of the deal, Jos. A. Bank also said it’s terminating its deal to acquire the parent company of Eddie Bauer, which sells rugged outerwear. Shares of both companies rose on the news: Men’s Wearhouse’s shares were up nearly 5 percent to $57.13, while shares of Jos. A. Bank increased nearly 4 percent to $64.22. The acquisition comes after months of the two chains publicly fighting over who would acquire whom. Industry watchers had speculated that a merger was inevitable given the challenges the companies face in the increasingly competitive menswear landscape. With more than 1,700 U.S. stores and $3.5 billion in annual sales, the combined company’s reach in men’s clothing will fall behind only Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and J.C. Penney (JCP). “Together, Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank will have increased scale and breadth,” Doug Ewert, president and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, said in a statement. Jos. A. Bank made the first move in October when it offered to buy its larger rival for $2.3 billion, just a few months after Men’s Wearhouse ousted its founder and chairman. Men’s Wearhouse shot down that offer, and turned the tables, offering to buy its rival for $1.54 billion. But after Jos. A. Bank turned down that bid, Men’s Wearhouse increased its offer to $1.6 billion, and then again to $1.78 billion. In the middle of the back-and forth, Jos. A. Bank said last month that it was buying the parent of Eddie Bauer, but left the door open for a deal with Men’s Wearhouse. At the time, it said if it received
- [By Bloomberg]
Companies added fewer workers than projected in February, a sign that U.S. employers were waiting for a pickup in demand before boosting headcount, a private report based on payrolls showed today. The 139,000 increase in employment followed a revised 127,000 gain in January that was weaker than initially reported, the weakest two months since August-September 2012, according to the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, N.J. The median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 155,000 advance. Harsh winter weather conditions, which kept some shoppers away from stores and car dealerships, help explain why companies were hesitant to accelerate hiring at a more robust pace. Faster payroll growth that spurs bigger wage gains would help to boost the consumer purchases that make up almost 70 percent of the economy. “Employment was weak across a number of industries,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pa., said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP (ADP). “Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures.” Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of economists ranged from gains of 100,000 to 180,000 after a previously reported increase of 175,000 in January. Missing Mark ADP’s numbers have missed the mark in tracking the government’s jobs figures over the past couple of months. The group’s initial estimates showed a 238,000 gain in employment for December followed by a 175,000 January increase. That compares with the Labor Department’s initial estimate of an 87,000 gain in December private payrolls and a 142,000 increase in January. Stock-index futures were little changed after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) expiring this month rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,872 at 9:06 a.m. in New York. Payrolls at goods-producing industries increased headcount by 19,000. Factories added 1,000 workers,
Top 5 Cheap Stocks For 2014: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)
XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Mich i gan.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) shot up 7.06 percent to $30.01 after the company announced its plans to acquire Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) in a deal valued at $335 million.
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO ) jumped 13% today after announcing an acquisition.
So what: The company will pay $365 million for logistics provider 3PD, consisting of $357 million in cash an $8 million in XPO restricted stock. Is will use its own cash and borrow $195 million from Credit Suisse Group for the remainder of the purchase.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks For 2014: Emerson Electric Company(EMR)
Emerson Electric Co. operates as a diversified manufacturing and technology company. The company engages in appliance solutions, climate technologies, industrial automation, motor technology, network power, process management, professional tools, and storage solutions businesses. Its appliance solutions business provides appliance controls, appliance motors, heating products, and white-rodgers; climate technology business provides heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) solutions for residential, industrial, and commercial applications; and industrial automation business offers bearings and power transmission products, electrical power generation products, electric motors, variable speed drives and servos, electrical products, material joining solutions, fluid automation products, and wind turbine systems. The company?s motor technology business provides appliance motors, HVACR motors, DC motors, fractional horsepower motors, integral horsepower a nd larger motors, and drives; network power business provides power, precision cooling, connectivity, and embedded solutions; and process management business provides various wireless related products from self-organizing field networks to wireless asset and people tracking. Its professional tools business offers pipe working and threading equipment, pressing technology, utility locating and visual diagnostics systems, drain maintenance tools, power tools, air tools, general purpose hand tools, wet/dry vacs, job site storage equipment, truck tool boxes and equipment, and van storage equipment; and storage solutions business provides shelving and storage products for residential, commercial, and foodservice needs, as well as offers specialized carts, mobile computer workstations, and cabinet fixtures. The company was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number GD is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 49.9% premium to its calculated fair value of $71.45. GD did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% GD earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1979 and has increased its dividend payments for 23 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA (20-year Treasury bond). Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $741 is below the $1,200 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as GD has. If GD grows its dividend at 10.0% per year, it will take 6 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: GD is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index. The
- [By Bob Ciura]
In the investing world, boring businesses don’t get much attention. The financial media obsesses over the next hot stock, preferring to ignore the seemingly sleepy companies that generate reliable profits year after year. Some of the high-quality companies that fly under the radar are pure industrials, such as Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR ) , Dover (NYSE: DOV ) , and Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW ) .
- [By Ben Levisohn]
That negative sentiment “flashed as a positive indicator,” Inch and Lau say, and some stocks appear to be “‘locked and loaded’ to meaningfully exceed forecast estimates.” Those include Rockwell Automation (ROK), Eaton (ETN) and Emerson Electric (EMR).
Top 5 Cheap Stocks For 2014: S&P GSCI(GD)
General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. Its Aerospace group designs, manufactures, and outfits various large and mid-cabin business-jet aircraft; provides maintenance, repair work, fixed-based operations, and aircraft management services; and performs aircraft completions for aircraft. The company?s Combat Systems group offers tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions. Its product lines include wheeled combat and tactical vehicles; battle tanks and infantry vehicles; munitions and propellant; rockets and gun systems; and axle and drivetrain components and aftermarket parts. This group also manufactures and supplies engineered axles, suspensions, and brakes for heavy-load vehicles for military and commercial customers. The company Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of General Dynamics (GD). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis: Company Description: General Dynamics is the world’s fourth largest military contractor and also one of the world’s biggest makers of corporate jets.
- [By Rich Smith]
The Department of Defense awarded nine separate defense contracts Monday, worth $1.6 billion in total. Among these, two contracts went to General Dynamics (NYSE: GD ) and Australian shipbuilder Austal (NASDAQOTH: AUTLY ) , its partner in building half the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Littoral Combat Ships, or LCSes.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Defense contractor General Dynamics (GD) raised its quarterly dividend 10.7% to 62 cents per share, payable May 9 to shareholders of record as of April 11. The increase is the 17th consecutive annual dividend raise for GD.
GD Dividend Yield: 2.23%
Top 5 Cheap Stocks For 2014: Alliance Holdings GP L.P.(AHGP)
Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 697.4 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition, the company leases land; and operates a coal loading terminal, with a capacity of 8.0 million tons with ground storage of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons, on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Further, it engages in purchasing and selling coal; and providing services, including ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. Alliance GP, LLC, serves as the general partner of the company. Allian ce Holdings GP, L.P. is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Robert Rapier]
The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).
- [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 Alliance Holdings GP (Nasdaq: AHGP ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.