Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS ) jumped 10% in late trading today after signing an important customer.
So what: The company announced that it has signed a contract extension to provide lottery gaming and instant ticket services for the Oklahoma Lottery. This was actually disclosed earlier this year, but investors bid up shares leading up to the announcement and nearly five times the three-month average volume of shares traded hands today.
Now what: This is definitely not a game changer for Scientific Games, and I’d still be worried about the company’s continued losses and vast underperformance of expectations. Revenue and income from operations were both down in the first quarter of 2013, and this contract won’t add to either going forward. I just don’t see a reason to buy the stock today and won’t consider buying until the company can prove it can make a long-term profit while growing revenue.
Interested in more info on Scientific Games? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.
Top 5 Cheapest Companies To Watch In Right Now: PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio (PWB)
PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield of an equity index called the Dynamic Large Cap Growth Intellidex Index (the Intellidex). The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its assets in common stocks of large-cap companies. A company is considered to be a large-cap company if it falls within the Intellidex model. The Fund will normally invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the Intellidex. The Intellidex consists of 50 United States large-cap growth stocks selected principally on the basis of their capital appreciation potential as identified by the AMEX (the Intellidex Provider) pursuant to its Intellidex methodology.
The Fund, using an indexing investment approach, attempts to replicate the performance of the Intellidex. The Fund generally will invest in all of the stocks comprising the Intellidex in proportion to their weightings in the Intellidex. The Fund’s investment advisor is PowerShares Capital Management LLC.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Two ETFs to watch are Guggenheim Solar (NYSEMKT: TAN), which is up more than 80% so far this year, and PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NYSEMKT: PWB), up more than 40%. Both are less liquid than the company shares and their gains have been smaller, but both should do well if the solar stocks keep running up.
Top 5 Cheapest Companies To Watch In Right Now: Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR)
Caesars Entertainment Corporation, incorporated on November 2, 1989, is a diversified casino-entertainment provider. The Company’s business is primarily conducted through a wholly owned subsidiary, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. (CEOC), although certain material properties are not owned by CEOC. As of December 31, 2012, it owned, operated, or managed, through various subsidiaries, 52 casinos in 13 United States states and seven countries. The majority of these casinos operate in the United States, primarily under the Caesars, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe brand names, and in England. In November 2012, the Company sold its Harrah’s St. Louis casino to Penn National Gaming, Inc. In December 2012, the Company purchased all of the net assets of Buffalo Studios, LLC, a social and mobile games developer and owner of Bingo Blitz.
The Company’s casino entertainment facilities include 33 land-based casinos, 11 riverboat or dockside casinos, three managed casinos on Indian lands in the United States, one managed casino in Cleveland, Ohio, one managed casino in Canada, one casino combined with a greyhound racetrack, one casino combined with a thoroughbred racetrack, and one casino combined with a harness racetrack. The Company’s land-based casinos include nine in England, two in Egypt, one in Scotland, one in South Africa and one in Uruguay. As of December 31, 2012, its facilities had an aggregate of approximately three million square feet of gaming space and approximately 43,000 hotel rooms. In southern Nevada, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Bally’s Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, The Quad Resort & Casino (formerly the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino), Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and Hot Spot Oasis are located in Las Vegas and draw customers from throughout the United States. Harrah’s Laughlin is located near both the Arizo na and California borders and draws customers primarily from! the southern California and Phoenix metropolitan areas and, to a lesser extent, from throughout the United States through charter aircraft. In northern Nevada, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harveys Resort & Casino are located near Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Reno is located in downtown Reno. These facilities draw customers primarily from northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada.
The Company’s Atlantic City casinos, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Showboat Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, and Bally’s Atlantic City, draw customers primarily from the Philadelphia metropolitan area, New York, and New Jersey. Harrah’s Philadelphia (formerly Harrah’s Chester) is a combination harness racetrack and casino located approximately six miles south of Philadelphia International Airport and draws customers primarily from the Philadelphia metropolitan area and Delaware. The Company’s Chicagoland dockside casinos, Harrah’s Joliet in Joliet, Illinois, a nd Horseshoe Hammond in Hammond, Indiana, draw customers primarily from the greater Chicago metropolitan area. In southern Indiana, it owns Horseshoe Southern Indiana, a dockside casino complex located in Elizabeth, Indiana, which draws customers primarily from northern Kentucky, including the Louisville metropolitan area, and southern Indiana, including Indianapolis. In Louisiana, the Company owns Harrah’s New Orleans, a land-based casino located in downtown New Orleans, which attracts customers primarily from the New Orleans metropolitan area. In northwest Louisiana, Horseshoe Bossier City, a dockside casino, and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, a thoroughbred racetrack with slot machines, both located in Bossier City, cater to customers in northwestern Louisiana.
The Company owns the Grand Casino Biloxi, located in Biloxi, Mississippi, which caters to customers in southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and northern Florida. Harrah’s North Kansas City dockside casino draws customers from the Kansas City metropolitan ar! ea. Harra! h’s Metropolis is a dockside casino located in Metropolis, Illinois, on the Ohio River, drawing customers from southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and central Tennessee. Horseshoe Tunica, Harrah’s Tunica, and Tunica Roadhouse Hotel & Casino, dockside casino complexes located in Tunica, Mississippi, are approximately 30 miles from Memphis, Tennessee and draw customers primarily from the Memphis area and, to a lesser extent, from throughout the United States through charter aircraft. Horseshoe Casino and Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, a land-based casino and pari-mutuel facility, and Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel, a dockside casino facility, are located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska. At Horseshoe Casino and Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, the Company owns the assets other than gaming equipment, and leases these assets to the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA), a nonprofit corporation, and it manages the facility for the IWRA un der a management agreement expiring in October 2024. The license to operate Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel is held jointly with IWRA, the qualified sponsoring organization.
The Conrad Resort & Casino located in Punta Del Este, Uruguay (the Conrad), draws customers primarily from Argentina and Uruguay. In November 2012, the Company announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Enjoy S.A. (Enjoy) to form a strategic relationship in Latin America. Under the terms of the agreement, Enjoy will acquire 45% of Baluma S.A., its subsidiary, which owns and operates the Conrad, and the Company will become a 10% shareholder in Enjoy upon consummation of the agreement. Upon the closing of the transaction, which is subject to certain conditions, including the receipt of all regulatory and governmental approvals, Enjoy will assume primary responsibility for management of the Conrad. Enjoy will have the option to acquire the remaining stake in Baluma S.A. between years three and five following closing. The cl! osing of ! the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, including regulatory and governmental approvals in both Uruguay and Chile.
The Company owns four casinos in London: the Sportsman, the Golden Nugget, The Playboy Club London, and The Casino at the Empire. Its casinos in London draw customers primarily from the London metropolitan area, as well as international visitors. The Company also owns Alea Nottingham, Alea Glasgow, Alea Leeds, Manchester 235, Rendezvous Brighton, and Rendezvous Southend-on-Sea in the provinces of the United Kingdom, which primarily draw customers from their local areas. Pursuant to a concession agreement, it also operates two casinos in Cairo, Egypt, The London Club Cairo (which is located at the Ramses Hilton) and Caesars Cairo (which is located at the Four Seasons Cairo), which draw customers primarily from other countries in the Middle East. Emerald Safari, located in the province of Gauteng in South Africa, draws customers primarily from South Africa. It owsn and operates Bluegrass Downs, a harness racetrack located in Paducah, Kentucky.
The Company owns three casinos for Indian tribes: Harrah’s Phoenix Ak-Chin, located near Phoenix, Arizona, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, and Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort, located near San Diego, California. The Company manages Caesars Windsor, located in Windsor, Ontario, which draws customers primarily from the Detroit metropolitan area, Horseshoe Cleveland casino in Ohio, which it manages for Rock Ohio Caesars LLC (ROC), a venture with Rock Ohio Ventures, LLC (Rock Gaming), in which it has a 20% equity interest, and the Horseshoe Cincinnati casino in Ohio for ROC for a fee under a management agreement that will expire in March 2033. It also has a minority interest in Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC (Suffolk Downs), which owns a horse-racing track in Boston, Massachusetts, and the right to manage a future gaming facility. The Company als o owns ans operates a golf course on 175 acres of prime real! estate t! hrough a land concession on the Cotai strip in Macau.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
John Raoux/AP From a questionable Hollywood sequel hitting the silver screen to a controversial theme park operator hoping to prove that it’s not all wet, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street. Monday — Seizing Caesars Things are getting tense at Caesars Entertainment (CZR). The casino operator made waves last week as some of its creditors initiated a lawsuit claiming that Caesars is transferring assets out of the company as the first step to defaulting on its gargantuan debt. The corporate soap opera will have to play itself out, but on Monday afternoon we’ll hear what Caesars has to say as it reports quarterly results. Given the brow-raising restructuring efforts, it’s a safe bet that analysts will be asking more about the asset transfer and the lawsuit than the gaming giant’s own operations, including massive renovations of The Quad. Tuesday — Sweet Tooth for Candy Crush There has never been a mobile app as lucrative as King Digital Entertainment’s (KING) Candy Crush Saga, paving the way for the casual gaming darling’s initial public offering earlier this year. King went public at $22.50, but fears that the game’s popularity had peaked late last year kept gains check. The stock currently trades below its March IPO price. King Digital has also used the game’s success to introduce players to some of its other apps, though Candy Crush Saga still accounted for two thirds of King’s gross bookings during this year’s first quarter. We’ll get fresh financials out of King on Tuesday, making this a great time to see if Candy Crush Saga is gaining momentum or if King is doing a better job of diversifying its revenue streams. Wednesday — Get Whale, Soon SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) splashes in with its latest quarterly results on Wednesday. Attendance has been sliding since last year’s “Blackfish” documentary made it politically incorrect to visit the marine life theme park. If there’s a time for the turns
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
John Locher/AP Because it’s so heavily dependent on domestic tourism, Las Vegas was one of the hardest-hit American cities during last decade’s recession. So much so that five-plus years later, it has yet to fully recover, with numerous key economic indicators remaining stubbornly below their pre-slump levels. However, two recently announced, large-scale renovation efforts on choice pieces of real estate — along with other key projects soon coming onstream — should help juice the economy of this glitziest of American cities. Hail Caesar Caesars Entertainment (CZR) announced in July it would spend nearly $250 million to spruce up The Quad, a 2,256-room hotel on the Strip (the stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard home to most of the city’s famous casinos and resorts) and north of Flamingo Road. The facility will also get a name change come Oct. 30 of this year, to LINQ Hotel & Casino. This ties the hotel more strongly with the adjacent property Caesars owns, simply known as The LINQ. The oddly spelled complex is a popular shopping, dining and entertainment plaza, so it’s probably a good marketing strategy for Caesars to rechristen the hotel after it. The renovation should help breathe some life into The Quad and bring it up to the standards of some of its neighbors on The Strip. Or, in the words of Caesars’ chief marketing officer, make it the venue of “a complete lifestyle experience at one of the best locations in Las Vegas.” Stay With the Ghost of Elvis Renovations are also on the way at another massive Vegas property, the nearly 3,000-room hotel now known as the Westgate Las Vegas, on Paradise Road. It’s named after its new owner, the privately owned timeshare operator Westgate Resorts. The complex has a long and storied history. When opened in 1969 as The International Hotel, it was the largest hotel in the world. No less a personage than Elvis Presley resided in one of the International’s penthouses; he also performed in the hotel’s theater.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Slow but steady — that seems to be the new mantra here on Wall Street. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 plowed further into record territory on Friday. The catalyst for today’s advance was the monthly jobs report, which showed the total number of people employed finally topped the 2008 peak it hit just before the Great Recession took hold. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 88 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) rose 9, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 25 points. Financial stocks helped lead the advance. Goldman Sachs (GS) and American Express (AXP) both gained more than 2 percent. Bank of America (BAC) rose 1 percent on reports that it’s in talks with the Justice Department to settle another set of probes into the bank’s handling of mortgages leading up to and during the financial crisis. News reports say the company could pay more than $12 billion, which is more than it earned in all of 2013. But this could allow Bank of America to finally put this long-running problem behind it. Its stock has been virtually flat over the past 6 months. Amazon (AMZN) posted a strong gain for second straight day, rising 2 percent, on indications that it’s about to enter the smartphone business. And Sears (SHLD) gained nearly 2 percent on a Reuters report that the company’s chairman has held talks with outgoing Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally, sparking rumors that he might head the retailer’s turnaround effort. Elsewhere, Hertz (HRZ) drove into a ditch, sliding 9 percent after saying it will restate earnings from 2011 through 2013 because of accounting issues. Diamond Foods (DMND) fell 11 percent. Its quarterly loss widened, due to higher wholesale prices for nuts. But Vail Resorts (MTN), Men’s Wearhouse (MW), and VeriFone (PAY) all gained after beating expectations. Vail was up 6 percent; Men’s Wearhouse rose 5½ percent; and VeriFone jumped 9 percent. Demand for its merchant payment systems has been helped by growing con
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
Caesars Entertainment Corp.(CZR) outlined plans to offer 7 million shares. The casino company is facing a crippling debt load following its leveraged buyout. Shares slid 7.2% to $19.56 premarket.
Top 5 Cheapest Companies To Watch In Right Now: MFA Financial Inc (MFA)
MFA Financial, Inc., incorporated on July 24, 1997, is engaged in the business of investing, on a leveraged basis, in residential Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Non-Agency MBS. Its business objective is to generate net income for distribution to its stockholders resulting from the difference between the interest and other income it earn on its investments and the interest expense it pays on the borrowings, which it uses to finance its leveraged investments and its operating costs. Its operating policies require that at least 50% of its investment portfolio consist of ARM-MBS, which are either Agency MBS or rated in two rating categories by at least one of rating agency, such as Moody’s Investors Services, Inc., Standard & Poor’s Corporation (S&P) or Fitch, Inc. The remainder of its assets may consist of direct or indirect investments in other types of MBS and residential mortgage loans; other mortgage and real estate-related debt and equity; and other yiel d instruments.
The mortgages collateralizing the Company’s MBS portfolio are Hybrids, ARMs and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. The Hybrids collateralizing its MBS typically have fixed-rate periods ranging from three to 10 years. Interest rates on the mortgage loans collateralizing its ARM-MBS reset based on specific index rates, which include London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or the one-year constant maturity treasury (CMT) rate. The mortgages collateralizing its ARM-MBS have interim and lifetime caps on interest rate adjustments. The Company’s Non-Agency MBS have been at discounts to face/par value.
- [By Dan Burrows]
SAN stock also has some nice momentum early in the second quarter, breaking above both its 50- and 200-day moving averages.
Cheap Dividend Stocks #5: MFA Financial (MFA)
Share Price as of 4/4: $7.78
YTD Stock Performance: 10%
Dividend Yield: 10.4%
- [By Rich Duprey]
After raising its payout last quarter by 10%, residential mortgage-backed securities REIT MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA ) announced today it was keeping its second-quarter dividend steady at $0.22 per share.
Top 5 Cheapest Companies To Watch In Right Now: BHP Billiton Limited(BHP)
BHP Billiton Limited, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified natural resources company worldwide. The company engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas; mining and refining of bauxite into alumina, and smelting of alumina into aluminum metal; and mining of copper, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium, gold, diamonds, and titanium minerals, as well as development of potash deposits. It also involves in the mining and production of nickel products, manganese ore, and manganese metal and alloys, as well as in the mining of iron ore, metallurgical coal, and thermal coal. BHP Billiton Limited sells its copper, lead, and zinc concentrates, and alumina to smelters; copper cathodes to wire rod mills, brass mills, and casting plants; uranium oxide to electricity generating utilities; rough diamonds to diamond buyers and diamond manufacturers; nickel products to stainless steel, specialty alloy, foundry, chemicals, and refractory ma terial industries; metallurgical coal to steel producers; and energy coal to power stations, power generators, and industrial users. The company, formerly known as BHP Limited, was founded in 1885 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Alcoa took a risk in putting itself in its current position, and so far, that effort has paid off. Major competitors like BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP ) and Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO ) have taken steps to reduce their exposure to aluminum, and their willingness to sell off assets at less than premium prices in part contributed to Alcoa’s big share-price decline going into last year. Yet investors are counting on Alcoa’s aluminum focus to boost its growth as the industry strengthens.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) said that it would consider a de-merger of itself by spinning off various mining assets into new entities to simplify its portfolio. Shares gained 1.83 percent, closing at $72.45.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Investors appear to be feeling optimistic, however. Shares of Cliffs Natural resources have gained 0.9% to $15.28 at 3:22 p.m., making it the top-performing iron miner today. BHP Billiton (BHP) has ticked up 0.1% to $73.33, Rio Tinto (RIO) has advanced 0.6% to $57.85 and Vale (VALE) has dropped 0.9% to $14.30.
- [By Varun Chandan, Arora]
BHP Billiton’s (NYSE: BHP ) Nickel West unit in Australia has been on investors’ radar ever since the mining giant announced that it may spin off or divest its non-core assets, which also include its manganese and aluminum mining businesses. It is expected that Andrew Mackenzie, who took over the reins of the company last year, plans to make a final call on these businesses by the year-end. For Nickel West, BHP Billiton couldn’t have asked for a better time. According to Citigroup’s latest survey, the nickel market is set to fall into a big deficit next year.
Top 5 Cheapest Companies To Watch In Right Now: FutureFuel Corp. (FF)
FutureFuel Corp., through its subsidiary, FutureFuel Chemical Company, engages in the manufacture and sale of specialty chemicals and bio-based products primarily in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Chemicals and Biofuels. The Chemicals segment provides custom chemical manufacturing services for specific customers, such as bleach activators for detergent and consumer products manufacturers; proprietary herbicide and intermediates for life sciences companies; agrochemicals; and industrial and consumer products, such as cosmetics and personal care products, ink colorants, adhesion promoters, polymer additives, polymer and specialty dyes, specialty polymers, photographic and imaging chemicals, and food additives. This segment also manufactures and sells a range of performance chemicals, including a family of polymer (nylon) modifiers and small-volume specialty chemicals for various applications; a family of acetal-based solvents, consisting of diethoxy methane, dimethoxymethane, dibutoxymethane, and glycerol formal; and phenol sulfonic acid that build on sulfonations technology. Its chemical products are used in various markets and end uses, including detergents, agrochemicals, automotive, photographic imaging, coatings, nutrition, and polymer additives. The Biofuels segment produces and sells biodiesel, as well as petrodiesel in blends with or without biodiesel. This segment also operates a granary in central Arkansas that involves in the purchase and sale of agricultural commodities, primarily soybeans, rice, and corn. This segment markets its biodiesel products by truck and rail directly to customers. FutureFuel Corp. was formerly known as Viceroy Acquisition Corporation and changed its name to FutureFuel Corp. in 2006. FutureFuel Corp. was incorporated in 2005 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of chemical and biofuels manufacturer FutureFuel (NYSE: FF ) soared 20% on Tuesday after its quarterly results impressed Wall Street.
- [By Monica Gerson]
FutureFuel (NYSE: FF) surged 21.01% to $21.25 in the pre-market session after the company reported a rise in its fourth-quarter earnings. FutureFuel posted its quarterly profit of $0.61 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $0.15 per share.
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
3. Focus on efficiency
A combination of factors plays a role in efficiently producing biodiesel. FutureFuel (NYSE: FF ) , which owns an annual capacity of 59 million gallons to complement its niche chemical business, relies heavily on location. The company’s two biorefineries don’t have a nationwide infrastructure to aid in getting product to the market and are dependent on rail and barge access. Despite the FutureFuel’s amazing progress is improving its process — annual capacity jumped from just 35 million gallons in 2011 to 59 million gallons today — the company admits that its relatively small operations may cease to exist given changes in feedstock prices, government mandates, and tax credits.