On this day in economic and business history…
Millions of children in two successive generations — the Boomers and Generation X — first experienced “computing” technology through video games. Credit for that cultural legacy is owed largely to Atari, which did more to popularize the first video games in arcades and on consoles than any other company. It all began on June 28, 1972 , when Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded the company in California.
Atari’s first hire, 24-year-old Al Alcorn , was assigned to work on an arcade knockoff of the Magnavox Odyssey’s tennis game, which Bushnell had seen in demonstration a month earlier. The Odyssey, despite becoming the first home game console in history when launched that August, was not a great commercial success. Atari’s knockoff, however, became legendary. You might have heard of it; it’s called Pong (click the link to read more about Pong and Atari).
Pong established Atari as the preeminent video-gaming company in an industry it more or less created out of nothing. This early success forced Atari to expand rapidly. By mid-1974, it was up to 39 employees, but employee number 40 is the one that went on to the greatest success. Al Alcorn met the kid in Atari’s lobby, and he later recounted the incident to video game historian Steven Kent :
Top 5 Consumer Service Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Standard Pacific Corp(SPF)
Standard Pacific Corp. operates as a diversified builder of single-family attached and detached homes in the United States. It constructs homes targeting various homebuyers primarily move-up buyers in metropolitan markets in California, Florida, the Carolinas, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. The company also provides mortgage financing services to its homebuyers; and title examination services to its Texas homebuyers. As of December 31, 2011, it owned or controlled 26,444 homesites and had 166 active selling communities. Standard Pacific Corp. was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.
- [By Louis Navellier]
If we look at those stocks trading with single-digit P/E ratios right now, it becomes a very simple task to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are many well-known stocks trading at low P/E ratios that get horrible grades from our system and should be avoided:
Ryland Homes (RYL) is a name you might hear discussed as a bargain, but the stock to a Sell back in November to a “D” and is best avoided. Standard Pacific (SPF) is another builder you should probably avoid as In spite of the low P/E ratio ,you probably want to avoid discount retailer Big Lots (BIG), as a Strong Sell this week.
But fear not — there are some great companies with solid fundamentals that earn a Buy ranking from Portfolio Grader and are better candidates for a low-P/E portfolio.
- [By Erika Janowicz]
Compass Point analyst Wilkes Graham updated his housing forecast:
Graham increased assumed ROI’s to 9% on average from 7%. Reduced targeted sector price/ book from $190% to 170%. Expects 20-30% growth in starts and new home sales in 2012 and 2013 to stabilize in 2014 and on at approximately 10%. For covered builders, the analyst lowered estimates by 8% and lowered price targets by 10%. Compass Point expects 10% annual growth in single family starts and new home sales and 2-5% pricing growth. Downgraded DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) from Buy to Neutral and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) from Neutral to Sell. DR Horton’s and KB Home’s PT was lowered from $23.50 to $20.00 and from $17.50 to $14.00, respectively. Graham reiterated a Buy rating on Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL) and Standard Pacific Corp. (NYSE: SPF). The analyst raised the PT on Ryland from $50.00 to $50.50 and lowered the PT on Standard Pacific from $10.00 to $9.50. Compass Point reiterated a Neutral rating on Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH), Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL). The price target for Beazer and Hovnanian was raised from $15.50 to $24.00 and $5.00 to $5.75, respectively. Graham lowered the PT for Lennar, Pulte, and Toll to $34.50, $17.00, and $31.00.
This Week’s Data
- [By Sally Jones]
Standard Pacific Corp. (SPF): Reduced
Up 19% over 12 months, Standard Pacific Corp., a residential construction company, has a market cap of $2.27 billion. The current share price is around $8.18. Shares trade at a P/E of 5.70. The company does not pay a dividend.
Top 5 Consumer Service Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Altra Holdings Inc.(AIMC)
Altra Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Altra Industrial Motion, Inc., designs, produces, and markets a range of mechanical power transmission and motion control products worldwide. The company provides industrial clutches and brakes for elevators, forklifts, lawn mowers, oil well draw works, punch presses, and conveyors; open and enclosed gearing products for conveyors, ethanol mixers, packaging machinery, and metal processing equipment; and engineered couplings for extruders, turbines, steel strip mills, and pumps. It also offers engineered bearing assemblies for cargo rollers, seat storage systems, and conveyors; power transmission components for conveyors, lawn mowers, and machine tools; and engineered belted drives for pumps, sand and gravel conveyors, and industrial fans. The company sells its products under the Warner Electric, Boston Gear, TB Wood?s, Kilian, Nuttall Gear, Ameridrives, Wichita Clutch, Formsprag Clutch, Bibby Transmissions, Stieber, Matrix, In ertia Dynamics, Twiflex, Industrial Clutch, Huco Dynatork, Marland Clutch, Delroyd, Warner Linear, and Bauer Gear Motor brands through its sales force, industrial distributors, and independent sales representatives. It serves aerospace, energy, food processing, general industrial, material handling, mining, petrochemical, transportation, and turf and garden markets. The company is headquartered in Braintree, Massachusetts.
- [By Seth Jayson]
When judging a company’s prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it’s booking in the accounting fantasy world we call “earnings.” This is one of the first metrics I check when I’m hunting for the market’s best stocks. Today, we’ll see how it applies to Altra Holdings (Nasdaq: AIMC ) .
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of power transmission products maker Altra Holdings (NASDAQ: AIMC ) plummeted 17% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.
Top 5 Consumer Service Stocks To Invest In Right Now: PMC – Sierra Inc.(PMCS)
PMC-Sierra, Inc. engages in the design, development, marketing, and support of semiconductor solutions for the enterprise infrastructure and communications infrastructure markets. Its products include controllers based on Fibre Channel, Serial Attached SCSI, and Serial ATA that enable the development of external and server-attached storage systems; framers and mappers, which convert the data into a format for transmission in the network before the data is sent to the next destination; line interface units that transmit and receive signals over a physical medium, such as wire, cable, or fiber; and microprocessor-based system-on-chips, which perform the high-speed computations that help in identifying and controlling the flow of signals and data in various network equipment used in the communications, storage, and enterprise markets. The company also offers packet and cell processors that examine the contents of cells or packets, and perform various management and reporting functions; radio frequency transceivers, which transmit and receive broadband signals over the air; and serializers/deserializers that convert and multiplex traffic between slower speed parallel streams and higher speed serial streams. PMC-Sierra sells its products to end customers directly, as well as through distributors and independent manufacturers? representatives primarily in China, Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Santa Clara, California.
- [By CRWE]
PMC (Nasdaq:PMCS), the semiconductor innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data, reported that the Company will present at the Citi 2012 Technology Conference on September 5, 2012, in New York, NY.
Top 5 Consumer Service Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Nicor Inc. (GAS)
Nicor Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in natural gas distribution business in the United States. The company distributes natural gas to approximately 2.2 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in northern Illinois. It also provides natural gas storage and transmission-related services to marketers and other gas distribution companies. The company?s gas distribution, transmission, and storage network includes approximately 34,000 miles of steel, plastic, and cast iron main; approximately 2.0 million steel, plastic/aluminum composite, plastic, and copper services connecting the mains to customers? premises; and 8 underground storage fields. In addition, Nicor offers shipping services, including the transportation of containerized freight between Florida, the eastern coast of Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean region. It transports building materials, and food and other necessities for developers, manufacturers, and residents in the Caribbean a n d the Bahamas; tourist-related shipments intended for use in hotels and resorts, and on cruise ships; and interisland shipments and northbound shipments of apparel and agricultural products, as well as provides inland transportation and cargo insurance services. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated a fleet of 11 owned vessels and 4 chartered vessels with a container capacity totaling approximately 5,270 Twenty-foot equivalent units. Further, it owns and/or leases containers, container-handling equipment, chassis, and other equipment. Additionally, Nicor involves in the marketing of energy-related products and services, including warranty and maintenance contracts, as well as repair and installation services of heating, air conditioning and indoor air-quality equipment, and customer move connection services for other utilities; and wholesale marketing of natural gas supply services. The company was founded in 1953 and is based in Naperville, Illinois.
- [By Garrett Cook]
Utilities shares fell by 0.78 percent in Wednesday’s trading. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA), down 3.8 percent, and AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), off 3.1 percent.
- [By Victor Selva]
AGL Resources Inc. (GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. Let’s take a look at this company and try to explain to investors the reasons this is an apparently appealing investment.
Top 5 Consumer Service Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Tallgrass Energy Partners LP (TEP)
Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP incorporated on February 6, 2013, is a limited partnership company. It provides natural gas transportation and storage services for customers in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions of the United States through its Tallgrass Interstate Gas transportation system and processing services for customers in Wyoming through its Midstream Facilities. The Company operates in two segments: Gas Transportation and Storage and Processing. The Gas Transportation and Storage segment is engaged in ownership and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines and related natural gas storage facilities that provide services to third-party natural gas distribution utilities and other shippers. The Processing segment is engaged in ownership and operation of natural gas processing and treating facilities that produce natural gas liquids and residue gas that is sold in local wholesale markets or delivered into pipelines for transportation to additional end markets.
The Company provides processing services for customers in Wyoming through its Casper and Douglas natural gas processing and West Frenchie Draw natural gas treating facilities. The Casper and Douglas plants have combined capacity of 138.5 138.5 MMcf/d. The Company has its operations in Lakewood, Colarado. The Company owns and natural gas processing plants in Casper and Douglas, Wyoming and a natural gas treating facility at West Frenchie Draw, Wyoming through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tallgrass Midstream, LLC.
The Company competes with Kinder Morgan and Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.
- [By Robert Rapier]
Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE: TEP) is a midstream limited partnership that provides natural gas transportation and storage services in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions of the US. The partnership launched on May 13, 2013 and in late June increased EBITDA guidance above analysts’ expectations, causing units to climb nearly 21 percent by year-end. In December TEP reiterated guidance for 1.2x distribution coverage for the entire year. The partnership recently declared a distribution of $0.3150 per unit for the fourth quarter of 2013 – a 5.9 percent increase from the Q3 2013 distribution. TEP’s annualized yield based on the most recent distribution is 4.8 percent, its current EV is $1.28 billion and its total debt/equity (mrq) is 30.5 percent.
- [By Robert Rapier] There were a half a dozen initial public offerings (IPOs) by master limited partnerships in the first half of the year, and all but one are now in the green while one has nearly doubled in value.
The first MLP IPO of 2013 debuted on Jan. 15. USA Compression Partners (NYSE: USAC), which I mentioned in last week’s issue, provides compression services for the oil and gas industry. Units have advanced 36 percent since the IPO, and at the current price yield 7.3 percent.
The day after the USA Compression Partners IPO, CVR Refining (NYSE: CVRR) made its debut. CVRR was spun off from CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI), and both companies remain majority-owned by Carl Icahn. CVR Refining’s primary assets are two refineries located in Kansas and Oklahoma with a combined processing capacity of approximately 185,000 barrels per day (bpd). These refineries are strategically located near the major Cushing, Oklahoma shipment and storage hub, with easy access to discount ed feedstock from the nearby Permian basin, as well as the Bakken shale and Canadian oil sands.
But refiners have struggled with diminished margins in 2013 because of a much lower Brent-WTI differential. After the recently concluded second quarter, CVRR declared a distribution of $1.35 per unit, bringing its per-unit distributions for the first half of the year to $2.93. At the same time, CVR Refining lowered its annual distribution target to a range of $4.10 to $4.80 per unit. This was lower than the outlook issued in March, when it foresaw annual distributions of $5.50 to $6.50. CVRR units slid on the news, and are presently trading slightly below the $25 IPO price. The lower end of the revised forecast implies distributions of $1.17 per unit in the second half of the year, for a forward annualized yield of 10 percent based on the recent $23.50 unit price.
SunCoke Energy Partners (NYSE: SXCP) was the third IPO to debut during a very busy third week of January . SXCP is the first M
- [By Aimee Duffy]
Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE: TEP ) followed closely behind, going public on May 14. This midstream company picked up some of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners’ western-based natural gas assets when KMP was forced to divest them to receive the Department of Justice’s blessing on the El Paso acquisition.