Low interest rates have helped the economy recover from the financial crisis. But it has also hurt savers, and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , and other big banks seem stingier than ever when it comes to paying interest on bank accounts. Will a trend toward rising rates help savers?
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool’s director of investment planning, looks at where investors can get better rates from banks. Dan notes that big banks like the aforementioned ones don’t have much incentive to pay attractive rates to depositors, as they can get funding cheaply through the Federal Reserve and currently have more than enough liquidity for their own needs. By contrast, Dan recommends looking at smaller banks and credit unions, which have to fight to get the capital they need to operate effectively. Dan gives one solid example of a financial institution paying almost a full percentage point above the next-highest bank on five-year CDs, noting that it pays to shop around for the best deals you can find.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Buy Right Now: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
- [By James Brumley]
How so? In November, Smith & Nephew unveiled a biocomposite material for use in arthroscopic surgeries — the Healicoil suture anchor — and just last week the company announced encouraging results from a third-party study of its negative-pressure wound therapy system used on closed surgical incisions. It sounds minor, but that technology could open a big door for Smith & Nephew as well as SNN stock owners.
Medical Devices: Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) shares took a big hit late last week following its fourth-quarter numbers, but bear in mind that ISRG stock had been through an overheated run-up in the days before that. Even with Friday’s 6% selloff, Intuitive Surgical shares are up 7% year-to-date — a paradigm shift compared to 2013′s 21% slide.
- [By John Kell]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday’s session are Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG), Juniper Networks Inc.(JNPR) and Microsoft Corp.(MSFT)
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) is expected to report adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $3.82 a share on revenue of $558 million.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Buy Right Now: Nordstrom Inc.(JWN)
Nordstrom, Inc., a fashion specialty retailer, offers apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children in the United States. It offers a selection of brand name and private label merchandise. The company sells its products through various channels, including Nordstrom full-line stores, off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, Jeffrey? boutiques, treasure & bond, and Last Chance clearance stores; and its online store, nordstrom.com, as well as through catalog. Nordstrom also provides a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards, and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The company?s credit and debit cards feature a shopping-based loyalty program. As of September 30, 2011, it operated 222 stores, including 117 full-line stores, 101 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store, and 1 clearance store in 30 states. The company was founded in 1901 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Dillard’s have dropped 1.4% to $89.99 at 3:13 p.m., while Macy’s (M) has dropped 0.6% to $57.33, Sears Holdings (SHLD) has fallen 2.7% to $44.61 and Nordstrom (JWN) has has dipped $61.59. JC Penney is little changed at $8.29.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Fashion specialty retailer Nordstrom (JWN) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 33 cents per share, payable March 25 to shareholders of record as of March 10.
JWN Dividend Yield: 2.15%
- [By Grace L. Williams]
The hits keep coming at high-end retailer Nordstrom (JWN).
After reporting a decline in fourth-quarter earnings and weak sales, shares traded down 0.3% to $59.24 today. And Sterne, Agee & Leach’s Charles Grom, while acknowledging that the fourth quarter was “OK,” warned that there were issues developing underneath. He explains:
Beneath the surface, there are two disturbing trends emerging that shouldn’t go unnoticed, including: 1) a more promotional environment/gross profit margin risk (as Nordstrom price matches); and 2) full line cannibalization (via e-commerce), which structurally compresses Nordstrom’s top-line algo. All told, the Nordstrom experience is one of the best in retail, but the stock is dead money for the foreseeable future, in our view.
Grom accentuated a few positives that included a rise in same-store sales by 2.6% and decent earnings. A rise in inventory levels and lower EPS guidance were some of the negatives, Grom said.
Nordstrom’s pain didn’t cause stand in the way of gains for some other department store stocks. Dillard’s (DDS) gained 1.5% to $89.33, while Macy’s (M) rose 0.5% to $53.71. Even J.C. Penney (JCP) had a better day. It finished down just 0.2% at $5.64.
- [By Shauna O’Brien]
Stifel reported on Friday that it has cut Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) from “Buy” to Hold.”
Analyst Richard Jaffe said that although JWN reported strong fourth quarter results, the company’s weak outlook for 2014 is a concern. The analyst noted that JWN’s Q4 results were “cautious given the current retail environment and the additional expenses related to Canada expansion, technology investments and accelerated Rack pre-opening costs.”
The analyst also noted that “management has taken a long-term view, recognizing that the retail world is changing rapidly and dramatically, and has adjusted its growth investments to be consistent with the changing environment. Nordstrom has focused its efforts on the e-commerce business, the Rack off-price business and the new markets of Canada and New York City. These investments are different than prior investments and differ greatly from the investment in a new Nordstrom full-line store.”
Regarding the company’s expansion to Canada, Jaffe said: “Canadian retail real estate in prime locations is different than the US. There are fewer high quality locations and as a result they are costly; requiring upfront expenditures, build-out expenses and monthly rent to be paid. The analyst notes that population density is better around larger cities in Canada.”
Nordstrom shares were down $1.24, or 2.09%, during pre-market trading Friday. The stock is down 3.82% YTD.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Buy Right Now: Waste Management Inc.(WM)
Waste Management, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides waste management services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It offers collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services. The company also owns, develops, and operates waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Its collection services involves in picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility, or disposal site; and recycling operations include collection and materials processing, plastics materials recycling, and commodities recycling. In addition, it provides recycling brokerage, which includes managing the marketing of recyclable materials for third parties; and electronic recycling services, such as collection, sorting, and disassembling of discarded computers, communications equipment, and other electronic equipment. Further, the company e ngages in renting and servicing portable restroom facilities to municipalities and commercial customers under the Port-o-Let name; and involves in landfill gas-to-energy operations comprising recovering and processing the methane gas produced naturally by landfills into a renewable energy source, as well as provides street and parking lot sweeping services. Additionally, it offers portable self-storage, fluorescent lamp recycling, and medical waste services for healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and individuals, as well as provides services on behalf of third parties to construct waste facilities. The company was formerly known as USA Waste Services, Inc. and changed its name to Waste Management, Inc. in 1998. Waste Management, Inc. was incorporated in 1987 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By Sean Williams]
Show me the money!
Starting us off this week is refuse and recycling giant Waste Management (NYSE: WM ) , which on Friday divvied out $0.375 per share to investors, a $0.01 jump from its payout in the previous quarter. Waste Management’s business has been hit recently by weaker commodity prices that hurt its recycling margins, along with consolidation in the refuse business which is also pressuring margins. However, as the clear market-share leader in refuse, a necessity-based business, it continues to wield impressive pricing power that can be used to slowly grow its bottom line. Waste Management’s 3.6% yield should remain an attractive lure for income-seeking investors.
- [By Louis Navellier]
Waste and environmental services company Waste Management (WM) announced fourth-quarter results and a hefty new stock buyback program. With a 3.3% dividend yield and a firm handhold on the nation’s garbage collection market, could one man’s trash be a treasure in your portfolio?
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are Forest Laboratories Inc.(FRX), Coca-Cola Co.(KO) and Waste Management Inc.(WM)
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Waste Management (NYSE: WM) was down, falling 4.71 percent to $41.62 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q4 results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.14 percent to $101.49, while gold traded up 1.68 percent to $1,322.00.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Buy Right Now: Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI)
Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides workers compensation insurance and reinsurance products in the United States. The company?s Workers Compensation Insurance segment provides traditional workers compensation insurance coverage products, including guaranteed cost policies, policyholder dividend policies, retrospectively-rated policies, deductible policies, and alternative market products to employers. This segment distributes its workers? compensation products and services through its independent insurance agents primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, and Virginia. Its Segregated Portfolio Cell Reinsurance segment offers alternative market workers compensation solutions comprising program design, fronting, claims administration, risk management, segregated portfolio cell rental, asset management, and segregated portfolio management services to individual companies, groups, and associations. Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
ProAssurance Corp.(PRA) agreed to acquire Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI) for about $205 million, expanding the insurance company’s casualty insurance offerings. Eastern Insurance is a domestic casualty insurance group specializing in workers’ compensation products and services, among other things. ProAssurance plans to pay $24.50 in cash for each outstanding Eastern share, a 16% premium over Monday’s closing price.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Buy Right Now: TrueBlue Inc.(TBI)
TrueBlue, Inc. provides temporary blue-collar staffing services in the United States. It supplies on demand general labor to various industries under the Labor Ready brand; skilled labor to manufacturing and logistics industries under the Spartan Staffing brand; and trades people for commercial, industrial, and residential construction, and building and plant maintenance industries under the CLP Resources brand. The company also provides mechanics and technicians to the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul, aerospace manufacturing, and assembly industries, as well as to other transportation industries under the Plane Techs brand; and temporary drivers to the transportation and distribution industries under the Centerline brand. It primarily serves small and medium-size businesses. The company was formerly known as Labor Ready, Inc. and changed its name to TrueBlue, Inc. in December 2007. TrueBlue, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington.Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of staffing agency TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI ) jumped 10% today after the company reported earnings.
So what: Revenue jumped 19%, to $422.3 million, and beat estimates of $420.2 million from Wall Street. Adjusted earnings per share were also up 19%, to $0.31, outpacing estimates by $0.05.
- [By Jonathan Yates]
For those looking to invest in real estate stocks, highly recommended is the Dr. Housing Bubble blog. In a recent posting, the “Dr.” pointed out that there was a “Lost Generation” when it came to household income. That has not happened for those investing in staffing industry stocks such as Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX), Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), TrueBlue, Inc. (NYSE: TBI), and Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC).