Most European castles are situated in strategically significant locations: on cliffs overlooking the sea, square in the middle of valleys, at the entrance to mountain passes, and at carefully selected crossing points along rivers. This isn’t a coincidence, as the power of their inhabitants derived largely from the ability to control the channels of commerce.
A similar concept explains why Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) , the nation’s fourth largest bank by assets, has had so much success over the past few years. That is, it alone is responsible for upwards of a third of the domestic mortgage market. It controls, if you will, the narrows of the multitrillion-dollar home lending industry.
We saw the tangible results on Friday, when the mortgage giant reported yet another record quarterly profit, earning a staggering $5.5 billion during the three months ended June 30. But beyond the sheer magnitude of that profit, and because of its strategic significance, the most notable thing about Wells Fargo’s results was what they implied about the broader economy.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Invest In 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 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.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Waste Management (NYSE: WM) was down, falling 3.50 percent to $42.14 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q4 results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.01 percent to $101.36, while gold traded up 1.38 percent to $1,318.10.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Invest In Right Now: Crocs Inc.(CROX)
Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.
- [By Pratik Thacker]
Strong recovery from the past
Although the shoe retailer’s performance has been remarkable, this isn’t the case when we look at its stock price. Over the last five years, Skechers did not perform as well as peer Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX ) , as evidenced by returns. However, it did manage to outperform Nike (NYSE: NKE ) during the same period.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Getty Images/Scott Olson The demise of Crocs (CROX), it seems, may have been greatly exaggerated. Remember the company’s signature product? Close to a decade ago, those colorful, clunky resin clogs were all the rage. The company that made them couldn’t sell the things fast enough, at one point reaching sales of 50 million pairs in 2007. Then fashion moved on, as it always does, and the economic slowdown started to bite into sales. Crocs plunged from a $168 million net profit in 2007 to a $185 million loss in 2008. In 2009, the company nearly ran out of cash and had a hard time making payroll. But Crocs’ fortunes have improved. In its most recent quarter, the firm posted a loss, but it was narrower than the market was expecting. And it’s found an investor that believes in its future — private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX), which recently provided a $200 million cash investment in return for a block of preferred shares eventually convertible into a stake of around 13 percent of the company. Perhaps the time has come to take those old clogs out of the closet, dust them off, and slip them on for a stroll. Stepping It Up Fashion is highly susceptible to consumer whim. The hot item is never hot for very long, and once consumers move on, it can be hard for the company to recover. In Crocs’ case, this was exacerbated by its limited product line — almost exclusively the clogs. The company learned from its mistakes. Since consumer tastes moved out of clog-land, Crocs has significantly broadened its product line to 300 styles. It now offers boots, flip-flops, deck shoes and slip-ons akin to the casuals from VF Corp.’s (VFC) Vans subsidiary. In terms of profitability, Crocs recovered quickly from its time in the fashion wilderness. From that 2008 bottom-line deficit of $185 million, the company sliced its loss to $42 million the following year, then stepped back into the black in 2010 (to the tune of $68 million). After two straight years of declines, revenue
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Deckers Outdoor have dropped 13% to $73.90, while Crocs (CROX) has gained 0.8% to $15.24, Steve Madden (SHOO) has dropped 0.1% to $36.52, Wolverine World Wide (WWW) has fallen 1.2% to $126.36 and Skechers (SKX) has fallen 1.6% to $33.82.
Top 5 Growth Companies To Invest In Right Now: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- [By Leo Fasciocco]
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) has annual revenues of $1.3 billion. Its owned and franchised restaurants feature a variety of boldly flavored, made-to-order menu items, including Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in one of their signature sauces.
- [By Steve Symington]
Meanwhile, its significantly larger beer-and-wings cousin, Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD ) , had just managed to grow revenue 12% year over year — a performance driven not only by new restaurant openings, but also by B-Wild’s respective 5.2% and 3.1% same-store sales increases at company-owned and franchised restaurants. Of course, Buffalo Wild Wings shares also plunged the following day as a result of its cautious forward outlook, but the stock has since rebounded nicely as investors take solace knowing diners are still coming back in droves.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD), Hillenbrand Inc (NYSE: HI), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) Economic Releases Expected: German retail sales, French consumer confidence, German unemployment rate, eurozone CPI, eurozone PPI, US trade balance, US redbook
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
AP It’s OK to say that Pizza Hut is full of hot air when it comes to its latest marketing move. It almost certainly won’t mind. Yum! Brands’ (YUM) iconic Pizza Hut introduced a new crust for its hand-tossed pizzas on Thursday. Instead of stuffing crusts with various types of cheese or even pepperoni as it has done in the past, Pizza Hut is promoting the fact that its new hand-tossed pizzas now feature a more airy texture. Pumping more air into the dough is supposed to give the pies less of a cookie-cutter appearance, an unusual choice among chains that sell themselves on their consistency. Every snowflake is unique, but every chain order is supposed to be uniform across the various locations. It’s what customers expect. However, just as the term “hand-tossed” conveys a personal touch, having a few more air pockets in the pizzas should generate some retro charm akin to an indie pizzeria. So Pizza Hut is proud of the “noticeable imperfections” of the new pies. It’s not that big of a gamble. The rest of Pizza Hut’s menu options will remain the same. If this move doesn’t “pan” out, it can be quickly replaced with the next evolutionary step of crust stuffing in the pizza giant’s playbook. Pizza Hut doesn’t stand still, even if it’s odd to find it stuffing its pies with air. Pizza Hut is Bigger Than You Think There are more than 14,000 Pizza Hut locations across 100 different countries, making the chain a major component of the Yum! Brands family that also includes Taco Bell and KFC. It could also use a boost. Comparable-store sales at domestic Pizza Hut locations slipped 1 percent in Yum! Brands’ latest quarter. These are competitive times, and for Pizza Hut, the challenge now is about more than beefing up its delivery business to compete with Papa John’s (PZZA) and Domino’s (DPZ), which seem to always have some ridiculous price promotion going on. (This is a business that has become cutthroat enough that Pizza Hut even feels the need to explicitly offer f
Top 5 Growth Companies To Invest In 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 Invest In Right Now: Thoratec Corporation(THOR)
Thoratec Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. The company?s primary product lines include ventricular assist devices, such as HeartMate II, an implantable left ventricular assist device consisting of a rotary blood pump to provide intermediate and long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and HeartMate XVE, an implantable and pulsatile left ventricular assist device for intermediate and longer-term MCS. Its ventricular assist devices also comprise Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device, an external pulsatile ventricular assist device, which provides left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for bridge-to-transplantation (BTT), including home discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery; and Implantable Ventricular Assist Device, an implantable and pulsatile ventricular assist device designed to provide left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for BTT comprising hom e discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery. The company also provides CentriMag, an extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platform that offers support up to 30 days for cardiac and respiratory failure. In addition, it offers PediMag and PediVAS extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platforms designed to provide acute surgical support to pediatric patients. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors internationally. Thoratec Corporation was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.
- [By Todd Campbell]
Competing for heart pump market share
Abiomed’s products provide circulatory support for up to six hours and are designed for use in cardiac cath labs or during heart surgery, but competitors Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) and Heartware (NASDAQ: HTWR ) target the intermediate- and long-term-use market instead.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of medical device company Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) sank 12% today after its quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations.