AP WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages changed little this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the 30-year loan declined to 4.39 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan slipped to 3.44 percent from 3.45 percent. Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. The Fed determined last month that the economy was strong enough to start trimming the purchases, which have kept long-term interest rates low. The rise in mortgage rates and higher home prices slowed sales of existing homes, which have fallen for three straight months. But overall, 2013 was the best year for housing in seven years. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing homes edged up slightly in December, helping lift sales for the year to the highest level since 2006. Most economists expect home sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace. They forecast sales and prices will likely rise around 5 percent, down from double-digit gains in 2013.
Top 5 Long Term Companies For 2015: Endurance Gold Corp (EDG)
Endurance Gold Corporation (Endurance) is a precious and rare metals exploration, acquisition and development company focused on the mineral properties in North America. The Company’s properties are in the exploration stage. Endurance’s commodity focus is on gold, rare earth, nickel and copper. Endurance’s properties include Bandito property, Fuego Property, Pardo Gold Property, Nechako Gold Property, Rattlesnake – Natrona Gold Property, McCord Gold Property, Vana Gold Property and Elephant Mountain Gold Property. The Company’s other properties in Canada includes BQ-Endurance Property and Virginia Silver Property. The Nechako Gold Property consists of several mineral claims located within the Cariboo Mining Division, West of Quesnel in British Columbia. Rattlesnake-Natrona Gold Project includes 10 properties totaling over 3,840-acres in the Rattlesnake Hills area of Wyoming. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its claims on BQ-Endurance and Virginia Silver proper ties were expired. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Monica Wolfe]
Edgen Group (EDG)
Gabelli made his first buy into Egden last week, buying 339,154 shares. The guru bought these shares at $12 per share. He holds 0.78% of the company’s shares outstanding, and his new buy makes him the only guru shareholder with a stake in Edgen Group
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are Diamond Foods Inc.(DMND), Edgen Group Inc.(EDG) and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc.(LXRX)
Top 5 Long Term Companies For 2015: Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL)
Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (Lumber Liquidators) is retailer of hardwood flooring, and hardwood flooring enhancements and accessories. The Company offers an assortment of wood flooring, which includes prefinished domestic and exotic hardwoods, engineered hardwoods, unfinished hardwoods, bamboo, cork and laminates, as well as resilient flooring. Its flooring enhancements and accessories include moldings, noise-reducing underlay and adhesives. Lumber Liquidators and Bellawood are it brands. Its hardwood flooring products are available in various widths and lengths. It offers approximately 350 different flooring product stock-keeping units. In September 2011, it acquired certain assets of Sequoia Floorings Inc. (Sequoia) relating to Sequoia’s quality control and assurance, product development and logistics operations in China.
In June 2013, Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc announced that the Company has opened its 300th store, located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company opened 40 stores. As of February 20, 2012, the Company operated 266 stores located in 46 states and Canada. During 2011, Lumber Liquidators opened its first stores in Canada. It operates a central distribution center located in Hampton, Virginia, supplemented by its facilities in Toano, Virginia. In addition, it operates a facility in Toronto, Canada, with both a store front and a small warehouse serving that metropolitan market. In 2011, Lumber Liquidators finished approximately 79% of its Bellawood products at its finishing facility in Toano, Virginia.
The Company’s solid hardwood products are milled from one thick piece of wood, which can be sanded and refinished numerous times. It offers flooring products made from more than 25 wood species, including both domestic woods, such as ash, beech, birch, hickory, northern hard maple, northern red oak, pine and American wal nut, and exotic woods, such as bloodwood, cherry, cypress, e! bony, koa, mesquite, mahogany, rosewood and teak. Lumber Liquidators sells these products either prefinished or unfinished.
The Company’s engineered hardwood products are produced by bonding a layer of hardwood to a plywood or fiber board backing. Its engineered hardwood floors are offered in domestic and exotic wood species, and in either glue down or floating application. All of its engineered hardwood products are prefinished. Engineered flooring is designed primarily to be installed in areas where hardwood is not conducive, such as slab construction, basements and areas where moisture may be a factor.
Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc.’s laminate flooring is constructed with a fiber board core, inserted between a melamine laminate backing and photographic paper displaying an image of wood and a ceramic finish, abrasion-resistant laminate top. Its laminate flooring brands allow for easy -click installation, and some include a pre-glued undersurface, moisture repellent, soundproofing, single-strip format or a handscraped textured finish.
Moldings and Accessories
Lumber Liquidators offer a variety of wood flooring moldings and accessories. It sells stair treads and risers in both finished and unfinished versions. Accessories include underlayments that are placed between the new floor and the sub-floor, insulating sound and cushioning the floors. In addition, it sells installation supplies, such as sealers, adhesives and trowels, floor cleaning supplies, and butcher-block kitchen countertops.
Bamboo and Cork
The Company’s bamboo products, harvested from the bamboo plant, are offered as a prefinished, natural or stained, solid or engineered floor. Its cork flooring is produced by harvesting the outer bark of the cork oak tree.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Some investors…believe that we are too negative on Sears Holdings’ outlook…So let’s accept their math and take the low end of their assumed improvements. Based on that, we would add $1 billion to EBITDA from initiatives, which adding to trailing twelve months would give them positive EBITDA (yes you read that right) of $300 million. Here is the problem. The bulls on Sears argue for the most part that the value is in the real estate and brand names. If Mr. Lampert is trying to make it as an operator we should value them as such, but that’s a bigger problem. Using a positive $300 million EBITDA, that would imply a multiple of 29.5x lets say in 2017 to give them time for the turnaround. That would place their multiple well above anything we cover, including our best growth names such as The Container Store (TCS), Tractor Supply (TSCO)…Lumber Liquidators (LL), and CarMax (KMX). So if one accepts the turnaround and we give them an eight multiple of EBITDA three years out, a somewhat generous multiple for a non-top-line grower, then the value of the equity would be negative. H’mmm. Maybe the company should explore the asset sale. Said another way, this remains a significantly overvalued stock and while we are not moving to a negative target price, we maintain our $20 price target.
- [By Peter Graham]
The Q1 2014 earnings report for Lowe’s Companies, Inc (NYSE: LOW), a peer of other home improvement retailers like The Home Depot, Inc (NYSE: HD) and Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE: LL), is due out before the market opens on Wednesday. Aside from the Lowe’s Companies earnings report, it should be said that Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc reported Q1 2014 earnings on April 30th while The Home Depot, Inc will report Q1 2014 earnings before the market opens on Tuesday. Analysts will be watching both the Lowe’s Companies and The Home Depot, Inc earnings report for any indication of a housing recovery either pushing ahead or stalling with the excuse for the latter no doubt being the bad winter weather we have experienced.
Top 5 Long Term Companies For 2015: BKI Investment Company Ltd (BKI)
BKI Investment Company Limited, operates in the securities industry in Australia. The Company invests in a diversified portfolio of Australian shares, trusts and interest bearing securities. The Company’s investment objective is to generate an increasing income stream for distribution to its shareholders in the form of fully franked dividends, to the extent of its available imputation tax credits, through long-term investment in a portfolio of assets that are also able to deliver long term capital growth to shareholders. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, the Company invested $26.5 million into the market with major purchases including Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, Wesfarmers Limited and Fleetwood Corporation. The Company also divested a number of holdings including BlueScope Steel, Echo Entertainment, Transfield Services, Suncorp Metway Preference Shares, Westpac Preference Shares (WBCPA) and half of the position in Westpac Preference Share s (WBCPB). Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Chris Hill]
In this installment of Motley Fool Money, our analysts explain why they’re watching Buckeye Technologies (NYSE: BKI ) , Bristow Group (NYSE: BRS ) , and Western Union (NYSE: WU ) .
- [By Rich Smith]
Privately held (by the Koch Bros.) paper and pulp company Georgia-Pacific has agreed to acquire Buckeye Technologies (NYSE: BKI ) for the princely sum of $1.5 billion, Buckeye announced this morning.
Top 5 Long Term Companies For 2015: Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. (WDR)
Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides investment management, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. The company acts as an investment adviser for institutional and other private investors, and provides sub advisory services to other investment companies; underwrites and distributes registered open-end mutual fund portfolios; distributes business partners variable annuity products, and retirement and life insurance products to advisors channel customers; sells life insurance and disability products underwritten by various carriers; and offers fee-based asset allocation investment advisory products to advisors channel customers. It distributes investment products through independent financial advisors, broker/dealers, registered investment advisors, and various retirement platforms; and markets investment a dvisory services to institutional investors directly or through consultants. Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. was founded in 1937 and is based in Overland Park, Kansas.
- [By Will Ashworth]
With the future of asset managers clearly in the hands of ETFs, iShares’ formidable market share suggests that Larry Fink and company have more good years ahead. When it comes to large-cap asset managers I see BLK stock as your best bet in 2014.
Waddell & Reed (WDR)
One of the oldest mutual fund companies in the U.S., Waddell & Reed (WDR) is still growing quarterly revenues and earnings by double digits. With $114 billion in assets under management, analysts expect WDR to report Q4 earnings of 78 cents on Feb. 4 — 28% higher year-over-year.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Investment services and shareholder services administrator Waddell & Reed (WDR) raised its quarterly dividend 21% to 34 cents per share, payable on Feb. 3 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13.
WDR Dividend Yield: 2.2%
- [By Rich Duprey]
Mutual fund complex Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE: WDR ) announced today its third-quarter dividend of $0.28 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past two quarters after raising the payout 12% from $0.25 per share.
Top 5 Long Term Companies For 2015: The Charles Schwab Corporation(SCHW)
The Charles Schwab Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides securities brokerage, banking, and related financial services to individuals and institutional clients. It offers various brokerage products and services comprising brokerage accounts with check-writing features, debit card, and billpay; individual retirement accounts; retirement plans for small to large businesses; college savings accounts; designated brokerage accounts; equity incentive plan accounts; and margin loans, as well as access to fixed income securities, equity and debt offerings, options, and futures. The company also provides various banking products and services, including checking accounts linked to brokerage accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, demand deposit accounts, first mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and personal loans collateralized by securities. In addition, it offers trust custody services, personal trust reporting services, and administrative trustee servi ces; advisory services comprising separately managed accounts, customized personal advice for tailored portfolios, and planning and portfolio management; and third-party mutual funds, such as no-load mutual funds, proprietary mutual funds, and other third-party mutual funds, as well as mutual fund trading and clearing services to broker dealers. Further, the company offers third-party and proprietary exchange-traded funds; research, analytic tools, performance reports, market analysis, and educational materials; custodial, trading, technology, practice management, trust asset, and other support services to independent investment advisors; and retirement plan recordkeeping and related services, retirement plan trust and custody services, specialty brokerage services, and mutual fund clearing services. It operates primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
Credit Suisse says Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE:SCHW) should be a better performer than it is today. The discount broker’s shares are down more than 1% today, thanks to a red market, but the research firm believes SCHW will be much higher in the months to come.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of E*Trade Financial have fallen 3.1% to $21.69 at 3:05 p.m.–and it’s not the only online broker getting hit today. Charles Schwab (SCHW) has declined 2.1% to $26.29, while TD Ameritrade (AMTD) has dropped 2.5% to $31.66 despite getting an upgrade from Bernstein Research. Interactive Brokers (IBKR), however, has gained 0.3% to $23.77.