J.C. Penney J.C. Penney’s (JCP) quest to rebound from the disastrous reign of ousted CEO Ron Johnson continued today when it apologized to its disaffected customers in a new ad. Titled “It’s No Secret,” the 30-second spot acknowledges the various changes the retailer has undergone in the last year and a half and admits that not every change went over well with the retailer’s customer base. “Some changes you liked, and some you didn’t,” says the ad’s narrator, in what can charitably be described as a massive understatement. See for yourself: The ad promises that the company will learn from its mistakes, the most high-profile of which was the “fair and square” pricing scheme, which did away with coupons and sales. Shortly before his ouster, Johnson himself acknowledged that the pricing strategy was a mistake, noting that “we learned [our customer] loves a sale.” The apparel strategy was likewise unpopular. Johnson brought in jeans “bars” and stylish boutiques from new brands like Joe Fresh, but in the process did away with “basic” apparel and favored brands like St. John’s Bay. That alienated the retailer’s older customers, and the company recently said it would start bringing back those departed brands in an attempt to lure back the faithful. The ad went up on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday morning, and attracted thousands of comments from J.C. Penney fans alternately praising the company for its honestly and angrily demanding changes. “Bring back St Johns Bay get rid of all the sleezy stuff you changed to,” reads one popular comment on the Facebook post. Another commenter demands that the retailer abandon its mobile checkout system, which is intended to make the checkout process more convenient but has attracted complaints from some shoppers and employees. J.C. Penney had been on a bit of a roll since Johnson was replaced by former CEO Myron Ullman, but shares have been trending downward since Moody’s cut its rating Tuesday and declared that a new loan it had secured from Goldman Sachs “will not solve JCP’s longer term performance concerns.” UPDATE: About three minutes after tweeting out the link to this story, I got a reply from J.C. Penney’s Twitter account:
@brownellorama We’re listening, Matt. – Lee
Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Tractor Supply Company(TSCO)
Tractor Supply Company operates retail farm and ranch stores in the United States. Its stores offer a selection of merchandise, including equine, pet, and animal products, such as items required for their health, care, growth, and containment; hardware, truck, towing, and tool products; seasonal products, including lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts, and toys; maintenance products for agricultural and rural use; and work/recreational clothing and footwear. The company operates its retail stores under the Tractor Supply Company and Del?s Farm Supply names, as well as a Website under the TractorSupply.com name. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 1,085 retail farm and ranch stores in 44 states. The company serves recreational farmers and ranchers, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Tractor Supply Company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.
- [By Sally Jones]
According to the GuruFocus Value Screen for finding historical lows, two food retailers Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A) and Tesco PLC (TSCDY), and a farm and ranch retailer, Tractor Supply (TSCO) are held by guru investors and are being traded at or near a 10-year low. Here are the company updates and trading highlights as of the third quarter of 2013.
- [By Neil Macneale]
But instead of that, I chose to go to Tractor Supply (TSCO), which was a favorite of mine from the past. But DaVita is a good company. I didn’t really like to pass it up in September. I was glad to have the opportunity to buy it in October.
Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Tower International Inc.(TOWR)
Tower International, Inc. operates as an integrated global manufacturer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies to automotive original equipment manufacturers. It offers body-structure stampings, frames, and other chassis structures, as well as complex welded assemblies for small and large cars, crossovers, pickups, and sport utility vehicles. The company?s products comprise body structures and assemblies that include structural metal components, such as body pillars, roof rails, and side sills; and Class A surfaces and assemblies that consist of body sides, hoods, doors, fenders, and pickup truck boxes. Tower International, Inc. also provides lower vehicle frames and structures, including pickup truck and SUV full frames, automotive engine and rear suspension cradles, floor pan components, and cross members; body-in-white assemblies, which comprise front and rear floor pan assemblies, and door/pillar assemblies; stamped, formed, and welded suspension com ponents, such as control arms, suspension links, track bars, spring and shock towers, shackles, twist axles, radius arms, stabilizer bars, trailing axles, and brackets; and other automotive products, and defense and aerospace products. It sells its products directly in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Tower Automotive, LLC and changed its name to Tower International, Inc. in October 2010. Tower International, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan.
- [By With assistance from Sofia Horta e Costa]
Tower International Inc. (TOWR), a maker of metal components for the automotive industry, fell 5.1 percent to $20.14 after saying an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management LP plans to sell about 2.6 million shares in the company.
Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUF)
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) is engaged in the provision of a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Bank is a provider of integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, superannuation, life insurance, general insurance, funds management, broking services and finance company activities. Its operating segments include Retail Banking Services, Business and Private Banking, Institutional Banking and Markets, Wealth Management, New Zealand, Bankwest and Other. Its retail banking services include home loans, consumer finance, retail deposits and distribution. In December 2013, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Reject Shop Ltd. In January 2014, the Bank and its related bodies corporate had ceased to be the substantial holder of Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks started Monday trade higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) up 0.8% at 5,206.40 after a strong finish for Wall Street at the end of last week. Resource shares got a lift from gains for commodities prices since the previous trading session, with strong advances for gold and copper and a more than 2% rise for New York-traded crude-oil futures. Among the leading gainers, Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.2%, Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) climbed 1.3%, and gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) improved by 3.9% and 6.4%, respectively. The heavily weighted banking sector also enjoyed solid gains, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 1%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) trading 1.3% higher, and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 1.1% as the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported the lender is considering a £2 billion ($3.3 billion) float of its British operations, which the report said had dragged on NAB’s results in recent years.
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio’s peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren’t as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks inched lower in early Friday trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) down 0.1% at 5,322.00, with weakness in miners outweighing mild strength in financials. Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) fell 1.4% apiece, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) lost 2.2% and gold miner Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) lost 0.8%, after copper prices fell to two-week lows and Chinese steel futures also lost ground, according to Reuters. The sector could react to Chinese trade data due out later in the day, as China remains a top market for Australian commodities. Stock in Alumina Ltd. (AU:AWC) (AWCMF) retreated 2.6% after its U.S. partner Alcoa Inc. (AA) posted a quarterly loss. On the upside, the big four banks all traded higher, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 0.1%, National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 0.2%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBN
Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Location Based Technologies Inc (LBAS)
Location Based Technologies, Inc. (LBT), incorporated on April 20, 2006, designs, develops, and sells personal, pet, and vehicle locator devices and services including PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Pets and PocketFinder Vehicles. The Company markets and sells consumer and commercial location devices and services. Its devices utilize Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technologies in conjunction with its technologies designed to enhance the families to interact and stay connected around the world. The Company is a developer of the PocketFinder family of products and the PocketFinder Network. The PocketFinder family of products includes the PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Vehicle, PocketFinder Pets, PocketFinder Luggage, PocketFinder Mobile and PocketFinder Fleet. The PocketFinder is a small location device that enables a user to locate a device, person, or pet, at anytime from almost anywhere. PocketFinder personal locat or devices are wireless.
The Company generate revenue by selling its products and charging customers an ongoing service fee, for which it offers monthly and annual subscription plans. The Company’s product, PocketFinder, is a small, waterproof and wireless location device that enables users to locate anyone or anything they care about, from a computer or Web-enabled device. Its products deliver critical information to users, such as: device location, longitude, latitude, heading speed and 60 days of location history. This information can be viewed passively through a user’s account or can be sent to a user via email or push notification if the user sets an alert. The target markets for the PocketFinder include: young children, seniors, people with special needs and people who need to track valuable assets such as luggage or sporting equipment. In addition to the PocketFinder, it also sell the PocketFinder Pet and the PocketFinder Vehicle products. The Pocke tFinder Pet is designed for pets weighing 15 pounds or more,! and it markets the PocketFinder Vehicle to families with new drivers, car enthusiasts, motorcycle owners, watercraft owners and business fleets. The PocketFinder Vehicle attaches directly to a battery or fuse box, so it has a constant supply of power. All PocketFinder products operate on the same user interface, which enables its customers receive the same features, functionality and user-experience, regardless of which product they own. To access their account or locate their devices, users can logon to the Company’s Website at www.pocketfinder.com or use its native iPhone, iPad or Android Apps.
The Company’s products are sold through various brick-and-mortar and online retailers and through its Website. It provides customer service and support in the United States through existing call centers owned by Affinitas. It provides wireless location based solutions for global positioning products along with its friendly user interface software system. PocketFin der and PocketFinder Vehicle devices are being sold in the United States and in Canada through the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores. PocketFinder devices for Pets are available for purchase on its Website.
The Company competes with Geospatial Platform Providers, Application Developers, Garmin’s GTU-10, Qualcomm’s Tagg, Lo-Jack, SpotLight, Fleetmatics, NetworkFleet, and Qualcomm.
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS surged (+10.27%) up +0.015 at $.160 with 39,780 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 11:41AM EDT July 5, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. and EE, Ltd., the U.K.’s most advanced communications company, have previously entered into a purchase agreement which will allow LBT to embed EE SIM technology into LBT’s world’s best GPS products for immediate purchase throughout Europe and in additional areas around the world.
EE’s relationship with LBT continues to grow. The companies began their relationship earlier this year when EE launched PocketFinder Personal GPS Locators in their London flagship stores (https://explore.ee.co.uk/pocket-finder). With this latest agreement, LBT now has the capability to sell devices into Europe using a local SIM, thereby greatly reducing the monthly service fee charged to customers.
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $.132 with 9,470 shares in movement thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 9:47AM EDT June 20, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. previously received FCC and IC certification for its versatile LBT-886 device. These certifications are necessary before devices can be sold to consumers throughout the US and Canada.
The LBT-886 device is available for manufacture in a 2G or 3G variant. The 3G penta-band variant will enable the device to function in countries which only operate on the 3G spectrum, such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and some areas of Canada. This global tracking solution also delivers additional features such as various environmental sensors or comes with an attachment with special capability designed to meet lone-worker or personnel security requirements
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS has shed (-7.69%) -0.010 at $.120 with 95,100 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 12:21PM EDT August 15, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. previously reported it has signed a distribution agreement with Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd., an Apple approved distributor for its online, brick and mortar stores, and authorized distributors in Asia. The agreement is one of the final steps preceding the launch of LBT’s GPS products into the Asian markets. Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd. serves China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
LBT estimates that it will begin selling its PocketFinder devices in Singapore through Apple’s online store and authorized distributors in the near future with other Asian countries to follow thereafter.
Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: American Homes 4 Rent (AMH)
American Homes 4 Rent, incorporated on October 19, 2012, is an internally managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties.
As of September 30, 2013, the Company owned 21,267 properties in desirable markets in 22 states including Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio ; Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas , Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee ; Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas , and Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to single-family properties, the Company also focuses to invest in condominium units, townhouses and real estate-related debt investments.
- [By Will Ashworth]
PSA fills a need that’s not likely to disappear. In the latest fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013, PSA generated core funds from operations of $7.44 — 11.4% higher than in 2012. Same-store rental income increased 5.4% year-over-year due to higher rents and higher occupancies. It’s a winning combination that over time has proved successful. Although it’s only yielding 3.3% at the moment, it’s a very stable stock, having seen a negative return just once in the past decade. I like its odds.
Pure-Play REITs: American Homes 4 Rent (AMH)
This is the brand child of Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes, who started the company in 2011 to take advantage of falling prices in the single-family home market. Private equity firms such as Blackstone Group (BX), Hughes and others have been actively buying up houses on the cheap with plans to rent them out until prices rise to the point where they’re no longer worth holding on to. As a result of this intense competition, prices have risen faster than anticipated — slowing the number of home purchases made by institutional investors.
- [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]
In this segment of The Motley Fool’s financials-focused show, Where the Money Is, analysts Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson discuss some of their favorite tweets of the day. Among the companies covered are Silver Bay (NYSE: SBY ) , American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH ) , and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) .
- [By Mark Holder]
After an initial bump in Silver Bay, the stock has had a horrible 2013, now trading close to all-time lows. Recently, a couple of other IPOs in the sector have come to market with weak receptions. Both American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH ) and American Residential Properties (NYSE: ARPI ) offer different twists to the general thesis of investing in single-family rental properties to take advantage of the weakness in housing prices and the increased demand for rentals.