Despite low interest rates, sales of immediate annuities hit a record $8.3 billion last year, compared to averaging less than a third of that in the late 1990s, according to new data released by the industry group LIMRA.
Experts point to two main factors in the resurgence, the first being demographics. U.S. census projections show that the number of people aged 65 and older will more than double between 2012 and 2060, from 43 million to 92 million.
“Regardless of what’s going on in the economy, you just have a natural driver of demand, which is more people reaching retirement age, said Matthew Grove, a senior managing director at New York Life, noting that the average age of buyers of immediate annuities in 73.
Still, the economy has also played a role. In the wake of the financial crisis, may savers put their money in cash or ultra-safe but low-yield Treasuries, meaning they missed out on one of the longest-running bull markets.
“People climbed into bomb shelters” in 2009 and “hid there for four years,” said David Edwards, president of Heron Financial Group in New York. Now, with the realization that they are “no closer to their retirement goal,” some are moving towards the secure income that annuities provide, he added.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Watch In Right Now: Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.(RUTH)
Ruth?s Hospitality Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates restaurants in the United States and internationally. It operates the Ruth?s Chris Steak House, Mitchell?s Fish Market, Columbus Fish Market, Mitchell?s Steakhouse, and Cameron?s Steakhouse restaurant concepts in the full-service dining industry. The company?s restaurants cater to families, special occasion diners, and business clientele. As of December 27, 2009, it owned or operated 152 restaurants, including 64 company-owned Ruth?s Chris Steak House Company restaurants, 66 Ruth?s Chris Steak House franchise restaurants, 19 company-owned Mitchell?s Fish Markets, and 3 company-owned Mitchell?s Steakhouse restaurants. The company was formerly known as Ruth?s Chris Steak House, Inc. and changed its name to Ruth?s Hospitality Group, Inc. in February 2008. Ruth?s Hospitality Group, Inc. was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Heathrow, Florida.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
AP, Rockstar GamesGrand Theft Auto V has been a big winner for Take-Two Interactive. When it releases its earnings this week, we’ll find out just how big. You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From earnings reports out of Apple to a deal on burritos on Halloween, here are some of the items that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street. Monday — An Apple a Day: Last Tuesday Apple (AAPL) had the ear of consumers as it introduced new iPads, iMacs, and an updated operating system. Monday afternoon it will be time to sway investors with its fiscal fourth quarter report. Apple is still the top dog in consumer electronics, but iPad, iPod, and Mac sales have been slipping lately. Apple’s iPhone is the only product category growing, and the end result is that analysts see flat revenue growth at Apple on declining profitability. Apple’s quarter ended with the welcome news that it had sold 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices in their initial weekend of availability. Now it’s time to see if it was enough to save Apple’s quarter. Tuesday — Game On: After years of sluggish sales the video game console industry showed signs of life last month. Take-Two Interactive’s (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V was a smashing success, helping push the industry to a rare monthly gain. Things will get even more interesting next month when the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hit the market. The market will get a good read on the state of the industry on Tuesday as Take-Two Interactive and the larger Electronic Arts (EA) report fresh earnings. It may be too early for either company to have reliable projections on how the new consoles will fare, but any insight would be incremental at this point. Wednesday — Face to Facebook: One of last year’s most prolific IPOs was Facebook (FB). The leading social networking website operator went public at $38, but a few months later the stock was — like th
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ: RUTH ) were making investors feel at home today, gaining as much as 14% after topping estimates, and announcing a quarterly dividend in its report today.
- [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 Ruth’s Hospitality Group (Nasdaq: RUTH ) .
Top 5 Penny Companies To Watch In Right Now: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)
Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Netflix/Kevin E. Bell Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards.” Now that Amazon (AMZN) is making its Prime service more expensive, it probably won’t be long before Netflix (NFLX) follows. Both Internet darlings announced during their most recent earnings conference calls that they were exploring rate increases to help offset rising expenses. “It’s not clear that one price fits all,” CEO Reed Hastings said back in January during Netflix’s earnings call. “We’re trying to figure out some models of good, better, best price tiering that makes sense and provide some flexibility for our customers, at least for our new customers. Our existing customers of course we would grandfather very generously.” The comments followed a letter to shareholders that offered similar comments about protecting existing subscribers as it offers what would be pricier options for new members. However, Hastings and CFO David Wells write “we are in no rush to implement such new member plans and are still researching the best way to proceed.” That’s fair, but now that we’ve seen Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) introduce its second price hike in three years back in January and Amazon go through with a 25 percent increase to its Amazon Prime loyalty shopping membership plan, waiting may not be in Netflix’s best interest. Netflix Will Still Be a Deal The market knows that Netflix is testing new price points, and sometimes it’s better just to rip off the Band-Aid in one swift tug. The video buffs who subscribe may not like the move, but shareholders will love it. An increase that protects existing Netflix members should help retain existing users, but it would also encourage studios to offer newer movies and even more original TV shows like the acclaimed “House of Cards” since the smorgasbord would no longer be cheapening their content at $7.99 a month. Amazon, the leading online retailer, also telegraphed an increase during January’s earnings call: “With the increased cost of fuel and transportation as wel
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA) was also up, gaining 7.06 percent to $135.04 after the company dropped its bid to buy SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI). The company will reclassify common stock to create two groups.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The most heavily traded Nasdaq stock today is Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI). Shares are up 2.37% at $3.44 in a 52-week range of $2.95 to $4.18. Liberty Media’s acquisition of the 48% of Sirius that Liberty does not already own was canceled this morning when Liberty announced that it would initiate a new tracking stock scheme. Sirius XM’s share volume was more than 4-times the daily average of around 67 million shares traded.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Watch In Right Now: Universal Corporation(UVV)
Universal Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a leaf tobacco merchant and processor worldwide. It engages in selecting, procuring, buying, processing, packing, storing, supplying, shipping, and financing leaf tobacco for sale to, or for the account of, manufacturers of consumer tobacco products. The company processes and/or sells flue-cured and burley tobaccos, dark air-cured tobaccos, and oriental tobaccos; and provides value-added services, including blending, chemical and physical testing of tobacco, just-in-time inventory management, and manufacturing reconstituted sheet tobacco. Its flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos are used principally in the manufacture of cigarettes; and dark air-cured tobaccos are used in the manufacture of cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. The company was founded in 1888 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
- [By Rupert Hargreaves]
Universal Corp (NYSE: UVV ) has paid out and raised its dividend for 41 consecutive years. This puts the company in an elite club of dividend aristocrats. Aside from Altria (NYSE: MO ) , which has been paying and increasing its payout for 43 years, Universal actually has the longest dividend history of any company within the tobacco sector.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Leaf tobacco supplier Universal Corporation (UVV) raised its quarterly dividend 2% to 51 cents per share, payable on Feb. 10 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13.
UVV Dividend Yield: 4.06%
Top 5 Penny Companies To Watch In Right Now: Hickory Tech Corporation (HTCO)
Hickory Tech Corporation provides integrated communications services to business and residential customers in the Midwest. The company operates in two segments, Business Sector and Telecom Sector. The Business Sector segment offers integrated data services, such as fiber, data and Internet, voice and voice over Internet protocol, managed and hosted, data center, equipment, and total care support services. This segment also distributes telecommunications and data processing equipment, as well as provides network and equipment monitoring, maintenance, and equipment consulting services; and offers fiber-based transport for regional and national telecommunications carriers, wireless carriers, and other providers. It serves businesses primarily in the upper Midwest. The Telecom Sector segment offers network access services; and broadband services, such as residential and business DSL access, high-speed Internet, digital TV, and business Ethernet services. It also provides local telephone, long distance, and calling features services; and directory assistance, operator service, and long distance private lines. In addition, this segment offers directory publishing, customer premise equipment sales, bill processing, and add/move/change services. It owns and operates approximately 900 mile fiber optic network and facilities in Minnesota. Hickory Tech Corporation was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Hickory Tech (HTCO), a communications provider in several Midwest states, announced a 3% dividend increase to 15 cents per share, payable Dec. 5 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
HTCO Dividend Yield: 5.5%
Top 5 Penny Companies To Watch In Right Now: Comtech Telecommunications Corp.(CMTL)
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. engages in the design, development, production, and marketing of products, systems, and services for advanced communications solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Telecommunications Transmission, Mobile Data Communications, and RF Microwave Amplifiers. The Telecommunications Transmission segment provides satellite earth station equipment and systems, over-the-horizon microwave systems, and forward error correction technology, which are used in various commercial and government applications, including backhaul of wireless and cellular traffic, broadcasting (including HDTV), IP-based communications traffic, long distance telephony, and secure defense applications. The Mobile Data Communications segment provides mobile satellite transceivers, and computers and satellite earth station network gateways and associated installation, training, and maintenance services; supplies and operates satellite pac ket data networks, including arranging and providing satellite capacity; and offers microsatellites and related components. The RF Microwave Amplifiers segment designs, develops, manufactures, and markets satellite earth station traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA) and broadband amplifiers. Its amplifiers are used in broadcast and broadband satellite communication; defense applications, such as telecommunications systems and electronic warfare systems; and commercial applications comprising oncology treatment systems, as well as to amplify signals carrying voice, video, or data for air-to-satellite-to-ground communications. The company serves satellite systems integrators, wireless and other communication service providers, broadcasters, defense contractors, military, governments, and oil companies. Comtech markets its products through independent representatives and value-added resellers. The company was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Melville, New York.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL) designs, develops, produces, and markets products, systems, and services for communications solutions. December 9th the company increased its quarterly dividend 9.1% to $0.30 per share. The dividend is payable February 19, 2014, to stockholders of record on January 17, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 3.6%.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Advanced communications systems provider Comtech Telecomm (CMTL) raised its quarterly dividend 9.1% to 30 cents per share, payable on Feb. 19 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 17.
CMTL Dividend Yield: 3.75%