For years, satirical late-night TV host Stephen Colbert has been running a series on his show called “Better Know a District,” which highlights one of the 435 U.S. congressional districts and its representative. While I am no Stephen Colbert, I am brutally inquisitive when it comes to the 5,000-plus listed companies on the U.S. stock exchanges.
That’s why I’ve made it a weekly tradition to examine one seldom-followed company within the Motley Fool CAPS database and make a CAPScall of outperform or underperform on that company.
For this week’s round of “Better Know a Stock,” I’m going to take a closer look at First Merchants (NASDAQ: FRME ) .
What First Merchants does
First Merchants is a financial holding company that provides community and commercial banking services primarily throughout Indiana, but also in Ohio. As of the first-quarter, First Merchants had $4.3 billion in total assets with total loans outstanding equaling $2.9 billion.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (OGDC)
Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) is a Pakistan-based company engaged in the exploration and development of oil and gas resources, including production and sale of oil and gas and related activities. As the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, the Company’s crude oil production was 37,615 barrels of oil per day, and 17 wells were spudded. As of June 30, 2011, the Company operated in 31 exploration blocks (22 blocks with 100% shares including an offshore block, and 12 blocks as operated joint ventures), including 3 offshore blocks. Its projects include Uch-II Development Project, KPD-TAY Integrated Development Project, Jhal Magsi Development Project, Sinjhoro Development Project and Nashpa/ Mela Development Project. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Weiyi Lim]
Drinkall, whose $83 million Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (MFMIX) beat 99 percent of peers tracked by Bloomberg during the past 12 months with a 40 percent gain, said he favors Nigeria because of its economic growth prospects and Pakistan on the nation’s improving political stability. His fund held shares of Lagos-based Dangote Cement Plc (DANGCEM) and Islamabad-based Oil & Gas Development Co. (OGDC) as of April 30, Morgan Stanley’s website shows.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Wyndham Worldwide Corp(WYN)
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides various hospitality products and services to individual consumers and business customers in the United States and internationally. It offers its products and services under the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Wyndham Rewards, Wingate by Wyndham, Microtel, RCI, The Registry Collection, ResortQuest, Landal GreenParks, Novasol, Hoseasons, cottages4you, James Villa Holidays, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, and WorldMark by Wyndham brand names. The company?s Lodging segment franchises hotels in the upscale, midscale, economy, and extended stay markets of the lodging industry, as well as provides hotel management services for full-service hotels. Its Vacation Exchange and Rentals segment provides vacation exchange products and services, as well as access to distribution systems and networks to resort developers and owners of intervals of vacation ownership interests (VOIs); a nd markets vacation rental properties primarily on behalf of independent owners, vacation ownership developers, and other hospitality providers. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation?s Vacation Ownership segment develops and markets VOIs to individual consumers; and provides consumer financing in connection with the sale of VOIs, as well as offers property management services at resorts. The company is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected From: Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO), Wyndham Worldwide Corp (NYSE: WYN) Economic Releases Expected: French industrial production, Spanish industrial production, Spanish business confidence, British industrial and manufacturing production, eurozone GDP, US non-farm payrolls, US unemployment rate
Posted-In: Bank Of England European Central BankNews Options Previews Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
Wyndham Worldwide Corp (NYSE: WYN) gained 2.65 percent in pre-market trade, adding to its 4.02 percent rise over the past five days. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) gained 1.42 percent in pre-market trade after falling 0.95 percent on Wednesday. Perrigo Co (NYSE: PRGO) gained 0.66 percent in pre-market trade after losing 1.96 percent in the past week. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) lost 0.61 percent in pre-market trade after gaining 0.80 percent over the past five days.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.36 per share on revenue of $1.41 billion.
Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.82 per share on revenue of $5.96 billion.
- [By Zacks Investment Research]
But what if that company has put together a hot streak of earnings beats? What if a company has beaten not just two or three quarters in a row, but 20 quarters in a row – or 5 years – without a miss? Apple (AAPL) had put together just such an impressive earnings surprise streak until it finally missed in late 2011. In the 6 quarters since the miss, it has missed another 3 times. Share price, however, peaked in between the second and third miss.
But during its earnings surprise streak, investors were handsomely rewarded. Perfection Isn’t Easy Even with all of the unknowns in investing, I’d rather buy a company that is on an earnings hot streak, than one that is dead cold. Companies with a perfect earnings track record for the last 5 years are a small select group. It’s incredibly difficult to keep beating for 5 years through all the ups and downs in the economy. Management has to manage expectations very, very well. There’s little room for error. That takes skill (and m aybe some luck.) These three companies haven’t missed in 5 years. I featured two of these companies last quarter and they came through with another earnings beat. Of course, an earnings beat doesn’t necessarily mean a stock will rise afterwards. Being light on guidance or an earnings/sales warning, for instance, could put the damper on an earnings beat. But I still like my chances with an earnings beat versus an earnings miss. Will their streaks continue this earnings season? 3 Companies With Perfect Earnings Surprise Track Records1. Wyndham Worldwide (WYN)Wyndham is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. It operates about 630,000 hotel rooms worldwide and operates vacation rentals and exchanges with over 106,000 vacation properties in 100 countries. It also operates a network of 190 timeshare properties with about 915,000 owners.Forward P/E = 15.4Expected 2013 earnings growth = 15%Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)Reporting second quarter results on July 24 2. Jarden C orporation (JAH)Jarde
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Puget Technologies Inc (PUGE)
PUGET TECHNOLOGIES, INC., incorporated on March 17, 2010, is a development-stage company. The Company is engaged in the distribution of luxury wool bedding sets produced in Germany. The Company’s product includes Lama Wool, Camel Wool, Cashmere Wool and Merino Wool.
The Company’s Lama Wool is consists of 50% Lama Wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Camel wool is consists of 50% Camel wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Cashmere wool is blended with Merino wool.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Inscor, Inc (OTCMKTS: IOGA), Puget Technologies Inc (OTCBB: PUGE) and PTA Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: PTAH) have all been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters or investor alerts. However, two of these small caps have been the subject of paid promotions while the third is getting attention largely because its in the growing marijuana or cannabis business. With that in mind, are these stocks really all that hot or not? Here is a quick reality check:
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: KMG Chemicals Inc (KMG)
KMG Chemicals, Inc., incorporated on July 30, 1992, manufactures, formulates and globally distributes specialty chemicals. The Company has acquired and operates businesses selling electronic chemicals and industrial wood treating chemicals. The Company operates in two segments: electronic chemicals and wood treating chemicals. The Company’s electronic chemicals segment provides wet process chemicals to the semiconductor industry, primarily to clean and etch silicon wafers in the production of semiconductors. The Company supplies wet process chemicals to the semiconductor industry in the United States and Europe. Its wood treating chemicals, pentachlorophenol (penta), and creosote, are sold to industrial customers who use these preservatives primarily to extend the useful life of utility poles and railroad crossties. The Company is the supplier of penta in North America, and supplier of creosote in the United States to wood treaters who do not produce their own creosote. On March 1, 2012, the Company discontinued its animal health business. In June 2013, the Company announced that it completed the acquisition of the Ultra Pure Chemicals subsidiaries of OM Group Inc located in the United States, England and Singapore.
The Company’s electronic chemicals business sells wet process chemicals primarily to the semiconductor industry. These chemicals are used to clean and etch silicon wafers in the production of semiconductors. The Company’s products include sulfuric, phosphoric, nitric and hydrofluoric acids, ammonium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol and various blends of chemicals. The Company’s products are sold in bulk and in containers, including bottles, drums and totes. This process is accomplished at the Company’s Pueblo, Colorado, Hollister, California and Milan, Italy facilities, although the Company contracts with General Chemical to produce certain products for the Company at its facility. As of July 31, 2012, the Company’s electronic ! chemicals business accounted for 58.5% of its net sales.
Wood Treating Chemicals
The Company supplies penta and creosote to industrial customers who use these products to extend the useful life of wood, primarily utility poles and railroad crossties. The Company’s penta products include penta blocks, solutions and hydrochloric acid, a byproduct of penta production. Penta is used primarily to treat utility poles, protecting them from insect damage and decay. The Company manufactures solid penta blocks at its facility in Matamoros, Mexico. The Company sells solid penta to its customers, or make it into a liquid solution of penta concentrate at its Matamoros, Mexico and Tuscaloosa, Alabama facilities. The Company sells penta products primarily in the southeastern and northwestern United States and in Canada. The hydrochloric acid the Company produces as a byproduct of penta production is sold in Mexico for use in the steel and oils well service industr ies. Creosote is a wood preservative used to treat utility poles and railroad crossties. Creosote is produced by the distillation of coal tar, a by-product of the transformation of coal into coke. The Company sells creosote to wood treaters throughout the United States. As of July 31, 2012, the Company’s wood treating chemicals constituted about 41.4% of the Company’s net sales.
The Company competes with Honeywell, Kanto Corporation, Avantor, BASF and the OM Group.
- [By Monica Gerson]
KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG) is expected to report its Q4 earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $79.00 million.
Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.40 per share on revenue of $348.85 million.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Analysts expect KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG) to report its Q4 earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $79.00 million. KMG Chemicals shares surged 4.99% to close at $23.76 on Friday.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd (ZARFF.PK)
Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd. (Zargon), formerly Zargon Energy Trust, is engaged in the business of oil and natural gas exploration, exploitation, development, acquisition and production in Canada and the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2010, Zargon’s average daily production were 9,879 barrels of oil equivalent. Its properties are concentrated within the Western Provinces in Canada and in North Dakota in the United States. Its Williston Basin core area encompasses a portion of southeast Saskatchewan, southwest Manitoba and three counties of North Dakota. During 2010, it accounted 51% of its oil and liquids production. During 2010, its Alberta Plains South core area contributed 27% of its oil and liquids production. In June 2012, the Company sold 275 barrels of oil per day pertaining to all of its southwest Manitoba assets and selected properties in the Elswick area of southeast Saskatchewan. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By MLP Trader]
Here are the current top five companies in the list:
Of the larger companies, one that remains obstinately near the top of the list is Lightstream . Lightstream trades at 40% of its book value and a whopping 13.4% yield.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: First Security Group Inc.(FSGI)
First Security Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for FSGBank that provides banking and financial products and services to various communities in eastern and middle Tennessee and northern Georgia. The company offers various deposit services, such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. It offers commercial loans, including loans to smaller business ventures, credit lines for working capital, short-term seasonal or inventory financing, and letters of credit; real estate?construction and development loans to residential and commercial contractors and developers; and consumer loans to individuals for personal, family, and household purposes, including secured and unsecured installment and term loans. The company also offers commercial mortgage loans to finance the purchase of real property; commercial leasing for new and used equipment, fixtures, and furnishings to owner-managed businesses; and leasing for forklifts, heavy equipment, and other machinery to owner-managed businesses primarily in the trucking and construction industries. It also provides trust and investment management, mortgage banking, financial planning, and electronic banking services, such as Internet banking, online bill payment, cash management, ACH originations, wire transfers, direct deposit, traveler?s checks, safe deposit boxes, United States savings bonds, and remote deposit capture, as well as equipment leasing. The company operates 38 full-service banking offices and 1 loan and lease production office. Its market areas include in Bradley, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Putnam, and Union counties, Tennessee; and Catoosa and Whitfield counties, Georgia. First Security Group was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- [By Ning Jia]
The case for First Security Group (FSGI) is interesting. It is bank holding company that is obscure, cheap and unloved. As the company completed the recapitalization earlier this year, I think the market has been under-appreciating its potential to return to growth and profitability as a result of the much-needed recapitalization.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
First Security Group (FSGI) operates as the holding company for FSGBank, which provides banking products and services to various communities in Tennessee and Georgia. This stock closed up 6.5% to $2.29 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $2.16-$2.30
52-Week Range: $1.30-$7.45
Tuesday’s Volume: 80,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 509,606
From a technical perspective, FSGI ripped higher here right above some near-term support levels at $2.14 to $2.12 with lighter-than-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FSGI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if FSGI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.38 to $2.52 and then once it clears its 200-day moving average at $2.80 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FSGI as long as it’s trending above some key support levels at $2.14 to $2.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 509,606 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FSGI will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from June that started at $5.08.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (RHP)
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (Ryman), incorporated on June 21, 2012, is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s segments consist of Hospitality, which include its hotel properties and the results of hotel operations, and Opry and Attractions, which includes its Grand Ole Opry assets, WSM-AM and its Nashville attractions. During the year ended December 31, 2012, Ryman’s owned assets included a network of four upscale, meetings-focused resorts totaling 7,795 rooms that were managed by lodging operator Marriott International, Inc. (Marriott) under the Gaylord Hotels brand. These four resorts, Gaylord Hotels properties, consist of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee (Gaylord Opryland), the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center near Orlando, Florida (Gaylord Palms), the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center near Dallas, Texas (Gaylord Texan) and the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center near Washington D.C. (Gaylord National). Other owned assets managed by Marriott include Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Gaylord Springs), the Wildhorse Saloon, the General Jackson Showboat (General Jackson) and the Inn at Opryland, a 303-room overflow hotel adjacent to Gaylord Opryland. It also owns and operates a ranger of media and entertainment assets, including the Grand Ole Opry, the weekly showcase of country music’s performers for nearly 90 years; the Ryman Auditorium, the storied former home of the Grand Ole Opry located in downtown Nashville; and WSM-AM, the Opry’s radio home.
Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center – Nashville, Tennessee
Gaylord Opryland is a convention destinations in the United States based upon number of rooms, exhibit space and conventions held. Designed with gardens and expansive atrium areas, the resort is situated on approximately 172 acres in the Opryland complex. As of Gaylord Opryland has a range of themed restaurants, retail o utlets, and a full-service spa with 27,000 square feet of sp! ace and 12 treatment rooms. It also serves as a destination resort for vacationers due to its proximity to the Grand Ole Opry, the General Jackson Showboat, the Gaylord Springs Golf Links (Gaylord’s 18-hole championship golf course), and other attractions in the Nashville area. Gaylord Opryland has 2,882 signature guest rooms, four ballrooms with approximately 127,000 square feet, 111 banquet/meeting rooms, and total meeting, exhibit and pre-function space of approximately 640,000 square feet.
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center – Kissimmee, Florida
During 2012, Gaylord Palms had 1,406 signature guest rooms, three ballrooms with approximately 76,000 square feet, 76 banquet/meeting rooms, and total meeting, exhibit and pre-function space of approximately 400,000 square feet. The resort is situated on a 65-acre site in Osceola County, Florida. Gaylord Palms has a range of themed restaurants, retail outlets and a full-service spa, with 20,000 square feet of dedicated space and 25 treatment rooms. It also has a resort pool and a 2-story sports bar complex opened at Gaylord Palms. Hotel guests also have golf privileges at Falcon’s Fire Golf Club.
Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center – Grapevine, Texas
Gaylord Texan is situated on approximately 85 acres and is located approximately six minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The hotel features an expansive atrium, 1,511 signature guest rooms, three ballrooms with approximately 85,000 square feet, 70 banquet/meeting rooms, and total meeting, exhibit and pre-function space of approximately 400,000 square feet. The property also includes a range of themed restaurants, retail outlets and a full-service spa with 25,000 square feet of dedicated space and 12 treatment rooms. Guests also have access to the adjacent Cowboys Golf Club. The Company has Glass Cactus entertainment complex, an approximately 39,000 square feet venue with a performance stage, dance floor, and a two-story! outdoor ! deck, on land we own adjacent to the hotel.
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center – National Harbor, Maryland
Gaylord National is situated on approximately 42 acres of land located on the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, Maryland, eight miles south of Washington. During 2012, the hotel had 1,996 signature guest rooms, four ballrooms with approximately 103,000 square feet, 82 conference and breakout rooms, and total meeting, exhibit and pre-function space of approximately 470,000 square feet. The hotel complex includes an 18-story glass atrium, a 20,000 square foot spa and fitness center with 12 treatment rooms, and entertainment options, such as restaurants, shops, and a two-story rooftop nightclub.
Inn at Opryland
The Company also owns the Inn at Opryland, which is located across the street from Gaylord Opryland. During 2012, the hotel had 303 rooms and approximately 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a platform for country music. The Opry features a live country music show with performances every Friday and Saturday night, as well as additional weekly performances on a seasonal basis. The Opry House, home of the Grand Ole Opry, seats approximately 4,400 and is located in the Opryland complex. Each week, the Grand Ole Opry is broadcast live to millions of country lifestyle consumers on radio via WSM-AM and Sirius/XM Radio and streamed on the Internet. Special episodes of the Grand Ole Opry are also broadcast on television via the Great American Country network. The show has been broadcast since 1925 on WSM-AM, making it the longest running live radio program in the United States. In addition to performances by its members, the Grand Ole Opry presents performances by many other country music artists.
The Ryman Auditorium is designated as a National Historic Landma rk. The former home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditor! ium re-op! ened for concerts and musical productions.
The General Jackson Showboat
The Company owns the General Jackson Showboat, a 300-foot, four-deck paddle wheel showboat, on the Cumberland River, which flows past the Gaylord Opryland complex in Nashville. Its Victorian Theatre can seat 600 people for banquets and 1,000 people for theater-style presentations. The showboat stages Broadway-style shows and other theatrical productions. The General Jackson is one of many sources of entertainment that is available to conventions held at Gaylord Opryland. During the day, it operates cruises, primarily serving tourists visiting the Gaylord Opryland complex and the Nashville area.
Gaylord Springs consists of 40,000 square-foot antebellum-style clubhouse offers meeting space for up to 500 guests. Marriott assumed the management of the day-to-day operations of Gaylord Springs.
The Wildhorse Saloon
T he Company has owned the Wildhorse Saloon, a country music performance venue on Second Avenue in downtown Nashville. The three-story facility includes a dance floor of approximately 2,000 square feet, as well as a restaurant and banquet facility that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests.
WSM-AM is broadcast from the Gaylord Opryland complex in Nashville and has a country music format. WSM-AM station’s signal transmits 50,000 watt transmitter.
- [By Jim Royal]
The latest buy for my Special Situations portfolio is Ryman Hospitality (NYSE: RHP ) . The company operates four of the top 10 largest convention hotels in the U.S., and it converted to a REIT late last year, making it more likely to trade for a higher multiple. In March, I bought $2,000 of the stock, and it has since done little but go down. But Ryman is a solid company with premier properties that deserves to trade at a premium to peers, rather than a steep discount. So I’m adding another $1,000 to my position.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc.(INFI)
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the discovery and development of medicines for difficult-to-treat diseases. The company?s lead product candidates include saridegib (IPI-926), an oral molecule with the potential to treat a range of cancers by disrupting malignant activation of the Hedgehog pathway; and Retaspimycin HCl (IPI-504), a heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor. Its Saridegib is in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic or inoperable chondrosarcoma and a Phase II exploratory trial in patients with myelofibrosis. The company?s Retaspimycin HCl is in a Phase II trial in combination with docetaxel to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); and in a Phase Ib/II trial in combination with everolimus, known as Afinitor, in approximately 45 NSCLC patients with a KRAS mutation. Its pipeline also includes IPI-145, an inhibitor of the delta and gamma isoforms of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) in Phase I development to treat in f lammation and hematologic malignancies. Infinity Pharmaceuticals has a strategic alliance with Purdue Pharmaceutical Products L.P. and Mundipharma International Corporation Limited to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products; and a development and license agreement with Millennium to discover, develop, and commercialize pharmaceutical products targeting the delta and/or gamma isoforms of PI3K, including IPI-145. Purdue Pharmaceutical Products is planning to conduct Phase II studies of IPI-940 in pain. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Somaiya and team named Gilead and Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) their top picks, hile putting Buy ratings on Celgene, Biogen Idec, Alexion (ALXN), Incyte (INCY), Pharmacyclics (PCYC) and Synageva (GEVA). BioMarin (BMRN), Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) and Amgen (AMGN) earned Neutral ratings.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Knapp and Slover were also kind enough to provide a screen of stocks that could outperform. They started with the Russell 2000, removed the smallest 40% based on market cap (the aforementioned liquidity issues), then selected the 5% worst performers from among the 30% cheapest stocks based on book-to-price. The result is a bunch of names you never heard of, including Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI), Fusion-IO (FIO), Walter Energy (WLT), Hecla Mining (HL) and Molycorp (MCP).
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: Ctrip.com International Ltd.(CTRP)
Ctrip.com International, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides travel services for hotel accommodations, airline tickets, and packaged tours in the People?s Republic of China. It also sells independent leisure travelers bundled package-tour products, which include transportation and accommodation, as well as guided tours covering various domestic and international destinations. In addition, the company offers Internet-related advertising, aviation casualty insurance, and air-ticket delivery services. Further, it sells Property Management System, a hotel information software; travel guidebooks, which provide information for independent travelers; and VIP membership cards that allow cardholders to receive discounts from various restaurants, clubs, and bars. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Shutterstock/Andrey Burmakin Folks are turning to the Internet more and more in planning business trips and personal getaways — and investors are cashing in on the trend. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) soared 18 percent last week after posting better than expected quarterly results. Revenue climbing 4 percent and profitability clocking in at 5 cents a share may not seem very impressive, but analysts were settling for the volatile travel portal to merely break even on flattish revenue growth. Strength in its hotel bookings were more than enough to offset weakness in airline reservations. Orbitz Worldwide’s larger and faster-growing peers priceline.com (PCLN) and Expedia (EXPE) went along for the ride, climbing 7 percent and 4 percent respectively. They both went on to hit new all-time highs. Seeing an industry laggard start to grow profitably again — and Orbitz Worldwide is calling for modest continued growth into 2014 — was enough to get the market behind the popular providers of lodging, air travel, car rental, cruise and vacation package reservations. This isn’t just a one-week phenomenon. Priceline and Expedia shares have soared 174 percent and 171 percent since the end of 2011. Orbitz Worldwide has also more than doubled in that time, and it’s up a whopping 223 percent since the start of 2013. The Ins and Outs of Inn Outings Orbitz Worldwide’s report would have been better if it wasn’t held back by an 11 percent decline in airline ticket sales. Priceline and Expedia are growing their airfare sales, but modestly, compared to their hotel reservations. This isn’t a surprise. Airlines have done a good job of marketing directly to passengers. There are a lot of people on frequent flyer programs, so they often head directly to an air carrier’s website when it’s time to book a trip. Pricing is also pretty competitive between airlines. There may not be a lot of carriers offering the desired route, but they are quick to respond to what rivals are doing. Th
- [By Yiannis Mostrous]
Ctrip.com International (CTRP)
With a 48% market share, Ctrip.com holds the crown as China’s leading online travel agency, offering a one-stop shop for booking hotels, flights, and packaged tours.
Top Dow Dividend Companies To Buy For 2015: TAM S.A.(TAM)
TAM S.A. provides passengers and cargo air transportation services in Brazil and internationally. It also engages in the aircraft acquisition, financing, and debt issuance activities. In addition, the company offers travel and tourism agency services, as well as is involved in the development and management of customer loyalty programs. It operates a fleet of approximately 156 aircrafts. The company was founded in 1961 and is based in S