Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company’s economic output. That’s because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.
Earnings’ unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Fred’s (Nasdaq: FRED ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A.(SQM)
Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. engages in the production and sale of fertilizers and specialty chemicals in Chile and internationally. The company?s specialty plant nutrients include potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, sodium potassium nitrate, and specialty blends for crops, such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, potatoes, and cotton, as well as Ultrasol for application via fertigation; Qrop for field application; Speedfol for foliar application; Allganic for organic farming; and Nutrilake for aquaculture. It also produces iodine and iodine derivatives, which are used in a range of medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial applications, including X-ray contrast media, polarizing films for liquid crystal displays (LCDs), antiseptics, biocides, and disinfectants; and in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, herbicides, electronics, pigments, dye components, and heat stabilizers. In addition, the company provides lithium carbonate for use in various applicat ions comprising batteries, frits for the ceramic and enamel industries, heat-resistant glass, primary aluminum, lithium bromine for use in air conditioner equipment, and continuous casting powder for steel extrusion, pharmaceuticals, and lithium derivatives; and lithium hydroxide, which is used as a raw material in the lubricating grease industry. Further, it offers various industrial chemicals, such as sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, and boric acid; and potassium chloride and potassium sulfate. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Santiago, Chile.
- [By Jim Jubak]
His choice for the 2014 Top Stock Pick to watch out for in the coming year, is the Chemical and Mining Company of Chile (SQM).
This company’s stock plunged 59% in 2013 due to weak fertilizer and phosphate prices. However, both Conrad and Jubak feel it is beginning to bounce back this year, due to a return to normalized pricing and earnings.
- [By Carlton Delfeld]
Chemical and Mining Company of Chile (SQM) has long been a darling of global investors looking for plays for more productive farmland. However, the stock has plunged 59% in 2013, due to weak fertilizer and phosphate prices.
- [By Dan Newman]
While weakness in fertilizer markets hurt Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE: SQM ) this year, higher sales volume and margins in other businesses helped the company grow earnings 19% over 2012. Sociedad has a hand in many industrial resources, from iodine to lithium, and it boasts healthy double-digit profit margins. It is also expanding its production capacity to keep up with a world hungry for more fertilizer-based food and lithium-based batteries. Still, the company failed to meet recent expectations and has missed the market rally this year. If markets get spooked and head downward, investors could find peace of mind in the intrinsic value of Sociedad’s physical resources, as well as its 2.6% dividend yield.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Amid the boom in Latin America lately, Chile has produced substantial amounts of economic success. But the drop in commodities markets around the world has weighed on resource-reliant industries, and Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE: SQM ) is one of the companies that has suffered from that trend. On Tuesday, the company will release its latest quarterly results, and investors are nervous about whether SQM will be able to meet the growth expectations they have for the chemical company.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: Globe Specialty Metals Inc.(GSM)
Globe Specialty Metals, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells silicon metal and silicon-based alloys in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. The company primarily offers silicon metal that is used as a raw material for silicone compounds, aluminum, and polysilicon. It also produces silicon-based alloys, such as ferrosilicon; magnesium-ferrosilicon-based alloys known as nodularizers; ferrosilicon-based alloys known as inoculants; calcium silicon alloys; and cored-wire silicon-based alloy products, as well as carbon electrodes, silica fume, and fines. The silicon-based alloy products are used as raw materials for steel, automotive components, and ductile iron. In addition, the company processes and supplies specialty metallurgical coal to other silicon and silicon-based alloy producers. Its customers include silicone chemical, aluminum, and steel manufacturers; auto companies and their suppliers; ductile iron foundries; manufacturers of photovol taic solar cells and computer chips; and concrete producers. The company was formerly known as International Metal Enterprises, Inc. and changed its name to Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. in November 2006. Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Silicon metals and alloys producer Globe Specialty Metals (GSM) raised its quarterly dividend 7.1% to 7.5 cents per share, payable March 12 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 26.
GSM Dividend Yield: 1.65%
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc (NES)
Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc., formerly Heckmann Corporation, incorporated on May 29, 2007, provides environmental solutions to protect, enhance and advance environmental sustainability. Nuverra provides full-cycle environmental solutions to a national customer base consisting of two distinct end markets: Shale Solutions and Industrial Solutions.
The Company is focused on the removal, treatment, recycling, transportation and disposal of restricted solids, fluids and hydrocarbons for E&P customers. It also provides a one-stop-shop for energy recovery, re-refining and recycling of used motor oil and oily wastewater; plus a closed loop spent antifreeze program for retail, automotive and manufacturing customers. Nuverra specializes in providing environmentally compliant and sustainable solutions to a national footprint of customers.
Shale Solutions provides environmental solutions for unconventional oil and gas ex ploration and production, including the delivery, collection, treatment, recycle, and disposal of restricted environmental products used in the development of unconventional oil and natural gas fields. The Company operates in select shale areas in the United States, including the Marcellus/Utica, Eagle Ford, Bakken, Haynesville, Barnett, Permian, Mississippian Lime and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale areas. It serves customers seeking fresh water acquisition, temporary water transmission and storage, transportation, treatment or disposal of fresh water and complex water flows, such as flowback and produced brine water, in connection with shale oil and gas hydraulic fracturing drilling or hydrofracturing operations. The Company also transports fresh water for production and provides services for site preparation, water pit excavations and remediation.
Industrial Solutions provides environmental and waste recycling solutions to its custom ers through collection and recycling services for waste prod! ucts, including UMO, which the Company processes and sells as RFO, oily water, spent antifreeze, used oil filters and parts washers, and provision of complementary environmental services for a diverse commercial and industrial customer base. Industrial Solutions operates a scalable network infrastructure of 34 processing facilities, approximately 385 tanker trucks, vacuum trucks and trailers and over 200 railcars. With a geographic presence in 19 states in the Western United States stretching from Washington to Texas, Industrial Solutions provides its services to a diverse range of more than 20,000 commercial and industrial customer locations.
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Shares of Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. (NES) fell 5.6% to $16.99 on moderate volume after the company announced it was selling its industrial solutions unit, Thermo Fluids Inc., to VeroLube for $175 million.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NYSE: NES) is expected to post a Q4 loss at $0.47 per share on revenue of $152.06 million.
PowerSecure International (NYSE: POWR) is estimated to post its Q4 earnings at $0.09 per share on revenue of $69.18 million.
- [By Traders Reserve]
Nuverra Environmental Services (NES) revenue more than doubled to $351 million in 2012 and will come close to doubling again in 2013 once earnings are reported. Nuverra trucks water and provides water-related services to clean up after a shale field is fracked. That said, Nuverra is over-leveraged and while this was acceptable as it was growing and growing, it is beginning to feel competitive pressure from pipelines and other water trucking companies.
- [By Matt DiLallo]
Heckmann (NYSE: NES ) enters the equation as the environmental services company that offers a full-cycle solution for the management of water. It has the plan, and the assets to help mitigate many of the risks involved in fracking. As you take a look at the chart below, notice how Heckmann handles the water from delivery to disposal:
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: BroadSoft Inc.(BSFT)
BroadSoft, Inc. provides software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line, and cable service providers to deliver unified communications and other voice and multimedia services over Internet protocol (IP) based networks. The company?s communications platform consists of BroadWorks software, which enables its service provider customers to provide enterprises and consumers with a range of cloud-based or hosted IP multimedia communications, such as private branch exchanges, video calling, unified communications, collaboration, and converged mobile and fixed-line services; BroadCloud hosted or cloud service that enables its service provider customers to offer Web collaboration, video conferencing, instant messaging, presence, and short messaging to their end-users; and BroadTouch, a client application that enables carriers to offers unified communications services for smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. It also provides a range of professional support services, i ncluding pre-sales support; installation, network integration, project management, and remote upgrade services, as well as consulting services; product life-cycle services; and training services. The company sells its products to telecommunication service providers directly, as well as indirectly through telecommunications equipment vendors, value-added resellers, and other distributors. It operates in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. BroadSoft, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
- [By Seth Jayson]
BroadSoft (Nasdaq: BSFT ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on May 6. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:
The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict BroadSoft’s revenues will grow 0.7% and EPS will shrink -62.1%.
- [By SA Pro Top Ideas]
Stock Movers and Great Calls
Alpha-Rich long and short ideas regularly move stocks and identify stocks that are about to move. Some notable recent calls subscribers had early access to:
On August 2, Josh Burwick argued that the market was underestimating BroadSoft’s (BSFT) 2014 earnings potential, with 50% upside looming for shares. The stock is +10.6% in the three weeks since. Read article » On June 27, Alan Brochstein said Apogee Glass (APOG) offered compelling value as its architectural glass reverted to historic margins. The shares are +20.4% since. Read article »
To Come Today
Don’t forget to check your SA Pro dashboard during market hours today for the latest Alpha-Rich ideas, including an undervalued asset manager and a short idea in the oil services sector. Have a great weekend.
SA Pro Editors
The SA Pro team is Eli Hoffmann (Editor in Chief), Rachael Granby (Editorial Product Manager), Danie l Shvartsman, Samir Patel, Michael McDonald, and Jeffrey Fischer (Senior Pro Editors). You can reach us at email@example.com.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: ABIOMED Inc.(ABMD)
Abiomed, Inc. provides medical devices in circulatory support and continuum of care in heart recovery to acute heart failure patients. The company?s products are designed to enable the heart to rest, heal, and recover by enhancing blood flow and/or performing the pumping function of the heart. Its products consist of Impella 2.5 catheter, a percutaneous micro heart pump with integrated motor and sensors for use in interventional cardiology; and Impella 5.0 catheter and Impella LD, which are percutaneous micro heart pumps with integrated motors and sensors for use primarily in the heart surgery suite. The company also manufactures and sells the AB5000 circulatory support system and the BVS 5000 biventricular support system for temporary support of acute heart failure patients in profound shock, including patients suffering from cardiogenic shock after a heart attack, post-cardiotomy cardiogenic shock, or myocarditis. Its products are used in the cardiac catheterization lab by interventional cardiologists and/or in the heart surgery suite by heart surgeons. The company sells its products through direct sales and clinical support personnel in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and internationally. Abiomed, Inc. was founded in 1981 and is based in Danvers, Massachusetts.
- [By Todd Campbell]
So far I’ve outlined the reasons for the robust returns last year at diabetes device maker Dexcom and cardiovascular device play Cardiovascular Systems (NASDAQ: CSII ) . That brings us to No. 3 in my series, Abiomed (NASDAQ: ABMD ) , a company that saw its latest product line propel its shares 98% higher in 2013.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap heart stocks Sunshine Heart Inc (NASDAQ: SSH), Abiomed, Inc (NASDAQ: ABMD) and AtriCure Inc (NASDAQ: ATRC) each find different ways go to the heart of the problem for cardiac patients and have all been good performers for investors this year. After all and according to statistics collected by the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women as about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths. Moreover, roughly 715,000 Americans have a heart attack every year and ff these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen to people who have already had one. In other words, there is a big market for the following small cap heart stocks to address:
- [By Sean Williams]
What: Shares of ABIOMED (NASDAQ: ABMD ) , a maker of medical devices for the cardiovascular system, jumped as much as 10% after the company reported better-than-expected preliminary revenue for the fourth-quarter.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on ABIOMED (Nasdaq: ABMD ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: LyondellBasell Industries NV(LYB)
LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for production of polymers. The company?s Olefins and Polyolefins segment offers olefins, including ethylene, propylene, and butadiene; aromatics, such as benzene and toluene; polyolefins, which comprise polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and linear low-density polyethylene; specialty polyolefins, including catalloy process resins, PP compounds, and polybutene-1 resins; and ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethanol. Its Intermediates and Derivatives segment provides propylene oxide (PO); PO co-products, including styrene monomers and TBA derivative isobutylene; PO derivatives, such as propylene glycol, propylene glycol ethers, and butanediol; acetyls, such as methanol, acetic acid, and vinyl acetate monomers; ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethylene oxide , ethylene glycol, and ethylene glycol ethers; and flavor and fragrance chemicals. The company?s Refining and Oxyfuels segment offers gasoline and components, ultra low sulfur diesel, jet fuel, and lube oils; diesel, feedstock, fuel oil, gasoline, and bitumen; and gasoline blending components, including methyl tertiary butyl ether, ethyl tertiary butyl ether, and alkylate. Its Technology segment develops and licenses polyolefin and other process technologies. This segment also develops, manufactures, and sells polyolefin catalysts, as well as provides technology services, which comprise safety reviews, training and start-up assistance, engineering services for process and product improvements, and manufacturing troubleshooting. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. has operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. is a subsidiary of Prochemie GmbH.
- [By John Kell]
LyondellBasell Industries N.V.(LYB) said its fourth-quarter earnings soared 86% as the plastics and chemicals company reported better profitability across all key business segments. Results were far better than Wall Street expected, sending shares up 2.4% to $79.90 in premarket trading.
- [By Peter Staas]
Holland-based petrochemical outfit LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) remains the best bet for income-seeking investors to profit from persistently weak ethane prices in North America.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
LyondellBasell Industries N.V.’s(LYB) third-quarter earnings edged up 0.8% as the plastics and chemicals company reported stronger profits in its olefins and polyolefins segments, though results were weaker in its intermediates and refining businesses. Results missed estimates, sending shares down 2% premarket to $74.
- [By Tyler Crowe]
This cheap feedstock has sent production up over one-third in the past five years, and has given a nice pad to chemical company earnings. LyondellBassell (NYSE: LYB ) reported that 2012 was a record year in terms of earnings despite a 6% drop in revenue. These kinds of results have resulted in a mad rush to increase capacity. The entire industry has plans to spend about $30 billion in new plants to take advantage of cheap feedstock. Dow personally is looking to invest $1.7 billion to build what would be the company’s largest ethylene facility and would increase the company’s ethylene capacity by 1.5 million tons per year. With so much invested in cheap natural gas, it should come as no surprise that the company will look to protect that position for as long as possible.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: Iliad SA (ILIAF.PK)
Iliad SA is a France-based holding company active in the integrated telecommunications sector. The Company provides Internet access services, hosting services and others. Iliad SA is also focused on fixed-line telephony services and the provision of wireless fidelity (WiFi) cards, among several others. In addition, Iliad SA sells via Internet a range of insurance policies. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had a number of subsidiaries, which include Free SAS, Centrapel SAS, Freebox SAS, Telecom Academy SARL, Free Frequences SAS, Iliad 1 SAS, Iliad 2 SAS, Protelco SAS, IFW SAS, IRE SAS, Management Centre De Relation Abonne (MCRA), F Distribution SAS, and Centrapel SAS, among others. Its Fixe subsidiary is a landline business-provider of broadband Internet services. As of year-end 2012, the Company was active as a operator in more than 35 countries. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Mike Arnold]
I normally don’t look at charts much, but comparing Orange to its competitors in the French telecommunications market is quite fascinating. As one can see, incumbents Bouygues (BOUYF.PK) and Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) (owner of SFR) saw similar price declines. The market, on the other hand, rapidly bid up the price of new entrant Iliad SA (ILIAF.PK), as a result of forecasts for Iliad to capture significant mobile market share (which it did, around 10%). The wide divergence in price relative to changes in underlying value favor going long the incumbents, including Orange. Because this time it’s different.
Top Heal Care Companies To Own In Right Now: Dj Wilshire Reit Etf (RWR)
SPDR DJ Wilshire REIT (the Fund), formerly DJ Wilshire REIT ETF, seeks to replicate as closely as possible the performance of the Dow Jones Wilshire REIT Index (the Index). The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing approach, and attempts to approximate the investment performance of its Index, by investing in a portfolio of stocks to replicate the Index. The Index seeks to provide an effective representation of the United States real estate investment trust (REIT) market.
The Index consists of companies whose charters are the equity ownership and operation of commercial real estate, and which operate under the REIT Act of 1960. The Index is generally rebalanced monthly. Companies are chosen based upon market capitalization, source of revenue and liquidity. Each REIT in the Index is weighted by its float-adjusted market capitalization. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Funds Management, Inc.
- [By Chuck Saletta]
Where to invest?
There are countless possibilities for building your retirement portfolio to cover Social Security’s gap, depending on your personal risk tolerance, timeline, and need for cash. Here are decent index-style ETFs across various asset types to consider when building your plan:
Domestic stocks. The Vanguard Total Market (NYSEMKT: VTI ) ETF is a one-stop-shop that gives you access to around 99.5% by market cap of the publicly held U.S. stocks traded on major exchanges. A mere 3% turnover and microscopically low 0.05% expense ratio makes this a low-cost way to invest in the overall stock market. Investment-grade bonds. The iShares iBoxx $Invest Grade Corp Bond (NYSEMKT: LQD ) ETF owns nearly $24 billion worth of investment-grade corporate bonds. A small 4% turnover and low 0.15% expense ratio make this a low-cost way to get bond exposure. Real estate. The SPDR Dow Jones REIT (NYSEMKT: RWR ) ETF has a bit over $2 billion invested in real estate investment trusts, attempting to match the Dow Jones Select REIT index. With a reasonable 7% turnover and a still pretty low 0.25% expense ratio, this is a reasonable way to get real estate exposure without turning yourself into a landlord. Foreign stocks. Vanguard’s Total International Stock Index (NASDAQ: VXUS ) ETF has nearly $90 billion in foreign stocks under its control, owning pieces of more than 6,100 stocks from 45 countries. With a mere 3% turnover and low 0.16% expense ratio, it’s one of the lowest-cost ways to get your hands on foreign companies without being an international accounting expert. Inflation-protected government bonds. The iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (NYSEMKT: TIP ) ETF has around $20 billion invested in U.S. Treasury inflation-protected bonds. With a low expense ratio of 0.2% and a reasonable 10% turnover rate, it’s a decent way to get exposure to inflation-protected bonds. Note, though, that
- [By Hilary Kramer]
2. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) The REIT is another alternative vehicle that's gone mainstream in recent years. Hundreds of broad-based and specialized real estate companies and ETFs are available, and after a correction a few months ago, many are on the cheap side. Like any other alternative, this should be a seasoning for your portfolio and not the sauce itself. For most retail investors, a stake in an indexed fund like the SPDR Dow Jones REIT (NYSE: RWR) should be more than adequate, or look into the companies that provide services to the REIT industry like HFF (NYSE: HF) and Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL).