On Jul 10, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Wolverine came up with strong second-quarter 2013 results, owing to the robust performance of its newly acquired brands. The company’s quarterly earnings of 46 cents a share zoomed past the company’s previous guidance range of 31 cents – 35 cents and handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents. Moreover, the quarterly earnings jumped 12.2% year over year.
Top line surged 88% year over year to $587.8 million, while gross margin expanded 320 basis points to 41%, reflecting increased contribution from high margin consumer direct operations.
Based on its progress, the company raised its earnings per share projection for fiscal 2013 to $2.60 – $2.75 from $2.50 – $2.65. However, its sales guidance of $2.7 billion – $2.775 billion, up 6% to 8.9% year over year on a pro-forma basis was reiterat ed.
Gross margin is expected to improve moderately in 2013 due to the product mix shift toward high margin consumer direct business and lower markdowns.
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Virgin Media Inc.(VMED)
Virgin Media Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides entertainment and communications services in the United Kingdom. The company offers cable broadband Internet, television, and fixed line telephone services under the Virgin Media brand to residential customers; mobile telephony services through Virgin Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator; broadband and telephone services to residential customers through third-party telecommunications networks; and video on demand services, including access to movies, television programs, music videos, and other on-demand content, as well as provides digital video recorders. It also offers voice, data, and Internet solutions to commercial customers comprising analog telephony and managed data networks and applications, as well as supplies communications services to health and emergency services providers. As of December 31, 2011, the company provided cable broadband services to approximately 4 million subscribers; cable television s ervices to approximately 3.76 million residential subscribers; cable telephony services to approximately 4.2 million residential subscribers; mobile telephony services to approximately 3 million customers; non-cable fixed line telephone services to approximately 163,300 subscribers; and voice, data, and Internet solutions to approximately 50,000 businesses and 250 public sector organizations. The company offers its products and services through telesales, customer care centers, and online, as well as through its sales force. It serves mobile and fixed-line service providers, systems integrators, and Internet service providers; and private and public sector organizations. The company was formerly known as NTL Incorporated and changed its name to Virgin Media Inc. in February 2007. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in New York, New York.
- [By Tim Brugger]
Upon Liberty Global’s (NASDAQ: LBTYA ) successfully closing its acquisition of Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED ) , Tom Mockridge will assume CEO responsibilities of the U.K. communications firm, Liberty Global announced today.
- [By Markos Kaminis]
Whether the stock is overvalued or not does not matter at this point, because an impact to its subscriber base due to the data sharing news would probably change market expectations for the company’s operations and affect both earnings estimates and valuation multiples. It would probably drive the shares lower in my view, and I see no reason to risk that by holding the stock. Long-term holders, of course, have tax considerations to consider, and the news is still filing out. If Verizon’s peers are also implicated clearly, perhaps with the aid of a Verizon PR push, this issue would be effectively mitigated. Though even in that case, there could be market share loss by all major American firms, with companies like T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Virgin Media (VMED) benefiting, whether they have also been involved or not. In any event, for new stakeholders, or those willing to deal with tax implications; or for those interested in a potential short opportunity, I would sell the stock today. I see no reason to bear risk while this issue and its implications are still unraveling, and while VZ has thus far not been significantly discounted for it.
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Meru Networks Inc.(MERU)
Meru Networks, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides wireless local area network (LAN) solutions in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. It offers a virtualized wireless LAN solution based on its System Director Operating System, which runs on its controllers and access points to enable enterprises to deliver business-critical applications over wireless networks. The company?s System Director Operating System provides centralized coordination and control of various access points on the network; controllers synchronize access points to optimize the user experience and manage traffic on the network; and Wi-Fi certified access points to provide network connectivity for wireless devices. It also offers Meru Networks E(z)RF application suite comprising E(z)RF Network Manager, E(z)RF Service Assurance Manager, E(z)RF Location Manager, E(z)RF OnTheGo, Spectrum Manager, and wired and wireless management solutions, which enable enterprises t o configure, monitor, troubleshoot, secure, and operate virtualized wireless LAN solution. In addition, the company provides Identity Manager that simplifies enterprise network access and identity management; Wireless Intrusion Prevention System to recognize and mitigate threats; Compliance Manager to reduce the risk of security breach by protecting customer and employee personal information by extending security to the wireless network; AirFirewall to intercept and block unwanted communications as they transmit over the air, stopping them before they reach the network; and Security Gateway SG1000 to meet the demands of the Federal Information Processing Standard, 140-2 Level 3 security required by federal government agencies and other security-conscious organizations. It serves the education, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, technology, finance, government, telecom, transportation, and utility markets. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in S unnyvale, California.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Meru Networks (NASDAQ: MERU ) isn’t wasting any time in finding a successor to one of its top executives. The company announced Monday it had appointed Brian McDonald to be its new CFO to replace the resigning Brett White. McDonald took up his position today, although White will remain at the firm through July 1 in order “to effect a smooth transition.”
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Weis Markets Inc.(WMK)
Weis Markets, Inc. engages in the retail sale of food in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Its retail food stores sell groceries, dairy products, frozen foods, meats, seafood, fresh produce, floral, pharmacy services, deli products, prepared foods, bakery products, beer and wine, fuel and general merchandise items, such as health and beauty care, and household products. The company operates stores primarily under the Weis Markets trade name. As of February 13, 2012, it operated 161 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The company was founded in 1912 and is based in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Mid-Atlantic grocery store chain Weis Markets (NYSE: WMK ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.30 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past six quarters.
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation(BGFV)
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a sporting goods retailer in the western United States. The company offers athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories, as well as a selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, snowboarding, and roller sports. It also provides various private label merchandise, including shoes, apparel, binoculars, camping equipment, fishing supplies, and snow sport equipment. The company sells private label merchandise under its owned labels comprising Court Casuals, Golden Bear, Harsh, Pacifica, Rugged Exposure, and Triple Nickel; and licensed trademarks, including Avet, Body Glove, Fila, GoFit, Hi-Tec, Maui & Sons, Morrow, and Realm and The Realm. As of February 28, 2012, it operated 406 stores in 12 states under the Big 5 Sporting Goods name. The company was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in El Segundo, California.
- [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 Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By John Udovich]
Yahoo! Finance recently noted once again how the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” along with fears about Obama’s gun control policies have rural enthusiasts flocking to Cabela’s Inc (NYSE: CAB), but how does its performance compare with that of mid cap peer Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) along with small caps Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ: BGFV) and Hibbett Sports, Inc (NASDAQ: HIBB)? After all, the same trends should be lifting all boats that sell outdoor related merchandise, guns or sporting goods (Note: Bass Pro, Inc, which is much closer to being a true peer of Cabela’s Inc as its also focused on the outdoors, is privately held) .
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW)
Burger King Worldwide, Inc., incorporated on April 2, 2012, is a fast food hamburger restaurant, under the Burger King brand. The Company generates revenues from three sources: franchise revenues, consisting primarily of royalties based on a percentage of sales reported by franchise restaurants and fees paid by franchisees; property income from properties that it leases or subleases to franchisees, and retail sales at Company restaurants. In September 2012, it sold 41 Company-owned BURGER KING restaurants in Singapore to Rancak Selera Sdn Bhd. As of December 31, 2012, it owned or franchised a total of 12,997 restaurants in 86 countries and United States territories. In April 2013, it announced the sale of Burger King Restaurants of Canada (BKRC), including 94 Company owned BURGER KING restaurants in the Canada market to Redberry Investments Corp.
The Company operates in the FFHR category of the quick service restaurant (QSR), segment of the restaurant industry . In the United States, the QSR segment is the segment of the restaurant industry and has demonstrated steady growth over a long period of time. The Company launched four new menu platforms (salads, wraps, smoothies and desserts) and expanded its chicken, coffee and ancillary menu platforms. It has established a data driven marketing process, which is focused on driving restaurant sales and traffic, while targeting a broader consumer base with more inclusive messaging to reach women, parties with children and seniors.
United States and Canada (U.S. and Canada)
As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 7,293 franchise restaurants and 183 Company restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company refranchised 752 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, bringing the region to 98% franchised. During the year ended December 31, 2012, it also continued to implement its Four Pillars strategy to improve comparable sales gro wth and franchise profitability by enhancing its Menu, Marke! ting Communications, Image, and Operations.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 2,989 franchise restaurants and 132 Company restaurants in EMEA. While in Germany continues with 684 restaurants as of December 31, 2012, Turkey and Russia are two of its growing markets with net openings of 78 restaurants and 47 restaurants, respectively, during the year ended December 31, 2012.
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 1,290 franchise and 100 Company restaurants in LAC. In 2011, the Company entered into a joint venture agreement with Vinci Partners for Brazil and granted franchise and development rights to the joint venture. The Company received a minority stake and board seats in the joint venture without deploying its own capital.
Asia Pacific (APAC)
As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 1,007 franchise and 3 C ompany restaurants in APAC. As of December 31, 2012,the Company had 357 restaurants in Australia. It contributed 44 Company restaurants in China. In September 2012, the Company sold 38restaurants to Rancak Selera, the Burger King franchisee in Malaysia.
The Company competes with McDonald’s Corporation, Wendy’s Company, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box and Sonic.
- [By Bloomberg Businessweek]
Alamy McDonald’s (MCD) may recently have struggled to lure customers, but it still does far more business at each location than rival burger chains. The average McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. drew $2.6 million in revenue last year. Average sales for No. 2 chain Burger King (BKW): $1.2 million, according to data from its largest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST). What accounts for this more-than-a-million gap? “Everything from marketing and site selection to product initiatives and franchisee selection have been historical factors,” said Nick Setyan, vice president in charge of equity research at Wedbush Securities, in an email. Here are four factors that drive higher sales volumes at McDonald’s: 1. McDonald’s gets more customers during off-peak hours. Look no further than the strength of its breakfast business relative that of Burger King, says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at restaurant consultancy Technomic. Egg McMuffin is part of the fast-food vocabulary in a way Burger King can’t match. And beverage and snack offerings such as McCafe and wraps have helped increase McDonald’s sales between meals. The dramatic impact from off-peak business explains why chains such as Taco Bell (YUM) are entering the battle for morning customers, while others such as Starbucks (SBUX) are seeking more afternoon and evening business. 2. The power of the Happy Meal. McDonald’s has the largest share of kids meal sales in the fast-food industry and gets about 10 percent of total sales from Happy Meals, the most commonly advertised child-oriented fast-food item on television. Burger King, meanwhile, is still trying to win back “parties with kids and seniors and women,” said Josh Kobza, Burger King’s chief financial officer, at a conference last year. One way to do that: “We got rid of the creepy king character that tended to scare away women and children.” 3. McDonald’s has an edge on efficiency. Despite recent operational challenges at McDonald’s,
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Taco Bell/AP There will be a new player in the escalating battle for breakfast on Thursday when Yum Brands’ (YUM) Taco Bell rolls out its new morning menu, and the stakes are huge. McDonald’s (MCD) is the name that most people associate with breakfast fast food. Ever since it introduced the Egg McMuffin in 1972, the world’s largest burger flipper has set the bar for convenient morning meals for people on the go. The Waffle Taco will likely be Taco Bell’s signature breakfast item. The taco-shaped waffle wrapped around a sausage patty, scrambled eggs and cheese turned heads when it was tested in select locations late last year. However, it’s just one of the many items wooing commuters. Naturally there will be eggy breakfast burritos and grilled tacos with either bacon or sausage. The A.M. Crunchwrap gives a morning spin to the Crunchwrap Supreme by blanketing hash browns, scrambled eggs and either bacon or sausage in a pressed and folded flour tortilla. Tough Competition McDonald’s is struggling these days, but it’s still a fierce competitor when it comes to the first meal of the day. Just ask Burger King (BKW), which finds itself copying McDonald’s more often than not, including hotcakes served with sausage and the Egg McMuffin. Just ask Wendy’s (WEN), which retreated from its nationwide breakfast menu a couple of years ago. It’s starting to work its way back in by introducing breakfast in some markets. Even Starbucks (SBUX) has been feeling the threat of McDonald’s as the burger giant beefs up its McCafe line, offering guests drive-thru convenience that many Starbucks locations cannot. Earlier this month Starbucks ran a three-day promotion where it offered free coffee to anyone ordering a breakfast sandwich. It was meant to remind customers that it offers more than just java. Breakfast seems like an easy decision for a fast food leader. Who wouldn’t want to milk more revenue out of a location by extending its operating hours? However, with Wendy’s coming
- [By Nickey Friedman] We probably should have seen this coming. After all, for the last few months, Burger King Worldwide (ticker: BKW) has taken its royal crown back amid strategic moves aimed directly at dethroning its larger rival McDonald’s (MCD) . The latest policy change from Burger King threatens a key McDonald’s demographic as the Home of the Whopper ups the stakes.
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Diebold Inc (DBD)
Diebold, Incorporated, incorporated in August 1876, is engaged in providing integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services to the financial, commercial, government and retail markets. Sales of systems and equipment are made directly to customers by the Company’s sales personnel, manufacturers’ representatives and distributors globally. The sales and support organizations work closely with customers and their consultants to analyze and fulfill the customers’ needs. The Company has two lines of business: Self-Service Solutions and Security Solutions. The Company’s segments are consisted of two sales channels: Diebold North America (DNA) and Diebold International (DI). In September 2012, it acquired GAS Tecnologia (GAS).
The DNA segment sells and services financial and retail systems in the United States and Canada. The DI segment sells and services financial and retail systems over the remainder of the globe through wholly owned subsi diaries, joint ventures and independent distributors in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan and Korea.
The Company offers an integrated line of self-service technologies and services, including comprehensive automated teller machine (ATM) outsourcing, ATM security, deposit and payment terminals and software. The Company is a global supplier of ATMs and related services. The Company offers a range of self-service solutions. Self-service products include a range of ATMs and teller automation, including deposit automation technology, such as check-cashing machines, bulk cash recyclers and bulk check deposit. The Company offers software solutions consisting of multiple applications, which process events and transactions. These solutions are delivered on the appropriate platform. From analysis and consulting to monitoring and repair, the Company provide s value and support to its customers every step of the way. ! Services include installation and ongoing maintenance of its products, OpteView remote services, branch transformation and distribution channel consulting. Outsourced and managed services include remote monitoring, troubleshooting for self-service customers, transaction processing, currency management, maintenance services and full support through person to person or online communication.
The Company provides its customers with the technological advances to protect their assets. The Company provides physical and electronic security systems, as well as facility transaction products, which integrate security, software and assisted-service transactions, providing total security systems solutions to financial, retail, commercial and government markets. The Company provides security solutions and facility products, including in-store bank branches, pneumatic tube systems for drive-up lanes, vaults, safes, depositories, bullet-resistive items and undercounter equipment. The Company provides a range of electronic security products, including digital surveillance, access control systems, biometric technologies, alarms and remote monitoring and diagnostics. The Company provides security monitoring solutions, including fire, managed access control, energy management, remote video management and storage, as well as logical security.
The Company provides end-to-end outsourcing solutions with a single point of contact for customer’s self-service channel. Its solution includes hardware, software, services or a combination of all three components. The Company provides value to its customers by offering a range of integrated services and support. The Company’s service organization provides analysis and planning of new systems, systems integration, architectural engineering, consulting and project management, which encompass all facets of a financial self-service imp lementation. The Company also provides design, products, ser! vice, ins! tallation, project management and monitoring of electronic security products to financial, government, retail and commercial customers.
The Company is a provider of voting equipment and related products and services in Brazil. The Company provides elections equipment, networking, tabulation and diagnostic software development, training, support and maintenance.
The Company competes with NCR Corporation, Wincor-Nixdorf, Grg Equipment Co., Nautilus Hyosung, Itautec and Perto.
- [By Asit Sharma]
Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) , the transaction and security firm that most of us know for its ATM technology, owns a magnificent, shareholder-friendly streak, having increased its dividend annually for the last 60 years. That’s a current record among U.S. equities. The company’s dividend also yields an attractive 3.9%.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) slipped 2% today after Compass Point downgraded the self-service delivery and security systems specialist from neutral to sell.
- [By Insider Monkey]
Security and services company Diebold (DBD) is simply a dividend beast. It has raised dividends in 60 consecutive years and currently offers a yield of 3.8%. Over the past three months, two insiders, CEO Andreas Mattes and VP John Kristoff, have bought Diebold stock. Mattes currently owns about $824K worth of the stock while Kristoff’s position is a bit smaller, and in the entire year of 2013, Board members Rajesh Soin and Henry Wallace have also initiated purchases here.
Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy Right Now: Stewart Information Services Corporation(STC)
Stewart Information Services Corporation provides title insurance and related information services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries. It operates in two segments, Title Insurance-Related Services and Real Estate Information. The Title Insurance-Related Services segment offers services that include searching for and examining documents, such as deeds, mortgages, wills, divorce decrees, court judgments, liens, paving assessments, and tax records, as well as provides titles insurance for residential and commercial properties, undeveloped acreage, farms, ranches, and water rights. This segment serves attorneys, builders, developers, home buyers and home sellers, lenders, and real estate brokers. The Real Estate Information segment offers products and services, which primarily include lender services, title technology, foreign and domestic government services, mapping, title information, Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 tax-deferred property e xchanges, pre-employment services, and online filing and transaction management. Its customers include mortgage lenders and servicers, mortgage brokers, mortgage investors, government entities, commercial and residential real estate agents, land developers, builders, title insurance agencies, and others interested in obtaining property information, as well as accountants, attorneys, investors, and employers. The company has operations primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, central Europe, Mexico, central America, and Australia. Stewart Information Services Corporation was founded in 1893 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By James Fink]
My housing pick is Houston-based Stewart Information Services (STC), a 120-year-old real estate business founded in 1893, that is still owned and managed by the founding family.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Tower Group has dropped 12% to $3.88 today at 11:39 a.m., while Stewart Information Services (STC) has dipped 0.1% to $31.16, the Navigators Group (NAVG) has fallen 1.4% to $54.78 and HCI Group (HCI) has gained 1% to $38.16.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Tower Group has dropped 40% to $4.43 today, and some other small insurers are also getting dinged this morning. HCI Group (HCI) has fallen 1.8% to $39.36, Stewart Information Services (STC) has declined 0.7% to $31.36 and the Navigators Group (NAVG) has ticked down 0.4% to $56.10.