Travel giant priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN ) was the cover story of this weekend’s Barron’s, and it’s not a flattering picture.
The article argues that shares of the “name your own price” website operator can fall by as much as 20% as competitive pressures squeeze margins and force Priceline into decelerating growth.
Investors have often flocked to Priceline stock as the high-margin leader in this growing category, and it has been the S&P 500’s biggest winner over the past five years as a globetrotting six-bagger. Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW ) is just starting to turn profitable, so it’s not much of a challenge. Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE ) may be the leader in gross bookings, but Priceline’s the one scoring the meatier earnings as it focuses on the more lucrative hotel commissions.
In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explores the reasons why the Barron’s argument on valuation is off the mark. He also points out how today’s biggest challenge may be tomorrow’s biggest opportunity. Priceline stock, Rick argues, is about to ascend — not descend.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Aqua America Inc.(WTR)
Aqua America, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. The company serves residential, commercial, fire protection, industrial, and other water and wastewater customers in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and Georgia. It also provides water and wastewater services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties, as well as sludge hauling, septage and grease services, and backflow prevention services. The company was formerly known as Philadelphia Suburban Corporation and changed its name to Aqua America, Inc. in 2004. Aqua America, Inc. was founded in 1968 and is based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
- [By David Dittman]
Question: Thanks for your input and the chat opportunity! Your long term thoughts on water stocks such as Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (NYSE: SBS), known popularly as Sabesp, and Consolidated Water Co Ltd (NSDQ: CWCO)? I hold Aqua America Inc (NYSE: WTR) since your recommendation.
- [By Aaron Levitt]
As we continue to use more water, prices for the critical commodity will rise – even if those prices are capped by regulators. That will be a big win for the various water utilities in our nations. And when it comes to water utilities, Aqua America (WTR) is the clear winner.
- [By Vita Nelson]
Our latest featured dividend reinvestment idea is Aqua America (WTR). Founded in 1968, and headquartered in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Aqua America operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Leapfrog Enterprises Inc(LF)
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. designs, develops, and markets technology-based learning platforms and related proprietary content primarily for infants and children worldwide. The company offers interactive reading systems, such as the Tag reading system that focuses on fundamental reading skills and offers a library of software-based books; and Tag Junior reading system used for the introduction of younger children to books and reading. It also provides mobile learning system products, including Leapster platform, a handheld device with a multi-directional control pad and a touch-screen enabled by a built-in stylus; Leapster2 platform, a Web-connected version of Leapster; and Leapster Explorer to download digital content, such as games, e-Books, videos and flash cards. In addition, the company offers Scout collection, a line of learning toys that are Web-enabled and connect to the Learning Path; and My Own Leaptop, a Web-enabled customizable laptop; Fridge Collection, a line of magnetic learning toys that introduce letter names, letter sounds, spelling, and songs; Learn and Groove Collection, which include bilingual musical learning toys; and various products that address basic learning needs and milestones. Further, it provides LeapFrog Learning Path, an online tool enabling parents to track what their children are learning with Web-connected products; and LeapWorld, which allows children to play online games, customize their mobile learning and gaming experiences, access new content, watch trailers for new games, and view demonstrations. It sells its products directly to national and regional mass-market and specialty retailers; other retail stores and distributors; school-related distributors and resellers; and through online store and other Internet-based channels. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Emeryville, California. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. is a subsidiary of Mollusk Holdings, LLC.
- [By Rick Munarriz]
I went out on a limb last week, and now it’s time to see how that decision played out.
I predicted that Model N (NYSE: MODN ) would post a smaller loss than analysts were expecting. The provider of revenue management solutions has been a dud since going public nearly a year ago, but one thing it has consistently done is post a smaller deficit than what the pros are forecasting. Wall Street was settling for a loss of $0.12 a share, and Model N sported only $0.03 a share in red ink. The stock soared 19% on Tuesday after the better-than-expected report. I was right. After more than a year of predicting that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , I mixed things up two weeks ago. I simply predicted that the Dow would bounce back after plunging 3.5% and 1.1% over the prior two weeks. I repeated the call this time around, and the Dow responded with a hearty 2.3% gain. I was right. My final call was for LeapFrog (NYSE: LF ) to beat Wall Street’s income estimates in its latest quarter. The maker of electronic learning toys has been routinely beating Wall Street projections over the past year. I was banking on a repeat performance, but it wasn’t to be. LeapFrog merely broke even on a sharper drop in revenue than expected. Analysts had been braced for a profit of $0.14 a share. I was wrong.
Two out of three? I can do better than that. Let me once again whip out my trusty, dusty, and occasionally accurate crystal ball to make three calls that may play out over the next few trading days.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Getty Images Shares of LeapFrog (LF) opened lower on Thursday after posting uninspiring quarterly results. By market close, it was down almost 9 percent. The leading maker of electronic learning toys for children had warned investors that it would disappoint during the seasonally potent holiday quarter. Back in November, it stunned the market by forecasting sales to drop by 9 percent to 17 percent. It turned out to be a lot worse. From Learning Leader to Laggard Sales plunged 24 percent to $186.7 million, well short of the $215.4 million that analysts were expecting. LeapFrog broke even on an adjusted basis, missing Wall Street projections calling for a small profit. LeapFrog knows that young children have abandoned its signature handheld learning toys for apps on full-function tablets. Its own entry into the tablet game failed to generate material buzz in a market that’s now overrun with cheap kid-friendly devices. Retailers also didn’t help by discounting its entry-level LeapPad2 tablet in December to drive traffic to their stores, a move that disrupted the value proposition of its more expensive higher margin LeapPad2 Power and LeapPad Ultra. LeapFrog used to be on top of the toy world. It was the toast of the industry in 2011 with the debut of its original LeapPad tablet. The rugged touchscreen device didn’t surf the Web nor fire up third-party apps, but it dovetailed nicely with its proven ecosystem of learning programs, including storybooks where the words get more complex as a child’s aptitude grows. Parents flocked to the brand, and by mid-November of that year LeapPad was the most requested toy on Walmart’s (WMT) layaway program. Demand outstripped supply, and by early December, bids for the learning tablet on eBay were roughly twice the suggested retail price. LeapFrog was ready in 2012. It introduced the enhanced LeapPad2, making sure that there were plenty of both tablets available for shoppers. LeapFrog was thriving, but the success didn’t
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks that meet his criteria heading into 2014 include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), Aflac (AFL) and LeapFrog Enterprises (LF).
- [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]
LeapFrog designs, develops, and markets technology-based learning products for children worldwide. The company is waiting to release the best product they’ve ever offered before the holiday season hoping that it’ll help the company rise. The stock has remained in a range over the last couple of years and is currently trading at lows for the year. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been decreasing while revenue figures have been rising, leaving investors with mixed feelings about LeapFrog’s recent earnings announcement. Relative to its peers and sector, LeapFrog has been a poor year-to-date performer. WAIT AND SEE what LeapFrog does next.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Income Fund (GPM)
Old Mutual/Claymore Long-Short Fund (the Fund) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income and current gains. The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to provide long-term capital appreciation. The Fund invests in a portfolio of equity securities and by selling securities short in the S&P 500 Index that it believes will under perform relative to the average stock in the S&P 500. The Fund will also write (sell) call options on equity indexes and, to a lesser extent, on individual securities held in the Fund’s portfolio.
The Fund’s investment adviser is Claymore Advisors, LLC. Analytic Investors, Inc. (Analytic) is the Fund’s sub-adviser. It invests in various sectors, including financials, information technology, industrials, healthcare, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, materials, utilities and telecommunications.
- [By Chuck Carnevale]
Next, I turned to an evaluation of gross profit margin (gpm), net profit margin (npm), return on assets (roa), return on equity (roe) and return on invested capital (roi). The example below only includes gross and net profit margin, however, I review data on all the metrics stated above.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Capital One Financial Corporation(COF)
Capital One Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for the Capital One Bank (USA), National Association (COBNA), and Capital One, National Association (CONA), which provide various financial products and services in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. It offers consumer and small business credit card lending, national closed end installment lending, and the international credit card lending services. The company also provides various non-interest bearing and interest-bearing deposits, including demand deposits, money market deposits, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and other consumer time deposits. Its loan portfolio comprises credit card loans; consumer loans, such as auto, home, and retail banking loans; and commercial loans, including commercial and multifamily real estate, middle market, specialty lending, and small-ticket commercial real estate loans. In addition, the company provid es mortgage banking, treasury management, and depository services. It primarily serves consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients through branches, the Internet, and other distribution channels. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.
- [By Blake Ellis]
As part of an ongoing investigation into the credit bureaus that banks use to screen checking account applicants, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday that Capital One (COF) will change its policies and make it possible for “many thousands” of New Yorkers — and consumers nationwide — to qualify for bank accounts.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty Images When you speak to investors on a daily basis — as I used to — you often get to see the seedy underbelly of their retirement planning, or lack thereof. From those who were not saving for retirement because they didn’t trust the stock market to those who were struggling with paying off debt, many people I spoke with had allowed circumstances to hold them back from properly preparing for life after work. My experience is not unique: Statistics show that 36 percent of Americans have nothing saved for retirement, and the average retirement savings of a 50-year-old is just over $43,000. As a former stockbroker, I’ve been asked often how to succeed at retirement planning, and I usually offered the tips below. 1. Don’t Let Your Starting Amount Hold You Back One of the most common beliefs with investing for retirement is that you need to start with a lot of money. Of course, having more is better, but starting with less should not hold you back. When you delay your retirement planning, you lose out on the biggest ally — time. Think of saving for retirement as a marathon, not a sprint. It’s less important to get a fast start out and more important that you pace yourself for the long haul. If you start to invest with little money now, you will develop a discipline that will help your retirement planning in the long run and give your money more time to grow. Many online brokerages have minimum opening account balances of $1,000 or less. Less traditional, though still good, options like ShareBuilder from Capital One (COF) or Motif Investing allow you to start investing for as little as $250. 2. Be Cheap About Fees Among the biggest impediments to building up your retirement nest egg are fees, such as the commissions associated with buying and selling individual stocks, or the “load” and management fees charged by mutual funds or exchange-traded funds.
- [By Teresa Rivas]
Overall, net charge offs increased month-over-month at most institutions, including Capital One Financial (COF), Bank of America (BAC) J.P. Morgan (JPM), and Citigroup (C), while Discover Financial Services (DFS) saw NCOs flat and American Express (AXP) recorded a decline.
- [By Sue Chang]
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) is projected to post first-quarter earnings of $1.69 a share.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Swedish Export Credit publ Corp (FUE)
Swedish Export Credit publ Corp (SEK) is a Sweden-based company engaged in the provision of financial solutions for the private and public sectors with the aim of promoting the development and international competitiveness of the Swedish industry and trade. The Company’s business activities are structured into three segments: the Financing segment includes corporate banking, export finance, trade finance, project finance, customer finance, structured products and Cirr-rates; the Advisory segment provides financial advice to International Financial Institutions, governments and corporations, in a range of areas, such as power and energy, utilities, environment, transport, telecoms, and pulp and paper, and the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) segment offers finance services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
On Tuesday, lightly traded small cap biodiesel stock Methes Energies International Ltd (NASDAQ: MEIL) soared 53.78% on record production figures, meaning its worth taking a closer look at whether that surge was actually warranted plus look at the performance of potential peers like biodiesel stock Renewable Energy Group Inc (NASDAQ: REGI) and biofuel ETF the ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index TR ETN (NYSEArca: FUE).
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ACHN)
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases. The company focuses on the development of antivirals for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C; and the development of antibacterials for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections. Its drug candidates for the treatment of chronic HCV include ACH-1625, a protease inhibitor, which is in phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV; ACH-2684, a pangenotypic protease inhibitor, which is in phase I clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV infection; and NS5A inhibitors for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, including ACH-2928, which is to enter a phase I clinical trial, as well as various additional NS5A inhibitors in preclinical development. Its pipeline of product candidates also includes ACH-702 and ACH-2881 for drug resistant bacterial infections; elvucitabine for HIV infection; and AC H-1095 for HCV infection. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in New Haven, Connecticut.
- [By John Udovich]
While Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT) surged earlier this year and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ACHN) has surged this week after Merck & Co. Inc (NYSE: MRK) agreed to purchase hepatitis stock Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDIX) at a 239% premium, it seems the herd has realized that small cap Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) is also a liver disease stock as shares suddenly surged 56.69% on no apparent company news. But just what is Conatus Pharmaceuticals and is it worth taking a chance on?
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks finished mix today, though it’s probably more fair to say they hardly moved at all. Intel (INTC), Facebook (FB) and Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) gained, while CR Bard (BCR) and eHealth (EHTH) fell.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
An under-$10 biotechnology player that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), discovers, develops and commercializes anti-infective drug therapies in the U.S. and internationally. This stock has been destroyed by the sellers so far in 2013, with shares down big by 66%.
If you take a look at the chart for Achillion Pharmaceuticals, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $2.26 on the downside and $2.98 on the upside. This sideways trading pattern is occurring after shares of ACHN gapped down sharply in late September from $7.50 to under $3 with heavy downside volume. Shares of ACHN are now starting to trend higher and move within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its sideways trading chart pattern.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACHN if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.85 to $2.98 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 2.76 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ACHN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its gap down day high from September at $3.62 a share. Any high-volume move above that level will then give ACHN a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $7.50 a share.
Traders can look to buy ACHN off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $2.44 to $2.26 a share. One can also buy ACHN off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
Top Oil Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: First Majestic Silver Corp.(AG)
First Majestic Silver Corp. engages in the production, development, exploration, and acquisition of mineral properties with a focus on silver in Mexico. The company owns interests in La Encantada Silver Mine comprising 4,076 hectares of mining rights and 1,343 hectares of surface land located in Coahuila; La Parrilla Silver Mine consisting of mining concessions covering an area of 69,867 hectares; and San Martin Silver Mine comprising approximately 7,841 hectares of mineral rights and approximately 1,300 hectares of surface land rights located in Jalisco. It also holds interests in Del Toro Silver Mine consisting of 393 contiguous hectares of mining claims and an additional 129 hectares of surface rights located in Zacatecas; Real de Catorce Silver Project comprising 22 mining concessions covering 6,327 hectares located in San Luis Potosi state; and Jalisco Group of Properties consisting of mining claims totalling 5,240 hectares located in Jalisco. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
- [By Monica Gerson]
First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG) is estimated to post its Q1 earnings at $0.10 per share on revenue of $63.35 million.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE: RDY) is expected to report its Q4 earnings at $0.52 per share.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Fossil Group (NASDAQ: FOSL), CST Brands (NYSE: CST), First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG) Economic Releases Expected: US retail sales, US redbook, German ZEW economic sentiment, Chinese retail sales, Chinese industrial production
- [By Doug Ehrman]
While many precious-metals companies have been in a slump of late, there is one that belongs perpetually in your portfolio: Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) . The company is not like other miners — including Pan American Silver (NASDAQ: PAAS ) and First Majestic (NYSE: AG ) — in that it has a unique business plan that insulates it against many of the vagaries of the mining business. Moreover, because silver will always have a significant industrial demand component, even with the heightened volatility you see in the silver market, maintaining exposure to silver is appropriate.
- [By Doug Ehrman]
Despite the weakness seen in precious metals a few weeks ago, silver has been relatively stable ever since mid-April, with the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV ) trading in a dollar-wide range ever since. With the presidents of the Chicago and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banksÂ releasing conflicting statements, turmoil may be just around the corner. Miners like Pan American (NASDAQ: PAAS ) and First Majestic (NYSE: AG ) are still facing operating challenges, while silver streaming darling Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) struggles as well.