Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now

Taser International (TASR) has been on a tear–and JPMorgan says it’s now time to take profits on the maker of stun guns and other products.

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As I noted yesterday, Taser’s been on quite a roll–the stock has gained more than 30% during the past month of trading. At that’s reason enough for JPMorgan’s Paul Coster, Mark Strouse and Paul Chung to cut its shares to Neutral from Overweight. They write:

We are downgrading TASR to Neutral based on valuation. The stock has increased 36% in the past two weeks (SP500 down 3.7%), is up over 30% YTD, and is trading very close to our December 2014 price target of $12.00. While we remain constructive regarding TASR’s fundamentals owing to the ECD upgrade cycle and adoption of the Evidence.com video solution, we believe risk/reward is now balanced and we look for pullbacks to potentially add to positions.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Sony Corp Ord(SNE)

Sony Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. The company offers consumer products and devices, including televisions, video cameras, compact digital cameras and interchangeable single-lens cameras, Blu-ray Disc players/recorders, DVD-video players/recorders, home theaters and audio systems, and portable audio and car audio products. It also provides charged coupled devices, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor image sensors, system LSIs, small- and medium-sized LCD panels, and other semiconductors; and components, such as batteries, optical disk drives, chemical products, audio/video/data recording media, storage media, and optical pickups. In addition, the company develops, produces, markets, and distributes games, such as PlayStation3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2 hardware and related software; and PCs and flash memory digital audio pl ayers, as well as manufactures broadcast- and professional-use products, Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CD discs. Further, it produces and distributes motion pictures and television programs, and home entertainment; creates and distributes digital content; operates television networks and studio facilities; and develops entertainment products, services, and technologies. Additionally, the company engages in the music publishing business, as well as provision of various financial services, including insurance, savings products, loans, and credit financing services; and a network service business and an advertising agency business. It also involves in research, development, design, production, marketing, sales, distribution, and servicing mobile phones, accessories, services, and applications. The company was formerly known as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha and changed its name to Sony Corporation in 1958. Sony Corporation was founded in 1946 and is based in Tokyo, Japan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By mitu77] jor competition to Sony to acquire market share for many products that are manufactured by both the companies. The company has also launched its latest Smartphone Samsung S5 on 27-Mar-2015 in Indian market, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. The price of this phone is targeted to be around $850 will be an important factor to compete against Sony Xperia Z2 which is expected to be on a lower price range with almost same features.

    Samsung had posted revenue of $54.95 billion, but the operating profit of $7.7 billion was down by 18% from the previous quarter. This decline in profit is for the first time in last two years. Samsungs’s major revenue is from its mobile division which again there was a decline in profit.

    Conclusion

    Sony is placed well in this market through its product innovations, launch and acquisitions. The company is also trading at an inexpensive trailing P/E multiple and analysts are expecting solid growth going forward. Hence, Sony looks like a good investment if you prefer to go for long.

    Currently 0.00/512345

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes)

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  • [By Bloomberg Businessweek]

    Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesGamers wear high-definition virtual reality headsets, manufactured by Oculus VR, at an expo in London. Facebook (FB) has announced one of the most peculiar acquisitions in its 10-year history. It has agreed to buy virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR for $2 billion in cash and stock. “There are not that many companies building technologies that can be the next major computer platform,” said Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in a conference call with investors. “We are making a long-term bet that immersive virtual reality will be a part of people’s lives.” I recently wrote about Oculus, which is developing the Rift virtual reality system for PCs. It’s racing against Sony (SNE), which also has its own prototype VR technology, called Project Morpheus, for the PlayStation 4. The Rift, which looks like a thick pair of darkened goggles, lets gamers immerse themselves in a rich, computer-generated 3D world. It’s not yet for sale in stores, but the company just unveiled a kit for developers, which sells for $350. The startup, based in Irvine, Calif., was founded by the excellently named 21-year-old Palmer Lucky. It has one of the most famous game developers in the world as its chief technology officer — John Carmack, the maker of iconic shoot-’em-ups Doom and Quake. So imagine chatting with your Facebook friends not just via instant messages or VoIP calls, but by settling into a virtual cafe with them for an imaginary cup of coffee. Or visiting a doctor halfway across the world and explaining your symptoms in a virtual examination room. Remember Second Life? Like that, but with electronic headwear. For now, the Rift is aimed at gamers. But Zuckerberg seems to be paying more attention to the Rift’s other potential uses. He writes:

    After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers a

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) seems to have a lot to be thankful for, outside of a declining PC market. The company’s leadership in graphics was made evident when its CPUs were selected by both Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) for the Xbox One video game console refresh cycles last year. This dual adoption by both gaming systems is likely to act as the key stabilizing force for the next year or two while AMD goes after its other growth and recovery initiatives. Now AMD has a new potential boost — a price cut in the Xbox One.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Bank of America Corporation(BAC)

Bank of America Corporation, a financial holding company, provides banking and nonbanking financial services and products to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company?s Deposits segment generates savings accounts, money market savings accounts, certificate of deposits, and checking accounts; and Global Card Services segment provides the U.S. consumer and business card, consumer lending, international card and debit card services. Its Home Loans & Insurance segment offers consumer real estate products and services, including mortgage loans, reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and home equity loans. It also provides property, disability, and credit insurance. The company?s Global Commercial Banking segment offers lending products, including commercial loans and commitment facilities, real estate lending, leasing, trade finance, short-term credit, asset-based lending, and indirect consumer loans; and capital management and treasury solutions, such as treasury management, foreign exchange, and short-term investing options. Its Global Banking & Markets segment provides financial products, advisory services, settlement, and custody services; debt and equity underwriting and distribution, merger-related advisory services, and risk management products; and integrated working capital management and treasury solutions. The company?s Global Wealth & Investment Management segment offers investment and brokerage services, estate management, financial planning services, fiduciary management, credit and banking expertise, and asset management products. Bank of America Corporation serves customers through a network of approximately 5,900 banking centers and 18,000 automated teller machines. It was formerly known as NationsBank Corporation and changed its name on October 1, 1998. Bank of America Corporation was founded in 1874 and is based in Charlott e, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Leading the way over the past two weeks was Bank of America (BAC), which continued its resurgence from the credit crisis by announcing a dividend hike.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    The feeling was that maybe the bank that would be most at risk for this was Bank of America (BAC), they didn’t pass the first test with a whole lot of margin, but it turns out that the real surprise in this whole list was Citigroup (C). Citigroup, which had done relatively well on the first stage, actually got turned down. The Fed said, “No you can’t do the capital plan that you wanted to do”—that Citigroup was talking about spending about $6.4 billion buying back stock and raising its dividend from a penny a quarter to five cents a quarter, and investors were looking forward to that, and the Fed said no.

  • [By Chris Dieterich]

    Bank of America(BAC) Merrill Lynch is pointing the finger at exchange-traded funds for the big selloff in biotech stocks.

    Biotech stocks were, and still are, some of the market’s best-performing stocks over the past year. But waves of selling in recent weeks hit these stocks hard, with big price swings in heavily traded ETFs including the $4.9 billion iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF(IBB) (IBB). In March, the ETF has dropped 11%, despite a 2.5% advance today.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Merchants Corporation(FRME)

First Merchants Corporation, a financial holding company, provides financial and banking products and services. Its deposit products include demand deposits, savings deposits, and certificates and other time deposits. The company?s loan products portfolio comprises commercial and industrial loans; agricultural production financing and other loans to farmers; real estate loans, including construction, commercial and farmland, and residential loans; individuals? loans for household and other personal expenditures; tax-exempt loans; lease financing; consumer loans; and other loans. It also rents safe deposit facilities; and provides personal and corporate trust services, brokerage services, and other corporate services, as well as letters of credit and repurchase agreements. The company operates through 79 banking locations in 23 Indiana and 2 Ohio counties, as well as through ATMs, check cards, interactive voice response systems, and Internet technology. In addition, First M erchants Corporation operates as a property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefit insurance agency; and involves in life reinsurance business. The company was founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    We are starting to see bank merger activity accelerate as banks like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and  First Merchants (FRME) looking to expand and growth their asset base in the aftermath of the credit crisis. Banks with below-average capital and returns could quickly become buyout targets.

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    The year ahead should be a great one for the smaller bank stocks. Larger regionals like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and Capital Ban Financial (CBF) have made it clear they intend to grow by acquisition in the years ahead. Banks like First Merit (FMER) and First Merchants (FRME) have done deals in the past year and are open to doing more to increase their market share and footprints. This should be the year the floodgates open and we see the first wave of merger activity in small banks.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Winmark Corporation(WINA)

Winmark Corporation operates as a franchisor of four retail store concepts that buy, sell, trade, and consign merchandise. The company franchises retail stores under the ?Plato?s Closet? name that sell and buy used clothing and accessories geared toward the teenage and young adult market; and under the ?Play It Again Sports? name, which sell, buy, trade, and consign used and new sporting goods, equipment, and accessories for various athletic activities, including hockey, wheeled sports, fitness, ski/snowboard, golf, and baseball/softball. It engages in franchising ?Once Upon A Child? branded retail stores that sell and buy used and new children?s clothing, toys, furniture, equipment, and accessories; and ?Music Go Round? branded retail stores that sell, buy, trade, and consign used and new musical instruments, speakers, amplifiers, music-related electronics, and related accessories for parents of children who play musical instruments, as well as for professional and amateu r musicians. In addition, the company operates a middle-market equipment leasing business focusing on technology-based assets to serve large and medium-sized businesses; and a small-ticket financing business to serve small businesses. Further, it offers management services to Tomsten, Inc. As of September 24, 2011, the company had 923 franchises in operation. Winmark Corporation was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Lewis]

    One of my favorite businesses, Winmark (NASDAQ: WINA  ) , reported earnings this week. Earnings boosted 14% compared to the prior year’s first quarter. Though the company continues to franchise its range of secondhand stores, the most compelling growth comes from the leasing division, which saw revenues jump by 30%. The company is underfollowed yet has been paying attractive special dividends while giving investors two-year capital appreciation of roughly 50%. As the company moves forward and pushes its leasing business to new heights, should you get in now?

  • [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 Winmark (Nasdaq: WINA  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV)

Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (the Fund) seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Health Care Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index (the Index). The Index includes companies whose primary business may include healthcare equipment and supplies, healthcare services, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing investment approach and attempts to invest in a portfolio of stocks that seek to replicate the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Aspray]

    If you are willing to spend the time and do the work, I think you can become your own investment analyst. These more active investors should consider a core position in an S&P-500-tracking ETF and then allocate to other industry-specific ETFs. So far in 2014, the Select Sector SPDR Utilities (XLU) is up 8.8% for the year. Not too far behind is the Select Sector SPDR Health Care (XLV), which is up 7.8%.

  • [By David Fabian]

    The most widely held ETF in this sector is the SPDR Healthcare Select Sector (XLV), which contains 56 large-cap companies primarily engaged in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical provider fields.

  • [By Daniel Putnam]

    First, the good news. The Health Care SPDR (XLV) is flat in 2014 (a total return of -0.07%, to be exact) compared with a return of -5.4% for the S&P 500. This places healthcare second only to utilities — up 1.6% based on the Utilities SPDR (XLU) — in terms of year-to-date performance among the 10 major sectors. This comes on the heels of a year in which healthcare stocks outpaced the S&P 500 by more than 9 percentage points.

  • [By Howard Gold]

    Health care stocks, which underperformed for almost a decade, have outpaced the overall market for more than two years. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) has gained 86% from August 10, 2011 through Tuesday, November 12, 2013. It beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SPX) by nearly 30 percentage points and trailed only soaring consumer cyclicals during that time.

Top Railroad Stocks To Watch Right Now: ConocoPhillips(COP)

ConocoPhillips operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. The company?s Exploration and Production (E&P) segment explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its Midstream segment gathers, processes, and markets natural gas; and fractionates and markets natural gas liquids in the United States and Trinidad. The company?s Refining and Marketing (R&M) segment purchases, refines, markets, and transports crude oil and petroleum products, such as gasolines, distillates, and aviation fuels. Its Chemicals segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics. This segment offers olefins and polyolefins, including ethylene, propylene, and other olefin products; aromatics products, such as benzene, styrene, paraxylene, and cyclohexane, as well as polystyrene and styrene-butadiene copolymers; and various specialty chemical products comprising organosulfur chemicals, solvents, catalyst s, drilling chemicals, mining chemicals, and engineering plastics and compounds. The company?s Emerging Businesses segment develops new technologies and businesses. It focuses on power generation; and technologies related to conventional and nonconventional hydrocarbon recovery, refining, alternative energy, biofuels, and the environment. This segment also offers E-Gas, a gasification technology producing high-value synthetic gas. ConocoPhillips was founded in 1917 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Annalisa Kraft-Linder]

    Nati Harnik/AP Warren Buffett, chairman of the board of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), is surprisingly open about his mistakes, chronicling them for all to read — and learn from — in his annual shareholder letters. The Cigar Stubs The textile mill that gave Berkshire Hathaway its name turned out to be an albatross for more than two decades as Buffett dithered over shutting it down. Located in Massachusetts, far from the new textile and cotton hubs down South, it was a money-loser from the start. He has since admitted his stubborn attachment to it probably cost Berkshire $200 billion in lost opportunity costs to invest in better companies. Back then, Buffett was more a proponent of the “cigar stub” theory of investing — buying a downtrodden company or stock and smoking out the last few puffs of profit. Another iteration of this thesis gone wrong was his purchase of Blue Chip Stamp Co. in the late ’60s. It was a lesser rival of the Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps Co. Both involved an early form of loyalty program in which shoppers collected stamps that could be redeemed for merchandise. “When I was told that even certain brothels and mortuaries gave stamps to their patrons, I felt I had finally found a sure thing,” Buffett said in his 2006 shareholder letter. However, Blue Chip revenues declined by more than 80 percent from 1970 to 1980 and by almost 99 percent by 1990 as credit-card loyalty programs and increasing affluence made shoppers reluctant to waste time pasting stamps in books. What Buffett learned became a new leg of his investing stool: to only buy businesses for their demonstrated profitability. The Economic Moat Buffett coined the term “economic moat” to describe the competitive and hopefully monopolistic advantages that will help a company thrive. He has long said he regrets buying Dexter Shoes in 1993, purchasing it with Berkshire Hathaway stock then worth $433 million for an estimated loss of $3.5 billion. He admits now it didn’t have t

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is a name that draws a solid rating at Baird. The company has spent the past five years divesting assets, and although it is cash rich, but the company has dampened earnings and growth expectations. Continued strong pricing could bode well for the company. Investors are paid a very nice 4.1% dividend. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $75.83. Conoco closed Thursday at $67.90.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number CINF is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 36.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $34.96. CINF did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% CINF earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1954 and has increased its dividend payments for 54 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $62 is below the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as CINF has. If CINF grows its dividend at 1.2% per year, it will take 5 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: CINF is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Divid