Chinese online financial data and information provider China Finance Online (Nasdaq:JRJC) isn’t widely followed on Wall Street, with only a couple of analysts actively providing sales and profit projections. This under following could spell opportunity as cash flow multiples minuscule when subtracting out reported excess cash on the balance sheet. The business also has compelling growth prospects as the firm aims to become the Chinese equivalent of Bloomberg to investing institutions and the Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO) Finance portal for consumers.
Consumer goods firm J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) reported second-quarter results Friday that demonstrated its aggressive move to acquire Folgers Coffee Co., which occurred just over one year ago, has been a resounding success. Growth going forward will be more of an uphill battle, but at the current share price there could be some further upside for investors. (Learn to pick out your investments on your next trip to the mall in our related article, Analyzing Retail Stocks.)
Posted: Nov 18, 2009 11:06 AM by Ryan C. Fuhrmann
Back when the economy was humming along and consumers spent freely, big-box retailer Target (NYSE:TGT) was commended for a focus on affordable fashion in apparel and housewares. In recent times, this focus has turned from blessing to curse, and although industry conditions are improving, Target’s arch rival still looks better positioned from an investment standpoint.
Specialty department store retailer Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) reported third-quarter results last week that exceeded the company’s “internal plans and reflected continued improvement in our sales trends.” The company isn’t out of the woods yet as the consumer-spending climate remains chilled, but company and rival results indicate that tangible signs of a sales and profit recovery are starting to occur.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: Nov 16, 2009 10:34 AM by Ryan C. Fuhrmann
Third-quarter results from low-cost big box retailer Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) demonstrated that it continues to benefit from tepid consumer spending trends. A fanatical focus on expense controls is also working out well for customers and shareholders alike.
Posted: Nov 16, 2009 10:03 AM by Ryan C. Fuhrmann
Human resource outsourcing service firm Hewitt Associates (NYSE:HEW) reported Tuesday that top-line trends in its businesses remain difficult. Until the sales picture improves, the company remains focused on cost controls. Similarly, its end clients remain cost conscious and should increasingly turn to outsourcing key human resource functions to companies like Hewitt.
Slot machine market leader International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) indicated that it is seeing an “uptick” in gaming industry trends, but that is a far cry from just a couple of years ago. It will be some time before the industry sees another heyday, though IGT’s stock valuation indicates a quicker recovery.
Agricultural chemical firm Agrium (NYSE:AGU) currently has its hands full, as it is trying to acquire an arch rival at the same time its business suffers from challenging industry conditions. The market will inevitably improve, but it won’t matter for shareholders if management overbids in its attempt to consolidate the market.
AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) serves a vital role in the drug industry, as the middleman between drug manufacturers such as Merck (NYSE:MRK) and pharmacies, hospitals, and physician groups where consumers obtain their drugs. Its business operates on razor-thin margins, but is actually much more lucrative than it seems.
In many aspects of life, be it pursuing a career or training to become an athlete, an individual can learn the secrets to success by studying up on an authority in the field. Investing is no exception. So let’s take a look at Anthony Bolton, who ran the value-based Fidelity Special Situations Fund for nearly three decades. His success has led him to become one of the best known investors in the United Kingdom and he draws frequent comparisons to Peter Lynch, a Fidelity colleague of Bolton’s from across the pond. (To learn about Peter Lynch, see our series on The Greatest Investors.)
Consumer goods and cleaning products firm Clorox (NYSE:CLX) reported first-quarter results on Monday that confirmed it is feeling few ill effects from the current global slowdown. Sales growth has been far from outstanding, but a reasonable valuation and ample capital generation are key reasons to take a close look at this stock. Read the rest of this entry »