Monthly Archives: October 2011

Limited Brands Inc. Has Expanding Potential

Limited Brands Inc (LTD) retails women’s apparel, personal care and beauty products, and accessories in Canada and the U.S. It has seven brands including Victoria’s Secret, Henry Bendel, Pink, The White Barn Candle Company, La Senza, C.O. Bigelow and Bath & Body Works.  Limited Brands markets its goods through specialty retail stores, catalogues and websites. In the U.S. the company has 2626 specialty retail stores and internationally there are about 800 stores and franchises. This retail store has been doing well in spite of  and perhaps because of this down market. The company is continuing to expand both in North America and also abroad.

The company has been improving net income over the last three years. For the year ending January 31, 2009 net income was $220 million, For the year ending January 31, 2010 net income was $448 million, and for the year ending on January 31, 2011 the net income was up to $805 million. The income has been almost doubling each year. Return on Assets is 12.09% and Return on Equity is 67.46%.

Some of the manager at Limited Brands are Stuart Burgdoerfer, Bridget Ryan-Berman, Sharen Jester Turney, Jane L. Ramsey, Diane L. Neal, Martyn R. Redgrave, and Leslie H. Wexner.

Disclaimer: the information in this article is for general interest. All investment decisions should be based on a thorough examination of the specific investment.

Watch Acme United Corp

Acme United Corp. (ACU) develops measuring, cutting and safety products and sells them in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. Acme sells to the home, school, office, industrial and hardware markets. Acme’s cutting products include several types of knives, garden cutting tools, medical cutting instruments, etc. The measuring products include rulers, tape measures, compasses, math kits, etc. Acme also markets safety equipment including first aid kits, emergency care kits, medical refills for OTC drugs and flu treatment kits.

The company had its best quarter of the last 4 quarters  in June with net profits of $1,734,000. The company is currently selling for $9.40 with a 50-day simple moving average of $9.69 and a 50-day exponential moving average of $9.56. The stock is basically moving sideways. It does give a dividend of $0.07 per share which is 0.74 percent. I would recommend watching this stock and waiting until it starts to move upwards. Basically, I believe that the company is sound and fairly priced. When the stock starts to move upwards, that will be the time to buy. I believe that an upwards  market shift will be enough to get the stock moving upwards.

The main managers are: Paul G. Driscoll; Brian S. Olschan; and Walter C. Johnsen.

Disclaimer: All material in this article is general information which is insufficient for an investment decision. All investment decisions should be based on a thorough analysis of the investment.

McKesson Corporation Is Profitable In Health Care

McKesson Corporation (MCK) offers a wide range of services to the health market. They have a Distribution Solutions segment which distributes drugs, medical equipment, supplies and provides outsourcing and consultancy services to Medical organizations throughout North America.  McKesson also has a Technical Solutions segment which provides software solutions to many types of health providers in North America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and Israel. The company was founded in 1833, so it also has a wealth of experience. This is a fortune 500 company and is the 15th largest corporation in the U.S.

The stock closed at $81.70 yesterday which is above both the 200-day moving average (79.63) and the 50-day moving average (74.40). The stock dipped down to $69.35 on October 4 due to the stock market drop but has climbed back to $81.70. Its 52 week trading range was from 63.32 to 87.32. In the financial year which closed on March 31, 2011, the company had net income of $1.202 billion. The companies trailing P/E is 17.79 and the forward P/E for year end March 31, 2013 is 11.63. In other words, the company itseself looks healthy and its stock is also ok in this down market.

Among the managers are Randall N. Spratt and Laureen E Seager.

Disclaimer: the information in these articles is general background information. All investment decisions should be made only after a thorough analysis of the investment.

Microsoft Is A Good Investment?

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) could be a good investment for investors who like to sleep at night. Microsoft has a sideways oriented graph. For the last year it has flowed up and down 5 times with a maximum variation between $24 and $29. The last three ups and downs are getting shorter and are down to a $3 variation.

But why would anyone want a stock that just goes up and down without it seriously going up? Well one answer is the dividend. It has been paying 16% which is pretty good compared to treasury bonds. A second answer is that the company earns very well. The third answer is that Microsoft is a leader in a field that supports technological advance and that’s what business is willing to pay for.

Maria M. Klawe is on the Board of Directors

Disclaimer: All information in this article is for intended for study. All investment decisions should be based on a thorough analysis of the investment.

Marriot Hotels Report Strong Third Quarter

Marriott International, Inc. (MAR), a leader in the hotel industry, just reported having a good third quarter. Revenue grew almost 11% and revenue per available room grew about 7%. In addition room occupancy trends were up 2% in spite of price increases. Adjusted Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9% in the third quarter.

Marriott is the second largest hotel operator in the United States and also has many branches overseas. In addition, Marriott has huge expansion opportunities in China.

The stock is selling at $30.96 under its 200-day moving average of $32.45 due to the market drip that occurred this summer. However, Marriott is selling above its 50-day moving average which is 28.36.

Some of the leading managers of Marriott are : Carl T. Berquist; Arne M. Sorenson; Laura E. Paugh; and Jimmie Walton Paschall.

If Marriot can maintain the growth that it showed in the third quarter, it could be a very good investment. However, the hotel business is dependent of business travel and personal travel which could well slow down due to the depressed business climate. If Marriot cannot maintain its good revenue flows then the investment will not be so good.  Since Marriot is one of the biggest chains and is well managed the company should do well in the long run. However the short run may be very rocky.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. Investment purchases should only be made  after thorough analysis of the particular investment.

Kodiak Oil And Gas Is Moving

Kodiak Oil and Gas Corp. (KOG) is an oil and natural gas company operating in the United States. In September the company announced that it will  buy a leasehold of potential oil mining area in the Bakken (located in North Dakota, US). The company also has operations in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Kodiak will pay 235 million dollars for this leasehold which should add to the company’s profitability.

The stock has been going up since 2009 but in the last 2 months has dropped buy 15% (one point) with the market. The stock is trading at 6.32 which is over the 50-day moving average of 6.13 and just under the 200-day moving average of 6.38. Market capitalization is 1.32 billion dollars and the trailing P/E foe the last 12 months is 351.11. Management stated that second quarter sales figures were up 261% to $22.1 million. According to management, expenses rose due to the hiring of new employees to expand production. The management said that 5 wells have been finished during the last 2 months. Kog is increasing production and should be going up and taking profits with it.

As with all stock purchases full investment analysis should be conducted before purchasing.

Intel Has A Bright Future

Intel Corporation is the famous international microprocessor producer that also produces many other computer and communication device parts. It was founded in 1968 and after 42 years is still growing. In fact, its earnings have increased 5.9 % over the past five years and its dividends have increased by 13.5% during the last five years.Its dividend is presently 3.6% and the P/E is 10.6.

On Tuesday, October 18, Intel will report its third quarter operating results. Analysts predict that the results may be better than expected. On Friday, the stock closed at $23.49 which is a low price for a company that has such a good demand for its products, and also gives a dividend. The 50 day moving average for Intel is 21.04 and the 200 day moving average is 21.48 and today’s price is above both of those figures.

Intel is a good cash generating business and has large potential profits due the field that it is in. Computer parts and development is definitely a field with will continue to be much needed in the future.

Babak Sabi and Cary I. Klafter are up and coming executives in Intel.

Intel could be a good purchase for one’s long term portfolio. As with all stocks this should be checked thoroughly before purchasing and afterwards should be carefully monitored.

Defensive Stocks For Uncertain Times

In today’s volatile and often downwards market, investors are looking for stocks that are defensive, that will hold their own at the beginning of a down market until they can be sold off. However, if the market goes up these stocks will also go up. David Hefty, CEO of Hefty Wealth Partners, commented on the Yahoo Finance Breakout program, that certain health sector stocks are defensive acquisitions in volatile markets.  He mentioned Celgene Corporation (CELG) which is a drug company that mainly develops and produces cancer drugs.

Over the last two years the stock has fluctuated between fifty and sixty five and it is currently selling at $66 per share. It is presently outdoing the S&P 500. It is partnering with Agios in developing a new type of drug to starve cancer cells to death. This may be a very important development. The larger drug companies such as are also trying to develop this type of drug.

Some of the management team are: Jacqualyn A. Fouse, Senior V.P. and CFO; and Perry Karsen, COO.

As with all investments, purchasers should perform due dilligence, checking the stock thoroughly before buying and thereafter monitoring it daily.

Prosperous Banks Are Rare Gems

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A (BLX) supplies international trade financing to companies and commercial banks in Latin America. The bank operates in a conservative way which is good for the company’s stability. As Forbes Magazine reported, “From a risk perspective, BLX is a very conservatively financed bank, with a Tier One ratio in excess of 19%. So unlike the banks that are facing troubles in the U.S. and in Europe, BLX is a conservative bank that looks poised to grow and it’s trading at a very attractive valuation.”

The bank’s Commercial division’s services include loans and contingencies, primarily loans related to individually specified international trade transactions. It offers letters of credit and guarantees for credit commitments, commercial and country risks, equity investments, and reimbursements. This division also offers solutions and services involved in international trade.

The bank’s treasury division provides financial management to companies and also investment securities services.

Some of the bank’s managerial staff are: Anna Seghini, Eucadis de Molina, Nitza Maiolina, and Ludmilla Courteau.

We all know that the finance industry is in bad straights, due partially to many risky loans and partially to the world economic situation.  The stocks of most financial companies are going down and are no longer the great investments that they once were. Well, Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A (BLX) is a stock that is holding its own in today’s declining market. Ok, it’s only holding its own but that shows that the company is well run since most bank stocks are declining. It also pays a dividend of 5.1%. This stock might be worthwhile to buy for the dividend. As the company grows and the market turns around the stock price will also rise.

As with all stocks that Benchmark Journal writes about, these stocks should be examined by a financial expert. Also, Latin America has its own, region specific risks that should be taken into account.

Alcoa Inc., Put It On Your Wish List

Alcoa Inc. (AA) will be reporting third quarter results on Tuesday night. Analysts have reduced estimates from 37 cents per share (July) to 23 cents per share. According to John Stephenson of First Asset Management Inc. in Canada, “It’s hard to be bullish on a company that provides a product that’s so linked to the broad global industrial economy.” That sums it up. Since aluminum and metals in general are used in production, if the economy declines, demand for finished goods, production and raw materials all decrease in response. The price of aluminum is down by 15% over the last few months. In addition, mining expenses have generally been going up over the last year. This is one of the reasons that profit estimates have dropped from 37 cents to 23 cents over the last quarter. However, the economic decline notwithstanding, it is estimated that this quarters’ earnings will more than double over last year’s earnings of 9 cents per share.

Two up and coming managers at Alcoa are: William F. Oplinger, Chief Financial Officer, Global Primary Products; and Matthias Obermeyer, V.P. of the Alcoa Program Office.

Also, the stock price has been going down over the last six months. Alcoa is a good company but we just have to wait until the economy turns around and then buy low and sell high. In the meantime, put it on your wish list.