Saturday, January 29, 2011

The History of Ford: The Company that Didn't Take Taxpayer Bailouts

An interesting history of the original Ford (F) automobile. I found the last part of the video most interesting, the Model T driving through snow, sand, and water. Remember, this was the company that didn't take taxpayer bailouts, unlike General Motors (GM) and Chrysler.


Disclosure: I own Ford stock and I drive a Ford.

Egypt Stocks: A Contrarian Play?


It is hard to miss the news about the anti-government protests in Egypt. Looters are roaming neighborhoods in Cairo and the death toll from the demonstrations is now above 100. The military has even blocked tourists from seeing the pyramids. Now the Obama administration has threatened to cut foreign aid to the country because of the crackdown on protesters.

So the big question is, is there a contrarian turn-around play here? The Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (EGPT) is down over 20% during the last twelve months. Investing in this ETF is probably the simplest way to invest in Egyptian companies. The stocks in its portfolio contain many of the following.

Commercial International Bank (CIBEY.PK) is a bank holding company in Egypt with over 70 branches. The stock trades at 14.2 times earnings and six times sales. Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were up 52% on a 38% increase in revenues.

EFG Hermes GDR (EFGZF.PK) is in the business of investment banking, private equity, asset management and investment brokerage, and the manage two funds, the Jordan Hi-Tech Venture Fund Limited, which invests in the information technology sector in Jordan, and the Middle East Technology Fund. This $1.9 billion market cap fund trades at 5.2 times sales.

Orascom Construction GDR (ORSDF.PK) is in the business of manufacturing and marketing building materials, and in construction contracting, operating in 20 countries. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 18 and a price sales ratio of 1.7. Earnings for the latest quarter were up over 22%.

Orascom Telecom SAE (ORSTF.PK) is an international mobile communications operating in Algeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The stock has a PE ratio of 3.9 and a PS ratio of 0.77.

If you like international stocks, you should check out the free downloadable Excel stock lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, which includes such countries as France, Brazil, Canada, Japan, India, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


By Stockerblog.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

Top Lithium Battery Plays

Lithium is used in more than 60% of mobile phones. It is also the leading treatment for bipolar disorders due to the counteraction of both depression and mania. As a matter if fact, in areas where the water contained large amounts of lithium, there were significantly lower suicide rates. Lithium also has a lot of other uses including rocket propellants, red fireworks, and high temperature grease.

WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has just updated its list of over 20 stocks involved in the lithium industry, from the mining companies to the producers of lithium ion batteries. The stocks range from microcaps to large corporations that pay dividends.

As an example, FMC Corp. (FMC) has a division based in Argentina called FMC Lithium, which owns the Salar de Hombre Muerto mine, containing 850,000 tons of reserves at up to 70 meters of depth. FMC trades at 13.5 times forward earnings, and pays a small yield of 0.7%.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM), also known as Chemical & Mining Co. of Chile Inc., is the largest lithium producer in the world. This New York Stock Exchange traded company, which has a market cap of almost $13.9 billion, has a forward price to earnings ratio of 27 and a yield of 1.0%.

Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (ABAT) is one of the few battery manufacturers generating a profit. The company, which makes rechargeable polymer lithium-ion batteries, has a PE of 6.5.

Another alternative is to invest in the new Exchange Traded Fund called Global X Lithium ETF (LIT), which is designed to track the Solactive Global Lithium Index. This ETF is up 23.5% for the last three months.

To see a list of over 20 lithium companies which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WSNN.com.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Google Searchers Think About the Stock Market and Wall Street

When you type in a search in Google (GOOG), a drop down menu with a list of the most commonly searched terms with your keywords appears.

Here is what searchers now think about the stock market:


Here is what searchers are now thinking about Wall Street:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

High Yield Utilities that can Benefit from Lower Fossil Fuel Prices


According to the U. S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels supply about 70 percent of the country's requirements for electricity generation. Currently the dominant fossil fuels used by the industry are coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Many investors feel that the price of oil has peaked for now and is in a downtrend. Some analysts believe that due to the glut of natural gas and the recent major gas finds, that the price of gas will remain low for a while. The price of coal is much lower than it was in 2008. If this trend continues, investors could benefit from investing in utility stocks that use oil, gas, and/or coal as a major fuel source of electrical generation, since the cost savings for these companies should pass through to the bottom line. According to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are around 30 electric utilities with yields above 4%. Many of these companies use fossil fuels as a significant source of fuel to generate electricity.

For example, Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (PNW) has one of the heaviest exposures, with approximately 31% of its electric energy coming from natural gas and oil. About 38% comes from coal and 27% from nuclear. This Phoenix, Arizona based electric utility trades at 14 times earnings and provides a generous yield of 5%. Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were up 25%. The company reports its latest earnings February 18.

OGE Energy Corp. (OGE) has 38% of its energy coming from natural gas, with 60% from coal. The company serves the south central United States. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 15 and a yield of 3.3%. Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were up 19%. The company reports its latest earnings February 17.

Westar Energy Inc. (WR) generates about 7% of its energy from natural gas, with 78% from coal and 14% from nuclear. This utility, which serves Kansas, has a PE of 13.8 and a yield of 4.8%.

If you like utility stocks, you can find a free Excel database of utility stocks, which you can download, update and sort, at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Dreaded Stairs

This short video has nothing to do with the stock market or investments. But you should enjoy it if you like music and you like exercise.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of February


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets. In flat or choppy markets, you have to be extremely careful.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Central Vermont Public Service Corp (CV) market cap: $284.5M ex div date: 2/2/2011 yield: 4.3%

Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. (HCBK) market cap: $5.8B ex div date: 2/2/2011 yield: 5.3%

Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NRF) market cap: $373.5M ex div date: 2/2/2011 yield: 8.3%

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) market cap: $12.0B ex div date: 2/3/2011 yield: 5.6%

IDACORP, Inc. (IDA) market cap: $1.9B ex div date: 2/3/2011 yield: 3.2%

Intel Corporation (INTC) market cap: $118.5B ex div date: 2/3/2011 yield: 3.5%

The Southern Company (SO) market cap: $32.2B ex div date: 2/3/2011 yield: 4.8%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com.

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Record date: the day when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Less than $5 a Share with Dividends

Low priced stocks that pay dividends have a few advantages. The lower share price allows for greater diversification. The dividends provide the investor with quicker return or capital and can reduce volatility. You may not be aware of them but there are actually more than half a dozen stocks, including closed end funds, that sell for less than $5 a share and pay a dividend with yields greater than 6%.

WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its list of high yield stocks selling for $5 or less, with yields ranging from 0.4% to 16.5%. Just remember that the yields are based on historical payments, and the dividends can be adjusted, reduced, or terminated at any time. I also believe that extremely high yields may not be sustainable.

Electro-Sensors Inc. (ELSE), which makes and sells industrial production monitoring and process control systems, has a yield of 3.5% and recently traded at 4.64. The company, which trades at 28 times earnings, has been paying quarterly dividends since 1995. Earnings for the latest quarter ending September 30 were down 16.9%. The company reports earnings for the quarter ending December 31 on February 21.

Euroseas Ltd. (ESEA) owns and operates dry bulk ocean transportation carriers that transport iron ore, coal, and grain. The stock yields 6.6% and recently traded at 3.62 per share. Quarterly dividends have been paid since 2006. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 21. Earnings for the latest reported quarter were negative, and the company reports again on February 28.

For the full list of high yield stocks trading for less than $5, which can be downloaded, updated, and sorted, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

My Blackberry Is Not Working! Great Technology Humor

Some great British humor for the weekend, mentioned in a recent Casey Research newsletter. You will hear about Apples (AAPL), Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry, and Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows. By the way, non-techies should know before they watch: Orange is a European cell phone service provider, a dongle is a short wire adapter that connects a computer to an Internet cable, and black spots are wireless dead zones.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fourth Week of January


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets. In flat or choppy markets, you have to be extremely careful.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) market cap: $73.2B ex div date: 1/24/11 yield: 3.9%

The Clorox Company (CLX) market cap: $8.9B ex div date: 1/25/11 yield: 3.5%

Boardwalk REIT (BOWFF) market cap: $1.9B ex div date: 1/27/11 yield: 4.4%

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG) market cap: $9.9B ex div date: 1/27/11 yield: 4.1%

Bank of Montreal (BMO) market cap: $32.0B ex div date: 1/28/11 yield: 4.9%

Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC) market cap: $654.6M ex div date: 1/28/11 yield: 10.7%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com.

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Record date: the day when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Ken Fisher Part 8 - Best Industries and Countries

Ken Fisher is a money manager, and on the list of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans. He is also a Forbes columnist, where he recently recommended several income stocks, such as GOL Intelligent Airlines (GOL), FLSmidth (FLIDY), and Hasbro (HAS). His latest book, Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It-Seeing Through Wall Street's Money-Killing Myths was just published. He is also author of several other books, including The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!) and How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud

Ken Fisher Interview Part 8
Please note: The original interview took place on Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Stockerblog:
What sectors and industries look good to you?

Fisher:
I'm still in the exact same place I've been in for quite a while. We're in a period of where, domestically and globally, the economy will do better than people think it will do, when they don't think it will do well, and therefore in an environment like that, the stock area that will do well are materials, industrials, the more capital intensive parts of technology, consumer durables but not consumer staples, and to a lesser extent, energy.

The parts that do worse tend to be consumer staples, health care, utilities, finance, all the things that aren't economically sensitive.

Another way of saying it is that things that are rising right now are things that are economically sensitive. Because most people think that the economy is not doing so well. For example, something that's perfectly observable that nobody wants to write is that nominal GDP in America is already at an all time high. It's a simple fact, but nobody wants to write that, and if you write it, nobody will believe it. Because the mythology around us in the media is that we're mired in a slump. 'It's a dismal world.'

That's real GDP that's at an all-time high, inflation adjusted GDP isn't quite to its all time highs yet but it will happen in the first quarter. It's not that far away. It's been expanding for 14 months now. When the NBER came out and said 'we're officially saying the recession is over and it ended in the third quarter of last year', the media reacted to that with catcalls.

The fact is, the economy on a global basis, with some places better than average and some places worse than average which is normal, the economy's been expanding globally earlier than that.


Stockerblog:
What countries do you think look good right now?


Fisher:
Overall, the next step is you want to be overweighted in emerging markets, you want to be lightly overweight to America, and you want to be lightly underweight to the English-speaking world and most of Europe. We continue to have a world where people are skeptical of emerging markets, but emerging markets continue to do better than people think they will, with a couple of exceptions, and one of them is China. China continues to do well economically but there is so much interest in China relative to the rest of the emerging markets that the Chinese markets don't do well, because there is too much optimism and expectation about them and excitement. Latin America, Brazil, Chile, obviously not Venezuela, the broad spectrum of Hispanic America, the broad spectrum of the rest of Asia, India, and Eastern Europe. America is slightly over-weighted because America is doing better than people think it is.

End of Part 8

The Debunkery book is available at Amazon.

Ken Fisher obviously doesn't give individual stock recommendations in his interviews, but some stocks he likes that were mentioned in his recent Forbes columns, including high dividend stocks, are available in the form of a free Excel list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Part 1 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 2 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 3 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 4 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 5 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 6 of this interview is available HERE.

Part 7 of this interview is available HERE.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Disclosure: Interviewer doesn't own any of the stocks mentioned in this interview series at the time the articles were written.


Copyright 2010-2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this interview prohibited without permission. All opinions are those of Ken Fisher, and do not represent the opinions of Stockerblog.com or the interviewer. Neither Stockerblog nor the interviewer nor the interviewee are rendering tax, legal, or investment advice in this interview. If you want tax, legal, or investment advice, contact the appropriate professional.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Apple's Steve Jobs On Sick Leave

The co-founder and head of Apple (AAPL) announced that he is taking a medical leave from the company. Tim Cook will run the daily operations, however Jobs will still be CEO.

A couple years ago, Jobs had a liver transplant and before that, he was treated for pancreas cancer. Apple was down 6.4% on the Frankfurt stock exchange today (Monday).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Little Book of Sideways Markets

Vitaliy Katsenelson, author of Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets, has recently come out with a new book, The Little Book of Sideways Markets: How to Make Money in Markets that Go Nowhere. Many investors don't realize that over the last ten years, the stock market has gone up and down but still ended up where it was ten years ago. Katsenelson shows in a simple guide how to invest and make money in this type of market, which he calls a cowardly lion market.

He believes that investors will be waiting a very long time for a traditional bull market. He recommends being a value investor and not being afraid of keeping some investment funds in cash. In order to protect yourself on the downside, he recommends buying stocks that are cheap, based on discounted cash flow. Chapter 12 is important as he covers an often overlooked subject, when to sell. Most important, he covers how to find new stock ideas.

If you are looking for a concise easy read on investing in sideways markets, get The Little Book of Sideways Markets: How to Make Money in Markets that Go Nowhere.

High Yield Master Limited Partnerships

There is a high income producing investment that is an unusual animal, called the Master Limited Partnership and also referred to as an Income Partnership. These investments are not corporations, not exchange traded funds, and not trusts such as real estate investment trusts. They are partnerships with a general partner and many limited partnership units which are traded on a major stock exchange.

Let's first start with the disadvantages. First, you won't get a 1099-DIV form for filing your taxes on the partnership income. You will instead receive a K-1 Form which involves more tax forms to attach to your Form 1040. This means that if you prepare your own taxes, it will take more time. If you have an accountant prepare your taxes, he or she may charge more due to the extra time involved with the K-1 . Also, you shouldn't invest in partnerships through a retirement plan such as an IRA due to Unrelated Business Income Tax issues (your tax preparer can provide you with more details).

Now the advantages. Partnerships can provide high yields which may be partly or completely tax sheltered. They distribute substantially all of their income, thereby avoiding double taxation. Income distributions are fairly high and are paid quarterly.

Most of these partnerships are producers and distributors of oil and gas. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its list of high yield US Master Limited Partnerships, and found over 15 with yields above 5%.

As an example, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (BWP), a natural gas pipeline owner and operator, yields 6.4% and trades at twenty times forward earnings. The company has been making quarterly payouts since 2006.

NuStar Energy L.P. (NS) stores transports, and markets fuels. It has a yield of 6.3%, and has a forward price to earnings ratio of 21. Quarterly distributions have been made since 2001.

Buckeye Partners LP (BPL) is an operator of petroleum product pipelines. The yield is 5.7%, paying distributions since 1994, and the forward PE is 20.

For a free downloadable list of these high yield partnerships with yields as high as 7%, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Top Yielding Japan Stocks

Economists have been saying for the last few years that Japan has been stagnating, and many of those economists believe that the United States is turning into another Japan. But maybe, just maybe, there may be a turn-around in the 'Land of the Rising Sun'. After all, the iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) is up 20.8% since July 1 of last year.

Japan has the third largest economy in the world based on gross domestic product for purchasing power parity and nominal GDP. Three quarters of the GDP comes from the service sector. The countries unemployment rate is 5.1%. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the largest exchange in the world outside of the United States. There are over 15 different Japanese companies that trade on American stock exchanges, according to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

The Tokyo based Canon Inc. (CAJ), the popular manufacturer of copying machines, laser printers, inkjet printers, and cameras, pays a decent 2.3% yield and trades at 19 times forward earnings. The price earnings growth ratio is a very reasonable 0.96. Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were up an astounding 85.6% on a 17.9% rise in revenues. The company reports earnings on January 27.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) is another Japanese dividend payer, yielding 1.1%. This manufacturer of cars, minivans, SUVs, and trucks has a forward price to earnings ratio of 20.7. Earnings for the latest quarter ending September 30 were up an incredible 352%, with sales increasing by 5.8%. Toyota reports February 4.

For a free list of Japan based stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.


By Stockerblog.com

The Bed of Procrustes

Those of you have enjoyed reading Nassim Taleb's books, The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, should enjoy reading his latest book, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms.

The book is a collection of sayings, aphorism, and thoughts that will help stretch your brain. It is an easy read with only 128 pages, great for reading on a train or plane. In case you are wondering who Procrustes is, I'd rather not tell you to avoid ruining the concept of the book for you.

Taleb fans should find The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms an interesting read.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Microsoft Fighting Apple Over App Store Trademark

Back in 2008, Apple (AAPL) submitted a trademark application for 'App Store'. However, Microsoft (MSFT) is now challenging that trademark, claiming that 'App Store' is just a generic term and that all companies should have the right to use that term. It would be like trademarking 'toy store'.

High Yield Stocks of India

Can you guess what the fourth largest economy in the world is by purchasing power parity? Not the United States, not China. It is India, which also happens to be the second fastest growing major economy in the world. If you think tech is their biggest industry, you would be wrong. IT accounts for only about 1% of the total GDP; however, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. It also has the fourth-largest reserves in the world of coal.

There are plenty of India stocks that US investors can buy and dividends are available on more than half a dozen of the Indian stocks that trade in the United States, according to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. For example, Tata Motors Ltd. (TTM), a major automobile manufacturer in India also makes and markets utility vehicles, trucks, buses, and defense vehicles. It produces gasoline, electric and hybrid vehicles. The stock pays a yield of 1.1% and trades at only 7.8 times forward earnings. Quarterly revenues grew 36.8% for the quarter ending September 30. The company also has about $3.45 per share in cash.

Another Indian stock that pays a dividend is ICICI Bank Ltd. (IBN), the second largest bank in India and the largest private sector bank in India based on market capitalization. It currently yields 1.1% and has a forward price to earnings ratio of 16. Quarterly earnings jumped 79% on a revenue gain of 13.5% for the quarter ending March 31.

Wipro Ltd. (WIT) is a semi-conglomerate, which sells software services, computer hardware such as computers, servers, and laptops, and personal care products, and lighting products. It has also invested in renewable energy projects. The stock has a yield of 0.8% and a forward PE of 29. Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were up 9.8%.

To access a free recently updated list of the India stocks that trade in the United States, about half of which pay dividends, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Picture courtesy of David Castor.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I Hate Stocks With Debt: Learn From My Mistake

How many investment blogs write about their mistakes? Now you get to read about one of mine, and hopefully learn from it. If you have read my blog for the last year, you will know that the one trait I look for in stocks is being debt free. As a matter of fact, during the last three months, I have written six articles about stocks that don't carry any debt. Of course, I've written about Apple (AAPL) numerous times, which is a debt free company, but primarily I look for stocks selling for under $10 per share, has a lot of cash per share, hopefully sell at or below book, but most important, it should be debt free. There are also other secondary criteria that I look for.

So here is what happened when I violated one of my rules. In December, I looked for low priced stocks that really tanked due to tax selling. I thought I found an interesting company called Constar International Inc. (CNST), a manufacturer of plastic containers. The stock traded as high as $20 a share back in April and had dropped below $2 a share in December. I thought that was a pretty good drop which I assumed was due to tax selling, possibly making it a great buy. So I looked further into the stock. The company had $1.42 in cash per share, and was trading way below the reported book value of $2.48 per share. But there was one little hitch; the company had debt, a lot of debt for its size. Its debt to equity ratio was stratospheric.

But I thought, I am just buying it for the very short term, the tax selling rebound, so the debt shouldn't mean anything (first mistake). I bought a bunch around $2 a share on December 28. The first week of January, the stock traded between 1.80 and 2.00, and I kept waiting for it to pop (second mistake, if the trade doesn't work in a reasonable number of days, get out). So on January 11, I checked my portfolio and noticed that it was down big time, even though the market was up at the time. I searched down my list of stocks and discovered that Constar had plunged by almost a buck from a previous close of 1.75 to 79 cents. That's a drop of 55% in one day! I scrambled to find the cause of the drop and eventually discovered that the company had filed for bankruptcy.

So in exactly two weeks, I lost around 60% on that one stock, all because I violated my one primary rule, choose stocks with low or no debt. Yes, I'll probably miss out on plenty of rising stocks with lots of debt, but I will have less downside risk, and less of a chance of getting downside shocks from bankruptcies.

The takeaway is, if you have a stock trading system that works, be disciplined and don't waiver from your own rules. In my case, I had plenty of other stocks to choose from. As a matter of fact, WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has several lists of debt free stocks, including Debt Free Stocks Selling At Or Near Cash, High Cash No Debt High Yield Stocks, No Debt High Yield Stocks, No Debt Low Price To Cash Flow Stocks, and Stocks Selling Near Cash Per Share and Debt Free.

Disclosure: Author owns AAPL.


By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Have Your Stocks Pay You Every Month: Over 275 to Choose From

Income investors love the benefits of stocks that pay their dividends monthly, whether they are retired looking for income or active investors parking their profits. According to the Excel list that was just updated by WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are almost 300 different securities that pay monthly, most with very high yields. Technically, these stocks are real estate investment trusts, oil income trusts, closed end bond funds, and closed end income stock funds, which pay dividends every month. The advantages to having monthly dividends versus quarterly or annual dividend stocks are that the invested capital is returned faster, compounding takes place quicker, and there is usually less stock price volatility. Additionally, many of monthly dividend investments pay tax free income. Here are a few that may be worth investigating.

Gas Natural Inc. (EGAS), formerly known as Energy, Inc., is a distributor of natural gas in Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Maine. It was founded in 1909. The stock pays a yield of 5.1% and carries a price to earnings ratio of 7.03.

Baytex Energy (BTE) is an investment trust which generates income from petroleum and natural gas properties. It generates a yield of 5.1%, and has been paying monthly since 2006. The company trades at 23.5 times forward earnings.

Blackrock Apex Municipal Fund Inc. (APX), founded in 1987, owns medium-to-lower grade or unrated municipal bonds, and sports a yield of 6.2%. It sells at a discount to net asset value in excess of 12.7%. Management fees are 0.68%.

Realty Income Corp. (O), with the great single letter stock ticker symbol, yields 5.1%. This real estate investment trust which specializes in commercial retail real estate, has been around since 1969. The stock trades at 16.9 times forward earnings.

Calamos Convertible & High Income (CHY) has a fairly high yield of 8.2%. It trades at about a 1.5% discount to net asset value. However, the management fee is a bit on the high side at 1.13%. This CEF, founded in 2003, invests in high yield fixed income securities and convertible securities.

Provident Energy Trust (PVX) is a Canadian income trust which generates a yield of 8.7% through the marketing of natural gas liquids. It was founded in 1993. Be aware of Canada's new legislation taxing trust income in effect this year, which would tax the trusts at the corporate level in addition to the shareholder level. However, many analysts believe that this taxation is build into the price of these Canadian trusts.

Some things to keep in mind when you are doing your due diligence and analysis on these investments. Be careful of the ones with high management fees, watch out for the ones with limited liquidity and which trade very few shares on a daily basis, and if you invest in the municipal bond closed end funds, make sure you know the consequences of the Alternative Minimum Tax. You also want to find the ones that trade at a discount to net asset value, and avoid the ones using excessive leverage.

To see the latest updated list of over 275 monthly dividend stocks, including many that have yields of 8% or more, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. Remember, very high yields may not be sustainable.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Bikini Baristas Giving Starbucks a Run for their Money

A new coffee shop that recently opened up in Fremont, California has found a way to bring in customers during this recession and giving Starbucks (SBUX) a run for their money, by using young attractive female baristas wearing bikinis (yes, even in this cold weather; it's 44 degrees in Fremont right now). Business has been booming for this Bay Area coffee vendor, called Your Coffee Cups. The 16-ounce C-Cup of coffee sells for $1.85.

Sales have been steaming hot, as the owner said that business has gone up by more than 100% over the previous owner's revenues as a regular coffee shop. The new owner also plans on opening a few other bikini coffee shops in other areas.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Third Week of January


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets. In flat or choppy markets, you have to be extremely careful.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN) market cap: $331.8M ex div date: 1/18/11 yield: 8.5%

Comtech Telecomm. Corp. (CMTL) market cap: $760.8M ex div date: 1/19/11 yield: 3.6%

Enersis S.A. ADR (ENI) market cap: $14.9B ex div date: 1/19/11 yield: 3.6%

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC ADR (ITYBY) market cap: $31.5B ex div date: 1/19/11 yield: 6.3%

Putnam Master Int. Income (PIM) market cap: $382.9M ex div date: 1/20/11 yield: 8.8%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com.

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Record date: the day when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

The Most Unusual Source of Energy to Heat Buildings: Body Heat

Here is one source of green energy that I didn't include in my book, The Green Light on Green Stocks: A Quick Guide to Green Investing and Making Money in Alternative Energy Stocks. I covered everything from wind to solar to cogeneration to flywheels to cloud computing, but I didn't include body heat.

A real estate company in Stockholm, Sweden called Jernhusen, has put the heat from human bodies to good use, using it to heat a building. All the hundreds of thousands of daily passengers that go through Stockholm Central Station generate a huge amount of body heat. That heat is captured, used to heat water which is transported to another building in order to warm the secondary building. An energy savings of about 25% is claimed.

Although there is no way to invest in body heat energy yet, there are still plenty of other environmentally conscious energy producing companies. You can find free lists of green energy companies, such as ethanol stocks, cloud computing stocks, and water purification stocks, at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The lists can be downloaded, sorted, and updated.

By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, January 09, 2011

15 Top Yielding Stocks Below $10 per Share

No matter how you explain the price of stocks to someone, a majority of investors still believe that low priced stocks are a better way to go and can provide a better rate of return. Obviously, some low priced stocks do perform better than some high priced stocks. But in general, a good stock will perform just as well if it is priced like Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) A shares as a lower priced stock like Ford (F) which traded below $2 a share in 2009. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its list of top yielding stocks under $10 a share (it also includes a couple that trade for round $11 per share). Many of the companies listed are closed end funds, such as the Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund (DHF), which sports a yield of 11.6% and the Western Asset High Income Fund II Inc. (HIX), which pays out 10.9%.

But there are also regular corporations, such as Alaska Communications (ALSK) which provides landline and wireless services to Sarah Palin's state. The stock sells for around $10 per share, has a forward price to earnings ratio of 37, and pays a yield of 7.8%. The company reports earnings on March 4.

Another example is Hercules Technology (HTGC) which is a private equity, venture capital, and venture debt firm. It sells for less than $11 per share, has a forward PE of 9.8, and pays a yield of 7.4%.

Provident Energy (PVX) processes, transports, stores, and markets natural gas liquids in the United States and Canada. It sells for slightly more than $8 per share, has a forward PE of 17, and yields 8.8%.

For a list of over 15 stocks that pay a yield over 6% and sell for less than $10 per share, go to wsnn.com. Just remember, very high yields may not be sustainable.

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Friday, January 07, 2011

Beatles Stock Index Outperforms S&P 500 by 7.5 percentage points!


Exactly one month ago yesterday, I reported on ways to invest in the Beatles through companies related to the Beatles and their songs. Several stocks were mentioned in the article, including Apple (AAPL), Starbucks (SBUX), Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (LYV), and Sony (SNE), along with several other companies.

If you had invested an equal dollar amount in each of those companies, your account would be up as of yesterday's close, by an amazing 11.7% in only one month. If you invested that same total amount in the S&P 500 (to give an apples to apple comparison - no pun intended), your account would only be up by only 4.15%. So the Beatles Stock Index outperformed S&P 500 by an amazing 7.5 percentage points! You would have achieved almost twice the return from 'buying the Beatles.'

For a list of all the stocks in the Beatles portfolio, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author owns AAPL.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia. No celebrity endorsement expressed or implied.


By Stockerblog.com

High Yield French Stocks

Investors keep hearing about the financial problems of Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Greece. However, France is making major moves to strengthen its economy and reduce its large national debt. After all, the country doesn't want to end up like one of the PIIGS.

There are plenty of investment opportunities in French stocks, and according to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com's recently updated list of stocks based in France, there are ten that pay yields in excess of 1%. .

For example, France Telecom (FTE) is the largest telecom company in France and the third largest in Europe. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 9.8 and a forward PE of 9.1. The Price Earnings Growth ratio is a reasonable 1.06, and the yield is an incredible 6.1%.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) is the Paris based pharmaceutical company which has products that include Plavix, Ambien, Allegra, and Nasacort. The PE is 10.1 with a forward PE of 6.9. The yield is decent 3.3%.

Veolia Environnement S.A. (VE) is a conglomerate involved in four businesses: water and wastewater services, environmental services, energy services, and bus, train, and ferry transportation services. The PE is 14 with a forward PE of 15.7. The PEG is an excellend 0.99 and the yield is a nice 4.1%.

To see a list of the rest of the French stocks that trade in the US, which you can download, sort, and update, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Takeover of Hawaiian Electric

Hawaii has several large publicly traded companies. For example, Hawaiian Electric pays a 5.2% yield and trades at 14.5 times forward earnings. The company provides 95 percent of energy to Hawaii residents.

Today, it was announced that company called called Kuokoa Inc. is in the process of making an offer to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries (HE), the large Hawaiian utility that generates its electricity from a wide range of green and environmentally conscious sources, including wind, solar, photovoltaic, geothermal, wave, hydroelectric, municipal waste, and even sugarcane. Kuokoa Inc. is a start-up company that claims to have funding from three banks.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

High Yield Ethanol Stocks

A company called Qteros, which is backed by George Soros, has developed a process to use microbes to create enzymes that more efficiently changes plant waste to ethanol. The company has just entered into a joint venture with India-based Praj Industries. Qteros is privately held, but there are plenty of other companies involved in ethanol production and products which are publicly traded, over 15 of which pay dividends according to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. Here are a few examples.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has a corn processing division which produces ethanol from corn. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 10.3, a forward P/E of 9.3 and a yield of 2%. Although revenues were up 12.6% for the latest quarter, earnings were down 30.4%.

The Andersons (ANDE), an Ohio based company, is involved in the management of ethanol production facilities and grain and ethanol trading. The stock has a P/E of 12.8, forward P/E of 11.3 and a yield of 1.2%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 11.5%.

Bunge Ltd. (BG) is a White Plains, New York company founded in 1818 that produces ethanol from sugarcane. The stock has a P/E of 4.9, a forward P/E of 12.3 and a yield of 1.4%. Earnings for the latest quarter were down 8.6%.

A free list of stocks related to ethanol in some way, in an Excel format, which can be updated and sorted, can be found at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Monday, January 03, 2011

Top Rare Earth Metals Stocks

Rare earth metals, also known as rare earth minerals or rare earth elements, have made headlines during the last couple weeks after China, which produces over 95 percent of the metals reported that it would reduce its export quotas by more than 10 percent during the first six months of 2011. The news caused the rare earth metals stocks to explode. As an example, Rare Element Resources Ltd. (REE) moved from 9.34 on December 17 to 17.16 on January 3, an 83% increase in just a little over two weeks.

Rare earths are used for such applications as superconductors, magnets, electronic polishers, car batteries, luminescent materials, lasers, optical-fiber communication systems, welding, night vision goggles, rangefinders, and radar. The rare earth metals are:
Scandium
Yttrium
Lanthanum
Cerium
Praseodymium
Neodymium
Promethium
Samarium
Europium
Gadolinium
Terbium
Dysprosium
Holmium
Erbium
Thulium
Ytterbium
Lutetium
Other metals and elements are often (incorrectly) referred to as rare earth metals such as lithium and manganese. However, many of the companies involved in the mining of the rare earth metals are also involved in mining some of the other scarce elements.

Rare Element Resources is a Vancouver based company that explores for and develops mines in Canada and the United States, including the Bear Lodge property located in northeast Wyoming. This debt free company has 32 cents per share in cash, however the company reported a 6 cents per share loss for the quarter ended September 30.

Molycorp, Inc. (MCP) is another company involved in the rare earth industry, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.The company has $5 million in debt, and over $351 million in cash, with $4.27 in cash per share. Latest earnings were a loss of 97 cents per share.

Another way to play this market is through the processors of rare earth metals, such as Neo Material Technologies, Inc. (NEM.TO) (NEMFF.PK), which trades on both the Pink Sheets and the Toronto Stock Exchange. This Toronto, Ontario based company processes rare earths, magnetic powders, and other metals. The company distributes cerium, lanthanum, europium, neodymium, dysprosium, yttrium, and other materials. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 17.9 with a forward PE of 14. It also has an extremely favorable price earnings growth ratio of 0.31. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 53.4% on a 68.7% revenue increase.

A more conservative approach to rare earth investing is through the Market Vectors Rare Earths/Strategic Metals Exchange Traded Fund (REMX). This ETF has gone from 19.51 at the end of October to 25.63 now, a 31% increase in a couple months.

To see a free list of over 25 rare earth metals stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Book Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire

Review of the The Girl Who Played with Fire:

Excellent!

Better than the first book in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I reviewed a couple month ago, but the books should still be read in order.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is available from Amazon.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of January


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets. In flat or choppy markets, you have to be extremely careful.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) market cap: $73.3B ex div date: 1/12/11 yield: 3.7%

Saul Centers, Inc. (BFS) market cap: $871.0M ex div date: 1/12/11 yield: 3.1%

City Holding Company (CHCO) market cap: $582.1M ex div date: 1/12/11 yield: 3.6%

Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJREF) market cap: $1.8B ex div date: 1/12/11 yield: 3.4%

Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) market cap: $3.0B ex div date: 1/12/11 yield: 3.1%

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR) market cap: $9.1B ex div date: 1/13/11 yield: 4.2%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com.

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Record date: the day when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

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