Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Investing in Valentine's Day

Have you shopped for your Valentine yet? If not, you only have a couple weeks; it is February 14. Companies involved in the business of chocolate, jewelry, flowers, greeting cards, and gift wrap may benefit from this celebration.

Planning to give flowers to your loved one? 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (FLWS) could see a rise in sales. It is the largest publicly traded flower seller, but it also sells plants, gourmet foods, cookies, cakes, candies, wine, gift baskets, and other gifts. The stock trades at 14 times forward earnings. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 23% on a revenue rise of 1.9%.

Another beneficiary may be Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc. (RMCF), based in Durango, Colorado. The company makes and markets caramels, creams, mints, and truffles. It was founded in 1981, has over 300 franchise locations in 40 states, and a couple of foreign countries. The forward price to earnings ratio ratio is 12, and the yield is a an amazing 4.6%.

Jewelry makes a nice gift. Tiffany & Co. (TIF), founded in 1837, is one of the top jewelry companies in the world, with over 60 U.S. stores and over 100 international locations. A great gift would be the 128-carat Fancy Yellow Tiffany Diamond available at the New York City flagship store. The stock has a forward PE of 16, and a yield of 1.8%.

Don't forget to buy a gift card. American Greetings Corp. (AM), founded in 1906 and based in Cleveland, Ohio, is the largest publicly-traded greeting card company in the world. The stock has a PE of 7 and a decent yield of 4.1%.

CSS Industries Inc. (CSS) markets gift wrap, gift bags, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, tissue paper, decorations, and decorative ribbons and bows. The stock trades at 9 times forward earnings, and a yield of 2.8%.

For more stocks that could increase sales from the Valentine experience, such as candy and chocolate stocks, check out the free lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The lists can be downloaded, sorted, and updated.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance

Michael R. Powers on Risk
By Michael R. Powers,
Author of Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance

In his book, Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance, Michael R. Powers discusses how risk impacts our lives, health, and possessions and proceeds to introduce the statistical techniques necessary for analyzing these uncertainties.

In the excerpt from the chapter The Alpha and the Omega of Risk: The Significance of Mortality, Powers discusses the morbidity principle:


In today's business world, professional risk managers often construct extensive lists of pure and speculative risks, including every imaginable type of uncertainty to which individuals and firms are exposed. Among pure risks, one finds traditional "insurance" perils such as fire, wind, theft, disease, and professional negligence, along with more complex hazards such as substandard construction, inadequate security, technological obsolescence, and political instability. Speculative risks include real estate, common financial securities (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc.), and interest and currency-derivative products, as well as market- specific changes in the prices of raw materials, human capital, and end-of-line goods and services.

Fortunately, a remarkable simplicity underlies these myriad risks. Despite the great number of individual sources of risk, there are only a very few exposures subject to risk. These fundamental exposures are life, health, and possessions.

One then might ask: Why should we be concerned about the quality of life? I would argue that the following two principles provide the answer:

* The Morbidity Principle. An individual/corporation/society whose quality of life is damaged will have a greater chance of imminent death.

* The Lost-Gratification Principle. An individual/corporation/society whose quality of life is damaged may not have the opportunity to enjoy recovery of health or restitution of possessions before death occurs (i.e., "a good quality of life today is worth more than a good quality of life tomorrow").

In short, the life exposure underlies all other types of exposures. For individuals and societies, the morbidity principle would have been particularly evident in the Old Stone Age, when human beings had developed useful tools, but were still primarily hunter- gatherers. At that time, quality-of-life exposures, although they existed, could not be separated easily from the life exposure because the loss of health (through injury or illness) or possessions (clothing, shelter, or hunting implements) would increase significantly the chance of death in the near future. Hence, in many cases loss of quality of life would be tantamount to loss of life.

The morbidity principle continues to apply to individuals and societies today, but not as dramatically. Despite the various "safety nets" that modern governments provide for their more vulnerable citizens, it is still an empirical fact that the injured and ill, as well as the economically poor, die at faster rates than others. This is also true for societies at large, as can be seen in the declines of certain populations in Eastern Europe since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. With regard to corporations, reductions in revenue, market share, and/or profitability are in many cases harbingers of bankruptcy. Although a cursory review of today's financial products might give the impression that quality-of-life exposures actually overshadow the life exposure -- after all, the only financial product that specifically addresses mortality is life insurance -- the lost-gratification principle belies such a conclusion. If anything, the role of mortality is difficult to discern because it is so prevalent that we tend to overlook it.

The life exposure underlies all traditional insurance policies, whether held by individuals or commercial enterprises. This is because the policies are designed to provide reasonably quick medical attention or restitution of property, presumably before the policyholder's life terminates. In addition, the life exposure is fundamental to all financial transaction risks. Lenders, whether they be individuals, corporations, or government bodies, must be compensated for the possibility that they will cease to exist before their loans are repaid; and the early death of a borrower can transform this possibility into a certainty. In other words, mortality is the essential reason, even in an economy with no expected change in either income or prices, "a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow," and thus the reason the nominal risk- free rate of return (oft en taken to be the nominal return on a U.S. Treasury bill) must be strictly greater than 0.

Originally posted on Columbia University Press Blog.

© 2012 Michael R. Powers ~ Reprinted with permission of the publicist

Author Bio
Michael R. Powers
, author of Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance, is professor of risk management and insurance at Temple University's Fox School of Business, and distinguished visiting professor of finance at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management. He serves as chief editor of the Journal of Risk Finance and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of February 2012


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, and may need to avoid the technique during those times.

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 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.

First Potomac Realty Trust (FPO) market cap: $754.9M ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 5.4%

Itau Unibanco Holding SA ADR (ITUB) market cap: $46.2B ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 3.7%

Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP) market cap: $3.0B ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 7.8%

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (PAA) market cap: $12.0B ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 5.4%

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (VIVO) market cap: $748.6M ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 4.1%

Global Partners LP (GLP) market cap: $507.8M ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 8.7%

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P (CLMT) market cap: $1.2B ex div date: 2/1/2012 yield: 9.3%

IDACORP Inc (IDA) market cap: $2.1B ex div date: 2/2/2012 yield: 3.1%

The Southern Company (SO) market cap: $39.1B ex div date: 2/2/2012 yield: 4.2%

Tompkins Financial Corporation (TMP) market cap: $444.7M ex div date: 2/2/2012 yield: 3.5%

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) market cap: $17.9B ex div date: 2/3/2012 yield: 5.2%

Intel Corporation (INTC) market cap: $136.2B ex div date: 2/3/2012 yield: 3.1%

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.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

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 the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Book Review: Mystery+Humor+Court Drama+Dogs

What do you get when you mix mystery, humor, court drama, and dogs? You get the book by David Rosenfelt called New Tricks. I enjoy mysteries and I enjoy reading humor but it is rare to find books that combine both. In addition, I am a dog lover, so if a book includes dogs in the equation, then I have a great book.

The book involves big inheritance disputes, big business disputes, and big family disputes. In regards to the courtroom drama, the attorney's 'client' is a a Bernese mountain puppy. For some reason, people are either killed or almost killed who are in the proximity of the dog. Find out why and find out who ends up owning the dog. Dog lovers will love New Tricks. By the way, I listened to the New Tricks Audio CD version of the book.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Warren Buffett Stocks on the Top Dividend Increasers List

Warren Buffet, head of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B), is considered the world's best stock investor and one of the three richest people in the world. Numerous books have been written about Buffett and many investors have tried to determine what his technique is for achieving investing success. Does he look for value, for growth, for dividends, for leading industries?

A review of the list of stocks that Buffett owns, available at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, shows that 84% of the holdings are dividend payers. But just because a stock pays a dividend doesn't make it a good stock. There is another factor at play.

Take a look at the list of the top dividend increasing stocks, a list of stocks that have increased their dividends every year for at least 30 years, also available at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. One of the things that stand out is that several Buffett stocks are on the list. So not only does Warren Buffett just like dividend stocks, he is especially fond of stocks that have a very long track record of raising dividends on a regular basis.

As an example, Berkshire Hathaway has Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as part of its portfolio. The company makes everything from Band-Aids to Tylenol to Neutrogena to Acuvue contact lenses. Then of course there is the popular Johnson's Baby Shampoo. The stock trades at 12 times forward earnings, and provides a favorable yield of 3.5%. Last year, the dividend was boosted by 5.6%. Dividends have been raised 48 years in a row.

Johnson & Johnson's fourth-quarter revenues rose by 3.9% from the same period last year. However, earnings suffered. Recalls, plant shutdown, and litigation caused net earnings per share to drop to $0.08 versus $0.70 for the prior year. Earnings were $1.13 per share excluding special items.

Procter & Gamble (PG) is another stock that shows up on both lists. This consumer goods company trades at 14 times forward earnings. For 54 years in a row, the company has bumped up it dividend, and now provides a 3.2% yield.

The company just reported earnings.Net profits tanked by 49% with earnings per share for the quarter at $0.57 versus $1.11 in the same quarter last year. The drop was due to goodwill write-downs, the economy, and increased competition. Although, quarterly sales grew by 4%.

To see the other Warren Buffett stocks that are also long term dividend increasers, you can check out both lists for free at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The lists can be downloaded, updated, and sorted.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Coffee Prevents Diabetes: Look at Coffee Stocks

According to a study in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Chinese researchers at Wuhan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology determined that compounds in coffee inhibit human islet amyloid polypeptide, which is a substance linked to diabetes. Previous studies have shown that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50 percent.

It is not just diabetes that coffee can be used to help prevent. It may also reduce depression in women. Another study showed that men who drank six or more cups of coffee per day were found to have a 20% reduction in developing prostate cancer.

Fortunately for investors, plenty of coffee stocks are available to choose from. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has recently updated its list of publicly traded companies in the coffee business, many that pay dividends.

Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. (PEET) is the specialty coffee roaster, marketer, and retailer founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California. The stock trades at 33 times forward earnings. Revenues for the latest quarter were up 13.7%, but earnings tanked by about 60%. The company does not pay a dividend.

Starbucks (SBUX) is the largest coffeehouse retailer in the world, with outlets in 50 countries and over 17,000 shops worldwide. The stock trades at 21 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 1.4%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 28.5% on an 6.8% increase in revenues.

The J. M. Smucker Co. (SJM) sells the Folgers brand of coffee, along with spreads, toppings, and beverages. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 14.5 and a decent yield of 2.4%. earnings dropped 15% on an 18% rise in sales.

On the non-retail side, there is Coffee Holding Co. (JVA), a roaster of wholesale coffee which markets wholesale green coffee, private label coffee, and branded coffee in the US and Canada. The stock trades at 9 times forward earnings and has a small dividend yield of 1.3%. Unfortunately, earnings for the latest reported quarter dropped by 60% on an 88% increase in revenues.

For a list of all of the coffee stocks, including more than half a dozen that pay dividends, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The list can be downloaded, sorted, and updated.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Orangutans Using Apple iPads

Orangutans are using Apple (AAPL) iPads at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The following video shows MJ and Mahal drawing on an iPad.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kim Dotcom Arrested: Police 'Cut' Into His House

The head of Megaupload, who's real name is Kim Dotcom (yes, he legally changed it to that name), was arrested in New Zealand for copyright infringement. They had to cut into his house to get to him in his saferoom. Numerous cars were confiscated including a pink Cadillac and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. Check out the video below.






















Friday, January 20, 2012

Weird Business News


Glued Meat: Check out this video

Straight from Australia. The next time that you are at the grocery store go to the pre-packaged meat coolers and look closely at the list of the countries on the label of any of the packaged meats (which is a mandatory FDA law) that shows where that meat came from. The video starts after the short ad.


Great News for Marijuana Dispensaries

New study shows that that moderate marijuana use is not linked with lung damage.


Los Angeles requires condoms in porn films

The porn industry is upset about this new law


Clay iPad 2's Sold in Canada
Watch out for fakes


British Olympic athlete sold himself on eBay (EBAY)
Unfortunately, the high bidder was a hoax. Fortunately, there was a happy ending


Donald Trump's Charity Donations According to The Smoking Gun
According to The Smoking Gun web site, he donated nothing to his foundation

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fifth Week of January 2012


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, and may need to avoid the technique during those times.

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 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.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) market cap: $34.6B ex div date: 1/30/2012 yield: 5.1%

Donegal Group Inc. (DGICA) market cap: $295.0M ex div date: 1/30/2012 yield: 3.3%

Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) market cap: $4.1B ex div date: 1/30/2012 yield: 3.6%

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.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

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 the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

MC Hammer Shows Up for SOPA Protest in SF

Rapper MC Hammer showed up and spoke at a SOPA protest rally in front of City Hall in San Francisco yesterday during the noon hour. Hundreds of supporters of the protest were in attendance. If you aren't familiar with SOPA, it is the Stop Online Piracy Act proposed law to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property. Numerous large web sites protested yesterday by having a blackout for their sites. Protesters believe that the law is too heavy handed and that it impede the growth of Internet businesses and Internet start-ups. The company and organization protesters, most of which had blackouts, included Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, AOL, LinkedIn, eBay (EBAY), Mozilla, Roblox, Reddit, Wikipedia, Reporters Without Borders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, and Human Rights Watch.



MC Hammer speaking to the crowd

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I was Blind But Now I See

If you are looking for an unusual and interesting read, check out the book, I Was Blind But Now I See: Time to Be Happy by James Altucher. The book is about how to succeed and be happy but he has some pretty wild and radical ideas.

Just take a look at some of the chapters:

* Politics is a scam - Why I will Never Vote Again
* Abolish the Presidency
* You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!
* Why I Would Rather Shoot Myself In the Head Than Own a Home
* Why Kids Should Not Go to College

Altucher weaves in a lot of his personal opinions, and how his opinions relate to happiness. He also talks a lot about his personal experiences. He has been a multi-millionaire and subsequently lost it all. He has run a hedge fund and had his own TV show on HBO. Learn from his failures, of which he has had a lot, and learn from his successes.

I highly recommend I Was Blind But Now I See: Time to Be Happy. Great to read on a plane, a train, or just at home on the weekend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Brazil Stocks?

Last week, the rating agency, Standard & Poor's, downgraded the credit ratings for nine countries, France, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. Yet just a couple months ago, S&P raised Brazil's foreign currency rating with little fanfare. According to John Chambers, S&P Managing Director Sovereign Ratings, "the upgrade of Brazil was supported by the current administration's growing track record of prudent macroeconomic policies, including fairly consistent primary surpluses of close to 3% of GDP."

From an economic standpoint, Brazil is the seventh largest country in the world based on GDP. The country is the world leader in renewable source energy, especially ethanol which it generates from sugarcane.

Fortunately for investors, there are plenty of Brazilian stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Based on the free list of Brazil stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, twenty-five Brazilian stocks are available to US investors and almost all of them pay dividends.

One example is Braskem S.A. (BAK), the largest chemical company in South America. It makes and markets petrochemical and thermoplastic products. The stock trades at 15 times forward earnings and sports a very generous yield of 7.0%. Revenues for the latest reported quarter were up over 15%.

In the area of beverages, Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (ABV), also known as Ambev, makes and sells beer, soft drinks, malt, and other non-alcoholic and non-carbonated products. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 20, and a yield of 4.3%. Revenues were up 6.6% for the latest quarter, although earnings were down 7%.

Gerdau S.A. (GGB), founded in 1901, manufactures and markets steel products. The stock trades at eight times forward earnings and offers investors a 2.9% yield. Latest quarter revenues were up 9.5%, with earnings up 31.9%.

Telefonica Brasil, S.A. ADS (VIV) is a fixed-line telecommunications company with a forward PE of 10, a yield of 1.4%. Quarterly earnings were up 105% on a 108% rise in revenues.

To see other dividend paying Brazil stocks, you can access a free list of Brazil stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, which can be downloaded, updated, and sorted.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fourth Week of January 2012


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, and may need to avoid the technique during those times.

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 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.

The Clorox Company (CLX) market cap: $8.7B ex div date: 1/24/2012 yield: 3.7%

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) market cap: $71.7B ex div date: 1/24/2012 yield: 4.4%

QR Energy LP (QRE) market cap: $714.6M ex div date: 1/26/2012 yield: 9.7%

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG) market cap: $10.9B ex div date: 1/27/2012 yield: 3.6%

DNP Select Income Fund Inc. (DNP) market cap: $2.6B ex div date: 1/27/2012 yield: 7.1%

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.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

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 the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Be Careful What You Do In Front of your Computer: Your Web Cam Can be Hacked

GQ Magazine just published an article about a girl at the University of California at Irvine, who didn't realize that someone had hacked into her computer and activated her web cam. But she soon found out when she received a strange instant message that described her dorm room in graphic detail, then followed up with a picture of her in bed with her boyfriend.

The hacker didn't stop there, another student received a video attached to the IM. The Los Angeles office of the FBI got involved through their Cyber Program. The FBI eventually turned up numerous victims.

The hacker turned out to be a wheelchair-bound 30 year old Latino named Luis Mijangos, who lived in Orange County, California, near Disneyland.

Kate Middleton Stock Index Outperforms the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus is the official name of Catherine 'Kate' Middleton, the wife of Prince William. Ever since their engagement was announced on November 16, 2010, news on the couple, and more specifically Kate, has been constant: what she's wearing, where she's going, what she's doing. The marriage has been a boon to the press, especially the British publications, such as The Times and The Sun, published by News Corporation (NWS) (NWSA).

It is not just the newspapers that are benefiting from all the publicity surrounding Kate. Look what has happened with the clothing retailers whenever Kate buys another dress. Web site hits have skyrocketed and inventory was cleaned out at many dress stores. As a matter of fact, when Kate wore a dress from Reiss to meet President and Mrs. Obama, the company website crashed due to the influx of orders.

Reiss is a privately held company, but there are several publicly companies that have benefited from the 'Kate Effect'. When Kate wore a beige trenchcoat from Burberry (BRBY.L) on her trip to Belfast in March, sales spiked and the trenchcoat sold out. Burberry, which also makes perfume and accessories in addition to clothing, has been around since 1856. The stock is part of the FTSE 100 Index.

Kate has also worn lots of French Connection (FCCN.L) clothing, including tops and dresses. French Connection, also known as FCUK, was founded in 1972 and trades on the London Stock Exchange.

Alexander McQueen dresses designed by Sarah Burton on Kate are a common site. The company is a luxury fashion house founded by designer Alexander McQueen, and is a Subsidiary of PPR (PP.PA), a French holding company that specializing in retail shops and luxury brands. The company was started in 1963 and the stock trades on Euronext Paris and is a part of the CAC 40 index.

Even entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the Royal Wedding through eBay (EBAY). If you do a search on eBay for Kate Middleton, you will find a couple thousand items, everything from magazines to photographs to jewelry to dolls! eBay trades on NASDAQ and trades at 13 times forward earnings. Speaking of entrepreneurs, Kate's parents started their own party supply company, called Party Pieces, back in 1987. Since the wedding news, company sales have grown enormously. Sorry, you can't buy stock in it, it's a private company.

Show business is getting in on the act. Two movies have been made about the wedding. The first was a Lifetime movie called William & Kate. Lifetime is owned by A&E Television Networks, which is owned partially by Disney (DIS). Disney trades at 11.5 times forward earnings and yields 1.6%.

The second movie was William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, which was distributed by the Hallmark Channel. Hallmark is owned by the California based media production company, Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (CRWN). [Crown Media? That's an interesting coincidence.]

Many celebrities have an effect on companies that they are connected with in some way, whether the celebrity is a supermodel, such as Gisele Bunchen, an actress like Angelina Jolie, or just a celebrity for unknown reasons, such as Paris Hilton. Examining all the companies that Kate is connected with, an analysis can be made showing how the Kate stocks compare to stock indexes. If you look at the chart below, you will see the one-year time frame from the date of her engagement announcement. The Kate Index is the blue line on top.



As you can see, the Kate Middleton Stock Index has greatly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average. During those twelve months, the Kate Index was up 18.1% versus the Dow, which was up only 10.9%.

To see a free list of the stocks in the Kate Middleton Stock Index, which includes some financial information on the companies, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The list can be downloaded, sorted, and updated.

Disclosure: Author owned DIS and EBAY at the time the article was written.

Copyright-free picture courtesy of Wikipedia. No celebrity endorsement, expressed or implied.

By Fred Fuld III at Stockerblog.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Satisfy Your Stomach and Your Portfolio with Chocolate

Most people love chocolate, and not just for its taste. Some eat chocolate to help reduce wrinkles. It is now being used in cough medicines. Many students eat chocolate before taking a test, due to the fact that chocolate has been found by researchers to improve brain function. Even Warren Buffett likes chocolate, as his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B), owns See's Candies.

With Valentine's Day coming up next month, investors are wondering if they should nibble on chocolate and sugar stocks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its free list of several chocolate stocks that may be worth feasting on. Here are a few that may satisfy your portfolio.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF), based in Durango, Colorado, makes and markets caramels, creams, mints, and truffles. The company, founded in 1981, has over 300 franchise locations in 40 states, plus Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The stock trades at 12.5 times forward earnings, and the company pays a mouth-watering yield of 4.6%. The company just announced its third quarter operating results. For the latest quarter, total revenues increased 4.6 percent to approximately $8.3 million, factory sales rose by 5.6 percent, mostly due to a 29.4 percent increase in sales to customers outside the Company's network of franchise retail stores.

However, earnings dropped 17.0 percent, mostly due to increased operating costs related to the Company's Aspen Leaf Yogurt division, an increase in uncollectable accounts reserves, and a drop in the franchise fees.

Then there is the classic company known for its chocolate bars, Hershey (HSY), that was founded in 1894. It is the largest manufacturer of chocolate in North America and one of the largest chocolate and candy companies in the world. It is famous for its Hershey's Kisses which were invented in 1901 and the chocolate chips that were brought out in 1928. The stock has forward price to earnings ratio of 19.7, with a scrumptious yield of 2.3%.

There is also the world-famous Nestle (NSRGY.PK), which sports a forward P/E of 14.8 and yields 3.7%. This Swiss chocolate manufacturer was founded in 1867.

If you want to see a free list of all the publicly traded chocolate and candy stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The list, which includes five companies that pay dividends, can be downloaded, updated, and sorted.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Woman Named Beer was Banned from Beer Making Competition - Plus Top Beer Stocks

A woman named Rachel Beer was banned from a brewing competition in Queensland, New Zealand. And is wasn't because she was named 'Beer'. It was because she wasn't a man. Apparently the rules of the home brewing competition require that the entrants be male. She complained but the contest official didn't give in. She was told to suggest a 'mixed' competition for next year.

At least she can invest in beer stocks in the mean time. According to a free recently updated list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are over ten publicly traded breweries and beer retailers. In addition, half a dozen of the beer stocks pay dividends, ranging up to almost 3%.

One example is Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which has the memorable stock symbol representing its popular Budweiser brand. It also sells Stella Artois, Beck's, Leffe, Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, and many other brands. The stock has a current price to earnings ratio of 20, a forward PE of 14, and a 1.44 PEG. The stock sports a yield of 1.6%.

Another dividend paying brewery is Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP), a Canadian based company that markets the Coors Light, Molson, Carling, Pilsner, Keystone Light, and Granville Island brands. The stock trades at 14 times current earnings and 12 times forward earnings, with a reasonable price to earnings growth ratio of 2.29. In addition, the company pays a decent CD beating yield of 2.9%.

Heineken NV (HINKY.PK) pays a yield of 2.4% and trades at 13 times forward earnings.

If you are looking for more beer stock ideas, check out the free list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, which can be updated, sorted, and downloaded.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Start the New Year with Tax Free Income

What better way to start the new year than with tax free income. Now is a great time to look at your portfolio and consider moving some of the funds you have in a regular bank account (making less than 1% interest, fully taxable) to either municipal bonds or 'tax free stocks'.

Tax free stocks are technically closed end funds or CEFs that own municipal bonds which pay tax free interest. There are risks of course like any investment, such as the potential increase in interest rates, which would cause the price of the shares to drop. In addition, many CEFs use leverage to obtain higher yields.

But there are many advantages besides the tax free income feature. Almost all of these CEFs pay dividends monthly, whereas, if you by an individual bond, the interest is paid semi-annually. CEFs have no minimum investment, whereas bonds are sold in $5,000 denominations and many brokers have minimum purchases ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. You also have better liquidity with CEFs as prices are quoted real time and quotes are immediately available on the Internet. CEFs provide diversification through a group of bonds in the portfolio.

Municipal bonds pay interest that is exempt from Federal taxes and may be exempt from state taxes if issued in the state you live in or issued by one of the US territories, such as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or Guam. Munis are generally issued by states, counties, cities, and other governmental entities such as school districts, sewer districts, bridges, and water and power departments.WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just recently updated over 150 of these tax-free income CEFs, and more than 100 providing yields in excess of 5%.

One example, appropriate for New York residents, is Nuveen New York Investment Quality Municipal Fund Inc. (NQN) which seeks to provide current income exempt from regular Federal and New York State and City income tax, and pays a fairly high yield of 6.2%. However, it does use leverage, to the tune of 38%, to achieve its high yield. The fund trades at about a 3% discount to net asset value, also referred to NAV, at the time of writing. The management fee of 0.68% is below the overall average of all tax free CEFs. It has been paying dividends since 1990. Slightly less than 10% of the bonds in the portfolio are subject to the alternative minimum tax, also referred to as AMT.

California residents might want to take a look at the Nuveen California Municipal Value Fund Inc. (NCA), which doesn't use any leverage to achieve its 5.0% yield, free of Federal and state income taxes. It currently trades at an 8.3% discount to NAV, and carries a reasonable 0.57% management fee. The CEF, which has been around since 1987, has about 8.5% of its portfolio in AMT bonds.

For a CEF that is diversified nationwide, there is the Federated Premier Intermediate Municipal Income Fund (FPT), which seeks to provide current income exempt from federal income tax, including AMT. The fund yields 5.6% and has no AMT bonds in the portfolio. It is trading at a 1.9% discount to net asset value. Leverage is quite high at 40% but the management fee is a reasonable 0.46%. Income has been paid since 2002.

Another option is the Western Asset Municipal Partners Fund Inc. (MNP), yielding 5.2%, and trading at a 5.6% discount to NAV. Leverage is at 37%, and the CEF carries a management fee of 0.82%, slightly above the average. The CEF has been around since 1992.

The issues to watch out for with tax free CEFs:
* high leverage
* high management fees
* trading at a premium to NAV
* bonds in the portfolio that may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax
* quality of bonds in the portfolio

For a list of tax free income closed end funds, which includes yields, discounts and premiums, leverage, management fees, date founded, and other information, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Fire Laser Beams from Your Eyes

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have been working on making a human cell behave like a laser. And although people could eventually get light beans from their eyes to act as flashlights, the current intent is to create a living laser that could be used to activate cancer-treating drugs.

Stem Cell Stocks

On Sunday evening, 60 Minutes broadcast an extensive report on stem cell scams. It reported on companies around the world that make outrageous claims with regards to the treatment and cures that stem cells can provide. Numerous people who have incurable diseases are desperately looking for cures, and are being taking advantage of by charlatans purporting to solve all their medical issues.

However, stem cells are being used currently for medical treatments. Look at bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia utilizing adult stem cells. Scientists are actively looking at stem cells to treat diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injuries.

There are actually many publicly traded companies involved in stem cell research. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has turned up over 20 stem cell stocks, half of which are currently profitable.

Integra Lifesciences Holdings (IART) is a New Jersey based company that develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, implants, biomaterials, and instruments to the stem cell, surgery, and soft tissue repair markets. The stock trades at 17 times current earnings, and 7.5 times forward earnings. However, earnings for the latest quarter were down 31.8%.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is a Connecticut based company with an $13.7 billion market capitalization that is involved in the development of biologic therapeutic products for the treatment of hematologic and cardiovascular disorders, auto-immune diseases, and cancer. The company licenses porcine embryonic stem cells for transgenic animals. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 92 and a forward PE of 45. Earnings for the latest quarter were up an amazing 135.2% on a 44% rise in revenues.

Cellgene (CELG) is a $29.8 billion market cap company involved in the discovery and production of therapies designed to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. One of the company's main products is Thalomid, which is used for the treatment of erythema nodosum leprosum, a complication of leprosy. They also received a patent on placental stem cell recovery. The stock sports a PE ratio of 28 and a forward PE of 15. Quarterly earnings were up 32.7% on a 37% revenue increase.

For a free list of over twenty stem cell stocks 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

3D Printers Can Create Stuff Smaller than a Speck of Dust: 3D Printer Stocks?

The following video is about the latest technology in small scale three dimensional printing. It is about ten minutes long and the lecture starts about 40 seconds into the video.


If you are wondering if there are any publicly traded companies that are involved in 3D printing, there are actually a couple to choose from. 3D Systems Corporation (DDD), a Rock Hill, South Carolina based company, makes and sells 3D printers and related products. The company just announced that it is unveiling its Cubify.com 3D @home experience, which allows sharing printable content and has intuitive apps to modify and print creations. In addition, a new Kinect-to-print app powered by Geomagic and many tablet-to-print content creation and manipulation apps are being showcased.

3D Systems, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has been around since 1986. In the last three months, analysts have given the stock a Strong Buy. The stock trades at 22 times current earnings and 20 times forward earnings. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 34.50% and a 38.6% rise in revenues. The company has $72 million in cash and less than $8 million in total debt.

Another 3D printer business is Stratasys, Inc. (SSYS), which produces three-dimensional printers, rapid prototyping systems, and related consumable materials. This Minnesota based company was founded in 1989. In September, Dougherty & Company upgraded the company from Neutral to a Buy, but Needham reduced it from Buy to Hold.

Latest quarterly earnings were up an amazing 84.40% on a 31.2% increase in revenues. The company is debt free and has $18 million in cash. The stock trades at 30 times forward earnings.

On the software side, there is Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK), which makes 3D software for many different industries, everything from entertainment to architecture to manufacturing. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 15, is debt free, and has over a billion dollars in the bank.

Dentists are already putting this technology to make crowns in their offices. You will be able to make your own hearing aid, designed exactly for your ear. Small businesses are using this equipment to make models and prototypes. This will be one of the next major trends.

Disclosure: Author owns DDD.

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Home Almost Foreclosed Due to 80 Cent Error

A man made an 80 cent error on his home mortgage payment and almost lost his house to foreclosure, according to a report by NBC news.

<a href='http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&vid=78c307d2-fa50-40f0-9cb6-ba58e22f681c&from=&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='80-cent mistake nearly costs home'>Video: 80-cent mistake nearly costs home</a>

Friday, January 06, 2012

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Third Week of January 2012


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, and may need to avoid the technique during those times.

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 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.

Comtech Telecomm. Corp. (CMTL) market cap: $594.2M ex div date: 1/18/2012 yield: 3.8%

Western Asset High Income Fund II Inc. (HIX) market cap: $808.5M ex div date: 1/18/2012 yield: 10.5%

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (ITYBY) market cap: $37.4B ex div date: 1/18/2012 yield: 4.1%

Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN) market cap: $539.8M ex div date: 1/18/2012 yield: 8.0%

Putnam Municipal Opportunities Trust (PMO) market cap: $516.2M ex div date: 1/20/2012 yield: 6.6%

Putnam Premier Income Trust (PPT) market cap: $740.1M ex div date: 1/20/2012 yield: 7.0%

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.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

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 the article was written.

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What Do Ron Paul, Amazon, and Kelly Clarkson Have in Common


Apparently, if a celebrity supports the right political candidate, the celebrity's popularity will skyrocket. Last Thursday, pop singer Kelly Clarkson tweeted that she supports libertarian/Republican candidate Ron Paul. Back in 2007, Paul was the second most searched person on the Internet, after Paris Hilton.

Although many tweeters criticized her at the time, she apparently garnered a lot of new fans. Clarkson's album sales skyrocketed by 442% on Amazon (AMZN) in just one day, causing the Stronger album to move to seventh place, up from #38. Many new buyers said that they had never heard of her until her Ron Paul support became publicized.

In case you haven't heard of Clarkson, she was the winner of the first season of the American Idol television series in 2002 and later, the runner-up in World Idol in 2003, and is now considered the most successful Idol contestant worldwide. Her first single, "A Moment Like This", broke The Beatles' record for the biggest jump to the number one position, from 52, in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Now let's think this through. If Charlie Sheen supports Ron Paul, will he get a career boost and be asked back to Two and a Half Men?

Copyright-free image courtesy of Wikipedia. No celebrity endorsement is expressed or implied.

Author owns AMZN.

Another Use for Gold: Rub It on Your Face

A spa in Thailand has come up with another use for gold. The spa is offering gold facials. People are taking advantage of it because they believe the gold removes toxins from the skin. At the Princess Beauty spa in Bangkok, demand for gold facials has increased at the price of gold has risen.

Monday, January 02, 2012

What Does Warren Buffett have in Common with Vice?

There is a mutual fund called the Vice Fund (VICEX), which invests in what it calls 'vice' oriented company that are in the business of either aerospace and defense, gambling, tobacco and alcoholic beverages. According to the company's web site, the fund says that "these industries tend to thrive regardless of the economy as a whole. In fact, they may have the potential to perform better when times are uncertain, leading many to view investment in 'Vice' industries as a solid strategy during recessionary periods." As of the end of November, the fund was up an amazing 9.62% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 generated a slightly above break-even return of only 1.08% during the same period.

It is interesting to note that many of the stocks in the Vice Fund have high yields, partially due to what I call the 'bad company discount'. Since many institutions and individual investors avoid these types of stocks, the buying arena is smaller than other stocks, causing the discount in price compared to other income stocks. This is especially true with tobacco and cigarette stocks, such as Altria Group Inc. (MO) which yields 5.5%, Lorillard, Inc. (LO) yielding 4.5%, and Philip Morris International, Inc. (PM) at a 3.9% yield, all of which are owned by Vice.

The alcohol stocks have yields but not as high as tobacco. Brown-Forman Corporation (BF-B), producer of Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort, provides investors with a yield of 1.7%. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), maker of Budweiser, yields 1.6%.

So getting back to the big question, what is the 'vice' stock that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B) owns? The stock is General Dynamics Corp. (GD), which makes combat vehicles, weapons systems, munitions, and military ships. The stock trades at nine times forward earnings, and yields 2.8%. The company generated a very slight profit increase of 0.30% for the latest quarter, on a 2% revenue increase.

To see free lists of these stocks, WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has lists of Beer Stocks, Wine and Liquor Stocks, and Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Forbes $400 Off Offer

Forbes Limited Time Discount