Monday, November 29, 2010

Bull and Bear Gifts

Here are some more gift ideas for stock market traders and investors, with the Bull and Bear motif:

Executive Gift Stock Market Wall Street Bull and Bear Silver Plated Sculpture Figurines Paperweights

Executive Gift Wall Street Stock Market Wall Street Charging Bull & Bear Statue Sculpture on Burtwood Bronzed Metal

Bear and Bull Cufflinks - Business/Finance Themed Formal Wear - Cufflinks

Bull & Bear Executive Gift or Award Resin Sculpture

Wall Street Bull and Bear Statue

BULL and BEAR Executive Wall Street Stock Broker Cufflinks w/ Gift Box

Bear and Bull Bronzed style Bookends

Stock Market Bull and Bear See-Saw Sculpture

Bulls and Bears in the Market Art Poster Print by William Holbrook Beard, 36x27

Buck Creek Knives 6682DS Stainless Steel Little Bear & Bull Congress Pocket Knife with Genuine Stag Handles

Gift List for Fans of Warren Buffett

If you have a friend or relative who is a fan of Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, you might want to give them one of the following videos or books as a gift.


1. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition

2. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

3. Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage

4. The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition

5. Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor

6. Trade Like Warren Buffett

7. How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett: Profiting from the Bargain Hunting Strategies of the World's Greatest Value Investor


8. Warren Buffett: Woodstock for Capitalists video

9. Buffett and Gates Go Back to School video

10. ABC News Nightline Warren Buffett video

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spotlight on a 4.6% Gas Utility Generating Revenues for Over 150 Years

This stock has been around for a long, long time. This is a stock that is the eighth oldest listed stock on the New York Stock Exchange, has traded on the exchange for 121 years, was one of the original stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, has increased its dividend for the last seven years, and was founded in 1857, more than a century and a half ago. On top of that, the company just boosted its quarterly dividend by 2.5% to 40.5 cents per share, providing a very favorable yield of 4.6%.

The stock, Laclede Group Inc. (LG), which was formerly known as Laclede Gas Company, is a natural gas utility that provides natural gas service to about 630,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Missouri. It trades at 13.5 times forward earnings and has an operating cash flow of about three times its total dividend payout. The company has increased its dividend every year since 2003.

Laclede recently reported net income for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 at $2.43 diluted earnings per share, the third-highest in the company's history. For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, the company narrowed its loss, reporting a loss of $0.07 per share, versus a loss of $0.22 per share for the same quarter last year. Quarterly earnings rose 12.7% year over year.

There are many other high yield natural gas and propane gas utilities. has just updated its Excel list of 25 gas utilities with yields ranging up to to 7.5%, such as Nicor (GAS) yielding 4.2%, Spectra Energy (SE) yielding 4.2%, and Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) yielding 3.5%.

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


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Top Yielding Electric Utilities

Winter is here, the weather is getting colder and snow is starting to appear around the country. That means more electricity to run electric heaters, more people will be spending time indoors, and more electricity will be consumed. just updated its list of electricity stocks and there are more than 25 with yields above 4%. In addition, these companies can provide relative safety, security, and stability compared to many other stocks. In the past, utilities have paid favorable dividends for many years with low volatility.

Here are some examples of utility stocks with CD beating yields.

The Empire District Electric (EDE) trades at 18.5 times current earnings and 12.4 times forward earnings. The stock sports a price earnings growth ratio of 1.54 and pays a yield of 5.8%.

Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) yields 5.5%, has a trailing PE of 18.7, and forward PE of 13.1. The price earnings growth ratio is 2.83.

Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) also pays a decent yield of 4.9%. It has a trailing PE of 13.6, and forward PE of 14.4. The price earnings growth ratio is 1.71.

For more top yielding stocks, you can access a free downloadable Excel database of high yield electric utility stocks including one which yields more than 6%, which you can update, change, and sort, at

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the above.


Water Desalination Stocks

As a resident of California, I am very aware of the issues and political football called water rights. Access to water is a topic of concern for all the states in the southwest. But it is not just a United States issue, water scarcity is a problem for countries around the world, especially in the Middle East. Water desalination, also referred to as desalinization and desalinisation, could be one of the leading industries in the next decade. Some major companies, such as Siemens (SI) and General Electric (GE) have water desalination divisions that make up a small part of their businesses, but there are other companies which are more of a pure play in the industry.

According to the list of water purification and desalination stocks at, there are over twenty companies involved in the treatment of water, and several of them have specifically targeted desalination.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd (CWCO) is one of the purest plays in the sector. It operates seawater desalination plants and other water services in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda, using reverse osmosis technology to convert seawater to drinkable water. The stock trades at 17 times forward earnings and provides a nice yield of 3.2%. The company has raised its dividend in eight of the last ten years.

Tetra Tech (TTEK) designs and builds desalination systems that use seawater, brackish water, and reclaimed wastewater sources to help increase water supply, and has been designing desalination plants in Florida since the 1990s. It also designed the first California desalination plant, the Corona Temescal Desalter. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 15.

To see an Excel list of all the stocks involved in desalination and purification, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to

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


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Gift Ideas

If you are looking for some books to give as gifts, here are some that I have reviewed over the last year or so which you might want to consider. It's never too soon to start your gift shopping.

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Burst This!: Frank McKinney's Bubble Proof Real Estate Strategies

End the Fed

Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt Free

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

Buy--DON'T Hold: Investing with ETFs Using Relative Strength to Increase Returns with Less Risk

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us--and how to know when not to trust them *Scientists, finance wizards, doctors, relationship gurus, celebrity CEOs, ... consultants, health officials and more

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Dividend Stocks For Dummies

How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy

Super Sectors: How to Outsmart the Market Using Sector Rotation and ETFs (Wiley Trading)

What Investors Really Want: Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions

The Forever Portfolio: How to Pick Stocks That You Can Hold for the Long Run

Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even

Telecom Stocks: the Forgotten Utilities

Telecommunication stocks seem to be the forgotten utility. Most income investors have filled their portfolio with electric utilities, natural gas utilities, and water utilities, which, in general, provide stability and steady income. Telecom stocks can help round out a utility portfolio.

Of course, telecoms can carry some risks: land lines are decreasing, cell phone usage is increasing, and more and more households are now using cell phones as their primary if not their only phone. The phone companies aren't standing still; they are pushing many other services in addition to the usual telephone services. Also, much of the negative news has already been built into the price of many of these stocks.

Many of these stocks have some decent yields, creating some interesting income opportunities. has turned up about a dozen of these telecom stocks yielding around 3% or more. As a matter of fact, six of the stocks yield more than 6%.

Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. (ALSK) is a provider of both wireless and landlines in the home state of Sarah Palin. The company has a market cap of $467 million, trades at 39 times forward earnings, and pays a generous yield of 8.2%. The operating cash flow of $93 million significantly covers the dividend payout of $38.3 million.

Another high paying telecom stock is CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL), with a 6.8% dividend payout. This Louisiana based company pays $833 million in dividends, easily covered by the $2.09 billion in operating cash flow. The market cap is $12.8 billion, with a forward PE ratio of 13.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q), one of the few stocks with a single letter stock ticker symbol, is a $9 billion market cap, a forward PE of 17, and a yield of 4.7%.

To see the rest of the high paying telecommunications companies, check out the free Excel database of high yield telecom stocks, at

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