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Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • Gurus Shop in Robust Consumer Cyclical and Technology Sectors

    During the third quarter, gurus invested primarily in consumer cyclical and technology companies. Such companies have strong financial strength and high profitability. Several of these companies, including Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS), have a predictability rank of at least three stars. High guru ownership and number of guru buys suggest good value potential in the consumer cyclical and technology sectors.


    Tracking “favorite” gurus with Personalized Guru Lists

      


  • Searching for Value in the REIT Rubble

    Leave it to the stock market to do the exact opposite of what you expect it to do. Following Donald Trump’s surprise win, stocks have spent the past three weeks pushing higher.


    Ironically, given that the President-Elect is a world-renown real estate developer, real estate investment trusts (REITS) have gotten clobbered. REITs as a sector peaked in July, but the selling has continued well past the presidential election.

      


  • UCB's Vimpat Patent

    UCB (XBRU:UCB) is a Belgium-based biopharmaceutical and specialty chemical company that specialises in two therapeutic areas: diseases of the central nervous system and immunology. The main central nervous system speciality is epilepsy and the main drug in this area is Vimpat. (UCB revenue mostly comes from four drugs of which Vimpat is one.)


      



  • The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

    I continue to be on fire with the book selections as of late, this time with the gem, The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

    This is the fascinating story of a couple of baseball stats guys who persuade the GM of an independent league baseball team to let them run things for a season. They are always experimenting and trying to find talent in what they perceive to be an inefficient market in order to take their team to the top, and they chronicle this journey in their book.

    This story hit home for me in two ways. First, I've seen my favourite sports team piss away a decade outside of the playoffs thanks to a closed-minded management group that does not understand stats. When a hobbyist like me can tell they are doing stupid things, they are truly beyond repair. The challenges these guys in the book faced from the conventional-minded former-players-turned-managers-because-they-got-too-old-to-play rang very familiar to me.

      


  • US Market Indexes End the Week Higher

    U.S. market indexes were higher on Friday with all three major indexes reaching new highs.


    For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19,756.85 for a gain of 142.04 points or 0.72%. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at 2,259.53 for a gain of 13.34 points or 0.59%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 5,444.50 for a gain of 27.14 points or 0.50%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower for the day at 11.75 for a loss of 0.89 points or 7.04%.

      


  • David Winters Buys Israeli Defense Company

    Israel’s largest publicly traded arms and defense company, Elbit Systems Ltd. (XTAE:ESLT), singularly caught the eye of a manager who focuses on fundamental research but who has also tangled with public companies’ boards of late, David Winters (Trades, Portfolio).


    Winters’ global Wintergreen Fund (Trades, Portfolio) had $580 million in assets as of June 30, with 76% invested in common stocks concentrated in the U.S., Switzerland and U.K. He described the fund, started in 2005, in a recent shareholder letter as embracing companies with pristine balance sheets and shunning modish market favorites, with cigarette companies Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI), British American Tobacco (LSE:BATS) and Altria Group (NYSE:MO) among its largest four holdings as of Sept. 30.

      


  • Abbott Laboratories Announces Quarterly Dividend

    The board of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) declared through PR Newswire Friday a dividend increase for the last quarter of the year.


    The U.S.-based global health care company headquartered in Lake Bluff, Illinois, will pay 26.5 cents per ordinary share to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13, 2017. The dividend, which represents a 1.9% increase from the prior dividend of 26 cents, will be paid by the company to the shareholders on Feb. 15, 2017.

      


  • Steven Cohen Hikes Bunge Holding by Nearly 1,500%

    Guru Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Point72 Asset Management, increased his position in Bunge (NYSE:BG) by nearly 1,500% adding 2,717,200 shares to his portfolio in the third quarter. The trade had a 1.13% impact on Cohen’s portfolio; he now owns 2,901,800 shares of Bunge.


    Bunge was founded in the Netherlands in 1818 by Johann Peter Gottlieb Bunge as an importing/exporting trading firm. Nearly two centuries later, Bunge is a leading agribusiness and food company with the goal of ensuring sustainable food security for a growing population.

      


  • A 3.5% Dividend Yield and Emerging Market Growth

    (Published Dec. 9 by Bob Ciura)


    U.K.-based stocks have sold off over the past few months. The British pound has declined significantly against the U.S. dollar. And there is elevated geopolitical risk facing the U.K. in the aftermath of this year’s Brexit vote.

      


  • Hershey Has a Sweet Dividend, but Valuation Could Be Too Rich

    (Published Dec. 9 by Bob Ciura)


    The Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) is one of the great examples of determination in the history of American business.

      


  • 4 Gurus Invest in Hilton Worldwide

    Gurus Steve Mandel (Trades, Portfolio), Richard Pzena (Trades, Portfolio), Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) and Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) all purchased positions in Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE:HLT) during the third quarter.


    Mandel purchased the largest stake of 19,597,829 shares followed by Pzena with 9,804,419 shares. Cohen invested in 838,300 shares, and Greenblatt purchased 28,234 shares.

      


  • Osisko Gold Royalties Gaining Among Investors

    Gold continues its downturn.


    The precious metal closed at $1,168.90 per troy ounce on the London Bullion Market Friday and reported a 0.18% decline, or down $2.15 per troy ounce from the previous close at 3 p.m. London time.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife

    On November 1, 2016, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported its third quarter financial results. Modest financial performance in the quarter, disappointing 2017 guidance and the unexpected announcement of a CEO transition caused the stock to decline. HLF stock has traded down more than 33% since the announcement of the company’s settlement with the FTC on July 15th, 2016, a 15% year-to-date decline, as investors have come to increasingly ignore the company’s fraudulent characterization of the FTC settlement. At its December 2, 2016, price of $47.99 per share, HLF currently trades at approximately the price at which we shorted the shares in 2012.


    On a consolidated basis the company reported net sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter, up 1.7% year-over-year. Headline adjusted net income of $105 million for the quarter (down 3% YoY) translated into adjusted EPS of $1.21 (down 4% YoY). On a constant currency basis the company reported net sales growth of 5%, driven by EMEA (+15%), Mexico (+14%) and North America (+10%).

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Nomad

    Nomad (NYSE:NOMD) reported Q3 results in late November.


    Third quarter like-for-like sales declined 3.3%, which marked the fourth straight quarter of sequential improvement in like-for-like sales trends. This sequential improvement in trends is consistent with management’s guidance and driven by the company’s shift in its strategy to refocus its resources on its core product offerings.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Platform Specialty Products Corp

    In September, Platform (NYSE:PAH) hosted an investor day where it provided a detailed explanation of the secular growth drivers and unique competitive positioning of each of its Performance and Agricultural Solutions businesses, along with long-term guidance of 4% annual organic revenue growth and high-single digit annual EBITDA growth.


    The company also announced that it had reached a revised agreement with Permira to settle its $600 million preferred stock liability related to the Arysta acquisition. Under the revised agreement, Platform has the option to pay Permira $450 million in cash and 5.5 million shares, which equates to $500 million at the current market prices and represents a savings of $100 million relative to the original agreement. To finance the cash portion of the agreement, the company raised $400 million of equity and, as a result, was able to refinance $2 billion of its debt, reducing the rate on this debt by 50 basis points and extending the maturities by three years to 2023.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

    Since our last update in August, Valeant (NYSE:VRX) has bolstered its management ranks, improved dermatology average selling prices (ASPs), stabilized its salesforces, and experienced acceleration in Salix script trends. Despite these positive developments, financial results continue to be challenged as certain unexpected events impacted Valeant in Q3 and weakness in Valeant’s U.S. Diversified Products segment continues to weigh on near- to medium-term earnings.


    Valeant reported quarterly revenue of $2.48 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $1.16 billion and Adjusted EPS of $1.55. This represented sequential improvement of 2%, 7% and 11%, respectively, as the business continues to stabilize following the disruption of recent quarters.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Fannie (FNMA) and Freddie (FMCC)’s underlying earnings continue to progress modestly in the core mortgage guarantee business, while the non-core investment portfolio continues to shrink to a smaller and appropriate level, resulting in a more profitable and lower-risk business model. The strength in underlying earnings growth reflects two factors: (1) an increase in guarantee fees as the fees on new mortgages exceed the average fees on the existing portfolio, and (2) lower credit losses as the portfolio’s credit quality has meaningfully improved since the financial crisis.


    There were a number of legal developments this quarter. In the Federal Court of Claims case, Judge Sweeney granted the plaintiffs access to 56 documents the government had claimed were privileged, many of which were contemporaneous with the period just prior to the Net Worth Sweep and involved high level government officials. The plaintiffs have not yet had access to the privileged documents as the government has appealed Judge Sweeney’s ruling. We find it interesting that the government is fighting so hard against this ruling, as it has previously complied with the judge’s prior motions to turn over documents.

      


  • A Dividend King Poised for Faster Growth

    Many investors think that the only way to build truly substantial long-term wealth is to buy the next high-flying tech stock such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL).


    However, as you can see below, boring but slow and steady growing blue chip dividend stocks, especially the dividend aristocrats and dividend kings such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), are also great ways to meet your financial goals over the long run.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on The Howard Hughes Corp

    Net Operating Income (NOI) from HHC (NYSE:HHC)’s operating assets (consolidated and owned) decreased sequentially from $35.2 million to $31.3 million (and year-over-year from $31.9 million), largely due to headwinds in Houston that continue to negatively impact HHC’s owned hotels in Houston ($3.5 million sequential decline in hospitality NOI). HHC held steady its projected stabilized annual NOI estimate (which excludes the South Street Seaport) of $215 million and kept constant its estimated stabilized hospitality NOI levels. Land sales in its Master Planned Community (MPC) segment decreased from $59 million to $32 million year-over-year in Q3 and sequentially from $34 million due primarily to a $27 million reduction in commercial sales from Q3 2015.


    In Hawaii, at its Ward Village property, construction of the Waiea, HHC’s first residential tower, is nearing completion. HHC has started collecting the proceeds from the sale of these units. HHC’s second tower (Anaha) recently topped out and is on schedule to be completed by mid-summer 2017. The company now has five condominium projects for sale, four of which are under construction (see status of each one below). HHC executed 35 new sales contracts since the end of Q2, representing 11% of the remaining inventory under construction (reducing the number of unsold units to 280 from a total inventory of 1400 units).

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Restaurant Brands International

    QSR (NYSE:QSR) reported strong results by executing on its three key growth drivers: same store sales, net unit growth, and operational efficiency. In the third quarter, the company generated 2% same store sales growth in its Burger King and Tim Hortons concepts. While same store sales growth has decelerated over the last few quarters, it is still at a healthy overall level. Strong international growth was partially offset by weaker U.S. performance at Burger King where same store sales declined 0.5%. The decline in the U.S. is partially due to a tough comparison with last year’s quarter’s 5% growth, but also reflects a more difficult industry environment as the recent decline in food costs has widened the price gap between restaurant and grocery to historically high levels, resulting in lower restaurant traffic.


    QSR achieved net unit growth of 3% which management expects will accelerate in the fourth quarter. In addition, Tim Hortons recently announced two master franchise agreements in the U.K. and the Philippines, which should accelerate future growth.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Air Products

    Air Products’ (NYSE:APD) fiscal year fourth quarter earnings per share of $2.01 increased 10% over the prior year. This strong performance was driven by a 260 basis point increase in operating margins. This quarter marked the ninth straight quarter of double-digit EPS growth since Seifi Ghasemi joined Air Products as its CEO.


    Sales increased 1% as 3% underlying growth was offset by a 2% drag from foreign exchange rates and the pass-through of lower energy prices. The 3% underlying growth was driven by increased volumes as pricing remained flat. Growth capex contributed to volume growth in Asia, while global economic weakness led to weak volumes elsewhere around the globe.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Mondelez

    On October 26, Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) reported third quarter 2016 results. Underlying organic growth was generally in-line with the company’s categories at nearly 2%, including volume growth of 1.3%. This was the third straight quarter of positive underlying volume growth and a sequential acceleration from the second quarter. We note that Mondelez is one of the few large cap packaged food companies that is demonstrating any underlying volume growth, however modest. While the global growth rate of Mondelez’s snacking categories has moderated over the course of the year primarily due to macroeconomic headwinds, we continue to believe that the long-term outlook for these categories remains robust, especially in the emerging markets where Mondelez has large market shares and robust routes to market.


    Operating profit margins expanded by 220 basis points to 15.8% in the quarter, driven primarily by a reduction in overhead costs as a percentage of sales reflecting the implementation of zero-based budgeting and the rollout of global shared services, as well as an increase in gross margin reflecting the company’s supply chain transformation. Year-to-date, the company continues to show progress with its significant cost savings opportunity and productivity initiatives, and remains on track to reach its 2018 margin target of 17% to 18% with further upside beyond 2018.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Chipotle Mexican Grill

    On September 6th, we announced a 9.9% stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) which we purchased at an average price of $405 per share. Chipotle has built a superb brand pioneering the “fast casual” restaurant industry with the success of its outstanding product offering, unique culture and powerful economic model. We have followed the business for years, noting how it has disrupted the fast food industry with its high quality, delicious and customizable hot meals that are prepared quickly and sold at affordable prices. The company has been significantly negatively impacted by food safety issues beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015 which caused a peak decline in average unit sales of 36%. In response, the company has implemented best-in-class food safety protocols over the past year, and worked to win back lost customers. While traffic and sales have begun to recover, average unit volumes are still 19% below peak levels.


    We have always believed that a good time to buy a great business is when it is in temporary trouble. While Chipotle’s reputation has been bruised, we think that with the passage of time and improved marketing, technology and governance initiatives, the business will not only recover but become much stronger. Chipotle’s sales recovery will be neither smooth nor predictable over the next few quarters; yet, we believe that all of the key drivers of Chipotle’s powerful economic moat and long-term success remain intact. These drivers include:

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Zoetis

    On November 9th we sold our last shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS), about two years after we publicly announced an 8.5% ownership stake. Despite the high quality nature of the business and its strong management team, we sold to redeploy the capital in certain new investments.


    We purchased our stake in Zoetis at an average cost of approximately $37 per share. Shortly thereafter, we met with the Zoetis management to learn more about the company and to discuss our views on potential initiatives to create shareholder value. On February 4, 2015, Zoetis agreed to add then-Pershing Square investment team member (and healthcare industry veteran) Bill Doyle and Actavis Executive Chairman Paul Bisaro to the board on April 13, 2015.

      


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Canadian Pacific Railway

    In our August 26, 2016 Investor letter we reported the sale of our remaining 9.8 million shares of CP (NYSE:CP) on August 4, 2016, approximately five years from the inception of the investment. During the course of our investment, CP’s share price increased nearly four times, its operating performance went from worst to nearly tied for first with Canadian National, and its credit rating improved from a weak Baa-/BBB- to a strong Baa+/BBB+. While critics often accuse activists of being short-term investors focused primarily on stock buybacks and dividends, CP is a paradigmatic example of the long-term sustainable business performance enhancements and shareholder value creation we have achieved in our core activist holdings.

    From Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio)'s Pershing Square third-quarter shareholder letter.   


  • Trade Me: The Craigslist of New Zealand

    New Zealand-based Trade Me (TRMEF) is a combination of Craigslist and eBay. Profit margins are high and the company has put up decent growth. The stock is trading at a reasonable price level.


    There are 397 million shares, the stock trades at 4.66 New Zealand dollars ($3.33) and the market cap is NZ$1.85 billion. Earnings per share were 18.87 cents and the stock trades at a price-earnings ratio of 24.7. The dividend was nine cents and the dividend yield is 1.93%. The stock seems reasonably priced.

      


  • Causeway International Value’s Top 3 New Holdings

    Sarah Ketterer (Trades, Portfolio)’s Causeway International Value (Trades, Portfolio) Fund acquired seven new holdings in the third quarter. The top three new positions are Basf SE (XTER:BAS), Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) and ABB Ltd. (XSWX:ABBN).


    Ketterer founded Causeway Capital Management in 2001. The International Value Fund was established that same year. The fund seeks long-term growth of capital and income. The investment team looks for international companies that generally have market caps greater than $750 million. The investment philosophy is value-driven and uses a bottom-up approach.

      


  • Michael Burry Likes Coty Inc., but Should You?

    Previously, I looked at Dr. Michael Burry’s Scion Capital’s most recent 13F Filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which detailed the fund’s four equity positions. The largest of the holdings, coming in at just over one-third of the investment portfolio (13Fs exclude cash), is Coty Inc. (NYSE:COTY). Should investors follow him into the stock?


    A good business to buy?

      


  • Michael Burry: Current Holdings and a Change of Style

    Dr. Michael Burry is one of the financial world’s most closely followed hedge fund managers. He shot to fame last year after being portrayed in the movie “The Big Short,” which profiled his bet against the housing market in 2008. However, even in the run-up to the housing crisis, Burry was building his reputation as a respected value investor. His hedge fund, Scion Capital, was one of the best performing funds in the industry in the run-up to 2007. It was Burry’s ingenuity and attention to detail that helped the fund shoot to fame.


    Unfortunately, running Scion Capital turned out to be too much for Burry to handle and he closed the fund down only a few months after his record bet on the housing market paid off. Since then, Burry has kept his investment movements close to his chest. However, at the beginning of this year, Scion restarted filing 13F forms with the SEC detailing positions.

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund November Commentary

    As you know, we have been commemorating the 30th anniversary of our flagship Ariel Fund throughout 2016. And while we have been able to describe how many U.S. equity funds have 30 years of history (207), and how many in that group have had the same manager (just 19), we had to wait for a very important number: the 30-year return figure. At long last, a week into November 2016 we received the 30-year since inception number, which we discuss below.

      


  • Olstein Funds Shareholder Letter: Reflecting on the Past 10 Years

    December 1, 2016

      


  • 10 Stocks for Using a Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy

    Out of the multitude of companies, which ones would legendary value investor Benjamin Graham buy today? These ten great companies fit the ModernGraham criteria, based on Benjamin Graham's methods. The companies in this list pass the rigorous requirements of either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor and are undervalued by the market.


    10 Ben Graham Companies

      


  • Amazon's Innovations Make It a Buy

    It was a highly profitable year for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 2015, as the stock was up over 100%. Moreover, the stock is up approximately 14% this year also. In the most recent quarter, the company missed the earnings estimates by a huge difference, reporting earnings per share of 56 cents.


    However, the company’s revenue was $32.70 billion, surpassing the consensus estimates by $10 million. That figure represents an increase of 29% year over year, which is a great achievement for a company of its massive size.

      


  • Disney: A Golden Opportunity

    Escalating concerns over ESPN's declining subscriptions and revenue have weighed down Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock. The stock is down almost 3% year to date. For Disney, ESPN plays a very significant role and enduring concerns over the channel and the extensive media networks division poses a threat moving onward. But the challenges could also present an opportunity.


    In the fourth quarter, Disney shared earnings per share of $1.10, 6 cents less than the estimates, whereas revenue came in at $13.14 billion, missing the consensus estimates by $380 million. That figure also represents a drop of 2.7%. The company’s disappointing performance was mainly due to the ongoing concerns regarding its ESPN platform.

      


  • Starbucks Does Not Need to Meet Its Ambitious Growth Goal

    Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) stunned the market this month with the announcement its iconic CEO, Howard Schultz, will be stepping down from his post, elevating president and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson to the position. In line with the leadership change, Starbucks this week also unveiled a 5-year plan that outlined their worldwide growth roadmap. Let’s take a closer look at Starbuck’s plan and its feasibility.




  • 5 Reasons You Are Not Making Financial Headway

    There is always a time in business when you hit the plateau and business growth starts to slow. We have all been there. We have seen multinational companies going moribund and otherwise leading industries grinding to a halt.


    When a similar thing happens to your business, you might think that the market forces, harsh economic policies and stiff competition are all working against you. Sometimes all these do not count. It could be because you are not taking care of the little details.

      


  • Denny’s Has Upside Potential

    Denny’s Corp. (NASDAQ:DENN) franchises one of America's largest full-service restaurant chains. It recently reported strong third-quarter results and raised its guidance. It ended the quarter with decent free cash flow.


    It is embarking on making a successful global brand by consistently growing same-store sales and expanding both its domestic and international footprints. It has been known to cater to guests for 60 years now and provides high-quality, moderately priced products – burgers, sandwiches, salads, beverages, appetizers and desserts in addition to its all-day breakfast items.

      


  • The Tsunami OPEC Cannot Hold Back

    I wrote an article two years ago titled “Oil and Gas: USA 1, OPEC 0.” I began that earlier article with these words:


      


  • H&R Block Share Price Recovering but Unappealing

    H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), the $5 billion tax preparer, reported its second quarter and first half of fiscal 2017 results this week, delivering -3.61% sales growth to $256.5 million and a profit loss of $269.9 million during its first six months of operations in fiscal 2016.


    As it turned out, H&R Block recorded lower year-on-year operating expenses (-3.7%) but still struggled to achieve a higher bottom-line figure than the first half of last year’s loss of $244.7 million.

      


  • Transplant Patients Show Improvement With Imbruvica

    AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) announced Tuesday through PR Newswire that results indicate ibrutinib (trade name Imbruvica), a type of chemotherapy drug for the treatment of patients suffering from “chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD),” is effective and safe.


    Previously, these patients underwent a “systemic therapy” based on “high dose glucocorticoids” that were unsuccessful, the company said.

      


  • The Bank of Montreal: Canada’s Oldest Dividend Payer

    Finding companies with 3%-plus dividend yields, sustainable payouts ratios and long histories of raising their dividend payments is difficult. Companies with one of these traits is easy – but it is the combination of factors that makes these investments rare.


    Now what if I told you there was an entire group of companies that satisfied these criteria? The group of companies I am referring to is the ‘Big 5’ Canadian banks, which consist of:

      


  • US Market Indexes Continue to Reach New Highs

    U.S. market indexes continued their momentum on Thursday with new highs from all three of the major indexes. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19614.81 for a gain of 65.19 points or 0.33%. The S&P 500 closed at 2246.19 for a gain of 4.84 points or 0.22%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 5417.36 for a gain of 23.59 points or 0.44%. The VIX Volatility Index was higher for the day at 12.45 for a gain of 0.23 points or 1.88%.


    Thursday’s market movers

      


  • Buffett’s Yield on Cost for Coca-Cola

    (Published Dec. 8 by Bob Ciura)


    Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is one of the world's largest companies. Its products are consumed by millions of people every day.

      


  • Southern Company: Dividend Achiever Nearing a 5% Yield

    Investors who buy utility stocks are typically looking for stability and income. There is arguably no stock that better epitomizes these qualities than Southern Company (NYSE:SO).


    Southern has a solid 4.8% current dividend yield and a consistent track record of dividend growth. It has gone 276 consecutive quarters, going all the way back to 1948, paying a dividend to its shareholders that is equal to or greater than the previous quarter.

      


  • Royce Funds: What's the Outlook for U.S. Small-Caps?

    Portfolio Manager Bill Hench's outlook for U.S. small-caps, why he thinks the asset class has performed well in 2016, and what sectors he's bullish on.


    Watch video here.

      


  • Tractors Selling at a Discount a Bad Sign for Farming Equipment Companies

    I wanted to revisit several articles I wrote regarding weakness in the used farming equipment industry. I wrote about how I sold John Deere (NYSE:DE), Case (NYSE:CNHI) and Agco (NYSE:AGCO). Together, these three manufacturers control 90% of the tractor market in the United States. My research still sells "sell" but the stock prices have not taken my advice.


    The premise is that farmers can go to auction and buy slightly used tractors and combines for about half off. Usage is measured in hours. I use a simple rule of thumb to equate to used cars: take hours times two and add a zero. So if a tractor has 600 hours, it is about like a car with 12,000 miles. I was looking at the heavy equipment auction house Ritchie Brothers (RB).

      


  • Big Insider Sell at Apple, Buy at Acushnet

    Eduardo Cue, known as Eddy, is a big man at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).


    He is in charge of the iTunes store, the iBooks store, and Apple Music, among other things. As senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, he reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.

      


  • Mason Hawkins Adds to FedEx

    Guru Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio) added 241,024 shares of FedEX (NYSE:FDX) for an average price of $163.73 per share during the third quarter. The trade had a 0.4% impact on Southeastern Asset Management’s portfolio, a global investment firm Hawkins manages and founded in 1975.


    FedEx’s market price has climbed an estimated 19% since the third quarter. Since the first quarter of 2010, Hawkins has gained an estimated 77% with his investment in FedEx.

      


  • Bill Ackman Releases Pershing Square 3rd-Quarter Letter

    Dear Shareholder:


    The performance of Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. is set forth below1.

      


  • Altria Group Announces Quarterly Dividend

    The board of directors of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) yesterday declared through Business Wire the dividend for the last quarter of 2016. The tobacco giant headquartered in Henrico County, Virginia, will pay 61 cents per ordinary share to shareholders of record as of Dec. 22.


    Altria is one of the biggest producers and vendors of tobacco and cigarettes, holding well-known brands in its portfolio such as Marlboro, Chesterfield and Merit.

      


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