This Company's Profits Are Flying the Coop

Sanderson Farms (NYSE: SAFM  ) reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings last week that were best described as ironic. The company reported record sales, but also record losses, which were almost as high as profits were last year. The key here is a total collapse in gross margin.

Because chickens are essentially just a commodity, profit margins for chicken companies can be highly volatile, even in normal times. Sanderson's gross margin can be 23% one year and -5% in the next year, depending on cost pressures, chicken supplies, and even the price of other meats. From 2001 to 2007, the price of corn for feed was at least pretty predictable, staying between $2 and $3 per bushel. Since then, corn hasn't fallen below $3, and more recently it's reached nearly $7.

The sudden spike in costs has put pressure on poultry producers, who, due to supply and demand factors, are unable to raise prices enough to compensate. Typically, companies in the industry respond by producing less, which has the benefit of keeping losses down and also raises prices by lowering supply. This year was different, with all of the major producers trying to outdo each other to steal market share. This just ended up hurting everyone's margins, as you can see below.

Company Year-Ago Gross Margin Current Gross Margin
Sanderson Farms 18.6% (0.4%)
Pilgrim's Pride 9.1% (3.3%)
Cal-Main Foods (Nasdaq: CALM  ) 19.2% 21.1%
Tyson Foods 5.4% (2.9%)

Source: Company filings.

The price of corn h! as falle n from its high earlier this year, but it's still substantially higher than its 10-year average and likely to remain so, while chicken prices have only risen very modestly. Cal-Maine, which sells eggs but not meat, illustrates how costs can be managed if only selling prices can be raised. Eggs have their own supply and demand characteristics, and so Cal-Maine isn't as affected as other chicken raisers.

Similarly, better-diversified companies like Tyson Foods and Brasil Foods (NYSE: BRSF  ) can lean on other segments for the time being, but chicken-only Sanderson and Pilgrim's Pride are having to take more extreme measures. Pilgrim's is raising cash with a rights offering to cushion its declining balance sheet, while Sanderson is extending its two-month production cutback all the way until October 2012. Until chicken producers can fix their gross margins, they're dead in the water.

Another Gas Producer Cuts 2009 Spending Plans (XCO)

EXCO Resources, Inc. (NYSE:XCO) is getting clipped after the company reported worse-than-expected results

Adjusted EPS for the quarter reached $0.13 and for the year EPS was $0.82. Analysts had been expecting EPS of $0.18 for the quarter and $1.02 for the year. Revenue for the quarter totaled $272 million, lower than estimates of $304.4 million, and annual revenue came in at $1.49 billion, above estimates of $1.34 billion.

EXCO plans to cut capital spending from $989 million in 2008 to $582 million in 2009. Rig counts are down and commodity prices remain low and falling.

EXCO’s share price is off about 75% from 52-week highs, and pre-open trading has it down another 3.5% from yesterday’s close of $9.99. The natural gas business is not much fun any more.

Paul Ausick
February 25, 2009 Stock Report! 8/05/09, SPNG, WRES, IDIX, SON, HCP, CLI Stock Report!

Wednesday August 5, 2009

SpongeTech(R) Delivery Systems, Inc. (”SpongeTech(R)”) “The Smarter Sponge(TM)”, (OTCBB: SPNG), announced today that the Company has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the team’s newest Pewter Partner, SpongeTech(R) will focus primarily on exclusive marketing opportunities targeting Buccaneer fans across the Tampa Bay area.

Warren Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq:WRES) today announced its 2009 second quarter financial and operating results. The Company reported a net loss of $9.2 million, or $(0.16) per diluted common share, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009. The second quarter results include a noncash unrealized mark-to-market loss of $9.8 million from oil and gas hedges entered into in early 2009. For the same period in 2008, the Company reported net earnings of $17.7 million, or $0.30 per diluted common share.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDIX), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases, today announced the pricing of an underwritten offering of 7,248,936 shares of its common stock at a price of $3.14 per share. After underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, the company expects to receive net proceeds of approximately $21.2 million. All of the shares are being sold by Idenix. The offering is expected to close on August 10, 2009, subject to customary closing conditions.

Sonoco (NYSE:SON) will increase prices in North America for all uncoated recycled paperboa! rd grade s by $40 per ton effective with shipments on August 31, 2009, according to James Harrell, division vice president and general manager, Paper–North America.

HCP (NYSE:HCP) announced the pricing of a public offering of 15.5 million shares of common stock at a price per share of $24.75. The deal was upsized from the originally announced 11.5 million shares due to investor demand. The proceeds from this offering will be approximately $384 million and will be used to repay all borrowings under HCP’s revolving credit facility, including borrowings that were applied toward the cash payment of $165 million for the participation in first mortgage debt of HCR ManorCare, with the remainder to be used for general corporate purposes.

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation? (NYSE: CLI) today announced that its operating partnership, Mack-Cali Realty, L.P. (the “Operating Partnership”), intends to commence a public offering of senior unsecured notes due 2019, subject to market and other customary conditions. The notes are being offered under the Company’s and Operating Partnership’s joint shelf registration statement. Banc of America Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. will act as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Source: E-Gate System from

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Succeeded New Record Year Price - NYSE:CNP

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) achieved its new 52 week high price of $19.81 where it was opened at $19.44 UP 0.44 points or +2.27% by closing at $19.79. CNP transacted shares during the day were over 3.00 million shares however it has an average volume of 4.83 million shares.

CNP has a market capitalization $8.42 billion and an enterprise value at $17.08 billion. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 0.99 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 2.52. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 5.70% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 15.04%.

The company made a return on asset of 4.03% in past twelve months and return on equity of 15.93% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $8.35 billion gaining $19.99 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was -14.40% holding 29.80% quarterly earnings growth.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $494.00 million cash in hand making cash per share at 1.16. The total of $9.15 billion debt was there putting a total debt to equity ratio 280.25. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 0.92 and book value per share was 7.68.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 31.01% where the stock current price exhibited up beat from its 50 day moving average price of $18.97 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average price of $17.22.

CNP holds 425.41 million outstanding shares with 423.53 million floating shares where insider possessed 0.40% and institutions kept 70.30%.

Q4 Growth Drives 2010 Equity Returns: Ibbotson

Target maturity funds enjoyed their "second great year in a row," according to the Ibbotson Target Maturity Report for the fourth quarter of 2010. The average target maturity fund returned 7.1% in the fourth quarter, according to Ibbotson, beating the BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index's decline of 1.3%.

Fourth-quarter equity asset classes drove performance for the year. The S&P 500 returned 10.8% in the fourth quarter; with third-quarter returns of 11.3%, the total return for 2010 was over 15%. The 12-month return for the averge target maturity fund was nearly 13%, less than the return for the Morningstar Lifetime Moderate Index (14.7%) or the S&P 500, but nearly double that of theBarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which returned 6.5%.

In describing equity asset class performance throughout the year, the authors wrote, "The first quarter saw mild, yet positive returns in global markets, followed by a second quarter in which equity markets plunged and fixed income markets experienced their strongest quarter of the year. The third and fourth quarters, though, took off and didn’t look back […] ."

Non-U.S. equities didn't fare as well. The report notes that they "rebounded well" as did most other asset classes in the third quarter, but "they have to be considered disappointments in 2010." Non-U.S. developed equity returned 8.2% in 2010, compared with an average annual return of 14.5% for the seven years prior, the report authors write. That seven year period includes a 43.1% loss in 2008. Likewise, emerging market equity performed well compared with other asset classes, but was a disappointment based on prior performance. In 2010, emerging market equity returned 19.2%, after averaging 30.7% annual returns for the seven years prior. Emerging markets lost 53.2% in 2008.

The report highlighted three main trends for the fourth quarter:

  • U.S. assets outperformed non-U.S.
  • U.S. small cap outperformed U.S. large cap
  • U.S. growth outperformed U.S. value

The top performer for the fourth quarter was U.S. small growth equity, which returned 17.1%. Large growth equity returned 11.8%. Value equity had slightly smaller returns: Small value returned 15.4, while large value returned 10.5%. Commodities were similarly successful, returning 15.8%. The report noted that while growth outperformed value for the quarter, in the long term investors should expect value to come out on top.

The difference between U.S. equity and non-U.S. equity is stark. Non-U.S. developed equity returned 6.7%, while emerging market equity returned 7.4%. Real estate showed similar returns at 7.4%.

"During the fourth quarter a weakening Euro depressed the performance of non-U.S. developed equity, leading the asset class to underperform both U.S. and emerging market equities," the authors wrote.

Overall, the second quarter is the only one in which equity asset classes experienced negative returns.The U.S. market fell a "horrendous" 37% in 2008 and rebounded 26.5% in 2009, before settling at 15.1% last year. "Though this is greater than we expect over the long-term, it was still much more of a return to normalcy."

Just as it did in the fourth quarter, growth outperformed value equity in 2010, and small cap outperformed large cap. Large growth equity returned 16.7%, and small growth equity returned 29.1%. Small value equity returned 24.5% and large value equity returned 15.5%.

Europe¡¯s Growth No Bargain Compared To Emerging Markets (VGK, EEM, DEM, FXE, VWO)

As dire as economic conditions appear in Europe (NYSEARCA:VGK) due to the debt crisis, the tactics of the European Central Bank in financing rescue packages has actually made them worse.

If the European Central Bank, like the Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke, were not expanding its balance sheet to acquire debt paper, conditions would be even more woeful.

Still, while all this has been taking place, investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Jim Rogers to the Chinese have shunned euro bonds as irresponsible.

Meanwhile, growth in emerging markets is still much, much stronger and much more enduring.? Russia will post economic growth of 4.5% this year.? For Brazil, it will be 3.1%? China and India will be much stronger at 9% and 7.3%, respectively.

Europe will be lucky to even have any economic growth for 2011 and the future.? The theats of downgrades on a variety of European entities, both public and private sector, as detailed in many articles on, is ample proof.

This emerging market growth has been built on the selling of goods and services, not the buying of bonds through a bookkeeping measure by a central banking authority.

Even though exchange-traded funds for emerging markets such as iShares Emerging Market Index (NYSEARCA:EEM) and Wisdom Emerging Markets Equity Income (NYSEARCA:DEM) are down for 2011, economic growth of this magntiude will raise the share prices when European currency assets, such as CurrencyShares Eurotrust (NYSEARCA:FXE) must meet the test of the market to be sold through offering higher interest rates.

As detailed in an article in the Financial Times by Chris Giles, David Oakley and Claire Jones, "Haven buying sees ! surge in demand for gilts," financial weakness in Europe is keeping rates low.? That is hardly encouraging for the long term economic future of Europe.

About this, Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, cautioned that, "Our current historically very low level of interest rates is �� just as in Japan �� a sign of economic failure, not success."

Written By Jonathan Yates From Emerging Money


Outdoors The Majority At MBA School

Ever since the completion of affirmative action, there hasn’t been preferences for minorities in MBA schools. The campus is diversified but not segregated at all. The names of clubs on campus don’t spotlight a specific race or color. Acceptance into the school is contingent on past academic achievement and exam results.

Employers sort of like it for example if you have gone to MBA school. It teaches you abilities and info needed to work, and that means the manager does not need to invest the time and money educating you. It as well shows them how serious you’re about working in their field. If you weren’t, you would not have commited all that time going to school in the first place.

Even though there is really a risk to transferring schools, for example if you know what the future problems are you may create a plan to minimize the consequences. The greatest issue you could locate in changing to a different MBA school is in the transferral of credits. Degree kinds at various schools may have different goals, so your credits may not fit the new school’s degree outlines. Several times, however, classes are basically listed under different names. You might have taken the courses required, just not under the same labels. An excellent method to confront most of these issues is to work diligently with somebody within the record’s department at your new school that is practiced at processing transfer requests and clever at locating how the old credits apply to the new degree. Oftentimes, a transfer of schools does not should slow your education much, if at all, on your degree pursuit. If you realize before the transfer to the new school you might need to retake a class or take a lower-level class not provided at your old school, the frustration level may be minimal.

Consider your living situation as you choose what form of MBA school to attend. Some schools have several commuters who journey far distances to attend classes; others are even more populace-fo! cused an d might be full of students who live nearby (or even on-campus). Some schools offer on-line classes, which would be a superb option for example if you live far away and would have a tough time being to campus.

The high academic principles at MBA school promise its graduates are ready for today’s ambitious job markets. Students locate themselves better ready and earn greatly more than pupils who attended other institutions. Students have both actual world experience and class studying that employers are disposed to pay top dollar for. Many pupils locate themselves natural team leaders within the work place.

There’s plenty of homework at the MBA school, including a lots of math, English, science and social studies. Many people don’t sort of like the amount of homework however it keeps to a standard of excellence that all schools should’ve. Most people will go home with folders full of assignments but they feel that it’s for the best. The professors at the school have no remorse for the amount of homework, it’s viewed as becoming minimal.

Attending MBA schools will mean a great deal to you. You will learn several new skills and improve your information base. You’ll create friends and really feel as though you are a part of something higher than yourself. It will mean much better chances for money and advancement in your career. It’ll also mean a feeling of self-worth and achievement.

Management projects doubling its U.S. store count, to 15,000

When Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) went public in mid-July, investors piled on as the stock price shot up by 46.6%. But as is common with hot IPOs, the enthusiasm quickly subsided (the travails in Europe were certainly a factor). The aftermarket return is now -11.2%.

But the management of Dunkin’ really does not want to focus on short-term noise. In fact, it is looking at projections for the next 20 years! That��s right — the company’s leadership believes the U.S. store count will more than double, to 15,000.

In today��s hyperactive world, it’s reassuring to see a company take such long view of things. But in the case of Dunkin’, it does seem a bit ridiculous. Is it realistic to know where the world will be in two decades? Forecasters can barely get a sense of what the trends will be for the next couple of years.

It’s true that Dunkin�� still has a lot of room for growth. For the most part, its footprint is still mostly on the East Coast. At the same time, Dunkin�� also has plenty of opportunity in foreign markets, especially China. The company is already making investments there.

The growth opportunity for Dunkin’ is in contrast with other operators — such as Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), McDonald��s (NYSE:MCD) and Yum! Brands (NASDAQ:YUM) — which have much higher saturation levels. In other words, it would not be a surprise to see investors focus on a company like Dunkin�� to find more returns in the sector.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of ��All About Short Selling�� and ��All About Commodities.�� Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

2011 Bakken Review: Part 2

The Bakken shale play has been the toast of the North American oil industry. In a previous article, I touched upon three companies operating in this region whose wells showed fantastic outputs. I also mentioned that the best way to ascertain well-flow rates is to calculate the average daily production over a period of three to six months.

However, at times, this data is not readily available. Instead, company filings mention growth in production and production guidance for the next fiscal period. These values can be safely used to ascertain whether the wells have been performing well. Today we'll take a look at some more companies operating in the Bakken.

The major deal that took place in 2011 was undoubtedly the acquisition of Brigham Exploration by Statoil (NYSE: STO  ) . Is it any wonder that the Norwegian oil major entered the Bakken reserves through its acquisition of Brigham Exploration? Brigham's wells are located on the sweetest spots of the Bakken. The Sorenson 29-32 #2H and the Cvancara 20-17 #1H in Mountrail County have a 30-day average of 1,815 and 1,577 BOE/d, respectively. The Lloyd 34-3 #1H in McKenzie County clocked a corresponding 1,456 BOE/d. While the average flow rates are unavailable, the initial production (IP) rates have been the highest for Brigham's wells. Average IP rates stood at 2,906 BOE/d while average 30-day production rates stood at a fantastic 1,174 BOE/d.

  • Add Statoil to My Watchlist.

Whiting Petroleum's (NYSE: WLL  ) wells in Stark County have been impressive. The Pronghorn Federal 34-11TFH and the Pronghorn Federal 21-14TFH saw IP rates of 1,645 and 1,849 BOE/d, respectively. The 60-day production average stood at 404 BOE/d. Whiting's operations look solid so far, with the third quarter witnessing a 10% growth in production over the second quarter.

  • Add Whiting Petroleum to ! My Watch list.

Still, it must be noted that every well drilled in the Bakken hasn't been as productive. McKenzie County's Rose 147-99-28-2H, operated by ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) with a participating interest by Northern Oil & Gas (NYSE: NOG  ) , had an IP rate of 628 BOE/d. The Lynn 5502 11-10H, operated by Oasis Petroleum in Williams County, had an IP rate of just 669 BOE/d. The 60-day daily average production will be much less -- typically around 25% of the initial rates. Another participation by Northern is in Mountrail County, with Hess as the operator. The En-Jorstad 157-94-0904-1 had an IP rate of 1,558 BOE/d. Quite impressive.

Northern has progressed substantially in 2011, adding production from 98 gross wells in the fourth quarter. Net production in the first nine months of 2011 rose a phenomenal 135% compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The Bakken has indeed proved its mettle.

  • Add Northern Oil & Gas to My Watchlist.

However, the biggest player in the Bakken, Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR  ) , takes the cake. For a $12 billion company, the third quarter saw production go up by a phenomenal 27% when compared to the second quarter. At the end of September, production exited at a solid 70,000 BOE/d. The Hawkinson -Whitman ECO-Pad project in Dunn County averaged initial production rates of 1,800 BOE/d. The Whitman 2-34H needs special mention, clocking 2,888 BOE/d. Dunn County has definitely been generous to the company. IP rates for the Colter 2-14H at 1,844 BOE/d, the Rutledge 1-32H at 1,425 BOE/d, and the Fuller 1-2H at 1,401 BOE/d ensured the solid growth.

Continental also completed the Lawrence-Omar ECO-Pad project in Williams County, where IP rates averaged 1,129 BOE/d. Other notable wells here are the Rennerfeldt 1-! 30H and the McCoy 2-18H, which clocked IP rates of 1,346 BOE/d and 1,249 BOE/d, respectively.

  • Add Continental Resources to My Watchlist.

Foolish bottom line
All in all, the Bakken looked impressive in 2011. The coming year should continue seeing further growth as more undeveloped property gets converted into developed reserves. However, if you're looking for more ideas, The Motley Fool has created a new special oil report titled "3 Stocks for $100 Oil," which you can download today, absolutely free. In this report, Fool analysts cover three outstanding oil companies. To get instant access to the names of the three oil stocks, click here -- it's free.

(CITZ, IDIX, MJGCF, ARLP) Stock in Review by

CFS Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq:CITZ) reported net income of $394,000, or $.04 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011, compared to net income of $863,000, or $.08 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2010. The Company’s net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $2.1 million, or $.20 per diluted share, compared to $2.5 million, or $.24 per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.

CFS Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Citizens Financial Bank that provides various banking products and services to individuals and businesses in the United States.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:IDIX) announced that it will report its financial results for the third quarter of 2011 on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 after U.S. financial markets close.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral and other infectious diseases in the United States and Europe.


The uses of gold are many and varied. Gold has a number of unique properties which make it ideal in industry and perhaps contributes to its value thereby. Gold is resistant to corrosion, has excellent electrical conductivity, is ductile (which means it can be drawn out to a thin wire) and malleable (able to be flattened out extremely thin), reflects infra red and has excellent thermal conductivity properties.

MAJESTIC GOLD CORP (MJGCF.PK) engages in the exploration and development of mineral properties in China. The company focuses on its gold project located in the prolific gold region of Song Jiagou in eastern Shandong Province. Majestic Gold Corp. is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

MAJESTIC GOLD CORP (MJGCF.PK) has arranged a $10,000,000 loan to advance its Song Jiagou project in China. Nine million dollars ($9,000,000) from the proceeds from the loan wi! ll be us ed by the Company to in connection with its Song Jiagou project and the balance of one million dollars ($1,000,000) for general working capital purposes.

The loan will have a one year term and loan principal will be convertible at the option of the lender in whole or in part into common shares (”Shares”) of the Company until twelve months from the date of the loan advance at the price of $0.205 per Share. The loan will bear interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum, payable on maturity, and accrued and unpaid interest will be convertible at the option of the lender in whole or in part into shares of the Company until twelve months from the date of the loan advance at Market Price at the time of conversion.

The lender is at arm’s length from the Company and will not become an insider as a result of any conversion of principal and interest. All shares issued on any conversion of loan principal or interest will be subject to a four month hold period from the date of advance of loan proceeds. The loan is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.

As additional consideration for the loan, the Company has agreed to forward at least $9 million to Majestic Yantai Gold Ltd., a British Virgin Islands company owned 94% by the Company to be used to further advance its Song Jiagou project. The Borrower has also agreed to a 90 day period for reciprocal due diligence reviews and discussions for the possible further involvement of the Lender in the Song Jiagou project.

In the event that no further agreement is reached between the Lender and the Company during the 90 day period, then the loan and a minimum of seven (7) months interest will automatically convert to shares in the Company at a price of $0.205 per share and the interest at Market Price respectively. In addition the Company is pleased to announce that it has arranged a non-brokered private placement of up to 15,000,000 shares to be issued at the price of $0.20 per share for gross proceeds of $3,000,000.

For! more in formation about MAJESTIC GOLD CORP. visit its website:

Alliance Resource Partners LP (Nasdaq:ARLP) reported record financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 (the “2011 Quarter”). Record coal sales volumes and pricing drove revenues in the 2011 Quarter to a record $487.7 million, an increase of 18.8% compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2010 (the “2010 Quarter”). ARLP also posted records in the 2011 Quarter for EBITDA, which increased 28.0% to $152.8 million; net income, which climbed 42.2% to $104.1 million; and net income per basic and diluted partner unit, which increased 45.9% to $2.16 per unit, each as compared to the 2010 Quarter.

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. engages in the production and marketing of coal for utilities and industrial users in the United States. It operates nine underground mining complexes, which offer low, medium, and high-sulfur coal.

Medicis Pharmaceutical Retains Buy Rating At Deutsche Bank

Analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated Buy rating on the shares of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. (NYSE: MRX) with a price target of $40. They state that they were encouraged by Medicis winning the auction for Graceway Pharmaceuticals, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2011 due to excessive $900 million debt load.

DB analysts state that Medicis will pay $455 million for the U.S. and Canadian pharmaceutical assets. It plans to use existing cash, ended FY 2011 Q3 with $820 million to finance the transaction. MRX will receive Graceway's portfolio of dermatology, respiratory disease, and women's health products, which generates approx $125 million in annual sales. The company

is scheduled to pay approximately 3.6x sales, which appears reasonable given multiples for recent acquisitions in dermatology have ranged from 2x-5x and unlike most of these transactions, MRX is also getting an R&D pipeline. Medicis is likely to launch two recently approved Zyclara line extensions. Another key product is Maxair of $31million, but as a CFC product, it is expected to be phased out by late 2013. Medicis also receives several mid to late stage pipeline products with peak annual sales potential over $500 million. Medicis' acquisition of Graceway is a good move for several reasons. First, the portfolio fits very well with MRX's existing dermatology businesses, and secondly diversifies MRX away from Solodyn. Third, analysts believe MRX can grow the Graceway portfolio, unlike other acquisitions they believe MRX passed on of late which might have yielded accretion in year one but with likely stagnant sales afterwards. Fourth, to the extent Solodyn revenues are pressured near-term due to the recently announced managed care contracting strategy, this transaction should more than make up for any potential weakness to the top line.

On a year-to-date basis, Medicis Pharmaceuticals has a share performance of 16.91 percent, and as compared to Standard & Poor'! s, it ha s an YTD share performance of -3.78 percent.

Medicis Pharmaceutical is a specialty pharmaceutical company, which is engaged in the development and marketing of products for the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. It has a market capitalization of $1.86 billion with a P/E ratio of 22.13.


Shares of Medicis fell 2.06 percent, or $0.64, to trade at $30.44.


7 Biggest Stock Price Percentage Movers December 23rd

Here are the top 7 stocks showing big percentage moves on our trading screens on Friday:

Big gainers:

VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEAMEX:VHC): Up +8.07%. Virnetx Holding Corporation is developing and commercializing software and technology solutions for securing real-time communications over the Internet. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. (NYSE:YZC): Up +6.29%. Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited operates underground mining and coal preparation and operation businesses. Its products are sold in domestic and international markets. The Company also provides railway transportation services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

TRIPADVISOR INC (NASDAQ:TRIP): Up +5.99%. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS): Up +5.26%. Chico’s FAS, Inc. sells private label women’s casual clothing and related accessories. The Company’s clothing includes tops, pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses. Chico’s owns and operates stores throughout the United States. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Big losers:

Mead Johnson Nutrition CO (NYSE:MJN): Down -7.02%. Mead Johnson Nutrition Company manufactures nutritional products for infants, children, and expectant and nursing mothers. The Company markets its products in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE:CXW): Down -3.99%. Corrections Corporation of America provides detention and corrections services to governmental agencies. The Company owns correctional and detention facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Services include design, construction, ownership, renovation, and management of new! or exis ting jails and prisons, as well as long distance inmate transportation services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX): Down -3.65%. Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer. The Company’s products include heavy-duty off-road trucks and high-capacity surface mining trucks, as well as large hydraulic mining shovels. Terex also manufactures and sells telescopic mobile cranes, aerial work platforms, utility aerial devices, telescopic material handlers and truck mounted cranes, and related products. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Barclays Capital Rates Cymer, Inc. Equal Weight

Barclays Capital rated Cymer, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYMI) Equal Weight and changed its price target from $42.00 to $37.00. The shares recently traded at $39.28, down $0.24, or 0.61%, on the day.? The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $33.89 to $58.19 and its market capitalization is $1.2 billion. About the company: Cymer, Inc. supplies excimer laser illumination sources for use in deep ultraviolet photolithography systems. The Company��s lasers are incorporated into step-and-repeat and step-and-scan photolithography systems for use in the manufacture of semiconductors.

Stocks on 52-Week Highs (APSG, AZO, EST, ORLY, SCOP, TIL)

The stock market may be hitting lows not seen in more than a decade.? What is amazing is that there are actually several companies hitting 52-week highs today.? Companies featured are Applied Signal Tech (NASDAQ: APSG), AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO), Enterprise Acquisition Corp. (EST), O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ: ORLY), Scopus Video Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ: SCOP), and Trans-India Acquisition Corp. (TIL).

Applied Signal Tech (NASDAQ: APSG) has already backed off of highs considerably, but this hit $20.95 early this morning.? Its prior 52-week trading range was $10.73 to $20.79. Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) has again gotten back to new 52-week highs after the retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories posted a 9% gain in earnings.? Keeping your old car means more repairs.? This hit $157.49, and the 52-week range had been $84.66 to $148.50.

Enterprise Acquisition Corp. (EST) is a SPAC which recently terminated a merger with WF Capital Holdings.? It will still seek to pursue a business combination with a target business prior to November 7, 2009.? This matched its 52-week high of $9.54 on very thin volume.

O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ: ORLY) traded as high as $33.88 today, and its prior 52-week trading range was $20.00 to $33.80.? The news, look no further than AutoZone….

Scopus Video Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ: SCOP) is a micro-cap that hit the $5.55 high today, and its range had been $2.95 to $5.55.? It looks like this may just be an HDTV play as it is involved in digital video networking solutions that enable network operators to offer advanced video services to their subscribers.

Trans-India Acquisition Corp. (TIL) is a bit odd that it would be on highs considering that it is a SPAC which has pursued to liquidate.? It hit $8.01 today on thin volume and its 52-week range was $6.95 to $7.96.

MARCH 3, 2009

Time Frame For Shipping A Car Internationally

If you’re in require of international automobile shipping service and you are questioning on how long it would take for your car to reach the destination. Really, there are several elements that you need to consider initial apart from the duration of the car shipping service itself.

1 thing that you should know that the procedure involved in shipping a car internationally is various as compared to just shipping a automobile locally.

If you are transporting a automobile overseas, it’s impossible for you to just drive the car. International car shipping is essential. But you need to take note that you ought to contact a automobile shipping company that is based within the nation where you’ll move. This really is for you to have better get in touch with with the company in case that something incorrect will occurred. Just imagine communicating with a company overseas, wouldn’t it be stressful?

To give you an concept, average international car shipping takes ten to 12 days. Sometimes it even takes two weeks. In other words, there’s no guarantee on to whenever you will be in a position to receive your automobile within the other nation.

Take note that international car shipping is more expensive as compared to other kinds of automobile shipping services since international car shipping entails much more intricate processes and there’s also tax in transporting a car internationally.

In the event you do not have an idea on to how much you’ll have to spend in transporting your automobile internationally, you are able to acquire free automobile shipping quotes from the car shipping companies by calling them. Alternatively, if they’ve a website, you can go to their web site and fill-out the car shipping quote form.

Ensure that you provide them using the most accurate info.

Cheapest Car Transport – Move your car without a scratch at very good competitive rates. Get 7 FREE no-obligation car shipping quotes from ! our pre- approved list of car movers. Compare services and save up 50%! Find out more here: Car Transport By Train

Is Free Shipping Really Free?

��Free Shipping!�� is an attractive offer to most online consumers. Unfortunately, it��s not always true.

Shipping is never free.

UPS and FedEx charge for their services, and with the nearly 20,000 people that FedEx is hiring this holiday season (an 18% increase from the year before), all the money towards those extra paychecks has to come from somewhere.

The history of free shipping.

In the beginning of the new and exciting internet economy, many retailers offered free shipping without? evaluating whether or not the practice made economic sense. If you remember, these were the days of investors flooding cash into online companies without any real evidence that this promising economy was a wise investment. Now, profit-conscious online retailers are fully aware of the true cost of transporting goods.

Retail’s dirty little secret.

According to, 92.5% of online retailers will offer free shipping this holiday season, and a recent ComScore report states that 61% of online shoppers will cancel their orders if free shipping is not offered. So, if the retailer is waiving the fee, can we assume that they are eating the cost to save the sale? Probably not.

Here��s a dirty little secret that retailers don��t want you to know: The cost of free shipping is passed on in another way. Shipping costs are often masked by slightly higher prices, a lack of quality customer service, or strict purchase/return conditions. Shipping is a basic cost of running an online business and the money has to come from somewhere.

So, where does the money come from?

Often, the lack of quality customer service is the most common way for a company to reabsorb the costs associated with free shipping. Time after time, consumers swap horror stories of customer service phones that just ring and ring, disconnect over a period of hold time, or messages that go unanswered. For many small online retailers that are trying to compete with powerhouses like Amazon and Za! ppos, th is is the easiest tactic to stay in the game.

Another strategy retailers employ is requiring a minimum purchase in exchange for free shipping. Processing larger orders costs companies less than filling a multitude of smaller purchases. Consumers, attracted by the offer of free shipping, purchase more, which reduces overhead costs and allows the retailer to reabsorb the shipping costs. The customers who don��t purchase enough to waive the shipping usually wind up paying a slightly enflated shipping fee to make up the difference. Again, the money has to come from somewhere.

What about special online memberships?

You also may have also noticed a new trend in the world of online shopping: Memberships. For example, Amazon customers can sign up for Amazon Prime, a membership program that offers free two-day shipping and discounted one-day shipping for an annual fee of $79. Williams-Sonoma also recently announced their membership program, which offers customers no additional charge free shipping on most items (with no minimum purchase) for an annual fee of $30. These are enticing offers, but considering you are paying a fee for these memberships, the shipping is anything but ��free.”

Forget free shipping! I’ll just drive to the store and pick it up.

While it seems perfectly logical, driving directly to your local store doesn��t necessarily avoid shipping costs either. Remember, the cost of shipping the product to the store is already factored into the price. Not only are you paying for someone to transport the product, you are also paying for an employee to unpack the item and stock it on the shelves. Online retailers don��t have to ship products to a store, and many don��t even house the products they sell.

Once you factor in the cost of mileage, and the time it takes to drive to a brick and mortar, park, purchase your item, and drive home, it hardly feels like a cost-saving endeavor. Quickly ordering an item online and paying a modest shipping fee may, in fa! ct, save you money (and time).

How can I make sure I’m getting the real deal?

This holiday season many retailers will promote free shipping deals to drive volume and lure consumers looking to save. Read the fine print, be aware of any strings attached, and read customer service reviews before you take advantage of this seemingly sweet deal. For more information on how to save money and avoid shady deals, check out thesethree popular holiday scams.



Bank of America: Investors See a Bright Side in the Muck

Bank of America (BAC) may have reportedshrinking loans, lower revenue in five out of six divisions, and a dip in deposits on a quarter-over-quarter basis, but investors gave the stock an 8% bump in aftenoon trading.

Whether shorts are getting squeezed, or the bank’s guidance impressed investors, the woebegone is at least getting a breather for the day. The bank has successfully cut its expenses and plans to continue to cut. And its capital ratios are slowly improving.

That said, investors still don’t know what they don’t know. The elephant in the room is still the bank’s mortgage exposure, both in terms of loans its Countrywide unit sold during the downturn and its more recent foreclosure practices. On top of that, the entire financial sector is being weighed down by its unknown exposure to European debt. (Perhaps, if Bank of America had let CLSA analyst Mike Mayo speak on the conference call, we would have learned more.)

And that’s why, despite an 8% move, the stock is still down 51% for the year.

Monday Night Vote Lessens Chances of Payroll Tax Cut Approval


The payroll tax cut extensions are going nowhere fast… A vote last night by Republicans on the House rules committee will prevent a direct vote today on the Senate plan to extend the cuts by a ridiculous two months. So if you were looking for an update, go about your business today, there’s nothing to see.

But if you haven’t been following along, let me get you up to speed.

Last year, Congress voted in a payroll tax holiday to replace the expiring Making Work Pay Credit. The payroll tax holiday (or the payroll tax cuts) meant that, on the employee side, payroll tax contributions for federal purposes are reduced by 2% for 2011: instead of paying in at 6.2% for Social Security taxes, contributions for 2011 are 4.2% for Social Security taxes. Contributions for Medicare remain the same. The provision also applies to the self-employed. That worked out to about $1,000 more in pocket for the average family.

As Congress is fond of doing, apparently so that they can fight over it every year, that tax provision, like the Making Work Pay Credit, was limited and is set to expire on December 31, 2011.

President Obama wanted to see the payroll tax cuts extended and the Democrats even considered a corresponding cut on the employer side in order to keep the economy moving. Those kinds of moves are awfully expensive and were initially opposed by the Republicans.

And then the politicking began in earnest. The Democrats insisted on tacking on an income surtax for millionaires (the “millionaire’s tax) which was eventually dropped. The Republicans maneuvered to attach approval to the Keystone XL pipeline, which remains part of the negotiations.

The House eventually passed a bill that would extend the payroll tax cuts for one year. The same bill was chock full of other goodies, including extensions for jobless benefits, the so-called “Doc Fix” to block a drop in payments to physicians who accept Medicare a! nd exten ding bonus depreciation for businesses. The bill would pay for itself with a number of provisions including pay freezes for federal employees and the elimination of the child tax credit for illegal immigrants.

The Senate passed its own version of the bill which extended the payroll tax cuts by two months – not even a full payroll tax quarter.

House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) didn’t like the Senate’s version of the bill (er, eventually didn’t like it) and pushed for a full year extension. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) cried foul, claiming that the Republicans had backed out of a bipartisan compromise, and promised that the Senate would not take up the matter until the House came around.

Only, the House isn’t coming around. Instead, after a meeting, the Republicans are holding fast. The Democrats have, in return, indicated “99% approval” of the Senate’s version of the bill, which remarkably passed with a 89-10 vote: a bipartisan effort to vote stupid.

Morning Movers (SPWR, BASI, RMBS, SKY, CAMP)

There are several stocks trading more heavily than usual this morning, and also experiencing large gains or drops in share prices. These include SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), Bioanalytical Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BASI), Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS), Skyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY), and CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP).

After the first half hour of trading this morning, SunPower is up nearly 8% at $6.31. Volume has already passed the company's daily average. The solar panel maker agreed to buy solar company Tenesol from Total SA (NYSE: TOT) for $165 million. SunPower will pay for the acquisition with 18.5 million new shares issued to Total, at a per share price of $8.80, about 50% higher than yesterday's closing price.

Bioanalytical Systems is up nearly 8% at $1.50. Volume has already doubled the daily average. The biopharmaceutical company reported good earnings earlier this week.

Rambus is up more than 15% at $8.42. Volume is already equal to the daily average. The semiconductor memory chip maker has reached a patent licensing agreement with Broadcom Corp.

Skyline is down more than -8% at $4.30, after posting a new 52-week low of $4.14. Volume already surpasses the daily average. The manufactured home builder has been dropped from the S&P 600 index.

CalAmp is down more than -13% at $4.44. Volume is double the daily average. The wireless technology company reported lower-than-expected earnings this morning.

Paul Ausick

A Fool Looks Back

It's now becoming nearly certain that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) will introduce a smart television next year.

There was certainly plenty of speculation this week, kicked off by a DigiTimes report indicating that 32-inch and 37-inch TVs would hit the market as soon as the second quarter of 2012.

Things then got a little more interesting when Sterne Agee analyst Shawn Wu issued a note on Wednesday, detailing how Apple is talking to cable networks to gauge interest in a Web-based service where viewers can customize the channels and shows they watch.

Apple will still need to make sure it doesn't overestimate the kind of premium that it can charge for these state-of-the-art televisions, but the Cupertino tech giant may be ready to breathe new life into yet another moribund industry.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • According to VentureBeat, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) was trying unload Palm and its webOS platform earlier this year for roughly the same $1.2 billion that it foolishly overpaid a year earlier. Gee, it's no wonder HP didn't grab a buyer.
  • New York Times (NYSE: NYT  ) agreed to sell 16 of its smaller regional newspapers in a $145 million deal. I'm guessing it didn't inadvertently send out an email offering the same papers for 50% off to millions of its email contacts.
  • Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) came through on its promise to introduce two different Sirius XM 2.0 receivers in 2011. It announced availability of the second retailer receiver -- the more promising Lynx -- on Thursday night.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Irregular Volume of Westell Technologies Inc. - NASDAQ:WSTL

Westell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:WSTL) witnessed volume of 8.73 million shares during last trade however it holds an average trading capacity of 308,023.00 shares. WSTL last trade opened at $3.60 reached intraday low of $3.40 and went -4.46% down to close at $3.43.

WSTL has a market capitalization $235.16 million and an enterprise value at $159.23 million. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 1.29 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 1.55. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 35.72% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 8.15%.

The company made a return on asset of 6.00% in past twelve months and return on equity of 55.01% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $190.18 million gaining $2.80 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was 31.10%.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $86.90 million cash in hand making cash per share at 1.27. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 3.99 and book value per share was 2.32.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 17.80% where the stock price exhibited down beat from its 50 day moving average with $3.56 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average with $3.41.

WSTL holds 68.56 million outstanding shares with 34.76 million floating shares where insider possessed 3.33% and institutions kept 50.10%.

The "Currency Manipulator" That's About to Put 3 Million Americans Back to Work

Think U.S. jobs are destined to drain away to China forever? Think U.S. unemployment will grow and grow while cheap overseas labor supplants American workers? Think your children will be forced to work selling Big Macs to Chinese billionaires?

Well, boy has the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) got news for you.

The United States' No. 1 strategic consultancy's latest study shows 2 million to 3 million manufacturing jobs and about $100 billion in output can be expected to return to the United States from China by 2020.

That's right. China, so often the scapegoat for U.S. joblessness - and an alleged "currency manipulator" - actually is becoming our best ally in the fight against high unemployment.

The BCG team says three things will bring millions of Chinese jobs back to America:

  • Soaring Inflation. China's annual inflation pulled back to 6.2% in August after hitting a three-year high in July. It's rumored that the People's Bank of China will allow the yuan to rise further to curb rising prices. A stronger currency will make the country's exports and labor less competitive.
  • Rising Wages. Chinese labor is steadily becoming better educated and more affluent. The central government is targeting an increase in minimum wages of 13% a year through 2015.
  • And A Stronger Yuan. The yuan has risen about 30% against the dollar since 2005. Again, the great motivator here is not the saber rattling of U.S. politicians, but rather troubling levels of inflation that could spur civil unrest.

Made in the U.S.A. (Again)

Indeed, Chinese manufacturing, which had been much cheaper than U.S. manufacturing for the last decade or so, is suddenly less competitive in certain sectors.

This should come as a huge relief for Americans.!
< br />Modern telecommunications and the Internet revolution made it easier and cheaper than ever before to run a global supply chain. Consequently, U.S. manufacturing was priced out of the market.

We saw it first in cheap clothing - a highly labor-intensive industry where U.S. factories were already struggling.

The move to Chinese clothing sourcing, pushed into overdrive by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), brought immense cost benefits to U.S. consumers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics price index for apparel has declined by 15% in nominal terms since 1993, compared with a 50% increase in consumer prices as a whole.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, helped this process along with their ultra soft money policies. We haven't had much inflation because of the price declines brought by outsourcing, but for many years it has been exceptionally cheap to raise money for investment in emerging markets. China and other emerging markets already had a cost advantage in cheap labor, and the Fed's loose monetary policies further encouraged outsourcing.

As a result, U.S. workers can now buy cheaper clothes from China through Wal-Mart, but are losing jobs and being forced to accept lower wages. And since Bernanke cannot be persuaded to reverse policy and raise interest rates, it was beginning to look as though U.S. jobs would drain away until American wages were at Chinese, or even African, levels.

However, the BCG report is a very welcome sign that this process could actually be coming to an end. Chinese wages have risen so much that U.S. labor is now competitive when its higher productivity and lower transport costs are taken into account.

Of course, there are alternatives to China. Mexico, for instance, had been losing out badly to China in the 2000s, but now it is highly competitive once again. That's good news for the employment pros! pects in our southern neighbor.

Still, with a population of 1.4 billion, China's supply of cheap labor seemed almost infinite, so it is good to know that we are at least starting to reach the bottom of the country's labor supply.

According to BCG, the process of returning manufacturing to the United States will begin in earnest in roughly 2015, as Chinese wages and other costs continue to rise.

The seven industry groups most likely to return manufacturing to the U.S. are transportation goods, electrical appliances, furniture, plastics and rubber products, machinery, fabricated metal products and computers/electronics.

The tipping-point sectors account for about $2 trillion in U.S. consumption per year and about 70% of U.S. imports from China, valued at nearly $200 billion in 2009.

Other industries, such as apparel, will not quickly return. There, China itself is losing out to cheaper labor centers like Vietnam, and the industry remains labor-intensive enough that the U.S. is unlikely to regain competitiveness.

Four Profit Opportunities

In transportation, the latest Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW) provides for 12,000 new jobs to be returned to U.S. manufacturing plants by 2015.

With its labor costs no longer hopelessly uncompetitive and a strong position worldwide, Ford should be well placed to benefit from the return of manufacturing jobs to the United States. And those manufacturing workers are more likely to buy Ford products than their effete, import-buying, white-collar coastal cousins!

With a price/earnings (P/E) ratio of 6, and with profits likely to trend upwards with the automobile cycle, Ford looks attractive.

As far as appliances go, Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) is likely to be a major beneficiary of increased U.S. competitiveness because of its strong U.S. market position. Transportation costs play a major role in competitiveness fo! r bulky goods like washing machines, so once U.S. labor costs regain competitiveness, the market proximity of U.S. factories gives the company a decisive advantage.

Furniture is another bulky product. It's also an industry where deep knowledge of local tastes and trends is important, and it helps to have top quality sources of wood nearby - another problem for Chinese manufacturers.

Much of the U.S. furniture industry is privately held or part of a conglomerate, but two companies that might benefit are Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (NYSE: ETH) and La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE: LZB). Both companies have market capitalizations around $430 million, but Ethan Allen is more expensive at 14-times earnings and 1.6-times book value. La-Z-Boy by comparison trades at 6.5-times earnings and just 1.1-times book value.

Of course, to me, there's only one choice: La-Z-Boy products are particularly attractive to us overweight and idle baby boomers!

Dubai May ¡®Muddle¡¯ Through Debt Financing Strategy Next Year, BofA Says

Dubai, which was on the brink of adefault in 2009, may ��muddle�� through a financing strategynext year as state-linked companies sell assets and refinancedebt, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

��A perilous exercise of identifying fiscal deficitfinancing sources may be showing that a mix of domestic bankingsector and Abu Dhabi support helped Dubai muddle through so far,and this (opaque) strategy could continue into 2012,�� London-based analyst Jean-Michel Saliba wrote in a report today.

Dubai��s government yesterday denied a report that it plansto restructure debt of state-owned companies next year and saidit was ready to support them through ��various options.�� State-owned Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC, Jebel AliFree Zone FZE and DIFC Investments LLC, which have a combined$3.8 billion of debt maturing next year, are all facingrefinancing risks and may experience ��ratings volatility�� asthey move closer to the maturity dates, Moody��s InvestorsService said Dec. 6.

The emirate, the Persian Gulf��s trade and tourism hub, wason the brink of a default in 2009 and is recovering after a $20billion cash injection from the United Arab Emirates�� centralbank, the Abu Dhabi government and its banks. Dubai and itsstate-owned companies, excluding finance companies, haveoutstanding debt of $101.5 billion and may need furtherfinancial support to meet these obligations, Moody��s said.

��Serious Repercussions��

��While a restructuring could help some of the weakercompanies obtain more sustainable capital structures, the impacton the rest of the Dubai Inc. structure will make it difficultto envisage a default without serious repercussions on the costof debt to the various other healthy corporates in need ofmarket access,�� Bank of America said.

State-controlled companies including Dubai Holding LLC andDrydocks World LLC are still in talks with lenders torestructure debt, while Dubai World reached an agreement withcreditors on about $25 billion of liabil! ities in March afterroiling global markets in 2009 by seeking to delay payments.

The yield on Dubai��s 6.7 percent dollar bonds due October2015 rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 6.08percent, the highest in more than a week, at 5:28 p.m. in Dubai,according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dubai��s five- yearcredit default swaps were little changed at 445, according toCMA, which is owned by CME Group Inc. (CME) and compiles prices quotedby dealers in the privately negotiated market.

Deere 4th Quarter Earnings Jumped 46 percent Beating Estimates ¨C NYSE:DE

For the fourth quarter ended October 31, net income attributable to Deere & Company?was $669.6 million, or $1.62 per share compared with $457.2 million, or $1.07 per share, for the same period last year.

For fiscal 2011, net income of Deere & Company was $2.800 billion, or $6.63 per share, compared with $1.865 billion, or $4.35 per share, last year.

Worldwide net sales and revenues boosted 20 percent, to $8.612 billion, for the fourth quarter and moved up 23 percent to $32.013 billion for the full year. For the quarter, Net sales of the equipment operations were $7.903 billion and $29.466 billion for full-year 2011, compared with $6.564 billion and $23.573 billion for the corresponding periods last year.

During the year, Deere brought in a record number of products and declared plans for six new factories, in China, Brazil and India. “John Deere’s record performance is a further tribute to our operating model, which stresses rigorous cost management and asset efficiency,” Allen stated. “As a result, we are achieving unprecedented financial results and generating healthy levels of cash flow. These dollars are funding growth throughout the world and also are being shared directly with investors in the form of dividends and share repurchases.”

Net sales of the international equipment operations mounted 20 percent for the quarter and 25 percent for the year. Sales incorporated a positive currency-translation consequence of 2 percent for the quarter and 3 percent for the year and price increases of 3 percent for both periods. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada surged 14 percent for the quarter and 17 percent for the year. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales reported the gain of 31 percent and 38 percent for the respective periods, with encouraging currency-translation effects of 4 percent and 7 percent.

Deere’s equipment operations accounted operating profit of $955 million for th! e quarte r and $3.839 billion for the year, compared with $716 million and $2.909 billion last year. Results were improved for both periods mainly due to higher consignment volumes and perked up price comprehension. These factors were offset to some extent by augmented raw-material costs, higher manufacturing-overhead costs related to new products, and higher research and growth expenses. In addition, full-year results were impacted by higher selling, administrative and general expenses.

Net income of the company’s equipment operations was $552 million for the quarter and $2.329 billion for the year, compared with $357 million and $1.492 billion last year. The same operating features stated above, along with a lower effectual tax rate, influenced both the quarterly and annual results.

Financial services reported net income of $122.1 million for the quarter and $471.0 million for the year compared with $98.4 million and $372.5 million last year. Results for both periods advantage from increase in the credit selection and a inferior stipulation for credit losses, moderately counterbalance by narrower financing spreads and a higher effective tax rate. Included in 2010 fourth-quarter results was a write-down of wind-energy assets held for sale to fair value.

4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Petrobras

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, South American oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE: PBR  ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Petrobras' business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Petrobras facts

Headquarters (Founded) Rio de Janeiro (1953)
Market Cap $167.9 billion
Industry Integrated oil and gas
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $126.3 billion
Management CEO Jose de Azevedo (since 2005)
CFO Almir Barbassa (since 2005)
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 15.4%
Cash/Debt $29.6 billion / $79.0 billion
Dividend Yield 0.6%
Competitors BP (NYSE: BP  )
Chevron (NYSE: CVX  )
ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  )

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 4,313 members who have rated Petrobras believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include DCUDFlyer and NJ7. ?

Just last week, DCUDFlyer nicely summed up the Petrobras bull case: "Seems like a good entry point for a rock solid, cheap oil company. Brazil + oil + PE~8, dont mind if I do. ! Going lo ng."

Petrobras even boasts a robust operating margin of 21%. That's much higher than that of other integrated oil giants such as BP (8%), Chevron (16%), and Exxon (13%).

CAPS member NJ7 elaborates on the opportunity:

Petrobras=offshore holdings. It's that simple. Petrobras investors like me are ultimately waiting for the company to fully tap those huge reserves. This will require huge amounts of capital and accident avoidance despite the dangers of deep-water drilling. Governmental limits on domestic oil prices are also an issue. But when these reserves are tapped, I could see Petrobras reaching $60 dollars a share like other large multinational oil corporations, and increasing its dividend substantially. The question is, how long will it take and at what cost will it tap those reserves? Debt will be a reality, and a weak currency has increased those debt costs.

What do you think about Petrobras, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the new TrackPoisedTo CAPS account.

Who Will Win in 2012?

Horse race? Who needs the horse race? Here are six of the most enduring and uncannily accurate keys for forecasting presidential elections, born of my 35 years of covering national politics. See what you think, and check to see how they hold up as the 2012 campaign progresses.

SEE ALSO: GOP Battle Helps Obama

Its tough to beat an incumbent president. Dont believe President Obama when he claims hes the underdog for reelection. If that were true, the Republican field would be a lot stronger. Since 1948, seven of 10 incumbent presidents have won reelection, 17 of 23 since 1792. Tea party partisans may pine for a bold outsider intent on busting up the Washington establishment. But as columnist David Brooks of the New York Times points out, most ordinary voters expect their commander in chief to simply provide basic order so they can be daring in their own lives. So voters tend to give the sitting president a huge benefit of the doubt.

There are two deal breakers: Presidents who are deemed woefully incompetent/out of their depth (Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter) or too focused on stewardship at the expense of leadership (Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush).

Its not the economy, stupid. Its the perception of the economy when Election Day rolls around. The better Americans feel about its overall direction, the less eager they are to change presidents. The Economist notes that Ronald Reagan won a landslide reelection in 1984, despite an unemployment rate at the same level that destroyed Jimmy Carters reelection effort four years earlier. But people felt the brutal recession of 1981-1982 was over, and it was morning in America again.

Conversely, an improving economy didnt save President George H.W. Bush against Bill Clintons relentless focus on a recession that had ended well before the 1992 election. So never mind the economic vital signs, or that 49% say they wont vote for Obama under any circumstances. Obamas fate hinges on whether fewer Am! ericans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction a year from now, not what they think now.

Deserving Republicans wait their turn. This is why Mitt Romney is considered the likely Republican nominee. He ran a vigorous campaign four years ago, sharpened his campaigning and organizational skills and now, well, its his turn. This has been unspoken protocol inside GOP ranks ever since Barry Goldwaters disastrous insurgency in 1964 resulted in one of the worst general election drubbings in Republican history.

Waiting their turn is one way Republicans differentiate themselves from unruly Democrats. Not that Republicans dont mix it up in the primaries. Though the tea party may seem like a new phenomenon, such tensions inside GOP ranks have existed for years. Ronald Reagan took his libertarian conservative insurgency against Gerald Ford all the way to the 1976 GOP convention. In the end, though, he made theatrical peace with Ford, adhering to his so-called 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. He waited until 1980 and won the White House.

Similarly, his chief challenger that year, George H.W. Bush, waited until 1988. Veteran legislator Bob Dole won the 1996 GOP nomination with a message that virtually pleaded Its My Turn. (It was his turn to lose to Clinton.) And John McCain had dibs on the 2008 nomination because he had fought a rival he privately disliked George W. Bush eight years earlier.

Tall guy wins. Since 1900, based on Wikipedias historical tally of candidate heights, 19 of 28 elections have been won by the taller candidate (68%). It could have been 20 of 28. Al Gore (6 feet) got more votes than George Bush (a half-inch shorter) in 2000, but the U.S. Supreme Court had the final say.

In 2012? Here the plot thickens: Obama is 61. So is Texas Gov. Rick Perry. But Romney claims that he is 62. There is no correlation between height and major party nomination winners, however.

Cool guy wins. Dont laugh. This theorem! , first postulated by my former editor Ciro Scotti at BusinessWeek, has an amazing track record. Think about it. Who was the cool guy, Dwight Eisenhower, iconic hero of World War II, or the bookish Adlai Stevenson? In 1960, John F. Kennedy (Camelot) or Richard Nixon (Tricky Dick)? In 1976, smiling Jimmy Carter seemed much more with it than Gerald Ford. Yet, four years later, Carter looked frustrated and hapless against bold, likable Ronald Reagan.

The winner doesnt actually have to be cool, just come off as cooler than the other guy. George W. Bush benefited enormously in 2000 and 2004 by running against two Democrats who were exceptionally strong on policy but oddly wooden on the stump, Gore and Kerry. Clinton was the Elvis of presidential candidates. And Obama against John McCain in 2008? No contest.

The big question for 2012 is how much of Obamas cool quotient has evaporated, and whether a candidate such as Romney or Perry can find his own vibe. Herman Cain is a cool guy now, but will he be for long? And yes, female candidates can be cool guys. Sarah Palin had it, then lost it, then had it and lost it again. Put this theory to the test next October: Who is the coolest candidate in the race?

Finally, a year is a lifetime in politics. In October 1967, Lyndon Johnson was considered a shoo-in to run for reelection. In the autumn of 1971, with college campuses in open revolt, Richard Nixon looked like he was toast as the Vietnam War dragged out. Fast-forward to 2003: two Democrats named Howard Dean and Wesley Clark (remember them?) battled for front-runner status in the Democratic race to unseat George W. Bush. In October 2007, most Democrats presumed Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the nominee. So don't be surprised if theres a big surprise by next October.