Why I Keep My Bullish Allegiance to Allegiant

When looking for investing ideas, I tend to avoid the airline industry. Every once in a while, however, the performance of a company cannot be overlooked, especially relative to its peers. When it comes to airlines, the better-performing companies tend to be among the regional carriers.

That said, Allegiant Travel (Nasdaq: ALGT  ) stands out from the crowd, primarily due to the way that it runs its business. I took notice of this airline at the end of October, and I was so intrigued by the future of the company that I made a bullish CAPScall with hopes for strong performance in the future.

Who are they?
Allegiant Travel is a leisure-travel company focused on providing travel services to residents of small, underserved cities in the United States. Whereas larger airlines focus on business travelers with high-frequency service, Allegiant focuses on leisure travelers with lower frequency. All stops are offered as non-stop flights from gate to gate, so there is never a risk of missing a connection due to a delayed flight. Current leisure destinations include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale.

With its primary focus on leisure travel, the company tends to benefit from the continued recovery of the economy. It competes with many of the other regional carriers, as well as the regional components of all the major airlines, though it faces direct competition on only ten of its 161 routes. It also was one of the first companies to charge for many services, training its customers to expect fees on future flights. With most airlines now charging these fees, Allegiant was ahead of the curve and these and other ancillary fees now make up about 26% of its total revenue.

Long-term prospects
Allegiant's older fleet provides greater flexibility, allowing the airline to undercut the national carriers on price and attract customers. It is quick to cance! l unprof itable routes, especially when fuel costs rise or passengers stop traveling to resort destinations. By holding onto its planes longer, Allegiant also has a higher current ratio than its competitors:


Current Assets

Current Liabilities

Current ratio

Allegiant Travel $353.1M $181.3M 1.95
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) $4.59B $5.32B 0.86
Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK  ) $1.73B $1.52B 1.14
JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU  ) $1.61B $1.30B 1.24
Hawaiian Airlines (NYSE: HA  ) $480.7M $489.9M 0.98

Source: Yahoo! Finance; as of September 31, 2011.

What it all means
While I am not ready to invest money in the sad airline industry, I am keeping my eye on Allegiant by keeping track of it over on my CAPS page. Though it has been one of my laggards since I added it to my list in November, its strong financial performance -- including 36 consecutive quarters of profitability -- has prompted me to keep an eye on the company. You can do the same thing by adding Allegiant Travel to your Watchlist.

Which Munis Bounced Back? - SmartMoney.com

Give credit to Meredith Whitney for sticking to her guns. The financial analyst just inked a deal with the Portfolio imprint of the Penguin Group to write a book -- "Downgraded: Why the Next Economic Crisis Will Be Local" -- about the dire straits of state and municipal finances. Back in 2010, Whitney made headlines, and caused an investor stampede out of munis, when she predicted hundreds of billions of dollars of municipal-bond defaults.

That hasn't happened. In fact, the total number of defaults actually fell last year. And many investors who were spooked by the grim predictions poured back into the municipal-bond market. Other investors were simply chasing returns, analysts say. The average long-term national muni-bond gained 9% in 2011, compared to a 2.1% gain for the S&P 500, according to Morningstar Inc., a fund research firm.

Still, muni-bond bears say these investments are still plenty risky. As part of the federal government's effort to reduce its massive deficit, several lawmakers -- as well as President Barack Obama -- have proposed cutting or eliminating the tax break on income from municipal bonds for high earners; as of now, muni-bond income is tax-exempt. Other analysts, including those from BlackRock Inc., say there's plenty more downgrade danger ahead, with the number of "super downgrades" of muni bonds -- downgrades of two or more notches -- expected to accelerate through 2012.

Here's a look at five that were on the edge in early 2011, and how they're doing now.

Whittier, California
Getty Images

What made people nervous: In 2007, this city in Orange County issued $15 million in bonds through its redevelopment agency to finance low- and middle-income housing projects.! But lik e many cities, Whittier experienced a downturn after the housing market bust. At one point in 2008, the bonds were trading at 60 cents on the dollar.

What happened: A California Supreme Court ruling in January will allow the state to end redevelopment agencies, which is quashing planned projects statewide. The upside: More money left over for bondholders. The bonds are trading near face value again.

Lesson for investors: The fate of bondholders and the projects they finance don't always go hand-in-hand.

American Folk Art Museum, New York City
Getty Images

What made people nervous: The museum issued $31 million in bonds in 2000 to fund a move to a new building in midtown Manhattan. But attendance fell off a cliff during the recession, and creditors wondered whether they were ever going to get paid. At one point, the bonds were trading at 55 cents on the dollar and sported a yield of nearly 30%.

What happened: The Museum of Modern Art bought the American Folk Art Museum's building, allowing it to retire its debt at par value. Risk-tolerant bond investors could have made a killing. The American Folk Art Museum, however, had to put much of its collection in storage. "We're on our way up again," says Linda Dunne, acting director. "The fact that we're debt-free is huge" and has helped attract new donations, she says.

Lesson for investors: Bonds backed by prime real estate can sometimes be a good deal, even if the entity that received the bond proceeds is having trouble.

Borrego Water District, outside San Diego
Getty Images

What made people nervous: Selling houses in the remote desert proved difficult in a slowing economy, the developer told SmartMoney last year.

What happened: About $9.5 million of bonds were issued to fund the development. The bonds are in default. The water district's lawyers started foreclosure proceedings against all property owners who were delinquent in paying their taxes.

Lesson for investors: Three words: location, location, location. The developer didn't return a call for comment.

Yankee Stadium Parking Facilities, New York City
Getty Images

What made people nervous: Baseball fans balked at the high parking fees backing the $238 million of bonds.

What happened: Bond issuers dipped into the reserve fund to make the bond payment last fall. The Bronx Overall EconomicDevelopment Corp. is exploring the possibility of building a hotel and conference center on the site of one of the garages.

Lesson for investors: Don't charge more than $30 to park for a baseball game when competing parking lots are charging half as much and the subway can get fans to the park for $2.25. A lawyer for thebond issuer didn't return a call for comment.

Amelia Walk Development District, Nassau County, Florida
Getty Images

What ma de people nervous: Easy access to financing led to many similar developments in Florida, says Richard Lehmann, publisher of the Distressed Debt Securities newsletter, and the economic slowdown didn't help. "When it came time to market properties, they found out there were lots of other properties within a stone's throw," he says.

What happened: A new developer took over last year and is moving forward to complete the development, which will "rise from the ashes of the crash," says Jonathan Johnson, lawyer for the Amelia Walk Development District. A professional investment group related to the new developer bought the outstanding bonds about $16 million worth at their market price, well under the par value, and bondholders took a loss, says Walter Bussells, executive vice president with GreenPointe Holdings, the new developer.

Lesson for investors: Don't forget the competition. Bussells says Amelia Walk is distinguished by its large parcels and proximity to a salt marsh nature preserve.

FDX also raised its earnings guidance, like UPS

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) is continuing the upward trend that was started last week by United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) with strong guidance ahead.� Guidance was moved above consensus targets, and the old high-end is now expected to be the base guidance for FDX.� The shipping giant Fedex also raised its FY11 earnings guidance.

For Q1 earnings guidance, FedEx sees $1.05 to 1.25 EPS, well above the $1.01 Thomson Reuters consensus estimate and well above the prior target of $0.85 to $1.05 EPS.� For Fiscal-2011, FedEx c sees earnings at $4.60 to $5.20 EPS versus $4.40 to $5.00 previously offered and versus $4.98 EPS from Thomson Reuters.� When you consider the move in rival United Parcel Service, Inc. last week, there is more than just one way to trade options on the earnings guidance.

The raise is primarily due to better than expected growth in FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipping volumes as package volume growth rates in the first quarter tracked a pace similar to its fourth quarter.� Another big bump came from strong and steady demand for the FedEx International Priority package and freight services, which are higher margin items and are expected to grow more than 20% this quarter.

After looking at the options matrix out there, speculators looking for further upside might want to look at the OCT-2010 $90 CALLS at $1.60.� This implies a 10% price move in the shares for the options to see intrinsic value, but even if shares rise 5% over the next six weeks the options could still climb to above $2.50.� With shares up over 4% at $82.25, the 52-week range for this issue is $63.46 to $97.75.� FedEx’s rival, United Parcel Service, Inc. is up over 1% at $64.57 and its 52-week range is $51.90 to $70.89.

Another issue at stake is the ongoing FedEx labor issue.� That could add a further bump to the scenario, although it could act against it as well if trends! resurfa ce on the side of labor.

For those seeking income or that would want to own shares at a discount to today’s $82.25 price, writing the AUG-2010 $80 PUTS would generate $1.50 in income per contract.� If the stock price falls back to where it was last week then you are effectively long the stock at $78.50.

United Parcel Service moved up 5% last week after it issued upside guidance after its earnings.

Some of the upward price moves may have already been seen here in these two key transport and shipping stocks, but there is still a much larger move that would be needed for FedEx before its 52-week high comes into play here.� A 52-week high is not anywhere enough of a reason alone to choose one over the other, but in today’s earnings environment there seems to be more comfort in speculating in companies that raise guidance versus those which are making excuses as to why they cannot meet their targets.

As of this writing, Jon Ogg did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

How to Find the Hidden Money-Doublers in Today’s Market - Nick Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are two hedge fund pros who give you the on-the-ground market intelligence that separates the pros from the pigeons. Let them show you how to double your money twice each month�even in this tough market.

Best Wall St. Stocks Today:

Twitter has, by most estimates, 100 million members, which makes it one of the largest social networks in the world. All major media companies are on Twitter and some have more than one million Twitter users. It raises the question of whether there is wisdom in crowds.

24/7 Wall St. will look at the Twitter posts at Reuters Biz, WSJ, Financial Times, CNN Money, MarketWatch, CNBC, and 24/7 Wall St. each day to see which stocks.

DailyFinance: The Layoff Kings: The 25 Companies Responsible for 700,000 Lost Jobs http://bit.ly/dv6Lso

Yahoo! Finance: FDA questions wider approval of Lilly’s Cymbalta http://yhoo.it/buON5P

Yahoo! Finance: Mattel accused in Bratz battle of spying on rivals http://yhoo.it/97MYOv

FT: BHP turns hostile with $39bn Potash bid: The Anglo-Australian miner launched a direct offer to PotashCorp�s shareh… http://bit.ly/cbbdRA

MarketWatch: BHP Billiton to take $130-a-share bid for Potash directly to shareholders in hostile bid http://on.mktw.net/d8gp9D

Reuters Biz: Dell CEO gets fewest investor votes in election http://link.reuters.com/wab75n

Reuters Biz: GM IPO filing delayed: sources http://link.reuters.com/pem65n

CNN Money: Hostile $38.6 billion bid for fertilizer maker http://bit.ly/cMPgDw

Douglas A. McIntyre

(NHPR, WIFI, REIS, SASR, AGII) Stock in Review by DrStockPick.com

National Health Partners, Inc. (NHPR)

National Health Partners, Inc. (NHPR), a leading provider of unique discount healthcare membership programs, announced that it has entered into agreement with a major Hispanic marketing group for the sale of its CARExpress programs. The company also sees growth in new sales of memberships of more than 300% thru the remainder of the year.

Under the new agreement, this national Hispanic marketing group will be promoting the company’s CARExpress discount healthcare membership program to Hispanic communities located across the United States, with particular focus on cities and regions containing a large number of Hispanics. With the previously announced plans to increase monthly sales by 75% with its newest and most successful marketing partner, the company now expects sales of new members to grow more than 300% thru the remainder of the year.

According to National Health Partners, more and more people are looking for vision services. By joining the CARExpress program, you will have access to 11,500 vision providers nationwide including: JCPenney, Target, LensCrafters, For Eyes, Sears and thousand of independents. You will be able to save an average of 10% - 50% on most frames, prescription lenses and non-prescription sunglasses. And for those who like to shop by mail, they can use CARExpress mail order program and save an average of 5% - 50% on most contact lenses. Not only do you receive significant savings on eyewear, but Laser Vision Correction (LASIK) is also included in this program. Special discounts on eye examinations at participating locations where approved.

Some symptoms, such as blurred vision, can indicate a constellation of potential eye disorders. For instance, blurry vision might indicate astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, cataracts or other less common and potentially more dangerous disorders. However, other symptoms may be much easier to trace to a cause. For instance, if c! olors lo ok to be more yellow than normal, your eyes don’t move together and you experience triple images in either your right or your left eye, it is likely that you have a cataract.

National Health Partners, Inc. is a national healthcare savings organization that provides discount healthcare membership programs to uninsured and underinsured people through a national healthcare savings network called “CARExpress.”CARExpress is one of the largest networks of hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare providers in the country and is comprised of over 1,000,000 medical professionals that belong to such PPOs as CareMark and Aetna. The company’s primary target customer group is the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance of any kind. The company’s secondary target customer group includes the millions of Americans who lack complete health insurance coverage.

Please visit its website at www.nationalhealthpartners.com

Boingo Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ:WIFI), the world’s leading Wi-Fi software and services provider, announced that David Hagan, Boingo Wireless’ CEO, will participate in the 13th Annual Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum, to be held August 7-9, 2011 at the Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, Colorado. The presentation is scheduled to take place on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. MT. The presentation will be webcast live on the Internet, and can be accessed by visiting the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Web site at http://www.boingo.com. The webcast will also be archived and available on the Web site for 30 days.

Boingo Wireless, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides mobile Wi-Fi Internet solutions.

Reis, Inc. (Nasdaq:REIS) announced that it will release its second quarter 2011 results on Thursday, August 4, 2011. The complete release will also be available directly at either of the following web pages: http://www.reis! .com/inv estors, http://www.reis.com/pressreleases. The Company will host a conference call. This call is for the benefit of existing and prospective stockholders, stock analysts, and other interested parties to discuss the second quarter results and other matters.

Reis, Inc., through its subsidiary, Reis Services, provides commercial real estate market information and analytical tools in the United States.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq:SASR), the parent company of Sandy Spring Bank, announced that the board of directors has declared a quarterly common stock dividend of $0.08 per share, payable August 17, 2011 to shareholders of record on August 10, 2011.

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank, which offers a range of commercial banking, retail banking, and trust services to individuals and businesses in Maryland.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq:AGII) announced it will release the company’s 2011 second quarter financial results after the close of U.S. financial markets on Thurs., Aug. 4, 2011. Company management will conduct an investor conference call starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. ADT) on Fri., Aug. 5, 2011.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. underwrites specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market worldwide.

Genzyme (GENZ) Gets an Approval for Lumizyme from the FDA

Genzyme (GENZ) Gets an Approval for Lumizyme from the FDA

Shares of Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) continued to climb this morning, leveraged by yesterday�s nearly 6% hike on word from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Genzyme recently announced that the FDA gave an approval to market Lumizyme in the U.S, making it�s the first treatment to get an approval in the country to specifically treat patients with late-onset Pompe disease. The company started working on a treatment for Pompe disease 10 years ago and has already invested almost $1 billion toward developing it. Commenting on the FDA approval, Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme�s chairman and CEO, said that he was happy and grateful to the FDA for approving Lumizyme ahead of its scheduled PDUFA date.

Monday Genzyme announced that the conditions for the consent decree for its Allston manufacturing plant have been finalized. These are in-line with the company�s expectations that were announced in April. The company will now pay an up-front disgorgement of past profits of $175 million and will continue to ship Cerezyme�, Fabrazyme�, and Thyrogen�, which are all produced, filled and finished at the Allston manufacturing plant. The company started with the implementation of a comprehensive remediation plan to improve quality and compliance at the Allston facility, last year. It submitted a plan to the FDA in October 2009.

Genzyme�s stock has a 52-week range of $45.39-$63.47.� It has a beta of 0.23. The stock ����������� has seen support at around $47.07 and resistance at around $53.58. It is currently trading below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The consensus recommendation on the stock is Outperform. It has 10 Buy, 1 Outperform, 5 Hold and 2 Underperform ratings, at the moment.

About BeaconEquity.com

BeaconEquity.com is committed to producing the highest-quality insight and analysis of small cap stocks, emerging technology stocks, hot penny stocks and helping investors make informed decisions. Our focus is primarily on the underserved OTC stocks market, or �penny stock� market, which has traditionally been shunned by Wall Street. We have particular expertise with renewable energy stocks, biotech stocks, oil stocks, green energy stocks and internet stocks. There are many hot penny stock opportunities present in the OTC market everyday and we seek to exploit these hot stock gains for our members before the average daytrader is aware of them.

Best Wall St. Stocks Today:

The recently agreed European Union treaty is about to get its first popular vote test, courtesy of Ireland. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told parliament today that he would be calling a referendum before summer on the new treaty.

This is not something the Irish government, or indeed any EU government, wanted to have happen. That�s no surprise really, given that the people are the ones who are suffering under the austerity rules ordered by the EU, and given a chance to express their opinion are likely to reject the new treaty.

The Irish people rejected the first EU treaty change in 2007, forcing the continental government to make alterations before the Irish accepted the second offering. The country was basically forced to accept the second version in order to avoid a bankruptcy. Ireland�s former prime minister, John Bruton, has cautioned that a rejection of the new treaty could force the country out of the eurozone.

Under the recent EU treaty, rules governing sovereign debt limits must be embedded in each Eurozone country�s own constitution. The UK rejected the idea out of hand, which was no big deal because it is not a member of the eurozone. Ireland�s constitution, however, requires a popular vote before any transfer of sovereign power to another government, such as the EU. The Irish government wanted to avoid a referendum because the current austerity measures are hammering Ireland, and the handwriting is pretty much on the wall regarding the outcome of such a vote.

And it�s not just the weaker economies like Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain that would face popular opposition to the new treaty. Finland, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden, and the Czech Republic have also indicated opposition to the requirement that budget targets be incorporated into sovereign constitutions. A majority of 12 of 17 eurozone members is needed to adopt the treaty and its budget targets.

Germany has pushed hardest for targets to be included, essentially demanding targets in exchange f! or conti nued financial support for EU bailout programs. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has already rejected the idea of putting the treaty to a vote if he should win re-election in the two-round process taking place in April and May.

If Ireland votes to reject the budget rule, the EU and the euro itself could be in serious trouble. The recent agreement with Greece, and the resulting improvement of hopes for an economic recovery in Europe could go out the window if Ireland rejects the new treaty. That would not be a good day for the EU.

Paul Ausick

Best Wall St. Stocks Today: ESM,EFSF

Germany has made it clear once again that it believes the new 500 billion euro European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is adequate for future bailouts in the region. The International Monetary Fund and other countries that use the euro as their currency believe otherwise. Germany is the primary �bank� for bailout funds though, so it has the power to reject the wishes of the other parties. Germany may find that what it will not invest into the ESM now, it will invest later if the size of the�fund is inadequate for the series of bailouts that may come.

The IMF�s plan is to take the money left in the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and roll it into the permanent fund. In addition to the 500 billion the new fund would raise, the total balance with the rollover could total 700 billion euro. That, the IMF argues, is closer to the amount that may be needed if Spain, Portugal and Italy begin to lose the faith of the capital markets because of their sovereign debts and growing deficits.

Merkel has voiced her support of the euro and said it is essential to Germany that it survive. Her political opponents care less about the alliance and the ability of Greece, and perhaps other financially weak nations, to stay in the group. Merkel�s decision to support the ESM at only the 500 billion euro level is a sign that she cannot do otherwise without losing her job.

The recession, which has deepened among the weakest nations in the region, as well as the unemployment, which has made matters worse, probably will cause�the international capital markets to desert Portugal and Spain. Austerity measures adopted in those countries could make their economic contractions worse. A bailout of Portugal may not be much larger than that of Greece — perhaps 200 billion euro, by some estimates. Spain would need more money than that, which would test the balance of the fund. Italy would break it.

Germany will not support a larger bailout fund. This might be considered �kicking the can down! the roa d.� If there is a miraculous turnaround in the eurozone�s�fortunes, the Germans can look back on the wisdom of their decision. If not, they will need to put up more money to salvage the alliance later, as long as Germany�s current position of the value of the euro stays in place.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Why Riverbed Technology's Earnings Are Outstanding

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. FCF = free cash flow. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, Riverbed Technology generated $190.8 million cash while it booked net income of $63.8 million. That means it turned 26.3% of its revenue into FCF. That sounds pretty impressive.

All cash is not equal
Unfortunately, the cash flow statement isn't immune from nonsense, either. That's why it pays to take a close look at the components of cash flow from operations, to make sure that the cash flows are of high quality. What does that mean? To me, it means they need to be real and replicable i! n the up coming quarters, rather than being offset by continual cash outflows that don't appear on the income statement (such as major capital expenditures).

For instance, cash flow based on cash net income and adjustments for non-cash income-statement expenses (like depreciation) is generally favorable. An increase in cash flow based on stiffing your suppliers (by increasing accounts payable for the short term) or shortchanging Uncle Sam on taxes will come back to bite investors later. The same goes for decreasing accounts receivable; this is good to see, but it's ordinary in recessionary times, and you can only increase collections so much. Finally, adding stock-based compensation expense back to cash flows is questionable when a company hands out a lot of equity to employees and uses cash in later periods to buy back those shares.

So how does the cash flow at Riverbed Technology look? Take a peek at the chart below, which flags questionable cash flow sources with a red bar.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. TTM = trailing 12 months.

When I say "questionable cash flow sources," I mean items such as changes in taxes payable, tax benefits from stock options, and asset sales, among others. That's not to say that companies booking these as sources of cash flow are weak, or are engaging in any sort of wrongdoing, or that everything that comes up questionable in my graph is automatically bad news. But whenever a company is getting more than, say, 10% of its cash from operations from these dubious sources, investors ought to make sure to refer to the filings and dig in.

With questionable cash flows amounting to only 6.9% of operating cash flow, Riverbed Technology's cash flows look clean. Within the questionable cash flow figure plotted in the TTM period above, chang! es in ta xes payable provided the biggest boost, at 24.4% of cash flow from operations. Overall, the biggest drag on FCF also came from other operating activities (which can include deferred income taxes, pension charges, and other one-off items) which represented 11.8% of cash from operations. Riverbed Technology investors may also want to keep an eye on accounts receivable, because the TTM change is 2.4 times greater than the average swing over the past 5 fiscal years.

A Foolish final thought
Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' cash flow. I think that's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home-run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service.

  • Add Riverbed Technology to My Watchlist.

Gas Prices Threaten Housing Recovery?

Diplomatic conflict between Iran and Western political powers has caused Iran to shut off the flow of oil to many countries, which in turn has caused a spike in gas prices in the U.S. Now, some experts are speculating that the new, higher gas prices may stifle a much-needed recovery in the real estate market. Many prospective homebuyers are also commuters, and an extended period of higher gas prices could easily impact the purchasing decisions of some, according to analysts. For more on this continue reading the following article from TheStreet.

I spent Sunday afternoon at a Toll Brothers neighborhood in Northern Virginia called "Dominion Valley." It's a planned community about 45 miles from the heart of DC that sprung up in 2000 and has sold 2500 homes, with another 1,000 still planned.

My mission was to get a sense of buyer traffic as the President's Day weekend unofficially kicks off the spring home selling season.

As I was driving back toward DC, I noticed the price of gas (for the cheap stuff) was $3.75 a gallon. Ouch. (They're higher in other parts of the country)

That can't be good for sales.

Some of the potential buyers I spoke with worried about the drive time, but hadn't seem to give gas prices as much thought.

Many people who live in Dominion Valley commute into the city, or just outside to the Pentagon and surrounding contractor base in Crystal City. Commutes in this area are often long, but when gas prices spike they become more costly, too.

The sales center and model homes bustling with potential buyers. With a weather forecast for snow and the "National Sales Event" advertised by Toll Brothers was mostly discounts on upgrades, I was surprised to see a steady crowd. John Elcano, Toll's VP for Virginia Sales, told me they've raised prices four times since October.

Several of the potential and actual buyers I spoke with were eager to move, one a from a condo in the same community! , anothe r a first time home buyer, and another who was downsizing from a bigger house with a bigger yard.

Scott Genburg and his wife, who live near Dominion Valley, already sold their existing house, without even putting it on the market. A realtor canvassed their neighborhood and they accepted the offer. So they ended up needing to buy something fast and bought a new home. But none of the folks I spoke with were looking for a bigger house with a longer commute, a stable of the boom times.

With the federal government a steady source of jobs, the Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia markets have shown resilience in the face of the great recession. Builders seem to be responding. Metrostudy reports that finished, vacant housing inventory rose more sharply than any other market it studies in the last quarter, up 17.7%.

At the same time, the inventory of existing homes for sale is low. Ken Croisetiere, who just got married, expressed frustration with the house hunting process "it feels like a great time to buy, but what we're finding out is that the houses that appeal to us are not as abundant as we would like to find. Toll's Elcano says, " people are relocating to the area, they can't find a resale to move into so they're moving more toward the new construction."

But will people still move to new construction in the exurbs if it cost $100 to keep the tank full on a weekly basis? ISI home building analyst Steve East says higher gas prices will impact builders, with a "modest effect" on the entry level market.

Gold at 3-month high as bargain seekers prevail

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) � Gold futures on Wednesday beat initial weakness to settle at a three-month high as the early price dips only enticed investors back to the metal.

Gold had spent most of the day in the red, as the optimism from the Greek deal faded after downbeat data from China and with investors taking profits given recent gains. Bargain-hunting ensued, however, in the last hour of trading, securing the milestone for the metal.

Gold for April delivery GCJ2 �advanced $12.80, or 0.7%, at $1,771.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement for gold since mid-November.

The metal, which settled 1.9% higher on Tuesday, spent most of the session in the red.

Click to Play

Chinese millionaires heading out

Best-selling writer Shi Kang is one of a growing number of wealthy Chinese looking to leave the Middle Kingdom, in search of a better life and a healthier environment for their families.

The decline in prices enticed back some investors, said Jim Steel, an analyst with HSBC in New York.

Helping gold higher were steep gains for platinum and palladium, he said. The gains came mostly on the back of a ongoing strike in South Africa, a top exporter of platinum.

Greece remained in the headlines after Fitch Ratings cut Greece�s sovereign-credit rating to C from CCC, and said that the planned bond swap for private debt holders will amount to a restricted default.

The dollar pushed higher, contributing to the fall of gold and other commodities, but moderated its gains. The ICE dollar index DXY , which measures the greenback�s performance against a basket of six rival currencies, rose to 79.207 from 79.023 late Tuesday. See story on dollar gains.

The dollar USDJPY �topped the key �80 level against the Japanese yen, also as economic data from China disappointed. The preliminary result of a survey by HSBC showed Chinese factory activity at a four-month high in February, but at a level that indicated modest contraction. Read more on China�s data.

News on Tuesday that Beijing had cut reserve requirements for lenders had helped gold and other metals rise. The move was an effort to boost lending and increase liquidity in China, a large consumer of raw materials.

Copper and silver kept their losses, with platinum and palladium ending higher.

Copper for March delivery HGH2 fell less than 1 cent to settle at $3.83 a pound.

March silver futures SIH2 �shed 18 cents, paring losses, to end at $34.25 an ounce.

Platinum for April delivery PLJ2 �rose $35.90, or 2.1%, to $1,720.80 an ounce. March palladium PAH2 ! �gained $7, or 1%, to $717.75 an ounce.

That was the highest close for platinum and the first above $1,700 an ounce since late September. For palladium, it was also its best settlement in five months.

A strike at the world�s largest platinum mine, Rustenburg in South Africa, has been under way for four weeks and that has provided support for the metal, analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note.

�Because the unions are also in dispute among themselves, the strike looks set to continue for the time being, which should lend further support to the platinum price,� they said.

Sister metal palladium �is likely to be pulled upwards in platinum�s slipstream� plus benefit from its own supply concerns, as Russian officials have been quoted as saying Russia will no longer be selling any significant quantities of its state palladium reserves.

�Until recently, around 1 million ounces of these reserves were sold each year, thus constituting a considerable proportion of total supply over the course of many years,� the Commerzbank analysts wrote.

Russia is the No. 1 producer of palladium, but exports have declined in recent years.

Stocks from cable providers to satellite radio are giving investors solid gains

Just as I said last month, the time is right to buy media stocks. All of these marvelous media companies have posted solid gains over the past 12 months and have continued to make gains since the beginning of the year. If you’re looking to invest in this sector, here are some companies that you might find appealing.

I watch more than 5,000 publicly traded companies with my Portfolio Grader tool, ranking companies by a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. And this week, I’ve got eight positive-looking media stocks for you to take a gander at.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. Each one of these stocks gets an �A� or �B� according to my research, meaning it is a �strong buy� or �buy.�

CBS (NYSE:CBS) is a mass media company that has posted a gain of nearly 27% since last March. CBS stock gets an �A� for operating margin growth, a �B� for earnings growth, a �B� for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, an �A� for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month, an �A� for cash flow and an �B� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of CBS stock.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) provides its customers with video, high-speed Internet and phone services. In the last year, CMCSA stock is up 16%, compared to a gain of 7% for the Dow Jones in the same time. CMCSA stock gets an �A� for sales growth, a �B� for earnings momentum, a �B� for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a �B� for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month and a �B� for cash flow in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of CMCSA stock.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCK) is a global nonfiction media and entertainment company. A gain of almost 18% for DISCK in the ! last yea r has outpaced the broader markets. DISCK stock gets a �B� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of DISCK stock.

DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) is a subscriber-based television provider with more than 14 million customers in the U.S. DISH stock has gained 26% in the last 12 months. DISH stock gets an �A� for operating margin growth, a �B� for earnings growth, a �B� for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a �B� for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month, an �A� for cash flow and an �A� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of DISH stock.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is a global media company that�s involved with television, film and publishing. NWS stock has posted a gain of 11% in the last year. NWS stock gets a �B� for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a �B� for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month and a �B� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of NWS stock.

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is a satellite radio provider that offers music, sports, entertainment, comedy, talk, news, traffic and weather channels. Since last March, SIRI has jumped 29%. SIRI stock gets an �A� for operating margin growth, an �A� for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a �B� for cash flow and an �A� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of SIRI stock.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) provides video, high-speed data and voice services to customers across the U.S. TWC has posted a gain of nearly 13% in the last 12 months. TWC stock gets a �B� for operating margin growth, an �A� for earnings growth, a �B� for earnings momentum, an �A! � for it s ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a �B� for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month an �A� for cash flow and an �A� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of TWC stock.

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) is involved with television, films, Internet and mobile platforms. VIAB rounds out the list with a gain of 9% in the last year. VIAB stock gets an �A� for cash flow and an �A� for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of VIAB stock.

Get more analysis of these picks and other publicly traded stocks with Louis Navellier�s Portfolio Grader tool, a 100% free stock rating tool that measures both quantitative buying pressure and eight fundamental factors.

Cheesecake Factory Beats Estimates on Top and Bottom Lines

Cheesecake Factory (Nasdaq: CAKE  ) reported earnings on Feb. 21. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Jan. 3 (Q4), Cheesecake Factory beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins grew, net margins increased.

Revenue details
Cheesecake Factory booked revenue of $477.7 million. The 24 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see a top line of $470.5 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 15% higher than the prior-year quarter's $416.7 million.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.53. The 25 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.52 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.54 for Q4 were 50% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.36 per share.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 42.2%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 8.3%, 90 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 6.3%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $442.6 million. On the bottom! line, t he average EPS estimate is $0.36.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.83 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.84.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 504 members out of 642 rating the stock outperform, and 138 members rating it underperform. Among 203 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 179 give Cheesecake Factory a green thumbs-up, and 24 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Cheesecake Factory is outperform, with an average price target of $31.10.

Over the decades, small-cap stocks, like Cheesecake Factory have provided market-beating returns, provided they're value priced and have solid businesses. Read about a pair of companies with a lock on their markets in "Too Small to Fail: Two Small Caps the Government Won't Let Go Broke." Click here for instant access to this free report.

  • Add Cheesecake Factory to My Watchlist.

Try a covered call option on XLE energy or USO oil

Osama bin Laden is dead. Is there a trade?

A trade around bin Laden is a trade around geopolitical risk and that comes in two forms. The first involves major events that create structural changes in economies, for instance the September 11 attacks that sent the U.S. to war in Afghanistan.

The second is event risk that fades rapidly — that would be the tsunami in Japan or the revolution in Egypt — a non-oil producing country.

The death of bin Laden has reduced the possibility of a major event; say a weapon of mass destruction attack. For this reason the price of oil is falling. With the falling dollar, oil should be rising, so this impact is not over. And this has created an opportunity for the smart and patient trader.

Forgetting major geopolitical risks for a moment, remember that oil usage is increasing due to rapid growth in emerging markets while demand is stalled in developed markets. This forms the basis of a great trade � a long-term long position in oil that could occasionally move upward, big time, due to a geopolitical event.

This offers us two types of options trading opportunities � a buy-write or the straight up purchase of calls.

Option Trade 1 � Buy-Write on XLE or USO

First, the buy-write trade. Buy an energy ETF such as the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLE) that represents energy producers or the US Oil Fund (NYSE: USO), an ETF that represents the price of oil. Options on these ETFs are liquid and easy to trade.

These ETFs are sliding so take your time; wait until you see a bottom or average in. Once you are in, turn around and write covered calls that are out-of-the-money and at least two months out.� Take the premium you are paid for selling the calls and put it in the bank. If the price of oil and energy continue to decline, you have lowered the basis of your investment, and you can buy back the calls at a cheaper ! price. Y ou then sell them again at another two months out. Repeat this process while this is profitable.

Find more option analysis and trading ideas at Options Trading Strategies.

This trading can also be done on a more immediate basis with the Weekly options that trade on both the USO and the XLE.

If the price of oil increases, as it will over time, the value of the underlying ETF increases and you can still write covered calls, the only risk that of foregone profit. That is, if the ETF goes up in value it will be called away from you and you will have to give up your holding in the ETF as it rises.

Option Trade 2 � Straight Call Purchase of XLE or USO

Second, if you are more of a gambler than I am, buy the calls outright.� But you need to choose a month that expires late in the year or a LEAP. They will spike if the price of oil spikes but the later date gives the fundamentals a chance to work. There are LEAPs available for both USO and XLE.

10 Things the Super Bowl Won't Say - SmartMoney.com

Also See

  • Betting On the Super Bowl
  • Buying a Super-Bowl-Worthy TV
  • Video: 4 Tips to Save on Your Super Bowl Party

Close to 100,000 football fans will pack into the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 to see the New England Patriots battle the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. But as ticket prices have escalated over the years, watching the game from the bleachers has become a pipe dream for the average fan. The average resale ticket starts at $4,000 this year, up 74% from 2010, according to TiqIq, a sports ticket aggregator. But prices can go as high as $15,300; one suite at this year's game will set you back more than $800,000. Then there are travel costs. Hotel rates are often marked up to three or four times their regular levels during Super Bowl weekend, according to Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. And a week or so before the game, a nonstop round trip flight from New York City to Indianapolis on the Thursday before the Super Bowl, returning the following Monday, costs about $2,000 on Expedia.com. "You have to have a lot of cash and a lot of luck to end up at the Super Bowl," says Matheson.


Things the Super Bowl Won't Say


SmartMoney's Jonnelle Marte on Lunch Break blitzes through the hype of the Super Bowl and points out some little-known aspects of America's favorite sporting event.

Getting a ticket to the game last year didn't even guarantee a seat. Approximately 475 ticketed fans found themselves in standing room only after some seats were not installed in time for inspection at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The issue is now the subject of a lawsuit, and the National Football League says it offered those fans several options: $2,400 plus a ticket to this year's Super Bowl; a game ticket to any future Super Bowl with airfare and a four night hotel stay; or a check for $5,000 or more, depending on expenses. The NFL also points out that ticket prices start between $800 and $1,200, but are marked up four or five times when they are resold.

2. "You're welcome for the stock gain."

Research has shown companies which advertise during the big game get a boost to their share prices in the days before as companies are building up the hype over their ads and after the Super Bowl. From 1996 to 2010, these Super Bowl advertisers outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 1 percent on average in the two-week period starting from the Monday before the Super Bowl through the Friday afte! r the ga me, according to research by Rama Yelkur, a marketing professor for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who studies Super Bowl ads. Those companies that continued to promote their ads throughout the year tended to outperform the market longer, he adds. "Our research suggests that advertising in the Super Bowl is a tradable event," she says.

Then there's that stock market lore called the Super Bowl Indicator. History says if an "original" National Football League team wins the Super Bowl the Dow Jones Industrial Average will rise that year. Alternately, it drops if the winning team joined the NFL after the merger with the American Football League in 1970. Through 2011, the Super Bowl indicator has an 80% accuracy rate. But keep in mind this quirky indicator failed miserably in 2008. The Dow lost 33% even though the Giants, an "original" team, beat the Patriots 17 to 14.

3. "It's a field day for criminals."

As fans begin arriving in Indianapolis a good portion of the crowd will be up to no good, say law enforcement experts. The Super Bowl draws plenty of big spenders, and, in turn, ticket scalpers, thieves, drug dealers and other criminals looking to cash in. The games, like many other large events, are also a draw for prostitutes, some of them minors brought in by sophisticated child trafficking rings, says Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Some groups also warn about pickpockets.

Allen says his group and other anti-trafficking groups work with police leading up to the Super Bowl to bring awareness to the ways large events attract trouble. This year, Indianapolis officials say the police department is working with the Department of Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies to keep Super Bowl crime at bay. The NFL said it's working with state, federal and local law enforcement to keep attendees safe.

4. "We're a blow to productivity..."
As soo n as the two teams were decided, Matt Wurst printed out a grid for coworkers to start entering the Super Bowl office pool at 360i, a New York based digital marketing agency. Each person is randomly assigned two numbers and if the final scores end in those digits they win bragging rights, says Wurst. It takes only a few minutes for people to stop by and write their names, and he says the activity helps build office camaraderie and draws more attention to the actual sport instead of the ads. His boss might not be so sure, say experts: Employers nationwide lose money in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl as workers spend time chatting about the game, setting up office pools and planning parties.

While there is no exact science to measuring the blow to productivity, outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates employers lost $1 billion in wasted work during the week leading up to last year's Super Bowl weekend. Taking into account that 111 million Americans watched the game last year, the firm used average employment and wage figures to estimate that American employers lost $205 million for every 10 minutes employees spent talking about the Super Bowl instead of working. That doesn't even count the people who call in sick or show up late to work on the following Monday.

5. "...and the reason you lost money."

More than $10 billion worldwide will be wagered on the Super Bowl this year, predicts the sports betting news site Pregame.com, with over 50% of adult Americans' having some money on the game. If history is any indication, many of those gamblers will walk away empty handed. According to a January survey of 2,625 adults by coupon aggregator CouponCabin.com, 92% of people who have bet on the Super Bowl said they've lost money -- 14% lost $100 or more.

Since so many people who tune into the game can't tell a safety blitz from a cornerback blitz, about half of Super Bowl bets have little to do with the game, says RJ Bel! l, found er of Pregame.com<http://Pregame.com><http://Pregame.com>. People also wager on what color Gatorade will be doused on the winning team, how long the national anthem will last and who the MVP will thank first. Some of the bets circulating this year, according to Bell: How often will Peyton Manning, the brother of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, be mentioned? Will Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throw more than 280 yards?

Plenty of people win too: 44% of people who said they've bet on a Super Bowl have won $100 or more, according to the CouponCabin.com survey. Twelve percent have won between $200 and $500. And putting money on the game isn't always legal. Certain states restrict people from betting on a single sports game and many forbid sports betting completely, says Bell. Still, the rules won't stop many people from setting up pools online, at work and through bookies. The NFL says it has a long opposition to gambling on games.

6. "Ads outshine the game."

Last year after the Vince Lombardi trophy was handed over, the chatter from viewers at home was just as likely to revolve around the cute kid who played Darth Vader in the Volkswagen commercial as it was on the game-winning plays. As game-time ads become more profitable, TV networks and marketers are putting more emphasis on commercials and focusing less on actual football. "Now it seems like the game is more of an afterthought," says Ken Crippen, executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association, a nonprofit group dedicated to football history.

It's no wonder, say marketing experts: Last year's Super Bowl attracted 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in American TV history, according to Nielsen. For advertisers, this is prime time, says Crippen, and many are willing to pay a lot a short spot. A thirty-second ad during this year's game sold for an average $3.5 million and went as high as $4 million, according to NBC Sports. One trend this yea! r: compa nies are buying multiple spots to air ads longer than 30 seconds, according to the network. Meanwhile, companies begin building up hype for their expensive ads weeks before the game by announcing star actors, offering previews and promoting them on Twitter, says Yelkur. This year, some are rolling out smartphone apps to draw more attention to the commercials.

7. "The stadium may be in the crosshairs."

The sheer number of people worldwide who tune in to watch the game make the Super Bowl a likely target for a terrorist attack, researchers say. A joint report by Texas Tech, the University of Colorado and the University of Miami found that sporting events like the Super Bowl could be significant targets because of their connection to the American economy and culture, their global appeal and the potential for mass casualties."It's the most watched event in the world, so you get the notoriety," says John Miller, one of the researchers. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security said there was no specific terrorist threat to the Super Bowl but warned that such high profile events draw interest from terror groups.

As a result, attendees can expect massive security measures including bag checks, pat downs and video surveillance. Last year DHS partnered with the NFL to launch an awareness campaign encouraging people to report suspicious activities. Many fans welcome the extra security measures in exchange for a sense of safety, according to the survey. The NFL says it works closely with local, state and federal agencies, including DHS to reduce the risk of an attack.

8. "We're an excuse to splurge."

Hosting a Super Bowl party has become as American as, well, football. Of the roughly 170 million people who are expected to watch the game this year, 15% plan to host a party, while another 27% are planning to attend one, according to a survey from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. It's estimated tha! t Americ ans will an average of more than $60 on merchandise and snacks for the game, the survey found. But many party hosts will spend much more. Rebecca Bromberg, 33, for example, is planning to shell out between $100 and $200 to keep the chili, chips and beer flowing at her first Super Bowl bash this year. The Columbia University administrator plans to hunt down paper goods with the Giants logo to make the event more festive. To keep costs down, she decided against ordering pizza and has asked her 20 or so guests to pitch in beer and wine.

More than 5 million fans plan on spending even more by upgrading their TV sets for the big game, up from 4.5 million last year. Electronics and retail experts say their timing is good: many current TV sales are some of the best ever -- even beating holiday-season deals.

9. "The hoopla isn't super for the local economy."

Every year, cities throughout the country vie for a chance to host America's favorite game. For many of them, the journey to the winning bid includes expensive upgrades or even building a new stadium. Local officials routinely promise that these costs are more than covered by the hundreds of millions of dollars the game will bring to the local economy. Indeed, some host committees working to bring the game to their towns have estimated that the event will result in up to $500 million in economic activity.

The reality may be fraction of that number, according to research from the College of Holy Cross. "We think the numbers are greatly exaggerated," says Holy Cross's Matheson. Many of the figures used to quantify how much people spend on Super Bowl weekend don't take into account that such spending takes away from money that would normally go to other local businesses and events, he says. As a result, the actual boost to the economy is somewhere between $30 million and $90 million, Matheson figures.

Many of these host cities are already strong tourist destinations so economists measuring the impa! ct of th e Super Bowl should look at the change in spending during that week instead of total spending, says Matheson. For example, if a hotel that normally has 80% of its rooms booked on the weekends is 100% booked on Super Bowl weekend, researchers should look at that 20% boost instead of the full occupancy, says Matheson. What's more, some of the money spent at national chains gets funneled to corporate headquarters in other cities, he adds.

To be sure, small businesses do get more exposure and new customers when their town hosts the Super Bowl. Better yet, businesses often have to hire additional workers to prepare for the event and influx of visitors, says Matheson, which could boost employment in the region. An NFL spokesman said the Super Bowl draws more than 100,000 visitors to the host city and they likely to boost the economy.

10. "Watching the game could give you a heart attack."

Your team is in the lead going into the fourth quarter, but in the last few minutes, a surprising touchdown erases all of that. Your heart starts racing and you clutch your chest. An intense Super Bowl loss may increase the likelihood of a heart attack for some fans, says Dr. Robert A. Kloner, director of research of the heart institute at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and a professor of medicine and the University of Southern California. The excitement of a game like the Super Bowl can lead to hearts racing, a blood clot or an irregular heartbeat, he says. In research released last year, Dr. Kloner looked at the number of deaths due to heart disease following Super Bowl wins and losses. But since his hometown doesn't have a professional football team at the moment, he had to look back 30 years to when the Los Angeles Rams lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980 and at the victory of the L.A. Raiders over the Washington Redskins in 1984.

The research found that a Super Bowl loss triggered an increase in cardiac-related deaths for both men and wo! men, esp ecially for those at least 65 years old. A win, however, had very little impact to death rates due to heart attacks, perhaps because those game was not as exciting, says Dr. Kloner. (The Rams, which are now in St. Louis, were in the lead until the fourth quarter when the Steelers scored two touch downs. On the other hand the Raiders, which have since moved to Oakland, won with a substantial 38-9 lead over the Washington Redskins.) To be sure, advances in treating heart disease may reduce such risks today, and Dr. Kloner says he is expanding his research to take a similar look at other cities around the U.S. In the meantime, people with heart conditions should be sure to take their medicine and use relaxation exercises if the game gets too heated, says Dr. Kloner. And take it easy on the beer and chips.

PWRM, Power3 Medical Products, Inc. Headlines Session at International Molecular Diagnostic Meeting in China

Dr Stock Pick HOT News & Alerts!


FREE Daily Stock Alerts From DrStockPick.com


Friday September 18, 2009

DrStockPick.com Stock Report!

PWRM, Power 3 Medical Products Inc, PWRM.OB

Power3 Medical Products, Inc. Headlines Session at International Molecular Diagnostic Meeting in China

- Power3 Medical Products, Inc. a Leader in Neurodegenerative Disease and Cancer Diagnostic Biomarkers Announces its Chief Scientific Officer is Chair and Keynote Speaker of Session at the BTI Life Sciences 2nd Annual Congress and Expo of Molecular Diagnostics in Beijing, China in November 2009 -

HOUSTON, Texas, (CRWENEWSWIRE)– Power3 Medical Products, Inc. (OTC BB: PWRM), a leader in neurodegenerative disease and cancer biomarkers and diagnostic tests, announces further international recognition of validity as the company�s President and CSO, Dr. Ira Goldknopf will deliver an invited Keynote address and chair a session on �Biomarkers and Diagnostics in Personalized Medicine (Track 6-4),� at the BIT Life Sciences 2nd International Congress and Expo of Molecular Diagnostics in Beijing, China, November 19-21, 2009. The Theme of the meeting is �New Leadership of Personalized Medicine.�

In his Keynote address, entitled �Principles of Omic Medicine Applied to Differential Diagnosis - Breast Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases,� Dr. Goldknopf will discuss the �necessary fundamental principles� that BC-SeraPro� and NuroPro�® exemplify which enable the company�s biomarkers and tests to �more effectively ad! dress th e unmet clinical needs that challenge us today.� He will describe the company�s unique position and ability to use biomarkers for testing in personalized medicine and the various facets that are required for discovery, validation and to commercialize a group of biomarkers.

�For physicians to order a test for a patient, they first need to believe in it. That takes major international scientific acceptance and publication in peer reviewed journals. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to showcase world-wide the strides we have made through refinements in our biomarkers and blood test for early stage detection of breast cancer (BC-SeraPro, GLOBE NEWSWIRE Aug. 20, 2009)� said Dr. Goldknopf. �Earlier presentations on Alzheimer�s and Parkinson�s disease biomarkers and tests were given at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Neurology in Seattle and the International Congress of Alzheimer�s Disease in Vienna (NuroPro, World Stock Wire July 14, 2009). We recently published the Parkinson�s disease biomarkers and test results in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Reuters Sept 2, 2009), and more publications are in the works.�

�We are extremely proud and excited about the recognition of Dr. Goldknopf and Power3 by the opportunity to chair this session and present at this international meeting.� said Ms Park, Power3�s CEO. �Dr. Goldknopf is the Keynote speaker and will feature new progress in clinical validation of the company�s biomarkers and blood test for early stage diagnosis of Breast cancer leading to commercialization.�

About Power3 Medical Products, Inc.:

Power3 Medical Products (OTCBB: PWRM, www.power3medical.com) is a leading bio-medical company engaged in the commercialization of neurodegenerative disease and cancer biomarkers, pathways, and mechanisms of diseases through the development of diagnostic tests and drug targets. Power3’s patent-pending technologies are being used to develop screening and diagnostic tests for the ea! rly dete ction and prognosis of disease, identify protein biomarkers, and drug targets. Diagnostic tests are targeted toward markets with critical unmet needs in areas including neurodegenerative disease (NuroPro) and breast cancer (BC-SeraPro). Power3 expects to complete phase II clinical validation trials of its blood serum diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease (NuroPro-AD), and Parkinson�s disease (NuroPro-PD) in 2009 and for breast cancer in 2010, followed by filings with the FDA. Power3 operates a state-of-the-art CLIA certified laboratory in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas. Power3 continues to evolve and enhance its IP portfolio, employing sensitive and specific combinations of biomarkers it has discovered from a broad range of diseases as the basis of highly selective blood-based tests for ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases, and breast cancer.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. With the exception of historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release involve risk and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

Source: Power3 Medical Products, Inc.

Keep a close eye on PWRM today, do your homework, and like always BE READY for the ACTION!

Lies, Damned Lies, and Investment Performance

Mark Twain said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” His point was that through the judicious selection of data, statistics can be manipulated to prove just about any point a person wants to make. If this is true (and I wouldn’t want to argue with Mark Twain), investment performance falls firmly into the same category.

Timing the Market vs. Time In the Market

Arguments for and against the loosely-defined “market timing” is an area that takes the most liberties when it comes to quoting investment performance numbers. The most common case for a buy-and-hold strategy is that pulling money out of the market could cause an investor to miss a big market day. A quick search on Google reveals a long list of websites and articles that follow this general theme: If you had invested $10,000 at such and such a date and kept it invested, you could now retire early and send your kids and grandkids to Harvard. But if you missed the [10 best months/best month each year/5 best days each month/etc/etc], your investment would now be practically worthless. Obviously, Time In the Market is better than trying to Time the Market.

Standard & Poor’s Financial Library contains a chart that is often used in web articles to prove the case against market timing. The chart, titled “The Effect of Staying Invested vs. Missing Top Performance Days, 1997 to 2006″, shows the result of investing $10,000 and staying invested over 10 years, compared to missing the best 5, 10, 15, …, 30 days of the market. A buy-and-hold approach results in the investment growing to $22,451. Missing the best 30 days over that 10 year period results in the investment shrinking to $6,921. The conclusion stated on the chart, as well as most articles that use the chart, is that “missing the market’s top-performing days can prove costly.” Duh. Now let! ’s apply a little logic.

If your market timing system is so bad that it only misses the best days in the market, then a buy-and-hold approach is clearly the way to go. However, if a case can be made based on something as ridiculous as missing ONLY the 30 best days over 10 years, then it seems there would be an equal chance of missing only the 30 worst days. What happens in that case? Well, if you invested the same $10,000 and happened to miss only the 30 worst days (also clearly ridiculous), your investment would have grown to $69,879. Clearly, Timing the Market is much better than Time-In-the-Market. Both data points are hogwash, but only one of them tends to be used in what masquerades as a serious argument.

Historical Return Of the Stock Market is X%

Now let’s take a look at another way historical performance is often misused. The superior long-term performance (or lack of performance) of stocks is often used to justify portfolio allocations, indexing, actively-managed mutual funds, etc. After all, U.S. stocks have returned an average of 10.3% per year. Or they have been flat for over 4 decades when adjusted for inflation and excluding dividends. Or they have underperformed bonds. All of these statements are true in the right context and with enough disclosure. The long-term performance of stocks is a wonderful and dangerous tool because there are so many degrees of freedom with which to play. If I want a good long-term number, I can start my performance analysis in 1908 and end it in 2007. However, if I start in 1929 and end in 2008, I get a very different (and much worse) number. Going back to using stock performance to justify the buy-and-hold argument, the DJIA has had a couple of periods that work very well to support buy-and-hold. From 1943 to 1962, the DJIA had an average return of about 8.2%, and from 1982 to 2000 the return was around 12.9%. However, 1900-1943 (2.3% annual return), 1962-1982 (2.4% per year), and 1996 to 2009 (0%) didn’t work out so well, and could ! all be u sed to argue the exact opposite point. I recently saw a chart of the DJIA adjusted for inflation and excluding dividends. When looking at the market this way, the market is currently at about the same level it was in 1966. Even more interesting was that you could draw a straight line on the chart between 1929 and 1992. This data could be used to justify market timing, or a bond portfolio, or real estate investing…you name it. Many may argue that you can’t disregard dividends, and that the definition of inflation is up for interpretation, but however we massage the data, it can still be used to justify practically any argument…just like statistics.

How Should Performance Be Used?

The only data we have to go on is past performance, so obviously we shouldn’t throw out the data just because it can be easily manipulated. However, an awareness that data can be selectively chosen to justify our own biases is important, especially since this can be done subconsciously. In severe bear markets, it is easy to point back to the latest bull market and convince ourselves that things will quickly get back to “normal” if we just hang on a little longer. If normal is defined as consistent 10.3% returns, there are long periods in the market that don’t support this. Another thing to keep in mind is that it is just as easy to use the most recent market performance to justify the newest investing fad as it is to ignore recent market data in order to argue that traditional investing ideas will always work. U.S. and world economies evolve, and just because a strategy would have worked over the last 80 years does not mean it will work over the next 20. The key thing is to maintain a good dose of skepticism whenever performance data is used to justify an argument, and always ask “does this make sense”. Ignoring the best market performance days but including the worst days to “prove” a point should raise some red flags, and would certainly make Mark Twa! in think twice.

Jerry Verseput is Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Advisor in El Dorado Hills, CA. More information can be found at http://www.veripax.net

Best Wall St. Stocks Today: MRVL

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was the subject of a lot of buzz today.  There wasn’t any news out on it, but there were enough options that traded today that would account for almost 5 million shares on a leveraged basis.

We asked around after several inquiries came in throughout the day, and most of the inquiries seemed to revolve around the options trading rather than anything steadfast that sounded like there was an an imminent development.  One source noted to me some "chatter" that Tokyo Electron was the name he heard that may have an interest.  The truth is that there will be know way to know if Marvell is really in play or not without knowing everything management is doing currently.  Because of it being perceived as near-fabless model, that also narrows the field.

34,933 contracts traded for the March-2008 $10 Calls, and the open interest was merely 2,188 contracts.  In the March $12.50 Calls, there were 12,517 contracts that traded hands but the open interest on that was already 30,931 contracts.

Earnings are scheduled for March 6, 2008, so it is too early for traders to start playing this in hopes that there is some earnings blowout coming.  Shares briefly traded under $10.00 recently, but they have also been cut in half over the last year.  To make things worse, shares are down from over $30.00 just two years ago.

Shares rose almost 5% today to $10.99 on above average trading volume.  On last look shares were up about another 2% to $11.23 and had traded some 300,000 shares in after-hours activity.

Jon C. Ogg
February 20, 2008

FOREX-Euro falls broadly; markets on edge over debt crisis – Reuters

FOREX-Euro falls broadly; markets on edge over debt crisis
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) – The euro fell broadly on Monday, with a euro zone sovereign debt crisis that looks to be getting worse pushing nervous investors towards perceived safe-havens such as the Swiss franc and yen.
WORLD FOREX: Swiss Franc, Yen Gain As Euro-Zone Tensions MountWall Street Journal
FOREX: Franc, Yen and Dollar Shine as Market Confidence Sinks AgainDailyFX
Forex – FX Market Commentary � 18th July 2011ForexTV.com
FXstreet.com -Trading Point -NASDAQ
all 108 news articles »

{forex} – Google News

How to Buying a Copier or Printer

Photocopiers, scanners, digital cameras, multi-purpose copiers, etc, are important for just about any business. What you need to provide yourself with when on your way to a copier store is a fundamental awareness of what you are looking for, what you're going to buy and would it meet your office requirements with quality and potency? Good care must be taken when coping with copiers, ink cartridges and printer toners.

Copiers “How You Want Them

When it comes to choosing a single copier from such a massive list of high-efficiency photocopiers, you need to keep the following things in mind:

– Do not buy a copier which has an output of more than what you require. For instance, do not buy a copier meant for a workplace environment for your home.
– Always go for a digital copier than an analogue model for it has got a better performance generally.
– Automatic Duplexing should be of key interest to you unless you need to stand by the copier and flip the pages again and again.
– Decide previously whether you need to buy a copier or a multi-purpose printer which can scan, copy, fax and print at the same time. The advantages of a multiple purpose printer are obvious however; it has to be linked to a Personal computer whereas a straightforward copier does not.

For more in-depth information on toner, ink cartridges, copiers or other business machines and accessories, contact a local San Diego expert. Or, search the Internet for a professional in your area such as copier San Diego:

What You Ought to Know About Ink Cartridges

Other than the quantity of electricity consumed by your machine, you’ll likely spend a lot on ink cartridges from time to time. It's essential to understand a few basic things about them:

– Firstly you ought to be aware about the fact that ink is employed in 3 basic forms; in liquid form, in powder form and in the shape of wax. Each form of ink is util! ized for a specific purpose thru a particular machine.
– If you are looking out for a printer ink cartridge then you ought to be aware that it might often contain liquid ink.
– It is always wise to buy new ink cartridges however , recycled and re-cyclable ink cartridges are also available on stores and on the internet.
– In characteristic printers, two sorts of ink cartridges are utilized in mix; one type of ink cartridge contains only black-colored ink whereas, the other cartridge contains ink segregates of the 3 primary colours.

Toner Cartridges, Printer Toners or All-Purpose Toners; What are they?

Toner is basically a term used for the milled ink employed by copiers and laser printers while a toner cartridge is a surrounding in which the crushed ink is enclosed. As is the case with ink cartridges, it is suggested to purchase a new toner rather than buying a recycled one. Nonetheless if quality is guaranteed pertaining to the recycled product; why not save a couple of bucks?

Care must be taken when buying toner cartridges. Regardless of how effectively corporate giants like HP and Epson try to seal their products, there always is a chance of an unrelated party being concerned in the sale of refilled toner cartridges, which allegedly are crammed with a lower quality powdered ink.

With several local businesses to run I nonetheless make time to write and talk on behalf of the San Diego business community. I am a big promoter for small enterprise entrepreneurs and local issues. When I Am not blogging I surf, swim and scuba dive near my home in La Jolla. If you live in the nighborhood search the Internet for Toner San Diego or Ink Cartridge San Diego and you will probably find one of my firms at the very top of your results. I won’t tell you which of them are mine :-)

Silicon Motion Technology Corp price grew and Hit 12 months New High - NASDAQ:SIMO

Silicon Motion Technology Corp. (ADR) (NASDAQ:SIMO) achieved its new 52 week high price of $17.36 where it was opened at $16.74 up 0.79 points or +4.77% by closing at $17.34. SIMO transacted shares during the day were over 641,924 shares however it has an average volume of 697,608 shares.

SIMO has a market capitalization $535.36 million and an enterprise value at $458.14 million. Trailing twelve months price to sales ratio of the stock was 3.05 while price to book ratio in most recent quarter was 2.97. In profitability ratios, net profit margin in past twelve months appeared at 3.21% whereas operating profit margin for the same period at 11.18%.

The company made a return on asset of 5.96% in past twelve months and return on equity of 3.31% for similar period. In the period of trailing 12 months it generated revenue amounted to $167.33 million gaining $5.60 revenue per share. Its year over year, quarterly growth of revenue was 40.80% holding 81.10% quarterly earnings growth.

According to preceding quarter balance sheet results, the company had $52.84 million cash in hand making cash per share at 1.71. The total debt was $0.00 billion. Moreover its current ratio according to same quarter results was 4.29 and book value per share was 5.59.

Looking at the trading information, the stock price history displayed that its S&P500 52 Week Change illustrated 8.61% where the stock current price exhibited up beat from its 50 day moving average price $13.46 and remained above from its 200 Day Moving Average price $11.53.

SIMO holds 30.87 million outstanding shares with 27.15 million floating shares.

Best Wall St. Stocks Today: CME,GS,AAPL,NOK,T,MSFT

Officials at CME Group (NASDAQ: CME) have given the Justice Department documents that may prove former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine�knew his firm lent customer money to its operations in Europe. Corzine�had been held in high esteem�on Wall St. until recently. He is a former CEO of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and a senator from�and the governor of New Jersey. Corzine�s�reputation has been battered already by the bankruptcy of MF Global and charges that the firm commingled customer money with capital MF Global traded. To support the charges of what Corzine�knew, CME�Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy said, �A CME�auditor … participated in a phone call with senior MF Global employees wherein one employee indicated that Mr. Corzine�knew about the loans that had been made�from the customer segregated accounts.� Corzine�s problems may have only begun.

Oil Production

OPEC probably will keep oil production where it is now — at�30 million barrels a day. If so, this production will stay near three-year highs. OPEC likely will make the decision because of the faltering global recovery. The cartel understands that a sharp spike in crude prices could help drive the developed world back into a recession, a situation that would be unfavorable to demand levels — and OPEC�s sales — almost immediately.

Apple�s Papers

The documents signed to create Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) on April 1, 1976, sold�at auction for $1.6 million. With the recent death of founder Steve Jobs and Apple�s huge success, it is amazing the price did not go higher. The papers were part of the beginning of Apple and were signed�by Jobs and cofounders Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The $1.6 million is certainly a good investment. Apple, now the most valuable company in the world by market cap, has not lost the cultlike following it had when Jobs was alive. Anything�tied to its earliest days likely will grow in value.

Lumia Tested

An effort to bring Noki! a (NYSE: NOK) back from near death in the smartphone�sector reached another milestone. Its Lumia�800 handset was tested�in the laboratories of carriers AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless. The Lumia�will be the first widely distributed�smartphone to run Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows mobile OS. The alliance between Nokia and Microsoft calls for an investment�of billions of dollars in marketing�and R&D. The Lumia�s�greatest advantage is that it will run on superfast 4G LTE networks in the U.S. These networks have attracted customers who want rapid speed for downloads and to view multimedia.

Douglas A. McIntyre