Tag Archives: Motley Fool

Three Simple Steps: Managing Debt

By Dan Caplinger

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Being in debt can be one of the most overwhelming financial challenges you’ll ever face. That’s one reason that Americans have worked so hard to break themselves of their debt habit, with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York having reported recently that debt levels have fallen by $1.45 trillion since the third quarter of 2008. In particular, credit-card debt is down more than 20 percent over that time frame, reflecting the priority of getting high-interest-rate debt paid down fastest.

Even if you have a lot of debt, don’t panic! You can get your outstanding loans under control if you take a long-term view and start taking baby steps toward better managing your debt. Start out with these three simple tips:

1. Order your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, which is the free website set up under federal law to provide copies of credit reports to all Americans. You can get one free report every year from each of the three main credit-reporting agencies, and the report will tell you what loans and cards you have outstanding, how much you owe, and your payment history, including any late payments or delinquent accounts.

2. Gather up your loan and credit-card statements to match them up with your credit report. If you see extra entries on your credit report that aren’t among the bills you’re paying every month, flag those unknown accounts for future follow-up to avoid potentially nastier surprises further down the road.

3. Figure out the interest rates you’re paying on each of your loans and cards. Usually, that information will be right on the loan statement, and doing so will give you a good idea of how to prioritize which debt to pay off first. Moreover, it’ll give you ammunition in negotiating better interest rates down the road.

Debt can be a huge burden, but managing your debt doesn’t have to be. Instead of freaking out or hoping that your credit-card balances will just magically go away, taking these simple first steps will get you on the road toward dealing with your debt once and for all.

You can follow Motley Fool contributor Dan Caplinger on Twitter @DanCaplinger or on Google+.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

5 Alternative Energy Sources That Are Cheaper Than Solar

By Rich Smith

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Is solar power “the fuel of the future”? Elon Musk thinks so.

The co-inventor of PayPal, now turned alternative energy rock star, has built two companies — solar power utility SolarCity (SCTY) and electric car company Tesla (TSLA) — around the idea that solar-generated electricity is the way to power our cars and save our environment. He’s also working on a third company — SpaceX — which aims to bring mankind a bit closer to that ultimate clean-energy source, the sun.

But is solar power truly the solution to our energy needs? Not necessarily.

“Free” Power Can Be Awfully Expensive

Last month, alternative energy analyst Gordon Johnson at Axiom Capital crunched the latest numbers out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and published a report on his findings.
The upshot: When it comes to “alternative” ways to generate electricity, solar energy is just about the most expensive form of energy you can get.

Cost of energy

Calculating the cost of generating a kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity by tallying the cost of building a facility, operating it, and paying for the fuel it consumes — then amortizing all this across all the electricity it’s expected to produce in its lifetime — Johnson points out that solar photovoltaic power costs about $0.22 per kWh. Solar thermal power, where sunbeams are reflected and concentrated on a heat-retaining medium such as salt or graphite to store heat for later use in generating electricity, costs even more — about $0.32 per kWh.

What forms of energy are cheaper than these? Pretty much any that you might think of.

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any solar or electric car company named above. (Go figure.) But The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Tesla Motors.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Can Microchip Technology Meet These Numbers?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Microchip Technology (NAS: MCHP) is expected to report Q4 earnings around May 1. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Microchip Technology‘s revenues will grow 26.0% and EPS will grow 2.2%.

The average estimate for revenue is $427.0 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.47.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Microchip Technology logged revenue of $416.0 million. GAAP reported sales were 26% higher than the prior-year quarter’s $329.2 million.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.41. GAAP EPS of $0.05 for Q3 were 87% lower than the prior-year quarter’s $0.38 per share.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 58.1%, 60 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.7%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.4%, much worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $1.60 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.84.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 306 members out of 325 rating the stock outperform, and 19 members rating it underperform. Among 96 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 95 give Microchip Technology a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Microchip Technology is outperform, with an average price target of $34.89.

Is Microchip Technology the best semiconductor stock for you? You may be missing something obvious. Check out the semiconductor company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article Can Microchip Technology Meet These Numbers? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Are You Expecting This from QuinStreet?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

QuinStreet (NAS: QNST) is expected to report Q3 earnings on April 30. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict QuinStreet’s revenues will decrease -16.6% and EPS will shrink to a loss.

The average estimate for revenue is $77.5 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.02.

Revenue details
Last quarter, QuinStreet notched revenue of $71.8 million. GAAP reported sales were 21% lower than the prior-year quarter’s $90.5 million.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.01. GAAP EPS were -$1.48 for Q2 versus $0.09 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 14.0%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -2.8%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -88.5%, much worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $305.8 million. The average EPS estimate is -$0.03.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 21 members out of 28 rating the stock outperform, and seven members rating it underperform. Among 11 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), seven give QuinStreet a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on QuinStreet is hold, with an average price target of $6.84.

Internet software and services are being consumed in radically different ways, on new and increasingly mobile devices. Is QuinStreet on the right side of the revolution? Check out the changing landscape and meet the company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article Are You Expecting This from QuinStreet? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services <a target=_blank

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Will Bankrate Beat These Analyst Estimates?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Bankrate (NYS: RATE) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 30. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Bankrate’s revenues will wane -18.1% and EPS will drop -50.0%.

The average estimate for revenue is $102.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.09.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Bankrate reported revenue of $93.2 million. GAAP reported sales were 18% lower than the prior-year quarter’s $113.8 million.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.06. GAAP EPS contracted to zero from the prior-year quarter’s $0.14.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 67.0%, 460 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 1.3%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 0.4%, much worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $452.2 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.49.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 18 members out of 32 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 12 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), five give Bankrate a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Bankrate is outperform, with an average price target of $13.40.

Internet software and services are being consumed in radically different ways, on new and increasingly mobile devices. Is Bankrate on the right side of the revolution? Check out the changing landscape and meet the company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article Will Bankrate Beat These Analyst Estimates? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

What Does Wall Street See for Sourcefire's Q1?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Sourcefire (NAS: FIRE) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 30. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Sourcefire’s revenues will grow 23.9% and EPS will increase 9.1%.

The average estimate for revenue is $57.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.12.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Sourcefire booked revenue of $67.4 million. GAAP reported sales were 27% higher than the prior-year quarter’s $53.2 million.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.29. GAAP EPS of $0.08 for Q4 were 43% lower than the prior-year quarter’s $0.14 per share.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 76.0%, 90 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.0%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 3.9%, 390 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $279.2 million. The average EPS estimate is $0.98.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 144 members out of 180 rating the stock outperform, and 36 members rating it underperform. Among 42 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 35 give Sourcefire a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Sourcefire is outperform, with an average price target of $57.00.

Software and computerized services are being consumed in radically different ways, on new and increasingly mobile devices. Many old leaders will be left behind. Whether or not Sourcefire makes the coming cut, you should check out the company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead the pack in “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article What Does Wall Street See for Sourcefire’s Q1? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends Sourcefire. Try any of

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Are You Expecting This from Liquidity Services?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Liquidity Services (NAS: LQDT) is expected to report Q2 earnings on May 2. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Liquidity Services‘s revenues will grow 12.1% and EPS will wane -2.0%.

The average estimate for revenue is $140.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.48.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Liquidity Services booked revenue of $122.2 million. GAAP reported sales were 15% higher than the prior-year quarter’s $106.0 million.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.41. GAAP EPS of $0.20 for Q1 were 29% lower than the prior-year quarter’s $0.28 per share.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 43.0%, 130 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 12.8%, 280 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.5%, 310 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $544.2 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.97.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 523 members out of 548 rating the stock outperform, and 25 members rating it underperform. Among 151 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 147 give Liquidity Services a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Liquidity Services is buy, with an average price target of $57.85.

Internet software and services are being consumed in radically different ways, on new and increasingly mobile devices. Is Liquidity Services on the right side of the revolution? Check out the changing landscape and meet the company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article Are You Expecting This from Liquidity Services? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends Liquidity Services.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Are You Expecting This from NCR?

By Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

NCR (NYS: NCR) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 30. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict NCR‘s revenues will increase 7.2% and EPS will wane -8.5%.

The average estimate for revenue is $1.33 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.43.

Revenue details
Last quarter, NCR recorded revenue of $1.64 billion. GAAP reported sales were 2.6% higher than the prior-year quarter’s $1.60 billion.

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

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.72. GAAP EPS were -$0.13 for Q4 against -$0.06 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 27.5%, 380 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.5%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -1.2%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year’s average estimate for revenue is $6.31 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.71.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 268 members out of 293 rating the stock outperform, and 25 members rating it underperform. Among 80 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 73 give NCR a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on NCR is outperform, with an average price target of $26.29.

Looking to profit from the makers of computer hardware? You may be missing something obvious about where the money will be made in the tech industry of the future. Is NCR on the right side of the revolution? Check out the changing landscape and meet the company that Motley Fool analysts expect to lead “The Next Trillion-dollar Revolution.” Click here for instant access to this free report.

The article Are You Expecting This from NCR? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of
Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Do You Know What Fracking Is? Most People Don't.

By Taylor Muckerman, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been around for a long time. However, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that it became truly revolutionary in terms of oil and natural gas production. The shale boom, and those profiting from it, have fracking to thank for the record levels of production that are currently being achieved.

So with a technology that is having such a dramatic impact on the energy landscape in North America, one would expect that the majority of the population would have some understanding of what is taking place. However, if that was your assumption, you would be drastically wrong, according to the Pew Research Center

So who understands and who doesn’t?
A recent poll the company conducted found that only 51% of those polled chose natural gas from a multiple-choice list that included coal, diamonds, and silicon when asked which was associated with fracking. Folks older than 50 years of age were far more aware of the current oil and natural gas industry than their under-30 counterparts were. 

For those of you on the outside — or if you just aren’t 100% sure what fracking is — tune into the following video, where Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman highlights the technology, the industry, and some key players making it all possible.

A growing international presence anchored by North American market share
Domestic oil and gas service companies have taken a hit in the recent past because of a slowdown in the natural gas drilling boom of the past couple of years. As this market looks to rebound, investors would be wise to consider Halliburton, one of the top companies in the business and one of those most in tune with the domestic market. To access The Motley Fool‘s new premium research report on this industry stalwart, simply click here now and learn everything you need to know about how Halliburton is positioning itself both at home and abroad.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

How to Find the Best Place to Retire

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Everyone looks forward to the freedom that retirement living offers. But with the financial realities of living on a fixed income, how can you make your savings go further? The choice of where you want to live in retirement will affect not just your lifestyle but also your finances.

In the following video, Motley Fool investment-planning editor Lauren Kuczala talks with longtime Fool contributor and retirement expert Dan Caplinger about deciding the best place to live when you retire. Dan notes that while there are obvious non-financial considerations, cost of living, taxes, and available benefits make a big difference for retirees trying to make ends meet. He notes that for those with substantial savings, looking for low-cost states without an income tax is often the best way to minimize taxes on investment income. Yet for those who want to live in higher-cost states, Dan has suggestions that can help you reduce taxes to the fullest extent possible.

Retirees often seek income for their portfolios, and midstream operator Kinder Morgan has enormous potential for profits. In The Motley Fool‘s premium research report on Kinder Morgan, we break down the company’s growing opportunity — as well as the risks to watch out for — to uncover whether it’s a buy or a sell. To determine whether this dividend giant is right for your portfolio, simply click here now to claim your copy of this invaluable investor’s resource.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Can Nokia Return to Its Former Glory?

By Rex Moore and Andrew Tonner, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

The much-hyped Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone will be available in the U.S. beginning this week with some carriers. In this multipart series, Fool analysts Rex Moore and Andrew Tonner talk about what the launch means in the marketplace. Today, the guys discuss whether Nokia still has what it takes to compete with Samsung and Apple .

Digging deeper into the stock
Nokia’s been struggling in a world of Apple and Android smartphone dominance. However, the company has banked its future on its next generation of Windows smartphones. Motley Fool analyst Charly Travers has created a new premium report that digs into both the opportunities and risks facing Nokia to help investors decide if the company is a buy or sell. To get started, simply click here now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Is Leasing a Car Smarter Than Buying?

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Buying a car can be expensive, and with budgets stretched to the breaking point, many would-be car buyers are looking at leasing as a possible lower-cost option. But is leasing a smart move?

In the following video, Motley Fool investment-planning editor Lauren Kuczala talks with longtime Fool contributor and financial planner Dan Caplinger about the pros and cons of leasing a car versus buying. Dan explains how leases work and goes through the pros and cons of leases, explaining how many automakers offer incentives for customers to get favorable lease terms. In addition, he discusses the recent decision from Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) to offer a lease-like financing option that’s technically not a lease but which includes some of the same attractive traits. Dan closes by offering guidance on how to decide whether leasing is right for you.

Ford offers lease incentives from time to time, and its ability to get customers into new vehicles has helped it turn itself around since the financial crisis. Yet there’s good reason to think that the Blue Oval still has big growth opportunities ahead. We’ve outlined those opportunities in detail, in the Fool’s premium Ford research service. If you’re looking for some freshly updated guidance to Ford’s prospects in coming years, you’ve come to the right place — click here to get started now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

How You Can Find the Perfect Stock

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Everyone wants to find the perfect stock. But what should you be looking for in your search, and how will you know when you find it?

In the following video, Motley Fool investment-planning editor Lauren Kuczala talks with longtime Fool contributor and financial planner Dan Caplinger about his multiyear quest for perfect stocks. As Dan notes, the right combination of factors, including revenue growth, attractive valuations, and rich dividend yields, can be elusive. But there are few stocks that have passed his test, and Dan shares the names of those elite stocks with Lauren, along with his insight after looking through hundreds of different stocks on his quest.

The best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool‘s free report “3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich” names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

The article How You Can Find the Perfect Stock originally appeared on Fool.com.


Neither Fool investment planning editor Lauren Kuczala nor Fool contributor

Dan Caplinger

has any position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow Dan on Twitter:

@DanCaplinger

. The Motley Fool recommends Giant Interactive and owns shares of Sturm, Ruger. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

5 Surprising Companies Going Green

By Alyce Lomax

Filed under:

Google / YouTube
When one thinks of environmentally forward-thinking businesses, some companies spring immediately to mind: Whole Foods Market (WFM), Annie’s (BNNY), Patagonia, Seventh Generation, and Method, for example, are all known for their commitment to being green.

However, there are other firms putting a lot of resources into planet-helping initiatives — companies whose green tactics are far less recognized, and may even come as a surprise to you. Let’s take a look at a few.

Huge companies making huge strides

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Motley Fool analyst Alyce Lomax owns shares of Waste Management and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool recommends Google, Unilever, Waste Management, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Waste Management, and Whole Foods Market.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/22/5-surprising-companies-going-green/

Why Graco Is Poised to Outperform

By Brian Pacampara, The Motley Fool

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, fluid handling solutions specialist has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Graco facts

Headquarters (founded)

Minneapolis, Minn. (1926)

Market Cap

$3.3 billion

Industry

Industrial machinery

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$1.0 billion

Management

CEO Patrick McHale

CFO James Graner

43.4%

Cash/Debt

$457.9 million / $564.6 million

Dividend Yield

1.7%

Competitors

Colfax

IDEX

Nordson

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

On CAPS, 96% of the 342 members who have rated Graco believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Earlier today, one of those Fools, All-Star Nittany95, succinctly summed up the bull case for our community:

For some reason I always keep coming back to Graco. That reason is quite simply management. They have managed to keep the balance sheet pristine through a horrific recession — particularly in homebuilding where their sprayers and paint products find a home. …

Now that we are seeing renewed demand and increases in aggregate economic activity, they should see an acceleration in growth and [free cash flow]. I am looking for annual dividend increases or a share buyback program that continues to expand over time.

If you want market-thumping returns, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Of course, despite a strong four-star rating, Graco may not be your top choice.

We’ve found another stock we are incredibly excited about — excited enough to dub it “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2013.” We have compiled a special free report for investors to uncover this stock today. The report is 100% free, but it won’t be here forever, so click here to access it now.

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

The article Why Graco Is Poised to Outperform originally appeared on Fool.com.

Motley Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/why-graco-is-poised-to-outperform/

Will Bank of America Abandon Its Promises?

By David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer, The Motley Fool

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When Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan launched Project New BAC, a cost-saving initiative, many investors saw the goal of cutting $8 billion of expense by the middle of 2015 as too ambitious. However, as the bank marches through 2013, Moynihan and team are telling investors that the bank is on track to achieve those goals.

In this video, Motley Fool banking analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer debate whether the bank will ultimately achieve these goals and if its a bad thing for investors if they fall short. 

Bank of America’s stock doubled in 2012. Is there more yet to come? With significant challenges still ahead, it’s critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool‘s premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, and Matt Koppenheffer, Financials bureau chief, lift the veil on the bank’s operations, including detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/will-bank-of-america-abandon-its-promises/

Is General Motors a Risky Stock?

By John Rosevear, The Motley Fool

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Four years after its controversial taxpayer-funded bailout, General Motors‘ turnaround looks like it’s finally hitting its stride. But there’s still a good chance that GM won’t be able to emulate Ford‘s success. In this video, Motley Fool analyst John Rosevear explains some of the risks that could affect GM stock — and explains clearly what to keep an eye on in coming quarters.

Is GM really a good investment now?
Few companies lead to such strong feelings as General Motors. But ignoring emotions to make good investing decisions is hard. The Fool’s premium GM research service can help, by telling you the truth about GM‘s growth potential in coming years. (Hint: It’s even bigger than you think. But it’s not a sure thing, and we’ll help you understand why.) It might help give you the courage to be greedy while others are still fearful, as well as a better understanding of the real risks facing General Motors. Just click here to get started now.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/is-general-motors-a-risky-stock/

Proof That Facebook's Marketing Magic Is Working

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

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General Motors is advertising once again on Facebook after an 11-month hiatus that raised questions about the value of social media advertising. Back then, General Motors had trouble seeing any meaningful correlation between social media advertising and sales results, motivating it to pull its $10 million advertising budget off the platform. At the time, Facebook had far fewer campaign measurement tools to prove the effectiveness of social media advertising. Fast-forward to today, and Facebook has better tools in place to prove its worth as a valuable medium for marketers. In this video, Motley Fool contributor Steve Heller weighs in on the development and what it means for Facebook investors.

After the world’s most hyped IPO turned out to be a dunce, most investors probably don’t even want to think about shares of Facebook. But there are things every investor needs to know about this company. We’ve outlined them in our newest premium research report. There’s a lot more to Facebook than meets the eye, so read up on whether there is anything to “like” about it today, and we’ll tell you whether we think Facebook deserves a place in your portfolio. Access your report by clicking here.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/15/proof-that-facebooks-marketing-magic-is-working/

The Opportunity Waiting for Toyota Investors

By John Rosevear, The Motley Fool

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Toyota has bounced back from recall scandals and the 2011 tsunami to reclaim its title as the world’s biggest-selling automaker. But big challenges — and big opportunities — still lie ahead. In this video, Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at some of those challenges and opportunities — and explains whether he thinks Toyota’s stock is a buy.

Is it really time to buy Toyota?
Toyota has rebounded nicely from the troubles of recent years, but is the stock still a buy at current prices? The Motley Fool‘s automotive expert John Rosevear and industrials analyst Isaac Pino have collaborated to create some of the most in-depth Toyota research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/15/the-opportunity-waiting-for-toyota-investors/

McDonald's to Roll Out New 'Dual-Point' Ordering System

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

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McDonald’s (MCD) customers aren’t as happy as they used to be, but the world’s largest restaurant chain has a plan.

Facing a spike in customer complaints on employee friendliness, McDonald’s is rolling out a new dual-point ordering system that will hopefully make the dine-in experience less chaotic than it is at the moment.

Diners, franchisees, and investors better hope so.

Grimace is in the House

Shares of McDonald’s hit a new all-time high on Friday, but things aren’t as rosy as the stock chart suggests. In October 2012 the chain posted a year-over-year decline in monthly sales at the individual store level, the first time since 2003 it reported negative monthly comparable sales.

McDonald’s has been expanding its menu aggressively to offset diner boredom. Premium chicken sandwiches, restaurant-worthy salads, and premium coffee beverages give the fast food behemoth more than just burgers to woo diners.

However, all of the exotic additions could also be creating confusion and long waits for customers.

Having a McHeart-to-Heart

McDonald’s executives invited franchisees to a webcast last month where it detailed that one in five of the customer complaints that were coming in were about unfriendly employees. According to The Wall Street Journal, executives also pointed out that the number of complaints singling out rude or unprofessional employees is growing.

It could be a training issue, but it could also be the complexity of the menu and the longer wait times for the hungry to get their food.

McDonald’s is banking on a new system to get that right.

Your Number is Up

The new system at McDonald’s will dish out orders by placing numbers on receipts. A lot of chains do this already, but McDonald’s will have an overhead screen that flashes the order numbers that are ready. Instead of having customers hover around the register after they order, the new system frees them to sit or walk around the restaurant until their food is ready.

Perhaps more importantly, there will be a dedicated employee bringing the completed orders to the opposite end of the counter. The move will free the clutter around the registers, and the runner will be able to fulfill any requests for sugar packets or honey-mustard sauce containers instead of tripping up a cashier tending to a new order.

A more pleasant experience will naturally encourage more repeat visits. McDonald’s needs that to happen, regardless of what its sky-high share price suggests.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends McDonald’s. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald’s. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/mcdonalds-dual-point-ordering-system/