Archive for 'DJIA'

Time to Rethink IBM Stock?

There hasn’t been much to write home about when it comes to IBM stock. It’s been all negative, with a lackluster second quarter, thirteen quarters in a row with a negative performance, dubbed one of the most universally despised companies in the world, blah, blah and more blah. It’s depressing. So, why rethink IBM stock? Because IBM has over$12 billion cash from last year, its dividend yield is a decent 3.2%, and because it has increased its dividend by 18% per year over the past five years. Bob Ciura makes a case for IBM below

It’s no secret that IBM (NYSE:IBM) is struggling. IBM is one of the most universally despised companies in the world. The stock has been on a nearly unimpeded decline for a disturbingly long time. Shares of IBM are down 17% in the past year. In fact, IBM was the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in both 2013 and 2014. There don’t seem to be enough negative things to say about IBM.

The criticism of IBM got even more heated after the company’s second quarter earnings, when IBM posted its 13th quarter in a row of declining revenue. One bright spot was the company’s progress in what it calls its ‘strategic imperatives’, which are higher-growth businesses like big data, the cloud, and security. Unfortunately, strong growth in these areas wasn’t even enough to satisfy analysts, who were quick to point out that these businesses are still too small to have any material impact.

But it’s worth digging deeper into IBM’s turnaround to find out whether this is actually true.

Strategic Imperatives Are Not Getting Enough Credit

It seems nobody is giving much credit to IBM for its strategic imperatives, but this is a mistake. These businesses are growing at impressive rates. Cloud revenue soared more than 70% adjusted for currency and cloud delivered as a service has reached an $8.7 billion annualized rate. Social revenue jumped more than 40% year to date excluding currency, and mobile revenue has more than quadrupled. Collectively, the strategic imperatives grew revenue by more than 30% over the first two quarters of the year adjusting for currency and divestments.

The bearish argument is that $8 billion represents a drop in the bucket for a company the size of IBM, and therefore the strategic imperatives are too inconsequential to stem the decline in IBM’s other businesses. But again, it’s worth noting that excluding foreign exchange and divestments, the overall decline is very modest. And, should those businesses keep growing anywhere close to 30% per year, it won’t take long at all for those businesses to become a very important part of the overall company.

This is already starting to happen. IBM stated in its 2014 annual report that in 2009, its strategic imperatives represented just 13% of its total revenue. Last year, these businesses accounted for 27%, more than doubling in that time. This year, the percentage will be even higher, and that should only continue going forward.

Read more about IBM here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock Dividends: What to Expect for the New Year

Stock Dividends: What to Expect for the New Year

The crazy roller coaster Stock Market ride of 2011 is almost finished. Please keep your hands inside until the car comes to a complete stop. It has been a wild ride and most of us are glad to be done with it. So now what do we do? Keep on investing the same way or maybe try out a smoother ride? There’s a way to still make a profit without resorting to Dramamine pills.

The economic choppiness is coming to a head with the age of dividend hikes.  The pressure is going to remain for companies to continue returning capital to shareholders while also looking for selective global growth opportunities.  The established Dow Jones Industrial Average components traditionally offer far higher dividend yields than the other top indexes and 24/7 Wall St. is offering a case-by-case outlook for what investors should expect in DJIA dividend trends in the weeks, months, and even in the year ahead.

If you add up the last 12 SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) dividend payments, the DJIA yield has been almost 2.5% over the last year.  The good news is that the yield is already higher if you include the hikes that are likely to be announced the price of the DJIA today should offer what will be closer to a 3% dividend yield in 2012.

The list of the 30 DJIA components is very long, but we have reviewed each and all of the following: Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA); American Express Company (NYSE: AXP); AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC); The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA); Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE: CAT); Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX); Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO); The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO); E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD); Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM); General Electric Company (NYSE: GE); Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD); Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ); International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM); Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC); Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ); J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM); Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT); McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD); 3M Company (NYSE: MMM); Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE: MRK); Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT); Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE); Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG); The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV); United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX); Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT); and finally Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS).

We have broken out each DJIA component to review the history and expected dividend action individually.  While this is a no short read, dividend and income investors better pay close attention here.  Value investors should pay attention as well. It is these DJIA components which are often considered as the prize of the sector and many peers are facing the same trends today and tomorrow.  Our review focuses on when the last hikes have been seen, when the next dividend hike will come, and what the price and implied upside to the Thomson Reuters consensus price target offers.  We have also even shown an expected income payout ratio on each if applicable to further show which companies can boost their payouts ahead.

Source

So now you have some things to think about over the Holidays.  Do you stick with the status quo or move move in another direction? Or maybe even a combination of the two. Better luck in the New Year.

 

Some Simple Ideas to Make Stock Investing Profitable

Anti-bank feeling has resulted in the public looking to take more responsibility for investing their own money.

A new website has come up with a simple but novel way to help the regular Joe invest his own money and avoid the advisory services of financial institutions that are perceived to have let the public down.

Shared Sense is based on the theory of famed investor and mentor to the man on the street: Peter Lynch. The site takes his ideas of  “invest in what you know and that the best stock tip is in front of you in the mall” and goes a step further.  It allows people to share these observations on a worldwide basis and so helping people gather market research through group thinking.

It uses the wisdom of the crowd to get people’s views on what is selling or not.  Put simply, people can give an opinion on what brands are hot or not in their area. The information is gathered worldwide and the site gives back the total view on what people see as popular or not.

As increasing or decreasing sales is generally the most important investment criteria, members can use the information as part of their investment decisions.

The site editors take this information and add their experience to it. They analyze the other important factors including financials, margins and outlook and give full stock tips to members.

The site is not another stock price prediction site but focuses on identifying brand popularity to give regular investors an edge. The themes of the site are honesty and humor – the idea being to strip stock picking of all the overly fancy jargon and replace it with raw honesty. The top predictors are invited to join to the site as full authors.

Ned Goodwin, Shared Sense founder says: “Why can’t stock picking and investment be based on a co-operative system where people help each other by sharing information on buying trends? This is a practical way of occupying Wall Street — taking the power of investment decision back to the people. People helping themselves to get an investment edge.  As Peter Lynch said, if you’re buying the product it might be worthwhile buying the stock. We’re saying if you know we’re all buying the product it’s definitely worthwhile buying the stock.”

http://www.Sharedsense.com

CONTACT: Eddie Goodwin, +1-617-331-6999, Eddie@sharedsense.com

Web Site: http://www.sharedsense.com

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day-Image via Wikipedia

Zacks Equity Research highlights The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) as the Bull of the Day and Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM), Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) and WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) top and bottom lines surpassed Zacks’ expectations in the third quarter of 2011. The quarterly earnings of $5.27 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.85. Total revenue of $1,032.6 million also came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,005 million.

The Kaplan Education division has undertaken a restructuring plan to lower its costs structure in the near future. Further, Kaplan International remains promising, registering growth of 25% during the quarter. Washington Post’s Cable division is also performing well, reflecting sustained improvement in Internet and telephone service revenues.

We have a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock. Our target price of $374.00, 17.9X 2011 EPS, reflects this view.

Bear of the Day:

We have downgraded our long-term recommendation on Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) to Underperform following the weak quarterly performance in the third quarter of 2011. The quarterly earnings of $0.38 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.46 and dipped 7.3% from the year-ago quarter battered by increased product costs.

The North American market continues to be sluggish in the ongoing fiscal 2011. Moreover, the company’s initiatives to change the product mix and reposition the business in the U.S. market will require significant expenditure to support increased advertising and promotional activities, which may dent its margins.

Furthermore, Avon is a highly leveraged company, limiting its financial flexibility to drive future growth. Additionally, the company faces stiff competition from other well established players and has significant exposure to foreign currency translations.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Europe Issue Not Going Away

With the third quarter reporting season largely over and nothing major on the domestic economic calendar, stock market movements today will effectively reflect developments on the European front. The focus remains on Italy, where a routine budget vote in parliament has the potential to morph into a confidence vote on the government of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The market is rooting for Mr. Berlusconi’s departure, but he appears in no mood to quit on his own.

By its sheer size, Italy is a big deal. Ever since the start of the Euro-zone debt crisis, the market has been apprehensive of contagion spreading from the peripheral and much smaller economies of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal to the Euro-zone core of Italy and Spain. Those fears are threatening to come to fruition now as the market loses confidence in the Italian government’s ability to manage the country’s finances. This lack of confidence is showing up in yields on Italian government bonds, which have moved to a Euro-era high of above 6.5% and are inching towards the critical 7% level — beyond which lies bailout territory.

A simple answer to rising Italian bond yields would have been for the European Central Bank (ECB) to come up with its version of the U.S. Fed’s quantitative easing program, where the central bank purchases a boatload of treasury bonds to keep yields (or interest rates) in check. The ECB has been making some purchases, but the recent uptrend in Italian bond yields shows that its effort is far from effective. German reluctance to go this route has been a major hurdle.

The Euro-zone had provided for increasing the firepower of the rescue fund (the EFSF), but many critical details of that plan still need to be worked out. The initial hope of attracting contribution from China and other cash-rich emerging economies to that end has also not panned out.

The bottom line is that the Euro-zone debt story refuses to go away. Last week it was about Greece and now it is about Italy. The departure of the Berlusconi government will likely improve market confidence and bring down bond yields. But if the incoming government — assuming there is a change of political control — fails to come up with a viable long-term plan, then the respite will likely prove short-lived.

On the earnings front, we have results from Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM), whose operations have been hit hard by natural disasters — first by the Japanese Tsunami and now by floods in Thailand. The auto giant’s global vehicle sales for the six month period ending September 30th were down more than 18% from the year-earlier level.

In other earnings reports, Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) came out with solid EPS and revenue beats after the close on Monday. WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS), the maker of slot machines, came short of expectations.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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Zacks Releases Bull of the Day

Zacks Equity Research highlights Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) as the Bull of the Day and Plexus Corporation (Nasdaq: PLXS) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our recommendation on Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) to Outperform based on third quarter results, which matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate, and continuous cost reduction initiatives. Despite soaring fuel prices, earnings on a GAAP basis climbed on fare hikes, capacity cuts and unbundled offerings.

Delta continues to make efforts to reduce its operating expenses, including both fuel and non-fuel costs. The company is also progressing well on upgrading seats, replacing older planes in its fleet, installing WiFi and expanding Economy Comfort to other aircrafts.

Additionally, Delta is expanding its footprint in both domestic and international markets, thereby strengthening its competitive position. Furthermore, merger synergies from Northwest Airlines as well as efforts to deleverage its balance sheet make the stock more attractive.

Bear of the Day:

Plexus Corporation (Nasdaq: PLXS) reported mixed fourth quarter 2011 financial results. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.50 per share but fell shy of the revenue expectation of $540.0 million. Plexus continues to face cut-throat competition in the EMS market, where component shortages and supply chain constraints are increasing operational complexities.

Moreover, Plexus continues to invest in new sites and increasing headcount that may affect profitability in the near term. We maintain our Underperform rating and set a target price of $25.00.

Further, investment in Plexus is expected to generate just 10% over the next 5 years, compared to the peer group average of 11.5%. We therefore believe that downside potential exists.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Kellogg Misses, Provides Guidance

Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) has posted third-quarter 2011 earnings of 80 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 89 cents. The earnings also lagged the prior-year earnings of 90 cents per share by 11%. On a currency-neutral basis, the earnings in the reported quarter plummeted 13% year over year.

Kellogg’s results were driven by weak economic environment, increased cost of goods sold, increased supply-chain costs and due to the reinstatement of incentive compensation costs.

Guidance

Following the earnings results, Kellogg reaffirmed its full-year 2011 internal net sales growth guidance to a range of 4% to 5%. The increased net sales outlook is expected to offset anticipated higher cost pressures. For 2012, internal net sales are expected to grow by 4% to 5%, above long-term annual targets, reflecting price/mix benefits and a strengthening innovation pipeline.

The company lowered its 2011 internal operating profit guidance to a range of down 2% to 4% due to the impact of the third quarter results and expected continued investments in supply chain during the remainder of the year. For 2012, Kellogg expects growth in operating profit to be below its long-term annual targets, as it continues to invest in the future.

Kellogg also expects its full-year 2011 guidance of currency-neutral earnings per share growth to be approximately flat on a year-over-year basis. Assuming no foreign exchange impact, this implies earnings per share of approximately $3.27 to $3.33. Further, the company estimates a foreign exchange benefit of 8 cents, which would result in reported 2011 earnings per share guidance in the range of $3.35 to $3.41.

For 2012, Kellogg expects currency-neutral earnings per share to grow 2% to 4% including a benefit from the three-year $2.5 billion share repurchase program and the impact of continued investments in supply chain, the re-implementation of SAP, and an increase in the level of investment in brand building.

Headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, Kellogg engages in manufacture and marketing of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH) are its competitors.

Currently, Kellogg holds a Zacks #3 Rank, translating into a short-term Hold rating. On a long-term basis, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
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Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Fast Growing Index Business Creates Opportunities

Fast Growing Index Business Creates Opportunities-Image by milletre via Flickr

McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP), one of the world’s foremost financial information companies and owner of S&P Indices, and CME Group (NASDAQ: CME), the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace and 90-percent owner of the CME Group/Dow Jones joint venture, announced today an agreement to establish a new joint venture in the rapidly growing index business.  Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the Boards of both companies, McGraw-Hill will contribute its S&P Indices business and the CME Group/Dow Jones joint venture will contribute the Dow Jones Indexes business to create S&P/Dow Jones Indices, a global leader in index services with annual revenue of more than $400 million.  Approximately $6 trillion in assets are benchmarked against these leading indices.

McGraw-Hill will own 73 percent of S&P/Dow Jones Indices, CME Group will own 24.4 percent through its affiliates, and Dow Jones will own 2.6 percent.  S&P/Dow Jones Indices is expected to be operational in the first half of 2012, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.  The new company will become part of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company following the separation of McGraw-Hill into two public companies, as announced on September 12, 2011.

As part of the new joint venture, S&P/Dow Jones Indices will enter into a new license agreement whereby CME Group will pay S&P Indices a share of the profits of CME Group’s equity product complex, which is their trading and clearing business for futures, swaps and options on futures.  In addition, the new license agreement expands the products covered under the license to include swaps and extends CME Group’s existing exclusive rights (currently in place through December 31, 2017) to the E-mini and other S&P indexed futures.

Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill, said, “This joint venture expands our dynamic index business and accelerates the growth of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company.  By combining our unique and complementary strengths, we are creating a leading global index provider with the breadth and depth to provide both retail and institutional investors with the cutting-edge products and services they need to make sound investment decisions in today’s complex markets.  In addition, McGraw-Hill Markets will benefit from the new license agreement that changes S&P’s Indices’ relationship with CME Group from a transactional fee-per-trade model to a partnership in which S&P Indices participates in the profits of CME Group’s overall equity product complex.”

Terry Duffy, CME Group executive chairman, said, “This new joint venture reflects CME Group’s continued commitment to creating trading opportunities for our global customer base.  Through the new JV company, we look forward to developing leading risk-management solutions in equity indexes and across other asset classes, as well as diversifying our revenue streams, thereby creating value for our shareholders and customers in both institutional and retail client segments.”

Craig Donohue, CME Group chief executive officer, said, “As part of our global growth strategy, CME Group has continued to expand our index services business, both through our own index futures and options products as well as through new product development at our Dow Jones Indexes subsidiary.  The expanded partnership announced today not only creates a leading index services provider that will benefit our customers and shareholders, but also will deliver new opportunities for innovation, including a long-term, ownership-based exclusive global license for CME Group to use the S&P 500® for futures and options on futures products going forward.”

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to McGraw-Hill’s earnings and S&P/Dow Jones Indices is expected to drive profit growth by:

  • Increasing revenue through international and asset-class expansion, new product development, enhanced market data offerings and increased cross-selling opportunities
  • Achieving cost savings and accelerating time to market by leveraging technology, data procurement, other back office functions and McGraw-Hill Markets’ infrastructure
  • Reducing capital requirements and generating free cash flow for parent companies.

 

Alexander Matturri, executive managing director of S&P Indices, will be chief executive officer of S&P/Dow Jones Indices and Lou Eccleston, president of McGraw-Hill Financial, will chair the company’s seven-member Board that will include five directors designated by McGraw-Hill and two by CME Group.

Matturri said, “Those who rely on indices worldwide – from product issuers to exchanges to investors – will benefit from a deeper lineup of indices as well as a business model focused on innovation, performance and impact.  Combining S&P Indices’ institutional strength with CME Group’s global exchange partnerships and Dow Jones Indexes’ retail focus will optimize our ability to respond to the changing global environment with increased speed and efficiency.  Just as important, the structure of the joint venture is flexible enough to allow us to maintain our existing exchange relationships and work with other potential partners that could bring additional capabilities to the new company.”

All current indices will retain their brand names (S&P or Dow Jones).  The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average® will continue to be separately maintained and licensed as the basis for a wide variety of funds and financial instruments.  This transaction does not affect existing licensing agreements with other exchanges, nor does it preclude entering into future agreements with additional providers.

Other provisions of the agreement include:

  • McGraw-Hill will acquire London-based Credit Market Analysis Ltd. (CMA), a leading source of independent data in the over-the-counter markets, from CME Group.  This acquisition significantly expands McGraw-Hill’s asset-class coverage for data and pricing and adds the technology to move into intraday quotes on derivative and other OTC securities.
  • A separate license agreement between Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill, and CME Group/NYMEX will be extended.

 

McGraw-Hill was advised by BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  Barclays Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to CME Group.

Conference Call/Webcast Scheduled for 8:00 am Eastern Time on November 4, 2011:  Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, and Craig Donohue, CEO of the CME Group will host a joint conference call this morning, November 4, at 8:00 AM Eastern Time.  This call is open to all interested parties.  Discussions may include forward-looking information.  Additional information presented on the conference call may be made available on the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites at www.mcgraw-hill.com/investor_relations and www.cmegroup.com.

Webcast Instructions:  Live and Replay

The webcast will be available live and in replay through the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites via the following link: http://investor.mcgraw-hill.com/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=96562&eventID=4225043. (Please copy and paste URL into Web browser.)  The archived replay will be available beginning two hours after the conclusion of the live call and will remain available for one year.

Telephone Access:  Live and Replay

Telephone participants are requested to dial in by 7:50 AM.  The passcode is “McGraw-Hill” and the conference leader is Harold McGraw III.

  • For callers in the U.S.: (888) 391-6568
  • For callers outside the U.S.: +1 (415) 228-4733 (long distance charges will apply)

The recorded telephone replay will be available beginning two hours after the conclusion of the call and will remain available until December 5, 2011.

  • For callers in the U.S.: (800) 348-3514
  • For callers outside the U.S.: +1 (402) 220-9676 (long distance charges will apply)

Presenters’ Slides & Remarks

The presenters’ slides will be made available for downloading at the conclusion of the conference call/webcast on the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites at www.mcgraw-hill.com/investor_relations and www.cmegroup.com.  The final prepared remarks will be available for downloading by the end of the business day.

Forward-looking Statements

The forward-looking statements in this news release involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various important factors, including worldwide economic, financial, liquidity, political and regulatory conditions; the health of debt and equity markets, including possible future interest rate changes; the successful marketing of competitive products; the effect of competitive products and pricing; the risk that the transactions described herein are not consummated on their terms; and other matters described in McGraw-Hill’s filings with the SEC.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:  McGraw-Hill, which announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies – McGraw-Hill Markets (working name), primarily focused on global capital and commodities markets and McGraw-Hill Education focused on digital learning and education services worldwide – is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy.  Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services, J.D. Power and Associates and McGraw-Hill Education.  With sales of $6.2 billion in 2010, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries.  Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

About S&P Indices:  S&P Indices, a leading brand of The McGraw-Hill Companies, maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1.25 trillion is directly indexed to Standard & Poor’s family of indices, which includes the S&P 500, the world’s most followed stock market index, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Global BMI, an index with approximately 11,000 constituents, the S&P GSCI, the industry’s most closely watched commodities index, and the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, the premier investable index for U.S. municipal bonds. For more information, please visit: www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

About CME Group:  As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group (www.cmegroup.com) is where the world comes to manage risk.  CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate.  CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex® electronic trading platform and its trading facilities in New York and Chicago.  CME Group also operates CME Clearing, one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, which offers clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts, as well as for over-the-counter derivatives transactions through CME ClearPort®.  These products and services ensure that businesses everywhere can substantially mitigate counterparty credit risk in both listed and over-the-counter derivatives markets.

About Dow Jones Indexes:   Dow Jones Indexes is a leading full-service index provider that develops, maintains and licenses indexes for use as benchmarks and as the basis of investment products. Best-known for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones Indexes offers more than 130,000 equity indexes as well as fixed-income and alternative indexes, including measures of hedge funds, commodities and real estate. Dow Jones Indexes employs clear, unbiased and systematic methodologies that are fully integrated within index families. Dow Jones Indexes is part of a joint venture company owned 90 percent by CME Group and 10 percent by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a News Corporation company (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV).

Investors Relations Contacts:

McGraw-Hill
Donald S. Rubin
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
(212) 512-4321 (office)
donald_rubin@mcgraw-hill.com

CME Group
John Peschier
Managing Director, Investor Relations
(312) 930-8491
john.peschier@cmegroup.com

News Media Contacts:

McGraw-Hill
Patti Rockenwagner
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
(212) 512-3533
patti_rockenwagner@mcgraw-hill.com

S&P Indices
David Guarino
Director, Communications
(212) 438-1471
dave_guarino@standardandpoors.com

CME Group
Laurie Bischel
Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications
(312) 907-0003
laurie.bischel@cmegroup.com

Web Site: http://www.mcgraw-hill.com

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy-Image via Wikipedia

Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.

The four highlighted picks are: Greatbatch, Inc. (NYSE: GB), B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS), Healthstream, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM) and Corn Products International (NYSE: CPO).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free. http://at.zacks.com/?id=88

From 1988 through the present – a period that included serious corrections and recessions – the Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the market with a fully documented average gain of +28% per year.

Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:          

Aggressive Growth – Greatbatch, Inc. (NYSE: GB)

Earnings season is in full swing so let’s take a look at one of the recent surprises. Greatbatch, Inc. came in ahead of expectations, but how are analysts reacting to this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309

Growth & Income – B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS)

Estimates have been rising for B&G Foods, Inc. after the company delivered solid third quarter results. It is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310

Momentum – Healthstream, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM)

Healthstream, Inc. is trading in a class of its own, recently hitting a new 52-week high on another great quarter. With an average earnings surprise of 42% over the last four quarters and a bullish growth projection, this Zacks #1 Rank stock offers a healthy stream of momentum.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!):  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311

Value – Corn Products International (NYSE: CPO)

Looking for a food play? Corn Products International is expected to grow earnings by the double digits for the second year in a row in 2011 despite challenging macroeconomic conditions. Sales rose 60% in the third quarter. This Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) is also a value, with a forward P/E of just 10.3.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!) –  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free – http://at.zacks.com/?id=7154

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.”  Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7155

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes.

Then, when changes are discovered, they’re applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock-picking system continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=91

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ: IBKR) Makes Zacks Bull of the Day

Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ: IBKR) Makes Zacks Bull of the Day-Image by babblingdweeb via Flickr

Zacks Equity Research highlights Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) as the Bull of the Day and Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our recommendation on Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) to Outperform as its brokerage business continued to perform well and the company reinstated its quarterly dividend. Despite declining market volumes, Interactive Brokers’ Market Making segment is positioned to improve on better revenue capture.

We expect the company’s strategy with respect to structural changes in the business to bode well. Also, larger average trade sizes continue to improve its Electronic Brokerage segment results.

Our six-month target price of $17.00 per share equates to about 13.5x our earnings estimate for 2011. Combined with a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share, this target price implies an expected total return of 23.1% over that period. This is consistent with our Outperform recommendation.

Bear of the Day:

Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER) is a leading provider of automated test equipment. The company’s second quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus, although revenue growth was sluggish. Forward guidance indicates slack demand, particularly for back-end testing equipment.

While there could be pockets of strength, we think that the negative mix of business, relatively lower exposure to the memory segment and the uncertainty at semiconductor manufacturers will impact results in the next few quarters. As a result, we think that investors are likely to discount the product lineup, leaner cost structure and strong balance sheet.

The company is expected to return earnings growth of 11.9% compared to the peer group average of 12.6%. We believe there is further downside to the shares and we are therefore downgrading the shares to Sell. Our price target also moves from $17 to $12 (10.3X P/E).

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Google Hits Another Homer in Q3

Even though analysts seemed a tad wary of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) 3rd quarter 2011 earnings numbers after the closing bell today, the search engine king stepped up to the plate and took one long. Revenues of $9.72 billion were up 33% year over year and 8% sequentially. Diluted EPS (how Zacks reports Google’s earnings) reached $8.33, easily topping the $7.59 Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The 10% positive earnings surprise bested the average positive surprise over the last 4 quarters of 8.5%, and after-market traders duly took notice. Up 1.91% in regular Thursday trading, GOOG shares have shot up 5.2% in the after-market, which is tempered a bit from the initial reaction to the earnings report.

Kicking off Google’s press release this afternoon was a proud notice that Google+, GOOG’s new social network, has already surpassed 40 million users. Much the way Google has the pluck to have attempted to rival Apple, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone with its Android operating system for smartphones, so does Google+ appear to be going after market share from soon-to-go-public Facebook, Inc.

This all said, Google does have its work cut out for it. Aside from buying Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) for $12.5 billion earlier in the 3rd quarter, Google has also increased its workforce by 10% over the past three months. Add some anti-trust hearings with the Federal Trade Commission and some concerns over Android patent wars, and it may be understandable why 4 analysts have actually downwardly revised estimates over the past month for Q4 and the full fiscal year.

Then again, with Google’s growing reputation of continuing to beat market expectations soundly (nearly always — GOOG did post a 1.4% miss in Q1 2011), we’ll see if some of the 21 current earnings estimates on the company are revised upward in the coming days.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Financial Advisors Preparing for the Worst in October

Financial Advisors Preparing for the Worst in October-Image via Wikipedia

October is notorious for being a rollercoaster stock market month.  Some financial advisors are wasting no time in battening down the hatches.

“Crises that plagued the markets throughout September have historically reached a crescendo in October and this year is no exception,” says Randy Warren, chief investment officer at Warren Financial Service. “We’re shoring up protection for our portfolios and preparing for the worst.”

Warren Financial is pulling client assets out of high beta ETFs and mutual funds that don’t perform in a highly correlated, volatile market. The European debt crisis continues to cast a dark shadow over investor outlook, correlation is nearing an all-time high, and last week brought the greatest decline in major US equities since the outset of the financial crisis in October 2008. Mr. Warren is available to provide insight for investors seeking safety in this unstable environment.

Warren Financial Service, WFS Funds

Founded in 1965, Warren Financial Service provides professional and diligent investment advice for individuals, small/medium sized businesses, foundations, trusts, and executives.  Matched with its experience in investment management, private client relationships, philanthropy, and estate planning & administration, the firm brings a finely honed perspective to help investors achieve their objectives.

Visit us at www.wfsfunds.com.

Press Contact:
Phil Nourie / Nourie Johnson Communications
P. 212-922-1226
phil@nouriejohnson.com

Web Site: http://www.wfsfunds.com

Stock Market Trends to Help Your Bottom Line

Stock Market Trends to Help Your Bottom Line

Stock Market Trends to Help Your Bottom Line-Image via Wikipedia

Last year MarketWatch reported that the Dow Jones Index has witnessed a fall every September since it was established. The pattern is convincing, but it begs the question: is past data a reliable guide to the future?

Sandy Jadeja is Chief Technical Analyst of award-winning spread betting provider City Index (http://www.cityindex.co.uk/), where he frequently leads free technical analysis seminars from the company’s London offices, believes that some patterns can be used to trade the markets effectively: “There are some very reliable time patterns that can be used. For example, the Dow Jones has declined from 28 December to 22 January in the last 12 years, so knowing this can be useful because it can help a trader prepare for a potential opportunity in advance.”

“In this example, a simple trigger would be a break below a weekly low after 28 December. Of course, trade management is of high importance to prevent large losses.”

Whether using charting or any other form of market analysis, traders should always use risk management tools such as stop losses and limit orders to close their trades automatically when the market reaches set price points.

Mr. Jadeja summarises: “Generally speaking, patterns are not perfect. But they can be considered a sensible way to make decisions as long as risk management and money management techniques are applied.”

To learn more about the free workshops available at City Index, visit:

http://www.cityindex.co.uk/learn-to-trade/seminars.aspx

Spread betting and CFD trading are leveraged products which can result in losses greater than your initial deposit. Ensure you fully understand the risks.

About City Index:

Today more and more individual traders are discovering the benefits of derivatives, and many of them are discovering them through a City Index trading platform.

As a group, we transact in excess of 1.5 million trades every month in over 50 countries worldwide. We provide access to a wide range of instruments including margined foreign exchange, CFD trading and, in the UK, spread betting.

We constantly look to improve the performance of our platforms and expand our range of services. The result is that our customers benefit from innovative trading tools with transparent pricing, competitive spreads, and a high standard of customer support. Open a spread betting account with City Index at http://www.cityindex.co.uk/spread-betting/start-spread-betting.aspx

 

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