LONDON -- With the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) down 564 points from its May 22 high of 6,876, up 0.11% for the day to 6,311 as of 8:25 a.m. EDT, it might seem strange to be talking of record prices. But the U.K.'s top index is still up 16% over the past 12 months, which in most years would be considered a cracking performance, and there are individual shares constantly breaking new ground.
So here are three shares from the various indexes that are setting new records today.
Whitbread (LSE: WTB )
Whitbread is having a great week, with its shares climbing further to reach a new 52-week high of 2,967 pence today -- though they're back to 2,919 pence at the time of writing. Shares in the owner of the U.K.'s Costa Coffee and Premier Inn chains are now up 60% over the past 12 months.
After posting three straight years of double-digit growth in earnings per share, Whitbread is forecast to do the same for the next two years -- and with that kind of growth expected, a forward P/E of 17.5 might well be justified. Dividends are on the up, too, but the yield on offer is only a little more than 2%.
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Its da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon?s console or consoles, a patient-side cart, a 3-D vision system, and proprietary ?wristed? instruments. The company?s da Vinci surgical system translates the surgeon?s natural hand movements on instrument controls at the console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports. It also manufactures a range of EndoWrist instruments, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. Its EndoWrist instruments consist of forceps, scissors, electrocautery, scalpels, and other surgical tools. In addition, it sells various vision and accessory products for use in conjunction with the da Vinci Surgical System as surgical procedures are performed. The company?s accessory products include sterile drapes used to ensure a sterile field during surgery; vision products, such as replacement 3-D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items. It markets its products through sales representatives in the United States, and through sales representatives and distributors in international markets. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Munarriz]
1. The first cut is always the deepest
The prognosis wasn't favorable for Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) this week, as its shares tumbled 16% on Tuesday after lowering its sales estimates.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Next week investors will be waiting for several key earnings reports including�General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG), Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU), Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK), PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB),Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
- [By Rich Smith]
While billed as a rival to America's Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) , Mazor actually bears closer resemblance to tiny Hansen Medical (NASDAQ: HNSN ) . Lacking profits despite raking in nearly $15 million in revenues last year, Mazor doesn't generate positive free cash flow like Intuitive does. Instead, it burns it like Hansen does (albeit more slowly). Last year, negative free cash flows amounted to $2.1 million, which suggests that Wallachbeth's endorsement may be a bit premature.
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Crocs Inc.(CROX)
Crocs, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company primarily offers casual and athletic shoes, and shoe charms. It also designs and sells a range of footwear and accessories that utilize its proprietary closed cell-resin, called Croslite. The company?s footwear products include boots, sandals, sneakers, mules, and flats. In addition, it provides footwear products for the hospital, restaurant, hotel, and hospitality markets, as well as general foot care and diabetic-needs markets. Further, the company offers leather and ethylene vinyl acetate based footwear, sandals, and printed apparels principally for the beach, adventure, and action sports markets; and accessories comprising snap-on charms. The company sells its products through the United States and international retailers and distributors, as well as directly to end-user consumers th rough its company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks, and Web stores primarily under the Crocs Work, Crocs Rx, Jibbitz, Ocean Minded, and YOU by Crocs brand names. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 164 retail kiosks located in malls and other high foot traffic areas; 138 retail stores; 76 outlet stores; and 46 Web stores. Crocs, Inc. operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The company was formerly known as Western Brands, LLC and changed its name to Crocs, Inc. in January 2005. Crocs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Niwot, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By William L. Watts]
Shares of Crocs Inc. (CROX) �rose nearly 17% after Chief Financial Officer Jeff Lasher said in an interview that Blackstone Group LP (BX) �will invest $200 million in the shoe company and that Chief Executive John McCarvel will retire by late April.
- [By Matt Brownell]
AOL When we spoke to Crocs (CROX) CEO John McCarvel back in January, we couldn't help but notice his choice of footwear: He wasn't wearing Crocs. But we couldn't really hold it against him. McCarvel was in town to accept an innovator award from the National Retail Federation, and Crocs didn't really make anything appropriate for the occasion. You can't wear Crocs with a suit, right? Well, that's not entirely true. As it turns out, Crocs now offers a number of shoes that are a bit more on the dressy side. They've got loafers, for instance, which could work at the country club. And for the office they've got the "Tummler" shoe, which combines the molded rubber clogs with a black leather slip-on dress shoe. As the website explains, it's meant to be a "work shoe you can live with." Around the same time we came across the Crocs dress shoe, we also became aware of another product that tries to combine stay-at-home comfort with office-appropriate wear: Dress pants-style sweatpants. These have all the comfort and warmth of a pair of sweatpants, but are designed like a pair of dress slacks, complete with back pockets, belt loops and pinstripes. Together, the Crocs dress shoes and sweatpants dress pants suggest a new paradigm for office wear: Dressy enough to pass muster with your boss, but comfortable enough that you can feel like you're having a pajama day working from home. But could you really pull this off in an office environment? To find out, I got a pair of each, then put them on and headed down to the offices of StyleList, Aol's fashion experts. I modeled my office wear for a panel of three StyleList editors: Ellen Thomas, Logan Sowa and Abby Silverman. Their first reaction was telling -- two of them didn't realize that I'd actually changed into the sweatpants. That, I thought, meant that I could get away with wearing sweatpants without anyone noticing. But on closer inspection, doubts started to emerge. "I don't think I'll ever be inclined to think this is
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Crocs (CROX) announced a number of moves–including an investment by Blackstone Group (BX) that could restore the bounce to its shares.AFP
Bloomberg has the details on Crocs:
Crocs Inc. rose as much as 14 percent in early trading after saying Chief Executive Officer John McCarvel will retire and�Blackstone Group LP will invest $200 million in the maker of colorful plastic clogs…
The shoemaker said in a statement yesterday that it will use the funds from Blackstone�� investment in convertible preferred stock to increase share repurchases to $350 million. McCarvel will step down on or about April 30…
Blackstone, based in New York, will be restricted from acquiring more than 25 percent of Crocs common shares until a time frame expires for appointing board directors, the shoe manufacturer said in a filing. Crocs said it will pay $2 million as a closing fee and reimburse as much as $4 million of Blackstone�� transaction fees and expenses once the preferred-stock sale is concluded.
Sterne Agee’s Sam Poser and Ben Shamsian upgrade Croc’s shares to Neutral from Underperform. They explain why:
The retirement of John McCarvel from his CEO post and from the board of Directors removes a large road block to success. Blackstone�� involvement (13% ownership upon conversion) may serve as a catalyst for positive change, including closing underperforming stores and limiting future store openings. While increased share repurchases should help EPS growth, fixing the fundamentals of the business will require more extensive efforts.
Wedbush’s Corinna Freedman explains how Blackstone’s involvement helps� Crocs find a McCarvel’s replacement:
We expect the shares to react positively to the announcement as we believe that a regime change and a shift of balance of power in the Board (with Blackstone having 2 board seats with veto power and presumably, a significant say regar
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: NKE is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index. The company's peer group includes: Crocs Inc. (CROX) with a 0.0% yield, Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK) with a 0.0% yield and Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) with a 0.4% yield.
Top 10 Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2015: TrueBlue Inc.(TBI)
TrueBlue, Inc. provides temporary blue-collar staffing services in the United States. It supplies on demand general labor to various industries under the Labor Ready brand; skilled labor to manufacturing and logistics industries under the Spartan Staffing brand; and trades people for commercial, industrial, and residential construction, and building and plant maintenance industries under the CLP Resources brand. The company also provides mechanics and technicians to the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul, aerospace manufacturing, and assembly industries, as well as to other transportation industries under the Plane Techs brand; and temporary drivers to the transportation and distribution industries under the Centerline brand. It primarily serves small and medium-size businesses. The company was formerly known as Labor Ready, Inc. and changed its name to TrueBlue, Inc. in December 2007. TrueBlue, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Yates]
When looking at small cap stocks, it is useful to compare the company with others that have expanded in both share price and size. For those considering investing in the $100 billion staffing industry, the growth of TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) shows what could be the potential path for Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC), as both operate in the $29 billion demand labor sector. Other firms have done well in the staffing industry include Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX) and ManPower Group (NYSE: MAN).
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of staffing agency TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI ) jumped 10% today after the company reported earnings.
So what: Revenue jumped 19%, to $422.3 million, and beat estimates of $420.2 million from Wall Street. Adjusted earnings per share were also up 19%, to $0.31, outpacing estimates by $0.05.�
- [By idahansen]
The entire demand labor industry should do well as the US Department of Labor just reported that 169,000 more jobs were added to the American economy. The more work there is, the more demand there is for the services of staffing solutions firms such as Labor SMART, Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), and Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI).
- [By Jonathan Yates]
Even though the stock market rallied on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) and Standard & Poor's 500 Index (NYSE: SPY) surging, the long term winners will be stocks in the staffing industry such as Paychex(NASDAQ: PAYX), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), and Labor SMART (OTCBB: LTNC).
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Waste Management Inc.(WM)
Waste Management, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides waste management services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It offers collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services. The company also owns, develops, and operates waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Its collection services involves in picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility, or disposal site; and recycling operations include collection and materials processing, plastics materials recycling, and commodities recycling. In addition, it provides recycling brokerage, which includes managing the marketing of recyclable materials for third parties; and electronic recycling services, such as collection, sorting, and disassembling of discarded computers, communications equipment, and other electronic equipment. Further, the company e ngages in renting and servicing portable restroom facilities to municipalities and commercial customers under the Port-o-Let name; and involves in landfill gas-to-energy operations comprising recovering and processing the methane gas produced naturally by landfills into a renewable energy source, as well as provides street and parking lot sweeping services. Additionally, it offers portable self-storage, fluorescent lamp recycling, and medical waste services for healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and individuals, as well as provides services on behalf of third parties to construct waste facilities. The company was formerly known as USA Waste Services, Inc. and changed its name to Waste Management, Inc. in 1998. Waste Management, Inc. was incorporated in 1987 and is based in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Geoff Gannon]
For example, a company involved in a mundane business like running hair salons ��like Regis (RGS), dentist offices ��like Birner Dental (BDMS), grocery stores ��like Village Supermarket (VLGEA), or garbage dumps ��like Waste Management (WM), may be easy to estimate as essentially a no-growth business.
- [By Arjun Sreekumar]
Others are using it right here in the U.S. to power trucks and other vehicles. Waste Management (NYSE: WM ) , for instance, has amassed a sizable fleet consisting of 2,000 trucks powered by compressed natural gas, or CNG. It even recently opened a new CNG fueling station in Bristol, Pa., to help fuel its growing fleet, as well as to provide fueling options for the public. �
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI)
Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides workers compensation insurance and reinsurance products in the United States. The company?s Workers Compensation Insurance segment provides traditional workers compensation insurance coverage products, including guaranteed cost policies, policyholder dividend policies, retrospectively-rated policies, deductible policies, and alternative market products to employers. This segment distributes its workers? compensation products and services through its independent insurance agents primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, and Virginia. Its Segregated Portfolio Cell Reinsurance segment offers alternative market workers compensation solutions comprising program design, fronting, claims administration, risk management, segregated portfolio cell rental, asset management, and segregated portfolio management services to individual companies, groups, and associations. Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
ProAssurance Corp.(PRA) agreed to acquire Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.(EIHI) for about $205 million, expanding the insurance company’s casualty insurance offerings. Eastern Insurance is a domestic casualty insurance group specializing in workers’ compensation products and services, among other things. ProAssurance plans to pay $24.50 in cash for each outstanding Eastern share, a 16% premium over Monday’s closing price.
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Nordstrom Inc.(JWN)
Nordstrom, Inc., a fashion specialty retailer, offers apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children in the United States. It offers a selection of brand name and private label merchandise. The company sells its products through various channels, including Nordstrom full-line stores, off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, Jeffrey? boutiques, treasure & bond, and Last Chance clearance stores; and its online store, nordstrom.com, as well as through catalog. Nordstrom also provides a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards, and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The company?s credit and debit cards feature a shopping-based loyalty program. As of September 30, 2011, it operated 222 stores, including 117 full-line stores, 101 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store, and 1 clearance store in 30 states. The company was founded in 1901 and is based in Seattle, Washington.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Nathalie Tadena]
Nordstrom Inc.'s(JWN) fiscal third-quarter profit slid 6.2% as the high-end retailer’s sales growth was tempered by the absence of a key sale event that was held earlier in the year, while overhead expenses jumped.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of J.C. Penney have dropped 4.4% to $8.65 today at 9:33 a.m., while Macy’s (M) has fallen 1.2% to $42.99, Kohl’s (KSS) has dipped 0.9% to $51.56, Nordstrom (JWN) is off 0.8% to $55.99 and Dillard’s (DDS) has dropped 0.8% to $78.50.
- [By Andrew Marder]
Although a report in yesterday's New York Times highlighted the practice, the truth has been out there for months. Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN ) had a trial program where it used video surveillance and Wi-Fi signals in smartphones to track customers in the store. It wanted to use the data to help it connect with customers, and then to sell them more things. The company posted announcements about the program in stores, and after complaints, it ended the program in May this year.
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Vanin Aegea]
I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Smith]
Three months after settling upon a new chief executive officer, it looks like Thorofare, N. J.-based Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP ) will soon have itself a new CFO as well.
Hot Growth Companies To Watch In Right Now: Thoratec Corporation(THOR)
Thoratec Corporation engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. The company?s primary product lines include ventricular assist devices, such as HeartMate II, an implantable left ventricular assist device consisting of a rotary blood pump to provide intermediate and long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and HeartMate XVE, an implantable and pulsatile left ventricular assist device for intermediate and longer-term MCS. Its ventricular assist devices also comprise Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device, an external pulsatile ventricular assist device, which provides left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for bridge-to-transplantation (BTT), including home discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery; and Implantable Ventricular Assist Device, an implantable and pulsatile ventricular assist device designed to provide left, right, and biventricular MCS approved for BTT comprising hom e discharge, and post-cardiotomy myocardial recovery. The company also provides CentriMag, an extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platform that offers support up to 30 days for cardiac and respiratory failure. In addition, it offers PediMag and PediVAS extracorporeal full-flow acute surgical support platforms designed to provide acute surgical support to pediatric patients. The company sells its products through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors internationally. Thoratec Corporation was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Todd Campbell]
Competing for heart pump market share
Abiomed's products provide circulatory support for up to six hours and are designed for use in cardiac cath labs or during heart surgery, but competitors Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) and Heartware (NASDAQ: HTWR ) target the intermediate- and long-term-use market instead.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of medical device company Thoratec (NASDAQ: THOR ) sank 12% today after its quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations. �