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JimVanMeerten (55.74)

May 2010



Is the market in recovery or denial?

May 29, 2010 – Comments (0)

Each weekend on Financial Tides I take stock of the market by ignoring the headlines and using Barchart to find the data for my 3 stock market yard sticks. I use 3 because no single yardstick seems to be accurate all the time. Looking at all 3 gives me more complete feeling of the true direction the market took in the last week. Let's see what the results were.

Value Line Index -- Contain 1700 stocks so its much broader than the S&P 500 or much narrower Dow 30 -- Index not strong but in recovery
1 - Index actually rose by 1.57% last week -- That's up 3 out of the last 5 weeks and up 3 of the last 5 months  [more]



Tech is still hot

May 28, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: SPRD.DL

Spreadtrum ( SPRD ) is a semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets baseband processor solutions for the wireless communications market. Spreadtrum combines its semiconductor expertise with its software development capabilities to deliver highly-integrated baseband processors with multimedia functionality and power management.

Wall Street has discovered this stock and has 5 buy and 2 hold recommendations published. Sales and earnings projections are off the chart with sales expected to increase 146.90% this year and 23.60% next year. Earnings are a similar story with estimates of increases in EPS to be 311.60% this year 18.70% next year and continue at an annual rate of 20.00% for the next 5 years. I like these numbers.

Investor sentiment is beginning to build with the CAPS members on Motley Fool voting 180 to 29 that the stock will beat the market and a similar vote is registered by the All Stars vote of 47 to 6.

The data on Barchart shows that this is a current momentum play with 12 new highs in 20 trading sessions and 4 new highs in the last 5 days. The monthly return on this stock has been 70.03%. All of Barchart's 13 technical indicators signal a buy for a 100% buy score.

I think this stock still has some room to run because:
1 - Wall Street predicts double digit sales and earnings to continue  [more]



Autozone keeps you car and portfolio running

May 27, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: AZO

Autozone ( AZO ) is the nation's leading specialty retailer of automotive parts and accessories, primarily focusing on do-it-yourself customers. Each of the company's auto parts store carries an extensive product line for cars, vans and light trucks, including new and re-manufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, and accessories. Many of the company's domestic auto parts stores also have a commercial sales program, which provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local repair garages, dealers and service stations.

As the consumer cuts back and drives their cars longer before a trade-in auto parts companies should see an increase in sales. Autozone's marketing plan in 2 pronged. First of course directly to the do it your selfer but they are trying to also focus on sales directly to the independent mechanics that are flourishing across the country through a financed sales program.

The stock had increases in 4 of the last 5 trading sessions for an increase of 8.07% in the last week. Barchart's 13 technical indicators all signal buy for a 100% buy signal. The stock trades around 191.99 with a 50 day moving average of 179.85.

The general investing public as measured by Motley Fool CAPS members feel the stock will beat the market by a vote of 302 to 153 with the more experienced All Stars agreeing 89 to 41. Fool notes that of the Wall Street columnists Fool follows articles have been positive 15 to 0.

Brokerage firms also have high hopes and predict double digit earnings increases of 18.60% this year, 12.20% next year and expect that EPS increase to continue at the rate of 13.20% annually for the next 5 years. Sales also are expected to increase this year and next.

3 reasons to buy Autozone:
1 - Recent price increases with a 100% Barchart technical buy signal  [more]



Monro Muffler keeps on Truckin'

May 26, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: MNRO

Financial Tides notices the positive investor sentiment on Monro. Monro Muffler/Brake, Inc. ( MNRO ) is a chain of company-operated and dealer-operated stores providing automotive undercar repair services in the United States. Monro's stores provide a full range of services for exhaust systems, brake systems, steering and suspension systems and many other vehicle maintenance services. The company's stores typically are situated in high-visibility locations in suburban areas and small towns, as well as in major metropolitan areas.

Wall Street is forecasting double digit growth in both sales and earnings. They have given their clients 4 strong buy and 1 hold recommendations based on expected sales increases of 18.30% this year and 13.40% next year. EPS is projected to increase 31.70% this year, 20.90% next year and continue for 5 years at an annual compounded rate of 20.90%. Share price appreciation should be similar.

The stock has been up in 3 of the last 5 sessions and Barchart shows a technical buy on 10 of 13 technical indicators for an overall 72% buy score.

The general investing public is starting to notice this stock with the CAPS members on Motley Fool voting that the stock will beat the market 57 to 10 with the All Stars in agreement 19 to 1. Wall Street columnists have written 3 positive articles recently.

If you're interested in an S&P 600 small cap stock that already has been noticed remember:
1 - Wall Street likes the possibility of increased sales and earnings  [more]



Adc Telecomm hitting it big in China

May 26, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: ADCT.DL

Financial Tides has noticed all the new contracts Adc Telecommunications has signed by their Network Solutions division in the Chinese markets. ADC Telecommunications ( ADCT ) is a leading global supplier of broadband network equipment, fiber optics, software and systems integration services that enable communications service providers to deliver high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services to consumers and businesses worldwide.

Analysts on Wall Street have noticed this stock and has given their clients 7 buy and 7 hold recommendations. Although they estimate that sales will only increase by 6% next year they are predicting increases in earnings per share of 133.30& this year, 42.90% next year and an 11.83% 5 year annual compounded growth rate of 11.83% -- double digit is good!

Investor sentiment is positive with the CAPS members on Motley Fool voting that the stock will beat the market 332 to 31 with the more experienced All Stars agreeing 112 to 5. Of the Wall Street columnists Fool follows their articles have been positive 14 to 0.

The real story has been in the stocks recent price momentum with the stock up in 4 of the last 5 sessions for a 17.01% gain in only 5 days. Barchart's 13 technical indicators have 10 of 13 possible buy signals for a 72% technical buy score. The stock trades around 8.37 with a 50 day moving average of 7.83.

A momentum investment play with:
1 - Recent upward price momentum of 17.01% in a week  [more]



Flash Memory Technology

May 26, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: SNDK.DL

Financial Tides thinks that Flash Memory Technology is the play of the day. Sandisk Corporation ( SNDK ) designs, manufactures, and markets flash memory storage products that are used in a wide variety of electronic systems. The company have designed flash memory storage solutions to address the storage requirements of emerging applications in the consumer electronics and industrial/communications markets. Its products are used in a number of rapidly growing consumer electronics applications, such as digital cameras, personal digital assistants, portable digital music players,digital video recorders and smart phones.

Sandisk has a leg up on all the other players with their products used in Apple's I-Pad, Amazon's Kindle and many of the widely used smart phones.

The stock is a 100% Barchart technical buy with all 13 technical indicators giving a buy signal. The stock has been up in all of the last 5 sessions and had a 11.55% price appreciation in the past week alone. The stock trades around 44.77 with a 50 day moving average of 38.53.

Wall Street analysts see fundamental strength in the numbers with increases in both sales and earnings forecasted. They have published 11 buy and 7 hold recommendations based on an expected sales increase of 35.70% this year and 10.40% next year. Earnings growth on a 5 year annual compounded basis is expected to be 17.50% per year.

The investing public has taken notice with the CAPS members on Motley Fool betting the the stock will out perform the market by a vote of 1649 to 142 and the All Stars agree 470 to 29.

The stock is a buy right now because of :
1 - Recent and consistent price appreciation  [more]



Apple - The most popular stock on the planet

May 24, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: AAPL

There are times when a stock's popularity is just too big to ignore. IBM was such a company in the 70's as was Micrsoft in the 90's. For those 2 readers who don't know about them Apple (AAPL) designs, manufactures and markets personal computers and related personal computing and communicating solutions for sale primarily to education, creative, consumer, and business customers. To the rest of the world Apple will take us to places we have never even dreamed of going and do things we didn't even know were necessary. Apple just doesn't fulfill a need they create one.

Whenever I want to fell ancient I just go to an Apple Store and stand behind some 8 year old and watch them play with the new Apple products. I find myself talking like Steve Urkel but instead of saying" Did I do that?"; I find myself saying " I didn't KNOW I could do that!"

Why do I think Apple is the most popular stock on the planet? Over on Motley Fool 23,758 members have given an opinion on the stock -- more than any other. 21,803 are positive to the 1955 that think it can't beat the market. Even the experienced All Stars vote 4559 to 235 that it will beat the market. Fool notes that all 45 of the last articles about the company have been positive. If that isn't hero worship I don't know what is.

Wall Street is also in awe with 37 buy, 4 hold and only 2 under perform reports published. Sales increases of 61.60% this year and 16.80% next year are estimated with earnings increases of 46.70% this year, 15.10% next year and a 5 year compounded EPS growth rate of 16.47% expected.

There seems to be no doubt that Apple will grow but with all the herd following them are they worth their 20.4 price earnings ratio? The growth in I-Pad sales and new products that they always seem to create have analysts looking for a price between 400 and 480 in the next 5 years from the 250 where it is selling now.

The stock has lost 7.61% in the last 30 days but that is less than the 11.89% the market as measured by the Value Line Index has lost.

The stock is presently trading below it's 20 day moving average but still above its 50 and 100 day moving average.

Citibank and Bank of America may not be too big to fail but it seems that Apple may be too popular to fail.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on investing on Barchart Portfolio Blogs and Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: No position in AAPL at the time of publication   [more]



Are we headed for another Crisis???

May 24, 2010 – Comments (3)

This weekend in Financial Times John Authers does an abstract of his new book: The Fearful Rise of Markets: Global Bubbles, Synchronized Meltdowns and How to Prevent Them in the Future.

Financial Times Link

The abstract is pure genius, I can't wait to read the book. To me a genius is anyone who can take complex subjects, boil them down and explain them in such simple language that even I can understand them.

He outline the problems with the markets as:

Other People's Money -- He explains how in the 1950's most people played the market with their own money. Only 10% of the NYSE volume was institutional. Now most money trading in the market is mangers playing with other people's money. Only there job and bonus is at stake.

Herding -- Professional investors all seem to go to the same investments and cause them to become overpriced. They all aim at the same bench marks thus limiting their investment universe.

Safety in Numbers -- Asset Allocation through diversification caused people to invest and take risks in investments they didn't understand. By forcing investment in assets that did not correlate to the rest of the market the new money rushing in caused a new correlation. Then when one sector fails they all fail.

Moral Hazard -- There was an impression that the markets were protected and all was safe. Someone was looking out at what was happening and someone would always bail out failures

He then goes on to offer suggestions on the solutions.

Moral Hazards -- Banks and financial institution either need to be broken up so that if they fail their smaller size makes it no big deal and go ahead and let then fail. If the shareholders are at risk, they might not allow risky ventures

Herd Mentality -- Change the way managers are paid. If they are paid on size and short term performance they will go along with what everyone else is doing.

Other People's Money -- You should not be able to take on a risk and then package it and sell to others. You should have to retain a piece of the risk so you have skin in the game.

This article and hopefully the book will be must reading for those few of you that really want to know why it fiasco happened and how we can prevent it in the future.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters on Seeking Alpha and
MSN Top Stocks. Please leave a comment below or email



Did the market give you whiplash last week?

May 22, 2010 – Comments (1)

It's the weekend again and time to take stock of the market. It was a very confusing week. One day up then the next day down , sometimes the fair value is down before the market opens but the market closes up by the end of the day. What's an investor supposed to do? Don't let the headlines confuse you, just look at the facts. Look at the three handy yardsticks I make from the data I find on Barchart. I use three because no single yardstick is a complete barometer of the market.

Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or the very narrow Dow 30 -- This week the Index was down
1 - Down by 5.50% for the week  [more]



Investor Confidence Crumbles

May 21, 2010 – Comments (2)

" Investor Confidence Crumbles" was the headline on my morning read in the Financial Times this morning. My first thought was: Is just confidence down? What about the economy?

My yardstick for measuring the economy is the monthly report for the
Conference Board's Leading Economic Index published just yesterday. Now comes the bad news. The Index has been positive every month since October 2009. This was the first month that Index reversed itself. The following components were negative, beginning with the largest:
 -  Building permits  [more]



Momentum in the Tech sector

May 20, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: TTGT

Financial Tides reviews TECHTARGET ( TTGT ) a leading online Information Technology media company, provides IT companies with ROI-focused marketing programs to generate leads, shorten sales cycles, and grow revenues. The company is also a leading provider of independent, peer and vendor content, a leading distributor of white papers, and a leading producer of vendor-sponsored Webcasts and Podcasts for the IT market. Its Web sites are complemented by numerous invitation-only events and two magazines. TechTarget provides proven lead generation and branding programs to numerous advertisers including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, SAP and Symantec. Their client list for other services also includes Google and SunMicrosystems. The company distributes most of its products through over 50 on-line websites.

This momentum play has risen 20.74% in the last 30 days hitting 11 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions. This consistent momentum has triggered 10 of 13 technical buy signals on Barchart. The stock trades at 5.88 with a 50 day moving average of 5.11.

Wall Street has noticed with 3 buy and 4 hold reports published. Double digit increases in sales and earnings are expected. Sales are estimated to increase 10.00% this year and 11.60% next year. Earnings are predicted to increase 52.90% this year 23.10% next year and continue for 5 years at an annual rate of 22.00%

Investor sentiment is high on Motley Fool with the All Stars voting 15 to 5 that the stock will beat the market. Fool reports that columnists have been positive 5 to 0.

This momentum play has:
1 - Positive investor sentiment with experienced investors  [more]



Huge growth in generic drugs

May 20, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: AGN

Financial Tides likes Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( WPI ) a pharmaceutical company primarily engaged in the development, production, marketing and distribution of both branded and off-patent pharmaceutical products. The company's branded pharmaceutical business operates primarily in three specialty areas: Dermatology, Women's Health and General Products. The company's products include therapeutic and preventive agents generally sold by prescription or over-the-counter for the treatment of human diseases and disorders.

The big story is in the acquisition of the Arrow Group. Although the acquisition required the issuance of 17 million shares that dilutes earning per share, overall sales should benefit because it will allow the company to enter new over seas markets. Growth will come in new offerings of generic drugs in the areas of urology, birth control and a new generic version of Lipitor one of the largest selling brand names on the planet.

This is a momentum play and the stock hit 6 new highs in the last 30 days even in this soft market. The growth in price has been steady so it earned a 100% overall Barchart buy signal having buy signals on all 13 technical indicators. The stock appreciated 2.58% in the last 30 days and trades around 43.73 with a 50 day moving average of 42.18.

Investor sentiment is high as measured on Motley Fool with the CAPS members voting 148 to 17 that the stock will beat the market. The All Stars have similar feelings with a vote of 55 to 4.

Wall Street analysts have noticed this stock and have 5 buy and 9 hold reports published. They look for double digit growth in both sales and earnings. Sales are predicted to increase 25.80% this year and 11.10% next year. Earnings growth is forcasted to be 25.20% this year, 11.50% next year and a 5 year compounded growth rate of 10.42% annually.

This stock deserves your attention because:
1 - The acquisition of Arrow group opens new foreign markets for distribution
2 - New offerings of generic drugs are coming on line
3 - Barchart technical indicators have recognized solid and consistent price appreciation with a 100% over all technical buy signal
4 - Investor sentiment is positive
5 - Fundamental Wall Street analysts have predicted double digit increases in sales and earnings

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on investing on Financial Tides and Barchart Portfolio Blogs. Please leave a comment below or email  [more]



Baidu -- You can't ignore a 600# gorilla

May 19, 2010 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: BIDU

Before you all jump on me and talk about the impossibility of sustained growth and the 59 times EPS ratio let me interject my reasoning. In China and the Asian continent in general Google and Baidu are not on a level playing field. Google just doesn't seem to know how to play ball in Asia. They are trying to use western rules in an eastern game and fail to realize all the referees are hometown Chinese boys.

The Chinese government will make sure Baidu succeeds in China no matter what. They have over 1/2 of the world's population and are doing much better than we are in Africa and the Middle East. Baidu even has a Japanese search engine:

Everyday more and more analysts are initiating coverage of this stock and now even Value Line has picked up this stock and rates it #1 for timeliness.

I'll let other tell you all the negatives and I'll explain what the stock has going for it.

As I've said more and more firms are beginning to follow this stock with 21 already on board with 13 buy and 8 hold recommendations released. The numbers they project are all most too good to be true. They look for increases in sales of 66.70% this year and 51.70% next year. Even more aggressive EPS growth is forcasted with an EPS increase of 92.10% this year, 55.40% next year and a 5 year compounded growth rate of 44.89%. Presently trading around 69 they have a 74 to 78 price target. Total return for the past 3 years has been 466.7%!

There is a big investor sentiment on Motley Fool with the CAPS members voting that the stock will beat the market by a vote of 3,286 to 642 and the more experienced All Stars voting 857 to 178.

For technical coverage Barchart notes a price pull back lately but still has 10 of their 13 technical indicators signaling buy for a 72% technical buy signal. Even with the pull back the stock went up 13.92% in the last month and hit new highs in 8 of the last 20 trading sessions. It trades above its 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages at around 69.54 with a 50 day moving average of 63.61.

Here are the pros and cons:
Pros --
1 - High investor sentiment and more firms initiating coverage every week  [more]



Profit from the growth in the Internet

May 19, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: VRSN

Having a successful investment portfolio is not just stock picking; its also portfolio management. Don't be afraid to cut loose stocks that don't meet your criteria and always have a list of stocks you'd like to buy if conditions are right.

The Internet is growing by unbelievable leaps and bounds and companies properly positioned to take advantage of that growth should benefit. VeriSign ( VRSN ) is one of the leading providers of trusted infrastructure services to website owners, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals. The company's domain name registration, digital certificate, global registry and payment services provide the critical web identity, authentication and transaction infrastructure that online businesses need to establish their web identities and to conduct secure electronic commerce, or e-commerce, and communications.

The company has initiated Project Apollo which is a 10 year initiative to increase its infrastructure capacity by 1,000 times its present size. Since they sell Internet access could that mean a 1000 times increase in revenue? Probably not as sales prices per unit of data will come down and margins might get squeezed but growth is still in the picture. They are also buying back $54 million in share to increase shareholder value.

Wall Street has taken notice with 12 buy and 7 hold recommendations published. Analysts estimate sales will increase by 5.90% this year and 10.40% next year. The double digit growth in earnings is what interests me. An EPS growth of 19.50% this year and 15.70% next year is predicted. The forecasted 5 year annual compounded EPS growth rate is expected to continue at a rate of 12.64%.

Investor sentiment is high on Motley Fool with the CAPS members voting that the stock will beat the market by a vote of 245 to 39 with the All Stars in agreement 65 to 9. The Wall Street column its Fool follows have been positive also by 10 to 1.

Is this the right time to buy? Let's look to Barchart for the technical price evaluation. Barchart has a buy signal on all 13 of its technical indicators for a 100% buy signal. The stock is presently trading above its 20, 50 and 100 day moving average and hit 7 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions. The stock has enjoyed an 8.08% price increase in the last month and presently trades at 28.68 with a 50 day moving average of 26.80.

VeriSign (VSRN ) meets my criteria for a buy:
1 - Wall Street analysts have buy recommendations released with increases in sales and double digit increases in earnings projected  [more]



President Obama -- Invest in space

May 18, 2010 – Comments (2)

The announcement that the Obama administration is winding down the US space program for budgetary reasons is one of the saddest announcements that any boomer can hear. When I was a child my heroes were Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and of course Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepard and John Glenn. They all were so real yet unreal to me. One of my most proudest possessions was a model of the X-15 I built with my own hands. It was a simple time when TV was not 24 hours a day and signed off every night with videos of Air Force jets flying high in the clouds and the words of High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace where never lark, or ever eagle flew —And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

I could then go to sleep knowing that my super heroes and God were there to protect me.

When President John Kennedy announced that we were behind in our space program but going to beat the Russians to the moon I bought a slide ruler and learned how to use it. To me running out in the school yard at Everglades Junior High hoping to see the rocket exhaust of Alan Shepard and John Glenn hurling toward space was better than a ticket to the World Series. One of my most precious memories was sitting with my son on Cocoa Beach and watching a Space Shuttle night launch.

But your children might not have these memories unless you travel to Japan, China, India or maybe North Korea.

Today the Japanese are going to launch a solar powered space yacht called Ikoros - Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun - almost spelled like Icarus whose wax and feather wings melted when he flew too close to the Sun. I think it will fly on power from the light in space sort of like that little vacuum globe with the black and white squares we all had in science class that started spinning when we put it next to the window at school.

President Obama we are falling behind in the quest for knowledge again. Please give the boomers back our pride. We want history to remember us as the leaders in technology and space exploration not the greatest military power in history. As Shakespeare wrote:

"The evil men do lives after them;
the good is oft interred with their bones."

What will our legacy be?

Jim Van Meerten is an investor, boomer and lover of NASA who writes on financial matters on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email   [more]



Healthy projections for Whole Foods

May 17, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: WFM

Financial Tides likes Whole Foods promotion of a healthy lifestyle. They were hurting for a while when households traded down price wise during the beginning of the recession. For the first time in 5 quarters same store sales are up as shoppers again strive to eat healthy and organic if they can afford it. They have begun to market more private label items that are competitively priced with the larger chains. There are 51 new location coming on line bringing the total to 350 locations. That should give them major recognition in the marketplace.

Whole Foods Market is the largest purveyor of natural foods in the world. They own and operate the country's largest chain of natural food supermarkets. They are like an old-fashioned neighborhood grocery store, an organic farmer's market, a European bakery, a New York deli, and a modern supermarket all rolled into one! The Company also offers a wide variety of non-perishable natural products on its Web site at  [more]



You'll love AKAM's double D's

May 17, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: AKAM

Financial Tides thinks if Akamai can hold off the acceptance of new products by the new entrants to the video streaming market they may be able to protect the great margins they presently enjoy.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM ) is the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online. Thousands of organizations have formed trusted relationships with Akamai, improving their revenue and reducing costs by maximizing the performance of their online businesses. Leveraging the Akamai EdgePlatform, these organizations gain business advantage today, and have the foundation for the emerging Web solutions of tomorrow.

Investor sentiment as measured by the Motley Fool CAPS members is extremely high with members voting 2833 to 107 that the stock will beat the market. The more experienced All Stars agree with a vote of 867 to 20. The columnist Fool follows are positive in their articles by 17 to 0.

Wall Street analysts like the double D's on this stock -- that's double digit projections of increases in sales and earnings. They estimate that sales will increase 16.20% this year and 13.70% next year. Earnings are projected to increase by 12.20% next year and continue by 12.88% annually for the next 5 tears.

Barchart has a 96% technical buy score with 12 of the 13 indicators signaling a buy. The stock has appreciated 19.27% last month by hitting 8 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and 2 new highs in the last 5 days. The stock trades around 39.64 with a 50 day moving average of 34.01.

I like AKAM because:  [more]



The market is in recovery so reinvest

May 15, 2010 – Comments (1)

Every Saturday morning on Financial Tides I run through my standard exercise of using Barchart and my 3 yardsticks to evaluate just what the market really did during the past week. One thing that I've learned over the years is you need to be proactive and not reactive in your investing. Most investors are lemmings who don't plan ahead. A week ago last Thursday was a market disaster from which the market is recovering. Too many people are still liquidating as the market begins its recovery. Let's get back to the yardsticks.

Value Line Index -- contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- beginning to recover  [more]



There might be profits in medical software

May 14, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: CAM.DL , KTOS , MDAS.DL

Time to do a little trimming in my Wall Street Survivor portfolio. I was a little hesitant to trim last week because I realized that last week's negative market action was hitting everything and performance figures were not representative of any individual stocks worth. I have identified 2 stocks that I think just aren't going to have upward price momentum in the near future so I'm deleting them.

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions (KTOS) has downward price momentum and is now trading below it's 50 day moving average. The stock has moved down for the last 3 weeks and has decreased in price 11.20% in the last 30 days . Barchart also has 9 of 12 technical sell signals for an overall sell score of 48%.

Cameron International Corp (CAM) also has downward price momentum and has been down by 17.84% in the last 30 days. It presently trades below it's 100 day moving average and has a 72% overall sell signal on Barchat.

I am adding a stock and continue to be in the market for 2 reasons:
1 - The Conference Board's economic indicators are positive for the first time in a long while, with the leading, coincident and lagging indicators all showing gains last month  [more]



Nothing better than a Yoohoo

May 13, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: KDP

Financial Tides likes DR PEPPER SNAPPLE Group ( DPS ) one of the largest beverage companies in the Americas. They manufacture, market and distribute more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, juices, ready to drink teas, mixers and other premium beverages across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

I was raised in the south so Yoohoo and Squirt were found in every gas station and store cooler when I was a kid. The other brands they own that I love are 7 Up, A&W, Sunkist sodas, Hawaiian Punch and now that I've grownup ( my Mom and wife would say I haven't grown up just gotten older ) I love Mr & Mrs T's Mixers.

The new marketing strategy is to play up to the new health concerns and tell you how their drinks contain added vitamins and are made from real fruits and vegetables --- all these years I didn't know how healthy Yoohoo was!

Wall Street predicts good things for the stock and has published 8 buy and 4 hold recommendations. Although sales are only predicted to go up 3.20% this year and 3.30% next year they estimate stellar earnings projections. An increase in EPS of 22.30% this year, 13.70% next year and a compounded 5 year EPS growth rate of 7.85% are forecasted.

The technical signs are present too with a 8.92% price appreciation in the last 30 days, The stock hit 7 new highs in the last 20 trading session and 5 for 5 last week. Barchart's technical indicators have 12 of 13 buy signals for an 88% buy score. The stock trades around 37.91 with a 50 day moving average of 34.91.

Investor sentiment as measured by votes on Motley Fool shows CAPS members vote 322 to 22 that the stock will beat the market and the more savvy All Stars agree 133 to 10. Of the last 9 articles published on DPS 8 were positive.

This stock warrants a look because it:
1 - Has great brand recognition  [more]



Quanta Benefits from Grid expansions

May 13, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: PWR

Financial Tides likes Quanta Services ( PWR ) a leading provider of specialty electrical contracting and maintenance services primarily related to electric and telecommunications infrastructure in North America. In addition, the Company provides electrical contracting services to the commercial and industrial markets and installs transportation control and lighting systems. Some of Quantas services include the installation, repair and maintenance of electric power transmission and distribution lines and telecommunication and cable television lines, the construction of electric substations, and the erection of cellular telephone.

Quanta should have a good year. This winter weather was bad for utility lines but the company provided high margin repair services to the industry. Recently they signed new contracts to help both Verizon and AT&T expand their grids. They are positioned properly without a high fixed overhead.

The stock appreciated 13.78% during the last month and hit 10 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions. They also increased in 5 of the last 5 sessions. On Barchart all 13 technical indicators signal a 100% buy. The stock trades at 22.55 with a 50 day moving average of 19.72.

Motley Fool CAPS members vote that the stock will out perform the market by a vote of 524 to 14 with the All Stars in agreement 15 to 3. Fool notes that 20 of the last 21 articles have been positive.

Wall Street has noticed this stock with 14 buy and a hold recommendation. They expect the company to increase sales by 20.60% this year and 12.40% next year. Earnings projection are fantastic with increases of 34.30% this year and 27.70% next year. The company is expected to maintain a 5 year compounded EPS growth rate of 11.34%

The stock has:
1 - Recent price momentum and a 100% Barchart technical buy score  [more]



Not your Dad's Hasbro

May 12, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: HAS

Hasbro Inc. ( HAS ) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time and entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, KENNER, TONKA, ODDZON, SUPER SOAKER, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, HASBRO INTERACTIVE,MICROPROSE, GALOOB and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide what the company believes to be the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world. (PRESS RELEASE)

That press release sounds more like the old company your father liked that made all the Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers board games all of us Boomers played as kids but a closer look says it isn't so. The new Hasbro knows how to use TV and movies to market their goods. They are using the Discovery Kids Channel to use the characters in their games as program characters the kids will watch. They also have multiple year licensing agreements with Marvel Entertainment to market toys based on Iron Man 2, Captain America and Thor movies that are being released soon.

Wall Street continues to increase their sales and earnings estimates and has 9 buy and 6 hold recommendations published. They look for sales to increase .30% this year and 7.10% next year. The earnings projections are what catches my eye with EPS growth estimated to be increased by 5.20% this year, 18.40% next year and maintain a 5 year compounded growth rate of 10.00%.

Barchart's technical indicators signal a buy on 13 of its 13 indicators for a 100% buy signal. The stock has appreciated 8.59% in the last month with 8 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and 4 for 5 in the last week. The stock trades around 40.80 with a 50 day moving average of 38.75.

I can't believe the investor sentiment over on Motley Fool where CAPS members think the stock will beat the market by a vote of 1493 to 52 with the more experienced All Stars in agreement 469 to 16. Fool notes that business columnists have had positive articles about the stock 16 to 0.

This stock has the points I look for:
1 - Recent price momentum with a Barchart technical buy signal of 100%  [more]



Direct TV -- DTV -- having a great year

May 11, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: DTV.DL

Direct TV ( DTV ) is having a great year. They are buying back stock at a fantastic rate. They are also experiencing terrific costs savings as the prices on their equipment is coming down.

DIRECTV Class A is a provider of digital multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and services, and global video and data broadcasting in the United States and Latin America. The Company operates in two segments, DIRECTV U.S. and DIRECTV Latin America (DTVLA). DIRECTV Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries, referred to as the DIRECTV U.S., is the provider of direct-to-home (DTH), digital television services and is also engaged in the multi-channel video programming distribution industry in the United States. The Company provides its subscribers with access to hundreds of channels of digital-quality video pictures and compact disc - quality audio programming that it transmits directly to subscribers' homes or businesses through high-powered geosynchronous satellites. The DIRECTV Latin America segment provides DTH digital television services in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. The company is based in El Segundo, California. ( press release )

The stock has recently experienced a 7.74% price appreciation in the last 30 days and hit new highs in 10 of the last 20 trading sessions and also 4 of the last 5. Barchart technical indicators signal 12 of 13 buy signals for an 88% buy rating. The stock trades around 37.98 with a 50 day moving average of 35.14.

Wall Street likes the stock with 13 buy and 7 hold recommendations released. Sales are estimated to increase 8.90% this year and 7.40% next year. Earnings forecasts are aggressive with EPS growth predictions of 58.60% this year, 27.00% next year and a 5 year compounded EPS growth rate of 19.15%.

Motley Fool members express a very positive investor sentiment with CAPS members voting that the stock will beat the market by a vote of 576 to 61 and the more experienced All Stars agree by 152 to 12. Fool list positive Wall Street articles 24 to 1.

The stock has a lot going for it:  [more]



Today is the day for TNA

May 10, 2010 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: TNA

Today is the day to make back any losses. Buy TNA at the opening.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: I do hold positions in TNA   [more]



Market was ugly but be prepared to jump back in

May 08, 2010 – Comments (2)

Time to quit reading all the doom and gloom and quantify just how bad it really was. We will use our 3 standard yard sticks from Barchart to see where we really stand and try to come up with a strategy for next week.

Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so it is much broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- We haven't been this far down in a long time  [more]



Profit from credit card processing

May 07, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: FIS

As the economy recovers people will begin spending money and most will do that on a credit or debit card. Fidelity National Information Services ( FIS) Inc. provides credit, debit and merchant card processing, e-banking, check risk management and check cashing services to financial institutions and merchants worldwide.

They have a customer list of over 14,000 financial institutions including 40 of the top 50 global banks. The best part of their customer list is that no single institution accounts for more than 5% of their revenue. In this fickled economy the loss of a major institution would not be a revenue buster.

The stock hit 15 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and had an 18.17% price appreciation in the last 30 days. Barchart's technical indicators still have 13 of 13 buy signals for a 100% technical buy rating. The stock trades around 28.51 with a 50 day moving average of 24.47.

Investor sentiment on Motley Fool is positive with a 93 to 14 vote that the stock will beat the market. All Star investors agree with a vote of 27 to 2. Fool reports that the last 8 articles about the company have been positive.

Wall Street likes the stock and gives 13 buy and 7 hold recommendations with no negative releases. Sales are expected to increase 37.20% this year and 4.70% next year. Double digit increase in EPS are expected with estimates of increases of 20.20% this year , 13.30% next year and 11.76 annually for the next 5 years.

If you think the economy is improving and consumer spending will increase this stock has a few things going for it:
1 - Recent price appreciation with a 100% technical buy signal from Barchart   [more]



HP Cusomer Support---- F-

May 05, 2010 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: HPQ

Here is a company I really have mixed feelings about. I read a posting on Marketocracy just after I had a bad customer support experience with my HP computers and printers. I read this posting: "What's behind this dinosaur? Not much!.....To me HPQ looks like a great short opportunity. Opinions?"

First let me tell you about my bad experience. I decided to upgrade my computer so I went to Best Buy and purchased a new HP Pavilion Entertainment PC. When I got home I tried to connect it to my old and trusty HP LaserJet III but there was no place to plug in the printer's 25 pin cable so back to Best Buy to get a converter cable to connect to the USB port. I log on and try to print but nothing happens. I call HP customer support to get assistance connecting my HP computer to my HP printer. To me that sounds like a logical step but boy was I wrong.

I don't know how many of you have ever had a problem with your computer -- do you believe that statement? I bet you all have had the same experience as I've had. The hardware people say the hardware is fine it's a software problem. The software people usually say the software is working properly it's a network problem. The network people say its not a network problem it must be a problem with connectivity to the peripheral devices. They send you round and round with no one taking responsibility and everyone passing the buck to a different department or vendor. I think this is a trick they all learn the first week of their IT training school.

This time though I think I've got them. This is an HP computer connected to an HP printer so HP customer support should be able to help. Right? Wrong! When I call the 800 number no one knows what to do. After several transfers and an hour and fifteen minutes later I'm transferred to a guy who claims to be the senior printer customer support person at the support center. He informs me that although there are millions of these Laserjet III printers still in use HP no longer provides customer support for that product. He asks me what software I have. Why Windows 7 of course. His reply is that the software does not provide a driver to connect to such an old printer. He says I should either load an old software version or better yet buy a new HP printer.

I decide to get a second and third opinion so I call again several times to see what other customer support reps will tell me and that all say that HP no longer supports that printer and my only option is to buy a new HP printer and then they will help me.

I decide to call the Geek Squad and get an appointment. There is no way that Mister Softy would design a software program that leaves out one of the most popular laser printers ever sold. They quote $129 for a diagnostic visit but don't promise they can fix it.

Now I'm really frustrated. I log onto the Microsoft website after a few clicks find a list of supplemental printer drivers and download the one for the HP Laserjet III. It asks what communication port I want it to connect to I click "USB" and out of my printer pops a test page.

How is this possible? I am a total computer illiterate but I can go to the on-line software site, spend less than 5 minutes, click a few tabs and correct a problem that is beyond the expertise of the best and most experienced customer support people at HP? Either they are total idiots or they have been told to lie and get you to buy new HP equipment. Either way I'm not pleased with HP customer support and because HP has made a decision to not properly support their products I'll never buy another HP product.

But what about the posted question? Should we be shorting HPQ at this time? Well the stock is trading down 5.88% for the month and has hit 7 new lows in the last 20 trading sessions. Barchart has technical sell signals on 9 of its 13 technical indicators of an overall 48% sell signal.

The Wall Street analysts have 28 buy and 5 hold reports published with no negative recommendations released. They think sales will increase 7.60% this year and 5.30% next year. EPS growth estimates are great with an increase of 15.60% for this year and 10.30% next year. They even think the 5 year compounded EPS growth rate will be 12.60%.

Investor sentiment is high on Motley Fool with CAPS members voting that the stock will beat the market by a vote of 2761 to 228 and the All Stars agree with a vote of 704 to 41. That is a very high and positive investor sentiment. The columnists Fool tracks have had favorable articles 33 to 1.

My opinion -- At this time I'm not going to sort HPQ no matter how bad their customer support is. Although there has been a negative price trend recently there are just too many brokerage firms recommending the stock so how can it continue to go down with such strong investor sentiment?

If you short at this point you'd better be prepared to cover at a moments notice.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email

Disclosure: No positions in HPQ at the time of publication.   [more]



Intuit Inc -- INTU -- the right product of todays consumer

May 03, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: INTU

Intuit Inc. ( INTU ) is trying to show you how easy it is to do all your finances including tax filings on-line. The products are marketed to the public and many of the products can be purchased and downloaded directly on-line. Demographics are in their favor because the youthful markets are used to doing things on line and the boomers are finding that doing tax filings using on-line software isn't really that hard. They enjoy not only the privacy ( they like to play their finances close to the vest ) but also like the math and fact check features that are built into the software.

Price momentum in this stock has been very good lately with a 7.48% increase this past month. The stock hit 12 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and on Barchart all 13 technical indicators signal a buy for a 100% buy rating.

Wall Street analysts are looking for increased earnings of 5.80% this year and 8.20% next year. Their projections of earnings per share increases get my attention. They estimate an EPS increase of 11.00% this year, 11.40% next year and a 5 year annual compounded EPS increase of 13.83%. I like this for a long term pick.

Over on Motley Fool the CAPS members think the stock will beat the market by a vote of 441 to 30 and if that's not a good enough investor sentiment indicator for you the All Stars vote 156 to 9 to beat the market.

I'm adding this stock to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio because:

1 - I like the current price momentum and the 100% Barchart technical buy call
2 - The product line is one that the public likes and should continue to buy year after year
3 - Wall Street has 10 buy and 9 hold reports published so at least I know their firms are still pumping up interest
4- Investor sentiment is very high so new purchases of share are likely

Disclosure: I own no shares at the time of publication  [more]



Market weakness is tempoary

May 02, 2010 – Comments (0)

Time for Financial Tides weekly stock market wrap-up. April was a good month but the past week wasn't a good week. Too much news about Greece, Goldman Sachs and the Gulf oil spills. Bummer! Let's use our 3 standard yard sticks from Barchart to quantify the damage and then move on.

Value Line Index - Contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or even narrower Dow 30 -- down for the week but up for the month
1 - Index down 3.16% for the week but still up 4.94% for the month  [more]

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