Here at The Motley Fool, I've long cautioned investors to keep a close eye on inventory levels. It's a part of my standard diligence when searching for the market's best stocks. I think a quarterly checkup can help you spot potential problems. For many companies, products that sit on the shelves too long can become big trouble. Stale inventory may be sold for lower prices, hurting profitability. In extreme cases, it may be written off completely and sent to the shredder.
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven't materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Crane (NYSE: CR ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Crane doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, OK, it seems. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 0.6%, and inventory decreased 2.4%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue dropped 2.8%, and inventory contracted 2.4%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks OK but not great. Revenue dropped 0.4%, and inventory grew 2.0%.
Top Supermarket Companies To Buy For 2015: 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 Jake L'Ecuyer]
Waste Management (NYSE: WM) was down, falling 3.50 percent to $42.14 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q4 results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.01 percent to $101.36, while gold traded up 1.38 percent to $1,318.10.
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
Consider that municipalities and industrial giants such as�Waste Management� (NYSE: WM ) �are converting their fleets -- in this case garbage trucks -- to�run on natural gas fuels�(link opens a video). It's a little easier for Waste Management, since it uses biogas generated from its managed landfills to fuel its own vehicles. Clean Energy Fuels also sources biomethane from one of its landfills in Dallas. In fact, the facility can produce up to 36,000 gasoline-equivalent gallons�each day. It's like the old saying goes: One man's trash is another man's fuel.��
- [By Damian Illia]
During 2008, Republic Services and Allied Waste merged to create a strong company which could compete with number-one waste management company Waste Management Inc. (WM). It is true this industry has a rather constant nature, as trash volume increases with population growth, urban construction, industrial production and commercial activity. Still, the macroeconomic context during 2008 affected the recently-merged company, having to deal with lower waste volumes and intense price competition. Nevertheless, after this bumpy beginning, the company reached a good profitability. And, although it came to sustain average growth on both gross and operating margins, this tendency has recently decelerated with this margins underperforming in 2012 and 2013.
- [By Dividends4Life]
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Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy 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 Rich Bieglmeier]
[Related -Upside Calls Active On United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) And Put Options Active In Crocs, Inc. (CROX)]
Crocs is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of footwear and accessories for men, women and children. The Company sells its products in more than 90 countries through domestic and international retailers and distributors and directly to end-user consumers through its Company-operated retail stores, outlets, kiosks and Webstores. Its footwear products are divided into four product offerings: Core-Comfort, Active, Casual and Style.
- [By Pratik Thacker]
Strong recovery from the past
Although the shoe retailer's performance has been remarkable, this isn't the case when we look at its stock price. Over the last five years, Skechers did not perform as well as peer�Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX ) , as evidenced by returns. However, it did manage to outperform Nike (NYSE: NKE ) during the same period.
- [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.
- [By Ben Eisen and Saumya Vaishampayan]
Crocs Inc. (CROX) �rose 2.2%. The shoe company was said to be in discussions with buyout firms, including Blackstone Group LP, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources. The talks appeared to be focused on the firm taking a minority stake in Crocs via which Blackstone could help map out a turnaround strategy.
Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy 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 MONEYMORNING.COM]
If the Apple stock split does succeed in putting splits back into vogue, these companies are most in need of one:Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) - Share price: $1,232.43
The online travel company famous for its commercials with William Shatner actually did a 1-for-6 reverse stock split back in 2003 following the dot-com bust. That bad memory has probably been a factor holding PCLN back from doing a stock split. But at this point a 10-to-1 split would make perfect sense. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) - Share price: $568.09
The Mexican restaurant chain has enjoyed a lot of growth and is a star player in the casual dining sector. It has never had a stock split. Management has frequently scoffed at the idea of a stock split, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Until about a year ago, Apple said the same thing. Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) - Share price: $533.84
AutoZone is a retailer and a U.S. distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company has had two 2-for-1 splits in its history, in 1992 and 1994, so it certainly is due. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) - Share price: $421.54
Growing from a by-mail DVD rental and subscription service into a full-blown Internet-based TV network has pushed NFLX to impressive heights. Netflix had one 2-for-1 split back in 2004. But the dramatic fall of the stock back in 2011 - from just over $300 to $50 - no doubt has kept the company from pulling the trigger on a stock split. The price will have to go even higher to convince management it's safe to split. Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) - Share price: $373.90
Intuitive Surgical designs, manufactures, and markets its own da Vinci Surgical Systems and related instruments and accessories. As ISRG has pulled back from highs of about $575 a share over the past couple of years, a stock split for Intuitive would seem counterintuitive for now. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq
- [By John Kell]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday’s session are Intuitive Surgical Inc.(ISRG), Juniper Networks Inc.(JNPR) and Microsoft Corp.(MSFT)
- [By John Divine]
One of the most successful innovators in the field of medical technology in recent years, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) , saw shares drop 2% Monday. Investors continued to sell off shares in the company after last week's earnings report, which depicted unimpressive growth in surgeries performed by Intuitive Surgical's moneymaker, the da Vinci robot. Trading at about 28 times earnings, the 23% sales growth and 31% net income growth didn't quite meet expectations.�
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) were down 7.92 percent to $451.02 after the company issued downbeat revenue forecast for the first-quarter. The company expected revenue of around $465 million, versus analysts' estimates of $535.5 million. Sterne Agee initiated coverage on the stock with an Underperform rating.
Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy 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).
- [By David Fried, Editor, The Buyback Letter]
Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group (CNO) and its insurance subsidiaries��rincipally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company��erve pre-retiree and retired Americans.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Up first is CNO Financial Group (CNO), a mid-cap financial stock that's rocketed close to 60% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. Yup, it's been a great year for the market, but it's been a far better one for investors who own CNO. But that strong performance isn't showing any signs of slowing yet. In fact, CNO looks primed for even more upside in the fourth quarter.
That's because CNO is currently forming a bullish pattern called an ascending triangle. The ascending triangle pattern is formed by a horizontal resistance level above shares -- in this case at $14.75 -- and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CNO bounces in between those two technical price levels, it's getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above that $14.75 resistance level. When that breakout happens, it's time to become a buyer.
ACCO's price action isn't exactly textbook. After all, the pattern is coming in at the bottom of a downtrend, not after an uptrend. But ultimately, that doesn't change the trading implications of a move through that $7.50 level.
Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in a stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That $7.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above it so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Don't be early on this trade.
Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy 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. �
Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy Right Now: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD)
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. engages in the ownership, operation, and franchise of restaurants in the United States. The company provides quick casual and casual dining services, as well as serves bottled beers, wines, and liquor. As of July 26, 2011, it had 773 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 45 states in the United States, as well as in Canada. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.
Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but the firm actually raised its price target to $41 (versus a $39.04 close).
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is an owner, operator and franchiser of restaurants featuring a variety of boldly-flavored, craveable menu items. This stock closed up 6% to $103.58 in Wednesday's trading session.
Wednesday's Volume: 1.55 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 402,120
Volume % Change: 319%
From a technical perspective, BWLD ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $98.38 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of BWLD within range of triggering major breakout trade. That trade will hit if BWLD manages to take out its intraday high on Wednesday of $105.32 and then once it clears is 52-week high at $106.03 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BWLD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $98.38 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 402,120 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BWLD will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $110 to $120.
Top 10 Growth Stocks To Buy 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 Jake L'Ecuyer]
Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) shares were also up, gaining 13.53 percent to $69.73 as the company reported upbeat first-quarter results. Nordstrom posted a quarterly profit of $0.72 per share on revenue of $2.93 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $0.68 per share on revenue of $2.86 billion. Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded Nordstrom from Neutral to Outperform.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stifel’s Dave Lutz calls retail “the main anchor on the tape today”– and we know what’s been happening with retail. Department stores are off about 1.5% as JC Penney (JCP), and Nordstrom (JWN) fall. Momentum stocks like Celgene (CELG), too, are also sagging. Add in a strengthening yen, and falling bond yields, and there you go.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Another major company that won�� be opening its 261 stores on Thanksgiving is Nordstrom�� Inc. (NYSE: JWN). Nordstrom�� big annual sales event comes in July and it is a bigger profit-maker for the store than is Black Friday. Staying open would likely add little to the company�� coffers and the backlash from consumers is probably just not worth the aggravation to Nordstrom��. The store�� upscale image would also likely take a hit from being one of the mob open on the holiday.