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  • Top 10 Dividends In The S&P 500
    By Jonathan Chen

    We have gone through some rocky times in the past few weeks, with volatility almost reminiscent of 2008. Volatility tends to scare off investors. Dividend yields, especially higher dividend yielding stocks tend to offer some protection in downturns such as the one we are currently experiencing.

    Here are the top ten yields in the S&P 500 Underneath is the company's business summary, as provided by Yahoo! Finance.

    Stock, Share Price, Dividend, Dividend Yield

    Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) $7.04 $0.7510.65%

    Frontier Communications provides regulated and unregulated voice, data, and video services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in the United States.

    Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) $11.81 $1.008.47%

    Windstream Corporation provides various telecommunications services primarily in rural areas in the United States. It offers phone, high-speed Internet, and digital television services.

    CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) $34.46$2.908.42%

    CenturyLink operates as an integrated communications company. The company provides a range of communications services, including local and long distance voice, wholesale network access, high-speed Internet access and other services.

    Pitney-Bowes (NYSE:PBI) $19.06$1.4957.84%

    Pitney Bowes provides mail processing equipment and integrated mail solutions worldwide. It offers a suite of equipment, supplies, software, services, and solutions for managing and integrating physical and digital communication channels.

    Donnelley (R.R.) (NASDAQ:RRD) $14.41$1.047.22%

    R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company provides pre-media, printing, logistics, and business process outsourcing products and services to private and public sectors worldwide.

    Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) $33.89$2.246.61%

    Reynolds American manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States.

    Altria (NYSE:MO) $24.96$1.646.57%

    Altria Group engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally.

    Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN) $45.17$2.926.46%

    Health Care REIT, Inc. is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm engages in investment, development, and management of properties. It primarily invests in health care properties.

    Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) $25.63$1.626.32%

    Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. property, commercial auto, an.

    Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) $61.46$3.8756.30%

    Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. operates as an offshore oil and gas drilling contractor worldwide

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Aug 12 1:25 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The 8th Wonder Of The World Is Spelled A-P-P-L-E

    By Jonathan Chen

    Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just can do no wrong.

    Last night, the company reported earnings that not only beat Wall Street estimates, but crushed the so called "20% rule" as well. The company reported earnings of $7.79 per share on $28.57 billion in revenues. Wall Street analysts had been expecting earnings of $5.80 per share on $24.92 billion in revenues. Sales for its two major growth drivers, the iPhone and the iPad, grew at 142% and 183%, respecitvely. The company sold 9.25 million iPads, 20.43 million iPhones, 3.95 million Macs, and 7.54 million iPods.

    There is just no stopping the Apple train, with metrics like that. Heck, even Mac sales grew 14%, and the computer market is supposed to be dead. Everything this company does is gold, and the adjectives that people throw at this company pale in comparison to what Apple actually does. At this point, Apple can do no wrong in the eyes of shareholders, consumers, Wall Street banks, and the mainstream media.

    “We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent,” Steve Jobs said in the press release. “Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall.”

    Peter Oppenheimer, CFO of Apple, said, “We are extremely pleased with our performance which drove quarterly cash flow from operations of $11.1 billion, an increase of 131 percent year-over-year,” he said in a press release. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $25 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.50.”

    Shares are trading at just under $400 in pre-market trading, as every Wall Street investment bank is tripping over themselves this morning to raise price targets. Bank of America raised its price target to $515 this morning, some 20% higher than where shares are currently trading. If Apple is able to move into China in a meaningful way, as it looks like it is doing, then $515 could be small potatoes, as China revenues grew six times year-over-year.

    With over $76 billion in cash, and short-term securities, Apple has more cash then the largest hedge fund in the world, and is probably more dominant and definitely more relevant in America's eyes.

    The company is still cheap at these levels, trading at less than 13 times forward earnings, which is mind boggling for a company growing as fast as Apple is. Everyone keeps saying the law of large companies will eventually catch up to Apple, but that day is not today, and not anytime soon.

    There were tweets yesterday that jokingly said the United States should be renamed the "United States of Apple" and with all of the hoopla surrounding the company, it is hard not to agree with that mentality. There may never be another company that is more beloved by main street, Wall Street, and everyone in between.

    Steve Jobs, you have created a revolution that will last for years and years to come. Sit back, get healthy, and enjoy the culture that you have created. It is truly a wonder to behold.



    Traders who believe that Apple will continue to crush earnings might want to consider the following trades:

    • Go long Apple, obviously, as it is still cheap at these levels.
    • Consider Apple beneficiaries, like ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH), OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI) and others.


    Traders who believe that Apple's growth trajectory is continuing to take over the the consumer electronic space may consider alternate positions:

    • Short names like Research in Motion (RIMM), Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) as Apple continues to eat their lunch.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Jul 20 11:50 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Yen Gains on Dollar Despite Nuclear Crisis

    By Gary Cassady

    The yen appreciated slightly against the dollar Monday, rising amid worldwide uncertainty over the spreading debt crisis in Europe and the possible debt ceiling breach in the United States. The JPY/USD pairing rose from $0.01230 to $0.01240, continuing an upward trend over the last day of trading.

    Much of Japan is focused on the national reconstruction effort, as the island nation rebuilds following the March tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster. In an almost pre-war, all-hands-on-deck sense, Japan's economy is being mobilized and utilized for reconstruction.

    Industry minister Banri Kaieda reported that Japan's economy is recovering just fine from the disaster. However, it's a pretty open secret in political circles that the Japanese government's stance on the recovery effort is more public relations than necessarily fact.

    What's a trader to do?

    The future of Japan's economy is very likely intertwined with its nuclear power industry. With rumors of the government manipulating safety statistics on nuclear power, it remains to be seen whether the upcoming stress tests will relieve concerns over this understandably controversial energy source.

    The tests are appointed to a non-governmental agency, which aids the situation in public eyes, but the stress tests themselves still present complications. The public could react negatively to any plants that are brought back online, protesting and interrupting commerce in the interest of assuring safety.

    Yet, if the plants are not brought back online, then power outages could occur as the year goes on. In the worst case scenario, another mishap could occur as a plant is reactivated, disrupting public and commercial life and damaging reconstruction efforts.

    Either way, the reconstruction is fraught with difficulties, all of which will have an impact on the Japanese economy and on the yen. which tends to fluctuate in relation to how confident the market is in the strength of the Japanese economy. Since confidence is impacted by government statements, ongoing events, and public sentiment over the reconstruction, there could be a lot of volatility ahead for this reserve currency.



    • Japan's government will continue to attempt to shape public perception, and persuade people that the economy is strong and stress test efforts are well-intentioned. They may actually manage to increase confidence in the economy and stabilize or partially rally markets.


    • Further rough times in Japan will mean another loss in confidence, like that seen in early April. If things go sour in the Japanese economy expect another reserve currency to benefit, as yen are traded for dollars or perhaps even euros.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Jul 12 11:40 AM | Link | Comment!
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