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General Mills Is An Attractive Investment
- General Mills missed the fourth-quarter earnings results and its share price dropped 3.7% after the earnings release.
- Large companies in the packaged food industry are facing sluggish demand particularly in the developed markets where consumers are shifting towards healthy breakfast foods.
- In the given scenario, General Mills has initiated a cost-cutting program for fiscal year 2015 which will help its earrings stream through significant costs savings.
UnitedHealth Group: A Stock For Dividend Lovers
- UnitedHealth Group announced enviable dividends and share buybacks for its investors.
- The group’s dividend history has remained robust and attractive since 2010.
- This article will assess the company’s ability to sustain enormous dividend payouts in the future.
Abbott: A Worthwhile Investment
- Credit Suisse upgraded Abbott Laboratories to outperform from neutral, and raised the price target.
- Abbott has confirmed that it is going to acquire CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.
- Through the CFR acquisition, Abbott will be recognized as one of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Latin America.
Priceline: Future Looks Bright
- High competition and heavy dependence on its business model (agency model) will become problematic for Priceline Group Inc.
- The expected growth of online travel agencies in the U.S. and European markets will create opportunities for Priceline.
- High customer satisfaction and content leadership will help smooth growth in the stock price.
- New service initiatives by Travelocity and Israel's Qalika will boost Priceline Group Inc.'s revenues.
Hewlett-Packard Remains An Attractive Investment
- Hewlett-Packard reported slightly disappointing results for the second quarter of FY 2014.
- Hewlett-Packard aims to reduce its workforce by almost 15% in order to attain operational efficiency.
- The company had been generous towards its shareholders, and has continued rewarding them through dividends and buybacks.
- This stock is no longer a growth story, but is still an attractive investment for income investors.
CenturyLink: Future Looks Bright
- CenturyLink Inc.'s release of its Q1 FY 2014 results beat analysts' estimates regarding its top and bottom lines, and caused the company’s share price to rise substantially.
- CenturyLink's strategic revenue and data integration and other core revenues positively contributed to the company's top line. The company added more broadband and Prism TV subscribers.
- The company's bottom line deteriorated in Q1 FY 2014 compared to Q1 FY 2013 due to a decrease in margins, but it paid high returns to its shareholders.
- The introduction of enhanced security through its DDoS Mitigation service will also enable the company to win more customers.
Salesforce.com: Unjustified Valuation And Repetitive Losses
- Salesforce managed to beat analyst expectations regarding its latest-quarter sales, and generated 37% YOY growth.
- Excessive increases in expenses overshadowed the rise in revenues, so earnings failed to reflect the impressive revenue increase.
- Salesforce has a robust cash flow position that allows it to continue spending on R&D, sales and marketing.
- Salesforce's valuation is trading at an excessive valuation, which provides an opportunity for investors to generate some profits from the stock.
Delta Air Lines: A Good Choice For Investors
- Delta Air Lines, Inc. recently announced its plan for a 50% increase in its dividend per share and a $2 billion share repurchase program to be completed by December 2016.
- Delta is also hoping to reduce its debt to $5 billion before the end of FY 2016 by generating more cash flows from optimization of capital expenditures and improving performance.
- Delta has recorded strong upward movements in the earnings estimate revisions, indicating that analysts are becoming more hopeful regarding Delta's earnings for the current quarter and the fiscal year.
Buy Starbucks For An Upside Potential
- Year to date the stock has dropped 9% but the company’s outlook for the fiscal year is quite good. It is believed that the stock price continue rising.
- Starbucks is moving into different dimensions of the hot and cold beverage industry and plans to offer Fizzio in the summer and wine and beer to increase sales per customer.
- The average target price for this stock is $88.48 which gives rise to an upside potential of around 26%.
Apache Is Going In The Right Direction
- Apache Corp. recently announced the authorization of an additional repurchase of 10 million common shares bringing the company’s May 2013 share repurchase plan to 40 million shares.
- The increase in returns made to shareholders reflects the confidence of Apache’s management in its strategies and the future outlook of the company.
- The company is rebalancing its portfolio by focusing on lucrative and growth-driven areas by concentrating more on the North America region as well as product-wise by focusing more on liquids.
- While Apache is currently trading at around $89.73, Barclays has recently changed its price target on Apache’s shares to $113. The firm currently has an overweight rating on the stock.
Agilent Technologies: A Worthwhile Investment
- Agilent Technologies Inc. has recently announced results for Q2 FY 2014 that are close to analysts' expectations, but are lower than the revenue and income earned in Q2 FY 2013.
- The negative sales growth at the company's EM segment and costs associated with its spin-off adversely impacted the company's top and bottom line performance in Q2 FY 2014.
- The company has planned to conclude the spin-off of its EM segment into a publicly traded company named Keysight Technologies by the end of FY 2014.
- The company currently has a consensus rating of buy and a consensus target price of $60.38, reflecting upside from its current price at around $54.97.
Texas Instruments: A Decent Investment Opportunity
- Texas Instruments, Inc. has recently been upgraded to neutral by Nomura. Citigroup Inc. has reiterated its buy rating on the shares of Texas Instruments with a price target of $53.
- The global economic recovery and robust growth in the demand for electronic devices from various sectors will cause the semiconductor market to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% during 2013-2017.
- Texas Instruments is also restructuring its business to focus more on its analog chips segment as it has a high potential for growth.
AT&T Acquiring DirecTV - An Overlap Or Expansion?
- AT&T is said to be finalizing its acquisition of DirecTV in a week or two at a price of what may be $100 per share.
- The DirecTV acquisition will help AT&T expand its U-Verse business in Latin America and more remote locations where it currently lacks approach.
- The DirecTV acquisition will make AT&T more comparable to the services offered by FiOS.
- This acquisition will be fruitful for AT&T as it will give an instant boost to its combined subscriber base.
SanDisk - Offering Handsome Upside Potential
- SanDisk Corp. was recently upgraded by Raymond James from outperform to strong buy. The firm raised its price target on SanDisk’s stock from $90 to $115 indicating handsome upside potential.
- SanDisk projects the Total Addressable Market "TAM" for NAND Flash will grow at a CAGR of around 8% from 2013 to 2016 due to an increase in data required for.
- The company has also recently reached an agreement with Arrow Electronics Inc. to expand distribution of flash storage solutions to new regions worldwide.
- SanDisk’s board of directors has recently approved a 33% increase in the company’s quarterly dividend payment to $0.30 per share ($1.20 per share on an annual basis).
Transocean Ltd.: A Good Investment Opportunity
- Transocean Ltd. has recently announced its Q1 FY 2014 results that beat analysts' estimates regarding its revenue and earnings, due to its improved fleet revenue efficiency rate and cost-cutting initiatives.
- The spin-off will enable Transocean to focus more on its deep-water and ultra-deep-water operations, as they are the company's more productive assets.
- The high prices of oil and gas will support growth in expenditure by oil companies.
- The massive potential reserves available and the technological developments will make exploration in deep sea more feasible.
Dominion Resource: Adding Cheap Renewable Resources To Generation Mix
- Dominion Resources Inc. has recently acquired the two biggest solar projects in southwest Tennessee that will add 32 megawatts of renewable energy to the company’s generation mix.
- Solar energy is cheap and does not make Dominion susceptible to volatile fuel prices such as natural gas and supports the company’s bottom line.
- The company currently has a consensus rating of “hold” by the twenty rating firms that cover the company.
Chesapeake Energy: Capitalizing On Growth Prospects
- Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s hiring of CEO Doug Lawler to replace its founder Aubrey McClendon, 11 months ago seems to be a turning point for the company.
- The company’s Q1 FY 2014 results revealed EPS soared 97% compared to Q1 FY 2013 and 11 cents above analysts’ estimates; revenue surged around 48% to $5.05 billion.
- As a result of its turnaround strategy the company expects to record a positive free cash flow in FY 2014 for the first time since FY 2001.
- The company also intends to capitalize on growth prospects by expanding outside of the U.S.
Why You Should Buy Amazon
- Amazon.com Inc. recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Twitter Inc. allowing customers to add products to their carts by using the hashtag “#AmazonCart."
- This will enable Amazon to serve in accordance with the emerging trend of social shopping trends among customers.
- Twitter will benefit from the advertisement revenue from the e-commerce industry as Amazon plans to increase its budget and spending on advertising products on Twitter.
- Amazon will also attract more members as it signed a deal with HBO last month that will allow Amazon to stream HBO’s videos through Amazon’s video streaming service.
Duke Energy: Energizing Your Returns
- Duke made a pre-tax charge of $1.4 billion that was tied to Duke’s exit from its Midwest commercial generation business.
- Excluding the exit Duke’s revenues and earnings topped analysts’ estimates for the first quarter.
- Up until now Duke has invested $2.5 billion on its wind projects and this is the right move to strengthen its position and reap the benefits from the growing wind.
CenturyLink Is A Stock To Hold
- CenturyLink’s current dividend yield is more attractive than the dividend yield of Verizon communication and AT&T.
- The stock has picked up the pace and is trading at an eleven-month high price of $36.86.
- CenturyLink is expanding its data centers capacity and dropping its prices to enhance its penetration in the cloud market.
Disney Is Rewarding Investors
- Disney beat forecasts as Frozen continued to fuel the earnings. In the second quarter Disney reported earnings per share of $1.11 and topped analysts’ estimates of $0.96.
- Disney hopes to grow in China with the expected opening in 2015 of a Disney theme park in Shanghai.
- Over the last twelve months Disney’s total return of 27.34% has outperformed the S&P 500 total return of 18.15%.
Emerson Electric: Bright Future Prospects Ahead
- Emerson Electric reported its Q2 FY 2014 results and missed analysts’ expectations regarding revenues and earnings.
- The company performed well in Q2 FY 2014 in comparison to Q2 FY 2013 if the one-off charge due to Artesyn equity investment divestiture is excluded from the results.
- The global industrial valves market is forecasted to reach a worth of $72 billion by 2015 that will bring growth for the company’s process management segment.
- The company’s network power segment will record more growth in the coming years due to the rise in the global data center IP traffic and telecom capex.
- The signs and forecasts of recovery in Europe will also boost the company’s financial performance in the coming years.
Occidental Petroleum: A Stock Worthy Of An Investment
- Occidental Petroleum Corporation recently reported its Q1 FY 2014 earnings that beat analysts' estimates due to improved production and prices of oil and gas.
- The company’s oil and gas and chemical segments recorded revenue growth in Q1 FY 2014 that was partially offset by a decline in revenue from the midstream and marketing segment.
- The company is selling various low-production assets, such as Hugoton Field and other assets in the Middle East/North Africa to be able to focus more on profitable projects.
- The company is also splitting from its California operations to allow them to operate as a distinct and publicly traded company.
- The proceeds from the asset sales will be used to pay more returns to shareholders in the form of increased dividends and share repurchases by the company.
Valero Energy: Bright Future Ahead
- Valero Energy Corporation’s impressive Q1 FY 2014 results made analysts at Cowen and Company and Barclays raise their price targets on the stock.
- This growth in the company’s bottom line was supported by higher refining throughput margins and volumes receiving support from the cheap U.S. shale oil supply due to improvements in infrastructure.
- Looking forward, further growth in the North American crude production is expected that will support the company and help it to increase its production as oil infrastructure improves.
- The company is also investing to improve its transportation facilities and refineries to process more crude oil, while Latin America presents an attractive market to supply refined oil products.
- Valero is also expanding its ethanol operations, which will support the company’s sustainability even if favorable circumstances in the wider refining industry start to fade.
Has American International Group Reached An Inflection Point?
- AIG reported a mix of positive and negative performance during the first quarter of 2014.
- AIG’s Property and Casualty business unit underwrote losses primarily due to high catastrophe loss claims during the quarter.
- AIG’s Life and Retirement unit continued its growth momentum and saw a remarkable increase in assets under management leveraging on the demand of its products.
- AIG may soon experience a turning point and is poised to focus on its core operation, insurance.
Chipotle: Buy Before It Gets Expensive
- Chipotle’s first-quarter results were mixed as its top-line growth continued to follow a similar trend but its bottom-line growth suffered due to high commodity prices.
- In response to the rising commodity prices, Chipotle decided to increase its prices for the first time in three years.
- The average target price for this stock is $602.09 which gives rise to an upside potential of 20% on its current price.
Netflix: A Stock With Upside Potential
- Netflix’s earnings per share of $0.86 beats the analysts’ earnings estimate of $0.83 per share.
- Netflix added 4 million subscribers well above the estimate of 3.85 million subscriber additions.
- The average target price for this stock is $409.40 with an upside potential of 20% to its current price.
Weatherford Is A Good Buy
- Credit Suisse has recently reaffirmed an outperform rating on Weatherford International Ltd and raised its price target for the company’s stock from $19 to $30.
- The company’s stock jumped 11% when it reported its Q1 FY 2014 results along with announcements about initiatives the company is undertaking to improve its financial position and performance.
- The company has recently declared an agreement to sell its pipeline and specialty services business to Baker Hughes Incorporated for $250 million.
- Weatherford is aiming to gain $1 billion by the end of FY 2014 through asset divestments and $0.30/share per annum from the closure of 50 loss-making facilities and job cuts.
- The U.S. OFS industry is expected to record growth in 2014 as the region will increase its investment to grow its domestic supply.
Micron Technology: Impressive Performance Continues
- Since the start of January 2013 Micron’s stock price has increased to around 296%.
- Over the last twelve months Micron’s total return has outperformed the S&P 500 and its competitors.
- Micron’s current performance is impressive and analysts’ upgraded the stock to a buy rating.
Eaton Corporation: Current Price Offers A Good Entry Point
- Eaton Corporation topped analysts’ estimates by reporting a rise in first quarter profits.
- Forecasts provided for the second quarter were somewhat disappointing and caused the share price to decline.
- Eaton is expected to undergo some restructuring to enable its business to run smoothly despite uncertain economic situations due to the crisis in Ukraine and slowed growth in China.
Newmont Mining: A Stock Worthy Of An Investment
- Newmont Mining Corporation recently reported Q1 FY 2014 results revealing a 69% decline in the company’s earnings. Despite the decline the company still beat analysts’ estimates regarding its earnings.
- The fall in the company’s top line due to unfavorable metal prices was the major reason behind the under performance of the company’s bottom line in Q1 FY 2014.
- Analysts are optimistic about the recovery in demand and prices of gold and copper in 2014 as gold will be considered a safe investment and China will consume more copper.
- The issues related to exports, faced by the company in Indonesia, are adversely affecting the company’s AISCs but Newmont’s CEO is optimistic for a favorable resolution.
- The analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. have recently reiterated their neutral and hold ratings for Newmont’s stock, setting price targets that reflect the stock’s upside potential.
Google: Investors Can Expect Upside Potential
- The cost-per-click was a problem for Google but apart from that there were impressive growth numbers.
- Google believes that the cost-per-click difference between desktop and mobile interfaces is a short-term trend and in the medium-to-long term mobile pricing will be better than desktop pricing.
- According to Google’s first quarter results the company increased its capital spending from $1.203 billion to $2.345 billion reflecting an increase of around 95%.