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  • Is Dollar General Really A Bargain?
    Mon, Feb. 23 DG 1 Comment

    Summary

    • We think Dollar General dodged the "winner's curse" in its losing bid for Family Dollar's assets.
    • Falling gas prices will shore up discretionary spending of its target demographic, helping near-term performance.
    • But has the market already priced this into its shares? That's the question.
  • Ruth's Hospitality's Steaks Get Your Mouth Watering But Maybe Not Its Stock
    Sun, Feb. 22 RUTH 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Ruth's Chris has powered back from the depths of the Financial Crisis.
    • The company's name speaks of brand strength, and consumer awareness has probably never been greater.
    • However, Mr. Market appears to like a good steak, too. The company's shares aren't on sale.
  • Why Linear Technology's Dividend Is Top Notch
    Sun, Feb. 22 LLTC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Most dividend growth investors "fear" the fast-changing dynamics of technology.
    • If a company, however, has tremendous cash-flow generating capacity and a strong balance sheet, there's no good reason why its dividend can't grow in the future.
    • One such company within the technology sector is Linear Tech. The firm's dividend is as strong as it gets, in our view.
  • Acuity Brands Is Shining Bright But Is That The Problem?
    Sun, Feb. 22 AYI Comment!

    Summary

    • Acuity Brands already has the top market share in North America with 1.7+ million SKUs.
    • In a near-$14 billion addressable market, the company still has a long runway of growth opportunities.
    • But growth will always be a component of the valuation equation. Let's find out if Mr. Market is offering Acuity Brands up for a bargain, the relevant question.
  • Have You Seen Nvidia's Cash Balance?
    Fri, Feb. 20 NVDA 13 Comments

    Summary

    • Things are progressing really well at Nvidia. The company posted record revenue in fiscal 2015, and earnings per share growth was solid.
    • There are two major components of value in equity analysis: net cash on the balance sheet and the discounted value of future free cash flows.
    • Often overlooked, Nvidia's cash position gives it tremendous financial flexibility.
  • ConocoPhillips Fans Need Not Worry
    Wed, Feb. 18 COP 9 Comments

    Summary

    • The energy sector has experienced boom and bust cycles in the past.
    • ConocoPhillips is well aware of the violent capabilities of crude oil prices.
    • The oil giant is taking prudent steps to manage cash flow, which we like.
    • We think caution is still in order, however, as the worst may not be over.
  • Do Slow Comps Speak To Lower Growth Potential At Kona Grill?
    Tue, Feb. 17 KONA 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Kona Grill's sushi selection makes it a unique play in fast-casual.
    • The firm is planning to grow restaurant count aggressively in coming years, but comps haven't been telling of a great growth story.
    • Let's take a look at the investment prospects of shares and derive an intrinsic value estimate.
  • CSX Train Derails, A Material Event?
    Tue, Feb. 17 CSX 12 Comments

    Summary

    • The lines between news and material investment information are often blurred.
    • News hit the wires that a CSX train derailed and exploded into flames in West Virginia.
    • Will this impact our fair value estimate of CSX? The short answer, from our perspective, is no.
  • Raytheon's Dividend Is Solid
    Sun, Feb. 15 RTN 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Raytheon will face a weaker 2015, but the market doesn't seem to care.
    • The firm is trading north of our fair value estimate range at the moment.
    • Raytheon's dividend growth prospects are worth paying close attention to, however.
  • American Railcar: Opportunistic Idea?
    Sun, Feb. 15 ARII 9 Comments

    Summary

    • The massive decline in the price of crude oil has reset the equity values lower of many companies in the sector.
    • But has Mr. Market overreacted in certain cases?
    • Let's take a look at one of the largest makers of tank railcars, American Railcar.
  • Exxon Mobil Still Resilient In The Face Of Adversity
    Fri, Feb. 13 XOM 9 Comments

    Summary

    • Exxon Mobil is built for these tough times.
    • The firm's cash-flow generating capacity is solid, and its economic returns are the best among the majors.
    • We expect the company to come out ahead once the dust settles and oil prices stabilize.
  • Nathan's Famous' Shares Getting Pricey
    Thu, Feb. 12 NATH Comment!

    Summary

    • Nathan's Famous' hot dogs are enjoyed far and wide.
    • We think the firm has a long runway of growth ahead of it, particularly with co-branding efforts.
    • Still, Mr. Market is paying attention, and not giving us much of an opportunity.
  • Bravo Brio's Shares Are Starting To Get Cheap
    Wed, Feb. 11 BBRG 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Bravo Brio operates within the upscale, affordable niche of Italian food.
    • Both of the company's concepts, Bravo! and Brio, remain the firm's primary growth areas.
    • Shares of Bravo Brio are trading at the low end of our fair value range, and we think investors should at least have them on their watch list.
  • Union Pacific May Be Best In Breed
    Tue, Feb. 10 UNP 14 Comments

    Summary

    • Union Pacific is not beholden to the Central Appalachian coal markets of the eastern United States.
    • We think its route network is relatively more attractive as a result. The railroad's ability to convert a dollar of revenue into a dollar of free cash flow is top-notch.
    • Though we like the company quite a bit, its valuation is getting pricey. Mr. Market loves shares.
  • This New IPO Is Hard To Break
    Tue, Feb. 10 HABT 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Habit Restaurants is one of the fastest-growing burger establishments in the US. The company's recent IPO has put it on the map.
    • Let's take an informative view of the risks of this investment idea. Is its niche already too saturated for sustained long-term growth?
    • We'll also put the rubber to the road in assigning the company a fair value estimate.
  • Dollar Tree Wins Family Dollar; Will Falling Gas Offset The Winner's Curse?
    Tue, Feb. 10 DLTR, FDO 3 Comments

    Summary

    • The dollar store industry is expected to benefit greatly from the significant slide in gas prices.
    • Dollar Tree recently bested Dollar General in scooping up Family Dollar's assets.
    • Will falling gas prices help offset the winner's curse, or is Dollar Tree now headed for underperformance?
  • Merck's Late-Stage Pipeline Should Pay Dividends
    Mon, Feb. 9 MRK 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Merck may be facing pressure due to the loss of exclusivity related to a few key drugs, but its late-stage pipeline remains very promising.
    • The pharma giant's dividend has returned to growth! We peg its Dividend Cushion ratio at north of 2, and a near 3% yield is nothing to scoff at.
    • However, as in the case of most strong companies, the market doesn't put shares on sale very often.
  • Abbott Looks Forward To Another Strong Year
    Mon, Feb. 9 ABT 1 Comment

    Summary

    • There are few stronger cash-flow generators than Abbott.
    • The firm generates tremendous economic value for shareholders.
    • Though we like the company more than ever, the market isn't providing much of a buying opportunity.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Off To A Strong Start In 2015
    Sat, Feb. 7 BWLD 2 Comments

    Summary

    • The niche restaurant boasting beer, wings, and sports is off to a fantastic start in 2015.
    • The firm remains one of our favorite restaurant ideas, but shares are not necessarily cheap.
    • There may be a better time to scoop up this gem at a better price.
  • Upping Our Fair Value Estimate Of Alibaba
    Fri, Feb. 6 BABA 104 Comments

    Summary

    • The Street is too near-term focused when it comes to Alibaba.
    • Our forecasts mirror the company's current growth trajectory, and we think shares are cheap.
    • Let's walk through an update of our valuation forecasts for the company.
  • This Small Cap Restaurant May Be The Best Growth Story
    Fri, Feb. 6 ZOES 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Zoe's Kitchen has just scratched the surface of unit growth.
    • From less than 200 units currently, the fast-casual Mediterranean-inspired restaurant thinks it won't satisfy consumer demand until 1,600 locations are reached.
    • However, as with most growth stories in a market overflowing with liquidity, shares don't offer much of a valuation opportunity.
  • Is Target's Management Team Only After The Quick Buck?
    Thu, Feb. 5 TGT 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Target has thrown in the towel on its Canadian endeavor, and we think the jury is still out on whether this was the right move.
    • The stock has popped on the announcement, but where will Target look for future growth, now that it has abandoned Canada?
    • The executive suite may be a little short-term oriented for our taste. Are they not thinking about long-term investors?
  • Why Chipotle Is An Olympic High-Jumper
    Wed, Feb. 4 CMG 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Chipotle continues to prove the critics wrong.
    • The pace of the company's same-store sales are enough for even a small firm to be envious.
    • Selling pressure following its fourth-quarter results is either because the Street is on to Chipotle's overvaluation or it doesn't know that management is consistently conservative with comp guidance.
    • We're huge fans of Chipotle's operating success, but its valuation leaves much to be desired.
  • LyondellBasell's Dividend Is A Head-Turner
    Tue, Feb. 3 LYB 5 Comments

    Summary

    • LyondellBassell operates in the ultra-volatile and cyclical chemical and refining end markets.
    • The firm generates gobs of free cash flow and its economic returns are solid.
    • LyondellBassell has a robust Dividend Cushion ratio, and we think its dividend is one of the strongest in the broad chemicals industry.
  • Fastenal: Strong Moat, But What About Its Castle?
    Mon, Feb. 2 FAST 11 Comments

    Summary

    • The concept of an economic moat has become commonplace within an investor's toolkit, but what about the economic castle?
    • Let's talk about the economic castle and why it's important for investors to assess such a concept.
    • We'll do so in context of one of our favorite industrial distributors, Fastenal, widely classified as having "wide-moat" characteristics.
  • Eli Lilly's Pipeline Is Worth Watching Closely
    Mon, Feb. 2 LLY 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Eli Lilly's dividend has returned to growth. We think the modest dividend increase signals good times to come at the firm. Shares yield ~2.8%.
    • Eli Lilly has more than a half dozen molecules in Phase III development, a number of them we expect to propel future revenue and earnings.
    • The market is aware of the company's promising prospects, however. We value shares slightly lower than the price at which they're trading.
  • Jamba's Refranchising Efforts Will Transform Its Business
    Mon, Feb. 2 JMBA Comment!

    Summary

    • Jamba is the king of "better-for-you" juices and smoothies.
    • Management is working hard to transform the company's business model into one that is sustainably profitable.
    • The market is paying attention, however, and we value shares at $17 each.
  • Starbucks: The Stock Is Just Too Pricey
    Sun, Feb. 1 SBUX 9 Comments

    Summary

    • Starbucks is operating fantastically, and its growth prospects remain encouraging.
    • However, shares are trading at nosebleed levels relative to intrinsic value, and we think caution is in order.
    • We value Starbucks at $72 per share, a far cry from its near-$90 price tag at present.
  • Moving On From Pfizer's 2009 Dividend Cut
    Sun, Feb. 1 PFE 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Historical data is just that: history. We think investors are finally moving on from Pfizer's dividend cut in 2009.
    • We were pleased that Pfizer backed away from acquiring AstraZeneca. Its bid was way too high.
    • Pfizer's 3.5% annual dividend yield, and new therapies in the pipeline make for a combination worth paying attention to.
  • AbbVie's Viekira Pak Has Caught Everyone's Attention
    Fri, Jan. 30 ABBV 42 Comments

    Summary

    • AbbVie is one of the strongest pharma companies on the market today.
    • With the backing of blockbuster Humira and canceling its decision to buy Shire, we think dividend growth investors are in for a treat.
    • Shares are trading below the midpoint of the fair value range, and its recent entrance into HCV could be the catalyst to drive price-to-fair value convergence.
  • McDonald's Needs More Than Just A New CEO
    Fri, Jan. 30 MCD 12 Comments

    Summary

    • McDonald's needs more than just a new CEO.
    • Its dividend growth prospects have also waned.
    • The firm doesn't offer investors much of a valuation opportunity.
  • Commercial Aerospace Is Flying High And Boeing Loves It
    Thu, Jan. 29 BA 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Very few firms in history have had a backlog of unfulfilled deliveries as large as that of Boeing at present.
    • The company has unprecedented visibility, and customers can't get planes fast enough.
    • Boeing's fourth quarter results resolved some of the market's near-term concerns regarding cash flow, and we're expecting the commercial aerospace upswing to continue.
    • We see upside in Boeing's shares to ~$170 on the basis of the upside of our fair value range.