Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hot Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now

Is the worst over?

After last week's sizable stock market downdraft, which crushed the Nasdaq's priciest and riskiest names the most, investors will be watching to see if the bleeding stops when trading resumes Monday -- or if the pain spreads in a more significant way to the market's blue chips.

There's one big difference between the current pullback and the steep drop to start the year: The losses this time are concentrated in pockets of the market deemed speculative, such as technology, biotech and small-company stocks.

The Nasdaq, home to many former high-fliers, has plunged 8.2% since its March 5 high, vs. a 5.8% drop during its early-year dive that ended Feb 3. The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average, which fell 7.3% at the start of 2014 before rallying back within 4 points of its record close, is down 3.3% in the current funk.

Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2015: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  )
    The fast-food giant missed expectations both for revenue and for earnings, producing less than 1% greater sales and a 2.4% gain in net income. Comparable-store sales fell in the U.S., Europe, and the Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa region, and McDonald's said it expected weakness to persist in April as well.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Alamy Things are going from bland to worse at McDonald's (MCD). The world's largest burger chain capped off what it rightfully classified as a "challenging" year on another ho-hum note with Thursday morning's quarterly report. Global comparable sales declined as a decline in store traffic was more than enough to offset the fact that patrons were spending more on average. The 0.1 percent downtick in worldwide comparable sales may not seem like much, but things are degrading at a more dramatic level closer to home. Stateside comps plunged 1.4 percent during the final three months of 2013. Something's just not right at McDonald's. A Quarter That Floundered Another uninspiring quarter at the fast food giant is no longer a surprise. McDonald's ended an impressive nearly 10 year streak of positive monthly comparable sales in late 2012, and business has been sluggish ever since. Opinions vary on the reasons for the iconic chain's lackluster performance. Some argue that it shouldn't have strayed from the Dollar Menu that increased its magnetism to cost-conscious diners. Others suggest that it was the push to offer higher-priced entrees and beverages -- adding premium chicken-topped salads and fancy coffee drinks to the menu -- that alienated its core customers. There may be some truth to both theories, and McDonald's has tried to address them by introducing the Dollar Menu & More late last year -- highlighting the popular low-cost offerings, but enhancing it by tacking on some higher-priced value items. The move should have rallied thrifty loyalists around the chain, but the decline in store traffic during the fourth quarter and all of 2013 is proof that it wasn't enough. A Costly Casual Culture Clash The surprising decline in traffic at McDonald's comes at a challenging time for the fast food industry. But not every burger flipper is smarting. A week earlier, Wendy's (WEN) had posted encouraging preliminary results for the same three months, with North


    Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images Maybe it's not too late for McDonald's (MCD) to start serving chili cheese dogs and cherry limeades directly to cars by food runners on roller skates. Sonic (SONC) posted quarterly results after Monday's market close, proving once again that the "America's Drive-In" is holding up a lot better than McDonald's. The secret to Sonic's success can't be the expanding menu of cheap eats because that's a strategy that's not working for McDonald's. Is it the retro charm that's fueling growth at the chain of 3,500 fast food restaurants? Is it the unique menu? Is it the memory-making dine-in experience that's rare to find elsewhere these days? Whatever it is, it's working for Sonic. Sonic Boom Sonic had another blowout quarter, fueled by a same-store sales spike of 5.3 percent for the three months ending in May. Just to frame this achievement in perspective, McDonald's has posted negative same-store sales for three consecutive quarters at its domestic locations. The two burger chains operate on different fiscal calendars, but for an apples-to-apples comparison, consider that McDonald's stateside comps during March, April and May would have been collectively negative. Sales growth is just part of a strong quarter. Investors need to make sure that a company isn't padding sales by selling expensive food on the cheap. Sales growth has to bleed down to the bottom line, and Sonic's operating profit and earnings climbed 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Just so we're clear on the cheerleading, McDonald's posted declines on both fronts in its latest quarter. Sonic posted better than expected results on Monday. McDonald's fell short of Wall Street profit targets in its most recent report. Dine and Dash On the surface, it would seem that McDonald's is trying to be more like Sonic. A wide array of drink choices has been a hallmark of the Sonic experience, and that's been happening at McDonald's since the McCafe introduced smoothies a

Hot Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By GuruFocus]

    Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) Reached the 52-Week Low of $83.79

    The prices of Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $83.79, which is 15.1% off the 52-week high of $96.73. Philip Morris International Inc. is owned by 31 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 14 have added to their positions during the past quarter. Nine reduced their positions.

  • [By Fede Zaldua]

    Imperial trades cheaply and pays a great, sustainable and for-ever-growing 4.5% cash dividend yield. The company's 2014 10.4 times P/E multiple represents a 40% discount to what most European consumer staples sell for. Besides, the owner of brands such as Davidoff and Gauloises, trades at a much more conservative level than its direct tobacco peers. Philip Morris International (PM) and British American Tobacco (BTI) sell for 2014 15 and 14.2 times earnings, respectively.

  • [By Jacob Roche]

    A recent report from research group KPMG, and commissioned by Philip Morris (NYSE: PM  ) , revealed that while total consumption of cigarettes in Europe has fallen in recent years, the illegal contraband and counterfeit trade has grown from 8.3% of total consumption to 11.1%. The report suggests that the high profitability and low risk of penalties attracts organized crime, which can use the trade as a cash cow to fund far more objectionable activities. An ad from British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT: BTI  ) goes as far as to suggest that the trade could even be indirectly funding terrorism.

  • [By Morgan Housel]

    For most of the last decade, investors scooped up stocks that had big international exposure with the idea that they would provide a hedge against a weakening dollar. Companies that do most of their business overseas, like Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) (73% overseas), Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) (all overseas), and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) (85% overseas), looked compelling as a hedge against the U.S. economy's faults.

Hot Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is based in Armonk, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Philip Springer]

    What’s this week’s big story for investors?

    Candidate #1: RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) said it will close up to 1,100 of its nearly 5,200 US stores amid widening losses. The company also announced that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 fell 20 percent from year-earlier levels.

    It doesn’t matter whether the latest announcement is in addition to or merely an expansion of the company’s Feb. 5 statement that it would close 500 stores. That, in turn, shortly followed the beleaguered company’s $4 million expenditure for a widely praised but clearly ill-timed 30-second ad during the Super Bowl.

    Also this week, Radio Shack agreed to pay its top executives “retention” bonuses, saying their skills are critical to the company�� comeback plan. CEO Joe Magnacca will get a $500,000 payment, while other executives will receive $187,500 to $275,000.

    The stock currently trades around $2, down from its 1999 peak of $61.

    No, that’s not the week’s big story. But it was too good to ignore.

    Candidate #2: The current bull market celebrates its fifth birthday this week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 delivering a total return of about 175 percent during that time.

    Since 1921, the median bull market has been 50 months long and has delivered 115 percent in price appreciation. So this market is older and better than most. Still, the conditions aren’t yet present to suggest the end is near. Indeed, Wednesday’s advance, the best of the year to date, was exceptional for both its breadth and heavy volume.

    The five-year anniversary also means that stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds and so on will boast very good five-year returns. Don’t be overly impressed. Reason: Almost everybody will be a winner. (Other than Radio Shack.) But you should dig deeper: Comparisons will be useful to sort out leaders and laggards for potential investme

Hot Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Chris Neiger]

    What's scary for tech companies is that they rarely see a fall like this coming. For BlackBerry, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone helped push the all-consuming Crackberries into irrelevance. If history is any predictor of the future, then one of our current beloved technologies could be on the chopping block in the coming years.

  • [By Daniel Sparks]

    How will this development affect the industry? As Fool contributor Daniel Sparks discusses with's Erin Miller in the following video, it's just one more reason for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) to launch a streaming music service. And that, of course, would have serious ramifications for Pandora (NYSE: P  ) .

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