The following video is from Wednesday's installment of The Motley Fool's�Weekly Tech Review, in which host Chris Hill, and analysts Eric Bleeker and Lyons George look at the biggest stories driving the tech sector this week.
In this segment, Eric and Lyons discuss Apple's challenges in Europe. Recent research from Kantar Worldpanel shows the iPhone picking up market share gains in the United States. Over the past three months ending in May, 41.9% of all smartphones sold in the United States were iPhones. That compares with 38.5% in the comparable period from the previous year. That growth rate is above Android, which saw flat market share in the United States year over year.�
In Australia, the iPhone saw nearly flat market share year over year but still maintained 28.5% of all smartphone sales. Even in urban China, its share stands at an impressive 23.6%.�
Best Growth Companies To Invest In Right Now: Checkpoint Systms Inc.(CKP)
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. manufactures and markets identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions for the retail and apparel industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Shrink Management Solutions, Apparel Labeling Solutions, and Retail Merchandising Solutions. The Shrink Management Solutions segment provides shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions. It offers electronic article surveillance systems, such as EVOLVE, a suite of RF and RFID-enabled products that act as a deterrent to prevent merchandise theft in retail stores; and electronic article surveillance consumables, including EAS-RF and EAS-EM labels that work in combination with EAS systems to reduce merchandise theft in retail stores. This segment also provides keepers, spider wraps, bottle security, and hard tags, as well as Showsafe, a line alarm system for protecting display merchandise. In addition, it offers physical and electronic store monitoring solutions, incl uding fire alarms, intrusion alarms, and digital video recording systems for retail environments; and RFID tags and labels. The Apparel Labeling Solutions segment provides apparel labeling solutions to apparel retailers, brand owners, and manufacturers. It has Web-enabled apparel labeling solutions platform and network of 28 service bureaus located in 22 countries that supplies customers with customized apparel tags and labels. The Retail Merchandising Solutions segment offers hand-held label applicators and tags, promotional displays, and queuing systems. The company serves retailers in the supermarket, drug store, hypermarket, and mass merchandiser markets through direct distribution and reseller channels. Checkpoint Systems was founded in 1969 and is based in Thorofare, New Jersey.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Michael]
OK, so Checkpoint (CKP: 13.80 0.00%) probably isn’t going to see its stock price double in 2011. However, the stock gained 35% in 2010 with earnings expected to climb 13%. Next year, Wall Street sees earnings growth accelerating to 25%. Despite the impressive growth rate, the stock trades at only 16x next year’s earnings estimates and analysts have a $25 price target for CKP.
Best Growth Companies To Invest In Right Now: 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 Sam Collins]
Houston-based Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) is the largest trash hauling/disposal company in the United States. This company is a model for steady growth with earnings increasing steadily over many years.?
S&P has a “four-star buy” on WM with a 12-month target of $42. WM pays an annual dividend of $1.36 for a yield of 3.7%.?
Technically, the stock is in a powerful bull channel with support at $36 and resistance at $39. Buy WM as a long-term growth opportunity.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Investors think Waste Management (WM) is a garbage stock right now. Why else would WM's short interest ratio hover around 12.6? Of course, Waste Management is in fact a garbage stock of sorts -- it is the largest waste management service provider in the country. The firm boasts more than 270 landfills and a massive fleet of trash collection vehicles that spans the U.S.
When I think garbage firms, the first thing that comes to mind is dividends: WM and its peers historically have generous, recession-resistant dividend payouts. Currently, Waste Management's yield adds up to 3.36% annually. Don't forget, dividends are like kryptonite to short sellers.
WM's willingness to embrace innovation has big potential in the years ahead. Right now, the firm's portfolio includes 22 waste-to-energy plants that are designed to turn the waste that WM literally gets paid to collect into renewable energy that the firm gets paid for again. At this point, the firm's energy plants make up a very small part of its total business, but waste-to-energy projects and the recent acquisition of small oil service firms should look attractive to investors right now.
Earnings in two months look like the next big catalyst for a short squeeze in WM.
- [By Tom Konrad]
The only household name in this year's list, Waste Management is coming back for an encore performance in 2013. WM is the North American leader in recycling and renewable biogas among waste and environmental services companies. The industry has been in a cyclical downturn, and WM's well-covered 4.2% dividend makes it a solid anchor for this portfolio of small and micro-cap clean energy stocks.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: 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.
Best Growth Companies To Invest In 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 Paul]
They’re back! Two years ago everyone was convinced that Crocs (CROX: 23.33 0.00%) was just a fad, but their stock price exploded in 2010 gaining 206%. Revenues are expected to climb 20% this year and analysts are looking for 27% earnings growth in 2011. That type of growth could make Crocs a hot item again in 2011, especially if they can continue to top Wall Street’s estimates each quarter.
Best Growth Companies To Invest In 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 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.
- [By Fabian]
While Chipotle has captured most of the attention among the restaurant stocks, Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD: 56.62 0.00%) could be 2011’s big winner. Wall Street is expecting 19% earnings growth from Buffalo Wild Wings in 2011 which is only slightly lower than Chipotle’s 20% growth rate. However, BWLD trades at only 18x consensus 2011 estimates while CMG trades at a pricey 40x. On an EBITDA basis, Chipotle trades at over 20x, while Buffalo Wild Wings trades at less than 9x.
Best Growth Companies To Invest In Right Now: MEDIFAST INC(MED)
Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon] Medifast produces, distributes and sells weight and health management products with the brand names Medifast, Take Shape for Life, Hi-Energy Weight Control Centers and Woman�� Wellbeing.
Its return on assets in the third quarter of 2011 was 19.6%, which has been increasing in the past several years. The average return on assets for the specialty retail industry is 10.48% for the trailing 12 months.
The company�� total assets amounted to $94 million in 2010, which increased from $62.8 million in 2009. Net income also increased to $19.6 million in 2010 from $12 million in 2009.
- [By Mark]
Revenues are expected to grow 27% next year and yet MEDIFAST (MED: 15.68 0.00%) trades at only 16x consensus 2011 earnings. The company continues to gain market share in the competitive weight management sector and provides investors with the double benefit of both a growth stock and a potential acquisition target.