Last week was a rough one for Devon Energy's (NYSE: DVN) investors. First off, shares of the shale giant tumbled double-digits after the company reported fourth-quarter results that were well below expectations due to production problems entirely out of its control. On top of that, the oil giant didn't join most peers in announcing an increase in cash heading back to investors through a higher dividend or a share-repurchase program. However, one thing CEO Dave Hager made clear on the accompanying conference call was that the company planned to send more cash to investors in the future. Here's a look at why Devon wants investors to wait a little while longer. Growing something great takes time. Image source: Getty Images. Addressing the elephant in the room Hager led off his prepared comments on the call stating: I want to address a topic that we have received a lot of questions on, and that is, why we have not authorized a share-repurchase program. Let me be clear, as we … [Read more...] about Why This Oil Stock Wants Investors to Be Patient
I wrote in November 2017 that I thought Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) stock could double by the end of 2018. It only took the stock until the end of February to accomplish that goal. And that was before Novavax's exciting announcement, made after the market closed on Wednesday. Investors had eagerly awaited the biotech's update of results from its phase 1 study of experimental flu vaccine NanoFlu. The wait is over. Based on those results, Novavax stock soared in after-hours trading Wednesday evening. Is now the time to buy the hot biotech stock -- or is it smarter to wait? Image source: Getty Images. Fantastic news Novavax's management team was on cloud nine back in August 2017 when the company announced pre-clinical results for NanoFlu. The biotech quickly advanced the nanoparticle-based flu vaccine into clinical testing. Now the highlights from the results for the phase 1 portion of the clinical study are available. If I could only use one word to describe those top-line results, … [Read more...] about Buy Novavax Stock Now — or Wait?
There's no such thing as a riskless investment, especially when it comes to stocks. You can, however, mitigate the risks associated by opting for "low risk" stocks, which, in my opinion, typically belong to companies with strong competitive advantages, rock-solid balance sheets, and a prudent management team that can steer the company just as well through downs as ups to generate strong shareholder returns year after year. Such companies also usually pay steady dividends, further adding to their appeal. Think 3M (NYSE: MMM), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP) -- all three are great stocks that would fit any risk-averse investor's portfolio. A brand powerhouse If you've ever used hand and power tools to repair your home or car, you've probably heard of Stanley Black & Decker. What started as a bolts and hinges company in 1843 is among the world's leading diversified industrial machinery manufacturers today and has built a … [Read more...] about 3 Great Stocks for Low-Risk Investors
When Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) reported its third-quarter 2017 results in November, the drugmaker had good news and bad news. The bad news was that the company's revenue and adjusted earnings fell. The good news, though, was that Mylan executives boosted its full-year 2017 guidance. Mylan announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results after the market closed on Wednesday. Did the company meet its expectations? It did. And while there were still some weak spots, the drugmaker's performance improved from the third quarter. Here are the highlights from Mylan's fourth-quarter update. Image source: Getty Images. Mylan results: The raw numbers Metric Q4 2017 Q4 2016 Year-Over-Year Change Revenue $3.24 billion $3.27 billion (1%) Net income from continuing operations $244.3 million $417.5 million (41%) Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) $1.43 $1.57 (9%) Data source: Mylan. What happened with Mylan this quarter? If it were not for … [Read more...] about Mylan N.V. Sees Signs of Improvement in the 4th Quarter
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) CEO Joe Papa still thinks the company is "the turnaround opportunity of a lifetime." After the drugmaker's fourth-quarter results, though, it's obvious there's still a lot of work to do before a turnaround is achieved. In the conference call held Wednesday morning to discuss those Q4 results, Papa, along with CFO Paul Herendeen, provided the company's road map for the next few years. Here are five key ways Valeant hopes to turn things around and return to growth. Image source: Getty Images. 1. Double Ortho Dermatologics revenue over the next five years Valeant's Ortho Dermatologics division revenue totaled $606 million in 2017. Papa said that the company's goal is to double that revenue over the next five years. There were three ways he said Valeant would try to achieve that goal. First, Papa noted that Valeant increased its dermatology sales force by more than 25% in January 2018. This expanded sales team is already promoting … [Read more...] about 5 Ways Valeant Pharmaceutical Plans to Turn Things Around
U.S. oil and gas driller ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) had been lagging big oil companies like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) throughout the oil price downturn, a victim of having spun off its refining and marketing arm as Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) in 2012. All of that -- well, some of that -- changed in 2017 as rising oil prices boosted ConocoPhillips' stock price. It ended up not only handily outperforming many of its peers, but also outperforming ExxonMobil for the year. But a single good year doesn't make a trend. Let's see what's in store for Conoco this year to try to determine if it really is a buy. Oil and gas industry player ConocoPhillips outperformed in 2017. Can it repeat its success this year? Image source: Getty Images. Keep on flowing Conoco's fourth-quarter 2017 earnings release, which came on February 1, just before the big market correction, showed big year-over-year improvement. The company had a banner 2017, achieving full-year production of 1.3 million barrel of oil … [Read more...] about Is ConocoPhillips a Buy?
After years of speculation, dominant music-streaming service Spotify has just filed its F-1 Registration Statement with the SEC, taking a tangible step toward going public. An F-1 is essentially the same as an S-1 Registration Statement, just for foreign issuers. In line with rumors, the company is indeed pursuing a direct listing instead of an initial public offering (IPO). The offering is not being underwritten by any investment banks, Spotify confirms in the filing, which does have some important implications and distinctions (more on that later). Spotify plans to go public with the symbol "SPOT." Revenue in 2017 jumped nearly 40% to 4.1 billion euros ($5 billion), which translated into a net loss of 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion), and the company finished the year with 477 million euros ($582 million) on the balance sheet. Here's what else prospective investors need to know. Spotify is the largest music-streaming service in the world. Image source: Spotify. The top dog in … [Read more...] about It’s Official: Spotify Files for Direct Listing
McGrath RentCorp (NASDAQ: MGRC) continued its financial improvement in the fourth quarter of 2017, which was reported after the market closed on Tuesday. Mobile modular continued to be a point of strength, but a recovery in telecommunications and energy markets helped, as well. Here's a look at the raw numbers and a more detailed look at segment results for McGrath RentCorp last quarter. Image source: Getty Images. McGrath RentCorp: The raw numbers Metric Q4 2017 Q4 2016 Year-Over-Year Change Revenue $122.2 million $105.3 million 16.1% Net income $117.7 million $9.7 million 1,109.4% Diluted EPS $4.82 $0.40 1,110% Data Source: McGrath RentCorp's Q4 2017 earnings release. What happened with McGrath RentCorp this quarter? This is the rare quarter where all of McGrath RentCorp's businesses were performing well. And the tax bill passed in December also helped the bottom line. Here's a look at segment results and adjusted net income for the quarter. A $102.8 … [Read more...] about Strong Rental Pricing Drives McGrath RentCorp’s Bottom-Line Growth
The stock market didn't do well on Wednesday, as investors appeared to lose confidence late in the session. After initially climbing, major benchmarks finished with fairly substantial losses, and some on Wall Street seem to fear that the return of inflationary pressures could finally put the nail in the coffin of the long-lived bull run among U.S. stocks. Bad news from some sectors of the market also weighed on investor sentiment. Lowe's (NYSE: LOW), Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR), and Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly. Lowe's falls down Shares of Lowe's Companies lost 6% after the home improvement retailer released its fourth-quarter financial results. Lowe's said that net income was down 16% on a 2% drop in revenue, and even though comparable-store sales rose by more than 4%, the retailer sees its growth starting to slow in 2018. The biggest problem for Lowe's remains that it hasn't been able to match the … [Read more...] about Why Lowe’s Companies, Frontier Communications, and Stratasys Slumped Today
Wednesday was a down day on Wall Street, with major benchmarks moving in both directions throughout the session as investors tried to get their bearings after recent market volatility. The huge surge in stocks in early January, followed by the lightning-fast correction and subsequent bounce in February, raised uncertainty about what the future of the market will look like. With the bull run now 9 years old, some believe that fatigue is setting in, while others think tailwinds like lower corporate tax rates will keep the market on the rise. Some individual stocks were able to ignore the negative sentiment, and Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ: AAXN), Student Transportation (NASDAQ: STB), and TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well. Axon shoots higher Shares of Axon Enterprise soared 28% after the maker of Tasers and body camera equipment reported its fourth-quarter financial results. Axon saw strength in both parts of its business, but … [Read more...] about Why Axon Enterprise, Student Transportation, and TJX Companies Jumped Today