Monday, June 29, 2015

What do SmartPost and SurePost Offer?

In an earlier article, I looked at the three big changes facing FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) in the shipping marketplace. Two of them, the shift in consumer preference toward slower/lower-cost delivery options and burgeoning e-commerce deliveries, have contributed to the growth of FedEx's SmartPost and UPS's SurePost. Both services offer lower-cost ground delivery options and use the U.S. Postal Service, or USPS, for final delivery to residential consumers. As such, SmartPost and SurePost both carry risk due to their reliance on the USPS. Let's consider those risks, and why they matter to FedEx and UPS.


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Precision Castparts Stock Article

As readers might already know, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been buying shares of Precision Castparts  (NYSE: PCP  )   even as the stock has declined in the last year and a half. Essentially, the bullish case for the metal-components maker is that the sell-off is due to a combination of nonrecurring events and weakness in its oil and gas markets, but that the long-term growth potential from its core commercial aviation market remains intact. Let's look at four key conclusions from the recent fourth-quarter earnings and how they relate to the idea of buying the stock.


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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Danaher Corporation Stock Would Suit Warren Buffett

I'll cut to the chase: it's Danaher Corp.  (NYSE: DHR  ) Why? It's simple. Throughout the last 20 years or so, the conglomerate has incorporated many of the principles that made Warren Buffett so successful. In fact, I would argue that Danaher's management has run the company almost in the manner of an investment firm such as Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. An argument which is only strengthened by the recent agreement to purchase life science filtration company Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL  ) --a move which was suggested in a Fool article on takeover targets for 2015. Let's take a closer look at why investing in Danaher stock is something that could suit Buffett and what the Pall Corp deal means for investors.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Emerson Electric's (EMR) David Farr Sounds Gloomy

Investors in Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR  ) watched on with disappointment as their company missed analyst estimates in the second quarter and lowered full-year estimates. In addition, when speaking on the earnings call, CEO David Farr's gloomily realistic commentary served notice that conditions aren't going to get any better in the near term. With that said, let's take a look at what actually happened in the second quarter and assess whether the headwinds are likely to be long-term or not.


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Monday, June 8, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Johnson Controls Inc

In a familiar refrain from major U.S. exporters during this earnings season, Johnson Controls Inc. said its second-quarter earnings took a hit from currency effects. The strong U.S. dollar -- which reduces the value of foreign earnings when converted back to U.S. dollars -- caused the company to miss earnings estimates and reduce its full-year earnings outlook. However, the underlying trends are much stronger than the headline numbers suggest. Let's check out the latest earnings.


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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cognex Corporation Growth Prospects

Investors in machine vision specialist Cognex Corporation  have gotten used to seeing the company exceed expectations, and the recent first-quarter results were no exception. In a previous article on Cognex, I outlined seven key things to look out for, and the company managed to report favorably on most of them. Let's look at them in more detail and learn more about Cognex's prospects.


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Friday, June 5, 2015

FedEx Corporation (FDX) Return on Assets

In a previous article, I discussed the three big trends that have changed the nature of end-market demand for FedEx Corporation and United Parcel Service since the last recession: booming e-commerce demand, increasing protectionism that's slowing the growth of world trade, and customer preferences for cheaper, less time-sensitive deliveries. All three trends are affecting both companies, and both have had to make significant operational changes in response. The question is whether these changes have fundamentally affected profitability. I previously discussed UPS in this regard, and now it's time to take a closer look at FedEx.


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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Titan International (TWA) Equity Research

Shares of off-road tire and wheel manufacturer Titan International Inc.  rose more than 20% at the end of April. It's not the sort of move that usually happens when a company reports a more than 25% drop in sales in the quarter. However,  the market already knows  the company is beleaguered amid difficult agricultural, mining, and construction markets, so investors are likely to warmly receive any positive news. Let's look at why the stock moved so violently.


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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is General Electric Company Stock (GE) a Buy?

Recently, investors in General Electric Company  saw their stock register one of its' biggest single day increases in years after announcing a plan to dispose of GE Capital. The deal involves selling most of its assets in GE Capital Real Estate to Blackstone, with Wells Fargo & Co. intending to acquire a portion of the business' performing loans.



At the time of writing, the stock is outperforming the S&P 500 on a yearly basis, and this move very well may be just the beginning, as management's restructuring plan is just taking hold. Let's take a closer look at the investment thesis and why it makes GE an attractive stock to buy.


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

BorgWarner Equity Research and Analysis

The strengthening U.S. dollar claimed its latest victim when powertrain specialist BorgWarner  gave its earnings on Thursday. The company missed analyst estimates for revenue and earnings in the quarter, and management was forced to reduce its full-year guidance. The market immediately sold the stock off, but as ever, long-term investors need to focus on the underlying trends in the report. Let's take a more detailed look.


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jones Lang LaSalle Equity Research

You won't get a prize for guessing that commercial real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle's (NYSE: JLL) latest earnings results would have been much stronger had the U.S. dollar not been so strong in recent months. Nevertheless, the company reported a whopping 25% increase in fee revenue in the quarter, while adjusted net income rose by $26 million to $43 million. Moreover on the earnings call, CEO Colin Dyer talked of the company being in "a very positive environment with no signs of anything that will disrupt it at this time". . Let's take a more detailed look at earnings and trends at Jones Lang LaSalle.


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Friday, May 22, 2015

United Parcel Service Inc Equity Research and Analysis

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) delivered earnings that beat analyst expectations on Tuesday, and the market reacted positively by taking the stock above $100. Diluted EPS came in at $1.12 for the quarter -- ahead of analyst estimates of $1.09 -- but that's only part of the story. On closer inspection, there are a few positive takeaways from the results and commentary. Most also reflect positively on FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) -- but one doesn't. Let's take a closer look.



It's worth noting that, despite beating analyst estimates, the company left its full-year guidance unchanged. Management still expects $5.05 to $5.30 in earnings. In a sense, the positive news in the report isn't really about the numbers per se; it's more a matter of how the numbers confirm the directional trends in UPS' business.


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

5 Takeaways From Danaher's Earnings

Foreign exchange matters to most companies, but it matters to more to a company like Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR). In truth, its underlying earnings and revenue generation were good, but the market is in no mood to forgive companies that reduce estimates, even if the downgrade was due to currency effects. Let's take a look at the five key conclusions from last week's results, and try to gauge the underlying direction of Danaher's progress in 2015.


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Friday, May 15, 2015

Dassault Systemes Equity Research and Analysis

In a departure from the recurring theme of this quarter's earnings season, engineering and design software company Dassault Systemes (NASDAQ Other:DASTY) saw a benefit from currency effects in its recent first-quarter results. Of course, it's a French company and reports in euros, so don't be fooled by the startling headline revenue increase of 32%. Nevertheless, the company's constant currency revenue growth of 19% is still very strong. In addition, the company is tracking significantly ahead of company expectations for the full year. Let's look at the underlying themes in the earnings report and what to expect going forward.


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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Robert Half International (RHI) Equity Research Analysis

The market didn't take kindly to staffing specialist Robert Half International's (NYSE:RHI) first-quarter results released on Thursday. In a familiar refrain this earnings season, the company saw its revenue generation hit by the strength of the U.S. dollar. However, that wasn't enough to derail earnings from coming in at the top end of guidance. Moreover, the second-quarter guidance looks OK relative to analyst estimates. So what was the market concerned about when it sold the stock off? Let's take a deeper look at the results to find the answer.


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Polycom Inc Equity Research

Video-conferencing company Polycom Inc's (NASDAQ:PLCM) first-quarter earnings were almost the stuff of a trivia question on a game show. Just how does a company report a 28% increase in non-GAAP EPS while its sales only rose 1%? The answer is obviously margin expansion.

Just how did Polycom do it? Moreover, what are the underlying themes in its trading performance? Let's take a closer look.


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Sunday, May 10, 2015

AZZ Incorporated Equity Research

Following two disappointing earnings reports, AZZ Incorporated (NYSE:AZZ) delivered a solid set of fourth-quarter results and reaffirmed its full-year forecast for 2016. Going back to the previous quarter's results, management had lowered expectations for 2015 earnings amid outlining some negative headwinds in the oil and gas market, alongside push-outs of some large nuclear-related projects. How did these headwinds affect the fourth quarter, and what about the company's guidance?


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd Equity Research and Analysis

Network security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP) delivered a strong set of first-quarter earnings on Monday, and the market rewarded investors by taking the stock higher by 5% on the day. Moreover, management announced a threat intelligence partnership with FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ:FEYE). There's a lot to like about the earnings report, so let's take a more detailed look.


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Monday, May 4, 2015

United Parcel Service Return on Assets Analysis

In a previous article, I discussed the three big trends that have changed the nature of end-market demand for FedEx and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) since the last recession: burgeoning e-commerce demand, creeping protectionism that's slowing the growth of world trade, and customer preferences for cheaper, less time-sensitive deliveries. All have had an impact, and both companies have had to make significant operational changes in response. Today, I'll look at whether these changes have made UPS less productive.


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Sunday, May 3, 2015

FedEx Corporation's Acquisition of TNT Express

FedEx Corporation stock investors will have been pleased by the market's reaction to the announcement of an agreement to buy European courier TNT Express. The deal appears to be a perfect fit, and FedEx's management believes it's unlikely to face the kind of regulatory hurdles that hindered United Parcel Service, Inc's attempt to buy TNT Express two years earlier. With that said, there are still questions to be asked about the deal in general. Specifically, what are the details behind the deal? And what about the execution risk?


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