Money Matters - Simplified

Investing

3 Sinking Stocks for Savvy Investors

Overall, the third quarter was pretty solid.The broad market is finally up a bit on the year because of a recent rally, but stocks have been anything but steady. Because small-cap stocks are generally more volatile, they've experienced a bit of a greater drop than most. That's almost to be expected. However, what's interesting is that large-cap stocks have actually fallen a slight bit more than the broad index -- and these are the billion-dollar companies that usually hold up well in a recession or a double dip.

This Stock Still Might Be a Value Trap

As a value investor, I'll be the first to tell you that on the surface shares of Skechers (NYSE: SKX) do seem compellingly cheap according to most metrics. For example, its enterprise value/EBITDA of 3.0 is significantly lower than that of just about all of its competitors. Timberland (NYSE: TBL) and Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) trade at 8.4 and 9.4, respectively. In addition, it's not often you can find a stock touted by many as a growth stock that also fits nicely into the value category. However, I am still having a difficult time getting excited about the company even at these low price levels, and the same type of growth that other investors are clamoring about -- specifically its toning shoes -- I believe is just another fad.

The Top 10 Gold and Silver Stocks for 2011

From familiar carols to those shining tree-top stars, gold and silver -- or "silver and gold" for you Rudolph fans -- are woven into the Western holiday tradition like tinsel through the boughs.As precious metals continue to herald their historic return -- from the supposed junkyard of "barbarous relics," to the forefront of the currency world -- this particular holiday season affords an opportune moment to highlight top-quality investment vehicles within a persistently promising sector.

The Top 10 Semiconductor Stocks of 2010

It's been a pretty kind year to stock investors, with the S&P showing a 12.5% gain in 2010. Of course, kindness might still feel relative after a lost decade of negative returns that included the nauseating depths and panic of the financial crisis.However, while the general market might have edge up at a low double digit pace last year, quite a few stocks poured in monster performances either by riding new trends or by rebounding much stronger than investors expected.

Solutions to Shale's Problems

By definition, the act of buying and selling of stocks indicates that each of those securities has both bulls and bears ready to line up behind it. And the same can be said for entire industries -- perhaps none more so than energy.However, that's a dichotomy that's far more pronounced for natural gas these days than for oil. Crude has been slowly but steadily rising in price for approximately the past 18 months. Indeed, it currently hovers at $90 per barrel. And while we hardly appear headed for $200 or even $150 a barrel during the next couple of years, neither are we apt to chance upon serious forecasts that a downward spiral to, say, $50 or $60, is in the offing.

Why the Street Should Love DigitalGlobe's Earnings

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

The Top 10 Semiconductor Equipment Stocks of 2010

It's been a pretty kind year to stock investors, with the S&P showing a 12.5% gain in 2010. Of course, kindness might still feel relative after a lost decade of negative returns that included the nauseating depths and panic of the financial crisis.However, while the general market might have edge up at a low double digit pace last year, quite a few stocks poured in monster performances either by riding new trends or by rebounding much stronger than investors expected.

Here's How Syniverse Holdings May Be Failing You

Margins matter. The more Syniverse Holdings (NYSE: SVR) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market.  That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Syniverse Holdings' competitive position could be.

Another Deep Value in Tech

For value investors, a prolonged market run, with very few market pullbacks sprinkled in, is a very tough time to find deep-value stocks. High momentum names sporting huge price-to-earnings ratios (P/Es) -- think Amazon and F5 Networks -- continue to fly, but those companies are out of my price range. Many times it is those high-beta names that give up the most ground if a shallow pullback becomes a larger correction.

Beware the Attack of the Apple Clones

It isn't hard to see who is dominating this holiday season. Watch television for an hour and you're bound to see commercials for smartphones and tablet computers. But if you take a closer look you can see they're all just clones of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) products.I just envision product developers at electronics companies around the world waiting for Apple product launches to see what they're going to try and reverse engineer next.