Money Matters - Simplified

Investing

Here's How Sterlite Industries May Be Failing You

Margins matter. The more Sterlite Industries (India) (NYSE: SLT) 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 Sterlite Industries' competitive position could be.

The Bubble That Won't Pop

A month ago, I wondered how long it would take for the rare-earth-element bubble to pop. At the time, it looked like China would resume shipments of the elements it has a virtual monopoly on mining. I thought the scare would blow over and everything would return to normal. But the Japanese embargo lasted until late last month, when the trade minister said that shipments had started again, and by then, the damage was done.

Yahoo!'s Going the Wrong Way

Pink slips are bleeding purple again.

The New York Times is reporting that Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) is slashing hundreds of jobs this month, trimming its workforce by 5%.

Wireless Cash Flow Battle

Cash is king. So when evaluating a company's performance, investors place emphasis on a firm's free cash flow. Analysis of free cash flow -- defined here as cash from operations minus capital expenditures-provides more insight into the finances of a company, but is not without its faults. By analyzing capital expenditures, let's delve into the details of wireless infrastructure providers American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle International (NYSE: CCI), and SBA Communications (Nasdaq: SBAC) to see what is behind the cash flow for these firms.

Stronger Holiday Trends Spell Happier Earnings in 2011

Several major U.S. retailers recently reported November sales numbers that handily beat Wall Street's expectations. Strong discounts and online deals, coupled with holiday shipping specials, will spark consumer spending and stimulate the economy this holiday season. Holiday retail sales are just beginning, and they're already beating analysts' estimates across the board.

How Cheap Is Dominion's Stock by the Numbers?

Numbers can lie -- but they're the best first step in determining whether a stock is a buy. In this series, we use some carefully chosen metrics to size up a stock's true value based on the following clues:

  • The current price multiples
  • The consistency of past earnings and cash flow
  • How much growth we can expect

Should You Sell Raytheon Right Now?

Should you sell Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) today?

The decision to sell a stock you've researched and followed for months or years is never easy. If you fall in love with your stock holdings, you risk becoming vulnerable to confirmation bias -- listening only to information that supports your theories, and rejecting any contradictions.

High-Priced Stocks Worth Every Penny

Penny stocks are one way to double your money, but that approach is fraught with risk. However, there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," yet if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway, they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

You're Not the Only One Buying Here

Famed money manager Peter Lynch gave us the inside scoop on how to look at insider transactions. Executives can sell their stock for any reason, he said, but they only buy for one: They think the price is going to go up!

Here's How Corporate Executive Board May Be Failing You

Margins matter. The more Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: EXBD) 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 Corporate Executive Board's competitive position could be.