Money Matters - Simplified

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Rising Stars Buy: Telefonica

 This article is part of our Rising Stars Portfolios series. You think 10% unemployment is bad? Try 20% -- that's the unemployment number right now in Spain, one of the many Eurozone countries getting dragged down by anemic growth, massive debt, and a rigid labor market. And now that Ireland has officially accepted an EU/IMF bailout for roughly $90 billion in external support, many speculators think Spain might be the next domino to fall.

 

AGL Resources to merge with Nicor

Atlanta -- U.S. natural gas distribution giant AGL Resources said Tuesday it has agreed to merge with Nicor Inc. to create a company valued at $8.6 billion.

The deal, which would tuck Illinois' Nicor under AGL's wing, is valued at $3.1 billion. Combining the companies would vault AGL Resources of Atlanta into the Fortune 500, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies said they have agreed to a stock and cash trade, giving Nicor shareholders $21.20 per share in cash and 0.8382 shares of the merged company, "which together represent a value of $53, based on the volume-weighted average price for AGL Resources common stock" over a 20-day trading average ending Dec. 1.

Microsoft Invests in TurboHercules; Stokes Fight Against IBM's Mainframe Monopoly

 Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is upping its ante to corner a share from IBM's (NYSE: IBM) mainframe business as it invests an undisclosed amount in French software maker TurboHercules, which has hogged limelight for filing an antitrust complaint with EU against IBM.

 

Is Flagstar Bancorp's Management Creating Value?

 Warren Buffett's partner, Charlie Munger, once said, "I think I've been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I've underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther."

 

4 Dividend Stocks Showing You the Money

 Dividend checks continue to get fatter in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates. Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

 

Verigy Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

 
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.


Will Tellabs Fall Short Next Quarter?

 There's no foolproof way to know the future for Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result. Rest assured: Even if you're not monitoring these metrics, short-sellers are.

 

Is Walgreen's Stock a Bargain 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:

 

Is Stryker's Stock Cheap 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:

 

5 Beaten-Down Stocks Actually Worth Buying

 One man's trash, they say, is another man's treasure. For investors that are willing to hold their noses and go dumpster diving, this can certainly be true in the stock market. Those that have tuned in for a few of my columns know that my usual modus operandi is to find high-quality companies that show love for their investors through dividends. And while strong dividend payers do make up most of my portfolio, my holdings aren't quite that one-dimensional.