Money Matters - Simplified


Is Big Lots' 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."

The Best Stocks for 2011: Valero Energy


This article is part of our "Best Stocks for 2011" series where our Foolish writers pick their top stocks ideas for the year ahead. Click here to see a review of last year's picks and our 12 recommendations for the year ahead.

7 Reasons Not to Worry This Week

Before you begin passing around the eggnog -- or re-gifting the fruitcake -- there's still an abridged week of earnings to cover.

I had no problem over the weekend bringing up several companies that are projected to post lower quarterly earnings this week than they did a year ago.

Is Toll Brothers a Good Turnaround Play?

Everyone loves a comeback. So when Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) reported fourth-quarter earnings earlier this month and showed its second straight quarter of profitability, I was intrigued. After 11 straight quarters of losses -- yes, you read that correctly -- I wondered whether this was a turnaround story in the making, a chance to get in on the cheap with a company that has weathered a major storm. So should you consider adding Toll Brothers to your portfolio? Let's take a closer look at the numbers.

Will Anyone Buy This Broken Retailer?


Don't Get Too Worked Up Over Penn West Energy Trust'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.


Are These Food and Beverage Companies Creating Value?

 "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," Warren Buffett's business partner, Charlie Munger, once said. "And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther."

NBA: Milwaukee 108, Atlanta 91

Atlanta -- Corey Maggette came off the bench to score 20 points Wednesday and the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the middle two quarters to down Atlanta 108-91.

After winning their first six games of the season, the Hawks have dropped three in a row.

Milwaukee outscored Atlanta 67-33 during the second and third periods, hitting 51 percent from the field for the game and making 8-of-15 from 3-point range. Maggette missed just one of his eight attempts from the floor.

Brandon Jennings added 19 points for the Bucks, winners of two in a row, and Ersan Ilyasova had 17.

Zaza Pachulia led Atlanta with 16 points and Al Horford had 14. Milwaukee had lost in its six previous trips to Atlanta.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Melzer through to Mercedes Cup quarters

Stuttgart, Germany -- No. 2-seeded Jurgen Melzer claimed a tight second-round win Wednesday at the Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Germany.

Melzer slipped past Mischa Zverev 7-5, 7-5. He had a shaky serve, landing only 58 percent of his first serve, but he managed to save four of six of Zverev's break-point changes and took the match because of four breaks of his own.

He moves into Friday's quarterfinals against fifth-seeded Albert Montanes, who claimed a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Juan Ignacio Chela. Montanes piled up eight service breaks over 14 receiving games.

Simon Gruel ousted seventh-seeded Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-5, dropping serve only once and winning 70 percent of the points on serve.

Sharapova makes Aegon Classic quarters

Birmingham, England -- No. 2-seeded Maria Sharapova collected two wins Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Aegon Classic grass-court tennis tournament in England.

Sharapova fishing off a suspended second-round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-0, 6-3 before taking out Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-1 in a third-round pairing.

Rains earlier the week caused a backlog of matches, forcing several players to battle through two matches Thursday. That included top-seeded Li Na, who beat Anne Keothavong 6-2, 6-4 before going against 13th-seeded Angelique Kerber in a third-round match. They were tied 4-6, 6-3 when the match was halted because of darkness.