investment news

By Doug Short

What is the single best indicator of the American Dream? Many would point to household income growth. The Census Bureau has now published some selected annual household income data in a new report: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014. Last year, the median (middle) household income was $53,657 – a 0.13% year-over-year increase that shrinks to -1.48% when adjusted for inflation. Let’s put the new release into a larger historical context.

Our study of the Census Bureau’s historical data shows a 651% growth in median household incomes from 1967 through 2014. Sounds impressive, but if you adjust for inflation using the Census Bureau’s method, that nominal 651% total growth shrinks to about 21%.

But if we dig a bit deeper into the method of inflation adjustment, the American Dream looks more like an illusion, as in “money illusion.”

Click to enlarge

investment news: Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings(LH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Analysts expect Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) to report its quarterly earnings at $1.96 per share on revenue of $2.19 billion. Laboratory Corp shares rose 0.64 percent to close at $121.77 on Friday.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $1.96 per share on revenue of $2.19 billion.

    Roper Technologies Inc (NYSE: ROP) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $1.46 per share on revenue of $895.87 million.

investment news: Discover Financial Services(DFS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By JACK HOUGH]

    Like CVS, Discover has trounced the broad market over the long term but sold off recently. It’s down more than 15% this year. Costs rose early in the year in part due to one-time expenses related to anti-money-laundering efforts and other regulatory concerns. Analysts predict an offsetting decline in expenses next year. Don’t confuse Discover with a company that’s primarily in the business of running a credit-card network, like Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA). It’s basically a credit-card lender, like Capital One Financial (COF), that runs its own network to gain a competitive advantage.

    By saving on network fees, Discover can offer attractive card rewards, including a popular cash-back program. Any card lender can offer cash back, of course, but being too aggressive risks hurting margins. Discover has grown its portfolio of credit-card loans much faster than big banks have in recent years. And it has done so with industry-leading returns on capital. Rising growth could be on the way. Early this year, Discover went on a marketing spree. Last quarter, it reported its best card growth since 2007. Historically, new-card growth and loan growth have been closely correlated. In a November note to investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Cheryl Pate predicted accelerating loan growth within six months. Meanwhile, defaults remain low. Shares sell for less than 10 times projected earnings for the next four quarters, down from 12 times at the end of last year. They could rise 20% on a combination of earnings growth and a valuation rebound. The dividend yield is 2%. 

  • [By Matthew Cochrane]

    While a new year has been ushered in, it is clear PayPal’s philosophy has not changed. Last week, PayPal entered into another major agreement, this time with credit card issuerDiscover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We get the bull case.American Express is a blue-chip Dow component with an iconic global brand. It generates >30% returns on tangible, but it is trading well below its historical multiple and has underperformed post the election. Costco is now in the rearview mirror, and the string of negative surprises that have weighed on the stock are now poised to abate and position the company to start surprising positively. With Capital One Financial (COF), Discover Financial Services (DFS), and Synchrony Financial (SYF) all trading near their historical peaks, some have concluded thatAmerican Express is headed back to its historical high above $90. While this thought process may sound logical, we believe it only works in a world where generalists are steering the ship, and view it as highly susceptible to unraveling when negative revisions hit. American Express is not the business it once was, it doesnt have the same earnings power, and, in our view, it doesnt deserve to trade near its historical valuation.

investment news: Becton, Dickinson and Company(BDX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cooper Creagan]

    Back in June, we drew your attention to Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX), the 120-year-old medical technology powerhouse that has increased its dividend every year for 45 years.

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) is a New Jersey-based developer and manufacturer of medical devices. The company’s products include various types of needles and syringe systems, infusion therapy products, and blood collection products. Its devices are used by healthcare organizations for research, laboratory operations, and health-related safety.

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report, Jon Najarian spoke about options trading in Becton Dickinson and Co (NYSE: BDX). He said there was a big volume in the January 175 calls. Over 11,000 contracts were traded early in the session. He followed the trade and he is going to be in Becton Dickinson for two weeks.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Becton Dickinson (BDX) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after agreeing to pay $24 billion for C.R. Bard (BCR).

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Becton Dickinsondropped 4.4% to $177.07, while the S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 2,374.15. C.R. Bard jumped 20% to $302.41, making it the best performing stock in the S&P 500.

    Leerink’sRichard Newitter andRavi Misra argue that “growth doesn’t come cheap.” They explain:

    We had expected BDX’s M&A engine would eventually resume as the company moved into its third year post the 2015 CareFusion (CFN) acquisition; however, we do think the expectation was for tuck-in or mid-sized type transactions. This transaction is certainly on the bigger side, and will mark the largest in BDX’s history just as BDX wraps up year 2 post the CFN integration. Naturally this could raise some questions as to whether mgmt is “biting off more than it can chew.” But, size (and the hefty price tag) aside, the rationale is not entirely out of left field in our view. BCR will benefit BDX through a higher top-line & GM profile and provides several fast-growing product offerings in underpenetrated markets (i.e. PICCs, Lutonix/Drug Coated Balloons, targeted temperature mgmt). BCR’s Foley catheters and PICC products should complement BDX’s portfolio & strategy aimed at offering a single complete end- to-end medication management & safety solution to hospitals. Also, BCR’s emerging markets (EM) growth is accelerating, which should help BDX’s EM division, which has been experiencing slowing growth in recent years.

    Becton Dickinson’s market capitalization fell to $37.7 billion today from $39.4 billion on Friday. It reported net income of $976 million on sales of $12.5 billion in 2016.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    For the details of HAHN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=HAHN+CAPITAL+MANAGEMENT+LLC

    These are the top 5 holdings of HAHN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLCHexcel Corp (HXL) – 899,271 shares, 4.71% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 1.47%Mohawk Industries Inc (MHK) – 212,515 shares, 4.68% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 2.38%CBRE Group Inc (CBG) – 1,299,059 shares, 4.34% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 2.39%Becton, Dickinson and Co (BDX) – 241,184 shares, 4.25% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 2.37%Ross Stores Inc (ROST) – 642,103

investment news: HP Inc.(HPQ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex Cho]

    That being the case, it wouldnt take substantial market share gains for AMD to reverse the multi-year decline in its processor business, as performance/watt is what will drive adoption from key PC makers like Dell, HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ)and Lenovo. AMD hasnt been very competitive in the MPU (microprocessor unit) segment for quite a while, but given the recent node shift to 14nm FinFET over at GlobalFoundries, and mention of new architecture by AMD earlier this year at COMPUTEX Taiwan, I get the impression that performance of Summit Ridge, i.e. Zen will match Skylake and will perhaps come in slightly slower than Kaby Lake.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    HP Inc.’s (NYSE: HPQ) latest quarterly earnings report is expected on Wednesday. The consensus estimates are calling for a $0.39 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.88 billion in revenue. Shares closed trading most recently at $19.00, in a 52-week range of $11.40 to $19.49. The consensus price target is $18.79.

  • [By Andrew Tonner]

    However, for all the doom and gloom surrounding the PC market, the computer industry remains one of the most important subsectors in all of tech. In fact, even as unit volumes contract, over 260 million personal computers were sold last year globally, and the companies that remain at the center of this market — names such asHP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — continue to print tens of billions of dollars in aggregate profits from the space and pass them along to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. So let’s review what makes these PC makers some of the best dividend stocks in the industry.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q4 2016 earnings report for small cap 3D printer stock ExOne Co (NASDAQ: XONE) is scheduled for after the marketcloses onThursday (March 16th). 3D printer stocks had their day in the sun a fewyears ago, buthave been disappointing investors eversincethe 3Dbubble burst whileHP Inc (NYSE: HPQ) entering the printer market with its Jet Fusion 3D adds further headwinds. However,3D printershares appear to have stabilized as the short interest has largely been cleared out.

investment news: Navistar International Corporation(NAV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Icahn also was a buyer last week of Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV). He acquireda total of 423.404 shares of the truck and engine maker at prices that ranged from $25.37 to $25.92. The total for the buy was listed at $11 million. The stock closed Friday at $27.49, so it looks like another well-timed buy. The 52-week range for the shares is $10.30 to $33.46, and the consensus price target is $26.79.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) was started with a Buy rating and a $36 price objective at Aegis Capital. That compares with a consensus target of $24.08. The 52-week range is $5.78 to $32.84. The stock closed yesterday at $30.93.

investment news: Scorpio Tankers Inc.(STNG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Scorpio Tankers Inc. (NYSE: STNG) dropped 1 cent Monday to post a new 52-week low of $3.06 after closing at $3.07 on Friday. The stock’s 52-week high is $4.93. Volume of around 4.2 million about 5% above the daily average. The shipping firm priced a secondary offering of 30 million shares at $3.00 a share late last week.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Scorpio Tankers Inc. (NYSE: STNG) dropped 4.9% Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $3.10 after closing at $3.26 on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $4.93. Volume of around 13 million was nearly four times the daily average. The company announced this morning that it had priced an underwritten offering of 30 million shares at $3.00 a share.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Scorpio Tankers Inc. (NYSE: STNG) dropped nearly 4% Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $3.18 after closing at $3.31 on Monday. The stock’s 52-week high is $4.93. Volume of around 5.5 million was about 50% above the daily average. The company had no specific news.

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