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Top Medical Stocks To Buy For 2019

Quick Take

Scholar Rock Holding (SRRK) intends to raise $75 million in an IPO of its common stock, according to an SEC regulatory filing.

The company is advancing a pipeline of drug treatment candidates for muscle-wasting and cancer diseases.

While SRRK has a promising collaboration with Janssen, it is extremely early stage.

Company & Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Scholar Rock was founded in 2012 based on technologies developed in conjunction with Childrens Medical Center Corporation.

Management is headed by CEO Nagesh Mahanthappa, who has been with the firm as founding employee and was previously VP Corporate Development and Operations at Avila Therapeutics and held positions at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Top Medical Stocks To Buy For 2019: Cytokinetics, Incorporated(CYTK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Cytokinetics (CYTK)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Cytokinetics (NASDAQ:CYTK) had its price target cut by investment analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies to $13.00 in a note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has an “overweight” rating on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Piper Jaffray Companies’ price objective would indicate a potential upside of 55.69% from the stock’s previous close.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Cytokinetics (CYTK)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Top Medical Stocks To Buy For 2019: AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.(AFSI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued their $14.58 rating on shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) in a research report report published on Wednesday. They currently have a $14.75 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    National General (NASDAQ: NGHC) and AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and dividends.

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    Carl Icahn fired off a letter to the board of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ: AFSI) Thursday, blasting the firm for pursuing an “opportunistic going-private transaction” that would squeeze out minority shareholders: Link

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

    Wall Street expects Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) to report quarterly earnings at $0.61 per share on revenue of $2.14 billion before the opening bell. Campbell Soup shares fell 0.18 percent to $39.15 in after-hours trading.
    Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) reported stronger-than-expected results for its second quarter, but issued weak sales outlook for the third quarter. Applied Materials shares fell 4.48 percent to $51.54 in the after-hours trading session.
    Analysts are expecting Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) to have earned $3.29 per share on revenue of $9.83 billion in the latest quarter. Deere will release earnings before the markets open. Deere shares dropped 1.23 percent to $145.00 in after-hours trading.
    AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ: AFSI) shares rose over 5 percent in after-hours trading after a 13D filing from Carl Icahn shows a new 9.38 percent stake in the company. The filing also shows language from Icahn that strongly opposes a go-private transaction. AmTrust Financial shares climbed 5.81 percent to $14.21 in the after-hours trading session.

    Find out what's going on in today's market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga's PreMarket Prep.

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Shineco, Inc. (NASDAQ: TYHT) rose 34.7 percent to $2.29 in pre-market trading following Q3 results. Shineco posted Q3 earnings of $0.21 per share on sales of $13.3 million.
    Carver Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARV) rose 15.8 percent to $12.74 in pre-market trading after surging 201.37 percent on Thursday.
    LiveXLive Media, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIVX) shares rose 11.5 percent to $7.75 in pre-market trading after climbing 64.50 percent on Thursday.
    Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) rose 9 percent to $18.30 in pre-market trading after climbing 41.77 percent on Thursday.
    AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ: AFSI) rose 6.2 percent to $14.25 in pre-market trading after a 13D filing from Carl Icahn shows a new 9.38 percent stake in the company. The filing also shows language from Icahn that strongly opposes a go-private transaction.
    Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) rose 5.6 percent to $64.02 in pre-market trading after the Department of Veterans Affairs reported an agreement with Cerner Government Services, Inc. to provide seamless care for veterans.
    PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE: PTR) shares rose 5.3 percent to $82.05 in pre-market trading.
    TC PipeLines, LP (NYSE: TCP) shares rose 5.2 percent to $26.59 in the pre-market trading session.
    IQVIA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IQV) shares rose 4.8 percent to $102.50 in pre-market trading as the company pulled secondary offering 'in light of recent market conditions'.
    Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAXN) rose 4.5 percent to $59.70 in pre-market trading. On Thursday, Axon priced its 4.3 million share offering of common stock at $53 per share.
    The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD) rose 4.5 percent to $84 in pre-market trading.
    PetIQ Inc (NASDAQ: PETQ) rose 3.9 percent to $18.96 in pre-market trading after a 13G filing shows a new 5.05 percent stake by the State of New Jersey's Division of Investment.
    Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) shares rose 3.7 percent to $15.85 in pre-market

Top Medical Stocks To Buy For 2019: Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc.(BCEI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Shanthi Rexaline]

    Crude oil prices continue to remain bullish, brightening the prospects of oil and related companies. Bonanza Creek Energy Inc (NYSE: BCEI), an oil and natural gas exploration and production company that emerged from Chapter 11 in April 2017, could also benefit from an improved cost structure, according to Imperial Capital. 

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Bonanza Creek Energy (NYSE:BCEI) was upgraded by equities research analysts at ValuEngine from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Top Medical Stocks To Buy For 2019: Clarke(t)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) is commonly known as the second fiddle to AT&T (NYSE: T) satellite service DirecTV, with around 11 million subscribers to DirecTV’s 25.36 million. With the growth of streaming, it’s no surprise that satellite television is a maturing business. Naturally, both companies have joined the streaming brawl. Dish with Sling and AT&T with its DirectNow service.

  • [By Adam Levy]

    T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S) recently submitted their public interest statement to the FCC about their proposed merger. In the document, the two companies present how their merger will benefit consumers. But further down, about 100 pages in, they explain that neither company can continue down the path they’ve been on, aggressively pursuing market share from AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

  • [By Adam Levy]

    AT&T (NYSE:T) has nearly 1.5 million DIRECTV Now subscribers as of the end of the first quarter. The company’s over-the-top linear TV streaming service has grown faster than competitors like DISH Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) Sling TV, Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation Vue, or Hulu Live. It seems like only a matter of time before DIRECTV Now’s subscriber base surpasses Sling TV’s 2.3 million subscribers to become the most popular streaming TV service.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    And if you do like dividends, you should especially love three stocks: AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Welltower (NYSE:WELL). Here’s what makes these dividend stocks really attractive to income-seeking investors.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now

Mid capretail REIT Store Capital Corp (NYSE: STOR) has just announced that Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A; NYSE: BRK.B) has invested $377 million in the company representing 9.8% of total shares outstanding. In the transaction, Store Capital Corp issued 18.6 million shares of company stock in a private placement to a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway at a price of $20.25 per share. Sharesclosed Mondayup $2.34 or 11.27% to $23.11.The CEO Christopher Volk stated:

Berkshire Hathaways investment solidly positions STORE for continued growth, while adding measurably to our already strong financial position. An investment in our company from one of historys most admired investors represents a vote of confidence in our experienced leadership team and an affirmation of our profit-center real estate investment and management approach.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now: Noble Energy Inc.(NBL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) is rated a Buy and Jefferies raised the price target to $47. The 2017 net loss estimate was lowered from $0.40 per share to $0.22 per share. The 2018 EPS estimate was raised from $0.94 to $1.34. Shares closed at $36.71 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $28.82 to $42.03, and the consensus price target is $48.22.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Noble Energy (NBL) soared to the top of the S&P 500 today after purchasing Clayton Williams Energy (CWEI) for $2.7 billion.

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Noble Energygained 7.1% to $40.05, while the S&P 500 fell 0.3% to2,267.89.

    Wunderlich’s Irene Haas explains why she’s a fan of the deal:

    Noble Energy (NBL) has agreed to acquire Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (CWEI-$103.98, Hold) for $3.4 billion. The transaction has been approved by both boards and should close during 2Q17. NBL will gain 71,000 net acres in Reeves County, production of 10,000 boepd, and 2,400 gross locations (with 8,000 lateral length) in the Wolfcamp, with net un-risked resource potential of over 1 billion boe. Netting out production, acreage outside of Reeves County, and midstream assets, NBL valued the Reeves County acreage at~$32,000 per net acre. NBL has the balance sheet and the technical expertise to develop the project quickly and generate meaningful production and cash flow growth. We reiterate our Buy rating on NBL.

    Noble Energy’s market capitalization rose to $17.2 billion from $16.1 billion on Friday. It reported a net lossof $2.4 billion on sales of $3 billion in 2015.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $32 price target at Jefferies on December 20. The shares closed up 3.6% at $27.23 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $22.99 to $40.89. This call is actually almost $4 lower than the pre-call consensus price target, but Noble shares were up over 1% at $27.52 afterward.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now: PHI, Inc.(PHIIK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Thursday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested shorting small cap offshore oil and gas services stock PHI Inc (NASDAQ: PHIIK):

    We’re a little bit late to the party here, but that’s ok – there’s still some meat left on the bone, so to speak. Were looking for the stock to continue on to the lower edge of a long-term (and bearish) trading range that should allow it to peel back to at least the lower $12’s. We’ve see PHIIK shares tumble with great speed and distance a couple of times already, and we’re about halfway through round three.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now: Clarke(t)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    We rate AT&T INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. 

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Vrio Corp. is a Latin American satellite TV service being spun out of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). The spin-off plans to offer 29.7 million shares in an expected price range of $19 to $22 to raise $609 million at a market cap of $4.03 billion. Lead bookrunning managers are Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley (see the prospectus for the full list of managers and co-managers). Shares are expected to price Wednesday and begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VRIO.


    Finding a bottom after a long decline can be incredibly lucrative, Cramer told viewers, as was the case in 2009 when he set his sights on AT&T (T) as about the most bulletproof recommendation he could muster.

  • [By Adam Levy]

    Image source: Getty Images.

    It was just a little more than a year ago when Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was the largest U.S. pay-TV provider. And it wasn’t even close. But after AT&T (NYSE:T) merged with DirecTV, it took over the top spot. Now, AT&T’s rival telecom company, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), is reportedly considering a megamerger of its own with Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR). The move would put the combined company’s total video subscriber count very close to Comcast’s.

    The potential merger points to a big hole in Comcast’s service offerings — its lack of wireless service. If customers can save money by bundling their TV, internet, and wireless bills together with its competitors, Comcast stands to lose customers. But Comcast’s management and investors shouldn’t lose sleep over the possibility that its two biggest competitors offer wireless service.

Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now: PACCAR Inc.(PCAR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Companies Reporting Before The Bell
    United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $1.51 per share on revenue of $14.62 billion.
    The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.46 per share on revenue of $7.31 billion.
    Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $2.07 per share on revenue of $11.93 billion.
    Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $1.11 per share on revenue of $31.22 billion.
    Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $3.42 per share on revenue of $11.28 billion.
    The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE: SHW) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $3.15 per share on revenue of $3.94 billion.
    Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $5.92 per share on revenue of $3.15 billion.
    3M Company (NYSE: MMM) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $2.52 per share on revenue of $8.26 billion.
    JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.2 per share on revenue of $1.75 billion.
    Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $1.13 per share on revenue of $5.49 billion.
    Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.88 per share on revenue of $1.25 billion.
    Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.3 per share on revenue of $2.50 billion.
    Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $1.88 per share on revenue of $13.28 billion.
    The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $2.77 per share on revenue of $6.75 billion.
    Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.07 per share on revenue of $2.16 billion.
    PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ: PCAR) is projected to
  • [By Jim Cramer]

    The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Machinery industry. The net income increased by 16.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $371.40 million to $431.20 million.



    In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Salesforce.com (CRM) , Paccar (PCAR) , Cummins (CMI) , ConocoPhillips (COP) , Adobe Systems (ADBE) , Annaly Capital (NLY) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) .

  • [By JPMorgan]

    We are Neutral on PCAR as the company faces the risk of both lower volume and margin pressure from declining demand in its core NA HD truck business in 2016. However, we believe PCAR should command a premium valuation due to its track record of solid execution. In addition, PCAR pays out a normal and a special dividend which, in total, should equal ~50% of net income and currently offers a yield of 4.1% (JPMe total payout of ~$2.12/share) making it potentially attractive to income-oriented investors. 

  • [By Jim Cramer]

    Despite the weak revenue results, PCAR has outperformed against the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company’s bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.


Top Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy Right Now: Uni-Pixel, Inc.(UNXL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap sensor film stockUniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) reportedQ1 2017 earnings after the Thursday market close withshares falling both on Thursday and in afterhours trading. UniPixel is not well covered or known by analysts yet and this can make shares volatile. However and last September, we had suggested a long position in the stock based upon technicals by saying:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of UniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) were down 22 percent to $1.63 after the company announced a public offering of newly issued shares of stock. UniPixel plans to offer 5.35 million shares of its own stock at a public offering price of $1.50 per share with the option for its underwriters to purchase up to an additional 802,500 shares.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap sensor film stock UniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) is sinking by a double digit percentage in after-hours and pre-market trading after reporting Q4 earnings. The problem for UniPixel is that only a few analysts cover the small cap stock and the bottom line loss was a bit worst than the 10 cent loss they were expecting. The stock also had a slight uptick ahead of earnings:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Uni-Pixel (UNXL) manufactures electronic film products using its proprietary manufacturing process, UniBoss. This stock closed up 7.6% to $16.84 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 1.88 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 1 million

    Volume % Change: 108%

    From a technical perspective, UNXL bounced sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $15.89 with above-average volume. This stock looks to be forming a double bottom chart pattern at $14.91 to $15.16. If that bottom holds, then shares of UNXL could see a continuation of Monday’s upside action.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UNXL as long as it’s trending above $15.16 or $14.91 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday’s high of $17.53 with volume that hits near or above 1 million shares. If we get that move soon, then UNXL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 200-day moving average of $19.89.

Slowly But Surely, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Will Feel the Burden of Being a Powerhouse

Over the course of the past few months, at separate times, I’ve argued that sooner or later, time and competition are going to catch up with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Though its ever-increasing size allows it to reach deeper into consumers’ pockets in more ways, each of a company’s moving parts makes the whole machine more prone to failure.

It’s a warning that also needs to be passed along to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shareholders, particularly in light of some recent developments from its top competitors.

It may not matter right now, or even a few months from now, but other e-commerce and internet companies — frustrated with Alibaba’s dominance — are finally starting to find ways to beat Alibaba at its own game.

Partnerships Are the Key

How does the old saying go? Eventually, every contest becomes a two-horse race?

It’s not a universally true, immutable axiom. There is quite a bit of credibility to the idea, though. The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) were for all intents and purposes the only relevant soda players when soda was their core product. All other players were either acquired or obliterated.

The same idea more or less applies to AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which dominate the United States’ telecom scene, leaving the rest of the industry fighting for leftovers and scraps.

Times have changed a bit, though. Now, an outright merger or acquisition is less likely than a formidable partnership intended to take aim at the dominant player in an industry.

Enter SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) and JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD). The former operates one of China’s search engines, and the latter is of course China’s second-biggest e-commerce outfit.

The two have teamed up to share information that will ultimately give both parties greater insight about consumer behaviors. Not that Alibaba isn’t armed with plenty of consumer behavior data of its own, but it’s a direct jab at China’s e-commerce powerhouse.

Were it the only team-up of its ilk, it might be able to be dismissed. It’s hardly the only one, though.

Case(s) in point? Late last year, Chinese gaming and app outfit Tencent Holding/ADR (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) partnered up with JD.com and purchased a stake in China’s third-largest e-commerce platform, Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS).

Early this year, JD partnered with Meili in a move that’s intended to woo female shoppers away from Alibaba’s Tmall.

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Then just this month, JD.com made a pitch to European makers of luxury goods, saying it could do a better job of keeping counterfeit goods in check than Alibaba has. And, maybe it can. If nothing else, the sheer size of Alibaba’s Tmall makes it difficult to keep close tabs on every listed item.

These recent developments are, more importantly, a microcosm of the competitive thinking and partnering being done almost exclusively to slow Alibaba down. When the whole world is gunning for you specifically, enough shots will eventually hit the target to create trouble.

To that end, know that Alibaba won’t be stifled by one sweeping blow. It will be nagged into submission by all the nickels and dimes it has to spend to remain the beast it’s become.

Bottom Line for BABA Stock

Don’t read too much into the warning, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I buy Alibaba stock today?” Though it’s something that may adversely impact the Alibaba stock price in 10 years, it’s not going to matter much over the course of the next 10 days, or even the next 10 months. Much can happen in the meantime, and the Alibaba story is still a good one.

You can never afford to assume an organization is perpetually invulnerable, though. Just ask the Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) or Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX), neither of which saw the winds of change blowing in time to do anything about it.

That’s not to suggest any headwind Alibaba could meet will be as dramatic as the plunge into obsolescence that Xerox and Kodak suffered. It is to say, though, that investors need to be very careful about making assumptions. BABA isn’t necessarily the bulletproof name some believe it is.

And for what it’s worth, it’s not like Amazon doesn’t continue to face more and more seemingly innocuous threats as well.

Take for instance how Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) got together late last year to develop a voice-activated shopping app for Google’s smart speaker.

Neither company was theoretically the best partner for the other to cocreate the platform. In both cases, Amazon itself was arguably the more potent partner. But neither company feels like continuing to feed its competition. BABA is in that same boat as Amazon.

It’s a small step to be sure, but enough small steps can add up over time.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter, at

Upcoming Earnings: Industrial Conglomerate GE Reports Friday Morning

Industrial conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is scheduled to report earnings before market open on Friday, Apr. 20.

CEO John Flannery has faced plenty of challenges since he took over in August 2017, working to streamline the massive company and improve transparency. In recent quarters, GE’s issues have been numerous and well publicized.

In the time that Flannery has been at the helm, GE has halved its dividend; it took a surprise $6.2 billion after-tax charge in Q4 2017 related to GE Capital’s insurance portfolio, while adding $15 billion to its reserves  for future payouts over the next seven years; and recently restated 2016 and 2017 financials, reducing earnings by $0.30 per share. The restated financials also included adjustments related to pensions, cash flows and income taxes.

Clearly, the company’s turnaround efforts, which include a multi-year plan to improve GE Power as well as exiting more than $20 billion worth of business over the next several years, are going to take time.

There have been some signs of progress from Flannery’s plan so far. When GE reported Q4 2017 results, it generated $9.7 billion in adjusted cash flow from operating activities for fiscal 2017, compared to guidance of $7 billion.

Since announcing plans to exit $20 billion in business, it has sold its industrial solution business in a $2.6 billion deal to ABB (ABB) and recently announced a $1.05 billion deal to sell healthcare IT businesses to private equity firm Veritas.  And Bloomberg reported that several companies are considering a bid for GE’s Jenbacher unit for more than $3 billion.

On tomorrow’s calls, analysts are likely to be digging in to get a better idea of restructuring progress.

GE Earnings

For Q1 2018, GE is expected to report adjusted EPS of $0.11 on revenue of $27.88 billion, according to third-party consensus estimates. In Q4 2017, revenue missed estimates, coming in at $31.4 billion versus expectations for $32.7 billion, and earnings also came up short by a penny at $0.27 per share after removing charges and one-time items.

GE previously lowered its earnings guidance for all of fiscal 2018 to a range of $1.00 to $1.07, but analysts seem to think that’s a little optimistic given they have an average estimate of $0.95. Out of 17 analyst ratings, earnings estimates range from $0.87 to $1.04 per share.

GE Options Trading Activity

Around GE’s upcoming report, options traders have priced in a 4.8% share price move in either direction, according to the Market Maker Move indicator on the thinkorswim® platform. Implied volatility was at the 76th percentile as of this morning. 

GE 1-YEAR CHART. GE shares have dropped from a 52-week high of $30.54 all the way to a new 52-week low of $12.73 on March 26. The stock has bounced a little bit off that level and has been trading around the mid-$13 range for the past few sessions. Chart source: thinkorswim® by TD Ameritrade.  Not a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

In short-term trading at the Apr. 20 monthly expiration and the next several weekly expirations, a lot of the activity has been concentrated at the 14 strike for both puts and calls, just out of the money. At the May 20 expiration, trading has also been heavier at the 14-strike call, while activity on the put side has been mostly at the 13 and 14 strikes. 

Overall during yesterday’s session, trading was heavier on the call side, with a put/call ratio of 0.476.

Note: Call options represent the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time. Put options represent the right, but not the obligation to sell the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time.

What’s Coming Up

Next week brings results from many of the largest companies in the tech sector:

Google-parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) reports after the close Monday, Apr. 23
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) reports before market open Wednesday, Apr. 25 and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) reports after the close the same day
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) report after the close Thursday, Apr. 26

In addition to the tech-heavy week, some of the other companies on the docket are Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT), Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM). If you have time, make sure to check out today’s market update for a look at what else is going on.

Information from TDA is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade.

3 Terrific Telecom Dividend Stocks

How many days might you go without your mobile phone? My guess for most of the population would be zero days — and for most an hour or so would be taxing.

And how many days might you go without your internet connection? I mean cold turkey, no internet, no browsing, no video or music streaming? Again, for most people, the answer would likely be naught.

Folks are so tethered either by wire or wireless connections that telecom companies have a lock on their customers. And sure, there is some competition. But for most markets, internet companies typically have no competition and swapping from one wireless provider for another is not very common occurrence for many customers.

This makes for a great recipe for strong, consistent and even rising revenues, which in turn provide lots of cash for strong, consistent and even rising dividends. And that’s why I love these 3 solid dividend stocks from the telecom market.

Telecom Dividend Stocks #1: AT&T Stock T Stock Is Still a Buy, But Investors Should Brace for Volatility Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Start with Ma Bell, also known as AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). AT&T provides the far reach of its vast wireless network around the U.S. and continues to expand its offerings via satellite with its Directv, U-Verse and internet services units. And AT&T is also in the works to expand its offerings to include content from Time Warner. Right now, that deal is in the hand of the courts as the U.S. government seeks to block the merger .

AT&T’s revenues are largely steady — but heavy. And margins are fat on its offerings, running at 13% and making for an ample dividend coverage with a payout sitting at only 41%. Little debt for now and ample returns on its capital-intensive assets make T stock attractive for years to come.

And the shares trade at a low price-to-book ratio of only 1.5 times and a mere 1.4 times its trailing revenues. This is a bargain for a dividend yield of 5.66% that’s been on the rise for the past five years.

Telecom Dividend Stocks #2: Verizon Stock Source: Via Flickr

Next is AT&T’s prime competitor: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Verizon is actually bigger than Ma Bell in the wireless market — but trails in internet and related services. It also provides online content and other products and services via its acquisition of AOL and Yahoo.

In addition, Verizon also is a prime provider for communications for the U.S. Government. All of this makes for a similar story of ample cash to support a great dividend.

Revenues are solid, if not exactly rising by much. But VZ has even fatter operating margins than AT&T at 21.8%. And that profit rate along with minimal debt makes for a dividend that’s overly protected with a payout rate of only 31.6%.

Verizon’s dividend has risen steadily over the past five years and now yields 4.83%, making VZ a solid dividend stock to call up for your own portfolio.

Telecom Dividend Stocks #3: BCE Stock Source: Shutterstock

Last of the three is BCE Inc. (USA) (NYSE:BCE), which stands for Bell Canada Enterprises but is known simply as Bell Canada. The company is the largest communications company in Canada. It dominates wireless, wireline and internet communications as well as television and other content products and services.

The story with BCE is similar to AT&T and Verizon with lots of cash being generated from its communications assets. But it does have an advantage over its U.S. rivals in that revenues continue to move higher — making a case for a bit more growth for investors.

Margins are fat with operating profits running at 22.6% and debt is low like its southern peers. But the downside is that with some added growth in revenues comes from additional spending. This means a somewhat less defended dividend with a current payout rate of 92.1%

But given revenue growth and the positive operating margins — I see the dividend as safe. It has been bumped up nicely in the past 12 months to a current yield of 5.45%.

BCE makes for a great dividend payer that along with AT&T and Verizon would make for a nice payout trilogy.

Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above.

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