Stock of the Week – BRKR

Stock of the Week - BRKR - A scientist using the Clifton

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Market – S&P 500: MA(50) is still below MA(200). Not a confirmed uptrend yet. Better not to buy any stocks at this time.

BRKR – Bruker Corporation: Technology, Scientific & Technical Instr., Mid-Cap Growth, $13.62 (17 Sept 10).

From Bruker Corporation’s 2009 Annual Report: “We are a global manufacturer of scientific instruments that address the rapidly evolving needs of a diverse array of customers in life science, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and molecular diagnostics research, as well as in materials and chemical analysis in various industries and government applications. Our core technology platforms include X-ray technologies, magnetic resonance technologies, mass spectrometry technologies, optical emission spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy technologies. We also manufacture and distribute a broad range of field analytical systems for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives, or CBRNE, detection. We also develop and manufacture low temperature and high temperature superconducting wire and superconducting devices for use in advanced magnet technology, physics research, and energy applications. We maintain major technical and manufacturing centers in Europe, North America, and Japan, and we have sales offices located throughout the world. Our corporate headquarters are located in Billerica, Massachusetts.”

To me the above statement is so scientific. I do not have a clue what their business is. At first, I planned to go deep into understanding what the company does and how its stock performs in the market. The reason I initially chose BRKR is because it came up in my screener, which means its EPS growth in the last quarter as compared to the same period last year is above or equal to 25%. Its revenue growth is also 25% or above. The stock has also outperformed the market by at least 10% in the last 52 weeks. Things look good at first, but then I noticed that its PEG (P/E growth ratio) is only 1.36. A PEG of 1.5 would be OK; 2 or above is what we really want; so BRKR does not make a cut in that aspect. (Read Peter Lynch’s One Up On Wall Street). One disturbing number is its performance vs industry; when I screened it, its performance for the last 52 weeks was shown as good, i.e. above 10%. But strangely, the performance for this year has been negative, i.e. -1.13%. So it did well for one whole year, but for YTD, its performance has gone a bit unfavorable. Although the screener picked it up, after looking at its numbers more thoroughly, I don’t think it is a stock that we should look at.

As I indicated earlier, I do not have the slightest idea about what the company produces or delivers. Buy a stock only if you understand the business. Well, at least that’s the idea if you want to keep it for long-term. Enough said, the bottom line is let’s not go more in-depth with this stock. The business of the company is not easy to understand. Leave it for those with strong scientific aptitude. As I don’t understand it, let’s not have it in my portfolio simulation.

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.
“Stock of the Week” is not a recommendation of stock. It is a coverage of an interesting stock. Unless otherwise stated, no actual purchases or sales of stocks are undertaken. Actions taken are only simulated trading.

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Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 4 of 4

Stock of the Week - HANS - Energy DrinksMarket – S&P 500: MA(50) is still below MA(200). Not a confirmed uptrend yet. Better not to buy any stocks at this time.
HANS – Hansen Natural Corporation, Midcap, Consumer Goods, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $45.48 (17 Sept 10)

From the technical point of view, as of 17 September 2010 close of business, the 1 year chart shows that HANS price is on the rise. There is a temporary set-back, but if the market heads up, the price of HANS should adjust itself to point upward. Another aspect that we should watch is the ADX, which is currently at 26 and moving upward (the value is higher than as at the beginning of the month). We should wait until ADX reaches 30, then we can buy the stock.

This is my last note on HANS. Although HANS is found to be fundamentally stable, the timing is not ripe yet. Wait a little longer until the market shows a stronger uptrend. Well, as for now, my portfolio has to remain empty.

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.

“Stock of the Week” is not a recommendation of stock. It is a coverage of an interesting stock. Unless otherwise stated, no actual purchases or sales of stocks are undertaken. Actions taken are only simulated trading.

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Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 3

Stock of the Week - HANSMarket – S&P 500: MA(50) is still below MA(200). Not a confirmed uptrend yet. Better not to buy any stocks at this time.

HANS – Hansen Natural Corporation, Midcap, Consumer Goods, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $46.41 (14 Sept 10)

Today’s thoughts on HANS: As noted in a fool.com article on 12 September 2010 (Is PepsiCo Stock Cheap Right Now?), HANS’ P/E ratio is 19.8, higher than its competitors PepsiCo (17.0), Coca-Cola (18.1) and Kraft Foods (12.3). That tells us its share price is more expensive than its competitors’, and that may be because it is perceived as a company with stronger growth. A graph in the same article shows that the 5-year trailing EPS growth rate of HANS is significantly higher than the others, which is over 40% – as compared to Coca-cola, at around 10%, and the two others lower than Coca-cola. Although the article is actually focusing on PepsiCo having a cheap price at this time, I think from the same article we can also see HANS as a strong player in the beverage market.

I also note that in Yahoo! Finance, HANS PEG ratio (growth in P/E) is 3.06, and that ranks second in the industry after FIZZ. I would still choose to buy HANS if the market indicated an uptrend.

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.

“Stock of the Week” is not a recommendation of stock. It is a coverage of an interesting stock. Unless otherwise stated, no actual purchases or sales of stocks are undertaken. Actions taken are only simulated trading.

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Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 2

Stock of the Week - HANS - Energy DrinksMarket – S&P 500: Index is higher than MA(200), and both are still above MA(50); the situation still does not indicate an uptrend.

HANS – Hansen Natural Corporation, Midcap, Consumer Goods, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $46.24 (13 Sept 10)

Let’s look at some financial numbers in 2010 and some facts that I just found out about Hansen Natural Corporation.

Sales growth? $604 million in the first half of 2010 as compared to $544 million in 2009, that is 11% increase in sales. However, net income decreases from $ 98.9mln to $96.4 mln, that is a reduction of  2.5%. Why is that? If you look further, the net income for Q2 actually increases from $57.3 mln to $63.8, so the decrease in the first half is caused by a decrease in net income in Q1 as compared to the same quarter the previous year. As explained by the management, the decrease of net income in Q1 is because there had been advance purchases by customers in Q4 2009 in order to avoid the per case marketing program and to avoid potential interruptions in product supply due to the plan of the transition to SAP enterprise resource planning system. Both the program and system transition commenced in January 2010. So Q2 2010 sales was in fact better compared to Q2 2009 and Q1 2010.

There are some interesting facts about Hansen Natural products. The company’s leading product is actually Monster Energy(R) drink which accounts to approximately 92% of its revenue. The  drink actually is the market leader amongst energy drinks with a market share of 29%. Hansen is a company that develops and markets products, but it does not manufacture, bottle or distribute the products. It relies on other companies to manufacture and bottle. For distribution, it has agreements with Coca-Cola Company and Anheuser Busch Companies to distribute across the US.

Outside the US, it has also made sales on the Monster Energy(R) brand in countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic and Norway. It is in the process of launching the brand in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Jordan. Gross sales to customers outside the US has grown from $39.4 mln to $66.6 mln in Q2 quarter-to-quarter. That’s growth in international markets.

For further details, refer to Q2 2010 Financial Results and wikinvest.

Previous article: Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 1

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.

“Stock of the Week” is not a recommendation of stock. It is a coverage of an interesting stock. Unless otherwise stated, no actual purchases or sales of stocks are undertaken. Actions taken are only simulated trading.

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Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 1

Market – S&P 500: MA(50) below price, below MA(200), don’t buy yet.

HANS – Hansen Natural Corporation, Midcap, Consumer Goods, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, $45.88

Stock in Focus - HANSThis week’s stock in focus is a beverage company. The name was picked up through my Growth High Performance Screener. It produces a range of drinks: fruity natural soda canned drinks, juices, energy drinks, teas and more. Natural is the keyword here, good for the health conscious.

The natural soda range caught my interest. It has a wide variety of fruity or natural tastes like ginger ale , lime , cherry vanilla, raspberry and mango orange. They are all natural cane soda. If you visit the website, you can find the nutritional facts, which reveal that the drinks have no more than 170 calories and no fat at all. It certainly offers an alternative to the normal Coke and Pepsi.

What’s also interesting is that the company has been around for quite a while, since the 1930’s. It has certainly survived the good and bad times – a company with stability. Excerpts from its website: “For over 70 years Hansen’s has enjoyed a loyal consumer following for its high quality, delicious all-natural beverages. Hansen’s is a leading marketer of all natural alternative as well as functional beverages”. It is quite recognized nationally, but the company is starting to make presence in foreign markets (refer to my later post “Stock of the Week – HANS – Part 2”).

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.

“Stock of the Week” is not a recommendation of stock. It is a coverage of an interesting stock. Unless otherwise stated, no actual purchases or sales of stocks are undertaken. Actions taken are only simulated trading.

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6 Parameters To Screen Growth and High Performance Stocks

Stock Screener - Growth PerformanceA way to select stocks for a long-term strategy is done with a bottom up approach. The best way to do this is by using a screener. A good screener should be able to give a good number of stocks (between 3 to 10), not too few or not too many, that we can further analyze.

My favorite screener gives stocks with strong fundamentals with positive price action in the last one year. The selection of stocks gives us a start. Stocks that we have selected should be further scrutinized before we purchase any of them. Here are the 6 parameters that I use to screen stocks:

  1. Price is $5 or above: This ensures that we do not get penny stocks. If you don’t have the stomach for penny stocks, stay away from them. They can often be bad news. Prices of penny stocks often drop significantly and they can reduce your investment great time. So stay with stocks with better stability, i.e. mid and large caps.
  2. EPS Growth (last quarter) is 25% or above: Growth is what we are after. We want to ensure that the company’s earning in the last quarter is significantly better than the same quarter in the previous year in proportion to its capital.
  3. Revenue Growth in the last 5 years is 25% or above : Again, growth! Sales by the company must be increasing significantly in the past 5 years. We want companies that have the capability to increase its sales from year to year consistently.
  4. Return on equity is 20% or more: The company must show that it is efficient in using its capital in turning it into revenue.
  5. Volume range is greater than 100,000: This ensures that many investors have interest on the stock, i.e. the stock is liquid.
  6. Performance vs Industry is 10% or greater in the last 52 weeks: The price of the stock as compared to other companies’ within the same industry should be better. Companies selected do not have to be leaders in their respective industry, but they certainly must not be laggards.

I use TDAmeritrade as my broker. They enable their customers to set up their own screener’s configuration. Customers may have screeners configured to their preference, such as selection based on financial ratios or technical indicators.

With the screener that I suggest, we should be able to find a few stocks of companies that have solid fundamentals, with a steady price performance relative to others within the same industry. Other numbers like PEG (P/E growth) and Price Change in the last 4 weeks are also useful numbers to further shortlist the selection if required. Example of the result of the screener is shown below (taken from TDAmeritrade). Once we have a handful of stocks with the desired criteria, we will later be able to do a deeper analysis on each before we decide to buy.

Stock Screener - Growth and Top Performers

Disclaimer: Techniques or analysis covered on this website are to be used at your own risk. I cannot guarantee the outcome of applying any of the techniques or analysis, will always be in your favor. You must always do your own analysis and make your own decision before you purchase a stock.

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iPad or MacBook?

iPad vs Mac (Sidetrack from Stock Ideas)Let’s sidetrack a bit from the blog’s main topic (i.e. stock investment). I’m at my sister’s place and she just bought an iPad. I need a device that I can comfortably update my blog regularly. The desktop PC in my bedroom is shared with my wife and two of my small children. Also, at times, I often feel that I’m pinned to it while I work on it. With a mobile device I would be able to work in my living room whilst watching my small children playing. Even though there is a nanny taking care of them, I feel better if I can observe them myself. So the question now is…

Should I buy an iPad or a MacBook?

Right now I’m testing on how easy it is to type on an iPad. It feels a bit strange having to tap on a hard glass surface. I try typing using 10 fingers, but it doesn’t feel right. The size of the virtual keyboard is smaller than a normal sized keyboard. Its size is similar to a netbook’s keyboard.

Now, I’m typing with two fingers. I can still type comfortably, even though not as fast as if I’m using 10 fingers. It seems cool handling such a gadget. I kinda like it. I now think I can do a lot of writing using this device. I first thought that it wouldn’t feel comfortable typing on an iPad. I compared the task with typing on an iPhone using my thumbs, but I now realize it’s not too bad.

Hey, I just found a cool thing using an iPad. I can enlarge the view pretty quick by touching two fingers on the screen and simultaneously drag them a part. It certainly beats having to look on a menu, clicking on the view button and look for the section to enlarge the view size. There is one downside though. The bottom of the editing area where you’re supposed to see the line where you’re typing, … you can’t really see the line in full. It is partly hidden under the top edge visual key pad. But then, I reduced the size. Again, it was a task quicker and simpler than using a touch pad on a notebook.

Typing on an iPad is easy. You don’t get the speed that you normally experience if you were to use a normal keyboard, but it is still comfortable. Now, I’m thinking of getting an iPad instead of a Mac.

But …. wait a minute … now I’m facing a problem. I can’t scroll the text of the WordPress editor I’m using (i.e. the Safari version, which has more complete features than the iOS version). When I drag on the editing screen, the whole screen is dragged. I cannot get to the part of the text that is off the editing screen. (In fact, write-up and editing after this point has to be done on a PC).

(Later that night…) That was a disappointment. iPad is still a disappointment when it comes to writing a blog on the WordPress on-line editor. For the moment, a notebook is still a better device for the purpose. I think I should definitely be getting a Macbook and leave iPad for the time being until people at Apple improve the interface. Perhaps in the next version that problem will be resolved. iPad is definitely an excellent for reading or surfing the web, but for writing it is still not up to it yet.

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