John Casteele

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  • Coffee Picks for Even the Grumpiest of Investors

    By John Casteele - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: DNKN, GMCR, SBUX

    I'll admit it... I'm a fan of Tardar Sauce, aka "Grumpy Cat." I love cats in general, and something about that frowning face just gets to me. When I found out about the recently-launched "Grumppuccino" themed coffee drink, I even found myself tempted to forgo my usual "don't buy trendy themed items" stance for the sheer novelty of having one of those bottles on my desk.

    Of more »

  • Will a Price Cut Make the Surface Relevant?

    By John Casteele - July 17, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT

    In recent months, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been trying to increase consumer interest in its Surface tablet line. Initial hype surrounding the tablet gave way to mild disappointment as many considered the tablet a bit too pricey, especially for the Windows RT version. The tablet didn't have much in the way of clear advantages over Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad, and one of the big talking points of its more »

  • An Unsettling Trend in the House of Mouse

    By John Casteele - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: EA, TWX, DIS

    The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has made headlines this year with the strong openings of films such as Iron Man 3 and Monsters University. Both films reported impressive earnings, with Iron Man 3 enjoying the second-largest opening weekend of all time and Monsters University reporting the second-largest opening among Pixar films. Clearly, Disney's studios are working hard on churning out blockbuster hits.

    Unfortunately, not all is well in more »

  • Will a New Acquisition Increase Demand for This Company?

    By John Casteele - July 8, 2013 | Tickers: DMD, GOOG, YHOO

    I'll be honest: I've written content for Demand Media (NYSE: DMD) in the past. I still do occasionally, usually writing about gardening topics. While the company has gotten some bad press in the past about low per-article rates and occasional lapses in quality, the company still does better than many of its peers and has at least been going through the motions of making improvements.

    Unfortunately for Demand more »

  • These Companies Are Getting Creative in the Cloud

    By John Casteele - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: ADBE, AMZN, MSFT

    Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular, allowing data and even software to be accessible from anywhere in the world with Internet access. While this is useful for data synchronization and on-demand services such as gaming, where it really shines is the implementation of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model.

    Companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) have really taken to the SaaS model, with both releasing cloud-based more »

  • Will Netflix Max out its User Experience?

    By John Casteele - July 2, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, MSFT, NFLX, SNE

    Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has been working to bring unique offerings to its service lately in hopes of attracting more users. Between deals to increase the amount of streaming content offered by the service and original programming targeted at its most-watched genres, the company knows that it has to keep improving its offerings if it hopes to keep subscribers coming in.

    This is especially important as (NASDAQ: AMZN) continues more »

  • 3D Printing Takes Another Step Toward the Mainstream

    By John Casteele - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, ADSK, MSFT, SSYS

    Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had its share of hits and misses over the years. After Windows 8 complaints and a massive backlash from the Xbox One announcement, some might say that there were considerably more misses than hits these days.

    Despite its problems, Microsoft is still able to recognize consumer trends as they occur. This is good news for 3D printer manufacturers, as the company believes that 3D printing is more »

  • How Superheroes Might Save Your Portfolio

    By John Casteele - June 27, 2013 | Tickers: CMCSA, HAS, SIX, TWX, DIS

    It's a bird, it's a plane... it's a $116.6 million opening weekend for Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) Man of Steel. The film's opening a couple of weeks ago broke the record for the largest June opening of all time, unseating Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Toy Story 3. It was also the second-largest opening for the year, behind Disney's Iron Man 3 and the more »

  • Are There Other Ways to Take Advantage of the 3D Printing Market?

    By John Casteele - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: ADSK, GE, RSH, SPLS

    I recently wrote about companies that could be of interest to investors looking to cash in on a potential 3D printing boom. Some might think it's too risky to invest in the companies directly; if the boom fizzles, then the companies might not take off like anticipated. If you look around, there are other options that might seem like good ways to indirectly invest in the future of 3D more »

  • How You Can Prevail in the Smartphone Wars

    By John Casteele - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, SSNLF, TMUS

    You'd think that we would have heard everything about the ongoing legal dispute between Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) by now. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. With more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan ending, the patent battle has taken yet another unexpected turn. But with so much focus on these companies, is it possible that you're missing out on other investment options in the smartphone more »

  • How You Can Benefit From a 3D Printing Boom

    By John Casteele - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, XONE, SSYS

    Hobbyists, engineers, and even NASA are all talking about 3D printing. This new technology could enable rapid prototyping, custom sculpting, and even 3D-printed French fries, chocolate, or possibly pizza. A 3D printer might be an expensive toy for some, but the number of groundbreaking uses of 3D printing technology seems to grow weekly. Still, investors wanting to get in on the ground floor of this potentially revolutionary technology need to more »

  • Will Zynga's Latest Plan Make or Break the Company?

    By John Casteele - June 14, 2013 | Tickers: EA, MGM, ZNGA

    Once upon a time, it seemed like Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was all but printing money. Stumbling on to a successful formula for social gaming success, the company seemed ready to take on the world with what was expected to be a wildly successful IPO. Things don't always work out as planned, however. It now seems like every bit of news about the company has at least some people wondering more »

  • Why Can't We Be Pals?

    By John Casteele - June 11, 2013 | Tickers: DFS, EBAY, WMT

    I've recently moved from my home way out in the country to one that's a bit closer to town. While country living was great most of the time, it was kind of a pain when we needed to go shopping. With almost a 30-minute drive to get to a grocery store or shopping center, the closest place that we could go for general shopping was a Dollar General more »

  • Will Late-Night Cravings Boost Falling Profits?

    By John Casteele - June 11, 2013 | Tickers: JACK, MCD, WEN

    The fast food industry has been suffering as of late. When the economy took a dive, people started looking for ways to save money and one thing that took a major cut was grabbing a burger or sandwich from a local fast food place. Add to that the rising popularity of "fast casual" restaurants that offer better-quality food in a similar time frame and several fast food chains have been more »

  • Will New Game Consoles Be the Beginning of the End?

    By John Casteele - June 6, 2013

    Thinking about it, I can't actually remember the last time that I bought a game from GameStop (NYSE: GME). I still go in to GameStop stores from time to time to browse the used games they have to offer, but even those visits are becoming rarer. In most cases I can find the same games for cheaper on Amazon or eBay, and if the games aren't console-exclusives then more »

  • Should You Leap at This Opportunity?

    By John Casteele - June 6, 2013 | Tickers: HAS, LF, MAT

    I've mentioned LeapFrog (NYSE: LF) before when discussing toy manufacturers and how it is a favorite of mine. The company has produced top-selling educational toys for the past two holiday seasons, and even managed to produce four of the top 10 toys last year in regards to sales. There's a good chance that it will end up doing well again this year as well with its new Leap more »

  • Is Yahoo! in Acquisition Mode?

    By John Casteele - May 28, 2013 | Tickers: GOOG, NFLX, YHOO

    By now you've likely heard plenty of opinions about Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ: YHOO) purchase of the Tumblr blogging platform. Depending on who you ask, the purchase either has the potential to be a good deal, was a bad deal from the get-go, or was a horrible deal and will just cause more problems for Yahoo! down the road. I'm personally in the "wait and see" camp, though I more »

  • It Looks Like a Winnebago With Wings!

    By John Casteele - May 22, 2013 | Tickers: NAV, THO, WGO

    My first encounter with an RV made by Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) was in Mel Brooks' sci-fi spoof Spaceballs. I was only around 8 years old at the time, but the beat-up old Winnebago that Lonestar and Barf travelled the galaxy in stuck in my mind as a symbol of the open road. Imagine my surprise to grow up and find that Winnebagos currently only make up around 20% of more »

  • The McBites Just Aren't Biting

    By John Casteele - March 19, 2013 | Tickers: MCD, WMT

    I've talked before about the McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and the company's plan to keep customers coming back for more with limited-time offerings like the McRib and Spicy Chicken McBites. Unfortunately for McDonald's, the best laid plans of clowns and Hamburglers often go awry when the economy hits a major slump. (Assuming, of course, that anyone remembers who Hamburgler is these days.)

    The latest limited-time offering more »

  • Add Some Sole to Your Portfolio

    By John Casteele - March 12, 2013 | Tickers: CROX, NKE, SKX

    I've always been hard on the shoes that I wear. I can buy cheap shoes and wear the soles out within months, or buy expensive shoes and get almost the same result. When I find a pair of shoes that hold up against everything I put them through I tend to stay pretty loyal to that brand. For the last several years, my shoes of choice have been KangaROOS more »

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