Simon Erickson

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  • Why Ellie Mae Is Set to Soar

    By Simon Erickson - March 6, 2013 | Tickers: ELLI

    What a year it has been for Ellie Mae (NYSE: ELLI)!

    The company rang the NYSE opening bell on Feb. 4, in part to commemorate its 15th anniversary.  It also served, unofficially, as a recognition as one of the Exchange's best-performing stocks last year.  Ellie Mae's market cap quadrupled in 2012 alone, and its share price jumped from an IPO of $6 in 2011 to north of $21 more »

  • Does Pandora Have a Competitive Advantage?

    By Simon Erickson - February 19, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, P

    Depending on the day, Pandora's (NYSE: P) shareholders have felt either Sweet Emotion or an Appetite for Destruction. 

    <img src="/media/images/user_13126/capture4_large.JPG" />

    The company's stock has been on a rollercoaster during the past year, from a low of $7 to a high of $15.  Bulls and bears tend to point fingers at different drivers to explain this extreme volatility:

    • The Bulls tend to focus on the incredible adoption of the Pandora service more »
  • America's Fastest Growing Industries

    By Simon Erickson - February 6, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AMZN, LULU, NFLX, SSYS, WFM

    As investors, it pays to keep an eye on industries that are growing quickly.  Amazon's ascent to grace as the king of e-commerce was nicely complemented by a nascent dot-com boom and consumers that were newly connecting to the internet.  Netflix's ability to take down Blockbuster was largely due to the aggressive expansion of the DVD industry.

    Luckily for us, IBIS World released a special report last more »

  • Search Is a Huge Deal: What You Need to Know about Facebook's Newest Project

    By Simon Erickson - January 22, 2013 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, MSFT

    Two weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg invited a select few members of the media to their headquarters to 'come see what we're building.'  Speculation ran rampant, as the tech-world scratched its head trying to figure out what Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) could possibly be up to.

    Last week, Facebook finally unveiled the curtain.  The name of the project behind its biggest secret is called Graph Search.

    Graph Search is essentially a more »

  • 3 Disruptive Companies that you Must Watch in 2013

    By Simon Erickson - January 14, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, MSFT, NXPI, SSYS | Editor's Choice

    "New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common."

    - John Locke, 1689

    <img src="/media/images/user_13126/lightbulb_large.JPG" />

    Disruptive companies are likely the most feared and least understood in the market.

    That's quite a statement, but there's a good reason for it.  These companies aim to change the way that the world currently does things (or, at least how it spends money).  That "current more »

  • Can PriceSmart Really Be the Next Costco?

    By Simon Erickson - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: COST, PSMT, WMT | Editor's Choice

    If you've been on for any appreciable amount of time, you've probably come across the following headline:

    "PriceSmart is the Costco of Latin America."

    The comparison is likely due to the similarity of the company's business models.  Both sell in a warehouse club format and make the majority of their operating earnings through membership fees. 

    <img src="/media/images/user_13126/psmt-cost_large.JPG" />

    But if the statement were in fact true, it would more »

  • Here Come the Special Dividends!

    By Simon Erickson - November 28, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, BF-B, COST, GOOG, LVS, MSFT, BKE | Editor's Choice

    Sometimes there's nothing better than getting a little extra change in your pocket.  Especially when it gets paid, unexpectedly, by the stock market.

    With changes to the US tax code expected to occur in 2013, special dividends have generated a lot of hype lately.  Take a look at some of the special dividends that have been either recently paid or are planned before year-end:

    Company Recent Price Special Dividend more »
  • Why InvenSense is a MultiBagger in the Making

    By Simon Erickson - November 27, 2012 | Tickers: BBRY, INVN, MSFT, SWK

    If you're investing in small companies, you've got to think BIG.

    You want to find companies that 1) offer great products, 2) to markets with huge potential, and 3) at the right time.  Think Wal-Mart into mass retailing in 1972.  Or then Amazon into internet retailing in 1996.

    There's a company today that is largely flying under-the-radar that I believe has a similar BIG opportunity.   Thus, I more »

  • So Long, YONG! 3 Lessons from Investing in Chinese Small-Caps

    By Simon Erickson - October 23, 2012 | Tickers: BIDU, CTRP, YONG | Editor's Choice

    It was a bittersweet day last Monday for investors in Yongye International (NASDAQ: YONG).

    Back in June of this year, I suggested that Yongye take advantage of their undervalued stock price and buy back shares.

    Looks like they did one better than that.  On October 15th, Yongye received an offer from its CEO and Board to buy all outstanding shares and take the company private for $6.60 a share more »

  • 3 Best Buys Now for your Roth IRA

    By Simon Erickson - October 22, 2012 | Tickers: BLK, HI, INTC | Editor's Choice

    There certainly is a lot of uncertainty in the market these days.

    According to the American Institute of Individual Investors, only 29% of investors are bullish on the market, compared with 45% that are bearish.  The S&P and Dow are flirting with all-time highs and pundits are questioning if the market is set for a correction.  Shoot, even the Jersey Shore's Pauly D is offering investment advice these more »

  • A New Way to Profit From the Natural Gas Revolution

    By Simon Erickson - October 13, 2012 | Tickers: CGG, CLNE, XOM, IO, WPRT

    Natural gas is changing the energy equation in America.  The new, plentiful energy source is creating opportunities for companies of all different shapes and sizes.

    The obvious winners include the big dogs of the industry, which are the domestic integrated oil companies such as ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM).  These companies benefit from the rise in energy demand that can now be supplied by a domestic energy source.  This also minimizes their more »

  • Does Tesla Motors have a Competitive Advantage?

    By Simon Erickson - October 8, 2012 | Tickers: F, GM, TSLA, TM | Editor's Choice

    There is a case to be made that Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is one of the most entrepreneurial companies of our time. 

    After all, the electric-car company has accomplished in a few years what has taken the traditional auto manufacturing industry decades.  Their launch in 2008 of the completely-electric Tesla Roadster sports car was a huge success.  The company completely sold out of production (even with a North American price more »

  • The 4 Best Dividends in the S&P

    By Simon Erickson - September 19, 2012 | Tickers: BLK, COP, INTC, LMT

    When it comes to investing your hard-earned cash, buying dividend-paying stocks makes a lot of sense.  They tend to be less volatile in sketchy markets, and you get to cash checks on a quarterly basis.  Even better, if you reinvest those dividends and let them compound for many years, you could be swimming in your very own retirement pool of money.

    <img src="/media/images/user_13126/capture2_large.JPG" />

         (Note: dividend checks aren't typically paid in gold more »

  • Teavana isn't all its Brewed Up to Be

    By Simon Erickson - September 12, 2012 | Tickers: SBUX, TEA

    I have read quite a few accolades lately about how Teavana (NYSE: TEA) is sure to become the next big thing. Fellow blogger Matthew Luke made some compelling arguments about the potential of the tea industry and Chad Henage thinks that its time to steep your portfolio into the stock.  Even the venerable Rule Breaker Rick Munarriz has made a bullish call for Teavana.

    But in the spirit of Dueling more »

  • Why Facebook Should Make a Bid for eBay

    By Simon Erickson - September 7, 2012 | Tickers: EBAY, FB, GOOG | Editor's Choice

    The king of social media meets the king of online auctions.
    It's quite a statement to make, but Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) should seriously entertain the idea of buying a stake in eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) as a complementary way to monetize its massive social network.  There are three reasons that this move would make for an online e-commerce powerhouse:
    1. Fully Utilize the Network Effect
    2. Targeted Advertising at its Finest
    3. Facebook more »
  • 2 Tech Stocks Too Cheap To Ignore

    By Simon Erickson - August 28, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, DELL, FB, HPQ | Editor's Choice

    It's true.  Price matters.

    The most important factor in our control as investors is the price that we pay when buying shares of a company. 

    To demonstrate, let's take a look at one of the most successful tech stocks of the past decade:  Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).  Even through the financial crisis madness, Apple continued to grow earnings year after year.  This provided astute investors with an opportunity to more »

  • How do Rosetta Stone's Sales Translate?

    By Simon Erickson - August 14, 2012 | Tickers: EA, GE, NTDOY.PK, RST

    Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST) got stoned by investors last Thursday.

    After a nice pop from their 1Q earnings report in late May, Rosetta has apparently received a change-of-heart from shareholders.  The company reported 2Q earnings on Wednesday afternoon and was greeted on Thursday morning with a 25% haircut off of its stock price.  Though it recovered a bit in the afternoon, Rosetta still finished the day down 15%.  It is more »

  • The Olympics are Coming to Brazil - Why Now is the Time to Buy

    By Simon Erickson - August 10, 2012 | Tickers: BRXX, CIG, GGB

    The Olympic Games are no doubt one of the most exciting events to watch in the world. 

    • Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic medal, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time.  Will this really be his last Olympics?  Only time (and his mother) will tell.
    • Usain Bolt won his 2nd consecutive gold medal in the 100m dash, showing that he is still the fastest man in more »
  • Which Credit Card Company is in Charge?

    By Simon Erickson - July 31, 2012 | Tickers: AXP, MA, V, WMT

    The credit card business is a great business to be in. 

    According to a Nilson report update, global credit cards accounted for 62 billion transactions in 2011, worth a stunning $6 trillion worth of purchases.  The number of transactions was up 11% compared to 2010, and the value of the purchases was up nearly 16%.  That's no small change!

    Needless to say, the world is quickly evolving from one more »

  • Does Tractor Supply have a Competitive Advantage?

    By Simon Erickson - July 6, 2012 | Tickers: BUD, KO, TSCO

    QUICK -- think of a growth stock that has crushed the market over the past decade.

    Chances are that you rattled off a household name like "Apple," "Amazon," or perhaps even "Netflix."  But I'd be fairly surprised to hear anyone claim to have named Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), even though an investment in this stock is now tenfold (up 916%) what it was a decade ago.

    As a bit more »

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