Matthew Luke

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  • CBS vs. Time Warner Cable: A Fight Neither Wins

    By Matthew Luke - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: CBS, NFLX, TWC

    Much has been made of the recent battle between CBS (NYSE: CBS) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) over retransmission fees. Many financial pundits, lawyers, lobbying groups, and now even politicians and government organizations have opined on the subject. Some say that CBS, as the content holder, will ultimately come out on top. Others believe that Time Warner Cable, the operator of the content toll-road, will win the fight.

    Few more »

  • Outerwall: Not Your Parents’ Coinstar

    By Matthew Luke - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: EBAY, OUTR, SBUX, VZ

    Just last month, Coinstar changed its name to Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR) in a move that was symbolic of the many changes that have taken place over the years (especially the past year). The company, initially known for its more than 19,000 Coinstar machines, and later for the 36,000 Redbox DVD rental kiosks, has begun the process of becoming so much more than that. From internet video streaming and more »

  • Problems and Opportunity With the McDonald's of Latin America

    By Matthew Luke - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: ARCO, MCD

    After climbing 30% for the year in mid-May (easily outperforming the S&P 500 by 10% at the time), shares of the Latin American restaurateur Arcos Dorados (NYSE: ARCO) are now trading in slightly-negative territory for 2013. Like last year and the year before it, we need to ask yourselves “What exactly is wrong with the McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) of Latin America?”

    Formed in 2007, Arcos Dorados is the more »

  • An ETF for Positive Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing

    By Matthew Luke - July 9, 2013 | Tickers: ETN, KLD, NEE

    Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment strategies have experienced tremendous growth in recent years. In 1995, professionally managed investments in the United States that explicitly incorporated ESG criteria made up just $12 billion in total assets. In 2010, those ESG investments totaled $569 billion, a growth of 4,641%.

    Despite that growth, most of it has occurred within the mutual fund space. Considering the popularity of exchange-traded funds, there are more »

  • The Market Wants to Break up With Textron

    By Matthew Luke - July 8, 2013 | Tickers: GD, NOC, TXT, BA, UTX

    The market has made its feelings clear. It wants to break up. Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed many high-profile corporate breakups that have been great success stories. There was the Fortune Brands breakup into Beam and Fortune Brands Home & Security in 2011, the Kraft Foods breakup into Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Group in 2012, and the Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie breakup on January 1 of more »

  • Keeping it Simple With Energizer Holdings

    By Matthew Luke - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: ENR, PG, UL, UN

    Being a successful investor does not need to be that difficult. A simple investment in an easy to comprehend business model is often the best way to make long-term gains in the stock market. Sure, you can occasionally hit it big on a complicated biotech speculative pick or what have you, but simplicity is one of the keys to consistent gains in the stock market. And in the universe of more »

  • Investing in Japanese Convenience

    By Matthew Luke - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: CST, SVNDY, VLO

    Formally a NYSE-traded company founded in Dallas nearly 90 years ago, 7-Eleven was acquired in 2005 by the Tokyo-based retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co. (NASDAQOTH: SVNDY). 7-Eleven had actually been a Japanese company long before that point, though. In the 1980s, 7-Eleven’s mismanagement nearly led the company right into bankruptcy. The company was bailed out by its largest franchisee, the Japanese Ito-Yokado, which purchased a substantial stake in more »

  • Socially Responsible Investing the Easy Way

    By Matthew Luke - June 27, 2013 | Tickers: GOOG, DSI, JNJ, MSFT, PG

    Exchange-traded funds and socially responsible investing (SRI) have each grown in popularity over the past two decades or so; ETFs for their convenience and SRI to achieve great returns in the stock market by investing in companies that embrace good environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices.

    As both of these have risen in popularity separately, the two are increasingly becoming paired together. This combination makes perfect sense. Why wouldn more »

  • Breaking Up Is Easy to Do

    By Matthew Luke - June 24, 2013 | Tickers: MTW, MIDD, TEX

    The Carpenters had it completely wrong! Breaking up is easy to do. Some companies have business segments that are prefect for each other. A match made in heaven, even. Manitowoc Company (NYSE: MTW) is not one of those companies. It is difficult to understand the logic behind having construction cranes and foodservice equipment under same corporate umbrella. The two divisions operate in different industries, sell to different customers and benefit more »

  • The Lesser-Known Restaurateurs

    By Matthew Luke - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: ARCO, BH, MCD, THI

    In the world of publicly-traded restaurant companies, a tiny few command most of the attention of the U.S. mainstream financial media. If your company is not a big name like Starbucks or Chipotle Mexican Grill, good luck getting even a brief mention on CNBC. Despite the lack of attention, there are other, lesser-known restaurant companies out there that are quietly improving sales, expanding their businesses and making their shareholders more »

  • Canada’s Versions of Berkshire Hathaway

    By Matthew Luke - June 14, 2013 | Tickers: BRK-B, BRK-A, BBRY, FRFHF.PK, PWCDF

    Berkshire Hathaway and its legendary chairman-CEO Warren Buffett are two of the most discussed topics in the entire U.S. stock market. And why shouldn’t they be? Under Warren Buffett’s leadership, a failing investment in a textile manufacturer turned into one of best collections of subsidiary companies in the world. This is a great story to discuss, but a story that is not limited only to the U more »

  • The Ins and Outs of Farmland Investing

    By Matthew Luke - June 6, 2013 | Tickers: AGRO, ALCO, CRESY, LAND, LMNR

    So you want to be a farmer.
    Investing in farmland can make for an intriguing alternative to stocks. Farmland is fairly safe, historically a great hedge against inflation and is an asset class that does not correlate with the stock market. As the world’s population continues to grow (9.15 billion estimate by 2050) and the global middle-class continues to emerge (with changing dietary habits toward more calories and more »

  • Targeting Africa as the 'New China'

    By Matthew Luke - May 30, 2013 | Tickers: KO, WMT, YUM

    With about 17% of the world’s population, an emerging middle-class of young consumers and an increased rate of urbanization, Africa is starting to become the ‘new China’ in the eyes of emerging market investors. Growing roughly three times faster than the rest of the world, the story of the African middle-class is finally becoming a reality, albeit still in its very early chapters.

    The example to follow
    Large multinational more »

  • Money Does Grow on Trees After All

    By Matthew Luke - May 28, 2013 | Tickers: AGRO, CRESY, DOLE, LAND, LMNR

    The United Nations projects that by 2050 the earth’s population will increase by 2.25 billion to over 9.15 billion people. Most of that population growth will occur in the emerging countries, where people consume (not by choice) far fewer calories than developed nations like the United States. About 2.3 billion people live in countries where the average calories consumed are less than 2,500 a day more »

  • The Hundred-Year Dividend

    By Matthew Luke - May 25, 2013 | Tickers: BMO, CHD, DD

    Editor's Note: This article has been amended to correct Dupont's dividend history. Motley Fool apologizes for the error.

    Many dividend-seeking investors like to screen for sky-high yielding companies when looking for their next possible investment opportunity. While there is nothing inherently wrong about this strategy, high yields alone can often mean little if the company lacks the financial strength to maintain and continually increase their dividend payouts. Some more »

  • The Return of the King

    By Matthew Luke - May 25, 2013 | Tickers: BKW, MCD

    Burger King’s (NYSE: BKW) reign in the kingdom of fast food burgers has been a tumultuous one. During its long troubled history, Burger King has been occupied by many outside powers. First was The Pillsbury Company in the 70s and 80s, the liquor giant Diageo in the 90s and the private equity firm TPG Capital for much of the 00s. Each neglected or badly managed (often both) Burger King more »

  • A Look at the Mini-Berkshires

    By Matthew Luke - May 21, 2013 | Tickers: LUK, MKL, PWCDF

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been one of the best investing success stories of the past half-century. Under Buffett’s leadership, the textile manufacturer turned insurance company turned investment vehicle has made many people a small fortune (and a few people a very large fortune). With the success of Berkshire, it should come to no surprise that investors are always on the lookout for the next Berkshire Hathaway-like company more »

  • Speculative Oil Investments

    By Matthew Luke - May 17, 2013 | Tickers: FM, NES, SZYM

    Simple investments, with easy to understand investment theses, are one of the best ways to make consistently long-term profits in the stock market. And while I am a firm believer in this investment strategy, there is nothing wrong with the occasional bet on a well-researched speculative stock. Once a portfolio of lower-risk investments has been established, investing a small percentage of your money in a Powerball-like stock could be well more »

  • Don’t Make Investing Too Complicated

    By Matthew Luke - May 10, 2013 | Tickers: ABT, ABBV, BEAM, CHD, MCD

    If I could send a message back in time to my younger self, I would only need to use four words, “Keep it simple, Stupid!” This is great advice for life in general, but especially good advice when investing one’s own money. How much better would my stock portfolio would look today if I had realized this when I first began investing!

    Sometimes we as investors can fall into more »

  • Looking Through Google Glass Reviews

    By Matthew Luke - May 7, 2013 | Tickers: BIDU, GOOG, LUX

    A few weeks ago, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) began the limited, invitation-only, release of its Google Glass smartglasses device. A select few app developers and general consumers, known as ‘Explorers,’, were given the ability to test the Explorer Edition, a quasi-prototype version of Google Glass. The reviews are now in. What do these Explorers have to say about Google’s entry into the emerging space of wearable technology?

    2011 called…

    At more »

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