What To Expect From an Investment in Illinois Tool Works

Despite missing analysts' expected earnings and revenues this quarter, Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW) surpassed everyone's expectations by recently announcing the authorization of a $6 billion buyback plan and a 10% increase in the quarterly dividend. Based on today's market cap, $6 billion is good for 20% of the company and a major catalyst for future returns.  

Below, I have provided a review of the company's cash more »

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  • Don’t Make This Expensive Mistake

    By Andrés Cardenal - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: NFLX, TSLA

    Valuation can be very important when it comes to making investing decisions, be it on the long side or the short side. However, valuation ratios should always be analyzed in the context of the company´s overall business strategy and growth potential. Shorting disruptive growth companies only because they seem overvalued can be a very expensive mistake.

    The value of uniqueness
    Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) has been a textbook example more »

  • 1 Stock to Profit From the Booming Gaming Market

    By Timothy Green - August 12, 2013 | Tickers: AMD, MSFT, NVDA

    With shares of NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) falling after its Q2 earnings release, it seems that investors are focusing on what matters least. Total revenue and profit fell year-over-year, dragged down by a huge decline in the mobile Tegra business, but this was expected and doesn't really matter. The core GPU business is growing, and right now, NVIDIA offers an investment opportunity with little downside and an ample margin of more »

  • Cash In On Eating Out

    By Jason Hall - August 10, 2013 | Tickers: BWLD, CHUY, DRI

    The U.S. restaurant industry contracted for three years, over the recession. However, the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index, or RPI, has shown two years of steady industry growth since the recovery started. In 2013, the RPI has been at or above 100 (indicating expansion) in every month except February, continuing the trend of positive momentum after a stumble last fall. While it's been bumpy, the trend more »

  • This IPO Sprouted Too High

    By Mark Holder - August 9, 2013 | Tickers: NGVC, SFM, TFM, WFM

    After the 123% gain following the IPO, Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ: SFM) appears to have sprouted too far for new investors. The company offers a compelling shopping experience and attractive pricing, but can it grow fast enough to justify a market cap exceeding $6 billion with revenue of only $2 billion last year.

    Sprouts competes in the fast growing and suddenly competitive natural and organic grocery sector against the likes more »

  • A Smartphone-Induced Crash Diet Crushed This Company's Bottom Line

    By Leo Sun - August 7, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, MED, NKE, NTRI, WTW

    When investors think of companies taken down by the rise of smartphones and tablets, they generally think about PC manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard and big box retailers like Best Buy.

    Yet, last week, Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW) became the latest casualty of the mobile revolution, blaming the rise of mobile tech as a major contributor to its crumbling bottom line. On Aug. 2, the company, best known for its weight more »

  • A Few Reasons Why This Stock Was Unfairly Punished

    By Harsh Chauhan - August 5, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, BRCM, SSNLF

    One of the most frustrating experiences in life can be when, as an investor, you see your investment go under. The frustration multiples when the company that you’d invested in had good prospects, solid clients, and great innovation; but still, it fails to do well as an investment.

    A similar thought would be running through the minds of Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) investors, the semiconductor company which, according to me more »

  • Crushing Earnings Estimates Is Business-as-Usual For This Coal Stock

    By Bob Ciura - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: ARLP, ANR, BTU

    It’s no secret that the coal industry in the United States is under fire. A multitude of industry headwinds, including depressed natural gas prices and ongoing regulatory threats, have brought the entire sector to its knees.

    Shares of coal producers, including Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), have taken an absolute beating over the past few years. With all this going on, you’d be more »

  • Intel's Evolution to Wireless: Second Quarter's Report Card

    By Bob Chandler - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: BRCM, INTC, QCOM

    Computer chip giant Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is clearly in transition mode. Though most analysts seem to focus on its ties to a declining PC market, Intel’s prospects have little to do with computers. Its future lies in the wireless space. I believe the company will either prosper or whither based on the progress it makes in four critical areas. Here’s how the company fared in the latest quarter more »

  • Yahoo! Still Has Great Upside Potential

    By Lennox Yieke - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, YHOO

    Yahoo!’s (NASDAQ: YHOO) second-quarter earnings, released mid-July, prompted mixed reactions from the market. Critics pinned the 46% year-on-year uptick in earnings solely on the Alibaba investment, arguing that the real headline was the overall 7% dip in revenue. As usual, a few commentators went on about how CEO Marissa Mayer was to blame and how she had done nothing but dig a deeper hole for Yahoo!. While Yahoo!’s more »

  • TiVo Is Doomed

    By Sam Mattera - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: CVC, DTV, TIVO

    More and more, it looks like TiVo’s (NASDAQ: TIVO) business is becoming irrelevant. The company that pioneered the concept of the DVR has been surpassed technologically, and there is increasingly little reason to be a TiVo subscriber.

    TiVo bulls have been banking on the value of the company’s patents, but with litigation largely behind it, there aren't any catalysts to carry the stock higher.

    TiVo’s business more »

  • High Dividend Yields Come at a Price

    By Jordan Wathen - August 1, 2013 | Tickers: AINV, ARCC, CB

    We shouldn’t be surprised that high-yield stocks are popular in a low interest rate environment. When the best CDs offer little more than 1% for five-year maturities, 3% yielding blue chips look exemplary.

    Stocks yielding 10% or more look like the opportunity of a lifetime.

    But what are you giving up by chasing high-yield stocks? Are high-yield investors accepting too much risk just to get a taste of high more »

  • A Great, Extraordinary, Endeavoring Company

    By Adam Levy - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: MCD, PNRA, SBUX

    I’m not afraid to let people know I love Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX). The company transforms coffee from a commodity to an experience. Any one of its 19,000-plus stores provide the perfect setting for working, studying, reading, or (my favorite) picking up blondes. Oh, and baristas will serve you coffee too.

    In its latest earnings report, Starbucks roasted all analysts’ estimates, sending the stock up more than 6%. While more »

  • A Few Solid Reasons Why This Stock Should Be in Your Portfolio

    By Harsh Chauhan - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: CHL, S, XLNX

    Having a well-diversified semiconductor company in your portfolio can help your returns improve. Why? Because semiconductors are the basic building blocks of a number of things around us, ranging from a tiny calculator to an aircraft, and so, having a company which makes chips that are sold to various end-markets is a good idea.

    One such company is Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX), which makes programmable chips that are used across various more »

  • 3 Restaurants for Your Watchlist

    By William Bias - July 30, 2013 | Tickers: DIN, RRGB, SONC

    Sometimes, you can find good investment ideas by looking at the myriad of restaurants in your neighborhood. They may not all rank with huge global restaurant chains such as McDonald’s; however, they may still be worth some of your research time. The three restaurant chains below reside in a turnaround situation that can profit the long-term shareholder.

    From pancakes and steaks

    Full service restaurant chain DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) and more »

  • What Happens When These Growth Stories Stop?

    By Jon Quast - July 29, 2013 | Tickers: BJRI, CMG, PNRA, CAKE

    Over the past several years, we have witnessed some explosive growth stories unfolding in the restaurant sector. A handful of restaurants are crushing the market.

    <img alt="" src="http://media.ycharts.com/charts/3ec745f0ec39242c0431f40d843fa4aa.png" />

    CMG data by YCharts

    These restaurants are growing by expanding their chains faster than many competitors. Yet this growth causes investors to wonder: "When will these chains stop expanding, and what happens when they do?"

    Past growth

    To fully appreciate the growth, we need to more »

  • Does This Merger Make Telefonica A Must-Buy?

    By Fani Kelesidou - July 25, 2013 | Tickers: DT, TEF, VOD

    After months of whispers and behind-the-curtain chit-chats, Spain-based telecommunications services provider Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) shook hands on a deal with Dutch mobile operator RoyalKPN that's supposed to rock the boat of the German market by knocking Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT) and Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD) out.

    Could this deal enable Telefonica to make up for its gloomy five-year revenue growth or should you just steer clear of this beaten-down stock more »

  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race in This Industry

    By Bob Ciura - July 25, 2013 | Tickers: MO, LO, RAI

    The tobacco industry is not a haven for growth investors, nor should it be. Consumers continue the trend toward healthier living, and the decline of smokers has put a lid on growth. That’s largely behind the sell-off in Altria Group (NYSE: MO) after releasing second quarter earnings.

    The market was clearly disappointed by the company’s 5% growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share, but this serves as yet more »

  • These Specialty Retailers Have Proven Their Worth

    By Bob Ciura - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: DKS, FL, FOSL

    The resilience of the American consumer is truly a thing to marvel. With the unemployment rate still stubbornly high, the ongoing sequester, and the payroll tax hike, you’d think the consumer in the United States would be down for the count.

    Quite the contrary: in fact, although this month’s retail sales unexpectedly declined, it’s been an overall solid year for retail sales. And, when you consider that more »

  • Why You Should Avoid These Buggy Whip Stocks

    By Bob Ciura - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: FTR, PBI, RRD

    Buggy-whip technology is an old investing adage that refers to companies whose products or services have become technologically obsolete. This is an unfortunate inevitability of economic growth: technological advancement in certain industries, while a huge boost to society as a whole, means a few individual businesses will be left behind.

    In that vein, here are three stocks that have been left behind by the unstoppable force of technological advancement.

    Don more »

  • Looking for Cheap Income? Be Sure You Know What You're Looking At

    By Jason Hall - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: AGNC, NLY, ROIC

    REITs have been on income investors' radar for the past few years, as traditional income sources like bonds yielding record-low levels. With mortgage REITs like Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) paying out dividends over 15%, and at times well above 20% for American Capital, it’s a tempting place to invest. 

    Warren Buffett and Mae West have both said that too much of a more »

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