AnnaLisa Kraft

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  • Buying Green Is All About Saving Money, Not the Earth

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 27, 2013 | Tickers: TFM, WHR, WFM

    Is anyone really surprised  the results of a Yale University survey showed most "green" behavior is more about saving money than the environment?

    What does it mean to go "green" ?

    The survey showed half of Americans deliberately bought an energy efficient kitchen appliance with 75% intending to do so with their next purchase.

    Of respondents surveyed 42% said they have bought organic food and 80% intend to do so (sure more »

  • Is This a Baby Berkshire or Not?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: BRK-B, LUK, BX

    Editor's Note: A previous version of this post stated that Leucadia had an interest in Fortescue Metals Group and Inmet Mining. This has been corrected.

    Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK) has often been called a baby Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B). It does have many similarities to Berkshire and even has a 50-50 joint venture with them in the Berkadia Commercial Mortgage company. But where do the similarities end?

    The Berkshire more »

  • When Being "Edgy" Puts Your Portfolio At Risk

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: ANF, JCP, PEP

    Being edgy has hurt investors in several stocks over the last year. Edgy can just fall flat or easily become uncomfortably offensive and backfire miserably.

    J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) , the department store chain, is the poster child for misunderstanding your key customer base when it dropped coupons and sales and alienated customers further dropping some favorite brands as it sought to bring in a youth demographic.

    Under new (not more »

  • How the Currency of Affection Fattens Your Wallet

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: MDLZ, HSY, TR

    Mad Men's Don Draper killed his career with his pitch to the execs at Hershey (NYSE: HSY) but he got one thing right about the All-American confectioner when he brought it home saying, "Hershey's is the currency of affection."

    Don initially pitches a golden childhood moment, the reward after doing his chores of a Hershey bar from his hair-tousling and doting father. Hershey execs nod and mutter, " Hmm more »

  • Welcome to the New American Poorhouse Redux

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 24, 2013 | Tickers: AIV, AVB, EQR

    If you sat out the market rally, Barry Ritholtz advised investors to stop reading the doom and gloomers' take on Obamacare, hyperinflation, the goldbugs, the Chinese crisis, and the student loan crisis.

    That's where I disagree with the estimable Mr. Ritholtz.

    More debt, less buying power

    The student loan crisis is going to affect housing for decades with those who have recently graduated coming out with an average of more »

  • When Everyone Is Writing Books, Who's Left to Read Them?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 24, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, BKS

    Eleven years ago a New York Times opinion piece exhorted those who think they've got a book in them to think again. After going through a list of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) free and daily deal e-books I must add, "Think harder this time!!"

    The book publishers were a public service, it turns out, as they read the manuscripts so you didn't have to. A belated thank you to more »

  • Can These Hardware Stocks Ratchet Higher?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 21, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, RH

    Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is really pitching woo to the ladies lately and it’s about time. They have been offering ladies only classes like the Do-It-Herself on building an Adirondack chair. For years they have held various DIY how-to workshops, but none specifically for women. Upcoming workshops feature installing a vanity and another with Martha Stewart Living to make a chore chart.

    How-to power higher

    Singer Sewing Company first more »

  • How Thinking Small Makes You Big Profits

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 20, 2013 | Tickers: CTCT, INTU, PAYX

    Small business owners believe (59%) that running a small business is decidedly more difficult than five years ago and most cite the economy (can't help you much there) and the challenges of technology.

    This finding comes from a study conducted by Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT), a company that specializes in email and social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys for small business. The study also reported 84% of more »

  • A "Gajillion" Reasons to Recruit These Social Stocks

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: FB, LNKD, MWW

    "There are literally gajillions of people who are unhappy with their current jobs," intones Brian Baumgartner, The Office's hapless Kevin, in an amusing YouTube video by Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) entitled "The Wake Up Call" exhorting cubicle drones to visit and do better. Warning: turn down your volume.

    However, investors in Monster Worldwide and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) may need a wake-up call as LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) has more »

  • How to Make Money with Fat Stocks

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 18, 2013 | Tickers: OIS, ROSE, SLW

    Sure you want to be thin and rich in real life, but you don't want your stocks to be rated Underweight!  Finding Overweight stocks with low PEGs isn't easy in the torrid run-up of the last year. Screening for mid-caps with Wall Street Outperforms, gross margins over 25%, trailing P/Es under 15, and EPS growth rates of 30% over the last three years elicited only seven names more »

  • Don't Be Stingy With These Sin Stocks

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: BEAM, BF-A, DEO

    Garbo's first movie quote is one liquor companies would love to hear more often, "Pour me a whiskey and don't be stingy, baby."  However it's more likely to be a request for flavored vodka these days. To attract more women drinkers alcoholic beverage companies have been floating flavored vodkas and low calorie cocktail mixes as well as saucy YouTube videos.

    Hellooo, ladies

    Wooing women as a way more »

  • How Playing it Cute Makes You Money Now

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: LTD, MAT, DIS

    One company adds an extra $1.5 billion annually to its coffers from its cute couture. Another's entire raison d'etre is a celebration of cute to the tune of $43.76 billion last year. And the third's newest hot line, the epitome of cute, has endeared itself to legions of young women with double digit sales growth quarter after quarter.

    A study published in the Journal of more »

  • The Best Little Reality Show You'll Never See

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: ASBC, FMER, TCB

    Why hasn't anyone done a reality show about newly minted fracking millionaires and how they deal with their newfound wealth.  The working title could be What the Frack?!. In North Dakota alone possible new stars of a fracking millionaire show are being created at a rate of a dozen a week.

    But there is another unheralded region that is experiencing its own fracking wealth creation from... sand. And these more »

  • Why Headline Risk is Bad for This Stock

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: DE, MON, WFM

    "The rich will eat organic and the poor will eat poison," went one comment in reply to a story quoting New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman that labeling genetically modified foods isn't a"radical, communist plot."

    It used to be the Food section of a newspaper was for homey recipes. Now, it's full of food politics stories from the front page.

    Big deal over a little label more »

  • Boomers' Babies Are a Bonanza for Business

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: BNNY, CPB, HAIN

    Maybe you remember the 1987 movie, Baby Boom, about "tiger lady" J.C. Wiatt, businesswoman who becomes guardian to her toddler niece and starts an organic baby food business to support them. She then turns down a multi-million dollar buyout to keep the business at home. Cute movie, but the point is, since then organic baby food is now a multi-billion dollar business.

    The biggest player has been Hain Celestial more »

  • Why the Newest "Sin" Stocks Can Make You Money

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 14, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, CMCSA, NFLX, YHOO

    All the bloviating and blather about the "right way to watch TV" has given  stocks that enable "binge viewing" a patina of sin on a par with alcohol, tobacco, and casino stocks. "Gluttonous" and "addictive" are the operative words. If there are words that should be more delightful to the ear of an investor, I don't know what they are, except for "accelerating revenue growth."

    And what are these more »

  • The Secret Club No CEO Wants to Join

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 13, 2013 | Tickers: ANF, LULU, ZNGA

    Deep in the bowels of the throbbing metropolis there's a little hideaway, where one pushes a slot and whispers a password...golden parachute. On odd days it's...exit package. Inside some of the wealthiest and least missed CEOs gather for their overflowing champers (champagne) and sweetmeats.

    On the mahogany paneled walls loom the portraits of some of the charter members inducted this last year: Andrew Mason of Groupon more »

  • Will Java Keep This Pantry Powerhouse Jolting Higher?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 13, 2013 | Tickers: SJM, KRFT, MDLZ

    Some stocks like J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) and Home Depot keep ratcheting higher with no end in sight. Is it possible that every man, woman, and child in America is pounding down coffee or pounding nails? J.M. Smucker is up 32% over the last year.

    Four days of constant rain made me realize why Starbucks started in Seattle and why J.M. Smucker became a pantry powerhouse soon more »

  • Should You Be Swayed by Celebrity?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 12, 2013 | Tickers: TGT, TJX, WMT

    Recently, Yahoo! Shine featured a slideshow of celebrities shopping in the darnedest places: TJ Maxx, owned by The TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), and Target (NYSE: TGT).

    Britain's Prince Harry was caught shopping at the European version of TJ Maxx. Britney Spears was wheeling out a heaping cart from Wal-Mart, and eight celebrities were snapped at Target: Glee's Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, Mad Men's more »

  • Too Late for the Doughnut Party?

    By AnnaLisa Kraft - June 11, 2013 | Tickers: DNKN, KKD, SBUX

    I hope you've recovered from your sugar coma from National Doughnut Day last Friday. Two doughnut companies Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD) and Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN) have been battling for the hearts, minds, and stomachs of consumers and their stocks have created quite the party for stockholders.

    A "sugar rush" in doughnut stocks

    Both companies have been experiencing the equivalent of a latter day gold rush or "sugar more »

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