Home on the Range; Where Deer, Antelope and Investors Play

Michael is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Can you picture yourself at home on the range, with mountains towering over you, as you peruse the many online and offline investing publications looking for that extra bit of insight? If you can, than you can play right along with the rest of the wildlife, hunting for sustenance to store in your portfolio for the seasons ahead.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) is a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers. The company recently announced their first quarter fiscal year 2013 results for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012.

Approximately 93% of consolidated first quarter fiscal 2013 net sales for Green Mountain were sales of KeurigSingle Cup Brewers, single serve packs, and Keurig-related accessories. The company reported that the rest of net sales mainly consisted of bagged coffee and the traditional Canadian office coffee services business. Net sales of Keurig Single Cup Brewers, single serve packs, and Keurig-related accessories increased 19% over the same period a year ago.

What is important here for investors? Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has captured a significant share of the new home brewing paradigm that consumers are wholeheartedly embracing. Investors should note that the company has not missed the boat at all answering consumers' calls for innovative, user-friendly systems that are attractively-priced.

Investors should research marketplace changes when investigating companies, to ensure that these companies are embracing the changes. For Green Mountain, other products and royalties declined 12% year-over-year. This was mainly because of the shift in demand from traditional coffee package formats to single serve packs. In fact, 4.95 million Keurig branded brewers were sold during the period. This represents an 18% increase over the year ago period.

The company's associations with other coffee companies is also significat, as they pool their resources to satisfy consumer demands. An example is the Mr. Coffee brewing system with Keurig Brewed Technology. Green Mountain is embracing change, and it looks like they're enjoying it.

Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) is a major provider of information storage and management solutions. They will release their fourth quarter 2012 financial results before market hours on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.

What should investors look at concerning Iron Mountain? The company's move into new markets to facilitate growth is something to note. Iron Mountain announced recently that they added two new service markets: Madison, Wisconsin and Wilmington, North Carolina. They accomplished this through acquiring assets from records management firms Datastore and Data Technology Services (DTS). Iron Mountain has a real estate network of 64 million square feet across approximately 1,000 facilities in 32 countries.

Mr. Harold Ebbighausen, President of North America for Iron Mountain, stated, "Acquisitions are key to expanding our presence in both new and existing markets, allowing us to drive growth and returns on invested capital."

The company's focus is speed and accuracy in serving their clientele. Therefore, these acquisitions will help Iron Mountain achieve these goals. "Having storage facilities in these markets enables us to move with greater speed and efficiency, and that's good for us and our customers," said Mr. Ebbighausen.

It's also a good thing for many investors, who have a thing for companies like Green Mountain and Iron Mountain as they continually strive to meet customers' needs for efficient and effective products (coffee makers) and services (information storage and management solutions).

Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) is one of the leading independent natural gas companies operating in the U.S.

In January 2013 they announced that their fourth quarter 2012-production volumes reached a record high of 844 Mmcfe (Millions of Cubic Feet Equivalent) per day. Fourth quarter 2012 production increased 35% over the year ago quarter; it was 7% higher than third quarter 2012.

Total production rose 35%; oil and NGL (Natural Gas Liquids) production increased 41% during the fourth quarter. Of importance to investors is that this oil and NGL production points towards Range Resources' focus on their high return, liquids-rich plays. The company recognizes where there's money to be made – they're directing resources and programs to these plays for their and shareholders' benefit. Investors should research companies that have the business acumen to recognize and go after profitable opportunities as they arise.

Mr. Jeff L. Ventura, Range Resources President and CEO, said, "The 41% increase in fourth quarter oil and NGL production reflects the high-quality nature of our large drilling inventory and positions us very well in the current commodity price environment. We expect increasing liquids production, coupled with our strong hedge position, to drive substantial cash flow growth in 2013 and longer term, our high-return inventory and low-cost structure to continue to drive shareholder value."

What can investors take away from this? They can look at Range's expectations for major cash flow growth, longer term. There is corporate confidence for healthy cash flows beyond this year. The company's thinking long-term, and it's something investors should be aware of as they consider an investment.

In addition, their production for full-year 2012 averaged 753 Mmcfe per day. This represents a 36% increase over 2011. This is the ninth consecutive year of double-digit production growth and the posting of record production each year. This represents consistently high performance and is a sign to potential investors that the company has a strong and forward-thinking management team.

Considering what these companies are accomplishing, it's no wonder for investors that, despite nothing being a sure thing today, there "… seldom is heard a discouraging word… and the skies are not cloudy all day," with stocks such as these.

MichaelONTARIO has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Range Resources. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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