Elise Ralph

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  • BBRY's Shot in the Smartphone Market

    By Elise Ralph - February 7, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, MSFT

    BlackBerrys (NASDAQ: BBRY) major launch of its radically improved operating system, Blackberry 10, is a pivotal moment for the company, formerly known as Research in Motion.  The market has been anticipating this announcement, and since the start of the year share prices have taken a bumpy trip as they have risen over 30%. Is there still room for new investors? Compared to just a few years ago, when enterprise-provided more »

  • Undervalued Wellpoint Finally Set to Rally

    By Elise Ralph - September 4, 2012 | Tickers: AET, AGP, CI, UNH, WLP

    WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) is one of the largest health insurers and has recently made some strategic acquisitions that position it well for the future.  I favorably described WellPoint six months ago, and, to my chagrin, watched its share price collapse by over 12%.  

    Unsurprisingly, shareholders were frustrated and after five years at the helm, Angela Braly stepped down on August 28. The Board named John Cannon, the General Counsel, as more »

  • Two Dividends With Smart Double-Digit Yields

    By Elise Ralph - September 4, 2012 | Tickers: AGNC, NLY, CMO, RWT, TWO

    If you’re an income investor, you’ve been badly pinched in the last few years. It’s difficult to find promising yields when the 10-year U.S. treasury rates have been below 2% over the last five months compared to the long-term average of 6.67%. One area that has continued to shine is mortgage REITs. The most successful of these have delivered value by increasing their market capitalization more »

  • A Dividend Stock Trading at Bargain Basement Prices

    By Elise Ralph - September 3, 2012 | Tickers: AEO, FNP, GES, TLYS, URBN

    Is it Tme to Buy GUESS?

    After its ugly Q2 earnings report, shares of GUESS (NYSE: GES) are now trading with a PE ratio near 10. That appears to be a bargain basement valuation compared to hip competitors like Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) or Tilly’s (NYSE: TLYS). It’s even lower than the embattled Fifth & Pacific (NYSE: FNP), (formerly Liz Claiborne) despite the fact that GES is in excellent more »

  • If You Could Design the Perfect Stock...

    By Elise Ralph - May 3, 2012 | Tickers: DAVE, JNJ, LTRE, NLS, SLP | Editor's Choice

    Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I started making my first investments with a very small amount of money. I was in graduate school in the Boston area and Peter Lynch, who had huge success with Fidelity’s Magellan Fund (he averaged a 29.2% annual return), gave the oft-cited advice “invest in what you know.” I was young. What did I know? As someone born more »

  • Is Alcoa a Gem?

    By Elise Ralph - March 15, 2012 | Tickers: AA, ACH, CENX

    There was a time when aluminum was more valuable than gold. Then, in the late 1800's, chemists found new ways to extract it and its price dropped 97% over five years. Commodities can be a tough business.

    Over the course of 2008, as the recession began, stocks of aluminum accumulated, the spot price of Aluminum dropped by 60% and Alcoa (NYSE: AA), blue-chip giant in the aluminum business, dropped more »

  • Dialing for Dollars: French Telecom, Vodafone or DoCoMo

    By Elise Ralph - March 11, 2012 | Tickers: DCM, ORAN, VZ, VOD

    I don't know about you, but I'm pretty nervous about Europe. Here we are, watching to see if private investors are willing to take losses of more than 50% on Greece's bonds? Ouch! I don't actually know much about Europe though and so I read this Foolish article with interest. Are there bargains over there? Apparently France Telecom (NYSE: ORAN) is one. It's a dividend-paying more »

  • Keep an Eye on This Forward-looking Company

    By Elise Ralph - March 8, 2012 | Tickers: AET, IBM, UNH, VZ, WLP

    One news item this week really caught my attention: Wellpoint (NYSE: WLP) is going to be using IBM's (NYSE: IBM)Watson to improve medical care! Watson, you may recall, is the computer that trounced the affable, but all too-human, Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings. Because I'm interested in how modern computing power can profitably improve decision-making (i.e. real options or improved data mining techniques that reveal new more »

  • Fast-growing FAST

    By Elise Ralph - January 16, 2012 | Tickers: FAST

    Update: As predicted, at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Fastenal declared a dividend of seventeen cents per share to shareholders of record on February 1. Last quarter's dividend was fourteen cents pers hare. 

    Update: At 8:00 AM, revenue for the quarter came in at $698M (as I predicted) and earnings were thirty cents per share; in line with estimates. Share prices immediatly dropped to $45.40 (almost more »

  • Peeling the Apple

    By Elise Ralph - January 13, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL

    When you peel an apple, you are privileged to see something no one else on Earth has ever seen before: the inside of that apple.

    On Friday, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) did something unprecedented: they not only revealed a list of the suppliers of 97% of its procurement expenditures (something corporate spies are probably paid to find!), but they also published the results of 229 audits in the areas of Labor more »

  • A Kodak moment: The dead dog bounce

    By Elise Ralph - January 12, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, EMN, EK

    My grandfather was an investor who carefully chose a few solid companies and held them. A part of his portfolio was the venerable Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK). He would be shocked at what has happened to it. It’s a penny stock, trading at under $1/share since early December. The NYSE plans to delist it because its average closing price has been less than $1.00/share for over more »

  • Finding Value Together or Apart

    By Elise Ralph - January 2, 2012 | Tickers: ALEX

    On cold winter days, sometimes it's nice to daydream about tropical paradises. Lately, I've been thinking back to mid-October 2008 when I was swimming and frolicking in the Hawaiian sun with my fiance. The economy was just beginning to unravel but while I was visiting during his port call, he, a commanding officer of a Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, had received official orders for us to go to more »

  • Home For The Holidays

    By Elise Ralph - December 20, 2011 | Tickers: APOL, BPI, DV

    Winter break is here and it's time for college kids to head home with laundry, dreams of mom's cooking and hot chocolate by the fire with friends. Oh wait! That was what winter break was like several decades ago when I was in school. Wow, have times changed because few students today have the luxury of such an idyllic break.

    Today's college student is much more likely more »