Amanda Alix

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  • First Halliburton, Now NOAA: iPhone Trounces Blackberry Again

    By Amanda Alix - February 10, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY | Editor's Choice

    There just seems to be no end to the sob story that is Research in Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY).  Halliburton, the energy giant that became a household name during the Bush Jr. administration, has officially dumped the Blackberry in favor of the iPhone.  The company will begin to phase out the old and integrate the new over the next year or so.  Now, the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and more »

  • J.C. Penney Gets into the Landlord Business

    By Amanda Alix - February 9, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, JCP, TGT

    I have a friend who absolutely loves J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP).  So much so, in fact, that she has made a post-retirement career of getting the best deals she can on a weekly basis.  It seems that every time we get together, she has a bag of goodies, fresh from her latest excursion and purchased with a complicated algorithm of coupons, discounts and her store card. 

    Therefore, when I more »

  • Boycott over Gay Marriage Won’t Harm Starbucks

    By Amanda Alix - February 8, 2012 | Tickers: SBUX

    By any measure, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) has had a spectacular year.  Their stock has surged 50%, they have new ventures on tap in both India and China, their Starbucks Card is a smashing success, and they’re being boycotted.  What?

    It’s true.  Along with 100 other companies such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, Starbucks has pledged its support for the same-sex marriage law currently being considered in Washington more »

  • Sears is Its Own Worst Enemy

    By Amanda Alix - February 7, 2012 | Tickers: KSS, SHLD | Editor's Choice

    I don’t know about you, but I grew up with the Sears brand.  I bought my first pair of desert boots, my footwear of choice throughout the '70s, through the Sears catalog -- ubiquitous in not only our home, but that of everyone I knew.  We had a catalog pick-up office in the town center, and Sears stores were gaining ground as well.  Kenmore was a hot brand in our more »

  • Onboard Viruses Bad News for Ailing Cruise Industry

    By Amanda Alix - February 6, 2012 | Tickers: CCL, RCL

    As if things weren’t bad enough for cruise lines, a norovirus outbreak on two ships belonging to Princess Cruise Lines has sickened more than 200 people.  Imagine having nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea.  Multiply that by about 100 people.  Now imagine you are all cooped up on a cruise ship…you get the picture.  Embattled Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) owns Princess Cruise Lines, but wait -- as if in sympathy more »

  • There’s no Stopping Gilead Sciences

    By Amanda Alix - February 5, 2012 | Tickers: GILD, IDIX

    Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) is on a roll.  The biotechnology firm has seen its profile rise along with its stock as every week, it seems, it has some new development to report.  The company is a leader in the antiviral market, leaving big players like Roche, Merck and Bristol-Meyers Squibb trailing in their wake.  Known best for their research and development of HIV drugs, their stock is currently surging on more »

  • Weight Watchers Bulks Up Earnings with New Ventures

    By Amanda Alix - February 4, 2012 | Tickers: MED, NTRI, WTW

    Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW) is expanding—but in a good way.  The nearly 50-year-old company, popular among women for its successful weight control program, is now reaching out to men.  It is also venturing into China, where newfound affluence is translating into higher rates of obesity.   

     What is prompting all this activity?  Growth — and not just that of people’s waistlines.  The company hit a plateau between 2007 and 2010 more »

  • Paccar Revs up for a Stellar Year

    By Amanda Alix - February 2, 2012 | Tickers: CAT, PCAR

     Monster truck manufacturer Paccar Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) reported oversized 2011 Q4 profits and revenues, nearly doubling its profit from the same time last year and far outstripping estimates.  Profits rose 93% to nearly $328 million compared to $169.8 million, while revenues rose 63% to $4.85 billion—the highest in the company’s history, according to the chair and CEO.  For a company that traces its roots to a more »

  • Don’t Panic, Amazon Will be Just Fine

    By Amanda Alix - February 1, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BKS

    As fourth-quarter earnings go, it wasn’t really a bad report.  Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the internet titan among retailers, reported an increase in revenue from a year ago of nearly 35%, or $17.43 billion, a bit shy of the $18.3 billion analysts had proffered.  Its net income was $177 million, or $.38 per share, whereas it was more like $416 million the previous year quarter.  Well, that’s more »

  • After a Dismal Year, Lowe’s Shows Improvement

    By Amanda Alix - January 31, 2012 | Tickers: ANGI, HD, LOW

    Last year was a tough one for Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW).  The media trumpeted its Q3 earnings decrease of 44%, as well as a rash of store closings and trimmed expansion plans, projecting an atmosphere of general malaise.  Dig a little deeper, though, and you would see that the company’s position as the second largest home improvement retailer was never really in jeopardy. 

     The charges it took on more »

  • Alnylam Riding High on RNAi Drug Delivery News

    By Amanda Alix - January 30, 2012 | Tickers: ALNY, MRK, PFE, RHHBY

     Cambridge-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) is staging a comeback as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the company a Notice of Allowance on its lipid nanoparticle (NLP) delivery system for its RNA interference drugs.  This is excellent news for biotech in general, but especially for Alnylam, which has seen its stock drop like a stone in recent months as the larger players in the drug industry have more »

  • Caterpillar CEO: U.S. Economy Stronger Than Most Think

    By Amanda Alix - January 28, 2012 | Tickers: CAT, DE, LEN, TEX

    Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported its 2011 Q4 earnings on January 26, and they were stellar: a 60% increase that beat analysts’ predictions by $.60 per share.  In fact, the company claims that sales grew more during the last year than they had since 1947.  Even for a mover and shaker of Caterpillar’s proportions, that’s huge.

    In an interview with Susie Gharib of Nightly Business Report more »

  • Is Leaving Facebook a Gamble Zynga is Willing to Take?

    By Amanda Alix - January 25, 2012 | Tickers: ZNGA

    A good portion of speculative articles written lately about online gambling have involved internet social gaming company Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA).  The drift is generally that Zynga is a natural candidate to make huge profits from such activity, which certainly seems like a sure bet.  The company claims that 30 million people play Zynga Poker each month, so offering other activities like lotteries and real-money poker seems like a no-brainer.  Currently more »

  • Macy's Rains on Martha's Parade

    By Amanda Alix - January 25, 2012 | Tickers: JCP, M, MSO

    The lawsuit being pursued by Macy’s (NYSE: M) against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) over a new deal between Stewart’s company and JC Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) has certainly created a buzz in a very short time.  This is particularly interesting in that there is really very little to report, as none of those involved are talking and there are very few details known about the case more »

  • Amazon Hits Google Where it Hurts

    By Amanda Alix - January 24, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, GOOG

    Ever since Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) 2011 Q4 earnings report missed analysts’ estimates by $300 million, the world has been atwitter (ahem).  How could this be?  Is the Great Titan about to fall?  What went wrong?  Many have offered their opinions:  mobile ads don’t pay as much, free apps make bypassing Google searches easy, and business is down worldwide due to the economy.  All of these are true to more »

  • Why OfficeMax and Office Depot are Good Bets This Year

    By Amanda Alix - January 23, 2012 | Tickers: ODP, OMX

    OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) have seen their fortunes drop like a lead paperweight over the past several years.  The office supply behemoths suffered from consumer belt-tightening during the recent recession, of course, just like other big-box stores.  They took an additional hit, however, from the contraction of the small business sector, which experienced a drop in revenue as well as difficulty securing loans during the economic more »

  • Get 'Em While They're Cold: Natural Gas Stocks Now a Bargain

    By Amanda Alix - January 22, 2012 | Tickers: LNG, CHK, DVN, XOM, UNG

    The big news in the utilities sector these days is the falling price of natural gas.  Normally, this time of year would have gas futures over $5—which is where they were at this time last year, according to Nightly Business Report.  These days, the price is more like $2.47 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu), the lowest in 10 years.  This has translated into great savings for consumers more »

  • Michael Kors, IPO Runway Star

    By Amanda Alix - January 19, 2012 | Tickers: COH, KORS, RL

    By all accounts, last year was a bit of a bust for IPOs.  A few of the big names that didn’t live up to the hype include Groupon, Zipcar and Zillow.  The year wasn’t a total loss, however.  While the flashier offerings hogged the spotlight, many other companies went public as well -- with better results.  One in particular was Michael Kors Holdings (NYSE: KORS), which sold 47 million more »

  • Could Carnival’s Disaster Sink the Entire Cruise Industry?

    By Amanda Alix - January 17, 2012 | Tickers: CCL, RCL

     By now, almost everyone has seen the video and heard the interviews regarding the Costa Concordia’s grounding off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy.  Of 3200 passengers and 1000 crew members, at least five are dead and several are still missing.  A modern, fully appointed member of the Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) fleet, the Concordia now lay in ruins, jutting rocks buried in its hull.  Accidents happen in more »

  • Pfizer Suffering from Withdrawal Symptoms

    By Amanda Alix - January 15, 2012 | Tickers: ACT, PFE

     Pity poor Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE).  Since the patent on its best-selling anti-cholesterol drug expired last November, it has officially entered “life without Lipitor”.  Of course, any company would sorely miss a product reported to have earned $12 billion per year globally, but Pfizer is taking empty nest syndrome to new heights.  Long before the patent expired, the pharmaceutical giant was busy making back-room deals to preserve its patient brand-loyalty more »

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