Steve Symington

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  • The Case for Letting Your Winners Run

    By Steve Symington - January 27, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, AMZN, NFLX

    "If the job has been correctly done when a common stock is purchased, the time to sell it is almost never.” – Philip Fisher

    Unless you slept through most of last week, you're probably aware Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) dropped jaws across all of Wall Street Wednesday when it reported a $0.13 per share profit on higher-than-expected revenue, obliterating analyst estimates that called for a $0.13 per share loss more »

  • Here's the Affirmation iRobot Has Been Waiting For

    By Steve Symington - January 23, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, IRBT, MAKO | Editor's Choice

    For as long as most of us can remember, the world has dreamed of the life-changing potential held in the field of robotics.  To be fair, robots today certainly make our lives easier by performing time-consuming or otherwise difficult tasks. 

    Boston Dynamics' LS3 robot, for instance, can carry a 400-pound payload up to 20 miles across nearly any terrain.  Unmanned aerial vehicles like AeroVironment's Raven and Textron's Shadow more »

  • Is SodaStream All Popped Out?

    By Steve Symington - January 15, 2013 | Tickers: KO, PEP, SODA | Editor's Choice

    For more than a century, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) has endured as a warmly regarded fixture in our culture.  

    The beverage titan has certainly weathered its fair share of competition, most notably in the form of well-documented Cola Wars with massive rivals like PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.  Even so, with annual revenues of more than $46 billion from thousands of products in more than 200 countries, Coca-Cola more »

  • What's NVIDIA Protecting with Project Shield?

    By Steve Symington - January 14, 2013 | Tickers: GME, NVDA, SNE

    Last Sunday, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) confused the world with the launch of its new mobile gaming device, Project Shield. 

    While we already knew the chip-maker seemed bent on taking home as much of each dollar as possible after its 2010 move to sell its own NVIDIA-branded graphics cards, the Tegra 4-powered Shield proves just how determined the company is to become a one-stop shop for all things gaming.

    Interestingly, most more »

  • When Will MAKO Finally Make it Big?

    By Steve Symington - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: HNSN, ISRG, MAKO | Editor's Choice

    Last Friday, Piper Jaffray analysts speculated MAKO Surgical (NASDAQ: MAKO) would pre-announce selected earnings on January 7, 2013, urging investors at the time to buy shares of the robotic surgery specialist ahead of the news. 

    After all, they reasoned, if MAKO were to report in-line results of 3100 procedures and 16 RIO systems sold, it would "ease investor concerns and drive the stock significantly higher."

    Horseshoes and hand grenades

    Sure more »

  • Will Lumber Liquidators Walk the Plank in 2013?

    By Steve Symington - January 7, 2013 | Tickers: HD, LOW, LL | Editor's Choice

    As Foolish long-term investors, we should delight in finding responsible, growing companies which are built to last a lifetime.  After all, as Warren Buffett wrote in his 1989 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, "Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre."

    However, this doesn't mean we should be willing to pay any price to invest in otherwise-great businesses.

    The Stock

    This in mind, Lumber more »

  • Brew Huge Profits With the New Face of American Beer

    By Steve Symington - January 3, 2013 | Tickers: BUD, SAM, BREW, TAP | Editor's Choice

    On July 13, 2008, Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) sent shock waves through the American beer industry after it agreed to be sold to European rival InBev, effectively forming the world's largest brewing company with combined annual sales of more than $36 billion.  

    Unsurprisingly, the announcement was preceded by nearly two contentious months of chest thumping and lawsuits during which investors were treated to an attempted board overthrow by InBev as more »

  • Under Armour Takes a Breather: Is Now the Time to Buy?

    By Steve Symington - January 2, 2013 | Tickers: ADDYY, COLM, LULU, NKE, UA

    As time-starved investors, few of us have adequate resources to perform proper due diligence on every great stock in our investment universe.  Looking back, I've realized many of my best investments came as a direct result of watching stocks get crushed after the underlying companies couldn't clear the bar set by the market.

    That's why, on Oct. 31, I suggested we should be thankful for impossible expectations more »

  • Can RadioShack Survive Another Year?

    By Steve Symington - December 29, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BBY, RSH, TGT, WMT

    Since its founding in 1921, RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) has stubbornly weathered sixteen recessions, numerous technological revolutions, and more than its fair share of innovative competition.  That said, it seems a massive understatement to say 2012 was a tough year for the struggling electronics retailer.  

    After posting two terrible earnings reports to start the year, the company followed up by suspending its previously-doubled dividend in July.  Then, after investors were forced more »

  • Should Investors Be Salivating Over This Restaurant Stock?

    By Steve Symington - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: CMG, PNRA, YUM | Editor's Choice

    As an investor, I suffer from an insatiable appetite for finding responsible, growing companies with sustainable competitive advantages in their industries.  It's a problem, really; I have trouble going anywhere without pausing to break down the investment potential of any given situation.

    I'm also a relatively big guy with propensity for gravitating toward cold beer and great food.  You can only imagine my excitement, then, the first time more »

  • Markel Bags a Whale: Is Now the Time to Buy?

    By Steve Symington - December 19, 2012 | Tickers: ALTE, BRK-B, BRK-A, MKL | Editor's Choice

    With echoes of Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) 2009 Burlington Northern deal, Markel (NYSE: MKL) this morning announced its largest acquisition to date with a $3 billion cash and stock agreement to buy rival Alterra Capital Holdings (NASDAQ: ALTE).  

    The offer, which converts each common share of Alterra into a right to receive 0.04315 shares of Markel and a cash payment of $10, valued ALTE at $31 more »

  • Why MAKO Will Remain in My 2013 Portfolio

    By Steve Symington - December 18, 2012 | Tickers: HNSN, ISRG, MAKO

    On Monday, Fool contributor Brian Stoffel skewered MAKO Surgical (NASDAQ: MAKO), explaining why the company's stock is unlikely to occupy a spot in his portfolio next year.

    To Brian's credit, he acknowledged the risk in stepping away from the beaten-down company, writing "now could be just the right time to be buying into MAKO Surgical."  Given the company's less-than-stellar track record of accurately predicting sales, he's more »

  • Is This Solar Play as Cheap as it Seems?

    By Steve Symington - December 18, 2012 | Tickers: GLW, GTAT, LDK, SSNLF, TSL, OLED, YGE

    As a starting point in my continuous search for new ideas, I often look for companies with high earnings yields and great returns on invested capital.  Why?  Companies with high returns on invested capital generally possess durable competitive advantages and demonstrate a knack for creating shareholder value. When these companies also sport high earnings yields, they represent great potential opportunities for investors to beat the market.  

    Skeptical?  You don't more »

  • Is it Too Late for Research In Motion?

    By Steve Symington - December 15, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, MSFT, NOK

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Since hitting an all-time high of $144 per share in June, 2008, shares of embattled BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) have plummeted nearly 90%.  Even so, with the stock having doubled since setting a 52-week-low in September and rising more than 17% this week alone, many investors are left wondering whether they should buy its shares now to catch the next leg upward more »

  • Is Dolby as Cheap as it Seems?

    By Steve Symington - December 12, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, CMGE, DLB, DTSI | Editor's Choice

    As a starting point in my continuous search for new ideas, I often look for companies with strong earnings yields and great returns on invested capital.  Why?  Companies with high returns on invested capital generally possess durable competitive advantages and demonstrate a knack for creating value for shareholders.  When these companies also sport good earnings yields, they represent great potential opportunities for investors to beat the market.  

    Skeptical?  You don more »

  • Some Tough Love from Two Legendary Investors

    By Steve Symington - December 11, 2012 | Tickers: C, MAKO, UA | Editor's Choice

    As retail investors in an increasingly-connected world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thousands of conflicting opinions readily available to us in the media.  Investing great Peter Lynch summed this up nicely when he wrote "You can find good reasons to scuttle your equities in every morning paper and on every broadcast of the nightly news."  

    Legendary investor Benjamin Graham put it another way, writing "The stock investor more »

  • Keep a Clean Conscience Investing in This Dirty Business

    By Steve Symington - December 10, 2012 | Tickers: BG, DAR, REGI, VLO

    According to recent research from the United States Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly 2,000 pounds of food every year, including around 415 pounds of vegetables, 185 pounds of meat, and 85 pounds of fats and oils.

    While those numbers may serve as a surprising, entertaining illustration for just how much we consume, here's a more ominous question: what happens to all the stuff we don more »

  • Time Is Running Out for This Bookseller

    By Steve Symington - December 5, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BKS, MSFT

    "I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."  - Anna Quindlen

    Whenever I pick up a new book, I find myself involuntarily riffling its pages with my thumb to enjoy the resulting burst of air, bringing with it that distinctive "book smell" - the scent of aging paper and ink with which most of us more »

  • Buy Buffalo Wild Wings To Help Your Portfolio Soar

    By Steve Symington - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: BWLD, CMG, RRGB, YUM | Editor's Choice

    I have a confession to make.

    As an investor, I suffer from an insatiable appetite for finding responsible, growing companies with sustainable competitive advantages in their industries.  It's a problem, really; I have trouble doing anything without pausing to break down the investment potential of any given situation.

    I'm also a relatively big guy with a propensity for gravitating toward sports, beer, and great food.  You can only more »

  • Should This Company Be Worried About Next-Generation Displays?

    By Steve Symington - December 1, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GLW, SSNLF, OLED

    When it comes to picking stocks, it's no coincidence many of the world's greatest investors made their names by finding stable, innovative companies which were built to last a lifetime.

    That said, few companies should know more about longevity than 161-year-old glassmaker Corning (NYSE: GLW).

    When asked in 2005 how he handles Wall Street's short-term expectations, Corning President and CEO Wendell Weeks responded with a laugh, saying more »

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