Jon Quast

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  • Noodles, we have a problem

    By Jon Quast - August 14, 2013 | Tickers: BWLD, CMG, NDLS

    Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) is a newcomer to the fast-casual restaurant sector. Even before the IPO I had hoped this company - on the top-ten growth list for several years - would go public so I could have a piece of the action. But since going public my outlook has been cautious, and a 16% drop from recent highs may confirm this company's ongoing stock problem: valuation. Why is this company more »

  • 3 Lame Reasons You're Missing Out on Chipotle

    By Jon Quast - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: CMG, MCD, YUM

    On April 13, 2012, Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) hit its all-time high of $440 per share. This run-up from its 2006 IPO earned investors an over 900% return. However competition and valuation doubts sent these investors running. Shares tumbled over 40% in six months. That was then.

    This is now. Shares bottomed out October 24 around $234 per share. Since that time shares are up over 70%. Most recently more »

  • What Happens When These Growth Stories Stop?

    By Jon Quast - July 29, 2013 | Tickers: BJRI, CMG, PNRA, CAKE | Editor's Choice

    Over the past several years, we have witnessed some explosive growth stories unfolding in the restaurant sector. A handful of restaurants are crushing the market.

    <img alt="" src="" />

    CMG data by YCharts

    These restaurants are growing by expanding their chains faster than many competitors. Yet this growth causes investors to wonder: "When will these chains stop expanding, and what happens when they do?"

    Past growth

    To fully appreciate the growth, we need to more »

  • How Jim Cramer Loses Even When He Wins

    By Jon Quast - July 17, 2013 | Tickers: FDO, FIVE, MA

    As a contributor on the Motley Fool blog network, I get quite an assortment of "colorful" comments. One of my favorites went something like this:

    "You're a complete fool! Everybody knows that if Jim Cramer says to buy a stock, you buy it!"

    This comment reflects a common investing strategy: choose an analyst and follow their recommendations every time. In so doing, you will win in the stock market more »

  • Noodles Paying Down Debt Instead of Buying Growth

    By Jon Quast - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: BJRI, BWLD, CMG, NDLS, PNRA

    The exciting IPO is back baby! It seems like a galaxy far far away since the thrill of LinkedIn's opening day. After a string of other lackluster initial public offerings, Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) stole the show last week by nearly tripling in price. Some bulls say Noodles is the next Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG). Some bears say the company is overpriced. Either way, I say the company more »

  • What Are You Willing to Pay for Noodles?

    By Jon Quast - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: BLMN, BWLD, CMG, DRI, NDLS

    Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) ignited the IPO scene last week by nearly tripling in value its very first week of public trading. Investors are buzzing about the opportunity to get in on a serious growth prospect. How big is the growth potential here though? The company currently operates 345 restaurants. Well, the plan management drafted calls for 2,500 - an increase of nearly 700%.

    This projected store count is simply more »

  • This Company Is on the Right Track

    By Jon Quast - July 8, 2013 | Tickers: ARII, RAIL, GBX, UNP

    American Railcar Industries (NASDAQ: ARII) peaked at $47 per share back in April. Since then, the stock has declined nearly 30% to its current price. A 30% drop is enough to make even an adrenaline addict's stomach sick. This red flag may be enough to keep the average investor away. But, if you look closely, you may find this railroad stock to be right on track.

    Why the 30 more »

  • Before You Invest in Solar...

    By Jon Quast - July 3, 2013 | Tickers: SCTY, SUNE, TSLA, YGE

    Many investors want to invest in companies that affirm their personal moral values. Solar energy makes investors feel good because not only can they make money, but they can also save the planet. But investors need to be aware of one thing before investing in solar: not all solar companies are created equal.

    The irrelevant solar investment

    Yingli Green Energy (ADR) (NYSE: YGE) is a manufacturer of solar panels. This more »

  • A Buying Opportunity Which You Shouldn't Miss

    By Jon Quast - July 2, 2013 | Tickers: COH, KORS, VRA

    Shares of Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) are trading roughly 30% down from highs reached back in October. Lowered guidance and a management shakeup have seemingly shaken up investors. But has this pullback offered investors an attractive entry point to this well known brand?

    Why is VB down 30%?

    Vera Bradley is down on fears of slowing growth. Last quarter, the company lowered earnings guidance 5% -- from earnings per share of more »

  • This Power Company Has Impressive Backlog

    By Jon Quast - July 2, 2013 | Tickers: POWR, SCTY, SPWR

    Shares of PowerSecure International (NYSE: POWR) have taken investors on a fantastic ride this year. The Wake Forest, N.C.-based company has gone from lows near $4 per share in August to current highs near $16 per share. This remarkable run surely leaves investors wondering if now would be a good time to get out. 

    A record quarter

    PowerSecure is coming off of a record first quarter. Here are more »

  • Don't Worry About This Company's Astronomical P/E

    By Jon Quast - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: NSM, TREE, WAC

    Walter Investment Management's (NYSE: WAC) price-to-earnings ratio is simply astronomical--it's currently north of 11,000! However, if you think that this company is grossly overvalued, you are wrong. In fact, this company could be a very real value opportunity.

    The business

    Walter operates in a sector that many investors would like to avoid: mortgage investment. Unlike a high-yield mortgage REIT, this company is a mortgage servicer for high-risk more »

  • 3 Cheap Stocks You Need To Buy Now

    By Jon Quast - June 3, 2013 | Tickers: CEL, CRUS, SKUL, WTW, ZAGG

    Everyone in the stock market needs an investing strategy that grows with each investment. Over the years I have honed my investment strategy to identify investments that fit my personal preference: value investing. I look for stocks with plenty of room to grow that have mistakenly been put on sale.

    Right now, three stocks have blipped my radar that I believe present perfect value investing situations.

    On sale

    My strategy more »

  • 1 Global Trend You Need to Know

    By Jon Quast - May 30, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, BBRY, NOK

    In 1997, the word "Smartphone" was first coined to describe an Ericsson phone concept. Now just 15 years later, over half of adult Americans own a smartphone, but most of this explosive growth opportunity started with Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) famous iPhone launch in 2007. Those who were quick to jump in investments like smartphone makers Apple, component makers like Qualcomm, and infrastructure companies like American Tower, have been handsomely more »

  • Why You Need This Restaurant Stock in Your Portfolio

    By Jon Quast - May 29, 2013 | Tickers: BJRI, BWLD, MCD, TXRH, THI

    We are all searching for that one stock that exponentially grows our investment. If you are looking for such a play in the restaurant sector, I can recommend one to you. This company has rewarded shareholders over the last five years with 200% returns, yet it's still not too late to get in. Actually -- as you will see -- the biggest growth for this company is still in the future more »

  • Are Solar Stocks Flying Too High?

    By Jon Quast - May 24, 2013 | Tickers: RSOL, SCTY, SPWR

    Several unlikely candidates from the solar industry have been giving a big-time boost to investors' portfolios since the start of this year.

    <img alt="" src="" />

    SPWR data by YCharts

    Something huge is definitely going down in the solar sector that has investors buzzing. But, with some of these stocks already tripling and quadrupling in such a short time, is it too late for potential investors? Or worse, are these companies now overvalued? You more »

  • How Elon Musk Can Help You Find the Next Home Run Stock?

    By Jon Quast - May 23, 2013 | Tickers: SCTY, TSLA, BA

    PayPal co-founder Elon Musk is one of the most widely known and celebrated businessmen of the past decade. The South Africa native has a knack for delivering results in some very unlikely areas. I intend to share with you why I was simply gobsmacked after looking at his recent accomplishments.

    Space exploration, electric cars, and solar energy are the perfect recipe for failure. All three industries have mountainous obstacles to more »

  • What Yahoo! Needs Even More Than Tumblr

    By Jon Quast - May 20, 2013 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, MSFT, YHOO

    Rumors are swirling about Yahoo!  (NASDAQ: YHOO) possibly acquiring Tumblr -- a company that fuses blogging with social networking -- for $1 billion. As Yahoo continues to mount a stock price comeback, a potential Tumblr acquisition has investors dreaming of how high this will send shares flying. To which I say: Forget about Tumblr. Yahoo! can give us something infinitely more valuable.

    Monster Acquisitions Rarely Deliver

    Here are the largest acquisitions from more »

  • Don't Believe This Fast-Food Stock's Bears

    By Jon Quast - May 17, 2013 | Tickers: BKW, MCD, YUM

    Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) excited investors with phenomenal growth over the last several years. This year, however, the stock has moved sideways, leading some to believe that Yum!'s growth prospects have finally hit the wall, and investors will only be rewarded with 2% dividend from here. That belief may be overwhelmingly misguided.

    Yum! and China

    The most predominant bull argument for Yum! over the last couple years has been more »

  • What Happened to Facebook's Money?

    By Jon Quast - May 17, 2013 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, MSFT, SFLY

    It's been one year since Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) went public. Its highly anticipated $100 billion IPO added a cool $6.8 billion to its coffers, bringing Facebook's total assets to over $12 billion at the time. What has since happened to all that money, and why should it matter to investors?

    Facebook's prospectus noted that the company didn't have any specific ideas on how to use more »

  • 3 Great Stocks Trading at Trash-Bin Valuations

    By Jon Quast - May 15, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, BIDU, CRUS, SCSS, WTW

    When the market oversells a stock, value investors can sometimes score a great entry point into a promising company. Think of it like trash-diving; sometimes, terrific things get mistakenly thrown out. Here are five stocks that I found in the market's garbage today, trading way below their 52-week highs.

    • Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS), down 51% 
    • Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), down 40%
    • Select Comfort International (NASDAQ: SCSS), down 35%
    • Weight Watchers more »
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