Mettler-Toledo: Who Are Those Guys?

( semi-subtle pop cultural reference )

FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO) is a hot prospect in the  robotics investor space.  Less than a billion in market cap, and already 96% covered by institutions. But this post isn't about FARO, it's about chasing rabbits. As defined by Urban Dictionary, chasing rabbits is "doing something totally irrelevant or being distracted from what you intend to do." In this case, getting off-course from digging deep into the innards of Faro and seeing if it's a worthwhile candidate for a few hard-earned dollars from the 101C mayonnaise jar. Chasing That Rabbit Google Finance has the fascinating/irritating feature of showing same-industry prospects on each one on of its stock screens. For Faro, it looked something like the snapshot … [Read more...]

Unintentionally Hilarious Ticker Symbols (not MOO)

"Here's a toast to getting the hell out of Shickshinny!"

Some companies might have been smoking a little of green stuff, considering some of the oh-so-clever and unintentionally ticker symbols  Others, on the other hand, might have needed to. At one time, the thought here at 101C was that the new proliferation in marijuana stocks might lead to some creative ticker-naming.  'Twas not to be.  BONG is not, as it turns out, a chain of medical pot dispensaries with branches in Colorado and Washington, but  an eminently sensible Swedish packaging company, making environmentally responsible gift boxes out of leftover meatballs and herring bones.  POT is a Canadian mining giant, and not an unattractive dividend stock, for those unmindful of the commodities cycle and with a strong stomach for … [Read more...]

There’s Money in Them Thar Mortgage REITs… Or so It Would Seem

* "a substantial amount of ARMs"  ... hehehehe

Set a Google Finance stock screen for a few fun parameters like high profit margin, and you're in for an enjoyable afternoon of sieving through balance sheets and income statements.  Fun for people like recovering PF bloggers looking to write a semi-coherent post on how plunk down a few thousand on a steadily profitable, high-net margin, dividend-paying equity. Right, then... Set the control criteria for a Net Profit Margin of 20% to 50%, a 52-week stock price change of no more than -10% to an upside of 35%, dividend yields from 2% to 15%, and a price-to-earnings ratio varying from 10 to 15.  Throw in a market capitalization range from $40M to less than $1 Billion - because we believes that small-caps are more nimble and profitable … [Read more...]

“Unsold” Cars and Fun With Stock Screens

... wouldn't mind finding this at a country auction...

Gloom-and-doom sentiment abounds on the internet. You can stumble across it with not even a diligent search.  A click here and there, and eventual perambulations resulted in a look-see at this alarming article from ZeroHedge: Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die Lots and lots of photos, mostly of staging areas at ports around the world, including Baltimore USA and Civitavecchia in Italy, some taken through Google Earth, some from regular stock photos. The basic premise of the "article"[1] is that since there are untold thousands (hundreds, even!) of parked cars in these areas, that new cars aren't selling well or fast enough.  *NO ONE* is buying new cars.  New cars are beyond the reach of the SHRINKING middle class.  … [Read more...]

Make Tons of Money! Invest in the Higher Cost of Food! Do it Now!

higher cost of food

Food prices must be going up, at least according to headlines. The 101Centavos Gmail inbox runneth over Google's news alerts set to the "rising food prices" keywords. What used to be maybe a weekly update, and mostly concerned with onion prices in India and Pakistan (onions must be a big deal there), now it's a daily ping. For example, from an American newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal: Rising Food Prices May Cause Consumer Indigestion From the BBC:  Affordable healthy diet 'too expensive for many' And forget about fast food:  Chipotle's price hike may mean pricier burritos for steak lovers Sure, grocery prices at the market are going up and up, with the root causes being both varied and predictable.  From … [Read more...]

Keystone XL Pipeline, Boo!


So easy to mock crunchy environmental types who doth protest too much on pipeline construction.  Possible oil spills, loss of habitat, contamination of the Ogallala aquifer, say the greenies.  Jobs, jobs and more jobs, counter the oil company shills and hacks.  Oil and gas companies are evil, they club baby seals and emit lots of carbon, say the enviros.   What, don't you drive a car to get to work.  Oh wait, you don't have a job, do you? On and on... For readers who are not aware of what exactly the Keystone pipeline is all about, it's merely Phase Four of an existing network of pipelines that delivers hydrocarbons from northern oil fields in Alberta to points south in the U.S.  Phase 4, the XL version, would add a leg through … [Read more...]

Investing in marijuana stocks: consider your mellow harshed

marijuana stocks

With legalization of pot picking up a head of smoke steam all across the States, it behooves us to take a closer look at what's out there in terms of budding investments, which are safer than growing a patch of C. Sativa in the backyard.  Federales aren't going to bust down your door at 2 a.m. looking for stock certificates (not yet, at least). The title of this post isn't totally original, by the way.  "Consider your buzz harshed" was the closing sentence in a  Cracked magazine article, on four (count them, four) reasons legalized pot is still kind of a bummer: - You can't get high in public places - You can still be fired from your job [if you test positive] - Banks won't touch money from marijuana businesses [1] - You can still … [Read more...]

Coffee Break: Nu Skin Gets Flayed in China

"Laurette with a coffee cup" - Henri Matisse  (Laurette was quite the saucy little maid!)

    An irregular enough series here on USA Financial Service. A collection of short blog posts dredged up from half-finished ideas in the Drafts file, thrown up against the wall in between bursts of sparkling creativity and complete blockage, marking time between longer and better-crafted blog posts. Other examples of 101C coffee breaks can be found here and here. Small wonder finance types are booo-ring, what with the dry-as-dust reportage in the major financial news media. Nu Skin got the Chinese foreign-devil treatment the other day, beaten like a red-headed, drum-shaped stepchild, and all the major outlets could come up with was: Financial Times: China investigates US's Nu Skin over pyramid scheme … [Read more...]

The Stock Market Is STILL Stupid And Irrational

met Sheri McCoy, the new CEO

The "rational market" myth is a favorite whipping boy for pundits, experts and web editors in dire need of content. Easy to whip out 500 words equating the silliness of human emotional decisions with the wild swings of the purportedly efficient market. We're no different here at 101C. Between packing for next week's trip to fish-and-chips territory and sundry other schedule-suckers, time's at a premium, so here we are. The last time we ran with a post title like this, it was on the moronitude of KiOR and cellulosic ethanol. This time we'll go with Avon and Nuskin. We last saw Avon (NYSE: AVP) in "Dogs of the Dow? This Stock Is One Sick Puppy". The need to check in with Avon has been poking its snout around the corner like a dog … [Read more...]

The Big Squeeze (Part 2 on Limoneira and Farm Investments)

food chain

This is the second part of a series on lemon orchards,  farmland, fertilizers, food equities, and maybe even organic farming.  No telling where this is going to head.  Part One can be found here.  ************************ The farmer works the soil.  The agriculturalist works the farmer. ~ Eugene F. Ware As it is often said in farming circles, the money is not in growing it, but selling it. It might even be said that even bigger money is in buying it, preserving it, and then selling it.  By "preserving", we mean taking a small portion of the corn or wheat, and then processing, molding, whipping, modifying, emulsifying, and generally turning the original feedstock into a food-ish substance.    Goldfish crackers and Cheetos are … [Read more...]