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August 2014 Stock Information
BIDU – Baidu’s 2nd quarter earnings were $1.73 per share, up 37% from a year earlier.  Revenue was up 57%.  Mobile users were responsible for 30% of the revenue for this quarter.  At last report 81% of the Internet users in China are using mobile devices. In July Baidu opened a Portuguese language Internet search service in Brazil.  

CBPO –China Biologic Products is an interesting company that we have only bought once.  It is a good quality stock, but it is a small company and it is difficult for me to find info about it to write each month.

CSCO – Cisco Systems is one of the large networking vendors trying to be top NFV suppliers.  Network Functions Virtualization is a software-based system that can help speed the flow of increasing amounts of data through networks at reduced costs.  Telecom carriers, cable companies and other Internet access sellers hope NFV can solve a big problem;  providing more flexibility in dealing with Big Data and trends that advance Big Data, such as the Internet of Things.  Waves of data sent by everything from cars to home appliances place increasing burdens on networks.  Growing use of mobile devices, video and social media services also is making it necessary for service providers to be more efficient. AT&T and Spain’s Telefonica have begun testing NFV.  AT&T is attempting to control network traffic costs, and expects to achieve an annual 70% reduction in costs with NFV and SDN (software-defined networking) where software takes the lead role over hardware in managing data networks.

EBAY – eBay reported 2nd quarter sales up 13%, thanks to its PayPal unit.  Earnings per share were up 9.5% from last year.  eBay repurchased 32.4 million share of its common stock in the 2nd quarter.  The company had some challenges this quarter as a large number of eBay users needed to reset their passwords due to a cyber attack and data breach in May, but in general this stock is doing well.

EMC – EMC Corp believes the information technology industry is going through a major transformation, to the mobile, cloud computing, big data, and social networking era, which will require new technologies.  Most companies are probably in the early stages of evaluating how the new technologies might help them and haven’t made the transition yet.  Many probably will do so over the next several years.  EMC is well-positioned to benefit from the transition.  EMC will now pay a dividend of .115 per share each quarter.

INTC – Intel is benefiting from increased personal computer demand from corporate customers.  Value Line believes Intel’s earnings growth will be very good in the next 3-5 years due to the demand for personal computers.  Intel reported 2nd quarter EPS up 41% to 55 cents on sales up 8% to $13.8 billion. This is the best Intel has done in years and was mostly by businesses replacing PC’s.  Intel plans to spend $20 billion to buy back stock, which will help investors.

KR – Kroger has purchased Vitacost.com for $280 million. This is considered a good buy because the future of consumption is in health, and also because Web involvement is necessary for grocers to not fall behind Amazon which is now delivering food to customers.  Kroger was already allowing customers to refill prescriptions and order deli and bakery items at some locations, but Vitacost will give Kroger access to an online shipping and home-distribution system.    

RHI – Robert Half is benefiting from increased demand for full-time professionals in the accounting/finance and IT fields.  This has helped make up for the more moderate improvement in temp staffing. Hiring demand is also picking up in Europe which is a good sign for RHI.  Value Line thinks profits for this company ought to climb at a brisk pace this year and reach new highs in a few years.

TDG –TransDigm reported 3rd quarter sales up 25% and earnings per share were up 6.9% to $2.02.   

THOR – Thoratec reported earnings on August 7 of 43 cents a share on revenue of $118.1 million, while analysts had expected earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $128.27 million. The company also drastically cut its full-year earnings per share guidance to a range of $1.25 to $1.35 from a range of $1.72 to $1.82. Thoratec slashed its full-year revenue guidance to a range of $455 million to $470 million from a range of $520 million to $535 million. As a result the stock was down in price over 29% as more than 7.5 million shares changed hands, compared to the average volume of 541,263.

CELG – Celgene Corp’s sales continue to go up.  The company’s earnings have not kept pace, however.  R & D expenses are high as the company tries to get more uses approved for its drugs.  Note that this stock had a 2-for-1 stock split on June 25th.  As I did not provide the July 3 prices for the stocks on the Additional Stocks chart, this was not noticed.  Value Line still believes Celgene is overpriced.   

SSYS – Stratasys has made two small acquisitions recently.  Solid Concepts should help the medical and aerospace markets, and Harvest Technologies provides know-how in parts production, materials, and systems.   Value Line still believes Stratasys is overpriced.

TSLA – Tesla Motors can sell its $100,000 high-performance Model S electric cars as fast as they can be made, but it’s having trouble getting enough batteries for the cars.  The company expects to release an SUV next year and a moderately priced car after that.  Tesla had its first profitable year in 2013.  It is expected that EPS will grow 44% this year and 174% next year.  



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