Monday, April 17, 2017

Can GE Hit its Target of $2 in EPS by 2018?

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) set to abandon its target of $2 in operating EPS (earnings per share) by 2018? It surely wouldn't be a welcome event: Just ask investors in International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) after the IT giant abandoned, in late 2014, its target of EPS of $20 by 2015. IBM's decision followed its coming to terms with fundamental declines in its legacy businesses; the stock is still below the level it traded at before the announcement was made. Is GE experiencing the same problems?

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Rockwell Automation's Lucky Quarter?

Rockwell Automation's (NYSE:ROK) recent first-quarter earnings report had more than its fair share of bullish signals to encourage investors in the stock. Indeed, Rockwell looks well-placed in an environment in which most forecasters are predicting a pickup in North American industrial production. So is it time to pile into the stock? Let's look at the cases for and against.

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Ingersoll-Rand is a Buy

Given the market's exuberance about the prospect of an industrial renaissance following President Donald Trump's election victory, it's becoming harder and harder to find industrial stocks at a good value. However, Ingersoll-Rand Plc (NYSE:IR) trades at a discount to its peers and offers investors a compelling mix of near- and long-term value creation prospects. In short, it's a smart buy for investors. Here's why.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

FedEx Corporation Earnings Analysis

The third-quarter results from FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) look horrible on a superficial basis, but the devil is in the details, and a deeper analysis shows them to be solid. Moreover, management's outlook contained a number of positive points that should encourage investors. Let's take a look at the numbers from the earnings report and what they mean.

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Is Caterpillar Stock a Buy?

The stock market and Caterpillar Inc.  management appear to be taking a different tone with regard to the construction machinery giant's outlook for 2017. The stock is up nearly 60% since the start of 2016 and now trades at a forward P/E ratio of 30. Clearly, the market is expecting a strong recovery in the coming years, but management's recent commentary has been somewhat more cautionary. What's going on, and who is right?

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General Electric's Capital Arm

It's well known that General Electric Company  is shifting back to its industrial roots with CEO Jeff Immelt planning to generate 90% of the company's earnings from its digital industrial businesses by 2018. As such, GE Capital assets have been sold off to banks like Wells Fargo & Co and Capital One Financial Corp., while the highly successful Synchrony Financial spinoff also saw General Electric jettisoning financial businesses. With all of this going on, it's easy to forget that the company still has a capital arm, and it happens to be a key part of its future. Here's how and why.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Oil Stock Crisis in the 1970s: The Key Lessons

The shocks to oil prices created by the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and the revolution in Iran in 1979 had far reaching consequences that still affect investor thinking today. Analyzing the aftermath of the ensuing energy crisis and stagflation (high inflation with stagnant growth) leads to one key conclusion oil stock pickers need to be aware of: the demand for oil is not price inelastic.

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Time to Buy Owens Corning Stock?

Buying a stock at an all-time high naturally invokes a kind of fear, but how about adopting Oscar Wilde's advice: believing that the cynics know the price of everything but the value of nothing? Despite its stock being at an all-time high, roofing and insulation materials company Owens Corning looks like a good value, and a great stock to play the housing recovery.

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What United Technologies Management Wants You to Know

Anyone following or invested in United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) knows that it faces near-term headwinds as the management team engages in positioning the company for long-term growth. So, it's important to monitor how well management is achieving their strategic aims, and how what they said might have a direct relevance to peers Ingersoll-Rand Plc (NYSE:IR) and Watsco Inc. (NYSE:WSO). With this in mind, let's take a look at five key takeaways from the recent investor and analyst meeting.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Deere & Company Retail Sales

Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) has released commentary on its retail sales data for February. According to Deere, its February retail sales did better than the industry in all the two-wheel drive categories but worse in four-wheel drives and combines.
The chart below shows industry retail sales, so it's also relevant for investors in Deere's peers as well. The monthly numbers can bounce around a lot, so the chart shows the average of the last three months for selected data. As you can see, smaller tractors continue to do well, but the industry is still experiencing significant declines in its more profitable larger agricultural machinery sales.
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Is 3M Co a Good Buy For Income Investors?

3M Co.  has increased its dividend for 59 years in a row and is one of the most highly regarded stocks in the industrial sector. That said, any investment analysis of a stock's value must be forward-thinking, as well as mindful of the company's history. The key question is whether 3M can be relied upon to deliver for income investors in the future or not. Let's take a look at what it means to invest in 3M stock.

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3 Stocks You Wouldn't Want to Own

For three completely different reasons, Euronet Worldwide IncHerbalife Ltd. and Snap Inc  are stocks I won't be investing in anytime soon. While the reasons behind avoiding them are different, they all face some kind of existentialist threat which makes the worth avoiding -- no matter what the near term trends may suggest.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trucking Stocks for 2017

The trucking sector has been on fire since the start of 2016, and anyone buying a basket of stocks in the industry would have generated handsome returns. At top of the bunch lies truck and engine manufacturer Navistar International Corp., whose ongoing turnaround and alliance with Volkswagen  helped the stock soar 176% in the period.
In light of Navistar's recent earnings, let's look at the company's turnaround progression and what its earnings and outlook say about the trucking market in 2017.
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AgroFresh Earnings Review

AgroFresh Solutions (NASDAQ:AGFS) needed to steady the ship after a difficult few quarters. After discussing increasing market competition for its core SmartFresh product and lowering its forecast for the U.S. apple harvest in 2016 on the third-quarter results presentation, management was under pressure to demonstrate it was back on track in the fourth quarter. The good news is that AgroFresh pretty much did that. In addition, management outlined some strategic actions taken to create growth. Let's analyze what happened in the quarter.

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Honeywell International Presents to Investors

Last year wasn't a great one for Honeywell International (NYSE:HON), at least from an operational perspective. Core organic growth declined 1%, as management lowered its revenue guidance due to a combination of three separate issues in its aerospace and PMT (performance materials and technologies) segments. Ultimately, full-year revenue came in at $39.3 billion, somewhat below the guidance for $39.6 billion to $40.9 billion given at the start of 2016.

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Fortive vs Danaher Stock

Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) vs. Fortive Corp. (NYSE:FTV) makes for one of the most interesting comparisons in the industrial sector. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from owning both stocks -- in fact, before the spin-off of Fortive in July 2016, investors did own both businesses as a set -- and certainly their differing investment propositions would provide diversification.However, the split has created two significantly different companies, so let's take a look at the contrasting investment cases for the two stocks.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jeff Immelt Writes to Investors

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt's annual letter to shareholders outlines what investors should expect from the company in the coming years. While Immelt usually addresses analysts and the professional investment community during presentations, the annual shareholder letter is a chance to directly speak to ordinary shareholders. If you own or are considering buying shares in the company, it's worth taking the time to see what he has planned. In that vein, let's take a look at five key takeaways from Immelt's letter.

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Why Huntington Ingalls Stock is Up in 2017

Stock in America's largest military shipbuilding company, Huntington Ingalls (NYSE:HII), rose 13.3% in February, significantly outperforming the S&P 500 gain of 3.7% in the same period. The move was likely promulgated by two factors:

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Deere & Company Equity Research

You have to hand it to Deere & Company's management. Not much has gone right from an end-market perspective in the last few years, with US farm cash receipts declining since 2014 as prices of key agricultural crops (ex. corn, wheat, and soybean) continue to fall. The end result is that farmers are declining to buy new equipment -- particularly the kind of high-margin large agricultural machinery that Deere thrives on -- and the company's sales have slumped.
However, Deere's stock is up nearly 40% on the year as management continues to defy the doubters. Let's analyze the key takeaways from the recent earnings report in order to see what's been going on and why the company looks set for better days.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Honeywell International's Adamczyk Takes Over

What happened?

Honeywell International  gave its annual investor conference on Wednesday and updated investors on its 2017 outlook. In a nutshell, there was no change to the guidance given on its first quarter. That said, there is a case for believing that management is being a little conservative with its 2017 guidance, and at the conference management described the oil & gas and defense sectors -- previously problematic for Honeywell -- as improving. On a less positive note, the business-jet market still looks weak, with Honeywell predicting a recovery only toward the end of 2018

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Rockwell Automation, Ingersoll-Rand and Parker-Hannifin are Buys

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK)Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR), and Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE:PH) are three industrial companies that have seen their stock prices go up by more than 40% in the last year. Can these stocks maintain an upwards momentum this year? Let's take a brief look at prospects for all three now that earnings reports for the first calendar quarter of 2017 are all in.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Advance Auto Parts Equity Research

Did Advance Auto Parts Inc.  just have a good or bad quarter? The 3.1% increase in comparable-store sales, after four straight quarters of declines, certainly suggests the company is starting to generate traction with its turnaround plans. On the other hand, the sales figures were flattened by a couple of non-recurring factors, and the adjusted operating margin decline to 6% from 7.7% in the same period last year says management still has a lot of work to do. Let's take a closer look at the earnings.

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UPS or FedEx Stock in 2017?

A quick look at the stock price charts of United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS) and FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) suggests UPS has had a harder row to hoe in recent years. FedEx has outperformed UPS even though a plethora of operational metrics continue to suggest UPS is the better-run company. Let's look at why, and in the light of UPS's recent updated guidance for 2018-2019, let's see whether UPS can turn things around.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Is 3M Co. Stock Good Value?

There's no way around it: 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) isn't a cheap stock. Along with its margin-expanding but low-revenue growth peer Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW), the company has a high valuation that's putting pressure on it to deliver with earnings in 2017. Let's look at five key conclusions from 3M's recent earnings and guidance to see whether the stock has more to offer this year.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

UPS Guidance

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) gave its first investor conference since 2014 on Tuesday and updated investors on its progression toward previous targets and its outlook for 2018-2019. In a nutshell, UPS management did two key things:

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Caterpillar vs. United Technologies

It's always interesting to compare stocks like Caterpillar Inc.  and United Technologies Corporation. They both have exposure to the global economic cycle, and in particular construction markets, but their other specific end markets differ so much as to make them significantly different investment propositions. Moreover, Caterpillar's upside prospects come from cyclical strength in areas like mining, energy, and transportation, while United Technologies' largely come from management's successful execution of its plans to transition the company toward long-term growth.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Honeywell International is on Track in 2017

The strongest case for buying stock in Honeywell International  rests on the idea that underlying free cash flow is strong and will increase more than earnings in the future as the company comes out of a heavy investment phase. In other words, you're getting an opportunity to buy a stock with a hidden value.
However, for this to be true, Honeywell would have to meet its earnings expectations. Since the company failed to meet its initial revenue and free cash flow targets in 2016, investors have cause to keep a close eye on events. In this vein, let's take a look at Honeywell's recent earnings and see how the company's progressing toward its aims this year.

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Amazon Stock Holders Should Aware of This From UPS and FedEx Earnings

What's Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) planning with its delivery and logistics network? It's well known that the e-commerce company is expanding its delivery services -- but is it merely to complement the existing services it gets from FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), or will Amazon end up directly competing with the package delivery giants? The question of the threat from Amazon comes up on almost every investor presentation given by FedEx and UPS.
However, what's less discussed is that e-commerce growth is creating challenges for both companies. If Jeff Bezos thinks Amazon could compete with FedEx and UPS, the evidence from their latest results suggests he might be in for a rude awakening. Here's why.

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Cognex Corporation Earnings Review

Investors in Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX) are getting used to their company blasting past its own guidance, and the recent results proved no exception. The solid set of fourth-quarter earnings capped off a very good year for the company, and management served notice that 2017 could be even stronger. Let's take a look at the details and commentary from the earnings presentation

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United Technologies Investment Researcch

The investment case for buying stock in United Technologies Corporation  in 2017 isn't really based on its near-term earnings potential, but rather the successful execution of its ongoing plans to transition the company toward long-term growth. So, let's take a look at the fourth-quarter earnings and conference call in order to benchmark progression toward achieving its aims.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

BorgWarner Earnings Review

Vehicle engine and drivetrain provider BorgWarner Inc's (NYSE:BWA) fourth-quarter results saw the company deliver earnings at the high end of expectations, and management maintained its full-year 2017 guidance. The results marked a solid year of execution for the company even as it faced mixed end markets. Let's take a look at the earnings and the outlook BorgWarner gave investors for 2017.

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Roper Technologies Earnings Review

Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP) finished up a peculiar fiscal 2016 with a strong set of fourth-quarter results. Its two largest segments (RF technology and medical and scientific imaging) had a strong year, while the less important other two (energy systems and controls and industrial technology) were both impacted by weak energy and industrial spending. However, with the market now anticipating improving energy spending and industrial production in the U.S., investors were surely looking to Roper for a broadly positive outlook for 2017. Let's take a look at the details from the fourth-quarter results and what management said about the coming year.

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Thinking of Investing in UPS and FedEx?

Now that the dust has settled on a disappointing set of earnings from United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS), it's time to look at whether the investment case for the stock has changed. In common with key rival FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), UPS is seeing strong e-commerce growth pressuring its margin, while it's increasing its capital spending plans to expand network capacity. Do all of these developments change how to think about investing in the stocks?

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Emerson Electric Earnings Analysis

After a series of difficult earnings reports, Emerson Electric Co.'s (NYSE:EMR) first-quarter results and guidance finally suggested the company is getting over the worst. In common with its peer in industrial automation Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK), Emerson Electric is seeing improving conditions in the automation market. Meanwhile, Emerson's other segment -- commercial and residential solutions -- gave upbeat guidance for 2017, much like Ingersoll-Rand PLC's (NYSE:IR) outlook. In short, it was a good quarter for Emerson Electric, so let's look at the key details.

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Jones Lang LaSalle Earnings Review

Despite a difficult period for the commercial property market, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. managed to outperform its end markets in the fourth quarter and the full year. Thanks to a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, the company managed to record double-digit revenue increases in the fourth quarter and full year, even as adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) slumped in both periods.

There's a lot going on with Jones Lang LaSalle''s earnings and outlook for 2017, so let's take a closer look at what happened in the fourth quarter.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dassault Systemes Earnings Analysis

3D design and product lifecycle management software company Dassault Systemes' (NASDAQOTH:DASTY) fourth-quarter earnings saw the company return to form and give guidance that implies stronger growth ahead. Indeed, management believes it's past an inflection point in sales of its all-important 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and new license sales look set to improve their growth rate in 2017. Let's take a look at the details in the quarter in the context of an unusual year for the company

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United Parcel Service Stock Analysis

E-commerce growth doesn't come free. That's the key conclusion from United Parcel Service, Inc's (NYSE:UPS) fourth-quarter earnings report. In common with key rival FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), UPS' latest earnings were something of a disappointment. Let's take a look at them and at what to expect from UPS in 2017

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Dana Incorporated Stock Analysis

As was the case for many other companies exposed to trucking and light-vehicle markets, last year was a very good one for stockholders in axles, driveshaft, and transmission manufacturer Dana Incorporated As you can see in the chart below, the whole sector -- including Dana's customers such as Navistar International Corporation and Cummins Inc. , and rivals such as Meritor, Inc. -- reported very strong gains. The question is: Can its run continue in 2017?

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Time to Panic Over General Electric Company Stock?

Another quarter and another revenue disappointment from General Electric Company In other words, the company is starting 2017 in the way it left 2016: executing solidly, but missing revenue estimates while finding ways to meet earnings guidance from non-core sources. As you can see in the chart below, it's not enough of a formula to convince investors, and the stock price has notably underperformed the S&P 500 and its peers. What's going on, and is it reason to panic?

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Robert Half International Earnings Review

With most commentators talking of a pickup in growth in 2017 and post-election euphoria encouraging the belief that a Donald Trump presidency will spur economic growth, it would be reasonable to think that staffing company Robert Half International Inc. will report some improving conditions. In fact, its fourth-quarter earnings was as lackluster as its third. Let's take a look at what's going on.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

WESCO International Earnings Review

With expectations for a recovery in U.S. industrial output in 2017 already in place, investors in industrial products provider WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC) must have eagerly awaited the company's fourth-quarter results. In the end, the headline numbers in the quarter were less important than the nuance within them and management's positive outlook for the year. There are subtle but real signs of recovery here, so let's take a closer look at the report and what management said.

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Union Pacific Corporation vs. CSX Corporation

A quick look at the stock charts of railroads Union Pacific Corporation and CSX Corporation would suggest the latter had a much weaker fourth quarter than its peer, but that doesn't tell the whole story. In truth, CSX's startling gain on the week is largely due to the news that Canadian Pacific Railway Limited  CEO Hunter Harrison was leaving the company in order to join activist investor Paul Hilal with an aim of taking action with CSX -- a railroad Canadian Pacific is believed to have sought to take over previously. While Harrison's move has sent the stock soaring, it's an investor's role to keep a clear head and look at the details in the quarter and compare them with the competition's results. So here goes.

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Rockwell Collins Outlook and What it Means For Boeing

One of the largest aerospace and Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) suppliers, Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL), has released its first-quarter earnings and discussed its outlook for the aviation market in 2017. Let's take a look at what was said and what it means to the aviation industry and for Boeing.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Illinois Tool Works Earnings Review


Diversified industrial Illinois Tool Works is acquiring a reputation for underpromising and overdelivering, and the latest fourth-quarter results only served to strengthen it. Its peer 3M Co. recently affirmed full-year 2017 guidance, and Illinois Tool Works did the same. Despite the excitement around what Donald Trump's election victory could mean for U.S. industrial output, management claimed its segments remained pretty much on track -- which suggests there might be some upside to current guidance. Let's take a look at another solid quarter, and how the company is set for 2017.


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McCormick & Company Earnings Review

As ever, spices and seasonings company McCormick & Company's (NYSE:MKC) earnings release and conference call this week were a mass of numbers. A combination of currency adjustments, acquisition effects, and special charges all helped to obscure the underlying picture at the company. Let's cut through the clutter to see what's going on.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Check Point Software Earnings Review

It was hard to know exactly what to expect going into network security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd's fourth-quarter results. After all, competitors like Fortinet Inc and Palo Alto Networks Inc. had both served notice that sales cycles were lengthening, and that's usually a clear sign of a slowing marketplace. Given Check Point's status as the established leader -- with non-GAAP operating income margin of 55% to protect -- it would have been natural for investors to be a bit fearful. But when the report was released on Thursday, earnings came in ahead of expectations.
Let's take a look at what happened in the quarter and what it could mean for the rest of the sector.

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ABB Ltd Stock Research

According to SEC filings, Swedish activist hedge fund Cevian Capital held more than 132 million shares of  ABB Ltd. in September, worth around $3 billion at today's pricing.  That's 6.2% of the of the utility, industrial and transportation-focused company's shares, and it signals Cevian's determination to unlock value from ABB's portfolio of companies.

While it's never a good idea to blindly follow hedge fund managers, Cevian's ABB position is a statement of intent from a well-respected investment manager, so let's take a look at the case for an individual investor to buy the stock.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cognex Corporation Could Have a Great 2017

Machine-vision company Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX) is not a cheap stock by either current valuations or near-term analyst estimates. Moreover, the stock has more than doubled in the past year, leaving investors wondering whether there is more to come in 2017. Arguably, Cognex needs to beat analyst estimates to move significantly higher this year, but I think there's good reason the company might just do that, and here's why.

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Is Rockwell Automation a Stock to Buy for 2017?

Rockwell Automation's strong rise in 2016 is reflective of a general change in sentiment toward industrial stocks that took place as the year progressed. So how are the company and stock positioned for 2017? Can Rockwell's stock have another strong year?

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Review of GE's Jeff Immelt

To be a successful equity fund manager you need a healthy combination of luck and skill in stock/sector selection. To be a CEO of a blue chip company, you need a similar skill set when setting the strategic direction of the company. Unfortunately, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt hasn't had much luck with end markets, and it's arguably only in the latter quarter of his tenure that his skill has shone through. Let's take a look at the difficulties during his tenure and how he's put the company in great shape now

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Can Illinois Tool Works Stock Rise in 2017?

Illinois Tool Works Inc. rose by nearly a third in 2016, and the company's earnings prospects look good in 2017. On a risk/reward basis, however, the stock looks fully valued. While it looks cheap relative to peers like 3M Co or Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc , it's not necessarily a good value in itself. Let's take a look at what you need to know before buying or selling the stock.

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Dover Corp's 2017 Outlook Suggest Oil Spendng is Coming Back

Dover Corp  gave an investor presentation on Thursday confirming its 2016 guidance for EPS in the range of $3 to $3.05 and also initiating its 2017 outlook. It was a broadly positive, but not spotless, outlook, and investors in companies like General Electric Company and AZZ Inc can take heart from what was said about upstream oil spending.

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MSC Industrial Earnings Review

It's been a long time coming, but it finally looks like the U.S. is coming out of an industrial recession. At least it does if the latest results from MSC Industrial Direct  are anything to go by. Industrial supply companies tend to have short sales cycles -- rendering them useful as bellwethers of change -- and MSC Industrial's positive earnings and outlook suggest the industrial sector may have bottomed. Let's take a closer look at the report.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Caterpillar or Illinois Tool Works For 2017?

Back in May, Caterpillar Inc. looked like a better buy than Illinois Tool Works on a risk/reward basis. In the end, Caterpillar's greater upside exposure to rising oil prices helped it win out. However, will that be the case going forward?
Let's cut to the chase. Given the choice of the two, I think Illinois Tool Works is currently better placed, for three main reasons.

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Ingersoll-Rand Stock for 2017?

Ingersoll-Rand plc stock rose more than a third last year, but is there room to run in 2017? Let's take a look at three of its growth drivers this year, including an analysis of outlook given by its main competitors in its key climate segment. There's a lot to like about what management is doing with the company and the stock deserves careful consideration.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Honeywell International, Celanese and Boeing Co Want to Increase Cash Flow

Free cash flow generation is the key to generating long-term value for shareholders, and there are three companies I'd like to look at that are planning on generating strong cash flow in 2017. First, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) is set to significantly increase FCF in the coming years as it comes out of a period of high investment. Meanwhile, specialty materials and chemical product company Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) looks set to continue its remarkable transformation into a highly cash-generative operation. And finally, Boeing Co.'s (NYSE:BA) stock might sink or swim based on whether it meets its FCF guidance.

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AZZ Inc Earnings Review

The market has been merrily pricing in a recovery in industrial market conditions, most notably in oil and gas-related spending, but the latest results from galvanizing and specialty electrical equipment company Azz Inc suggest the recovery may take longer than some might have expected. Let's look at the earnings and management's commentary.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Billionaires Love These Three Stocks

While it's never a good idea to slavishly follow billionaire investors into stocks, monitoring their portfolio positions usually uncovers some interesting ideas. In this vein, let's look at three stocks that the investment vehicles of Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett, and George Soros have recently bought -- namely, IT titan International Business Machines Corporation , commercial-vehicle technology company WABCO Holdings Inc. and cybersecurity software company Fortinet, Inc.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

General Electric is a Special Situations Investment For 2017

Anyone who thinks investing in General Electric Company  stock is merely a proxy for the U.S. industrials sector or even the S&P 500 needs to think again. In the past three years, the stock's performance has decoupled from both, and arguably it could do again in 2017. Let's look at what's been going on and what to expect from the industrial giant in the coming year.

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Oracle and Cisco Systems Are Cash Cow Investments

Tech titans Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) are cheap on a price-to-earnings basis and they generate buckets of free cash flow (FCF). Their FCF generation combined is about as much as the GDP of Uganda's 38 million people. Even if all they did was grow earnings and FCF in line with inflation, they would be raging buys. But, of course, investing is rarely this simple, so let's take a look at what you need to know before deciding whether to buy these large-cap cash cows.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Home Depot and Lowe's Companies are Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

OK, hands up. I'm cheating. It's supposed to be one stock idea, but The Home Depot, Inc and Lowe's Companies, Inc. are largely interchangeable companies, so in order to diversify stock-specific risk, it's a good idea to buy both of them together. But why are home improvement retailers the kinds of stocks you can buy and hold forever? I'll explain.

The arguments can be split into two separate streams. The first focuses on end markets, and the second on the companies' operational and competitive positioning.

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What FedEx Earnings Mean For UPS Investors

FedEx Corporation  gave its second-quarter results a few days before Christmas, and what management had to say is highly relevant for investors in key rival United Parcel Service, Inc. . Here's a look at five things from the earnings presentation that give clues to what UPS will report in its next earnings.

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