Thursday, October 16, 2008

Google Reports Stellar Earnings In A Horrible Market

With investors wondering if anything will go right for them this year, Google comes out and knocks it out of the park. A glimpse of light at the end of this dark financial tunnel. Here are a couple highlights from the quarter...

Revenue growth of 31% Y/Y and 3% Q/Q
– Google properties revenue growth of 34% Y/Y and 4% Q/Q
– Network revenues increased 15% Y/Y and 1% Q/Q
– International revenue was $2.8 billion

Here is what the big wigs had to say about the quarter...

"We had a good third quarter with strong traffic and revenue growth across all of our major geographies thanks to the underlying strength of our core search and ads business. The measurability and ROI of search-based advertising remain key assets for Google," said EricSchmidt, CEO of Google. "While we are realistic about the poor state of the global economy, we will continue to manage Google for the long term, driving improvements to search and ads, while also investing in future growth areas such as enterprise, mobile, and display."

A summary of the numbers...

Google reported revenues of $5.54 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, an increase of 31% compared to the third quarter of 2007 and an increase of 3% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2008, TAC totaled $1.50 billion, or 28% of advertising revenues.

Google reports operating income, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures in the accompanying financial tables.

-- GAAP operating income for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.74 billion, or 31% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.58 billion, or 29% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2008 was $2.02 billion, or 37% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $1.85 billion, or 34% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008.

-- GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.35 billion as compared to $1.25 billion in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2008 was $1.56 billion, compared to $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

-- GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2008 was $4.24 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $3.92 for the second quarter of 2008 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2008 was $4.92, compared to $4.63 in the second quarter of 2008.

-- Non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income, and non-GAAP EPS are computed net of stock-based compensation (SBC). In the third quarter of 2008, the charge related to SBC was $280 million as compared to $273 million in the second quarter of 2008. Tax benefits related to SBC have also been excluded from non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS. The tax benefit related to SBC was $63 million in the third quarter of 2008 and $48 million in the second quarter of 2008. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP operating income, operating margin, net income, and EPS are included at the end of this release.

Congratulations to all the longs... and don't forget that Youtube just passed up Yahoo as the #2 search engine... that is an amazing fact!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Time To Buy Canadian Banks

With the banking industry continuing to be in free fall all around the world a new report has just come out that names Canada as the soundest banks in the world. As the banking situation continues to weaken around the world this puts Canadian banks in a good place. Royal Bank Of Canada is, and has been my favorite banking stock since even before this whole mess started. Their stock price has been holding up much better than most other banking stocks as well, but they have taken a hit in just the last week as the markets sunk. Still even off of their 52 week low this stock is still a buy. Royal Bank Of Canada provides a fat 5% dividend at this price level of $36.10 so this is a stock that pays you to own! While you might think it is crazy for someone to be recommended a banking stock in this environment, things will turn around eventually. There might even be a v shaped recovery if all goes well. As long as you have a long term view on things, now is the time to be buying, not selling. Concentrate on the future and you should do fine...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blood In The Streets

Today marked one of the worst collapses in financial history as the Dow lost 778 points or almost 7% as the House failed to pass a bill for 750 billion dollars to help the credit markets. The Nasdaq had it even worse losing over 9% or 199 points! Brutal, absolutely brutal!

Now I hate to beat a dead horse, but if you are a long term investor this is not the end of the world. In fact, because in most cases the baby is getting thrown out with the bathwater there might even be some stocks worth owning that are looking very cheap. Unfortunately, this credit crisis has spread into mainstream and there is really no way to tell how long this will last. That is why it was so crucial to pass the bill that failed today. Every day that passes without a resolution will be a blood bath... sure not as bad as today hopefully, but who knows, there isn't any certainty what so ever which is very bad for stocks in general.

Now there are companies that I would still be picking up at this point. Let's all remember that there will be a tomorrow and a next week, next month and next year. The election is quickly approaching and both candidates are preaching investing in solar and wind power. So with that in mind I still like ESLR which was beaten up very badly by the fallout with Lehman Brothers and now stands at just over $6! I really can't believe it got that cheap, but the whole thing with Lehman Brothers caused a panic and the stock sold off. Another one I like at these levels is ORA Ormat technologies which today hit a fresh 52 week low at 36.39. These two companies are going to benefit from the next president, especially if it is Barrack Obama who has a real plan to change or energy structure.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Google GOOG is just an unbelievable buy at these levels. Today it fell $46 to $385, that's right $385! This gives it just a 25 P/E ratio! For a company that grows like Google this is very reasonable.

Now could everything crash again tomorrow and the next day? Sure, but how about 2-4 years down the line? The market will correct itself from time to time, this all be it is a real problem and we need congress to pass something ASAP, until then we will most likely drift lower.

As always, buy in increments and over time your investments will do fine. Good luck to all and most importantly don't panic...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Google Is A Screaming Long Term Buy

As I watched Google fall over 5% today I couldn't help but think there was some force pulling it down. I mean with the market up so much you would think that beaten down GOOG would shine, but just the opposite. Now in after hours Google announces a major partnership with NBC Universal to run TV ads. This stock has come down from $747 hard to find itself at nearly $420. With just a 27 P/E ratio this stock has literally never been this cheap! It really boggles the brain to even think about it. They have almost 13 billion in cash and are still raking in the money. Sure they are not smashing the park out of the numbers from last year, but you have to consider the law of large numbers and the fact that Google is throwing money in a lot of different places. They have the money to burn and they are taking advantage of that so they can reap the benefits in the years to come. I don't know about you, but I am going to be buying some Google, these price levels are just an unbelievable entry point.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vasco Data Securities Reports Better Than Expected 2nd Quarter Earnings

Vasco Data Securities surprised Wall Street with a solid quarter lifting the stock almost 18% on over 8 times average volume. Here is what the big whig had to say about the quarter...

"We are pleased with the progress we saw in the business in Q2," stated
T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman & CEO. "Not only did we report a record level of
revenues for a quarter, but we also increased our deferred revenues and saw
a strong order flow throughout the quarter. The current order flow
reinforces our belief that our growth rates over 2007 will accelerate in
the second half of the year. We are, however, reducing our revenue guidance
for two primary reasons. One is to more fully consider the impact of our
business strategies where a larger portion of our business activity relates
to recurring software revenue, which may be deferred and recognized in
future periods. The second is to reflect a more conservative outlook for
the full year given the uncertainty of the world economies."

Net income for the second quarter ended June 30, 2008 was $7.5 million, or $0.20 per share, up 9% from $6.9 million, or $0.18 per share in the same period last year and exceeded the $0.15 predicted by the analysts.

Revenue grew by 9% to $35.4 million for the second quarter from $32.4 million in the corresponding period of the previous year, and topped Street analysts consensus estimate of $34.20 million.

Net income for the first six months of 2008 increased to $12.4 million, or $0.32 per share on revenues of $64.3 million from $11.8 million or $0.31 per share on revenues of $58.8 million in the year-ago period.

Here are a few more of the highlights from the quarter...

    Operational and Other Highlights:
-- VASCO won 516 new customers in Q2 2008 (79 new banks and 437 new
enterprise security customers). For the first six months of 2008,
VASCO won 1,107 new customers (150 banks and 957 enterprise security
-- Banco Itau (Brazil) secures more than 1.6 million end users with VACMAN
Controller/Digipass GO3
-- Independent Bankers' Bank (U.S.) secures online banking with VACMAN
Controller/Digipass GO6
-- Mizuho Bank (Japan), Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy) and Banco Itau (Brazil)
receive VASCO's Market Vision Award
-- Digipass integrated into SonicWall SSL-VPN
-- VASCO opens subsidiary in Mumbai India
-- VASCO expands US Channel Partner Program
-- VASCO ranks 5th in Fortune Small Business Top 100 and 14th in
BusinessWeek's Hot Growth Companies top 50.

Congratulations to all the longs... I still think that this is a great long term investment as the world turns more and more to online banking and security. Don't forget that Vasco Data Securities just jump up almost 17% on a day that all the major averages tumbled.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Google Misses By 9 Cents... Big Deal

Today Google reported numbers that most companies would kill for. Revenues grew 39% year over year, but this still wasn't enough to keep the bears at bay. Analysts were looking for Earnings Per Share of $4.72 Google came in at $4.63. Revenues for Google's 2nd Quarter 2008 came in at 5.37 Billion, analysts were looking for 5.4 Billion. Of course, the knee jerk reaction to this created a sell off in after hours where Google (goog) fell about 7%.

Giving Google's already decent P/E ratio this earnings report has created a fabulous buying opportunity. There P/E ratio is currently 37, but after today's earnings report it will be closer to 32 based on a price of $490 per share! To put that into perspective Yahoo is trading at a 30 P/E ratio and Apple is trading at a 35 P/E ratio. Not to mention Google is sitting on 12.7 Billion in cash! That number alone is more than a lot of companies are even worth and Google can afford to just watch it collect interest.

Do your children a favor and go out and buy some Google stock while it is on sale. That is unless you think that Google, the Internet, Advertising and Youtube are just going to disappear. Just check out these slides below from the 2nd Quarter Earnings Report...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Evergreen Solar Announces The Biggest Contract In Its History

Evergreen Solar (ESLR) shares rose nearly 11.5% today as they announced a 1.2 Billion, yes with a "B" contract with the German company IBC Solar. I am sure some of you have never heard of IBC Solar so here are the quick facts. They where established in 1982 and have installed solar panels in more than 50,000 locations!

Of course this is great for Evergreen Solar which has been beaten down along with the market and since its offering of new notes this contract raises their backlog to almost 3 Billion with only 5 customers! This contract further extends through 2013 which gives ESLR even more earnings visibility. Here is what the big wigs had to say...

“We are very pleased to begin this significant long term relationship with IBC SOLAR, the largest PV distributor in the world”, said Richard M. Feldt, Evergreen Solar's chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This contract represents the single largest contract in the history of our company and is one of the largest contracts ever between a panel manufacturer and a distributor.”

“Quality comes first at IBC SOLAR”, said Udo M√∂hrstedt, President and CEO of IBC SOLAR. “Our aim is to make the use of solar energy easy and competitive for our customers. Evergreen’s solar panels are one of the highest quality products in the industry. By adding Evergreen to our product portfolio, we can meet the growing demand of our customers.”

This news comes as The Michigan Economic Growth Authority Tuesday approved a 10-year, 100 percent high-tech employment tax credit for Evergreen Solar (ESLR). Valued at $1.8 million this will help with their new Midland, Michigan plant. Not only this, but the City of Midland will give Evergreen Solar a $3.9 million property tax credit.

This company is on a roll this year, but watch out they are just about to report their earnings on Thursday July 17th, so be careful if you are just starting to build a position into this stock. There is no doubt that Evergreen Solar is a great Long Term Investment, but a earnings miss here would obviously hurt the stock in the short term. As always average into this one as it is very volatile. It looks like though that any time you can pick up ESLR for under $10 at this point would be a great time to buy more. Certainly don't wait too long before jumping into the water, the analyst have really been waking up and smelling the money on this one. The simple fact that Evergreen Solar is only a 1.24 Billion Dollar is has almost 3 billion is sales backlog! This stock is prime for a serious breakout if earnings don't disappoint and this stock is still undiscovered by mainstream wallstreet.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's A Bear Market, What To Do Now?

Today the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq officially hit bear market territory. A bear market simply means that an average is 20% below its all time high. That's right both the Dow and the Nasdaq have hit these lows on the same day as oil climbs to new heights! So what should you do with your money that you have invested in the stock market. Well, it is really quite simple... You should do little or nothing. No one ever made a profit selling at the bottom and anyone that has an outlook of more than a couple years should be adding to their positions not selling them at the worse point possible! You should be selling when the times are good and buying when the times are bad, it is just that simple.

Sure the economy is in the tank and oil is crippling business and consumers alike, but it won't last forever. A lot of the rise in oil has to do with a weak dollar which was caused by the federal reserve lowering interest rate to help stimulate the economy. Don't get me wrong, the Federal Reserve did the right thing, they were just a little late to the party. A lot of speculators have been pumping up oil prices too, which only makes things that much worse. The public will only take it so long, before they demand action. The oil bubble will then weaken and will in turn make the markets skyrocket back upwards. Take a look at a 20 year chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average below...

As you can see we have had corrections like this before, but the general long time trend has always been up. So let's say this time is different and oil continues to ride high. Well you should have protection, which means you should have alternative energy stocks in your portfolio. You know that with these outrageous energy cost, solar, wind and geothermal plays become all the more economically viable. Focus on the future of the world and not the past, just look at how investors did with Google, and they are just getting started! With a Democrat (most likely) coming into office you can bet that there will be some major government subsidies for all these alternative energy plays as well!

So whatever you do, don't get caught up in the selling panic and liquidate your portfolio. Even if the market continues to go down a bit more, or we even see a sell off that triggers the capitulation that everyone loves to see. We are very near the bottom and we are also very near the economic reign of terror by George W. Bush. I think history will look back at this as one of the greatest buying opportunities... Just do your research, don't buy all at once and you should do fine. Your kids will thank you...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Will Evergreen Solar Fly High On Investor Day?

"Once we get into the first quarter of next year we should start making money. We should go into the black and hopefully stay there," Chief Executive of Evergreen Solar Richard Feldt.

(ESLR) has only a 1.24 billion dollar market cap, a strong connection in Germany and a 1.85 billion dollar sales backlog as of the middle of May 2008, this company's stock is certainly worth taking a look at.

The Marlboro, Massachusetts-based company reported a first-quarter net loss of $25,000, or break-even on a per share basis, compared with a loss of $6.2 million, or 9 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Their new Devens plant opens this month and will be capable of producing 80 megawatts of wafer cells and panels a year based on Evergreen Solar's estimates.

Here is what you can expect on Thursday, June 18, 2008 from the press release...

Evergreen Solar Chairman and CEO Richard M. Feldt, Chief Financial Officer Michael El-Hillow and other members of the executive team will provide a strategic overview of the Company's business through a series of presentations. The meeting will be followed by a factory tour of the company’s new state-of the-art wafer, cell and String Ribbon™ solar panel manufacturing facility.

Just like Energy Conversion Devices (ENER), this stock could easily make a substantial move upwards once it begins consistently breaking into the black. I think it will even make a nice move on Thursday, as they show off their superior manufacturing capabilities during investor's day.

Now, I am not one for charts but you can obviously see the double top below, if you follow the company though, you would know that financial are in a much better position then they were even a year ago. Not only that, their recent stock offering which dilutes the shares artificially, have kept the share range bound. This dilution also makes it harder for any stock to go up in value initially.

Evergreen Solar looks to me like it is poised for a breakout, and this investor day could easily trigger it. Then again, I am a bit bias since Evergreen Solar has been one of my favorite long term stock picks...
What do you think of Evergreen Solar's stock?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yahoo Seals The Deal With Google

It is final, Google (goog) has official one the search engine race. Some people might think they had already won it, but with the announcement from Yahoo today that it will begin running even more Google ads with it search results, it's over. This will certainly be good for Google's stock price, which has lost a bit of steam after even it's last earnings jump. Obviously, the test that Yahoo was running with Google went well and this should be a win-win for both companies. They have also decided to link up their instant messages services, in another sign that they plan on becoming even tighter in the future. Sorry Microsoft! Here is the press release...

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) today announced that it has reached an agreement that gives Yahoo! the ability to use Google's search and contextual advertising technology through its AdSense™ for Search and AdSense for Content advertising programs. Under the agreement, Yahoo! has the option to display Google ads alongside its own natural search results in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, Yahoo! can serve contextually targeted ads on its U.S. and Canadian web properties as well as on its current publisher partner sites. Yahoo will continue to operate its own search engine, web properties and advertising services.

In addition, Yahoo! and Google agreed to enable interoperability between their respective instant messaging services bringing easier and broader communication to users.

"This commercial agreement provides Yahoo! with the opportunity to deliver more relevant ads to users and provide advertisers and publishers with better advertising technology to help them succeed in their own businesses," said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google. "This agreement will preserve the competitive and dynamic online advertising space."

As a result of the agreement, Yahoo! will be able to complement its own advertising program with Google’s advertising technology. As a result, advertisers will be able to better reach consumers, and Yahoo! and its current publisher partners can generate more revenue. Yahoo can use Google's advertising technology on as many or as few of its search results and content pages as it chooses.

This non-exclusive agreement allows Yahoo! to enter into similar agreements with other advertising providers. In addition, Yahoo! will maintain relationships with its own advertising customers and will continue to rely exclusively on its own advertising program outside of the U.S. and Canada. The agreement has a term of up to ten years: a 4-year initial term and two 3-year renewals at Yahoo!’s option. Financial terms between the two companies were not disclosed.

Although Google and Yahoo are not required to receive regulatory approval of the arrangement before implementing it, the companies have voluntarily agreed to delay implementation for up to three and a half months to give the U.S. Department of Justice time to review the arrangement.

Take a look back at all our Google posts here!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sunken Treasure Discovered By Odyssey Marine Exploration (OMEX)

Normally, here at Stock Picky we concentrate on relatively safe stocks for the long term, but I felt like I had to share this one with my readers! The name of this speculative play is Odyssey Marine Exploration, ticket symbol (NASDAQ: OMEX). This is a company that literally hunts for sunken treasure!

Based out of Florida, Odyssey Marine Exploration has over 20 ongoing shipwreck projects throughout the world. Past projects include the shipwreck of the SS Republic which brought in 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts, and just last year the company announced it recovered 500,000 silver and gold pieces from The Black Swan!

As if that wasn't enough, the company just filed today that it had filed Admiralty Arrest on two more shipwreck sites. Both of these new found sites are near the English Channel, but are outside the territorial waters of any sovereign nation. The sites both contain cannon and other artifacts which are believed to dated back to the colonial period.

More good news came earlier this week as they announced they will be the focus of an 11-part Discovery Channel series. Now this might not seem like a big deal, but it will certainly bring this company into the public light, which will most like bring a lot more buyers to the table and in turn raise the stock price.

Before you get too excited though, let me remind you that this stock is very, very speculative and you could easily lose your shirt. With that in mind, I am sure you can imagine what would happen to the stock price if they made a really big find!

Now for the numbers... Odyssey Marine Exploration has only been traded on the Nasdaq since October of 2006, with a market cap of only 239 million this is a very small company. The stock has traded between $7.75 and $4.42 over the past year and today stands at around $5.00.

I look at this as a long term lottery ticket, one that could go down to zero, but could also win you that big prize. Remember, you want to be in before they make that big discovery on National Television in the upcoming documentary : )

Friday, May 23, 2008

Evergreen Solar Announces 1 Billion In Contracts

Evergreen Solar (eslr) surged over 20% yesterday as it announced that is had signed two contracts worth approximately 1 billion dollars. Evergreen Solar and German-based Ralos Vertriebs GmbH signed an agreement valued at approximately $750 million for panel deliveries beginning in 2008 and extending through 2013. They also signed an agreement just last week with an unnamed United States-based installer, for approximately $250 million. Both of these contracts are going to be manufactured in their Devens, Massachusetts plant.

In addition to the two contracts listed above Evergreen Solar (eslr) already has a backlog of $850 million from six different sources to be completed in Ever-Q, it's German based joint venture.

Here is what the big whigs at Evergreen Solar had to say about the recent contracts...

“We offer our customers a long-term value proposition because our string ribbon technology consumes less than half of the polysilicon as compared to the industry average, which enables us to provide a unique combination of cost and cell conversion efficiency," said Richard M. Feldt, Evergreen Solar's president and chief executive officer. “We will enter into selective long-term supply agreements with additional companies that also bring differentiated value to their customers and serve markets that are at the forefront of solar growth.”

So, here we are watching a company that has 1.85 billion dollar in backlog yet the entire company itself is only worth 1.32 billion by market cap! Based on this factor alone it would appear that Evergreen Solar is grossly undervalue at these levels. One of the biggest problems with solar companies is the perceived shortage of polysilicon. Evergreen has this covered already though as they have signed several long term supply agreements over the past year.

Here at Stock Picky we have been behind ESLR for a long, long time and we still believe that it is a great buy even at these much higher levels then just a couple days ago. The key of course is to not buy all at once, take advantage of the dips and always invest for the long-term. After all, this stock was a buy at $100 oil, but now at $135 people will be flocking to alternative energy plays like this one. To research more into this company check out all of our Evergreen Solar articles here!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ormat Reports 1st Quarter 2008 Results

Why this took so long to come out, I am not quite sure, but here are the 1st quarter 2008 results for Ormat Technologies ticker NYSE:(ORA).

The Company reported net income of $10.1 million, or $0.24 per share of common stock (basic and diluted), as compared to a net loss of $5.8 million, or $0.15 per share of common stock (basic and diluted), for the first quarter of 2007. This smashed analyst's estimates of $0.18 per share!

On the revenue side though they came in a little light, r
evenues for the first quarter were $69.4 million, versus $61.7 million for the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 12.4%. This trailed analyst's estimates of 76.5 million.

Ormat's Board of Directors approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share pursuant to the Company's dividend policy, which targets an annual payout ratio of at least 20% of the Company's net income, subject to Board approval. The dividend will be paid on May 27, 2008 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 20, 2008. The Company expects to pay a dividend of $0.05 per share in the next two quarters as well.

Here is what the big bosses had to say...

Dita Bronicki, Chief Executive Officer of Ormat, stated: "The first quarter performance was in line with our expectations for 2008 and highlighted our improved operating performance, increase in our overall generating capacity and improvement in power prices in certain projects.

"Since the beginning of the first quarter, we declared commercial operation for the Galena 3 and Heber South projects and continued to make progress on our exploration work to secure geothermal resources for 2010 and beyond. Also during the quarter, we strengthened our products backlog signing three EPC agreements for a total amount of over $100 million, consisting of one geothermal and two recovered energy generation power plants, out of which approximately $50 million are still subject to a Notice to Proceed. We expect to add an additional 174 MW by the end of 2009 from projects that are currently under construction, including Olkaria and Brawley," Ms. Bronicki continued.

Commenting on the outlook for 2008, Ms. Bronicki said, "Following our first quarter earnings results, we maintain our guidance for 2008 and expect our 2008 Electricity Segment revenues to be approximately $245 million. We also expect an additional approximately $9 million of revenues from our share of electricity revenues generated by Mammoth that is accounted for under the equity method. With regard to our Products Segment, we maintain our guidance for 2008 revenues and expect them to be between $70 million and $80 million."

Ms. Bronicki concluded, "We are excited with the progress we have made this quarter, especially in recovered energy generation, which has experienced increasing interest as the need for energy efficiency begins to play a greater role in combating global warming."

We will have to see what tomorrow brings for this stock as it did not appear to be traded after the earnings were released...

To see all of our posts on Ormat Technologies including an in-depth analysis click here!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ormat Technologies, The Pure Play On Geothermal

Ormat Technologies ticker NYSE:(ora) might be looking a little pricey at first glance with it's 75 p/e, but with earnings coming up on May 6, 2008 after the close, we will soon know if the run up the past 3 months really has legs to break through it's 52 week high of $57.93. Here is their chart since becoming publicly traded...

Now for some background information in case you are not familiar with Ormat Technologies. The company designs, develops, owns and operates geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants around the world. Additionally, the company designs, manufactures and sells geothermal and recovered energy power units and other power-generating equipment, and provides related services. Ormat Technologies has more than four decades of experience in the development of environmentally-sound power, primarily in geothermal and recovered-energy generation.

The coming election is increasingly looking like alternative energy is going to win no matter if a Democrat or Republican is elected. Sure, there is Solar, but a lot of people don't realize the potential of geothermal and heat recovery systems. Ormat is the only pure play, just look at these numbers...

They also have just recently announced two deals one in Montana...

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. have announced that Ormat has entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement to build a 5.3 MW recovered energy generation facility to be located in Morton County, North Dakota. The facility, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, will produce electricity without burning additional fuel. The project, subject to regulatory approvals, will increase the utilization of the energy content by approximately 25 percent and will produce enough renewable energy to supply about 5,000 residential electric customers in Montana-Dakota's service territory.

And one in Nevada... I particularly like this side of Ormat's business... retrofitting existing power plants and turning the heat that is given off as waste into energy!

Energy Holdings Company, and Ormat Technologies Inc. have announced plans to build a six-megawatt (MW) waste-heat recovery renewable energy project in the Goodsprings area south of Las Vegas. The project, subject to regulatory approvals, is scheduled to be completed in 2010 and will produce enough renewable energy to supply 1,200 residential customers in southern Nevada. The best part about these waste-heat recovery systems is that they will generate additional power with no increase in emissions. Check out this slide that shows the dependability and cost effectiveness of various forms of energy...

If that wasn't enough, I also like Ormat's Dividend policy which is for an annual payout ratio of at least 20% of the Company’s net income, subject to Board approval. That means that as Ormat grows it's dividend will grow right along with it, always nice for long term investors like me.

The conclusion that I come to is that Ormat is a great long term investment, but always around an earnings report I urge caution. Make sure never to buy all at once and slowly build your position in a stock. Develop a good cost basis and you should do find... take advantage of the dips and ride this one out, because this is a big part of the future of energy.

To learn even more about Ormat Technologies visit their website or check out Stock Picky's Tapping The Earth With Ormat!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Yummy Quarter From Yum Brands

Yum Brands Inc. (yum) the world's largest restaurant chain which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and A & W restaurants announced a 31% jump in quarterly profit today April 22, 2008. Of course, growth was fueled by China were they saw 12% year over year growth!

Things will only be getting stronger for Yum Brands in China were they open up a KFC every single day of the year! Not only do the Chinese people love KFC, but the upcoming Olympics should also bode well for them, as Westerners will flock to the restaurants they know in China like KFC and Taco Bell.

Let get to the numbers, first-quarter net income rose to $254 million, or 50 cents per share compared to $194 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings per share were 42 cents a share after backing out a gain from the sale of KFC in Japan, analysts were looking for 40 cents, so they beat that handily, even in this tough economic environment. Revenues for the quarter were $2.4 billion up from $2.2 billion.

One of the more promising signs from the earnings from Yum Brands was that they posted growth at established restaurants in the United States, reversing year-earlier declines and quelling fears that a slowdown in the US would hurt Yum's bottom line.

Yum Brands (yum) also raised its forecast for 2008 per-share earnings to $1.87 from $1.85, another encouraging sign from the fast food giant!

Of course, here at Stock Picky we have been behind this slow moving giant for quite some time now. Sure, it is not the most exciting stock to watch, but it pays a decent dividend of 0.15 cents per share or a 1.56% dividend yield. Nothing too exciting, but this company still has a lot of room to grow not just in China, but all over the world! Everyone knows about KFC, Taco Bell, A & W and Pizza Hut, they are strong brands that will always draw in customers time and time again as they spread across the globe.

Yum Brands is a great long term investment for anyone who wants own a stock they don't have to watch every day. For more reasons to own Yum Brands check out Yum Brands in China.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Google Blows Out The Numbers!

Nervous Google investors got a big reassurance as Google (goog) reported 1st quarter earnings per share today 4-17-08 of $4.84 per share. The analysts were looking for $4.52 per share. Gross revenue rose 42 percent to $5.19 billion, analysts were looking for $5.13 billion.

With the ridiculous news coming out of comscore a few weeks back, the stock was punished for inaccurate comscore's paid click data. If you were paying attention you would know that Google had already told us that they were reducing bad clicks, and that there click data could suffer, but that it would generate higher revenue per paid click. Obviously, they were correct and comscore now has zero credibility! Here is a couple highlights from the quarter...

• Revenue growth of 42% Y/Y and 7% Q/Q
– Google properties revenue growth of 49% Y/Y and 9% Q/Q
– Network revenues increased 25% Y/Y and 3% Q/Q
– Growth in international markets continued to be strong, with $2.7 billion in Q1 international revenue

• Operational Highlights
– Improvements in search quality remain key focus
– Continued ads quality initiatives to show users better, more relevant ads
– Increasing value for advertisers and publishers with broader and deeper solutions

• Acquisition of DoubleClick gives Google the leading display ad platform
– Strong Apps traction and addition of functionality to Google Apps suite of products

Take a look a these slides from their earnings report and let me know if you notice a pattern...

Google's Quarterly Revenue Growth Graph

Google's US Vs. International Revenue Growth

In summary, I have been behind Google since very near the beginning and their growth has still only just begun the way I see it. If you have been waiting on the sidelines to jump in now is the time. Google's stock has been beaten down with the rest of the market unfairly, and they have silenced all the critics with this beat. The shorts are running to cover as Google is up over $80 in after hours!

Internet advertising and mobile advertising are the waves of the future because of their unique ability to target. This makes a for great return on investment for advertisers which is exactly what they are all looking for. The advertising market is estimated at 1 trillion dollars and Google is only going to capture more of that quarter after quarter, year after year. One of the best long term investments out there.

Think about this, many analysts had lowered their first-quarter estimates by 12 cents a share on average. So, 1st quarter 2008 earnings still beat by those lofty analyst's targets by 0.20 cents! Those same analysts that have price targets as high as $900... Google still beat them. This story is far from over...

For more reasons to own Google check out these posts...

Yahoo Tests Outsourcing Search To Google

The Google Checkout Effect

Google Misses By A Penny, Does It Matter In The Long Term?

Stock Outlook 2008

The Real Winner Of Cyber Monday Is...

Or you can view all of them on one page here!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yahoo Tests Outsourcing Search To Google

In what could be considered the ultimate white flag of surrender Yahoo has agreed to begin using Google's Adsense for search to help boost it's revenue and fend off an increasingly hostile Microsofty. Even though this test is small at only 3% of search queries in The United States, just the fact that Yahoo is considering such a move shows you how much of a lead Google has on Yahoo's ad platform.

Analysts have been suggesting Yahoo try out this partnership a long time ago, and that Yahoo could actually benefit as Google generates more money for each search query, and has superior results. Google meanwhile managed to continue it dominance in search by gaining an amazing 67% of all US searches according to Hitwise, and most say that numbers for the world are even greater!

So, what does this mean for "low" Google's share price? Well, they report earnings on April 17th, next Thursday so I would say if you don't have a position already, I would be waiting on the sidelines till after the earnings report, or perhaps just dip your toes in the water and buy a little bit. Google's stock price has been hammered along with most of the Nasdaq this year falling from as high as $747 on the G-phone rumors.

The economy could weigh on Google's results this quarter, but I think that long-term Google will be one of the best investments in the Tech Sector. Microsoft is looking increasing desperate with it's very generous offer to buy Yahoo to form... uh Microhoo I guess. Yahoo, is meanwhile being distracted by this offer as their employees fear for what may be coming tomorrow.

Google on the other hand continues marching on... gaining market share and implementing quality controls to their ad platform that will in the end produce better results, and higher revenues.

That being said, if they miss the numbers the stock will drop, possibly even quite dramatically. If this is the case though, I will certainly be adding to my position as a slowdown in the economy can only last so long and Internet advertising will continue to grow for years and years to come as consumers increase their consumption online adding to Google bottom line. Plus, the Google Checkout Effect should help in the future as they compete with the entrenched Paypal and Google's new App Engine will add to their revenues as well once they start charging for it.

What are your thoughts on company's coming earnings report and it's long term prospects?

Monday, March 31, 2008

CECO Announces 33 New Orders

CECO Environmental Corp ticker symbol (CECE) rose over 9% today as they announced a total of 33 new orders each valued at over $200,000. The largest was in the automotive sector, and was worth more than 2.5 million. The recent addition of Fisher Klosterman even contributed to the orders which is a good sign that the acquisition is going well. If you follow this company closely you could have seen this one coming. Multiple insiders were buying up the stock over the past week and CECO tends to announce orders like this throughout the quarter. These type of announcements tend to make the stock spike since it is a small cap stock at only 126 million in market cap.

Here is what the President and CEO had to say about the orders.

Rick Blum, President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "As usual, our orders are coming from a wide variety of industries. The largest order, which is in excess of $2.5 million, was received from an automotive company. Another significant order was received from a tire manufacturer. The rest of the business came from the metals, power, electric equipment, ethanol, steel, aluminum, gypsum, refining, and copper smelting industries."

Phillip DeZwirek, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Fisher-Klosterman's China operation booked a significant order just last week. We are seeing ever increasing quoting activity in China and have already had established CECO customers visit the facility. Now that Fisher- Klosterman is part of CECO, we are in the process of establishing that facility as CECO Filters' manufacturing base in China along the lines of the facility that CECO Filters already has in India."

This stock has climbed over 25% in just the past 5 days, so I consider waiting till the dust settles before jumping into this one if you don't have a position already. I still believe this stock has simply been beaten up with the rest of the market and still represents a great value at these prices. Don't forget that it is always a good thing to see insiders putting their money where their mouth is as well... They think it is a bargain, do you?

For all of our articles on CECE click here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Appetite For Destruction Or Just Risk?

As an investor it is very important to realize where you are in your life, and what exactly your investment goals are. Generally, if you are a younger investor you can tend to take on more risk or more "speculative plays" if you will. Now, this doesn't mean you should go out and buy all risky stocks, you always need those stable dividend paying stocks.

In fact, one of the ways the rich get richer is that they just purchase a few high paying, stable, dividend paying stocks. Then take those cash dividends that you receive quarterly, and invest them into more speculative stocks. Once you make a bit of mad money on your speculative stocks, cash out some, or all of them, and re-invest into your high paying dividend stocks or other safer investments. Rinse and repeat...

Of course, this does take a lot of money/stock to generate much in the form of cash dividends, but it is none the less very possible. I am sure there are many rich investors out there taking advantage of it all the time. As a small investor though, you might just not be aware of this trick of the trade.

Now, if you are an older individual it is more important to have steady stocks that pay large dividends as you can use this as a source income. Not only this, but you should have a fair amount of bonds, mutual funds and even cds as a source of income. The most boring investments after all, are the safest, and that it what you need going into retirement.

So, before you invest make sure you know what your goals are... and be sure not to take on too much risk as you can get burned. Since this is Stock Picky, I will leave you with two long term investments. Google (goog) for all you young fellows out there... there's this new thing called the Internet perhaps you've heard of it, and Royal Bank Of Canada (ry) for all of you grey haired folks which pays out a hefty dividend and has always been dedicated to increasing shareholder value.

Good luck with all your investments and let me know if you have any questions...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vasco Data Securities Makes It's Way To The Middle East

Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) announced today that the leading
Middle Eastern bank Arab Bank will enhance the security of its
new Internet Banking Service with VASCO's Digipass GO 3 and
VACMAN Controller. This comes just after Vasco's stock rose
12.5% just yesterday. Today it is trading up another
4%, quite the gain in just two days!

Arab Bank is ranked among the largest international financial
institutions, with a capital base of over USD 6.9 Billion and
Total Assets of USD 38.3 billion. Arab Bank has an unmatched
Global Arab branch network with 400 branches spanning 28
countries in 5 continents. The bank offers a variety of
products and services covering four major areas: Personal
Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), AB Private
Banking and Treasury.

"We are happy to have an important bank like Arab Bank among
our customers," says Jan Valcke, VASCO's President & COO.
"With the current surge of Internet crime, we acclaim the
initiative of Arab bank to depend on VASCO's strong
authentication and putting the security of their clients

Arab Bank was established in 1930 and since its
inception has played a leading role in financing investment
and trade in the regions it operates,it has worked on
improving cooperation trade and investment within the
Middle East and North Africa region and the rest of the world.

Arab Bank has established branches in the Arab World and
major global financial centers with a giant branch network
spread out in 28 countries spanning five continents.

This is another huge win for Vasco Data Securities, they
have literally landed contracts with major banks all around
the world just this month! Earlier they announced a major
contract with Banks in Japan and Sweden and this kind of
global exposure will result in repeat customers worldwide
as consumers continue to demand better security for their
online transactions.

This year has been a rough one for Vasco Data Securities
stock holders, but I think as a long term investment Vasco
is a great opportunity, especially at these price levels...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time To Revisit Evergreen Solar

Over the past couple years it has been quite easy to see the correlation between solar stock prices and oil prices, but lately with the markets have been self destructing, and no one has been ready to take on any "speculative" solar plays like Evergreen Solar (ESLR). This is a stock that was just trading at $18.85 just three months ago! Today even with the Dow surging 420 points Evergreen Solar is sitting at $8.23 while oil is well over $100 per barrel.

So why did the stock plummet like that in just three months is the question you need to ask yourself. Well, first of all the market in general has been horrible, the number of companies hitting 52 week lows has been downright astonishing. That of course is not the whole story though, Evergreen Solar just finish a offering of stock at $9.50 per share. Evergreen Solar expects to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with funds it expects to raise by way of future debt financing and its operating activities, (i) to complete phase I of its new manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts, (ii) to plan, construct and equip phase II of the Devens manufacturing facility and (iii) for general corporate purposes, including purchases or prepayments for raw materials, including polysilicon, and working capital. This offering further dilutes shares and investors can tend to see this as a negative, especially in the type of environment.

None the less, the future of this company is still looking quite bright from my point of view. Just this past year they announced several polysilicon supply agreements which will provide a generous supply of the material needed to make solar panels for the next 10 years. They have ramped up production on their Devens plant and expect to start shipping solar panels out of that location in mid-2008. Not too mention Evergreen Solar touts the most green solar panels on the market, which simply means they have the smallest carbon footprint of any panels on the market. With oil over $100 a barrel I am shocked to see ESLR trading so low, and I have been taking advantage by added to my long term position at these levels. The long term bull market in solar power and other alternative energies is here to stay and Evergreen Solar is a great way to play it.

What can I say though it was hard to single out ESLR with so many stocks having been tossed in the garbage as the markets crashed. I still like Google, CECO Environmental Corp, Zoltek, Vasco Data Securities, Royal Bank Of Canada, and YUM Brands all at these levels. As a younger investor this downturn in the market has been like a God send. What an opportunity to get into great companies at bargain basement prices.

Better hurry though these sales aren't going to last long I am afraid...

As a side note our pole here at Stock Picky has closed and the major of voters say that 2008 will be a bear market. So far the bears do have the upper hand, but I think that by years end we will see the market averages hit new highs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CECO Environmental Corp Reports Earnings

CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE) reported earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2007 on March 10, 2008. For the quarter, the company reported net income of $1,818,000 or $0.12 per diluted share on net sales of $67,986,000 compared net income of $1,201,000 or $0.09 per diluted share on net sales of $41,498,000 to for the same period a year ago.

For the year, the company reported net income of $6,305,000 or $0.45 per diluted share on net sales of $235,953,000 compared net income of $3,094,000 or $0.24 per diluted share on net sales of $135,359,000 to for the same period a year ago.

Phillip DeZwirek, chairman and CEO, said in a news release that the company's gross profit margin fell slightly over the year because of a lower margin on a large automotive project.

"We anticipate that both gross and operating margins will increase in the future as the large project is completed and anticipated new higher-margin contracts are completed," he said in the release.

The order backlog at the end of 2007 was $85.5 million, compared to $97.1 million at the end of 2006, the company said in a news release.

DeZwirek figures the market for air pollution-control products has soared from $5 billion a couple of years ago to more than $50 billion now. The heightened attention to the environment is the driving force.

"They've really put together a full-service company that no one can compete against," said Bill Gregozeski, analyst at Capstone Investments in Milwaukee.

With the addition of Fisher-Klosterman, Inc. I think CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE) is still a great buy at these levels and will have a very successful 2008 even with a slowdown in the US economy. This site is all about long term investment after all and with a air-pollution controls market that is growing this fast CECO is certainly in the right spot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vasco Gains In Japan And Sweden

Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) reported today that they had landed the second large contract in as many weeks. The latest contract is with Swedbank, the leading bank in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Swedbank also operates in in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Western Russia, Luxembourg, Ukraine, US, China and Japan. With their broad reach Swedbank will secure over 1.25 million retail customers in Sweden and the Baltic States with VASCO's Digipass 260 and Digipass 300 Comfort.

"We opted for VASCO because of their product offering for authentication and their broad experience and knowledge in this area," said Christer Cragnell, CIO of Swedbank Group. "Customer service is of the utmost importance to Swedbank. By partnering with VASCO, we'll be able to secure our customers' assets in a flexible and cost effective way."

If that wasn't enough Vasco Data Securities also signed up one of the biggest bank in Japan last week Mizuho. More importantly, Mizuho is first bank in Japan to use VASCO’s products, which is a great sign that there will be more contracts like this in the future. They did not release official numbers about how many products Vasco would provide, but I can tell you that about 25 million individual customers have accounts with Mizuho Bank.

Vasco shareholders have be through a rough ride over the past year, but the company's ability to land contracts like these shows us that they have not lost focus on the future of the company. A couple lumpy quarters certainly doesn't justify this huge drop in VDSI.

To see all the past articles on Vasco Data Securities click here...

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Google Checkout Effect

With the drop in Google's stock price over the past few months the question of how much Google Checkout could help the results next quarter comes to mind. After all, Google was literally giving it away for free for the past year, and it was one hell of a expensive promotion from the sounds of it!

Google stated that as of December 2007 they had signed up over 100,000 merchants and millions of users. Starting at the beginning of February Google began charging 2% + $0.20 per transaction. Just think of all that revenue that will now be added, instead of subtracted from Google's bottom line. These figures of course will continue to grow as more and more merchants see the benefits of signing up for Google Checkout.

Just listen to these statistics, Google says web shoppers who’ve signed up for Checkout are 10 percent more likely to click on an ad that features a Checkout button and 40 percent more likely to make an online purchase once they reach a site. In other words, if an online retailer uses Checkout and spends ad dollars on Google (GOOG), it improves the chance that shoppers will make purchases on it's site. These kind of stats are what will not only help retain Google's advertisers, but gain even more. Plus, have we already forgotten about the Yahoo disaster and how it will effect Google Checkout?

Is that enough reason to be bullish on Google? That is up to you to decide, but I think that Google is a global growth story that has really just gotten started. As the demand for instant information across the world drives their growth we will begin to see the true potential of one of the best long term stock picks out there.

One of the benefits of being a long term investor is the ability to focus on the future, especially in markets like these. If I wouldn't have been in certain stocks before this whole subprime meltdown started I wouldn't be able to identify these stocks as potential buys at these levels. Just because the entire market drags everything down doesn't necessarily mean these stock deserved to go down. Are companies like Google done growing their businesses, or is this just a readjustment of risk...

Want more Google? Check out this post...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CECO Environmental Makes It's Entrance Into China

CECO Environmental Corp ticker symbol (CECE) has announced that it will buy Fisher-Klosterman, Inc. for 15 million cash and 1 million in CECE stock. This strategic acquisition will not only help improve CECO Environmental's revenues and net income, but will also provide a key 40,000 square foot sales and manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. This should help CECO display it's already massive product line to those in red hot China.

"We are excited about joining CECO and advancing our shared strategic vision for the company. CECO offers the Fisher-Klosterman companies improved access to capital, a seasoned team of successful senior management, larger- scale marketing resources, internal supply of many related products and services, and expansive relationships with new potential customers," said William Heumann, president of Fisher-Klosterman, Inc.

The acquisition of Fisher-Klosterman is yet another step in the right direction for CECO Environmental. The potential for environmental pollution control in China will become huge. With the world's eyes on China for the upcoming Olympics, China will be forced to clean up it's act. People are already starting to say that the athletes will not be able to perform in such smoggy conditions. China has pasted The United States in terms of Greenhouse Gases as well, so it is only a matter of time before the world starts to put the pressure on them to become more energy efficient and reduce their air pollution. Of course, if you are familiar with CECO's business you know that they can really benefit from these upcoming environmental standards not only in China, but all over the world.

China is a growing industrial hot spot, and the demand for an established air pollution control company like CECO could be huge. Needless to say we here at Stock Picky have been behind CECO for a little while now, and the stock has taken a hit since it was first highlighted it at $13.37. As long as you spread out your buys over time you should be just fine, as is the case with all long term stock picks. Remember, this company is tiny at only a 138 million dollar market cap, so fluctuation like this are not abnormal. Also, take into account that they are reporting earnings on March 10th, 2008 and this could send the stock in either direction over the short term.

For more reasons to own CECO check out my first post here...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Vasco's Growing Pains

Already jittery investors jumped ship today as Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) reported another quarter that missed analysts estimates. Is this the end of the road for VDSI? Well, let's take a look at the numbers, because after all they should mean at least something, even in a crazy market like this one.

In the full year ended December 31, 2007 Vasco’s revenues grew 58% to $120 million, from $76.1 million. Net income rose 67% in 2007 to $21 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, from $12.6 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, in 2006. Vasco Data Securities total sales for the fourth 4th quarter increased 24% to $31.2 million from $25.2 million. Maybe the most assuring statistic is that Vasco won 651 new customers. All of these statistics were within Vasco's management's projections, but still this was not what the analysts anticipated. If you step back and look at these numbers on a yearly basis, it really looks quite cheap. After all VDSI is now trading at a 21 P/E ratio.

So why did they miss? Well, a higher than expected tax rate certainly didn't help things. A tax rate of 49 percent in the 4th quarter, compared with the 28 percent reported in the previous nine months really hit the bottom line. Not only this, but management emphasized that a delay in shipments worth approximately $3.6 million have now been moved to the next quarter. Don't forget Vasco is expanding in several locations around the world, and this is impacting the bottom line as well by increasing expenses.

Still should I be sitting here defending this company after they hurt so many investors the past two quarters? This stock has been in a downward spiral since reporting it's last earnings three months ago and any new investors to this stock must be sweating bullets. Needless to say, if you didn't buy all at once this could be considered an opportunity. I personally still believe they have a lot of long-term value, and I will actually be adding to my position at these levels. Either I am just glutton for punishment, or I think the future for Vasco and online banking security still looks bright, you decide for yourself...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Get Ready For Vasco Data Securities Earnings

With earnings season in full swing one of our favorites here at Stock Picky is set to report. Vasco Data Securities (VDSI) on will report it's quarterly earnings on Thursday, February 21.

In case you haven't heard of them, Vasco is a company that designs and manufactures security tokens for online banking all around the world, but not so much here in The States just yet. Their stock has fallen from grace, and is back down to a price that I certainly find reasonable for the moment. They had a tremendous amount of backlog 33.4 million to be exact, from last quarter which should help out on the earnings release tomorrow.

During the last conference call Vasco did reaffirm their full year guidance for revenue growth, gross margins and operating margins, so things from their standpoint appear to be very healthy. The real question is will the banking crisis hurt Vasco's bottom line? A logical person would think that security for it's customers should be #1 priority, so I find it hard to believe that there will be many cutbacks from banks.

Now, like with any stock it is very easy to get burned in earnings season, ah but that is the beauty of being a long term-investor. You can put some in before earnings, and then add to your position over time. Buying on the dips and selling on the peaks if you so choose.

So is Vasco Data Securities a slam dunk? Of course not, I mean is there really any slam dunks in this market? Just remember that you need to focused on the future, and I can tell you that with Vasco's vast customer base, and growing presence around the world the future sure looks bright for this company...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Zoltek Hits A Speed Bump

Zoltek (ZOLT) reported it's earnings yesterday that dissapointed some investors. Zoltek's net sales for the quarter totaled $40.1 million, compared to $30.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 and to $43.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Zoltek's net income was $2.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, which compared to net losses of $5.7 million and $1.8 million reported for the first and fourth quarters of fiscal 2007.

Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said that although management had expected sales in the recent quarter to approximate the level reported for the immediately preceding quarter, volume was constrained by customer plant shutdowns in Europe over the holiday season and by year-end inventory adjustments by several customers who previously had built up their inventories to address concerns regarding possible shortages. "With our increasing capacity, our customers are more confident that we will be able to supply all their requirements and, consequently, they worked down some safety stocks. Overall demand for our low-cost, high-performance carbon fibers remains strong and we are optimistic that we can reach our sales objective for fiscal 2008," Rumy said.

As a long term investor you need to ask yourself if the overall story has changed. Is this just a hick-up along the way? Don't forget it was a tough quarter for a lot of companies out there with the slow down here in The States. Zoltek still has deals with the largest wind turbine manufactures in the world, and wind energy should only continue to grow in the future. Zoltek is also a smaller company which will lead to these massive stock swings in one direction or the other. Given these facts I think that this situation is presenting us with a buying opportunity.

Remember, as a long term investor you can buy a certain stock over and over again to lower your cost basis. You can always add to your position on dips in most stocks out there. These stocks that are mentioned in this blog are not 1 month stocks, they are not even 6 months stocks. Each one I plan on holding for at least a year or more depending on if the reasons I bought the stock in the first place has changed.

You need to do this same thing when you see your stock take a dive like Zoltek did today. Sometimes panic selling creates the best buying opportunities... Look at Google, it is bouncing off it's low, and should continue to rise as it has just become too cheap, especially with Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo.

I guess it all depends if you see the glass half empty or half full...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Google Misses By A Penny, Does It Matter In The Long Term?

Well if you are a long term investor no, but the short term could be a little rough as people digest the numbers. First of all, let me just say that most companies would kill for these kind of numbers, but Google is not most companies.

Google (goog) reported revenues of $4.83 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2007, representing a 51% increase over fourth quarter 2006 revenues of $3.21 billion and a 14% increase over third quarter 2007 revenues of $4.23 billion. Analysts were looking for $4.44 earnings per share and Google came in at $4.43, compared to $3.91 in the third quarter of 2007.

One very important number to look at is aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, increased approximately 30% over the fourth quarter of 2006 and approximately 9% over the third quarter of 2007. This shows you that the core business of Google is still remarkable strong.

Google does not issue guidance so it is not too surprising that the analysts weren't right on. At any rate this stock has already been hammered the past month, and is continuing to get hammered in afterhours. It is trading at a major discount to just a month ago and after this earnings report it looks like it is going to create a great entry point. I know that I will be taking this opportunity to build to my position. Google is a global story, and as the world becomes more connected through the Internet Google will only continue this amazing growth...

For more information about Google stock check out this post.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Evergreen Solar Reports Surprise Profit

Evergreen solar (eslr) reported results for the fourth quarter 2007 this afternoon. The results surprised many who follow the stock. Analysis on average were looking for a loss of 4 cents per share. ESLR today reported a small profit of 1 cent per share.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was $22.2 million, which was also above Wall Street's average estimate of $20.2 million. The strength of EverQ accounted for $5.3 million of the company's revenue. Gross margins also improved to 28.1% compared to 24.9% for the third quarter of 2007.

Of course, here at Stock Picky we have been behind Evergreen solar since $9.60... The stock now stands at $12.33 after falling from as much as $18.85 after it announced a 10 year supply agreement for polysilicon. Things seem to be getting better and better for Evergreen Solar the company, and it will only take so long before the stock follows suit and begins to push higher.

Even here in the states Evergreen has teamed up for a four year project with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. and Governor Deval Patrick's Commonwealth Solar program to install photocoltaic systems on schools and other high-profile public buildings. This kind of free goodwill advertising is just what Evergreen needs to bring this company into the mainstream...

A big congratulations to all the longs out there on this profitable quarter. For more reasons to consider building a position in Evergreen Solar check out our original post for October!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Beginning Of A New Bull Market?

With the amazing price action in the markets today you might just be suffering from motion sickness. The Dow traded today in a 600 point range... that's right it was down over 300 points at one time during the day, but came back and closed up 298 points in a flurry of short covering and long term bulls.

Needless to say this is a very good sign... With the fed's decision to cut interest rates by 75 basis points yesterday, news of bail outs for loan companies today and a stimulus package from the US government, we are forming a bottom in the markets.

This January was shaping up to be the worst on record before today... As an investor what you need to ask yourself is how bad was it out there for my company? For most stocks in the mortgage and US banks markets, it couldn't get much worse, but there is plenty of companies out there that aren't really affected by a slowdown. They were just taken down with the rest of the market, and are at bargain prices compared to just a month ago.

Since this blog is all about long-term investments these might be fairly redundant but, Royal Bank Of Canada, Zoltek, Google, Evergreen Solar, Boeing, CECO, Vasco Data Securities and Yum brands are all looking tempting at their levels. If you are a first time investor, or have been waiting on the sidelines with cash waiting to get in you had better hurry. The market is oversold, and it is only a matter of time before the fundmentals and long-term outlooks begin to matter again...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Picking Up The Pieces

Tomorrow looks like it is going to be a blood bath for the bulls... The Dow futures are down as much as 520 points as global markets around the world are being hammered. If you are a long-term investors these are the hardest times to take. It is tough to see your hard fought gains go down the drain as the bears take over and short everything in site.

The fact of the matter though, is that stocks have outperformed every asset class over a 20-year period. If you are in it for a the long haul you will be alright, in fact you should be doing some buying of quality companies on sale as the dust settles and people realize that the global economies aren't just going to collapse.

Technology companies will continue to make money, alternative energy will still be a huge growth area, whether or not a bank or insurance company goes under. People will still consume, and companies will still make money...

Most of this decline is simply due to the fact that the banks lent out money to people who couldn't afford to pay after they jacked up rates. I mean isn't it the banks job to make sure it's clients can payback loans even if interest rates jumped? Either way, there is one simple solution and that is an emergency fed meeting, and a large rate cut. The bulls have been on the sidelines simply waiting for the next fed meeting. If this doesn't happen tomorrow it will get ugly... very ugly.

Well, Mr. Ben Bernanke, now is your time to shine...