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Buy, Sell or Hold: Now Is the Time To Target Smith & Wesson
When it comes to the firearms industry, throw out everything you know about investing.
In this industry, sales, cash flows, margins, 50-day moving averages and volume indicators just don't seem to matter.
When the Second Amendment is involved, high emotional responses are on full display.
So why should it be any different when it comes to a legendary firearms maker like Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC)?
But old habits die hard, so before I go into what is truly driving the share price of Smith & Wesson, I can't possibly skip the boring stuff.
With gun sales going through the roof, let's take a look at whether or not this company has enough firepower to be part of your portfolio.
Buy, Sell or Hold: Is it Time for Investors to TAP into Molson Coors?
Almost everyone has overindulged in a beer or three. And while that occasionally turns out to be something of a big mistake, the thirst for beer is hard to quench.
That's one of the reasons why I'm bullish about Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP).
Formed by the merger of Molson of Canada and Coors of the United States in 2005, this marriage joined two companies that have seen it all in the beer business–even to the point where their product was illegal during the days of prohibition.
Even still, both companies managed to not only survive but thrive.
Today, the descendants of the original founders still greatly influence Molson Coors and have a vested interest in the company's profitability and the incentive to keep the family legacies alive and well for future generations.
But that's only a small piece of why I like this company. The better reason is its ability to grow sales.
Buy, Sell or Hold: Is Boston Scientific Poised for a Turnaround?
Investors in Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) have been through the wringer in recent years.
The medical device maker hit its peak back in 2004, reaching highs near $44. Since then the company is down over 82% and has been hovering under $10 for years.
So how did shares of Boston Scientific fall so hard?
Much of the blame can be traced back to the company's ill-conceived 2006 plan to become the leading player in the medical device industry by outbidding Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for Guidant Corp to the tune of $27.3 billion.
It's a deal Fortunemagazine described at the time as the second-worst takeover deal ever.
But the problems didn't stop there. Boston Scientific ran into all types of issues with the quality of not only Guidant products, but its own as well.
This led to a string of product recalls, patient lawsuits, run-ins with the FDA and a share price that could never seem to find a bottom.
But now, with its new CEO, Michael Mahoney — who has a cautious but optimistic view for Boston Scientific — there just may be enough new catalysts to turn the company around.
Here's the deal…
Buy, Sell or Hold: What's So "Special" About Kellogg?
Everybody knows Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) by its superb line of breakfast cereals.
In fact, since Kellogg completed the $2.7 billion Pringle acquisition on June 1, 2012 the company's share price has increased over 30% with nary a pause.
Now I realize that eating just one Pringles potato chip is impossible, but does that justify the market's appetite for Kellogg's shares?
Here's my breakdown on the stock…
Investing in Smart Grid Technology: Two Stocks to Power Up Your Portfolio
There's a saying that goes, when you lose the Internet it's like 1979 but when you lose power it's like 1879.
For a while, we actually lived through it when a big swath of the mid-Atlantic lost power in July. Let me tell you, it was ugly.
I've lived in Northern Virginia for most of my life. I remember dill pickles in a barrel at the grocery store, Quisp and Quake cereal, and Frank Howard was my hero on the Washington Senators, if that gives you an idea of old I am. In all of those years I have never seen anything like it.
The power went out on Friday night and by mid-morning Saturday, there wasn't a hotel room with air conditioning to be found in a 50 mile radius.
So many street lights were out that it was up to the drivers to figure who went next, and you're talking a metropolitan area of about 12 million people cycling through. That doesn't even account for the fact that I-95 cuts through the whole area with trucks, tourists, etc.
It was completely nuts.
Now imagine what it was like in India where nearly 700 million lost power. Yes, that's 700 million suddenly without power.
That's like the entire U.S. going down and then adding another 200+ million on top of that.
The lesson in both instances though is the same: It's necessary to build a "smart" grid.
FLIR Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR): Grow Your Portfolio With The "Eye in the Sky"
Smile…. you're on the 21st century's version of Candid Camera.
Whether you're an Islamic troublemaker in North Waziristan, a rowdy football fan, or a hopeful immigrant trying to slip across the border, the eye in the sky sees everything.
In the halls of power, there's a term for this. It's called the surveillance society. And it is one of the biggest trends inside and outside the military industrial complex.
Also known as ISR – intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance-it's an outgrowth of more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a place where everyone has heard of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs.
But while UAVs are an amazing technology in themselves, they aren't very effective unless they can report on what they see -that's the ISR piece of the puzzle.
And that's precisely where a company like FLIR Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: FLIR) comes in. FLIR provides the optics and equipment to make it all happen both in the air and on the ground.
What Analysts are Missing About FLIR Systems
Founded in 1978, FLIR has developed a reputation for building world-class equipment.
And now that these systems have proven themselves in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, the company is expanding to a broad number of other applications in market sectors outside the military.
However, looking at FLIR's chart, it's an understatement to say that this specialty defense imaging stock has been hit hard by the budget cuts and the winding down of our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Buy, Sell or Hold: Why Now is the Time to Buy Bacterin International
Holdings Inc. (AMEX: BONE)
Getting old isn't all it's cracked up to be.
When I was young, dumb, and all too daring, I took chances that in hindsight were pretty boneheaded, and I'm still paying for them.
Once I even jumped off the roof of my grandmother's house, thinking I was going to catch the storm drain as I dropped by. Why I believed that I'm not sure.
Instead, I ended up in the hospital needing five reconstructive surgeries that included bone grafts donated from my own hip.
In fact, today I still suffer from a dull ache in the same hip, which is a decent trade off because I can still use my arm.
Fortunately, medicine has come a long way since the day I stood on that roof eyeing up that gutter.
Today someone in the same situation would turn to a biotech company to provide the material needed for that surgery, not a human donor.
This is one of the reasons I like Bacterin International Holdings Inc. (AMEX: BONE)
Breaking Down Bacterin
Bacterin designs, manufactures and markets revolutionary dermal and skeletal health products, bone graft material, biological scaffolds and related medical devices.
They also design and produce bioactive, anti-microbial coatings for implantable devices that act as barriers to infection.
Their total potential markets in the United States alone are estimated at over $8.5 billion. Of that, Bacterin has gained a small but growing percentage.
But here's what more impressive:
Buy, Sell or Hold: Hecla Mining Co.'s (NYSE:HL) Silver Moment
I think that presents some value for investors willing to take a contrarian view.
As I write this, Hecla Mining is down 50% in the past 52 weeks. I honestly find this situation a headscratcher − especially in light of where silver prices may be headed.
What's more, the company is sitting on a horde of cash and carries no net debt. This means the company is stable and able to function without access to capital markets.
As an investor, I consider this situation nearly bulletproof.
Notice that I said "nearly" – not completely.
There is one thing that can severely damage a company with a solid balance sheet. It is called lawsuits.
Unfortunately for Hecla, they had a bad 2011 in that regard.
The company had two fatal accidents at a producing mine with an additional third event that injured seven more workers.
These events caused the Mine Safety and Health Administration ( MSHA) to close the shaft in question and require the removal of built-up material before Hecla can resume operations.
Known as the Lucky Friday mine, it may be shut down throughout 2012.
In the aftermath, a specific group of investors became so angry with management's disclosures relating to these fatal accidents that they filed suit.
This bad luck streak in the mines and in the courtrooms has hammered the stock price to a point I now find cheap, even considering the potentially damaging lawsuits.
In short, when I look at Hecla Mining today, I see value investing is at its best.
I love to find an out-of-favor stock where the fundamentals are still strong and the company is already profitable.