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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of HCA Holdings were gaining 5.4% to $72.33 on heavy tracing volume ahead of the company's addition to the S&P 500 after the closing bell on Monday. HCA Holdings will replace Safeway in the S&P 500 as the grocery store chain is set to be acquired by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which owns the Albertsons chain of grocery stores. More than 13.5 million shares of HCA Holdings were traded ahead of its inclusion in the S&P 500, well above its average trading volume of about 3.9 million shares a day. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. HCA Holdings is based in Nashville, TN, and owns, operate, and manages hospitals, and freestanding surgery centers. TheStreet Ratings team rates HCA HOLDINGS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate HCA HOLDINGS INC (HCA) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.83% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 41.30% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HCA should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income increased by 41.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $365.00 million to $518.00 million. HCA's revenue growth trails the industry average of 20.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,128.00 million or 25.33% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HCA HOLDINGS INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.04%. HCA HOLDINGS INC has improved earnings per share by 46.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HCA HOLDINGS INC reported lower earnings of $3.36 versus $3.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.56 versus $3.36). You can view the full analysis from the report here: HCA Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wireless communications giant AT&T said Monday that it is buying Nextel Mexico, owned by NII Holdings , for about $1.88 billion, minus the company's debt, another reason that investors should buy the stock ahead of the release of fourth-quarter and 2014 earnings Tuesday. AT&T continues to look for ways to create value and better diversify its business. In this case, Nextel Mexico will give AT&T the rights to all the companies that operate under the Nextel Mexico name. Must Read: 16 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks With 50 Years of Increasing Dividends and Market-Beating Performance This deal also gives AT&T all the wireless properties in Mexico that are held by NII Holdings. The deal is expected to close in the middle of the year. AT&T stock closed Friday at $33.37, down 1.24% and is down 0.65% for the year to date, in line with the performances of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (down 0.84%) and the S&P 500 (down 0.34%). But with shares down 1.27% for the trailing 12 months, compared with gains of 9% and 12% for the Dow industrials and S&P 500, respectively, investors are frustrated. That doesn't mean, however, that AT&T isn't creating value. In other words, what AT&T reports Tuesday becomes secondary. What is more important to focus on is where the company is going. AT&T, which competes with Sprint and Verizon , already said via a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will record a fourth-quarter non-cash charge of $10 billion. Out of that total, $7.9 billion is related to changes in its pension and retiree benefit plans, while $2.1 billion is for copper assets that AT&T no longer needs. The company also said that none of the charges will affect its segment operating margin. The market is focusing too much on what Sprint and T-Mobile are doing in terms of aggressive promotions and not enough on what AT&T is doing to offset potential decline in wireless growth. Its Nextel Mexico is one example. Plus, AT&T is moving away from its phone-subsidizing model to a business that focuses more on long-term customer contracts. Must Read: Verizon Finally Has Its Answer After Losing OnStar to AT&T This transition, which will help AT&T generate higher recurring revenue, will take some time. And because of this, Tuesday's fourth-quarter revenue results will likely be affected, as was the case in the previous quarter. In addition, the stock is cheap, trading at just 10 times trailing estimates. That is half the average price-to-earnings ratio of companies in the S&P 500. So at about $33 a share, there are plenty of reasons for investors to be patient, especially when the possible headwinds are already priced into the shares. Add in its deal for Nextel Mexico and its excellent yield of 5.63%, which more than doubles the average 2% dividend paid out by companies in the S&P 500, and AT&T deserves more time to execute and create value for shareholders. Must Read: Why Verizon Has No Intention of Rolling Over Like T-Mobile and AT&T Follow @Richard_WSPB // 0;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]>

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of data storage company Western Digital fell 7.48% to $98.16 in morning trading Monday after peer company Seagate Technology reported second-quarter earnings. Seagate posted earnings of $1.35 a share, which matched the consensus estimate. Revenue climbed 4.8% year-over-year to $3.7 billion in the second quarter, which narrowly missed analysts' expectations of $3.74 billion. Seagate also issued weak guidance for the third quarter. The company expects revenue of "at least $3.45 billion," short of the consensus estimate of $3.59 billion. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer’s Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Western Digital will report its second-quarter earnings after the market close Tuesday. More than 3 million shares had changed hands as of 11:22 a.m., compared to the daily average volume of 1,955,620. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WESTERN DIGITAL CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WESTERN DIGITAL CORP (WDC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: WDC's revenue growth trails the industry average of 13.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Although WDC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, WDC has a quick ratio of 1.86, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WESTERN DIGITAL CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500. Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year. WESTERN DIGITAL CORP's earnings per share declined by 14.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WESTERN DIGITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.69 versus $3.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.25 versus $6.69). You can view the full analysis from the report here: WDC Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Microsoft Corp. are lower by 1.76% to $46.35 in late morning trading on Monday, ahead of the company's expected fiscal 2015 second quarter earnings release. Analysts have estimated that the technology and software company will report a year-over-year decline in earnings and a year-over-year increase in revenue for the most recent quarter. Microsoft has been forecast to post earnings of 71 cents per share on revenue of $26.33 billion for the 2015 second quarter. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. For the same period last year Microsoft said its earnings were 78 cents per diluted share on revenue of $24.52 billion. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MICROSOFT CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MSFT's share price has jumped by 31.17%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MSFT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 26.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 25.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Although MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, MSFT has a quick ratio of 2.28, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $8,354.00 million or 1.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, MICROSOFT CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 11.90%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSFT Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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WEST CHESTER, PA (TheStreet) -- A severe snowstorm has its sights on the Northeast, and while it will interrupt millions of lives and forcing businesses to close, its economic impact should prove temporary. Economic output in the region between Boston, greater New York City, Philadelphia totals about $2 trillion per year, just around 12% of national GDP. At 250 working days per year, daily output in the region is worth about $8 billion. Two days of lost output thus equals $16 billion, which isn't unrealistic. These are preliminary estimates and we can fine tune them once we see what areas are hit the hardest. Still, this storm shouldn't have a significant impact on first quarter U.S. GDP, as a good chunk of this lost output will be made up in subsequent weeks. Though economic data, including employment, are adjusted for seasonal changes to eliminate the impacts of weather and other seasonal factors to better gauge cyclical changes, snowstorms can still cause disruptions. Must Read: U.S. Consumer Prices Will Fall by Mid-2015 Potentially amplifying the storm's national fallout are disruption to northeastern seaports, airports and rail lines. The Port of New York and New Jersey is closed and thousands of flights could be canceled. Weather normally has a temporary impact on the economy. The economic implications of a severe snowstorm differ from a natural disaster or even a colder than normal winter. A natural disaster is an economic disaster, but historically economies have bounced back quickly. While natural disasters are a big initial hit to the economy, they usually generate a lot of economic activity in the immediate aftermath. Historically, economies hit by disasters are made more or less financially whole through insurance money and government aid. Depending on the severity of the snowstorm, its impact on the economic data will vary. Normally, unusual winter weather has significant effects on monthly nominal retail sales, housing, factory production and employment. For retail, the impact varies by segment and the effect is lessened for an entire season. Unlike other natural disasters, snowstorms are known days in advance and consumers rush out ahead of the storm. Timing is everything. If a storm hits this late in the month it may push some spending into February. A severe storm that prevents consumers from shopping is only a temporary drag on spending because many of the purchases put off are made up soon after the storm. For some retailers lost sales might have shifted to nonstore retailers. The big losers during severe snowstorms are restaurants because those lost sales not recouped. Weather can cause the composition of spending to shift. Therefore, looking at only retail sales is misleading, as it does not include services, which make up the largest share of nominal consumption. Depending on power outages, the snowstorms impact on spending on electricity, heat and other utilities could vary. Read Ryan on Moody's Analytics Dismal Scientist. Because the winter is typically a slow month for residential construction, a severe snowstorm could weigh on home-building temporarily. The New York, Boston and Philadelphia metro areas account for only 7% of U.S. housing starts, so the potential impact on national housing starts is minimal. Impact on Employment The weather impact on employment from this snowstorm is likely to be limited, however. In order for a job not to be counted in the payroll survey, an employee would have to be out of work because of the weather for the entire pay period, which includes the 12th day of the month. For workers who are paid on a weekly basis-about one-half of the workforce-a weather-related disruption can result in a full week away from work. For the remainder, who are paid less frequently, it is unlikely that even a severe winter storm would keep workers away for the entire period. In the household survey, workers are still classified as employed if they are temporarily away from work because of bad weather. By this definition, they could be away from work for the entire pay period and still be counted as employed. Of course, if the bad weather were to lead to an actual layoff, they would not be counted as employed. Thus, if there is an impact on employment from the weather, it is more likely to show up in the payroll survey than in the household survey. Must Read: U.S. Will Have Full Employment by Mid-2016 Destruction Fuels Economy? Anytime weather and economics mix, the broken window fallacy is debated. The broken window fallacy is based on the idea that destruction does not stimulate the economy. This is widely debated among economists and nearly always surfaces after natural disasters. The parable of the broken window was introduced by French economist Frederic Bastiat in an 1850 essay. Bastiat's tale starts with a man's son breaking a pane of glass, forcing the man to pay to replace it. That adds to economic activity, but Bastiat argues the man is not better off. Bastiat observed that while the immediate benefit of spending on reconstruction is visible, the lost opportunities to spend elsewhere are "what is not seen." Bastiat's analysis holds only if the man would have spent the money on something else. This likely does not hold today given the significant amount of spare capacity and cyclical unemployment in the affected regions of the snowstorm. Therefore, government spending and some out-of-pocket expenses for residents will provide a lift to economic activity, as it would not have been deployed otherwise. Read Ryan on Moody's Analytics Dismal Scientist.


Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Home Loan Servicing Soltns has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate HOME LOAN SERVICING SOLTNS (HLSS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 20.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, HOME LOAN SERVICING SOLTNS's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. HLSS's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 31.11%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $105.36 million or 34.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, HOME LOAN SERVICING SOLTNS has marginally lower results. You can view the full analysis from the report here: HLSS Ratings Report EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wall Street is bracing for a major snowstorm heading up the East Coast, but financial markets plan to operate as usual over the next few days. "We plan to be open for business," said Eric Ryan, managing director of the New York Stock Exchange's communications team. Must Read: Jim Cramer Picks 19 Companies That Should Get Acquired in 2015 The National Weather Service is predicting between two and three feet of snow across a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, including New York and Boston. Philadelphia is expecting between 14 and 18 inches of snow. The Nasdaq will remain open, said its corporate communications director Will Briganti in an email. "Nasdaq plans to keep its U.S. markets open and operational for normal hours today and tomorrow. As demonstrated during Hurricane Sandy, we have comprehensive contingency plans in place to maintain the operational integrity of the markets. We will monitor the storm's progress and provide regular updates to our status as needed." At the Nasdaq Market Site in New York's Times Square, some employees were booking overnight accommodations to support the market's operations on Tuesday morning. At Wall Street's investment banks, employees were being told to work at home or remotely, or prepare to head into the office. "If you live outside the city, you're kind of screwed," one banker said. "If you sit on a desk... you've got to be here." While a select few businesses might count on the pending weather as good news -- one market watcher suggested Netflix could see a near-term bump from streaming users tapping into its growing selection of entertainment -- most companies are expected to take a hit on the expected snowy blast. After a stormy end to 2013 and beginning of 2014, retailers and shipping companies like FedEx heaped blame for weak performance on dismal weather. Airlines are cancelling thousands of flights coming into and out of the East Coast. Almost 1,900 flights scheduled for Monday were cancelled, as of the morning, according to tracking site FlightAware. Already, nearly 1,800 more flights for Tuesday have been scrapped. Most major airlines are letting customers whose flights were cancelled re-book on later trips free of penalty. Customers ticketed on flights to dozens of Eastern airports are generally eligible for the allowance, although specific terms vary by airline. Though it is rare, U.S. exchanges have shut down for full trading sessions on account of snowfall. For the most part, ice and snowstorms for the last century-plus have only incurred partial closures, however. Must Read: How Will Federal Reserve Policy Affect U.S. Stocks in 2015? In 1888, the New York Stock Exchange closed for two days in March following heavy snowfall. But the exchange went for nearly a century after that with only partial closures due to the weather. The next full-day market closure for the NYSE came on Feb. 10, 1969, again due to snow. Then on July 14, 1977, a New York City power blackout shuttered the market for a full day. Hurricanes Sandy in 2012 and Gloria in 1985 shut down exchanges for an entire day. Temporary closures are rare, and have occurred because of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 or extreme heat or cold. Numerous partial closures -- called for blizzards and the deaths of heads of state in England and the U.S., among other causes -- have also closed the exchanges. For three disparate days in January and February 1918, the New York Stock Exchange was forced to close down thanks to a lack of heat, according to its press office. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AT&T may rally Monday after the telecommunications company announced it's buying NII Holdings' Nextel Mexico for $1.875 billion, less debt outstanding at the closing of the transaction. AT&T entered into an agreement with NII Holdings to acquire its wireless business in Mexico, serving about three million subscribers. The acquisition of Nextel Mexico, which covers 76 million people, is part of AT&T's plan to bring faster mobile Internet speeds and greater competition to the Mexican wireless market. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Shares of AT&T are down 0.51% to $33.20 in late morning trading today. Dallas, TX-based AT&T is a provider of telecommunications company, offering services including wireless communications, local exchange, long-distance, data/broadband and Internet, video, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, wholesale and directory advertising, and publishing. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AT&T INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate AT&T INC (T) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: T's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.82, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.40 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AT&T INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for AT&T INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.88%. Regardless of T's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, T's net profit margin of 9.10% compares favorably to the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: T Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Norfolk Southern shares are up 0.65% to $105.46 in trading on Monday following the release of the railroad company's fourth quarter earnings results before the opening bell today. The company reported quarterly earnings of $511 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, on revenue of $2.87 billion. Analysts on average were expecting the company to report earnings of $1.63 per share on revenue of $2.94 billion. The company reported a 15% decline in quarter revenue from the previous year that was driven by falling coal prices despite a 4% increase in volume during the period. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. TheStreet Ratings team rates NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP (NSC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: You can view the full analysis from the report here: NSC Ratings Report NSC data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Seagate Technology has been a "dynamite stock" in the past, but after reporting disappointing earnings the stock is down 11.5% in early Monday trading, said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. On CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment, Cramer explained Seagate Technology missed on revenue expectations and reported in-line earnings per share results. However, it was the company's guidance that spooked investors. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More Seagate is experiencing pricing pressure but only expects it to be temporary, management said on its conference call. Cramer said it doesn't matter what the company says because investors have already heard similar pricing pressure worries from Micron and SanDisk , he said. Investors will "shoot first" and ask questions later, Cramer said. But Seagate has "large cash-flow generation" and is too well run for investors to "bet against" in the long term. Seagate Technology STX data by YCharts W.W. Grainger is another company that disappointed investors with its fourth-quarter earnings. Shares of the $16.7 billion market cap company that supplies maintenance and repair products to other businesses initially traded higher in the pre-market. However, the stock is now down 2.1%. Grainger missed on EPS estimates while slightly beating revenue expectations. Again, Cramer took to the conference call to get to the bottom line. Management is using caution in the near term, due to a low inflation environment in the U.S., as well as currency pressure in Canada and Japan. "There's a lot of moving parts this quarter," he said. Not just for Grainger but for most companies in general, given the different economic strengths and weaknesses around the world as well as the extreme fluctuations in currencies. But investors shouldn't bet against W.W. Grainger either because it is another great company, Cramer concluded. Must Read: 11 Dividend Stocks Buffett, Soros and Other Billionaires Love -- Written by Bret Kenwell Follow @BretKenwell

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were flat to slightly higher in a topsy-turvy trading session Monday. Energy stocks rallied on OPEC predictions of oil prices as high as $200 a barrel, overshadowing earlier news that the anti-austerity party Syriza had won the general election in Greece. Benchmark indexes erased earlier losses. The S&P 500 edged 0.04% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.04%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.06%. STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Crude oil prices stabilized from an earlier selloff following reassurance from the secretary-general of OPEC that oil prices would bottom out at current levels. "Now the prices are around $45-$55 and I think maybe they reached the bottom and will see some rebound very soon," Abdullah el-Badri told Reuters. El-Badri also said without new investment crude oil prices could recover to $200-a-barrel levels as the supply-demand dynamic restabilizes over the next few years. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 0.35% to $45.75 a barrel. Prices earlier fell more than 1% as Saudi Arabia's successor reiterated the country's commitment to previous oil production policies. The biggest OPEC producer has been under pressure to limit output in the face of global oversupply. Energy producers Exxon Mobil , Chevron , Royal Dutch Shell and BP were all higher. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF climbed 0.9%. Athens' ATG stock index was down 2% after Syriza's victory ignited fears the new government could compromise the terms of Greece's bailout package, possibly leading to Greece's exit from the eurozone. Party leader Alexis Tsipras broached a partnership with the right-wing Independent Greeks to form a majority coalition. Both parties have expressed animosity toward the austerity measures imposed as part of bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Since 2010, the organizations have loaned Greece 240 billion euros ($277.8 billion). The euro suffered a volatile start to the week, dropping to a fresh 11-year low of $1.1098, before recovering 0.6% to $1.12 against the U.S. dollar. Other European markets shook off earlier losses. France's CAC 40 climbed 0.12%, Germany's DAX added 1.1%, and London's FTSE was flat. The eurozone's economy was looking better after Germany's monthly Ifo business climate index rose to a six-month high of 106.7 in January. Paper packaging company MeadWestvaco jumped 17.8% following an announcement it was merging with competitor RockTenn . The merger, worth $16 billion, would see MeadWestvaco hold 50.1% of the combined company. Energy Transfer Partners agreed to purchase affiliate Regency Energy Partners for around $18 billion. The combined company would have operations in the majority of oil-producing regions in the U.S. Energy Transfer was 4.5% lower and Regency Energy jumped 7.4%. PartnerRe and Axis Capital Holdings agreed to merge in a transaction that creates a giant reinsurer valued at $11 billion. Axis climbed 2.4%. Universal Display spiked 18.3% after signing a patent licensing deal with LG Display through to 2022. As part of the deal, Universal Display would receive license fees and royalties. D.R. Horton climbed 6.9% as quarterly profit of 39 cents a share beat expectations and revenue jumped 38% year over year. IBM shares were 1.4% higher on rumors the tech company is undergoing a massive restructuring. Though as yet unsubstantiated, Forbes reports the company is set to layoff more than 110,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of its work force. Mattel tumbled more than 4% after announcing the resignation of CEO Bryan Stockton. The toymaker also slashed its fourth-quarter profit guidance to 52 cents a share, well below consensus of 91 cents. STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. --Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Avon Products rose 1.25% to $8.08 in morning trading Monday on continued speculation that the beauty products manufacturer could be the target of a buyout. Dealreporter reported late last week that Avon was in talks with private equity firm TPG Capital about a potential buyout. Dealreporter cited three unidentified sources but said it was unclear how far along the two sides had progressed in the talks or if Avon had hired any advisory firms. Bloomberg published a report Friday to say that Avon is the cheapest personal-goods company a buyout firm could find right now. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer’s Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. More than 8.5 million shares had changed hands as of 11:01 a.m., compared to the daily average volume of 11,485,400. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AVON PRODUCTS as a "sell" with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate AVON PRODUCTS (AVP) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.89 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, AVP has a quick ratio of 0.67, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Personal Products industry and the overall market, AVON PRODUCTS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. AVP's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 47.39%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy. AVP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. The gross profit margin for AVON PRODUCTS is rather high; currently it is at 64.23%. Regardless of AVP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.27% trails the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: AVP Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Universal Display were gaining 18.1% to $33.29 Monday after the company announced a new license agreement and material purchase agreement with LG Display . Under the new license agreement Universal Display will grant LG Display non-exclusive rights under various patents to manufacture and sell OLED displays. LG Display will pay Universal Display license fees and running royalties on the sales of the products sold under the license. Universal Display also announced it will supply LG Display with phosphorescent materials it needs for tis licensed products under their new material purchase agreement. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Both new agreements will run through Dec. 31, 2022. TheStreet Ratings team rates UNIVERSAL DISPLAY CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate UNIVERSAL DISPLAY CORP (OLED) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. OLED has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 14.61, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry. The net income has decreased by 22.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $5.54 million to $4.29 million. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.23 million or 188.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: OLED Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ev Energy Partners has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP (EVEP) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, EVEP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.98, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems. EVEP's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 65.99%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.69 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.88 versus -$1.69). The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 62.89%. Regardless of EVEP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EVEP's net profit margin of 50.41% significantly outperformed against the industry. You can view the full analysis from the report here: EVEP Ratings Report EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.

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NEW YORK ( The Deal) -- Post Holdings (POST) has agreed to acquire Malt-O-Meal parent MOM Brands for $1.15 billion, the two companies said Monday. The deal has already been approved by the owners of the privately-held target and is expected to close by the third quarter of 2015, which is Post's fiscal fourth quarter. Following the MOM Brands transaction, the St. Louis-based acquirer's share of the ready-to-eat cereal segment will grow to 18%. The price tag includes over $1 billion in cash and 2.45 million shares of Post's common stock. Lenders have committed up to $700 million in financing under a secured term loan facility. The buyer said it will finance the remainder of the deal by selling about $240 million worth of shares in the company and use some of the cash it has on hand. For its fiscal year ended on Sept. 30, Post had nearly $270 million in cash and cash equivalents and an additional $370 million, roughly, in working capital. Meanwhile, its total debt is around $3.8 billion. Post will not assume any debt or cash from Minneapolis-based MOM as a result of the transaction. The buyer said the target had adjusted Ebitda for the fiscal year ended Dec. 27 of around $120 million, while the combination of the two companies is expected in three years to achieve another $50 million in cost savings on an annual basis. Post will have one-time costs of between $70 million to $80 million to achieve the cost-saving synergies, but will also gain tax benefits of about $200 million. The valuation for the deal works out to be close to 9.6 times the target's adjusted Ebitda. It is Post's latest acquisition in a string where the third largest U.S. cereal maker has been gobbling up other food companies. Those deals include the nearly $130 million purchase of peanut butter maker American Blanching Co. in August; a $2.45 billion buy of MFI Holding Corp. also known as Michael Foods Group Inc. in April; and the acquisition of PowerBar from Nestle SA in February. In December 2013, Post had added another peanut butter business, Golden Boy Foods Ltd., for approximately $300 million as well as protein bar maker Dymatize Enterprises LLC for another $380 million. MOM Brands will become a part of Post Foods, a unit of Post's Consumer Brands Group, which constitutes the acquirer's cereal business, and it will be led by Richard Koulouris who will join the company on Feb. 9. The target's CEO Chris Neugent will answer to Koulouris, while Koulouris will report to Post Foods' CEO Rob Vitale. "After a century of spirited rivalry between MOM Brands and Post, we now look forward to combining our strengths," Vitale said. Vitale will report to Jim Holbrook, the CEO of Post's Consumer Brands Group. MOM Brands is a maker of both branded and private label cereal. Its portfolio includes, in addition to its original Malt-O-Meal product, Frosted Mini Spooners, Golden Puffs, Cinnamon Toasters, Fruity Dyno-Bites, Cocoa Dyno-Bites, Berry Colossal Crunch, MOM's Best, Better Oats and Three Sisters. MOM offers the value version to its more famous competitors, usually packaged in large plastic bags rather than in boxes to save on costs. Post received financial advice from Barclays and Credit Suisse, while it received legal advice Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LC. MOM Brands received financial advice from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch team that included Carl Stickel, David Finkelstein, Marc Striowski and Ben Phelps, while Faegre Baker Daniels LLP provided the target with legal advice.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- National Bank of Greece shares are down 11.30% to $1.50 in early market trading on Monday as the market reacts negatively to Greece's election results that ushered the Syriza party into power. Party leader Alexis Tsipras has vowed to end the country's austerity cut backs and renegotiate the debt repayment plan the country agreed to under the previous leadership. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Investors are concerned about the strain the new governments leadership could put on relations between the country and other Eurozone currency bloc members. The German government has already said that it would not be amenable to a third debt restructuring agreement with Greece, though it did leave the door open for a possible extension of the country's current debt repayment agreement. TheStreet Ratings team rates NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE (NBG) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: NBG's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 70.23%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE turned its bottom line around by earning $1.98 versus -$27.80 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 71.7% in earnings ($0.56 versus $1.98). The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 30.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 9.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$92.93 million to -$83.82 million. 36.50% is the gross profit margin for NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -5.49% is in-line with the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: NBG Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Consumer packaged goods provider Procter & Gamble Co. is scheduled to report its second quarter 2015 earnings results before the market open on Tuesday. Analysts are expecting the company to post a year-over-year decline in earnings and revenue for the most recent quarter. Procter & Gamble has been forecast to report earnings of $1.13 per share on revenue of $20.62 billion for the 2015 second quarter. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. For the same period last year the company said its fiscal 2014 second quarter earnings were $1.18 per diluted share on revenue of $22.3 billion. Shares of Procter & Gamble are down by 1.24% to $88.96 in mid-morning trading on Monday. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PROCTER & GAMBLE CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate PROCTER & GAMBLE CO (PG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 77.73% to $3,633.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 62.34%. The gross profit margin for PROCTER & GAMBLE CO is rather high; currently it is at 53.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.57% trails the industry average. The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.50, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that PG's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.53, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs. PROCTER & GAMBLE CO's earnings per share declined by 34.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PROCTER & GAMBLE CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.98 versus $3.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.15 versus $3.98). Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. You can view the full analysis from the report here: PG Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of ChinaNet Online Holdings rose 4.39% to $2.14 in morning trading Monday after the business-to-business Internet technology company announced the launch of its Business Direct 3.0 mobile platform in conjunction with Baidu . ChinaNet said in a statement that the platform is "centered on mobile search, accounts, maps, personalized recommendations and other ways for customers to direct Reach Marketing services." The company also said Business Direct 3.0 would help make online users into offline customers, and ChinaNet anticipates this "underdeveloped market" to reach a potential market size of at least $12 billion. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer’s Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. More than 2.7 million shares had changed hands as of 10:37 a.m., compared to the daily average volume of 869,136. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS as a "sell" with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS (CNET) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS swung to a loss, reporting -$0.01 versus $0.13 in the prior year. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 178.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.16 million to -$0.91 million. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS is rather low; currently it is at 17.16%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -7.51% is significantly below that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.01 million or 100.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CNET Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Barrick Gold are lower by 1.52% to $12.24 in mid-morning trading Monday, with spot gold prices turning red as equities recover, CNBC reports. After the precious metal hit a five-month high last week, gold is reversing gains in today's session following the win of an anti-austerity party in the Greek elections, according to CNBC. Spot gold is down 1.3% to $1,277.36 an ounce as of 10:32 a.m. ET. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Canada-based Barrick operates mines and advanced exploration and development projects in Canada, the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Zambia, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BARRICK GOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BARRICK GOLD CORP (ABX) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $172.00 million to $125.00 million. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $852.00 million or 30.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, BARRICK GOLD CORP has marginally lower results. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 31.97%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 38.88% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. BARRICK GOLD CORP's earnings per share declined by 38.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BARRICK GOLD CORP reported poor results of -$9.63 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.65 versus -$9.63). The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, BARRICK GOLD CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABX Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of companies whose products combat the effects of storms are rising as the Northeast braces itself for what is being predicted to be among the worst winter storms in the region's history. STOCKS TO WATCH: The shares of generator maker Generac are rising about 5% to $48.32 in early trading. Two months after many in the New York area lost power for many days following Hurricane Sandy, Generac's stock rose to around $57 from about $26 before the storm. PowerSecure , which also sells generators, is also getting a bid, rising 5.4% to $9.89. Meanwhile, Douglas Dynamics , a maker of snow plows and sand and salt spreaders, is climbing 2.7% to $20.61, while deicing salt maker Compass Minerals is rising 0.4% to $91.24. WHAT'S NOTABLE: One sector not benefiting from the storm is the airline group. According to USA Today, over 4,3000 flights have already been canceled as a result of the blizzard. Publicly traded companies in the space include American Airlines , Delta Air Lines , JetBlue , Southwest and United Continental . Reporting by Larry Ramer.

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Caterpillar shares were ticking higher on Monday as the construction equipment and engine manufacturer gets ready to report fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday. The stock hit a new 52-week-low earlier this month as slower-than-expected global economic growth continues to pressure the stock. Caterpillar is expected to post a profit of $1.55 a share, down 2% from the year-earlier quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue is expected to fall 2% to $14.18 billion from last year's quarter. Shares were up 0.55%on Monday. Here's what analysts expect from Caterpillar's earnings. Must Read: Buy Caterpillar Stock, Collect Its Strong Dividend, Hold for the Long Term Nicole DeBlase, Morgan Stanley (Equal Weight; $93 PT) While we do forecast a $0.09 EPS beat for CAT's 4Q14, the company faces a difficult forecasting scenario given crude at $47/barrel and continued USD strength. As such, we believe that a flattish EPS outcome over 2014-16e is probable. Maintain EW. Despite the fact that CAT has recently underperformed on the back of O&G concerns, our model suggests flattish EPS results from 2014e through 2016e, yet consensus assumes a 6% EPS CAGR over this period. In this scenario, CAT is likely to face multiple compression. To this point, if we were to assume continued contraction to a 12x multiple, this would yield downside into the $70s. As such, given continued O&G risk, we remain comfortable on the sidelines. Must Read: 11 Biggest CEO Exits in 2014, Including Hertz, Mozilla, American Apparel Stephen Volkmann, Jefferies (Hold; $85 PT) 4Q could be in line with expectations but focus will remain on 2015. Consensus calls for a revenue increase of 1.3% which is in line with current company guidance of flat to up slightly. The mining end market continues to be weak (CAT announced additional layoffs in early January) and falling oil & gas are likely to pressure Energy end markets in 2015, with some indirect exposure affecting Construction. As such, we expect CAT to lower its 2015 forecast, perhaps to "flat to down slightly", with decremental margins in the 25-35% range as energy is the company's highest margin end market by a wide margin. TheStreet Ratings team rates CATERPILLAR INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CATERPILLAR INC (CAT) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market, CATERPILLAR INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. CATERPILLAR INC has improved earnings per share by 12.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CATERPILLAR INC reported lower earnings of $5.75 versus $8.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.55 versus $5.75). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Machinery industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 7.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $946.00 million to $1,017.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CAT Ratings Report Must Read: 10 Airline Stocks to Buy in an Era of Lower Fuel Prices

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NEW YORK ( The Deal) -- MeadWestvaco and Rock-Tenn said Monday they intend to combine in a deal that values each at more than $8 billion and would create the world's second-largest packaging manufacturer. Terms of the deal call for MeadWestvaco holders to receive 0.78 shares of the new company for each share held, while RockTenn holders can elect either one share of the merged entity or a cash amount equal to the volume weighted average price of RockTenn shares around the time of close. The elections are to be prorated in such a way that MWV holders will own about 50.1% of the new company, meaning about 7% of RockTenn holders are to receive cash. Post-deal the combination, which has yet to be named, will have RockTenn CEO Steven C. Voorhees as chief executive and current MeadWestvaco chief John A. Luke Jr. set to become non-executive chairman. The post-deal board will include eight RockTenn directors and six from MeadWestvaco, with the merged company keeping MeadWestvaco's Richmond headquarters and housing an operating office at RockTenn's Norcross, Ga., home base. The combined company would have annual Ebitda of about $2.9 billion on sales of $15.7 billion, including about $300 million in expected cost savings, creating a global packaging powerhouse. Together the companies would rank as the second-largest global packaging firm in terms of sales, trailing only International Paper . "This transaction brings together two highly complementary organizations to create a new, more powerful company with leadership positions in the global consumer and corrugated packaging markets," Voorhees said. "This is a terrific opportunity for shareholders, employees and customers of both companies, all of whom stand to benefit enormously from the combination." The deal comes just weeks after MeadWestvaco, which has been under pressure from activist Starboard Value, said that it was spinning off its specialty chemicals business to shareholders. Starboard, which as of December owned 6.1% of MeadWestvaco, had called on the company to also seek to monetize real estate assets and address what it called MWV's "overfunded" pension plan, among other criticisms. The companies said Monday that they are targeting MeadWestvaco owning 50.1% of the combination to facilitate the continued favorable tax attributes of the planned spin, which is to be completed after the merger closes. Luke, current CEO of MeadWestvaco, in a statement said that the deal is "a logical step that is borne of our strategic progress and financial success, and it offers MWV shareholders both immediate value and the opportunity to participate in significant upside as the new company generates substantial growth from its market-focused global strategy." Starboard had no immediate comment on Monday's announcement. Investors are believed to have until Wednesday, January 28, to nominate candidates to MeadWestvaco's board, a step Starboard according to sources was strongly considering prior to the merger agreement. RockTenn was advised by Blackstone Advisory Partners LP, with Lazard's Donald Fawcett and William Lewis providing a fairness opinion to RockTenn's board and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP acting as legal counsel. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP partners Barbara Becker and Dennis Friedman advised Lazard. MeadWestvaco received financial advice from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch team of Ravi Sinha, Joseph Messina, Kevin England, Bobby Connell and Ashrika Kohli along with Goldman, Sachs & Co., with Greenhill issuing a fairness opinion to the board and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz providing legal advice.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Regency Energy Partners are up 7.24% to $25.47 after Energy Transfer Partners agreed to merge with the pipeline company in a deal that values Regency Energy at about $18 billion including debt and liabilities, the companies said. This merger will create substantial cost savings, capital efficiencies and valuable ancillary benefits, the companies noted, as well as strengthen the overall growth platform for the combined company. The opportunities from this merger include not only the broader midstream footprint in Texas, but also the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Appalachia, where Regency's "extremely attractive and well-positioned" operations and growth projects complement ETP's Rover interstate gas, which will create over 3 Bcf/day of natural gas takeaway capacity from these plays, the companies said. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP (RGP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: RGP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 123.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 164.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $39.00 million to $103.00 million. REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $0.03 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.40 versus $0.03). The gross profit margin for REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 20.43%. Regardless of RGP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RGP's net profit margin of 6.94% compares favorably to the industry average. RGP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.70% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RGP Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kinross Gold are declining, lower by 2.08% to $3.30 in mid-morning trading on Monday, as gold prices reverse gains from last week as equities recover, according to CNBC. The wider markets are recovering after an anti-austerity party won elections in Greece, CNBC reports. After gold rose to its highest level since mid-August last week, it's giving back some of that ground once the uncertainty surrounding the Greek election was resolved, CNBC noted. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Spot gold is trading lower by 1.33% to $1,277 an ounce as of 10:20 a.m. ET today. Canada-based Kinross is engaged in gold mining and related activities, including exploration and acquisition of gold-bearing properties, the extraction and processing of gold-containing ore, and reclamation of gold mining properties. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates KINROSS GOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate KINROSS GOLD CORP (KGC) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 112.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $41.90 million to -$5.10 million. The share price of KINROSS GOLD CORP has not done very well: it is down 22.90% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time. KINROSS GOLD CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, KINROSS GOLD CORP reported poor results of -$2.64 versus -$2.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.13 versus -$2.64). The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, KINROSS GOLD CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. 43.61% is the gross profit margin for KINROSS GOLD CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -0.53% is in-line with the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: KGC Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- China Xd Plastics has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CHINA XD PLASTICS CO LTD (CXDC) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: CXDC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Auto Components industry and the overall market, CHINA XD PLASTICS CO LTD's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. CXDC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that CXDC's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.64 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity. The gross profit margin for CHINA XD PLASTICS CO LTD is rather low; currently it is at 22.27%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 13.66% is above that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $2.78 million or 86.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CXDC Ratings Report EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nervous investors are bracing for the release of second-quarter earnings Tuesday by Procter & Gamble , maker of consumer products, including Olay skin care, Pampers diapers and Tide detergent, but they shouldn't be as P&G has been a solid market performer over the past couple of years. The stock gained more than 15% for the past trailing 12 months, besting both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 9.11%) and the S&P 500 (up 12.22%). And when looking at P&G's three-year (up 43%) and five-year (up 49%) gains, few companies have been as consistent. Must Read: 16 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks With 50 Years of Increasing Dividends and Market-Beating Performance Still, shares of the Cincinnati-based company closed Friday at $90.08, losing 1.68%. The stock is down 1.11% for the year to date, slightly trailing the Dow Jones Industrial Average (down 0.84%) and the S&P 500 (down 0.34%). What is important to remember is the reason for the decline, however. Investors became jittery Friday after rival Kimberly-Clark posted downbeat fourth-quarter results and issued weak guidance, sending its shares down more than 6%. P&G investors didn't want to take any chances, but holding the shares through Tuesday's results isn't as big a risk as it seems. Despite headwinds in markets such as Europe and a strong U.S. dollar, P&G has increased its earnings year over year for eight consecutive quarters. Plus, the company has been working to streamline its product portfolio and has divested or discontinued more than half its global brands. These divestments include its Duracell battery line, which was acquired in November by Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway for about $3 billion. P&G described the deal, which is expected to close in the second half, as "tax efficient." This suggests that P&G plans to save money, while at the same time regaining Berkshire Hathaway's $4.7 billion stake in its business. When all is said and done, P&G said that it will keep just 70 to 80 brands, those that account for 90% of its revenue and 95% of its profits. And for shareholders who are willing to be patient, P&G, by its payout ratio of 60.35%, is paying them handsomely for betting on its future. Must Read: Why 3M Remains a Must-Own Stock Ahead of Fourth-Quarter Results Take a look at the chart: When compared with other conglomerates such as Colgate-Palmolive , Kimberly-Clark and 3M , P&G's payout ratio -- or the proportion of cash flow that it shares with investors -- stands out. And with its cash flow of $11.61 billion in the trailing 12 months exceeding the other three companies by wide margins, that is more money with which P&G will have to do things such as buying back its stock and raising its dividend. In other words, for P&G, this isn't about just one quarterly performance. The company is building long-term value through its divestments and its focus on higher-margin businesses. Investors should place their bets now, hold the stock for the long term and collect the solid dividend yield of 2.86%. Must Read: 11 Dividend Stocks Buffett, Soros and Other Billionaires Love Follow @Richard_WSPB // 0;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]>

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PARK CITY, UTAH (TheStreet) -- The movie business is on the verge of enormous change as Amazon and Neflix move into production and distributors of independent films increasingly look to combine a theatrical release with video-on-demand, say directors, producers and actors gathering at the annual Sundance Film Festival. Independent filmmakers -- who raise production money outside the major Hollywood studios -- say the future may be brighter than ever as e-commerce sites, streaming services and VOD platforms seek to bulk up their movie offerings. Must Read: Netflix Makes a Splash at Sundance by Unveilings Its First Movie "There are many more platforms on which you can distribute your film," Cassian Elwes, who helped produce the Sundance feature Knock Knock, said in an interview in Park City, Utah, where the festival has gathered for 31 years. "My hope is that as those platforms mature, those revenue streams really get to a critical mass so that it does encourage new distribution companies to get into the business." Recent announcements from Amazon and Netflix that two of the world's busiest web sites plan to dive into film production were roundly applauded at Sundance, which is the largest U.S. festival for independent filmmakers. The prospect that VOD is becoming a more central part of entertainment viewing is breathing a new sense of optimism into the business side of independent films, said Anne Carey, who helped produce Ten Thousand Saints, a feature film starring Ethan Hawke that made its debut at Sundance during the weekend. That's a stark contrast, she said, from two years ago when the economy had yet to show signs of recovery and filmmakers were still reluctant to use VOD platforms to release their work. "It does appear to be an active market, which is great," Carey said. "It's the general economic bounce back and that people are beginning to figure out the new model, so it's beginning to make sense for filmmakers and distributors." She and the other producers were in talks for a distribution deal for her film. Must Read: 2015 Sundance Film Fest Opener Chosen for Its Ability to 'Excite and Engage' Viewers New models of distribution are beginning to reshape an industry that has historically battled cycles of anemic financing. To recoup their investment, independent filmmakers have had to rely on national theater chains whose offerings are dominated by the largest Hollywood studios led Disney , Viacom's Paramount and Time Warner's Warner Bros. But as the viewing public increasingly embraces digital entertainment, distributors are developing new ways to make money. Some independent distributors such as IFC Films and Magnolia Pictures release their movies simultaneously online and in theaters, in a practice the industry calls "day-and-dates." Others such as the New York-based indie A24, a unit of Guggenheim Partners, routinely partner with DirecTV , the pay-TV operator, to release films both digitally and in theaters. A24 and DirecTV have been active at Sundance, acquiring the rights to The Witch, a horror picture that takes place in 1630s New England, for $1.5 million, according to Variety, and also buying The End of the Tour, a film about a five-day road trip with the writer David Foster Wallace. Prior to the start of the festival, A24 and DirecTV purchased the rights to Slow West, a western starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Michael Fassbinder that premiered on Saturday. "It's all a real positive for independent film," Slow West director John Maclean said in an interview. "It's not just about trying to get into a cinema because independent films haven't always been able to afford to distribute though theaters." Other filmmakers are bypassing theaters altogether, opting instead for digital distribution on sites such as Vimeo, the IAC/Interactive video-sharing platform that gives 90% of VOD sales to filmmakers. Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor was in Sundance to meet with filmmakers about releasing their works on the site's VOD platform. "It used to be that you could just get your film distributed theatrically, and then maybe there's cable VOD, and maybe there's DVD," Trainor said in an interview. "We're now coming into a world that because of newer platforms, a filmmaker can set any window that they want -- it can come before theatrical or after theatrical, or even instead of theatrical." A year ago at Sundance, Vimeo acquired The Internet's Own Boy, a documentary about the activist Aaron Swartz, and shortly afterward, Memphis, a feature about a boy's journey through the city in Tennessee. Both films had a short theatrical release before going to VOD. Must Read: Warren Buffet’s Top 10 Dividend Stocks for 2015 -- Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York Contact by Email. Follow @LeonLazaroff // 0;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]>

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of IAMGOLD are plummeting, down 7.09% to $2.62 in morning trading Monday, on declining gold prices as traders cashed in gains following the precious metal's five-month high last week, according to CNBC. Gold prices are falling this morning as equities recover following the victory by an anti-austerity party in the Greek elections, CNBC added. Spot gold is down 1.15% to $1,279.30 an ounce as of 10:11 a.m. ET today. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Canada-based IAMGOLD is a mining company with five operating gold mines including a niobium mine, a diamond royalty, and exploration and development projects located in Africa and the Americas. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates IAMGOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate IAMGOLD CORP (IAG) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: IAMGOLD CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, IAMGOLD CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$2.21 versus $0.89 in the prior year. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 386.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $25.30 million to -$72.50 million. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, IAMGOLD CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for IAMGOLD CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.55%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -21.22% is significantly below that of the industry average. The share price of IAMGOLD CORP has not done very well: it is down 13.86% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy. You can view the full analysis from the report here: IAG Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of RiT Technologies were gaining 44.8% to $1.39 Monday after the communication equipment company announced a new agreement with Wipro . Under the new agreement the two companies will work together to identify relevant projects in India, and customize their integrated solutions for those projects to "maximize their business in India." RiT said it is forming the new partnership due to the growing demand for IT solutions in India. IT spending is expected to reach $73.3 billion in 2015, according to Gartner. "We are confident that our cooperation with Wipro will enhance our value proposition by leveraging Wipro's vast experience, knowledge and presence in the Indian market, and is aligned with RiT's strategy of expanding our activity within APAC," Assaf Skolnik, VP Sales EMEA and APAC at RiT Technologies said in a statement. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. RITT data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Rock-Tenn Co. are higher by 10.02% to $69.30 in mid-morning trading on Monday, after it was announced that the manufacturer of corrugated and consumer packaging will merge with MeadWestvaco Corp. in a transaction with a combined equity value of $16 billion. The combined company will be named prior to the closing of the deal and will have $15.7 billion in net sales and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.9 billion. The merger will "create a leading global provider of consumer and corrugated packaging," MeadWestvaco said in a statement. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. MeadWestvaco shareholders will receive a 50.1% stake in the new company and Rock-Tenn shareholders will hold 49.9%. "This transaction brings together two highly complementary organizations to create a new, more powerful company with leadership positions in the global consumer and corrugated packaging markets," Rock-Tenn CEO Steven Voorhees said. "This is a terrific opportunity for shareholders, employees and customers of both companies, all of whom stand to benefit enormously from the combination. Importantly, our two companies are also an exceptional cultural fit, sharing a commitment to exceeding customer expectations and a focus on developing innovative packaging solutions," Voorhees added. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ROCK-TENN CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate ROCK-TENN CO (RKT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Compared to its closing price of one year ago, RKT's share price has jumped by 27.94%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, RKT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $402.70 million or 29.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 14.79%. The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.69, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.85 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RKT Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Canadian Natural Resources has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES (CNQ) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: CNQ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.49, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.34 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations. Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, CNQ has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 10.40% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has decreased by 11.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,168.00 million to $1,039.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CNQ Ratings Report EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Rockwell Medical are up 5.46% to $11.40 after the FDA approved the company's drug Triferic, which is used for treating iron loss in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis, Reuters reports. Triferic is a unique iron compound that is delivered to hemodialysis patients via dialysate, replacing the ongoing iron losses that occur during their dialysis treatment, Rockwell Medical noted. "We see Triferic as a paradigm shift in the treatment of anemia. Importantly, Triferic is the first product that can safely allow dialysis patients to maintain target hemoglobin without the need for IV iron," Chief Medical Officer of Rockwell Medical Raymond Pratt said. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. "We view today's FDA decision as a major development both for Rockwell and for the entire hemodialysis patient population who now have a significantly better treatment option for addressing their iron losses. We are highly confident in executing a successful commercial launch and penetrating the market," CEO Robert Chioini added. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC (RMTI) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The gross profit margin for ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.42%. Regardless of RMTI's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RMTI's net profit margin of -28.87% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average. RMTI has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.61% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time. ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.65 versus -$2.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.46 versus -$1.65). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 70.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$13.21 million to -$3.97 million. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 103.24% to $0.31 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -18.13%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RMTI Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cliffs Natural Resources shares are up 2.8% to $7.70 in early market trading on Monday after the international mining and natural resources company eliminated its 15 cent per share quarterly dividend. The move comes as the company said that it would instead use the resources set aside for the dividend to pay down its outstanding debt. The company said that it has already reduced its debt by more than $400 million through the fourth quarter through the repayment of short-term debt as well as the repurchase of more than $200 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes in the open market at an average discount of 34%. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. TheStreet Ratings team rates CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC (CLF) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 5116.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $117.20 million to -$5,879.60 million. The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 108.31 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.39, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $227.90 million or 23.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 23.26%, CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -29.15%. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 59.47%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 6021.53% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CLF Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google agreed to a deal with the National Football League to make some of its video available on YouTube and in search results, according to Re/code. Starting this week, fans will be able to access highlight clips from the professional football league through Google, ahead of the Super Bowl game, Re/code reports. Google will also distribute information about football games and scores through its "OneBox" results format, Re/code added. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Google's video streaming service YouTube already has deals with pro baseball, basketball and hockey leagues, noted Re/code. Shares of Google are are declining by 0.87% to $537.21 in early market trading on Monday. Mountain View-CA, based Google is a global technology company with its business primarily focused around key areas, such as search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, enterprise and hardware products. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 28.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.03, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. Net operating cash flow has increased to $5,994.00 million or 17.92% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, GOOGLE INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 26.10%. GOOGLE INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOOGLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $37.91 versus $32.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($51.45 versus $37.91). You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOGL Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google agreed to a deal with the National Football League to distribute some of its video ahead of the Super Bowl, according to Re/code. Starting this week, NFL highlight clips will be available on Google's YouTube as well as in Google search results, Re/code reports. The global technology giant will also provide information about games and scores through its "OneBox" results format, Re/code added. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. As part of the deal, Google will sell ads and share revenue with the NFL while promoting the professional football league on YouTube and in other places, Re/code noted. Shares of Google are down 0.96% to $534.76 in early market trading Monday. GOOG data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Brazilian iron ore miner Vale S.A. fell 3.06% to $7.61 in morning trading Monday after iron ore prices hit new lows. Prices of the steel making ingredient continued to decline to their lowest levels in more than five years Monday as steel demand growth in China continues to slow and iron ore oversupply continues. Iron ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, dropped 4.3% to $63.54 a metric ton on Monday, the lowest price since May 2009, to extends its 11% decline year to date. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer’s Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Vale and other major iron ore producers pledged late last year not to trim production despite the oversupply. Goldman Sachs downgraded Vale to "neutral" last Friday and reduced its iron ore forecast by 18% for 2015, 23% for 2016, and 25% for the long-term. Goldman cited increased oversupply and indications of more cost deflation within the mining industry as the reasons for the reductions. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates VALE SA as a "sell" with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate VALE SA (VALE) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 140.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3,565.05 million to -$1,437.00 million. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,940.00 million or 36.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, VALE SA has marginally lower results. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VALE SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 35.73%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 140.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy. VALE SA has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALE SA reported lower earnings of $0.01 versus $0.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus $0.01). You can view the full analysis from the report here: VALE Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coach Inc. is scheduled to report its fiscal 2015 second quarter earnings results before the market open on Tuesday. Analysts are expecting the designer handbag, clothing, shoes, and accessories maker to post a significant year-over-year decline in earnings and revenue for the most recent quarter. Analysts have forecast for earnings of 66 cents per share on revenue of $1.23 billion for the 2015 second quarter. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Last year at this time Coach said its fiscal 2014 second quarter earnings results were $1.06 per share on revenue of $1.42 billion. Over the summer Coach announced it would be closing 70 of its North American stores due to a decline in sales as the company struggled against industry rivals, Reuters reported. Shares of Coach are lower by 1.12% to $37.20 in mid-morning trading on Monday. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates COACH INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate COACH INC (COH) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: COH's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.37, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems. The gross profit margin for COACH INC is currently very high, coming in at 73.32%. Regardless of COH's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, COH's net profit margin of 11.46% compares favorably to the industry average. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 45.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $217.88 million to $119.10 million. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $138.90 million or 15.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: COH Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Comtech Telecommun has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate COMTECH TELECOMMUN (CMTL) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: COMTECH TELECOMMUN has improved earnings per share by 14.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, COMTECH TELECOMMUN increased its bottom line by earning $1.40 versus $0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.77 versus $1.40). CMTL has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.41, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. 48.35% is the gross profit margin for COMTECH TELECOMMUN which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, CMTL's net profit margin of 6.83% significantly trails the industry average. CMTL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CMTL Ratings Report EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Freeport McMoRan are cheap compared with copper and gold when you analyze long-term and short-term performance measures. The stock is down 104% since July, while copper has declined 24% over the same period and gold just 4%. Freeport McMoRan is down 69% since January 2011, while copper is down 46% since February 2011 and gold is down 33% since Sept. 2011. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More So far in 2015, Freeport McMoRan is down 21% but is 7.8% above its Jan. 14 multiyear intraday low at $17.85. Copper is down 11% year to date and is 3.2% above its Jan. 14 low. Gold is up 9% year to date and is 14% above its multiyear low of $1,130.40 set on Nov. 7. Freeport McMoRan reports quarterly results before the opening bell on Tuesday, and analysts on average expect the copper miner to report earnings of 37 cents per share. The company has beat earnings estimates for eight consecutive quarters, although this has not helped the stock. Following are the performance statistics and how to trade the stock. Freeport McMoRan ($19.24) had a loss of 38% in 2014 and set its 2014 intraday high of $39.32 on July 10. The stock has a year-to-date loss of 21% and is 104% below the 2014 high. The stock is below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $24.20 and $31.82, respectively. It set a multiyear intraday low at $17.85 on Jan. 14. The weekly chart for Freeport McMoRan ended last week negative but oversold with its key weekly moving average at $23.00. Investors looking to buy Freeport McMoRan should enter a good-'til-canceled limit order to buy weakness to a key weekly technical level at $16.42. Investors looking to reduce positions should enter a good-'til-canceled limit order to sell strength to a key quarterly technical level at $28.13. Let's take a look at the daily chart for Freeport McMoRan. Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith The daily chart for Freeport McMoRan shows the stock below its 200-day simple moving average (green line) since Sept. 17, when the average was $34.77. Note that the 50-day simple moving average at $24.20 is well below the 200-day SMA at $31.82 following a "death cross" confirmed on Oct. 14. Technicians define a "death cross" as a formation where the 50-day SMA plunges below the 200-day SMA. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend-Paying Stocks for 2015 Here's the weekly chart for Freeport McMoRan. Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith The weekly chart of Freeport McMoRan shows that the stock has been trading back and forth around its 200-week simple moving average (green line) since September 2008. Note that the 2014 high set at $39.32 on July 10 was a near test of the 200-week SMA, which was then at $39.37. The weekly chart is negative but oversold with its key weekly moving average (red line) at $23.00 and the 200-week SMA at $36.28. The stock's momentum reading shown along the bottom of the graph (in red) is below the oversold threshold of 20.00 at 17.13. Must Read: Buy These 5 'Dogs of the Dow' for Gains in the New Year Follow @Suttmeier TheStreet Ratings team rates FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC (FCX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, with some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk." You can view the full analysis from the report here: FCX Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Mattel are down 5.17% to $26.59 after the company announced that CEO Bryan G. Stockton resigned. Christopher A. Sinclair has been named the company's chairman and interim CEO effective immediately, the company said. Stockton had been working to overhaul a culture of conference rooms and PowerPoint presentations so the company could get back to thinking about toys, the Wall Street Journal noted. Mattel also announced preliminary fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results that missed analysts' expectations. For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $149.9 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to net income of $369.2 million, or $1.07 per share a year ago. Analysts expected 92 cents. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Worldwide net sales in the fourth quarter were $1.99 billion, compared to $2.11 billion last year. Analysts were looking for $2.12 billion. For the year the company reported net income of $498.9 million, or $1.45 per share, compared to net income of $903.9 million, or $2.58 per share in 2013. Analysts expected $1.92. Worldwide net sales were $6.02 billion, compared to $6.48 billion the year before. The average of 12 analysts' estimates was $6.16 billion. MAT data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Egalet shares are up 3.04% to $8.80 in early market trading on Monday after the pharmaceutical company's price target was raised to $18 from $12 by analysts at Canaccord Genuity, who reiterated their "buy" rating. The firm expects to see positive results from a head to head likeability test of the the company's EGLT-002 abuse-deterrent oxycodone versus Purdue's Oxycontin OP by mid year. The firm expects those positive results to move the stock higher. "Top-line results from the Category 3 abuse-deterrent human abuse liability (HAL) study for EGLT-001 showed significantly lower potential for abuse vs. manipulated MS Contin, a positive in giving further validation of the company's Guardian Technology," analysts said. "We increase our price target to $18 and maintain our BUY rating as we have higher confidence in seeing a positive result from the Category 3 EGLT-002 study and phase 3 EGLT-001 clinical study. In our NPV valuation, we increase our probability adjustment of EGLT-001 and EGLT-002 to 65% and 50%, respectively, from 50% and 35%." Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. EGLT data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Can Microsoft finally become cool? That's what Wall Street is wondering as the software company gets set to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings after Monday's market close. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 as a free upgrade for customers who use Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, and upgrade in the first year. It also unveiled Microsoft HoloLens - the first advanced holographic computer, it said in a press release. Microsoft is expected to post earnings per share of 71 cents, down 9% from last year's December quarter. Revenue is expected to rise 7% to $26.29 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Must Read: Drones Are Coming, Facebook Makes Changes: 5 More Tech Predictions for 2015 Shares were down 1% to $46.70 in morning trading. Here's what analysts said. Rick Sherlund, Nomura (Buy; $56 PT) We look for some upside to revenues and earnings. There may be confusion with some estimates including restructuring charges and others excluding. With the public pledge made last week to deliver unfinished elements or enhancements in Windows 10 to the Windows installed base for no additional charge we suspect Microsoft will now need to begin to defer some portion of Windows revenues, both for the traditional tech guarantee that precedes all new releases of Windows and Office but also on an ongoing basis for the stated intention of delivering free enhancements to the upcoming Windows 10 installed base for the life of the respective devices. This does not impact cash flow but could dampen EPS estimates. Overall, there should be some revenue upside in Q2 results given that Surface Pro likely exceeded the 1 plus million unit estimate for the quarter and Xbox may also have done a bit better than expected, all in addition to a stable PC environment and likely continued strong growth of server products and the cloud. The gross margin is now likely positive (about 10% we estimate) for Surface Pro but upside in units and revenues does not likely enhance earnings materially. We look for evidence that the cost structure is running below guidance, with the potential for higher EPS estimates for fiscal (June) 2015. Must Read: 11 Biggest CEO Exits in 2014, Including Hertz, Mozilla, American Apparel Heather Bellini, Goldman Sachs (Sell; $39 PT) While the new team is making the right moves in our opinion, we see EPS as continuing to be pressured going forward and highlight 5 challenges for CY15 - 1) negative estimate revisions, 2) gross margin pressure due to mix shift, 3) headwinds as ASPs and mix of PCs change, 4) Windows 10 is likely to usher in pricing changes, and 5) tough comps in commercial licensing. For the quarter, we expect slight upside on the top line driven by segments such as D&C Hardware and Commercial Other, while we once again expect continued pressure on Commercial Licensing. As such, we could see slight upside to the top and bottom line for the December quarter when coupled with conservative opex guidance. However, we once again expect out quarter guidance to move lower for both revenue and EPS driven by lower D&C and Commercial Licensing versus the Street. Keith Weiss, Morgan Stanley (Equal Weight; $54 PT) If CY14 was about lifting investors' expectations about what is possible at MSFT, continued momentum in CY15 likely hinges on turning that potential into a reality of stronger EPS growth. We believe FQ2 results will support investors' optimistic views on the cloud story and better margins at MSFT. A stable enterprise business, accelerating Azure / Office 365 adoption and a strong holiday season for Surface and Xbox point to a good FQ2 for Microsoft. Data points around Azure adoption are increasingly positive while our recent CIO survey shows Office 365 adoption expected to move from 29% today to 59% over the next two years. At the same time, we expect FQ2 results to demonstrate stronger expense management, which should support sustained EPS growth beyond FY15. Microsoft generates ~55% of revenue internationally; however, hedging instruments, the high percentage of revenue coming from ratable contracts (~40%) and OEM contracts priced in USD will moderate the FX impact to revenue. We look for Microsoft's EPS to grow ~10% from FY15-FY17 plus a dividend yield of 3%, which drives a total return of ~13% from FY15-FY17 for MSFT- modestly more attractive than the ~10-11% total return (EPS growth + dividend yield) of the S&P 500 today. With the stock trading at 14x CY16e EPS (11x ex-cash) versus the S&P at 16x, we see room for the stock to move modestly higher towards our $54 price target as EPS growth begins to accelerate on the back of recent initiatives. Colin Gillis, BGC Financial (Hold; $49 PT) Shares of MSFT had a total return of 27.5% in 2014 (dividends reinvested), but are trading approximately flat year-to-date (+0.52%) ahead of December quarter results that are typically the strongest of the year. The December quarter also typically marks strong hardware sales (Xbox, phones, tablets) which drives revenue but has a lower margin profile. We are broadly positive on the steps taken in the first year by the new CEO Satya Nadella, but remain concerned that the company may incur a period of inflection with compressed revenue growth caused by its recently reduced market share in both operating system and productivity tools, and the recent efforts made by the company to regain share. This includes: 1) Providing Windows 10 as a free upgrade. This is important to rotate customers onto the latest operating system, and serves as a lever to entice developers to build applications for the platform. That said, a company whose primary business is selling software may have a near-term negative impact providing the product for free. We expect Microsoft still generates license fees from the sale of new PCs. 2) Free office suite for iPad, iPhone and Android to consumers. Again, we see this move as necessary to keep consumers from rotating to other productivity suites, but there is likely to be a negative impact as a product that was sold is now free. We expect that the company is going to build up secondary revenue streams such as OneDrive revenue over time. 3) No license fees for tablets and phones with screen sizes below 9 inches. This is a move to help hardware manufactures be competitive on price to gain traction in tablets and phones. The strategy has not improved Microsoft's irrelevance in the space. Must Read: Byron Wien's 10 Surprises for 2015 and 4 Bonus Predictions TheStreet Ratings team rates MICROSOFT CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MSFT's share price has jumped by 31.17%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MSFT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 26.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 25.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Although MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, MSFT has a quick ratio of 2.28, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $8,354.00 million or 1.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, MICROSOFT CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 11.90%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSFT Ratings Report Must Read: 10 Stocks Every Millennial Should Add to Their Portfolio Right Now

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Garmin are getting a lift, higher by 2.18% to $54.17 in early market trading on Monday, after analysts at RBC Capital raised its rating on the navigation device maker to "outperform" from "sector perform" this morning. The firm also upped its price target to $67 from $65 on shares, citing valuation. RBC analysts said the company has a relatively high currency risk. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Switzerland-based Garmin provides navigation, communication and information devices and applications, which are enabled by global positioning system technology. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GARMIN LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate GARMIN LTD (GRMN) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. GRMN has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, GRMN has a quick ratio of 1.59, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. The gross profit margin for GARMIN LTD is rather high; currently it is at 58.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -20.78% is in-line with the industry average. Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels. GARMIN LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GARMIN LTD increased its bottom line by earning $3.12 versus $2.77 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 0.3% in earnings ($3.11 versus $3.12). You can view the full analysis from the report here: GRMN Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of D.R. Horton Inc. are higher by 3.98% to $24.02 at the start of trading on Monday morning, after the homebuilder reported a year-over-year increase in earnings and revenue for the fiscal 2015 first quarter, topping analysts' expectations. For the most recent quarter D.R. Horton said its net income was $142.5 million, or 39 cents per diluted share compared to $123.2 million, or 36 cents per diluted share for the 2014 fiscal first quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting the company to post a loss of 34 cents per share for the quarter. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. D.R. Horton's total homebuilding revenue for the 2015 first quarter was $2.25 billion versus $1.64 billion for the year ago period. Analysts had estimated $2.08 billion in revenue for the latest quarter. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates D R HORTON INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate D R HORTON INC (DHI) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full analysis from the report here: DHI Ratings Report DHI data by YCharts STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond are up 0.87% to $77.29 in early market trading on Monday after analysts at Oppenheimer upgraded the home goods retailer to "outperfrom" from "perform" this morning. The firm also raised its price target on Bed Bath & Beyond to $85 from $69, citing a better macro outlook. Oppenheimer analysts believe that lower gas prices and an improved U.S. employment situation should boost consumer spending. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Union, NJ-based Bed Bath & Beyond with its subsidiaries is a retailer selling a range of domestic merchandise, including bed linens and related items, bath items and kitchen textiles, as well as other home goods. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BED BATH & BEYOND INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BED BATH & BEYOND INC (BBBY) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year. BED BATH & BEYOND INC has improved earnings per share by 9.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, BED BATH & BEYOND INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.81 versus $4.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.05 versus $4.81). Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, BED BATH & BEYOND INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: BBBY Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pier 1 Imports Inc. was upgraded to "outperform" from "perform" at Oppenheimer on Monday morning. The firm said it raised its rating on the home furnishings and décor retailer based on its belief that Pier 1 will be able to improve its margins. Oppenheimer completed a comprehensive review of the hardlines retail sector and said while challenges still persist "bright spots are emerging and are enough to encourage us to at least somewhat ease off our long-held cautious stance toward the sector." Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. "The combination of now much lower gas prices and the potential for better wage growth following several years of steady job creation should prove an incremental boost to spending, particularly within the ranks of mid-and lower income consumers," Oppenheimer added. Shares of Pier 1 are up by 1.47% to $17.21 at the start of trading this morning. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PIER 1 IMPORTS INC/DE as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate PIER 1 IMPORTS INC/DE (PIR) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.69, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.24 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PIER 1 IMPORTS INC/DE has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500. 42.29% is the gross profit margin for PIER 1 IMPORTS INC/DE which we consider to be strong. Regardless of PIR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.68% trails the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: PIR Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors shares are up 0.33% to $201.95 in pre-market trading on Monday after the electric vehicle manufacturer said that it will roll out its new vehicle models in China in the coming months, business-development chief Diarmuid O'Connell told the Wall Street Journal today. O'Connell said that the company plans to unveil its dual-motor Model S in the coming months and its Model X SUV sometime next year. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. The announcement comes on the heels of a disappointing year in sales for the Palo Alto, CA-based car company headed by Elon Musk, who had previously said that he would consider it a success if his company sold 5,000 Teslas in China in 2014. Registration numbers compiled by research firm JL Warren Capital showed that the company sold a little less than 2,500 vehicles in the nine months they were available in the country. Musk told the Journal in an interview earlier this year that slowing fourth quarter sales due to the misconception that charging the vehicles would be difficult in the country was to blame for the missed sales target. TheStreet Ratings team rates TESLA MOTORS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate TESLA MOTORS INC (TSLA) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 94.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$38.50 million to -$74.71 million. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$28.00 million or 127.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.60 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, TSLA's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.38, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market, TESLA MOTORS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Compared to where it was a year ago, the stock is now trading at a higher level, and has traded in line with the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year. You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Two lessons have emerged from the first week of airline earnings which triggered a rush to buy airline stocks and erased 2015 losses for shareholders. First, it seems, United is back, or at least on the way back, after years of trailing American and Delta in various industry metrics. Must Read: The U.S. Is the Best Place To Be -- Just Ask Delta Airlines "Uh-Oh Is the giant awake? Sure seems like it," was the title of a report by Cowen & Co. analyst Helane Becker after United reported earnings last Thursday. Secondly, Alaska has apparently found a way to prosper despite Delta's intrusion on its Seattle hub. For some (including me) it was hard to imagine that would occur. More revelations may come when American reports on Tuesday morning and when JetBlue reports on Thursday. One thing is obvious: Expectations are high. Since the close of trading on Friday, Jan. 16, the shares of every major airline have risen between 10% and 11%. Markets were closed on Monday Jan. 19, and Delta kicked off airline earnings on Tuesday. Alaska, Southwest and United all reported on Thursday. At Friday's close, Delta shares traded at $50.56, up 10% in a week. Alaska closed at $68.65, up 10% in a week. Southwest closed at $55.69, up 11%. United closed at $73.10, up 11%. American closed at $49.81, up 11%. JetBlue closed at $16.55, up 11%. In her report on United, Becker wrote that "United continues to build credibility with their turnaround story with solid 4Q14 results and an improving outlook for 2015." Noting that the carrier came in 2 cents below estimates, Becker said, "We acknowledge that some bears (if they exist in the airline space right now) would view 4Q14 results coming below expectations as a negative. However we believe the investment community is much more focused on the outlook, especially (passenger revenue per available seat mile), which was much better than expected." Becker has an outperform rating on United and an $85 price target. She raised her current quarter estimate to $1.38 a share from 29 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate $1.15. Must Read: Before Its Tie-up with US Airways, American Eyed United, Book Says Imperial Capital analyst Bob McAdoo isn't quite so enthusiastic. He has an "in-line" rating and a $75 price target. United "should benefit from lower fuel costs, but operating margins will likely continue to lag peers," he wrote. As for Alaska, Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay wrote, "Since 2013, Delta has taken 8 percentage points of market share at Seattle, almost none of which has come at ALK's expense. Over that time low cost carrier capacity there is down 3% and the number of ALK's monopoly markets has increased by 10%. "Delta, with costs from 10% to 25% above ALK's (depending on the math), is the other airline on 28% of ALK's duopoly markets now, up from 3% in 2013, " Keay said. "DAL's growth in Seattle has been a clear positive for ALK but uninterested investors see a turf battle and move on," Keay said. "Our advice: stop moving on." Keay has been Alaska's biggest booster in the face of Delta's assault on Seattle. He has a "market overweight" rating and a $92 dollar target price. Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Linenberg has been a leading skeptic. He has a "hold" rating and a $71 target price. "We continue to see growing competition and unit revenue pressures in Alaska's Seattle hub (e.g. we are projecting Mar Q PRASM -5.9%)," Linenberg wrote." (But) we believe ALK should be able to more than offset that through lower fuel costs and announced ancillary revenue initiatives. As such, we are raising our 2015/16 EPS estimates as well as our price target to $71," he said. "Given that the implied upside is less than 10%, we are maintaining our hold rating on this high quality and well-run company." High quality and well-run? Yes, absolutely. But at this moment, in an industry where a rising tide is lifting every boat, that gets you nothing but a hold rating. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. To contact this writer, click here. Follow @tedreednc

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Dish Network made headlines when it unveiled Sling TV at CES earlier this year, but after having played with the service for a few days, it seems to have too many bugs for it to be taken seriously -- for now. Dish's new Sling unit will continue to usher in the revolution of cord-cutting, a practice that allows customers to stop paying monstrous cable bills and just pay for Internet and services they like, such as Netflix , Amazon Prime and others. While allowing cord-cutters to avoid paying for channels they don't watch, Sling's $20 a month TV service lets them keep watching live sports on ESPN (owned by Walt Disney ) -- which has been the glue holding together pay TV's current structure -- with no commitment or contract. Slated for release some time in the first quarter of 2015, Sling TV still has some serious glitches to work out. Must Read: CES 2015 Day 1 Recap Setup is dead easy, with users entering their name, email address and credit card information. From there, you can pick any of the channels in your package (Sling starts at $20 a month, and then has multiple add-ons at $5 a month for kids, news and soon to come, sports) and start watching on almost any device. A Sling spokesowman said more add-on packages would be coming at a later, unspecified date. I used my iPhone 5s, and Sling supports a number of devices, but not all, unfortunately. For instance, you can watch it on devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, but not on Apple TV or Google Chromecast. You can watch it on Xbox One, but not PlayStation 3 or 4. A Sling spokeswoman said "More devices will be announced soon, so stay tuned." (For a full list of devices available, check Sling's website). After you've gotten set up and started watching the bevy of programming, the first thing you'll notice is the quality. It's as crystal clear as one would expect. Granted, I was watching on an iPhone, but if you're watching on an approved HDTV, you most likely won't be able to tell the difference. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More Though it's tough to differentiate between 720p and 1080i definition, Sling TV doesn't, at least for now, offer 4K streaming. With 4K television sets now close to becoming the norm rather than the exception, I suspect that Sling may offer a 4K streaming option, much as Netflix does, but for a higher price. Flipping through the channels was exceptionally easy, especially on a mobile device. All you have to do is swipe left or right to find the particular channel you want to watch, hit the program and enjoy. It's as simple as that. Much like Netflix, Sling also offers movies on demand, but that's where a lot of my issues with the service came in. I tried renting Lucy, Guardians of the Galaxy and a few others, but was told the beta app was having problems renting movies. @Chris_Ciaccia Our Beta app is having issues with on-demand rentals. Please use our regular DW app. Sorry for the inconvenience. *FC — Sling Answers (@slinganswers) January 24, 2015 The user interface is great, as you can select which movie you want to watch based on a number of preferences, but the movies need to actually work in order for a user to enjoy them. I understand the service is still in beta (the first batch of invites start at 12 a.m. on Jan. 27 with more expected to come in the next two weeks), but to be unable to watch any movie is unacceptable this close to launch. Sling TV won't solve all your cord-cutting needs, as it doesn't have basic channels, such as CBS, NBC, ABC or FOX, but those channels can be accessed fairly easily, either buying an HD-antenna or watching programming on their respective websites. Sling has told me, "As we find willing programming partners that want to serve customers in a new way, we will continue to add more programming to Sling TV's lineup." In addition to ESPN and ESPN 2, Sling's over-the-top (OTT) service package also offers TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. Subscribers can watch whatever they want wherever they have access to broadband. Previously, I said that Sling TV was the most important announcement of the first day at the 2015 version of CES, and after having spent a few days testing it out, I still feel that way and then some. The inclusion of ESPN on a streaming service is a breakthrough, and not just because you can watch ESPN on any device. It's because you don't need a contract to do so, and don't need to enter your cable login information before watching. It's a breath of fresh air, honestly. With Time Warner's October 2014 announcement that it's going to sell HBO directly to consumers without a cable subscription, and with other services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sling TV, consumers are getting closer than ever to getting rid of that ungodly expensive cable bill. Unfortunately for Sling, it still has a few major bugs to work on before I'm ready to call my cable provider and tell them I no longer want TV, just Internet. We're getting closer though, and that's all you can ask for. Final Grade: 7/10 --Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia Must Read: 16 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks With 50 Years of Increasing Dividends and Market-Beating Performance

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hasbro's Monopoly, the classic real-estate board game based on the streets of Atlantic City, N.J., officially turns 80 on March 19, 2015. In celebration of the game's legacy and fandom, Monopoly has released an 80th Anniversary Edition game featuring a vintage-style board and one iconic token from each of its eight decades. While its history may be controversial (more on that later), Monopoly has continued to evolve over the years. Parker Brothers originally rejected the game due to its length, theme and complexity. After Monopoly found local support in Philadelphia, the company purchased the rights to the game and sold it in the U.S. and the U.K. Since then, Monopoly has been published in 47 languages, sold in 114 countries, and played by over one billion people around the world. Interested to see how the game has evolved from its first edition? Click through to the following pages. Must Read: 20 Best-Selling Books on Amazon in 2014 According to Hasbro , Charles Darrow of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania first developed the game of Monopoly in 1933. However, in 1904, a woman named Lizzie Magie patented a board game called the Landlord’s Game. "The object of the game," the patent states, "is to obtain as much Wealth or money as possible" by buying properties along the board and collecting rent. Over the years, players created their own adaptations of the Landlord’s Game. In 1933, Darrow used household materials to create a version of this game called Monopoly, which he sold to local department stores. Parker Brothers, and now Hasbro, have denied a connection between Monopoly and the Landlord’s Game both publicly and in court. Journalist Mary Pilon explores this history further in her upcoming book The Monopolists. Must Read: 10 Best Ads of 2014, Including a Super Bowl Ad That Wasn't a Super Bowl Ad In the first year that Monopoly was owned by Parker Brothers, the company produced 35,000 copies which were sold for $2.50 each. The first licensed Monopoly game was made to be sold in England and used London street names, rather than those in Atlantic City, for its board. Since then, new editions for countries outside of the United States have followed this practice. Must Read: 14 Expensive Restaurants You Can't Afford to Eat at Unless You're Rich Records of the wildly popular and "favorite fast dealing property trading game" reveal the many creative locations where Monopoly has been played, including underground, on a ceiling, and on a U.S. Nuclear Submarine. More surprisingly, Monopoly was used during World War II to smuggle money, escape maps, compasses, and files to Prisoners of War in Germany. Must Read: 12 Best Small and Medium-Sized Businesses to Work for in 2015 Since 1935, Monopoly has updated its rules and gameplay, albeit far less dramatically than it did in the thirty years prior. Some Chance and Community Chest cards, such as the outdated "Grand Opera Opening," have been replaced by more modern ones. To address the problem of games being too time consuming (the longest game on record took 70 consecutive days to finish), the "speed die" was added to the standard game. The speed die is used in addition to the two classic white dice and with slightly altered rules. Players start the game with an additional $1,000. Each roll is performed with all three dice. The "speed die" has different markings than traditional dice and when rolled forces players into certain actions meant to accelerate the pace of the game. In 2013, fans helped Hasbro decide through Facebook which "House Rules" should be considered for the standard game. As players were already creating their own personalized rules, Hasbro took this opportunity to include fans in the discussion over changes being made to the game. Several rules were added in 2014, including Free Parking, Fast Cash, Dash for the Cash, Frozen Assets, See the Sights, and Lucky Roller. Must Read: 'American Sniper' Beat These 12 Oscar-Nominated Movies at the Box Office Some of the biggest yet lesser known changes to the game may be those from the original Landlord’s Game to the Monopoly of today. While the goal of the Landlord’s Game was to obtain the most wealth, Lizzie Magie created the game as a criticism of capitalism. Her game was meant to show how, by collecting rents, landlords became rich at the expense of the tenants, who became increasingly poor. However, as popularity grew, players began to change the rules and lose sight of her message. By the time Charles Darrow created Monopoly, Magie’s message was nowhere to be found. In Monopoly Empire, introduced in 2013, the capitalist goal is clear: Players win by acquiring top corporations and creating empires. Causing opponents to go bankrupt is not necessary in this edition. Instead, the goal is to simply become the wealthiest player in the game. Must Read: 11 Biggest CEO Exits in 2014, Including Hertz, Mozilla, American Apparel There are over 300 licensed versions of the Monopoly game, covering various themes and available in many different languages. For the visually impaired, there is even a version in Braille. In 1990, Monopoly Junior was created and marketed to children over the age of 5. In 2008, fans across the world set the record for the most people playing Monopoly at the same time and voted Montreal as the most expensive property on the "Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition" board. It is clear that Hasbro takes participation and feedback from Monopoly's fans seriously, which does not go unnoticed. Must Read: 10 Investment Banks That Stand To Lose The Most From Oil’s Decline Charles Darrow, at the suggestion of his nieces, created tokens that resembled charms on a charm bracelet. Monopoly’s original die-cast tokens were a lantern, racecar, purse, shoe, top hat, rocking horse, battleship, thimble, cannon, and an iron. More than 20 different tokens have been created for different Monopoly editions, including a bag of money, and an elephant. In 2013, fans voted in Monopoly’s "Save Your Token" campaign for the iron piece to be substituted for a cat in the standard edition game. Today, the standard tokens are a wheelbarrow, top hat, racecar, dog, boot, thimble, battleship, and cat. Must Read: Morningstar's 5 Top Bank Stocks for When the Fed Raises Interest Rates in 2015 Monopoly has left an impact not only on families across the world, but also on pop culture. Characters in both the book and movie versions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest play a game of Monopoly, as well as characters in Gossip Girl and Zombieland. McDonald’s has offered its Monopoly at McDonald’s Game since 1987. In this sweepstakes, McDonald's customers receive game pieces styled after the Monopoly board that they can redeem for various prizes. Prizes have ranged from free menu items and gift cards to a Super Bowl trip for two. Today, customers in over 10 countries can participate in the sweepstakes. Additionally, the Monopoly brand has embraced the digital age. The game can be played on all major digital platforms, console, mobile, and online. In 2008, the iPhone added Monopoly to the App Store. Must Read: 12 Small-Cap Industrials Stocks That Could Hit It Big in 2015 In honor of one of the world’s most popular gaming brands, Monopoly has developed an 80th Anniversary Edition Game. With a vintage board and an iconic token from each of its eight decades, this new edition embraces Monopoly’s evolution over the years. To learn more about Monopoly, visit the official website. Must Read: 10 Biggest Deals Involving Venture Capital-Backed Companies in 2014

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