According to a recent Deloitte survey focused on U.S. consumers and their pantries, name brand loyalty has declined for the third consecutive year. An astounding nine out of 10 consumers are still trading down to private-label brands, despite improvements in the economy. This survey suggests that consumers have not only grown more mindful of their spending habits, but also learned along the way that in-store alternative brands are often comparable. Motley Fool contributor Steve Heller believes that the trend of continued frugality is likely to persist, putting Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM ) and Costco (NASDAQ: COST ) in great position to benefit to boost their margins. Check out the video below to hear his thoughts on the issue.
Costco's low prices haven't just benefited customers -- shareholders have walloped the market, returning 11,000% over the past two decades. However, with prices near all-time highs, is the ride over for Costco investors? To answer that and more, The Motley Fool's compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on Costco.�Simply click here now to gain instant access to this valuable investor's resource.
Top 5 Gas Utility Companies To Invest In Right Now: AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund Inc (AWF)
AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund, Inc., (the Fund), formerly Alliance World Dollar Government Fund II, Inc. is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. This Fund seeks high current income and secondarily, capital appreciation. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 65% of its total assets in sovereign debt obligations issued or guaranteed by foreign governments. Up to 35% of the Fund's investments may comprise high-yielding, high-risk fixed-income securities issued by United States corporations. AllianceBernstein Investments, Inc., an affiliate of AllianceBernstein L.P., is the manager of the Fund.
The Fund is permitted to invest, without limit, in securities denominated in non-United States currencies, as well as those denominated in the United States dollar. The Fund may also invest, without limit, in sovereign debt securities issued by emerging and developed nations and in debt securities of United States and non-United States corporate issuers.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Adam Aloisi]
The following chart takes a comparative look at some widely held ETFs/CEFs holding different types of bonds. The objective is to visualize not only how much these products cost, but also to break down the percent of total yield depleted by management fees. I define total yield as current annualized yield plus net fees - in other words the yield of the fund if there were no management fees attached. The funds we will examine are aforementioned BND, iShares 20+ Treasury Bond (TLT), iShares High-Yield Corporate (HYG), Nuveen Municipal Value (NUV), Eaton Vance Limited Duration (EVV) and Alliance Bernstein Global High-Yield (AWF).
Best Low Price Stocks To Own For 2014: Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (HMY)
Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited engages in the exploration, extraction, processing, and smelting of gold in South Africa and Papua New Guinea. The company has approximately 10 underground operations; and various surface operations, including an open cast mine and 9 processing plants, which are located in goldfields in the Witwatersrand basin of South Africa, as well as the Kraaipan Greenstone Belt. It also explores for silver, copper, and molybdenum through its Papua New Guinea projects. The company also owns interest in various exploration and development prospects, and 1 operating mine primarily at the Hidden Valley and Wafi Golpu projects; and a 100% interests in 3 projects, including the Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, Amanab in the Sandaun province, and Tari in the Southern Highlands province in Papua New Guinea. As of June 30, 2012, its prospecting interest comprised 75,249 hectares in South Africa and 898,400 hectares in Papua New Guinea. Harmony Gold Mini ng Company Limited was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Randfontein, South Africa.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Basic Materials shares gained around 0.24 percent in trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Harmony Gold Mining Company (NYSE: HMY), up 4.1 percent, and Thompson Creek Metals Company (NYSE: TC), up 3.8 percent. In trading on Wednesday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.36 percent.
Best Low Price Stocks To Own For 2014: ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC)
ITC Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, engages in the transmission of electricity in the United States. The company operates as conduits, allowing for power from generators to be transmitted to local distribution systems either entirely through its own systems or in conjunction with neighboring transmission systems. Its operations include asset planning; engineering, design, and construction; maintenance; and real time operations. ITC Holdings serves investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, power marketers, and alternative energy suppliers. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Novi, Michigan.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Richard Stavros]
In fact, investment opportunities in this niche could soon be on the rise. Several utilities have been considering creating standalone transmission companies this year, including Xcel Energy Inc (NYSE: XEL). But whether it’s a standalone company or the sale of transmission assets to a transmission company, regulatory approval will still be key. For instance, regulators declined Entergy Corp’s (NYSE: ETR) sale of its transmission assets to transmission company ITC Holdings Corp (NYSE: ITC) in 2013.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, electricity transmission specialist ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
Best Low Price Stocks To Own For 2014: Concho Resources Inc. (CXO)
Concho Resources Inc., an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition, development, and exploration of producing oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its operations are focused in the Permian Basin of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. The company also has acreage positions in the Bakken/Three Forks play in North Dakota. As of December 31, 2010, Concho Resources had estimated proved reserves of 323.5 million barrel of oil equivalent. The company is headquartered in Midland, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Robert Rapier]
There are numerous drillers making major investments in the Permian Basin. The list is long, but it includes Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD), Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Apache (NYSE: APA).
- [By Russ Krull]
Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO ) reopened an issue from last August and sold $850 million of 10-year, 5.5% paper. Concho got a better deal on this round, selling the paper at 103.75% of par, compared with even par last August. About $320 million of the new money is funding a tender offer for some higher-rate 2017 paper. The rest of the money goes toward paying down a credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
MondayEarnings Releases Expected: �McKesson�(NYSE: MCK), Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO), Diamondrock Hospitality (NYSE: DRH) Economic Releases Expected: �US Federal budget balance, Indian industrial production
- [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]
Concho Resources, Inc. (CXO) is an independent E&P company focused on the Permian Basin in West Texas. Concho shares rose in the first quarter as the company provided greater detail about a significant increase in its oil and gas resource potential across its acreage position in the Permian and particularly in the Delaware sub-basin. The combination of the increase in the company's drilling inventory, strong initial well results and a faster than expected acceleration in its drilling inventory bode well for Concho's production growth outlook and for improvements in its net asset value. (James Stone)