Money Matters - Simplified


Nike Passes This Key Test

 There's no foolproof way to know the future for Nike (NYSE: NKE) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result. Rest assured: Even if you're not monitoring these metrics, short-sellers are.


Borders, Barnes & Noble not a done deal

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Investment analysts said that a merger between the two largest brick and mortar U.S. booksellers has several high hurdles to overcome.

Borders shareholder and activist investor William Ackman, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, said he would finance a purchase of Barnes & Noble at $16 per share, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.
Although unclear how current, Ackman's firm Pershing Square Capital Management was known to hold 15 percent of Borders, making it among its largest shareholders.

Law professor Dan Crane at the University of Michigan said Federal Trade Commission approval between "the only significant brick-and-mortar chains … would have an uphill battle," the newspaper reported.

5 Signs Irrational Exuberance Is Back -- 2010 Edition

 In October 2009, I highlighted 5 Signs of Irrational Exuberance. One year on and investors don't look any the wiser. It's not as if nothing has happened in between; the events of the past 13 months should have taught investors that the aftermath of the credit bubble will be felt for years to come and that the "path out of the woods" remains highly uncertain. Despite this, multiple classic tells of exuberance are once again on display (along with a couple of new ones):


The Fool Sits Down with Cirrus Logic CEO Jason Rhode

Recently, Rule Breakers analyst Sean Sun and I had the chance to talk with Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) CEO Jason Rhode, whose company produces a wide range of audio and energy components. Below is the lightly edited second part of our chat, where we discuss how the company managed to build its relationship with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), which contributed 44% of last quarter's revenue. Also, we examine how the company differentiates itself to compete against a larger set of rivals, which include semiconductor giants like Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) and Maxim Integrated Products (NYSE: MXIM).

NutriSystem Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Costs of foreclosure debacle begin to rise

New York -- Investors cast votes on the U.S. foreclosure debacle this week, as shares of corporate lenders dropped on headlines of a national investigation.

Attorneys general from 49 states have opened a probe into foreclosure practices and several national banks have suspended their foreclosure processing to review paperwork, as ballooning numbers of foreclosure have overwhelmed the banks' ability to deal with them.

On Thursday, shares of JPMorgan Chase fell 2.8 percent, while shares of Wells Fargo & Co. dropped 4.2 percent, The Washington Post reported. Shares of Bank of America and Citigroup also fell faster than Thursday's Standard & Poor's 500 index drop of 0.36 percent.

7 Companies With Ironclad Balance Sheets

Companies still struggle against an array of economic headwinds: an uncertain economy, continued deleveraging, and high unemployment, just for starters. Now more than ever, investors must keep an eye on their businesses' financial strength, as reflected by their balance sheets. 

DST Systems: A Cheap Stock With a Dividend Kicker

I believe DST Systems (NYSE: DST) has the right mix of value and income to soundly beat the market over the long haul.

Why We're No. 1


I'd like to share with you some thoughts I offered subscribers of my Income Investor newsletter. In short, while I believe we've got work to do as a nation, I also believe in the U.S.

More Riders, More Revenue (and More Fun): Six Flags

Things are looking up at Six Flags (NYSE: SIX). The regional amusement park operator posted improved second-quarter results this morning, refreshingly countering weakness at Disney's (NYSE: DIS) theme park business during the same three months.