Money Matters - Simplified

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Why Chimpanzees Invest Better Than You


If you've ever seen the howling mob of chaos that regularly erupts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, you can probably understand the tendency to compare investors to a gaggle of apes. But a recent Duke University study has proved that investors and their primate pals a few rungs down the evolutionary ladder may not be quite as similar as you'd think.

Is Eli Lilly's Stock Cheap by the Numbers?

 Numbers can lie -- yet they're the best first step in determining whether a stock is a buy. In this series, we use some carefully chosen metrics to size up a stock's true value based on the following clues:

 

What Happened to Banco Santander?

 This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series.

On Dec. 1, I highlighted two stocks that I was seriously considering adding to my real-money Motley Fool portfolio:Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) and Banco Santander (NYSE:STD).

 

Don't Get Too Worked Up Over Talecris Biotherapeutics' Earnings

 Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

 

Here's How Thor Industries May Be Failing You

 Margins matter. The more Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Thor Industries' competitive position could be.

 

Industrial production in Britain heads up

London -- Industrial production in Britain rose 3.3 percent in October from October 2009, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday.

Output in mining and quarrying dropped 7.2 percent over the 12-month period, led by an 8 percent decline in oil and gas extraction. Output among utilities, however, rose 0.7 percent, led by gains in gas and electricity production.

In the manufacturing sector, output rose 5.8 percent October-to-October with gains in 10 of 13 sub-sectors, ONS said.

Under manufacturing, machinery and equipment production rose 16.8 percent, while basic metal production increased 13.7 percent. Production of food, beverages and tobacco products rose 6.5 percent.

Is PerkinElmer Good Enough for You?

 Margins matter. The more PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong PerkinElmer's competitive position could be.

 

Are You Missing Something Easy at Take-Two Interactive Software?

 Margins matter. The more Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Take-Two Interactive Software's competitive position could be.

 

How Cheap Is Coldwater Creek's Stock by the Numbers?

 Numbers can lie -- but they're the best first step in determining whether a stock is a buy. In this series, we use some carefully chosen metrics to size up a stock's true value based on the following clues:

 

Ford China Sales Shoot Up 35%

 Ford (NYSE: F) on Saturday said its China auto sales in November rose by 35% compared with the sales recorded last year, led by sales in the midsized-car segment, including the Fiesta and Focus models. The company sold 56,829 vehicles in November.