Money Matters - Simplified

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Here's How Las Vegas Sands Makes Money

 Legendary fund manager Peter Lynch said that you shouldn't invest in any idea you couldn't illustrate with a crayon. I'm not much for crayons, but I do love the pithiness of that line. It's something we regularly preach at the Fool: Don't buy what you don't understand. And if you can't simply sketch out a company's business model -- how it, you know, actually makes money -- then maybe you shouldn't be investing in it.

 

Who Will Follow Valence Technology's Lead?


As the market starts to come around on commercial fleet electric vehicles, Valence Technology (Nasdaq: VLNC) is rewarding shareholders who looked past flashier stocks. Valence doesn't have a big flashy deal with Fisker, like A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE), or with Volvo, like Ener1(Nasdaq: HEV), but it is riding the success of little-known Smith Electric's commercial vehicles.

Here's How Weight Watchers May Be Failing You


Margins matter. The more Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW) 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 Weight Watchers International’s competitive position could be.

Does This Mean SXC Health Solutions Will Burn You?


There's no foolproof way to know the future for SXC Health Solutions (Nasdaq: SXCI) 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.

34 Expert Analysts Uncover Outstanding Dividend Plays

 In researching a series of articles, I've had the enviable opportunity to hold lengthy discussions with 34 of the Fool's analysts and advisors over the past two months, learning the companies they like and why. Stepping back and analyzing three notepads full of strategy, numbers, and logic, I've gleaned two key takeaways. Over the course of this article, I'll share those and the one company I plan to buy as a result of their insights.

 

3 Watchlist Stocks

 This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios SeriesMost investors don't keep tabs on their companies' fundamental value. That's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

Does This Make Digital River a Sell?

 There's no foolproof way to know the future for Digital River(Nasdaq: DRIV) 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.

 

4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Bristol-Myers

 Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb(NYSE: BMY) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

 

IBM's "Racetrack" Closer to Starting Its Engine

 A memory technology that could enable a handheld device like an MP3 player to store about 3,500 movies or 500,000 songs is a step closer to commercial viability, researchers at IBM (NYSE: IBM) say.

 

Microsoft Warns of IE Bug

 Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has warned users of an Internet Explorer bug that could allow hackers to take control of unprotected computers. The company said it is still working on a permanent solution to debug IE, although it has released a workaround.