Monthly Archives: December 2014




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MGM Resorts (MGM) Stock Declines on Disappointing November Nevada …

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Gambling revenues on the Las Vegas Strip were down 4% year over year to $508 million, although downtown revenue was up 13% over last year to $43 million during the month.

The state said that it collected $47 million in taxes from that monthly revenue, a 5% decline from the same period last year.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL (MGM) 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 companys strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the companys bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL has improved earnings per share by 20.0% 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, MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL continued to lose money by earning -$0.31 versus -$3.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.50 versus -$0.31).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Samp;P 500, but is less than that of the Hotels, Restaurants amp; Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 9.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$22.31 million to -$20.27 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $217.84 million or 40.43% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firms growth is significantly lower.
  • Although MGMs debt-to-equity ratio of 2.92 is very high, it is currently less than that of the industry average. To add to this, MGM has a quick ratio of 0.52, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MGM 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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My (100% Accurate) Financial Predictions for 2015

Mina De La O

This is the time of year when predictions are made for 2015. Most of them are nonsense. The self-styled experts supplying these predictions have no accountability for their accuracy. Nevertheless, some gullible investors make investing decisions based on such insights.

I dont want to be left out, so Ive come up with my own predictions. Mine are based on solid data, which is why I believe they are likely to be 100 percent accurate. Here they are:

  1. Those who are paid to manage other peoples money will be better off than those who listen to their brokers advice about how to manage their own.
  2. The securities industry will continue to make boatloads of money, whether the markets go up or down.
  3. Much of the financial media will continue to stoke fear, anxiety and appeal to investor greed rather than provide sound investment advice based on peer-reviewed evidence.
  4. Brokers will continue to tout their purported ability to generate alpha, defined as the excess return of a fund or portfolio relative to the return of a benchmark index.
  5. Relatively few investors will figure out that the opportunity to generate alpha has shrunk so significantly that pursuing it makes no sense.
  6. Most brokers who claim the ability to beat the market through stock picking, market timing and the selection of outperforming mutual funds will generate negative alpha for their clients.
  7. The securities industry will continue to create expensive products to increase fees and commissions. These products will be aggressively marketed with misleading sales pitches, like with this product, you get the benefits of a rising market and protection in a down market. Its the best of both worlds. Here are some examples of investments that were created to be sold, but likely should not be bought: hedge funds, private placements, non-traded REITs, variable annuities, closed-end funds and managed futures.
  8. Investors will continue to confuse luck with skill. Short-term data is meaningless. Peer-reviewed studies have found evidence of statistically significant skill in only a tiny percentage of mutual fund managers. Its almost impossible to identify those managers prospectively.
  9. The trend toward investing in index funds, exchange-traded funds and passively managed funds will continue. Investors have been bamboozled long enough. They are starting to wise up.
  10. More investors will realize that what correlates most closely with higher expected returns is low cost.
  11. The decline in the Nielsen ratings of CNBC will continue. More investors will begin to understand the difference between entertainment and sound investing advice.
  12. When reading articles with headlines like What to Watch for in Todays Markets, more investors will ask: Why should I care?
  13. The myth that hedge fund managers are masters of the universe with superhuman stock-picking skill will continue to be debunked. You can only ignore pathetic returns for so long. The continuation of cognitive dissonance on the part of investors is not a viable marketing strategy.
  14. The writings of responsible financial journalists (like my colleagues Larry Swedroe, Carl Richards and Tim Maurer, along with Jason Zweig, Rick Ferri, Jonathan Clements, Burton Malkiel, Allan Roth and others) will convert more investors to index-based strategies. Unfortunately, the majority of investors will still be swayed by the irresponsible musings of Jim Cramer, Art Cashin, Dennis Gartman and many others who claim the miraculous ability to peer into their crystal balls and either predict the future or explain what is going on with the market.
  15. More investors will understand that simply doing nothing is often the best investing strategy.
  16. Many investors will chase returns by bouncing in and out of the market or trying to find the next hot fund manager. Its likely these investors would generate higher expected returns by focusing on their asset allocation and investing in a globally diversified portfolio of index funds.
  17. The trade association for the securities industry will continue its tireless efforts to prevent brokers from being held to the same fiduciary standard as registered investment advisers. After all, why should brokers too have to put the interests of their clients above the financial interests of themselves and their employer?
  18. More investors will be surprised when they learn their broker is not required to even graduate from high school, much less have higher academic credentials in investing or finance.
  19. Some insightful investors will start asking their brokers this question: Since I can capture the returns of the global markets by investing in low management fee index funds without your help, shouldnt your compensation be based solely on your ability to generate returns in excess of the global market?
  20. More investors will appreciate the wisdom of John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. At the beginning of his investing career, someone told him that nobody knows nothing, and what is presented as fact is really just opinion.

Note that none of my predictions involve telling you the direction of the market, when the much-dreaded correction may occur, or what stocks, mutual funds or asset classes you should purchase in 2015. That observation leads me to my final prediction:

Those who make these kinds of predictions, and turn out to be right, will be anointed as financial gurus. Those who are wrong will have no accountability. Hey, theres always next year!

Daniel Solin is the director of investor advocacy for the BAM Alliance and a wealth adviser with Buckingham. He is a New York Times best-selling author of the Smartest series of books. His latest book is The Smartest Sales Book Youll Ever Read.


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Identity Theft: The Worlds Fastest Growing "Industry"

Dec 18, 2014


Victims of Identity Theft Regret Steps They Could Have Taken Identity Theft, Fraud, Stolen Credit Cards, Credit Repair

The levels of criminal fraud and identity theft in this country have finally reached a critical mass. Whatever trust there might have been in the past, has been replaced by fear and suspicion. Every day, personal identity is stolen from millions of people, without them knowing it.

The Federal Trade Commission defines this (as if you couldnt figure it out for yourself): Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It’s a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation — and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.

People ask the government to protect them, but the best protection starts with a plan to correct, monitor and respond to attacks that are inevitable. Few people havent heard of the reportedly 100-Million+ customers whose information was stolen by hackers getting into the data centers of such huge retailers like Home Depot and Target. 

There are simple, inexpensive steps an individual can take to defend against this rampant crime. A number of different credit-protection and repair programs have popped up over the years to help people take steps before AND after a problem shows up. 

A comparison chart of the different providers is available on request by email to those who have serious concerns about the rampant fraud taking place of peoples identities. The best defense is a good offense, but it starts with each person taking the steps first to protect their financial house.

LegalShield Newsroom

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Histadrut, Finance Ministry ink minimum wage deal

The Histadrut labor federation and Finance Ministry agreed to a minimum wage deal Sunday along the lines of an agreement the Histadrut struck with private sector leaders earlier in the month before elections were called.

The agreement, which will raise the minimum wage to NIS 5,000 over two years, will still need to pass muster with Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein, who said last week that some parts of a minimum wage deal could not move forward in the run-up to elections.

The earlier part of the deal came together as the governing coalition fell apart in early December, stopping negotiations with then-finance minister Yair Lapid over the public sector portion of a minimum wage hike. Since then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to push the deal through, with loud voices of support from opposition parties, even as they accused him of populist election-time politics.

Without an official finance minister in place (Netanyahu holds the portfolio since firing Lapid), Sundays talks were held between Finance Ministry officials Yael Andorn, Koby Amsalem and Amir Levy and Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn.

The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce warned that increasing the minimum wage without giving breaks to small businesses would be an irresponsible and dangerous action.

The cabinet and Knesset must still approve a minimum wage bill in order for it to become law.

The Histadrut, which had threatened a general strike that would have shut down ports, schools, transportation and government services, backed down from its initial target of a NIS 5,300 minimum wage in the earlier talks.

Nissenkorn said the move was part of an effort to help 700,000 Israelis who rely on minimum wage salaries, and said his group was committed to reducing inequality.