Apple, Will You Make Comeback In The Near Future Or Have You Reached Your Overall Peak?

New York – This holiday season while you are out trying to figure out what to get for loved ones, the people over at Apple are expecting that you’ll be joining the Apple family.

The holiday season is one of the busiest for the technology industry. Most people buy tech gifts instead of wooden train sets or rag dolls like Christmas’ from more than a decade ago. Now, children want the newest advancements in technology such as the newest iPads, iPhones, or MacBooks.

Apple has learned that an easy way to capitalize off of the holiday shopping experience is to put out a new Apple product during all the craziness. This year, on December 19th, Apple will be selling their newest computer, the Mac Pro. This item will be on everyone’s Christmas list, as will the iPhone 5S and 5C.

However, with companies such as Microsoft putting out its Surface tablet, Apple may have some competition this year. Without worrying about its loyal customers, Apple needs to consider the new customers it wants to attract and appeal to. Apple has lived too long on its reputation and has reproduced the same product with a slight advancement one too many times.

Consumers are looking for newer products and Apple is not living up to the demand. After Steve Jobs died, people wondered how would Apple survive and Apple’s stock prices alone show that Apple is not surviving the way it would have had Steve been alive. If Apple is holding back on any technology it has, it is now time for them to package it into a device and ship it out.

They took a big hit this year when the Samsung Galaxy 4 was released. Loyal Apple lovers considered, and some even, made the conscious decision to leave their iPhone and get a Samsung Galaxy 4. The features of the Samsung Galaxy 4 surpass the features of the iPhone. Some of the features include, but are not limited to, touch free usage, slow and fast motion video recording, and group play. The Samsung Galaxy 4 has truly proven to be a worthy competitor of Apple’s iPhone.

Even though, Apple may be losing in its battle against the Samsung Galaxy 4, it dominates in other fields. With the release of the latest installment in the Mac family, Apple is hoping to win back its consumers by showing them that they can still provide sleek, amazing technology.

Apple’s next earning report is due on the 21st of January, we will know if the company can stay a float amongst its competition at that time.

Assignment #4

Amazon stock prices continue to rise

New York—Jingle bells, it’s time to buy, get your shares now. Hurry, hurry, the stock will rise, and you’ll make lots of cash, Hey! Before the American international electronic commerce company was founded in 1994, the only way to do shopping during the Christmas season was putting on your heavy jacket and winter boots, dragging yourself out of your warm house to the nearest crowded filled mall where you had to push and shove others in order to find the products that you wanted to purchase.


All you need to do now is go on your favorite web browser and type in in the address bar. There you can search for most items that are on your shopping list from home appliances, clothing, toys, books, electronics, and more. Sales in the third quarter of 2013 were $17.092 billion, up from $13.806 billion in the third quarter of 2012. In July Amazon shares were worth $280 million and has increased to the highest it’s ever been at $390 million in December. It is evident that the shares will continue to grow just as the company will continue to grow.


Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon assimilated the company in July 1994 and the site went online a year later as Amazon in 1995. After reading a report about the future of the Internet which projected annual Web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He lessened the list to what he felt were the five most promising products. Those products were compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large demand for literature all over the world, the low prices for books, and the huge number of titles available in print. In 2007, Amazon entered the tablet computer market by creating the kindle e-book reader which allows users to download books and content onto their device to read. It has then evolved into the Kindle fire and Kindle fire HD.


One of the services Amazon has to offer is their free standard shipping on orders of $35 or more. Amazon labels this shipping method as the “Super Saver Shipping” which for a decade shipped free as long as customers me the $25 requirement. In October of 2013, the company without an explanation raised the requirement to $35 but profits are still skyrocketing as Amazon’s stock continues to rise.


The other big service that Amazon offers is called Amazon prime. Prime members pay $79 for a year and receive free two-day shipping on all eligible purchases as well as discounted one day shipping rates. Amazon prime members also get access to Amazon Instant Videos which is the instant streaming of selected movies and shows at no extra cost. The last perk the Amazon Prime members receive is their access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows users to borrow certain popular titles for free reading on Kindle hardware, up to one book a month, with no due date.


If you haven’t already, buy your Amazon shares. Although the Christmas season is drawing to a close, the generation of shopping online has just begun. People are moving into the world of shopping online and having their products delivered to them. In a world where speed is of importance, Amazon’s shipping methods will continue to bring money in for the company.

Google is the way to go

Closing out yesterday at $1,072.98 a share, Google, Inc. (GOOG) stocks have grown by about 10 times in value since the company’s initial public offering and tripled in its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.  On a smaller time scale, the stock’s value has grown nearly $200 since its third quarter closing on September 30, 2013.  Cleary Google’s stock has been mostly on the rise since its 2005 IPO, not only rebounding from any setbacks, but also surpassing its previous highs in stride.

Furthermore, as Google grows and develops its company’s products and services, it continues to gain market share.  Currently, it owns about 67% of all internet searches, which is the majority by a landslide.  Second place goes to Microsoft’s Bing with a mere 15.9% market share.

As Google lays out plans for its future, it mostly strives for universal access, which would certainly increase its market share even more, as well as the value of its stocks.  As the third quarter closed, progress towards this goal was evident.  “Google had another strong quarter with $14.9 billion in revenue and great product progress,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google.  “We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple, and intuitive experience regardless of your device.”
With offices in more than 60 countries and domains in over 180 countries, Google continues to grow and serve the world.  As it does, this its value matures more and more, creating a favorable investment opportunity.  The company’s philosophy says it best with number 10 on their list of “Ten Things We Know To Be True” – “Great just isn’t good enough”.  This mantra fosters and environment for growth and development towards perfection.
Such growth and development can be seen across an array of Google’s current and upcoming products and services.  Chromecast, its television service, successfully drove YouTube’s mobile traffic to 40%, an increase of about 25% from this time last year.  Following the close of the third quarter, Page divulged that the company has moved forward in the development of a self-driving car.
Projected to earn $12.7 billion in profit this year, Google is the United States’ third most valuable corporation.  Such a title cannot go unrecognized when considering investing in a company like Google.  The only corporations that are more valuable are Exxon Mobil and Apple, Inc., two of the most highly regarded corporations in terms of success.
It is also important to note that following Page’s announcement that he would be stepping back from future earnings calls as a result of his degenerative disease and partially paralyzed vocal cords, stock prices did not falter.  In fact, shareholders looked past this news and the prices saw an increase.  Such resilience is a strong factor in the decision to invest in Google also, because as can be seen in this example, as well as in the company’s recovery from the financial crisis of 2008, it is definitely possible, and even likely, that you will recover from the losses and/or avoid major losses in cases that might lead other companies to such declines.
Google, Inc.’s product, service and value growths all point towards one thing – invest!  An ever-growing market share and constantly progressing product innovation are evidence that this is only the beginning for Google and the best is yet to come.  As long as the company stays true to its “Ten Things We Know To Be True” philosophy, it seems that it will persist with resilience and success and prove to be a fruitful investment.



Facebook: Hold that “like” button. Go click somewhere else if you’re not a Facebook shareholder yet.

By Choong Ming Ye

Before Facebook, there was Myspace and before Myspace, there was AOL — similar stories with different names. With a nearly 60% surge in revenue from 2012 with the sudden growth of mobile ads, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) surprised many myopic investment managers; however, sustainability is the key element here and Facebook still has a lot to prove.

It debuted in 2004 as a social networking service exclusively for Harvard students and has since expanded to a little over 1 billion users worldwide with $1 billion in revenue and nearly $500 million in profits. Facebook’s meteoric success eventually led to an initial public offering, which was botched by technical issues with NASDAQ culminating in several lawsuits against Facebook. The stock closed on its first trading day at $38.23 — only 23 cents above its initial valuation of $38 per share.

Since its IPO mishap, Facebook’s stock led many on a roller-coaster ride. In November, the stock has fallen back to $46 from an all-time high of $54 last month — down 17% in less than a month. Part of the reason for its upward stock trends lay in the growth of Facebook’s mobile ads; it’s the company’s primary source of income — at 85% — and the catalyst behind its recent revenue surge. Therein lies the caveat.

Facebook does not have a physical product to sell. Its business is primarily online and the other 15% of its revenues comes from payments in the form of “cash for credit” use in online app games. Advertising is both its bread-and-butter and Achilles’ heel. By defining advertisement as its primary business, Facebook is stacked against many other similarly modeled businesses, most notably Google.

Google is analogous to Goliath as Facebook is to David in the advertisement industry. Currently, Facebook charges around 22 cents for one ad per thousand impressions (cost per mille or CPM), while Google charges more than $2 per CPM — a whopping 809% price difference despite both being online advertisers.

Facebook is relatively new to the scene, so it deserves a little slack; but the key question remains whether Facebook’s business model is competitive enough to hold its own given Google’s dominance in the field.

In order to contemplate its strategy, attention should especially be paid to Facebook’s advertisement market in its most recent quarter catalyst: mobile advertising makes up 49% of Facebook’s advertisement. Here is where Facebook’s Achilles’ heel is exposed. Advertising online is not virtually limited, but what is limited is the screen size of the devices in mobile advertisements.

Many mobiles range from the smaller end of a smartphone to the larger end of a tablet. Limited user tolerance to advertisement forces Facebook to think about the amount of ads it can load on a page before it draws the ire of users. This limitation can potentially throttle future growth if more users are accessing Facebook via their mobiles devices. In other words, the company cannot simply keep packing ads into the screen. Also, the surge in its mobile ads may be partly attributed to the fact it was a new source of revenue in 2012. Fast forward a few years and such an uptick may turn out to be a one-time phenomenon. In short, the social media giant’s mobile revenue still has a risk of plateauing.

On the other hand, Google does not face the same problem. Besides being in the market much longer than Facebook has, Google’s advertising infrastructure mainly deals with desktop ads where it is not as limited in its content as mobile ads are.

In addition, Google’s advertising process is mostly search driven, whereas Facebook’s advertising process is based on a user’s profile interests, group connections, and posts — making it more of a likely target for potential privacy issues.

With advertising revenues as its main source of income, Facebook must look for other ways to generate growth, which is what it did in the $1 billion purchase of the mobile picture sharing company Instagram. With the recent failed acquisition of Snapchat, a photo-based online messaging application, for $3 billion, Facebook has been put on a precarious seesaw between either looking desperate or aggressive. But for such a young company with around $9 billion in cash reserves, an offer with 30% of its cash capital on the line is no small sum; it’s quite telling.

Outside of Facebook’s top brass, people can only speculate about the reasons behind the recent Snapchat offer; however, by turning down their offer, Snapchat has positioned itself as a likely candidate to supersede and replace Facebook by remaining independent. This translates to increased competition for Facebook where Snapchat’s business model is built primarily around mobile devices — a distinct advantage over Facebook’s platform. The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget succinctly thinks:

“People are getting tired of having pictures surface years later of some drunken party they went to that cost them a job,” and, “so the kids are going to Snapchat. It’s a new form of communication.”

The one asset that Facebook can count on is the customized ads from the information that it collects from its user’s profile; but even that isn’t without its own risk. In a 2010 interview with editors from the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, said that “privacy will be a big issue that eventually could threaten Facebook’s business model.” Investors who want to invest in Facebook should reconsider investing in other similarly modeled and proven competitors like Google.


Is GM Undervalued?



Prof. Michael.Bobelian

Naotaka Washimi


Is GM Undervalued?

   Since General Mortor Co. (GM) filed the bankruptcy in 2009, the company’s recovery process has been going well and it is now generating lots more cash each year. However it seems that there is something that block GM’s stock price to recover the pre-recession level compared to its peer Ford Motor Co which is traded at a valuation that is more expensive than GM.

GM said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg “We’re making great progress in our efforts to make the most of this second chance by building outstanding cars and trucks, creating jobs and reinvesting in our country.” GM is making huge transition now from GM or “Government Owned Motors” to “General Motor”.

GM is making huge sell of redesigned pickup truck thanks to the pre-recession level of auto sales and stable gas price. GM will be able to generate more profit when restructuring of its European Opel subsidiary settle down in coming year since much of 214 million losses in European operation were mainly brought by Opel. Bloomberg project the company will generate $5.4 billion in free cash flow in 2014 doubling the last year’s figure. GM’s third quarter was better than expected result helped by auto sale rebound and balance sheet is strengthened year by year.

So is GM worth buying? Yes. GM is still undervalued and has additional upside potential for longer-term investors. The rebound in domestic auto sale is just beginning and pre-recession level auto sale in the U.S is expected to continue in coming years. In addition to the positive auto sale, GM is willing to pay cash to shareholders saying “We expect to continue to reinvest in the business, maintain our fortress balance sheet and return cash to shareholders,” in email statement that Bloomberg received when Bloomberg  asked about the potential for an activist investor.

Since GM went public at $33.00/share in 2010, GM’s stock price remained stable growth and currently traded in a range of $35.60 to $38.77 in November. By comparison, its formers peer in Dow Jones industrial index, which GM used to belong to, hit record highs this year. GM is still worth noting to an activist investor who may push the company to pay out in cash through a dividend or stock buyback even GM has $52 billion market value and has huge potential in the global market. Auto sales in the U.S are expected to rise to 16.1 million units in 2014 compared to estimated 15.5million in 2013. A Bank of America’ report on the auto industry predicted that US auto sales will reach another high in 2018 with sales expected to hit around 18 million that year.

There are few concerns for GM that need to be taken into consideration when you buy GM stock. GM still has risk in its European operation and in the Asian market where Japanese auto makers become more competitive backed by the weakening Japanese Yen.  Another concern is GM is overreliance on pickup trucks a profitable segment for the auto company. GM failed to introduce a number of popular new models in D-segment, C-segment, the compact and mid-size car, and hybrid vehicle sectors such as Ford’s Focus and Fusion model and Toyota’s Camry and Prius model. D-Segment or mid-size car vehicles accounted for 22% of the total U.S. vehicle market in 2012, which is the highest volume single vehicle class in the U.S. GM’s market share averaged  48.3 percent in the 1960s and was 27 percent in 2000. For the first 10 months of 2013, GM’s share is 18.1 percent, the same as last year’s.

GM has introduced a redesigned 2013 Chevy Malibu which competes in the D-Segment with, among others such as Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and Volkswagen Passat. The latest D-segment auto sales in first 10 months of this year show that GM sold 154,950 units of the 2013 Chevy Malibu which is far behind its competitors. Those two segments showed show strong sales during economic slowdowns due to their fuel efficiency and affordable prices. Therefore, it is crucial for GM to diversify its sources of income and make D and C segment profitable and competitive in coming years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that gasoline prices are expected to average $3.50 per gallon in 2013 and $3.39 per gallon in 2014 compared to averaged $3.65 of 2012. These price levels will help GM continue to sell its line of profitable pickup trucks, which have outsripped demand. Dan Ammann, GM’s CFO said in video on Bloomberg news “We’re doing everything we can to meet customer demand for these great trucks.”

It’s possible that GM, which hasn’t paid a dividend since 2008, may start offering an annual payout of 80 cents a share, according to Joseph Amaturo , an analyst at New York-based Buckingham Research Group Inc. GM is about begin to experience the new era and it is in a stronger position than it was prior to the financial crisis and better equipped for another downturn. GM’s revenue growth estimate by number of analysis is 36% and GM is planning to re-introduce number of bestselling vehicle including money making pickup trucks. Therefore now is great time to purchase GM’s shares, when it still undervalued.  (Podcast)


Assignment #4 Journalism 3200

Amazon expected to please investors during budding e-commerce explosion 

By Sara Lustberg

The uncertainty surrounding Amazon (AMZN) may deter most conservative buyers from investing in the well-known e-commerce giant, and society-infused catch phrases like “Cyber Monday” which surround the holiday season tend to disguise what is really going on within the company and market. However, looking at the consistent progress that Amazon has made in a relatively short period of time should end up leading to a slew of hopeful investors.

Amazon’s unlimited online shelf space has contributed to its continuous growth in earnings within the last five years. Though originally a medium for online book-selling, Amazon has capitalized on the wave of e-commerce and matured into a company that is expected to generate more than $40.0 billion in US revenue in 2013. Since its beginnings in 1995, Amazon has grown to encompass a wide variety of industries such as DVDs, music, kindles, electronics, home hardware, lawn and patio items, and even kitchen products.

It also has moved into various fields expanding significantly into cloud computing and its related services, tablets and e-book readers, various types of digital content, exclusive computing services like database systems, online storage devices, content production, web hosting service, the list is almost endless. With competitors including companies like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), Amazon has not shied away from breaking into new fields and generating revenue with its unusual but successful business model.

Having survived the Dot-com bubble, Amazon has not looked back since and in the past decade it has gradually become the biggest online retailer in the world. However the bone of contention for Amazon has been its net income which has varied from 1 cent to a dollar to a loss of $7 million in its last quarterly statement. But due to its almost unparalleled customer service along with the much talked about massive investments in infrastructure regarding peerless logistical networks, along with its ambitions to enter into other countries and emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and China where there is high potential for growth.

The reign of Jeff Bezos leaves the public baffled every so often, but mostly because many cannot even begin to comprehend the innate expertise and logic he implements in company moves. Beyond that, to the surprise of many consumers Bezos recently purchased The Washington Post a venture that is seemingly separate and apart from his company Amazon.

On Dec. 1, 2013 a special aired on CBS’s 60 minutes, the night before Cyber Monday, exposing the humanity behind the online retail giant and the brains behind the organization Bezos. During the heartfelt interview Bezos stated, “I would define Amazon by our big ideas, which are customer centricity, putting the customer at the center of everything we do, invention,” Amazon’s progress defies the denotative forms of the word invention being that employers under Bezos continue to look for ways to sell other companies products differently.

“We like to pioneer, we like to explore, we like to go down dark alleys and see what’s on the other side. On the other side of Amazon’s online retailing is a business customers know little about. It’s called Amazon Web Services, AWS, and may soon become Amazon’s biggest business.” Bezos continued, “To keep track of its massive online orders, Amazon built a large and sophisticated computing infrastructure. Amazon figured out it could also expand that infrastructure to store data and run websites for hundreds of thousands of outside companies and government agencies on what is known as the cloud.”

Investors can rest assured that Amazon is in competent hands and has come a very long way in a short period of time from its primitive years of book-selling. The future of Amazon shows nothing but dollar signs and revenue. In an age when society is becoming more and more reliant upon the Internet, it is always safe to invest in a company that promotes such a principle and thus has it intertwined within its core values and company makeup.


Barnes & Noble, Who Reads Books Anymore?

Izak Held
Final Project

Barnes & Noble (also known as BN) is an investment that you should stay away from. Last year Barnes & Noble made a bold move, moving it’s Nook out of its locations and into Walmart stores, but still the Nook has failed to meet the necessities it needs to take in order to save Barnes & Nobles. Now, yes the Nook is proven to have better features like it’s longer battery  life and reader friendlier screen, along with other great selling points. Still, Barnes & Noble is still taking hits from Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle, who are the top competitors, and are drastically dominating the industry. In fact it is likely that Barnes & Noble will take the path of the Borders company and other book stores that had to surrender to the consumer changing market.

The fact that Barnes & Noble is still here, is a major statement itself. Just remember people will always need books, and students will always need what to study from, but the way they are getting it is not the same as it used to be. And the question lay, has Barnes & Noble stepped up their game yet?

Looking at the financial part of it and on the reports from Barnes and Noble’s q10 show cash flow from operations to have gone down. When the operations statement goes down, this is usually an indication of something that took a hit, and that the company is in deep trouble. This is without looking at it’s net loss, in fiscal 2011, and 2012. According to their annual reports, in their closing fiscal year the total sales were dropping until the great recession and the economy meltdown. Afterwards their total sales picked up from 5.8 million in 2010 to 7.1 in 2012, but this was largely due to the Nook series. And we can surely say, is this enough to carry themselves over?

Now they have had a run in the past with their Nook, but again that was not is. With the launch of competitors new products that came out and affected the sales of Barnes and Noble’s Nook, such as the iPad 3, Windows 8, and the iPhone 5, it is clear that the innovation and taste for the Nook is elsewhere.

Perhaps Barnes & Nobles needs to stop following and start leading. Look at the Amazon company that ran on a net loss through most of their years during the late 90’s. It is all about the hype, and like they say, stocks trade ahead of themselves, meaning if the investors see potential and life they will follow. Something we are just not seeing from Barnes & Noble.

In the past year the stock of Barnes & Noble has traded at a low of 12.59, and a high at just 23.71 which is does not entice consumers to invest, and investors to expect more. Not to mention their Market Cap floating at around 800 million, and their margin showing a -9.95% from this past year and a -12.19% within the last two.

It’s return has been pretty good so far this year, as compared to other companies, and it also has a debt to equity ratio better than Amazon, but still not enough to get them back to the peak. As it gets colder and the holiday season is here the demand for getting cozy with a book in the magnificent Barnes & Noble local stores should indicate that this time of year is its most successful, but it is what the investors are looking for? A case where a company is just holding on from it’s Christmas, and Hanukkah sales alone.
Companies online are striving and growing in the numbers day by day, and don’t have to worry about upkeep on hot spot locations. It goes without say that one of the biggest assets to the company, as expressed in the real estate world: location, location, location. Barnes & Noble has one of the prime hot spots of most areas that attracts and will always bring in its clientele, which is an essential reason of the business they do. If this continues to happen perhaps Barnes & Noble trade in for cheaper locations?

Barnes & Noble college bookstore partnerships, the division of Barnes & Noble that works with college campuses to get books to students, a business that brings in billions of their revenues will also be an unsustainable revenue as the shift to the online market buying is here. Barnes & Noble expressed in their annual report great aspects for the cornerstone of their industry, including a 1.1% increase in sales and opening of new locations to further their success, but is this where they should be innovating and putting their time into.

Today we need to buy a lot to educated and entertain ourselves. Barnes & Nobles was a place to educate and entertain ourselves, but will it be a thing of the past? As shows, it may be a safer investment to stay away from the bookstore, and invest elsewhere.






Kaufman, Leslie. “Barnes & Noble Weighs Its E-Reader Investment.” New York Times [NYC] 24 2 2013, n. pag. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <>.

Moskowitz, Dan. “Buying Barnes & Noble’s Stock Here Be a Good Read?.” (2012): n. page. Print. <>.

“Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) Yahoo Finance.” (Dec 1, 2011-Dec 1, 2013): n. page. Print. <;range=2y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined;>.

“BN Form 10-Q Quarterly Report.” (2013): n. page. Print. <>

Barnes & Nobles, . “Barnes & Noble 2013 ANNUAL REPORT.” (2013): n. page. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <>.

Barnes & Nobles, . “Barnes & Noble 2012 ANNUAL REPORT.” (2012): n. page. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <>.

Amazon, “Amazon 1999 ANNUAL REPORT.” (1999): n. page. Web. 13 Nov 2013 <>.

Barnes & Nobles, Inc. “ANNUAL REPORT TABLES” <>.

Google Solid Performance

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been a solid performer in 2013, doing better than several other internet and Technology peers. The company has a number of development drivers that can translate into years of double digit growth for the search leader.

When Google first starting trading in the market, the IPO price started at $85, and it immediately jumped to $100 per share under the lead underwriter: Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse First Boston. Google Inc. was founded in 1998 and went public in 2004.

Was it a good and affective idea for Google to go Public? Absolutely. The fact that the stock of the company has risen to unprecedented to level just emphasizes a point that Google is the big boy on the block and it have been since being first publicly traded

The stock value has climbed by more than 900% through the end of trading last week, and at last peek was trading north of $870. As a result, Google ranks as the 10th best performer in the S&P 500 over the past nine years. According Howard Silverblatt, the S&P analyst a $10,000 investment in Google at its $85 IPO price would now be worth $100,812.71 today. Google have done very well in short among of time and this point can be highlighted by its stock price meteoric rise.

Although, investors are concerned with Google operating cost which is a red flag to many investors still seeking growth, the company remains strong and financially stable. While still continuing as the world’s leader in online search with more than 60% market share, whereas no other competitor have more than 10% market share.

Google is of the strongest and most effective companies today. And regardless of its recent increase, shares are still very much attractive. Here are three reasons investors should buy Google for their portfolios. First, Google take over the search engine sites. It remains the leader in desktop search over Yahoo and Bing. Let’s not forget, it’s the head of the growing mobile search industry, too. Cash flows from search promotion pay the bills and offer the capital to invest in its forthcoming.

Google continues to invest in the mobile computing trend, both on the hardware and the software side. With an arsenal that stems from its growing piece of the technology pie to go with its Motorola acquisition, Google is more than ready to hold its own and possibly thrive against competition like Nokia and Research In Motion over time. Google will be looking to be aggressive in improvements as well. They will invest most heavily in the tying of its platforms; similar to the approach EBay and PayPal took to become a string e-commerce platform. That’s Google’s purpose: to help users find and use information. Google is a strong company with a solid balance sheet, a great future, and a purpose-driven management team. Plus, it trades at a gorgeous price based on the success of the company.

However, are investors still willing to buy Google’s share at its current median price of $1,100 per share? Why not wait for shares to decline?

Due to the fact that the market is dynamic and largely dependent on the emotions of the everyday investor, owners of Google might tend to have a feeling of invisibility when it comes to their price possession, Google. The fact that the stock price has risen by more than 900% since it inception into the market might lead many investors in this bull market like the one where we are currently riding to think that the stock would keep rising. However, more conservative and realistic investors are aware that the market cannot continue it rise without a correction on the horizon.

Several economic or political factors that are just around the corner that might give investors the pull back in the market that they’re looking for in order to step back in and take positions with Google. These factors include the postponed government shutdown that will be revisited next month, the Federal Reserve tempering down on it bond purchasing policy and the pending rising interest rate. These factors might just make it a perfect storm to bring Google down to it discount price for it to be a great buy because the business model and it involving technology will maintain and help push up its market value.

At that point, it’s a good idea for investor to invest. Buyers will take advantage of the opportunity of Google’s declined market share, while building a profit when the price goes back to it healthy status. In addition, when the price decreases I would recommend for shareholders to think twice before unloading their shares because the stock is poised for father growth.



Russolillo, Steven. “Google’s IPO, Nine Years Later: Only Nine Stocks Beat It .” Wall Street Journal. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. .

Poletti, Therese. “Google CEO has Wall Street on edge.” N.p., 22 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. .

Heller, Steven. “4 Big Reasons to Buy Google in 2013.” N.p., 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013

McBland and Boring but McMoney

McDonald’s has been an anchor in the economy for decades now and it sure isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. But let’s be honest here. How long do you think McDonald’s success is going to last? After the entire “Super-Size Me” fiasco and the new outlook of the American people to stay fit and go healthy to prevent obesity and other body irregularities, McDonald’s doesn’t seem to be the wisest choice to choose from when it comes to investing.

Let’s look at the numbers. By the end of the third quarter this year, McDonald’s has racked up $7.3 billion in revenue that quarter which is a 2.4% from the previous quarter. Profit is also up a significant near 5% from the previous quarter as well.  But this is a trend McDonald’s is used to. Despite an increase from earlier this year, McDonald’s is still keeping a pretty common pattern and is seeing no real growth compared to the third quarter of last year where it reported $7.2 billion in revenue. Also, due to its latest mishaps with a couple new products they introduced to the public earlier this Fall, Mcdonald’s is expected to go down to $7.1 billion by the end of the fiscal year. Despite these facts, McDonald’s still remains a solid force and probably will remain this way for the following ten years if one is looking ofr a long term investment plan.

“Fast food is always a safe bet when it comes to investing” says Baruch Alumni John Torres who works as a financial analyst in Wall Street. “I would expect better things from McDonald’s however seeing that it’s one of the biggest chains in the world but it’s steady so there’s that.”

Investing in food has always been a “safe bet” but how much longer will it last? Especially in the case of McDonald’s where other fast food and restaurant businesses are rapidly growing at an alarming rate such as Starbucks and Chipotle, has McDonald’s finally met its demise? As mentioned earlier, McDonald’s introduce a couple new products to the menu earlier this year in hopes it boost its sales. The new “Mighty Wings” returned to the menu along with three new kinds of their famous “Quarter Pounder” burger and did not do as well as expected. These new items are pretty much classified as flops as far as business is concerned as it really did not contribute much to the growth of McDonald’s.

Yet McDonald’s was able to turn in an improvement in the revenues and profits from earlier this year. When you’re McDonald’s, you don’t need new products to help boost any kind of business activity. The customers already love what’s on the menu and probably will be reluctant to try anything new. So it’s agreeable to say that any flops the company might endure in the future won’t harm the company in any significant way. As long as McDonald’s keeps selling those Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets we all know and love, there will always be stability in its economic growth.

The MCD stock closed out at $95.45 yesterday and will probably only grow from there. It is a pretty expensive stock but it is expected from a company this large and steady. It has remained steady for the past year averaging between $93.38 and $97.36 but has gone up significantly from last year’s $85.42 price.

“McDonald’s is never going to make a big splash or wow it’s investors with anything other than a steady profit” says Torres. “If you can afford it, then sure go for it. McDonald’s isn’t going to sink your pockets or fill them up overnight. It’s steady and if you like stability and a decent growth, then go for it.”

Despite Recent Slower Growth, Walmart Stocks Are Worthy

Let us face it, Wal-Mart is still the largest retailer with its sales, yet to be beaten!!

Though second and third quarter financial results slightly missed expectations with slower growth, Wal-Mart continues to be the leader in aggressively pushing sales, especially during this holiday season.  The retail environment continues to remain very competitive as  it jump started early Black Friday deals a week earlier.  They also have recently experience a shift in management that will help them to “reinvent itself to attract a generation of shoppers who gravitate toward tablets and mobile devices.”

Besides what is mentioned in the above paragraph, there are strengths that Wal-Mart currently possesses and reasons why I think individuals should make investments in Wal-Mart stocks.  One place to look at is its overall revenue growth.  For the recent third quarter, Wal-Mart’s net sales had a growth of 2.6%.  In addition, to help spur the growth of our current economy, Wal-Mart announced a $50 billion Buy American Campaign in which they intend to spend $50 billion on more American merchandise in the next ten years.   Along with creating more jobs, this undertaking through more available cash, will encourage Americans to begin investing or invest much more in Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart’s return on investments proved really solid for the last twelve months ending on October 31, 2013.  Return on assets for the last twelve months were at 8.6% and compared to the same time frame a year prior, it was also at 8.6%.  Return on investments for the last twelve months were at 17.5%, also ending Oct. 31st and that was only 0.5% short compared to the same time frame the prior year.  Potential investors can view this as economically viable reasons to confidently make substantial investments in Wal-Mart that will yield high returns.

Consolidated net sales had a growth of 1.6%, or $1.8 billion, to $114.9 billion during the third quarter.  Second quarter financial reports also showed that consolidated net sales came in a little below at $116.2 billion, a $2.7 billion, or 2.4% increase from last year’s 2nd quarter.  This indicates that Wal-Mart is still a growing company that offers its stakeholders assurance and safety of their investments.

Total revenue proves to be another strength and influence in making investments, as it is currently at $115.7 billion, (including membership and other income), a small 1.7% increase from a year ago.  And  though Wal-Mart’s stock at first slightly fell due to revenue figures, it picked up by 0.2% to its current price, $79.08.

An important area for any potential investor to focus on is Wal-Mart’s tremendous growth in its international expansion efforts.   With its operations in 26 countries, international sales continue to increase by 12.1% in fiscal year 2011, 15.3% in fiscal year 2012, and 7.4% in fiscal year 2013, and have exceeded net sales by $135 billion.  There is no doubt that Wal-mart International is a growth driver and investors can expect higher returns.

An incentive that is likely to have a deeper effect on the investment choice people may decide on is Walm-Mart’s returns to its shareholders by committed  increases in dividend payments every year since it first  started dividend payments in March of 1974.  It’s best people get going on starting their investments in Wal-Mart stocks as the Board of Directors have decided on an 18% increase in dividend payments, or $1.88 per share, for fiscal year 2014.

On Nov. 25, 2013, Wal-Mart announced that current CEO and president of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Mike Duke, is retiring and will be replaced by current CEO of Wal-Mart International, Doug McMillon.  McMillon at age 47 can appeal to younger working class individuals that are seeking guidance and direction on whether they should put their money into the company.  With the company trying to reinvent themselves to more youthful customers, investments should also climb  as the younger generation becomes more familiar with McMilon’s and his senior management interest  and appeal to their tastes.

Lastly, Wal-Mart’s global expansion in E-Commerce encourages more varied  investments.  On Oct. 2, 2013, Wal-Mart announced the opening of centers that  would deliver online orders within the U.S.  at really low costs.  Walmart has also developed its online business in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Brazil.  As a result, Wal-Mart reach and pull on people thinking of making investments becomes much more important because those interested observe the opportunities that Wal-Mart has to increase revenue, income, net sales, and shareholder’s return.  My investment advice encourages people to invest and continue making investments in the growth of the world’s largest retailer.