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.
Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Materion (NYSE: MTRN ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Media Stocks For 2016: AutoZone Inc.(AZO)
AutoZone, Inc. retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company?s stores offer various products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Its automotive hard parts product line includes A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, belts and hoses, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition, lighting, mufflers, starters and alternators, water pumps, radiators, and thermostats. The company?s maintenance items include antifreeze and windshield washer fluid; brake drums, rotors, shoes, and pads; chemicals, including brake and power; steering fluid, oil, and fuel additives; oil and transmission fluids; oil, air, fuel, and transmission filters; oxygen sensors; paint and accessories; refrigerant and accessories; shock absorbers and struts; spark plugs and wires; and windshield wiper s. Its discretionary product line comprises air fresheners, cell phone accessories, drinks and snacks, floor mats and seat covers, mirrors, performance products, protectants and cleaners, sealants and adhesives, steering wheel covers, stereos and radios, tools, and wash and wax products. The company also offers commercial sales program that provides the delivery of parts and other products to local, regional, and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, and public sector accounts. In addition, it sells the ALLDATA brand automotive diagnostic and repair software through the Website, alldata.com; and automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products through the Website, autozone.com. As of May 7, 2011, the company operated 4,467 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and 261 stores in Mexico. AutoZone, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sue Chang and Ben Eisen]
O��eilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY) �shares advanced 9.2% after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.40 a share, above the $1.33 forecast by analysts. Shares of automotive parts retailer AutoZone Inc. (AZO) �rose 5.5%.
Best Consumer Service Companies To Watch In Right Now: Tyson Foods Inc.(TSN)
Tyson Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and marketing of chicken, beef, pork, and prepared food products, as well as related allied products worldwide. The company?s Chicken segment involves in breeding and raising chickens, as well as processing live chickens into fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products. Its Beef segment processes live fed cattle and fabricates dressed beef carcasses into primal and sub-primal meat cuts and case-ready products The company?s Pork segment involves in the processing live market hogs; and fabricating pork carcasses into primal and sub-primal cuts and case-ready products. Its Prepared Foods segment manufactures and markets frozen and refrigerated food products comprising pepperoni, bacon, beef and pork pizza toppings, pizza crusts, flour and corn tortilla products, appetizers, prepared meals, ethnic foods, soups, sauces, side dishes, meat dishes, and processed meats. The company mark ets and sells its products to grocery retailers, grocery wholesalers, meat distributors, warehouse club stores, military commissaries, industrial food processing companies, chain restaurants or their distributors, international export companies, and domestic distributors, as well as to foodservice operations, such as plant and school cafeterias, convenience stores, hospitals, and other vendors. Tyson Foods, Inc. also offers its allied products to the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and technical products, as well as to pork processors. The company was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By jaggom]
The world�� second-largest meat processor, Tyson Foods (TSN), released impressive results for the third quarter. The company reported fantastic growth in its top line and its results came in line with expectations. Greater demand for chicken and pork products were the main growth drivers for the company. There are many key points Tyson Foods is counting on, which can take its growth to a new level. With rising demand for meat products and the proposed selling of Latin American chicken operations, Tyson Foods is expected to get better in the future.
Best Consumer Service Companies To Watch In Right Now: VisionChina Media Inc.(VISN)
VisionChina Media Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides advertising services in the People?s Republic of China. The company operates out-of-home advertising network using real-time mobile digital television broadcasts to deliver content and advertising on mass transportation systems. Its mobile digital television advertising network delivers real-time content provided by the local television stations. The company?s network also displays real-time news and stock quotes, weather and traffic updates, sports highlights, and other programs, as well as disseminates public-interest messages and programs that promote the general welfare of society and other urgent messages during emergency situations, such as typhoons, earthquakes, and other events that concern public safety. Its advertising network consists of digital television displays primarily located on buses, and in subway trains and subway platforms that receive mobile digital television broadcasts of real-time conten t and advertising. The company also operates various closed-circuit advertising digital displays in subway platforms and subway trains in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and Tianjin, as well as in subway trains in Hong Kong. As of December 31, 2010, its network and supplemental subway advertising platform covered 23 cities in China and consisted of approximately 137,395 digital displays. The company sells its advertising time through direct sales force and third party advertising agencies. VisionChina Media Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Shenzhen, the People?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN) surged 31.25% to $31.75 in the pre-market session after the company announced an exclusive strategic cooperation with Baidu Games.
- [By Monica Gerson]
VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN) soared 5.13% to $32.80 in the pre-market trading. VisionChina's trailing-twelve-month revenue is $98.39 million.
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) surged 0.90% to $45.00 in the pre-market session. Dow Chemical's trailing-twelve-month revenue is $56.61 billion.
- [By Lisa Levin]
VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN) surged 5.71% to $30.00. The volume of VisionChina Media shares traded 237% higher than normal. VisionChina Media is expected to hold extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on April 24, 2014.
- [By Monica Gerson]
VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN) rose 33.40% to $32.27 after the company announced an exclusive strategic cooperation with Baidu Games.
ThermoGenesis (NASDAQ: KOOL) moved up 29.81% to $2.9857. ThermoGenesis' trailing-twelve-month revenue is $17.49 million.
Best Consumer Service Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vuzix Corp (VUZI)
Vuzix Corporation, incorporated in 1997, is engaged in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of products for uses in the defense, consumer, and media and entertainment markets. The Company's products, known commercially as Video Eyewear (also referred to as head mounted displays, wearable displays, personal viewers, and near eye displays) are worn like eyeglasses and contain video displays that enable the user to view video and digital content, such as movies, computer data, the Internet or video games. It produces both monocular and binocular Video Eyewear devices. Its Video Eyewear are used in tactical, training and education, general entertainment, virtual reality and augmented reality applications. The Company focuses on two markets, such as consumer markets for gaming, entertainment and mobile video and the market for rugged mobile displays for defense markets. Its Virtual and Augmented Reality products are sold in the consumer, defense, industrial, commercial, academic and medical markets. Video Eyewear are designed to work with mobile electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptop computers, portable media players and gaming systems, as well as unmanned vehicles and sighting systems. In June 2012, the Company sold its business assets, which consisted of the Company's Tactical Display Group (TDG).
The Company has licensed and is developing thin optics that enables miniature display engines to be mounted in the temples of the HMDs. Its Video Eyewear products all employ micro displays that are smaller than one-inch diagonally, with some as small as one-quarter of an inch. They can display an image with a resolution of up to 12801080 pixels (High Definition (HD)). Images are viewed through the Company's optics. Using these optics and displays, its Video Eyewear provide an image that appears similar to the image on a full size computer screen in an office desktop environment or the image on a large flat panel television viewed from normal home television viewing distances.
The Company's Video Eyewear products can also be used for a number of industrial applications, including for use as remote camera viewfinder displays and wearable computer displays, for viewing of industrial thermal signature systems, for providing hands-free access to manuals and other information and for on-site, in-the-field maintenance, servicing, training and education. It offers products that enable development and deployment of augmented reality (AR) applications. This type of Video Eyewear enables its wearer to see computer-generated information, graphics or images projected into the real world environment or upon an object that the user is observing.
Binocular Video Eyewear Products
The Company's binocular Video Eyewear products contain two microdisplays (a separate display for each eye), typically mounted in a frame attached to eyeglass-style temples. These products enable mobile and hands-free private viewing of video content on screens that simulate home theater-sized screens. For the consumer markets, it produces a line of binocular Video Eyewear products, all of which support three-dimensional (3D) applications.
The Company offers three models, differentiated primarily by their native resolution and virtual apparent displays size. Wrap 310XL has WQVGA (420x240 three-color pixels) resolution, which simulates a 55-inch screen viewed at 10 feet. Wrap 920 has VGA (640x480 three-color pixels) resolution, which simulates a 67-inch screen viewed at 10 feet. Wrap 1200 has WVGA (852x480 three-color pixels) resolution, which simulates a 75-inch screen viewed at 10 feet.
The Company�� Wrap AR and VR Viewers include Wrap 920VR and Wrap 1200VR, Wrap 920AR and Star 1200. Wrap 920VR and Wrap 1200VR contain the Company's three degrees of freedom head tracking technology, which enables the user to look around the environment being viewed by moving his or her head. Wrap 920AR is designed to plug into a computer�� universal serial bus (USB) and ! video por! ts. Star 1200 is the Company's first AR Video Eyewear product with see-thru technology that enables the user to see the real world directly through and around its transparent wide video graphics array (WVGA) widescreen video displays. Computer content, such as text, images and video can be overlaid on the displays in full color two dimensional (2D) or 3D.
Monocular Video Eyewear Products
The Company's Tac-Eye monocular (single eye) high-resolution Video Eyewear models are ruggedized and designed to clip onto a pair of ballistic sunglasses, helmets or conventional safety goggles. Tac-Eye enables users to have wearable, private, secure and hands-free access to high-resolution content or information. It can be used with the large installed base of rugged laptops, unmanned vehicles, video based radio receivers, security and night vision cameras and thermal night vision sights, including those systems, which the Company supply as a subcontractor to the United States Defense Department.
Defense Sub-Assembly, Custom Solutions and Engineering Solutions
The Company is part of contracting teams that produce display drive electronic subassemblies for light, medium, and heavy weights thermal weapon systems for United States and allied defense forces. The Company is also a supplier of light engine subassemblies for Clip-on Thermal Imagers (COTI). The COTI is designed to clip onto existing image intensifier night vision goggles to give them thermal imaging capabilities. It provides full optics systems, including head mounted displays, human computer interface devices, and wearable computers as prototypes under multiple armed services test programs. These are being tested, and in some cases deployed, in applications, such as the remote control of unmanned vehicles and virtual and augmented defense equipment training systems.
The Company competes with Motorola, Inc., Nokia Corporation, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Research In Motion Limited, Sa! msung Ele! ctronics Co., Ltd., LG Electronics, Apple Inc., Liteye Systems, Inc., Lumus, Shimadzu Corporation, Microvision, Kopin, Creative Display Systems, LLC, OASYS Technology, LLC, Rockwell Collins, Inc., Kaiser and Microvision Corporation.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Bryan Murphy]
Although the market seems to be losing traction, and even losing ground now, the same can't be said of every single stock. A handful of stocks like China Jo-Jo Drugstores Inc. (NASDAQ:CJJD), Vuzix Corp. (OTCBB:VUZI), and Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:ADMP) are forging ahead, doling out gains against the grain. Not that moving higher while other names are moving lower is a sure sign that ADMP, VUZI, and CJJD will remain in their uptrends indefinitely, but it sure doesn't hurt their odds. Here's a closer look at each one and why you'd want to add them to your watchlist.