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Medtronic – The Medical Device King And A Healthy, Painless Stock Investment For Retirement Portfolios
Above: Medtronic | History Of The World’s Largest Medical Technology Company.
If you are searching for a medical device company that offers regular dividend increases and stable cash flow, consider medical device king Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). Medtronic has increased its dividend for 39 years in a row, averaging annual increases of 12 percent over the past five years. Medtronic is a medical device company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Their operational headquarters is in Fridley, Minnesota in the United States.
Medtronic is the world’s largest medical technology company, operates in more than 140 countries, employs over 85,000 people, and has more than 53,000 patents worldwide. Medtronic has a giant global footprint in the medical device industry, with its product portfolio ranging from pacemakers to insulin pumps and pretty much everything in between. Its stake in nearly every medical device market gives it economies of scale and pricing power. Although Medtronic’s top line hasn’t quite performed as expected in recent quarters, new product launches should help boost revenue over the long term. (more…)
Above: Qualcomm Versus Intel | Why Wait for the Internet of Everything?
Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) have been locked into processor and modem battles for years, but both companies have their own unique business segments despite some overlapping pursuits. Because of that, investors often consider one stock while looking at the other, so let us take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of both Qualcomm and Intel based on their long term potential.
The Case For Qualcomm
Sales of mobile processors and modems have been a driving force for Qualcomm’s revenues. Qualcomm has managed to add additional Chinese smartphone makers onto its list of customers and expand those sales. That’s come at a time when Qualcomm is just getting over some of its litigation nightmares in China concerning antitrust laws. With Qualcomm adding more China based mobile device makers, the company can continue to tap that growing market, particularly as more companies expand their list of mid-range and high-end devices. Most importantly, we can’t talk about Qualcomm’s mobile ambitions without talking about Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Apple released its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this month, and Qualcomm’s modem has a spot in some (but not all) of the iPhone devices. The rest of the modems are supplied by none other than Intel. Qualcomm was previously the exclusive modem supplier for the iPhone, so this isn’t exactly good news for Qualcomm.
The Case For Intel
Many in the tech world like to to say that Intel missed the cell phone and mobile revolution, and it’s mostly true. While Intel dominated the desktop and PC chip market, it failed to get on board with mobile devices fast enough, and Qualcomm happily took the dominant position. But some of that is changing, and the recent modem win in some of Apple’s iPhones is evidence of these changes. It is still unclear concerning exactly what percentage of new iPhones have Intel modems inside, but it is believed that Apple added Intel’s modems into the new phones despite the fact that they don’t support Sprint or Verizon Communications networks (which both work on CDMA technology). This gives Apple the leverage of having two companies competing for a spot in their mobile devices.
However, the real growth story for Intel will come from using its chips to power the Internet of Things devices and servers. Intel is pivoting away from PC processors to focus on the Internet of Things devices, servers, and data centers. Intel already has a dominant position in server chips (just over 99% in 2015), but it still remains to be seen if device makers will look to Intel for the Internet of Things devices. Thus, Intel investors will need a strong stomach to weather the company’s changes over the next few years as Intel continues its restructuring and figures out how to best use its chip expertise to build new revenue sources.
The Verdict: Qualcomm Versus Intel
Intel appears to be handling its transition away from PC computers relatively well and certainly has enough leverage with device manufacturers to gain more mobile, Internet of Things, and server business. But at the end of the day, Qualcomm’s businesses appear to have much more stability.
It is true that Qualcomm isn’t without its own problems, such as losing the iPhone exclusivity, but the company is still benefiting from its mobile processors, modem sales, and lucrative 3G and 4G patent licenses. These can’t be the only revenue drivers for Qualcomm going forward, but they should provide Qualcomm and its investors with more stability than Intel.
The Fascinating Story Of Yahoo | How Verizon Bought Yahoo For $4.8 Billion Instead Of $45 Billion United States Dollars
“POETIC” is how Marissa Mayer, the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo, described the sale of Yahoo to Verizon. Others, remembering better times at Yahoo, see little that is artful about the decline and fall of the 22 year old Internet company. On July 25th 2016, Verizon, a telecommunications giant that is also America’s biggest mobile operator, announced it would buy Yahoo’s main Internet business for $4.8 billion United States Dollars (a price that does not include Yahoo’s properties in Asia or its portfolio of patents). The sum is paltry compared with Microsoft’s offer of $45 billion in 2008, which Yahoo’s management turned down, arguing that the firm was worth a lot more money.
In all fairness, Microsoft’s bid of $45 billion reflected the valuation of the entirety of Yahoo including Yahoo’s ownership in Alibaba (a Chinese e-commerce giant) as well as Yahoo Japan, but it is important to remember that Alibaba was not worth as much in 2008 and did not have the huge valuation that it has today. In addition, Yahoo also made huge mistakes during the 2000’s, including passing the opportunity to purchase Google for pocket change when they were just starting out (many would argue that was the opportunity of a lifetime). Yahoo also missed huge opportunities and came close to buying YouTube and Facebook back when they were just starting out their businesses, only to pass on those opportunities because of a lack of vision by management.
At the time, these acquisitions probably looked like risky, uneconomical moves that Yahoo investors would hate. But now it’s all ancient Internet history, to be analyzed for years by future business school students from around the world. It is time for us to mourn Yahoo. Sorry, we mean Yahoo!
The Fascinating Story Of Yahoo | David Filo And Jerry Yang – Jerry And David’s Guide To The World Wide Web And The Origin Of Yahoo
Once upon a time, Yahoo was considered one of Silicon Valley’s most successful stories. Now it stands as a warning to other technology companies. Yahoo began in the year 1994 as a project in Stanford’s dormitories, when two students, David Filo and Jerry Yang, assembled their favorite web links on a page called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. The website, which they renamed Yahoo in preparation for a public stock offering, quickly became the “portal” through which millions of people first encountered the Internet. At its peak in 2000, Yahoo had a market value of approximately $128 billion, a fortune compared to the $4.8 billion that Verizon recently offered to pay for Yahoo.
The Story Of Yahoo – Missed Opportunities
Yahoo’s history is filled with opportunities and acquisitions that should not have been passed up. For example, Yahoo did not buy Google for pocket change when it had the chance (this was the opportunity of a lifetime since Google is now worth over $500 billion). Later on, Yahoo agreed to buy Facebook for $1 billion (now worth over $300 billion), but the deal fell through when Yahoo tried to negotiate down the price. It missed the chance to buy YouTube (subsequently bought by Google), and Yahoo’s purchase of eBay fell through for several different reasons which could have been avoided.
In 2012, when Marissa Mayer, an early Google executive and an engineer, arrived to try to reverse the fortunes of Yahoo, the firm’s Silicon Valley headquarters was filled with optimism. For more than two decades, Yahoo had been torn between its identity as a media company that made content and a technology company that provided tools for people to use online. It seemed that Marissa Mayer could be the leader to settle on a single identity and direction.
Instead, Marissa Mayer spent on everything and hoped something would work. Early on came the purchase of Tumblr in 2013, a social network and blogging platform, for $1.1 billion United States Dollars (Yahoo has since written down most of the purchase price). To beat out Google Marissa Mayer did a pricey, five year deal with Mozilla, the owner of the famous browser known around the world as Firefox (Yahoo became Firefox’s default search engine at an annual cost of more than $375 million United States Dollars). As for Yahoo’s own core business, revenues are falling each year as consumers and advertisers migrate from desktop computers and away from Yahoo’s products.
Verizon makes no claim to be able to restore Yahoo to its former glory. Rather, it believes that Yahoo could help its main business of selling mobile phone subscriptions since this has slowed now that most people have smartphones, which are falling in price. Yahoo would bring viewers, viewers would bring advertising dollars, and advertising dollars would bring top line growth (this is one of the reasons why Verizon decided to purchase Yahoo).
Last year Verizon spent $4.4 billion United States Dollars on AOL (America Online), another former darling from the 1990’s dotcom bubble era. Thus, with both Yahoo and AOL Verizon will achieve much needed scale: in the United States of America it will command the second most visited set of web properties after Google (Facebook would be in third place). Thus, Verizon is now betting that it will be able to use data from all of its approximately 113 million retail phone and Internet subscribers and bombard them with targeted ads as they browse apps or websites owned by Yahoo and AOL (America Online), making a fortune from new advertising revenue.
Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo does have one thing on its side: low expectations. Any success Verizon has with its purchase of Yahoo is all upside. By contrast, during her reign at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer was given unreasonably high expectations, along with constant scrutiny. Verizon has the freedom to say next to nothing about how Yahoo and its advertising business does in the near term since Yahoo will no longer be a publicly traded company. However, you will still be able to invest in Yahoo indirectly by buying shares in Verizon (ticker symbol: VZ) through a regular stock broker. Such relative invisibility may allow Verizon to press on with the radical surgery, such as reducing headcount, that Yahoo has needed for years but never actually received.
How To Invest In Silver Coins | Supergirl Fine Silver Colored Coin – DC Comics Originals: Unity (2015)
Above: How To Invest In Silver Coins | Supergirl Fine Silver Colored Coin – DC Comics Originals: Unity (2015).
Supergirl Silver Coin Specifications
Mintage: 30,000 Supergirl Silver Coins
Composition: 99.99% Pure Silver
Finish: Matte Proof
Weight: 15.87 g
Diameter: 34 mm
Face Value: $10 Dollars
Artist: DC Comics (Reverse), Susanna Blunt (Obverse)
The DC Comics Originals series has a classic, slightly retro style, recalling the look most comic book fans grew up with and remember fondly. Basing itself on the DC Comics style of the 1980’s, this silver coin series celebrates one of the most established looks for the DC Comics pantheon of super heroes, including some of its most memorable young heroines.
Supergirl is the most powerful teenager on the planet; Batgirl is the police commissioner’s daughter who spends her nights fighting crime in Gotham City; Wonder Girl is the adopted sister of Wonder Woman, raised on Paradise Island.
Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Girl are not simply female analogues of their mentors — each superhero has the spirit of their associate, plus additional skills: Batgirl is an exceptional fighter and detective, and is unparalleled in her computer skills; Wonder Girl is a founding member of the teenage supergroup known as The Teen Titans; and Supergirl is…well…SUPERGIRL! She has all the powers of her cousin, Superman, with the temperament and passion of a teenager.
Crafted from 99.99% pure silver, this beautiful silver coin makes a wonderful gift for any fan of comic books, DC Comics, and timeless superheroes!
Supergirl Silver Coin Special Features
This beautiful Supergirl silver coin is the first wave in an exciting new series that celebrates DC Comics’ greatest superheroes presented in their classic form, just the way millions of comic book fans have loved them for decades. Traditional engraving and finishes meet selective color and cutting-edge laser engraving, giving this beautiful Supergirl silver coin depth and the illusion of movement. This beautiful Supergirl silver coin is made with all the respect and devotion that only the Royal Canadian Mint can provide.
About The Supergirl Silver Coin Design
The Supergirl silver coin reverse design mimics a comic book splash page with a colored and engraved rendition of Supergirl, followed by Batgirl and Wonder Girl. With a confident expression, the youthful and powerful Girl of Steel flies off to the right of the silver coin; to her right is a laser-engraved representation of Batgirl and Wonder Girl. Both superheroes are depicted in their most recognizable costumes, as Batgirl’s cape billows in the wind and Wonder Girl carries her lasso. They are ready to take action alongside Supergirl, all united in their battle against evil! Also engraved on the reverse within a spiked word balloon are the face value of “10 DOLLARS” and the year “2015”.
How To Invest In Silver Coins | Supergirl Fine Silver Colored Coin – DC Comics Originals: Strength (2015)
Above: How To Invest In Silver Coins | Supergirl Silver Colored Coin DC Comics Originals Supergirl Coins.
Superman may be the most powerful being on the planet, with his ability to leap tall buildings and outrun speeding bullets. But what would have happened if he hadn’t been raised by the decent, humble Mr. and Mrs. Kent who instilled in him strong morals and values? What if Superman had arrived on Earth as a teenager, with all the attitude and rebellious tendencies that come with the territory? Well… he would be Supergirl!
As the most powerful teenager on the planet, Supergirl (also known as the Girl of Steel) possesses all of Superman’s powers — from superhuman strength, speed, and invulnerability, all the way down to his flight and enhanced senses. Still learning to control her awesome powers but lacking her cousin’s self-restraint, Supergirl may be even more dangerous than Superman (the Man of Steel). Disconnected from a world she’s still struggling to comprehend, Supergirl has found non-stop action from her very first minute on this planet.
Supergirl is actually Kara Zor-El from the planet Krypton; she is endowed with super strength, flight, invulnerability, speed, heat vision, freeze breath, x-ray vision, superhuman hearing, and an incredible healing factor. Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City’s Police Commissioner, James Gordon. She’s an exceptional martial artist, a tactician, and a master of combat strategy, not to mention one of the most advanced computer experts in the DC Universe! Wonder Girl is Donna Troy, who was rescued by Wonder Woman and raised as an Amazon on Paradise Island. She’s able to fly, has super strength and speed, shares an empathic link with Wonder Woman, and is trained as an Amazon… which means she’s strong and resilient!
Supergirl first appeared in Action Comics #252 in 1959 in a story called The Supergirl From Krypton! Before this issue, Superman had always assumed he was the sole survivor of the destruction of Krypton. Barbara Gordon wasn’t the first (or the last) Batgirl, but she is the most recognized and popular. First gracing the pages of Detective Comics #359 in 1967 in The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!, Barbara Gordon was introduced as Police Commissioner Gordon’s rebellious teenage daughter. Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #60 where she joined forces with Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash in the newly formed “junior” Justice League, The Teen Titans.
Supergirl Silver Coin Packaging
The Supergirl silver coin comes enclosed in a very unique packaging that recreates the look of a well loved comic book, in addition to also giving this beautiful silver coin a fun element that makes this superhero series a one of a kind collecting experience!
Unilever Business Facts & Figures
Did you know that over 2 billion people use Unilever products every day? As the world’s third largest consumer products company, the global nature of Unilever’s operations should come as no surprise to anyone. In fact, the company remains one of Europe’s best performing dividend companies with 36 years of consecutive dividend growth.
*Revenues of approximately 53.3 billion Euros in 2015.
*Emerging markets now account for 58% of their business.
*Unilever has 13 brands with sales of more than 1 billion Euros per year.
*More than 172,000 people work for Unilever.
When consumers search for nutritionally balanced foods or great tasting ice creams, affordable soaps that combat disease, luxurious shampoos, or everyday household care products, there’s a good chance that the brand they select belongs to Unilever.
Seven out of every ten households around the world contain at least one Unilever product, and Unilever’s range of world leading household name brands includes Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s, Omo, Blue Band, Pureit, and Suave. In fact, Unilever owns approximately 400 world class brands making it one of the best stocks to own in the world.
Risks nevertheless remains, mainly with regards to brand preference. Unilever faces stiff competition for shelf space and consumer loyalty from its direct competitors Procter & Gamble (stock symbol: PG) and Nestlé (stock symbol: NESN).
Unlike many other European companies that pay once or twice a year, Unilever pays a quarterly dividend, which makes it an excellent company for investment purposes if you are looking for a constant revenue stream going into your bank account.
Unilever’s ability to maintain and grow its dividend for at least 36 consecutive years is truly impressive, but not a surprise given that industry peers like Procter & Gamble and Swiss food company Nestlé are able to do the same. Nevertheless, Unilever is one of the few European companies that has been able to accomplish such an incredible achievement.
How To Invest In Unilever | How To Become A Part Owner In Unilever
American investors can purchase a part ownership in Unilever by opening an account with a stock broker such as Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, or Fidelity. Once your account is opened you can place a Unilever stock purchase order by giving your broker the Unilever stock symbol (you can also buy Unilever stock online through the above stock brokers without having to talk to anyone).
Unilever PLC (stock symbol: UL) and Unilever N.V. (stock symbol: UN) both trade in the New York Stock Exchange as ADR’s (American Depositary Receipts). This basically means that instead of you having to buy the shares in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) or in London (The United Kingdom) in Euros, you can buy Unilever shares in United States Dollars in the United States. These Unilever ADR’s (American Depositary Receipts) are backed by the Unilever shares that are traded in Europe, and subject to transaction costs can be exchanged for the European shares (though it is rare for individual investors to do this exchange because of the convenience of owning the Unilever ADR’s (American Depositary Receipts).
For international investors it’s important to note that Unilever formed following a merger between the Dutch Margarine Unie and the British Lever Brothers in 1930, which to this day results in two controlling holdings that operate as one economic entity: Unilever N.V. and Unilever PLC. Consequently, the company is listed on both the Dutch Euronext Stock Exchange (stock symbol: UNA) and the London Stock Exchange (stock symbol: ULVR).
We mention this distinction because many international investors prefer to purchase the Unilever PLC shares that trade in London or the Unilever PLC ADR’s (stock symbol: UL) since those are subject to a 0% withholding tax on dividends. The Unilever N.V. shares that trade in the Netherlands and the Unilever N.V. ADR’s (stock symbol: UN) that trade in the United States are subject to a reduced Dutch withholding tax of 15% on dividends, whereas the Unilever PLC dividends from the Unilever shares that trade in London and the Unilever ADR’s (stock symbol: UL) that trade in the United States aren’t taxed at all to foreign investors even though both of the European shares declare their dividends in Euros (or United States Dollars for both versions of the ADR’s that trade in the New York Stock Exchange).
Unilever History | Why Are There 2 Types Of Unilever Shares?
Unilever has been in business since the 1880’s. In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Bros, wrote down his ideas for Sunlight Soap – his revolutionary new product that helped popularize cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. On September 2, 1929 Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie sign an agreement to create Unilever. The businesses initially aim to negotiate an arrangement to keep out of each other’s principal interests of soap and margarine production, but ultimately decide on a merger instead.
Unilever Shares – The Basics
Unilever NV and Unilever PLC, together with their group companies, operate effectively as a single economic entity.
Unilever was founded in 1930 following a business merger between Naamlooze Vennootschap Margarine Unie of the Netherlands and Lever Brothers Limited of the UK.
To avoid punitive taxation levies and the disruption to the business that would result from dividing integrated national companies into their component parts, both companies pooled their interests through a business merger as opposed to a legal merger.
Two controlling companies were set up, one English (Unilever Ltd – now Unilever PLC) and the other Dutch (Naamlooze Vennootschap Margarine Unie – now Unilever N.V.).
To allow both companies to operate as a single legal entity notwithstanding their independent legal structures, a series of agreements was put in place: mutual sharing of brands and technology; equalisation of dividend; mutual guarantee of borrowings; identical Boards of Directors and equal treatment for shareholders in the event of dissolution. Thus, Unilever N.V. and Unilever PLC have separate legal identities but operate as a single entity.
So what’s not to like about Unilever? Unilever is a truly multinational business that’s greatly positioned to take advantage of future economic growth in emerging markets while having huge pricing power over its core brands. On top of that, Unilever is heavily focused on shareholder value through capital appreciation and by increasing their dividend year after year making Unilever one of the best dividend stocks to own in the entire world.