Despite strong new models like the Impala sedan, a new survey found that GM's Chevrolet brand still trails most rivals in customer satisfaction. Photo credit: General Motors.
A new survey released last week showed that the top Japanese automakers lead General Motors (NYSE: GM ) , Ford (NYSE: F ) , and Chrysler in customer satisfaction -- and despite Detroit's recent quality gains, the gap may be widening.
What's going on, and is this something that could derail GM's turnaround? In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear digs into the survey and offers his view on the real�reason GM still lags Toyota (NYSE: TM ) and Honda (NYSE: HMC ) in customer satisfaction.
GM still has some work to do, but Ford's turnaround has already rewarded shareholders. But for Ford's stock to really soar, a few more critical things need to fall into place. In The Motley Fool's special free report titled "5 Secrets to Ford's Future" we outline the key factors every Ford investor needs to watch. Just�click here�now for your free report.
T.Clarke plc, a building services contractor, provides electrical and mechanical installation services and supplies associated equipment. The company offers information communications technology (ICT) services in the areas of structured cabling and connectivity, network infrastructure and security, networked energy management, data centre infrastructure, and managed and support services; facilities management services, such as preventative, reactive, and planned maintenance solutions; and green technologies services, which comprise photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting, biomass boilers, ground source heating, air source heating, wind turbines, lighting, and carbon reduction audit services. It also provides massive reading station redevelopment, cross rail, border rail link, and underground power upgrade services for the rail sector; lifecycle building services combining mechanical and electrical works with ICT for utilities and technologies sectors; lifecycle services for ho tel and residential sectors, which include electrical, ICT, and mechanical systems design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance; and mechanical and electrical contracting services for education, healthcare, government/local authority, retail and leisure, stadiums, transport, towers, media, and residential sectors. In addition, the company manufactures and prefabricates elements of an installation, as well as engineering components. T.Clarke plc was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By FinanceGuru]
The shift to the faster LTE network is happening pretty swiftly as telecom companies realize the value of technology to manage increased data traffic. The shift is evident from the fact that telecom giant AT&T (T) has set aside $20 billion to upgrade its wireless and wireline networks in order to swiftly roll out LTE. Sprint (S) is also investing heavily in order to boost its LTE network, post its acquisition by SoftBank. The company will receive $16 billion from SoftBank to invest in base stations in the next two years as it plans to provide unlimited data to its customers and grow its subscriber base.
- [By Kyle Woodley]
In-flight Internet service provider Gogo Inc. (GOGO) reports earnings in a couple of weeks, but that report has been relegated to the back pages today. That’s because AT&T (T) and Honeywell (HON) just challenged GoGo to a dogfight, and GOGO stock — already mired in big losses prior to today — is reeling hard.
- [By Travis Hoium]
Investors were selling shares of Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) and AT&T (NYSE: T ) after DISH�Network dropped its bid for Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) , presumably because counter-bidder SoftBank is more capable of building a strong competitor. But before we put Sprint on par with Verizon and AT&T, we need to look at what huge strides the company has to make in order to catch up with its larger rivals. Fool contributor Travis Hoium doesn't think Verizon or AT&T have too much to worry about yet.�
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: West Marine Inc (WMAR)
West Marine, Inc., incorporated in September 1993, is a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise for the boat and for the boater. It operates in three segments: Stores, Port Supply and Direct-to-Customer. The Company sells to both retail and wholesale customers in its Stores segment. In addition, the Company has three franchised stores in Turkey. The Company�� Port Supply segment is its wholesale segment. The Company�� Direct-to-Customer, which includes e-commerce, catalog and call center transactions. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Stores segment generated approximately 90% of its net revenues. During 2011, products shipped to Port Supply customers directly from its warehouses represented approximately 4% of its net revenues.
During 2011, its Direct Sales segment offered customers around the world more than 75,000 products and accounted for the remaining 6% of its net revenues. Private label products, which the Company sells under the West Marine, Black Tip, Third Reef, Pure Oceans, Lifesling, SeaVolt and Seafit brand names, usually are manufactured in Asia, the United States and Europe.
During 2011, the Company opened six stores while closing 14 stores. In December 2011, it opened its Fort Lauderdale Boating Superstore, a 50,000 square foot flagship. Its flagship stores ranging in size from 21,000 to 50,000 square feet, offering an array of merchandise typically about 16,000 items, as well as displays designed to help customers make informed product selections. It also operates large format stores, standard-sized stores and smaller Express stores. Its large format stores range from 13,000 to 19,000 square feet and carry about 11,000 items. The standard-sized stores typically range from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet and carry over 6,000 items. Express stores typically range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and carry over 4,000 items, mainly hardware and other supplies needed! for day-to-day boat maintenance and repairs.
Port Supply Segment
Port Supply customers include businesses involved in boat sales, boat building, boat commissioning and repair, yacht chartering, marina operations and other boating-related activities. In addition, Port Supply sells to government and industrial customers who use its products for boating and non-boating purposes. Port Supply, the Company�� wholesale segment, serves wholesale customers seeking convenience and a larger assortment of products than those carried by typical distributors.
The Company�� e-commerce Website provides its customers with access to a selection of approximately 75,000 products, product advisor tips and technical information, over 450 product videos and customer-submitted product reviews. This segment also provides customers with access to knowledgeable technical advisors who can assist its customers in understanding the various uses and applications of the products it sell. It operates a virtual call center from which its associates assist its customers by taking calls from their homes or from its support center in Watsonville, California. Its virtual call center supports sales generated through its e-commerce Website, catalogs and stores and provides customer service offerings.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Interactive Buyside]
West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) is an undervalued retailer. The company is going through a change in focus from a bricks and mortar boat product retailer to a fully integrated retail and wholesale business through bricks and clicks, targeting the boating and water enthusiast customer. Recent results have been affected by a severe rainy and cool spring which hurt boat usage and delayed the start of the season. The company has accelerated cash investments to build larger more productive stores and expand its ecommerce abilities, consequently affecting free cash flow short term. The stock lacks sponsorship as there is only one research report written on the company by a small boutique firm. The stock trades at only book value despite the company being the leading industry player with a solid balance sheet and significant net cash position.
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: BM&F Bovespa SA Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros (BVMF3)BM&F Bovespa SA Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros (BM&FBovespa) is a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in the operation of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange. The Company�� business is divided into three segments: Bovespa, which manages the exchange markets and MBO national for securities trading equities, which include stocks, receipts of shares, depository receipts on shares of Brazilian companies or foreign, equity derivatives, warrants, shares of different types of closed investment funds, non-standard options to purchase and sell securities, among others; BM&F Segment covers the main steps of the cycles of trading and settlement of securities and contracts: trading systems in environments of electronic trading and trading via Internet and systems of registration, and other assets; Corporate and Institutional Products Segment refers to services as depository of securities, loans and securities and listing of securities, information signs and rating services, among others. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ney Hayashi]
Equity loans may also be used to implement arbitrage strategies or fulfill an obligation to deliver the securities to settle another transaction, according to the website of BM&FBovespa SA (BVMF3), operator of Brazil�� exchange.
- [By Denyse Godoy]
OGX has the third-highest weight in the Ibovespa at 5.48 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 0.92 percent on Aug. 30, the data show. BM&FBovespa SA (BVMF3) is considering excluding stocks trading for less than 1 real, or penny stocks, from the Ibovespa, which is otherwise weighted just by trading volume, according to a statement on the exchange operator�� website.
- [By Denyse Godoy]
BM&FBovespa SA (BVMF3) will exclude from the gauge any companies whose shares trade for less than 1 real (44 cents), the exchange operator said in a statement yesterday. The limit on equity lending for OGX, which has plunged 91 percent this year to 38 centavos in Sao Paulo, was raised to 50 percent of shares available for trading from 45 percent, the bourse said in a separate statement. Stock loans, used in short sales, climbed to 44.9 percent on Sept. 11, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: Sina Corporation(SINA)
SINA Corporation provides online media and mobile value-added services (MVAS) in the People?s Republic of China. It provides advertising, non-advertising, and free services through SINA.com, Weibo.com, and SINA Mobile. SINA.com offers free interest-based channels that provide region-focused format and content, including news, sports, automobile-related news, finance, entertainment, luxury, technology, digital, tools, collectibles, video, music, and wireless application protocol, as well as interactive platform for fashion-conscious users to share comments and ideas on a range of topics, such as health, cosmetics, and beauty. The company's microblogging platform, Weibo.com, enables its users to follow the hottest topics being discussed online, as well as discussions related to people they know. Weibo accounts consist of celebrities, commercial enterprises, government entities, and grass root Internet users. Its SINA Mobile service allows users to receive news and informatio n, download ring tones, mobile games and pictures, and participate in dating and friendship communities. The company also offers SINA Game, which serves as an interactive platform that provides users with downloads and gateway access to popular online games; SINA eReading, a shop for book reviews; SINA.net, an enterprise solutions platform to assist businesses and government bodies; and SINA Mall, an online shopping Website. In addition, it provides a platform for Chinese bloggers; photo-sharing platform; free email, VIP mail, and corporate email for enterprise users; audio and video-based instant messaging tools; proprietary search technology; and classified advertising services, as well as hosts topic-specific discussion forums in Chinese language; and creates user-maintained and supported online communities. The company has strategic cooperation agreement with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. SINA Corporation was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the Peop le?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Most of the fears that investors have come from Baidu's rising competition. Traditionally, Baidu's partnership with SINA (NASDAQ: SINA ) Weibo has given the search star useful social information to augment its services. But with rival Alibaba having taken an 18% stake in Weibo three months ago, that partnership could be in danger if Alibaba's use of Weibo information leads Baidu customers to advertise less. Meanwhile, the gains for Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU ) have continued, with the stock having almost quadrupled in the past year as the upstart company has achieved a 15.6% search market share. With its browser having about 25% market share, Qihoo's growth prospects might be slowing down, but the network effects could continue eating away at Baidu's leading position in the market.
- [By Kevin Chen]
Even when foreign companies like Yahoo!�have been forthcoming in self-censoring themselves, Beijing seems to put up obstacles to favor its domestic companies like SINA� (NASDAQ: SINA ) , which ultimate profit.
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: GigaMedia Limited (GIGM)
Gigamedia Limited, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the operation of online games for online game players in Asia. The company provides a portfolio of online games, including MahJong, a traditional Chinese tile game; MMORPG, an Internet-based computer game; advanced casual games; and card, chance-based, and simple casual games. It also develops and licenses online poker, casino, and sports betting gaming software solutions, as well as offers application services for the online poker and casino markets primarily in the continental European markets. The company has strategic alliances with SoftStar Entertainment Inc., Neostorm Holdings Limited, XLGames Inc., Access China Holding Limited, Gorilla Banana Entertainment Corp., JC Entertainment Corporation, Possibility Space Incorporated, East Gate Media Contents & Technology Fund, and BetClic. GigaMedia Limited was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Eric Volkman]
GigaMedia (NASDAQ: GIGM ) results for the company's fiscal Q4 and 2012 have been released. For the quarter, revenue was $4.8 million, down by 34% from the $7.4 million in the same period the previous year. Attributable net loss, however, narrowed considerably to $15.4 million ($0.30 per diluted share) from Q4 2011's shortfall of $51.3 million ($1.01).
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: New York & Company Inc.(NWY)
New York & Company, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of women's fashion apparel and accessories in the United States. The company offers a range of wear-to-work, and casual apparel and accessories, including pants, jackets, knit tops, blouses, sweaters, denim, T-shirts, activewear, handbags, and jewelry. It sells its products under the New York & Company, Lerner, Lerner New York, New York Style, City Stretch, City Style, and NY&C brand names. The company sells its branded merchandise through its network of retail stores and E-commerce store at nyandcompany.com. As of March 15, 2012, it operated 532 stores in 43 states. The company, formerly known as NY & Co. Group, Inc., was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of New York & Company (NYSE: NWY ) were looking sharp, gaining as much as 10% two market days after reporting earnings, as Janney Montgomery Scott today reaffirmed its buy rating and upped its price target by 50% to $6.
- [By Anna Prior]
New York & Co(NWY).’s fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as the women’s apparel retailer recorded comparable-store-sales growth and benefited from lower costs.
- [By Sue Chang]
New York & Co. (NWY) �is likely to post earnings of 10 cents a share in the fourth quarter.
Best Japanese Companies To Buy Right Now: The First of Long Island Corporation(FLIC)
The First of Long Island Corporation operates as a bank holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island that provides various financial services. It offers various deposit products, including checking, money market, savings, escrow service and interest on lawyer, time deposit, NOW, rent security, holiday club, and individual retirement accounts. The company?s loan portfolio consists of commercial and industrial loans; residential and commercial mortgage loans; home equity loans and lines; multifamily loans; construction loans; consumer loans, such as auto and home improvement loans, personal loans, overdraft checking lines, and credit cards; commercial loans, which include short-term business loans, term and installment loans, revolving credit term loans, and loans secured by marketable securities, general business assets, deposits, and surrender value of life insurance policies; and commercial and standby letters of credit. In addition, it provides account rec onciliation, ATM banking, bank by mail, bill payment, cash management, collection, drive-through banking, personal money orders, Internet and telephone banking, merchant credit card depository, lock box, night depository, payroll, remote deposit, securities transactions, signature guarantee, trust and investment management, wire transfers and foreign cables, and withholding tax depository services, as well as offers controlled disbursement accounts, travelers and counter checks, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance and securities, safe deposit boxes, and the U.S. savings bonds. Further, the company provides pension trust, personal trust, estate, and custody services; and insurance agency services, as well as owns a real estate investment trust. It offers its services to privately owned businesses, professionals, consumers, public bodies, and other organizations through its 34 branches primarily in Long Island and Manhattan. The company was founded in 1927 and is based in Glen Head, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
The First of Long Island Corporation (FLIC) operates as a bank holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island that provides financial services. Sept. 19, the company increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable Oct. 11, 2013 to shareholders of record on October 3, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.7%.