While Yum! Brands'� (NYSE: YUM ) �struggles in China may be making all the headlines, the company has plenty to celebrate over the performance of its Taco Bell brand. After reporting a scorching 6% sales growth figure to start the year, Yum! said last week that Taco Bell saw a 2% bounce in its U.S business for the second quarter.
In the following video, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos highlights some of the Tex-Mex chain's other wins over rivals McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) and Chipotle Mexican Grill,�and how that has translated into bigger profits for Yum! than many investors realize.
Still, there's no doubt that international growth will be key to the company's future. The Motley Fool's free report "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World" shows you how to profit from a few of the U.S. businesses that, like Yum! Brands, are well positioned to grab market share overseas. Click here to get your free copy before it's gone.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2015: Ellie Mae Inc (ELLI)
Ellie Mae, Inc., incorporated October 14, 2007, is a provider of on-demand automation solutions for the mortgage industry. The Company offers an end-to-end solution, delivered using a Software-as-a-Service model that serves as the core operating system for mortgage originators and spans customer relationship management, loan origination and business management. It also hosts the Ellie Mae Network that allows Encompass users to electronically conduct business transactions with the lenders and settlement service providers they work with to process and fund loans. The Company's offerings include range of Encompass services and the DataTrac mortgage management software system. On August 15, 2011, it completed the acquisition of Del Mar Datatrac,Inc. (DMD).
Using the Company�� network technology, it has helped connect a fragmented world of mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, community banks, credit unions, lenders, investors and service providers, all of which are integral to the origination and funding of residential mortgages. Its Encompass360 solutions include Encompass Product & Pricing Service; Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan Program; Encompass Compliance Service; Encompass Appraisal Service; Encompass CenterWise; Encompass Commissions; Encompass TPO WebCenter and Encompass Docs Solution.
Ellie Mae�� Total Quality Loan program helps in identifying compliance, income and fraud issues early in the origination process; help protect business from loan buy-backs, and fortify workflow and uncover and correct possible issues before you close the loan.Encompass Appraisal Service, integrated inside Encompass360, is that solution helps in completing order right from the loan file in Encompass360; import complete appraisal reports directly into eFolder, and customize appraisal workflow by type of loan and control, which its users can order appraisals. Its Encompass CenterWise wraps two essential Web and electronic document solutions into one unified package. Encompass Commissions is a ! commission management solution integrated inside Encompass360 that automates the calculation, reconciliation and communication of variable pay across your organization. Hosted Encompass360 Banker Edition users can connect directly with third-party originators (TPOs) without leaving Encompass360, and have them connect back in a secure, synchronized, and easy-to-use Web-based environment. Encompass Docs Solution provides a single, integrated application incorporating both initial disclosures and closing documents.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
Ellie Mae (NYSE: ELLI ) reported earnings on April 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Ellie Mae beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Laredo Petroleum Inc (LPI)
Laredo Petroleum, Inc., formerly Laredo Petroleum Holdings, Inc., incorporated in August 12, 2011, is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and natural gas in the Permian and Mid-Continent regions of the United States. The Company�� activities are primarily focused in the Wolfberry and deeper horizons of the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Anadarko Granite Wash in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma, where it has assembled 134,680 net acres and 37,850 net acres, respectively, as of December 31, 2011.
The Permian Basin, located in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is an onshore oil and natural gas producing regions in the United States. The Company�� Permian activities are centered on the eastern side of the basin approximately 35 miles east of Midland, Texas in Glasscock, Howard, Reagan and Sterling Counties. As of December 31, 2011, it held 134,680 net acres in over 300 sections with an average working interest of 96% in wells drilled as of that date. The overall Wolfberry interval, the principal focus of its drilling activities, is an oil play that also includes a liquids-rich natural gas component. Its production/exploration fairway extends approximately 20 miles wide and 80 miles long. While exploration and drilling efforts in the southern half of its acreage block has been centered on the shallower portion of the Wolfberry (Spraberry, Dean and Wolfcamp formations) the emphasis in the northern half has been on the deeper intervals, including the Wolfcamp, Cline Shale, Strawn and Atoka formations.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company had drilled and completed approximately 600 gross vertical wells and had defined the productive limits on its acreage throughout the trend. It has expanded its drilling program to include a horizontal component targeting the Cline and Wolfcamp Shales. The Company has drilled four gross horizontal Wolfcamp Shale wells as of December 31, 2011. A! s of December 31, 2011, it had drilled a total of 27 gross horizontal wells in the Wolfcamp and Cline formations, of which 23 are in the Cline Shale and four in the Wolfcamp Shale. It had over 5,600 total gross identified drilling locations (both vertical and horizontal) in the Permian, all of which are within the Wolfberry and Cline Shale interval during the year ended December 31, 2011.
Anadarko Granite Wash
Straddling the Texas/Oklahoma state line, its Granite Wash play extends over a large area in the western part of the Anadarko Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it held 37,850 net acres in Hemphill County, Texas and Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. The Company�� play consists of vertical and horizontal drilling opportunities targeting the liquids-rich Granite Wash formation. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled and completed over 150 gross vertical wells. During 2011, its horizontal Granite Wash program was in the development phase. As of December 31, 2011, it had approximately 100 gross identified potential drilling locations for the horizontal Granite Wash, which included both its Texas and Oklahoma acreage.
The Company, in addition to its Permian Wolfberry and Anadarko Granite Wash plays, evaluated opportunities in three other areas within its core operating regions during 2011. The Dalhart Basin is located on the western side of the Texas Panhandle. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held 83,295 net acres in the Dalhart Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled two gross vertical wells in the Dalhart Basin. The second area is centrally located in the Central Texas Panhandle, where its operations were conducted through its joint venture with ExxonMobil as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, it held 46,915 net acres in the Central Texas Panhandle. The third area is located in the eastern end of the Anadarko Basin, in Caddo County, Oklahoma. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held 33,306 net acres in the Eastern An! adarko.! p> Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tyler Crowe]
Who's doing it the best?Company % Liquids in�Portfolio Oil Production Replacement Rate (3 Years) Reserve Replacement Costs (3-Year Average) Per boe Rosetta Resources� (NASDAQ: ROSE ) 57% 846% $6.99 Continental Resources� (NYSE: CLR ) 72% 827% $12.61 Laredo Petroleum� (NYSE: LPI ) 52% 1,042% $13.51 SM Energy� (NYSE: SM ) 53% 392% $14.67 SandRidge Energy� (NYSE: SD ) 58% 704% $14.85
It can be pretty handy to evaluate the entire industry on how efficiently it's replacing reserves, but reserve replacement costs can be more effective in evaluating individual companies. The lower the costs, the better it is. According to Ernst & Young, the most effective company at controlling reserve replacement costs is private company�Antero Resources, with a three-year average reserve replacement cost of about $2.88 per barrel of oil equivalent. Antero, and four of the other top five companies on Ernst & Young's list, are almost pure natural gas plays. If we've learned one thing over the past couple of years, it's that oil reserves and natural gas reserves are two totally different things when it comes to value. The five following companies have more than 50% liquids on�their�reserves and had the lowest reserve replacement costs for 2012.
Sources: Ernst & Young and S&P Capital IQ; author's calculations.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: SLM Corp (ISM)
SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae), incorporated on February 3, 1997, is a holding company. It operates in three business segments: Consumer Lending, Business Services and FFELP Loans. The fourth segment includes Other. The Company�� primary business is to originate, service and collect loans it makes to students and their families to finance the cost of their education. It uses Private Education Loans to mean education loans to students or their families that are non-federal loans and loans not insured or guaranteed under the previously existing Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). It also provides servicing, loan default aversion and defaulted loan collection services for loans owned by other institutions, including the United States Department of Education (ED), as well as processing capabilities to educational institutions and 529 college-savings plan programs. It also operates a consumer savings network that provides financial rewards on everyday purchases to help families save for college. On May 7, 2013, Higher One Holdings, Inc. acquired Sallie Mae�� Campus Solutions business.
The Company is a holder, servicer and collector of loans made under the previously existing FFELP. The majority of its income continues to be derived, directly or indirectly, from its portfolio of FFELP Loans and servicing it provides for FFELP Loans.
Consumer Lending Segment
The Company originates, acquires, finances and services Private Education Loans. In this segment, the Company earns net interest income on the Private Education Loan portfolio, as well as servicing fees, consisting primarily of late fees. The Bank is also a key component of its Upromise Rewards and college-savings product businesses.
Business Services Segment
The Company�� Business Services segment generates the majority of its revenue from servicing its FFELP Loan portfolio and from performing servicing, default aversion and contingency collections work on behalf of Guaranto! rs of FFELP Loans and other institutions. During the year ended December 31, 2012, its FFELP-related revenues accounted for 76% of total Business Services segment revenues. Since 1997, the Company has provided collection services on defaulted student loans to ED. Upromise generates revenue by providing program management services for 529 college-savings plans with assets in 31 college-savings plans in 16 states, as of December 31, 2012. It also generates transaction fees through its Upromise consumer savings network; through December 31, 2012, members have earned rewards by purchasing products at hundreds of online retailers, booking travel, purchasing a home, dining out, buying gas and groceries, using the Upromise World MasterCard, or completing other qualified transactions. It earns a fee for the marketing and administrative services it provides to companies that participate in the Upromise savings network.
FFELP Loans Segment
The Company�� FFELP Loans segment consists of its FFELP Loan portfolio and the underlying debt and capital funding the loans. It seeks to acquire FFELP Loan portfolios.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
Much like the first three months of the year, the second quarter served up a mixture of good and bad economic news. On April 3, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) announced its nonmanufacturing index fell to 54.4, a seven month low. Higher taxes and federal budget cuts were purported to blame for the slowdown. Two days later on the first Friday of the month, the Labor Department released disappointing March employment numbers: Employers added only 88,000 new jobs, fewer than any month in the past year (though the number was later revised up to 142,000). The unemployment rate dropped to 7.6%, but only because an estimated almost half million people left the workforce in March. On a more encouraging note, housing starts in March rose 7.0% to an annual rate of 1,036,000 (later revised to 1,005,000) and new home sales climbed 1.5% (revised to 1.3%) to 417,000 annualized (revised to 451,000), the second highest jump in three years. Despite the mixed signals, the U.S. equity market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, rose a modest 1.9% in April.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Teekay Corporation(TK)
Teekay Corporation engages in the marine transportation of crude oil and gas in Bermuda and internationally. Its Shuttle Tanker and FSO segment operates shuttle tankers, and floating storage and off-take (FSO) units for offloading and transportation of cargo from oil field installations to onshore terminals; and provides floating storage services for oil field installations. The company?s FPSO segment provides floating production, processing, and storage services through floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) units. Its Liquefied Gas segment comprises liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas carriers. The company?s Conventional Tanker segment operates conventional crude oil and product tankers that are employed on long-term fixed-rate time-charter contracts. As of December 31, 2010, its fleet consisted of 151 vessels, including 11 vessels under construction. The company serves energy and utility companies, oil traders, oil and LNG consumers, p etroleum product producers, government agencies, and various other entities that depend upon marine transportation. Teekay Corporation was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
Teekay (NYSE: TK) shares rose 13.26% to reach a new 52-week high of $66.10 after the company adopted a new dividend policy and announced its plans to increase dividend by 75%-80%.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Teekay (NYSE: TK) surged 14.67% to $66.92. The volume of Teekay shares traded 1390% higher than normal. Teekay adopted a new dividend policy and announced its plans to increase dividend by 75%-80%.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Teekay (TK) have surged more than 15% this morning after the shipping company announced a new dividend policy after yesterday’s close. Deutsche Bank’s Amit Mehrotra think the news is good enough to be worthy of an upgrade for Teekay:Reuters
We are upgrading our recommendation on shares of Teekay Corp. to Buy from Hold, and raising our 12-month price target to $90 from $68. The revision reflects the company’s bold new dividend strategy outlined after today’s market close and ahead of its analyst day tomorrow. The new plan includes an 80% increase in its annual dividend effective 1Q15 (to $2.25 at the midpoint vs. $1.265 today), and a policy aimed at linking future div increases to cash flow growth at its two MLP subsidiaries [Teekay LNG Partners (TGP) & Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO)]. The result should be 20%/year grow in Teekay’s dividend for the foreseeable future, which together with today’s increase, easily justify a $90+ share price in the relatively near-term.
Investors clearly like the news. Shares of Teekay have soared 15% to $67.40 at 10:56 a.m., while Teekay LNG Partners has tricked up 0.3% to $43.56 and Teekay Offshore Partners is off 1.3% at $33.48.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Southwest Gas Corporation(SWX)
Southwest Gas Corporation engages in the purchase, distribution, and transportation of natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. As of March 31, 2011, it had 1,844,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and other natural gas customers, including 996,000 customers in Arizona; 665,000 in Nevada; and 183,000 in California. The company also operates as an underground piping contractor that provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems. Southwest Gas Corporation was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Natural gas provider�Southwest Gas� (NYSE: SWX ) �announced yesterday�its third-quarter dividend of $0.33 per share, the same rate it paid for the last two quarters after it raised the payout from $0.295 per share.
- [By Seth Jayson]
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 Southwest Gas (NYSE: SWX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.