The online world is a funny place. People develop friendships on the Internet, form communities, and use these platforms to reveal their innermost thoughts and fears.

An article in today's TheSacramento Bee testifies to just how powerful these relationships can be. And how, in times of dire emergency, these friends matter. Last summer, Fool Community member DingBatAnnie shared that she had an aggressive form of cancer. Annie (whose real name is La Vona Schamber) chose, rather than retreat from her disease, to attack it full force, and to keep her Foolish friends aware of her condition.

The Community responded -- with love, with financial assistance, with the sort of things that good neighbors do for friends in need.

Think online friendships don't matter? Read the story of DingBatAnnie and her Foolish Angels. If real neighbors were this caring, the world would certainly be a better place.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Reebok Shoots, Scores

Reebok (NYSE: RBK) scored some points today with its first-quarter earnings announcement.

The athletic shoe and apparel company's sales and earnings were both higher, and it anticipates more good times ahead.

Revenues improved 8.5% to $798 million, including foreign exchange effects. Reebok generates a chunk of sales internationally, so reported results can sometimes look better due to favorable exchange rates. Its management always spells this out for investors, though. In this case, on a constant dollar basis, revenues rose 2.5%.

Reebok earned $40.8 million, or $0.63 a share. That's a 10% gain over last year's Q1 pre-charge earnings of $37.1 million. (It took a non-cash charge for goodwill accounting, which reduced reported net income to $32 million in the prior period.)

Its quickly growing U.S. apparel business is an especially bright spot in today's results. U.S. apparel sales were up a whopping 24.3% from last quarter, to $89.5 million. They will continue to grow, too, thanks in part to its lucrative NBA and NFL licensing agreements.

Clothing carries higher margins than sneakers, so although apparel only makes up about 26% of its U.S. sales and 11% of total sales, it does help margin growth and the bottom line. Gross margins grew from 37.2% to 37.4%, and net margins increased from 5.04% to 5.11%.

Reebok's kicky marketing also appears to be working. Terry Tate: Office Linebacker has been an overwhelming hit, and the company smartly plans to roll out more commercials featuring the no-nonsense character for the 2003 back-to-school season. A new television commercial featuring Shakira and Reebok Classics will debut soon. And the company just launched the new "S. Carter Collection by Rbk," a line designed by rapper Jay-Z, to sell-out success.

Reebok sees its good fortunes continuing. For all of 2003, earnings per share are projected to grow at 15% on sales growth in the mid- to high-single digits. With shares currently trading at a P/E of around 15, a forward P/E of 13, and a P/FCF of 10.7, Reebok's ready to rumble and priced to shine.

Quote of Note

"If you start a program of diet and exercise now, in just a few weeks you can shed that extra 10 pounds, so when it's time to "hit the beach," you can put on that new bikini with the confidence that comes from knowing that you will immediately take off that new bikini, put on a bathrobe, and spend the rest of the weekend in your bedroom, weeping and eating Häagen-Dazs straight from the container." -- Dave Barry, columnist

Life Events = Financial Events

John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans... so, make sure you review your insurance needs each time life happens." (He didn't really say that bit about insurance -- what he actually said was, "Paul is such a wanker.")

Yes, folks, life happens -- you get married, you have kids, you change jobs, the Fab Four becomes the Fab Two. And most of life's big events have financial consequences. So, if you've recently coupled, reproduced, separated, retired, jiggled, or become disabled, here are some areas of your finances to reevaluate.

Review your tax withholding status. Determine if you're having the right amount withheld from your paycheck by your employer. Download Form W-4 (.pdf file) from the IRS website, or use their withholding calculator. If you have too much taken out of your paycheck, you'll lose the use of that money until you get your tax refund. Have too little withheld, and you'll pay a penalty.

Update your will, emergency contacts, and beneficiaries. Your legal papers should keep pace with every addition to and subtraction from your family. You don't want your ex-wife to inherit your house, nor do you want your new bundle of joy to lose her legacy. Besides updating your will, change the beneficiaries you declared on all your retirement accounts and insurance policies.

Reevaluate insurance needs. Perhaps you need more (because you have added to your brood), maybe you need different kinds (because you've retired and need Medigap), or maybe you can consolidate your policies with the same company to save money. Visit our Insurance Center for more info.

Change flexible-spending withholding. Usually, once you decide how much to be withheld for medical or dependent-care flexible spending, you can't change the amount. However, the exception to that rule is in the case of a major life event, such as a birth or job change. If your flex-spending needs change, now is the time to contact your benefits specialist.

Look into hair replacement. The one life change we all face is aging, which for many of us means balding. We suggest a Chia Head -- it's earth-friendly, and goes great with most meat dishes.

The Mother Lode of New Stock Ideas

The Motley Fool Select is the mother lode of new stock ideas, exhaustively researched by our top investment analysts and translated from financial-ese into crisp, clear English. We pinpoint research on quality companies with current market values that are at a discount to their underlying economic value.

The Bank of ValueClick

Savvy investors know that not all profits are created equal.

It's one thing for a company to generate cash from ongoing operations -- which represents the high-quality variety of earnings that we love. But it's an entirely different thing when earnings are derived from non-operating sources such as interest income or legal settlements.

Take ValueClick(Nasdaq: VCLK), an online advertising services firm that has a relatively small business and a relatively large bank account. Today, it reported first-quarter financial results that easily topped expectations, but which were largely driven by interest income from its $224 million cash hoard.

ValueClick reported 2 cents in earnings per diluted share, beating expectations for breakeven results. That's terrific, to be sure. But when you put a microscope to that EPS figure, you see it was actually 1.52 cents. And of that amount, after-tax interest income represented a full 1.01 cents of the total. In other words, two-thirds of reported earnings were from interest income.

This doesn't take away from ValueClick's business accomplishments, which are excellent, but it does change the way investors should view these earnings. The smart way to analyze a cash-heavy company is to look at cash generated exclusiveof interest income.

For ValueClick in the first quarter, that means looking at free cash flow of $1.4 million, less $0.8 million in after-tax interest, which comes to FCF from operations of $0.6 million, or $0.008 per share. On an annualized basis, that's $0.032 per share.

The next step in the analysis is to compare operating FCF to the business value, net of cash. At quarter's end, ValueClick reported $3.05 in cash per share. When you net that out of the stock price of $3.95, you get $0.90 in business value. Taking business value of $0.90 divided by annualized FCF of $0.032 equals an FCF multiple of 28. The business, then, is being valued at 28 times annualized FCF.

How expensive is 28 times FCF? Well, the S&P 500 trades at 17.9 times FCF. That puts ValueClick at a 56% premium to the benchmark index. Given the risky nature of ValueClick's business, that's a pretty steep price to pay.

Discussion Board of the Day: Foolish Golf Tips

Did Callaway's solid earnings get you thinking about your golf game? Need tips on a new driver? Having problems on the miniature golf course with that tricky windmill on Hole 14? All this and more -- in the Foolish Golf Tips discussion board. Only on

Quick Takes

Cereal giant Kellogg(NYSE: K) poured a bowl of higher first-quarter sales and earnings today. Sales were up 4.2% to $2.15 billion. Net income increased to $163.0 million from $152.6 million, and on a per-share basis, it earned $0.40 versus $0.37. Analysts had anticipated $0.39 a share. U.S. cereal and snack divisions both posted 4% growth, as promotions and new products helped drive sales. Looking ahead, Kellogg expects to earn $1.86 to $1.90 a share for fiscal 2003.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) unveiled its new Windows Server 2003 today, in an attempt to tackle more of the high-end business network market. The new product replaces the old Windows NT, which accounts for about 70% of its server presence in corporate settings. Microsoft is focusing on the enhanced security features of Windows Server 2003 in its promotions for the new machines.

Shares of sneaker company Skechers(NYSE: SKX) skid nearly 9% today, as the company's first-quarter results disappointed. Net income fell sharply to $8.5 million, or $0.22 a share, from $20.3 million, or $0.53 a share. Sales dropped 14.8% from $244.9 million to $208.6 million. Fashion trends, the very thing that brought the company to glory a few years ago, are now trampling Skechers. Customers used to love the chunky-soled sneakers it made famous. Now, however, with retro athletic shoes from companies such as Converse, Puma, Reebok(NYSE: RBK), and Nike(NYSE: NKE) all the rage, Skechers is struggling to find momentum.

JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) reported a first-quarter earnings jump of 34% today. The low-cost, high-perks airline netted $17.6 million on revenues of $217.1 million. It also announced it has placed orders for 65 new aircrafts from Airbus, with an option for an additional 50.

And Finally...

Today on

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