Get this: A 32-year-old British man, Ashley Revell, has sold all his possessions (worth about $138,000) and plans to place his total net worth on a Vegas roulette wheel this weekend. What's weirder is that a British television station is going to film the whole thing, and then follow him around for a month afterward to see whether he's doubled his money or is destitute.
Personally, we think he would have been better putting his money in an index fund, but different strokes for different folks. Red or black, Ashley? Guess you'll just have to flip a coin to decide.
The market's closed tomorrow. See ya back here on Monday.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Yippee for Yahoo!
- Discussion Board of the Day: Yahoo!
- Dell Springs Forward
- Shameless Plug: Shiny, Happy People
- Starbucks Gets Liqueured Up
- Quote of Note
- More on Fool.com Today
Yi ppee for Yahoo!
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)
When your corporate moniker is anchored by an exclamation point, folks expect exciting things from you. For Yahoo!
Gravity was denied as the portal powerhouse earned $0.14 a share on $757.8 million in March quarter revenues. That sailed past Wall Street targets and made minced meat out of last year's $0.08 a share in profits on $282.9 million in revenues.
Even if you back out the more than $200 million that Yahoo! had to pay back to websites for allowing it to serve up its Overture ads, you are left with $550 million in high-margin revenues. In fact, there was good news all around as the company generated a jaw-dropping $197 million in free cash flow for the period and raised its balance sheet cash to $2.8 billion.
Forced to find a fault, one could carp on the fact that the bellwether's fee revenues only climbed by 39% while the number of paying relationships for its premium services doubled, but why rain on the parade? That's a small part of the company's well-oiled engine, and it's an incomplete knock.
And Yahoo! isn't looking back. It declared a 2-for-1 stock split as confidence springs eternal, and the company now looks to produce a full-year operating profit as high as $625 million. Revenues, excluding the Overture-related traffic acquisition costs, will come in between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion.
Now that the dot-com bust has cleared away most of the pretenders, the Internet can be a pretty compelling place for your investing dollar. For some time now, leaders like eBay
Yes, Yahoo! has got some pretty long coattails these days. Cool threads, indeed.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does Yahoo! but not the stock. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story.
What did you like most about Yahoo!'s earnings report? What did you like the least? Will Google going public help or hurt the company? All this and more -- in the Yahoo! discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Dell Springs Forward
By Tim Beyers
Ah, the rites of spring: baseball, cookouts, vacations, and, in the best of times, positive earnings news. Dell
The computer maker said in February that it expected to book $11.2 billion in sales and $0.28 per share in earnings for the first quarter. Now Dell forecasts $11.4 billion in revenue, due primarily to big gains overseas, especially in Europe and China. Executives didn't alter bottom-line guidance.
The revised numbers improve what has already been a great growth story. Indeed, a review of Dell's financial statements shows the firm is accelerating sales growth. First-quarter revenue last year was up 18.2% from the same period during 2002. Sales for this year's first quarter should be up by 19.6% over 2003, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth. (Sales were up 15.6% from 2002 during last year's second quarter, up 16.2% for the third quarter, and up 18.2% for the fourth quarter ended in January.)
No wonder investors are happy. Accelerating growth can be a powerful indicator. It is so important, in fact, that Tom Gardner dedicated an entire section of a past Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter to the topic.
After reviewing the data, I'm not surprised that David Gardner chose Dell as his February 2004 pick for Motley Fool Stock Advisor. When asked this morning if the pricey valuation -- Dell trades at 35 times trailing earnings, higher than its long-term growth rate -- has changed his opinion at all, David said absolutely not. Instead, he predicted that Dell's sales would continue to accelerate, due in no small part to its broadened product portfolio and international presence.
Is that just spring optimism speaking? Or is Dell really that good? With apologies to Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, I'll form my answer as a question: Do the shareholders who are still buying Pixar
Fool contributor Tim Beyers has no stake in any of the companies mentioned, although he should own Pixar for all the times his kids make him watch Finding Nemo and Toy Story. You can view his Fool profilehere.
Come join the folks on our discussion boards! We'll admit they are a feisty lot, but where else can you swap investing tips, dole out (and receive) relationship advice, and talk about the effect of dollar depreciation on international trade -- all while juggling flaming knives. Check it out and take advantage of our free trial offer. We promise, you'll find a nook or cranny that suits you.
Starbucks Gets Liqueured Up
By Alyce Lomax (TMF Lomax)
Is somebody about to spike your Starbucks
For those of you reeling at how many more variations liqueur might add to the 19,000 ways you can order a drink at your neighborhood Starbucks -- don't even worry about it. The companies plan to have the liqueur sold in restaurants, bars, and liquor stores -- not in the 7,800 Starbucks cafes that already dot the planet.
In my opinion, that last part's a relief. The idea of adding alcohol to Starbucks locations seems like a plan that would be more trouble than it would be worth. Think of the red tape involved with liquor licensing and possible liabilities. Not to mention, the addition of hyped-up drunks in Starbucks' generally relaxing surroundings might chase away the loyal garden-variety caffeine fiends.
Also, a Starbucks serving booze could lead to a lack of focus that one could argue inflicts restaurant/coffee shop/hangout/bar Cosi
However, in terms of linking the Starbucks brand to an alcoholic treat, all signs are go. Fortune Brands is a strong player, having recently reported good fortunes for its portfolio of brands. The liqueur will vie with the likes of Bailey's Irish Cream and Kahlua, both of which are classics, if not cool. Judging by the continuing, maybe even fanatical, appeal of Starbucks, a whole new liqueur for the new generation -- that'll probably be part of a whole lineup of new mixed drinks with amusing names -- sounds like a grand idea.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.
Qu ote of Note
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind." -- William James
Mo re on Fool.com Today
Dave Mock looks at four positive trends and explains why Qualcomm has a bright future. Read on in Has Qualcomm's Time Come: Part II.... And Seth Jayson's not convinced the sky is falling on Nokia. In fact, he thinks now a darn good time to buy. Read why in Nokia: Don't Bet Against Sisu.... So you think you know the Fool? You don't know the Fool! No worries. Selena Maranjian will be your guide in Take a Tour of Fooldom!
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- Rite Aid Wrings Out Profits
- A Bet on Taser
- Abercrombie Covers Up
For a list of all our stories from today, see our Today's Headlines page.