Unit Corporation (NYSE:UNT-Free Report) is at the epicenter of America's energy comeback. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to grow earnings in the double digits in 2014 and 2015.
Unit is a Tulsa-based energy company that operates in three segments: exploration and production, contract drilling and gas gathering and processing.
With exploration companies, it's all about how much of the product it can get out of the ground. In 2013, production rose 18% year over year. In oil and natural gas, it was at the upper end of its guidance range.
On Feb 25, Unit was bullish about 2014's production as well. Despite weather delays impacting the first quarter, it still guided 2014 production growth of between 15% and 18%.
Contract drilling was soft in 2013, but Unit managed to maintain consistent utilization. In the fourth quarter, it averaged 65 rigs in operation and saw improvement in the first quarter of 2014 with 69 rigs in operation.
Rising propane and natural gas prices in the first quarter of 2014 should also help the midstream segment in 2014.
Is the turnaround at RadioShack (NYSE:RSH-Free Report) failing? Shares of this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) recently sold off on worries about negotiations with lenders about store closings.
RadioShack operates 4300 stores in the United States and 270 stores in Mexico. It also has about 1,000 dealer and other outlets worldwide.
RadioShack has been in a turnaround mode since the middle of 2013.
On Mar 4, it reported fourth quarter results, which included the holiday season, and it again posted a big earnings miss. Earnings were a loss of $1.29 compared to the Zacks Consensus of a loss of just $0.16.
While the holiday season was a tough one for many retailers, it was especially so for RadioShack which saw comparable same store sales plunge 19% due to traffic declines and soft performance in the mobility business.
RadioShack finally took the more extreme measure in March of announcing major store closings. It said it would close up to 1,100 stores which have been selected based on location, area demographics, lease life and financial performance.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, the lenders weren't too happy with the announcement, with some lenders wanting even more stores closed. The parties are apparently in negotiations but this is leaving uncertainty surrounding the company.
Wal-Mart to Unveil Money Transfer Sites
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT-Free Report) has decided to launch a new, lower-priced money transfer service in partnership with Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of electronic payments provider Euronet Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq:EEFT-Free Report) with an aim to expand its financial services business.
The new Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service will start from Apr 24 and, as the name says, will let customers send and receive cash from family members and friends from one Walmart store in the U.S. to another. The fee is $4.50 for a transfer of up to $50 and $9.50 to send an amount of $800-$900. However, its competitors, in comparison, charge in the range of $4.75-$5.00 for a money transfer of up to $50 and around $57-$76 for transferring an amount of $800-$900.
Amid the dominance of traditional players in the industry, Walmart's new lower priced money transfer service is expected to create a stir in the financial service market. The new service will generate incremental savings for all those millions of customers who do not have bank accounts. As far as Walmart is concerned, it is yet another initiative by the company to boost its finance revenues and revive its store traffic, which grappled with declining same-store sales for four straight quarters in fiscal 2014.
Walmart already offers other money services such as check cashing, bill pay, money orders and tax preparation services, as well as industry-leading pre-paid card programs though Walmart MoneyCard and Bluebird. Last year, Walmart U.S. generated about 1% of annual sales from financial services.
Walmart's shares went up 0.6%, while Euronet shares jumped 4.05% after the announcement. However, the news to launch the new money transfer service pushed shares of other money transfer companies. Shares of MoneyGram International Inc. (Nasdaq:MGI-Free Report), for instance, plummeted 17.7%.
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