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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 03-14-2013 02:00 PM

The Friday Five

Five stats from the market and the stories behind them. This week: Samsung enters a new Galaxy, Yum serves improved China sales, inflows continue into bonds, and more.

Jason Stipp: I am Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to the Friday Five, five stats from the market and the stories behind them. Joining me, as always, with the details is Morningstar markets editor, Jeremy Glaser. Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: So, what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: We're going to look at IV, 15%, 5, 2%, and finally $52 billion.

Stipp: IV is for the Samsung IV, which was released this week, maybe giving the Apple iPhone a bit of a run for its money?

Glaser: Yeah. It's really been remarkable over the last few years, just how much buzz Samsung has been able to build around its Galaxy line of smartphones. And with the announcement of the Galaxy S IV this week, we kind of saw this sort of hype and this sort of excitement that we usually see reserved for Apple product launches, that people really were looking forward to getting their eyes on this new phone to see what the new features were. I think it just shows how much Android has matured as a platform and how much Samsung really dominates that mature Android platform, particularly on the high end. This really does represent an opportunity for Samsung and really a risk for Apple.

Apple may not see a big new smartphone launch for some time. If historical trends continue, chances are that this year Apple is going to release relatively minor update to the iPhone 5, maybe change some of the internals, but it’ll look very similar. Apple is not going to have that kind of big splash that Samsung is going to get from its new Galaxy S IV. That could really present a risk when there are a lot of investors worrying about a slowdown in Apple’s iPhone growth and the potential impact that that's going to have on margins and profitability and other things for Apple. So really watching this launch and seeing the buzz around it is really quite fascinating.

Stipp: 15% is an increase in the membership fees at Costco. This coming at a time when we're not keeping as much of our paycheck due to a payroll tax, and gas is also high. What does this increase mean for Costco?

Glaser: Costco is doing a really great job. They've had a pretty successful run through the great recession. They didn't see a ton of members drop out of the club. Members really saw value in that membership, and they kept showing up. Costco makes a lot of their money from those membership fees. Seeing that increase so substantially shows that their membership-fee increase was something that people took in stride. They're not seeing a lot of people dropping out because of things like that payroll tax expiration, like you just mentioned.

So, add in the membership fees; add in [increased] same-store sales. Costco is able to keep operating margins high; those expanded a little bit in the quarter. When we saw the results this week, I think it shows just what a great operator Costco is. The best part in the market that's pretty fairly valued, their shares actually looks slightly undervalued, not an incredible bargain, but definitely trading below our fair value estimate, and could be an interesting play in that consumer defensive space.

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