Saturday, July 27, 2013

Intel Is Finally Gaining Traction in Mobile

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) is finally gaining traction in mobile with the announcement that the Galaxy Tab 3 will be powered by an Intel chip. For years, the company has been virtually shut out of mobile as Qualcomm and ARM-based  (NASDAQ: ARMH  )  chips took a vast majority of market share. But with this design win and the 14-nanometer Broadwell chip on the way next year, it's time to get bullish on Intel's mobile future. In the video below, Fool contributor Travis Hoium discusses why he likes the stock right now. 

When it comes to dominating markets, it doesn't get much better than Intel's position in the PC microprocessor arena. However, that market is maturing, and Intel finds itself in a precarious situation longer term if it doesn't find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, a Motley Fool analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Click here now to learn more.

Best Stocks For 2014

Wheat May Yet Recover From Monsanto's Fumble

It's been two months since Japan suspended U.S. wheat imports after an Oregon farmer found unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in his field. Despite being no closer to understanding how the wheat seeds got there, the Agriculture Department believes normalized wheat trade with Asia will resume within a month. 

For the farmers whose livelihoods are at stake, it's a $2.5 billion gamble. The wheat crop is getting ready to harvest, and if two of the biggest markets in the world -- Japan and South Korea -- don't open their doors to U.S. wheat by then, we'll need a whole new round of Farm Aid concerts to assist those decimated by the GM debacle.

The problem began in May, after a farmer applied Monsanto's (NYSE: MON  ) Roundup herbicide to his wheat fields but still found plants sprouting. While the overapplication of weed killers is leading to the creation of so-called superweeds resistant to Roundup, the farmer still should not have had any wheat growing. Because of the ban on genetically modified wheat around much of the globe, there is no such wheat grown anywhere.

Not every crop is so protected. Between Monsanto, DuPont  (NYSE: DD  ) , and Syngenta  (NYSE: SYT  ) -- the "three sisters" of GMO seeds -- they control 53% of the world's seed production, yet their control of our food supply is almost universal because of their cross-licensing agreements among themselves and with others, like Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW  ) .

So even though the wheat plants are supposedly not able to survive, there they were. That development launched a major crisis and investigation. Japan, the world's largest importer of U.S. wheat, and South Korea, the fourth largest, both suspended imports. And last month for the first time in 53 years, Japan offered to buy wheat that wasn't U.S. western white.

Monsanto immediately suspected sabotage. There had been demonstrations by activists leading up to the wheat's discovery, and President Obama had just signed the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" that prohibits federal courts from halting the sale or planting of modified or engineered seeds. Since that strain of GM seed hadn't been used in years, and then only on an experimental basis, it was unlikely it was a chance occurrence.

Yet the USDA said all the seed used during the testing had been destroyed, except for a small amount kept at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Colorado. Heck, the government wasn't able to keep weaponized anthrax secure in a bunker without having some of it stolen, so it's not so far-fetched to suspect that wheat seed might have walked at some point.

Canada experienced a similar problem last year when genetically engineered wheat suddenly appeared in its fields, though it doesn't seem to have been the result of a nefarious plot. Rather, Canada geese are suspected of having eaten the crop and later expelled the seeds in their droppings.

Yet both instances highlight the risk that GM seeds can pose to the economy. As no other signs of GM wheat have surfaced (or no other farmer has been brave enough to come forward), it looks like a one-off problem for the industry, though seeds escaping controlled environments and cross-pollinating unadulterated wheat could end up threatening the whole notion of the U.S. serving as the world's bread basket. 

There are multinational companies that seek world domination through less controversial means, and profiting from our increasingly global economy can be as easy as investing in your own backyard. The Motley Fool's free report "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World" shows you how. Click here to get your free copy before it's gone.

A Look at Goldcorp's Tarnished Quarter

Shares of Goldcorp (NYSE: GG  ) are down after the company reported a $1.93 billion loss on the second quarter. A record drop in gold prices during the quarter was combined with a big asset write-down, leading to the loss. However, digging deeper into the numbers, it wasn't all bad.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Giorgio Monteforti

Digging into the quarter
Goldcorp reported revenue of $889 million and adjusted net earnings of $117 million, or $0.14 a share; however, note that those earnings adjust out the company's massive non-cash charge. Even after adjusting for that charge, earnings are down significantly from the second quarter of last year where the company delivered adjusted net earnings of $332 million, or $0.42 a share. The biggest news in the quarter was that the company took a non-cash impairment charge of $1.96 billion relating to the exploration potential of its Penasquito mine, which is why the company's headline number showed a $1.93 billion loss.

Before digging into the write-down, it is important to see that despite the record 23% plunge in gold prices last quarter, Goldcorp still made money. In fact, the company was able to produce adjusted operating cash flow of $388 million, or $0.48 per share. This was more than enough to cover the $121 million in dividends the company paid in the quarter, so don't let the headline loss scare you -- Goldcorp's payout is safe.

The outlier
The ugly headline loss the company reported has to do with its decision to take a $1.96 billion charge on Penasquito. Low metal prices have significantly decreased that asset's exploration potential. What's important to note, though, is that Penasquito does continue to have exploration upside, but the value of that upside is much lower now due to market conditions. It's quite possible that the value could be revised higher in the future if those market conditions improve.

Cutting capital
One other very important item to note on the quarter is that Goldcorp is deferring some of its capital spending over the next two years in light of lower metal prices. The company is cutting $200 million from its 2013 capital budget by pushing back some non-critical items at its three major growth projects.

Goldcorp isn't alone in cutting its capital budget amid falling metal prices. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX  ) , for example, is slashing $1.9 billion from its capital budget over the next two years so that it can maintain balance sheet flexibility in light of falling copper and gold prices. It's the same story at Teck Resources (NYSE: TCK  ) , which is also reducing its capital expenditures over the next two years. Teck is cutting $150 million out of its original $2 billion capex budget. Meanwhile, the company is targeting to keep its sustaining capex to $500 million next year. These moves are to better align these companies with current market conditions, as well as to improve cash flow and strengthen balance sheets.

Final Foolish thoughts
This quarter was really one of the "kitchen sink" quarters where Goldcorp got out all its bad news at once. Despite the headline loss, the company still was profitable, and its moves to reduce spending will ensure that the company stays that way. Goldcorp still remains one of the fastest-growing, low-cost gold producers while still possessing a healthy balance sheet, making it a solid way to invest in the future of gold. 

In fact, Goldcorp might just be the best way to play gold right now. That's why the The Motley Fool is offering you this new free report, which dissects the metal's recent volatility and provides a guide for gold investing. Click here to read the full report today!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Top Performing Companies To Watch In Right Now

Energy has been one of the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500 during the past year.

While the broader market is up an impressive 13%, the energy sector has gained just 2.5%. That performance looks even worse when compared with the market’s most bullish sectors, with health care up 29% and so-called consumer defensive stocks (which include makers and retailers of food and household and personal goods) up 23%.

But overall weakness in energy stocks is masking a lone group of standouts from the lackluster sector: refineries.

In fact, this group of stocks hasn't just been strong relative to its energy peers -- it has been one of the best-performing industries in the entire market in the past year. Take a look at the chart of two leading companies.

Top Performing Companies To Watch In Right Now: Aviat Networks Inc.(AVNW)

Aviat Networks, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of a range of wireless networking products, solutions, and services worldwide. It offers point-to-point and point-to-multipoint digital microwave transmission systems for first/last mile access, middle mile/backhaul, and long distance trunking applications. The company?s products include broadband wireless access base stations and customer premises equipment for fixed and mobile; point-to-point digital microwave radio systems for access, backhaul, trunking, and license-exempt applications; and supporting network deployments, network expansion, and capacity upgrades. It also provides network management software solutions to enable operators to deploy, monitor, and manage its systems, as well as third party equipment, such as antennas, routers, and multiplexers to build and deploy a wireless transmission network and a suite of turnkey support services. In addition, the company offers professional services, su ch as network planning and design, site surveys and builds, systems integration, installation, maintenance, network monitoring, training, and customer services. It serves mobile and fixed communications service providers, original equipment manufacturers, private network operators, government agencies, transportation and utility companies, system integrators, public safety agencies, and broadcast system operators, as well as pipeline, railroad, and other industrial enterprises that operate wireless networks. The company was formerly known as Harris Stratex Networks, Inc. and changed its name to Aviat Networks, Inc. in January 2010. Aviat Networks, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Top Performing Companies To Watch In Right Now: International Speedway Corporation(ISCA)

International Speedway Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, promotes motorsports themed entertainment activities in the United States. The company?s motorsports themed event operations consist of racing events at its motorsports entertainment facilities. Its motorsports entertainment facilities promoted approximately 100 stock car, open wheel, sports car, truck, motorcycle, go-kart racing, and other racing events. The company is also involved in souvenir merchandising operations; food and beverage concession operations; the provision of catering services in suites and chalets; creation of motorsports-related programming content, including national satellite radio service; the usage of its track facilities for testing for teams, driving schools, riding experiences, car shows, auto fairs, concerts and settings for television commercials, print advertisements, and motion pictures; and rents show cars for promotional events. As of November 30, 2011, it owned and/or op erated 13 motorsports entertainment facilities. The company was formerly known as Daytona International Speedway Corporation and changed its name to International Speedway Corporation in 1968. International Speedway Corporation was founded in 1953 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Top 10 Medical Stocks To Own Right Now: Global Green Matrix Corp (GGX.V)

Global Green Matrix Corp. engages in the reclamation of industrial polymers worldwide. It also focuses on exploring and pursuing new environmentally sound methods and technologies in recycling and reclamation sectors. The company was formerly known as Poly-Pacific International Inc. and changed its name to Global Green Matrix Corp. in February 2010. Global Green Matrix Corp. was incorporated in 1995 and is based in Gabriola, Canada.

Top Performing Companies To Watch In Right Now: Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania(UVSP)

Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial solutions, including personal and business banking, online banking, residential mortgages, insurance products, and investment and wealth advisory solutions. It serves the financial needs of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties, Pennsylvania. The company accepts various deposit products that include non interest-bearing demand deposits, interest-bearing checking deposits, money market savings accounts, regular savings accounts, and time deposits. Its loan and lease portfolio comprises commercial, financial, and agricultural loans and leases; commercial and construction loans; residential loans; loans to individuals; and municipal loans and leases. Univest Corporation also offers lease financing, financial planning, investment management, insurance products, and brokerage services; and provides investment advisory services , which include discretionary investment consulting and management services, as well as engages in small ticket commercial finance business. It provides its services through 32 financial service centers, 12 retirement financial services centers, and 39 ATM locations. The company was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Souderton, Pennsylvania.

Top Performing Companies To Watch In Right Now: SAFESTORE HLDGS ORD GBP0.01 WI(SAFE.L)

Safestore Holdings plc provides self-storage space and related services for business and personal customers in the United Kingdom and France. It rents self-storage space; and sells ancillary products, which include insurance, as well as storage accessories comprising bubble wrap, boxes, and padlocks. The company offers its services for personal and household, student, and business storage. It operates 12 stores under management in the United Kingdom. As of October 31, 2011, it operated 119 stores, 96 in the U.K. and 23 in Paris under the Safestore and Une Pi�e en Plus brand names. The company is based in Borehamwood, the United Kingdom.

Ford Makes Big Gains on Toyota's Turf

The hybrid version of Ford's Fusion sedan has been a hot-seller in import-friendly markets like California, stealing sales from Toyota. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

For decades, Ford's (NYSE: F  ) bread and butter has been its pickup trucks. But in recent years, the Blue Oval has poured a ton of money and attention into its cars as well, creating fuel-efficient cars, like the Focus and Fusion, that compare well with the best of the imports.

Lately, there are signs that Ford's strategy is paying off, as Ford is gaining market share in places like California that have long been dominated by import brands like Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) . In this video, contributor John Rosevear looks at the latest sales numbers from some import-friendly regions of the U.S. -- and at how Ford is slowly but surely tempting longtime import buyers back into the Detroit fold.

Top Performing Stocks To Own Right Now

Ford's latest cars aren't just doing well in the U.S.: Its Focus has become one of China's best-sellers, and more Fords are climbing China's sales charts. A recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market", says that Ford is one of two global auto  giants that is exceptionally well-positioned to benefit from China's ongoing auto boom. You can read this report right now for free -- just click here for instant access.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Markets End the Day Just Slightly Higher

Economic data was neither great nor terrible today, and as a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) managed to post a winning session as it gained 13 points, or 0.09%, and now sits at 15,555. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both also posted winning sessions today, rising much more than the Dow, 0.26% and 0.71% respectively.

The economic data was last week's unemployment claims of 343,000, which came in higher than the 336,000 the previous week, and the durable-goods orders for June that came in at 4.2%. This number also happened to be lower than the previous reading of 5.2% for May. But economists had expected unemployment claims to hit 342,000 last week, and were only expecting a 2.3% growth in durable goods. Additionally, May's results had been revised from 3.7%, to 5.2%, which likely explains the large difference between the estimates and the actual result. 

Now, let's take a quick look at three of the components that helped the index move higher.

Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) rose 0.82% today. Yesterday, the company announced that it would be adding two new board members: Pierre de Weck, who was Chairman and Global Head of Private Wealth Management of Deutsche Bank as well as holding senior executive spots at Citicorp and UBS, and Clayton Rose, a former executive of JPMorgan, who now works as a Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Bank of America's board will now be comprised of 15 members, and adds to an already strong diverse board. My colleague Erik Volkman commented earlier today that he felt yesterday's announcement may be causing today's move. I agree with him, and feel that, with a larger more diverse board, the bank should have a better chance of steering clear from future financially poor decisions.

On less than usual volume, shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) rose 1.1% today. Less than 4.5 million shares of the oil giant traded hands today while the average three-month volume is just below 6.1 million shares. The low volume may have played a role in the stock moving higher today as there were likely more buyers than sellers. This idea shouldn't seem too far-fetched, as the stock is still trading for less than 10 times price to earnings, and paying a 3.2% dividend yield at a time when we haven't seen oil make any significant moves lower since the middle of April. Lastly, the stock likely was under buying pressure today after the announcement that China's energy needs will double that of the U.S.'s by 2040. 

Finally, shares of Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) increased by 0.84% today on mixed news. The company announced that it would maintain its current quarterly dividend of $0.43 per share for another quarter, but Forbes is reporting that, based on the most recent data which comes as of July 15, 2013, Merck is now the most-shorted Dow component, overtaking Intel. Despite the large short interest, the announcement that the drug company will maintain its current dividend was enough to help move shares higher, as Merck only experienced slightly more than half its average trading volume, 10 million shares, while the three-month average is 18 million. But, as for Merck, that number is likely distorted to the high end due to a few extremely high-volume days back on June 7, 10, and 11. During those three days, an average of 50 million shares trading hands.

More foolish insight

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1 Company Growing in This Risky Shale Play

Gulfport Energy  (NASDAQ: GPOR  ) recently provided investors with an operational update, and some interesting information is tucked within the release. While many of its major competitors are looking to exit entirely or reduce positions in the Utica, Gulfport announced that it's continuing to expand its presence in the play. The company appears to have found the lucrative liquids sweet spot and it's seeking to pick up as much acreage around its core position as it can. 

In the release, Gulfport noted that it had picked up an additional 8,000 gross acres, bringing its total position in the play to about 145,000 acres. That's actually a relatively small position, but it would appear to be right in the middle of the core of the play. For perspective, top Utica leaseholder Chesapeake Energy  (NYSE: CHK  ) is looking to sell 94,000 net acres, which is just about 10% of its total acreage in the play. 

Source: Chesapeake Energy

In fact, Chesapeake isn't the only producer looking to lighten up in the Utica. Devon Energy  (NYSE: DVN  ) is looking to completely unload its 244,000 gross acres, even after signing a joint venture with China's Sinopec on the rest of its acreage. The company hasn't had a whole lot of success thus far, and would rather get what it can for its acreage so that it can reinvest the capital in its core plays, such as the Permian Basin. 

The big problem is that there aren't a lot of buyers, which is the issue that EV Energy Partners  (NASDAQ: EVEP  ) has run into with its own Utica sale. With major players like Chesapeake and Devon exiting, and foreign buyers like Sinopec already securing a foothold in the play, there are few buyers left that are willing to risk capital on a play that's no longer viewed as a sure thing. This has left EV Energy stuck with the 100,000 net acres it has been marketing since last year. The company has chosen to change its marketing strategy to sell the acreage in smaller packages to appeal to more buyers. 

Gulfport, on the other hand, simply has found the best areas to drill, which is why it's buying additional acreage around this core spot. The company's last two wells have produced initial production rates of 2,701 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 2,218 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which is excellent. In fact, Devon points out in its marketing package that its acreage is close to another Gulfport well which produced 1,816 barrels of oil per day and 2,800 thousand cubic feet of natural gas per day. Meanwhile, Devon's own well produced just 448 barrels of oil per day along with 1,203 thousand cubic feet of gas per day. It's Gulfport's outstanding production numbers that are behind its desire to grow, while Devon and others are walking away.

It's still too early to tell if the Utica will develop into another core play like the Eagle Ford and Bakken, which are pushing record oil and natural gas production and revolutionizing the United States' energy position. This is why finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry is critical to padding your investment nest egg. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza". Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Bing Translator Adds Klingon, Now Supports 42 Languages

Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) continues to build out Bing Translator with a new language: Star Trek's Klingon. Now, users can translate between Klingon and the other 41 languages Bing Translator supports.

In a collaboration deal with Paramount Pictures, Microsoft launched the language on Bing Translator ahead of Paramount's Thursday launch of Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Since the language's debut in the 1979 movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Klingon has become the world's most popular fictional spoken language. There's even a nonprofit, the Klingon Language Institute, that was formed in 1992 to promote the study of "Klingon linguistics and culture." The organization assisted Bing with adding Klingon.

10 Best Stocks For 2014

Bing also received help from Okrand and Microsoft engineer Eric Andeen, who is fluent in the language.

While Bing now supports 42 languages, Google's Google Translate still outnumbers Bing with 71 supported languages. 

More Expert Advice from The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dow Down 25 as Caterpillar Stock Drags on Market

Wall Street is doing that thing again. You know, when good economic news sparks a sell-off because investors worry the news is too good? When the data is too good, the theory goes, it gives the Fed more reason to ease up on the money printing. And what can be better for stocks than constant money printing? That line of thinking was partially responsible for today's pullback on the heels of new-home sales in June, which grew at the highest rate in more than five years. 

That said, there was a modicum of more straightforward logic behind today's slump: Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) component Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) issued a gloomy outlook for the coming year and disappointed on earnings. The Dow ended with 25-point, or 0.2%, losses, closing at 15,542.

As for the index's outperformers, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) ended atop the index, gaining 1.5% Wednesday. It's the third straight day of gains for the stock since its 4.5% slump on Friday, when Microsoft's dismal quarter punished HP, an innocent bystander to Microsoft's woes. Today, however, shareholders would be rewarded by the success of a tech peer, as Apple's earnings beat essentially lifted the entire technology sector.

American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) , like HP, posted a large single-day loss last week and is beginning to claw its way higher this week. The stock added 1.3% today, as Fitch Ratings shared what must have been a relieving insight for American Express shareholders. The reason the stock suddenly dropped last week was due to rumors of an EU Commission proposal that would cap interchange fees on card transactions. Today, the draft proposal was officially unveiled, and the ratings agency said the regulations would only minimally affect AmEx's profitability.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) lost 1.5% today, despite the fact that its board of directors approved a regular $0.01 quarterly dividend payment to common stock shareholders. You'd think investors would be jumping for joy with that guaranteed penny-a-quarter cash flow, but apparently that didn't cut it. It may be because the bank also just agreed to sell a total of 28 branches in New York and Pennsylvania to two smaller banks, reducing its exposure to important markets.

Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014

Lastly, the Dow laggard of the day, Caterpillar, shed 2.4% as earnings cratered 43% in the second quarter. Worst of all, the company hinted that poor financial performance was likely to continue with low commodities prices and decelerating Chinese growth combining to paint a bleak picture for the machinery giant. Not helping the situation were fresh numbers suggesting Chinese manufacturing is on the decline.

Transocean Loses Round in Fight Over Deepwater Horizon Documents

Top Stocks To Buy Right Now

Hot China Companies To Buy For 2014

It's funny how quickly things change. It seems as if it was just a couple of years ago that we were worried we'd run out of oil. Now, thanks to advances in technology, we're finding that there is more technically recoverable oil than I think most of us ever dreamed was we'd find. Not only are these new discoveries keeping oil prices from spiking, but the locations of these resources also have the potential to change the balance of power in the world's oil markets.

According to new data from a massive study by the Energy Information Administration surrounding shale oil and gas, it shows that 63.2% of estimated technically recoverable shale oil reserves lie under just five countries:

Russia -- 75 billion barrels United States -- 58 billion barrels China -- 32 billion barrels Argentina -- 27 billion barrels Libya -- 26 billion barrels

That's important, because a total of 41 countries were included in the study. It was found that the shale oil in those countries represents 345 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil resources, which equates to about 10% of the total estimated recoverable crude oil resources around the globe. As the following map shows, the world's shale resources, while vast, are highly concentrated under those five countries:

Hot China Companies To Buy For 2014: Bona Film Group Limited(BONA)

Bona Film Group Limited distributes films in the People?s Republic of China. It distributes films to movie theaters, as well as to non-theatrical distribution channels, including DVD and Blu-ray and other home video products; Internet and digital distribution; in-flight entertainment; and cable, satellite, and broadcast televisions. The company also invests in the production of Chinese and Hong Kong films in order to obtain the distribution rights for movie theaters and non-theatrical channels. In addition, Bona Film Group operates six movie theaters in five cities of the People?s Republic of China; operates a talent agency business that represents artists; and involves in film advertising and television production businesses. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Hot China Companies To Buy For 2014: AsiaInfo-Linkage Inc.(ASIA)

AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. provides telecommunications software solutions and information technology (IT) products and services to telecommunications carriers and other enterprises in the People?s Republic of China. The company offers business and operation support systems product suites, including OpenBilling, a billing solution for telecommunications operators; OpenCRM, a CRM solution suite for telecommunications operators; OpenBOSS, a carrier-class business operation support system solution; OpenBI, a carrier-class operating analysis and decision support system platform; OpenPRM, a system that calculates, manages, and reconciles payment for intercarrier network access. It also provides network management solutions comprising NetXpert, a data and Internet protocol network management solution; and OpenXpert, an integrated telecommunications network management system. In addition, the company offers service applications products, such as Mail Center, an online messaging softwa re; Spam Patrol software for real time anti-spam control; and Net Disk, a network hard disk product, which facilitates Internet-based file transfer, sharing, and management, as well as supports other functions, such as data processing of short message folders and synchronization of mobile devices. Its service applications products also include Internet Short Messaging Gateway, a business support platform for value-added short messaging services; and Device Management Platform that enables mobile operators to manage various mobile devices and perform remote mobile device management, such as remote diagnosis and parameter setup. In addition, it offers software enhancement and maintenance, system integration, and other value-added IT consulting and planning services. The company was formerly known as AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. in July 2010. AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republ ic of China.

Top Stocks To Buy Right Now: ChinaCast Education Corporation(CAST)

ChinaCast Education Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides post-secondary education and e-learning services in China. The company operates in two segments, E-learning and Training Service Group and Traditional University Group. The E-learning and Training Service Group provides post secondary education distance learning services that enable universities and other higher learning institutions to provide nationwide real-time distance learning services. It also provides K-12 educational services, such as broadcast multimedia educational content services to primary, middle, and high schools; and vocational/career training services. The Traditional University Group segment operates private residential universities that offer four-year bachelor?s degree and three-year diploma programs in finance, economics, trade, tourism, advertising, IT, music, foreign languages, tourism, hospitality, computer engineering, law, and art. The company also provides logistic service s. ChinaCast Education Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Central, Hong Kong.

Hot China Companies To Buy For 2014: China Kanghui Holdings(KH)

China Kanghui Holdings develops, manufactures, and markets orthopedic implants and associated instruments. It offers approximately 30 product series of orthopedic implants and associated instruments for trauma, spine, cranial maxillofacial, and craniocerebral indications. The company?s trauma products include a range of nails, plates and screws, and cranial maxillofacial plate and screw systems used in the surgical treatment of bone fractures. Its spine products comprise screws, meshes, interbody cages, and fixation systems used in the surgical treatment of spine disorders. China Kanghui Holdings also manufactures products, including implants, implant components, and instruments for original equipment manufacturers. The company markets its products under Kanghui and Libeier brand names through third-party distributors to hospitals and surgeons. It sells its products in Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Changzho u, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sherry Jim]

    China Kanghui Holdings is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of orthopedic implants in China. China Kanghui Holdings has a market cap of $532.47 million; its shares were traded at around $23.35 with a P/E ratio of 56.95 and P/S ratio of 14.48.

    Soros bought 592,000 shares of China Kanghui Holdings at $18.52 and did not purchase more in the first quarter 2011.The stock has increased 28% year to date.

    First quarter 2011 net income increased by 23.6% to RMB22.0 from RMB17.8 million in the first quarter 2010. Net income per diluted ADS was RMB0.87 in the first quarter 2011, increased from a net loss per diluted share of RMB0.77 in the first quarter 2010. Domestic sales for its proprietary products increased 21.0% year over year to RMB50.1 million from RMB41.4 million, and international sales of proprietary products increased 246% from RMB11.1 million from RMB3.2 million. The company has cash and cash equivalents of $27.1 million on its balance sheet as of March 31, 2011.

    China Kanghui expects year-over-year revenue growth of 20 to 25% in 2011, making revenue for the year 2011 between RMB292 and RMB303.

Hot China Companies To Buy For 2014: Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc.(HMIN)

Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. develops, leases, operates, franchises, and manages a chain of economy hotels in the People?s Republic of China. The company operates its hotels under the Home Inn brand name. As of April 28, 2011, it had approximately 800 Home Inns in operation and 1,000 Home Inns sealed in franchise agreements. The company was incorporated in 2001 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Conrad]

    Home Inns & Hotels Management (HMIN) is the largest hotel chain in China. Growth is as easy as opening new hotels & hellip; the cookie-cutter growth model. The company has no debt, unlike most hotel chains, and profit margins were 19.6% in the latest quarter.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

     2013 is supposed to be a year in which China continues re-balancing its economy toward consumption and domestic growth. If that actually happens, Home Inns & Hotels Management (HMIN), with its 1,682 hotels in 243 cities, should be a major beneficiary, since spending on travel is one of the fastest-growing parts of the consumer economy.

    If, on the other hand, Chinese economic growth doesn't re-balance but merely perks up to 8% or better, the hotel company should still do very well. Home Inns has built up a loyal customer base, with 10.6 million unique active members in its frequent-guest program. And its third quarter showed a pickup in revenue, up 62% year over year, and RevPAR (revenue per available room), up to 157 yuan ($25.20) in the quarter from 149 yuan ($23.92) in the second quarter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why CapitalSource Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE  ) soared 20% today after bank holding company PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW  ) agreed to acquire the financial services specialist in a deal valued at about $2.3 billion.

So what: The deal values CapitalSource at about $11.64 per share -- 0.2837 of a PacWest share and $2.47 in cash -- and represents a premium of about 18% to its closing price on Monday. PacWest is making the move to expand its presence in southern California, and judging by its own stock's 6% bump today, Wall Street seems pleased with the price management is paying to do it.

Now what: The combined bank will be the eighth-largest in California, with about $15.4 billion in assets and 96 branches in the state. "The combination of these two franchises will create a formidable company going forward, with a strong balance sheet and capital base, attractive margins and good earnings momentum," said PacWest CEO Matt Wagner. So while CapitalSource is likely all popped out at this point, PacWest's newly boosted lending presence might be worth looking into.

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Alaska Wireless Network Joint Venture Moves Forward

2 Reasons to Sell IPG Photonics Stock Today

I'm going to attempt something a little odd today, Fools. Even though IPG Photonics (NASDAQ: IPGP  ) -- a company that makes fiber optic lasers -- makes up 5% of my real-life holdings, I'm going to be giving you two reasons to consider selling IPG stock today.

Why am I doing this?

Recently, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman visited Fool headquarters in Virginia. While visiting, he talked about how a number of different biases can lead us to believe we can predict the future with relative certainty. In reality, he argued, we're just deluding ourselves.

It got me to thinking about how I don't write enough about the risks of owning the stocks I own. So although I don't plan on selling my IPG stock anytime soon, I think it's healthy for me to practice and model this behavior.

Let's go over the three points.

Disrupting the disruptor
When I purchased shares of IPG Photonics last April, I used this chart as the basis for my investing thesis.

Source: Author, based on The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

This is my own representation of an idea gleaned from Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma. The book demonstrates how new technologies eventually usurp standard technologies. Just as important, while standard technologies usually maintain the same price point, newer technologies become cheaper with time.

For decades, the standard technology in the laser industry has been the carbon-based laser. In reality, these lasers are still commonly used, and sold in bulk by the likes of Rofin-Sinar (NASDAQ: RSTI  ) and Coherent (NASDAQ: COHR  ) . They are used largely for precision cutting of large pieces of metal.

But starting in the 1990s, when IPG was founded, a new type of laser began developing. Though IPG's fiber optic lasers were at first far too expensive, and not powerful enough, to gain wide acceptance, that has changed with time. Now, IPG's lasers are more efficient, and powerful, than their carbon-based partners, and can compete on price to boot!

The problem, however, is that there could be further disruption right around the corner. I am far from being an expert in lasers -- and I'm guessing the same is true of many Fools. Because of that, it's going to be very difficult for me to see a newer laser -- one that's even cheaper and more powerful than fiber optics -- coming to the market. If that does happen, IPG could quickly lose market share.

The downside of vertical integration
While IPG was the first on the scene with fiber optic lasers, it's no longer the only company with skin in the game. Rofin-Sinar and Coherent now offer fiber optic lasers along side their carbon lasers. Furthermore, JDS Uniphase  (NASDAQ: JDSU  ) , which focuses much more on the communications industry, has entered the fray by offering clients fiber optic lasers.

With the competition, IPG decided to further differentiate itself by becoming vertically integrated. Usually, a laser-making company will contract out for component parts, like laser diodes, to be delivered and then assembled by its own people. IPG, on the other hand, does everything—from manufacturing the small component parts to assembling them to shipping them off the customers—in house.

During boom times, this is great for business. IPG is able to get all of its component parts for much cheaper than JDS, Coherent, and Rofin-Sinar. That makes it easier to turn a profit and/or offer lasers for cheaper than the competition.

During difficult economic times, however, the situation gets flipped on its head. JDS, Rofin-Sinar, and Coherent can simply order less component parts and spend less money in the face of less demand. IPG, however, has a certain amount of fixed overhead costs it will have to pay no matter the economic climate.

IPG stock, therefore, can get hit much harder during downturns than the competition's.

What's a Fool to do?
To be honest, the concerns over vertical integration don't bother me too much, as I think the boom times typically occur with greater frequency than bust times. The first concern -- over being disrupted -- is one that I definitely need to keep my eye on.

Another disruptive innovator that I own and believe in is growing twice as fast as Google and Facebook, and more than three times as fast as and Apple. Watch our jaw-dropping investor alert video today to find out why The Motley Fool's chief technology officer is putting $117,238 of his own money on the table. Find out why he and I are so confident this will be a huge winner in 2013 and beyond. Just click here to watch!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do You Trust the Earnings at Harbinger Group?

White Wave Sailing Strong Into Earnings. Should You Buy?

After being spun off from its parent company, Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) , health-oriented food purveyor White Wave Foods (NYSE: WWAV  ) offered the market a nearly pure play on plant-based food items, one of the fastest growing areas within the industry. The spinoff was originally priced rather high, though the company is certainly growing. Now, the secondary offering is coming to a close and the spinoff is nearly complete while the company posts strong preliminary results. Even at its premium price, is White Wave Foods a buy after the spin-off is completed?

Strong hints
White Wave, as I mentioned, owns several plant-based food brands that are riding the wave of healthier shoppers and wellness-peddling markets. The strategy, thus far, has worked out. In its preliminary earnings report, White Wave showed investors and analysts strong double-digit earnings growth, while sales grew more modestly. The results were driven by a bump in volume, even though its sales growth was less than half that of the profit growth.

Though shelf space is becoming more crowded by the day, White Wave has been able to use smart marketing campaigns and product innovation strategies to win market share and drive sales.

White Wave was spun off from Dean Foods as part of the latter's cost-cutting and deleveraging strategy. Dean Foods has, for years, been mired in debt and struggling with decreased dairy consumption -- a threat to its core line of business. Spinning off White Wave was one-half of the three-part strategy, which also included selling the Morningstar division for a net benefit of more than $800 million and streamlining the dairy operations.

The company recently delivered predicted earnings of $0.16 per share -- a 28% jump over last year's number and indicating that the high growth this company (and industry) is experiencing is by no means over. Net sales for the quarter are set to hit $616 million -- a 10% increase. White Wave is seeing healthy volume growth across all of its platforms, suggesting that these results are not short-term bumps, but a sign that more and more people are turning on to the products offered.

Even the universal trouble spot for companies -- Europe -- is proving to be a growth area for the company, with sales up an estimated 13% year over year based on, again, volume growth.

So what's next for the company, and is it a buy?

Rich present, rich future
White Wave is set for more growth going forward -- that much is clear. But it's the short-term elements that are a bit more interesting. The company is completing its equity-for-debt swap with Dean Foods, whereby the former parent will relinquish nearly 30 million more shares at a price of $17.75. Once this is out of the way, the market will more clearly evaluate the operating performance of White Wave.

The company is priced at 22.4 times forward earnings -- a bit too rich for price-conscious investors. That is not, however, a reason not to buy. Growth investors who like the plant-based food story should take a close look at White Wave. It is a well-managed, well-branded company that will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. For the Street and investors, the next few months should show more clarity and more growth.

More from The Motley Fool
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Will Tomorrow's DuPont Earnings Report Have More Big Surprises?

DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report tomorrow, and with its stock at its highest levels in more than a decade, investors are pleased with the company's success lately. But some recent concerns about DuPont's earnings make this quarterly report crucial for the company's future prospects, and a disappointment could set the stage for a reversal in the stock's strong performance.

DuPont's gains have outpaced those of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) since the beginning of 2013, and over the long run, the favorable demographic trends that have encouraged greater agricultural activity have helped bolster its seed and fertilizer business. Yet the company is still sensitive to broader economic trends, and some parts of the world have seen a big slowdown that could hurt DuPont's earnings growth. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with DuPont over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on DuPont

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$10.01 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

How did last quarter's DuPont earnings fare?
Analysts have cut their views on DuPont's earnings substantially over the past few months, reducing their June-quarter estimates by $0.13 per share and making more modest reductions to full-year 2013 and 2014 consensus figures. The stock, though, hasn't responded badly to the news, climbing more than 17% since mid-April.

DuPont has already given investors a good idea of what to expect tomorrow, having issued an earnings warning last month. The company's CFO cited cold, wet weather in North America and Europe as hurting sales in its agricultural segment and its nutrition and health division, cutting DuPont's earnings expectations for the first half of the year and guiding full-year 2013 earnings to the lower end of its previously anticipated range.

Another source of potential problems is the titanium dioxide market. DuPont has made substantial investments in boosting TiO2 production based on the extremely high demand seen a couple of years ago, but buyers stockpiled substantial amounts of the chemical in order to avoid paying ever-higher prices. DuPont joined competitors Huntsman (NYSE: HUN  ) and Tronox (NYSE: TROX  ) in implementing TiO2 price increases, with DuPont's effective July 1, but the question remains whether the paint makers that need the chemical will keep buying or continue to seek cheaper substitutes.

Still, agriculture remains the big growth area for DuPont. Rival Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) recently reported lackluster sales in its most recent quarter, with roughly flat sales of corn and soybean seeds revealing the general malaise in the sector.

Just last week, reports surfaced that investor Nelson Peltz and his hedge fund, Trian Fund Management, had taken a large stake in DuPont. Shareholders quickly bid the stock higher, as Peltz has a reputation for unlocking shareholder value by influencing company executives to take actions that benefit investors. Whether that will happen in this case is uncertain, but the attention demonstrates that DuPont at least has promise.

In tomorrow's DuPont earnings report, see how the company responds to the Trian report. With some investors concerned about the company's relative weakness in areas like consumer electronics, DuPont needs to convince investors that its strategy is sound not only now, but for the future as well.

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FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

LONDON -- It was a glum week for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) , with the index of top U.K. stocks losing 98 points (1.5%) to end on 6,287. Fears over commodities demand has depressed mining stocks yet again, with some commentators even suggesting the index is heading back below the 6,000 level. And there has been mixed news from China, after a report of lower-than-expected inflation was followed by disappointing growth figures.

Here are some of the biggest-moving FTSE 100 stocks this week.

GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK  )
The GlaxoSmithKline price headed further upwards ahead of first-quarter figures expected on Wednesday, gaining 82 pence (5.2%) to 1,652 pence, despite accusations late in the week of market abuse. Charges that the pharmaceuticals giant paid off rivals to delay the introduction of generic alternatives to its depression medication Seroxat could result in a fine of up to 30% of relevant turnover -- but that would be a relatively small amount for a company of its size. GlaxoSmithKline insists that it has acted within the law.

Vodafone (LSE: VOD  )
A trading update from Verizon Communications sent Vodafone stock to a new 52-week high of 196 pence, after the U.S. giant made positive noises about the possible sale of Vodafone's 45% stake in joint venture Verizon Wireless. The on-again/off-again disposal has been perking up interest for months now, with a large capital gains tax being one possible pitfall. But Verizon CFO Francis Shammo has now suggested that any such deal "could be accomplished in a manner that is very tax efficient," raising hopes that the deal might be on again.

Polymetal International (LSE: POLY  )
Mining stocks suffered badly again, with Polymetal International hitting a 52-week low of 700 pence on Friday, though it ended a little up on that figure at 714 pence. The fall, of 145 pence (17%) over the week, came even though the Russia-based miner of precious metals released relatively positive results for 2012. But the falling price of gold, which hit a two-year low at the start of the week, certainly doesn't help.

Tesco (LSE: TSCO  )
Outside the mining sector, Tesco was one of the week's biggest FTSE 100 losers, after the supermarket giant confirmed its exit from the U.S., where it failed to gain sufficient market share with its Fresh & Easy chain. The withdrawal was expected, but a 1 billion pound write-off, together with an unexpected writedown of 804 million pounds in U.K. property assets, had some investors reaching for the "sell" button. The Tesco price ended the week 25 pence (6.4%) down, to 363 pence.

What now?
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

IMF Calls on Britain to Do More for Growth

LONDON (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund has called on Britain to do more to support the economic recovery, urging the government Wednesday to speed up investment in infrastructure and come up with a plan to privatize its bailed out banks.

In a review of Britain's policies, which had been hotly anticipated after the IMF last month criticized the government's focus on budget austerity, the IMF applauded the greater "flexibility" shown by Treasury chief George Osborne.

But it warned that more needed to be done for the economy, saying the government "should capitalize on the nascent signs of momentum to bolster growth."

Infrastructure projects -- such as building social housing -- could create jobs and stimulate economic activity. But that alone is not enough, given that the economic downturn has been one of the most prolonged since the Great Depression.

"Our view is there is no single silver bullet," said David Lipton, the IMF's first deputy managing director and previously a top economic advisor to President Barack Obama.

The IMF also urged the government to develop a clear strategy for two banks which received government funding to stay afloat -- even if it requires another capital infusion. The government plans to return the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds to private ownership -- but when and how remains unclear.

"Any strategy should seek to return the banks to private hands in a way that maximizes the value for taxpayers, strengthens confidence and competition in the sector, and minimizes outward spillovers," the IMF said in its statement. "In this context, if a sovereign backstop is required to meet a capital shortfall, it should be provided."

The IMF made headlines in Britain last month when it criticized Osborne's plans to reduce debt quickly, at the expense of economic growth.

The government's spending cuts and tax increases in recent years have damped growth as companies and consumers were unable to plug the gap left by the retrenching state. That contributed to pushing the economy into recession twice since 2008.

While the Washington-based IMF on Wednesday called for the government to do more, the tone of its report was decidedly less heated than some had predicted.

The assessment came just hours after minutes to the Bank of England's last meeting in May showed policymakers remain reluctant to offer more monetary stimulus to the economy.

The minutes showed the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee unanimously approved keeping the base interest rate at 0.5 percent but disagreed on pumping more money into the economy. Since 2009, the bank has injected 375 billion pounds ($579 billion) into Britain's economy in a program known as quantitative easing.

Under the program, the bank buys government bonds from financial institutions, hoping they will lend to businesses and individuals. Governor Mervyn King and two other members pushed for an increase of 25 billion pounds, but were outvoted.

The continued fragility of the economy was made clear in new figures on retail sales, released Wednesday, which showed a sharp 1.3 percent drop in April compared with March. That was much worse than the 0.1 percent rise analysts were expecting.

Samuel Tombs, an economist with Capital Economics in London, noted that the Bank of England's minutes showed a greater concern about the impact that stimulus could have on inflation expectations.

The IMF noted in its report that inflation was easing, which should allow the Bank of England's policies -- which it described as "vigorous and appropriate" -- to remain accommodative for the time being.

It acknowledged, however, that the impact of such easy monetary policy is being hindered by the fact that the banks are still cautious about lending. To address that issue, banks should be made to improve their balance sheets, which would reduce risk and encourage them to lend more.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now

The New York Times called it a "moment of reckoning." Widely followed commodities trader Dennis Gartman in a note to his clients wrote that he's "never...ever...EVER" seen anything quite like it.

The references, of course, are to March 15's collapse in the price of gold, the largest single-day percentage drop in 30 years, capping a two-day decline of 13%.

The selling was triggered in part by worries that Cyprus and possibly other European nations might have to dump their gold holdings to raise funds or satisfy bailout requirements. Also, after acting as a commodities tailwind for much of the past two years, the Fed's quantitative easing program looks to be winding down, which would relax inflationary pressure.

Suddenly, the "safest" investment no longer seemed so safe. In fact, there's a good chance that gold's 12-year streak of uninterrupted gains will come to an end this year.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(The)

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Its Investment Banking segment offers financial advisory, including advisory assignments with respect to mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate defense, risk management, restructurings, and spin-offs; and underwriting securities, loans and other financial instruments, and derivative transactions. The company?s Institutional Client Services segment provides client execution activities, such as fixed income, currency, and commodities client execution related to making markets in interest rate products, credit products, mortgages, currencies, and commodities; and equities related to making markets in equity products, as well as commissions and fees from executing and clearing institutional client transactions on stock, options, and fu tures exchanges. This segment also engages in the securities services business providing financing, securities lending, and other prime brokerage services to institutional clients, including hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and foundations. Its Investing and Lending segment invests in debt securities, loans, public and private equity securities, real estate, consolidated investment entities, and power generation facilities. This segment also involves in the origination of loans to provide financing to clients. The company?s Investment Management segment provides investment management services and investment products to institutional and individual clients. This segment also offers wealth advisory services, including portfolio management and financial counseling, and brokerage and other transaction services to high-net-worth individuals and families. In addition, it provides global investment research services. The company was founded in 1869 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras(PBR)

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. primarily engages in oil and natural gas exploration and production, refining, trade, and transportation businesses. The company?s Exploration and Production segment involves in the exploration, production, development, and production of oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and natural gas in Brazil. This segment supplies its products to the refineries in Brazil, as well as sells surplus petroleum and byproducts in domestic and foreign markets. Its Supply segment engages in the refining, logistics, transportation, and trade of oil and oil products; export of ethanol; and extraction and processing of schist, as well as holds interests in companies of the petrochemical sector in Brazil. The Gas and Energy segment involves in the transportation and trade of natural gas produced in or imported into Brazil; transportation and trade of LNG; and generation and trade of electric power. In addition, the segment has interests in natural gas transportation and d istribution companies; and thermoelectric power stations in Brazil, as well engages in fertilizer business. The Distribution segment distributes oil products, ethanol, and compressed natural gas in Brazil. The International segment involves in the exploration and production of oil and gas, as well as in supplying, gas and energy, and distribution operations in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Further, the company involves in biofuel production business. Petroleo Brasileiro was founded in 1953 and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By ETF Authority]  

    Current Price: $47.68 12-month target: $80

    PBR plans to invest $174 billion by 2013 to support the largest oil discovery in 30 years. PetroBras has both the backing of the Brazilian government who invested over $30 billion and the Chinese private investors who have pledged over $20 billion to PBR’s discovery. Brazils government proposed to make PBR the only operator of all new offshore pre-salt oil fields yet to be exploited. PetroBras expects oil production to increased from 2.4 million barrels a day to around 5.7 million barrels a day by 2020. PBR has long-term views and have been expanding renewable energy programs such as solar, biofuel, and energy. Biofuel production is expected to increase 18% by 2013.
  • [By Dave Friedman]

    Institutional investors bought 78,663,680 shares and sold 101,125,380 shares, for a net of -22,461,700 shares. This net represents 0.23% of common shares outstanding. The number of shares outstanding is 9,872,826,100. The shares recently traded at $27.61 and the company’s market capitalization is $170,178,700,000.00. About the company: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras explores for and produces oil and natural gas. The Company refines, markets, and supplies oil products. Petrobras operates oil tankers, distribution pipelines, marine, river and lake terminals, thermal power plants, fertilizer plants, and petrochemical units. The Company operates in South America and elsewhere around the world.

  • [By David Sterman]

    Market Value: $173 billion
    Fall from 52-week high: 38%

    This Brazilian oil giant has lost $100 billion in market value since March 2011. That's a lot of dough. The sell-off is the result of a drop in oil prices, slightly stricter government policies regarding oil and gas royalties, and recent moves to issue more stock and debt to help fund business development. (Though the company now vows to stop issuing any more equity.)

    Indeed, this company has been sucking in cash for quite some time, generating a cumulative $40 billion in free cash flow loss in just the past two years. Pretty soon, though, losses will morph into outsized profits when the company's heavy investments to tap massive offshore oil fields finally bear fruit. In 2007, 2008 and again in 2009, Petrobras discovered three new offshore oil fields, known as Tupi, Jupiter, and yet-to-be-named site off of the state of Sao Paolo.

    It's the Tupi energy play that should pique your interest. It's the largest new find of oil since the Kashagan oil field was discovered in Kazakhstan in 2000 and instantly put Brazil's oil reserve base on par with industry giant Norway. Tally up all of its fields, and Petrobas' engineers estimate the country is sitting on more than 12 billion barrels of oil.

    The recent sell-off has put shares of Petrobras deep into bargain territory, trading at just 7.3 times projected 2011 profits and 1.2 times tangible book value.

Top Stocks To Own For 2014: Fluor Corporation(FLR)

Fluor Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance, and project management services worldwide. Its Oil & Gas segment offers design, engineering, procurement, construction, and project management services to upstream oil and gas production, downstream refining, chemicals, and petrochemicals industries. This segment also provides consulting services comprising feasibility studies, process assessment, and project finance structuring and studies. The company?s Industrial & Infrastructure segment offers design, engineering, procurement, and construction services to the transportation, wind power, mining and metals, life sciences, manufacturing, commercial and institutional, telecommunications, microelectronics, and healthcare sectors. Its Government segment provides engineering, construction, logistics support, contingency response, management, and operations services to the United States government focusing on the Departme nt of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense. The company?s Global Services segment offers operations and maintenance, small capital project engineering and execution, site equipment and tool services, industrial fleet services, plant turnaround services, temporary staffing services, and supply chain solutions. Its Power segment provides engineering, procurement, construction, program management, start-up and commissioning, and operations and maintenance services to the gas fueled, solid fueled, plant betterment, renewables, nuclear, and power services markets. The company also offers unionized management and construction services in the United States and Canada. Fluor Corporation was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Under Armour Inc.(UA)

Under Armour, Inc. develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth primarily in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers products made from moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics designed to regulate body temperature and enhance performance regardless of weather conditions. The company provides its products in three fit types: compression (tight fitting), fitted (athletic cut), and loose (relaxed) extending across the sporting goods, outdoor, and active lifestyle markets. Its footwear offerings comprise football, baseball, lacrosse, softball, and soccer cleats; slides; performance training footwear; and running footwear. The company also provides baseball batting, football, golf, and running gloves, as well as licenses bags, socks, headwear, custom-molded mouth guards, and eyewear that are designed to be used and worn before, during, and after competition. Under Armour sells its products through retai l stores, as well as directly to consumers through its own retail outlets and specialty stores, Website, and catalogs. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Fernandez]

    Under Armour designs, develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth primarily in the United States and Canada.

    You’ve probably seen the company’s “Protect This House” or “Click-Clack” commercials, and probably seen anyone from the weekend warrior to professional sports teams wearing the company’s moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics, which are designed to keep perspiration away from the skin, and regulate body temperature regardless of weather conditions.

    I must admit for full disclosure that I am an Under Armour nut, and own about 20 pairs of their shorts, shirts and shoes.

    I can attest from personal experience as a natural bodybuilder and athlete that the Under Armour apparel are the best workout clothing I have ever worn, and they look pretty darn cool too.

    Now let me make a clear distinction between a great company, and a great stock.

    Up until recently, Under Armour was the former, but not the latter.

    It has now entered into a zone where the valuation metrics, even in the face of a consumer slowdown, is looking more and more attractive.

    In fact, Under Armour just released earnings Monday.

    They were pretty much in line with analyst’s expectations, and then Under Armour slightly lowered their forward guidance for the remainder of 2008 based on those same consumer headwinds.

    The market liked what it heard sending shares up 20% (of course, the overall market was up 10%, so…). Shares have since rebounded further are now up almost 50% from their lows just last week!

    This leads me to my investment thesis in shares of Under Armour.

    I believe that Under Armour represents one of the quintessential brands of this decade when it comes to sports apparel, the way Under Armour’s fiercest rival Nike (NYSE: NKE) dominated the 90’s.

    Until now the valuation of the company was not commensurate with the! projected profit and growth, which I thought were way too high, and still might be, along with certain inventory related problems that the company now seems to be getting a handle on.

    Still, with the spike in share price, along with the uncertainty in the market and overall economy, I feel that we will still be able to purchase shares of this great company at a great price in the near future and that we’re seeing a bit of a short squeeze in shares of Under Armour.

    Why I Like the Company: One of the quintessential brands of this decade; Valuation is reaching reasonable to “cheap” levels depending on direction of consumer market and Under Armour’s stock price; Dedicated and fully invested founder with over 77% voting power via class B shares; Improved business fundamentals via better inventory controls and operational structure, and new product offerings; Further expansion available outside the U.S.; Relatively higher margins than competition

  • [By Roger]

    Under Armour (NYSE:UA), a maker and designer of apparel, footwear and accessories that target sports enthusiasts, has more than doubled in one year. But despite the advance, many research firms still have a “strong buy” recommendation on the stock. And S&P recently revised its annual target to $93.

    Technically UA has advanced on a series of stair steps, sometimes called “base moves.”? These are very bullish formations that resemble cups. UA reversed up recently following a signal from our proprietary Collins-Bollinger Reversal (CBR) indicator. If the recent pullback to its 50-day moving average (blue line) holds, then the next move up should break the prior high with a target of $85.

    Traders could take risk positions now with a target of $85 to $90. But be careful and use stop-loss orders to protect against a violent reversal, which could drop prices back to support at $62 where this volatile stock could be bought again.

Gentex to Acquire Johnson Controls Unit

Gentex (NASDAQ: GNTX  ) is accelerating its efforts in the vehicle-based remote control segment. The company announced it has signed a definitive agreement with car-parts supplier Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI  ) to acquire the latter's HomeLink unit. This is described by Gentex as "a vehicle-based control system that enables drivers to remotely activate garage door openers, entry door locks, home lighting, security systems, entry gates, and other radio frequency convenience products." According to Gentex, it can function with nearly all automatic garage door openers.

The price of the deal is $700 million.

HomeLink's owner-to-be is very familiar with the system -- Gentex has been integrating it into its signature automatic-dimming rearview mirrors for over a decade. The company estimates that, once fully integrated, HomeLink will contribute $125 million-$150 million in annual revenue.

The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant regulators. Gentex expects it to close "on or about" September 30 of this year.

Top High Tech Companies For 2014

Blue-chip stocks are extending their gains today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) continues its ascent above the 15,000-point threshold. With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the index is up by 8 points, or 0.06%.

With an absence of economic news, the market is focused on events at a handful of key companies. Following the closing bell yesterday, media and theme park giant Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) reported earnings for the three months ended March 30. The company reported a 32% increase in its bottom line on a 10% expansion of revenue. Both were fueled by growth in its theme parks, ESPN division, and its film studio.

According to chairman and CEO Robert Iger, "Our results reflect our successful strategy, the strength of our brands and the value of our high-quality creative content, all of which continue to drive long-term growth and shareholder value."

Top High Tech Companies For 2014: Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.(NUS)

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. develops and distributes anti-aging personal care products and nutritional supplements worldwide. The company sells its personal care products under the Nu Skin brand; and nutritional supplements under the Pharmanex brand. Its personal care product line includes core systems, targeted treatments, total care, cosmetic, and Epoch, a product formulated with botanical ingredients. The company?s nutritional supplements product line comprises micronutrient supplements, targeted solution supplements, and weight management products. It also sells Vitameal, which are nutritious meal products for starving children or purchased for personal food storage. In addition, the company offers other products and services consisting of digital content storage, water purifiers, and other household products. It sells its products primarily through a network of independent distributors in north Asia, the Americas, Greater China, Europe, and the south Asia/Pacific. The c ompany also operates retail stores to sell its products in China. As of December 31, 2010, Nu Skin Enterprises operated 40 stores throughout China. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Provo, Utah.

Top High Tech Companies For 2014: Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O)

Mondelez International, Inc. (Mondelez International), formerly Kraft Foods Inc., incorporated on December 7, 2000, is a maker of chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages. The Company consists of the global snacking and food brands. Mondelez International's portfolio includes several brands, such as Cadbury and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gums. The Company�� products include chocolates, cookies, gums, beverages and crackers. Alpen Gold is a chocolate brand in Russia. Alpen Gold is available in chocolate bars, boxed chocolates and creamy, mouth-watering pralines. Its markets include Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Bubbaloo is a gum brand sold in more than 25 countries and three different continents, including India, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. Belvita are breakfast biscuits made with wholegrain, cereals and fiber. It is sold in Belgium, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the U nited States.

The Cadbury Creme Egg brand is available annually from New Year�� Day to Easter Day. It is sold in Australia, Canada, New Zealand the United Kingdom and the United States. Carte Noire is the coffee brand in France. It is sold in France, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Chips Ahoy! cookies are chocolate chip cookies packed with chocolate chips. It is sold in Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States and Venezuela. Club Social is a cracker in Brazil and Latin America. The newest addition to the Club Social family is Club Social chips in Argentina, available in original, parmesano, and cream and onion flavors. Cote d'Or is a chocolate brand sold in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Middle East, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Cadbury Dairy Milk is a milk chocolate bar sold in 33 countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and available in more ! t! han 23 varieties, like fruit and nut, WholeNut, Snack, Caramello and Breakaway. Dentyne is a gum to aid in oral hygiene sold in Canada and the United States.

Cadbury Flake is chocolate bars sold in Australia, Egypt, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Gevalia brand offers more than 50 varieties of coffee and 20 choices of tea, and sold in the United States, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Grand Mere coffee brand is sold at France. Green & Black�� is a chocolate brand and also includes gift chocolates, ice cream, biscuits and hot beverages. Halls is sold as a cold relief product. Halls is used as a refreshing candy. Halls products are available in more than 26 flavors.

Hollywood gum is a chewing gum in France. Jacobs coffee is sold throughout Europe and the Middle East, and in Austria, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. Jacobs is available in roast and ground, whole beans, soluble crystals, coffee pods and flavored mixes. Kenco coffee is a coffee brand sold in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Lacta is a chocolate in Brazil. It also includes Bis chocolate wafers, Sonho de Valsa pralines and Lacta white chocolate.

LU biscuits are available in 100 countries. Other international brands under the LU name include Petit Dejuener, Mikado, Pepito (Mini Stars), Cracotte, Ourson and Tuc. Milka is a European chocolate. Marabou is a chocolate brand in Sweden. Nabisco�� brands include cookies and crackers. Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs includes 12 varieties, such as Chips Ahoy! Thin Crisps, Oreo Thin Crisps, Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookie Crisps, Ritz Snack Mix, Planters Peanut Butter Cookie Crisps, Kraft Cheese Nips Thin Crisps, Wheat Thins Multigrain Chips, Ritz Chips, Honey Maid Cinnamon Thin Crisps, Mini Teddy Grahams Cinnamon Cubs, Alpha-Bits Mini Cookies and Barnum�� Animals Choco Crackers.

Nutter Butter are sandwich cookies sold in the United States. Nill a wafers include original, reduced-fat and mini wafers. ! Newt! ons! are w! holesome snack made with real fruit. It also offers Newtons Fruit Thins and Fruit Crisps. The Natural Confectionery Company is a candy product. Onko offers coffee mixes in cappuccino flavors.

Oreo is a milk favorite cookie. Oreo is available in many flavors and varieties, such as chocolate covered, wafers, pie crusts and soft snack cakes. Premium saltine crackers come in six varieties, including unsalted tops, original, fat-free, low-sodium, soup and oyster and multi-grain. Prince biscuits are available in more than eight countries, including Algeria, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. Prince biscuits come in creme-filled sandwiches, rolls and chocolate-covered varieties.

Stimorol is a chewing gum brand in Northern Europe, as well as 40 other markets from Greenland to Fiji. Simmenthal is a canned meat in jelly. Simmenthal�� products include beef in jelly with chili and chicken in jelly with curry. Tang is available in more than 30 countries and is a powdered beverage. Tassimo is a hot beverage system, which helps in making coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cappuccino, espresso and lattes. Toblerone is a Swiss chocolate bar made with honey and almond nougat. Trakinas is a creme-filled sandwich cookie.

Trident is a chewing gum brand in the world. Triscuit varieties include original, reduced fat, cheddar, cracked pepper and olive oil, fire roasted tomato and olive oil, garden herb, deli-style rye, roasted garlic, thin crisps, and rosemary and olive oil. Wheat Thins are wheat crackers in a variety of flavors, including sundried tomato and basil, multigrain and parmesan basil.

5 Best Stocks To Buy Right Now: Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc(SVNT)

Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing KRYSTEXXA, a biologic PEGylated uricase in the United States. The KRYSTEXXA is being developed as a treatment for chronic gout in patients refractory to conventional therapy. The company also sells and distributes branded and generic versions of oxandrolone, a drug used to promote weight gain following involuntary weight loss. It sells its products directly to drug wholesalers. The company, formerly known as Bio-Technology General Corp. and changed its name to Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in June 2003. Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in East Brunswick, New Jersey.