The surge in U.S. oil production since 2008 has created tremendous opportunities for the midstream companies involved in oil storage and transportation. Many continue to invest record amounts of cash into new projects to help alleviate regional supply bottlenecks and get the crude oil to those who demand it.
But despite midstream companies' best efforts, they've lost a great deal of market share to railroads, which have rapidly emerged as their biggest competitors over the past couple of years. Let's take a look at how railroads have turned the logistics of crude oil transport on its head and what the future may hold for crude-by-rail.
The staggering growth of crude by rail
Today, the rail industry is transporting more oil than it has since the days of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. In the first quarter of 2013, railways shipped a record 97,135 carloads of crude oil, according to the Association of American Railroads. That represents a 166% increase over the first quarter of 2012 and a 922% gain over crude rail shipments during the entirety of 2008.
Top US Companies To Own In Right Now: Big Tree Group Inc (BIGG)
Big Tree Group Inc., formerly Transax International Limited (Transax), incorporated on January 28, 1987, is engaged in the business of toys sourcing, distribution and contractual manufacturing targeting international and domestic distributors and customers in the toys industry. The Company's main business focus is to function as a one stop shop for the sourcing, distribution and specialty manufacturing of toys and related products. The Company conducts these operations through both its BT Brunei and BT Shantou subsidiaries.
The Company sources a wide variety of more than 300,000 toys made of plastic, wood, metal, wool, and electronic materials, primarily targeting at children from infants to teenagers. These toys include, but are not limited to, infant appliances, games, balls, dolls, stuffed toys, transformers, racing track sets, play sets, water toys, and educational toys. The offered toys can be operated by battery, manual power, wire control, remote control, voice control, infrared ray control, and other applications.
The Company's Big Tree Magic Puzzle (3D) cater to consumers ranging from minor children to adults. Big Tree Magic Puzzle (3D) consists of 18 assembly parts made of ABS environmental-friendly plastic materials in multiple shapes including, but not limited to, squares, triangles, right-angled connectors, etc. The Big Tree Magic Puzzle (3D) adopts a plug-in design that goes beyond the traditional planar and linear plug-in to achieve the transformations among the common and unconventional shapes such as diamond, sphere and dynamic warping, etc. Each assembly part offers 10 color choices that encourage children to learn colors and shapes in an interesting and attractive playing environment. The Company has developed over 10 series of Big Tree Magic Puzzle (3D) including about 200 product items.
The Company's customers for the Company's toy sourcing business consist of distributors, trading companies, and wholesalers primarily located in mainland Chi! na, Hong Kong, Europe, South America, Asia and the United States. The Company's Big Tree Magic Puzzle (3D) is marketed directly to consumers in China through the Company's sales locations in Dennis Department Stores and its online store at Taobao Mall (www. Tmall.com).Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd (OTCMKTS: DKAM), 7 Star Entertainment Inc (OTCMKTS: SAEE), Rising India Inc (OTCMKTS: RSII) and Big Tree Group Inc (OTCMKTS: BIGG) have all been attracting attention thanks to paid promotions. Of course, there is nothing wrong with properly disclosed and paid for promotions or investor relation activities, but they can backfire on unwary investors and traders alike. So are stock promoters blowing a bunch of hot air regarding these four small cap stocks or are they actually potential winners? Here is a quick reality check to help you decide:
Top Railroad Companies To Own In Right Now: Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.(TTWO)
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. publishes, develops, and distributes interactive entertainment software, hardware, and accessories worldwide. The company develops and publishes software titles for various gaming and entertainment hardware platforms, including PlayStation3 and PlayStation2 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation Portable system, Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, and Wii and DS systems, as well as for the personal computer and games for Windows. It offers products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K, which publishes titles under 2K Games, 2K Sports, and 2K Play. The company, through its subsidiary, Jack of All Games, also distributes software, hardware, and accessories in North America. Its proprietary brand franchises include Grand Theft Auto; Sid Meier's Civilization; Max Payne; Midnight Club; Manhunt; Red Dead Revolver; Bully; BioShock; Sid Meier's Railroads!; Sid Meier's Pirates!; Carnival Games; and Top Spin, as wel l as licensed brands comprise the sports games Major League Baseball 2K; NBA 2K; and NHL 2K. The company sells its software titles to retail outlets through direct relationships with large retail customers and third party distributors. Its customers include mass merchandisers, specialty retailers, video stores, electronics stores, toy stores, national and regional drug stores, and supermarket and discount store chains. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Kurt Avard]
Fool Rick Munarriz�wrote about four video game stocks to watch this past December. While two of these companies,�Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI ) and Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO ) , are priced notably higher than when that article was published, detractors note that the burst in stock prices means very little in the long run.
Top Railroad Companies To Own In Right Now: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (NAS)Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is a Norway-based company active in the low-cost airline industry. It operates scheduled services with additional charter services. It has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Thailand and the US. The Company operates approximately 400 routes and over 120 destinations. It has a fleet of over 80 jet aircrafts, including Boeings 737-800, Boeings 787-8 Dreamliners, Boeings 737 MAX8 and Airbuses A320neo. It is the parent company of the Norwegian Group and operates through subsidiaries, including Norwegian Air Shuttle Polska Sp z o o, Norwegian Air Shuttle Sweden AB, Call Norwegian AS, NAS Asset Management Norway AS, among others. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By GURUFOCUS]
EMC�� products ��both hardware and software - are litearlly a geek�� wonderland alphabet soup, which include Storage Area Network (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Virtual SAN, All-Flash XtremIO, Atmos, Avamar, �Data Domain, Isilon, Pivotal, ViPR Software Defined Storgae, VMAX, VNX, VNXe, VPLEX, VSPEX (none of these are typos).� Information storage makes up 70% of revenues and virtualization 23% of revenues.� Products generate 55% of revenues.� Services generate 45% of revenues.� The Company�� gross profit split is approximaltey 67% data storage and 31% virtualization.
Top Railroad Companies To Own In Right Now: Wintrust Financial Corporation(WTFC)
Wintrust Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in community banking, specialty finance, and wealth management operations. Its Community Banking segment offers banking and financial services primarily to individuals, small to mid-sized businesses, local governmental units, and institutional customers. This segment?s products and services include deposit products, such as demand, negotiable order of withdrawal, money market, savings, and time deposit accounts; home equity, home mortgage, consumer, real estate, and commercial loans; safe deposit facilities; automated teller machines (ATMs); and Internet banking services. The company?s Specialty Finance segment offers financing for the payment of commercial insurance premiums to businesses and individuals; short-term accounts receivable financing; and out-sourced administrative services, including data processing of payrolls, billing, and cash management services to customers in the temporary staffing indu stry, as well as engages in the origination and purchase of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market and provides the document preparation and other loan closing services to a network of mortgage brokers. This segment markets its products primarily through insurance agents and brokers. Its Wealth Management segment provides trust and investment services, asset management, and securities brokerage services, which are marketed primarily under the Wayne Hummer name. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated through 78 banking facilities, as well as owned 123 ATMs. Wintrust Financial Corporation was founded in 1992 and is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Zacks]
Some better-ranked Midwest banks include First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (NASDAQ: FIBK), Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) and PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
- [By Monica Gerson]
Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ: WTFC) is projected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.70 per share on revenue of $196.07 million.
International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $5.99 per share on revenue of $28.25 billion.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
MondayEarnings Releases Expected: Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Stanley Furniture Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: STLY), Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) Economic Releases Expected: Swiss PPI, eurozone industrial production
- [By Monica Gerson]
Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ: WTFC) is expected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.64 per share on revenue of $195.50 million.
Art's-Way Manufacturing Co (NASDAQ: ARTW) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings.