First and foremost (and just for the record), no, I don't have a short position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). It's a point that needs to be made clear early, to stave off the lynch mob that will most assuredly develop after I dare to suggest AAPL is anything but a perfect stock. This isn't a "hit piece". It's just a handful of things for everyone - bulls as well as bears - to consider before making any long-term conclusions about Apple.
With that out of the way, here goes ... AAPL has become a company with some systemic problems that will be difficult to overcome. Although it hasn't gravely impacted the stock's price yet, eventually (and sooner than later), Apple's share price are going to be affected.
The overarching problem, but in a way the overarching symptom too, is the fact that Apple has decided to compete on price. Case(s) in point: The lower-cost iPhone 5C, and the decision to give away - rather than sell - the upgrade to its Mac operating system.
5 Best Forestry Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Liberte Investors Inc. (FAC)
First Acceptance Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in retailing, servicing, and underwriting non-standard personal automobile insurance and related products. Its primary business involves issuing automobile insurance policies to individuals who are categorized as non-standard based primarily on their inability or unwillingness to obtain insurance coverage from standard carriers due to various factors, including their payment history or need for monthly payment plans, and failure to maintain continuous insurance coverage or driving record. The company also offers optional products that provide ancillary reimbursements and benefits in the event of an automobile accident; and underwrites a tenant homeowner policy that provides contents and liability coverage to renters. In addition, it engages in activities related to the disposition of real estate held for sale. The company distributes its products through retail locations. As of March 31, 2012, it leased and op erated 378 retail locations. First Acceptance Corporation was founded in 1969 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Auto sales continue to rise and that is good news for small cap auto insurers Infinity Property and Casualty Corp (NASDAQ: IPCC), First Acceptance Corporation (NYSE: FAC) and Atlas Financial Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: AFH) which are focused on niche auto insurance markets.�A Yahoo! Autos blog post�recently noted that in August, automakers sold 1.5 million new vehicles for the highest rate in years. Moreover,�most industry forecasters expect sales to�return to the level they hit before the 2008 recession of 16 million vehicles a year. The blog post then went on to note the three forces driving auto sales:
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: ML Capital Group Inc (MLCG)
ML CAPITAL GROUP. INC., incorporated on September 27, 2009, is an exploration-stage company. The Company was engaged in conducting assistance with financing needs of MicroCap corporations.
The Company is focused on research on line, attend trade shows and contact its associates in several industries. As of September 7, 2011, the Company had not generated revenue.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap marijuana stocks IMD Companies Inc (OTCMKTS: ICBU), Tauriga Sciences Inc (OTCMKTS: TAUG), ML Capital Group Inc (OTCBB: MLCG) and Lexaria Corp (OTCMKTS: LXRP) are aiming to give investors a high with their latest news. However, only one of these small cap marijuana stocks appears to be the subject of minor paid promotion or investor relations type of activities. So will investors and traders alike get a high off of these small caps? Here is a quick reality check:
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: HyperSolar Inc (HYSR)
Hypersolar, Inc., incorporated on February 18, 2009, is developing renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, including seawater and wastewater. Unlike hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, where carbon dioxide and other contaminants are released into the atmosphere when used, hydrogen fuel usage produces pure water as the only byproduct. The Company�� technology includes HyperSolar H2Generator. Its nano-size particle is designed to mimic photosynthesis and contains a solar absorber that generates electrons from sunlight, as well as integrated cathode and anode areas to readily split water and transfer those electrons to the molecular bonds of hydrogen.
The HyperSolar H2Generator consists of the following primary stages: Reactor Vessels, Hydrogen Compressor and Hydrogen Storage. The reactor vessels resemble transparent rectangular boxes containing water and billions of nanoparticles suspended in solution. When exposed to sunlight, hydrogen gas will bubble up into an air gap on top for separation and collection. Produced hydrogen gas will be compressed for space efficient storage. Hydrogen can be stored in compressed gas tanks or chemical canisters depending on the application. The HyperSolar H2Generator will be a self-contained renewable hydrogen production system that requires only sunlight and any source of water.
The Company competes with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and Air Liquide.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap hydrogen fuel stocks Hydrogenics Corporation (NASDAQ: HYGS), FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ: FCEL), HyperSolar Inc (OTCMKTS: HYSR) and HydroPhi Technologies Group, Inc (OTCMKTS: HPTG) are some of the lesser known small caps that are�working with hydrogen fuel or hydrogen fuel cell related technology. I should say that small cap hydrogen stocks are not for risk adverse investors as there are considerable unanswered questions about hydrogen fuel related technology and whether it can be a viable green technology given the fueling infrastructure needed along with the�energy and expense involved in creating hydrogen�(Note: None of these small cap�stocks are profitable at ). But any new technology will pose the same types of risks for early stage investors���especially if its so-called green technology.�
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: Covanta Holding Corp (CVA)
Covanta Holding Corporation (Covanta), incorporated in April 16, 1992, is a holding company. The Company is a owner and operator of infrastructure for the conversion of waste to energy ( energy-from-waste or EfW), as well as other waste disposal and renewable energy production businesses. Covanta conduct all of its operations through subsidiaries which are engaged predominantly in the businesses of waste and energy services. The Company has one segment which is Americas and consists of waste and energy services operations primarily in the United States and Canada. The Company owns and holds interests in energy-from-waste facilities in China and Italy. The Company also has investments in subsidiaries engaged in insurance operations in California, primarily in property and casualty insurance. In 2011, it sold two landfill gas projects located in California. In May 2011, it acquired a metals processing facility located on its Dade energy-from-waste facility site.
As of December 31, 2011, it owned 85% interest of Taixing Covanta Yanjiang Cogeneration Co., Ltd. It operates and maintains the energy-from-waste facility located in and owned by the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii. In December 2011, the Company amended the waste disposal agreement with the Union County Utilities Authority to extend their terms from 2023 to 2031 and to increase the Union County Utilities Authority�� waste disposal commitment. The Company�� EfW facilities earn revenue from both the disposal of waste and the generation of electricity, generally under long-term contracts, as well as from the sale of metal recovered during the energy-from-waste process. In the Americas, it processes approximately 19 million tons of solid waste annually. In total, these assets produce over 10 million megawatt hours of baseload electricity annually. The Company operates and/or has ownership positions in 46 energy-from-waste facilities, which are primarily located in North America, and 15 additional energy generation facilities, i! ncluding other renewable energy production facilities in North America (wood biomass and hydroelectric). The Company also operates a waste management infrastructure that is complementary to its core EfW business.
Energy-from-waste projects have two purposes: to provide waste disposal services, typically to municipal clients who sponsor the projects, and to use that waste as a fuel source to generate renewable energy. The electricity or steam generated by the projects is generally sold to local utilities or industrial customers. The projects are capable of providing waste disposal services and generating electricity or steam. The Company provides these waste disposal services and sell the electricity and steam generated under contracts, which expire on various dates between 2012 and 2034. Many of its service contracts may be renewed for varying periods of time, at the option of the municipal client.
Tehe Company�� energy-from-waste projects generate revenue from three main sources: fees charged for operating projects or processing waste received; the sale of electricity and/or steam, and the sale of ferrous and non-ferrous metals that are recycled as part of the energy-from-waste process. Its customers for waste disposal or facility operations are principally municipal entities, though it also markets disposal capacity at certain facilities to commercial and special waste customers. Its facilities sell energy primarily to utilities at contracted rates or, in situations where a contract is not in place, at prevailing market rates in regional markets (primarily PJM, NEPOOL and NYISO in the Northeastern United States).
The Company operates, and in some cases has ownership interests in, transfer stations and landfills, which generate revenue from ash disposal fees or operating fees. In addition, it owns, and in some cases operates, other renewable energy projects in the Americas segment, which generate electricity from wood wast! e (biomas! s) and hydroelectric resources. The electricity from these other renewable energy projects is sold to utilities under contracts or into the regional power pool at short-term rates. For these projects, it receives revenue from sales of energy, capacity and/or cash from equity distributions and additional value from the sale of renewable energy credits.
The Company operates energy-from-waste projects in 16 states and one Canadian province, and are constructing an energy-from-waste project in a second Canadian province. Most of its energy-from-waste projects were developed and structured contractually as part of competitive procurement processes conducted by municipal entities. Its EfW projects can generally be divided into three categories, based on the applicable contract structure at a project: Tip Fee projects, Service Fee projects that the Company owns, and Service Fee projects that it do not own but operate on behalf of a municipal owner. At Tip Fee projects, it receives a per-ton fee for processing waste, and it typically retain all of the revenue generated from energy and recycled metal sales. The Company generally owns or leases the Tip Fee facilities. At Service Fee projects, it typically charge a fixed fee for operating the facility, and the facility capacity is dedicated either primarily or exclusively to the host community client, which also retains the majority of any revenue generated from energy and recycled metal sales. The Company also owns and/or operates 13 transfer stations and four ash landfills in the northeast United States, which it utilizes to supplement and manage more efficiently the fuel and ash disposal requirements at its energy-from-waste operations. The Company provides waste procurement services to its waste disposal and transfer facilities which have available capacity to receive waste.
The Company owns and operates seven wood-fired generation facilities and have a 55% interest in a partnership which owns another w! ood-fired! generation facility. The Company�� six facilities are located in California, and two are located in Maine. The combined gross energy output from these facilities is 191 megawatts. The Company generates income from its biomass facilities from sales of electricity, capacity, and where available, additional value from the sale of renewable energy credits. These facilities sell their energy output into local power pools or to local utilities at rates that are either fixed or float with the market.
The Company owns a 50% interest in two small run-of-river hydroelectric facilities located in the State of Washington, which sells energy and capacity to Puget Sound Energy under long-term energy contracts. The Company has a nominal investment in two hydroelectric facilities in Costa Rica.
The Company and Chongqing Iron & Steel Company (Group) Ltd. entered into an agreement to build, own, and operate a 1,800 metric ton per day energy-from-waste facility for Chengdu Municipality in Sichuan Province, People�� Republic of China. The Company also executed a 25 year waste concession agreement for this project. In connection with this project, it acquired a 49% interest in the project company. Construction commenced in 2009 and the facility began processing waste during the year ended December 31, 2011. The electrical output from these projects is sold at governmentally established preferential rates under short-term arrangements with local power bureaus. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned 85% of Taixing Covanta Yanjiang Cogeneration Co., Ltd. which, in 2009, entered into a 25 year concession agreement and waste supply agreements to build, own and operate a 350 metric tons per day energy-from-waste facility for Taixing Municipality, in Jiangsu Province, People�� Republic of China. The Company will continue to operate its coal-fired facility.
The Company owns a 40% interest in Chongqing Sanfeng Covanta Environ! mental In! dustry Co., Ltd. (Sanfeng), a company located in Chongqing Municipality, People�� Republic of China. Sanfeng is engaged in the business of owning and operating energy-from-waste projects, providing design and engineering, procurement, construction services and equipment sales for energy-from-waste facilities in China. Sanfeng owns minority interests in two 1,200 metric tons per day, 24 megawatts mass-burn energy-from-waste projects (Fuzhou project and Tongqing project), and has a contract to operate the Chengdu project. Chongqing Iron & Steel Group Environmental Investment Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chongqing Iron & Steel Company (Group) Ltd., holds the remaining 60% interest in Sanfeng. The solid waste supply for the projects comes from municipalities under long-term contracts. The municipalities also have the obligation to coordinate the purchase of power from the facilities as part of the long-term contracts for waste disposal. The electrical output from these projects is sold at governmentally established preferential rates under short-term arrangements with local power bureaus.
The Company owns a 13% interest in a 500 metric tons per day, 18 megawatts mass-burn energy-from-waste project at Trezzo sull��dda in the Lombardy Region of Italy. The project is operated by Ambiente 2000 S.r.l., in which the Company owns 40%. The solid waste supply for the project comes from municipalities and privately-owned waste haulers under long-term contracts. The electrical output from the Trezzo project is sold at governmentally established preferential rates under a long-term purchase contract to Italy�� state-owned electricity grid operator, Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale S.p.A.
Independent Power Projects
The Company has a majority interest in a 24 megawatts (gross) coal-fired cogeneration facility in Taixing City, Jiangsu Province, People�� Republic of China. The project entity, in which it holds a majority interest, operates this project. T! he party ! holding a minority position in the project is an affiliate of the local municipal government. While the steam produced at this project is focused to be sold under a long-term contract to its industrial host, in practice, steam has been sold on a short-term basis to either local industries or the industrial host, in each case at varying rates and quantities. The electric power is sold at an average grid rate to a subsidiary of the provincial power bureau.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Marc Bastow]
Waste disposal and energy management holding company Covanta (CVA) raised its quarterly dividend 9% to 18 cents per share, payable April 2 to shareholders of record as of March 26.
CVA Dividend Yield: 4.10%
- [By Dan Caplinger]
More recently, Waste Management has looked for further innovations in its business. Its landfills give it two potential energy sources, one from the gases that landfills produce, and a second from incinerating garbage to produce electricity. Rival Covanta (NYSE: CVA ) pioneered the waste-to-energy movement and is the leading company in the space, but both Waste Management and No. 2 landfill operator Republic Services (NYSE: RSG ) have pressed hard at building up their own renewable energy businesses. Moreover, Waste Management's partnership with Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE ) to convert its hauling trucks to use natural gas brings the trash giant's renewable energy efforts full-circle.
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: Orbotech Ltd.(ORBK)
Orbotech Ltd. engages in designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing, and servicing yield-enhancing and production solutions for specialized applications in the supply chain of the electronics industry. The company?s products include automated optical inspection (AOI), automated optical repair, laser direct imaging, digital legend printing, laser drilling, laser plotters, computer-aided manufacturing, and engineering solutions for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronics component manufacturing; and AOI, test, repair, and process monitoring systems for flat panel display (FPD) manufacturing. It also develops and markets character recognition solutions and services primarily to banks, financial institutions, and other payment processing institutions for use in check and healthcare payment processing. In addition, the company is involved in the research and development of products for the deposition of anti-reflective coating on crystalline silicon photovolta ic wafers for solar energy panels. It primarily serves manufacturer of PCB, FPD, liquid crystal displays, and other electronic components worldwide. The company was formerly known as Optrotech Ltd. and changed its name to Orbotech Ltd. as a result of its merger with Orbot Systems Ltd. in October 1992. Orbotech Ltd. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Yavne, Israel.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Emerson]
Orbotech (ORBK) and Rudolph Technologies (RTEC) Sizable Net-Nets in the AOI Sector
As noted previously, I rode the elevator up and then back down on Camtek (CAMT), a tiny Israeli automated optical inspection (AOI) company. By late 2008 the company had fallen to below $1 per share. Both of Camtek�� larger rivals, RTEC and ORBK, had dropped to absurdly low levels by November 2008. I used the opportunity to switch out of CAMT and some of my other losing propositions in favor of these superior companies. In the process, I created a large amount of tax loss carry-forwards which would allow me to minimize my future taxation when I decided to sell these cyclical entities.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Orbotech (Nasdaq: ORBK ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: Metlife Inc (MET)
MetLife, Inc. (MetLife), incorporated on August 10, 1999, is a provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 50 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife operates in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. It is organized into six segments: Insurance Products, Retirement Products, Corporate Benefit Funding and Auto & Home (collectively, U.S. Business), and Japan and Other International Regions (collectively, International). In addition, the Company reports certain of its results of operations in Corporate & Other, which includes MetLife Bank, National Association (MetLife Bank) and other business activities. U.S. Business provides insurance and financial services products, including life, dental, disability, auto and homeowner insurance, guaranteed interest and stable value products, and annuities through independent retail distribution channels, as well as at the workplace. Outside the U.S., it operates in Japan and over 50 countries within Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. MetLife is the life insurer in Mexico and also holds positions in Japan, Poland, Chile and Korea. This business provides life insurance, accident and health insurance, credit insurance, annuities, endowment and retirement and savings products to both individuals and groups. In August 2012, it acquired Reynolds Plantation. In January 2013, the Company completed the sale of MetLife Bank, N.A.'s deposit business. Effective July 25, 2013, MetLife Inc acquired Broadstone Laurel Highlands, from Alliance Residential Fund I. In September 2013, MetLife Inc and Thayer Lodging Group acquired the 365-room Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in a joint venture.
The Insurance Products segment offers a range of protection products and services aimed at serving the financial needs of its customers throughout their lives. These pro! ducts are sold to individuals and corporations, as well as other institutions and their respective employees. It is organized in three businesses: Group Life, Individual Life and Non-Medical Health.
The Group Life insurance products and services include variable life, universal life, and term life products. It offer group insurance products as employer-paid benefits or as voluntary benefits where all or a portion of the premiums are paid by the employee. These group products and services also include employee paid supplemental life and are offered as standard products or may be tailored to meet specific customer needs.
The Individual Life insurance products and services include variable life, universal life, term life and whole life products. Additionally, through its broker-dealer affiliates, it offers a full range of mutual funds and other securities products. The products within both Group Life and Individual Life include Variable Life, Universal Life, Term Life and Whole Life. Variable life products provide insurance coverage through a contract that gives the policyholder the policyholder flexibility in investment choices and, depending on the product, in premium payments and coverage amounts, with certain guarantees. With variable life products, premiums and account balances can be directed by the policyholder into a variety of separate account investment options or directed to the Company�� general account. In the separate account investment options, the policyholder bears the entire risk of the investment results.
Universal life products provide insurance coverage on the same basis as variable life, except that premiums, and the resulting accumulated balances, are allocated only to the Company�� general account. Universal life products may allow the insured to increase or decrease the amount of death benefit coverage over the term of the contract and the owner to adjust the frequency and amount of premium payments.
Term life products provid! e a guara! nteed benefit upon the death of the insured for a specified time period in return for the periodic payment of premiums. Specified coverage periods range from one year to 30 years, but in no event are they longer than the period over, which premiums are paid. Death benefits may be level over the period or decreasing. Decreasing coverage is used principally to provide for loan repayment in the event of death. Premiums may be guaranteed at a level amount for the coverage period or may be non-level and non-guaranteed. Term insurance products are sometimes referred to as pure protection products, in that there are typically no savings or investment elements. Term contracts expire without value at the end of the coverage period when the insured party is still living.
Whole life products provide a guaranteed benefit upon the death of the insured in return for the periodic payment of a fixed premium over a predetermined period. Premium payments may be required for the entire life of the contract period, to a specified age or period, and may be level or change in accordance with a predetermined schedule. Whole life insurance includes policies that provide a participation feature in the form of dividends. Policyholders may receive dividends in cash or apply them to increase death benefits, increase cash values available upon surrender or reduce the premiums required to maintain the contract in-force.
The Non-Medical Health products and services include dental insurance, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability income, long-term care (LTC), critical illness and accidental death & dismemberment coverage. Other products and services include employer-sponsored auto and homeowners insurance provided through the Auto & Home segment and prepaid legal plans. The Company also sells administrative services-only (ASO) arrangements to some employers. The products in this area are Dental, Disability and Long-term Care (LTC). Dental products provide insurance and ASO plans that ass! ist emplo! yees, retirees and their families in maintaining oral health while reducing out-of-pocket expenses and providing superior customer service. Dental plans include the Preferred Dentist Program and the Dental Health Maintenance Organization. Disability products provide a benefit in the event of the disability of the insured. This benefit is in the form of monthly income paid until the insured reaches age 65. In addition to income replacement, the product may be used to provide for the payment of business overhead expenses for disabled business owners or mortgage payment protection. This is offered on both a group and individual basis. LTC products provide protection against the potentially high costs of LTC services. They generally pay benefits to insureds that need assistance with activities of daily living or have a cognitive impairment.
The Retirement products segment includes a variety of variable and fixed annuities that are primarily sold to individuals and employees of corporations and other institutions. The products in this area are Variable Annuities and Fixed Annuities. Variable annuities provide for both asset accumulation and asset distribution needs. Variable annuities allow the contract holder to make deposits into various investment options in a separate account, as determined by the contract holder. The risks associated with such investment options are borne entirely by the contract holder, except where guaranteed minimum benefits are involved.
Fixed annuities provide for both asset accumulation and asset distribution needs. Fixed annuities do not allow the same investment flexibility provided by variable annuities, but provide guarantees related to the preservation of principal and interest credited.
Corporate Benefit Funding
The Corporate Benefit Funding segment includes a range of annuity and investment products, including, guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuitie! s, and se! parate account contracts for the investment management of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets. This segment also includes certain products to fund postretirement benefits and company, bank or trust owned life insurance used to finance non-qualified benefit programs for executives. The products in this area are Stable Value Products, Pensions Closeouts, Torts and Settlements, Capital Markets Investment Products and other Corporate Benefit Funding Products and Services. The Company offers general account guaranteed interest contracts, separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and similar products used to support the stable value option of defined contribution plans. It also offers private floating rate funding agreements that are used for money market funds, securities lending cash collateral portfolios and short-term investment funds.
The Company offers general account and separate account annuity products, generally in connection with the termination of defined benefit pension plans, both in the United States and the United Kingdom. It also offers partial risk transfer solutions that allow for partial transfers of pension liabilities and annuity products that include single premium buyouts. It offers strategies for complex litigation settlements, primarily structured settlement annuities. Under the Capital Markets Investment Products, the products offered include funding agreements, Federal Home Loan Bank advances and funding agreement-backed commercial paper. Under the Other Corporate Benefit Funding Products and Services, it offers specialized insurance products designed specifically to provide solutions for non-qualified benefit and retiree benefit funding purposes.
Auto & Home
The Auto & Home segment includes personal lines property and casualty insurance offered directly to employees at their employer�� worksite, as well as to individuals through a variety of retail distribution channels, including independent agents, property and casu! alty spec! ialists, direct response marketing and the individual distribution sales group. Auto & Home primarily sells auto insurance, which represented 67% of Auto & Home�� total net earned premiums in 2011. Homeowners and other insurance represented 33% of Auto & Home�� total net earned premiums in 2011. The products in this area are Auto Coverages and Homeowners and Other Coverages. Auto insurance policies provide coverage for private passenger automobiles, utility automobiles and vans, motorcycles, motor homes, antique or classic automobiles and trailers. Auto & Home offers traditional coverage, such as liability, uninsured motorist, no fault or personal injury protection, as well as collision and comprehensive. Homeowners��insurance policies provide protection for homeowners, renters, condominium owners and residential landlords against losses arising out of damage to dwellings and contents from a variety of perils, as well as coverage for liability arising from ownership or occupancy. Other insurance includes personal excess liability (protection against losses in excess of amounts covered by other liability insurance policies), and coverage for recreational vehicles and boat owners. Most of Auto & Home�� homeowners��policies are traditional insurance policies for dwellings, providing protection for loss on a replacement cost basis. These policies also provide additional coverage for reasonable, normal living expenses incurred by policyholders that have been displaced from their homes.
International provides life insurance, accident and health insurance, credit insurance, annuities, endowment and retirement & savings products to both individuals and groups. The Company focuses on markets primarily within Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. It operates in international markets through subsidiaries and affiliates. The Company operates in 22 countries in Latin America, with operations in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. It operates in fou! r countri! es in Asia Pacific with operations in Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. It operates in 35 countries in Europe and the Middle East with operations in Poland, the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as through a consolidated joint venture in India.
Corporate & Other
Corporate & Other contains the excess capital not allocated to the segments, which is invested to optimize investment spread and to fund company initiatives and various start-up and run-off entities. Mortgage products offered by MetLife Bank include forward and reverse residential mortgage loans. Residential mortgage loans are originated through MetLife Bank�� national sales force, mortgage brokers and mortgage correspondents. The residential mortgage banking activities include the origination and servicing of mortgage loans. Mortgage loans are held-for-investment or sold primarily into Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) or Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) securities. Deposit products include traditional savings accounts, money market savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and individual retirement accounts.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
WednesdayEarnings Expected: MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET), Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KRFT) Economic Releases Expected: British consumer confidence, U.S. oil inventory data, US GDP, German CPI, eurozone industrial sentiment, eurozone business climate, eurozone consumer confidence, Spanish GDP, French consumer confidence
Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Own In Right Now: PrivateBancorp Inc.(PVTB)
PrivateBancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for The PrivateBank and Trust Company that provides business and personal financial services to middle-market companies and business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and families in the United States. The company?s deposit products include checking, savings, and money market accounts; interest and non-interest bearing demand deposits; and certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial loans, including lines of credit to businesses for working capital needs, term loans, and letters of credit; commercial real estate loans; loans for the construction of single-family residential properties, multi-family properties, and commercial projects; mortgage loans; and residential, home equity, and personal loans. The company also provides private banking, investment management, trust, and investment agency services to high and ultra-high net-worth clients; custody, escrow, and tax-deferred exchange services; and investment management services to individuals, families, and foundations. In addition, it invests primarily in residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations. As of December 31, 2011, the company operated 18 branch locations in the Chicago market; and 10 branch locations in the Atlanta, Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and St. Louis metropolitan areas, as well as 29 automated teller machines located at its banking facilities. PrivateBancorp, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Chicago, 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 Laura Brodbeck]
Next week investors will be waiting for several key earnings reports including�General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG), Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU), Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK), PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB),Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).