Utilities that operate nuclear generation facilities have been hurt by pricing pressures created during the downturn in natural gas prices. As is evident in Exelon's (NYSE: EXC ) latest release, these pressures still exist. As a generator of base load energy, Exelon has found itself battling the likes of natural gas, solar, and wind power as all three forms continue to expand their reach within the nuclear segment. This triumvirate has caused a depression in the prices that Exelon is able to charge customers.
Friday will bring a direct comparison to Exelon when Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK ) reports, as it is the largest utility in the country and has a large nuclear presence in the Southeast. I expect that some margin pressure will be felt, but continued benefits from its own merger with Progress Energy should provide similar tailwinds as those Exelon experienced.
A trimmed dividend is leading to a fortress of a balance sheet
As the nation moves increasingly toward clean energy, Exelon is perfectly positioned to capitalize on having the largest nuclear fleet in North America. This strength, combined with an increased focus on balance sheet health and its recent merger with Constellation, places Exelon and its resized dividend on a short list of the top utilities. To determine if Exelon is a good long-term fit for your portfolio, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company. Simply click here now for instant access.
Top 5 Prefered Companies To Watch In Right Now: Bottomline Technologies Inc. (EPAY)
Bottomline Technologies (de), Inc. provides cloud-based payment, invoice, and banking solutions to corporations, insurance companies, financial institutions, and banks worldwide. Its solutions are used to streamline, automate, and manage processes and transactions involving global payments, invoice receipt and approval, collections, cash and document management, risk mitigation, reporting, and document archive. The company’s products include cash management and treasury platforms that enable banks to offer ACH and BACS payments, wires, international payments, check production, balance and information reporting, and cash management facilities; and legal spend management solutions, which integrate with claims management, and time and billing systems to automate legal invoice management processes. It also offers Paymode-X, a business-to-business electronic settlement network, such as online access to purchase orders, invoices, payments, and remittance details, as well a s comprehensive workflow and turnkey vendor enrollment and support; and WebSeries and C-Series, the payment and document automation solutions that generate payment instructions along with consolidated bank reporting of cash activity. In addition, the company provides forms management, mobile documentation, workflow automation, and payments solutions to healthcare organizations. Further, it offers SWIFT access service that enables corporations exchange financial information with their banks and counterparties. Additionally, the company provides consulting, project implementation, and training services; and consumable products for laser check printing that comprise magnetic ink character recognition toner and blank-paper check stock, as well as printers and printer-related equipment. Bottomline Technologies (de), Inc. sells its products directly through sales force, as well as through various channel partners and resellers. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
Bottomline Technologies (de) (NASDAQ: EPAY) shares gained 12.03% to touch a new 52-week high of $35.20 after the company reported upbeat Q1 results.
- [By Steve Symington]
What:�Shares of Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY ) jumped more than 10% Friday after the cloud-based financial transaction specialist reported solid fiscal first quarter 2013 results.�
Best Clean Energy Companies To Own For 2014: Polypore International Inc(PPO)
Polypore International, Inc., a technology filtration company, develops, manufactures, and markets specialized microporous membranes used in separation and filtration processes. It operates in two segments, Energy Storage and Separations Media. The Energy Storage segment offers membranes that provide the function of separating the cathode and anode in applications, including lithium-ion batteries that are used in portable electronic devices, energy storage systems, cordless power tools, and electric drive vehicles; and lead-acid batteries used in automobiles, other motor vehicles, forklifts, and uninterruptible power supply systems. The Separations Media segment provides membranes that are used as high technology filtration element in various medical and industrial applications. This segment?s membranes and membrane modules are used in applications, such as hemodialysis, blood oxygenation, plasmapheresis and various high-performance microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and g asification/degasification applications. Polypore International, Inc. sells its products to manufacturers and converters who incorporate its products into their finished goods. The company sells its products and services in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia through its direct sales force, and distributors and agents. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
When most people think of electric vehicle stocks, they probably think of troubled Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) or one of the several Chinese stocks active in the space, but North America based large cap Magna International Inc (NYSE: MGA) and small caps Polypore International, Inc (NYSE: PPO), UQM Technologies Inc (NYSEMKT: UQM) and Green Automotive Company (OTCMKTS: GACR) are all players, one way or the other, in the electric vehicle space that most investors have probably overlooked or just aren�� aware of. Of course, we can argue�about whether or not purely electric vehicles or some sort of hybrid vehicles are the way of the future, but what cannot be argued about is the fact that the following electric vehicle stocks are at the forefront of EV or�hybrid technology and design:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Shares of Polypore International (NYSE: PPO) got a boost, shooting up 14.54 percent to $39.77 after the company reported Q1 results. DA Davidson upgraded Polypore from Neutral to Buy and lifted the price target from $36.00 to $42.00.
Best Clean Energy Companies To Own For 2014: BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc.(BCRX)
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company, designs, optimizes, and develops small-molecule pharmaceuticals that block key enzymes involved in infectious diseases, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. It uses structure-based drug design, which incorporates multiple scientific disciplines, including biology, crystallography, medicinal chemistry, and computer to develop new therapeutic candidates. The company has three novel late-stage compounds in development, which include Peramivir, a neuraminidase inhibitor for the potential treatment of influenza; BCX4208, a purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor for gout; and Forodesine, a PNP inhibitor for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Peramivir is being developed under a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Forodesine has been granted orphan drug status by the FDA for thr ee indications, which include T-cell non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma, including CTCL; CLL and related leukemias, including T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, adult T-cell leukemia, and hairy cell leukemia; and for treatment of B-ALL. The FDA has also granted fast track status to the development of forodesine for the treatment of relapsed or refractory T-cell leukemia, and special protocol assessment from the FDA for forodesine to conduct a pivotal clinical trial in CTCL with an oral formulation. The company announced the initiation of a Phase 2b study of BCX4208 as add-on therapy in gout patients who have not responded to allopurinol therapy alone. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals utilizes crystallography and structure-based drug design to discover additional compounds and to progress others through pre-clinical and early development to address the unmet medical needs of patients and physicians. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
BioCryst�Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) was started as Outperform with a $7 to $9 price target range at Wells Fargo.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $144 from $139 at Credit Suisse.
- [By Matt Egan]
Other drug makers rallying on the Ebola headlines include BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) and Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT).
Best Clean Energy Companies To Own For 2014: Covidien PLC (COV)Covidien Public Limited Company is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings. It operates its businesses through three segments: Medical Devices, which includes the development, manufacture and sale of endomechanical instruments, energy devices, soft tissue repair products, vascular products, oximetry and monitoring products, airway and ventilation products; Pharmaceuticals, which includes the development, manufacture and distribution of specialty pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, and Medical Supplies, SharpSafety products and original equipment manufacturer products. In May 2012, it acquired Newport Medical Instruments, Inc. In May 2012, it acquired superDimension, Ltd. In June 2012, the Company acquired Oridion Systems Ltd. In October 2012, its Mallinckrodt acquired CNS Therapeutics, Inc. In January 2013, the Company acquired CV Ingenuity. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Roadmap2Retire]
Medtronic Inc (MDT) manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. Medtronic is a dividend champion that has been raising dividends for 36 years; has a 5-yr DGR of 11.6% and 10-yr DGR of 14.9%. MDT has recently announced plans to takeover Covidien (COV) and is planning a tax inversion to Ireland.
Best Clean Energy Companies To Own For 2014: Badger Meter Inc (BMI)
Badger Meter, Inc., incorporated on March 9, 1905, is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating flow measurement and control technologies serving markets globally. The Company's product lines fall into three categories: sales of water meters and related technologies to municipal water utilities (municipal water), sales of meters to various industries for water and other fluids (industrial flow) and sales of concrete vibrators and gas meter radios to markets (specialty products). Municipal water includes water meters and related technologies and services used by water utilities as the basis for generating water and wastewater revenues. Industrial flow includes products sold globally to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including water, air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases. Specialty products include sales of radio technology to natural gas utilities for installation on their gas meters, and concrete vibrators.
The Company's products are primarily manufactured and assembled in the Company's Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Racine, Wisconsin; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Scottsdale, Arizona; Nogales, Mexico; Neuffen, Germany; Brno, Czech Republic; and Bern, Switzerland facilities. For municipal water, residential and commercial water meters are classified as either manually read meters or remotely read meters through radio technology. A manually read meter consists of a water meter and a register that gives a visual meter reading display. Meters equipped with radio transmitters (endpoints) use encoder registers to convert the measurement data from the meter into an encrypted digital format which is then transmitted through radio frequency to a receiver that collects and formats the data appropriately for water utility billing systems. In an AMR system, a vehicle equipped for meter reading purposes, including a radio receiver, computer and reading software, collects the data from the utility's meters.
Fixed network advanced metering infrastructure (AM! I) systems continue to build interest among water utilities. These systems incorporate a network of permanent data collectors or gateway receivers that are always active or listening for the radio transmission from the utilities' meters. AMI systems eliminate the need for utility personnel to drive through service territories to collect meter reading data. These systems provide the utilities with more frequent and diverse data from the utilities' meters at specified intervals.
The Company�� advanced metering analytics (AMA), along with a host of automated utility management tools to facilitate the ability of water and gas utilities to increase their productivity and revenue, as well as proactively utilize their data. AMA is consists of ReadCenter Analytics software coupled with ORION SE two-way fixed network or GALAXY one-way fixed network technology, which is complemented by a family of accurate and reliable water meters. The ORION SE system can operate as a mobile AMR system, a fixed network AMI system, or both. Industrial flow and specialty products serve flow measurement and control applications across an industrial spectrum. Specialized communication protocols that control the entire flow measurement process drive these markets.
The Company competes with Sensus USA Inc., Neptune Technology Group, Inc., Elster AMCO Metering, LLC and Master Meter, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI ) weren't measuring up today, falling as much as 15% after reporting an much lower profits than expected in it first quarter.
Best Clean Energy Companies To Own For 2014: Opt-Sciences Corp (OPST)
Opt-Sciences Corporation, incorporated on November 1956, conducts its business through its wholly owned subsidiary, O and S Research, Inc. The Company deposits anti-glare and/or transparent conductive optical coatings on glass used primarily to cover instrument panels in aircraft cockpits. It also provides full glass cutting, grinding and painting operations, which augment its optical coating capabilities. Its products are designed to enable pilots to read aircraft instruments in direct sunlight or at night or in covert situations using appropriate night vision filters or to protect the instruments from electromagnetic interference. The Company�� business is dependent on a robust commercial, business, and regional aircraft market and to a lesser degree the military aircraft market. It generally has a four to twelve week delivery cycle depending on product complexity, available plant capacity and required lead time for specialty raw materials, such as polarizers or filter glass.
The Company�� offers incorporate an optical coating of some type. Its primary coatings are for aircraft cockpit display applications and consist of its anti-reflection coating used for glare reduction and its transparent conductive coating used for electromagnetic interference shielding. In addition, it also offers a full range of other specialty instrument glass, including night vision filter glass, circular polarizers, touchpads, glass sandwiches for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as well as other custom designed specialty glass components and assemblies. It uses its technology to apply a micro thin optical non-glare and/or conductive coating to the glass. Both processes utilize the deposit of a thin film of metal or metal oxide on the surface of the glass. The process takes place in a heated vacuum chamber. It heats the deposited material to over 1800 degrees Centigrade causing it to evaporate.
The Company competes with JDSU, Mod A Can, Dontech, Schott Glass and Hoya OpticsAdvisors' Opinion:
- [By Geoff Gannon] ng>Micropac
Micropac is 76% owned by Heinz-Werner Hempel. He�� a German businessman. You can see the German company he founded here. He�� had control of Micropac for a long-time. I don�� have an exact number in front of me. But I would guess it�� been something like 25 years.
ADDvantage Technologies is controlled by the Chymiak brothers. See the company�� April 4 press release explaining their decision to turn over the CEO position to an outsider. Regardless, the Chymiaks still control 47% of the company. Ken Chymiak is now chairman. And David Chymiak is still a director and now the company�� chief technology officer. Clearly, it�� still their company.
By the way, the name ADDvantage Technologies has nothing to do with the Chymiaks. Today�� AEY really traces its roots to a private company called Tulsat. The Chymiak brothers acquired that company about 27 years ago. So, effectively, when you buy shares of AEY you are buying into a 27-year-old family-controlled company.
That�� pretty typical in the world of net-nets.
Solitron Devices is 29% owned by Shevach Saraf. He has been the CEO for 20 years. The post-bankruptcy Solitron has never known another CEO. Before the bankruptcy, Solitron was a much bigger, much different company. So even though we are not talking about the founder here ��and even though 70% of the company�� shares are not held by the CEO ��we��e still talking about a company where one person has a lot of control. Solitron only has three directors. Saraf is the chairman, CEO, president, CFO and treasurer. Neither of the other two directors joined the board within the last 15 years. So, we aren�� talking about a lot of tumult at the top.
In fact, profitable net-nets seem to be especially common candidates for abandoning the responsibilities of a public company without actually getting taken private.
This company is controlled by Arthu