On this day in economic and business history...
The golden spike sank into the earth at Promontory Summit in Utah on May 10, 1869. The Transcontinental Railroad was complete, joining the east and west of a sprawling 3,000-mile wide nation. Two railroad enterprises, the Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP ) and the Central Pacific, had been built at a frenzied pace since shortly after President Abraham Lincoln's signature approved federal funds for construction in 1862. Both railroads were created to service this legislation, with Union Pacific building west from the Missouri River as the Central Pacific�struck out east from Sacramento.
The 1,900-mile line, built in only six years, was, as Howard Means writes in Money and Power: the History of Business:
... the Apollo Project of the 19th century -- one of those rare moments in history when discovery and technology seems to be colliding with destiny. National pride was at stake, and national aspiration, and something bigger still: Just as the manned landing on the moon would do, the railroad conquered an unknown world, planted a first tentative foot in an unknown space. Only those present could see the final spike of iron, clad in silver and gold, being driven into the last link of rail ... but the event was broadcast by telegraph and followed by Americans as avidly -- and greeted as enthusiastically -- as Neil Armstrong's lunar 'giant leap for mankind' almost exactly 100 years later, on July 20, 1969.
Best Food Companies To Buy For 2015: Ply Gem Holdings Inc (PGEM)
Ply Gem Holdings, Inc. (Ply Gem Holdings), incorporated on January 23, 2004, is a manufacturer of residential exterior building products in North America. The Company operates in two segments: Siding, Fencing, and Stone and Windows and Doors. These two segments produce a product line of vinyl siding, designer accents, cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim, vinyl fencing, vinyl and composite railing, stone veneer and vinyl windows and doors used in both new construction and home repair and remodeling in the United States and Western Canada. It also manufactures vinyl and aluminum soffit and siding accessories, aluminum trim coil, wood windows, aluminum windows, vinyl and aluminum-clad windows and steel and fiberglass doors, enabling it to bundle complementary and color-matched products and accessories with its core products. The Company�� subsidiaries includes including Ply Gem Industries, MWM Holding, AWC Holding Company, MHE, and Pacific Windows. On July 30, 2012, Ply Gem acquired substantially all of the assets of Greendeck Products, LLC.
Siding, Fencing, and Stone Segment
In the Siding, Fencing, and Stone segment, its principal products include vinyl siding and skirting, vinyl and aluminum soffit, aluminum trim coil, J-channels, wide crown molding, window and door trim, F-channels, H-molds, fascia, undersill trims, outside/inside corner posts, rain removal systems, injection molded designer accents, such as shakes, shingles, scallops, shutters, vents and mounts, vinyl fence, vinyl and composite railing, and stone veneer. It sells its siding and accessories under its Variform, Napco, Mastic Home Exteriors, and Cellwood brand names and under the Georgia-Pacific brand name through a private label program. It also sells its Providence line of vinyl siding and accessories to Lowe�� under its Durabuilt private label brand name. Its vinyl and vinyl-composite fencing and railing products are sold under its Kroy and Kroy Express brand names. Ply Gem Holdings stone veneer produ! cts are sold under its United Stone Veneer brand name.
The Company sells the siding and accessories to specialty distributors (one-step distribution) and to wholesale distributors (two-step distribution). Its specialty distributors sell directly to remodeling contractors and builders. Its wholesale distributors sell to retail home centers and lumberyards who, in turn, sell to remodeling contractors, builders and consumers. In the specialty channel, it has developed a network of approximately 800 independent distributors, serving over 22,000 contractors and builders nationwide.
Windows and Doors Segment
In the Windows and Doors segment, its principal products include vinyl, aluminum, wood and clad-wood windows and patio doors, and steel, wood, and fiberglass entry doors that serve both the new home construction and the repair and remodeling sectors in the United States and Western Canada. Its products in its Windows and Doors segment are sold under the Ply Gem Windows, Great Lakes Mastic by Ply Gem, and Ply Gem Canada brands.
The Company competes with Alsco, Gentek, U.S. Fence, Homeland, Westech, Bufftech, Royal, Azek., Eldorado Stone, Coronado Stone, Jeld-Wen, Simonton, Pella and Andersen, MI Home Products, Atrium, Weathershield, Milgard, Jeld-Wen, Gienow, All Weather and Loewen.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matt Jarzemsky]
Installed Building Products��debut follows mixed performance from shares of some newly public building-products companies. Through Tuesday, siding manufacturer Ply Gem Holdings Inc.(PGEM)�� shares were down 39% from the offer price in its $381 May debut. Wood-products maker Boise Cascade Co.(BCC) was up 46% from its $284 million February IPO.
- [By Traders Reserve]
There hasn�� been a January effect rally in shares of Ply Gem (PGEM). In fact, it has been quite the opposite. Shares are down a whopping 25% during the month. For a stock I rated as on of the Top 10 Sizzling Stocks, such a move is painful, but not disastrous. Sizzling Stocks are meant to be held for the duration of the year and we have 11 months to go. Small-cap stocks like Ply Gem can move sharply one direction or the other.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE: PGEM) shares reached a new 52-week low of $11.48 after the company reported wider-than-expected Q4 loss and issued a weak Q1 revenue forecast.
Top Construction Companies To Buy Right Now: Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd (CSTE)
Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd. (Caesarstone), incorporated on December 31, 1989, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the manufacturing of engineered quartz surfaces sold under its premium Caesarstone brand. Caesarstone�� products consist of engineered quartz slabs, which are sold in 42 countries. The Company�� products are primarily used as kitchen countertops in the renovation and remodeling end markets. Other applications include vanity tops, wall panels, back splashes, floor tiles, stairs and other interior surfaces that are used in a range of residential and non-residential applications. On May 18, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of 75% of the shares of U.S. Quartz Products, Inc.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, it acquired its former United States distributor, Caesarstone USA. As of December 2011, the Company has subsidiaries in Australia, Singapore, Canada and the United States, which is engaged in the marketing and selling of the Company�� products in different geographic areas. Through its design and manufacturing processes it offers a range of colors, styles, designs and textures. Its four diverse collections include Classico, Supremo, Motivo and Concetto. Kibbutz Sdot-Yam owns 70.1% of the Company�� outstanding shares.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
CaesarStone Sdot-Yam (Nasdaq: CSTE ) reported earnings on May 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), CaesarStone Sdot-Yam beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
- [By Lisa Levin]
CaesarStone Sdot-Yam (NASDAQ: CSTE) shares climbed 10.43% to $48.49. The volume of CaesarStone Sdot-Yam shares traded was 348% higher than normal. CaesarStone Sdot-Yam reported better-than-expected Q2 results.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Alamy There are plenty of stocks going up -- and down -- in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets. Let's go over some of last week's best and worst performers. Pike (PIKE) -- Up 49 percent last week The market's biggest winner of last week was Pike, a specialty construction and engineering firm that received a bid to be taken private. J. Eric Pike -- the firm's chairman and CEO -- is teaming up with private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners to buy out shareholders at $12 a share. It's a fair premium, pricing the buyout at a better than 50 percent premium to where the stock was trading when it was announced. A few attorneys are trying to smoke out investors who feel that the CEO-led privatization push isn't fair, but it's likely to stick at that kind of healthy markup. Pike shares may have traded in the low teens last summer, but that was before revenue and earnings began heading the wrong way. Most shareholders should be more than happy to take the money and run. RadNet (RDNT) -- Up 34 percent last week Operating a network of 251 facilities that perform outpatient diagnostic imaging services is looking good for RadNet. The stock moved sharply higher after a strong quarterly report. Revenue inched slighting higher as MRI and CT scan volume increased modestly during the period. However, the real star in the report was RadNet's bottom line. Its cost-cutting and debt-slashing efforts paid off with net income soaring to $0.12 a share after clocking in at a $0.07 a share a year earlier. Analysts were only holding out for $0.05 a share. RadNet also helped improve its standing by boosting its guidance for all of 2014. You don't need any of RadNet's fancy imaging equipment to see that that's a healthy sign. Trex (TREX) -- Up 25 percent last week It was a good week for a pair of home improvement specialists. Shares of CaesarStone (CSTE) moved 20
Top Construction Companies To Buy Right Now: Oci NV (OCI)Oci NV is a Netherlands-based company, which divides its activities into two groups. The first group is engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of industrial and commercial infrastructures and buildings, such as roads, ports, railroads, hospitals, stadiums and water treatment units. The second group is engaged in the production of fertilizers, such as anhydrous ammonia, granulated urea, calcium ammonium nitrate and urea ammonium nitrate, among others. The Company is a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries SAE, an international fertilizer producer and construction contractor based in Cairo, Egypt. In September 2013, it announced spin-off of its subsidiary OCI Partners LP. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ahmed A. Namatalla]
OCI attracted $2 billion in commitments from a group of investors including Cascade Investment LLC, Gates�� personal investments vehicle, to help finance the move to Amsterdam, which it said would lower borrowing costs and boost its global profile. Yesterday�� settlement prompted Cairo-based investment bank Pharos Holding to raise Orascom to buy from hold, saying the construction and fertilizer company would proceed with an offer to investors to buy its Cairo-listed shares or swap them with OCI NV (OCI) stock.
Top Construction Companies To Buy Right Now: Amcol International Corp (ACO)
AMCOL International Corporation (AMCOL), incorporated on December 3, 1959, is focused on the development and application of minerals and technology products and services to various industrial and consumer markets. It operates in five segments: performance materials, construction technologies, energy services, transportation and corporate. Its performance materials segment previously referred to as its minerals and materials segment is a supplier of bentonite related products. Its construction technologies segment previously referred to as its environmental segment provides products for non-residential construction, environmental and infrastructure projects worldwide. Its energy services segment previously referred to as its oilfield services segment offers a range of patented technologies, products and services for both upstream and downstream oil and gas production. Its transportation segment serves domestic subsidiaries, as well as third parties, is a dry van and flatbed carrier and freight brokerage service provider.
Performance Materials Segment
The Company supplies chromite and leonardite, and operates more than 25 mining or production facilities worldwide. It mines chromite, an iron chromium oxide, from open cast mines in South Africa and transport it to our nearby processing facility. Its primary uses include metalcasting, drilling fluid additive, and agricultural applications. Its performance materials segment conducts its business through wholly owned subsidiaries and investments in affiliates and joint ventures throughout the world. It consists of four product lines: metalcasting; specialty materials; basic minerals, and pet products. Its principal products are marketed under various registered trade names, including VOLCLAY, PANTHER CREEK, PREMIUM GEL, ADDITROL, ENERSOL, and Hevi-Sand.
The Company�� metalcasting products include blended mineral binders containing sodium and calcium bentonite and organic additives sold under the trade name ADDITROL. I! n the ferrous casting market, the Company specializes in blending bentonite of various grades by themselves or with mineral binders containing sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite, seacoal and other ingredients. It also has a line of formulated additives that introduce silicon and carbon in the melt phase of the casting process. In the steel alloy casting market, it sells a chromite product with a particle size distribution specific to a customer�� needs.
The Company�� specialty materials products contain bentonite and synthetic additives offering solutions for consumer and industrial applications. It also offers products for bio-agricultural applications. The markets and applications of its specialty materials products include fabric care, personal care, basic materials and pet products. It supply high-grade, agglomerated bentonite and other mineral additives used in fabric care products. It manufactures adsorbent polymers and purified grades of bentonite for sale to manufacturers of personal skin care products. The adsorbent polymers are used to deliver high-value actives in skin-care products. Microsponge and Poly-Pore are the principal trade names under which these products are sold. Its basic minerals product line supplies minerals to a variety of markets and industrial applications, including drilling fluid additives, ferro alloys and other industrial.
The Company�� pet products include sodium bentonite-based scoopable (clumping), traditional and alternative cat litters, as well as specialty pet products sold to grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs and pet specialty stores throughout the United States. It is primarily a private-label producer of cat litter, and its products are marketed under various trade names. These products are sold solely in the United States from three principal sites from which it package and distribute finished goods. Its transportation segment provides logistics services and is a component of its capability in supplyi! ng custom! ers on a national basis.
Construction Technologies Segment
The Company�� construction technologies segment serves customers engaged in a range of construction projects, including site remediation, concrete waterproofing for underground structures, liquid containment on projects ranging from landfills to flood control, and drilling applications including foundation, slurry wall, tunneling, water well and horizontal drilling. Its construction technologies segment conducts its business through wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. This segment consists of four product lines: building materials; contracting services; drilling products, and lining technologies.
The Company sells lining and other products for a variety of applications, most of which are directed to preserving or remediating environmental issues. It helps customers protect ground water and soil through the sale of geosynthetic clay liner products containing bentonite. It market these products under the BENTOMAT and CLAYMAX trade names principally for lining and capping landfills, mine waste disposal sites, water and wastewater lagoons, secondary containments in tank farms, and other contaminated sites. It also provides associated geosynthetic materials for these applications, including geotextiles and drainage geocomposites.
The Company�� lining technologies product line also includes specialized technologies to mitigate vapor intrusion in new building construction. It also provides reactive capping technologies and solutions to contain residual contamination, reduce costs associated with ex-situ remedies, and aid in environmental protection. Products offered include Liquid Boot, a liquid applied vapor barrier system; REACTIVE CORE-MAT, an in-situ sediment capping material; ORGANOCLAY, which absorbs organic containments, and QUIK-SOLID, a super absorbent media.
The Company offer a variety of active and passive waterproofing and greenroof technolog! ies for u! se in protecting the building envelope of non-residential constructions, including buildings, subways, and parkway systems. Its products include VOLTEX, a waterproofing composite comprised of two polypropylene geotextiles filled with sodium bentonite; ULTRASEAL, an advanced membrane using a active polymer core, and COREFLEX, featuring heat-welded seams for protection of critical infrastructure. In addition to these membrane materials, it also provides roofing products and a variety of sealants and other accessories required to create a functional waterproofing system.
The Company drilling products are used in environmental and geotechnical drilling applications, horizontal directional drilling, mineral exploration and foundation construction. The products are used to install monitoring wells, facilitate horizontal and water well drilling, and seal abandoned exploration drill holes. VOLCLAY GROUT, HYDRAUL-EZ, BENTOGROUT and VOLCLAY TABLETS are among the trade names for products used in these applications. It also offer a range of drilling products used in the excavation of foundations for large buildings, bridges and dams; these products include SHORE PAC and PREMIUM GEL. Contracting services, which involve installation of products, are occasionally offered to customers for select projects.
Energy Services Segment
The Company�� energy services segment provides services to improve the production, costs, compliance, and environmental impact of activities performed in the oil and gas industry. Operating as CETCO Energy Services, it offer a range of patented technologies, products and services for all phases of oil and gas production, transportation, refining, and storage throughout the world. It provide both land-based and offshore water treatment, well testing, pipeline separation, nitrogen, coil tubing and other services to the oil and gas industry. The Company provides its services through subsidiaries located in Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Nigeria, the United Ki! ngdom, an! d the United States, principally in the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding on-shore area. Its principal services include water treatment, coil tubing, well testing, nitrogen services and pipeline. The Company helps customers comply with regulatory requirements by providing equipment, technologies, personnel and filtration media to treat waste water generated during oil production.
The Company's coil tubing services utilize metal piping, which comes spooled on a large reel. It provide both equipment and operating personnel to perform services ranging from acid stimulation, reverse circulation, cementing, pressure control, nitrogen injection, and other operations that involve pumping fluids into a well. Horizontal wells and shale completions are a large component of its operations. It provide equipment and personnel to help customers control well production, as well as to clean up, unload, separate, measure component flow, and dispose of fluids from oil and gas wells. Nitrogen services are provided in jetting wells that are loaded with fluid; stimulating wells, including fracturizing and acidizing; displacing completion fluids prior to perforating; inflating flotation devices for offshore installations, and pressure testing and other maintenance activities.
The Company operates a long-haul trucking business through Ameri-Co Carriers, Inc., and a freight brokerage business through Ameri-Co Logistics, Inc. primarily for delivery of finished products throughout the continental United States. These services are provided to its subsidiaries, as well as third-party customers.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Friday, Basic Materials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by 0.78 percent. Top gainer in the sector was AMCOL International (NYSE: ACO), up 9 percent.
Top Construction Companies To Buy Right Now: KBR Inc. (KBR)
KBR, Inc. operates as an engineering, construction, and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, and industrial sectors worldwide. Its Downstream business unit provides front end engineering design; detailed engineering; engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC); EPC management; and program management services to petrochemical, refining, coal gasification, and syngas markets. The company?s Government and Infrastructure business unit provides program and project management, contingency logistics, operations and maintenance, construction management, engineering, and other services to military and civilian branches of governments and private clients. Its Services business unit delivers engineering, construction, construction management, fabrication, maintenance, and turnaround services. It also offers maintenance, construction, and drilling support services for offshore oil and gas producing facili ties using semisubmersible vessels. This segment serves oil, gas, petrochemicals, and hydrocarbon processing industries, as well as power, alternate energy, pulp and paper, industrial and manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries. The company?s Technology business unit offers various process technologies, including value-added technologies in the coal monetization, petrochemical, refining, and syngas markets. Its Upstream business unit constructs liquefied natural gas, gas-to-liquids, onshore oil and gas production facilities, offshore oil and gas production facilities, and onshore and offshore pipelines. The company?s Ventures business unit invests in and manages projects, where the company provides engineering, construction, construction management or operations, and maintenance services. KBR, Inc. was founded in 1901 and is based in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); popups.forEach]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Thursday’s session are KBR Inc.(KBR), Pier 1 Imports Inc.(PIR) and Rite (RAD) Aid Corp.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Mid-cap construction and engineering firm KBR Inc. (KBR) is another name with a mountain of cash sitting on the books. The firm currently sports $895 million in net cash on its balance sheet, enough to cover 29% of its current price per share. That effectively reduces the risks of this contractor's share price by a third.
KBR is an engineering and construction services contractor that primarily serves the U.S. government and the energy sector. Until 2006, KBR was a unit of Halliburton (HAL), a connection that gives it deep-rooted connections with the oil and gas business, where the firm has transitioned much of its sales efforts. Prior to that, KBR's bread and butter was the sole contractor of food service, utilities, laundry, and other services for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but that changed after a series of missteps from KBR that prompted the government to add other contractors to the current iteration of the LOGCAP contract.
Bigger exposure to the private sector is a good thing - restructuring efforts and a new management team should help steer the ship around. It's that huge cash position that helps to make KBR worth a closer look in 2014. While it's more speculative than the other names on our cash-rich list, it's also the one with the most upside potential on near-term catalysts.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
KBR (NYSE: KBR) was down, falling 14.68 percent to $27.25 after the company reported fourth-quarter results and announced a new $350 million share buyback program. BB&T Capital downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.
Top Construction Companies To Buy Right Now: Tile Shop Holdings Inc (TTS)
Tile Shop Holdings, Inc., incorporated on June 21, 2012, is a specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials, and related accessories in the United States. The Company sells over 4,500 products from around the world, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, and stainless steel manufactured tiles and, marble, granite, quartz, sandstone, travertine, slate, and onyx natural tiles. It purchases its tile products and accessories directly from producers. The Company manufactures its own setting and maintenance materials, such as thinset, grout, and sealers under its brand name. The Company operates 70 stores in 22 states, with an average size of 23,000 square feet. It also sells its products on its Website. In January 2014 Tile Shop Holdings Inc launched its first retail store in Oklahoma City.
The Company offers a complete assortment of tile products, generally sourced directly from producers, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, and stainless steel manufactured tiles, and marble, granite, quartz, sandstone, travertine, slate, and onyx natural tiles. The Company also offers a range of setting and maintenance materials, such as thinset, grout and sealers, and accessories, including installation tools, shower and bath caddies, drains, and similar products.
The Company competes with Home Depot, Tile America, World of Tile, Century Tile, and Floor and Decor, Dal-Tile and Florida Tile.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, natural stone tile retailer Tile Shop Holdings (NASDAQ: TTS ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Tile Shop Holdings (NASDAQ: TTS) were down 2.16 percent to $12.67. Citigroup downgraded Tile Shop from Buy to Neutral.
- [By Steve Symington]
Almost two months ago, I singled out�Tile Shop Holdings� (NASDAQ: TTS ) as one of�three great small-cap stocks�with which many investors might not be familiar. After all, the high-end stone and tile specialist still had a market capitalization under $800 million at the time, and only just went public late last year.
- [By Jason Hall]
On the other hand, stocks in peer�specialty retailers�Lumber Liquidators� (NYSE: LL ) and Tile Shop Holdings� (NASDAQ: TTS ) have been getting killed on falling comparable-store sales and profits: