This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense, and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines include upgrades for both Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS ) . But the news isn't all good, so let's start off with a few words on why...
J.C. Penney may not be worth much more than that
Just days after J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) stock surged on reports that the company had secured a $1.75 billion loan from Goldman Sachs�and attracted an investment from a hedge fund run by George Soros, the stock's momentum looks likely to stall. This morning, analysts at Imperial Capital blasted Penney as "dead money," and warned investors the stock will underperform the market for at least the next two years.
It's hardly hard to guess. Unprofitable today, and expected to lose $2.40 by year-end (and a further $0.99 in fiscal 2014), J.C. Penney is a stock in dire straits. Soros may favor it for its low price-to-book ratio, and price-to-sales valuation that's just a fraction of its competitors'. But until those sales start translating into profits, Imperial just sees no reason to own it.
Top 10 Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Basf SE (BASFY)
BASF SE is a chemical company. The Company operates in six segments: Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. Chemicals segment offers products in the chemical, electronic, construction, textile, automotive, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Plastics segment offers a range of products, system solutions and services. Performance Products help its customers to improve their products and processes. Functional Solutions segment bundles system solutions and products for customers and industries. The Company�� Agricultural Solutions segment includes crop protection products, which guard against fungal diseases, insects and weeds. Its Oil & gas segment is a producer of oil and gas. On April 9, 2009, the Company acquired Ciba Holding AG. In April 2010, Intertek Group plc acquired the Regulatory and Safety Testing businesses of Ciba Expert Services (Ciba ES) from the Company. In December 2010, the Company completed its acquisition of Cognis Holding GmbH from Cognis Holding Luxembourg S.a r.l.
The Company�� Chemicals segment portfolio ranges from basic chemicals, glues and electronic chemicals for the semiconductor and flat panel display industry, to solvents and plasticizers, as well as starting materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. This segment is organized into three divisions: Inorganics, Petrochemicals and Intermediates. The important basic products of the Inorganics division are ammonia, methanol, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, as well as sulfuric and nitric acid. The Petrochemicals division produces products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene, which are produced in steam crackers from naphtha or natural gas. In further processing stages, it produces alcohols, solvents and plasticizers for the chemicals and plastics industries. BASF SE�� Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a range of intermediates of all produc! ers worldwide. The product lines include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. They serve as starting materials for products, such as coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, crop protection products, as well as detergents and cleaners.
BASF�� Plastics segment is organized into two divisions: Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes. The Performance Polymers division is a supplier of engineering plastics, polyamides and polyamide intermediates, foams and specialty plastics. The Company offers its customers a portfolio of engineering plastics based on polyamide 6 and polyamide 6,6. This is complemented by products Ultradur, Ultraform and Ultrason. For the packaging, textile and food industries, it offers Ultramid, a base product for the manufacturing of fibers and foils. BASF SE�� product range also includes Ecoflex and Ecovio, biodegradable specialty plastics for the packaging industry. Styropor and its refinement Neopor are styrene-based precursors for foams used in insulating material for construction and packaging. The Polyurethanes division is a supplier of basic products, systems and specialties. The Company offers polyurethane products for numerous customer applications. Under brand names, such as Elastoflex and Elastopor, polyurethanes are used, as rigid or flexible foams in construction for furniture and household appliances.
The Performance Products segment consists of the Acrylics & Dispersions, Care Chemicals and Performance Chemicals divisions. Acrylics & Dispersions produces acrylic acid, as well as its derivatives superabsorbents and polymer dispersions. Superabsorbents are used particularly in diapers. Polymer dispersions are used in the production of glues, coatings, nonwoven materials and construction chemicals. The Company�� product portfolio for the paper industry consists of binders, process chemicals and kaolin pigments. Its Care Chemicals portfolio consists of products f! or cleani! ng, care, cosmetics and hygiene. Performance Chemicals pools specialties for various customer industries. The product portfolio consists of antioxidants, pigments, light stabilizers and specialty additives. The division also makes chemicals for the production and finishing of leather and textiles.
The Functional Solutions segment consists of the Catalysts, Construction Chemicals and Coatings divisions. The Catalysts division develops catalysts and adsorbents. It produces catalysts that transform pollutants in the exhaust flows of vehicles into harmless chemical and plastics. The Construction Chemicals division is engaged in development of concrete admixtures, such as concrete plasticizers, deferrers and curing agents. It also produces and markets construction systems. The Coatings division is a provider of coatings solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Its brands Glasurit and R-M are for the car refinish business.
The Agricultural Solutions segment consists of the Crop Protection division. The Company develops and produces active ingredients and formulations for the improvement of crop health and yields, and markets them worldwide. Its portfolio includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and seed treatments. Its product Headline contains the active ingredient F500, which is not only used for corn and soybean, but also for numerous other crops.
Oil & Gas
BASF�� oil and gas activities are bundled in the Wintershall Group. Wintershall and its subsidiaries operate in the business sectors exploration and production, and natural gas trading. In the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the Company focuses on oil and gas regions in Europe, North Africa and South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. The Mittelplate oil field in the North Sea tidal flats is the cornerstone of the Company�� oil production in Germany. Wintershall and RWE-D! EA each h! old a 50% interest in this field. During the year ended December 31, 2009, it acquired 25% interest in Cuxhaven concession. It operates 26 offshore platforms in Mittelplate region, of which 19 are actually controlled. In Libya, Wintershall operates eight onshore oil fields in the concessions 96 and 97 and exploits the associated gas released during crude oil production in a gas utilization plant for the local demand. In Mauritania, it operates two onshore exploration blocks. In 2008, Wintershall acquired stakes of 50% each in two exploration areas in the Canadon Asfalto Basin. It supplies Germany and several other European countries. The gas pipeline network operated by WINGAS TRANSPORT connects the markets in Western Europe with a natural gas infrastructure that runs through Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation all the way to the gas fields in Siberia. Other components portfolio include natural gas storage facility in Western Europe, in Rehdn, Germany, and the natural gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Carroll]
Firms across Germany's DAX have caught on. BASF (NASDAQOTH: BASFY ) shares haven't had a great year so far, but the world's largest chemicals firm is looking around the world for growth. The company seeks to double its customer base in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 in its chemicals and materials business, projecting sales in Asia to double from last year's 12.5 million euros to 25 million euros by that year. That kind of global growth will benefit investors, and the less BASF and other German stocks rely on Europe for sales, the better shareholders will do.
Top Low Price Companies To Watch For 2014: Reliv' International Inc.(RELV)
Reliv? International, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets nutritional supplements. Its basic nutrition supplements include Reliv Classic and Reliv NOW, a blend of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and herbs; NOW for Kids, which provides a balanced nutritional supplement for a child?s diet; and Reliv Delight, a powdered nutritional supplement marketed as a milk replacement. The company?s specific wellness supplements comprise ReversAge, a nutritional supplement to slow down the effects of the aging process; SoySentials for use by women; CardioSentials that promotes heart health; Arthaffect, which supports healthy joint function; FibRestore that contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and herbs; GlucAffect, which assists in healthy blood sugar management and support weight loss; and 24K, a ready-to-drink nutritional supplement that enhances the body?s natural vitality. Its weight management supplements consist of Slimplicity meal replacement and accelerator capsules; Reliv Ultrim-Plus, a meal replacement product; and Cellebrate, a weight loss aid. The company?s sports nutrition supplements include Innergize!, a sports supplement containing vitamins and minerals for performance enhancement; and ProVantage to enhance muscle recovery, muscle mass, and function, as well as to reduce fatigue and burn excess body fat for extra energy. It also offers Relivables product line, which comprises skin care products, marketed as the ?r? skin care collection, as well as food products, such as Relivables All-Natural Sweetener, Relivables Fortified Soy Milk, Relivables Soy Nuts, and Relivables Healthy Snack Bars. Reliv? International markets and sells its products through a network of independent distributors in the United States, Australia, Austria, Brunei, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Chesterf ield, Missouri.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Last Friday, small cap dieting stock Weight Watchers International, Inc (NYSE: WTW) lost weight for investors when shares tumbled�27.73% to $22.10, meaning its probabaly a good idea to take a closer look�at the stock along with�other small cap weight loss or dieting stocks like NutriSystem Inc (NASDAQ: NTRI), Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED) and Reliv International, Inc (NASDAQ: RELV). Why did Weight Watchers International loose weight last Friday? The company reported its fourth straight quarterly sales decline as fewer people attended meetings and bought its products and also projected earnings that trailed analysts' estimates with the blame being placed on new mobile applications and bracelets that track calories���thus�hurting traditional diet companies.
Top Low Price Companies To Watch For 2014: Aspen Technology Inc.(AZPN)
Aspen Technology, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides integrated process optimization software solutions for manufacturers in process industries, and engineering and construction firms. It designs and develops aspenONE suite software applications for use in the engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain business areas. The company?s aspenONE engineering software includes Aspen Plus and Aspen HYSYS, which are process modeling software products for conceptual design, optimization, and performance monitoring; Aspen Basic Engineering, a workflow tool that allows engineers to build, re-use, and share process models and data; Aspen Economic Evaluation, an economic evaluation software for estimating costs of conceptual process designs; and Aspen Exchanger Design and Rating, a software used to design, simulate, and optimize the performance of heat exchangers. Its aspenONE manufacturing software comprises Aspen InfoPlus.21, a data historian software that collects and stores data for analysis and reporting; and Aspen DMCplus, a multi-variable controller software capable of processing multiple constraints. The company?s aspenONE supply chain software products comprise Aspen Collaborative Demand Manager, Aspen Petroleum Scheduler, Aspen PIMS, Aspen Plant Scheduler, Aspen supply chain planner, Aspen Inventory Management & Operations Scheduling, Aspen Petroleum Supply Chain Planner, and Aspen Fleet Optimizer that are designed to enable process manufacturers to reduce inventory levels, increase asset efficiency, and optimize supply chain decisions. It also offers customer support, professional, and training services. The company serves manufacturers in process industries, such as energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, power, metals and mining, pulp and paper, and bio-fuels, as well as engineering and construction firms. Aspen Technology, Inc. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Eric Volkman]
AspenTech (NASDAQ: AZPN ) will be led by a new individual starting this autumn. The company announced that it has tapped Antonio Pietri to be its president and CEO, effective Oct. 1. He will replace Mark Fusco, who according to the firm is retiring to spend more time with his family.
- [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 Aspen Technology (Nasdaq: AZPN ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top Low Price Companies To Watch For 2014: Spectra Energy Partners LP(SEP)
Spectra Energy Partners, LP operates as an investment arm of Spectra Energy Corp. Spectra Energy Partners, LP, through its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation of natural gas through interstate pipeline systems, and the storage of natural gas in underground facilities in the United States. As of December 31, 2007, it owned and operated 100% of the approximately 1,400-mile East Tennessee interstate natural gas transportation system that extends from central Tennessee eastward into southwest Virginia and northern North Carolina, and southward into northern Georgia; and a liquefied natural gas storage facility in Kingsport, Tennessee with working gas storage capacity of approximately 1.1 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and re-gasification capability of 150 million cubic feet per day. The company also owned a 24.5% interest in the approximate 700-mile Gulfstream interstate natural gas transportation system, which extends from Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama across the Gulf of Mexico and into Florida; a 50% interest in Market Hub, which owns and operates 2 salt cavern natural gas storage facilities, the Egan storage facility with gas capacity of approximately 20 Bcf, and the Moss Bluff storage facility with working gas capacity of 15 Bcf. The company transports and stores natural gas for local gas distribution companies, municipal utilities, interstate and intrastate pipelines, direct industrial users, electric power generators, marketers, and producers. Spectra Energy Partners (DE) GP, LP, operates as the general partner to Spectra Energy Partners, LP. The company is based in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Gas pipeline company Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) is showing traders the exact same setup right now -- albeit slightly more textbook than Barrick's. Spectra is another ascending triangle with resistance at $46. A breakout above the $46 level is the signal that it's time to be a buyer in this nat gas transporter.
Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Triangles and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in a stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That $46 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above it so significant -- the move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Don't be early on this trade.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE: SE) was reiterated as Buy with a $38 price target (versus a $34.92 closing price) at Argus. The move follows the Spectra’s announcement that it will drop its storage and transmission assets down to its master limited partnership, Spectra Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: SEP). Argus now believes that Spectra will be able to grow its dividend faster than the firm had originally projected and will be rewarded with a higher valuation multiple.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE ) climbed 10% today after announcing that it will drop down all U.S. transmission and storage assets to its publicly traded MLP, Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP ) .
- [By David Dittman]
Question: What�� your medium- and long-term outlook for El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: EPB), Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) and Spectra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: SEP)? If you had to choose one for the long term, which one would it be?
Top Low Price Companies To Watch For 2014: BPZ Resources Inc (BPZ)
BPZ Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, focuses on the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas in Peru and Ecuador. It owns rights and license agreements for oil and gas exploration and production covering approximately 2.2 million acres in 4 blocks in northwest Peru and off the northwest coast of Peru in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The company also owns a 10% non-operating net profits interest in an oil and gas producing property located in the southwest region of Ecuador. As of December 31, 2011, it had estimated net proved oil reserves of 34.7 million barrels (MMBbls) of crude oil or other liquid hydrocarbons, including 27.8 MMBbls were in the Corvina field and 6.9 MMBbls were from the Albacora field located in northwest Peru. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lee Jackson]
BPZ�Resources Inc. (NYSE: BPZ) may be a small cap investor’s dream stock to buy. Its first well drilled�in the Corvina�field since 2010 was spudded in late July and likely will take about 12 weeks. It will take another week or so to achieve a stabilized flow rate before results are reported to the market, which means it will not expect to hear anything until November. The Raymond James price target for the stock is $4.50, the same as the consensus target.
Top Low Price Companies To Watch For 2014: Gevo Inc (GEVO)
Gevo, Inc., incorporated in June 2005, is a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of alternatives to petroleum-based products. The Company operates in two segments: Gevo, Inc. Segment and Gevo Development/Agri-Energy Segment. Gevo, Inc. Segment is responsible for all research and development activities related to the future production of isobutanol, maintaining and protecting its intellectual property portfolio, developing future markets for its isobutanol and providing corporate oversight services. Its Gevo Development/Agri-Energy Segment is responsible for the production of ethanol and related products. In September 2010, the Company acquired a 22 MGPY ethanol production facility in Luverne, Minnesota that the Company intends to retrofit to produce isobutanol.
The Company�� isobutanol can also be converted by its customers into a range of hydrocarbons, which form the basis for the production of many products, including plastics, fibers, rubber and other polymers and hydrocarbon fuels, including jet and diesel fuel. Its technology platform consists of biocatalysts and a isobutanol separation unit. Together these technologies form the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT). GIFT is designed to allow relatively low capital expenditure retrofits of existing ethanol facilities, enabling isobutanol production from a range of renewable feedstocks. The Company�� biocatalysts are microorganisms that have been designed to metabolize sugars to produce isobutanol.
GIFT consists of two components, biocatalysts which convert sugars derived from multiple renewable feedstocks into isobutanol through fermentation, and a separation unit which is designed to continuously separate isobutanol from water during the fermentation process. The Company developed its technology platform to be compatible with the existing approximately 20 BGPY of global operating ethanol production capacity, as estimated by the R! enewable Fuels Association (RFA).
The Company competes with Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax), BP p.l.c. (BP), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Butalco GmbH, Cathay Industrial Biotech Ltd., METabolic EXplorer S.A., TetraVitae Bioscience, Inc., Cobalt Technologies, Inc., Green Biologics Ltd. Shell Oil Products US (Shell Oil), BP, DuPont-Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, Abengoa Bioenergy, S.A., POET, LLC, ICM, Mascoma, Range Fuels, Inbicon A/S, INEOS New Planet BioEnergy LLC, Coskata, Archer Daniels Midland Company, BlueFire Ethanol, Inc., KL Energy Corporation, ZeaChem Inc., Iogen Corporation, Qteros, Inc., and AE Biofuels, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
Dozens of companies with the capacity to produce next-generation renewable fuel -- fuels may or may not be the primary focus of each -- have answered the call. The latest comes from industrial biotech company Gevo (NASDAQ: GEVO ) , which has begun supplying the U.S. Coast Guard with initial quantities of renewable isobutanol-blended gasoline for maritime vessels. This comes after an earlier collaboration with the U.S. Air Force in 2011, an extension of which calls for an additional 45,000 gallons of isobutanol-derived jet fuel to be supplied by the end of October. What do these partnerships with Uncle Sam mean for the future of the company?
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap biofuel or synthetic fuel stocks Gevo, Inc (NASDAQ: GEVO), KiOR Inc (NASDAQ: KIOR), Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ: SZYM) and Syntroleum Corp (NASDAQ: SYNM) all seem to have been seeing some trading action in recent days���meaning its worth taking a closer look at all four�before taking a look at their rather dismal�long term performance while noting that none are yet profitable: