As bad as things got in the U.S., they were much worse in Europe and Societe Generale (Nasdaq:SCGLY) teetered on the brink of going the way of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual. Since going almost to the very edge of the cliff, though, SocGen management has been working hard to clean up the business, shore up its capital, and reposition the company for profitable growth. Although there is still a lot left to be done, and ample doubts as to whether they can do it, a strong second quarter and ongoing improvements are a good sign.
SEE: How To Evaluate The Quality Of EPS
A Significant Beat For The Second Quarter
In a swamp of charges, one-offs, and very items, it's not especially easy to evaluate SocGen's performance. Cutting through to the basics, though, SocGen reported revenue that was 6% better than the average of analyst estimates, operating income that was 28% better, and underlying net profits that were nearly 50% better than expected.
10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR)
Winthrop Realty Trust (WRT) is a diversified real estate investment trust (REIT). WRT conducts its business through its wholly owned operating partnership, WRT Realty L.P., (the Operating Partnership).The Company is engaged in the business of owning real property and real estate related assets. The Company operates in three segments: operating properties; loan assets; and REIT securities. In June 2013, Winthrop Realty Trust sold its medical office building property located in Deer Valley, Arizona. In November 2013, Winthrop Realty Trust closed on its acquisition of four newly constructed class A luxury apartment buildings.
On May 23, 2012, the Company acquired a first mortgage loan secured by a 326,000 square foot commercial building located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida consisted of approximately 47,000 square feet of retail and 279,000 square feet of office space that was 74.4% leased. In February 2012, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation along with WRT formed a joint venture that acquired a senior mezzanine loan position of a 1.7 million-square-foot class A portfolio in Stamford, Conn. In April 2012, it acquired a 320 unit, class A, multifamily property, situated on 27.9 acres in the Germantown/Collierville submarket of Memphis, Tennessee. On February 3, 2012, the Company acquired through its venture with Elad Canada Inc. the first mortgage loan secured by Sullivan Center, Chicago. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it acquired one investment property located in New York. On November 4, 2011, Socal Office Portfolio Loan LLC acquired first mortgage encumbering a 4,500,000 square foot, 31 property portfolios of office properties situated throughout southern California. On June 3, 2011 LW SOFI LLC acquired from Concord 100% of the economic rights and obligations in mezzanine loan collateralized by an interest in the Sofitel hotel in New York City. On June 1, 2011 it acquired, from Concord Debt Holdings LLC (Concord), senior mezzanine loan totaling 2,106 units located in Orlando, Sarasota, Bra! denton and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. On March 22, 2011 the Company purchased through a 50/50 joint venture, two non-performing first mortgage loan. On February 23, 2011, it acquired first mortgage secured by a lien on a 26-story, 66 room limited service boutique hotel located in New York, New York through a 50/50 joint venture. On June 1, 2011 the Company sold to its partner, Marc Realty, its interest in three properties in its Marc Realty Portfolio, which included eight South Michigan, 11 East Adams and 29 East Madison.
Loan assets segments includes the Company�� activities related to the origination and acquisition of senior loans, mezzanine loans and debt securities secured directly or indirectly by commercial and multi-family real property. The Company�� investment in Concord Debt Holdings LLC and CDH CDO LLC, which it refers to as the Company�� Concord investment platform, is held as an interest investment.
The Company invested in a portfolio transaction, which it refers to as the Vintage portfolio. Vintage portfolio which has 25 multifamily and senior housing properties consist of 4,167 units located primarily in the Pacific Northwest and California. The average occupancy of its consolidated properties was approximately 75.1%, during 2011. As of December 31, 2011 WRT�� consolidated properties were approximately 74.2% leased. Occupancy at its Lisle, Illinois property known as 550-560 Corporetum was 61% occupied, as of December 31, 2011. At WRT�� other Lisle, Illinois property, referred to as 701 Arboretum, its major tenant, which occupied approximately 53% of the building vacated their space at the expiration of their lease term, on May 31, 2011. In addition, another tenant who occupied approximately 15% of the building vacated at the expiration of their lease, in August 2011. As a result, this property is 17% occupied, as of December 31, 2011. The Company�� 82,000 square foot Deer Valley Profes! sional Bu! ilding, located in Phoenix, Arizona was 95.6% leased, as of December 31, 2011. WRT�� Crossroads I and II buildings, which consisted of approximately 236,000 square feet, were 72.4% leased, as of December 31, 2011.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company had two tenants, Spectra Energy and Siemens Real Estate, which represented approximately 21.8% and 9.8%, respectively, of its annualized base rental revenues from consolidated commercial operating properties. As of December 31, 2011 it held interests in three real estate ventures with Sealy & Co. which had an aggregate of approximately 2,097,000 rentable square feet consisted of 18 office flex buildings and 13 light distribution and service center properties. Two of the investment properties are located in Atlanta, Georgia, (Northwest Business Park and Newmarket), which had occupancies of 77% and 52% respectively, as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, WRT held interests in nine properties with Marc Realty, which consisted of an aggregate of approximately 1,407,000 rentable square feet of office and retail space, which was 78.5% occupied. Of the properties, in which the Company held an interest, as of December 31, 2011, two downtown Chicago properties consisted of approximately 389,000 rentable square feet of the aggregate Marc Realty portfolio. These two properties had a combined occupancy of 79.1% at December 31, 2011.
The REIT securities segment includes all of the Company�� activities related the ownership of interest and debt securities in other real estate investment trusts (REITs). During 2011, it began investing again in REIT common shares, particularly in Cedar Realty Trust Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Corinne Gretler]
Fugro NV (FUR) slumped 5.8 percent to 43.90 euros, the worst performance on the Stoxx 600. The world�� biggest deepwater-oilfield surveyor said first-half earnings before interest and taxes amounted to 133 million euros, compared with 154 million euros a year earlier. Fugro said that
Best Income Companies For 2014: Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. (KW)
Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate investment and services company in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Japan. The company operates in two segments, KW Investments and KW Services. The KW Investments segment invests in real estate related assets, including multifamily, residential, and office properties, as well as loans secured by real estate. It invests in real estate assets and loans secured by real estate through joint ventures, separate accounts, commingled funds, and wholly owned investments. The KW Services segment provides a line of real estate services for the life cycle of real estate ownership and investment to clients, such as financial institutions, developers, builders, and government agencies. This segment offers auction and conventional sales, property management, investment management, asset management, leasing, construction management, acquisitions, dispositions, and trust services; property management services to real estate owners; and brokerage and marketing services. The company, principally through joint venture investments, also engages in acquiring, renovating, and reselling commercial and residential real estate, as well as investing in loan pools and discounted loan portfolios. As of December 31, 2012, its real estate and real estate related assets under management consisted of approximately 61 million square feet of properties, including ownership in 14,764 multifamily apartment units. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Midcaps CBRE Group Inc (NYSE: CBG) and Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE: JLL) are probably the better known real estate services stocks with the latter surging 12.36% yesterday on impressive earnings, but small cap stocks Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc (NYSE: KW) and FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV) are also important real estate services providers that you may have overlooked. After all, real estate services stocks like the following would offer exposure to real estate by being invested in property as well as generating revenue from transactions, property management and other services: ��
Best Income Companies For 2014: Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc.(SPR)
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs and manufactures commercial aerostructures worldwide. It operates in three segments: Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems, and Wing Systems. The Fuselage Systems segment develops, produces, and markets forward, mid, and rear fuselage sections and systems primarily to aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as well as offers related spares, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. This segment also offers rotorcraft comprising forward cockpit and cabin for military aircrafts. The Propulsion Systems segment engages in the development, production, and marketing of struts/pylons; nacelles, including thrust reversers; and related engine structural components primarily to aircraft or engine OEMs, as well as provides related spares and MRO services. The Wing Systems segment develops, produces, and markets wings and wing components comprising flight control surfaces and other miscellaneous structural parts primarily to aircraft OEMs, as well as offers related spares and MRO services. This segment is also involved in designing, engineering, and manufacturing structural components for military aircrafts, including low observables that are radar absorbent and translucent materials; and radome new builds and refurbishment. It also provides other military services, such as fabrication, bonding, assembly, testing, tooling, processing, engineering analysis, and training. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. serves large commercial airplanes, business and regional jets, and military/helicopter sectors of the aerostructures industry. The company was formerly known as Mid-Western Aircraft Systems Holdings, Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Textron have gained 1.2% to $36.63 at 1:09 p.m., while Embraer (ERJ) has risen 0.5% to $32.30, Triumph Group (TGI) has advanced 0.2% to $75.73 and Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) is off 0.8% at $33.90.
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Axel Springer AG (SPR) declined 1.5 percent to 43.43 euros. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its rating on Europe�� biggest newspaper publisher to sell from neutral, saying its valuation is the highest of the publishers it covers. Shares trade at 18.6 times earnings compared with 16.3 times for the DAX.
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) was up as well, gaining 6.74 percent to $32.48 as the company beat strongly on its top and bottom lines before the market opening Friday.
Best Income Companies For 2014: Barry Callebaut AG (BARN)Barry Callebaut AG is a Switzerland-based producer of cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products. The Company�� manufacturing process involves all stages of the cocoa and chocolate value chain from the sourcing of raw materials to the delivery of the finished products. The Company operates three geographical segments, including Europe, Americas and Asia-Pacific, as well as its business segment Global Sourcing & Cocoa. The Global Sourcing & Cocoa business segment is responsible for the procurement of ingredients for chocolate production, including mainly cocoa, as well as sugar, dairy and nuts as common ingredients, as well as the Company's cocoa processing business. The Company serves the food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to professional or artisanal users of chocolate. The Company operates more than 50 chocolate and cocoa factories, and is present in over 30 countries. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Elan Corp. jumped 8.4 percent in Dublin after authorizing the process of its sale. Hochtief AG gained the most in four months after the German builder said it will buy as much as 260 million euros ($346 million) of its own shares. Michelin & Cie, Europe�� largest tiremaker, added 4.7 percent after data on its website showed tire demand surged in Brazil last month. Barry Callebaut AG (BARN) lost 3.4 percent after the maker of bulk chocolate sold about $302 million of new shares.
Best Income Companies For 2014: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.(POT)
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. It also offers solid and liquid phosphate fertilizers; animal feed supplements; and industrial acids that are used in food products and industrial processes. In addition, the company produces nitrogen fertilizers, as well as nitrogen feed and industrial products, including ammonia, urea, nitrogen solutions, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid. Further, it holds the right to mine 785,759 acres of land in Saskatchewan; and 58,263 acres of land in New Brunswick in Canada. The company sells its fertilizers primarily to retailers, dealers, co-operatives, distributors, and other fertilizer producers; industrial products primarily to chemical product manufacturers; and purified phosphoric acid directly to consumers of the product. Potash Corporation was founded i n 1953 and is based in Saskatoon, Canada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sara Murphy]
PotashCorp� (NYSE: POT ) and Russia's Uralkali are the two primary potash suppliers to Brazilian farmers. PotashCorp makes only a passing reference to Brazil in its 2012 10-K:�"Potash from our Saskatchewan operations for sale outside Canada and the United States is sold exclusively to Canpotex, which is an export marketing and sales company. A significant portion of Canpotex sales are to China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and�Japan."�
- [By Victor Selva]
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT) is the world's largest integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed products company by capacity. The company aims to be the lead supplier of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
On Thursday, PotashCorp (NYSE: POT ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Yet even with those sizable gains, SQM has faced large macroeconomic challenges. The financial crisis in Europe has hurt its business, with the company citing the weakness in European markets as having an impact on SQM's prospecst. Moreover, as a producer of potash-based fertilizers, the company has suffered from weak fertilizer prices. That's consistent with what we've seen from North American giants PotashCorp (NYSE: POT ) and Mosaic (NYSE: MOS ) , both of which have struggled from competition from cheaper nitrogen-based fertilizer producers have that capitalized on extremely cheap natural-gas input prices to offer their products at a much more competitive price.
Best Income Companies For 2014: Urban Outfitters Inc.(URBN)
Urban Outfitters Inc. operates lifestyle specialty retail stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, and BHLDN brand names in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Its Urban Outfitters stores sell women?s and men?s fashion apparel, footwear, accessories, and gifts, as well as apartment wares, such as rugs, pillows, shower curtains, books, candles, and novelties to young adults aged 18 to 28; and Anthropologie stores provide women?s casual apparel and accessories, shoes, gifts, and decorative items, as well as home furnishings, including furniture, rugs, lighting, antiques, table top items, and bedding to women aged 28 to 45. The company?s Free People stores primarily offer Free People branded merchandise mix of casual women?s apparel, intimates, shoes, accessories, and gifts to young contemporary women aged 25 to 30; Terrain store provides lifestyle home and garden products, antiques, live plants, flowers, wellness products, and accessori es, as well as landscape and design service solutions; and BHLDN store offers a range of weeding collections consisting of wedding gowns, bridesmaid frocks, party dresses, assorted jewelry, headpieces, footwear, lingerie, and decorations. As of January 31, 2012, it operated 197 Urban Outfitters stores, 168 Anthropologie stores, 62 Free People stores, 1 Terrain garden center, and 1 BHLDN store. The company also operates a wholesale business under the Free People brand name that distributes apparel to other retailers and department stores in the United States. In addition, it markets its brands directly to consumers through its e-commerce Websites, including urbanoutfitters.com, anthropologie.com, freepeople.com, urbanoutfitters.co.uk, urbanoutfitters.de, urbanoutfitters.fr, anthropologie.eu, shopterrain.com, and bhldn.com, as well as through its Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People catalogs. The company was founded in 1970 and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvani a.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alyce Lomax]
All in the family
For several years, activist shareholders have pushed for board diversity at Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN ) . Although the retailer caters to a heck of a lot of female customers, not one woman has served on the company's board of directors.
- [By Jason Hall]
Urban Outfitters'� (NASDAQ: URBN ) �stock price continues to decline since its September earnings release, while the S&P 500�has been relatively flat. Urban Outfitters' net sales growth of 12% was solid, but the outlook for the third quarter for retail in general is expected to be soft, and this has surely weighed on Urban Outfitters' stock.
- [By David Goodloe]
Last week, GuruFocus reported that AEO had been struggling to find its market niche in a highly competitive field against the likes of Urban Outfitters (URBN) and G-III Apparel (GIII). G-III, GuruFocus wrote last month, is in position to deliver long-term results for investors.