Friday, November 14, 2014

Test Drive: 2015 Hyundai Genesis a winner

Hyundai makes some especially nice vehicles, properly executed, well-equipped, reasonably priced.

The Genesis premium/luxury sedan, redesigned for the 2015 model year, is foremost among those — well, maybe not so reasonably priced now that Hyundai has raised the window-sticker numbers.

The base V-6 model is up $2,830 to $38,950. The V-8 rises $4,130 to $52,450.

All-wheel drive (AWD) is an option for the first time on the Genesis, but only with the V-6. Eventually with the V-8, too, Hyundai hints, with no timetable.

The $52,450 V-6 AWD test car was smooth, quiet, quick, sure-footed, stylish outside, very classy inside. The $55,700 RWD V-8 was all that and quicker.

Hyundai fluffed up the 2015 Genesis with more features than the standard 2014 had, so you're getting goodies for your additional dough. And in contrast with some rivals, Genesis remains lower-priced. For example, $11,475 less than the BMW base 5-series, a car Hyundai sees as a rival; $7,075 less than the redone Cadillac CTS, also considered a rival.

Here are the flies in the generally delectable ointment that is the new Genesis:

Electronics. You can make Hyundai's telematics/pairing/control system do about whatever you want, but in our view, it's become too complicated.

Some features lack direct access. You have to find the main menu on the navigation/control screen, then select which feature you want to manipulate — navi, phone, audio, etc. — then choose it and work through the choices within that submenu.

It's a reminder that nothing has yet been invented that works better than old-fashioned knobs and switches to control many functions.

Genesis did sync with our too-hip Windows phone very quickly, and that's not always the case.

Mileage: We're star-crossed when it comes to gas stations and Hyundais, seldom getting as close to the advertised mpg as on some other vehicles. But reasons for the mileage shortfall are easy to see this time.

Genesis is heavy, mo! re than two tons, vs, say, the Cadillac CTS that's a trim 3,600 pounds in its lightest version and 4,000 at its heftiest. An engine uses more fuel when it has to move more mass, all else equal.

Both the standard V-6 and optional V-8 engines are spirited, making it delightful to nail the go pedal — the antithesis of driving for fuel economy.

But we drive a lot of test cars that way and seem to do comparatively better in them than in Hyundais.

Haptic warnings: Becoming common on premium cars, they vibrate the driver's seat or steering wheel to alert you to a risky situation — straying into another lane, for example. No thank-you very much.

We'd put up with those aggravations because Genesis is an automotive sweet spot.

If you're a hard-core sport-sedan driver, you'll find Genesis not as taut in its handling and overall feel as you might prefer. But most other types of drivers and passengers should be more than satisfied with the Genesis' combination of refined ride, lack of road or wind noise, responsive steering and brakes.

Genesis is the best evidence yet that Hyundai has succeeded in its search for the right ride/handling combo.

The interior is sumptuous in look and feel, with just enough gee-whiz to say "upscale" — contrasting-color piping to accent the leather upholstery, for instance. The handsome matte-finish wood adorning the dashboard is real lumber in models with the Ultimate trim. (Plastic in other versions, though.)

Genesis seats, front and rear, fit well and seem to remain supportive over time. The back seat has more room than implied by the 35 inches of rear legroom in the specifications. And Genesis is a couple of inches wider than rivals, key to the feeling of spaciousness.

The dashboard is an attractive horizontal design, eschewing the industry's sometimes-forced attempts at cockpit layouts.

Genesis has no "Wow!" feature such as the night-vision option on the Mercedes-Benz S-class, but it does offer an effective auto! matic bra! king system able to prevent a crash, which this week helped it earn the top score — Top Safety Pick + — from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Test Drive worries that such systems are leading us further from full engagement by the driver, but IIHS and others say they prevent crashes and save lives.

We're not in love with the higher prices for 2015, or the mediocre mpg, but the new Genesis is alluring, titillating and, everything considered, the best car, overall, that we have driven in years.

What stands out:

Styling: Elegant

Interior: Comfy, cozy, classy

Price: Up enough to make you think twice

About Genesis

What? Redesign of midsize four-door premium sedan, available with V-6 or V-8, rear-wheel (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD); aimed at BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz E-class, Lexus ES, Cadillac CTS.

When? On sale since early May.

Where? Made in South Korea.

How much? V-6 RWD starts at $38,950 including $950 shipping, up $2,830 from the 2014. V-6 AWD (new model) starts at $41,450. V-8 (RWD only) starts at $52,450, up $4,130. Loaded V-6, AWD test car was $52,450. V-8 RWD test car, 55,700.

What makes it go? 3.8-liter V-6 rated 311 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 293 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 or 5-liter V-8 rated 420 hp at 6,000 rpm, 383 lbs.-ft. at 5,000 using premium fuel; 407 hp, 372 lbs.-ft. using regular. Both use eight-speed automatic transmission.

How big? An inch or several longer, an inch or two wider than rivals such as Cadillac CTS, Lexus ES, BMW 5-series. Genesis looks full-size, but isn't; strictly midsize accommodations. VW Passat tested last week is roomier in key places.

Genesis passenger space, 107.7 cubic feet. Trunk, 15.3 cu. ft. Weighs 4,138 lbs. (V-6 RWD) to 4,541 lbs. (V-8 RWD).

Turning circle diameter, 36.2 ft.

How thirsty? V-6 RWD rated 18 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, 22 mpg in combined city/high! way drivi! ng. V-6 AWD rated 16/25/19. V-8 rated 15/23/18.

V-6 AWD test car registered 17.6 mpg (5.68 gallons per 100 miles) in mix of suburban, highway driving. V-8 RWD test car registered 14.8 mpg (6.76 gal./100 mi.) in city/suburban mix.

V-6 burns regular fuel. V-8 will burn regular but achieves full power ratings only with the recommended premium. Tank holds 20.3 gal.

Overall: Home run.

Hot Freight Stocks To Watch Right Now

The white noise of the Federal Reserve has drowned out the roar of the rail industry. While others argue about the macroeconomic picture, railroads have been chugging along at a steady pace. The Dow Jones Transportation Index has soared 18% this year -- the average gain of the top three railroads is 26%.

The U.S. rail market is a $60 billion industry, with more than 140,000 miles of track across the nation. And what's being moved the most? 


Oil. Coal. Chemicals.

Coal alone accounts for 43% of the total tonnage moved by train. Crude oil shipments, trending away from pipelines, spiked 256% in 2012 to 167 million barrels in nearly 234,000 freight cars. By 2016, more than 2.7 million barrels of oil a day is expected to be transported by rail -- more than the entire Trans-Alaskan pipeline.

Top Rising Stocks To Watch Right Now: PostNL NV (PNL)

PostNL NV is a Netherlands-based Company active in delivery sector. The Company is engaged in the delivery of documents, small packages and standard parcels. The Company�� business is organized into three segments: Mail in the Netherlands, responsible for mail services in the Netherland, documents management, direct marketing and fulfillment services, and operating over 2,600 shop-in-shop post offices; Parcels, providing parcel services in the Netherlands and Belgium for both domestic and cross-border parcel distribution, and International, operating in the postal markets of the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, and focusing on domestic addressed mail services. The Company also provides marketing and communication services, fulfillment solutions and e-commerce related solutions. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    PostNL (PNL) sank 11 percent to 2.48 euros, the biggest decline since Jan. 14. The Amsterdam-based company said sales in the second-quarter were 1.03 billion euros ($1.37 billion), falling short of the 1.04 billion euros predicted by analysts on average. PostNL forecast addressed mail volume in 2013 will drop as much as 11 percent, greater than its previous forecast of no more than 10 percent.

Hot Freight Stocks To Watch Right Now: TNT Express NV (TNTE)

TNT Express NV is the Netherlands-based express delivery company. It collects, transports and delivers documents, parcels and freight on a time-certain or day-definite basis. The Company operates worldwide with domestic, regional and intercontinental delivery. It has own operations in more than 60 countries and can deliver to more than 200 countries through own operations, subcontractors and agents. Its customers are international companies, as well as small and medium enterprises. The Company serves industries such as technology, automotive, industrial, healthcare and lifestyle, as well as financial institutions and governments. The Company operates interconnected international air and road networks. The air network consists of a central air hub in Liege, Belgium, and a fleet of more than 50 aircrafts. The road networks are operated in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    TNT Express NV (TNTE) lost 4.3 percent to 6.33 euros, its lowest price in four months. PostNL NV, the Dutch mail service with operations in the U.K. and Germany, said it will sell about half of its 29.8 percent stake in the Dutch package-delivery company to reduce debt. The 15 percent stake up for sale is valued at about 540 million euros ($738 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. PostNL gained 1.8 percent to 4.17 euros.

Hot Freight Stocks To Watch Right Now: Hub Group Inc (HUBG)

Hub Group, Inc., incorporated on March 8, 1995, is an asset-light freight transportation management companies. The Company offers intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services. The Company operates distinct business segments: Mode, which includes the acquired Mode business acquired by the Company on April 1, 2011, and Hub, which is all business other than Mode. Both segments offer intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services. Hub operates through a network of operating centers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Hub services a diversified customer base in a broad range of industries, including consumer products, retail and durable goods. Mode markets and operates its freight transportation services primarily through its network of independent business owners (IBOs) who enter into contracts with Mode. Mode's company managed operation includes a business arranging for the transportation of raw materials and finished products for a food producer and, to a lesser extent, other highway brokerage, intermodal and logistics operations.


As an intermodal marketing company (IMC), the Company arranges for the movement of its customers freight in containers and trailers, typically over long distances of 750 miles or more. The Company contracts with railroads to provide transportation for the long-haul portions of the shipment and with local trucking companies, known as drayage companies, for pickup and delivery. As part of the Company's intermodal services, the Company negotiates rail and drayage rates, electronically tracks shipments in transit, consolidate billing and handle claims for freight loss or damage on behalf of its customers.

The Company uses its network to access containers and trailers owned by leasing companies, railroads and steamship lines. The Company is able to track trailers and containers entering a service area and reuses that equipment to fulfill the customers' outbound shipping requirements. As of December 31, 2012, ! Hub had access to approximately 9,111 rail-owned containers for the Company's dedicated use on the Union Pacific (UP) and the Norfolk Southern (NS) rails. In addition to these rail-owned containers, as of December 31, 2012, the Company had a total of 14,756 53-inch private containers for use on the UP and NS. The Company financed 6,167 of these containers with operating leases and the Company owns 8,589 containers.

As of December 31, 2012, approximately 66% of the Company's drayage needs were met by its subsidiary, Comtrak Logistics, Inc. (Comtrak), which assists its customers. Comtrak has terminals in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas, Harrisburg, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Memphis, Nashville, Newark, Los Angeles, Perry (FL), Philadelphia, Savannah, Seattle, St. Louis, Stockton, and Titusville (FL). As of December 31, 2012, Comtrak owned 260 tractors, leased or owned 448 trailers, employed 296 drivers and contracted with 2,178 owner-operators.

Truck Brokerage (Highway Services)

The Company is a truck broker in the United States. As part of the truck brokerage services, the Company negotiates rates , track shipments in transit and handle claims for freights loss and damage on behalf of its customers.

Logistics and Other Services

Hub's logistics business operates under the name of Unyson Logistics. Unyson Logistics consists of a network of logistics professionals dedicated to developing, implementing and operating customized logistics solutions. Unyson offers a range of transportation management services and technology solutions, including shipment optimization, load consolidation, mode selection, carrier management, load planning and execution and Web-based shipment visibility. Unyson Logistics operates throughout North America, providing operations through its main operating location in St. Louis with additional support locations in Bosto! n, Chicag! o, Cleveland and Minneapolis. Certain Mode agents provide logistics services. The Company's multi-modal transportation capabilities through both the Hub and Mode segments include small parcel, heavyweight, expedited, less-than-truckload, truckload, intermodal and railcar.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Hub Group (NASDAQ: HUBG) surged 3.13% to $44.20. The volume of Hub Group shares traded was 388% higher than normal. Hub Group reported its Q1 earnings of $0.33 per share on revenue of $848.40 million. Longbow Research upgraded Hub Group from Neutral to Buy.

  • [By cody56]

    During the third quarters these holdering were the worse performers for Diamond Hill Small Cap Fund. Rosseta Resources Inc. (ROSE) , TriMas Corp. (TRS) , Tenneco Inc. (TEN) , Popular Inc. (BPOP) and Hub Group (HUBG).

Hot Freight Stocks To Watch Right Now: Vitran Corporation Inc (VTNC)

Vitran Corporation Inc. (Vitran), incorporated on April 29, 1981, is a provider of freight surface transportation and related supply chain services throughout Canada 34 states in the eastern, southeastern, central, southwestern, and western United States. The Company�� business consists of Less-than-truckload services (LTL). These services are provided by stand-alone business units within their respective regions. Vitran�� business is carried on through its subsidiaries, which hold the licenses and permits required to carry on business. As of December 31, 2012, Vitran�� principal wholly owned operating subsidiaries included Vitran Express Canada Inc. (Ontario), Can-Am Logistics Inc. (Ontario), Vitran Logistics Ltd. (Ontario), Expediteur T.W. Ltee (Canada), Vitran Corporation (Nevada), Vitran Express Inc. (Pennsylvania), Vitran Logistics Corp. (Delaware), Vitran Logistics Inc. (Indiana), and Las Vegas/L.A. Express, Inc. (California). In March 2013, Vitran Corp Inc completed divestiture of its Supply Chain Operation division to Legacy Supply Chain. In October 2013, Vitran Corporation Inc. completed the sale of its United States LTL business.

LTL Services

Within Canada, the Company provides next-day service within Ontario, Quebec and parts of western Canada, and generates its revenue from the movement of LTL freight within the three- to five-day east-west service lanes. The majority of its trans-Canada freight is shipped intermodally, whereby the Company�� containers are loaded onto rail cars and trans-loaded to Vitran facilities where Vitran�� network of owner operators pick up and deliver the freight to various destinations. During 2012, Vitran�� Canadian LTL business represented approximately 27.6% of total LTL revenues. Vitran�� Transborder Service Solution (inter-regional) provides over-the-road service between its Canadian LTL and United States LTL business units.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Breaking news

    Vitran Corporation (NASDAQ: VTNC) announced today that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with TransForce pursuant to which TransForce has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Vitran not already owned by TransForce for US$6.50 in cash per share, in accordance with TransForce's prior proposal. To read the full news, click here. ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) today announced it signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to sell three utility-scale projects in Western China, with a total capacity of 60MW, to Jiangsu Akcome Solar Science & Technology Co on December 30, 2013. To read the full news, click here. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) today announced it has terminated the merger agreement with Apollo Tyres (NSE:ApolloTYRE). To read the full news, click here. RedHill Biopharma (NASDAQ: RDHL) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with leading healthcare investor OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC, for the sale of RedHill's American Depository Shares and warrants in a private placement transactionor a total sum of $6.0 million. To read the full news, click here.

    Posted-In: Guggenheim US Stock FuturesNews Eurozone Futures Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Hot Freight Stocks To Watch Right Now: Forward Air Corp (FWRD)

Forward Air Corporation operates in two segments: Forward Air, Inc. (Forward Air) and Forward Air Solutions, Inc. (FASI). Through the Company's Forward Air segment, it is a provider of time-definite surface transportation and related logistics services to the North American deferred air freight market. It offers its customers local pick-up and delivery (Forward Air Complete) and scheduled surface transportation of cargo. It transports cargo that must be delivered at a specific time but is less time-sensitive than traditional air freight. As of December 31, 2011, it operated its Forward Air segment through a network of terminals located on or near airports in 85 cities in the United States and Canada, including a central sorting facility in Columbus, Ohio and 12 regional hubs serving key markets. It also offers its customers an array of logistics and other services including expedited full truckload (TLX); dedicated fleets; warehousing; customs brokerage; and shipment consolidation, deconsolidation and handling. During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 23.9% of the freight it handled was for overnight delivery, approximately 61.3% was for delivery within two to three days and the balance was for delivery in four or more days. Through its FASI segment, it provides pool distribution services throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest and Southwest continental United States. Pool distribution involves managing high-frequency, last mile handling and distribution of time-sensitive product to destinations in geographic regions. In March 2013, it acquired Total Quality, Inc. In February 2014, Forward Air Corporation acquired Central States Trucking Co. and Central States Logistics, Inc. from Central States Inc.

Forward Air

The Company receives freight from air freight forwarders, integrated air cargo carriers and passenger and cargo airlines at its terminals, which are located on or near airports in the United States and Canada. It also picks up freight from custo! mers at designated locations via our Forward Air Complete service. It transports these shipments by truck through its network to its terminals nearest the destinations of the shipments. It operates scheduled service to and from each of its terminals through its Columbus, Ohio central sorting facility or through one of its 12 regional hubs. It also operates scheduled shuttle service directly between terminals where the volume of freight warrants bypassing the Columbus, Ohio central sorting facility or a regional hub. When a shipment arrives at its terminal nearest its destination, the customer arranges for the shipment to be picked up and delivered to its final destination, or it, in the alternative, through its Forward Air Complete service, deliver the freight for the customer to its final destination. Its airport-to-airport network consists of terminals located in the 85 cities. As of December 31, 2011, independent agents and FASI operate 18 and two of its Forward Air locations.

The Company operates direct terminal-to-terminal services and regional overnight service between terminals where justified by freight volumes. It provides regional overnight service to the markets within its network. Direct shipments also reduce the likelihood of damage because of reduced handling and sorting of the freight. It operates regional hubs in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, Newburgh, Orlando, and Sacramento. During 2011, the average weekly volume of freight moving through its network was approximately 34.0 million pounds per week. During 2011, its average shipment weighed approximately 717 pounds and shipment sizes ranged from small boxes weighing only a few pounds to large shipments of several thousand pounds.

The Company�� logistics and other services allow customers to access services from a single source: expedited full truckload (TLX); dedicated fleets; customs brokerage, such as assistance with the United States C! ustoms an! d Border Protection (U.S. Customs) procedures for both import and export shipments; warehousing, dock and office space; drayage and intermodal; hotshot or ad-hoc ultra expedited services, and shipment consolidation and handling, such as shipment build-up and break-down and reconsolidation of air or ocean pallets or containers.

Forward Air Solutions

Through the Company�� FASI segment, it provides pool distribution services through a network of terminals and service locations in 19 cities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest and Southwest continental United States. Pool distribution involves managing high-frequency handling and distribution of time-sensitive product to destinations in specific geographic regions. Its customers for this product are regional and nationwide distributors and retailers, such as mall, strip mall and outlet-based retail chains. Its pool distribution network consists of terminals and service locations in the 19 cities. Its Forward Air wholesale customer base is comprised of freight forwarders, integrated air cargo carriers and passenger and cargo airlines. Its air freight forwarder customers vary in size from independent, single facility companies to international logistics companies, such as SEKO Worldwide, AIT Worldwide Logistics, Expeditors International of Washington, Associated Global, UPS Supply Chain Solutions and Pilot Air Freight. Its FASI pool distribution customers are consisted of national and regional retailers and distributors, such as The Limited, The Marmaxx Group, The GAP, and Aeropostale. The Company also participates in air cargo and retail trade shows and advertise its services through direct mail programs and through the Internet via and

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [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 Forward Air (Nasdaq: FWRD  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014

Where there�� money to be made, you��l find investors��k, hedge funds.

Jeff Hoffman keys on startup success (Photo credit: TechCocktail)

Leena Rao�� TechCrunch article yesterday on the return of hedge funds to startup investing identifies a trend that we all felt was happening but didn�� necessarily have the high-profile example to jog us. When Snapchat, the hot social app reportedly rebuffed a $3 billion dollar buyout offer from Facebook and instead, turned to go it alone by raising a $50 million round, it did so not by turning to venture capitalists.

Snapchat raised its money from a hedge fund (from Coatue Management, to be exact).

And there are other examples of hedge funds leaving the world of public market investing to place their bets on startups:

Top 5 India Stocks For 2015: BlackRock Muniyield Michigan Quality Fund II Inc (MYM)

BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund II, Inc. (the Fund), formerly BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Insured Fund II, Inc., is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund seeks to provide shareholders with as high a level of current income exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes as is consistent with its investment policies and prudent investment management by investing primarily in a portfolio of long-term municipal obligations the interest on which, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, is exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes.

The Fund�� allocation in long-term investments include transportation, hospital, lease revenue, sales tax, education and housing. BlackRock Advisors, LLC is the manager of the Fund.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    But now that markets have had time to react, a number of different opinions are surfacing about how important Detroit's bankruptcy is:

    Investment manager BlackRock said early this week that its analysts "anticipate the impact of the event will be much smaller than its size might indicate," calling Detroit "an idiosyncratic situation" and saying that therefore its analysts "do not anticipate a widespread systemic effect." UBS noted that "precedents that do exist would appear to favor holders of [general-obligation municipal] bonds backed by an unlimited property tax" in its argument that the bankruptcy shouldn't create big problems, also noting that muni-bond insurance companies cover almost 90% of Detroit's debt. Citigroup notes that "the magnitude of Detroit's economic and financial problems dwarfs those of any other large local government in the U.S. by a wide amount" in arguing that muni-bond yields aren't likely to rise too far. Taking the other side of the argument, muni-bond specialist Nuveen Asset Management believes that "municipal investors should now view all Michigan general-obligation bonds as having no greater standing than any other form of municipal obligations," reversing the general understanding that general-obligation bonds backed by broad powers to tax are inherently more secure than bonds with more limited sources of revenue backing them. Indeed, Michigan-specific muni-bond funds took much more serious hits over the week than the broad muni-bond market, with BlackRock MuniYield Michigan (NYSE: MYM  ) falling almost 5% since last Thursday and Nuveen Michigan Quality Income (NYSE: NUM  ) posting about a 4% loss. Analyst Meredith Whitney went a step further, predicting a wave of municipal bankruptcies resulting from Detroit's action. Yet after having cried wolf in late 2010 and having proven to be wrong in her expected 12-month timeline for massive defaults, Whitney has had her credibility questioned by many ex

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014: Exone Co (XONE)

The ExOne Company, incorporated on December 21, 2012, is engaged in manufacturing and selling three-dimensional (3D) printing machines and printing products to specification for its customers using its in-house 3D printing machines. The Company provides 3D printing machines, 3D printed products and related services to industrial customers in the aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, energy/oil/gas and other industries. It offers pre-production collaboration and print products for customers through its production service centers (PSCs), which are located in the United States, Germany and Japan. On January 1, 2013, the Company merged its predecessor company, The Ex One Company, LLC, with and into EXO Acquisitions Inc., which changed its name to The ExOne Company.

The Company produces an array of materialization systems to support a range of customer needs and facility requirements. It offers two printers on the world market for 3D printing of sand and metal materials, offering build sizes as large as 1800 x 1000 x 700 mm (70 x 39 x 27 in.) for sand and 780 x 400 x 400 mm (30.7 x 15.75 x 15.75 in.) for metal. It also offers Orion short pulse laser systems, utilizing a five-axis machine tool with four additional axes available on the trepanning head. The Company builds 3D printing machines at its facilities in the United States and Germany. The Company also supplies the associated products, including consumables and replacement parts, and services, including training and technical support, necessary for purchasers of its machines to print products. The Company�� 3D printing machines are able to manufacture casting molds and cores from specialty silica sand and ceramics, which are the traditional materials for these casting products.

The Company competes with 3D Systems Corporation, Stratasys Inc., Solidscape, Inc. and Objet Ltd., EOS Optronics GmbH, EnvisionTEC GmbH, and Solid Model Ltd.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By David Zeiler]

    4. The ExOne Co. (Nasdaq: XONE): ExOne makes 3D printers and 3D printing products, and anyone who follows tech knows the enormous potential of 3D printing. The company went public February 7 at $18 a share and rose 47.3% on its first day. XONE currently trades at about $51.83, for a total gain of 187.94%.

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    The ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE) was also up, gaining 2.04 percent to $45.00 as 3D printing stocks once again were spotlighted for today's trading session.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Tomorrow, ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE  ) 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 Jon C. Ogg]

    3D printing is supposed to be the next big thing. We have noted earlier that it has been called the next bubble� by some investors. Unfortunately, two 3D printing outfits have issued cautious guidance in the last twenty-four hours. The first was Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), and now we have a warning from The ExOne Company (NASDAQ: XONE). 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) managed to escape the carnage on Tuesday during the day, but that appears to no longer be the case.

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Why Altria?
    The company is what's left after international operations were spun off in the form of Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) in 2008. While Philip Morris is favored by many because of lower tobacco taxes and regulations in many parts of the world, as well as the fact that many economies are growing more rapidly than ours, Altria still manages the very valuable Marlboro brand domestically, where it recently held a commanding 43% market share.

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014: Bravo Enterprises Ltd (OGNG)

Bravo Enterprises Ltd., formerly Organa Gardens International Inc., incorporated on November 29, 1983, is a development-stage company. The Company holds an undivided 85% working interest and an undivided 68% net revenue interest in 13,189 acres located in Wasatch County, Utah, known as the Uinta Basin and a 0.7% gross overriding royalty interest on 6,360 acres of oil and natural gas rights located in the Powder River Basin of eastern Wyoming. The Company has a vertical hydroponics farming system. The Company owns a 2% royalty interest in the Harvester Property. The LAK Ranch field covers approximately 7,500 acres in the Powder River basin. In September 2011, the Company completed its merger agreement with Integrated Green Technologies LLC.

The Organa Garden Systems (OGS) provide a means for food production and consumption change to global and ecological through vertical hydroponics rotary farming. There are two OGS models; the Discovery (OGS-D) and the Enterprise (OGS-E). Its specially designed waterwheel technology allows the fully automated system to recycle and reuse 95% of the water used while requiring a negligible amount of energy to run.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap green stocks Vision Industries Corp (OTCMKTS: VIIC), Bravo Enterprises Ltd (OTCMKTS: OGNG) and Kleangas Energy Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS: KGET) have reported recent news and/or they are being promoted. Of course, it goes without saying that small cap green stocks tend to be more volatile that other types of investments. So will investors and traders alike see some greenbacks from these green stocks? Here is a quick reality check:

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014: Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYA)

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair Holdings), is a holding company for Ryanair Limited (Ryanair). Ryanair operates a low-cost, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and Morocco. As of June 30, 2012, the Company offered approximately over 1,500 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving approximately 160 airports largely throughout Europe with an operating fleet of 294 aircraft flying approximately 1,500 routes. Ryanair sells seats on a one-way basis. The Company also holds a 29.8% interest in Aer Lingus Group plc. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair�� operating fleet was composed of 294 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each having 189 seats. Ryanair�� fleet totaled 294 Boeing 737-800s at March 31, 2012. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair owned and operated four Boeing 737-800 full flight simulators for pilot training. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA), the discount airline operator that�� the second-biggest stock in Ireland�� ISEQ index, declined 1.7 percent to 7.23 euros in Dublin. Kerry Group, a supplier of food ingredients, sank 1.4 percent to 45.24 euros.

Best US Companies To Invest In 2014: Ishares Ftse Kld 400 Social Index Fund (DSI)

iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social Index Fund (the Fund), formerly iShares FTSE KLD 400 Social Index Fund, seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index (the Index). The Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index designed to measure the equity performance of the United States companies. The Index consists of approximately 400 companies identified by MSCI from the universe of companies included in the MSCI USA IMI Index, which consists of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ Stock Market LLC listed United States equities. The Fund�� investment advisor is BlackRock Fund Advisors (BFA). Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Efficiency measures at Schlumberger have included faster maintenance, better transportation set ups, and increases in asset turns. The company reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)—a measure of how long it takes to get paid after a sale—to 91 in the quarter, from 96 in the first quarter of 2013. Days Sales of Inventory (DSI)—a measure of how much inventory a company carries to support its sales activities—fell to 55 days from 57 days. That helped produce operating cash flow of $10 billion for Schlumberger in 2013, a record for the company.

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now

The fallout from the National Security Agency's massive spying program on the American public -- and on foreign, friendly nations -- continues to mount. The idea that the government is compiling dossiers of every phone call you make, every email you write, every text you send is chilling in its Orwellian breadth.

Similarly, Facebook's acknowledgment that it creates "shadow profiles" of its members -- that it takes the information you voluntarily provide it and trolls the Internet to gather even more information about you that you didn't authorize it to have -- and then accidentally revealed it all, has led more than one person, myself included, to cancel their Facebook account.

Increasingly, individuals are worried about personal information being stored in databases that are subject to hacking or simply sloppy coding, and things that once seemed innocuous, like what you buy at the local supermarket, now can be viewed in a more sinister light.

While supermarket titan Albertsons hasn't said so, its decision to eliminate loyalty cards at all of its grocery stores could become a key marketing advantage if it frames its decision in the right way.�

Top 10 Construction Stocks To Own For 2015: Vermillion Inc.(VRML)

Vermillion, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of diagnostics tests that help physicians to diagnose, treat, and improve outcomes for patients. It develops diagnostic tests in the fields of oncology, hematology, cardiology, and women?s health with the initial focus on ovarian cancer. The company?s lead product includes OVA1, an ovarian tumor triage test that enables pre-surgical identification of women who are at high risk of having a malignant ovarian tumor. It is also developing various programs in other clinical aspects of ovarian cancer, as well as in peripheral arterial disease. The company has strategic alliance agreement with Quest Diagnostics Incorporated; and collaborations with various academic and research institutions to develop and commercialize diagnostic tests. It serves clinical reference laboratories, hospital laboratories, and physician offices. The company was formerly known as Ciphergen B iosystems, Inc. and changed its name to Vermillion, Inc. in August 2007. Vermillion, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It's not an uncommon situation. While investors are scouring the news (or lack thereof) from a company, they're not paying much attention to the stock itself. Big mistake, as stocks can and do have a life of their own, sometimes independently of the company. Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML) is the most recent example of this alarming disconnect. While news from the company of late has been fairly benign and a little non-existent, shares of VRML has been inching towards a key technical line in the sand that if crossed under could spark a fairly rapid selloff.

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: Nuveen Credit Strategies Income Fund (JQC)

Nuveen Multi-Strategy Income & Growth Fund 2 (the Fund), formerly Nuveen Preferred and Convertible Income Fund 2, is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund intends to invest in a portfolio of preferred securities, securities and, to a lesser degree, high yield securities. The Fund may also invest in other debt instruments and common stocks acquired upon conversion of a convertible security.

On January 1, 2005, Nuveen Institutional Advisory Corp. (NIAC), the Funds' previous adviser, and its affiliate, Nuveen Advisory Corp. (NAC), were merged into Nuveen Asset Management (NAM), each wholly owned subsidiaries of Nuveen Investments, Inc. (Nuveen). As a result of the merger, NAM is the Adviser to all funds previously advised by either NIAC or NAC. The investment portfolio of the Fund includes JPMorgan Chase & Company, ING Group NV, Union Planters Corporation, HBSC Holdings Public Limited Company, Wachovia Corporation, Omnicare Capital Trust II, Hanover Compressor Capital Trust and CIT Group Incorporated.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Dowdee]

    The following 10 funds satisfied all of these conditions:

    BlackRock Float Rate Strategies (FRA). This CEF sells at a discount of 3%, which is low compared to an average premium of 2% over the past year. The distribution has been managed at 6.1% and a small amount (less than 10%) has been return of capital (ROC). However, this has not negatively affected net asset value (NAV) so has not been destructive. The fund holds 447 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. FRA utilizes 27% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.7%, including interest payments. Eaton Vance Floating Rate (EFR). This CEF sells at a 1% premium, which is low compared to an average premium of 5% over the past year. The distribution is 6.2%, none of which was ROC. The fund holds 800 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. About 85% of the securities are from U.S. companies. EFR utilizes 35% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.8% including interest payments. ING Prime Rate Trust (PPR). This CEF sells for a premium of 2%, which is below the average premium of 5%. It has a distribution of 6.8%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 350 holdings, virtually all in senior loans and from US companies. PPR utilizes 29% leverage and has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Dynamic Credit Opportunities (VTA). This CEF sells for a discount of 5%, which is below the average discount of 1%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 495 holdings, with 76% in floating rate loans. About 25% of the loans are from non-US companies. VTA utilizes a relatively low 20% leverage but still has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Senior Income (VVR). This CEF sells for a discount of 1%, which is below the average premium of 3%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has over 500 holdings, with 89% in floating rate loans. Almost all (95%) securities are from US companies. VVR ut

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: Centerra Gold Inc (CAGDF.PK)

Centerra Gold Inc. (Centerra) is a gold mining company. The Company is engaged in the production of gold and related activities, including exploration, development, mining and processing in the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Turkey, China and the Russian Federation. The Company�� producing gold mines properties include Kumtor, in the Kyrgyz Republic (100%) and Boroo, in Mongolia (100%). Centerra�� development project includes Gatsuurt, in Mongolia. Its exploration projects include ATO, in Mongolia (100%); Oksut, in Turkey (100%); Kara Beldyr, in Russia (70%); Dvoinoy, in Russia (40%), and Ulaan Bulag, in Mongolia (100%). Kumtor gold mine is located in the Kyrgyz Republic, about 350 kilometers southeast of the capital Bishkek and about 60 kilometers north of the border with the People�� Republic of China. The Boroo gold mine is located in Mongolia some 110 kilometers to the northwest of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The Kara Beldyr project is a joint venture with Auriant Mining Company. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Itinerant]

    Goldcorp, Newmont (NEM) or Agnico-Eagle use similar definitions. The important element here is the so-called 'sustaining capital expenditure', which is the capital required to sustain existing production levels. The table below is taken from the Agnico-Eagle presentation referenced above and provides a comparison of company-wide AISC for some of the major gold miners, including Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, Yamana Gold (AUY), Randgold (GOLD), Kinross (KGC), Agnico-Eagle Mines, Eldorado Gold (EGO), Goldfields and Centerra (CAGDF.PK). The difference between cash costs and AISC is significant. It is also important to note that these AISC are still noticeably below the present spot price for gold.

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: Body Central Corp.(BODY)

Body Central Corp. operates as a specialty retailer of young women's apparel and accessories in the south, mid-Atlantic, and midwest regions of the United States. The company operates specialty apparel stores under the Body Central and Body Shop banners, as well as a direct business of its Body Central catalog and e-commerce Website at Its stores feature an assortment of tops, dresses, bottoms, jewelry, accessories, and shoes under Body Central and Lipstick labels. As of March 8, 2012 it operated 241 specialty apparel stores in 24 states. The company, formerly known as Body Central Acquisition Corp., was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors' Opinion:

    Richard Drew/AP NEW YORK -- The stock market started November on a strong note as investors reacted to an expansion in U.S. manufacturing last month. The improvement came during what could have been a difficult month for the U.S. economy, with a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days and a narrowly averted default on the U.S. government's debt, which could have rattled financial markets. "With what happened in the last two months, it's amazing how strong this market has been," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index increased to 56.4, the highest level since April 2011. That was better than the 55.1 figure economists were expecting, according financial data provider FactSet. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 69.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,615.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 5.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,761.64. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,922.04. Energy stocks lagged the market after Chevron (CVX) reported that its third-quarter income fell 6 percent, missing analysts' estimates, due to weakness in the company's oil refining business. Chevron fell $1.95, or 1.6 percent, to $118.01. The energy sector was also weighed down by a drop in the price of oil. Crude oil fell $1.77, or 1.8 percent, to $94.61 a barrel. The positive start to this month's trading comes after a strong October for the stock market. The S&P 500 closed at a record high seven times during the month, most recently on Tuesday. It ended October with a gain of 4.5 percent. However, some investors have expressed skepticism that stocks can keep up this rapid pace pace heading into the last two months of the year. The S&P 500 is up 23 percent so far this year, while the average annual return on the S&P 500 is around 8 percent. Stocks are also starting to look expensive by some measures. Investo

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Body Central Corp. (NASDAQ: BODY) also comes in with an off-the-charts IRR of 26%. The company reported a dreadful second quarter, which hammered the share price. Body Central operates as a specialty retailer of young women’s apparel and accessories in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the United States. It operates stores under the Body Central and Body Shop banners, as well as a direct business comprising its Body Central catalog and e-commerce website at The company’s stores sell tops, dresses, bottoms, jewelry, accessories and shoes, primarily under its Body Central and Lipstick labels. The lower the share price goes, the more attractive the stock becomes. The consensus price target is $11, with the high target at $12. The stock closed Thursday at $6.43.

  • [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 Body Central (Nasdaq: BODY  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By John Udovich]

    As we approach Black Friday, small cap apparel retail stocks�Body Central Corp (NASDAQ: BODY), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) and Francesca's Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: FRAN) have the dubious distinction of being the sector�� worst performing stocks (according to as they are down 62.8%, 29.5% and 26.4%, respectively, since the start of the year (see my previous article: This Year�� Best Performing Small Cap Apparel Retail Stocks? CACH, SMRT, PSUN & DXLG). With that performance in mind, what�sort of performance should�investors and traders alike expect from these apparel retail dogs as we head into Black Friday and the all important holiday season? Here is what you need to be aware of:

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: Intersil Corporation(ISIL)

Intersil Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for applications in the industrial, computing, consumer, and communications electronics markets. The company?s industrial products include operational amplifiers, bridge drivers, isolated and non-isolated power management products, switches and multiplexers, video decoders, and other standard analog and power management products used in medical imaging, energy management, automotive, military, instrumentation, security surveillance, and factory automation markets. Its computing products comprise desktop, server, notebook, and network attached storage power management products, including core power devices and other power management products for peripheral devices, as well as lithium ion battery chargers. The company?s consumer products consist of handheld, display, gaming, light sensor, and class-D audio amplifier products for use in smartphones, LCD televisions, tablet computers, electronic game systems, set top boxes, MP3 players, GPS systems, AV receivers, and home audio systems. Its communication products include line drivers, isolated and non-isolated power management, radiation-hardened products, digital power management products, broadband and hot plug power management products, and high-speed data converters for applications in DSL, home gateway, satellite, networking, cellular base station, and networking/switching equipment markets. The company markets its products through distributors and value added resellers to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and contract manufacturers in China, the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Singapore, and Mexico. Intersil Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Milpitas, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Basic guidelines
    In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven't materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Intersil (Nasdaq: ISIL  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Intersil doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue decreased 18.7%, and inventory decreased 19.5%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue shrank 15.6%, and inventory shrank 19.5%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks OK but not great. Revenue dropped 4.2%, and inventory dropped 3.1%.

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: United Technologies Corporation(UTX)

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company?s Otis segment designs, manufactures, sells, and installs passenger and freight elevators, escalators, and moving walkways, as well as provides maintenance and repair services. Its Carrier segment offers heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems, controls, services, and energy-efficient products for residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation applications. The company?s UTC Fire and Security segment provides electronic security products comprising intruder alarms, and access control and video surveillance systems; fire safety products, such as specialty hazard detection and fixed suppression products, fire extinguishers, fire detection and life safety systems, and other firefighting equipment; systems integration, video surveillance, installation, maintenance, and inspection services; and mon itoring, response, and security personnel services. Its Pratt and Whitney segment supplies aircraft engines for the commercial, military, business jet, and general aviation markets; industrial gas turbines; geo thermal power systems; and space propulsion systems, as well as provides fleet management, maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. The company?s Hamilton Sundstrand segment supplies aerospace products, such as power generation, management and distribution, flight control, engine control, environmental control, auxiliary power units, and propeller systems; and industrial products, including air compressors, metering pumps, and fluid handling equipment under the Sullair, Sundyne, and Milton Roy names. Its Sikorsky segment manufactures military and commercial helicopters, as well as offers aftermarket helicopter and aircraft parts and services. United Technologies Corporation was founded in 1934 and is based in Hartford, Connecticut.

Advisors' Opinion:

    United Technologies provides essential and highly demanded technology products and services to companies large and small across the globe. It is being reported that the company will no longer be putting 4,000 employees on unpaid leave due to the Government shutdown. The stock has been exploding to the upside and is now trading near all time high prices. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been rising, however, investors have had mixed feelings about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, United Technologies has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for United Technologies to OUTPERFORM.


    ABB Ltd (NYSE: ABB) and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) are great examples of the kinds of plays I favor for this scenario. They're global concerns providing services and products that are squarely in the path of trillions of dollars in spending.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The government shutdown has taken its toll on government contractors this week. In the Dow, United Technologies (UTX) dropped 4.7% to $104.27, making it the blue-chip index’s biggest loser, after said it could furlough workers. Raytheon (RTN) fell 5.7% to $74.25.

Top 10 Supermarket Stocks To Buy Right Now: Itron Inc.(ITRI)

Itron, Inc. provides products and services for the energy and water markets worldwide. It produces standard electricity, natural gas, and water meters for residential, commercial, industrial, and transmission and distribution customers. The company also offers advanced and smart electronic, gas, and water meters, as well as communication modules; handheld, mobile, and fixed network collection technologies; meter data management software; prepayment systems comprising smart key, keypad, and smart card communication technologies; data warehousing; and knowledge application solutions. It provides communication technologies, which include telephone, radio frequency, global system for mobile communications, power line carrier, and Ethernet devices. In addition, the company offers professional services, including implementation, installation, consulting, system management, and analysis. It markets its products through direct sales, distributors, representative agencies, partners , and meter manufacturer representatives. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Liberty Lake, Washington.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI  ) are down nearly 10% after plunging as much as 14% in early trading today after a pre-market earnings report gave investors little cause for optimism in the near term.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Shares of Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) got a boost, shooting up 8.49 percent to $39.49 after the company reported Q2 earnings of $0.54 per share on revenue of $489.40 million.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced that Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) of Cincinnati and its former CFO Daniel Poston had settled charges of "improper accounting of commercial real estate loans in the midst of the financial crisis."

Fifth Third agreed to pay a $6.5 million fine, while Poston agreed to pay $100,000 and "be suspended from practicing as an accountant on behalf of any publicly traded company or other entity regulated by the SEC."

Poston had been demoted from the CFO position and named Fifth Third's "chief strategy and administrative officer in November, when Fifth Third announced its agreement to settle the charges.

The SEC accused the bank and Poston of failing to classify a pool of nonperforming commercial real estate loans as "held-for-sale" during the third quarter of 2008, even though the bank had already decided to sell the loans.  Recategorizing the loans during the third quarter of 2008 would have included a significant write down, which would have "increased Fifth Third's pretax loss for the quarter by 132 percent."

The SEC said Poston during the third quarter of 2008 was "familiar with the company's loan sale efforts, which included entering into agreements with brokers during the third quarter of 2008 to market and sell loans."  The regulatory added that "Despite understanding the relevant accounting rules, Poston failed to direct Fifth Third to classify and value the loans as required," and that the former CFO made inaccurate statements to auditors.  Poston also made inaccurate statements to Fifth Third's auditors about the company's loan classifications, and certified the company's inaccurate results for the third quarter of 2008.

Neither Fifth Third nor Poston admitted any wrongdoing.

Fifth Third's shares were down slightly during the final hour of trading Wednesday, to $19.93.

FITB data by YCharts
RELATED STORIES: Big Regional Bank Stocks Have 20% Upside for 2014, Says Credit Suisse Volcker Rule Could Trigger Big-Bank Breakup Goldman Downgrades Citi, Calls USB 'Conviction Buy' EU Slaps Big Banks With $2.3B in Rate Manipulation Fines Will Warren Buffett's Berkshire Join Fannie, Freddie Privatization Effort? Ex-Fannie CFO Howard on Fairholme's $52 Billion GSE Proposal Citigroup and Wells Have 25% Upside: Guggenheim Fed Accepts Revised Capital Plans From JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs

10 Best Telecom Stocks To Own Right Now: AmeriGas Partners L.P. (APU)

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. As of November 8, 2012, it served approximately 2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, wholesale, and motor fuel customers in 50 states through approximately 2,000 propane distribution locations. The company also sells, installs, and services propane appliances, including heating systems. It markets propane primarily under the AmeriGas, America's Propane Company, Heritage Propane, Titan Propane, and Relationships Matter trade names and related service marks. Its propane is used for home heating, water heating, and cooking purposes; to fire furnaces, as a cutting gas, and in other process applications; as a supplemental fuel and motor fuel; and for tobacco curing, chicken brooding, and crop drying applications. AmeriGas Propane, Inc. serves as the general partner of the company. AmeriGas Partners, L.P. was foun ded in 1994 and is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By The Part-time Investor]

    I sold AmeriGas Partners (APU), 339 shares at $43.78, and replaced it with UGI Corp, which is the general partner for APU, 379 shares at $39.29.

    I sold ONEOK Partners (OKS), 265 shares at $51.25, and replaced it with ONEOK inc. (OKE), 267 shares at $52.31.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP  ) will release its quarterly report on Friday, and shares of the propane distributor have jumped to two-year highs recently. Yet with a somewhat different exposure to the industry than rivals AmeriGas (NYSE: APU  ) and Suburban Propane (NYSE: SPH  ) , will Ferrellgas earnings be able to grow enough to make optimistic investors satisfied?

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The four propane-focused MLPs are AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU), Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH), NGL Energy Partners (NYSE: NGL), and Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP).

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    We expect LKQ to continue their consolidating acquisition strategy, especially overseas, as there is a vacuum of supply for alternative parts in the European Union. Much of this has to do with long-颅��tanding legislation that made it difficult to utilize or even forbade the use of aftermarket collision parts. More expensive, OEM parts have dominated the collision replacement parts market, with European alternative parts utilization (APU) in the single-颅��igit percentages (recall APU is ~1/3rd in the U.S.). However, as the region began overturning restrictive legislation during the middle of the last decade, a healthier supply and demand dynamic for alternative parts has emerged.

Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)

ReneSola Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of solar wafers and solar power products. It offers virgin polysilicons, monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers, and photovoltaic cells and modules. The company also provides cell and module processing services. Its products are used in a range of residential, commercial, industrial, and other solar power generation systems. The company sells its solar wafers primarily to solar cell and module manufacturers. It principally operates in Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and the United States. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Jiashan, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Notable earnings reports currently on tap for next week: Qihu 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: QIHU), Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO), LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD), and ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL).

Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Data Call Technologies Inc (DCLT)

Data Call Technologies, Inc. (Data Call), incorporated on April 4, 2002, focuses is to integrate cutting-edge information/content delivery solutions deployed by the media. The Company's software and services put its clients in control of real-time, news, and other content, including emergency alerts, displayed within one building as well as to thousands of local, regional and national clients, through Digital Signage and Kiosk networks. The Company offers its Direct Lynk Messenger service to customers through the Internet. The Direct Lynk Messenger Service is a Digital Signage product and real-time information service, which provides a range of up-to-date information for display.

Digital Signage is a method advertisers can use to promote, inform, educate, and entertain clients and customers about their businesses and products. Through Digital Signage, companies and businesses can use a single television or a series of networked flat liquid crystal display (LCD) or Plasma screens to market their services and products on site to their clients and customers in real time. Data Call specializes in allows its clients to create their own Digital Signage dynamic content feeds delivered, through Internet, to digital display devices (plasma, LCD, Jumbotron, Kiosks) at their establishments.

The Direct Lynk System allows customers to select from the pre-determined data and information services. The client may choose which individual locations and which displays they would like to receive the Company's feeds based on how their digital signage network is configured.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap small cap Internet, app or digital signage stocks Blast Applications, Inc (OTCMKTS: BLAP), TGFIN Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: TGFN) and Data Call Technologies, Inc (OTCMKTS: DCLT) were getting some extra attention last week. Specifically, two of these stocks have been the subject of paid promotions while the third surged 114.29% on Friday. With that in mind, here is a closer look along with a reality check on all three small cap stocks:

Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Hudson Global Inc (HSON)

Hudson Global, Inc. (Hudson) incorporated on January 1, 2003, provides specialized professional-level recruitment and related talent solutions worldwide. The Company's Core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Talent Management solutions. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in 20 countries with three geographic business segments: Hudson Americas, Hudson Asia Pacific, and Hudson Europe. The Company's core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery,RPO and Talent Management Solutions.

The Company's Permanent Recruitment services leverage the firm's more than 1,200 consultants, supported by the Company's psychologists and other scientific specialists in the development and delivery of its methods to identify, select and engage the best-fit talent for critical client roles. In Contract Consulting, Hudson provides a range of project management, interim management and professional contract staffing services. Hudson's Legal eDiscovery services consists of eDiscovery solutions, managed document review including logistical deployment, project management, process design and productivity management, and contract attorney staffing. Hudson's RPO delivers outsourced recruitment solutions tailored to the individual needs of mid- to large-cap multinational companies. Hudson RPO services include complete recruitment outsourcing, project-based outsourcing, contingent workforce solutions and recruitment consulting. Hudson's Talent Management Solutions capability encompasses services such as talent assessment, interview training, executive coaching, employee development and outplacement.

The Company's clients include small to large-sized corporations and government agencies. As of December 31, 2012 , there were approximately 460 Hudson Americas clients, 1,200 Hudson Asia Pacific clients and 2,700 Hudson Europe clients.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization with diversified staffing services by engaging in a targeted accretive acquisition strategy. Staffing 360 Solutions has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries. Moreover, its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States, culminating with him leading the company's IPO and listing of its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market in 2003. During 2004 and 2005 he was the CFO/COO for Hudson North America (returning the business to profitability after several loss-making years) while�prior to the IPO, it should be noted that Hudson was part of what is now Monster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW). CEO Matt Briand also has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions issued an updated forecast for the next three fiscal quarters is as follows: $24.1 million for the quarter ending May 31, 2014, $30.2 million for the quarter ending August 31, 2014, and $32.1 million for the quarter ending November 30, 2014. Staffing 360 Solutions has also recently completed the acquisition of�PeopleSERVE, which�provides IT professional and management consultants on a contract and direct hire basis to state and local government, multinational and regional businesses and entrepreneurial firms throughout the greater Boston area.�On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 0.50% to $1.99 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.10 a share) for a market cap of $60.98 million plus the stock is down 0.5% since the start of the year, up 20.6% over the past year and up 165.3% ove

  • [By John Udovich]

    Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions is an interesting staffing stock because it intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization�through a�targeted accretive acquisition strategy.�The company�has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries while its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States. His stint at�Hudson Global�culminated with him leading the company's IPO on the Nasdaq in 2003. During 2004 and 2005, Flood was also the CFO/COO for Hudson North America when he returned the business to profitability after several loss-making years (Note:�Before the�IPO, Hudson was part of what is now Monster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW)). In addition, CEO Matt Briand has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. Back in June,�Staffing 360 Solutions announced revised revenue guidance for the company's fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2014, with revenue now expected to be in excess of $26.8 million, as opposed to the verses a previously forecast amount of $24.1 million for an increase of $2.7 million or 11% over the forecast. The update also noted that Staffing 360 Solutions has�successfully completed five acquisitions over the past year, including operations in the United States and Europe.�Moreover, Staffing 360 Solutions previously reported revenues of approximately $557,000 for the quarter ended May 31, 2013 versus $26.8 million for the quarter ended May 31, 2014 for a year-over-year increase of $26.2 million or 4,711%. On Thursday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 1.02% to $1.95 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.20 a share) for a market cap of $59.75 mill

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014

The screaming calls from hedge funds started coming for Daniel Nadler on Jan. 24, 2012. That was the day Nadler, then a 28-year-old Harvard Ph.D. in economics, co-wrote a story on Bloomberg Bloomberg pointing out how the strength of the dollar can predict weekly lows in the S&P 500 index. At the time traders were making a bundle on this dollar-S&P correlation. ��hey were like ��ou betrayed the brotherhood! If you discover it, you trade off it��ou don�� make it public and kill the arbitrage,��� says Nadler, a fast-talking Canadian with dark ringlets flopping over his forehead.

In the coming months Nadler is likely to receive a few more of those calls. His new Cambridge, Mass. company, Kensho, cofounded with programmer Peter Kruskall, is out to do to financial analysis what Google Google did to search. That is, they want to put in the hands of the masses a level of expertise about financial markets that only a handful of the top hedge funds and banks use to make billions off of short-term market inefficiencies.

Top 5 Asian Companies For 2015: Mistras Group Inc (MG)

Mistras Group, Inc. provides technology-enabled asset protection solutions to evaluate the structural integrity and reliability of critical energy, industrial, and public infrastructure worldwide. It provides traditional non-destructive testing (NDT) services; advanced NDT services; and mechanical integrity services. The company also offers software solutions, including Plant Condition Monitoring Software and Systems, an enterprise software that allows its customers for the warehousing and analysis of data. In addition, it provides Advanced Data Analysis Pattern Recognition and Neural Networks software, which enables acoustic emission (AE) experts to develop automated remote monitoring systems; AE Software Platform, a windows based real time application software; Loose Parts Monitoring Software program for monitoring, detecting, and evaluating metallic loose parts in nuclear reactor coolant systems; and Automated UT and Imaging Analysis Software for analyzing ultrasonic in spection data, and visualizing and identifying the location and size of flaws. Further, the company�s technology packages include TANKPAC for tank inspections; POWERPAC for monitoring discharges in critical power grid transformers; and Acoustic Combustion Turbine Monitoring System, an on-line system to detect stator blade cracks in gas turbines. Additionally, it offers digital radiographic systems to solve specific industrial problems; AE sensors, instruments, and turn-key systems, as well as leak monitoring and detection systems; ultrasonic equipment; vibration sensing products; and on-line monitoring services. Mistras Group, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Mistras Group (NYSE: MG) shares tumbled 3.97 percent to $21.30 after the company reported downbeat Q3 earnings and lowered its FY14 EBITDA forecast.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Stock in Mistras Group Inc. (MG) �rose 6.9% to $23.99 on light volume after the company raised its revenue outlook for the year to a range of $590 million to $615 million. Analysts expected $592.1 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Mistras Group (NYSE: MG) shares fell 7.71% to $20.47 after the company reported downbeat Q3 earnings and lowered its FY14 EBITDA forecast

    WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC) slipped 5.58% to $73.48 after the company reported weaker-than-expected FQ2 earnings.

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: Apollo Gold Corporation(BRD)

Brigus Gold Corp. engages in the extraction, processing, refining, and production of gold and other by-product metals primarily in North America. The company principally produces gold and silver. It primarily owns the Black Fox Complex and Black Fox Mill properties located in the Timmins Mining District in the Province of Ontario, Canada; the Goldfields project located in the Lake Athabasca region of Saskatchewan, Canada; and the Ixhuatan property located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Brigus Gold Corp., through its joint venture, holds interests in the Ampliacion Pueblo Viejo and Loma El Mate gold exploration projects located in the Dominican Republic. The company was formerly known as Apollo Gold Corporation and changed its name to Brigus Gold Corp. in June 2010. Brigus Gold Corp. was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Halifax, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Zacks Investment Research]

    It is hard to find a good play in the Zacks Industry of mining non-ferrous metals, as the industry currently has a rank of 247 out of 261. In fact, in our five mining industries, there are only two No. 1-Ranked stocks: Brigus Gold (BRD) and Impala (IMPUY.PK). Both of these are in struggling industries, but they have proven to be best-in-class thanks to improving earnings estimates. Plus, both have seen their ranks surge from holds (or worse) up to strong buy territory, suggesting either of these names might be better picks than the struggling SCCO at this time.


    As well, Primero Mining (NYSE: PPP) bought Brigus Gold Corp (USA)(NYSE: BRD) for $220 million, and Asanko Gold (NYSEMKT: AKG) is acquiring PMI Gold Corporation (TSE: PMV).

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: TotalFinaElf S.A.(TOT)

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, s uch as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    There is another way to measure the winner, and that is who won the bid for the most attractive asset. That prize goes to a group led by France's Total (NYSE: TOT  ) , which, with its partners BP and (surprise, surprise) Petrobras, won the bid for a 350-square-mile block at the mouth of the Amazon River. The group's winning bid for the region came in at $172 million. It was the most paid for any Brazilian block since 2006. Magda Chambriard, the head of Brazil's national petroleum agency, has gone on record saying this individual block has the potential to produce up to 150,000 barrels per day.�

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: Hudbay Minerals Inc (HBM)

HudBay Minerals Inc., an integrated mining company, engages in the exploration and development of copper, zinc, and precious metals mines in North and South America. It primarily produces copper concentrates containing copper, gold, and silver; and zinc metal. The company principally owns underground 777 mine that covers an area of 4,400 hectares and is located in Flin Flon, Manitoba. It also owns ore concentrators and a zinc production facility in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The company was founded in 1992 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Dan also highlights a new agreement with Brazil's Vale (NYSE: VALE  ) as an example of a new partner streaming agreement that features a focus on gold. Can Silver Wheaton continue to profit from future agreements with partners such as Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX  ) , Primaro Mining (NYSE: PPP  ) , and Hudbay Minerals (NYSE: HBM  ) ?

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: Aercap Holdings N.V. (AER)

AerCap Holdings N.V., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated aviation company worldwide. It engages in leasing and trading aircraft and engines; and selling parts. The company also provides aircraft management services, as well as aircraft and limited engine MRO services, and aircraft disassembly services through its repair stations. In addition, it offers aircraft services, including remarketing aircraft; collecting rental and maintenance payments, monitoring aircraft maintenance, monitoring and enforcing contract compliance, and accepting delivery and redelivery of aircraft; conducting ongoing lessee financial performance reviews; inspecting the leased aircraft; coordinating technical modifications to aircraft to meet new lessee requirements; conducting restructurings negotiations in connection with lease defaults; repossessing aircraft; arranging and monitoring insurance coverage; registering and de-registering aircraft; arranging for aircraft and aircraft engine valuations; and providing market research. The company?s management services include leasing and remarketing, cash management and treasury, technical advisory, and accounting and administrative services. As of March 31, 2011, it owned 272 aircraft and 95 engines, which it leased under operating leases to 118 lessees in 53 countries. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tess Stynes]

    AIG confirmed it will sell its stake in International Lease Finance Corp to aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V(AER). for $5.4 billion in cash and stock.

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (BIN)

Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. operates as a vertically integrated non-hazardous solid waste management company in North America. It operates through three segments: Canada, the U.S. south, and the U.S. northeast. The company provides waste collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services to commercial, industrial, municipal, and residential customers in 13 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 6 Canadian provinces. It also owns and operates a power generating plant fuelled by landfill gas; and generates and sells methane gas. The company was formerly known as IESI-BFC Ltd. and changed its name to Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. in May 2011. Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. was founded in 2001 and is based in Vaughan, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sean Williams]

    Keep in mind, though, this is a sectorwide problem, not just one affecting Waste Management. Canada's Progressive Waste Solutions (NYSE: BIN  ) delivered an 11% increase in first-quarter revenue but succumbed to a decrease of 0.5% in recycling revenue because of lower realized metal prices. �

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Watch For 2014: Royal Bank Of Canada(RY)

Royal Bank of Canada provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services under the RBC name worldwide. Its Canadian Banking segment offers personal financial services, business financial services, and cards and payment solutions. The company?s Wealth Management segment provides wealth and asset management, and estate and trust services to affluent and high net worth clients through distributors, as well as directly to institutional and individual clients in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Its Insurance segment provides various life and health insurance, including universal life, accidental death and critical illness protection, disability, long-term care insurance, and group benefits; and property and casualty insurance comprising home, auto, and travel insurance, as well as wealth accumulation solutions; and reinsurance products through retail ins urance branches, call centers, independent insurance advisors and travel agencies, financial institutions, and career sales force. The company?s International Banking segment offers various financial products and services to individuals, business clients, and public institutions in the U.S. and Caribbean. This segment also provides global custody, fund and pension administration, securities lending, shareholder services, analytics, and other related services to institutional investors. Royal Bank of Canada?s Capital Markets segment engages in the trading and distribution of fixed income, foreign exchange, equities, commodities, and derivative products for institutional, public sector, and corporate clients; and involves in investment banking, debt and equity origination, advisory services, corporate lending, private equity, and client securitization businesses. The company was founded in 1864 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    UBS (NYSE: UBS  ) , Barclays (NYSE: BCS  ) , JPMorgan Chase's near-eponymous J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Canada's (NYSE: RY  ) Capital Markets arm, and the Securities wings of Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB  ) are the joint book-running managers of the issue.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    U.S. investors first became aware of the relative strength of Canadian banks during the U.S. financial crisis, but since then, they've realized the benefits of looking north of the border. Canada does have its own systemically important banks, which include not only Scotiabank but also Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY  ) , Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO  ) , and three other large financial institutions, but high capital requirements have demonstrated their creditworthiness and relative safety.

  • [By Eric Lam]

    Canadian stocks rose for a fourth day, extending a two-year high, as Royal Bank (RY) of Canada soared to a record close and energy producers surged on accelerating economic growth in China.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top 5 Recreation Companies To Invest In 2014

With shares of Nike (NYSE:NKE) trading around $61, is NKE an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let�� analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Nike is engaged in the design, development, and worldwide marketing and selling of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company sells its products to retail accounts, through retail stores and Internet sales, and through a mix of independent distributors and licensees around the world. Nike focuses its product offerings in seven key categories: Running, Basketball, Soccer, Men�� Training, Women�� Training, Nike Sportswear, and Action Sports. It also markets products designed for kids, as well as for other athletic and recreational uses. Looking around, many consumers and companies are advocating and opting for a lifestyle that involves more outdoor and physical activity. As the fitness and staying active movement sees progress, Nike is a company that is poised to see rising profits. A recent positive earnings report may be the fuel Nike needs to head higher this coming quarter.

10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (SEAS)

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., incorporated on October 2, 2009, is a theme park and entertainment company. The Company is engaged in delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The Company own or license a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld, Shamu and Busch Gardens. The Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States. Its theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests. In addition to its theme parks, it has recently begun to leverage its brands into media, entertainment and consumer products.

The Company generates revenue primarily from selling admission to its theme parks and from purchases of food, merchandise and other spending. During the year ended December 31, 2012, it hosted more than 24 million guests in its theme parks, including approximately 3.5 million international guests from over 55 countries and six continents. In 2012, the Company opened new attractions in seven of its theme parks. In November 2012, the Company acquired Knott�� Soak City, a standalone Southern California water park, from an affiliate of Cedar Fair L.P. The Company�� products and services include Admission Tickets, Theme Park Operations, Culinary Offerings , Merchandise , Licensing and Consumer Products , Group Events and Conventions and Corporate Sponsorships and Strategic Alliances.

Admission Tickets, which generate most of its revenue from selling admission to its theme parks. The Company also offers a Fun Card at select theme parks that allows additional visits throughout that calendar year. In addition, visitors can purchase vacation packages with preferred hotels, behind-the-scenes tours, specialt! y dining packages and front of the line access to enhance their experience. Theme Park Operations delivers a level of service, safety and security at its theme parks. It comprised of rides, shows and attractions operations, safety, security, environmental, water park and guest arrival services (including parking, tolls, admissions, guest relations, entry and exit), the theme park operations team manages the planning and execution of the overall theme park experience on a daily basis.

Culinary Offerings delivers a variety of high quality, creative and memorable culinary experiences to its guests. Culinary operations are strategically organized into five key guest-oriented disciplines designed to drive in-park per capita spending: restaurants, catering, carts and kiosks, specialty snacks and vending. The Company�� culinary team focuses on providing creative menu offerings that appeal to our diverse guest base. Merchandise offers guests the opportunity to capture memories through its products and services, including through traditional retail shops, game venues and customized photos and videos. It focuses on effort to leverage the emotional connection of the theme park experiences, capitalize on trends and optimize brand alignment with its merchandise product offerings.

Licensing and Consumer Products capitalize on its brands, it has begun to leverage its intellectual property and content through media and consumer strategic licensing arrangements. It extended the reach of its brands through outbound media licensing in areas such as films, television programs and digital e-books, as well as its first-ever multi-platform mobile app game, TurtleTrek, which launched on iTunes in November 2012. Group Events and Conventions host a variety of different group events, meetings and conventions at its theme parks both during the day and at night. Its venues offer indoor and outdoor space for meetings, special events, entertainment shows, picnics, teambuilding events, group tours and spec! ial group! ticket packages. Park buy-outs allow groups to enjoy exclusive itineraries, including meetings and shows, up-close encounters with animals and behind the scenes tours. Corporate Sponsorships and Strategic Alliances seek to secure long-term corporate sponsorships and strategic alliances with companies and brands that share its core values, deliver brand marketing value and influence and drive mutual business gains. Its current corporate sponsors include, among others, Southwest Airlines, which has been a sponsor for over 20 years, and The Coca-Cola Company.


SeaWorld is recognized as the marine-life theme park brand in the world. Its SeaWorld theme parks, located in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego, each rank among the most highly attended theme parks in the industry and offer up-close interactive experiences and a variety of live performances, including shows featuring Shamu in specially designed amphitheaters. It offers its guests numerous animal encounters, including the opportunity to work with trainers and feed marine animals, as well as themed thrill rides and theatrical shows that creatively incorporate its animal collection.

Busch Gardens

Its Busch Gardens theme parks are family-oriented destinations designed to immerse guests in foreign geographic settings. They are renowned for their beauty and landscaping and gardens and allow its guests to discover the natural side of fun by offering a family experience featuring a range of attractions and rollercoasters in a richly-themed environment. Busch Gardens Tampa presents its collection of animals from Africa, Asia and Australia.


Its Aquatica branded water parks are premium, family-oriented destinations that are based in a South Seas-themed tropical setting. Aquatica water parks build on the aquatic theme of its SeaWorld brand and feature high-energy rides, water attractions, white-sand beaches ande entertaining presentation of marine and terrestrial an! imals. Th! e Company positions its Aquatica water parks as companion water parks to its SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando and San Diego and it has an Aquatica water park situated within its SeaWorld San Antonio theme park.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is a reservations only, all-inclusive, marine-life day resort adjacent to SeaWorld Orlando. Discovery Cove offers guests personal, signature experiences, including the opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins, take an underwater walking reef tour and enjoy pristine white-sand beaches and landscaped private cabanas. Discovery Cove presently limits its attendance to approximately 1,300 guests per day and features premium culinary offerings in order to provide guests with a more relaxed, intimate and high-end luxury resort experience.

Sesame Place

Sesame Place is the only United States theme park based entirely on the television show Sesame Street. It is located between Philadelphia and New York City, Sesame Place is a destination where parents and children can share in the spirit of imagination and experience Sesame Street together through whirling rides, water slides, colorful shows and furry friends. In addition, it has introduced Sesame Street brands in its other theme parks through Sesame Street-themed rides, shows, children�� play areas and merchandise.

The Company competes with The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Merlin Entertainments and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    Open season on the cookie jar
    Nor will they be alone. According to Bloomberg, the phenomenon of corporate insiders "raising loans through companies they own to pay themselves dividends" is a hot new trend. It's especially popular among private equity owners. A few examples:

    During the three years in which Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX  ) owned SeaWorld (NYSE: SEAS  ) , before IPOing it earlier this year, the private equity firm heaped $400 million in new debton the company -- and paid itself in excess of $600 million worth of "special" dividends. Petco has been taken private twice already (and re-IPOed once), getting loaded up with debt each time. A couple of years ago, private equity owners TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners took out more than $1.2 billion in loans to pay themselves a near-$700 million special dividend. Yankee Candleis aiming to raise $1.4 billion later this year and, like Beats, says it will use some of the money to roll over old debt and some more to pay its private equity owner, Dearborn Partners, a $187 million dividend.

    The $700 million question
    So, clearly, the trend is popular, but why is it popular? Why are all these companies taking on debt to pay themselves dividends, knowing the debt will eventually come due and they'll have to pay it back?

  • [By Sean Williams]

    One of the biggest boosts in its most recent quarter came from Blackstone's private-equity portfolio which saw economic income rise 15% from the previous year. More importantly, it saw the IPO of theme park owner SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS  ) , allowing Blackstone to sell 16 million shares and generate another "whale" of a return for investors.

Top 5 Recreation Companies To Invest In 2014: Bowl America Inc (BWL.A)

Bowl America Incorporated, incorporated in July 22, 1958, is engaged in the entertainment business. The Company operates in one segment. Its principal source of revenue consists of fees charged for the use of bowling lanes and other facilities and from the sale of food and beverages for consumption on the premises. Merchandise sales, including food and beverages, were approximately 30% of operating revenues. The balance of operating revenues (approximately 70%) represents fees for bowling and related services. During the fiscal year ended July, 1 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries operated 19 bowling centers. These 19 bowling centers contain a total of 756 lanes. As of September 1, 2012 the Company and its subsidiaries operated 10 bowling centers in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., one bowling center in the metropolitan area of Baltimore, Maryland, one bowling center in Orlando, Florida, three bowling centers in the metropolitan area of Jacksonville, Florida, and four bowling centers in the metropolitan area of Richmond, Virginia.

These establishments are air-conditioned with facilities for service of food and beverages, game rooms, rental lockers, and meeting room facilities. All centers provide shoes for rental, and bowling balls are provided free. In addition, each center retails bowling accessories. Most locations are equipped for glow-in-the-dark bowling, popular for parties and non-league bowling. The bowling equipment essential for the Company's operation is readily available. Two of the Company's bowling centers are located in leased premises, and the remaining seventeen centers are owned by the Company.

The Company competes with Brunswick Corporation and AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Fredrik Arnold]

    The balance of the top ten included one technology firm, AT&T Inc. (T) in fourth place; one consumer goods, Altria Group Inc. (MO), placed fifth; Bowl America Class A (BWL.A) in seventh place was the lone service dog. Two utilities, Northwest Natural Gas (NWN), and Consolidated Edison (ED), in ninth and tenth places completed the representation of market sectors in the champions index.

Top 5 Recreation Companies To Invest In 2014: Drew Industries Inc (DW)

Drew Industries Incorporated, incorporated on March 20, 1984, is a supplier of components for recreational vehicle (RVs) and manufactured housing. The Company operates in two segments: the RV products segment (RV Segment), and the manufactured housing products segment (MH Segment). The Company�� operations are conducted through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Lippert Components, Inc. and its subsidiaries (Lippert) and Kinro, Inc. and its subsidiaries (Kinro), each of which has operations in both the RV Segment and the MH Segment. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the RV Segment accounted for 87% of net sales and the MH segment accounted for 13% of net sales. On February 21, 2012, the Company acquired the business and certain assets of the United States RV entry door operation of Euramax International, Inc. In February 2014, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc has acquired Innovative Design Solutions, Inc. (IDS).

RV Segment

The Company through its wholly owned subsidiaries manufactures and markets a variety of products used in the production of RVs, including steel chassis for towable RVs, axles and suspension solutions for towable RVs, slide-out mechanisms and solutions, thermoformed bath, kitchen and other products, manual, electric and hydraulic stabilizer and lifting systems, aluminum windows and screens, chassis components, furniture and mattresses, entry, baggage, patio and ramp doors, entry steps, awnings, and other accessories. The Company also supplies certain of these products to the RV aftermarket, and to adjacent industries, including manufacturers of truck caps, buses and trailers used to haul boats, livestock, equipment and other cargo. Operations of the Company's RV Segment consist primarily of fabricating, welding, painting and assembling components into finished products. The Company's RV Segment operations are conducted at 23 manufacturing and warehouse facilities throughout the United States, located in proximity to the cus! tomers they serve. Of these facilities, six also conduct operations in the Company's MH Segment. It markets extruded aluminum parts to manufacturers in other industries. The Company's RV Segment products are sold primarily to manufacturers of RVs such as Thor Industries Forest River (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and to distributors of aftermarket products.

MH Segment

The Company through its wholly owned subsidiaries manufactures and markets a variety of products used in the production of manufactured homes and to modular housing and mobile office units, including vinyl and aluminum windows and screens, steel chassis, steel chassis parts, axles, thermoformed bath and kitchen products, steel and fiberglass entry doors, and aluminum and vinyl patio doors. The Company also supplies windows, doors, and thermoformed bath products as replacement parts to the manufactured housing aftermarket, and to adjacent industries. MH Segment customers manufacture both manufactured homes and modular homes, and certain of the products manufactured by the Company are suitable for both types of homes. Operations of the Company's MH Segment consist primarily of fabricating, welding, thermoforming, painting and assembling components into finished products. The Company's MH Segment operations are conducted at 13 manufacturing and warehouse facilities throughout the United States, located in proximity to the customers they serve. Of these facilities, six also conduct operations in the Company's RV Segment. The Company's manufactured housing products are sold primarily to producers of manufactured homes such as Clayton Homes, Cavco Industries, Inc., Champion Home Builders, Inc., Skyline Corporation, and other OEMs, and to distributors of aftermarket products.

The Company competes with Kober Corporation and Dexter Axle Company.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    The CEO of recreation vehicle (RV) stock Winnebago Industries, Inc (NYSE: WGO) recently appeared on CNBC to say that the economy is improving for RV makers, meaning its time to take a closer look at the stock plus take a look at the performance of other small cap RV stocks like Drew Industries, Inc (NYSE: DW), Skyline Corporation (NYSEMKT: SKY) and Thor Industries, Inc (NYSE: THO).

Top 5 Recreation Companies To Invest In 2014: Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR)

Sealand Natural Resources Inc. (SLNR), incorporated on May 13, 2011, is a research and new product development company that manufactures, markets and sells new age functional beverages (SealandBirk), organic nutriceuticals, health supplements, medicinal raw materials and health food worldwide. SLNR specializes in research of natural new product development and mass market consumer product distribution. Its Products include Sealand BIRK, Sealand Living and Sealand research and development (R&D). Sealand Living Anew products offer supply of healing nutrients to athletic training.

Anew omega premium is a food supplement consists of shark cartilage powder, fish bone powder, and omega three polyunsaturated fatty acids. Anew omega premium is designed to reduce the decomposition, to stimulate resynthesis of the joint cartilage and to reduce pain. Omega Premium consists of shark cartilage powder, codfish backbone powder, and fish oil powder. Anew nutripeptin is a food supply. Sealand BIRK consists of five flavors original, elderflower, raspberry, blueberry, ginger and lime.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By CRWE]

    Today, The Company remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $7.35 with 125 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 10:01AM EDT July 22, 2013).

    Sealand Natural Resources Inc. previously reported it has reached a distribution agreement with Nature’s Best.

    Nature’s Best, in business since 1969, is the largest privately owned wholesaler-distributor of health and natural food products in the Natural Products Industry. Nature’s Best provides a full-line of Certified Organic, Natural and Specialty products to retail stores throughout the Central, Southern and Western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Asia. Nature’s Best specializes in Retail Marketing Support, Web Services, Business Analysis Tools and Sales/Category Management Consulting.