Friday, February 21, 2014

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now

With shares of Corning (NYSE:GLW) trading around $15, is GLW 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

Corning produces and sells specialty glasses, ceramics, and related materials worldwide. It operates through five segments: Display Technologies, Telecommunications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials, and Life Sciences.�Corning launched Corning Lotus Glass, an environmentally friendly display glass for organic LED and LCD displays that are used in portable devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and notebook computers. Smart phones, tablets, and notebook computers and their related materials are seeing explosive growth in developed and developing countries around the world. Companies that provide the products necessary to develop and improve existing technology, like Corning, will see a continued rise in profits as consumers and companies demand products that maximize their efforts.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Network Equipment Technologies Inc.(NWK)

Network Equipment Technologies, Inc. (NET), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of voice and data telecommunications equipment for multi-service networks and associated services used by government organizations, enterprises, and carriers worldwide. The company offers voice solutions, such as the VX Series and the Quintum Series of switching media gateways that provide enterprise customers with voice interoperability solutions, IP-based solutions to government agencies, and traditional VoIP switching gateway solutions for SMBs and smaller branch offices within large enterprises. It offers multi-service solutions, which comprise Promina product line, a multi-service platform that provides network reliability and security; NX1000 platform, which offers a WAN switching solution to enable applications to integrate and aggregate into IP-based networks; and NX5010 platform that enables secure interconnection and extension of g eographically distributed grid computing clusters and storage area networks, providing data transfer. The company also offers SmartSIP product that allows standard SIP phones to be provisioned and used as extensions in a Microsoft Lync Server 2010 deployment. In addition, it provides installation and other professional services; hardware and software maintenance programs, parts repair, remote and on-site technical assistance, and customer training; and Web-based services. The company serves government customers, which include various federal and international agencies and organizations, such as civilian and defense agencies, and resellers to such entities; and enterprise customers comprising large enterprises, and small-to mid-sized businesses in various sectors. NET sells its products directly, as well as through relationships with integrators, resellers, and vendors of related technologies. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Fremont, California.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Blackrock Muni Intermediate Duration Fund Inc (MUI)

BlackRock Muni Intermediate Duration Fund, Inc. is a closed ended fixed income mutual fund launched by BlackRock, Inc. It is co-managed by BlackRock Investment Management LLC and BlackRock Advisors, LLC. The fund invests in fixed income markets. BlackRock Muni Intermediate Duration Fund, Inc. was formed in 2003 and is domiciled in United States.

Top 10 Cheap Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Rio Novo Gold Inc Ord(RN.TO)

Rio Novo Gold Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for gold deposits. Its properties comprise the Almas Gold project located in the Tocantins State, Brazil; the Guarant�Gold project located in the Mato Grosso State, Brazil; and Toldafria Gold project located in the Caldas State, Colombia. The company was formerly known as Rio Novo Holdings S.A. and changed its name to Rio Novo Gold Inc. in January 2010. Rio Novo Gold Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB)

iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond Fund (the Fund) is a non-diversified fund. The investment objective of the Fund is to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specified benchmark index (the Underlying Index) representing a segment of emerging countries bond markets. The Fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing primarily in fixed-income securities that comprise the Underlying Index. The Fund operates as an index fund and will not be actively managed. The adverse performance of a security in the Fund�� portfolio will ordinarily not result in the elimination of the security from the Fund�� portfolio. The Fund is managed by Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA), a subsidiary of iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond Fund (BGI).

The Fund generally will invest at least 90% if its assets in the securities of its Underlying Index. However, the Fund may at times invest up to 20% of its assets in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents, including money market funds advised by BGFA, as well as in high-yield corporate bonds not included in its Underlying Index. iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in the United States-denominated bonds issued by sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities of emerging market countries. The Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Finally, beyond the Dow, the real damage is happening not in stocks but in other markets, especially bonds. PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEMKT: BOND  ) is down 1.3%, proving to investors seeking safety that bond investments are far from a secure place to put your money these days. Emerging-market bond investments are taking even more damage, with iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond (NYSEMKT: EMB  ) plunging 3.5%. When investors try to reduce their risk, the first place they look is in the more aggressive areas where they've put their money. The exodus from emerging markets in both stocks and bonds shows the fear that's rising among U.S. investors -- but that fear is motivated less by the prospects in those countries than by investors' desire to preserve hard-won profits dating back to 2009.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Integrated Electrical Services Inc.(IESC)

Integrated Electrical Services, Inc. provides electrical infrastructure services in the United States. The company?s Communications segment offers various services, including the design, installation, and maintenance of network infrastructure for the financial, medical, hospitality, government, manufacturing, educational, and information technology industries; design and installation of audio/visual, telephone, fire, wireless, and intrusion alarm systems, as well as design/build, servicing, and maintenance of data network systems. Its Residential segment offers electrical installation services for single-family housing and multi-family apartment complexes, and CATV cabling installations for residential and commercial applications. This segment also installs residential solar power, smart meters, electric car charging stations, and stand-by generators. The company?s Commercial and Industrial segment provides electrical contracting services, which include the design of ele ctrical systems in a building or complex; procurement and installation of wiring and connection to power sources; end-use equipment and fixtures; and contract maintenance services. It also provides service, maintenance, and renovation and upgrade work services; and services for various projects, including high-rise residential and office buildings, power plants, manufacturing facilities, data centers, chemical plants, refineries, wind farms, solar facilities, municipal infrastructure, and health care facilities, as well as residential developments. In addition, this segment offers utility services consisting of overhead and underground installation and maintenance of electrical and other utilities transmission and distribution networks; installation and splicing of high-voltage transmission and distribution lines; substation construction; and substation and right-of-way maintenance. Integrated Electrical Services, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By GuruFocus]

    Integrated Electrical Services Inc. (IESC): President and CEO James M. Lindstrom Bought 1,901 Shares

    President and CEO of Integrated Electrical Services Inc. (IESC) James M. Lindstrom bought 1,901 shares on 09/25/2013 at an average price of $4.08. Integrated Electrical Services Inc. has a market cap of $73.0559 million; its shares were traded at around $4.08 with and P/S ratio of 0.13.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Fresh Healthy Vending International Inc (VEND)

Fresh Healthy Vending International, Inc., formerly Green 4 Media, Inc., incorporated on June 8, 2011, is an eco-marketing and advertising company. The Company focuses on designing marketing and advertising campaigns utilizing natural media. The Company offers a range of natural advertising options, including Floor, Vertical, and Field media. The Company can contour grass, crops, sand, moss, or sea shells to produce designs and marketing messages.

Floor and field media involves the use of sand, chalk, snow, and specialized cleaning to create 100% environmentally sustainable messages and advertisements. Vertical media uses walls, buildings, or bridges to act as the canvas for its ad creations.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Given its 144% gain since the end of last year, with 7% of that move coming today, it wouldn't be tough to get excited about Fresh Healthy Vending International Inc. (OTCBB:VEND) ... excited enough to jump into a VEND position. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of tell-tale signs that today is a major (albeit short-term) top today, and we're very likely headed for a sizable correction beginning tomorrow.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: TFS Financial Corporation(TFSL)

TFS Financial Corporation operates as a holding company for Third Federal Savings and Loan Association of Cleveland. The company provides retail consumer banking, including mortgage lending, deposit gathering, and other financial services in Ohio and Florida. Its deposit accounts consist of savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, certificates of deposit accounts, individual retirement accounts, and other qualified plan accounts. The company also offers residential real estate mortgage loans, home equity loans, lines of credit, residential construction loans, and consumer loans. It operates 39 full-service branches and 8 loan production offices. TFS Financial Corporation, through its subsidiary, Third Capital, Inc. engages in net lease transactions of commercial buildings; maintains minority investments in private equity funds, and provide escrow and settlement services; and reinsures private mortgage insurance on residential mortgage loans. The company w as founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: EURASIAN NATURAL RESOURCES CORP ORD USD0.20 WI(ENRC.L)

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC, a diversified natural resources group, engages in mining, processing, energy, logistics, and marketing operations worldwide. The company operates through six segments: Ferroalloys, Iron Ore, Alumina and Aluminium, Other Nonferrous, Energy, and Logistics. The Ferroalloys segment involves in the extraction and sale of chrome ore, as well as the production of ferroalloys from chromium and manganese ores. It offers high-, medium-, and low-carbon ferrochrome; and other alloys, including ferrosilicochrome, ferrosilicomanganese, and ferrosilicon, as well as chrome and manganese concentrate. This segment sells its ferroalloys to steel producers, third party ferroalloy producers, and the chemical industries. The Iron Ore segment engages in the exploration, extraction, processing, and manufacturing of iron ore products. It produces and sells iron ore concentrate and pellets primarily to steel producers. This segment also engages in ancilla ry mining operations that produce limestone, dolomite, and construction gravel. The Alumina and Aluminium segment involves in the extraction and processing of bauxite and limestone; and the smelting of alumina and aluminum. It sells alumina to aluminum producers. The Other Nonferrous segment engages in the exploration and extraction, processing, and manufacturing of copper and cobalt products; trucking and logistics activities; and the exploration of other minerals, including coal, bauxite, platinum, and fluorspar in Africa. The Energy segment involves in coal mining and power generation in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Logistics segment provides transportation and logistic services. Its operations include freight forwarding, wagon repair services, and railway construction and repair services, as well as a railway transfer and reloading terminal on the Kazakhstan-China border. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC is based in London, the United Kingdom.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: California Nanotechnologies Cor (CNO.V)

California Nanotechnologies Corp., a development stage company, engages in the research, development, and production of nano-structured components and materials. The company produces powders, billets, wire, and precision forged components from nano, near-nano, ultrafine, and conventional advanced materials. Its products include precision cold forged components consisting of fasteners, bolts, pins, caps, and other components; thermal spray powders comprising WC-based materials and titanium powders; nano light alloy powders that include aluminum, titanium, magnesium, and their alloys; nano alloy billets; nano super alloy powders; and cemented carbides. The company also offers component manufacturing services for in-house and customer-designed components using Cal nano materials. It serves customers in aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, and sports and recreation industries. California Nanotechnologies Corp. is headquartered in Cerritos, California.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: (EPIC.BO)

Epic Energy Limited provides energy management solutions in India and internationally. It operates in two divisions, Energy Conservation, and Solar and Wind Energy. The Energy Conservation division principally offers power conditioner and energy saver that reduces the unbalance current and the neutral current, and neutral shifting problems in the transformers, as well as reduces the system current and ensures that the impedance matching is achieved for the load, and accordingly the optimum power is transferred. The Solar and Wind Energy division provides solar products, including solar water heaters, solar lanterns, and solar street lights, as well as solar inverters, solar radio plus torches, solar cool caps, and solar fans, and solar home generators; and wind products, including wind solar hybrid for remote power solutions. This division caters to energy needs of remote households, street lighting, telecommunication, and defense sectors. In addition, Epic Energy offers v arious services, including design, supply, and implementation of SCADA for power utilities and process industries; energy and power quality solutions; energy audit services; and custom products and systems for automatic meter reading. The company was founded in 1991 and is based in Mumbai, India.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Coro Mining Com Npv (COP.TO)

Coro Mining Corp., an exploration and development stage mining company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral properties and projects in Latin America. It primarily focuses on copper, gold, and other base and precious metal projects. The company holds 100% interests in the Berta, El Desesperado, Payen, Chacay, and Llancahue copper porphyries projects in Chile; and has an option to acquire a 100% interest in the San Jorge project in Mendoza, Argentina. Coro Mining Corp. was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

10 Best Life Sciences Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Telecom Plus Plc(TEP.L)

Telecom Plus PLC operates as a utility warehouse in the United Kingdom. It offers fixed telephony, mobile telephony, gas, electricity, and Internet services, as well as cashback card and non-geographic services to residential and small to medium-sized business customers. The company also sells marketing materials, as well as equipment, including mobile phone handsets and wireless Internet routers. Telecom Plus PLC is based in London, the United Kingdom.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now

Beach houses are often perceived as the pinnacle of achievement for a high-net-worth family. Like the Bush or Kennedy family compounds in New England, they evoke thoughts of multigenerational ties and shared values, songs by the campfire and touch football on the lawn.

And then there’s the reality.

When Stacy Allred, a director in the wealth structuring unit of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group, sat down to work with a West Coast family on preserving their cherished gathering spot along with a sense of multigenerational harmony, she quickly found herself dealing with a challenge that has cropped up for many baby boomers and their children. While a beach house, mountain retreat or European villa may be just a vacation home, it is also charged with emotions and family history that must be considered when the time comes for the next generation to take possession of that beloved second home.

A Small Cabin Becomes a Large House

In the case of Allred’s clients, a young couple living in San Francisco back in the 1960s bought a small cabin on a large piece of land on the coast, two hours from the city. What was at first a getaway for the young couple and their four small children became a place that the whole extended family enjoyed, including aunts, uncles and cousins. A series of renovations and additions turned the small cabin into a large house, and those four children now have adult children of their own.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: 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 Paul Ausick]

    More than two years ago, American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) in its aircraft leasing group, International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC). That filing came to nothing, and AIG found little interest from buyers for ILFC, until Monday morning when it announced that AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) will buy the leasing operation for $3 billion in cash and 97.56 million shares of new AerCap stock. The total value of the deal is approximately $5.4 billion.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: British American Tobacco Industries p.l.c.(BTI)

British American Tobacco p.l.c., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. The company offers cigars, cigarettes, smokeless snus, roll-your-own, and pipe tobacco products under the Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Viceroy, Kool, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, and State Express 555 brand names. It has operations in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, eastern and western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. British American Tobacco p.l.c. operates independently of Remgro Ltd. as of November 03, 2008.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alan Oscroft]

    British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS  ) (NYSEMKT: BTI  )
    Thursday will also bring us a first-quarter update from British American Tobacco, and yet again we're seeing a share price rise that has started to tail off. The price hit a 52-week peak of 3,640 pence on March 12 (the same day the FTSE 100 reached a five-year high of 6,534) but has since slipped back to 3,502 pence.

  • [By Mark Rogers]

    Today I'm looking at the earnings per share (EPS) forecasts for�British American Tobacco� (LSE: BATS  ) (NYSEMKT: BTI  ) , the FTSE 100 cigarette-manufacturing colossus. All my figures are courtesy of S&P Capital IQ.

  • [By Royston Wild]

    Bubbly activity in these developing geographies can create large opportunities for many London-listed firms. Today, I am looking at�British American Tobacco� (LSE: BATS  ) �(NYSE: BTI) and assessing whether its operations in these regions are likely to underpin solid earnings growth.

Top 10 Wireless Telecom Companies To Invest In 2014: Flamel Technologies S.A.(FLML)

Flamel Technologies S.A., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of controlled-release therapeutic products based on its proprietary polymer based technology in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, France, and Europe. The company develops nanogel Medusa technology, which is intended to provide controlled release following injection of therapeutic proteins, peptides, and other molecules; a microparticle adaptation of the Medusa platform that is intended for use in the delivery of smaller proteins and peptides; and Micropump technology, a microparticle technology for oral administration of small molecule drugs with applications in controlled-release, taste-masking, and bioavailability enhancement; and Trigger-Lock technology, an adaptation based on Micropump technology, which is intended to minimize the misuse and abuse of medications subject to abuse. Its principal product based on Micropump technology is Coreg CR, which is intended for the treatment of moderate to severe heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction. The company?s products under development based upon Medusa technology include Interferon-alpha, a naturally occurring protein that the body uses for the treatment of Hepatitis C virus and as a immune response; and FT-105, an injectable insulin formulation for diabetic patients. Its products based on its Micropump technology comprise LiquiTime for the elderly and pediatric patient patients, or others who have difficulty swallowing. The company has strategic alliance with Baxter International, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Merck Serono; and Pfizer Inc, as well as has a joint development agreement with Digna Biotech, S.L. Flamel Technologies S.A. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Venissieux, France.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: Nuveen Select Tax Free Income Portfolio(NXP)

Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio is an exchange traded fund launched by Nuveen Investments, Inc. It is managed by Nuveen Asset Management Inc. The fund invests in the fixed income markets of the United States. It primarily invests in long-term municipal obligations with investment-grade ratings (Baa and BBB or better). Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio was formed on March 19, 1992 and is domiciled in United States.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: STMicroelectronics N.V.(STM)

STMicroelectronics N.V., an independent semiconductor company, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices. Its products include discrete and standard commodity components, application-specific integrated circuits, custom devices and semi-custom devices, and application-specific standard products for analog, digital, and mixed-signal applications. The company also offers subsystems and modules for the telecommunications, automotive, and industrial markets comprising mobile phone accessories, battery chargers, ISDN power supplies, and in-vehicle equipment for electronic toll payment, as well as provides Smartcard products. Its products are used in various microelectronic applications consisting of automotive products, computer peripherals, telecommunications systems, consumer products, industrial automation, and control systems. The company sells its products through distributors and ret ailers. STMicroelectronics N.V. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Advisors' Opinion:

    In 2009, Ericsson hooked up with STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE ADR: STM) - Europe's No. 1 chipmaker - to produce semiconductors for the wireless market. Launched in 2009, this also was ill-fated.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) supplies most set-top box chips for Scientific�Atlanta, and also sells chips for disk drives that end up in DVRs; but still has less than a 10% exposure. The consensus target for the stock is $11. Investors do receive an outstanding 4.0% dividend from the company.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: Aegon NV(AEG)

AEGON N.V. provides life insurance, pensions, and asset management products and services worldwide. The company?s life insurance products include traditional, term, universal, whole, and other life insurance products sold as part of defined benefit pension plans, endowment policies, post-retirement annuity products, and group risk products; supplemental health insurance products comprise accidental death, other injury, critical illness, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, and student health; specialty lines consists of travel, membership, and creditor products; and long term care insurance products for policyholders who require care due to a chronic illness or cognitive impairment. It also offers a range of savings and retirement products and services, including mutual funds, and fixed and variable annuities, savings accounts and investment contracts, segregated funds, guaranteed investment accounts, and single premium immediate annuities, as well as investment advice to individuals. In addition, the company offers employer solutions and pensions, such as retirement plans, pension plans, and pension-related products and services; investment products, including onshore and offshore bonds, and trusts; reinsurance products and solutions to life insurance and financial services companies; general insurance products comprising house, car, and fire insurance; and asset management products and services, including general account assets, unit-linked funds, and third party activities. AEGON N.V. markets its products through independent and career agents, financial planners, registered representatives, independent marketing organizations, banks, broker-dealers, benefit consulting firms, wirehouses, affinity groups, institutional partners, independent managing general agencies, and specialized financial advisors, as well as through online, direct, and worksite marketing. The company was founded in 1900 and is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherl ands.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: BP p.l.c.(BP)

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services, and petrochemicals products. Its Exploration and Production segment engages in the oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production; midstream transportation, and storage and processing; and marketing and trading of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), and power and natural gas liquids (NGL). This segment has exploration and production activities in Angola, Azerbaijan, Canada, Egypt, Norway, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in Asia, Australasia, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East. This segment also owns and manages crude oil and natural gas pipelines; processing facilities and export terminals; and LNG processing and transportation, as well as NGL extraction facilities. BP p.l.c. has interests in the Trans-Alaska pipeline system, the Forties pipeline system, the Central Area transmission sys tem pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline, and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, as well as in LNG plants located in Trinidad, Indonesia, and Australia. The company?s Refining and Marketing segment involves in the supply and trading, refining, manufacturing, marketing, and transportation of crude oil, petroleum, and petrochemicals products and related services to wholesale and retail customers primarily under the BP, Castrol, ARCO, and Aral brands. Its Other Businesses and Corporate segment produces and markets rolled aluminum products, as well as generates energy through wind, solar, biofuels, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage sources; and engages in shipping activities. The company was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Arjun Sreekumar]

    Since 2008, BP (NYSE: BP  ) has been working on a multi-billion-dollar modernization project at its Whiting refinery in Indiana, the company's largest U.S. refinery. As the British oil giant moves closer to completing the last remaining upgrades at Whiting, let's take a closer look at what effect its start-up may have on North American benchmark crude oil prices.


    As long as the broader market holds, BP should perform well going forward. If litigation costs exceed expectations, it might lead to a drop in the stock price, but that would only be temporary. Investors would then look at it as something that�� now out of the way, which is always a positive.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: 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 Dan Caplinger]

    Time to diversify?
    For international investors, weak stock markets might well offer a great opportunity. As stocks in the U.S. appear increasingly overpriced, beaten-down international stocks are a better value. For instance, European energy stocks BP (NYSE: BP  ) and Total (NYSE: TOT  ) haven't done as well as their U.S. counterparts, even though they both have similar global exposure to energy assets around the world. When you think about investing, don't ignore the Global Dow, despite the Dow Industrials' stronger performance recently.

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    2. Geopolitical risk. Oil is a very delicate commodity, and any potential disruption of supply could lead to large changes in prices. During the Libyan revolution, Total (NYSE: TOT  ) , BP (NYSE: BP  ) , and several other oil companies halted operations, and a country that was once repsonsible for 1.6 million barrels per day came to an almost screeching halt. From January to May 2011, as�Libyan�oil�prosecution�had tumbled 88%, Brent crude jumped almost 30% even though Libya supplied only 0.5% of total global exports.

Hot European Companies To Own In Right Now: Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (FMS)

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, a dialysis company, provides products and services for patients with chronic kidney diseases. As of May 12, 2011, it provided dialysis care services to 216,942 patients through its network of 2,769 dialysis clinics primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa. The company also develops and manufactures various dialysis products, including hemodialysis machines, dialyzers, hemofilters, dialysis fluid filters, tubing systems, fistula needles, dialysis related equipment, acute hemodialysis machines, plasma filters, acute tubing systems and cassettes, catheters, and related disposable products for chronic hemodialysis, acute therapy, home therapy, and therapeutic apheresis, as well as dialysis drugs. In addition, it provides laboratory services. Fresenius Medical sells its products through distributors. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid decided today to cut government payment to dialysis clinics. So why did share prices for DaVita HealthCare Partners (DVA) and rival Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) rise so steeply today?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Australia stocks follow U.S. peers downward

Top 5 Blue Chip Stocks To Watch For 2015

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australia stocks started solidly lower Tuesday, weighed by large losses on Wall Street, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) retreating 0.8% to 5,248.90. Globally sensitive stocks were among the leading decliners after a 1.3% pullback for the S&P 500 (SPX) in the U.S., with financial major Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) falling 2.2%, News Corp. (AU:NWS) (NWS) -- the parent of MarketWatch, publisher of this report -- off 1.4%, and construction-material firm James Hardie Industries SE (AU:JHX) (JHIUF) 1.2% lower. Miners came under pressure, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) down 0.9% and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) dropping 1%, while Forge Group Ltd. (AU:FGE) (FRGXF) tumbled 12.8% after issuing a profit warning. On the upside, mild gains overnight for Comex gold futures helped the fortunes of some gold extractors, helping Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) up 0.8% each, though Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) fell 1%.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Why No CEO Hall of Fame?

Baseball writers recently put three players into the Hall of Fame. The voters were 571 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. There is no CEO Hall of Fame picked by writers from business magazines, websites, television business shows, or newspapers. However, there should be.

There are several CEO of the Year awards. But they are chosen by the editors of a small number of magazines and websites. There is no consistency among them. A few are no better than popularity contests. Most only cover the successes of the most recent year of a chief executive officer’s tenure. Almost none, if any, look back over a CEO’s entire career and what he or she has done for shareholders, customers, employees and the communities a company serves.

One criticism of a CEO Hall of Fame would be that it would not provide much of a service. That is not entirely true, if it is true at all. There is a difference between Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF). Jeffries has gone a long way to ruin a great brand, and he has been paid tens of millions of dollars in the process. Gates continues to be considered one of the great business innovators of the past hundred years.

The major purpose of any Hall of Fame is to memorialize great achievements so that people can review the careers of high achievers long after those careers have ended. It gives potential candidates something to work for because the Hall of Fame endures longer than the lives of its members do. Additionally, the careers of the candidates would give current and future CEOs something to strive for beyond annual pay and a few good quarters of results. Most CEOs are neither very good nor very bad at their jobs. However, mediocrity is often rewarded, at least financially. That means mediocrity can have its own substantial rewards.

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The history of American business and the existence of modern American CEO has lasted at least since Alfred Sloan took over as president of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) in 1923. Sloan’s career is generally credited as the paradigm of the chief executive’s job as it is today. So, there are nine decades against which CEOs can be measured.

The tenures of CEOs are judged by biographers and the reflections of the employees, shareholders and journalists who followed them. Such a confusion of opinions does not leave much that allows one CEO to be compared to all others. A more objective evaluation, judged by experts, would at least create a yardstick that could be used year to year and decade to decade, as well as give some reasonable means of lauding excellence.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Using Charitable Gifts to Increase Your Income

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Charitable gifts can help many people. Of course, they help the beneficiaries of charities. Well-planned gifts also can help the donor by reducing income taxes and by providing a stream of income from an asset that previously generated no income.

There are several charitable giving strategies that help donors generate income from their gifts. Each is appropriate in different situations.

Charitable remainder trust. This is the classic vehicle for converting an appreciated asset into a stream of income while helping others.

In the CRT, you donate appreciated capital gain property to a trust you created. The trust sells the property and invests the proceeds to generate income or to achieve a combination of income and capital gains. The trust pays you (or other beneficiaries you name) income for either a period of years (up to 20 years) or for life, whichever you designate. After the income period ends, the remainder of the property in the trust goes to the charity or charities you designated when creating the trust. The charities can be changed during the income payout period.

When you transfer property to the trust, you receive a charitable contribution deduction. The deduction is for less than the full value of the property. The deduction is based on current interest rates and your age (or the term of years the income is paid) and is computed using tables issued by the IRS. The older you are, the higher the percentage of the property's value you can deduct. There's a limit to the amount that can be deducted each year, and it depends on the type of property donated and the type or charity. Unused deductions generally can be carried forward to future years.

You don't owe income or capital gains taxes on the appreciation that occurred while you owned the property, and the trust doesn't pay any taxes when it sells the property since it is a charitable trust. So, the full value of the prop! erty after transaction costs can be invested.

The value of the property also is excluded from your estate for federal tax purposes. So, the CRT is a valuable estate planning vehicle for those whose estates are large enough to worry about estate taxes.

The annual income payouts are based on a formula you set within limits set by the IRS. You can have the trust pay you a fixed percentage of the value of trust assets each year (known as a unitrust), or you can have the trust pay a fixed dollar amount (known as an annuity trust). You set the formula when creating the trust and can't change it.

The unitrust has the potential for the payouts to increase as the value of the trust's portfolio increases, giving you an inflation hedge. But there's no guarantee the trust value will increase each year, so payouts can fall or stagnate, depending on what the trust's value does. The annuity trust gives you a fixed payment you can plan on, though its value will lose ground to inflation over time.

There are some possible variations to consider on the payout for a unitrust. You can say there won't be an income payout in a year when the trust doesn't have enough income (interest, dividends, and rent) to make the payout. Known as a net income trust, this allows a younger person to set up the trust and take the tax deduction today but defer most of the income until later by having the trust invested so it doesn't generate much income. Later, the portfolio can be shifted to generate income.

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This type of trust also can have a makeup provision so distributions that weren't made in some years because of the lack of income can be paid in future years when the trust has enough income. Finally, the net income trust can flip, so that it pays little or no income for a number of years, but then on a designated date its mandate changes to pay out a flat rate each y! ear regar! dless of the amount of income earned. This is known as a FLIP CRUT.

The FLIP CRUT can be advantageous when you want a charitable contribution today for an asset that might not be sold for years. You can put land, private company stock, art, or collectibles in the trust. Years from now when you want income or believe the asset has appreciated enough, the trust sells the property and begins paying you income. Of course, this trust also is valuable when you want the charitable deduction now but don't want additional income for a few years.

There's a ceiling to the amount of payout you can receive from a CRT. The payout has to be set so, using assumptions set by the IRS, the charity is estimated eventually to receive at least 10% of the original trust value.

When you receive income from the trust it is included in your gross income. It is ordinary income to the extent of the trust's interest and dividend income. Distributions above that amount are capital gains until the gain that was inherent in the property when you transferred it to the trust is exhausted.

CRTs aren't without disadvantages, with the main one being the costs. You have to set up the trust, and it needs a trustee and someone to manage the portfolio. It also will have to file annual tax returns. Most advisors say a CRT probably doesn't make sense unless you're transferring at least $250,000 worth of property.

Charitable gift annuity. The charitable gift annuity is simpler than the CRT, but it's  another way charitable contributions generate income while providing a tax benefit.

You transfer cash or property to a charity. In return it promises to pay you a stream of income for life or a period of years, whichever you select. Again, you don't pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation the property accrued during your ownership. You receive a tax deduction for part of the value of the property you transferred to the charity. As with the CRT, IRS tables determine your tax deduction, and the o! lder you ! are the greater your deduction.

Each income payment you receive from the charity is partially tax-free as a return of principle and partially ordinary income, as with standard annuities, until the amount of your contribution to the charity is recovered. Details of how to compute the deduction are in IRS Publications 939 and 575, available free on the IRS web site Most charities also will provide tax information for you.

The charitable annuity provides you a steady, known flow of income for life while also helping the charity. You will receive a lower payout than you would from a commercial annuity from an insurer, because the charity takes part of the payment as a contribution. That's why you get a tax deduction.

You might receive a higher income payout from the charitable annuity, however, if you're donating appreciated property to the charity. To convert the appreciated property into a commercial annuity you'd have to sell the property, pay capital gains taxes on it, and invest the after-tax amount in an annuity. With the charitable annuity, you give the property to the charity and get credit for its full value. The charity doesn't have to pay taxes when it sells the property. The annuity also doesn't burden you with the administrative costs of a CRT, which is another reason it might give you higher income than some alternatives.

Keep in mind that all you're receiving from the charity is a promise to pay you money. You have no equity and no separate account at the charity. Even if the charity uses your contribution to buy a commercial annuity that funds your payout, you have no legal right to that annuity. If the charity has financial troubles, you're a general creditor. Some people lost part of their retirement incomes when they created charitable annuities with charities that invested their portfolios with Bernie Madoff. So, you want to deal only with an established charity that's been around for a while and has financial stability.

You aren! 't like! ly to get a better deal by shopping among charities. Most charities belong to a national group that sets the annuity payout rates and agree to adhere to those rates.

Suppose you also want to leave something for your heirs. Neither of these strategies will allow that. What some people do is use part of their tax savings from the charitable contributions to pay a life insurance policy and put it in what's known as a wealth replacement trust.

Charity and IRA conversions. You can combine a charitable contribution strategy with an IRA conversion.

Suppose you have a large traditional IRA you'd like to convert into a Roth IRA. You want to avoid those large required minimum distributions after age 70½ and help you or your heirs receive tax-free income in the future.

If the charitable remainder trust or charitable annuity already is a good idea for you, the benefits might be multiplied when you convert all or part of a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA in the same year you execute one of those strategies.

Here's how it works. You transfer property to either the CRT or charity, depending on the strategy you select. That generates a large tax deduction. If you don't have enough other income that will be offset by the tax deduction, consider converting enough of your IRA so that all or most of the conversion is tax free after being offset by the charitable deduction. That sets you up for tax-free income down the road from the Roth IRA and also reduces the RMDs as times goes on.

Combining one of the charitable strategies with an IRA conversion ensures that the tax benefits will last for many years.

These charitable strategies are ideal for people with highly appreciated assets that don't generate income. You don't want to incur the capital gains taxes now from selling the assets and converting them to income-paying investments. If you're already charitably inclined, consider these strategies as a way to generate income and avoiding the big tax bill.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped, but is refusing to recall seven other infant seat models, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice.

n the seats being recalled, the buckles may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. That increases the risk of injury in a crash, fire or other emergency when a speedy exit from the vehicle is required.

"NHTSA's investigation will remain open pending its evaluation of the Graco recall and until the Agency's consideration of the review of the seven remaining seat models is completed," the agency said in a statement.

That means the agency and company will continue to negotiate on whether a recall is warranted for the SnugRide infant seats. A disagreement could wind up in court if it proves contentious.

In an e-mailed statement, Graco said it "identified that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position."

The company is offering an improved replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost.

Graco also emphasized that the infant seats were not included in the recall, because they are "uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed." Those who have difficulty with an infant-seat buckle, however, should contact Graco and can also get a replacement buckle, Graco said.

The child seat recall covers 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013.

"Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child," the company said in the statement.

NHTSA says it has at least 80 complaints about the seats. Parents said they had to use excessive force to unlatch the harness buckle. In some cases, the straps had to be cut to free children.

Graco said in a letter to NHTSA that it had been monitoring the performan! ce of the buckles since 2009 and had given owners advice on how to use and clean them, and offered replacement buckles.

The recalled models include: Cozy Cline; ComfortSport; Classic Ride 50; My Ride 65; My Ride with Safety Surround; My Ride 70; Size4Me 70; Smart Seat; Nautilus; Nautilus Elite; and Argos 70.

Child safety advocate Joseph Colella emphasized that the Graco seats should continue to be used.

"Since this investigation is not related to crash protection, the affected car seats should still be used until the repair kits are available, but repairs should be made as soon as possible," said Colella.

Consumers can contact Graco toll free at 800-345-4109 or at or

Friday, February 14, 2014

Comcast's Big Buy Is Great for Time Warner Shareholders but Bad for Everybody Else

If you don't like your cell phone service, you can usually switch, and aggressive competition that includes a promise by two major carriers to pay your contract termination fees has made this easier than ever. If you don't like your bank, there are probably a dozen within driving distance that would be happy to have you. Don't like the airline you flew on for your last vacation? Just book with someone else next time.

But if you don't like your cable TV or Internet provider (and in many cases these services are bundled by the same company), you're pretty much stuck with it. Since these services are necessarily limited by the reach of their service network, the best way for big cable companies to grow in recent years has been to simply buy smaller cable companies.

The limit of that consolidation might finally be tested by last night's news that Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) (NASDAQ: CMCSK  ) has made an offer to buy Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) for $45.2 billion. According to Reuters, the new company would boast roughly 30 million video subscribers after divesting about 3 million. That's more than half of the 56.4 million American cable video subscribers last reported by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and it's still about a third of the total pay-TV market when DISH Network's 20 million subscribers and DirecTV's 14 million subscribers are added to the tally.

Here's how the new Comcast Time Warner would stack up on the NCTA's rankings:

Create Infographics.

The new Comcast Time Warner would also have more high-speed Internet subscribers than it would cable subscribers, barring other divestitures, which would give it a nearly 40% share of all American broadband subscriptions. This is worse for consumers and for the country than Comcast Time Warner's sizable control of the country's cable pipes, as I'll soon explain:

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Create Infographics.

This sort of dominance over two major parts of the American telecom landscape is perhaps matched by the market share of the Big Two wireless carriers -- Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) each controls about a third of all American wireless subscriptions -- but it's more dangerous now in light of the recent net neutrality rulings that now allow broadband Internet providers to restrict subscriber access to various sites and services by slowing down speeds or even blocking access entirely.

Comcast Time Warner, separately or together, has already been fighting a losing battle against streaming video and satellite service as a cable company, since industrywide subscriptions have actually declined by more than 15% since peaking in 2001. However, Internet service provider Comcast Time Warner would have unprecedented leverage over its online-based cable competitors now that it can legally prioritize some streams of data over others.

And don't expect Comcast Time Warner to suddenly start caring about customer complaints if its merger passes regulatory muster, either. Both companies have been perennial contenders for "Worst Company in America" or "Worst Customer Service" (these awards should be largely interchangeable), no mean feat in an industry that often gets one of the lowest positive scores from American consumers. Last year, Gallup found that the airline and advertising industries both had better public perceptions than the television sector. That $1.5 billion in "operating savings" Comcast is looking to find in the acquisition? It's probably just another way to say that customer service will get even slower and less effective as the company trims its new roster.

Comcast Time Warner's dominance of both the cable and broadband Internet markets might be enough to block the combination, but it's difficult to say which way telecom regulators will sway this time. There are more mid-tier and smaller-scale cable and Internet competitors than there are wireless competitors for Verizon and AT&T, and there's not much geographic overlap between Comcast and Time Warner today, so most customers would see little difference in their (strained) interactions with an amalgamated company.

However, further consolidation in the upper echelons of America's cable and Internet industries would undoubtedly be bad for consumers over the long run if larger providers achieve greater levels of control over what its subscribers can access. Millions of Comcast and Time Warner subscribers can already attest to the frustration of dealing with the companies for even mundane matters, and a larger Comcast would have little impetus to give its locked-in user base better service. Should one company control so much of the nation's Internet access? We're likely to find out what regulators think soon enough.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Google Takes Aim at Apple, Which Was Taking Aim at Sirius XM (GOOG, SIRI, AAPL)

As if Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) shareholders didn't have enough to worry about already today, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) have managed to make things worse.

There's no denying that Sirius XM Holdings is the king of satellite radio. Then again, it's the only satellite radio choice out there, so its status as the king of its market is a kind of de facto victory. Nevertheless, SIRI has steadily cranked up its revenue - and subscriber count - for several years now, and credit should be given where it's due. The days of (relatively) easy growth are over though. Indeed, 2014 may end up being the tipping point for the company, as both GOOG and AAPL become better equipped and better positioned to hit Sirius XM Holdings where it hurts.

Let's call a spade a spade. The bulk of the reason Sirius XM Holdings has managed to grow its user base to roughly 26 million subscribers, up from only 1.6 million subscribers in 2003 is its utility in automobiles. Its mostly-commercial-free and wider array of channel choices is just a much better audio entertainment choice than broadcast radio. And, with no other threat to that foothold in the automobile world on the science, Sirius XM's progress understandably went unfettered. What if, however, the technology to be a real threat to satellite radio (particularly in vehicles) existed, and was not only viable, but becoming cost-competitive? Enter Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

AAPL may have been the first player to target consumers' cars, via the uncreatively-named "iOS in the car" experience that started by plugging an iPhone - or presumably and iPad - into a vehicle's dashboard in order to provide mapping services, music, entertainment, or anything else an iPhone owner might want when sitting behind the wheel of a car. While the technology couldn't be described as an overwhelming success (yet), it works, and shows promise. The biggest hindrance to Apple has been a lack of automobiles that have the required hardware built into the dashboard; Sirius XM has about a five-year headstart in terms of automakers' cooperation.

And truth be told, were Apple forced to make a yay/nay decisions on the "in the car" experience based solely on its demand to date, the company would probably opt to kill it so it could turn its attention on other, more fruitful ventures, as in-car smartphones and tablets just don't seen to be catching on.... that is, perhaps until now, thanks to a recently-unveiled effort from Google, and collaborative partner in a new project, Audi.

Simply put, Audi was been working with Google to develop an Android-powered dashboard, which would presumably do at least as much as Apple was hoping to do for drivers. In a presentation to be made this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Audi and Google will showcase a technology that has Android already built into the car. It's a full version of Android, and can do everything a regular Android tablet can do.

It's only a beginning, and Google has a ton of catching up to do with Apple before it can make a dent in the automobile space. (Ironically, 2014 could be something of a breakout year for Apple inside vehicles, as many 2014 models from Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, Acura, and more are going to support iPhones and iPads.) But, the fact that Google is now competing with Apple on this front may well mean the era of in-car interactive computers has fully arrived, and that's something that should worry Sirius XM Holdings shareholders. See, while SIRI offers more than 150 channels of radio and talk, pretty much any audio that can be piped in via a Sirius XM receiver can be found via an app available for a smartphone.

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Fans and followers of Sirius may be quick to point out the satellite radio service only costs about $15 per month, and is unlimited, while the data plans that are needed to support mobile broadband streaming audio via a smartphone can start at $50 per month. It's a reasonable argument too. On the flipside, statistically speaking, smartphones with data plans are already more prevalent that satellite radio subscribers, and odds are that anybody who's willing to pay $15 for a device they can pretty much only use in a car is willing to pony up $50 per month to use a device that can do significantly more than an XM receiver, and can do it anywhere.

Yes, there are still data-consumption worries. Streaming 200 songs via a smartphone consumes about 1 gigabyte worth of data, and data costs about $10 per gigabyte. Most people aren't going to stream 200 songs over their mobile device though. In fact, most smartphone owners are apt to play music already stored on their device, and won't be using much - if any - of their data plan in their cars.

None of this is to say Sirius XM Holdings is going to be wiped off the face of the earth in 2014. There are plenty of die-hards who absolutely love their service, and aren't going anywhere. As technology advances though, opportunities for other companies and other venues to dethrone Sirius XM as the leader in this space are mounting. More and more companies are looking to walk through that door too. Indeed, given Apple's resources, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for the company to develop a lower-cost satellite-delivery system of its own, piping iTunes songs through to iPhone owners while in their cars.

That may be why SIRI shares are struggling so much now, having crossed under the 200-day moving average line for a second time in three weeks this week. The market's starting to put two and two together here, and recognizes Sirius XM Holdings has some serious challenges ahead, and won't be able to fend them off without making some major changes.

For more trading ideas and insights like these, be sure to sign up for the free SmallCap Network newsletter.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Illumina Inc: How Long Can a Miracle Go On?

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Illumina Inc. (ILMN) is a leading developer and distributor of next-generation integrated systems used for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. It applies innovative DNA sequencing as well as an array of technologies to provide information that could be used to improve drugs and therapies, customize diagnostics and treatments, and cure diseases. The firm is developing a wide line of products that "can address the scale of experimentation and the breadth of functional analysis required to achieve the goals of molecular medicine."

What does this mean? For example, sequencing is being used in cancer diagnosis and treatment. How? In some cases, the physician can get the patient's tumor sequenced and may prescribe drugs that target specific mutations in the patient's cancer. That is, Illumina is bringing us closer to personalized medicine (called "molecular diagnosis") everyday.

Last year, this stock experienced stellar growth: It nearly doubled its price, and continues to swell. Illumina is thus now not a cheap stock. The question is then how long can its "miracle" growth go on? Is it time to sell, or is it still time to buy and get what you pay for?

A True Leader

Over the past 10 years, Illumina has benefited from the fast-growing emerging space of sequencing, genotyping and gene expression markets, and expects now to enter the market for molecular diagnostics. Not long ago, DNA sequencing has been used primarily for research purposes. Illumina's technology is the gold standard, as 90 percent of the world's DNA sequencing output is produced on its instruments. Although its products and services are expensive, the company's systems offer solutions for both the low and high ends of the market. This means that customers can chose what kind of performance and metrics best satisfy their data and budgetary needs. Furthermore, if sequencing makes the transition from the research setting into widespread diagnostic and clinical application, this could potentially mean a long runway for growth, potentially a $2 billion-plus market by next year.

Currently, the company operates in two core segments: microarrays, which accounts for 40 percent of sales, and DNA sequencing, which does for 60 percent. It is the market leader in both categories and about half of its revenue is generated outside the U.S., in Europe and the Asia -Pacific region. The core of Illumina's business model is being a one-stop shop for genetic research. It has built and installed base of low-margin instrumentation, and earns significantly higher returns through its single-use consumables. Its microarray and services make up for the rest of its portfolio and round up the "razor/blade" business model, creating a sticky customer base and preserving returns in the long run — both components crucial in the life sciences industry.

In spite of Illumina being currently the undisputed leader in the genetic research market, its competition has recently intensified as a new range of promising technologies has come to existence from other powerful players. This, naturally, poses a potential risk. If the use of semiconductor chips in DNA sequencing — which has demonstrated great promise for fast and inexpensive sequencing, as opposed to optical detection — proves to be superior, then Illumina's technology and products could become obsolete.

Innovation is then a natural key to success for Illumina. The company must continuously innovate or it will not be able to keep pace of boiling technological advancement as other firms challenge it and want to take over the market as well. However, Illumina has a proven track record of innovating. This is mostly due to the fact that it spends significantly more than other companies in research and development. Fifteen to 20 percent is allocated to R&D and a long history of acquisitions, which make its focus on innovation unparallel to any other.

Most of Illumina's products are sold to academic research facilities, applied markets, as well as the molecular diagnostics channel and the consumer genomics market. Although Illumina currently receives a large portion of sales from academic and government end users, and a restricted funding environment could weaken its growth, this seems highly unlikely.

The most robust growth is expected for when this technology meets diagnostic and clinical applications in molecular medicine. Illumina is armed with one of the most established technologies in the life sciences industry, and demand for its high-end sequencing technology is very strong. This suggests further rapid growth and a company well-positioned to maintain a large share and expand its dominance presence in the next-generation sequencing market, a relatively new and unexplored market.

What You Pay Is What You Get

This stock is certainly trading at a premium price, and there is no doubt that those who invested early in it got the best of Illumina. However, it might not be too late. Stanley Druckenmiller (Trades, Portfolio), Jim Simons and Steven Cohen still think that this stock is worth its price and have recently taken a stake in this company.


Illumina, Inc.

Industry Median

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST)





Market Capital

19.06 B


3.2 B





Illumina has a strong balance sheet and therefore, the capacity to re-invest in its business, repurchase shares, acquire new technologies or enter into new partnerships. It also generates high profit margins, which are likely to expand thanks to new development in DNA sequencing applications and from its "razor/blade" business model as well.

Disclosure: Vanina Egea holds no position in any stocks mentioned.

Also check out: Jim Simons Undervalued Stocks Jim Simons Top Growth Companies Jim Simons High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Jim Simons keeps buying Stanley Druckenmiller Undervalued Stocks Stanley Druckenmiller Top Growth Companies Stanley Druckenmiller High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Stanley Druckenmiller keeps buying
About the author:Vanina EgeaA fundamental analyst at Lone Tree Analytics

Visit Vanina Egea's Website

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015

Three weeks after it opened, ��where millions of people are supposed to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act ��remains plagued by problems. President Obama has said his administration is doing "everything we can possibly do" to get things fixed. The debacle is just one of many high-tech blunders over the years. Here are just a few:


Dec. 31, 1999

Despite cries of a digital apocalypse, no such thing happened as the computer world entered the year 2000. Billions upon billions of dollars were spent, and retired programmers were hauled in to address the Millennium bug, but few things were awry, resulting in a Chicken Little-like scene.

Microsoft Vista

January 2007

Shortly before iPhone debuted in 2007, Microsoft introduced Vista, an operating system packed with security and other bells and whistles. But the timing coincided with a rise in the smartphone, and Vista was dinged for being slow because of bloated features. Plus, Microsoft users were fine with XP, a predecessor of Vista.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Gascoyne Resources Limited (GCY.AX)

Gascoyne Resources Limited is engaged in the exploration and development of gold and base metal projects in Australia. It principally owns 100% interest in the Glenburgh gold project that covers an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometers located in the Southern Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The company is headquartered in West Perth, Australia.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Trafford Resources Ltd(TRF.AX)

Trafford Resources Limited engages in the mineral exploration activities in Australia. It primarily explores for iron oxide, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, and uranium deposits. The company primarily holds interests in the Wilcherry Hill project covering 976 square kilometers located in South Australia; and the Lynas Find project consisting of 10 granted prospecting licenses covering approximately 792 hectares located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Trafford Resources Limited is based in West Perth, Australia.

Top 10 Penny Companies For 2015: Mintails Ltd(MLI.AX)

Mintails Limited engages in the mining, processing, and production of gold from resources located on the West Rand area of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa. It principally holds interests in Randfontein cluster and Soweto cluster mines. The company is based in Armadale, Australia.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: American Science and Engineering Inc.(ASEI)

American Science and Engineering, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells X-ray inspection and other detection products for detection and security screening solutions in the United States and internationally. It offers cargo inspection systems comprising non-intrusive inspection products, which are primarily used for the screening of trucks, cars, cargo containers, pallets, and air cargo at border crossings, seaports, military bases, airports, and cargo and transportation hubs. The cargo inspection systems include OmniView gantry system, a cargo and vehicle inspection system; Z Portal system, a drive-through inspection system for scanning cargo and vehicles; Z Gantry system, a Z Backscatter inspection system for scanning cars, vans, trucks, and their cargo; Sentry Portal system, a drive through transmission X-ray inspection system; and MobileSearch High-Energy, a mobile inspection system for scanning trucks, cargo containers, and ve hicles. The company also provides Z Backscatter systems, including Z Backscatter Van, a mobile X-ray screening system to produce photo-like images of plastic explosives or other anomalies; and ZBV Military Trailer, a rugged X-ray screening system built on military trailer. In addition, it offers parcel and personnel screening inspection system that comprises Gemini system, a parcel and baggage inspection system; and SmartCheck system, a personnel screening system for screening threats hidden under a person?s clothing. Further, the company provides contract research and development programs for agencies of the United States government; and maintenance, warranty, engineering, and training services. It serves authorities responsible for port and border security, customs agencies, military organizations, high threat commercial and government facilities, aviation security agencies, and law enforcement agencies. The company was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Billerica, M assachusetts.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    While it's tragic that it took a string of tragedies to make school safety and security a priority in the United States, it can't be denied that the topic has been put front and center - school systems everywhere are asking themselves tough questions, mainly focusing on what can be done quickly and cost-effectively to secure school buildings. Part of that discussion has put companies like OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS), American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI), and View Systems Inc. (OTCBB:VSYM) in the limelight. The three organizations all make security screening and weapons detection systems. If you've flown from anywhere inside the United States anytime since 2003, odds are pretty good you or your luggage passed through equipment made by ASEI or OSIS.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Tiscali(TIS.MI)

Tiscali S.p.A provides alternative telecommunications services on fixed networks to private individuals and companies in Italy. The company offers narrowband and broadband Internet access through dial-up and ADSL; and voice, voice over Internet protocol, multimedia, traditional telephone, mobile, value added services, and other services. It also provides various business services, including virtual private network, housing, hosting services, domains, and leased lines. In addition, the company is involved in the digital media and on-line advertising primarily through its Web site. Tiscali S.p.A was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cagliari, Italy.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Primero Mining Corp (PPP)

Primero Mining Corp. (Primero) is a precious metals producer with operations in Mexico. The Company is focused on precious metals assets in the Americas through acquiring, exploring, developing and operating mineral resource properties. As of December 31, 2011, Primero had one producing property, the San Dimas Mine, located in Mexico�� San Dimas district, on the border of Durango and Sinaloa states, and one exploration property, Ventanas, located in Durango state, Mexico. The San Dimas Mine consists of three underground gold and silver mining operations at Tayoltita, San Antonio (Central Block) and Santa Rita. In 2011, the San Dimas Mine produced 79,564 ounces of gold and 4.6 million ounces of silver. Primero also holds 28 mining concessions (3,470.4 hectares) at Mala Noche-Ventanas-San Cayetano (the Ventanas Project). Primero has three active, wholly owned subsidiaries include Primero Empresa Minera, S.A. de C.V., Silver Trading (Barbados) Ltd. and Primero Mining Luxembourg s.a r.l. 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  ) ?

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O)

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Adobe), incorporated on October 5, 1983, is a diversified software company. The Company offers a line of software and services used by professionals, marketers, knowledge workers, application developers, enterprises and consumers for creating, managing, delivering, measuring and engaging with content and experiences across multiple operating systems, devices and media. The Company markets and licenses its software directly to enterprise customers through its sales force and to end users through application stores and its Website at Adobe also distributes its products through a network of distributors, value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs), retailers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In addition, Adobe licenses its technology to hardware manufacturers, software developers and service providers for use in their products and solutions. It offers some of its products via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model (also known as a hosted model or cloud-based model), as well as through term subscription and pay-per-use models. The Company�� software runs on personal computers (PCs) and server-based computers, as well as on smartphones, tablets and other devices, depending on the product. It has operations in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia. On January 13, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of Efficient Frontier. In January 2011, the Company acquired Demdex. In July 2011, the Company acquired EchoSign. In October 2011, the Company acquired Typekit Inc. In November 2011, it acquired Auditude Inc. In January 2012, the Company acquired Efficient Frontier. In December 2012, the Company acquired Behance. In May 2013, Adobe Systems Inc acquired Ideacodes LLC. In July 2013, Adobe Systems Inc announced the completion of acquisition of privately held Neolane.

Digital Media

The Digital Media segm ent provides tools and! solutions that enable individuals, sm! all businesses and enterprises to create, publish, promote and monetize their content anywhere. Its customers include content creators, Web application developers and digital media professionals, as well as their management in marketing departments and agencies, companies and publishers. The flagship of the Company�� Digital Media business is its Creative Suite family of products. Consisting of 13 individual products and five suites that contain different configurations of these products, the Company focuses on the needs of professional customers, which include graphic designers, production artists, Web designers and developers, user interface designers, writers, videographers, motion graphic artists, prepress professionals, video game developers, mobile application developers, students and administrators. They use and rely on its solutions for publishing, Web design and development, video and animation production, mobile applications and gaming development and, document c reation and collaboration. They work in businesses ranging from publishers, media companies and global enterprises, to design agencies, small and medium-sized businesses, and individual freelancers. Its Creative Suite family of products is used by creative professionals to create the printed and online information people see, read and interact with every day, including newspapers, magazines, websites, mobile applications, catalogs, advertisements, brochures, product documentation, books, memos, reports and banners. Its tools are also used to create content, including video, animation and mobile content, that is created by multimedia, film, television, audio and video producers who work in advertising, Web design, music, entertainment, corporate and marketing communications, product design, user interface design, sales training, printing, architecture and fine arts. Knowledge workers, educators and hobbyists also use its creative products to create and deliver content.

Adobe Digit! al Publis! hing solution is an online, hoste! d publish! ing solution that enables magazine and newspaper publishers to deliver engaging, reading experiences of their publications to an array of mobile and tablet devices. Its Digital Publishing solution utilizes E-commerce models to sell single issues and subscriptions directly to consumers through mobile marketplaces, and analytics capabilities based on its Adobe Digital Marketing Suite. The Company�� Digital Media-Creative products include Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium, Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard, Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium, CS Live Services, Adobe Digital Publishing solution, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Edge, Adobe Encore, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InCopy, Adobe InDesign, Adobe InDesign Server, Adobe Muse, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Express, Adobe Photoshop Express Mobile, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Extended, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Express, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Soundbooth, Adobe Story, Adobe Visual Communicator, Business Catalyst and TypeKit. Its Digital Media-Touch App Products include Adobe Revel, Adobe Collage, Adobe Debut, Adobe Ideas, Adobe Kuler, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Proto. Its Developer and Platform products include Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Flash Catalyst, Adobe Flash Lite, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Flash Platform Services, Adobe Flex and PhoneGap Build. The Company�� Adobe Media Server products include Adobe Flash Access, Adobe Media Interactive Server, Adobe Media Enterprise Server, Adobe Media Live Encoder, Adobe Media Playback, Adobe Media Streaming Server, Adobe Video Streaming Service, Adobe Pass, Auditude, HTTP Dynamic Streaming, Digital Media, Adobe Acrobat Standard, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Acrobat Suite, Adobe CreatePDF, Adobe SendNow an d EchoSign.


The Company competes with Apple, Av! iary, Avi! d, Corel, Microsoft, Quark, ACDsee, Mediascape, Xara, Bare Bones Software, FlashDevelop, JetBrains, Panic, MacRabbit, MacroMates, Oracle, Micro Focus, IBM, Amazon, Aquafada, Google, Texterity, Zinio, ACD Systems, AI Soft (Japan), ArcSoft, Corel, i4 (Japan), Kodak, Nova Development, Magix, Microsoft, Rovi, Sony, Canon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Nikon, Phase One, Autodesk, Broderbund and Grass Valley.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing segment provides solutions and services for how digital advertising and marketing are created, managed, executed, measured and optimized. Its customers include digital marketers, advertisers, publishers, merchandisers, Web analysts, chief marketing officers and chief revenue officers. The Company�� Digital Marketing Business unit provides solutions that include Web analytics, online business optimization and Web experience management products, solutions and services. It delivers these capabilities through its Digital M arketing Suite, which includes its Day CQ5 WEM offerings, as well as the offerings gained through its acquisition of Efficient Frontier. The Company�� products include Adobe SearchCenter, Adobe AudienceManager, Context Optional Social Marketing Suite, Adobe CQ, Adobe Merchandising, Adobe Publish, Adobe Recommendations, Adobe Scene7 On-Demand, Adobe Search&Promote, Adobe SiteSearch, Adobe Test&Target, Adobe Discover, Adobe SiteCatalyst, Adobe SocialAnalytics, Adobe Survey, Adobe Tag Manager, Adobe Insight, Adobe Insight for Retail, Adobe CRX, Adobe DataWarehouse and Adobe Genesis.

The Company�� Digital Enterprise Products include Adobe Connect, Adobe LiveCycle Collaboration Service, Adobe LiveCycle Connectors for ECM, Adobe LiveCycle Content Services, Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic, Adobe LiveCycle Data Services, Adobe LiveCycle Forms, Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions, Adobe LiveCycle Output, Adobe LiveCycle PDF Generator, Adobe LiveCycle Production Print, Adobe Liv eCycle ! Digital S! ignatures, Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management! , Adobe L! iveCycle Process Management, Adobe LiveCycle Business Activity Monitoring, Adobe LiveCycle Managed Services, Adobe Central Pro Output Server, Adobe LiveCycle Designer, Adobe Output Designer, Adobe Output Pak for and Adobe Web Output Pak.

The Company competes with Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP,, AdXpose, WebTrends, Infor, Nielsen Company, SAS Institute, Microsoft Advertising, WPP, Truviso, Clickfox, QlikTech, Teradata, Accenture, Acxiom Digital, [x + 1], Celebros, SLI Systems, Nextopia Software, Fredhopper. EMC, OpenText, Alfresco, CoreMedia, Percussion, SDL, Cisco WebEx, IBM Lotus Sametime, Citrix GoToMeeting, PegaSystems, Nuance and Ultimus.

Print and Publishing

The Company�� Print and Publishing business segment contains products and services that address market opportunities, including eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, Web application development and high-end printing. Its Col dFusion offering provides ways to build and deploy Internet applications. Developers can extend or integrate ColdFusion with Java or .NET applications, connect to enterprise data and applications, create and interact via Web services, or interface with short messaging service (SMS) on mobile devices or instant messaging clients. Its Print and Publishing products include Adobe Authorware, Adobe Captivate, Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Contribute, Adobe Director, Adobe eLearning Suite, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe FrameMaker Server, Adobe Font Folio, Adobe JRun, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe PDF Print Engine, Adobe PostScript, Adobe RoboHelp, Adobe Shockwave Player, Adobe Technical Communication Suite, Adobe Type Classics for Learning, Adobe Type Sets and FreeHand MX.

The Company competes with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Canwel Bldg Matls Income Fd(CWX.TO)

CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. engages in the distribution of a range of building materials, lumber, hardware, and renovation products in Canada. The company?s CanWelBroadLeaf division is involved in warehousing and distributing a range of items, including lumber, treated lumber, panel boards, cement siding, asphalt roofing, foam and fiberglass insulation, engineered wood products, moldings, milled items, ceiling tiles, storage items, adhesives, locks, fasteners, forms and drainage decking, cedar products, flooring, engineered wood, pine boards, and nails for new home construction, home renovation, and manufacturing or industrial applications. This division sells building materials to big box warehouse stores, large independent chains, and large co-operatives, as well as to smaller independent chains, stores, and yards. The company?s Surewood Forest Products division distributes treated and untreated lumber; panels; mill work products comprising spindles, stair par ts, and lattice; and building materials, including wood composites. The company?s CanWel Treating Division engages in the provision of pressure treating services for consumer lumber, as well as for wood products used by construction companies, public utilities, and retailers. CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Batm Advanced Communications(BVC.L)

BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. engages in the research, development, production, and marketing of data communication products in the field of local and wide area networks, and premises management systems worldwide. The company offers Ethernet/MPLS aggregation, Ethernet demarcation, multi-service access, fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-business, optical transportation, and wavelength multiplexing products. It also provides TDM products, including multiplexers, SONET products, multi-service IADs, and E/O converters; NMS/EMS products; rugged Ethernet systems; and ATCA hub blades. The company?s data communication products are used by telecommunication carriers and service providers, utilities, municipalities, and government agencies. In addition, the company involves in the research, development, production, marketing, and distribution of medical products, primarily laboratory diagnostic equipment. Further, it offers software services and sterilization products. BATM Ad vanced Communications Ltd. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Kfar Netter, Israel.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Frontier Communications Company(FTR)

Frontier Communications Corporation, a communications company, provides regulated and unregulated voice, data, and video services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in the United States. It offers local and long distance voice services, including basic telephone wireline services to residential and business customers; switched access services that allow other carriers to use the facilities to originate and terminate their long distance voice and data traffic; and directory services that provide white and yellow page directories for residential and business listings. The company also provides data and Internet services, which include residential services comprising high-speed Internet, dial up Internet, portal and e-mail products, and hard drive back-up services; and commercial and carriers services, such as metro Ethernet; dedicated Internet; Internet protocol, optical, multiprotocol label switching, and TDM data transport services. In addition, it offers di rect broadcast satellite services and fiber optic video services, as well as provides online access to video content, entertainment, and news available on the worldwide Web through its Web site The company was formerly known as Citizens Communications Company and changed its name to Frontier Communications Corporation in July 2008. Frontier Communications Corporation was founded in 1927 and is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

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

    Shares of Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) got a boost, shooting up 9.09 percent to $4.80 after AT&T (NYSE: T) announced its plans to sell its Wireline Residential and Business Services and associated assets in Connecticut to Frontier for $2 billion in cash.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    At the same time, Verizon has smartly rid itself of assets and services that are declining in importance and value. In 2009, Verizon sold landline assets in 14 states to Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR  ) for $8.5 billion, of which $3.3 billion was in cash. The deal freed up precious cash that Verizon potentially used to build its 4G LTE network while divesting itself of landline assets that are seeing precipitous rural attrition thanks to broadening 3G and 4G wireless coverage. Frontier probably wishes it could take the deal back now, but for Verizon it was another smart strategic move.

  • [By WilliamBriat]

    Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: FTR) provides phone, Internet, and satellite TV (through a partnership with DISH Network) services to more than 25 states. The company provides an annual dividend of 9.3% and reaffirmed its full-year guidance.

  • [By Alex Planes]

    Wasted youth
    Excel Communications, founded in 1988, became the youngest company ever to join the New York Stock Exchange��when it went public on May 10, 1996. The company, operating as a multilevel marketer��reselling long-distance minutes from Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR  ) , was priced at $15 per share but closed at $29.38, a near-double that earned the company a $3.2 billion market cap. In its previous fiscal year, Excel earned $507 million in revenue, but its reported $45 million profit was called into question by analysts who mistrusted the company's deferment of many millions in expenses.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Stonehenge Metals Ltd (SHE)

Stonehenge Metals Limited (Stonehenge) is an Australia-based company engaged in the exploration of its uranium projects in South Korea. The Company through its wholly owned subsidiary Stonehenge Korea Ltd manages the Daejon, Miwon and Gwesan Uranium and Vanadium Projects in South Korea. The Daejon Project is the flagship project of Stonehenge and hosts the known uranium resource in South Korea. The Daejon project comprises: 11 granted Mining Rights, 7 Mining Right applications pending approval and a further 11 Exploration Permits. Gwesan is the second project in the development pipeline for Stonehenge Korea. The Company�� subsidiaries include SK Energy Metals Pty Ltd, Stonehenge Korea Inc and Ginja Minerals Pty Ltd.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Forent Energy Inc (FEN.V)

Forent Energy Ltd. engages in the exploration, development, and production of petroleum and natural gas reserves in Nova Scotia and western Canada. It owns a 100% working interest in the 29 contiguous sections of the Montgomery exploration lands located to the west of Claresholm in southern Alberta; the Alton Block located in Nova Scotia; and the Mervin property located near Lloydminster, Saskatchewan in Canada. The company is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Best Up And Coming Companies To Invest In 2015: Waterco Ltd(WAT.AX)

Waterco Limited engages in the manufacture and distribution of pool and spa products and water treatment equipment. It involves in the wholesale, export, and manufacture of equipment and accessories in the swimming pool, spa pool, spa bath, rural pump, and water treatment industries; and manufacture and sale of solar heating systems for swimming pools and pre-heat industrial solar systems. The company also franchises retail outlets for swimming pool equipment and accessories. In addition, it engages in packing and distributing swimming pool chemicals to independent pool stores and stores in its Swimart franchise network. It operates 64 franchised outlets in Australia and New Zealand, as well as a fleet of approximately 200 mobile service vans. The company operates in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and North America. Waterco Limited was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Rydalmere, Australia.