Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Vail Resorts's Earnings Are Outstanding

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. FCF = free cash flow. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, Vail Resorts generated $152.6 million cash while it booked net income of $43.8 million. That means it turned 13.6% of its revenue into FCF. That sounds pretty impressive.

All cash is not equal
Unfortunately, the cash flow statement isn't immune from nonsense, either. That's why it pays to take a close look at the components of cash flow from operations, to make sure that the cash flows are of high quality. What does that mean? To me, it means they need to be real and replicable in the upcoming quarters, rather than being offset by continual cash outflows that don't appear on the income statement (such as major capital expenditures).

For instance, cash flow based on cash net income and adjustments for non-cash income-statement expenses (like depreciation) is generally favorable. An increase in cash flow based on stiffing your suppliers (by increasing accounts payable for the short term) or shortchanging Uncle Sam on taxes will come back to bite investors later. The same goes for decreasing accounts receivable; this is good to see, but it's ordinary in recessionary times, and you can only increase collections so much. Finally, adding stock-based compensation expense back to cash flows is questionable when a company hands out a lot of equity to employees and uses cash in later periods to buy back those shares.

So how does the cash flow at Vail Resorts look? Take a peek at the chart below, which flags questionable cash flow sources with a red bar.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. TTM = trailing 12 months.

When I say "questionable cash flow sources," I mean items such as changes in taxes payable, tax benefits from stock options, and asset sales, among others. That's not to say that companies booking these as sources of cash flow are weak, or are engaging in any sort of wrongdoing, or that everything that comes up questionable in my graph is automatically bad news. But whenever a company is getting more than, say, 10% of its cash from operations from these dubious sources, investors ought to make sure to refer to the filings and dig in.

With 27.7% of operating cash flow coming from questionable sources, Vail Resorts investors should take a closer look at the underlying numbers. Within the questionable cash flow figure plotted in the TTM period above, other operating activities (which can include deferred income taxes, pension charges, and other one-off items) provided the biggest boost, at 22.7% of cash flow from operations. Overall, the biggest drag on FCF came from capital expenditures, which consumed 37.1% of cash from operations.

A Foolish final thought
Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' cash flow. I think that's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home-run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

Looking for alternatives to Vail Resorts? It takes more than great companies to build a fortune for the future. Learn the basic financial habits of millionaires next door and get focused stock ideas in our free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." Click here for instant access to this free report.

We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service.

Add Vail Resorts to My Watchlist.

BP Can't Keep Its Budget in Order

In the following video, contributors Tyler Crowe and Aimee Duffy discuss BP's (NYSE: BP  ) recent struggles to stay on budget in several ultra deepwater exploration projects. Tyler discusses several of these projects and why the company continues to struggle with rapidly rising costs, tells investors what it means for the company, and questions whether or not these projects are worthwhile.

There are many different ways to play the energy sector, and The Motley Fool's analysts have uncovered an under-the-radar company that's dominating its industry. This company is a leading provider of equipment and components used in drilling and production operations, and poised to profit in a big way from it. To get the name and detailed analysis of this company that will prosper for years to come, check out the special free report: "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need." Don't miss out on this limited-time offer and your opportunity to discover this under-the-radar company before the market does. Click here to access your report -- it's totally free.

Samsung's Fumble Gives Apple an Opening

Sometimes record profits just aren't enough. On Friday, Samsung estimated that its second-quarter revenue would be approximately $49.9 billion, which should translate into an operating profit of more than $8.3 billion. That would be an increase of 47% in operating profits and would represent record highs for the South Korean conglomerate.

Investors were not impressed. Analysts had been modeling for $51.4 billion in sales and $9.3 billion in operating income. As a result, shares fell nearly 4% on the figures. After losing 13% of their value in June, Samsung is now 20% off its peak.

Samsung is currently experiencing exactly what Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has been going through over the past 10 months. The Mac maker also put up its own all-time record quarter in terms of revenue, iPhone units, and net income, yet shares plunged 11% in January.

Galaxy S4. Source: Samsung.

Both companies face lofty investor expectations that are becoming increasingly difficult to meet. Big numbers alone just won't cut it anymore. Apple investors weren't satisfied with the 5 million iPhone 5 units that were sold during launch weekend. Samsung investors think the company should have been able to ship more than 20 million Galaxy S4 units in the first two months. Analysts have continued to reduce estimates on the Galaxy S4, although Samsung doesn't regularly disclose unit sales or product mix.

Apple reports total iPhone units but doesn't detail product mix, either. ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall estimates that the iPhone 5 sold twice as fast as the Galaxy S4 at launch, hitting 20 million in unit sales after just 25 days.

The high end of the smartphone market is quickly maturing and reaching saturation, which is presenting headwinds for both Apple and Samsung. Apple is widely expected to release a mid-range iPhone model for the first time this year, while Samsung has long played a wide plethora of price points to rise to the No. 1 vendor by volume.

Samsung's mobile business contributed 74% of all operating income, underscoring how important its smartphone business is. Some analysts believe that the semiconductor component business is being underappreciated, as Samsung's vertical integration is a distinct competitive advantage.

However, Apple is reportedly moving as much component business as it can away from its largest rival and has inked a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor to manufacture future processors. That transition alone could hurt Samsung's component business to the tune of $5 billion in annual sales. The semiconductor segment represented 12% of operating income in the first quarter.

With Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 launch in the rearview mirror and unit sales proceeding at a disappointing pace, Apple has an opportunity to win back investor favor when it launches new iPhones in just a matter of months.

Even if Apple steals the show back with new iPhones this fall, the company will still eventually cannibalize the device. Apple has a long history of destroying its greatest products, but importantly, it does so profitably by disrupting itself. Read up on how Apple has been so successful undermining previous successes by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Roper Industries's Earnings Beat Last Year's by 17%

Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP  ) reported earnings on April 29. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Roper Industries missed estimates on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew significantly. GAAP earnings per share grew.

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
Roper Industries reported revenue of $737.1 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see a top line of $776.6 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.27. The 11 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.22 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $1.27 for Q1 were 17% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.09 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.25 for Q1 were 15% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.09 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 57.2%, 220 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 25.1%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 16.9%, 170 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $807.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.39.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.29 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.73.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 117 members out of 126 rating the stock outperform, and nine members rating it underperform. Among 39 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 37 give Roper Industries a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Roper Industries is hold, with an average price target of $126.60.

If you're interested in companies like Roper Industries, you might want to check out the jaw-dropping technology that's about to put 100 million Chinese factory workers out on the street – and the 3 companies that control it. We'll tell you all about them in "The Future is Made in America." Click here for instant access to this free report.

Add Roper Industries to My Watchlist.

Best Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved exporting 40 percent of Israel's newfound natural gas reserves, keeping a larger amount for local consumption than originally expected.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet the decision struck a balance between domestic needs and the concerns of the exploration companies that will drill for gas underneath the Mediterranean Sea.

"It ensures the needs of the citizens of the state of Israel, both by filling the state coffers with considerable funds from exports and by supplying the local market with cheap energy," Netanyahu said.

Last year, an advisory panel proposed exporting just over half of the country's gas, sparking protests by Israelis who said the country should keep most of its reserves to reduce energy prices at home.

Best Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Jacks International Limited (J11.SI)

Jacks International Limited, an investment holding company, engages in the distribution and retail of health foods and supplements in Singapore and Brunei. It also provides various engineering services, including bending and fabrication of copper, steel, and stainless steel piping; installation of ducts, tubing machinery, and other capital equipment; and machinery and grinding of tools, dies, castings, and other equipment in Australia. In addition, Jacks International Limited engages in property holding business. The company was incorporated in 1979 and is based in Singapore, Singapore. Jacks International Limited is a subsidiary of Abacus Pacific N.V.

Best Cheap Stocks To Buy For 2014: One Liberty Properties Inc.(OLP)

One Liberty Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, ownership, and management of commercial real estate properties in the United States. The company�?s property portfolio includes retail furniture stores, as well as industrial, office, flex, health and fitness, and other properties. As of March 31, 2008, it owned 67 properties; holds a 50% tenancy in common interest in 1 property; and owns 4 properties through joint ventures. The company has elected to be treated as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income tax, if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. One Liberty Properties was founded in 1982 and is based in Great Neck, New York.

Top Penny Stocks For 2014: Books-A-Million Inc.(BAMM)

Books-A-Million, Inc. operates as a book retailer in the southeastern United States. The company operates superstores and traditional bookstores that offer a selection of hardcover and paperback books, magazines, and newspapers. It also offers other merchandise, including gifts, cards, collectibles, magazines, music, DVDs, and electronic accessories, as well as coffee, tea, and other edible products. The company markets its products under the trademarks of Books-A-Million, BAM! Books-A-Million, Bookland, Books & Co., Millionaire?s Club, Sweet Water Press, Thanks-A-Million, Big Fat Coloring Book, Up All Night Reader, Read & Save Rebate, Readables Accessories for Readers, Kids-A-Million, Teachers First, The Write-Price, Bambeanos, Hold That Thought, Book$mart, BAMM,,, Chillatte, Joe Muggs Newsstand, Page Pets,,, Faithmark, Joe Muggs, Anderson?s Bookland, Snow Joe, Summer Says, On the John University, OTJU, American Whole sale Book Company, AWBC, and NetCentral. It also offers its products over the Internet at As of August 11, 2011, the company operated 231 stores in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Books-A-Million, Inc. was founded in 1917 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy For 2014

Consolidation among gaming suppliers is continuing, and now it's with an eye on the future of online gaming. Earlier this year, Scientific Games said it would buy WMS Industries�for $1.5 billion, creating a company with lottery equipment and slot machines. Today, Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI  ) agreed �to buy SHFL entertainment (NASDAQ: SHFL  ) for $1.3 billion, or $23.25 per share, creating a casino supplier that can offer nearly all products or services needed to run a casino.�

They pointed to the typical synergies and complimentary products in the announcement, but when you think about the future of gaming, this is about online gaming. Both companies are approved to build online games in Nevada and, as online gaming spreads state by state around the country, they will be able to leverage their capabilities to expand that business.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy For 2014: Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.(PNK)

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns, develops, and operates casinos, and related hospitality and entertainment facilities in the United States. It operates casinos, such as L'Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles, Louisiana; River City Casino and Lumiere Place in St. Louis, Missouri; Boomtown New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana; Belterra Casino Resort in Vevay, Indiana; Boomtown Bossier City in Bossier City, Louisiana; and Boomtown Reno in Reno, Nevada. The company also operates River Downs racetrack in southeast Cincinnati, Ohio. As of May 26, 2011, it operated seven casinos and one racetrack. The company was formerly known as Hollywood Park, Inc. and changed its name to Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. in February 2000. Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. was founded in 1935 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sherry Jim]

    Pinnacle Entertainment(PNK) swung to a loss in its second quarter, as costs rose.

    During the quarter, the regional casino operator lost $49.3 million, or 81 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4.7 million, or 8 cents, in the year-ago period for Pinnacle.

    Excluding items, Pinnacle actually lost 14 cents a share, 10 cents worse than analysts' estimates of a 4-cent loss.

    Pinnacle's revenue rose 8.5% to $273.6 million from $252.3 million, but also fell short of Wall Street's forecast of $284.4 million.

    Even though revenue was weaker, margins rebounded at all but one of Pinnacle's properties. "Margins are the story for Pinnacle ahead of any longer-term potential true rebound in the economy, and we continue to believe there are multiple opportunities for near-term operational improvements across the Pinnacle portfolio," Bain wrote in a note.

    At a time when most casino operators are striving to reduce costs to offset the decline in consumer spending, Pinnacle saw expenses rise 21% to $289.3 million. But Bain said Pinnacle is still in the early stages of cost-refining. "Given what we view as several areas of potential improvements in this regard, we believe Pinnacle is less dependent on an economic recovery than some of its regional peers," he wrote.

    J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff also reaffirms his overweight rating on the stock, viewing Pinnacle as a transition story. "We continue to believe that new CEO Anthony Sanfilippo and team will drive increased operating efficiencies and allocate capital prudently," he wrote in a note.

    Greff praises Sanfilippo for shelving the Sugarcane Bay project and instead focusing on Baton Rouge.

    Pinnacle's liquidity remains strong, with $200 million in cash and $375 million of availability under its revolver

  • [By Jeanine Poggi]

    Pinnacle Entertainment(PNK) was the great transition story of 2010, with shares spiking about 45% this year.

    The regional casino operator's most impressive story has been in its gross margins, as management, under the leadership of new CEO Anthony Sanfilippo, is in the process of increasing the company's operating efficiencies and prudently allocating capital. Analysts believe Pinnacle is in the early stages of this process, and will continue to drive revenue growth.

    In its third quarter, Pinnacle reported a surprise profit of 10 cents a share on an adjusted basis, better than consensus estimates of a loss of 7 cents. Revenue grew 15% to $287.8 million, while property-level margins reached 23.4%, also ahead of forecasts.

    Last month, Pinnacle purchased Cincinnati's River Downs Racetrack for $45 million. The deal includes 155 acres, 35 of which are still undeveloped. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

    This deal could generate significant returns in the event that Ohio decides to legalize video lottery terminals at racetracks, Santarelli said.

    Pinnacle is also in the process of looking for a buyer of its oceanfront land in Atlantic City, where it originally intended to build a $1.5 billion casino, before squelching plans. The casino operator bought the land in 2006 for $270 million from groups affiliated with Carl Icahn and later added another piece of land for $70 million.

    While the land's currently value is $38 million, Pinnacle insists it will not sell it on the cheap, holding out for the best deal.

    Pinnacle currently has $228 million in cash and $375 million of availability under its revolver.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy For 2014: Wynn Resorts Limited(WYNN)

Wynn Resorts, Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, ownership, and operation of destination casino resorts. The company owns and operates Wynn Las Vegas casino resort in Las Vegas, which includes approximately 22 food and beverage outlets comprising 5 dining restaurants; 2 nightclubs; 1 spa and salon; 1 Ferrari and Maserati automobile dealership; wedding chapels; an 18-hole golf course; meeting space; and foot retail promenade featuring boutiques. Wynn Las Vegas casino resort also features approximately 147 table games, 1 baccarat salon, private VIP gaming rooms, 1 poker room, 1,842 slot machines, and 1 race and sports book. It also owns and operates an Encore at Wynn Las Vegas resort, a destination casino resort located adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas that features a 2,034 all-suite hotel, as well as a casino with 95 table games, 1 sky casino, 1 baccarat salon, private VIP gaming rooms, and 778 slot machines. In addition, the company operates Wyn n Macau casino resort located in the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People?s Republic of China. Wynn Macau casino resort features approximately 595 hotel rooms and suites, 410 table games, 935 slot machines, 1 poker room, 1 sky casino, 6 restaurants, 1 spa and salon, lounges, meeting facilities, and retail space featuring boutiques. Further, it operates Encore at Wynn Macau resort located adjacent to Wynn Macau. Encore at Wynn Macau resort features approximately 410 luxury suites and 4 villas, as well as casino gaming space, including a sky casino consisting of 60 table games and 80 slot machines, 2 restaurants, 1 luxury spa, and retail space. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Carlson]

    Wynn Resorts(WYNN) saw its second-quarter profit more than double, but most of that strength came from casino wins, and investors were unimpressed.

    During the quarter, the casino operator earned $52. 4 million, or 52 cents a share, on revenue of $1.03 billion, higher than forecasts of 42 cents on revenue of $992.3 million. This compares with a profit of $25.5 million, or 21 cents, on revenue of $723.3 million, in the year-ago period.

    Wynn had already pre-announced disappointing results for its Las Vegas properties, citing higher costs, including employee health care and benefits, and marketing expenses. Its operating loss for its Wynn Las Vegas and Encore widened to $17.2 million from $8.3 million last year. Revenue rose 1.7% to $318 million.

    Occupancy at the Wynn Las Vegas jumped to 92.6% from 86.6% a year earlier, but revenue per available room fell 3.2%.

    Still, management indicated that there is a slight improvement on the Strip, with an increase in forward group bookings and some bright spots for the ability to yield rates. But management tempered enthusiasm by saying there are some struggles and uncertainty in the marketplace.

    "We hope for continued improvement in Las Vegas or -- let me put it different, we hope that we'll get smarter in Las Vegas in dealing with the peculiarities of this market --and this very, very mercurial, national economic market we're living with," said Steve Wynn, chief executive, in a conference call. "The national economy and the political environment in the country as we head up to the elections [is] very, very touchy. And it is impacting all businesses."

    The biggest boost, of course, came from Macau, where revenue surged 74% to $714.4 million from $410.4 million last year.

    The company opened its Encore Macau in the spring, boosting its market share to about 16% from about 13%, Sterne Agee analyst David Bain wrote in a note.

    Wynn is in the process of working on a new development on the Cotai st! rip, which should spike investors' interest as more details are revealed in the coming quarters.

    Still, investors are concerned that as comparisons get harder in Macau, and second-quarter results are adjusted for hold (how much the casino won), Wynn may not be able to outperform. But Bain reassures, "this has been discussed as nauseam by investors, sell-side analysts, the press -- and even dinner-table relatives -- for some time. We believe the Street is underestimating the summer months in Macua, which may help to produce a new leg up for Macau stories, with Wynn being the most profitable on a per position basis."

  • [By Jeanine Poggi]

    Wynn Resorts'(WYNN) run up of more than 55% this year has caused Wall Street to question its valuation.

    Currently, eight analysts have a buy rating on Wynn, 16 say hold, two rate it underperform rating and one says to sell the stock.

    "With little on the growth horizon in the intermediate term, new competition from Cotai coming in 2011 and 2012 ... and the unclear timing of a true recovery in Las Vegas, we see few catalysts not yet priced-in to pull valuation higher than current levels," Bain wrote in a note following its third-quarter earnings report.

    During the quarter, Wynn lost $33.5 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a profit of $34.2 million, or 28 cents, in the year-ago period. The loss was attributed to charges related to servicing its debt. On an adjusted basis, Wynn actually earned 39 cents, matching Wall Street's outlook.

    Total Revenue grew to $1 billion from $773.1 million, better than the $990.8 million analysts predicted.

    In Macau, Wynn reported a 50% surge in revenue to $671.4 million, while EBITDA was $198 million, up 54.5% from $128.2 million in the third quarter of 2009. Earlier in the year the company opened its $600 million Wynn Encore Macau, which added 414 rooms to the market.

    Looking ahead, Wynn expects to break ground on its Cotai development in early 2011. The $2 billion to $3 billion project is slated to open in 2015, and management said it would provide additional details following its fourth-quarter earnings report.

    In Las Vegas, CEO Steve Wynn says the Strip is on the road to recovery. "I believe we have seen the bottom in Las Vegas," he said during the company's third-quarter conference call. "I don't know how fast it is going to get better but it isn't going to get any worse."

    Las Vegas revenue inched up 3.1% to $334.5 million during the three-month period, and EBITDA grew 9.3% to $76.5 million.

    Wynn also issued a cash dividend of $8 a share payable on Dec. 7 to sharehold! ers of record on Nov. 23.

5 Best Tech Stocks To Own Right Now: Penn National Gaming Inc.(PENN)

Penn National Gaming, Inc. and its subsidiaries own and manage gaming and pari-mutuel properties in the United States. It operates approximately 27,000 gaming machines; 500 table games; and 2,000 hotel rooms in 23 facilities in 16 jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario. The company was formerly known as PNRC Corp. and changed its name to Penn National Gaming, Inc. in 1994. Penn National Gaming, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Quickel]

    Penn National Gaming(PENN) squeaked past its guidance through improved cost controls, and investors praised its efforts.

    But expectations were low, and its upbeat outlook shouldn't be viewed as a message that regional markets are recovering. "Going forward, we project soft regional gaming revenue results over the next three to six months, as we do not expect to see a significant increase in consumer spending patterns given the uncertain economic environment," J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote in a note.

    Penn National raised its full-year earnings guidance to $1.18 from $1.13 a share, and up its revenue outlook by $26 million to $2.44 billion from $2.41 billion.

    During the second quarter, the company earned $9.2 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with $28.5 million, or 27 cents, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Penn actually earned 29 cents a share, a penny higher than estimates.

    Revenue rose 3% to $598.3 million, higher than the $597.1 million Wall Street projected. The upside was driven by both better revenues and margins and was generally broad-based across many properties, especially larger venues in Charlestown, Lawrenceburg and Grantville, Pa.

    Penn National rolled out table games in West Virginia and Pennsylvania during the quarter, which should be a growth catalyst moving forward. The company also plans to open a slot facility in Maryland on Sept. 30 and expects its Toldeo, Ohio, location to open in the first-half of 2012. Its Columbus project is slated to open in the second-half of 2012.

    The company repurchased 409,000 shares during the quarter. "[This] sends a message to investors on the value of its equity, but perhaps indicating the lack of near-term acquisition opportunities," J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote in a note.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy For 2014: Boyd Gaming Corporation(BYD)

Boyd Gaming Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a multi-jurisdictional gaming company in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned and operated 1,042,787 square feet of casino space, containing approximately 25,973 slot machines, 655 table games, and 11,418 hotel rooms. It also owned and operated 16 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and New Jersey. In addition, the company owns and operates a pari-mutuel jai-alai facility located in Dania Beach, Florida, as well as a travel agency in Hawaii. Further, it holds a 50% controlling interest in the limited liability company that operates Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boyd Gaming Corporation was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Hesler]

    Boyd Gaming(BYD) posted a bigger-than-expected drop in its second-quarter earnings, citing weak performance in Las Vegas, the Midwest and the South.

    During the quarter, the casino operator earned $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, a 73% plunge from $12.8 million, or 15 cents, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings came in at 5 cents a share, significantly lower than the 10 cents Wall Street predicted for Boyd.

    Boyd's revenue fell 6% to $578.4 million, also short of the consensus of $588 million.

    "The lingering effects of the recession have left consumers unusually sensitive to shifts in the economy, and they now react more quickly to economic data and other developments, such as fluctuations in the stock market," said CEO Keith Smith, in a statement. "Although conditions remain uncertain, we believe long-term stabilizing trends are still in place, and that year-over-year growth is achievable by the end of 2010."

    In the Las Vegas locals market, the rate of decline in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 16.2% from 10.8%, J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote in a note. Boyd previously reported a 9.9% decline for its Borgata property in Atlantic City. Revenue came in at $186.9 million, a 2.4% decrease from the year-ago period.

    "We think second-quarter results are less important than the coming operating results in the second-half of 2010, when the Atlantic City market faces increased regional competitive pressures from tables in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and the first Philadelphia casino opens this summer," J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote in a note.

    Greff reaffirmed his underweight rating on Boyd, given increasing competition in Atlantic City, a weak recovery in the Las Vegas locals market and stagnant regional gaming trends.

    While there is no doubt the Atlantic City gaming market remains one of the most depressed, Borgata continues to dominate the market and gain share. Atlant! ic City saw gaming revenues plunge 11.1% in June to $286.8 million. Boyd co-owns Borgata with MGM Resorts, which is currently in the process of divesting its 50% stake.

  • [By Jeanine Poggi]

    The Las Vegas locals and Atlantic City markets have the longest road to recovery, making Boyd Gaming (BYD) one of the most challenged stocks in the sector long-term.

    It's not a surprise then that Boyd saw some of the most muted gains in 2010, with shares rising just 13.8% since the beginning of the year.

    In Atlantic City, where Boyd owns a 50% stake in the Borgata, gambling revenue plunged 13% in November. The New Jersey Boardwalk has been under pressure even before the recession began, as nearby regions expand their gaming presence.

    Both West Virginia and Pennsylvania added table games to casinos in the second half of the year and new properties opened in Philadelphia and Maryland. In 2011, Atlantic City will also have to contend with additional growth in Pennsylvania and the pending opening of the Aqueduct in New York City.

    Given this, Boyd decided not to exercise its right to match a $250 million offer MGM Resorts(MGM) received for its 50% stake in the Borgata. MGM decided to divest its joint venture with Boyd after the Atlantic City Gaming Commission criticized its relationship with Pansy Ho in Macau, whose family has allegedly been tied to organized crime in China.

    In the Las Vegas locals market, where Boyd generates about 44% of its EBITDA, trends are improving, but not as quickly as analysts would have hoped. In October, gaming revenue in the market grew 6.2% to $169.4 million.

    In its third quarter, Boyd disappointed Wall Street, with adjusted earnings coming in at 2 cents a share, shy of consensus estimates of 5 cents. Revenue dropped 4% to $595.4 million.

    Boyd also announced plans to sell $500 million of eight-year notes. Proceeds will be used to buy back senior subordinated notes due 2012 and to repay bank loans.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hot Stocks To Own For 2014

Last week was an important week for the markets: On Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Open Market Committee and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke clarified the central bank's stance with regard to its $85 billion-per-month quantitative easing (bond-buying) program.

In the wake of that event, both of the following stocks generated enormous interest -- and experienced surging volumes. They share at least two characteristics, the first of which is that, strictly speaking, neither of them is a stock.

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (NYSEMKT: TLT  )
From Wednesday through the end of the week, the average daily volume of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund was 21.6 million shares -- almost two and a half times the daily volume over the past three months. The ETF, which holds long-dated U.S. Treasury bonds, lost 4.8% on the week (price return), virtually all of which occurred during the last three days of the week. To put that figure in context, it is the fund's third worst week in its nearly 11-year history, and the worst since July 2009. What was the reason behind this drop?

Hot Stocks To Own For 2014: Home Federal Bancorp Inc.(HOME)

Home Federal Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Home Federal Bank that provides financial products and services to consumers and businesses. The company?s deposit products include checking accounts, money market deposit accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposits. Its loan products portfolio comprises one-to-four family residential real estate, real estate construction, and commercial and multifamily real estate loans; commercial business loans for various business purposes, such as working capital and equipment financing, and capital and general investment; and consumer loans, including home equity loans and lines of credit, savings account loans, automobile loans, recreational vehicle loans, and personal unsecured loans. The company offers its products and services in the Treasure Valley region of southwestern Idaho, including Ada, Canyon, Elmore, and Gem counties; the Tri-County region of Central Oregon comprising the counties of Crook, Desc hutes, and Jefferson, as well as the communities of Eugene, Grants Pass, and Medford; and Lane, Josephine, Jackson, and Multnomah counties in Western Oregon. As of January 27, 2012, it operated 28 full-service banking offices. The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho.

Hot Stocks To Own For 2014: Macatawa Bank Corporation(MCBC)

Macatawa Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for Macatawa Bank that provides various commercial and personal banking services. It offers various deposit products, which comprise checking accounts, savings accounts, time deposits, transaction accounts, savings and time certificates, non-interest bearing and interest bearing demand deposits, and money market accounts. The company?s loan portfolio comprises commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans, and multi-family and other non-residential real estate loans; residential mortgage loans; and consumer loans, including automobile loans, home equity lines of credit, installment loans, home improvement loans, deposit account loans, and other loans for household and personal purposes. It also provides cash management services, safe deposit boxes, travelers checks, money orders, and trust services; ATMs, Internet banking, telephone banking, and debit cards; and b rokerage services, including discount brokerage, personal financial planning, and consultation regarding mutual funds. In addition, the company offers personal trust services, such as financial planning, investment management services, trust and estate administration, and custodial services; and retirement plan services, including provision of various qualified retirement plans, such as profit sharing, 401(k)s, and pension plans. It operated a network of 26 branches and a lending and operation service facility in Kent, Ottawa, and northern Allegan counties of Michigan. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Holland, Michigan.

Top 10 Stocks For 2014: Centurion Minerals Ltd (CTN.V)

Centurion Minerals Ltd., an exploration stage company, focused on the procurement, exploration, and development of mineral properties in Indonesia. The company explores for gold, copper, and other precious metals projects. Its principal properties of interest include the Halimon property, which covers an area of 10,000 hectares; the Banda Raya property that covers an area of 10,000 hectares; and the Badak property, which covers an area of approximately 10,000 hectares, located in the Aceh Province, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The company also holds interests in the Menawan Property that covers an area of approximately 10,000 hectares; the Jimeu Property, which covers an area of 10,000 hectares; and the Sable Property that covers an area of approximately 23,500 hectares located in Aceh, northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The company has a strategic alliance with PT Titan Metals. Centurion Minerals Ltd. was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

Hot Stocks To Own For 2014: Bigair Group Ltd (BGL.AX)

BigAir Group Limited, together with its subsidiaries, provides fixed wireless broadband solutions for businesses and campus environments in Australia. The company owns and operates the fixed wireless Ethernet broadband network that covers Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Darwin cities. It also provides private data links for a wide area network to multi-site businesses, including retailers and national organizations; and high-speed Internet access services. In addition, the company offers outsourced managed Internet services in the tertiary student accommodation market. It provides broadband and data services primarily through its channel partners comprising ISPs, carriers, and other IT service companies. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Surry Hills, Australia.

Hot Stocks To Own For 2014: Nestle SA (NESN.VX)

Nestle SA is a Swiss Company engaged in the nutrition, health and wellness sectors. It is the holding company of the Nestle Group, which comprises subsidiaries, associated companies and joint ventures throughout the world. It has such business units as Food and Beverage, Nestle Waters and Nestle Nutrition. It is also active in the pharmaceutical sector. It divides its products into Powdered and liquid beverages, Water, Milk products and Ice cream, Nutrition, Prepared dishes and cooking aids, Confectionery, PetCare and Pharmaceutical products. In February 2011, the Company acquired CM&D Pharma Ltd.

Dow Hit by a Drop in Pending Home Sales

U.S. stocks are moderately lower today following a reported drop in pending home sales: As of 12:45 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is down 53 points, or 0.34%, while the S&P 500 is off by 0.44% and the Nasdaq has lost 0.43%. The National Association of Realtors said sales contracts fell 0.4% during the month of June as interest rates began rising in May and housing prices continued to tick higher. Sales hit a six-year high in May and are still up more than 10% when compared to June of last year.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) is losing out today, likely because of the disappointing pending-home-sales report. Shares are down 1.4% as investors grow concerned about the bank's plan to grow revenue by increasing its mortgage business. Bank of America and the other large financial institutions have been shifting toward the mortgage business, rather than riskier forms of banking such as trading and investing. But these plans will only work if the U.S. housing market continues to improve and provide a large quantity of new home mortgages.

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) 's fall, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the lackluster housing report. The company has recently experienced a number of problems with its 787 Dreamliner, and it seems the drama just doesn't end. Months ago the aircraft was grounded after a number of the planes experienced problems with the new battery system. Recently, a 787 caught fire while sitting on the tarmac, and then another 787 was taken out of service after smoke was seen coming from an electrical panel. This morning the company requested that inspections be performed on all of its aircraft that use a Honeywell emergency locator beacon, as Boeing believes this may be what caused the recent incidents. Nervous investors have pushed Boeing's Stock price down 0.8% today, but year to date the shares are up more than 39%, Boeing drama and all. Given the aircraft engineering industry's massive barriers to entry and Boeing's impressive sales performance and growing backlog, investors should just sit tight and try to tune out the noise surrounding the company until clearer skies can be seen.

With the American markets reaching new highs, investors and pundits alike are skeptical about future growth. They shouldn't be. Many global regions are still stuck in neutral, and their resurgence could result in windfall profits for select companies. A recent Motley Fool report, "3 Strong Buys for a Global Economic Recovery," outlines three companies that could take off when the global economy gains steam. Click here to read the full report!

Great News For Gilead Sciences And HCV Patients

On the fast track

On May 21 the European Medicines Agency [EMA] delivered some very positive news for Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and its oral hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. The EMA will provide an accelerated review of Gilead's Marketing Authorization Application [MAA] the once-daily oral nucleotide analogue inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection.

Gilead's MAA submitted to the EMA on April 17, 2013 includes Phase 3 study data that supports the use of sofosbuvir to treat seven of the 11 major HCV genotypes. For patients with type 2 and 3 HCV infections, the data submitted supports the use of sofosbuvir along with ribavirin, another orally delivered drug. Data submitted also supports treatment of treatment naive HCV genotype 1, 4, 5, and 6 patients for use of sofosbuvir in combination with ribavirin and pegylated interferon injections.

According to the WHO, approximately 3% of the world's seven billion people have HCV, with four to five million in the EU alone. Since sofosbuvir is considered a new medicine of major public health interest, it is being fast tracked through the EU's regulatory hurdles. According to Gilead's release, if approved by the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, the drug could be available in all 27 member states of the EU in the first half of 2014

Sofosbuvir not included in recent FDA 483 letter

Gilead submitted a New Drug Application [NDA] with the same Phase 3 trial data to the FDA in April 2013. The FDA has since issued a Form 483 letter questioning the company's test procedures, stability testing and laboratory controls regarding several drugs under review. During the Q1 2013 earnings call Gilead's Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Norbert Bischofberger, said the "483 observations are specifically related to Elvitegravir, Cobi and Stribild, Complera, Atripla, and Truvada," with no mention of sofosbuvir.

Turning Japanese

Recently,! Gilead CFO, Robin L. Washington, mentioned the company is in discussions with the Japanese regulatory agency. Gilead is establishing a "direct presence" in Japan, and plans to start a Phase 3 study of sofosbuvir in genotype 2 HCV infected patients there.

Superiority in the laboratory and medicine cabinet

Assuming the Phase 3 data is acceptable to regulatory agencies, Sofosbuvir has several advantages over existing antiviral HCV treatments that should make it wildly profitable for the company, and its investors.

Sofosbuvir directly suppresses viral replication, ribavirin and pegylated interferon do not.Sofosbuvir's Phase 3 data shows it more effective -- depending on HCV genotype -- with less adverse effects than pegylated interferon.Among patients for whom pegylated interferon is not an option due to adverse reactions or lack of response, treatments with sofosbuvir in conjunction with ribavirin were highly effective -- also depending on HCV genotype.Also, sofosbuvir is an oral pill taken once daily.

Who's laughing now?

Last year, Gilead endured its fair share of criticism when it acquired Pharmasset -- the previous owner of sofosbuvir -- for $11.2 billion. According to FactSet Research Systems, (FDS) annual sales of sofosbuvir could reach $6.42 billion by 2017, easily making it the company's biggest seller.

Putting a price on sofosbuvir and Gilead

If you assume that Gilead's single pill HIV patent cliff strategy works, and then simply add the $6.42 billion analyst estimate of sofosbuvir sales to Gilead's current TTM revenues of $9.95 billion, you arrive at a total revenue of $16.37 billion in 2017.

Over the past five years Gilead has maintained a quarterly profit margin between 20-40%. If you apply a 30% profit margin to the total revenue figure of $16.37 billion mentioned above, you arrive at a net income figure of $4.91 billion.

The average number of outstanding shares recorded in Q1 2013 was 760 million. Assuming Gilead doesn't dilute or repurchase shar! es, you a! rrive at earnings of $6.46 per share. At Gilead's recent price of about $55, that's a PE multiple of about 8.51 times 2017 earnings.

If you apply a reasonable PE multiple of 20 to the projected earnings figure of $6.46 above, that's a share price of $170.23. That would be a total increase of 209.5% in five years, or a compound annual growth rate of 25.4%.

Excuse me while I place an order

Of course, the simple valuation above makes a slew of lofty assumptions, including quick regulatory approvals. The important takeaway is that Gilead sciences may not be as overvalued as it seems. If sofosbuvir really is the blockbuster that it seems, the company's recent PE of 28 isn't so high after all.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in GILD over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More...)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Show Me the Money, GP Strategies

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings' unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on GP Strategies (NYSE: GPX  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. FCF = free cash flow. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, GP Strategies generated $21.2 million cash while it booked net income of $23.2 million. That means it turned 5.2% of its revenue into FCF. That sounds OK. However, FCF is less than net income. Ideally, we'd like to see the opposite.

All cash is not equal
Unfortunately, the cash flow statement isn't immune from nonsense, either. That's why it pays to take a close look at the components of cash flow from operations, to make sure that the cash flows are of high quality. What does that mean? To me, it means they need to be real and replicable in the upcoming quarters, rather than being offset by continual cash outflows that don't appear on the income statement (such as major capital expenditures).

For instance, cash flow based on cash net income and adjustments for non-cash income-statement expenses (like depreciation) is generally favorable. An increase in cash flow based on stiffing your suppliers (by increasing accounts payable for the short term) or shortchanging Uncle Sam on taxes will come back to bite investors later. The same goes for decreasing accounts receivable; this is good to see, but it's ordinary in recessionary times, and you can only increase collections so much. Finally, adding stock-based compensation expense back to cash flows is questionable when a company hands out a lot of equity to employees and uses cash in later periods to buy back those shares.

So how does the cash flow at GP Strategies look? Take a peek at the chart below, which flags questionable cash flow sources with a red bar.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Data is current as of last fully reported fiscal quarter. Dollar values in millions. TTM = trailing 12 months.

When I say "questionable cash flow sources," I mean items such as changes in taxes payable, tax benefits from stock options, and asset sales, among others. That's not to say that companies booking these as sources of cash flow are weak, or are engaging in any sort of wrongdoing, or that everything that comes up questionable in my graph is automatically bad news. But whenever a company is getting more than, say, 10% of its cash from operations from these dubious sources, investors ought to make sure to refer to the filings and dig in.

With 10.9% of operating cash flow coming from questionable sources, GP Strategies investors should take a closer look at the underlying numbers. Within the questionable cash flow figure plotted in the TTM period above, stock-based compensation and related tax benefits provided the biggest boost, at 15.2% of cash flow from operations. Overall, the biggest drag on FCF came from changes in accounts receivable, which represented 19.0% of cash from operations.

A Foolish final thought
Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' cash flow. I think that's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home-run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

Looking for alternatives to GP Strategies? It takes more than great companies to build a fortune for the future. Learn the basic financial habits of millionaires next door and get focused stock ideas in our free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." Click here for instant access to this free report.

We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service.

Add GP Strategies to My Watchlist.

In Dow Moves, Housing News Plays Second String to Earnings

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) took a shallow dive this morning after disappointing earnings distracted investors from the continued gains in the housing market. As of 11:45 a.m. EDT, the index has started to shake off the noise and has regained some ground, with only an 8-point loss. Though earnings season is a good time to reassess your strategies and positions, if you're not invested in any of the companies that reported this morning, it may suit your needs better to focus on the big story.

Partying like it's 1992
New highs aren't just for indexes anymore -- the rate of new home sales in June reached a five-year high, despite a rise in mortgage rates. Though we saw earlier in the week a slowdown in existing home sales, the data for June shows that buyer demand is hot. New home sales rose 8.3% since May and single-family home purchases have risen 38.1% since last June -- a rise not seen since 1992.

Not only did investors get the happy news about June's impressive rise in sales, but this morning's report on mortgage applications delivered some very welcome news about interest rates. Last week saw the first decline in mortgage rates since mid-May when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stirred up the market with his talk about tapering stimulus policy plans. The 10-basis-point drop is the first sign that Bernanke's latest coverage of the topic is finally getting through and the tension in easing within the market.

Keeping an eye out
The news from the housing market this morning is great, but banks won't start rejoicing just yet. In the same report as the decline in interest rates was news that last week saw yet another decline in new applications for mortgage loans, which fell another 2%. Home loan activity is the most important aspect of the housing market for banks, which look to loans for a huge percentage of their revenue stream.

This fact may be playing a part in Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC  ) nearly 1% decline in trading today. Since the bank reported earnings last week, it's been on a mostly upward trajectory. But one of the bank's main goals, to grab a bigger slice of the mortgage market pie, just hasn't happened yet. And with fewer buyers taking the steps to submit applications for new loans, that creates fewer opportunities for the bank to draw in new business.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) are less concerned when it comes to drawing in new business, with the two banks controlling 39% of the market. But a slowdown in applications does pose a concern for the revenue growth that we've seen in the past few quarters for the banks. Wells Fargo did have higher loan originations in the second quarter (JPMorgan did not), but the bank noted that its pipeline for new loans was much smaller than at the end of the first quarter.

Overall, a positive morning
Though the banks have a little work on their hands to offset a decline in new activity, the news from the housing market is a great sign for the overall economy. Since housing plays such a big part in the strength of the economy as a whole, more signs of buyers returning to the market should be welcomed by investors and seen as continued progress for the nation's recovery.

Millions of Americans have waited on the sidelines since the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, too scared to invest and put their money at further risk. Yet those who've stayed out of the market have missed out on huge gains and put their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Buy Right Now

More than 20% of total rail carloads stem from the coal industry. Because of this reliance on coal shipments, CSX (NYSE: CSX  ) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC  ) each saw revenues from coal shipments drop by double digits in the first quarter of 2013 versus the same quarter last year. This also can't be great news for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) , as it owns BNSF railroads, which holds a 33% market share in coal shipments by rail, according to 2012 data.

These companies cater to the eastern United States, which has seen its coal industry hurt to a much greater degree than miners out west, such as Peabody Energy and its Powder River Basin thermal coal production. Coal from this region is produced further down the cost curve and is competitive with much lower natural gas prices than the Appalachian output.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Buy Right Now: Innergex Renewable Energy Inc (INE.TO)

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. operates as an independent renewable power producer. It develops, owns, and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, and solar photovoltaic parks. The company�s portfolio of assets consists of 26 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 494 MW, including 20 hydroelectric operating facilities, 5 wind farms, and 1 solar photovoltaic farm; 9 projects under development with an aggregate net installed capacity of 231 MW; and several prospective projects with an aggregate net capacity approximately 2,844 MW. It has operations in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Idaho, the United States. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Longueuil, Canada.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Buy Right Now: VirnetX Holding Corp(VHC)

VirnetX Holding Corporation engages in developing and commercializing software and technology solutions for securing real-time communications over the Internet. Its software and technology solutions, which include secure domain name registry and GABRIEL Connection Technology, facilitate secure communications and create a secure environment for real-time communication applications, such as instant messaging, voice over Internet protocol, smart phones, eReaders, and video conferencing. The company focuses on commercializing its technology to original equipment manufacturers within the IP-telephony, mobility, fixed-mobile convergence, and unified communications markets. VirnetX Holding Corporation was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Scotts Valley, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sy_Harding]

    VirnetX Holding Corp Common St (AMEX:VHC): This equity had 11,198,740 shares sold short as of Aug 31st, as compared to 9,939,110 on Aug 15th, which represents a change of 1,259,630 shares, or 12.7%. Days to cover for this company is 5 and average daily trading volume is 2,172,693. About the equity: Virnetx Holding Corporation is developing and commercializing software and technology solutions for securing real-time communications over the Internet.

  • [By Kevin M. O'Brien]

    Finally, my top stock pick for 2012 is VirnetX Holding Corp. (VHC). VirnetX engages in developing and commercializing software and technology solutions for securing real-time communications over the Internet. Its software and technology solutions, which include secure domain name registry and GABRIEL Connection Technology, facilitate secure communications and create a secure environment for real-time communication applications, such as instant messaging, voice over Internet protocol, smart phones, eReaders, and video conferencing. The company focuses on commercializing its technology to original equipment manufacturers within the IP-telephony, mobility, fixed-mobile convergence, and unified communications markets.

10 Best Stocks To Watch For 2014: Tianjin Zhong Xin Pharm Group (T14.SI)

Tianjin Zhong Xin Pharmaceutical Group Corporation Limited, an investment holding company, engages in the production and sale of traditional Chinese medicine, western medicine, and health products. It is involved in the manufacture and sale of western pharmaceutical, Chinese pharmaceutical and biological, biochemical pharmaceutical, and daily use products, as well as in the wholesale and retail sale of medicines, and biochemical pharmaceutical products. The company�s primary products include Suxiao Jiuxin Wan for increasing blood flow in coronary artery, releasing angina pectoris, and treating and preventing the formation of cerebral embolism; Huoxiang Zhengqi Ruan Jiaonang for reliving cold, dissolving damp, and regulating the flow of vital energy and the functions of the stomach and spleen; Zilong Jin Pian to invigorate and nourish the blood, clear away heat and remove toxic substances, and regulate qi and dissipate the blood stasis; Jinqi Jiangtang Pian to clear away h eat; Weichang An Wan; Gliclazide for curing diabetes; Interferon; Te Zi She Fu; and Biqi Jiaonang for nourishing qi and blood, dispelling wind to eliminate dampness, and promoting blood circulation to arrest pain. It also offers logistics, stocks, and equipment installation services. The company is based in Tianjin, the People's Republic of China.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Buy Right Now: Lifetime Brands Inc.(LCUT)

Lifetime Brands Inc. designs, sources, and sells branded kitchenware, tabletop, and other products primarily in the United States. It offers kitchenware products, including kitchen tools and gadgets, cutlery, cutting boards, bakeware, and cookware; and tabletop products, such as dinnerware, flatware, and glassware. The company also provides home solutions that comprise products, such as food storage, pantry ware, spices, and home d�or products. In addition, it manufactures sterling silver products. The company owns or licenses various brands, including Farberware, Mikasa, KitchenAid, Pfaltzgraff, Cuisinart, Elements, Melannco, Wallace Silversmiths, Kamenstein, Pedrini, Towle, V&A, and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Lifetime Brands Inc. serves mass merchants, specialty stores, national chains, department stores, warehouse clubs, supermarkets, off-price retailers, and Internet retailers, as well as direct consumers through its Pfaltzgraff, Mikasa, Housewares Deals, and Lifetim e Sterling Internet Websites. The company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Garden City, New York.

Top Heal Care Stocks To Buy Right Now: National Bank of Greece SA (NBG)

National Bank of Greece S.A. (the Bank), incorporated on March 30, 1841, is a Greece-based financial institution. It offers a range of integrated financial services, including corporate and investment banking, retail banking (including mortgage lending), leasing, stock brokerage, asset management and venture capital, insurance, real estate and consulting services. In addition, the Company is involved in various other businesses, including hotel and property management, real estate and information technology (IT) consulting. On May 19, 2009, the Bank established Ethniki Factors S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 8, 2009, Finansbank A.S. established Finans Faktoring Hizmetleri A.S. (Finans Factoring), a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 30, 2009, NBG Luxemburg Holding S.A. and NBG Luxfinance Holding S.A. were merged to NBG Asset Management Luxemburg S.A. On January 18, 2010, the Bank acquired 35% of the share capital of AKTOR FM. On October 16, 2009, United Bulgarian Bank A.D. (UBB) established UBB Factoring E.O.O.D., a wholly owned subsidiary of UBB. On September 15, 2009, the Bank disposed of its investment in Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry S.A.

At December 31, 2009, the Bank operated in Greece through 575 branches, one private banking unit, one unit for financial institutions and 10 specialized banking units that deal exclusively with troubled and non-performing loans. At December 31, 2009, the Bank had over 1500 automated teller machines (ATMs).

Retail Banking

The Bank offers retail customers a number of different types of deposit and investment products, as well as a range of services and products. The Bank offers a range of mortgage products, with floating, fixed, or a combination of fixed and floating interest rates. In February 2009, the Bank introduced a new floating rate product, the ESTIA MIKTO with flexible payment terms. In addition to fire and earthquake property insurance, the Bank offers an optional life insurance plan together with mortgage! s.

The Small Business Lending Unit (SBL Unit) a part of the Bank's retail banking division consists of three credit centers situated in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patrastail. The SBL Unit offers term loans geared towards medium and long-term working capital needs for the financing of asset purchases.

Corporate and Investment Banking

The Bank offers corporate accounts with overdraft facilities, foreign currency loans, variable rate loans, and currency swaps and options for corporate customers. The Bank's commercial loan portfolio in Greece comprises approximately 50,000 corporate clients, including small and medium sized enterprises. It offers the corporate clients a range of products and services, including financial and investment advisory services, deposit accounts, loans denominated in euro and other currencies, foreign exchange services, insurance products, custody arrangements and trade finance services. The Bank lends primarily in the form of credit lines, which are generally at variable rates of interest with payment terms of up to 12 months. In addition, the Bank provides letters of credit and guarantees for its clients.

The Bank�� shipping finance and syndicated loan portfolio consists of first-tier shipping groups involved in diversified shipping activities. The Bank provided project finance advisory services to the Hellenic Republic on two infrastructure projects: the new Attica Motorway and Kasteli International Airport.

Global Markets & Asset Management

The treasury activities provided by the Bank and its subsidiaries include

Greek and other sovereign securities trading, foreign exchange trading, interbank lending and borrowing in euro and other currency placements/ deposits, forward rate agreement trading, repurchase agreements, corporate bonds, and derivative products, such as options and interest rate and currency swaps. The Bank also conducts a portion of its treasury activities through its subsidia! ry CPT. A! s at December 31, 2009; CPT's portfolio comprised Greek government bonds and corporate bonds, with a total value of EUR 1.8 billion.

The Bank offers its private banking services both domestically and internationally from its international private banking units in London. The Bank offers custodian services to its foreign and domestic institutional clients who hold equity securities listed on the ATHEX or listed Greek State debt, as well as remote settlement and custody services on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The Bank offers trade settlements, safekeeping of securities, corporate action processing, income collection, proxy voting, tax reclamation, brokerage services, customized reporting, regular market flashes and information services. The Bank also acts as global custodian to its domestic institutional clients who invest in securities outside of Greece.

The domestic fund management business is operated by NBG Asset Management, which is wholly owned by the Group. NBG Asset Management manages funds that are made available to customers through the Bank's extensive branch network. As at December 31, 2009, NBG Asset Management's total assets under management were EUR 1.9 billion.

National Securities S.A offers a range of investment services to both individual and institutional customers. In September 2009, National Securities S.A. opened a branch in Nicosia, Cyprus, to provide brokerage services to local private investors.

Turkish Operations

The Bank�� Turkish operations include the Finansbank group of companies and NBG Bank (Malta) Ltd. Finansbank's group of companies includes Finans Invest, Finans Leasing, Finans Portfolio Management, Finans Investment Trust, Finans Factoring, IBTech, Finans Pension, and Finans Consumer Finance. As at December 31, 2009, Finansbank operated through a network of 461 branches in 60 cities.

Finansbank Corporate Banking serves corporations through its eight branches in the four cities in Turkey.! Finansba! nk Commercial Banking serves medium-sized companies located in 23 cities in Turkey through its head office, four regional offices (three in Istanbul and one in Ankara) and a distribution network, which includes 61 branches.

Finansbank Investment Banking consists of project finance, corporate finance and technical consulting. Investment Banking acts as a client relations specialist while providing medium to long-term loans and other products. Finansbank Private Banking has been providing investment products and asset management services to individuals through eight private banking centers and 28 private banking corners located in Finansbank's branches in the cities throughout Turkey.


The Bank's international operations include the Bank's branches in Albania, Egypt and Cyprus, as well as banking subsidiaries in six countries: NBG Cyprus; Stopanska Banka A.D. in FYROM; United Bulgarian Bank A.D. in Bulgaria; Banca Romaneasca S.A., in Romania; Vojvodjanska in Serbia; and the South African Bank of Athens, as well as other subsidiaries, primarily in the leasing sector. As at December 31, 2009, the Bank had foreign branches in four countries, including one in the United Kingdom, 30 in Albania, one in Cyprus, 15 in Egypt and one in Guernsey (which closed early in 2010).


The Bank provides insurance services to individuals and companies through the wholly owned subsidiary Ethniki Insurance Group (EI) and Finans Pension. EI offers a range of products such as life, accident and health insurance for individuals and groups, fire, catastrophe, credit, motor, marine hull and cargo insurance, and general third party liability. EI operates through a network of 2,850 tied agents and 2,620 independent insurance brokers, in addition to selling bancassurance products through the Bank's network. EI provides bancassurance products through our insurance brokerage subsidiary NBG Bancassurance S.A. (NBGB), which assumes no insurance underwr! iting ris! k, and the Bank's extensive network in Greece.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Dawn of Video Games and the Last Hope for a Debt-Free America

On this day in economic and business history...

Millions of children in two successive generations -- the Boomers and Generation X -- first experienced "computing" technology through video games. Credit for that cultural legacy is owed largely to Atari, which did more to popularize the first video games in arcades and on consoles than any other company. It all began on June 28, 1972 , when Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded the company in California.

Atari's first hire, 24-year-old Al Alcorn , was assigned to work on an arcade knockoff of the Magnavox Odyssey's tennis game, which Bushnell had seen in demonstration a month earlier. The Odyssey, despite becoming the first home game console in history when launched that August, was not a great commercial success. Atari's knockoff, however, became legendary. You might have heard of it; it's called Pong (click the link to read more about Pong and Atari).

Pong established Atari as the preeminent video-gaming company in an industry it more or less created out of nothing. This early success forced Atari to expand rapidly. By mid-1974, it was up to 39 employees, but employee number 40 is the one that went on to the greatest success. Al Alcorn met the kid in Atari's lobby, and he later recounted the incident to video game historian Steven Kent :

He was this real scuzzy kid. I think I said, "We should either call the cops or we should talk to him." So I talked to him. I figured, this guy's gotta be cheap, man. He really doesn't have much skills at all. So I figured I'd hire him.

And that's how Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) founder Steve Jobs got his start in the tech industry. Jobs would later sneak old pal Steve Wozniak in to Atari's offices to work on the design for the Breakout arcade system. Alcorn later mused that "Jobs never did a lick of engineering in his life. He had me snowed." Two years after Jobs started working at Atari, he partnered with Woz and Atari employee Ronald Wayne to found Apple. The rest, of course, is history.

Five years after Pong, with several arcade smash hits under its belt, Atari launched the 2600, which succeeded where Magnavox failed. Development of the Atari 2600 was incredibly lengthy and expensive by the standards of the day, having begun in 1973 after the purchase of an engineering start-up and eventually costing Atari $100 million  to complete. The high development cost, paired with Atari's worsening operating conditions in an industry already saturated with knockoffs, pushed Bushnell to sell the company to Warner Communications (now Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) ) a year before the 2600 launched. Atari's arcade division would remain part of Warner until 1985, although it divested the console division a year earlier.

The Atari 2600 launched at a cost of $199 (equal to about $750 today) in the fall of 1977. The console's first two years on the market almost sent it the way of the Osyssey, since Atari managed to sell less than one million units by the end of 1978 . However, Fairchild Semiconductor's (NYSE: FCS  ) decision to abandon console gaming in 1979 (it had actually beaten Atari to market with the Channel F in  1976, but sold fewer units than the 2600), coupled with the launch of a Space Invaders cartridge for the 2600 in 1980, gave Atari a clear path to huge sales. Two years later, the 2600 had reached ten million households, and console gaming had a foothold. Atari was briefly the crown jewel in Warner's entertainment empire, but this success wouldn't last.

Atari is gone now, and a major reason is the video game crash of 1983. Overproduction and consumer apathy left Atari with millions of unsold cartridges, and the division caused steep losses for Warner. Hemmed into a corner, Warner sold Atari, which faded from the video-gaming landscape just as the next generation of consoles began to emerge. Although the 2600 was soon surpassed by these newer consoles, it remained in production until 1992, which makes its 14-year production run the longest in industry history. With an estimated 30 million sales , the 2600 also ranks higher on the console sales charts than many other systems, including both the original Xbox and the GameCube.

Surplus shenanigans
There was a time, not too long ago, when the United States faced an entirely different budgetary problem, which was what to do with all the money it was taking in. On June 28, 1999 , President Bill Clinton offered a radical proposal that had not been considered for over a century: pay off the national debt. The proposal relied on some pretty incredible surplus projections, which Clinton outlined at a press conference on the White House lawn:

When I took office the national government had a record deficit of $290 billion, projected to increase indefinitely. Last year, for the first time in 29 years, we balanced the budget. In January of this year, we projected a surplus for this year of $79 billion. Today I am pleased to report that in fact the budget surplus for 1999 will be $99 billion, the largest as a share of our economy since 1951.

For next year we now project a budget surplus of $142 billion, a surplus of $5 billion, not counting the receipts from Social Security.

In fact, improvements in the outlook since February have added $179 billion to the projected budget surplus over five years, half a trillion over 10 years, and a trillion over 15 years. ...

In the 12 years before I took office, reckless fiscal policies quadrupled our debt, bringing us higher interest rates, higher unemployment, higher inflation. By balancing the budget, we have begun to reduce the debt. But today, our national debt still totals $13,400 for every man, woman and child.

If we maintain our fiscal discipline, using the surplus to pay down the debt and using the savings to strengthen Social Security, America will entirely pay off the national debt by 2015.

At the end of 1999, the U.S. national debt stood at $5.6 trillion, or 61% of GDP . As Clinton had promised, the following year saw the first reduction in the national public debt (that is, debt not held in federal accounts) since 1969. However, things tend to work out a bit differently than we often expect. Rather than continuing to decline, the national debt exploded after Clinton left office. With two years left to go before Clinton's 2015 target, the national debt now stands at $16.7 trillion, or $55,100 for every single person living in the United States , and there is no clear path back to zero.

The inability of government to pursue Clinton's goal has more than tripled the national debt, which is now higher as a percent of GDP than it has been since just after the close of World War II . In the 14 years since Clinton projected a debt-free America, financial markets have seesawed without much long-term gain for patient investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has grown just 2.5% per year over those 14 years, a rate that barely keeps up with inflation . In contrast, Clinton's tenure -- during which time the national debt-to-GDP fell by six percentage points , produced one of the longest and strongest bull markets in American history.

In Case You Missed This Week's Dow Earnings: Part 1

This past week, eight of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) 30 components reported earnings: McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , Du Pont, AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , Travelers, Untied Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) , Caterpillar, Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , and 3M.

In case you missed the releases, let's look at a four of them today and see how they performed during the second quarter of 2013.

On Monday, McDonald's Q2 earnings release showed revenue of $7.08 billion, while analysts were looking for $7.09 billion. Earnings came in at $1.38 per share, against expectations of $1.40. Gross margin fell slightly, while operating margin increased 70 basis points compared with the same quarter last year. Weak same-store sales growth and a warning from management caused the stock to fall on the earnings release and helped shares decline 2.23% during the week.  

On Tuesday, we got reports from AT&T and United Technologies. AT&T reported revenue of $32.1 billion, a 1.6% increase from the previous year, while analysts expected just $31.8 billion in sales. Earnings per share had been estimated to hit $0.68, but AT&T fell short at $0.67, a penny higher than the second quarter of 2012. The company also indicated that it added 551,000 new contracts, which was higher than during the first quarter, but the majority of the new contracts were for tablets, which have a lower profit margin. Shares of AT&T ultimately lost 0.58% during the week.

United Technologies earned $1.70 per share, much higher than last year's $1.62 and analysts' prediction of $1.57, while revenue came at $16 billion, below the $16.37 billion Wall Street wanted to see. Lower costs and a strong aerospace unit helped United Technologies beat the Street on the bottom line, where it really matters. Management said it feels good about the remainder of the year and increased the low end of its full-year guidance from $5.85 per share to $6.00, while the top end stayed the same at $6.15 per share. United Technologies ended up gaining 2.43% this past week. 

On Wednesday, Boeing reported that its Q2 profit was $1.1 billion, or $1.41 per share, on revenue of $21.8 billion. That was good enough to beat last year's figures of $1.27 in EPS on $20 billion in sales, but analysts had been expecting EPS of $1.58 on $21.05 billion in revenue. Although the company missed on EPS, the quarter was seen as a slight win for Boeing, after dealing with the 787 Dreamliner's grounding earlier in the year and concerns about how those problems would affect sales. Still, for the week the stock ended down 1.27%. 

Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET for a recap on the other four Dow components that reported this past week.

More Foolish insight
Dividend stocks can make you rich. It's as simple as that. While they don't garner the notability of high-flying growth stocks, they're also less likely to crash and burn. And over the long term, the compounding effect of the quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list in this free report of the only nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.

FAA Wants to Fine Boeing $2.75 Million for Quality Control Failure

The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement Friday outlining a proposal to fine Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) $2.75 million for the airplane manufacturer's alleged failure to maintain its quality control systems.

The root of the dispute stems to September 2008, when Boeing revealed that its 777 fastener components didn't conform to the FAA's standards. From October onward, Boeing and the FAA began a back-and-forth investigation correspondence. The FAA alleges that Boeing continually submitted action plans but failed to follow through by agreed-upon deadlines. Only in November 2010 did the company fully address the issue.

"Safety is our top priority, and a robust quality control system is a vital part of maintaining the world's safest air transportation system," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "Airplane manufacturers must take prompt and thorough steps to correct safety and compliance problems once they become aware of them."

Boeing has a month to reply to the FAA's proposed fine.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why Altra Holdings Shares Got Crushed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of power transmission products maker Altra Holdings (NASDAQ: AIMC  ) plummeted 17% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street. 

So what: The stock has soared over the past year on solid earnings growth, but today's second-quarter results -- adjusted EPS stayed flat on a 3.6% drop in revenue -- coupled with downbeat guidance for the full year is forcing Mr. Market to sober up. On a positive note, gross margin actually expanded 20 basis points despite the slump in sales as management did a good job to reduce costs in the quarter.

Now what: Management now sees full-year EPS of $1.52-$1.64 on revenue of $715 million-$730 million, down from its prior view of $1.75-$1.85 on revenue of $740 million-$750 million. "[W]e expect that the second half of the year will be in line with the comparable period a year ago," said CEO Carl Christenson. "Given the lower-than-expected results in the first half of the year and the lack of any apparent catalyst for significant economic growth in the second half, we are revising our guidance for the full year." When you couple that demand uncertainty with Altra's not-so-cheapish P/E of 25, Fools might want to wait for more of a pullback before jumping in.

With the U.S. relying on the rest of the world for such a large percentage of our goods, many investors are ready for the end of the "made in China" era. Well, it may be here. Read all about the biggest industry disrupters since the personal computer in "3 Stocks to Own for the New Industrial Revolution". Just click here to learn more.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now

This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense, and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines feature a pair of hikes to price target at aerospace parts suppliers B/E Aerospace (NASDAQ: BEAV  ) and Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP  ) . But the news isn't all good, so before we address those two, let's start with why one analyst thinks...

Cliffs could dive
In direct contradiction to the bullish note struck by analysts at BB&T Capital earlier this week (where analysts upgraded Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) stock on news of its CEO's departure) a different banker announced this morning that it's not nearly so hot on the company's chances. Disagreeing with BB&T's analysis (but agreeing with my own), analysts at CIBC cut their rating on Cliffs from sector perform to underperform.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Organic Resources Management(ORI.V)

Organic Resource Management Inc. provides vacuum truck services for the collection, processing, and recycling of food-related organic residuals in Canada. The company offers grease trap services, such as grease trap cleaning, clean-flo preventive maintenance, grease trap repairs, and grease trap installation. It collects the liquefied solid food residuals from approximately 10,000 regularly scheduled grease traps at restaurants, grocery stores, and other food processing facilities. The company also offers drain services, including flushing and snaking, clean-flo preventive maintenance, camera inspection, and sump cleaning; and food processor services comprising handling, transportation, and recycling/disposal of waste water pre-treatment residuals, and off-spec raw materials and product destruction. In addition, it provides food waste recycling services through organic resource recovery system, which is used for the on-site management of solid organic (food) waste, as well as for converting solid organics into slurry. Further, the company offers residuals and feedstock services, such as feedstock recycling, conversion of liquid organic waste into biogas renewable energy, and composting. Organic Resource Management Inc. serves industrial, commercial, and institutional food industry customers primarily in Ontario, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and Quebec. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Woodbridge, Canada.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Micronetics Inc.(NOIZ)

Micronetics, Inc. engages in the design and manufacture of radio frequency (RF) and microwave components and sub-assemblies for defense and commercial customers. The company offers RF microwave components, including receiver components, noise components, voltage controlled oscillators, linearized and non-linearized power amplifiers, and broadband mixers and ferrites; and microwave integrated multifunction subassemblies comprising low noise receivers, up and down conversion modules, RF microwave distribution networks, transmit drivers, broadband frequency synthesizers, and phase/amplitude control networks. It also provides test solutions, such as carrier-to-noise, automated noise generators, bench-top noise generators, and hand-held power meter instruments platforms that perform various tests used in performance verification, and emulation of impairments in cellular/PCN/PCS, satellite, television, and cable modem communication systems. The company?s microwave and RF compon ents, and integrated multifunction subassemblies are used in various commercial wireless, defense, and aerospace products, including satellite communications, electronic warfare, and electronic counter-measures; test equipment, subassemblies, and components used to test the strength, durability, and integrity of signals in communication equipment. Its products are embedded in various radars, electronic warfare systems, guidance systems, wireless telecommunications, and satellite equipment; and microwave devices used on subassemblies and integrated systems. The company sells its products in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Micronetics, Inc. was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Top Energy Stocks For 2014: Score Media Inc (SCR.TO)

Score Media Inc., a media company, provides interactive and authentic sports entertainment in Canada. Its primary asset, theScore Television Network, is a national television service providing sports news, information, highlights, and live event programming. The company�s digital media assets include and the mobile sports applications, such as ScoreMobile, ScoreMobile FC, and SportsTap. It also offers an optimized application for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which provides access to real time scores, stats, news, live blogs, and original video. The company serves approximately 6.8 million homes. Score Media Inc. was founded in 2000 and is based in Toronto, Canada. As of October 19, 2012, Score Media Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Rogers Media Inc.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: SatCon Technology Corporation(SATC)

Satcon Technology Corporation, a clean energy technology company, provides utility-grade power conversion solutions for the renewable energy market, primarily the large-scale commercial and utility-scale solar photovoltaic markets worldwide. The company designs and delivers power conversion solutions that enable producers of renewable energy to convert clean energy into grid-connected electrical power. It also offers system design services and solutions for management, monitoring, and performance measurement to improve capital investment, and quality and performance over the lifespan of an installation. The company?s products include PowerGate Plus, a utility-ready photovoltaic inverter; Equinox, a power conversion solution built on the foundation of PowerGate Plus; Prism, an integrated 1 or 1.25 megawatt medium voltage solution; Solstice, a power harvesting and array management solution; Energy Equity Protection, which comprises Satcon design services, APEX project manag ement, preventative maintenance and warranty programs, and system uptime guarantees; and other legacy power products, including static transfer switches, static voltage regulators, frequency converters, and AC arc furnace line controllers from 5 kilowatts to 100 megawatts. It sells its products and services through direct sales personnel, as well as distributor arrangements. Satcon Technology Corporation was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Cross Timbers Royalty Trust (CRT)

Cross Timbers Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds 90% net profits interests in various royalty and overriding royalty interest properties in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. It also holds 11.11% nonparticipating royalty interests in nonproducing properties located primarily in Texas and Oklahoma; and 75% net profits working interests in 7 oil-producing properties, including 4 properties in Texas and 3 properties in Oklahoma. Cross Timbers Royalty Trust was founded in 1991 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Banca Emilia(EMII.MI)

Banca popolare dell'Emilia Romagna s.c. provides various banking and financial products in Italy and internationally. The company offers deposits and loans; mortgages, advances against bills of exchange, and personal loans; finance to large and small agricultural firms; cooperative credit institution, tax collection, and consultancy services; and financial consulting and insurance products. It also engages in investment trusts and funds management activities; disbursing medium-long term loans, including agricultural credit, land credit, and financing of public works; and offering investment consulting to private and institutional clients, such as cash management, discretionary asset management for private clientele, securities trade on the main international markets, swaps, derivatives, investments in funds, and open-end investment companies. In addition, the company provides factoring, leasing, and consumer credit; and manages a private equity fund. It serves physical per sons, individual businesses, partnerships or limited companies, public administrations, financial businesses, non financial companies, non-residents, and large corporate customers. The company was formerly known as Banca popolare dell?Emilia and changed its name to Banca popolare dell'Emilia Romagna s.c. in 1992. Banca popolare dell'Emilia Romagna s.c. was founded in 1867 and is headquartered in Modena, Italy.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Johnson Outdoors Inc.(JOUT)

Johnson Outdoors Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets seasonal outdoor recreation products used primarily for fishing, diving, paddling, and camping. Its Marine Electronics segment offers battery powered fishing motors for trolling or primary propulsion; sonar and GPS equipment for fish finding and navigation; downriggers for controlled-depth fishing; leisure boat navigation technology; and lake charts. The company?s Outdoor Equipment segment provides consumer tents, sleeping bags, camping furniture, and other recreational camping products; commercial tents, such as party tents and accessories, including lighting systems, interior lining options, and mounting brackets; heavy-duty tents and lightweight backpacking tents for the military, including modular general purpose tents, rapid deployment shelters, and lightweight one and two person tents; and military tent accessories, such as fabric floors, as well as field compasses and digital instruments, and performance measurement instruments. This segment also acts as a subcontract manufacturer for other providers of military tents. It primarily serves camping and backpacking specialty stores, sporting goods stores, catalog and mail order houses, general rental stores, and tent erectors. Its Watercraft segment offers canoes, kayaks, accessories, paddles, and personal flotation devices. The company?s Diving segment manufactures and markets a line of underwater diving and snorkeling equipment, including regulators, buoyancy compensators, dive computers and gauges, wetsuits, masks, fins, snorkels, and accessories for technical and recreational divers. This segment also offers diving gear to dive training centers, aquariums, and resorts. Johnson Outdoors Inc. operates primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Pacific Basin. The company was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: ANSYS Inc (ANSS)

ANSYS, Inc. (ANSYS) develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and services used by engineers, designers, researchers and students across a range of industries and academia, including aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, electronics, biomedical, energy and defense. The Company distributes its ANSYS suite of simulation technologies through a global network of independent resellers and distributors (collectively, channel partners) and direct sales offices in global locations. The Company�� product portfolio consists of ANSYS Workbench, multiphysics product, structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, explicit dynamics, electromagnetic, system simulation, simulation process and data management, academic, high-performance computing (HPC), geometry interfaces, meshing and Apache design low-power electronic solutions. On August 1, 2011, the Company acquired Apache Design, Inc.

ANSYS Workbench

ANSYS Workbench is the framework upon which the Company�� suite of advanced engineering simulation technologies is built. The ANSYS Workbench platform delivers productivity, enabling Simulation Driven Product Development.


The Company�� multiphysics product suite allows engineers and designers to create virtual prototypes of their designs operating under multiphysics conditions. ANSYS multiphysics software enables engineers and scientists to simulate the interactions between structural mechanics, heat transfer, fluid flow and electromagnetics all within a single, engineering simulation environment.

Structural Mechanics

The Company�� structural mechanics product suite offers simulation tools for product design. These tools have capabilities that cover a range of analysis types, elements, contacts, materials, equation solvers and coupled physics capabilities all focused towards understanding and solving complex design problems.

Fluid Dynamics

The Company�� fluid dynamics product suit! e offers modeling of fluid flow and other related physical phenomena. Fluid flow analysis capabilities provide all the tools needed to design new fluids equipment and to troubleshoot already existing installations. The fluid dynamics product suite contains general-purpose computational fluid dynamics software and specialized products to address specific industry applications.

Explicit Dynamics

The Company�� explicit dynamics product suite simulates events involving short-duration, large-strain, large-deformation, fracture, complete material failure or structural problems with complex interactions. This product suite is used for simulating physical events that occur in a short period of time and may result in material damage or failure.


The Company�� electromagnetics product suite provides field simulation software for designing high-performance electronic and electromechanical products. The software streamlines the design process and predicts performance - all prior to building a prototype - of mobile communication and Internet-access devices, broadband networking components and systems, integrated circuits (IC) and printed circuit boards (PCB), as well as electromechanical systems such as automotive components and power electronics equipment.

System Simulation

The Company delivers the ability to perform complete simulation studies as a system for some of the product designs. This is accomplished through a complete set of physics solutions that are integrated into a multiphysics capabilities set. A collaborative simulation environment provides modeling scalability for evaluating entire systems, including three dimensional (3-D) high-fidelity models, multibody dynamics, circuit reduced-order models, and any combination of these.

Simulation Process and Data Management

ANSYS Engineering Knowledge Manager (ANSYS EKM) is a solution for simulation-based process and data management. ANSY! S EKM pro! vides solutions to all levels of a company, enabling an organization to address the issues associated with simulation data, including backup and archival, traceability and audit trail, process automation and intellectual property protection.


The Company�� academic product suite provides a portfolio of academic products based on several usage tiers: associate, research and teaching. Each tier includes various noncommercial products that bundle a range of physics and advanced coupled field solver capabilities. The academic product suite provides entry-level tools intended for class demonstrations and hands-on instruction. It provides flexible terms of use and more complex analysis suitable for doctoral and post-doctoral research projects. The Company also provides a product suitable for student use at home.

High-Performance Computing

The Company�� HPC product suite enables insight into product performance. The HPC product suite delivers cross-physics parallel processing capabilities for the full spectrum of the Company�� simulation software by supporting structural, fluids, thermal and electromagnetic simulations in a single HPC solution.

Geometry Interfaces

The Company offers geometry handling solutions for engineering simulation in an integrated environment with direct interfaces to all CAD systems, support of additional readers and translators. It also offers an integrated geometry modeler focused on analysis.


Creating a mesh that transforms a physical model into a mathematical model is a critical and foundational step in almost every engineering simulation study. The Company�� meshing technology provides a means to balance these requirements, obtaining the right mesh for each simulation in the most automated way possible.

Apache Design Low-Power Electronic Solutions

The Company�� suite of Apache software delivers power analysis and optimization pl! atforms a! long with integrated methodologies that provide capabilities for managing the power budget, power delivery integrity, and power-induced noise in an electronic design, from initial prototyping to system sign-off. These solutions deliver correlation to silicon measurement, and the capacity to handle an entire electronic system, including IC, package, and PCB.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Celsion Corporation(CLSN)

Celsion Corporation, an oncology drug development company, develops and commercializes targeted chemotherapeutic oncology drugs based on its proprietary heat-activated liposomal technology. The company is developing its lead product, ThermoDox that is in Phase III clinical trial for primary liver cancer; and in phase II clinical trial for treatment of recurrent chest wall breast cancer. It has a license agreement with Yakult Honsha to commercialize and market ThermoDox for the Japanese market. The company also has a license agreement with Duke University under which it received exclusive rights to commercialize and use Duke's thermo-liposome technology. In addition, Celsion Corporation has a joint research agreement with Royal Phillips Electronics to evaluate the combination of Phillips' high intensity focused ultrasound with its ThermoDox to determine the potential of this combination to treat a range of cancers. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Columbia, M aryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Putnam]

    This is another play on clinical trial progress as a catalyst for higher share prices. This micro-cap stock uses heat-sensitive nano-particles to precisely place cancer-treatment drugs within specific tumors. A number of approaches are currently being tested. The first approach uses its ThermoDox technology in conjunction with radio frequency (RF) ablation for primary liver cancer. ThermoDox is being evaluated under a special protocol assessment with the FDA in a pivotal 600-patient Phase III trial. Results from this study are expected to be released in the next few months.

    Celsion shares weakened in the first quarter, as the company has sold new stock on a pair of occasions to keep the balance sheet healthy. Further equity offerings appear likely, but with positive feedback from the FDA, shares could pop nicely higher before that happens.

Top 10 Companies To Buy Right Now: Infosys Technologies Limited(INFY)

Infosys Ltd. provides information technology (IT) and consulting services worldwide. It offers IT services, such as application, architecture, independent validation and testing, information management, infrastructure, packaged application, SOA, systems integration, and knowledge services; product engineering services, manufacturing process and plant solutions, and product lifecycle management services; and consulting services in the areas of information and technology strategies, product innovation, next generation commerce, process excellence, and learning and complex change. The company also provides business process outsourcing solutions in the areas of business platforms, customer service outsourcing, finance and accounting, human resources outsourcing, legal services, sales and fulfillment, and sourcing and procurement outsourcing. In addition, it offers collaborative analytics solutions; digital consumer platform; Finacle universal banking solution; iProwe, a Web ac cessibility assessment product; mConnect, a real-time enterprise middleware; and research and analytical support services. Further, the company offers unified communications and collaboration solution that streamlines business processes between employees, customers, and suppliers; iTransform that helps healthcare organizations accelerate transition to new platforms; and supply chain visibility and collaboration product suite. It serves aerospace and defense, airlines, automotive, banking, capital markets, communication services, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, education, energy, healthcare, high technology, hospitality and leisure, insurance, life sciences, logistics and distribution, publishing, resources, utilities, and retail industries. Infosys Ltd. has a strategic partnership with Alstom SA. The company was formerly known as Infosys Technologies Limited and changed its name to Infosys Ltd. on June 16, 2011. Infosys Ltd. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered i n Bengaluru, India.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Admin]

    Infosys Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) started in 1981 by seven individuals with a paltry investment of USD 250 are today a global leader of IT and consulting with revenues of over US$ 4.8 billion (Financial year end 2010). Infosys has an enviable international presence with over 50 offices and development centers in India, China, Australia, the Czech Republic, Poland, the UK, Canada and Japan.

    Infosys and its subsidiaries have 113,796 employees as on March 31, 2010. Infosys takes pride in building strategic long-term client relationships. Over 97% of our revenues come from existing customers. Forbes magazine has named Infosys in its list of Global High Performers. For investors wanting their money to grow without compromising on safety factors, Infosys is the company to park their funds.