For the past 13 years, Verizon Communications' (NYSE: VZ ) main squeeze has been Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD ) . The two paired up in April 2000 to found Verizon Wireless as a joint venture, which would proceed to become the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. with 98.9 million retail subscribers.
Verizon's 55% majority stake has always allowed it to call the shots, while Vodafone sits by passively with its 45% share. Speculation that Big Red is seeking to buy out that remaining 45% from Vodafone has increased in recent months, particularly as the wireless segment is where all of the growth is coming from nowadays. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said he was "open" to the notion a couple months ago.
Talks are reportedly under way, but the two companies are still $30 billion apart. Verizon doesn't want to pay a penny more than $100 billion, while Vodafone thinks $130 billion is a fair asking price. However, Verizon has another trick up its sleeve.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said last week that the wireless subsidiary may not pay out a distribution to its two owners this year, and instead may focus on paying down $5 billion in debt that's coming due. Big Red then reiterated that it's remaining firm on price when it comes to buying out Vodafone's stake.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Buy Right Now: China Valves Technology Inc.(CVVT)
China Valves Technology, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in developing, manufacturing, and selling low, medium, and high-pressure metal valves for customers in the electricity, petroleum, chemical, water, gas, nuclear power station, and metal industries in China. The company?s product categories include high pressure and high temperature valves for power station units; valves for long distance petroleum and gas pipelines, and sewage; special valves for chemical lines; and large valves for water supply pipe networks. Its products comprise gate, globe, check, throttle, butterfly, ball, safety, water pressure test, vacuum, and extraction check valves. The company markets its products through regional agents and distributors. China Valves Technology, Inc. has a strategic cooperation frame agreement with Dongfang Electric Corporation for the development of high-end valves. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Kaifeng, the People's Republic of China.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Buy Right Now: HopFed Bancorp Inc.(HFBC)
HopFed Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various banking products and services primarily in western Kentucky, and middle and western Tennessee. The company offers a range of deposit products, including demand deposits, time deposits, money market accounts, passbook savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises one-to-four family residential loans, multifamily residential loans, construction loans, nonresidential loans, commercial real estate loans, and land and land development loans, as well as loans secured by deposits, other consumer loans, and commercial loans. The company, through its subsidiary, Fall and Fall Insurance Agency, sells life and casualty insurance products to individuals and businesses. HopFed Bancorp offers its products and services through its branch offices located in Hopkinsville, Murray, Cadiz, Elkton, Fulton, Calvert City, and Benton, Kentucky; and in Clarksville, Pleasant View, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, and Erin, Tennessee. The company was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Louis Navellier]
HopFed Bancorp (HFBC), at $85 million in market cap, operates 18 branches in middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky and can be thought of as poster child for what is going on in the small banking sector. An activist investor took a stake in the bank and opposed an ill-advised acquisition. Instead, he suggested HopFed management get its own house in order. Management went along and canceled the deal, instituted a stock buyback plan and doubled the dividend. HFBC was upgraded to an “A” back in May and still is a “strong buy” right now.
Best Financial Companies For 2014: Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited(NZT)
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services, as well as information, communication, and technology services in New Zealand and Australia. Its products and services include local, national, international, and value-added telephone services; mobile services; data, broadband, and Internet services; IT consulting, implementation, and procurement services; and equipment sales and installation services. The company also involves in the retail of telecommunications products and services. It serves residential, business, and government customers. Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited was founded in 1987 and is based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Buy Right Now: Universal Travel Group(UTA)
Universal Travel Group, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a travel service provider offering air ticketing and hotel booking services, as well as domestic and international packaged tourism services via the Internet, customer representatives, and kiosks in the People?s Republic of China. It also provides technological solutions to travel reservations, and tour planning and tour guide services. In addition, the company operates TRIPEASY Kiosks, which are placed in hotels, office buildings, banks, shopping malls, and MTR stations for travel booking with credit cards or bank debit cards. Universal Travel Group is headquartered in Shenzhen, the People?s Republic of China.
Top 5 Penny Companies To Buy Right Now: Syms Corp(SYMS)
Syms Corp operates a chain of ?off-price? apparel retail stores under the Syms and Filene?s Basement names in the United States. Its stores offer a range of in-season merchandise for men, women, and children. The company?s in-season merchandise includes men?s tailored clothing and haberdashery; women?s dresses, suits, and separates; children?s apparel; and men?s, women?s, and children?s shoes. Its Filene?s stores also offer a selection of jewelry and home goods. As of August 28, 2010, the company operated a chain of 48 off-price apparel stores located predominantly on the east coast. Syms Corp was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey.