Monday, March 31, 2014

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress�(link opens in PDF) on Monday of plans to conduct a Foreign Military "Sale" of technical and logistics support services for F/A-18 C/D fighter jets to the government of Kuwait.

According to the DSCA, contractors General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) , Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , and Wyle Laboratories are in line to perform avionics software upgrades and engine component improvements and to sell ground support equipment, spare parts, technical documentation, and other "technical and logistics support services" to Kuwait for an estimated $200 million.

The DSCA justifies the "sale" by saying it will "contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."

The DSCA further assures Congress that "the proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," nor will there be any "adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale."

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now: Cato Corp (CATO)

The Cato Corporation (Cato) is a women�� fashion specialty retailer. As of January 28, 2012, the Company operated 1,288 fashion specialty stores in 31 states, principally in the southeastern United States, under the names Cato, Cato Fashions, Cato Plus, It�� Fashion, It�� Fashion Metro and Versona Accessories. It operates in two segments: stores and Credit. The Company�� stores offer a assortment of on-trend apparel and accessory items in primarily junior/missy, plus sizes, girls sizes 7 to 16, men�� and kids sizes newborn to seven. Its merchandise lines include dressy, career, and casual sportswear, dresses, coats, shoes, lingerie, costume jewelry, handbags, men�� wear and lines for kids and newborns. Its merchandise is sold under its private label and is produced by various vendors in accordance with the Company�� specifications.

The Company offers its own credit card and a layaway plan to make the purchase of its merchandise convenient for its customers. The Company�� stores are located in the southeastern United States in a variety of markets ranging from small towns to metropolitan areas with trade area populations of 20,000 or more. Stores average approximately 4,500 square feet in size. The Company offers its own credit card, which accounted for 4.8% of retail sales during the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2012).

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Reuters]

    Joshua Lott/Getty Images NEW YORK -- Several major U.S. retailers posted disappointing sales for November after cautious shoppers pinched their pennies at the start of a shorter holiday season. Some of the companies that reported sales gains ramped up bargains to bring in shoppers who appeared hesitant to splurge. Costco Wholesale (COST) said Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year rose 2 percent, below the 3.3 percent increase analysts were looking for, according to Thomson Reuters. The warehouse club chain said consumer electronics sales fell. Same-store sales at L Brands (LTD), owner of the Victoria's Secret lingerie chain, also came in below expectations. Its drop of 5.5 percent was far deeper than the 1.1 percent decline analysts were projecting. Wall Street analysts are expecting 11 top retailers to report a 2.7 percent increase in same-store sales for November, according to Thomson Reuters. Excluding drugstore operators, which get two-thirds of revenue from prescriptions, that gain is estimated at 2.3 percent. Gap (GPS) will report its November sales after U.S. markets close. Retailers have been contending with low consumer confidence and the need to prod shoppers with bargains this holiday season, which has six fewer days because of a late Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation on Sunday said U.S. shoppers had spent 2.9 percent less this year over the Thanksgiving weekend, the kickoff to the holiday season. The Conference Board, an industry group, said last week that U.S. consumer confidence fell in November after a sharp drop in October as Americans worried about their future jobs and earnings prospects. Earlier this week, J.C. Penney (JCP) reported a 10.1 percent comparable sales increase, partially reversing a disastrous decline in 2012, but the department store chain had to resort to aggressive bargains. The "environment will remain as competitive" through the holiday season, Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman said. I

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now: Constellation Energy Partners LLC (CEP)

Constellation Energy Partners LLC (CEP) is engaged on the acquisition, development and production of onshore oils and natural gas properties in the United States. All of the Company's proved reserves are located in the Black Warrior Basin in Alabama, the Cherokee Basin in Kansas and Oklahoma, the Woodford Shale in the Arkoma Basin in Oklahoma and the Central Kansas Uplift in Kansas and Nebraska. The Company operates its oil and natural gases properties as one business segment: the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's total estimated proved reserves were approximately 201.3 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), approximately 76% of which were classified as proved developed, and 97% of which are natural gas and 3% of which are oil. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was the operator of approximately 88% of the 2,785 net wells in which the Company owned an interest. In March 2013, it announced sale of its Robinson's Bend Field assets, located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

Black Warrior Basin

The Black Warrior Basin is a coalbed methane basins in the country. The multi-seam vertical wells in the basin range from 500 to 3,700 feet deep, with coal seams averaging a total of 25 to 30 feet of net pay per well. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a 100% working interest (an approximate 75% average net revenue interest) in its wells in the Black Warrior Basin, where the Company had 507 producing natural gas wells. The Black Warrior Basin is located in western Tuscaloosa County and Pickens County, Alabama, and encompasses a surface area of approximately 109 square miles. The field has been developed on 80-acre spacing. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was developing its properties in the field on both 40- and 80-acre spacing. The field has seven compressor stations with 800-1,200 horsepower compressors, approximately 170 miles of gas gathering lines (wells to header) and approximately 25 miles of trans! portation lines (header to compressor). In addition, there are approximately 152 miles of water gathering pipes and 28 miles of water transportation pipes. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's estimated proved reserves in the Black Warrior Basin were approximately 84.9 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 88% of which were classified as proved developed, and all of which are natural gas.

Cherokee Basin

The Cherokee Basin is located in the Mid-Continent region in southern Kansas, northern Oklahoma, and western Missouri. It covers approximately 26,500 square miles. The production is natural gas produced from coals and shales. There are multiple producing coal zones in the Cherokee Basin, including the Rowe, Riverton, Weir-Pitt, and Dawson zones. In addition, there are other productive shale zones, as well as conventional sandstone and limestone potential, which can add natural gas and oil production. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 2,261 net producing wells in the Cherokee Basin. The Company operates in excess of 20 booster compressors and stations to gets its natural gas to sales points owned by ONEOK Gas Transportation, L.L.C., Scissortail Energy, LLC, Enogex Gas Gathering & Processing, LLC, Enogex Inc., and Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. The Company operates a substantial portion of its production in the Cherokee Basin. The Company also own a 50% working interest in wells operated by Bullseye Operating, L.L.C. (Bullseye) and a 50% interest in Bullseye itself. Bullseye operates approximately 500 gross wells in Washington and Nowata Counties in Oklahoma and sells its production through the Cotton Valley producers cooperative, Cotton Valley Compression, L.L.C. The Company's gross working interest in its Cherokee Basin properties is approximately 80%, with its average gross working interest in its operated properties being approximately 100% and its average gross working interest in its non-operated Cherokee Basin properties being a! pproximat! ely 50%. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's estimated proved reserves in the Cherokee Basin were approximately 110.7 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 66% of which were classified as proved developed, and 95% of which were natural gas and 5% of which were oil.

Woodford Shale

The Woodford Shale is located in the Arkoma Basin in southern Oklahoma. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned 82 well bores, or approximately 9 net producing wells, located in Coal and Hughes counties. This area is gas-rich and is characterized by multiple productive zones. The production of natural gas in the Woodford Shale comes from shale rock that has been stimulated through fracturing jobs after a horizontal well has been drilled. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's 82 wells had an average gross working interest of 11.3% and an average net revenue interest of 9.1%. Approximately 90% of the wells are operated by affiliates of Devon Energy Corporation (Devon) and Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent, Inc. (Newfield), with the remaining wells operated by three additional companies. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's estimated proved reserves in the Woodford Shale were approximately 5.2 billions of cubic feet equivalent.

Central Kansas Uplift

The Central Kansas Uplift is an oil prone region located in Kansas and southern Nebraska. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a gross acreage position of 4,345 acres, or approximately 1,050 net acres and the Company owned 39 gross wells, or approximately 8 net producing wells. Murfin Drilling Company, Inc., an oil producer in Kansas, operates all of the Company's wells in this region. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the average gross working interest in the wells is approximately 21% and the average net revenue interest is approximately 17%. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's proved reserves in the Central Kansas Uplift were approximately 0.5 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 88%! of which! were classified as proved developed and all of which were oil.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    The bulk of these awards came in the form of a single multiple-award, task-order contract to be shared among several energy companies:

    Constellation Energy Partners LLC's (NYSEMKT: CEP  ) Constellation NewEnergy subsidiary Privately held ECC Renewables LLC Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Italy's Enel SpA LTC Federal LLC Siemens' (NYSE: SI  ) Government Technologies unit

    These five firms are now authorized to bid for individual task orders under an umbrella contract for the procurement of renewable and alternative energy from facilities that are designed, financed, constructed, operated and maintained by private companies on private land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. The ceiling value on this contract is $7 billion, thus accounting for 84% of the value of all Pentagon contracts awarded yesterday.

Best Canadian Stocks To Invest In 2014: Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (CCLAF)

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCA) with its subsidiaries is engaged in the manufacture, distribution and marketing of carbonated soft drinks, still and mineral waters, fruit juices, coffee and other alcohol-free beverages. CCA operates in four business segments: The Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and Indonesia and PNG segments. CCA is also engaged in the processing and marketing of fruits, vegetables and other food products, and the manufacture and distribution of alcohol ready-to-drink products, and the distribution of premium spirits and beer brands. The Company�� principal operations are in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). On January 13, 2012, the sale of CCA�� 50% interest in Pacific Beverages to SABMiller was completed. On February 21, 2011, the Company acquired Vending business, a non-alcohol beverage in Australia. On September 7, 2012, CCA acquired an 89.6% shareholding in Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd (Paradise Beverages). Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Daniel Inman]

    Also in Sydney, Coca-Cola Amatil (AU:CCL) � (CCLAF) �dropped 4.7% after warning that its fiscal 2014 operating profit was likely to fall 5% to 7% on the previous year.


    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks seesawed in early Monday trade, with gains for miners and energy names helping support the market, as the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) sat 0.1% higher at 5,325.90 after changing direction several times. Official Chinese data showing manufacturing holding its growth rate in October appeared to help some miners, as did gains for some commodity prices. Shares of Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) rose 0.5%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) added 0.7%, Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) advanced 1%, and Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (AU:WHC) improved by 1.9%. Likewise, an advance for gold futures sent Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) rallying 3.4%, and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) up 2.9%. Energy shares also traded higher, with Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) up 1.3%, and Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR) (KRNGF) adding 1.7%. On the downside, retailers were mostly lower, with David Jones Ltd. (AU:DJS) (DVDJF)


    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks rose modestly in early Tuesday trade, with the market reacting to a mixed batch of earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) added 0.2% to 5,391.80, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) rising 1.7% after its July-December profit almost doubled from a year earlier, beating forecasts. However, smaller rival Arrium Ltd. (AU:ARI) (ARRMF) added 2.5% after reporting a swing back to profit. Other miners got a bump up from rising commodity prices, as Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) gained 2.3% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) added 1.2%, though Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) slipped 0.4%. Shares of Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. (AU:CCL) (CCLAF) slumped 5.1% after the drinks firm saw a more than 80% drop in 2013 profit, weighed by a writedown on its fruit-processing business. Packaging firm Amcor Ltd. (AU:AMC) (AMCRF) lost 4.6% after its fiscal-first-half profit fell by about a third.

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now: Coach Inc (COH)

Coach, Inc. (Coach), incorporated in June 2000, is a marketer of fine accessories and gifts for women and men. Coach�� product offerings include women�� and men�� bag, accessories, business cases, footwear, wearables, jewelry, sunwear, travel bags, watches and fragrance. The Company operates in two segments: Direct-to-Consumer and Indirect. Accessories include women�� and men�� small leather goods, novelty accessories and women�� and men�� belts. Women�� small leather goods, which coordinate with its handbags, include money pieces, wristlets, and cosmetic cases. Men�� small leather goods consist primarily of wallets and card cases. Novelty accessories include time management and electronic accessories. Key rings and charms are also included in this category. Men�� handbag collections include business cases, computer bags, messenger-style bags and totes. Footwear is distributed through select Coach retail stores, and about 1,000 United States department stores. Wearables category is comprised of jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats and scarves, including both cold weather and fashion.

The Company�� Jewelry category is comprised of bangle bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings offered in both sterling silver and non-precious metals. Marchon Eyewear, Inc. (Marchon) is the Coach�� eyewear licensee. Coach sunglasses are sold in Coach retail stores and, department stores, select sunglass retailers and optical retailers in major markets. The travel collections are comprised of luggage and related accessories, such as travel kits and valet trays. Movado Group, Inc. (Movado) is the Company�� watch licensee, which develops a collection of watches.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (Estee Lauder), through its subsidiary, Aramis Inc., is Coach�� fragrance licensee. Fragrance is distributed through Coach retail stores, and about 4,000 United States department stores and 500 international locations. Coach offers four women�� fragrance col! lections and one men�� fragrance. The women�� fragrance collections include eau de perfume spray, eau de toilette spray, purse spray, body lotion and body splashes.

Direct-to-Consumer Segment

The Direct-to-Consumer segment consists of channels that provide the Company with immediate, controlled access to consumers: Coach-operated stores in North America; Japan; Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and the Internet. This segment represented approximately 89% of Coach�� total net sales during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), with North American stores and the Internet, Coach Japan and Coach China contributing approximately 63%, 18% and 6% of total net sales, respectively. Coach stores are located in regional shopping centers and metropolitan areas throughout the United States and Canada. The retail stores carry an assortment of products. Its stores are located in locations, such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto.

Coach�� factory stores serve as a means to sell manufactured-for-factory-store product, including factory exclusives, as well as discontinued and irregular inventory outside the retail channel. These stores operate under the Coach Factory name. Coach�� factory store design, visual presentations and customer service levels support. Coach views its Website as a key communications vehicle for the brand to promote traffic in Coach retail stores and department store locations. Its online store provides a showcase environment where consumers can browse through a selected offering of the latest styles and colors.

Coach Japan operates department store shop-in-shop locations and freestanding flagship, retail and factory stores, as well as an e-commerce Website. Flagship stores offer an assortment of Coach products that are located in select shopping districts throughout Japan. Coach China operates department store shop-in-shop locations, as well as freestanding flagship, retail and factory sto! res. Flag! ship stores, which offer an assortment of Coach products, are located in select shopping districts throughout Hong Kong and mainland China. Coach Singapore and Taiwan operate department store shop-in-shop locations as well as freestanding flagship, retail and factory stores. Flagship stores, which offer a range of assortment of Coach products, are located in select shopping districts in Singapore and Taiwan.

The Reed Krakoff brand represents New American luxury primarily for handbags, accessories and ready-to-wear. Reed Krakoff operates department store shop-in-shop locations, freestanding flagship stores, as well as an e-commerce Website at Flagship stores, which offer an assortment of Reed Krakoff products, are located in select shopping districts in the United States and Japan.

Indirect Segment

The Indirect segment represented approximately 11% of total net sales in fiscal 2012, with United States Wholesale and Coach International representing approximately 6% and 4% of total net sales, respectively. The Indirect segment also includes royalties earned on licensed product. U.S. Wholesale channel offers access to Coach products to consumers who prefer shopping at department stores. Coach products are also available on,,,,, and Coach�� products are sold in approximately 990 wholesale locations in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. wholesale customers are Macy�� (including Bloomingdale��), Dillard��, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Carson�� and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Coach International channel represents sales to international wholesale distributors and authorized retailers. Coach has developed relationships with a select group of distributors who sell Coach products through department stores and freestanding retail locations in over 20 countries. Coach�� network of international distributors serves various markets: South Korea, US & T! erritorie! s, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Singapore, UAE, France, China, Macau, Indonesia, Kuwait, Bahamas, Aruba, Vietnam, New Zealand, Bahrain, India and Brazil.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Luke Jacobi]

    Coach (NYSE: COH) tumbled 7.53 percent to $50.10d after the company reported a drop in its Q1 profit.

    E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE: DANG) gave up 13.44 percent to fall to $10.05 after the company issued weak Q3 revenue forecast.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Coach (NYSE: COH) is projected to report its Q1 earnings at $0.76 per share on revenue of $1.19 billion.

    Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $2.26 per share on revenue of $11.15 billion.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) have gained 6.4% to $79.54 today, after reporting better than forecast earnings. That could be good news for�Fossil�(FOSL), but�Coach�(COH) could be in trouble.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Over the past 12 months, only two new stocks merited inclusion in the Wedgewood portfolio: Charles Schwab (SCHW) and Coach (COH).

    Their largest holdings as of the end of the second quarter are Apple (AAPL), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B), Google (GOOG), Express Scripts (ESRX) and Qualcomm (QCOM).

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now: Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd.(ACTS)

Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. operates as a semiconductor company in the People?s Republic of China. The company designs, develops, and markets integrated platform solutions, including system-on-a-chips (SoCs), firmware, software development tools, and reference designs for the manufacturers of portable media players. Its SoCs are integrated circuits that incorporate digital signal processor, a micro controller unit, embedded memory, codec, a power management unit, and other components. The company?s SoCs products also comprise on-chip memory, controllers for color liquid crystal display, and analog components, including digital-to-analog converters, phase lock loops, and USB transceivers. Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd.?s solution development kits include the embedded firmware code, software tools, and documentation to utilize its SoCs in portable media players. The company?s firmware utilizes an embedded structure design with interface that allows customers to pick and choose functionalities and add new device drivers. Its manufacturing software tools also allow its customers in the mass production of products based on its turnkey process. The company?s reference designs consist of detailed specifications of other required components and references, which allow customers to assemble a portable media player. Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. also offers semiconductor product testing services. The company sells its integrated platform solutions directly, as well as through distributors to portable media player manufacturers, brand owners, and value-added distributors in China and internationally. Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Zhuhai, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    When judging a company's prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it's booking in the accounting fantasy world we call "earnings." This is one of the first metrics I check when I'm hunting for the market's best stocks. Today, we'll see how it applies to Actions Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ACTS  ) .

Hot Logistics Stocks To Own Right Now: Drew Industries Inc (DW)

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

RV Segment

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

MH Segment

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

The Company competes with Kober Corporation and Dexter Axle Company.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    Shares of Winnebago have gained 4.4% to $28.47 today at 3pm. Thor Industries (THO), which also makes recreational vehicles, has ticked up 0.1% to $57.56, Drew Industries (DW) has risen 0.3% to $48.74, Arctic Cat (ACAT) has advanced 1% to $59.87 and Polaris Industries (PII) has fallen 0.3% to $132.08.

Chrysler Expected To Dominate March Car Sale

U.S. car sales in March are expected to rise to 1,477,000 units, a 1.7% gain from a year ago . The pace is not the sort the industry came to expect in 2012 and 2013. However, the dealer traffic damage done by the poor winter weather has probably ended.

According to Edmunds, a small number of the major brands will account for the improvement. First among these is Chrysler Group LLC, the ownership of which is controlled by Italian manufacturer Fiat. It has been – and still is — the smallest of The Big Three. In March it is expected to well outperform its two rivals

Edmunds expects Chrysler sales to rise 11.1% from March 2013. It is the only one of the major brands which is predicted to have a double digit improvement. Unit sales are expected to reach 190,684. That will put its performance relatively close to Japanese juggernaut Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), whose sales are expected at 207,531 units, up only 1.1%.  This March had 26 selling days compared to 27 in March 2013.

The top two spots will continue to be held by the traditional industry leaders. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sales should rise 0.5% to 247,101. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sales are expected to rise 1.6% to 239,423. Industry laggard Volkswagen AG will continue to struggle with sales off 4.2% to 48,825. VW vies with GM and Toyota each year for the spot as the world’s largest car company by units sold. It is the leading car company in Europe, and competes for that title with China–the world’s largest car market. Without a strong foothold in the United States — the world’s second largest market – it will be nearly impossible to overtake either GM or VW.

Chrysler’s improvement is especially impressive for two reasons. The first is the its does so poorly in customer satisfaction studies. In the latest J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, Chrysler ranked well below average, and its Jeep and Dodge brands did even worse.

Chrysler also has a more modest model line than other large car companies. Its flagship division has two mainstays – -the 300 and 200. Jeep competes in a market packed with other SUVs. And its Dodge sports division competes with both U.S. sports line-ups and popular products from both Europe and Japan.

Despite these barriers, Chrysler’s growth in March will be the envy of the industry

Friday, March 28, 2014

GM Halts Sales of Some Cruze Models

Late Thursday, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sent an email notice to all U.S. Chevrolet dealers to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 models of the company’s Cruze compact cars. The order is directed at models equipped with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. No recall order has been issued.

GM gave no reason for the order and there was no indication of how many cars are affected.

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, offered this comment:

The timing of this stop sale order might appear unfortunate given the publicity surrounding GM’s ignition switch recall, but it actually illustrates a new approach by the automaker. Rather than waiting for a full understanding and planned fix for the Cruze, GM is apparently stopping sales at the first sign of a problem to remove the potential of endangering customers.

According to industry newspaper Automotive News, the Cruze is GM’s best-selling U.S. car, with total sales of 248,224 units in 2013. That could have a negative impact on the company’s April sales, unless GM can resolve the issue quickly. It seems reasonable to conclude that if the issue is serious enough for GM to order a halt to sales, it is very likely serious enough to warrant a recall.

There is no question that GM is spooked by the ignition switch defect that has been implicated in 11 deaths and resulted in the recall of 1.6 million cars. The company’s potential liability from the poor way they handled that issue and essentially covered it up is likely to cost it billions.

On one hand, if the company now chooses to err on the side of caution, no one can really blame it. On the other hand, the company cannot flinch every time an indicator light fails to come on. Once some details about this stop-order on the Cruze are available, we will get some idea of how the company plans to react.

Advanced Cannabis Solutions Temporarily Gets CANN-ed

Related FULL 3 Unique Income Investments Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs Related CANN 3 Things That Could Extinguish The 'Reefer Rally' How Would a Hypothetical Marijuana ETF Do This Year?

Advanced Cannabis Solutions (OTC: CANN) was suspended from trading Thursday morning by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

An SEC report questioned the Colorado based company, inquiring about the possibility of undisclosed affiliates and shareholders unlawfully distributing securities.

As a result, shares of CANN are suspended until April 9, 2014.

In an email to Benzinga, CANN CFO Christopher Taylor said that "the management of the company [is] as shocked as anyone," further noting that "this does not pertain to any of the restricted shares owned by the founders or officers.

"This relates to stock that has been sold that is free trading, and we have no control over these sales."

See also: 14 Cannabis Stocks To Watch In 2014

420 Investor Alan Brochstein called CANN "one of the best companies in the [cannabis] space," noting that this is most likely a third-party problem with an individual investor breaking the rules.

Brochstein also pointed out that when other cannabis companies have had trade halted (AVNE, CDFT, and PTOG), the SEC provided incredibly vague reports regarding the suspensions, while the report for CANN has very specific language.

Full Circle Capital (NASDAQ: FULL), a business development firm that has significant investments in CANN, is trading down today on the news of the suspension.

FULL has paid CANN $500,000 in warrants, which is part of a $30 million dollar senior secured convertible note purchase agreement.

In addition to the CANN news, FULL paid a monthly dividend of .067 per share on March 14, and is trading ex dividend thursday.

At the time of publication, FULL was trading down 16.71 percent.

Posted-In: 420 investor cannabis marijuana SECNews Emerging Markets Movers & Shakers Politics Legal Economics Markets General Best of Benzinga

© 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Worst “Strong Sell” Stocks This Week — CPAC CNCO FCN and more

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This week, these ten stocks have the worst year-to-date performance. Each of these also rates an “F” (“strong sell”) on Portfolio Grader.

Since January 1, Cementos Pacasmayo SAA Sponsored ADR () has plunged 18.9%. Cementos Pacasmayo engages in producing, manufacturing, distributing and selling cement blocks, cement bricks, concrete pre-mixed bricks and other construction materials, and its by-products in the northern part of Peru. .

Share prices of Cencosud S.A. Sponsored ADR () are down 19.3% since the first of the year. Cencosud operates as a multi-brand retailer in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia. The stock has a trailing PE Ratio of 56.90. .

Shares of FTI Consulting, Inc. () have dipped 20.6% since the first of the year. FTI Consulting provides corporate finance and restructuring, economic, forensic and litigation, strategic communications, and technology consulting services. As of March 27, 2014, 11.6% of outstanding FTI Consulting, Inc. shares were held short. .

Since the first of the year, RentACenter, Inc. () has tumbled 22.4%. Rent-A-Center operates in the rent-to-own industry in the United States. As of March 27, 2014, 18% of outstanding RentACenter, Inc. shares were held short. .

Shares of Clean Energy Fuels () have fallen 30.8% since January 1. Clean Energy Fuels sells natural gas fueling solutions to its customers mainly in the United States and Canada. As of March 27, 2014, 18.9% of outstanding Clean Energy Fuels shares were held short. .

Shares of UTi Worldwide () have sunk 30.8% since the first of the year. UTi Worldwide is a supply chain services and solutions company. Shares of the stock have been changing hands at an unusually rapid pace, up 163.5% from the week prior. .

Since the first of the year, Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. () has dipped 31.2%. Alpha Natural Resources produces, processes and sells steam and metallurgical coal. As of March 27, 2014, 24.1% of outstanding Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. shares were held short. .

Shares of Aeropostale, Inc. () have slumped 34.1% since January 1. Aeropostale is a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories. As of March 27, 2014, 26.5% of outstanding Aeropostale, Inc. shares were held short. .

Since January 1, Weight Watchers International, Inc. () has fallen 37.4%. Weight Watchers is a provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of company-owned and franchise operations. As of March 27, 2014, 20.5% of outstanding Weight Watchers International, Inc. shares were held short. Shares of the stock are being traded at a very rapid pace, up 104.5% from the week prior. .

Since the first of the year, the price of Walter Energy () is down 48.6%. Walter Energy is a producer and exporter of metallurgical coal for the global steel industry. As of March 27, 2014, 13.3% of outstanding Walter Energy shares were held short. .

Louis Navellier’s proprietary Portfolio Grader stock ranking system assesses roughly 5,000 companies every week based on a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. Stocks are given a letter grade based on their results — with A being “strong buy,” and F being “strong sell.” Explore the tool here.

Career and Job Advice From Around the Web

I recently interviewed Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, about common reasons why people find themselves broke. He said one of the reasons people don't get ahead financially is that they fail to network. He found when researching his book that financially successful people network and volunteer a minimum of five hours a month; whereas, those struggling financially do not. One person Corley interviewed for his book had lost his job but found a new one in just three weeks as a result of relationships he'd developed through networking. Not only can networking help you find a new job, but also it can help you advance in your current career or expand your business.

SEE ALSO: How Sharp Are Your Job-Hunting Skills?

If you need help improving your networking skills, a recent post on the Financial Highway blog -- Why You Should Maintain Your Career Network -- And How To Do It -- has some tips. For more career advice, here's what some of our favorite personal finance bloggers are saying:

20 Best Part-Time Jobs With Benefits [PT Money]
"The following 20 employers offer part-time jobs with benefits to employees, leaving you free to live your life, rather than worrying about health care costs."

15 Ways to Improve Your Career Prospects and Reach Work-Related Goals [Money Crashers]
"Whether you're gunning for a promotion or a raise, you're in the midst of a job search, or you want to start your own business, taking a few simple steps can help you become a happier, more employable, more valuable worker."

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable [Wise Bread]
"It's easy to become complacent, especially if you've been working in the same job for multiple years. But when it is time to find a new job, you may have a lot of catching up to do."

What If You Could Take a Do-Over on Your Career? [20Somethingfinance]
"It's fun to imagine the possibilities, with a little reason sprinkled in."

You Don't Need That MBA Degree: Continuing Thoughts on Higher Education [Man Vs. Debt]
"Much of what you learned in the MBA is going to be obsolete, but the bills will continue arriving. Why don't you start training yourself, instead?"

Overwork and the Illusion of a 'High-Paying' Job [Get Rich Slowly]
"I don't want to simply earn a lot of money; I want to be a high-earner. To me, earning six-figures and working 80 hours a week does not a high-earner make. It just means, essentially, you're working two jobs."

I Chose Freedom Over Money and Benefits. Would You Have Done the Same Thing? [MoneyNing]
"Obviously, when making a career move, your gains should outweigh your losses -- but the pros of a job change look different for each individual."

Waffle Taco vs. Egg McMuffin: It's Not Even a Fair Fight

Taco Bell Breakfast Taco Bell/AP There will be a new player in the escalating battle for breakfast on Thursday when Yum Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell rolls out its new morning menu, and the stakes are huge. McDonald's (MCD) is the name that most people associate with breakfast fast food. Ever since it introduced the Egg McMuffin in 1972, the world's largest burger flipper has set the bar for convenient morning meals for people on the go. The Waffle Taco will likely be Taco Bell's signature breakfast item. The taco-shaped waffle wrapped around a sausage patty, scrambled eggs and cheese turned heads when it was tested in select locations late last year. However, it's just one of the many items wooing commuters. Naturally there will be eggy breakfast burritos and grilled tacos with either bacon or sausage. The A.M. Crunchwrap gives a morning spin to the Crunchwrap Supreme by blanketing hash browns, scrambled eggs and either bacon or sausage in a pressed and folded flour tortilla. Tough Competition McDonald's is struggling these days, but it's still a fierce competitor when it comes to the first meal of the day. Just ask Burger King (BKW), which finds itself copying McDonald's more often than not, including hotcakes served with sausage and the Egg McMuffin. Just ask Wendy's (WEN), which retreated from its nationwide breakfast menu a couple of years ago. It's starting to work its way back in by introducing breakfast in some markets. Even Starbucks (SBUX) has been feeling the threat of McDonald's as the burger giant beefs up its McCafe line, offering guests drive-thru convenience that many Starbucks locations cannot. Earlier this month Starbucks ran a three-day promotion where it offered free coffee to anyone ordering a breakfast sandwich. It was meant to remind customers that it offers more than just java. Breakfast seems like an easy decision for a fast food leader. Who wouldn't want to milk more revenue out of a location by extending its operating hours? However, with Wendy's coming up short and even Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) dragging its feet, it's clearly not the no-brainer decision that it may seem on paper. Brand Identity at Risk A big risk in the move is squandering one's identity. There's a reason why cult burger faves -- including Five Guys and In-N-Out -- don't follow larger peers by offering full-blown breakfast items. The limited menus provide focus with consumers. Some have argued that the reason why comps at McDonald's have suffered later in the day recently is that it has strayed too far from its core burgers and fries. Taco Bell has also dramatically widened its choices, but it's been holding up better in terms of sustaining its popularity. Its same-restaurant sales increased 3 percent last year, and that's a welcome contrast to declines at many other quick-service concepts, including Yum Brands' own KFC and Pizza Hut. Adding items have hurt some chains, but Taco Bell's been scoring with its chef-inspired bowls and Doritos-dusted tacos. However, a lot of consumers already associate Taco Bell's traditional menu as either a late-night or early-morning meal. In 2007, its marketing department tried to introduce the "Fourthmeal," positioning its brand as a place for teens and young adults to grab a late-night meal beyond breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Waffle Taco and A.M. Crunchwrap will be incremental additions, but they ultimately won't move the needle in a material way.

Video: GM CEO answers customers' recall questions

Hello, I'm Mary. How may I help you?

General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday took to GM's FastLane blog today, as well as GM's YouTube channel and video blog, with a series of short videos answering specific questions about the company's ignition switch recall.

It was featured on FastLane complete with a photo of a headset-wearing Barra. The photo showed Barra visiting the company's recently expanded customer service center in Warren, where GM consolidated call centers and redesigned its processes for responding to customer problems.

The former GM global product chief and human resources leader visited the call center for half an hour and listened to customer calls, GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

"As she has said in many messages, the company will be measured how it responds to this recall and takes care of its customers," Martin said.

Barra wrote in the blog: "Whether it's to our call center, on social media or by email, we've received a lot of questions about the ignition switch recall since announcing it in late February, and I want to take a moment to respond to you, our customers."

Following that are five videos "where I answer some of your most pressing questions about the recall," she wrote.

To the most pressing question for owners -- "Is my car safe to drive?" -- Barra responds that "the simple answer" is "yes." She says that "GM engineers have done extensive analysis to make sure if you only have the key — or the key on only the ring — that the vehicle is safe to drive. In fact, when they presented this to me, the very first question I asked was would you let your family, your spouse, your children drive these vehicles in this condition? And they said yes."

Here are the videos:

• Is my car safe to drive?

• When can I get my car fixed?

•Why the delay announcing the recall?

• Can we be sure this won't happen again?

• Message to customers

Barra closes by telling people that to get a "full list of vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall and what to do if your vehicle is included, please visit the Ignition Switch Safety Information on"

Contributing: Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

IBD Securities America Names Assistant of the Year

Independent broker-dealers’ business revolves around their representatives, but for the 13th year in a row, IBD Securities America has honored a sometimes-overlooked but crucial member of an advisor's team — the sales assistant. Barbara Pal, an administrative assistant for advisor Bradley Schlang at Cedar Brook Financial Partners in Cleveland, has been named Securities America’s annual assistant of the Year for 2013. Pal, who joined Cedar Brook in 2007, will be honored at Securities America’s Connect! national conference in San Francisco this June.

Schlang, a CFP and IAR for Securities America Advisors in addition to being a registered rep with Securities America, said in a statement that “every time we have been hit with a challenge, Barbara immediately goes into solution mode.” To qualify for the honor, assistants are nominated by a Securities America advisor, have a minimum of two years experience and must show specific instances of service above and beyond expectations to clients, advisors and the firm. 

Last month, Pal was named to Securities America’s Sales Assistant Advisory Board, a group of 10 assistants who provide “suggestions and feedback on company improvements,” according to the IBD.

That board is just one of the many programs provided to both new and experienced sales assistants by Securities America, including an annual two-day conference called Assistant University, a specific track for assistants at the broker-dealer’s national conference and additional in-person and electronic educational and support programs.


Check out Securities America Reps Get Mobile Check Deposit Tool on ThinkAdvisor.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Varonis Plunge Saved by Quiet Period Expiration

Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS) is one of the hot IPOs that came to market since the start of 2014. It is also one that has fallen sharply from its post-IPO peak. Now the company’s post-IPO analyst and brokerage firm quiet period has ended, and the drop from above $56 to $45, and then down to $35, seems to have been stopped.

What Varonis Systems does is offer software products and services to enterprise customers to map, analyze and their unstructured data. The company claims that its business model is characterized by strong revenue growth, growing repeat business and high gross margins. Many companies have tried this, and no clear method or clear solution has yet emerged as a go-to destination. It is a very competitive field, but Varonis is believed to be among the best.

Before you see the ratings and the target, keep in mind that Varonis priced its IPO at $22 per share. We had a prior range of $18 to $20, and then it was raised to $19 to $21 per share.

The following ratings were started as follows:

Morgan Stanley: Equal Weight Barclays: Equal Weight and a $42 target price Jefferies: Buy and $45 price target RBC Capital Markets: Outperform and a $50 target price Needham & Company: Buy and a $48 target price

The company’s own description says,

We specialize in human-generated data, a type of unstructured data that includes an enterprise's spreadsheets, word processing documents, presentations, audio files, video files, emails, text messages and any other data created by employees. This data often contains an enterprise's financial information, product plans, strategic initiatives, intellectual property and numerous other forms of vital information. Our Metadata Framework is a proprietary technology platform that extracts critical metadata, or data about data, from an enterprise's IT infrastructure and uses this contextual information to map functional relationships among employees, data objects, content and usage. IT and business personnel deploy our software for a variety of use cases, including data governance, data security, archiving, file synchronization, enhanced mobile data accessibility and information collaboration.

Varonis started operations in 2005 and figures from the past three years are as follows:

2011 revenues were $39.8 million with operating losses of $3.4 million 2012 revenues were $53.4 million with operating losses of $1.6 million 2013 revenues were $74.6 million with operating losses of $5.8 million

Varonis shares were up almost 8% at $39.60 in early afternoon trading on Tuesday, against a post-IPO trading range of $35.12 to $56.80. That post-IPO low was just on Monday.

AllianceBernstein: Classic Value

This featured recommendation is a classic value stock; the company is a leading global investment management firm structured as a master limited partnership, explains J. Royden Ward, editor of Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Investor.

AllianceBernstein Holding LP (AB) offers high quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors and private clients in major global markets. The company is one of the largest US investment advisors, with assets under management totaling $445 billion, as of January 31.

AllianceBernstein significantly increased its size with the October 2000 acquisition of Sanford Bernstein, a leading US-based, value-oriented investment manager, for $3.5 billion in cash and stock.

France-based AXA owns 64% of AllianceBernstein LP. One-third of AB's assets under management belong to clients domiciled outside the US.

AB's Institutional Services actively manage stock and bond accounts for institutions, mutual funds, including Alliance Mutual Funds, and investments for well-heeled clients. The company's Retail Services unit offers investment management to other individual investors.

AB has begun a major turnaround. The company produced weak sales and earnings from 2008 through mid-2012, caused by poor investment advice to its debt and equity institutional clients.

During the past 12 months, though, the company's investment advice to clients has been among the best in the industry. AB's new success has attracted many new clients seeking market-beating returns in the debt and equity markets.

Sales advanced 7% and EPS rebounded 39% during the 12 months ended December 31, 2013. Lower costs and higher performance fees helped earnings to surge.

The company's turnaround should strengthen during the next 12 months. My forecast includes a revenue increase of 8% and an EPS advance of 18% to 2.12.

AB's dividend, which is directly correlated to profits, is now 29% higher than a year ago and provides a very high yield of 8.4%. Dividend payments should climb further during the next 12 months.

At 13.3 times latest EPS, and with a huge dividend yield, AB shares are clearly undervalued. I expect AB to reach my minimum sell price target of $33.40 within two years.

Subscribe to Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Investor here…

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Monday, March 24, 2014

3 Things You Need to Know to Get the Child Care Tax Credit

Children (2-5) relaxing in classroom Yellowdog Productions/Flickr Child-care expenses can be a huge part of a family's budget, especially for single parents or in households where both parents work. But the Internal Revenue Service helps millions of Americans by offering a credit to offset some of your child-care expenses in order to help you work. Here are three things you need to know to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your tax return. How to Qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit The rules are structured to make the credit available only in situations where the care is needed in order to help the claiming parent or parents work or look for work. For joint filers, both parents must have earned income from wages, salaries or other compensation, including self-employment. Full-time students are also treated as having earned income for purposes of claiming the credit. Moreover, the care must be directly connected to allowing you to work, rather than off-hours babysitting for personal reasons. This requirement leads to some important distinctions, with one example being that the cost of summer day camps qualifies for the credit, but overnight camps don't. In most cases, children must be age 12 or younger to qualify for the credit. Certain exceptions exist for other individuals who aren't able to care for themselves. The credit also has a number of technical rules. For instance, in cases involving divorce, the custodial parent can take the credit, while noncustodial parents can't, even if they would otherwise qualify to treat the child as a dependent. How Much the Credit Can Pay You The amount of the credit depends on two things: the number of qualifying children you have and your gross income. Those with one qualifying child can claim up to $3,000 per year toward determining the credit amount, while those with two or more qualifying children have a $6,000 annual limit. Calculating the credit requires taking your actual expenses or the maximum limit, whichever is less. For those with incomes of $15,000 or less, the credit is 35 percent of the child-care expenses, which comes out to a maximum of $1,050 for those with one qualifying child or $2,100 for those with two or more qualifying children. Above $15,000, the credit drops by 1 percentage point for every $2,000 of extra income, hitting a minimum of 20 percent for those who earn $43,000 or more in adjusted gross income. In addition, if you get partial reimbursement of expenses from a state agency or other source, then you're not entitled to take the credit on the reimbursed amount. Instead, you have to deduct the reimbursement and calculate the credit based on the net amount that you paid. What Documentation You Should Get to Claim the Credit In order to claim the credit, you need to fill out IRS Form 2441. On the form, you'll need to provide the name, address and Social Security number or Employer Identification Number of the provider. By doing so, the IRS can match your claim against the records that some child-care organizations are required to provide. It can also check to make sure that whoever you pay to provide child-care services reports those payments as income and pays taxes. There's one exception for having to provide an Employer Identification Number. If a tax-exempt organization provides the care for your child, then you only need to write in "tax-exempt" in the box on Form 2441 that asks for an EIN. For details, check out Publication 503 at the IRS website.

Mid-Day Market Update: Guess? Drops On Weak Forecast; Burlington Stores Shares Gain

Related BZSUM Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; Lennar Earnings Beat Street View #PreMarket Primer: Thursday, March 20: Fed Surprises With Talk Of Tightening Sooner Than Expected

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.39 percent to 16,285.81 while the NASDAQ surged 0.18 percent to 4,315.22. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.29 percent to 1,866.15.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Technology stocks gained Thursday, with Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included LiveDeal (NASDAQ: LIVE), with shares up 5.5 percent, and PFSweb (NASDAQ: PFSW), with shares up 5.4 percent.

Utilities sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (NYSE: SBS) was down more than 5.3 percent, while National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) tumbled around 2.8 percent.

Top Headline
Lennar (NYSE: LEN) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. Lennar's quarterly earnings surged to $78.1 million, or $0.35 per share, versus $57.5 million, or $0.26 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Its revenue rose 38% to $1.4 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.28 per share on revenue of $1.25 billion.

Equities Trading UP
Burlington Stores (NYSE: BURL) shares shot up 15.02 percent to $29.79 on Q4 results. Burlington Stores reported its Q4 earnings of $1.07 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.03 per share.

Shares of Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) got a boost, shooting up 11.96 percent to $32.14 after the company reported in-line FQ3 adjusted earnings. The company expected Q4 earnings of $0.43 to $0.47 per share on revenue of $485 million to $505 million. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.43 per share on revenue of $487.5 million.

ZELTIQ Aesthetics (NASDAQ: ZLTQ) was also up, gaining 6.92 percent to $18.76. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $28.00 price target.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of The ExOne Company (NASDAQ: XONE) were down 9.21 percent to $39.72 after the company reported downbeat Q4 results and issued a weak FY14 revenue outlook.

Guess? (NYSE: GES) shares tumbled 4.74 percent to $27.40 after the company issued downbeat outlook. The retailer projected to post a Q1 loss of $0.05 to $0.09 per share.

The Cato (NYSE: CATO) was down, falling 11.89 percent to $26.52 on Q4 results. Cato reported its Q4 earnings of $0.13 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.13 per share. Cato Corporation expects FY14 earnings of $1.47 to $1.66 per share, versus estimates of $1.86 per share.

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.07 percent to $99.30, while gold traded down 0.72 percent to $1,331.70.

Silver traded down 1.90 percent Thursday to $20.43, while copper fell 2.18 percent to $2.92.

European shares were mostly lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.55 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.18 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.37 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.02 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.75 percent.

US jobless claims climbed 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15. However, economists were estimating claims to increase to 325,000.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to -29.00 for the week ended Mar 16, versus a prior reading of -27.60.

The Conference Board's index of leading indicators climbed 0.5% in February, versus a 0.1% gain in January.

Sales of existing US homes fell 0.4% to an annual rate of 4.6 million in February, versus a rate of 4.62 million in January. However, economists were estimating a rate of 4.6 million.

US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose to 9.00 in March, versus a prior reading of -6.30. However, economists were expecting a reading of 3.20.

Supplies of natural gas dropped 48 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 14, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 57 billion cubic feet to 61 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Futures Forex Global Econ #s Economics Intraday Update Markets Movers Tech

© 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  Most Popular Are Massive Xbox One 'Titanfall' Sales To Blame For Xbox 360 Game Delay? Warren Buffett's Conflicting Bitcoin Views Marijuana Economy Has Plenty Of Room To Grow Fox On Stocks' 17-Year-Old Rachel Fox Teaches A New Generation How To Trade Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; FedEx Profit Misses Estimates Five Star Stock Watch: Herbalife Related Articles (BZSUM + BURL) Mid-Day Market Update: Guess? Drops On Weak Forecast; Burlington Stores Shares Gain Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; Lennar Earnings Beat Street View Morning Market Movers #PreMarket Primer: Thursday, March 20: Fed Surprises With Talk Of Tightening Sooner Than Expected Earnings Scheduled For March 20, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bargain Hunters Boost Brent Prices

Related BNO Brent Moves Following Crimean Vote Brent Below $108 Heading Into The Weekend Related DBE Brent Steady On Unfolding Ukrainian Crisis China's Weak Data Outweighs Concern Over Ukraine, Brent Slides

Bargain hunters took Brent crude oil prices higher over night after the commodity lost almost $2 on Monday. Brent traded at $106.65 at 7:25 GMT on Tuesday as investors turned their attention from the problems in Ukraine to the global demand outlook.

After Crimean citizens voted to succeed from Ukraine and join Russia over the weekend, markets were roiled as many worried about what kind of reaction the vote would draw. However, on Monday, fears of immediate military action in the region subsided and gave investors a chance to evaluate some other factors weighing on oil prices.

Many are concerned about an over supplied market paired with weakening demand growth. CNBC reported that most analysts are expecting to see a build of more than 2 million barrels in US commercial crude inventories. Two weekly data reports, due out on Tuesday and Thursday, will likely show around a 2.8 million barrel rise in the US.

See also: FDIC Sues Big Banks For Rigging Interest Rates

Geopolitical problems kept a floor under prices as the situation in Libya continued to suppress the OPEC supplier's exports. New protests have taken Libyan oil exports down to less than 250,000 barrels per day, and some say things could get worse.

The nation is facing an increasingly unstable clash between the government and opposition groups who demand more rights and a part of the nation's income from oil production. If the tension continues to escalate, Libya could fall into a civil war. In many ways, the problem in Libya, although priced in, poses a larger threat to oil supply than the situation in Ukraine.

Posted-In: CrimeaNews Commodities Forex Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets Best of Benzinga

© 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Top 5 Income Stocks To Invest In Right Now

There has been a lot of buzz around Facebook (FB) these past few months with some analysts encouraging you to buy and others cautioning you to sell or stay away. In order to get beneath all the mixed opinions, this article will take Piotroski�� approach, looking strictly at Facebook�� financials and giving the stock an F-score based on the nine criteria he identified.


There are four criteria used to determine how profitable a company is. Of these four criteria, Facebook satisfies three, making it appear to be a very profitable company. Those criteria are as follows:

Return on Assets (ROA): This figure is essentially the company�� net income. In order to meet this criterion in Piotroski�� method, the ROA must be a positive number. With an ROA of 0.40, Facebook meets this requirement and receives a 1.
� Cash Flow from Operations (CFO): This tells investors how much the company is earning from its regular business activities (production, sales, etc). It must be a positive number in order to receive a score of 1. Facebook�� cash flow from operations was $1,612 meaning it definitely satisfies this requirement and receives a 1.
� Change in ROA: In order for the profitability of a company to be considered sustainable, it must show a steadily increasing return on its assets. To calculate this, we take Facebook�� current ROA of 0.40 and subtract the previous year�� ROA (15.80). This gives us a difference of -15.40, showing a decrease. Therefore, Facebook does not meet this requirement and receives a 0.
� Accrual: This criterion simply checks to make sure that the company�� cash flow from operations is higher than its return on assets. As we can see above, Facebook�� CFO of $1,612 is definitely greater than its ROA of 0.40 meaning that it receives a score of 1.

Top 5 Income Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Monarch Casino & Resort Inc (MCRI)

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (Monarch), incorporated in 1993, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc. (Golden Road), owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa(the Atlantis), a hotel/casino facility in Reno, Nevada. Monarch�� other wholly owned subsidiaries, High Desert Sunshine, Inc. (High Desert) and Golden North, Inc. (Golden North), each own separate parcels of land located adjacent to the Atlantis. The Company owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, which is located approximately three miles south of downtown in the area of Reno, Nevada. The Atlantis features approximately 61,000 square feet of casino space; a hotel with 824 guest rooms and suites; ten food outlets; an enclosed year-round pool with waterfall; an outdoor pool; a health spa; two retail outlets offering clothing and resort gift shop merchandise; a full service salon for men and women; an 8,000 square-foot family entertainment center; and approximately 52,000 square feet of banquet, convention and meeting room space. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired 1.5 acre parcel of developable land contiguous to the Riviera Black Hawk Casino.

In April 2012, it acquired Riviera Black Hawk, Inc.

The Atlantis Casino offers approximately 1,450 slot and video poker machines; approximately 39 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette and others; a race and sports book; keno and a poker room. The Atlantis includes three contiguous high-rise hotel towers with 824 rooms and suites. The Atlantis includes three contiguous high-rise hotel towers with a total of 824 rooms and suites. The first of the three hotel towers contains 160 rooms and suites in 13 stories. The 19-story second hotel tower contains 278 rooms and suites. The third tower contains 386 rooms and suites in 28 stories.

The Atlantis hotel rooms feature designs and furnishings consistent with the Northern Nevada market, as well as nine-foot ceilings (most standard hotel rooms have eig! ht-foot ceilings), which create an open and spacious feel. The third hotel tower features a four-story waterfall with an adjacent year-round swimming pool in a climate controlled, five-story glass enclosure, which shares an outdoor third floor pool deck with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and year round whirlpool. A full-service salon (the Salon at Atlantis) overlooks the third floor sundeck and outdoor seasonal swimming pool and offers salon-grade products and treatments for hair, nails, skincare and body services for both men and women. A health spa is located adjacent to the swimming areas, which offers treatments and amenities. The hotel rooms on the spa floor are designated as spa rooms and feature decor that is themed consistent with the spa. Certain spa treatments are also available in spa floor hotel rooms. The hotel also features glass elevators rising the full 19 and 28 stories, of the respective towers providing views of the Reno area and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The Atlantis has eight restaurants, two gourmet coffee bars and one snack bar. It includes 160-seat Atlantis Steakhouse gourmet restaurant; the 200-seat upscale Bistro Napa featuring a centrally located wine cellar; the Oyster Bar restaurant in the Sky Terrace offering fresh seafood, soups and bisques made to order; the Sushi Bar, also in the Sky Terrace, offering a variety of fresh raw and cooked sushi specialties, including all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner selections. The Oyster Bar and Sushi Bar can accommodate up to 139 guests; The 178-seat 24-hour Purple Parrot coffee shop; the 122-seat Cafe Alfresco restaurant serving a full menu, pizzas prepared in a wood-fired, brick oven and a variety of gelato deserts; the 170-seat Manhattan Deli restaurant specializing in piled-high sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts; two gourmet coffee bars, offering specialty coffee drinks, pastries and desserts made fresh daily in the Atlantis bakery; a snack bar and soda fountain serving ice cream and arcade-style refreshmen! ts.

The Sky Terrace is a structure with a diamond-shaped, blue glass body suspended approximately 55 feet, and spanning 160 feet across, South Virginia Street. The Sky Terrace connects the Atlantis with additional parking on its 16-acre site across South Virginia Street from the Atlantis. The structure rests at each end on two 100-foot tall Grecian columns with no intermediate support pillars. The interior of the Sky Terrace contains the Oyster Bar, the Sushi Bar, a video poker bar, banks of slot machines and a lounge area with oversized leather sofas and chairs.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Vanina Egea] ong>Risks and Valuation

    Although the Chinese government will maintain its gambling restrictions in the mainland over the next decade, Sand Corp�� market share and leverage in fixed costs will continue to riel in strong revenue growth from this region. Fiscal 2013 marked a 24.80% revenue increase ($13.8 billion) and operating margins continue to expand at the same pace. Despite the inherent risk of an economic slowdown in Asia or a recession in the U.S., which could put a halt to leisure spending, the company is well prepared to balance out any short-term losses. The casino operator�� EBITDA growth of 65.30%, for example, is an impressive result when compared to the industry�� average of 4.90%.

    Looking forward, earnings per share are expected to continue their fast-paced upward trend, having jumped from $1.56 in 2011 to $2.79 at the end of fiscal 2013. The 21.6% return on equity, as well as 1.80% dividend yield should also be attractive to shareholders and future investors. Although Las Vegas Sand Corp is currently trading at a 24% price premium relative to the industry average of 22.60x trailing earnings, I feel very bullish about this firm�� long term profitability, given its strong market position in Asia.

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

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

    Visit Vanina Egea's Website

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ: MCRI  ) were cooling off today, falling as much as 20% after the company's earnings report failed to impress.

Top 5 Income Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Quanta Services Inc.(PWR)

Quanta Services, Inc. provides specialty contracting services primarily in North America. The company?s Electric Power Infrastructure Services segment designs, installs, upgrades, repairs, and maintains electric power transmission and distribution networks, and substation facilities; renewable energy generation facilities; and offers emergency restoration services, including repairing infrastructure to the electric power industry. Its Natural Gas and Pipeline Infrastructure Services segment designs, installs, repairs, and maintains natural gas and oil transmission and distribution systems, compressor and pump stations, and gas gathering systems, as well as offers related trenching, directional boring, and automatic welding services; and pipeline protection, integrity testing, rehabilitation and replacement, and fabrication of pipeline support systems, and related structures and facilities. This segment also provides airport fueling systems, and water and sewer infrastruct ure. It services customers engaged in the transportation of natural gas, oil, and other pipeline products. The company?s Telecommunications Infrastructure Services segment designs, installs, repairs, and maintains fiber optic, copper, and coaxial cable networks for video, data and voice transmission; and designs, installs, and upgrades wireless communications networks, including towers, switching systems, and backhaul links, as well as offers emergency restoration services. This segment serves customers in the wireline and wireless telecommunications, and cable television industries. Its Fiber Optic Licensing segment designs, procures, constructs, owns, and maintains fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure; and markets and licenses the right to use these point-to-point fiber optic telecommunications facilities. It provides its services to enterprise, education, carrier, financial services, and healthcare customers. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

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

Best Oil Stocks To Buy For 2014: ePlus Inc.(PLUS)

ePlus inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in selling, leasing, financing, and managing information technology (IT) and other assets in the United States. Its Technology Sales segment involves in the direct marketing of IT equipment and third-party software solutions of Cisco Systems, HP, VMWare, NetApp, IBM, and Microsoft; and the provision of proprietary software for enterprise supply management, including order-entry and order-management, procurement, spend management, asset management, document management, distribution, and electronic catalog content management software and services. This segment also provides professional technology services in the areas of data center, storage, security, cloud enablement, and IT infrastructure that cover Internet telephony and communications, collaboration, cloud computing, virtual desktop infrastructure, network design and implementation, storage, security, virtualization, business continuity, visual communications, audio/visual technologies, maintenance, and implementation services. The company?s Financing segment offers a range of leasing and financing options for IT and capital assets, such as computers, associated accessories and software, communication-related equipment, medical equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, office furniture and general office equipment, transportation equipment, and other general business equipment. It also leases and finances equipment, as well as supplies software and services directly and through relationships with vendors and equipment manufacturers. ePlus sells its products primarily through direct sales force, inside sales representatives, and business development associates to commercial customers; federal, state, and local governments; K-12 schools; and higher education institutions. The company was formerly known as MLC Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to ePlus inc. in 1999. ePlus was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

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

Top 5 Income Stocks To Invest In Right Now: MCG Capital Corporation(MCGC)

MCG Capital Corporation is a private equity firm specializing in investments in middle market companies. The firm does not prefer investments in highly cyclical and volatile industry sectors and businesses with significant volatility exposure. It seeks to invest in small to mid sized companies. The firm prefers to invest in acquisitions, growth financings, organic growth, recapitalization, and leveraged buyouts. It invests in companies based in the United States. The firm seeks to invest upto $75 million in debt and equity in companies having revenues between $20 million and $200 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $25 million. It seeks to invest in the form of senior debt, including amortizing, bullet maturity, term loans, and revolving credit facilities; institutional sub debt, including junior capital; second lien debt, that includes term loans on sole source and participant basis; secured and unsecured subordinate loans structured as current interest, deferred in terest, and equity linked components; mezzanine debt and equity that includes minority equity investments. The firm may invest in minority or control equity positions. It was formerly known as MCG Credit Corporation. MCG Capital Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Equities Lab]

    The stocks that currently pass the stock screen in order of market cap are Frontier Communications Corp , Crown Media Holdings (CRWN), Vonage Holding (VG), MCG Capital Corp (MCGC), 1-800-FLOWERS.COM (FLWS), MTR Gaming Corporation (MNTG), Alaska Communications (ALSK), and Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN).

Top 5 Income Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Euler Hermes SA (ELE)

Euler Hermes SA is a France-based credit insurance company. It offers a range of services, including loan assurance, risk assessment, trade debt collection, compensation of losses due to buyer insolvency, bonding and guarantees for companies, reinsurance of loans to individuals and fidelity insurance covering companies against financial loss caused by fraudulent acts. It operates a number of subsidiaries, including Euler Hermes SFAC, Euler Hermes ACI Holding Inc., Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG, among others. On January 1, 2012, the Company completed the simplification of its legal structure in Europe by grouping 13 of its former subsidiaries into one insurance company, Euler Hermes Europe, located in Brussels. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Iberdrola SA (IBE), Spain�� biggest power company, fell 3.4 percent to 3.87 euros. Endesa SA (ELE) slumped 4.6 percent to 16 euros, while Acciona SA (ANA), which owns more than 4 gigawatts of wind farms in the country, tumbled 8.5 percent to 37.95 euros. Red Electrica Corp. slid 7.5 percent to 38.34 euros.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014

USA TODAY markets reporter Matt Krantz answers a different reader question every weekday. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at

Q: Have any South African companies emerged for investors?

A: South Africa at times showed promise to be an economic powerhouse. But global public outcry over apartheid turned the country into a political hot spot instead.

Some hoped that would change. In 1991, the last major apartheid rules were repealed and Nelson Mandela was elected president of the African National Congress. That means the African nation has had more than two decades to reinvigorate its economy and return to the global trade stage.

FULL COVERAGE: Nelson Mandela

So far, though, the nation hasn't been a big incubator for companies. Investors interested in this region of the world can invest in a basket of South African companies through the iShares MSCI South Africa exchange traded fund (EZA).

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: NxStage Medical Inc.(NXTM)

NxStage Medical, Inc., a medical device company, develops, manufactures, and markets products for the treatment of kidney failure, fluid overload, and related blood treatments and procedures. Its primary product, the NxStage System One, is a portable hemodialysis system used for home hemodialysis and a range of dialysis therapies for chronic home hemodialysis treatment, and the treatment of acute kidney failure and fluid overload. The NxStage System One comprises components, such as The NxStage Cycler, a compact portable electromechanical device; The NxStage Cartridge, a single-use integrated treatment cartridge; and premixed dialysate for hemodialysis applications. The company also sells a line of extracorporeal disposable products for use primarily for in-center dialysis treatments for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD); and needles and blood tubing sets primarily to dialysis clinics for the treatment of ESRD. NxStage Medical, Inc. markets its products primaril y to dialysis clinics, nephrologists, and hospitals through distributors and sales representatives in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. The company was formerly known as QB Medical, Inc. and changed its name to NxStage Medical, Inc. NxStage Medical, Inc. founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap dialysis stock Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ: RMTI) looks set to decline when the market opens after Brean Capital initiated coverage with a sell rating and a price target of $4.00, meaning it might be time to take a closer look at what is going on with the stock along with�the performance of large cap dialysis stocks DaVita Healthcare Partners (NYSE: DVA)�and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) along with small cap dialysis stocks NxStage Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: NXTM).�

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: US Ecology Inc.(ECOL)

US Ecology, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides waste treatment, disposal, recycling, and transportation services to commercial and government entities in the United States. The company offers treatment and disposal services for radioactive, hazardous, polychlorinated biphenyl, and non-hazardous industrial wastes. Its customers include oil refineries, chemical production facilities, manufacturers, electric utilities, steel mills, biotechnology companies, military installations, waste brokers/aggregators, and medical and academic institutions. The company was formerly known as American Ecology Corporation and changed its name to US Ecology, Inc. in February 2010. US Ecology, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    US Ecology (Nasdaq: ECOL  ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 25. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict US Ecology's revenues will increase 20.4% and EPS will grow 19.0%.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, hazardous waste disposal specialist US Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Among the stocks to watch in Monday’s session are US Ecology Inc.(ECOL), Akamai, and Dow Chemical Co.(DOW)

    US Ecology again raised its earnings guidance for the year, pointing to strong volumes and accelerated project shipments, but warned its results for next year may take a hit as a result. The company, which provides waste- management and recycling services, also outlined plans to offer about $100 million in stock. Shares dropped 10% to $34.51 premarket.

Top 5 Performing Stocks For 2014: Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc (ULTA)

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (Ulta), incorporated on January 9, 1990, is a beauty retailer, which provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services in the United States. During the year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), the Company opened 61 new stores. It operates full-service salons in all of its stores. Its Ulta store format includes an open and modern salon area with approximately eight to 10 stations. The entire salon area is approximately 950 square feet with a concierge desk, skin treatment room, semi-private shampoo and hair color processing areas. Each salon is a full-service salon offering hair cuts, hair coloring and permanent texture, with salons also providing facials and waxing.

The Company offers products in the categories, such as cosmetics, which includes products for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips and nails; haircare, which includes shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and hair accessories; salon styling tools, which includes hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons; skincare and bath and body, which includes products for the face, hands and body; fragrance for both men and women; private label, consisting of Ulta branded cosmetics, skincare, bath and body products and haircare, and other, including candles, home fragrance products and other miscellaneous health and beauty products. The Company has combined its three operating segments: retail stores, salon services and e-commerce, into one reportable segment.

The Company competes with Macy��, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, Regis Corp., Sally Beauty and JCPenney salons.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA) dropped 20% after the company issued a cautious outlook for the current quarter, as the beauty-products retailer warned of soft sales trends and likely high promotions during the holiday season

  • [By Amal Singh]

    Some companies in the beauty and personal care segment have one important characteristic -- a recession-proof nature, which is a result of everyone's desire to look beautiful and young. This brings us to Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA  ) and Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE: SBH  ) . Both have performed quite well over the last few years, as shown in the chart below, even during the recession (the gray area being the recession period). Their performance stands in stark contrast to that of�Regis (NYSE: RGS  ) , which has seen its top line drop continuously after peaking in 2008.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: National Bank of Greece SA (NBGA)

National Bank of Greece SA (the Bank) is a Greece-based financial institution. It provides a range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, asset management, brokerage, investment banking, insurance and real estate at a global level. Its segments are: Retail Banking, which mainly offers different types of loans, deposits and investment products; Corporate and Investment Banking, which includes financial and investment advisory services, deposit accounts, loans, foreighn exchange and trade service activities; Global Markets and Asset Management, which includes all treasury activities, private banking, asset management, custody services, private equity and brokerage; Insurance; International Banking Operations; Turkish Banking Operations, as well as Other. In September 2013, state-owned Hellenic Financial Stability Fund acquired an 84.39% interest in the Company. On December 30, 2013, it sold a 66% of its subsidiary National Pangaea REIC to Invel Real Estate II BV. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By codyeustice1@google]

    National Bank of Greece (ETE),(NBGA),(NBG) is a Greece global banking and financial service company with its headquarters in Athens, Greece. The bank offers financial products, and services, brokerage, insurance, asset management, shipping finance, leasing and factoring markets. It was founded by Swiss banker Jean-Gabriel Eynard and George Starvros in 1841 as a commerical bank. From its inception until the establishment of the Bank of Greece in 1928, it had the right to issue banknotes. The bank listed on the Athens Stock Exchange right after its founding in the 1880s.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Korian SA (KORI)

Korian SA is a France-based company that operates healthcare facilities and medical establishments. The Company's holdings include residential centers for the elderly (EHPAD), offering permanent social care and medical support; follow-up care and rehabilitation centers, including general and specialized centers. Korian SA's establishments are located in France, Italy and Germany via its subsidiaries, Segesta S.p.A., Phonix GmBH, Reacti Malt SAS, Sas La Normandie, Sa La Bastide de la tourne, Sas Mapadex La Roseraie, among others. In March 8, 2013, it finalized the acquisition of Curanum AG by Korian SA's Korian Deutschland AG. In February 2014, it announced the acquisition of a clinic in Florence and the sale of the psychiatry division in France comprising seven clinics and two nursing homes. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Korian (KORI) declined 3.8 percent to 24.35 euros. The merger with Medica will create the largest French operator of nursing homes. Medica holders will receive Korian stock valued at about 23.01 euros a share, the companies said in a statement today. That�� 15 percent above Medica�� closing price on Nov. 15. Medica shares added 2.4 percent to 20.50 euros.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Assurant Inc (AIZ)

Assurant, Inc. (Assurant) is a provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. The Company operates in four segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits. The products offered by the segments include warranties and service contracts, pre-funded funeral insurance, lender-placed homeowners insurance, manufactured housing homeowners insurance, individual health and small employer group health insurance, group dental, disability, and life insurance and employee-funded voluntary benefits. On June 21, 2011, the Company acquired the SureDeposit business, the provider of security deposit alternatives to the multifamily housing industry. In October 2013, FirstService Corporation completed the sale of its Field Asset Services business to Assurant, Inc. In October 2013, Assurant Inc acquired Lifestyle Services Group Ltd.

Assurant Solutions

Assurant Solutions targets three product areas: domestic and international extended service contracts (ESC) and warranties, preneed life insurance, and international credit insurance. Through partnerships with retailers and original equipment manufacturers, the Company underwrites and provides administrative services for ESC and warranties. These contracts provide consumers with coverage on cellular phones, personal computers, consumer electronics, appliances, automobiles and recreational vehicles, protecting them from certain covered losses. It pays the cost of repairing or replacing customers��property in the event of mechanical breakdown, accidental damage, and casualty losses such as theft, fire, and water damage. The Company provides administration, claims handling and customer service. Preneed life insurance allows individuals to prepay for a funeral in a single payment or in multiple payments over a fixed number of years. The insurance policy proceeds are used to address funeral costs at death. These products are only so! ld in the United States and Canada and are generally structured as whole life insurance policies in the United States and annuity products in Canada.

The Company�� credit insurance products offer protection from life events and uncertainties that arise in purchasing and borrowing transactions. Credit insurance programs offer consumers the option to protect a credit card balance or installment loan in the event of death, involuntary unemployment or disability, and are generally available to all consumers without the underwriting restrictions that apply to term life insurance. In addition to the domestic market, the Company operates in Canada, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chile, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico and China. In these markets, it primarily sells ESC and credit insurance products through agreements with financial institutions, retailers and wireless service providers.

Assurant Specialty Property

The product line within Assurant Specialty Property is homeowners insurance, consisting principally of fire and dwelling hazard insurance offered through its lender-placed programs. The lender-placed program provides collateral protection to lenders, mortgage servicers and investors in mortgaged properties in the event that a homeowner does not maintain insurance on a mortgaged dwelling. Lender-placed insurance coverage is not limited to the outstanding loan balance; it provides structural coverage, similar to that of a standard homeowners policy. The policy is based on the replacement cost of the property and ensures that a home can be repaired or rebuilt completely in the event of damage. The Company also provides insurance to some of its clients on properties that have been foreclosed and are being managed by its clients. This type of insurance is called Real Estate Owned (REO) insurance. Lender-placed and voluntary manufactured housing insurance: Manufactured housing insurance is offered on a lender-placed and voluntary basis. Lender-plac! ed insura! nce is issued after an insurance tracking process similar to that described above. The tracking is performed by Assurant Specialty Property using an insurance tracking administration system, or by the lenders themselves.

The Company has developed products in adjacent and emerging markets, such as the lender-placed flood and mandatory insurance rental markets. It also acts as an administrator for the United States Government under the voluntary National Flood Insurance Program, for which it earns a fee for collecting premiums and processing claims. This business is 100% reinsured to the Federal Government. The Company offers its manufactured housing insurance programs primarily through manufactured housing lenders and retailers, along with independent specialty agents. The independent specialty agents distribute flood products and miscellaneous specialty property products. Multi-family housing products are distributed primarily through property management companies and affinity marketing partners. Its lender-placed homeowners insurance program and certain of its manufactured home products are not underwritten on an individual policy basis.

Assurant Health

Assurant Health offers medical insurance and short-term medical insurance to individuals and families in the medical insurance market. Its products are offered with different plan options. Assurant Health also offers medical insurance to small employer groups. The Company�� medical insurance products are sold to individuals, primarily between the ages of 18 and 64, and their families, who do not have employer-sponsored coverage. It offers a variety of benefit plans at different price points. The Company�� group medical insurance is primarily sold to small companies with 2 to 50 employees, although larger employer coverage is available. The Company�� health insurance products are principally marketed through a network of independent agents. It also markets through a variety of national account relationships ! and direc! t distribution channels. In addition, the Company markets its products through North Star Marketing, a wholly owned affiliate.

Assurant Employee Benefits

The Company offers group disability, dental, vision, life and supplemental worksite products, as well as individual dental products. The group products are offered with funding options ranging from fully employer-paid to fully employee-paid (voluntary). In addition, it reinsures disability and life products through its wholly owned subsidiary, Disability Reinsurance Management Services, Inc. (DRMS). Group disability insurance provides partial replacement of lost earnings for insured employees who become disabled, as defined by their plan provisions. The Company�� products include both short- and long-term disability coverage options. It also reinsures disability policies written by other carriers through its DRMS subsidiary.

Dental benefit plans provide funding for necessary or elective dental care. Customers may select a traditional indemnity arrangement, a preferred provider organization (PPO) arrangement, or a prepaid or managed care arrangement. Coverage is subject to deductibles, coinsurance and annual or lifetime maximums. In a prepaid plan, members must use participating dentists in order to receive benefits. Assurant Employee Benefits owns and operates Dental Health Alliance, L.L.C., a dental PPO network. The Company also has an agreement with Aetna that allows it to use Aetna�� Dental Access network. Fully insured vision coverage is offered through its agreement with Vision Service Plan, Inc., a supplier of vision insurance. The Company�� plans cover eye exams, glasses and contact lenses, and are sold in combination with one or more of its other products.

Group term life insurance provided through the workplace provides benefits in the event of death. The Company also provides accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. Insurance consists primarily of renewable term life insu! rance wit! h the amount of coverage provided being either a flat amount, a multiple of the employee�� earnings, or a combination of the two. It also reinsures life policies written by other carriers through DRMS. In addition, the Company provides group critical illness, cancer, accident, and gap insurance. These products are paid for by the employee through payroll deduction, and the employee is enrolled in the coverage(s) at the worksite. Its products and services are distributed through a group sales force located in 34 offices near metropolitan areas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialized insurance products provider�Assurant (NYSE: AIZ  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.25 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after raising the payout 19%, from $0.21 per share.

  • [By Whitney Kisling]

    Assurant (AIZ), the insurer of foreclosed homes, has climbed 72 percent in 2013, extending the rally since the bull market started to 245 percent. Per-share profit the last two quarters exceeded analyst projections. Earnings growth at the New York-based company will slow to 1 percent next year and 5 percent in 2015, when sales contract, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Nissan Motor Co Ltd (NSANY)

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is engaged in the manufacturing, sales and related business of automotive products, industrial machinery and marine equipment. The Company has two business segments: automobile and sales financing. The automobile segment is engaged in the passenger cars, trucks, buses, forklifts, manufacturing parts for oversea production. The sales financing segment is engaged in credit, lease. The Sales financing segment consists of Nissan Financial Services Co., Ltd. (Japan), Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (USA), NR Finance Mexico S.A. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R (Mexico) and other seven companies, totaling 10 companies, and sales finance operations of Nissan Canada Inc. (Canada).

The Company has four production bases in Japan, United States, Spain, and Sweden, producing approximately 30,000 units annually for distribution in 85 countries. The Company has geographic operations in various countries, which include North America, Europe and Other. North America consists of The United States of America, Canada, and Mexico; Europe consists of France, The United Kingdom, Spain and other European countries, and Other, which includes Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Central and South America excluding Mexico, and South Africa.

Advisors' Opinion:

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) - Japanese stocks chugged higher early Thursday, finding support after a record close for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and by strengthening in the U.S. dollar versus the yen. The Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) rose 0.5% to 15,888.56, and the broader Topix tacked on 0.6%, with gains also coming after Japanese core machinery orders surpassed expectations. Among exporters, Sharp Corp. (JP:6753) (SHCAF) surged 4.7%, Pioneer Corp. (JP:6773) (PNCOF) picked up 3.1% and Nissan Motor Co. (JP:7201) (NSANY) gained 2.4%. Shares of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (JP:9501) (TKECF) were higher by 2% following government approval of the power firm's turnaround plan.

  • [By John Rosevear]

    It may not look like much now, but look carefully
    The first BMW i vehicle won't be a direct Tesla competitor. The BMW i3, shown above, will launch later this year. It's a lightweight small electric car that seems aimed more at Nissan's (NASDAQOTH: NSANY  ) LEAF and General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) Chevy Volt hybrid than at Tesla.

  • [By Associated Press]

    Likewise, electric cars have not enjoyed the success many expected. The battery alone in an electric car costs as much as a new gasoline-powered car, and electric vehicles are not selling nearly as fast as once projected. General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) expected to sell 60,000 Chevy Volts globally last year, but sold just half that many. Sales of Nissan's (NASDAQOTH: NSANY  ) all-electric Leaf grew 22 percent around the world last year to 26,000, short of Nissan's projected 50 percent growth.

  • [By Alex Planes]

    A comparison between the price of cars at the start of the 20th century and the price of EVs today shows another advantage in electricity's favor: the average car in 1900 cost nearly twice the typical household income, while the average base price of the top three EVs on the market today -- Nissan's (NASDAQOTH: NSANY  ) Leaf, Tesla's Model S, and General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) Chevrolet Volt -- is about 90% of the median national income.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Enerplus Corporation (ERF)

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in United States and Canada. As of December 31, 2011, it had 322 MMBOE of proved plus probable reserves. The company also held a portfolio of approximately 380,000 net acres of land comprised of 75,000 net acres at Fort Berthold targeting the Bakken and Three Forks; 65,000 net acres in the Duvernay; 33,000 net acres in the Montney; 67,000 net acres in the Stacked Mannville; 30,000 net acres in the Cardium and other emerging oil plays in Canada; and 110,000 net acres in the Marcellus. In addition, it had 120 gross producing wells. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Tomorrow, Enerplus (NYSE: ERF  ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Le Gaga Holdings Limited (GAGA)

Le Gaga Holdings Limited engages in cultivating, processing, and distributing vegetables, fruits, and tea leaves in the People�s Republic of China and Hong Kong. The company is also involved in cultivating and selling fir trees. It offers solanaceous vegetables, including sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, and cucumbers; leafy vegetables comprising flowering Chinese cabbage, baby bok choy, and baby Chinese cabbage; and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Chinese cabbage. As of March 31, 2012, the company operated 11 farms with an aggregate area of 1,671 hectares in Fujian, Guangdong, and Hebei provinces. It sells approximately 50 varieties of vegetables primarily to wholesalers, institutional customers, and supermarket chains. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Le Gaga Holdings (NASDAQ: GAGA) is estimated to report its Q4 earnings.

    Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) is expected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.34 per share on revenue of $1.01 billion.

Top Healthcare Technology Companies To Buy For 2014: Hasbro Inc.(HAS)

Hasbro, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of games and toys. The company principally provides children?s and family leisure time and entertainment products and services. It offers various games, including traditional board, card, hand-held electronic, trading card, roleplaying, and DVD games, as well as electronic learning aids and puzzles. Hasbro?s toy products include boy?s action figures, vehicles and playsets, girl?s toys, electronic toys, plush products, preschool toys and infant products, electronic interactive products, creative play products, and toy related specialty products. The company also licenses certain of its trademarks, characters, and other property rights to third parties for use in connection with consumer promotions and for the sale of noncompeting toys and games, and non-toy products. It offers its products primarily under PLAYSKOOL, TRANSFORMERS, NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP, TONKA, G.I. JOE, SUPER SOAKER, MILTON BRAD LEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM, AVALON HILL, TIGER, FURREAL FRIENDS, BABY ALIVE, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brand names. The company markets its products to various customers, including wholesalers, distributors, chain stores, discount stores, mail order houses, catalog stores, department stores, and other retailers, as well as Internet-based e-tailers. It has a strategic licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), which provides EA with the worldwide rights to create digital games for various platforms, including mobile phones, personal computers, and game consoles, as well as; and a strategic relationship with Universal Pictures to produce approximately three motion pictures based on certain of company?s brands. Hasbro sells its products through its own sales force and distributors primarily in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and South America. The company was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Paw tucket, Rhode Island.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.29 per share on revenue of $1.34 billion.

    Gannett Co (NYSE: GCI) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.41 per share on revenue of $1.27 billion.