Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015

It's been an exciting year so far for biotech acquisitions:�Perrigo�made a surprising move for Elan, AstraZeneca has been boosting its pipeline with a series of purchases, and Amgen's recent buyout of oncology specialist�Onyx�revived investor enthusiasm in the second biggest biotech company in the world. And it doesn't look like this trend is going to stop any time soon.

At the end of last week, a Bloomberg article revealed that Shire (NASDAQ: SHPG  ) and pharmaceutical giant Sanofi� (NYSE: SNY  ) may be circling ViroPharma� (NASDAQ: VPHM  ) . The the following video, from The Motley Fool's health care show Market Checkup, analysts David Williamson and Max Macaluso take a close look at ViroPharma and discuss the recent interest in this small biotech company.

Stocks for a Longer Time Horizon
It's no secret that biotech stocks have been soaring recently, but the best investment strategy is to pick great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" not only shares stocks that could help you build long-term wealth, but also winning strategies that every investor should know.�Click here�to grab your free copy today.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: LDK Solar Co. Ltd.(LDK)

LDK Solar Co., Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of photovoltaic (PV) products; and development of power plant projects. It offers solar-grade and semiconductor-grade polysilicon; and multicrystalline and monocrystalline solar wafers to the manufacturers of solar cells and solar modules. The company also provides wafer processing services to monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cell and module manufacturers; and sells silicon materials, such as ingots and polysilicon scraps. In addition, it engages in the production and sale of solar cells and modules to developers, distributors, and system integrators; and design and development of solar power projects in Europe, the United States, and China, as well as provides engineering, procurement, and construction services. LDK Solar Co., Ltd. operates in Europe, the Asia Pacific, and North America. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Xinyu City, t he People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    The state of the Chinese solar industry has grown increasingly dire recently, as Suntech Power defaulted on its bonds rather than receive an anticipated bailout from the Chinese government. LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK  ) has also faced big problems, having "partially defaulted" on bonds last month and negotiating a settlement with many of the bondholders. Yet although ReneSola has similar debt challenges, it was able to secure a $51 million loan from the China Development Bank, giving it more breathing room to try to work its way out of its financial troubles.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Enzymotec Ltd (ENZY)

Enzymotec Ltd., incorporated on March 08, 1998, is engaged in manufacturing of ingredients and medical foods company. Its technologies, research, and clinical validation process enables the Company to develop differentiated solutions across a variety of products. The Company markets its product portfolio primarily to established global consumer companies and target large and growing consumer health and wellness markets. Its clinically validated products include bio-functional lipid-based compounds designed to address dietary needs, medical disorders and common diseases. The Company operates in two segments: Nutrition and VAYA Pharma. In addition to its existing products, the Company has several other products to address additional indications in the development phase. enzyme processes; lipid modification; lipid analysis; and process technology and development.


The Company�� Nutrition segment develops and manufactures nutritional ingredient products based on lipids, such as phospholipids, which form the structural basis of cell membranes and are easily recognized, incorporated and used by the body. Its customer base for this segment includes formula and nutritional supplement companies such as Biostime and IVC. Its two selling nutritional ingredient products are InFat, a clinically-proven fat ingredient for infant formula, and krill oil. Its other products in this segment are targeted at improving brain health and providing benefits in memory, learning abilities and concentration.

VAYA Pharma

VAYA Pharma, develops, manufactures and sells branded, prescription-only medical foods for the dietary management of patients with certain medical conditions or diseases having special, medically determined nutrient requirements. Although medical foods must be safe and effective as demonstrated in human clinical studies, they do not require the same expensive and time consuming regulatory approval process typical of prescription drugs. In addition to! its existing products, it has several other products to address additional indications in the development phase.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Victor Selva]

    Finally, as opposed to what we just discussed, the firm is currently Zacks Rank # 4��ell, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of ��eutral�� A Sell rating indicates that the stock, over the next 1 to 3 months, will perform at an annualized rate of 4.8%, which is not attractive for investors. For investors looking for a Strong Buy Rank, BioLife Solutions, Inc. (BLFS) and Enzymotec Ltd. (ENZY) could be the options.

Hot High Dividend Companies To Buy Right Now: Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA (AEDU3)

Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA, formerly Mehir Holdings SA, is a Brazil-based holding company engaged in the education sector. The Company provides higher graduate and postgraduate education through full time and distance learning programs. It is also engaged in the provision of preparatory courses for public competition and other specialization courses. The Company offers the academic programs, such as full time graduate, distance graduate and post-graduate courses. Additionally, the Company provides selected courses through the methodology of distance learning, including graduate, post-graduate and continuous education courses. Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA offers its services for working adults and operates in approximately 71 campuses and around 500 learning centers located throughout each of around the 26 Brazilian states. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ney Hayashi]

    Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA (AEDU3) tumbled after Brazil�� antitrust regulator signaled it may limit the education company�� merger with competitor Kroton Educacional SA. (KROT3) Lojas Renner SA (LREN3) led retailers higher after a report showed Brazil�� industrial production expanded faster than expected in October, easing concern that growth is faltering.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: WGL Holdings Inc (WGL)

WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL Holdings) is a holding company. The Company own subsidiaries, which sells and delivers natural gas and/or provide a range of energy-related products and services to customers in the District of Columbia and the surrounding metropolitan areas in Maryland and Virginia. The Company operates in three subsidiaries: regulated utility segment, retail energy-marketing segment and design-build energy systems segment. The Company�� wholly owned subsidiaries include Washington Gas Light Company (Washington Gas), Washington Gas Resources Corporation (Washington Gas Resources), Hampshire Gas Company (Hampshire) and Crab Run Gas Company (Crab Run). Washington Gas is a regulated public utility that sells and delivers natural gas to customers in the District of Columbia and adjoining areas in Maryland, Virginia and several cities and towns in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Washington Gas Resources owns four subsidiaries include Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGEServices), Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. (WGESystems), Capitol Energy Ventures Corp. (CEV) and WGSW, Inc. (WGSW).

Regulated Utility Segment

The Company�� regulated utility segment consists of Washington Gas and Hampshire. Washington Gas delivers natural gas to retail customers. Washington Gas also sells natural gas to customers who have not elected to purchase natural gas from un-regulated third-party marketers. Washington Gas recovers the cost of the natural gas to serve firm customers through gas cost recovery mechanisms. Hampshire operates and owns full and partial interests in underground natural gas storage facilities, including pipeline delivery facilities located in and around Hampshire County, West Virginia. Washington Gas purchases all of the storage services of Hampshire and includes the cost of these services in the bills sent to its customers.

As of September 30, 2011, Washington Gas had 1.083 million active customer meters. During the fiscal year ! ended September 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company delivered 1,772.5 million therms.

Washington Gas is responsible for acquiring sufficient natural gas supplies, interstate pipeline capacity and storage capacity. Washington Gas obtains natural gas supplies, which originate from multiple regions throughout the United States and Canada. It also obtains natural gas in the form of vaporized liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Cove Point LNG terminal owned by Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP and Dominion Transmission, Inc. (collectively Dominion). As of September 30, 2011, Washington Gas had service agreements with four pipeline companies, which provided firm transportation and/or storage services directly to Washington Gas�� city gate.

Retail Energy-Marketing Segment

The retail energy-marketing segment consists of the operations of WGEServices, which sells the natural gas and electric commodity directly to residential, commercial and industrial customers. These commodities are delivered to retail customers through the distribution systems owned by regulated utilities, such as Washington Gas or other unaffiliated natural gas or electric utilities. Washington Gas delivers the natural gas sold by WGEServices, and unaffiliated electric utilities deliver all of the electricity sold. In addition, WGEServices bills its customers through the billing services of the regulated utilities, which deliver its commodities, as well as directly through its own billing capabilities. WGEServices owns multiple solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) power generating systems. As of September 30, 2011, WGEServices served approximately 172,000 residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers accounts and approximately 183,000 residential, commercial and industrial electricity customers located in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Design-Build Energy Systems Segment

The design-build energy systems segment, which consists ! of the op! erations of WGESystems, provides design-build energy solutions to governmental and commercial clients. WGESystems focuses on upgrading the mechanical, electrical, water and energy-related systems of governmental and commercial facilities by implementing both traditional, as well as alternative energy technologies, in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Other Activities

Other activities consist of the operations of CEV, an unregulated, non-utility subsidiary of Washington Gas Resources, which engages in the acquisition, management and optimization of natural gas storage and transportation assets and WGSW, which was formed to invest in solar power generation and other energy efficiency solutions for customers. In addition other activities include the operation of Crab Run, a small exploration company, and administrative with WGL Holdings and Washington Gas Resources. WGSW, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington Gas Resources, holds a 99% partnership interest in ASD Solar, LP.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Shauna O'Brien]

    Brean Capital reported on Friday that it has upgraded natural gas utility company WGL Holdings Inc (WGL).

    The firm has raised its rating on WGL from “Hold” to “Buy,” and has given the company a $46 price target. This price target suggests a 12% increase from the stock’s current price of $40.62. The upgrade was primarily based on valuation and future investment opportunities.

    “Like many utilities in the gas LDC space, the shares of WGL Holdings have come off recent highs and are now trading at a level we consider attractive,” analyst Michael Gaugler comments. “Beyond valuation, we consider the recent announcement of conditional approval of Dominion’s Cove Point facility for LNG export as a positive development in terms of future investment opportunities, given the company’s one-third interest in the Commonwealth Pipeline project, which we believe will be revisited due to future increased demand.”

    WGL Holdings shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Friday. The stock has been mostly flat YTD.

  • [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 WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: BRE Properties Inc (BRE)

BRE Properties, Inc. (BRE), incorporated in 1970, is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on the development, acquisition and management of multifamily apartment communities primarily located in the metropolitan markets within the State of California, and the Seattle, Washington region. BRE also owns and operates communities in the Phoenix, Arizona and in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan markets. As of December 31, 2011, its multifamily portfolio had real estate assets, which included 76 wholly or majority owned stabilized multifamily communities, aggregating 21,336 units in California, Washington and Arizona; 11 stabilized multifamily communities owned through joint ventures comprised of 3,592 apartment units; and seven apartment communities in various stages of construction and development. In October 2013, the Company acquired Jefferson at Hollywood.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, BRE acquired three communities totaling 652 units: Lafayette Highlands, with 150 units, located in Lafayette, California; The Landing at Jack London Square, with 282 units, located in Oakland, California, and The Vistas of West Hills, with 220 units, located in Valencia, California. In addition to the communities, the Company acquired two parcels of land for future development in San Francisco, California�� Mission Bay district, and it purchased a 4.4 acre site contiguous to its existing Park Viridian operating community and its existing second phase land site in Anaheim, California. As of December 31, 2011, BRE had seven sites under development or construction.

During 2011, the Company sold two communities totaling 634 units: Galleria at Towngate, with 268 units located in Moreno Valley, California; and Windrush Village, a 366 unit property located in Colton, California. The two properties sold were located in the eastern half of the Inland Empire. In addition, during 2011, two joint venture assets were sold; The Landing at Bear Creek, a 224 unit j! oint venture community, located in Lakewood, Colorado; and The Pinnacle at Hunters Glen, a 264 unit joint venture community located in Thornton, Colorado.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Shares of BRE Properties Inc. (NYSE: BRE) jumped to new 52 week highs of $61.50, immediately following a Bloomberg report that the company is working with investment bankers at Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) for a possible sale of the company.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Bellway PLC (BWY)

Bellway p.l.c. is a United Kingdom-based holding company, owning subsidiary undertakings, which is engaged principally in housebuilding in the United Kingdom. The Company�� subsidiaries include Bellway Homes Limited, Bellway Properties Limited, Bellway (Services) Limited, Litrose Investments Limited, Bellway Financial Services Limited, Bellway Housing Trust Limited and The Victoria Dock Company Limited. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Bellway Plc (BWY) added 1.4 percent after the homebuilder said reservations in the past four months rose 31 percent as buyers had greater access to mortgages. Elan (ELN) Corp. jumped to a 10-month high in Dublin after Royalty Pharma increased its offer for the Irish drugmaker to as much as $6.7 billion. BT Group increased 3.7 percent as Barclays Plc recommended investors buy shares of the U.K.�� largest fixed-line company.

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Persimmon dropped 4.3 percent to 1,061 pence, while Bellway Plc (BWY) declined 3.1 percent to 1,262 pence. Bovis Homes Group Plc slipped 2.7 percent to 712 pence. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and the Bank of England will reassess the Help-to-Buy program, which allows the purchase of homes with a deposit as small as 5 percent, every September from 2014, the Treasury said.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.(QIHU)

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. provides Internet and mobile security products in the People's Republic of China. Its principal products include 360 Safe Guard, an Internet security product for Internet security and system optimization; 360 Anti-Virus, an anti-virus application to protect users? computers against trojan horses, viruses, worms, adware, and other forms of malware; and 360 Mobile Safe, a security program for the Google Android, Apple iOS, and Nokia Symbian smartphone operating systems. The company?s platform products comprise 360 Safe Browser, a Web browser; 360 Personal Start-up Page, a default homepage of 360 Safe Browser and a key access point to popular and preferred information and applications; 360 Application Store, a key access point to securely obtain and manage software and applications; and 360 Safebox, a solution that protects users against thefts of personal account information. It also provides online advertising services, including online marketi ng services and search referral services; and Internet value-added services comprising the operation of Web games developed by third-parties, remote technical support, and cloud-based services. The company was formerly known as Qihoo Technology Company Limited and changed its name to Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. in December 2010. Qihoo 360 Technology Co. was founded in 2005 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Among stocks that are available to US investors through a listing in New York, the list includes International (CTRP), China's biggest online travel retailer; Qihoo 360 (QIHU), a leading mobile security company; (WUBA), the Craigslist-like operator of a classified site, and SouFun Holdings (SFUN), the owner of China's biggest real-estate site.

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Lakeland Industries Inc (LAKE)

Lakeland Industries, Inc. (Lakeland), incorporated on April 30, 1986, manufactures and sells a line of safety garments and accessories for the industrial protective clothing markets. Lakeland�� product categories include limited use/disposable protective clothing, chemical protective suits, fire fighting and heat protective apparel, fire fighting and heat protective apparel, reusable woven garments, high visibility clothing and glove and sleeves. The Company�� industrial customers include integrated oil, chemical/petrochemical, utilities, automobile, steel, glass, construction, smelting, munition plants, janitorial, pharmaceutical, mortuaries and high technology electronics manufacturers, as well as scientific and medical laboratories. In addition, Lakeland supplies federal, state and local governmental agencies and departments, such as fire and law enforcement, airport crash rescue units, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control.

Limited Use/Disposable Protective Clothing

Lakeland manufactures a line of limited use/disposable protective garments, including coveralls, laboratory coats, shirts, pants, hoods, aprons, sleeves, arm guards, caps and smocks. Limited use garments can also be coated or laminated to splash protection against harmful inorganic acids, bases and other hazardous liquid and dry chemicals. Limited use garments are made from several nonwoven fabrics, which are made of spunlaced polyester, polypropylene, laminates, micropourous films and derivatives. Lakeland incorporates many seaming, heat sealing and taping techniques depending on the level of protection needed in the end uses application.

The users of these garments include integrated oil/petrochemical refineries, chemical plants and related installations, automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, construction companies, coal, gas and oil power generation utilities and telephone utility companies, laboratories, mortuarie! s and governmental entities. The Company warehouses and sells its limited use/disposable garments primarily at its Decatur, Alabama and China manufacturing facilities and secondarily from warehouses in Hull, United Kingdom; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Moscow, Russia; Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan; Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

High-End Chemical Protective Suits

Lakeland manufactures and sells protective chemical suits and protective apparels from its CRFR, ChemMax 3, 4, Interceptor and other fabrics. These suits are worn by individuals on hazardous material teams and within general industry to provide protection from concentrated and lethal chemical and biological toxins, such as toxic wastes at super fund sites, toxic chemical spills or biological discharges, chemical or biological warfare weapons and chemicals and petro-chemicals present during the cleaning of refineries and nuclear facilities.

Lakeland has also introduced two garments approved by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) for varying levels of protection, which include Interceptor, two multilayer films laminated on either side of durable nonwoven substrate, and ChemMax 4 is a multilayer barrier film laminated to a durable nonwoven substrate. Lakeland manufactures chemical protective clothing at its facilities in Decatur, Alabama, Mexico and China. Using fabrics, such as ChemMax 1, ChemMax 2, ChemMax 3, ChemMax 4 and Interceptor, Lakeland designs, cut, glue and /or sews the materials to meet customer purchase orders.

Fire Fighting and Heat Protective Apparel

The Company manufactures a line of products to protect individuals who work in heat environments. Lakeland's heat protective aluminized fire suit product lines include kiln entry suit, proximity suits and approach suits. Lakeland manufactures fire fighter protective apparel for domestic and foreign fires departments. Lakeland developed the 32-! inch coat! high back bib style (Battalion) bunker gear.

Gloves and Sleeve Products

The Company manufactures and sell glove and sleeve protective products made from Kevlar, a cut and heats resistant fiber produced by DuPont; Spectra, a cut resistant fiber made by Honeywell and its engineered yarns. Lakeland manufactures these string knit gloves primarily at its Mexican facility.

Reusable Woven Garments

Lakeland manufactures and markets a line of reusable and washable woven garments. The Company's product lines include electrostatic dissipative apparel, clean room apparel, flame resistant Nomex/FR Cotton coveralls/pants/jackets and cotton and polycotton coveralls, lab coats, pants and shirts. Lakeland manufactures and sells woven cloth garments at its facilities in China, Mexico and Decatur, Alabama.

High Visibility Clothing

Lakeland Reflective manufactures and markets a line of reflective apparel. The line includes vests, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, coats, raingear, jumpsuits, hats and gloves. Lakeland's domestic vest production occurs at Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. Much of the manufacturing at this facility is focused on custom vest requirements. In addition to ANSI Reflective items, Lakeland Hi-Visibility manufactures Nomex and FR cotton garments which have reflective trim as a part of their design criteria. These garments are used in rescue operations, such as those encountered with a vehicular crash.

The Company competes with DuPont, Kimberly Clark, Ansell Edmont and Honeywell.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Geoff Gannon] ADDvantage (AEY). How you feel about how those companies use working capital has a lot to do with whether or not you like those stocks long-term.

    Then there are companies that have increased working capital very, very fast over the last decade or so ��but they��e also increased sales at a startling clip.

    That�� Carbo.

    Let�� look at where the difference between EBITDA and operating cash flow is coming from.

    Cash flow from others as shown on GuruFocus�� 10-year financials page for Carbo ��I��l use this as a proxy for working capital changes ��was positive in only two years. And not by much. Usually, it�� been negative. Over the 10 years, that single line has added up to a negative $173 million. Wow.

    Okay. Then there�� the difference between free cash flow and owner earnings. Owner earnings as you��l remember is Warren Buffett�� calculation of what a business could pay out to owners in cash at the end of the year ��if it stopped growing. But didn�� shrink. More on that later. For now, let�� look at the difference between Carbo�� depreciation and Carbo�� spending on property, plant and equipment.

    Over the last 10 years, cap-ex has been: $546 million (or $425 million if you allow cap-ex to provide cash flow in certain years, this is a weird issue I don�� want to touch right now)

    And over the last 10 years, depreciation has been: $201.52 million

    That�� a big gap. We��e got some combination of Carbo underreporting economic depreciation by anywhere from $225 million to $350 million or so ��or we��e got Carbo investing something like $225 million to $350 million in growth.

    Which is it?

    Let�� check the growth angle first.

    Over the last 10 years, Carbo has grown total sales by just under 18% a year. Now, I happen to know their new product development record had not been so hot during the 1990s or earlier part of the 2000s. For about 15 years they spent on R&D without

Best Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Novavax Inc.(NVAX)

Novavax, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing recombinant vaccines for infectious diseases using its virus-like particle platform (VLP) technology. It develops vaccine product candidates that target pandemic influenza, including H1N1 and H5N1 strains; seasonal influenza; and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Novavax has a joint venture with Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to develop and manufacture the company?s pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccine candidates, Cadila?s biogeneric products, and other diagnostic products for the territory of India; and a licensing agreement with LG Life Sciences, Ltd. to use the company?s VLP technology to develop and sell the company?s influenza vaccines in South Korea and other countries. It also has a co-marketing agreement with GE Healthcare for a pandemic influenza vaccine solution. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jay Silverman]

    Steve Halpern: One lower price biotech stock to follow is called Novavax (NVAX). What's the attraction with that company?

    Jay Silverman: Novavax has very innovative vaccine technology, and historically, they've been a company that's developed flu vaccines and even pandemic flu vaccines, such as the bird flu that's been in the news over the summer in China.

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    Given the sheer profit potential of this sector, all investors should have some exposure to biotech stocks, but your investment horizon and risk tolerance is almost certainly going to differ from the next guy. So, if you’re looking for ideas of biotech stocks to buy, here are a few suggestions — some for conservative investors, and some for the truly adventurous:

    Biotech Stocks: Novavax (NVAX)

    Type: Small-cap stock
    Market Cap: $972 million

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Best Sliver Stocks For 2015

Best Buy� (NYSE: BBY  ) �has given up its plans in Europe.

After five years of expanding into the region, Best Buy announced today that it has decided to sell its 50% interest in Best Buy Europe to partner Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) in a deal valued at $775 million, including $573 million in cash at closing. Best Buy and Carphone joined to create the Best Buy Europe venture in June 2008. The joint venture operates stores in eight countries.

The two parties agreed Monday to a $775 million deal; 84% of the deal will be paid in cash, while Best Buy will receive the remaining amount in CPW stock subject to a 12-month lock-up restriction.�

During the lock-up period, both parties have agreed that Carphone will be able to sell CPW shares on behalf of Best Buy at or above the issue price. Carphone will keep any additional proceeds above the issue price. However, if the market value of Best Buy's CPW shares falls short of $99 million, then Carphone will pay Best Buy the difference.

5 Best Sliver Stocks For 2015: Triumph Group Inc.(TGI)

Triumph Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, engineering, manufacture, repair, overhaul, and distribution of aircraft components. The company operates in two segments, Aerospace Systems and Aftermarket Services. The Aerospace Systems segment provides mechanical and electromechanical controls, such as hydraulic systems and components, main engine gearbox assemblies, and accumulators and mechanical control cables. It also involves in stretch forming, die forming, milling, bonding, machining, welding, and assembling and fabricating various structural components used in aircraft wings, fuselages, and other assemblies. In addition, this segment provides composite assemblies for floor panels, environmental control system ducts, non-structural cockpit components, and thermal acoustic insulation systems. The Aftermarket Services segment provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for commercial and military markets. This segment offers its services on auxiliary power units, and air frame and engine accessories, including constant-speed drives, cabin compressors, starters and generators, and pneumatic drive units; and on thrust reversers, nacelle components, and flight control surfaces, as well as supplies spare parts of cockpit instruments and gauges for a range of commercial airlines. The company serves the aerospace industry, including original equipment manufacturers of commercial, regional, business, and military aircraft and components, as well as commercial airlines, air cargo carriers, and military customers. Triumph Group, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is based in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    On Friday, Triumph Group's (NYSE: TGI  ) Aerostructures-Vought Aircraft Division announced that it has been awarded the contract to design and build the center fuselage section III, rear fuselage section, and also the rudder and elevator components on the tail section on Embraer's second-generation family of E-Jets.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Two moves from Precision during the quarter showed the company's commitment toward improving its strategic position within the industry. The biggest was its announced $600 million acquisition of Permaswage late last month, which designs and makes aerospace fluid fittings. With expectations that the buyout will immediately boost earnings once it closes, the move accentuates the huge opportunity that Precision sees in the aerospace industry. But it also sold off its Primus Composites division to Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI  ) , showing Precision's willingness to sell off what it considers to be non-core assets even if it is more typically a buyer than a seller.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI) now holds a new asset following a deal inked with Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP). Triumph has acquired Primus Composites from its counterpart. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI  ) are down nearly 7%, and reached an intraday low of 10% beneath yesterday's close, after releasing an earnings report that pairs solid quarterly results with disappointing forward guidance.

5 Best Sliver Stocks For 2015: Gyrodyne Company of America Inc.(GYRO)

Gyrodyne Company of America, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the investment, acquisition, ownership, and management of a portfolio of medical office and industrial properties in the northeast region of the United States. The company also involves in the development of industrial and residential properties. It focuses on acquiring, developing, owning, leasing, and managing medical, commercial, and industrial real estate. The company has elected to be taxed as REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income tax purposes, provided that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in St. James, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Geoff Gannon] >Syms (SYMSQ) where at some point the company�� entire value really depended on its balance sheet.

    Obviously when looking at things like real estate you don�� go by what it says on the balance sheet. You try to find a note on depreciation that breaks out land, buildings, etc. And gives information about how the company depreciates its property.

    And ��of course ��you look at the ��roperties��item in the 10-K. In the U.S., you then use the information you��e gathered to check county land records and things like that for more information about the property.

    Generally, you want to:

    路 Find out when the company bought the property

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Own Right Now: TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP)

TripAdvisor, Inc. (TripAdvisor), incorporated on July 20, 2011, is an online travel research company, enabling users to plan and have a trip. TripAdvisor features reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, vacation packages and travel guides. TripAdvisor�� travel research platform features reviews and opinions from its community of travelers about destinations, accommodations (hotels, bed and breakfasts, specialty lodging and vacation rentals), restaurants and activities worldwide, through its TripAdvisor brand. TripAdvisor Websites include in the United States and versions of the Website in 30 countries, including in China under the brand TripAdvisor Websites also include links to the Websites of its travel advertisers allowing travelers to directly book their travel arrangements. In addition to the TripAdvisor brand, TripAdvisor, Inc. manages and operates Websites under 18 other travel media brands, providing travel planning resources across the travel sector. On December 20, 2011, Expedia, Inc. (Expedia) completed the spin-off of TripAdvisor, Inc. (TripAdvisor) to Expedia stockholders. TripAdvisor consists of the domestic and international operations previously associated with Expedia�� TripAdvisor Media Group. In October 2012, it acquired Wanderfly. In March 2013, it acquired Tiny Post ( In April 2013, the Company acquired and Gilt Travel Inc. In May 2013, TripAdvisor Inc acquired key technology and talent from CruiseWise Inc. In May 2013, TripAdvisor Inc acquired Guia de Apartamentos Niumba SL. In June 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired GateGuru.

TripAdvisor provides access worldwide to online travel agencies, including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity,, Priceline and TripAdvisor Media Group offers travel suppliers graphical advertising and cost-per-click marketing platforms. TripAdvisor operates sites in 30 countries and in 21 languages, including sites in the United S! tates (, the United Kingdom (, France (, Ireland (, Germany (, Italy (, Spain (, India (, Japan (, Portugal and Brazil (, Sweden (, The Netherlands (, Canada (, Denmark (, Turkey (, Mexico (, Norway (, Poland (, Australia (, Singapore (, Thailand (, Russia (, Greece (, Indonesia(, Argentina (, Taiwan (,Malaysia(, and Egypt ( TripAdvisor also operates in China under the brand ( and (

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan]

    Expedia Inc. (EXPE) �shares skyrocketed 15%. The online travel agency reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 92 cents a share, beating expectations. Its competitor TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) �climbed 10% and Inc. (PCLN) � added 4.8%.

5 Best Sliver Stocks For 2015: Tiffany & Co.(TIF)

Tiffany & Co., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture, and retail of fine jewelry worldwide. Its jewelry products include fine and solitaire jewelry; diamond engagement rings and wedding bands for brides and grooms; and non-gemstone, sterling silver, gold, and platinum jewelry. The company also provides timepieces, sterling silver goods, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, personal accessories, and leather goods. Tiffany & Co. sells its products through retail sales, Internet and catalog sales, business-to-business sales, and wholesale distribution primarily in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and Europe. The company also sells its products through its stores, as well as through department store boutiques in Japan. As of January 31, 2011, it operated 233 TIFFANY & CO. stores and boutiques worldwide. The company was founded in 1837 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    New York City-based Tiffany (NYSE: TIF  ) is moving to Red Square.

    Well, not "moving" so much as opening a new store, and not "to" Red Square so much as to the second-most famous building adjoining Moscow's most famous Square -- the mammoth GUM department store.

5 Best Sliver Stocks For 2015: Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc.(LXRX)

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery and development of drug candidates for the treatment of various human diseases. The company utilizes gene knockout technologies and an integrated platform of medical technologies to systematically study the physiological and behavioral functions of approximately 5,000 genes in mice and assessed the utility of the proteins encoded by the corresponding human genes as drug targets. Its portfolio of orally-delivered small molecule compounds that have completed or are presently conducting phase 2 clinical trails includes LX4211 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes; LX1031 for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders; LX1032 for the treatment of the symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome; and LX2931 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The company also develops LX1033, an orally-delivered small molecule compound that is in phase 1 clinical trails for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, it develops three orally-delivered small molecule compounds in preclinical development stage that include LX7101 for treatment of glaucoma; LX5061 for the treatment of osteoporosis; and LX2311 for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Further, the company has small molecule compounds from various additional drug discovery programs in various stages of preclinical research. It has drug discovery and development collaborations with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Genentech, Inc.; N.V. Organon; and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The company also has a series of agreements with Symphony Icon, Inc. for the financing of clinical development programs; and an alliance with Nuevolution A/S to access Nuevolution?s Chemetics chemistry technology. Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are Diamond Foods Inc.(DMND), Edgen Group Inc.(EDG) and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc.(LXRX)

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, biotech company Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LXRX  ) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

  • [By Stephen Simpson, CFA]

    I've owned quite a few biotechs over the years, but Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX) is maybe one of the most frustrating I've owned. Forget about the company's prior business model of selling gene knockout data to drug developers and its near-death experience about five years ago - the simple fact that the company has some very interesting clinical candidates but can't get much love or attention from prospective partners is plenty frustrating in its own right.

Bull of the Day: Medivation (MDVN) - Bull of the Day

Looking for a biotech stock with the potential to steal major market share from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in a key disease market?Then it's time to take a look at Medivation (MDVN), a $4 billion biopharmaceutical company based in San Francisco that is projected to turn profitable next year with a breakthrough drug treatment for prostate cancer.Big MarketThe prostate cancer market represents huge commercial potential and Medivation's drug, Xtandi (enzalutamide), is already off to a strong start since its approval by the FDA last August. Launches in Europe and Asia will drive sales further, with projected revenues of $2 to $4 billion over the next five years.According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the U.S., other than skin cancer. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that about 242,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012 with 28,000 men dying from it.New LifeMedivation's business model is to acquire promising technologies in the late preclinical development phase and develop them quickly and cost-effectively. The approval and launch of Xtandi is a major milestone for the company which had previously faced failure with the development of another key pipeline candidate, dimebon (Alzheimer's disease and Huntington disease).The company has consistently presented impressive data on Xtandi. Based on clinical results so far, many institutional research analysts believe Xtandi has blockbuster potential. The drug is currently in several studies including for the pre-chemo setting which would be a big opportunity for Medivation.Key Partner for Global ReachAs with all up-and-coming small and mid-cap biotech companies with unproven science and little-to-no positive cash flow, a big partner is often required to sustain years of drug R&D. Medivation's "big brother" is the Japanese drug-maker Astellas Pharma.Medivation and Astellas have been targeting patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate canc! er (CRPC). Metastatic prostate cancer that has become castration-resistant is extremely aggressive and this is a key treatment differentiation for Xtandi vs JNJ's drug Zytiga.The partners are also studying Xtandi in early stage prostate cancer patients (pre-chemo), which could represent a very big market for the candidate. In 2010, the companies initiated a phase III study (PREVAIL) in chemotherapy-naïve advanced prostate cancer patients with data read-outs expected in the second half of 2013.With the aid of Astellas, Xtandi gained EU approval in June 2013. Medivation recorded $181.7 million in revenues in 2012 under its collaboration agreements with Astellas and former partner, Pfizer (PFE). While the Pfizer upfront payment of $225 million was recognized through the third quarter of 2012, the $110 million Astellas payment will be recognized through the first quarter of2014.As the drug gains new reach, Medivation has a 60-person sales force in place for promoting Xtandi and Astellas has a 90-person sales force to promote the product in Europe and Asia. Positive Data, Enthusiastic AnalystsFor one quick snapshot of the efficacy of Xtandi, let me share this data bite: Xtandi showed a 4.8-month advantage in median overall survival compared to placebo (18.4 months versus 13.6 months). And a 37% reduction in risk of death was observed in the Xtandi arm compared to placebo.Based on these results, Xtandi enjoys fast track status with the FDA for the post-chemo indication. Major institutional research houses covering the biotech industry have been watching the preliminary data from Medivation and in the last two months they've been scrambling to upgrade the stock with expectations of positive data from the PREVAIL study.The average 12-month price target on the Street is north of $65 if PREVAIL data is positive, with UBS recently raising eyebrows with their $74 target.Running the GauntletAs with all young, unprofitable biotech companies, there is extra volatility and risk as we watch them pass through the FDA ga! untlet of! clinical trials.For me, the key is seeing enough analysts positive on the company and its chances of success with new R&D because, by myself, I can't keep up with all the complex science and so I use the analysts as my researchers.Many biotech analysts are physicians or clinical researchers themselves who have gone to work for brokerages. And in cases where no medical PhDs are on the research staff, they all have a routine of consulting physician experts who are considered Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in clinical circles and that the FDA may rely on as well. I also want to see the analysts raising their estimates as future profitability becomes visible. Climbing back to being a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) or #2 Rank (Buy) on a regular basis now -- vs a Rank #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) as it was last fall -- is a nice turn-around we want to see.Throw in a positive price trend and institutional accumulation and I'm all in. In full disclosure, I own MDVN for the Zacks Follow the Money portfolio and I own September 55 calls for my own portfolio.Kevin Cook is a Senior Stock Strategist with

Monday, April 28, 2014

Have Investors All Gone Completely Mad?: StockTwits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A wild ride in stocks today saw more brutally painful losses for the names hit hardest recently -- yet also powerful bounces far off the day's lows.

A quick perusal of sentiment scores for some popular names leads one to ask: who's right?

Many stocks have witnessed ugly declines in recent weeks, yet bullish sentiment remains stubbornly elevated. Something's got to give. Are the remaining bulls about to capitulate and send these stocks even lower? Or have the weak hands already puked, leaving these stocks in the stewardship of the smartest and strongest (read: non-leveraged, better capitalized) remaining players?

Let's discuss some stocks in need of more definitive signals: Facebook (FB) is 22% off highs set in early March. The stock broke to its lowest levels since the peak this morning. Yet sentiment scores in at 82% bullish, in fact higher than two weeks ago! Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.14.48 PM Twitter  (TWTR) is 45% off highs set in December, and also touched new "bear market" lows this morning. Yet bulls have actually been increasing their level of bullishness in recent weeks -- weighing in today at 73%! Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.19.24 PM

Stock quotes in this article: FB, TWTR, FEYE, PLUG 

Sentiment has been eroding slightly in FireEye  (FEYE). Yet that sentiment is far less harsh than the gut-wrenching way in which its share price has plummeted -- down 60% since its highs less than eight weeks ago!

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.22.10 PM

Granted, Plug Power  (PLUG) had an astonishingly fast run-up in price from December through early March. But today, investors are smarting from a 60% pullback since those early March prices. Yet, bullish sentiment clocks in at 75%!

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.25.46 PM Much has been written about John Q. Public and his general apathy towards the stock market since the 2008 to 2009 financial wipeout. This obviously doesn't jibe with stock market indices more than doubling during the five years since then. On the flip side, we're seeing individual stocks maintaining rather bullish sentiment scores, despite suffering extremely painful losses. Who's right? Is everyone wrong? Have we all lost our minds? Follow me on StockTwits: @chicagosean At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Stock quotes in this article: FB, TWTR, FEYE, PLUG 

In Toyota Restructuring, California's Loss Is Texas' Gain

Toyota Lawsuits Reed Saxon/APToyota's North American headquarters in Torrance, Calif. As part of a companywide overhaul, Toyota Motor (TM) is planning to move its sales and marketing headquarters to suburban Dallas from Torrance, Calif., according to reports. The company will restructure its marketing arm, which currently is based in Torrance in southern California, and houses about 5,300 employees, who are being offered a redundancy package under the reorganization that is set to begin Thursday. The move would put Toyota's management closer to its operations that produce cars for the U.S. market and would reduce production costs. It is still unclear how many employees will be asked to move from the Torrance unit and how much time would elapse before the transition is complete. Employees "whose positions are significantly different in the new organization have been provided with several options, including applying for opportunities within the new marketing organization or in other departments at [Toyota Motor Sales] or Toyota Financial Services," the company said, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Japanese automaker has vehicle assembly plants in Kentucky, Indiana, Texas and Mississippi, along with technical centers in Michigan and California, while its manufacturing operations headquarters for the U.S. market is based in Erlanger, Ky. About 71 percent of the vehicles Toyota sells in the U.S. are manufactured at its 14 manufacturing facilities, up from 55 percent in 2008 and, last year, Toyota sold 2.24 million cars and light trucks, down from a record 2.62 million sold in 2007, reports said. Related According to Los Angeles Times, Torrance's Mayor Frank Scotto didn't know of Toyota's plans to move base but added that he knew that the company was supposed to make a corporate announcement Monday. "When any major corporation is courted by another state, it's very difficult to combat that," Scotto said, according to the Times. "We don't have the tools we need to keep major corporations here," he said. States such as New York and Texas have been promising financial incentives to convince California-based companies to move, using the west coast state's higher cost of operations, such as higher labor compensation and liability insurance, as an incentive, according to Scotto. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. and Toyota Financial Services, both of which are based in Torrance, together employ more than 9,400 people in the U.S. Toyota isn't the first to desert California in search of lower operating costs. In 2006, Nissan Motor shifted its headquarters to Nashville, Tenn., from Gardena, Calif. while Honda Motor (HMC) moved a small number of top-level employees to Columbus, Ohio, from Torrance in 2013, reports said.

Ford Motor Company's Overlooked Vehicle Is Solving One of Its Biggest Problems

Ford's 2014 Fiesta. Source: Ford Motor Company.

Man, oh man, does my generation make for an easy target or what? The millennials have been called many things; most descriptions aren't the most pleasant. We've been called narcissistic, selfish, lazy, and entitled, and many assume the most important thing on our agenda is capturing the next viral selfie pic.

Millennials are unique, it's true, and it poses a serious problem for automakers trying to connect with and attract America's younger car buyers. Ford (NYSE: F  ) appears to be a step ahead of the automotive industry and is using a unique strategy with an often overlooked vehicle, at least in America: the Fiesta.

Fiesta movement
Unique marketing has been vital for the Fiesta's connection with millennials. Ford unleashed what it called the Fiesta movement years ago; the original strategy followed a number of "agents" which documented their experiences with the Fiesta through paid media, social media, and experiential events.

It was a hit, and agents traveled over 1 million miles in the Fiestas, created more than 50,000 pieces of original content, which generated nearly 30 million views through social media. Ford's back at it and is currently working through its next Fiesta marketing movement.

With the Fiesta helping lead the charge, Ford grew its retail share of the millennial market faster than any other automotive brand since 2009, according to Polk's retail registration data through mid-2013. Ford grew its retail share among car buyers between the ages of 18 to 34 years old by 80%, compared with 35% for the overall industry -- a pace that would soon make it the top choice for young buyers.

Why it matters
This is a huge deal for the folks at the Blue Oval for a couple of reasons. One, with automakers' future bloodline of car buyers turning to other modes of transportation at a faster rate, being the top auto choice for millennials will be vital to growing market share.

Another big reason attracting young buyers is key to a bright future is because the automotive industry is extremely loyal. Once consumers have bought into a brand, more often than not, they stick with that company for their second purchase -- a purchase that is typically more profitable.

So how does strong automotive loyalty help Ford more than competitors? Simple. Over the past couple of years, Ford has topped the industry in consumer loyalty. The folks at the Blue Oval are attracting younger buyers at a faster pace than competitors, and keeping more consumers within their brands -- a virtuous cycle that bodes well for the company's future.

While that's all well and good, Ford isn't resting on its laurels and is planning to take it one step further with the Fiesta. Meet the Fiesta ST, and as Ford cleverly put it, the performance-oriented subcompact is going to need a bigger trophy room.

Enter the Fiesta ST
Ford's banking that its ST version of the Fiesta is going to further the base model's gains in regions and age groups typically dominated by import brands.

"Common knowledge had it that this group didn't care about driving, or if they did, they opted for import brands," said Amy Marentic, Ford marketing manager, global small and medium cars, in a press release. "But the feedback we're getting from customers and the awards Fiesta ST keeps winning prove again and again we really accomplished something special."

Since hitting dealerships late last summer the 2014 Fiesta ST has racked up an impressive 22 awards across the industry through a combination of factors: performance, handling and value, according to Ford. Not only are critics impressed, but the Fiesta ST is also taking the base model's accomplishments with younger buyers a step further.

Consider that 50% of Fiesta ST buyers are under 35 years old, compared with just 23% of overall Ford brand customers. The average age of buyers is 39, which is 10 years younger than Ford's mainstream brand. Furthermore, these younger buyers are more affluent; 54% have at least a bachelor's degree and 30% have a household income of at least $100,000.

Ford's done an incredibly impressive job turning its business around since the recession, which forced two of its competitors into bankruptcy. While sales of the Fiesta don't compare with larger sedans in the U.S., it was crowned the best-selling subcompact globally last year with over 735,000 registrations. Even without huge sales figures in the U.S. market, Ford is taking a vital step here with its strategy to solve one of its most important problems: attracting new and younger buyers. 

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big -- like buying PC maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom, or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hypergrowth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure play" and then watch as it grows in explosive fashion within its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 trillion industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oldsmobile's gone 10 years, but all's not…

LANSING, Mich. — The car, like the brand, like the plant, is a collective memory.

Ten years ago Tuesday, a dark cherry Alero sedan drove off the line at what was then General Motors Corp.'s Lansing Car Assembly plant. It was the last Oldsmobile, the sendoff to a nameplate founded here more than a century ago by the son of a machinist.

It was a bitter farewell, but one tempered with the promise of new auto jobs here for years to come in the form of new plants making other GM brands. Oldsmobile, a pioneer in the business of making cars, had watched its sales slump and its models become ordinary. They simply weren't distinct enough to stand out from GM's other car lines or draw younger buyers.

Many criticized the Detroit automaker's decision to kill the Oldsmobile division and thought dropping other brands made more sense. But GM had been forging ahead with its decision long before the shutdown.

Lansing had been synonymous with Oldsmobile since 1897, when Ransom Eli Olds founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Co. after experimenting with horseless carriages in his father's River Street shop. Olds' original company would become GM's second brand, after Buick, in 1908.

2004: Last Oldsmobile rolls off the line
2000: GM to phase out Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile lives these days in Boomers' garages, dated photographs, curated museums and the stories of old-timers who still say, years after they retired and long after the plants came down, that they worked for Oldsmobile — not GM.

"The name is fading. You don't see Oldsmobiles anymore. And in the town that created them, you're getting generations now who have no frame of reference for it," said Diana Tarpoff, an East Lansing, Mich., resident and Olds' great-granddaughter. "You're going to have a whole new generation very soon who has no memory of it."

Diana Tarpoff of East Lansing, Mich., is one of R.E. Olds' great-granddaughters and president of the R.E. Olds Foundation, which is celebrating its 100th year.(Photo: Greg DeRuiter, Lansing (Mich.) State Journal)

On a recent weekday afternoon, Steve Delaney flipped through historical Oldsmobile photos in several three-ring binders at a table in a mostly empty Harry's Place, a neighborhood bar and restaurant across the street from GM's old Fisher Body plant.

Out the window, the grassy remnants of the demolished plant stand empty.

"Growing up here, I never intended to work for Oldsmobile. I didn't want to work at the factory," said Delaney, now an electrician at GM's Lansing Delta Township assembly plant and a United Auto Workers Local 602 leader.

His classmates' parents were dentists or lawyers. His father was a pipefitter but not for an automaker. Delaney assumed he would go to college, study business administration and join the professional ranks. But in 1971 after a year at Central Michigan University, he had used up the money he'd saved for school.

He applied to auto manufacturers and suppliers, figuring he would work for a year to earn enough to return to classes. But Oldsmobile called with a job, and he stayed.

"You could graduate from high school, hire into Oldsmobile and walk into the middle class overnight," said Delaney, who would land an apprenticeship as a skilled tradesman. "I'm probably better off now than if I had gone back to school for three more years and come out as a teacher."

Today, an auto job still is a decent way to earn a living, even at GM's lower entry-level wage, he said. But it doesn't promise the same financial advantages Oldsmobile once did.

It took a lot for people here to get the mindset to get over the loss of Oldsmobile. It was the end of an era.


Oldsmobile's demise was solidified during this past decade as GM razed Fisher ! Body and ! several other outdated local plants a few years before the 2009 bankruptcy.

Old-timers thought the end of Oldsmobile spelled death for Lansing as an auto town.

"There are young kids who come into where we're working now and their dad(s) worked for Oldsmobile," said Alex Hernandez, a third-generation GM worker who, along with his father and grandfather, worked at Fisher Body. "It's like working in a coal town or a steel mill town.

"There would be no Lansing without Oldsmobile," Hernandez said. "He had a dream and he did it in this town."

He, of course, is Olds himself, who quit his stake in the company he founded before it joined what was then was a fledgling General Motors. GM adopted the Oldsmobile name and folded the company and its Buick line into what would become a collection of carmaking names with pioneering roots — Cadillac, Chevrolet and Pontiac among them.

Oldsmobile rode high through the 1980s, selling more than 1 million vehicles per year. Some of its cars remain among the most recognizable in the U.S. auto industry — the Curved Dash Olds, Cutlass, Cutlass Supreme and 442, to name a few.

But Olds saw its sales tumble through the 1990s to just a few hundred thousand.

Paul Armbrustmacher polishes the insignia of a finished 1999 Oldsmobile Alero for display at the 1998 Detroit Auto Show.(Photo: Rod Sanford, Lansing (Mich.) State Journal)

By its centennial mark in 1997, some analysts were predicting the brand's image problems could be insurmountable. A late-1980s ad campaign meant to lure younger buyers by pitching the cars as "not your father's Oldsmobile" would backfire. The stodgy image only deepened.

Delaney and Hernandez said the line suffered from design problems: I! ts cars w! ere indistinct compared with GM's other nameplates. Oldsmobile was too "cookie-cutter," Delaney said — essentially a clone of other GM cars but with a different name.

The New York Times, in a review of the Alero nearly two months after Oldsmobile had ended, was more blunt.

"Not a terribly bad car nor an especially good one, the Alero's white-bread mediocrity is typical of the small to midsize cars that Detroit has churned out for years," it wrote. "The Alero is, in fact, a virtual twin of the Pontiac Grand Am. Both are transportation devices, cars for people who don't like cars very much."

By 2000, GM said it was ready to close the door on Oldsmobile. Other divisions — Pontiac and Saturn — would follow. Still others, such as Saab and Hummer, would be sold off.

GM now has four nameplates, all of which have at least one vehicle built here: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.

"Part of it was just simple math," said Mark Phelan, a Detroit Free Press auto critic. "GM had about 50% more brands than it needed.

Oldsmobile owners line up in 1998 at Oldsmobile headquarters in Lansing, Mich., for a car show.(Photo: Rod Sanford, Lansing (Mich.) State Journal)

"They couldn't come up with distinctive visions for them. It became hard to say what was the difference between Oldsmobile and Buick," Phelan said. "Oldsmobile became associated with old stodgy vehicles because GM didn't have the money to invest in really good new product lines, contemporary product lines, for all of the brands it had."

On April 29, 2004, that dark cherry Alero left the line with Lansing Car Assembly's two most senior employees behind the wheel. Workers were allowed to bring their own cameras into the plant and thousands of pe! ople sign! ed their names underneath the hood.

That Alero was on display at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum here for several years. It now has a permanent residence in GM's Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich.

"Their goal was to build the vehicle with the same level of quality that the first one off the line came with — a lot of, 'Let's make this one the best,'" said GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter, who worked in Lansing's plants at the time and now manages East Coast communications in New York.

"In my opinion, they identified with being world-class automakers," Carpenter said. "For them, the brand was vitally important, but they knew other opportunities would come."

"The post-mortems for this venerable car company may someday reveal that GM tried to fit Oldsmobile's round peg into GM's square hole; and the fit, not the product, was the problem. Or, perhaps, the name and the product line simply could not keep pace with the changing tastes of American drivers. We only know this final chapter, while not wholly unsurprising, is poignant. Oldsmobile's imminent demise is like watching an old friend die slowly. And that hurts."

— Lansing State Journal editorial, Dec. 13, 2000

"It took a lot for people here to get the mindset to get over the loss of Oldsmobile," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. "It was the end of an era. The end of Oldsmobile wasn't the end of GM."

Employment never will approach the more than 20,000 people who worked at GM plants in the 1970s, he said, but that shouldn't be the sole indicator of the health of the region's manufacturing sector.

The $4 million R.E. Olds Foundation, which Olds started 100 years ago to give back some of the earnings from his inventions, donates close to $200,000 annually in grants to community organizations that serve children and families, animal welfare and conservation, among other things.

The museum in Lansing that bears his name is full of photos and vehicles, including an original Curved Dash Oldsm! obile on ! loan from Michigan State University. But its director says it became harder to raise funds once the cars disappeared from the road.

Debbie Stephens, one of Olds' great-granddaughters, said she continues to find photos and Olds memorabilia in boxes her mother left after she died two years ago. She plans to visit Lansing this summer to present some of them.

Since Oldsmobile production stopped, "it really hasn't been in the limelight the way I feel it should be and my family feels it should be," said Stephens, 61, who lives in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Dublin. "We all have a common purpose: To keep the automotive history alive because it, obviously, it affects every single person everywhere."

Workers are doing their best to preserve it. The mission statement at GM's Lansing Delta Township plant begins with the words: "Building on our heritage."

It was drafted April 28, 2004, the day before the Alero's last day.

"Everyone knows what that heritage is," said Delaney, who works at the plant. "That pride and workmanship that started with Oldsmobile is still here."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now

Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as health care companies rose while materials producers fell. Japanese shares climbed as the yen weakened.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world�� biggest mining company, fell 1 percent in Sydney as it headed for its lowest close since July 22. Alfresa Holdings Corp. gained 3.7 percent in Tokyo to lead health care stocks higher. Mazda Motor Corp., which gets 30 percent of sales in North America, added 2.9 percent as the yen slid for a third day on optimism the U.S. government will avoid default.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent to 139.16 as of 10:32 a.m. in Tokyo after falling as much as 0.2 percent. U.S. House Republican and Senate Democratic leaders are open to a short-term increase in the debt limit, said congressional aides of both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity.

��he market obviously is expecting the gridlock to be resolved,��said Donald Williams, Sydney-based chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management Ltd., which oversees about A$1.6 billion ($1.5 billion). ��ut having said that, I think the market is uncertain until this is resolved, and so we��e got choppy trading conditions ahead for the next week or so.��

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now: Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation(BGFV)

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a sporting goods retailer in the western United States. The company offers athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories, as well as a selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, snowboarding, and roller sports. It also provides various private label merchandise, including shoes, apparel, binoculars, camping equipment, fishing supplies, and snow sport equipment. The company sells private label merchandise under its owned labels comprising Court Casuals, Golden Bear, Harsh, Pacifica, Rugged Exposure, and Triple Nickel; and licensed trademarks, including Avet, Body Glove, Fila, GoFit, Hi-Tec, Maui & Sons, Morrow, and Realm and The Realm. As of February 28, 2012, it operated 406 stores in 12 states under the Big 5 Sporting Goods name. The company was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in El Segundo, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    Last Thursday, outdoor sporting goods retailer Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SPWH) had an IPO that was priced�below expectations, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of peers like mid cap Cabelas Inc (NYSE: CAB) and Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) and small cap Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ: BGFV).

  • [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 Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now: Valassis Communications Inc.(VCI)

Valassis Communications, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media and marketing services company primarily in the United States and Europe. Its Shared Mail segment combines the individual print advertisements of various clients into a single shared mail package and distributes the shared mail advertising products to approximately 70 million U.S. households primarily on a weekly basis through the United States Postal Service (USPS). This segment also offers solo mail and other products and services, including list procurement, addressing, processing, and the distribution of brochures and circulars; ancillary services, such as list rentals; and direct mail advertising solutions for local neighborhood businesses. It primarily serves grocers, restaurants, drug stores, discount and department stores, home furnishing stores, and other retailers. The company?s Neighborhood Targeted segment is involved in the print and media placement of traditional free-standing solo insert formats and specialty print promotion products; offers newspaper-delivered or direct-to-door sampling products that give manufacturers the ability to cover approximately 60 million households; and helps clients to run their promotional advertising directly on the pages of newspapers by brokering advertising space. The company?s Free-standing Inserts segment prints and distributes four-color booklets containing promotions, primarily coupons from multiple clients through newspapers and shared mails. Its International, Digital Media, and Services segment provides coupon clearing, analytical promotion information management products, and marketing services for retailers and consumer-packaged goods manufacturers; and promotion security and consulting services, as well as produces direct-mail programs based on multiple data sources, including frequent shopper card data. Valassis Communications, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI  ) crashed by nearly 15% this morning but have since clawed their way back to a loss of about 8%, on a double whiff on first-quarter earnings and an underwhelming set of forward guidance.

Hot Integrated Utility Stocks To Buy Right Now: On Track Innovations Ltd (OTIV)

On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) designs, develops and markets solutions based on its secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a range of markets. The Company�� products combine the benefits of both microprocessors and contactless cards. In addition to contactless microprocessor-based smart cards, it also sells products that are based on other card technologies. The Company has focused on the development of its technologies and its products based on its technological platform that consists of smart cards, smart card readers, software tools and secure communication technology. As of December 31, 2012, it offers three lines of solutions, each of which constitutes a complete system, as well as components (such as smart cards and readers) that we sell to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), for incorporation into their own products. OTI�� three vertical markets include Payment Solutions, Petroleum Systems and SmartID Solutions. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]



    One under-$10 technology player that's starting to trend within range of triggering a major breakout trade is On Track Innovations (OTIV), which designs, develops and markets contactless microprocessor-based smart card solutions to customers in Africa, Europe, the Far East, the Americas and Israel. This stock has been red hot over the last three months, with shares up a whopping 134%.

    If you take a look at the chart for On Track Innovations, you'll notice that this stock has been trending sideways and consolidating over the last month and change, with shares moving between $2.70 on the downside and $3.74 on the upside. Shares of OTIV have now started to spike higher off some near-term support at $3 a share and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OTIV if it manages to break out above its 52-week high at $3.74 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 626,538 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then OTIV will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $4.50 to $5.50 a share.

    Traders can look to buy OTIV off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits just below some key near-term support levels at $3.20 or at $3 a share. One can also buy OTIV off strength once it starts to clear its 52-week high at $3.74 a share with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Markman Advisors]

    Public companies leveraging their patent portfolios, (aka "patent plays"), are getting the market's attention. Companies such as Vringo (VRNG), ParkerVision (PRKR), MGT Capital (MGT), Worlds Inc. (WDDD.OB) and others have presented trading opportunities due to their volatility while retaining the chance for a big payoff to those investors who stay the course. Yet there exist viable patent plays that are still undiscovered. Some of these so called "plays," which are not getting enough attention, are actually real companies making and selling real products or services in contrast to pure patent monetization companies. Some known examples are Single Touch Interactive (SITO.OB) and Blue Calypso (BCYP.OB). This article is focused on another one of these patent plays, On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTIV).

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now: Fusion-io Inc (FIO)

Fusion-io Inc (Fusion) is a provider of datacenter solutions that accelerate databases, virtualization, cloud computing, big data, and the applications that help drive business from the smallest e-tailers to some of the largest data centers, social media leaders, and Fortune Global 500 businesses. The Company's integrated hardware and software platform enables the decentralization of data from legacy architectures and specialized hardware. The Company sells its solutions through a global direct sales force, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, including Cisco, Dell, HP, and IBM, and other channel partners. In August 2011, the Company acquired IO Turbine, Inc.,. Effective March 18, 2013, the Company acquired ID7.

Fusion-io's ioMemory hardware is a sub-system connecting a large array of industry-standard NAND Flash memory through the Company's data-path controller and its virtual storage layer, or VSL, software to create a high capacity memory tier that natively attaches to a server's PCI-Express peripheral bus (PCIe).

The Company's portfolio of storage memory products incorporates the Company's ioMemory hardware combined with its virtual storage layer (VSL) and caching software into its family of ioDrive, ioFX, and ioCache enterprise grade products. The Company's ioDrive products work in conjunction with the Company's directCache data-tiering software, ioTurbine virtualization software, ioSphere management system, and ION Data Accelerator software. The Company's latest ioDrive, ioFX, and ioCache product families are a line of PCIe standard form-factor storage memory platforms that combine one or more ioMemory sub-systems with the Company's VSL software.

The Company's directCache software extends the Company's ioMemory based platforms and permits interoperability with traditional direct-attached, network-attached, storage area network attached, and appliance attached backend storage systems. The Company's ioTurbine virtualization software extends the Company! 's ioMemory platform and permits host-based data acceleration to specifically address the demand for high-density, high-performance server, and desktop virtualization.

ioSphere is a suite of management software purpose-built for the Company's storage memory infrastructure and designed around its application acceleration platform. ioSphere software is accessible through a graphical user interface that enables datacenter administrators to centrally configure, monitor, manage, and tune all distributed ioMemory devices throughout the datacenter. In addition, this software offers real-time, predictive, and historical reporting of ioMemory's performance and wear.

The Company's ION Data Accelerator software transforms server platforms into application acceleration appliances that share Fusion ioMemory across applications. ION Data Accelerator delivers Fusion-io performance on open server platforms with software-defined storage, or SDS, for applications such as Oracle RAC, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and SAP HANA, along with other applications where shared storage aids deployment. The Company's original equipment manufacturer�� (OEMs), including Cisco, Dell, HP, and IBM, sell branded storage memory solutions based on the Company's standard products as well as custom form-factor versions to fit specific applications.

The Company competes with EMC Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P, Texas Memory Systems, Oracle, Adaptec, Inc., LSI Corporation, Sandisk, Corp, IBM, CA, Inc, Nagios Enterprises, LLC., Hitachi Data, Huawei Technologies, Co., Intel Corp., LSI Corporation, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., OCZ Technology Group, Inc., Samsung Electronics, Inc., SanDisk, Corp., Seagate Technology, STEC, Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Western Digital Corp.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another technology player that looks ready to trigger a big breakout trade is Fusion-IO (FIO), which is a provider of data-centric computing solutions. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2013, with shares off by 38%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Fusion-IO, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending modestly over the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $13.05 to its recent high of $14.78 a share. During that uptrend, shares of FIO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of FIO within range of triggering a big breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FIO if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.40 to $14.90 a share, and then once it takes out its 200-day moving average at $15.22 a share to more resistance at $15.50 to $16 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 3.69 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FIO will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from May that started near $19 a share. Shares of FIO could even tag $20 to $22 if that gap gets filled with strong upside volume flows.

    Traders can look to buy FIO off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some near-term support levels at $13.55 to $13 a share. One could also buy FIO off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Tim Beyers]

    Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO  ) also rallied more than 20% after crushing revenue and profit targets. More importantly, CFO Dennis Wolf says customers are once more increasing order sizes.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO) shares jumped 14.75% to $10.81 on stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

    Posted-In: market moversNews Intraday Update Markets Movers

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is down 1.9% at $34.62 on earnings that were good but not great. Symantec Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMC) is down 12.8% at $21.48 on lagging revenues and a weak outlook. Fusion-io Inc. (NYSE: FIO) is down 24.4% at $9.81 on soft results. Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) is up 4% at $26.62 after reporting earnings this morning. Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) is down 10.4% at $9.61 on a weak outlook tied to a failing turnaround plan.

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now: Walgreen Co (WAG)

Walgreen Co. (Walgreens), incorporated on February 15, 1909, together with its subsidiaries, operates the drugstore chain in the United States. The Company provides its customers with access to consumer goods and services, pharmacy, and health and wellness services in communities across America. The Company offers its products and services through drugstores, as well as through mails, by telephone and online. The Company sells prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as general merchandises, including household items, convenience and fresh foods, personal care, beauty care, photofinishing and candy. On August 2, 2012, it acquired 45% interest in Alliance Boots GmbH (Alliance Boots). In September 2012, the Company completed the purchase of a regional drugstore chain in the mid-South region of the United States that included 144 stores operated under the USA Drug, Super D Drug, May��, Med-X and Drug Warehouse names. In September 2012, WP Carey & Co LLC acquired five retail stores leased to Walgreen Co. In December 2012, the Company completed a transaction giving company a ownership stake in Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Pharmacy LLC.

The Company's pharmacy, health and wellness services include retail, specialty, infusion and respiratory services, mail service, convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers. These services help improve health outcomes and manage costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The Company's Take Care Health Systems subsidiary is a manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the United States.

As of August 31, 2012, Walgreens operated 8,385 locations in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. In 2012, the Company opened or acquired 266 locations for a net increase of 175 locations after relocations and closings. As of August 31, 2012, the Com! pany had 7,930 of Drugstores, 366 of Worksite Health and Wellness Centers, 76 of Infusion and Respiratory Services Facilities, 11 of Specialty Pharmacies and two of Mail Service Facilities. The Company's drugstores are engaged in the retail sale of prescription and non-prescription drugs and general merchandise. General merchandise includes, among other things, household items, convenience and fresh foods, personal care, beauty care, photofinishing and candy.

The Company offers specialty pharmacy services that provide customers nationwide access to a variety of medications, services and programs for managing complex and chronic health conditions. In addition, the Company offers its customers infusion therapy services, including the administration of intravenous (IV) medications for cancer treatments, chronic pain, heart failure, and other infections and disorders which must be treated by IV. Walgreens provides these infusion services at home, at the workplace, in a physician's office or at a Walgreens alternate treatment site. The Company also provides clinical services, such as laboratory monitoring, medication profile review, nutritional assessments and patient and caregiver education.

Customers can also access the Company's e-commerce solutions, which extend the convenience to purchase most products available within its drugstores, as well as additional products sold exclusively online through its and Websites, including and The Company's Websites allow consumers to purchase general merchandise including beauty, personal care, home medical equipment, contact lenses, vitamins and supplements and other health and wellness solutions. The Company's mobile applications also allow customers to refill prescriptions through their mobile device, download weekly promotions and find the nearest Walgreens drugstore. The Company also offers services through Take Care Health Systems, which manages its Take Care Clinics at select Wa! lgreens d! rugstores throughout the country.

Alliance Boots is a pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution business. As of March 31, 2012, its fiscal year end, Alliance Boots had, together with its associates and joint ventures, pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 11 countries and operated more than 3,330 health and beauty retail stores, of which over 3,200 had a pharmacy. In addition, Alliance Boots had approximately 625 optical practices, approximately 185 of which operated on a franchise basis. Its pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution businesses, including its associates and joint ventures, supplied medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 170,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals from over 370 distribution centers in 21 countries.

Alliance Boots�� stores located in the United Kingdom, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand and Lithuania and through its associates and joint ventures in Switzerland, China, Italy, Russia and Croatia. In addition, as of March 31, 2012, there were 58 Boots stores operated in the Middle East on a franchised basis. In its Health & Beauty Division, Alliance Boots has product brands such as No7, Soltan and Botanics, together with other brands, such as Boots Pharmaceuticals and Boots Laboratories. Through its Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division and several of its associates, Alliance Boots sells Almus, its line of generic medicines, in five countries and Alvita, its line of patient care products, in six countries.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Keith Speights]

    Good news for Obamacare has been rarer than an igloo in the Sahara desert over the last few months. However, Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, or BCBSA, announced a partnership today that delivered at least a little bit of good news for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, particularly for the health insurance exchanges authorized by the legislation.

Best Japanese Companies To Own In Right Now: Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX)

Market Vectors-Global Alternative Energy ETF (the Fund) seeks to replicate as closely as possible the price and yield performance of the Ardour Global Index (Extra Liquid) (the Index). The Index, published by Ardour Global Indexes, LLC and calculated by Dow Jones Indexes, is a benchmark for the global alternative energy industry. The Index is a rules-based index that seeks to track the overall performance of a global universe of listed companies engaged in the alternative energy industry. As of April 2007, the Index consisted of publicly traded stocks of 30 of the largest, most actively traded alternative energy companies from worldwide. Companies included in the Index generate over 50% of their revenues from alternative energy and/or related technologies, and are engaged in five core industry sectors: alternative energy resources (solar, wind, bio-fuels, water and geothermal), which constitute approximately 70% of the Index; distributed generation, which constitutes approximately 3% of the Index; environmental technologies related to alternative energy, which constitutes approximately 9% of the Index; energy efficiency, which constitutes approximately 4% of the Index, and enabling technologies, which constitutes approximately 14% of the Index.

The Index consists of the 30 stocks in the Ardour Global Index (Composite) with the highest average of daily trading volume and market capitalization. The Ardour Global Index (Composite) is a modified capitalization-weighted, float-adjusted index comprising publicly traded companies engaged in the production of alternative fuels and/or technologies related to the production of alternative energy power. The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in stocks of companies primarily engaged in the business of alternative energy. The Fund, utilizing a passive or indexing investment approach, attempts to approximate the investment performance of the Index by investing in a portfolio of securities that generally replicate the Index. The ! Fund will hold all of the securities, which comprise the Index in proportion to their weightings in the Index. The Fund will normally invest at least 95% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Index. Van Eck Associates Corporation serves as the investment advisor of the Fund.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    The news was predictably good for a pair of ETFs that should be known as "Tesla ETFs." The Market Vectors Global Alternatve Energy ETF (NYSE: GEX) and the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (NASDAQ: QCLN) both traded higher on a down day for U.S. stocks, rising to within pennies of their previous 52-week highs.

Four Seasons sued over plan to move a Picasso

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's storied Four Seasons restaurant has for decades harbored one of the city's more unusual artworks: the largest Pablo Picasso painting in the United States. But a plan to move it has touched off a spat as sharply drawn as the bullfight crowd the canvas depicts.

Pitting a prominent preservation group against an art-loving real estate magnate, the dispute has unleashed an outcry from culture commentators and a lawsuit featuring dueling squads of art experts.

The building's owner says Picasso's "Le Tricorne," a 19-by-20-foot painted stage curtain, has to be moved from the restaurant to make way for repairs to the wall behind it.

But the Landmarks Conservancy, a nonprofit that owns the curtain, is suing to stop the move. The group says the wall damage isn't dire and taking down the brittle curtain could destroy it — and, with it, an integral aspect of the Four Seasons' landmarked interior.

"We're just trying to do our duty and trying to keep a lovely interior landmark intact," says Peg Breen, president of the conservancy.

The landlord, RFR Holding, a company co-founded by state Council on the Arts Chairman Aby Rosen, says a structural necessity is being spun into an art crusade.

"This case is not about Picasso," RFR lawyer Andrew Kratenstein said in court papers. Rather, he wrote, it is about whether an art owner can insist that a private landlord hang a work indefinitely, the building's needs be damned. "The answer to that question is plainly 'no'."

Picasso painted the curtain in 1919 as a set piece for "Le Tricorne," or "three-cornered hat," a ballet created by the Paris-based Ballet Russes troupe.

The curtain isn't considered a masterwork. Breen said it was appraised in 2008 at $1.6 million, far short of the record-setting $106.5 million sale of a 1932 Picasso painting at a 2010 auction.

Still, "it was always considered one of the major pieces of Picasso's theatrical decor," says Picasso biographer Sir John Richardson. "And! it is sort of a gorgeous image."

The scene depicts spectators in elegant Spanish dress socializing and watching a boy sell pomegranates as horses drag a dead bull from the ring in the background.

"Le Tricorne" has been at the Four Seasons since its 1959 opening in the noted Seagram Building. The restaurant, which isn't affiliated with the Four Seasons hotel a few blocks away, is the epitome of New York power lunching, having served President Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, Madonna and other A-listers.

The curtain hangs in what's become known as "Picasso Alley," a corridor that joins the restaurant's majestically modern, Phillip Johnson-designed main dining rooms.

Some argue that the painting, donated to the Landmarks Conservancy in 2005, is a vital piece of the city's cultural landscape and the restaurant's lauded decor.

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger decried the curtain's potential move in Vanity Fair, saying the canvas helps make the Four Seasons "a complete work of art."

Noted architect Robert A.M. Stern and Lewis B. Cullman, an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, both sent Rosen letters asking him to reconsider removing the curtain. Arts critic Terry Teachout blasted the potential loss of "Picasso's most readily accessible painting" in The Wall Street Journal.

The landlords also have their defenders. In tony Town & Country, arts editor Kevin Conley cast the debate as a misplaced outpouring over a "second-rate Picasso."

The debate has opened an uncomfortable divide in the city's preservation circles. The Landmarks Conservancy honored Rosen in 2002 for restoring another important 1950s office building, Lever House, yet now publicly claims the major art collector dismissed the Picasso curtain as a "schmatte," a Yiddish word for "rag."

"They've elevated this into something that it shouldn't be. ... Everybody says I hate Picasso," Rosen lamented to The New York Times last month. "But I live with five of them in my home."

Rosen,! whose sp! okesman didn't return calls from The Associated Press, told The Times he aims to remove and restore the painting, then decide where it will go.

The controversy has drawn a stream of art students, history buffs and other sightseers to look at the canvas.

Breen, for one, isn't surprised.

"Most people would be very happy to have the largest Picasso in America hanging in their building," she said.

Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @jennpeltz