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
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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, 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 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 Ctrip.com International (CTRP), China's biggest online travel retailer; Qihoo 360 (QIHU), a leading mobile security company; 58.com (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.
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