Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reports That Will Move Markets This Week

With a fresh week just around the corner, a new set of economic data reports are on their way. Since these reports have a large effect on Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the other major indexes, it can be helpful for investors to know what's being released in the coming week. So let's look at what's on the way.

Economic reports
On Monday the only major economic report will be the Institute for Supply Management Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index. Economists expect the index reading for March to be a 59.2, down from last month's reading of 59.8. The PMI reading is seen as a good indicator of overall U.S. economic health, even though the survey covers only the Chicago area.  

Tuesday's PMI report, which covers the full U.S. market and different regions of the world, will overshadow Monday's report. After coming in at a reading of 55.5 in February and the market flash PMI reading for March hitting 57.1, economists are expecting the final March reading to be 56.8.

Also on Tuesday will be the motor vehicle sales numbers for March, and economists are looking for 15.8 million vehicles sold during the month, after February's reading of 15.3 million. The construction spending figure for February will also come out, and it's expected that spending will not have changed from January. Lastly, we'll get the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing report. This reading tells investors about overall factory trends and whether they're experiencing increased or decreased demand. Economists believe the manufacturing report will come in at a 54, after a 53.2 reading in February.  

Wednesday will bring the ADP employment figure and factory orders. The ADP figure is the first of three job reports investors will get this week, and economists believe the number will come in at 193,000, after hitting 139,000 in February. As for factory orders, it's believed that industry picked up in February and that we'll see a 0.5% increase over January, which itself fell 0.7% from December.  

Hot Mid Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014

On Thursday, we'll see the weekly jobless claims figure, and economists believe the figure will come in at 320,000 after hitting 311,000 this past week. While the weekly figure typically jumps a lot, the more stable four-week moving average is what investors should be watching and hoping it moves lower. The other important report coming out Thursday is the trade deficit number, which was at $39.1 billion in January and is believed to have risen to $39.4 billion in February.  

On Friday we'll get more employment data, but this time from the Labor Department. The non-farm payroll report will indicate how many jobs were created in March and will tell investors what the national unemployment rate is. Economists expect the payroll number to be 192,000 and the unemployment rate to fall to 6.6%, after February saw it rise to 6.7%, with 175,000 new jobs being created.  

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Where Are the AMD Tablets?

It seems that every year AMD (NYSE: AMD  ) makes a pretty large fuss about a next-generation mobile product, but year after year these products don't materialize in many shipping designs. Some argue that the same argument could be applied to larger PC chip rival Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) , but there are numerous quality Windows-based tablets shipping with Intel silicon, even if Intel's Bay Trail on Android continues to be MIA. So a simple question that AMD investors should try to answer is: Where are all of the AMD tablets?

A trip to AMD's website: Trying to buy an AMD tablet
To see what kind of progress AMD has made in securing tablet designs, a trip to AMD's website is in order. Clicking on the "where to buy" button on AMD's tablet page reveals some interesting results. Of the 10 tablets available in total, the breakdown by chip is as follows:

AMD Dual-Core A4 Series: four tablets. AMD Dual-Core Z-Series APU: three tablets. AMD Quad-Core A6-Series: three tablets.

Best Low Price Companies To Watch In Right Now

Of the four dual-core A4 based devices, three were 11.6-inch designs and one was a 13.3-inch detachable Windows 8 PC. Not a single one was a "tablet" in the sense of a traditional 10.1-inch or 9.7-inch design. Of the quad-core A6 based devices, all three were 13.3-inch designs from Hewlett-Packard. And naturally, the older Z-series APU based designs weren't anything to write home about, particularly as reviews panned both the performance and battery lives of products based on this chip (since the chip was unsuitable for thin and light tablets).

Compare that with Intel
Since AMD's chips are only targeted toward Windows right now, its only real competitor in the Windows tablet chip space is Intel, so a comparison is appropriate. Today there are a number of tablets with Bay Trail, Intel's latest 22-nanometer tablet-oriented chip, from many vendors, including:

ASUS. Acer. Fujitsu. Dell. Sharp. Lenovo. Toshiba. Ramos.

These designs come in both 10.1-inch and 8-inch flavors, and these tablets have gotten pretty solid reviews for their performance and battery life. Of course, there are varying degrees of quality across the vendors (and Windows tablets aren't anywhere near as big of a market as Android and iOS tablets are), and you'll probably notice that these are relatively small names in the tablet market, but the breadth and quality of the offerings looks markedly higher than those powered by AMD.

Will Mullins do the trick?
When the Z-60 came out, it was "wait for Temash". Now that Temash is out, about, and garnering very little design win traction, AMD has been talking up its successor SoC for tablets code-named Mullins. Mullins apparently features an updated CPU core (probably with more aggressive Turbo) and at the system-on-a-chip level manages to bring power down.

This may be as a result of removing some of the I/Os that are PC-use only (similar to what Intel did with Bay Trail-T versus Bay Trail-M) as well as some architectural optimizations and enhancements. Only time will tell whether Mullins can finally find its way in competitive Windows-based tablets, but by then AMD will be contending with Intel's next-generation Cherry Trail. 

Foolish bottom line
While AMD has talked a big game, particularly around tablets, it simply has yet to deliver the goods in terms of the right product (AMD's current tablet offerings are missing several key IP blocks for tablets such as a dedicated image signal processor) at the right time in the right designs. And even if AMD sorts its product story out, the right chip is only just the beginning in this highly competitive, cutthroat industry. It is a necessary, but insufficient, condition to long-term business success.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Only Two Things Can Stop The Bull Market

While few ever believe it, only two things end any bull market. Like that simple straight vector you learned about in high school physics—except that bull markets wiggle wildly—it's either by losing steam or by running up against a newly emergent wall. Keep a lookout for both.

Running out of steam is best seen via legendary investor John Templeton's four-phase quote: "Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria." Upon reaching euphoria bull markets lack energy to propel them further. Bulls climb the legendary "Wall of Worry," and when all worries wane to well-worn whitewashing, you're out of steam.

The wall? Any unexpected, immovable bad force. Markets formally digest and discount all known phenomena. What we know about, despite all varied views, is already priced in. Exhibit A: 2008′s mark-to-market accounting! You should watch for surprises, but not many do. Exhibit B: the inverted yield curve in 2000—when worries vanished—that choked bank lending.

But, no, the wall isn't, by definition, excess debt, congressional action (or inaction), ObamaCare, Iraq, Iran, valuations, on and on. And it isn't Crimea (though it might be if Russia truly goes on an unexpected global rampage).

It's a perpetual problem: Either we can't observe the situation in advance or we just don't pay attention.

Solution: Always expect the unexpected! The key and tricky thing is staying on your toes and endlessly looking for it. You're still unlikely to see it. (Few do, and you're quite skilled if you're one of them.) I certainly don't right now.

So I wait, watch and remain bullish, noting we're still, in Templeton's parlance, straddling skepticism and optimism, and, hence, abundant force propels this bull on. Without a wall we're maybe halfway through. Here are five great stocks for that big back half:

A bit cheaper and better run than peers, but larger, Union Pacific Union Pacific is one of America's oldest publicly traded rail lines–linking 23 states in the West and Midwest via the best routes. Invest in the West. This one's the best. It won't go off track at 15 times my 2015 earnings estimate with a 1.9% dividend yield.

As retailing evolves into macro-oligopolies, one dominator is CVS Caremark CVS Caremark, in drug delivery. It will advance from both the inevitability of insurance-revenue growth and aging baby boomers' propensity for endless, self-obsessed medical spending. It sells at 14 times my 2015 earnings estimate with a 1.5% dividend yield.

It isn't so much that I love Swiss-based UBS UBS, arguably the world's largest wealth management firm, but that I see most competitors hurting themselves in various ways, helping UBS gain share. And, as the bull market endures, UBS' revenues naturally benefit–fitting like a glove–driving the stock. It sells at ten times estimated 2015 earnings, with a 1.4% dividend yield.

Within Australia's banking oligopoly, National Australia Bank (NABZY, 16) is the fourth-largest retail but largest business bank. Widening global yield curve spreads (long-term interest rates minus short-term) should boost lending and profitability. It's also Down Under's cheapest bank at only 11 times my 2014 earnings estimate with a fat 5.5% yield.

This column's smallest, most-speculative and lowest-quality pick is Textron Textron. It's below what it was 15 years ago but is now a better firm. Called a conglomerate, it's grown ever more strategic while analysts sour on it. For example, Textron last month completed its acquisition of Beechcraft's parent company; that and its Cessna line (both based in Wichita) make Textron the clear small-plane leader in America–just as this market is bottoming–with huge cost-cutting opportunities.

Today's Textron is an aerospace firm with a tail of other businesses. It sells at 90% of annual revenue and 14 times my 2015 earnings estimate. But I bet it's at four times 2020 earnings–unless we hit that unseen wall.

Money manager Ken Fisher's latest book is Markets Never Forget (But People Do) (John Wiley, 2011). Visit his home page at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Kite Realty Group Trust (KRG)

Kite Realty Group Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment trust. The firm invests in real estate markets of the United States. It engages in ownership, operation, management, leasing, acquisition, construction, expansion, and development and redevelopment of operating retail properties, retail properties under development, operating commercial properties, parking garage, commercial property under development, parcels of land, shopping, dining, and entertainment properties. Kite Realty Group was founded in 1968 and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Kite Realty Group Trust ag(KRG)reed to merge with fellow real-estate firm Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust in a stock-for-stock deal that will create a company worth $2.1 billion. Kite Realty shares climbed 5.7% to $6.50 premarket.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

AustraliaĆ¢€™s Upbeat Central Bank

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is finally seeing greater evidence of strength from some of the country's non-mining sectors, which could bode well for economic growth now that investment in the resource space is on the decline.

On Wednesday, March 26, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens delivered an upbeat speech in Hong Kong before the 17th Annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference.

Following his remarks, the Australian dollar extend its recent rally and currently trades near USD$0.923, up about 6.3 percent from its three-year low in late January, near USD0.868. At this level, the aussie is down about 16.2 percent from this cycle's high in mid-2011.

For 2014, Mr. Stevens predicts growth will be led by the developed world, a rebalancing of sorts after the many years in which the emerging markets drove the global economy.

As for Australia's regional peers, the RBA chief sees growth continuing at a pace in line with the recent trend. He noted that China, which grew slightly faster than the central government's official target last year, could slow down somewhat during the first half of this year.

Recent indicators, including slowing industrial production, moderation in retail sales and passenger vehicle sales, and lower investment in fixed assets, all suggest a near-term slackening. China is Australia's single largest trading partner, and its demand for the country's resources, particularly iron ore, have helped drive export growth in recent months.

On the more positive side, Mr. Stevens believes Chinese policymakers' efforts to rein in the country's shadow-banking system should prove successful and, therefore, remove a key source of risk to its economy. Additionally, he also noted that the Middle Kingdom continues to make strides toward greater liberalization of its economy, including a widening of the range in which the renminbi is allowed to trade.

Turning tow! ard the home front, Mr. Stevens observed that a number of domestic analysts and pundits tend to take a pessimistic view of the country's growth prospects, a sharp contrast to the more optimistic tone he hears from their peers in Asia.

His own take is more measured: The Australian economy is doing a bit better than many in the country believe, but not nearly as well as foreign investors might assume.

Australia emerged from the Global Financial Crisis in far better shape than most of its developed-world peers. And the resource boom, which Mr. Stevens characterized as being of "truly epic proportions," was a significant boost to the economy, with gross domestic product (GDP) now 13 percent higher than it was at the beginning of 2009.

However, over the past 18 months, Australia's economy has been growing at a pace below the country's long-term trend of 3 percent annualized.

While Mr. Stevens says Australia's resource exports should continue to grow, helped along by new projects finally coming on line as well as a lower exchange rate, that alone won't be enough to get the economy back on track.

To that end, the country's consumers will have to eschew their recent conservatism and start opening their wallets, while businesses will have to invest in future growth. Though business confidence has improved in recent months, companies tend to be cautious in committing to higher capital spending until they see greater evidence that the economy's on the rebound.

As we've noted recently, the retail space could be one source of non-mining sector strength, though the RBA believes consumer spending will grow only slightly faster than incomes, at best.

And the housing sector has been a major beneficiary of historically low interest rates. Although a number of analysts and economists have been concerned that the country could be in the midst of a real estate bubble, as it didn't experience a housing crash anywhere near what the US suffered, Mr. Stevens said t! hat the r! ise in dwelling construction is a welcome development. At the same time, the central bank is closely monitoring the sector for any signs of speculative excess.

Overall, the RBA thinks the early evidence suggests that the so-called handover from mining-led demand growth to broader private demand growth is finally underway. The central bank predicts economic growth could strengthen later this year and accelerate further during 2015.

Last year, the country's economy grew 2.4 percent year over year. For full-year 2014, the consensus among private-sector economists is that GDP will grow 2.8 percent, with a fairly consistent pace of growth in each of the four quarters.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014

With shares of US Airways (NYSE:LCC) trading around $23, is LCC an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let�� analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework.

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

US Airways operates and owns passenger and freight airline carriers. Consumers and companies across the nation are now looking to travel at an increasing rate, and since air travel is quicker and less expensive, it is becoming a common transportation method for many. As costs decrease and flights become more efficient, look for business and retail customers to fly more than ever.

The stalled merger between US Airways and AMR Corp.�� (AAMRQ.PK) American Airlines will finally be going through, as the airlines on Tuesday reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which had sued to block the merger. And according to a report from Bloomberg, it doesn�� look as if the airlines are giving up very much at all in the settlement; the two will move forward with their merger more or less as planned.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Golar LNG Partners LP (GMLP)

Golar LNG Partners LP (the Partnership), incorporated on September 24, 2007, is a limited partnership formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Golar LNG Limited (Golar), an independent owner and operator of floating storage re-gasification units (FSRUs) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, to own and operate FSRUs and LNG carriers under long-term charters. The vessels in its fleet are chartered to BG Group, Pertamina, Petrobras and Dubai Supply Authority. As of December 31, 2012, Golar owned its 2.0% general partner interest, all of its IDRs and a 49.9% limited partner interest in it. As of December 31, 2012, its fleet consisted of a 100% interest in the Golar Spirit, which is operating under a time charter with Petrobras; a 100% interest in the Golar Winter, which is operating under a time charter with Petrobras; a 100% interest in the Golar Freeze, which is operating under a time charter with Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP), the purchaser of natural gas in Dubai; a 100% interest in the Methane Princess, which is operating under a time charter with BG Group PLC (BG Group), and a 60% interest in the Golar Mazo, an LNG carrier, which is operating under a time charter with PT Pertamina (Pertamina). In July 2012, Golar sold its interests in the companies that own and operate the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Nusantara Regas Satu to the Company. As of April 30, 2013, the Company has a fleet of four FSRUs and four LNG carriers. In November 2012, the Company acquired from Golar interests in subsidiaries that lease and operate the LNG carrier, the Golar Grand.

FSRU Charters

The Company provides the services of each of the Golar Spirit and the Golar Winter to Petrobras under separate time charter parties (or TCP) and operation and services agreements (OSAs). The TCPs and OSAs are interdependent and when combined have the same effect as the time charters for its LNG carriers. The services of the Golar Freeze are provided to DUSUP under a TCP. The Golar Spirit and ! Golar Winter charters also contained provisions giving Petrobras the option to purchase the vessels from it under certain circumstances.

LNG Carrier Charters

The Company provides the LNG marine transportation services of the Golar Mazo, Methane Princess and the Golar Maria under a time charters with LNG Shipping SpA. A time charter is a contract for the use of the vessel for a fixed period of time at a specified daily rate. Under a time charter, the vessel owner provides crewing and other services related to the vessel�� operation.

The Company competes with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BG, Malaysian International Shipping Company, National Gas Shipping Company, Qatar Gas Transport Company, Excelerate Energy, Hoegh LNG, Exmar, Teekay LNG and MISC Berhad.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Golar LNG Partners Limited Partnership (Nasdaq: GMLP  ) reported earnings on May 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Golar LNG Partners Limited Partnership met expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Golar LNG Partners LP (GMLP), a limited partnership, owns and operates floating storage and regasification units and LNG carriers under long-term charters. This stock closed up 3.5% at $32.74 in Monday's trading session.

    Monday's Volume: 432,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 81,559

    Volume % Change: 283%

    From a technical perspective, GMLP bounced notably higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $31.79 and back above its 50-day moving average of $32.56 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of GMLP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GMLP manages to take out Monday's intraday high at $32.96 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $33.15 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GMLP as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $31.79 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 81,559 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GMLP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $34.78 to its 52-week high at $36.

  • [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 Golar LNG Partners Limited Partnership (Nasdaq: GMLP  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP)

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (the Partnership) owns and operates crude oil and liquid petroleum transportation and storage assets, and natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation and marketing assets in the United States. The Company was formed by its Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. (General Partner), to own and operate the Lakehead system, which is the United States portion of a crude oil and liquid petroleum pipeline system extending from western Canada through the upper and lower Great Lakes region of the United States to eastern Canada. A subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge), owns the Canadian portion of the Mainline system. Enbridge, which is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is a provider of energy transportation, distribution and related services in North America and internationally. Enbridge is the ultimate parent of its General Partner. As of December 31, 2011, its portfolio of assets included the approximately 6,500 miles of crude oil gathering and transportation lines and 32 million barrels of crude oil storage and terminaling capacity; natural gas gathering and transportation lines totaling approximately 11,500 miles; nine natural gas treating and 25 natural gas processing facilities with an aggregate capacity of approximately 3,255 million cubic feet per day, including plants; trucks, trailers and railcars for transporting natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil and carbon dioxide, and marketing assets, which provide natural gas supply, transmission, storage and sales services. The Company conducts its business through three business segments: Liquids, Natural Gas and Marketing.

Liquids Segment

The Company�� Lakehead system consists of crude oil and liquid petroleum common carrier pipelines and terminal assets in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions of the United States. The Mainline system serves refining centers in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions of the United States and the Province of Ontario, Canada. Its Lakehead system spans a distance ! of approximately 1,900 miles, and consists of approximately 5,100 miles of pipe with diameters ranging from 12 inches to 48 inches, and is transporter of crude oil and liquid petroleum from Western Canada to the United States. In addition, the system has 61 pump station locations with a total of approximately 900,000 installed horsepower and 72 crude oil storage tanks with capacity of approximately 13.9 million barrels. The Mainline system operates in a segregation, or batch mode, allowing the transport in excess of 50 crude oil commodities, including light, medium and heavy crude oil, condensate and NGLs.

The Company�� Mid-Continent system is located within PADD II and is consisted of its Ozark pipeline and storage terminals at Cushing and El Dorado, Kansas. Its Mid-Continent system includes over 430 miles of crude oil pipelines and 17.3 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity. Its Ozark pipeline transports crude oil from Cushing to Wood River where it delivers to ConocoPhillips��Wood River refinery and interconnects with the Woodpat Pipeline and the Wood River Pipeline. The storage terminals consist of 91 individual storage tanks ranging in size from 58,000 to 575,000 barrels. Of the 17.3 million barrels of storage capacity on its Mid-Continent system, the Cushing terminal accounts for 16.1 million barrels. A portion of the storage facilities are used for operational purposes, while it contracts the remainder of the facilities with various crude oil market participants for their term storage requirements. Contract fees include fixed monthly capacity fees, as well as utilization fees, which it charges for injecting crude oil into and withdrawing crude oil from the storage facilities.

The Company�� Mid-Continent system operates under month-to-month transportation arrangements and both long-term and short-term storage arrangements with its shippers. Its North Dakota system is a crude oil gathering and interstate transportation system servicing the Williston basin in! North Da! kota and Montana, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks formations. The crude oil gathering pipelines of its North Dakota system collect crude oil from points near producing wells in approximately 22 oil fields in North Dakota and Montana. Its North Dakota system is made at Clearbrook to its Lakehead system and to a third-party pipeline system. As of December 31, 2011, its North Dakota system included approximately 240 miles of crude oil gathering lines connected to a transportation line, which is approximately 730 miles long, with a capacity of approximately 210,000 barrels per day. Its North Dakota system also has 21 pump stations, one delivery station and 11 storage facilities with an aggregate working storage capacity of approximately 870,000 barrels. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it added 25,000 barrels per day of capacity from Berthold, North Dakota to the international border near Lignite, North Dakota.

Natural Gas Segment

The Company owns and operates natural gas gathering, treating, processing and transportation systems, as well as trucking, rail and liquids marketing operations. It purchases and gathers natural gas from the wellhead and delivers it to plants for treating and/or processing and to intrastate or interstate pipelines for transmission to wholesale customers, such as power plants, industrial customers and local distribution companies. As of December 31, 2011, it had nine active treating plants and 25 active processing plants, including two hydrocarbon dewpoint control facilities (HCDP) plants. Its treating facilities have a combined capacity, which approximates 1,240 million cubic feet per day while the combined capacity of its processing facilities approximates 2,015 million cubic feet per day, including 350 million cubic feet per day provided by the HCDP plants.

The Company�� natural gas business consists of East Texas system, Anadarko system and North Texas system. East Texas system includes approximately 3,900 miles of nat! ural gas ! gathering and transportation pipelines, eight natural gas treating plants and five natural gas processing plants, including two HCDP plants. Anadarko system consists of approximately 2,900 miles of natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines in southwest Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, one natural gas treating plant and 11 natural gas processing plants. North Texas system includes approximately 4,700 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and nine natural gas processing plants located in the Fort Worth basin. Its East Texas system is located in the East Texas basin. Natural gas on its North Texas system is produced in the Barnett shale area within the Fort Worth basin conglomerate. Its Anadarko system is located within the Anadarko basin.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company�� Elk City system includes one carbon dioxide treating plant and three cryogenic processing plants with a total capacity of 370 million cubic feet per day, and a NGL production capability of 20,000 barrels per day. It also includes its trucking and NGL marketing operations in its Natural Gas segment. These operations include the transportation of NGLs, crude oil and other products by truck and railcar from wellheads and treating, processing and fractionation facilities to wholesale customers, such as distributors, refiners and chemical facilities. In addition, its trucking and NGL marketing operations resells these products. Its services are provided using trucks, trailers and rail cars, pipeline capacity, fractionation agreements, product treating and handling equipment. Its trucking operations transport NGLs, condensate and crude oil from its processing facilities and from third party producers to its United States Gulf Coast customers. As of December 31, 2011, its fleet consisted of approximately 220 trucks and 375 trailers. Its trucking and NGL marketing operations are wholesale customers, such as refineries and propane distributors. Its trucking and NGL marketing operations also market products to whol! esale cus! tomers, such as petrochemical plants.

Marketing Segment

The Company�� Marketing segment transacts with various counterparties to provide natural gas supply, transportation, balancing, storage and sales services. Its Marketing business uses third-party storage capacity to balance supply and demand factors within its portfolio. Its Marketing business pays third-party storage facilities and pipelines for the right to store gas for various periods of time. These contracts may be denoted as firm storage, interruptible storage or parking and lending services. Its Marketing business leases third-party pipeline capacity downstream from its Natural Gas assets under firm transportation contracts. This capacity is leased for various lengths of time and at rates.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The total market cap of the ANGI is $190 billion, and the one-, three- and five-year total returns are 29 percent, 52 percent and 249 percent. The index yield is 6 percent.

    The Alerian Large Cap MLP Index (ALCI)  is another subset of the AMZ. It’s an equal-weighted basket of the 15 largest energy MLPs by market capitalization, all of which are also in the AMZ. The top performer since the most recent quarterly rebalancing has been Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP), which comprises 7.4 percent of the index at present. At the bottom since the latest rebalancing is Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP), at 6.47 of the overall index.

    The total market cap of the ALCI is $232 billion, and the one-, three- and five-year total returns are 20 percent, 39 percent, and 167 percent. The index yield is 5.1 percent.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP  ) has been in a bit of a battle with Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE: PAA  ) over the levels of hydrogen sulfide that's in the crude oil being delivered to its rail facility in the Bakken. The company is seeking to reject crude oil that contains more than five parts per million of the potentially deadly gas. This is after the company found extremely high concentrations of the gas in one of its crude oil tanks in North Dakota. The level of hydrogen sulfate hit 1200 parts per million which is a very potentially dangerous level.

  • [By Isac Simon]

    The Bakken Shale play is already booming. Existing pipeline systems in that region are at full capacity. Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP  ) owns the 1,900-mile Lakehead system which transports 2.5 million barrels per day of�crude from North Dakota to Illinois. Additionally, the company's 970-mile North Dakota pipeline system from Montana to Clearbrook has a capacity of 210,000 bpd.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE: MEP) is an Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP)-backed LP that went public on Nov. 7. The partnership is a pure-play US natural gas and NGL midstream business with a 39 percent controlling interest in Midcoast Operating, a limited partnership that owns a network of natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities and NGL fractionation facilities primarily located in Texas and Oklahoma. Midcoast Operating also owns and operates natural gas, condensate and NGL logistics and marketing assets that support its gathering, processing and transportation business.

Top 10 Energy Companies To Watch For 2014: NuStar GP Holdings LLC (NSH)

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NuStar GP Holdings), incorporated on June 06, 2000, conducts operations through its indirect ownership interests in NuStar Energy L.P. (NuStar Energy). NuStar Energy is engaged in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and petroleum refining and marketing. The Company operates in three segments: NuStar Energy�� Storage Segment, NuStar Energy�� Pipeline Segment and NuStar Energy�� Asphalt and Fuels Marketing Segment. On January 1, 2013, NuStar Energy sold the San Antonio Refinery and related assets, which included inventory, a terminal in Elmendorf, Texas and a pipeline connecting the terminal and refinery. On December 13, 2012, NuStar Energy completed its acquisition of the TexStar Crude Oil Assets (as defined below), including 100% of the partnership interest in TexStar Crude Oil Pipeline, LP, from TexStar Midstream Services, LP and certain of its affiliates.

NuStar Energy has terminal and storage facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, including St. Eustatius in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Turkey. NuStar Energy L.P.'s asphalt refineries, refined product terminals, petroleum and specialty liquids storage and terminaling operations, and crude oil storage tank facilities are predominantly located on waterways that are easily accessible by barge or vessel. On September 28, 2012, NuStar Energy sold a 50% ownership interest (the Asphalt Sale) in NuStar Asphalt LLC (Asphalt JV), previously a wholly owned subsidiary of NuStar Energy, to an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg LLC (Lindsay Goldberg), a private investment firm.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Robert Rapier]

    But it is important to note that ETE also has interests in Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE: SXL) and Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP).

    Finally, consider NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS) and its general partner NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH). Like ETE, NSH went public in 2006 and has also significantly outperformed its limited partner since:

    The vast majority of partnerships don’t have a publicly-traded GP. But in each of these three cases in which the GP is publicly traded, the GP tends to outperform the LP units on long-term gains, an advantage somewhat offset by the typically higher LP yield.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (BWP)

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP is a limited partnership company. The Company owns and operates three interstate natural gas pipeline systems including integrated storage facilities. Its business is conducted by its primary subsidiary, Boardwalk Pipelines, LP (Boardwalk Pipelines) and its subsidiaries, Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC (Gulf Crossing), Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP (Gulf South) and Texas Gas Transmission, LLC (Texas Gas) (together, the operating subsidiaries), which consist of integrated natural gas pipeline and storage systems. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it formed Boardwalk Midstream, LP (Midstream), and its operating subsidiary, Boardwalk Field Services, LLC (Field Services), which is engaged in the natural gas gathering and processing business. In December 2011, Boardwalk HP Storage Company, LLC (HP Storage), a joint venture between Boardwalk Pipelines and Boardwalk Pipelines Holding Corp. (BPHC) acquired Petal Gas Storage, L.L.C. (Petal), Hattiesburg Gas Storage Company (Hattiesburg). In December 2011, it acquired a 20% equity interest in HP Storage.

The Company�� pipeline systems originate in the Gulf Coast region, Oklahoma and Arkansas and extend north and east to the midwestern states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. It serves a mix of customers, including producers, local distribution companies (LDCs), marketers, electric power generators, direct industrial users and interstate and intrastate pipelines. The Company provides a portion of its pipeline transportation and storage services, through firm contracts, under which the Company�� customers pay monthly capacity reservation charges. Other charges are based on actual utilization of the capacity under firm contracts and contracts for interruptible services. During 2011, approximately 82% of its revenues were derived from capacity reservation charges under firm contracts; approximately 14% of its revenues were derived from charges-based on actual utilization under firm contr! acts, and approximately 4% of its revenues were derived from interruptible transportation, interruptible storage, parking and lending (PAL) and other services. Its expansion projects include South Texas Eagle Ford Expansionand Marcellus Gathering System and HP Storage.

Pipeline and Storage Systems

The Company�� operating subsidiaries own and operate approximately 14,200 miles of pipelines, directly serving customers in twelve states and indirectly serving customers throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States through numerous interconnections with unaffiliated pipelines. In 2011, its pipeline systems transported approximately 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas. Average daily throughput on its pipeline systems during 2011 was approximately 7.3 billion cubic feet. Its natural gas storage facilities are comprised of eleven underground storage fields located in four states with aggregate working gas capacity of approximately 167.0 billion cubic feet. the Company operates the assets of HP Storage on behalf of the joint venture.

The principal sources of supply for our pipeline systems are regional supply hubs and market centers located in the Gulf Coast region, including offshore Louisiana, the Perryville, Louisiana area, the Henry Hub in Louisiana and the Carthage, Texas area. Its pipelines in the Carthage, Texas area provide access to natural gas supplies from the Bossier Sands, Barnett Shale, Haynesville Shale and other gas producing regions in eastern Texas and northern Louisiana. The Henry Hub serves as the designated delivery point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its pipeline systems also have access to unconventional mid-continent supplies, such as the Woodford Shale in southeastern Oklahoma and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas. The Company also accesses the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas; wellhead supplies in northern and southern Louisiana and Mississippi; and Canadian natural gas through an unaffil! iated pip! eline interconnect at Whitesville, Kentucky.

Gulf Crossing

The Company�� Gulf Crossing pipeline system originates near Sherman, Texas, and proceeds to the Perryville, Louisiana area. The market areas are in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Florida through interconnections with Gulf South, Texas Gas and unaffiliated pipelines.

Gulf South

The Company�� Gulf South pipeline system is located along the Gulf Coast in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The on-system markets directly served by the Gulf South system are generally located in eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. These markets include LDCs and municipalities located across the system, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida, and other end-users located across the system, including the Baton Rouge to New Orleans industrial corridor and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Gulf South also has indirect access to off-system markets through numerous interconnections with unaffiliated interstate and intrastate pipelines and storage facilities. These pipeline interconnections provide access to markets throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States.

Gulf South has two natural gas storage facilities. The gas storage facility located in Bistineau, Louisiana, has approximately 78 billion cubic feet of working gas storage capacity from which Gulf South offers firm and interruptible storage service, including no-notice service. Gulf South�� Jackson, Mississippi, gas storage facility has approximately five billion cubic feet of working gas storage capacity, which is used for operational purposes and is not offered for sale to the market.

Texas Gas

The Company�� Texas Gas pipeline system originates in Louisiana, East Texas and Arkansas and runs north and east through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, K! entucky, ! Indiana, and into Ohio, with smaller diameter lines extending into Illinois. Texas Gas directly serves LDCs, municipalities and power generators in its market area, which encompasses eight states in the South and Midwest and includes the Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and Evansville and Indianapolis, Indiana metropolitan areas. Texas Gas also has indirect market access to the Northeast through interconnections with unaffiliated pipelines. Texas Gas owns nine natural gas storage fields, of which it owns the majority of the working and base gas. Texas Gas uses this gas to meet the operational requirements of its transportation and storage customers and the requirements of its no-notice service customers.

Field Services

In 2011, the Company formed its Field Services subsidiary and transferred to it approximately 100 miles of gathering and transmission pipeline. In 2012, the Company transferred to Field Services an additional 240 miles of pipeline and two compressor stations. Field Services is developing gathering and processing capabilities in south Texas and Pennsylvania.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) were down 46.12 percent to $14.68 after the company reported weak Q4 results and slashed its quarterly distribution.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    This is, fortunately, an update not on a current portfolio holding but rather one on Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE: BWP), the MLP we recommended selling in November at near $28 and ahead of a continuing decline that cost investors another 13 percent as of Friday.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE: BWP) was a total disaster on Monday, and it has 24/7 Wall St. wondering just how many other Master Limited Partnerships and trust structures in the oil and gas sector could be at risk. The good news is that Wall Street does not seem that�concerned of a spill over into peers and competitors, at least not yet.

  • [By Stone Fox Capital]

    Another major project announced back in March includes plans with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (BWP) to create the Bluegrass Pipeline. The proposed design would provide producers with 200K barrels per day of mixed NGLs take-away capacity in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with the possibility to increase it to 400K barrels per day. The pipeline would deliver the NGLs to new fractionation and storage facilities, which would have connectivity to pipelines along the U.S Gulf Coast. The project should be sanctioned this year with a plan of going into service in the second half of 2015. See the below slide:

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Phillips 66 Partners LP (PSXP)

Phillips 66 Partners LP, incorporated on February 20, 2013, owns, operates, develops and acquires primarily fee-based crude oil, refined petroleum product and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines and terminals and other transportation and midstream assets. The Company�� initial assets consist of the three systems, which include Clifton Ridge crude system, Sweeny to Pasadena products system and Hartford Connector products system. A refined petroleum product pipeline, terminal and storage system extending from Phillips 66�� Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean, Texas, to its refined petroleum product terminal in Pasadena, Texas, and ultimately connecting to the Explorer and Colonial refined petroleum product pipeline systems and other third-party pipeline and terminal systems.

A crude oil pipeline, terminal and storage system located in Sulphur, Louisiana, that is the primary source for delivery of crude oil to Phillips 66�� Lake Charles refinery. A refined petroleum product pipeline, terminal and storage system located in Hartford, Illinois, that distributes diesel and gasoline produced at the Wood River refinery (a refinery owned by a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy Inc.) to third-party pipeline and terminal systems, including the Explorer refined petroleum product pipeline system.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Robert Rapier]

    One of the most anticipated IPOs this year was that of Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP). PSXP owns some of the midstream logistics assets of its sponsor, the refiner Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), and the IPO was initially intended to be 15 million shares at an indicated range of $19 to $21. But demand proved to be so strong that the offering was seriously oversubscribed, so the deal was upsized to 16.4 million shares and the price increased to $23 a unit.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX  ) and its master limited partnership Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP  ) have made the headlines recently, because of how high PSXP climbed during its first day of trading. It isn't the first refiner to find success with an MLP spinoff -- Marathon Petroleum's (NYSE: MPC  ) spinoff�MPLX (NYSE: MPLX  ) is up more than 16% year to date -- and it doesn't look as if it will be the last. In this video, contributor Aimee Duffy looks at Valero's (NYSE: VLO  ) recent affirmation of its plan to convert its logistics assets into an MLP.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    More to come
    In addition to earnings season, two new midstream MLPs joined the fray this week, as Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP  ) and Marlin Midstream Partners�both held initial public offerings. Phillips 66 Partners had the market really moving on Tuesday, climbing more than 29% on its first day of trading. Marlin Midstream was more or less a dud, falling 2.5% when it made its debut on Friday.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Canadian Pacific Railway Limited(CP)

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as a transcontinental railway providing freight transportation services, logistics solutions, and supply chain expertise in Canada and the United States. It transports bulk commodities, including grain, coal, sulphur, and fertilizers; merchandise freight; finished vehicles and automotive parts; forest products, which include wood pulp, paper, paperboard, newsprint, lumber, panel, and oriented strand board; and industrial and consumer products comprising chemicals, energy, and plastics, as well as mine, metals, and aggregates. The company provides rail and intermodal transportation services over a network of approximately 14,700 miles serving the principal business centers of Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, British Columbia; and the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. Canadian Pacific Railway Limited was founded in 1881 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Arjun Sreekumar]

    Not surprisingly, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP  ) , one of largest rail companies in the U.S., tripled the amount of crude oil it shipped last year, while Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-B  ) Burlington Northern Santa Fe, or BNSF, another rail giant, is currently moving about 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day, up from next to nothing just five years ago. And Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP  ) expects to ship some 70,000 carloads of crude this year, up from just 500 in 2009.

  • [By Caroline Chen]

    CEOs were replaced at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) and Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) after activist investor Bill Ackman pushed for shakeups. Greg Taxin�� Clinton Group Inc. prompted management changes at Nutrisystem Inc. (NTRI) and Wet Seal Inc. (WTSL) in the past year.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Another area that is intriguing to us is the North American energy sector which looks to have a number of interesting catalysts currently. While the energy sector is at present only a modest overweight in the portfolios, we have been encouraged by several trends taking place for a number of years. These positive developments are also having an impact that goes far beyond the energy sector itself. Many believe that the U.S. will become energy independent and possibly a net exporter of natural gas and oil (currently restricted by law) in the next decade. This opinion is based primarily on the development of new drilling techniques (i.e. horizontal drilling, and high pressure fracking) that have enabled companies to access oil and natural gas reserves in shale formations that were previously not economically viable. The ability to tap into this acreage is a game-changer in our view and is already having a tremendous impact on the economy. Employment rates in these mostly rural areas surrounding the shale basins are very high and companies thus find hiring extremely competitive. Strong labor markets tend to create strong local economies. Oil States International (OIS) has been able to capitalize on this trend by providing housing and other services to oil service workers that are in demand in the area. CST Brands (CST) operates gas stations in Texas, but it is increasingly looking to broaden its product offering beyond fuel. Rail companies like Union Pacific (UNP), Canadian Pacific (CP), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Genesee and Wyoming (GWR) have also benefited substantially. Given that shale areas are rural and often lacking infrastructure, substantial investment must be made to support drilling and production activities. Without pipelines in place, railroads have been the primary takeaway mechanism for moving production to the various clusters of refining capacity around the United States. In order to serve this demand, massive investment in railcars has been nee

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    The biggest concern here is that 2013 has been a terrible year for oil-by-rail; the recent disaster in Canada isn't the only derailment. Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP  ) had three derailments involving oil tank cars in the first four months of this year. One of the accidents, in Minnesota, resulted in 30,000 gallons of oil being spilled. It remains to be seen if these spills will be the tipping point for the approval of additional pipeline projects.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: CAI International Inc (CAP)

CAI International, Inc., incorporated on January 30, 2007, is a equipment leasing and management company, operating primarily in the international intermodal marine cargo container leasing business. The Company also owns a fleet of railcars, which it leases in North America. The Company operates in two segments: equipment leasing and equipment management. The equipment leasing segment specializes primarily in the ownership and leasing of intermodal containers, while the equipment management segment manages equipment for third-party investors. The Company leases its equipment principally to international container shipping lines located throughout the world. The Company sells equipment primarily to third-party investor groups and provides management services to those investors in return for a management fee.

The equipment leasing segment derives its revenue primarily from the ownership and leasing of containers to container shipping lines and freight forwarders. The equipment management segment derives its revenue from management fees earned from portfolios of equipment and associated leases which are managed on behalf of third-party investors. As of March 31, 2013, our fleet consisted of 1,091,117 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers and 1,453 railcars.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By CRWE]

    CAI International, Inc. (NYSE:CAP), a leading lessor of intermodal container, reported that its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Timothy Page, is scheduled to present at the Dahlman Rose Global Transportation Conference in New York on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. ET.

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    SAP AG (SAP) climbed 1.2 percent to 57.36 euros and Cap Gemini SA (CAP) gained 1.8 percent to 39.95 euros as peer Infosys Ltd. surged the most in six months in Mumbai trading after first-quarter profit rose and the company�� sales forecast in dollar terms beat analyst estimates.

  • [By Joseph Hogue]

    Because of management's missteps, the company is one of the most hated in the space. Investors have borrowed and sold short 2.3 million shares, amounting to almost 11% of the shares available for trading. That compares with short interest of just 3.9% in closest peer CAI International (NYSE: CAP).

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Rhino Resource Partners LP(RNO)

Rhino Resource Partners LP produces, processes, and sells coal of various steam and metallurgical grades in the United States. The company holds interests in various surface and underground coal mines located in Central Appalachia, Northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western Bituminous region. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 10 mines, including 5 underground and 5 surface mines located in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The company markets its steam coal primarily to electric utility companies as fuel for their steam-powered generators; and metallurgical coal for steel and coke producers. It also engages in mining limestone from reserves located at its Sands Hill mining complex and sells it as aggregate to various construction companies and road builders. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    Investors are regaining confidence, squeezing pessimists who say the economy remains sluggish outside of Germany and point to record-low trading volume as a lack of conviction in the Euro Stoxx�� 61 percent rally of the past two years. Besides gains in stocks from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA to Renault SA (RNO), yields on Spanish and Italian bonds have declined to a two-year low compared with German bunds and the euro has strengthened 4.6 percent to $1.35 in the past six months.

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    Peugeot gained 3.7 percent to 10.61 euros after two people familiar with the matter said CEO Philippe Varin plans to step down next year and hire former Renault SA (RNO) Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares as his replacement. Pierre-Olivier Salmon, a Peugeot spokesman, declined to comment. Europe�� second-largest carmaker is also likely to benefit from the Iran accord. Peugeot sold 458,000 vehicles in Iran in 2011, before the trade sanctions, making it the company�� second-biggest market after France.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category ��atural Resources – Coal,��although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).

  • [By Dorothee Tschampa]

    Volkswagen AG (VOW) (VOW), PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Renault SA (RNO) (RNO), Europe�� three largest carmakers, all dropped 5 percent or more after preliminary data showed Chinese manufacturing is unexpectedly contracting.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: United Parcel Service Inc.(UPS)

United Parcel Service, Inc., a package delivery company, provides transportation, logistics, and financial services in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: U.S. Domestic Package, International Package, and Supply Chain & Freight. The U.S. Domestic Package segment engages in the time-definite delivery of letters, documents, and packages in the United States. The International Package segment offers air and ground delivery of small packages and letters to approximately 220 countries and territories, including shipments outside the United States, as well as shipments with either origin or distribution outside the United States; export services; and domestic services move shipments within a country?s borders. The Supply Chain & Freight segment provides forwarding and logistics services, such as supply chain design and management, freight distribution, customs brokerage, mail, and consulting services in approximately 195 countries and territorie s; and less-than-truckload and truckload services to customers in North America. In addition, the company offers various technology solutions for automated shipping, visibility, and billing; information technology systems and distribution facilities to various industries comprising healthcare, technology, and consumer/retail; and a portfolio of financial services that provides customers with short-term working capital, government guaranteed lending, global trade financing, credit cards, and export financing. It operates a fleet of approximately 99,800 package cars, vans, tractors, and motorcycles; an air fleet of 527 aircraft; and 33,800 containers used to transport cargo in its aircraft. The company was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By tyokunbo]

    Competition The express package and freight sectors are very competitive. The ability to compete effectively depends on a company�� rivals. FedEx faces competition principally from United Parcel Service (UPS) and Amazon (AMZN). Many of FedEx�� other rivals in the international market are government-controlled companies. Despite the tough competition, FedEx has a competitive advantage. It is expanding its solutions for customers through a more efficient business model.

  • [By John Kell and Tess Stynes var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); p]

    United Parcel Services Inc.(UPS) plans to increase general rates by 4.4% at the end of March, a move that comes after rival FedEx Corp.(FDX) also said it would raise its shipping rates.

Top 10 Transportation Stocks For 2014: Snam SpA (SRG)

Snam SpA is an Italy-based company engaged in the management of natural gas services. The Company is diversified into four operating segments. The Transportation segment covers transportation-related gas services, including capacity management and transportation of the gas at the entry points of the gas network to the redelivery points. It owns transportation infrastructures of gas pipelines. The Regasification segment is focused on extraction activities of natural gas, its liquefaction for transport by ship and subsequent regasification. The Storage segment covers deposits, gas treatment plants, compression plants and the operational dispatching system. The Distribution segment engages gas distribution through local transportation networks from delivery points at the metering and reduction stations to the gas distribution network redelivery points at the end customers. Additionally, Snam SpA as the parent company, focuses on planning, management, coordination and control of the group. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    Snam SpA (SRG) dropped the most in almost a year as Eni SpA sold an 11.7 percent stake in the owner of Italy�� biggest natural-gas network. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc tumbled the most in more than 14 months. Experian Plc jumped to a record after the world�� largest credit-checking company raised its dividend and announced a share buyback.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Devon Energy Turnaround Spared by Activists

Updated from 3:40 p.m. ET to include Third Avenue Management comments and closing share prices.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It took Devon Energy (DVN) about a decade to grow from a bit player into the biggest independent energy producer in the United States. Now, it may take nearly as long for the driller to prove it can dismantle that sprawling empire.

Devon's woes are similar to those of Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), and Hess (HES) who over-expanded during the 2000's and found themselves short on cash in the years after the financial crisis. Unlike its competitors, Devon hasn't faced the pressure of an activist investor as it restructures. That speaks to the change underway at Devon and, possibly, the scale of the company's issues.

Devon sold its Gulf of Mexico assets to BP (BP) and Apache (APA) for a total of $8.3 billion in 2010, exceeding the company's initial guidance to shareholders. Devon also impressed in February when it sold some of its businesses in Canada for about $2.8 billion, consolidating the company's international footprint to the Alberta oil sands and the Horn River.

This March, Devon completed a merger of its midstream business with Crosstex Energy. The combined company was then spun into general partner and master limited partnership securities, respectively - EnLink Midstream LLC (ENLC) and EnLink Midstream LP (ENLK) -- that will be controlled by Devon. Generally, Devon has exceeded expectations on its sale and spinoff of non-core business lines. "We believe this will help unlock value for the company and highlight the value of these assets," Third Avenue Management, a Devon shareholder wrote in October of the spinoff. Devon contributed its midstream assets to the spinoff entities at a valuation of eleven times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), nearly double the company's value of six times EBITDA at the time, Third Avenue added. Third Avenue Management is among Devon's top-20 shareholders, according to Bloomberg data as of Dec. 31, 2013, and stands out as one of just a few hedge fund investors in the company.

A Push Onshore To replace those divested businesses, Devon has redoubled its commitment to onshore projects in North America. After acquiring GeoSouthern Energy's assets in the Eagle Ford shale for $6 billion last year, Devon's core assets will consist of the Permian Basin, the Eagle Ford, Alberta oil sands and other onshore assets such as the Mississippi Lime. Perhaps the restructuring is complete. Devon may now be in a position to grow its oil production significantly and plug cash flow deficits that have stretched into the billions since 2010, according to Goldman Sachs. In that time span, Devon shares have underperformed the SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index by about 25% when factoring in dividends.

Devon shares have gained 3.3% year-to-date, closing Monday trading at $63.91. Goldman now forecasts Devon to grow its oil production by 50% to 330,000 barrels per day by 2016. That rising oil production could help Devon mitigate its exposure to oversupplied natural gas markets and finance any continued cost overruns.

Weak drilling results in the Utica Shale, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and the Cline Shale, however, raise concern about Devon's execution. Goldman analyst Brian Singer initiated Devon with a 'neutral' rating on March 18. The analyst said Devon is valued at a lower-multiple than restructuring industry peers; however, there is greater investor unease about the company's ability to meet capex guidance and execute on its drilling program. If Devon succeeds in unwinding a mistimed expansion completed by former chief executive and current chairman Larry Nichols, it will be a rare energy industry turnaround orchestrated without the hand of an activist investor.

Three years of restructuring may also be the foundation from which an activist may emerge. -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

Stock quotes in this article: DVN, CHK 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Good News for JC Penney, Bad News for Bed Bath & Beyond

JC Penney’s (JCP) stock has been undergoing something of a renaissance during the past month. Bed Bath & Beyond’s (BBBY) has been standing still. Could the two be related?


Shares of JC Penney have surged 42% higher during the past month of trading, while Bed Bath & Beyond has gained 3.7%. Credit Suisse analysts Gary Balter and Andrew Kinder explain why Bed Bath & Beyond’s future is tied to JC Penney:

From 2007 through 2012, JC Penney, once one of the biggest home retailers, lost over $2.6 billion in home furnishing sales, including an amazing 40% drop in 2012 alone. We believe that one of the top beneficiaries of]JC Penney’s] largesse was Bed Bath and Beyond, which grew its home furnishing sales from 2007 through 2012 by $3.9 billion. We estimate [Bed Bath and Beyond's] share of the segment rose from 5.6% to 9.3% during that period.

The U.S. housing recovery still has legs and should also be sustained by a pickup in household formation as employment figures improve [Bed Bath and Beyond's] efforts to upgrade its website, invest in distribution, and improve service have been paying off with comps relatively solid the last few quarters. With [JC Penney] planning to relaunch its home area and
Internet retailers continuing to grow faster than the industry, the question is whether [Bed Bath and Beyond] will be able to continue to execute with most of the low-hanging fruit now gone. We continue to rate [Bed Bath and Beyond] Neutral.

Shares of JC Penney have ticked up 0.2% to $8.73, while Bed Bath & Beyond is up 0.1% st $68.38.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Can Tesla Be A Growth Driver For Qualcomm?

Top 10 Undervalued Companies For 2014

Tesla Motors (TSLA) got all the love that it deserved for coming out with something that is indeed ahead of competition - the Model S luxury sedan. Elon Musk took a bold step to start an EV company, kept it ticking with help from almost half a billion in Energy Department loans, and has made the company a profitable luxury electric automaker. The Model S earned the highest ratings from Motor Trend and Consumer Reports.

While bulls and bears are fighting it out on the Street, there are some hurdles that surely need to be overcome and the biggest of them is "range anxiety," or in simple words, the distance that one can cover in a Model S.

To take care of "range anxiety," Tesla has plans in place for supercharger stations. Once this network is in place, Tesla owners can drive from coast to coast with a "pit stop" of 30 minutes for every three hours of drive. By the end of 2014, most of the metro areas in the U.S. and Canada are planned to be covered by this network.

Tesla intends to install a network that would allow a Model S to travel from Los Angeles to New York, Boston to Miami and Vancouver, British Columbia, to Phoenix, Arizona. The company has plans to cover 80% of U.S. residents by the supercharger network by the end of 2014.

Also, as Tesla moves into new markets such as Europe and China and diversifies its line up with the Model X SUV and the $35,000 Gen 3 car, it could perform even better. Also, expansion into more markets means more supercharging stations.

So, Tesla will be busy building its supercharging network in the future. But, another company, which is usually not associated with cars, has also been making some moves to benefit from the growth of Tesla.

Enter Qualcomm

Qualcomm (QCOM) needs no introduction as it is the leading chip supplier for smartphone and tablets. It can be aptly called the "Intel of mobile." It supplies chips to all leading smartphone vendors across the globe and has been doing pretty well by outpacing competitors in that segment through its innovations. Besides, it also possesses a number of patents, which can help it generate revenue through patent licensing.

But is Qualcomm happy being just the Intel of mobile? Personally, I don't think so, and I would be looking at a reason why Qualcomm's future is more than just mobile.

After seeing the woes of Intel, which was heavily dependent on the PC market, Qualcomm is probably feeling the need to diversify.

As such, two years ago, the wireless giant forayed into the electric vehicle market. It acquired the assets of a company from New Zealand, known as HaloIPT, which had developed a wireless electric car charging technology.

Qualcomm doesn't manufacture any EV. That's something Tesla and others do. However, a press release issued last year is worth noting:

"Qualcomm Incorporated today announced a multi-year agreement with Formula E Holdings (FEH) to become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship, the new international championship featuring racing cars powered exclusively by electric energy. The agreement will allow Qualcomm and FEH to showcase mobile and Electronic Vehicle technologies globally through an exhilarating sport and demonstrate how current and future generations all over the world can benefit from wireless, sustainable technology on- and-off the track."

"As a leader in the mobile space, Qualcomm will advise FEH in their quest to incorporate new and more sustainable technologies into the racing series. As a start, Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology will be adapted to be fitted into the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship safety cars so they can be wirelessly charged. The wireless charging system will be made available to the race cars from season two."

This suggests that Qualcomm is definitely looking at the EV wireless charging market and perhaps was also driven into this decision on back of President Obama's plan of 1 million EVs by the end of 2015 in the U.S.

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has already started offering $3,000 wireless chargers for Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt owners. So Qualcomm is definitely not going to be happy just being a player in the mobile computing space. There's a new opportunity brewing in the EV market and that is plugless charging and it looks like Qualcomm is looking to benefit from it.

That's why Qualcomm is aggressively moving into this market and it entered into yet another agreement with Drayson Racing Technologies last year. Qualcomm will provide its wireless electric vehicle charging technology to Drayson Racing, which will then manufacture related products for sale to customers in the motorsport and automotive sectors.

Qualcomm's Halo WEVC technology is designed to enable wireless charging of electric vehicles through a pad in the parking space. It is a technology that is expected to dramatically improve EV infrastructure and uptake. The company is also developing cutting-edge dynamic wireless charge-on-the-move systems as well.


So it is quite evident that Qualcomm is not just a mobile player. The company's moves into wireless EV charging look good and a tie up with Tesla in the future shouldn't be ruled out either. Considering Qualcomm's diversification moves and its foray into EV charging, the company should be able to perform well in the future.

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Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote)

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TSLA STOCK PRICE CHART 228.89 (1y: +510%) $(function(){var seriesOptions=[],yAxisOptions=[],name='TSLA',display='';Highcharts.setOptions({global:{useUTC:true}});var d=new Date();$current_day=d.getDay();if($current_day==5||$current_day==0||$current_day==6){day=4;}else{day=7;} seriesOptions[0]={id:name,animation:false,color:'#4572A7',lineWidth:1,name:name.toUpperCase()+' stock price',threshold:null,data:[[1364187600000,37.53],[1364274000000,37.86],[1364360400000,38.16],[1364446800000,37.89],[1364792400000,43.93],[1364878800000,44.34],[1364965200000,41.1],[1365051600000,42.01],[1365138000000,41.37],[1365397200000,41.83],[1365483600000,40.5],[1365570000000,41.86],[1365656400000,43.59],[1365742800000,43.75],[1366002000000,43.3],[1366088400000,45.59],[1366174800000,45.45],[1366261200000,46.97],[1366347600000,47.83],[1366606800000,50.19],[1366693200000,51.01],[1366779600000,50.43],[1366866000000,52],[1366952400000,51.2],[1367211600000,54.94],[1367298000000,53.99],[1367384400000,53.28],[1367470800000,54.11],[1367557200000,54.55],[1367816400000,59.5],[1367902800000,55.51],[1367989200000,55.787],[1368075600000,69.4],[1368162000000,76.764],[1368421200000,87.8],[1368507600000,83.24],[1368594000000,84.842],[1368680400000,92.248],[1368766800000,91.5],[1369026000000,89.94],[1369112400000,87.59],[1369198800000,87.24],[1369285200000,92.73],[1369371600000,97.08],[1369717200000,110.334],[1369803600000,104.629],[1369890000000,104.95],[1369976400000,97.76],[1370235600000,92.59],[1370322000000,94.84],[1370408400000,95.37],[1370494800000,97.35],[1370581200000,102.04],[1370840400000,100.05],[1370926800000,94.47],[1371013200000,97.73],[1371099600000,98.18],[1371186000000,100.3],[1371445200000,102.2],[1371531600000,103.39],[1371618000000,104.68],[1371704400000,100.65],[1371790800000,99.55],[1372050000000,101.49],[1372136400000,102.4],[1372222800000,105.72],[1372309200000,109.25],[1372395600000,107.36],[1372654800000,117.179],[1372741200000,117.82],[1372827600000,115.24],[1373000400000,120.09],[1373259600000,121.61],[1373346000000,123.45],[1373432400000,122.27],[1373518800000,125.61],[1373605200000,129.9],[1373864400000,127.26],[1373950800000,109.05],[1374037200000,120.25],[1374123600000,119.03],[1374210000000,119.68],[1374469200000,122.43],[1374555600000,122.74],[1374642000000,121.7],[1374728400000,1! 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Friday, March 21, 2014

Inflation remains tame despite jump in food costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper energy kept U.S. consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The consumer price index rose 0.1% in February, matching January's increase, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.1%, down from 1.6% in January and the smallest yearly gain in five months.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1% last month and 1.6% in the past year.

Energy prices fell 0.5% because lower gasoline and electricity costs offset higher prices for natural gas and heating oil. Clothes and used cars were also cheaper last month.

Still, consumers took a hit at the grocery store as food costs rose 0.4%, the most in nearly 2 ½ years. Beef prices jumped 4% in February, the most in more than 10 years, as recent droughts have pushed up cattle feed prices. Milk, cheese and other dairy prices also rose.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014

The big drop in the annual inflation rate to 1.1% comes as the Federal Reserve starts a two-day policy meeting, its first under new chair Janet Yellen. Low inflation has enabled the Federal Reserve to pursue extraordinary stimulus programs in an effort to boost economic growth.

The Fed is now trying to unwind some of that stimulus. It is purchasing $65 billion in bonds this month, down from $75 billion in January and $85 billion last year. The bond purchases are aimed at lowering long-term interest rates to encourage more borrowing and spending.

Fed policymakers are expected to announce another $10 billion cut Wednesday.

The slowdown in the annual inflation rate occurred partly because energy prices spiked in February 2013, and that figure has now fallen out of the year-over-year calculation. As a result, economists don't think the rate will fall much further.

Inflation has been held b! ack by sluggish growth and a tough job market, which makes it harder for retailers and other businesses to raise prices.

While shoppers may prefer lower prices, economists warn that super-low inflation can slow economic growth. It encourages consumers to postpone purchases and can also make inflation-adjusted interest rates higher, potentially discouraging borrowing.

Hot Gold Companies To Watch For 2014

Hot Gold Companies To Watch For 2014: Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited(AEM)

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties in Canada, Finland, and Mexico. The company primarily explores for gold, as well as silver, copper, zinc, and lead. Its flagship property includes the LaRonde mine located in the southern portion of the Abitibi volcanic belt, Canada. The company was founded in 1953 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Gold miners are getting a boost today from solid earnings from the likes of Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM). The exception: Kinross Gold (KGC), which missed earnings forecasts and cut its reserves.

  • [By Charley Blaine]

    Gold mining stocks are pretty much a disaster. Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) is down 50 percent in 2013. Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) is off 51 percent. The NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index is down 56 percent.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe] e, has cash costs of $912 per ounce, and Agnico Eagle's costs do not even reach the $700 per ounce mark. Hence, it comes as little surprise that revenue has been decreasing steadily, since gold prices are hovering around the $1300 mark at best. As the company is hemorrhaging money, investment gurus the like of John Burbank and Seth Klarman have decided to sell their entire stake in the firm. I agree with this bearish stance, and recommend investors stay away from Kinross Gold.

    Any Long Term Investment?

    If you were to follow Jean-Marie Eveillard's purchases, one would be inclined to see good growth prospects for Agnico Eagle, and thus believe in this stock's potential. And, you wouldn't be wrong, as the firm has been growing at a steady pace, with no end in sight to its expansion possibilities. However, with a 171% ! price premium, investors might be better off waiting until a more favorable entry-point is available. Nevertheless, as a long-term investment, I feel highly optimistic and would thus even consider paying the additional cost.

    Disclosure: Patricio Kehoe holds no position in any stocks mentioned.

    Also check out: Jean-Marie Eveillard Undervalued Stocks Jean-Marie Eveillard Top Growth Companies Jean-Marie Eveillard High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Jean-Marie Eveillard keeps buying John Burbank Undervalued Stocks John Burbank Top Growth Companies John Burbank High Yield stocks, and Stocks that John Burbank keeps buying
    The Strategy of Ben Graham – Warren Buffett's Mentor From 1923 to 1957 Warren Buffett's mentor, Ben Graham, followed a strategy of investing in net-nets. He said: "It always seemed, and still seems ridiculously simple to say that if one can acquire a diversified group of common stocks at a price less than current assets alone…the results should be quite satisfactory. They were so in our experience, for more than 30 years."
    Today net-nets are rare. They are collected under Gu

  • [By Sally Jones]

    The once-troubled Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) is hitting a new record for gold production in the third quarter at 315,828 ounces, according to the Financial Post, and the company's executives are buying. Here's a third quarter company update and a look at billionaire stakeholders of AEM, a stock that spiked 23.66% over the past five days.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ukrainian Crisis Spooks Global Asset Allocators

Growing tension in Ukraine and the prospect of widespread geopolitical instability have unnerved global investors, moving them toward a “risk-off” stance, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch found in its March Fund Manager Survey.

Eighty-one percent of investors saw geopolitical risk posing a threat to financial markets stability, more than four times the reading one month ago. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said a geopolitical crisis was the biggest tail risk, up from 12% in February.

At the same time, global asset allocators continued to express concern about prospects for emerging markets, with sentiment toward China’s economy falling further.

BofA Merrill Lynch Research with help from TNS, a market research outfit, surveyed 241 fund managers with $636 billion of assets under management from March 7 to March 13.

Fourteen percent of fund managers surveyed were taking lower-than-average risk in March, up from 2% in February. Sixteen percent said they were overweight cash, up from 12% last month. Average cash balances remained high at 4.8% of portfolios.

The proportion of asset allocators that were overweight equities dropped by nine percentage points month-on-month to 36%. Demand for protection against sharp falls in equity markets increased to its highest level in 22 months, the report said.

The survey found investors less confident in a vibrant recovery in corporate profit growth. Forty percent of respondents believed that global profits would improve in the coming 12 months, down from 45% in February.

Twelve percent said it was unlikely corporate profits would rise by 10% or more in the year ahead, up from 4% of respondents taking that view in February.

Best Low Price Stocks To Invest In Right Now

At the same time, investor demand for companies to borrow and invest eased since February. Thirty-four percent of respondents said corporate balance sheets were underleveraged, down from 40% last month. Sixty-three percent believed that companies were underinvesting, down from March’s high of 67%.

Last month’s sectoral allocations reinforced a defensive mindset, with a big drop in allocations toward banks and a rise in ones to energy companies and utilities.

Hedge fund managers reduced both leverage and exposure to equities, illustrating the risk-off mentality taking shape in the March survey. The weighted average ratio of gross assets to capital fell to 1.34 times from 1.49 times, the lowest in 20 months. Thirty-one percent of hedge funds had a leverage ratio of less than one time, compared with 19% in January.

Weighted net exposure to equities fell to 29%, the lowest since June 2012.

Investor sentiment toward global emerging markets was bottoming out in March and improvement was in sight, according to the survey. Although the view toward China deteriorated further, investors saw scope to return to the region.

Forty-seven percent of regional fund managers in Japan, Asia-Pacific and global emerging markets expected China’s economy to weaken in the coming year, up from 41% a month ago.

The proportion of global asset allocators that were underweight emerging market equities rose by two percentage points to 31%, a record.

On the brighter side, investors said they saw value in the region. A record 49% of the global respondents believed that emerging markets were the most undervalued of the regions, compared with 36% in January.

Further, the proportion saying that emerging markets was the area they would most like to underweight in the coming year fell by three percentage points to 21%.


SEC, FINRA to Hold Joint Regional BD Compliance Seminars

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced Tuesday the opening of registration for the regional compliance outreach programs for broker-dealers beginning in the spring that will take place in Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and New York.

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, in coordination with the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, is partnering with FINRA to sponsor the programs, which will start in April in Denver and Los Angeles. The other outreach programs in Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and New York will take place in June.

“These regional programs supplement our national compliance outreach program for broker-dealers by allowing critical regional interaction between staff from the SEC and FINRA and personnel from registered broker-dealer firms operating in the region,” said Kevin Goodman, national associate director of the SEC’s broker-dealer examination program, in a statement. “This local collaboration is an important aspect of our overall outreach efforts.”

FINRA senior vice president for member relations and education Chip Jones added in the statement that FINRA “views these programs as unique learning opportunities because they provide compliance professionals across the country with the opportunity to interact with FINRA and SEC staff. These outreach programs also provide us with an opportunity to listen to the firms regarding their day-to-day compliance initiatives.”

Andrew Bowden, director of the SEC’s National Examination Program, added that the compliance outreach program “is an important part of the commission’s and FINRA’s initiative to share information with the industry about observed deficiencies and control weaknesses and to assist firms in assessing and enhancing their compliance.”

There is no cost to attend the regional programs. Registration is open to all risk, audit, legal and compliance professionals employed by broker-dealers.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now

Top Blue Chip Stocks To Buy Right Now: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Steven Russolillo]

    Gap Inc.(GPS), McDonald's Corp.(MCD) and General Motors Co.(GM) were among other companies that cited the weather as a factor in their results and projections. Companies in the energy, consumer-discretionary and industrial sectors mentioned the weather the most on their calls, FactSet data show.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number CINF is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 36.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $34.96. CINF did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% CINF earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a res! ult of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1954 and has increased its dividend payments for 54 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $62 is below the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as CINF has. If CINF grows its dividend at 1.2% per year, it will take 5 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: CINF is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Divid

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Energy stocks, well, I don't see oil moving up a whole lot. It doesn't look like it is going to be necessarily a bad time for energy stocks because oil is going to be dropping, but I don't see a whole lot of energy in the sector. But the real problem, I think, is consumer stocks. These are kind of like the safe stocks that people go to when they want to be in the market but they're a little worried about the market. You know the stocks I mean, McDonald's (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP), the companies that have theoretically steadily growing earnings. The problem is we've had a lot of bad news from those stocks in the fourth quarter and in, sort of, month-to-month figures from companies like McDonald's for January and February that we're not seeing much in the way of growth. Two problems there, one of which is sort of general, which is that we're not seeing a whole lot of increases in growth, sort of acceleration in the growth rate in emerging m! ark ets.! In fact, we have seen a deceleration, and that has had an effect on companies like McDonald's. The other is that we're battling some individual, or sector trends, so that McDonald's, for example, is fighting against a lot more competition, in the sense that, for some percentage of the market, they are really not very exciting anymore as destination restaurants. For Coke and Pepsi, we're dealing with the fact that cola drinks and sweetened fizzy drinks, in general, are sort of losing market share, again, losing some pizzazz. If you look at all of these sectors and say, "Okay, so what's going to drive the market higher from here," a lot of the sectors that were doing the job in January, and the first half of February, seem to have run out of gas, and that may leave us with very little, other than technology, and it's hard to see technology being sufficient in and of itself to drive the market from here and that is what I 'd look for in the week ahead, what's our leaders

  • source from Top Stocks Blog: