Friday, May 31, 2013

When Do You Sell Your Big Winners?

In the following video, Fool contributor Matt Thalman discusses a few questions every investor should ask after one of his or her holdings doubles, triples, or increases even more than that in value. Matt feels the five most important questions are: what will the tax implications on the holding be, what's your portfolio allocation, how risky is the holding, what's your investing time frame, and what was your initial investing thesis and is it still good?

The tumultuous performance of Netflix shares since the summer of 2011 has caused headaches for many devoted shareholders. While the company's first-mover status is often viewed as a competitive advantage, the opportunities in streaming media have brought some new, deep-pocketed rivals looking for their piece of a growing pie. Can Netflix fend off this burgeoning competition, and will its international growth aspirations really pay off? These are must-know issues for investors, which is why The Motley Fool has released a premium report on Netflix. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. The report includes a full year of updates to cover critical new developments, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.

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More Expert Advice from The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Top Defense Stocks To Invest In Right Now

The Department of Defense awarded a total of 16 contracts to its favored contracts Tuesday, worth a combined $2.7 billion. One award, however, stood out from the pack both for its sheer size and the unusual identity of the recipient: Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII  ) , a company better known for its snowmobiles and ATVs than for its military hardware.

Specifically, the Pentagon awarded Polaris' specialized Polaris Defense subsidiary a $382.5 million maximum value, fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract. This contract is stated to be for the purchase of "fire and emergency vehicles" for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies, and has a May 17, 2018, performance completion date.

This is a sizable award for the specialist in small, off-road vehicles. The contract amounts to more than 11.5% of the sales revenue Polaris generates in an ordinary year -- and even spread over five years, as the contract terms specify, the contract should ensure more than 2% of Polaris' revenue stream for each year it's in effect.

Top Defense Stocks To Invest In Right Now: United Technologies Corporation(UTX)

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company?s Otis segment designs, manufactures, sells, and installs passenger and freight elevators, escalators, and moving walkways, as well as provides maintenance and repair services. Its Carrier segment offers heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems, controls, services, and energy-efficient products for residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation applications. The company?s UTC Fire and Security segment provides electronic security products comprising intruder alarms, and access control and video surveillance systems; fire safety products, such as specialty hazard detection and fixed suppression products, fire extinguishers, fire detection and life safety systems, and other firefighting equipment; systems integration, video surveillance, installation, maintenance, and inspection services; and mon itoring, response, and security personnel services. Its Pratt and Whitney segment supplies aircraft engines for the commercial, military, business jet, and general aviation markets; industrial gas turbines; geo thermal power systems; and space propulsion systems, as well as provides fleet management, maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. The company?s Hamilton Sundstrand segment supplies aerospace products, such as power generation, management and distribution, flight control, engine control, environmental control, auxiliary power units, and propeller systems; and industrial products, including air compressors, metering pumps, and fluid handling equipment under the Sullair, Sundyne, and Milton Roy names. Its Sikorsky segment manufactures military and commercial helicopters, as well as offers aftermarket helicopter and aircraft parts and services. United Technologies Corporation was founded in 1934 and is based in Hartford, Connecticut.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jim Cramer]

    Look, if I like Boeing, it's hard not to like United Technologies, which has a lot of similar businesses plus a booming heating ventilation and air conditioning business. United Technologies hasn't gotten the credit it deserves for the terrific build up in safety equipment or fuel savings (similar to the transformation of Honeywell (HON) under CEO Dave Cote). In 2011, that will be rectified. Even if you kept the multiple the same you should get to at least $90. I think the multiple goes a tad higher and I am using a $95 target.

  • [By Dave Friedman]

    The shares closed at $73.54, up $1.09, or 1.5%, on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $64.57 to $91.83. Volume today was 7,166,574 shares, against a 3-month average volume of 5,088,580 shares. Its market capitalization is $66.83billion, its trailing P/E is 14.24, its trailing earnings are $5.16 per share, and it pays a dividend of $1.92 per share, for a dividend yield of 2.70%. About the company: United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and support services to customers in the aerospace and building industries worldwide. The Company’s products include aircraft engines, elevators and escalators, heating and air conditioning equipment, helicopters, aerospace systems, fuel cell systems, and fire and safety equipment.

Top Defense Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Lockheed Martin Corporation(LMT)

Lockheed Martin Corporation engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, operation, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products in the areas of defense, space, intelligence, homeland security, and government information technology in the United States and internationally. It also provides management, engineering, technical, scientific, logistic, and information services. The company operates in four segments: Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Information Systems & Global Services (IS&GS), and Space Systems. The Aeronautics segment offers military aircraft, including combat and air mobility aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and related technologies. Its products and programs comprise the F-35 multi-role, stealth fighter; the F-22 air dominance and multi-mission stealth fighter; the F-16 multi-role fighter; the C-130J tactical transport aircraft; and the C-5M strategic airlifter modernization program; and support for the P-3 maritime patrol aircraft, and the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The Electronic Systems segment provides air and missile defense; tactical missiles; weapon fire control systems; surface ship and submarine combat systems; anti-submarine and undersea warfare systems; land, sea-based, and airborne radars; surveillance and reconnaissance systems; simulation and training systems; and integrated logistics and sustainment services. The IS&GS segment offers information technology solutions and advanced technology primarily in the areas of software and systems integration for space, air, and ground systems to various defense and civil government agencies. The Space Systems segment provides government and commercial satellites; strategic and defensive missile systems, including missile defense technologies and systems, and fleet ballistic missiles; and space transportation systems. Lockheed Martin Corporation was founded in 1909 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is America’s premiere aerospace and defense company, and consistently ranks at or near No. 1 in the list of U.S. federal contractors.

    Current Yield: 3.9% ($3 a share annually)

    Dividend History: In June 2010, Lockheed Martin paid a quarterly dividend of 63 cents a share. This July, it will pay 75 cents, or a 19% increase.

    Dividend Outlook: According to Bloomberg, the three-year expected dividend growth rate of Lockheed is a stunning is 15%.

    Recent Performance: Though flat over the past 12 months, as the crisis in Libya has brought defense spending into focus, LMT shares have rallied 14% in 2011, despite talk of federal spending cuts.

    Outlook for Shares: Lockheed has proven it is a necessary player in the U.S. defense budget, and even if that budget sees some reductions, you can bet that Lockheed will still benefit. For instance, it is currently working on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars, which will be delivered at the latter part of this decade. Lockheed has the reputation and resources to thrive even if leaner spending lies ahead.

Top Telecom Companies To Watch For 2014: Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc.(SPR)

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs and manufactures commercial aerostructures worldwide. It operates in three segments: Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems, and Wing Systems. The Fuselage Systems segment develops, produces, and markets forward, mid, and rear fuselage sections and systems primarily to aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as well as offers related spares, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. This segment also offers rotorcraft comprising forward cockpit and cabin for military aircrafts. The Propulsion Systems segment engages in the development, production, and marketing of struts/pylons; nacelles, including thrust reversers; and related engine structural components primarily to aircraft or engine OEMs, as well as provides related spares and MRO services. The Wing Systems segment develops, produces, and markets wings and wing components comprising flight control surfaces and other miscellaneous structural parts primarily to aircraft OEMs, as well as offers related spares and MRO services. This segment is also involved in designing, engineering, and manufacturing structural components for military aircrafts, including low observables that are radar absorbent and translucent materials; and radome new builds and refurbishment. It also provides other military services, such as fabrication, bonding, assembly, testing, tooling, processing, engineering analysis, and training. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. serves large commercial airplanes, business and regional jets, and military/helicopter sectors of the aerostructures industry. The company was formerly known as Mid-Western Aircraft Systems Holdings, Inc. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.

Top Defense Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK)

Alliant Techsystems Inc. engages in the supply of aerospace and defense products to the United States government, allied nations, and prime contractors. The company also supplies ammunition and related accessories to law enforcement agencies and commercial customers. Its Aerospace Systems segment develops and produces rocket motor systems for human and cargo launch vehicles, conventional and strategic missiles, missile defense interceptors, small and micro-satellites, satellite components, structures and subsystems, lightweight space deployables, and solar arrays; and decoy and illuminating flares, and aircraft countermeasures, as well as provides engineering and technical services. Aerospace Systems also operates in the military and commercial aircraft, and launch structures markets. The company?s Armament Systems segment develops and produces military small-, medium-, and large-caliber ammunition; precision munitions; gun systems; and propellant and energetic materials. It also operates the U.S. Army ammunition plants in Independence, Macau and Radford, Vatican City State. Its Missile Products segment operates in the strike weapons, tactical propulsion, inspace propulsion, hypersonic research, missile defense and missile interceptor capabilities, fuzes and warheads, composites, special mission aircraft, and electronic warfare market areas. The company?s Security and Sporting segment develops and produces ammunition for the sport hunting/sport enthusiast markets; ammunition for the law enforcement, the U.S. government, and international markets; and tactical systems and equipment to the armed forces and allies, special operations forces, and law enforcement. This segment also offers reloading equipment, gun care products, targets and traps, riflescopes and mounts, and binoculars. The company operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, and internationally. Alliant Techsystems Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minne sota.

J.C. Penney Stock: Falling Knife or Screaming Value?

Source: J.C. Penney.

J.C. Penney  (NYSE: JCP  )  stock fell by about 3% last Friday after the struggling retailer reported earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations.

However, while the shares currently sit nearly 50% below their levels this time five years ago, they have risen more than 24% over the past month.

So is J.C. Penney stock a falling knife, or a screaming value?

The numbers
For the quarter, J.C. Penney posted a staggering net loss of $348 million, or $1.58 per share. When you exclude $72 million in expenses -- including $56 million related to the company's restructuring and $16 million from the ouster of CEO Ron Johnson -- its adjusted net loss came to a still-painful $289 million, or $1.31 per share.

Total first-quarter sales fell 16.4% year over year to $2.635 billion, hurt by comparable-store sales, which plummeted a whopping 16.6%. Gross margin continued to decline, this time falling to 30.8% and "negatively impacted by lower-than-expected sales, a higher level of clearance merchandise sales and a return to some promotional activity towards the end of the quarter," according to its earning report.

Operating cash flow worsened as J.C. Penney used $752 million during the quarter, compared to negative operating cash flow of $577 million in the first quarter of 2012. In addition, the company used $196 million in investing activities last quarter, including $214 million in capital expenditures and up from $107 million during the same period last year. 

When all was said and done in March, J.C. Penney's net decrease in cash during the quarter came to $109 million (compared with a $668 million decrease in cash during the same period last year), leaving the company with $821 million in cash and equivalents and $3.826 billion in debt. In addition, remember J.C. Penney managed to buy itself more time by entering into a five-year $1.75 billion loan facility with Goldman Sachs, expected to close during the second quarter.

Could "less bad" actually be good?
In the end, while J.C. Penney stock and its results do look like a veritable train wreck over the past year, there's a silver lining in that they represent an undeniable improvement over J.C. Penney's spectacular failure during the previous quarter.

To management's credit, J.C. Penney did also give the market a heads-up last week, so the first-quarter results weren't all that surprising.

Even so, just a couple of months ago I was willing to entertain the possibility that J.C. Penney might actually still be able to make investors rich. However, that argument hinged on the fact the company was only a year and a half into Ron Johnson's radical four-year turnaround plan. Alas, as I also mentioned last week, the company's board wasn't willing to wait another quarter for the fruits of that plan to materialize, so they fired Johnson to bring in former CEO Mike Ullman.

Unfortunately, Ullman promptly returned to a heavy emphasis on the above-mentioned "promotional activity" in an effort to lure back many of the value-conscious customers Johnson had driven away, even going so far as to apologize for its botched changes in a brutally honest television advertisement.

Meanwhile, as fellow Fool Andrew Marder just pointed out, competitors Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN  ) and Macy's (NYSE: M  ) have remained solidly profitable, and both just posted comparable-store sales increases of 0.8% and 3.8%, respectively. Macy's, for its part, even saw earnings per share rise 28% year over year during its most recent quarter. In addition, both Macy's and Nordstrom sport reasonable price-to-earnings ratios below 17, and they offer solid 2% dividends to keep long-term investors happy.

What's a Fool to do?
Ullman stated in his company's earnings press release, "Our objective is to put J.C. Penney back on a path to profitable growth." Putting aside the fact that I'd be terribly worried if that weren't his objective, Ullman is going to need to show reasonable proof of a sustainable turnaround before I'm willing to come anywhere near J.C. Penney stock.

In the meantime, with shares of J.C Penney up more than 21% over the past month, I'm convinced you'd be much better off putting your investing dollars to work with the competition.

More expert advice from The Motley Fool
J.C. Penney stock cratered under Ron Johnson's leadership, but could new CEO Mike Ullman present the opportunity investors have been waiting for? If you're wondering whether J.C. Penney is a buy today, you're invited to claim a copy of The Motley Fool's must-read report on the company. Learn everything you need to know about Penney's turnaround -- or lack thereof. Simply click here now for instant access.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Best Semiconductor Stocks To Buy For 2014

Japanese shares fell, with the Topix (TPX) Index dropping after posting its biggest monthly advance since 1999, as earnings reports from Alps Electric Co. to Tokyo Electron Ltd. disappointed investors.

Alps Electric, a car audio maker, slumped 8.9 percent and semiconductor manufacturer Tokyo Electron dropped 4.1 percent after forecasting profit that missed analyst estimates. Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, slid 3 percent after reporting a loss six times bigger than its forecast. Tokuyama Corp., a chemicals maker, advanced the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average after forecasting a return to profit.

The Topix lost 0.6 percent to 1,158.37 at the close of trading in Tokyo, with about nine stocks falling for every seven that rose on the 1,711-member gauge. The measure yesterday capped a 13 percent advance for the month, its best gain since March 1999. The Nikkei 225 slid 0.4 percent to 13,799.35 today.

Best Semiconductor Stocks To Buy For 2014: Analog Devices Inc (ADI)

Analog Devices, Inc. (Analog Devices), incorporated on January 18, 1965, is engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of a range of analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits (ICs). The Company produces a range of products, including data converters, amplifiers and linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology and other sensors, and processing products, including DSP and other processors, which are designed to meet the needs of a base of customers. The Company's products are embedded inside many different types of electronic equipment, including industrial process control systems; instrumentation and measurement systems; wireless infrastructure equipment, and aerospace and defense electronics. The Company designs , manufactures and markets a range of ICs, which incorporate analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing technologies. The Company's product portfolio includes both general-purpose products used by a range of customers and applications, as well as application-specific products. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired Multigig, Inc.

Analog Products

The Company's product portfolio includes several thousand analog ICs. The Company's analog IC customers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers who build electronic subsystems for integration into larger systems. The Company is a supplier of data converter products. Data converters translate real-world analog signals into digital data and also translate digital data into analog signals. The Company is also a supplier of amplifiers. Amplifiers are used to condition analog signals. The Company provides precision, instrumentation, intermediate frequency/radio frequency (RF), broadband, and other amplifiers. The Company also offers a range of precision voltage references, which are used in a range of applications. The Company's analog product line also includes a range port! folio of RF ICs covering the RF signal chain, from RF function blocks, such as phase locked loops, frequency synthesizers, mixers, modulators, demodulators, and power detectors, to broadband and short-range single chip transceiver solutions.

The Company's RF ICs support the requirements of cellular infrastructure and a range of applications in the Company's target markets. Also within the Company's analog technology portfolio are products, which are based on MEMS technology. This technology enables the Company to build small sensors, which incorporate an electromechanical structure and the supporting analog circuitry for conditioning signals obtained from the sensing element. The Company's MEMS product portfolio includes accelerometers used to sense acceleration, gyroscopes used to sense rotation, inertial measurement units used to sense multiple degrees of freedom combining multiple sensing types along multiple axis, and MEMS microphones used to sense audio. The Company's current revenue from MEMS products is derived from the automotive end market. In addition to the Company's MEMS products, its other analog product category includes isolators. The Company's isolators have been designed for applications, such as universal serial bus isolation in patient monitors, where it allows hospitals and physicians to adopt the advances in computer technology to supervise patient health and wirelessly transmit medical records. In smart metering applications, the Company's isolators provide electrostatic discharge performance. In satellites, where any malfunction can be catastrophic, the Company's isolators help protect the power system while enabling designers to achieve small form factors. Power management & reference products make up the balance of the Company's analog sales. Those products, which include functions such as power conversion, driver monitoring, sequencing and energy management, are developed to complement analog signal chain components across core market segments from micro power, en! ergy-sens! itive battery applications to power systems in infrastructure and industrial applications.

Digital Signal Processing Products

Digital Signal Processing products (DSPs) complete the Company's product portfolio. DSPs are optimized for numeric calculations, which are essential for instantaneous, or real-time, processing of digital data generated, from analog to digital signal conversion. The Company's DSPs are designed to be fully programmable and to execute specialized software programs, or algorithms, associated with processing digitized real-time, real-world data. Programmable DSPs are designed to provide the flexibility to modify the device's function using software. The Company's DSP IC customers write their own algorithms using software development tools provided by the Company and third-party suppliers. The Company's DSPs are designed in families of products, which share common architectures and therefore can execute the same software across a range of products. The Company's customers use the Company's products to solve a range of signal processing challenges across its core market and segment focus areas within the industrial, automotive, consumer and communications end markets. As an integrated part of the Company's customers' signal chain, there are other Analog Devices products connected to its processors, including converters, audio and video codecs and power management solutions.

The Company competes with Broadcom Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., Cirrus Logic, Inc., Microchip Technology, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Infineon Technologies, ST Microelectronics, Intersil Corporation, Silicon Laboratories, Inc., Knowles Electronics, Texas Instruments, Inc. and Linear Technology Corporation.

Best Semiconductor Stocks To Buy For 2014: Broadcom Corporation(BRCM)

Broadcom Corporation designs and develops semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. It provides a portfolio of system-on-a-chip (SoC) and software solutions for the manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices, which enable the delivery of voice, video, data, and multimedia content to the home, office, and mobile environment. Its broadband communications products include cable modem SoCs; femtocell SoCs; MPEG/AVC/VC-1 encoders and transcoders; xDSL, passive optical network, and cable modem customer premises equipment and central office solutions; powerline networking SoCs; digital cable, direct broadcast satellite, terrestrial, and Internet protocol (IP) set-top box integrated receiver demodulators; high definition television and standard definition TV SoCs; and Blu-ray disc SoCs. The company?s mobile and wireless products comprise Wi-Fi and Bluetooth SoCs, wireless connectivity com bo chips, global positioning system SoCs, multimedia processors, applications processors, power management units, VoIP SoCs, mobile TV SoCs, and near field communications tags. Its infrastructure and networking products include Ethernet copper transceivers, Ethernet controllers and switches, backplane and optical front-end physical layer devices, security processors and adapters, and broadband processors. The company markets and sells its products through direct sales force, distributors, and manufacturers? representatives in the United States, as well as through regional offices, and a network of independent distributors and representatives in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Harding]

    Broadcom Corporation (BRCM) is the best pick for this industry due to its historic success in outperforming its peers, shown by a 15% increase in revenue as opposed to an industry average of 4%. Broadcom’s earnings also grew by a tremendous 16%. Its stock is currently trading at $30.10 and is expected to reach a price target of $45. Revenue is expected to grow by nearly 8%, as compared to a 1% increase in the related industry. Its stocks have traded in a 5 2-week range of $29.17 and $46.89. Broadcom’s market capitalization stands at $16.22 billion and its P/E ratio of 10.6x is expected to remain fairly consistent over the next year. Earnings per share of $2.7 were posted for 2011.

5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: NVIDIA Corp (NVD)

NVIDIA Corporation (NVIDIA), incorporated on February 24, 1998, is engaged in creating the graphics chips used in personal computers (PCs). The Company operates in three segments: graphics processing unit (GPU) Business, professional solutions business (PSB) and consumer products business (CPB). Its mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. Designers use GPUs to create visual effects in movies and create everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. NVIDIA solutions are based on two technologies: the GPU and the mobile processor. GPUs are the engines of visual computing, the science and art of using computers to understand, create and enhance images. It has three GPU product brands: GeForce, which creates visual experiences for gamers; Quadro, which is engaged in visual computing for designers and digital artists, and Tesla, which accelerates applications for scientists and researchers. Tegra is its mobile processor and is built for applications ranging from smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs to televisions and cars. During the fiscal year ended January 29, 2012 (fiscal 2012), it acquired Icera Inc.In fiscal 2012, it launched Project Maximus, which uses the compute power of Tesla with the visualization power of Quadro to merge the design and simulation stages into one workstation. In May 2012, the Company and Intellectual Ventures announced that they jointly acquired a set of patents developed and owned by IPWireless. The portfolio comprises approximately 500 patents granted and pending in the wireless communications area, including concepts in LTE, LTE-Advanced and 3G/4G technologies.

GPU Business

The Company�� GPU business revenue includes primarily sales of its GeForce discrete and chipset products that support desktop and notebook PCs plus license fees from Intel and sales of memory products. It also accelerates video editing and high definition (HD), content creation by consumers. GeForce GPUs power PCs made by or distributed by ! PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in the world. Its media and communications processor (MCP) chipsets primarily comprised of its ION motherboard GPUs, a product reaching the end of its life cycle.

Professional Solutions Business

The Company�� PSB consists of its Quadro professional workstation products and its Tesla computing products. Its Quadro products are designed to deliver the graphics performance and application compatibility for professionals. Tesla applies the processing power of its GPUs to general-purpose computing problems. Quadro products add functionality, such as photorealistic rendering, to computer-aided design workstations, and are used in professional video editing applications and for generating special effects in movies. Tesla is used in supercomputing centers and in oil exploration; other applications include accelerating drug discovery, weather simulations and derivative price modeling.

Consumer Products Business

The Company�� CPB includes its Tegra system-on-chip products for smartphones, tablets, automotive infotainment systems, and other similar devices, and Icera baseband processors. The Tegra revenues are generated by sales in smart phones and tablets. CPB also includes license, royalty, other revenue and associated costs related to video game consoles and other digital consumer electronics devices. NVIDIA Tegra mobile products implement design techniques, both inside the chips and at the system level. These technologies enhance visual display capabilities, connectivity and minimize chip and system-level power consumption. During fiscal 2012, it launched Tegra 3, quad-core mobile computing chip, bringing PC levels of performance within the power envelope of a cellular phone chip. It also launched DirectTouch.

The Company competes with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Intel, Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd., VIA Technologies, Inc., ARM Holdings plc, Broadcom Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., ! Fujitsu L! imited, Imagination Technologies Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., NEC Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., Imagination Technologies Group plc., HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Mediatek, Qualcomm Incorporated, Spreadtrum Communications Co., Ltd and ST-Ericsson.

Best Semiconductor Stocks To Buy For 2014: Intel Corporation(INTC)

Intel Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. It offers microprocessor products used in notebooks, netbooks, desktops, servers, workstations, storage products, embedded applications, communications products, consumer electronics devices, and handhelds. The company also provides system on chip products that integrate its core processing functionalities with other system components, such as graphics, audio, and video, onto a single chip. In addition, it offers chipset products that send data between the microprocessor and input, display, and storage devices, including keyboard, mouse, monitor, hard drive, and CD, DVD, or Blu-ray drives; motherboards designed for desktop, server, and workstation platforms, and that has connectors for attaching devices to the bus; and wired and wireless connectivity products consisting of network adapters and embedded wireless cards used to translate and transmit data across networks. Further, the company provides NAND flash memory products primarily used in portable memory storage devices, digital camera memory cards, and solid-state drives; software products comprising operating systems, middleware, and tools used to develop, run, and manage various enterprise, consumer, embedded, and handheld devices; and software development tools that enable the creation of applications. Additionally, it develops computing platforms, which are integrated hardware and software computing technologies designed to offer an optimized solution. The company sells its products principally to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, PC components and other products users, and other manufacturers of industrial and communications equipment. It has a strategic alliance with Scientific Conservation Inc. Intel Corporation was founded in 1968 and is based in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Hughes]

     My top stock pick for 2013 is Intel Corp. (INTC), the largest micro-chip maker in the world, designing, developing and manufacturing microprocessors for the global market.

    The stock sold off sharply (declining 33% from its April high to a low in late November) in reaction to the company lowering guidance for the second half of 2012 on slowing global economies. We believe the sell-off was overdone.

    Intel is the dominant force in the computer processor arena, having long-held the lead in new technology and chip performance.

    Smaller rival AMD very occasionally emerges as a potential threat only to see Intel leapfrog ahead again. And Intel was faulted for being slow to recognize the demand for smaller chips used in smartphones and tablets, an area currently dominated by ARM Holdings.

    But Intel is moving more aggressively into that area with its ‘Atom' chips, and acquired Infineon's wireless connectivity chip business in 2011 to support that undertaking.

    Intel has a strong balance sheet and cash flow that allows it to maintain an immense budget for R&D and the capital expenditures necessary to sustain its industry-leading manufacturing technologies, and a history of introducing new processor architectures every two years.

    The company is in solid financial shape. At the current price the shares are selling at less than 10 times estimated 2013 earnings, and pay an annual dividend of 4.2%.

    In our view, the stock is very oversold, and the stock will rebound nicely in 2013. Our upside target is $27. We suggest a ‘mental' protective stop at $17.20.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Can Energy Companies Afford to Waste This Precious Liquid?

The surge in hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. is starting to run into a problem: It is getting harder and harder to find water supplies to use in fracking wells. At 5 million gallons per well, and with 44,000 wells being drilled in the U.S. each year, the oil and gas industry is using about two-thirds of what the city of New York City uses in an entire year.  To add insult to injury, many of the regions where oil and gas drilling is taking place are already short on water resources. It is getting to the point where some drilling permits are being denied because of a lack of water resources. 

To help combat this situation  several companies are stepping up to provide new solutions. Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB  ) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL  ) are experimenting with using non-potable water sources for drilling fluid, and companies like Nuverra Environmental Solutions, formerly Heckmann, are constructing a nationwide network to recycle and reuse water for hydraulic fracturing operations rather than disposing of it after one use. In this video, contributor Tyler Crowe explains how these solutions are working around the country and what we can expect from the industry. 

Energy investors would be hard-pressed to find another company trading at a deeper discount than Chesapeake Energy. Its share price depreciated after negative news surfaced concerning the company's management and spiraling debt picture. While the debt issues still persist, giant steps have been taken to help mitigate the problems. To learn more about Chesapeake and its enormous potential, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand-new premium report on the company. Simply click here now to access your copy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

3 Reasons to Buy Target Stock

The retail space has never been more competitive and pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers has never been higher. In the first quarter, Target (NYSE: TGT  ) reported a 0.6% decline in same-store sales and its biggest competitor Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT  )  same-store sales fell 1.2%. Meanwhile, (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) grew revenue 22%, showing that online retail is taking significant share.

But it's not time to sell all brick-and-mortar retailers, and Target is one company with a few advantages over the competition. Here are the three biggest reasons to buy its stock right now.

Online tax bill
The bill floating through Congress that would allow for the collection of online sales tax could be a boon for a company like Target. First, large purchases like TVs may move back into brick-and-mortar stores from online shops, where you can save sales tax. Smaller items, where the sales tax wouldn't be so onerous, may still make sense to make with a company like Amazon because of the free shipping available to Prime members.

The bigger advantage of an online sales tax bill may be in Target's size and infrastructure to pay state and local taxes already. If online retail shops are forced to pay taxes to thousands of different jurisdictions, it would be a nightmare for a small retail shop but would require little change for Target.

If Target can merge online shopping and local pickup -- like Wal-Mart is testing -- it could give the company another advantage of online-only retail.

Classy consumers
The payroll tax increase that took effect on Jan. 1 has hit consumer spending but its impact is felt more by low-income shoppers than those on the high end. As a discount retailer, Target gets its fair share of low-income shoppers but this is Wal-Mart's bread and butter.

With designer clothes and stylish products, Target is going after a slightly more affluent consumer than Wal-Mart, which makes it a little less susceptible to the cost-conscious consumer.

We sell groceries, too
Most importantly, even if online shopping continues to take share in retail, there are products that will never sell well online. Products like toilet paper and groceries are Target specialties and they will keep the company in business even as Amazon continues to grow like a weed.

Both Target and Wal-Mart have really become the new grocery store, serving up food and all of the other staples consumers need. We're a long way from home delivery for bananas and toilet paper so Target will continue to play a key role in retail.

Target stock is a steady retail play
The retail space is tough for brick-and-mortar companies, but Target offers services many online shops won't be able to match. If sales taxes hit online sales in the future, that's another advantage for the company.

Target stock isn't cheap at 15 times earnings, but it's about as steady a retailer as you can get right now and I think that will help it outperform the market.

The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of the last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pick Your Poison: Overweight or High Cholesterol

Overweight and have high cholesterol? You may have to pick one to work on at a time, according to data from the lab of John Thyfault, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at University of Missouri.

Statins work really well at lowering bad LDL cholesterol, but they can cause muscle ache in some patients. Thyfault and colleagues decided to see if cholesterol-lowering drugs would affect benefits from exercise in obese and overweight patients.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, used Merck's (NYSE: MRK  ) Zocor, but it seems safe to assume that other statins -- Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) Lipitor and AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN  ) Crestor -- would give similar results given that statins work in the same way.

Taking Zocor didn't affect adherence to the exercise program -- both the group taking Zocor and those prescribed exercise alone went to 95% of exercise sessions over 12 weeks -- but there were dramatic effects on the outcomes of the exercise.

Cardiovascular fitness, defined by the amount of oxygen consumed normalized to body weight, increased by 10% in patients prescribed exercise alone, but only by 1.5% in those who also took a statin. The researchers also found that a marker for activity of mitochondria, which turn oxygen and sugar into energy, decreased by 4.5% in the patients who took Zocor, but increased, as it should, by 13% in the group that wasn't given the drug.

The increased fitness translated into weight loss. Over the 12 weeks, the exercise-only group lost 1.7% of their body weight on average, but the weight of the group that took Zocor increased slightly.

The study was small -- just 37 subjects between the two groups -- but the results were dramatic enough that they were statistically significant, meaning it was unlikely to have happened by chance alone.

The obvious solution is to lose the weight first and then start taking a statin. Changing diet and exercise should have a positive effect on cholesterol anyway.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY  ) Pravachol, an older statin, has been show to have less of a negative effect on mitochondrial content than other statins. Doctors could also prescribe lower doses. In the study, a 40 mg dose was given, but Zocor's label suggests that doctors can start as low as 10 mg.

Merck has another cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia, which works in a different way as statins and could be used as an alternative. Of course, Zetia doesn't lower cholesterol all that much by itself and is mostly used as an add-on therapy to statins. It's even co-formulated with Zocor as Vytorin and with Lipitor as Liptruzet. Beyond Zetia and statins, there are a few other cholesterol-lowering drugs, including PCSK9 inhibitors, which aren't on the market yet.

I doubt these data will have a dramatic effect on sales of any of the drugs -- and Lipitor, Zocor, and Pravachol are available as generics, so their sales are already toast -- but it may spur a larger study to drive home the message that losing weight is made even harder by taking a statin.

Another option for losing weight: Obesity drugs
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Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now

LONDON --�In my opinion,�Direct Line Insurance Group� (LSE: DLG  ) �is a great pick for investors seeking fruitful income stocks.

The firm listed on the London Stock Exchange in October last year, after the partially nationalised�Royal Bank of Scotland Group�divested a chunky 34.7% stake in the insurer. The bank has subsequently cut its holding below 50% after selling a further 15.3% in mid-March.

Shares in Direct Line have failed to gain significant traction since flotation, and pressure in recent months has seen it concede 8% from late January's current high of 225 pence. However, I believe that Direct Line should begin to head meaningfully higher as earnings pick up and carry dividend yields higher.

Profitability improvements well on track
The company announced at the end of February that operating profit from continuing operations leapt 9.3% in 2012 to 461.2 million pounds.

Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now: W.R. Berkley Corporation(WRB)

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers in the property casualty insurance business primarily in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance, and International. The Specialty segment underwrites third-party liability risks, primarily excess, and surplus lines, including premises operations, professional liability, commercial automobile, products liability, and property lines. The Regional segments provide commercial insurance products to small-to-mid-sized businesses, and state and local governmental entities primarily in the 45 states of the United States. The Alternative Markets segment develops, insures, reinsures, and administers self-insurance programs and other alternative risk transfer mechanisms. This segment offers its services to employers, employer groups, insurers, and alternative market funds, as well as provides a range of fee-based servic es, including consulting and administrative services. The Reinsurance segment engages in the underwriting property casualty reinsurance on a treaty and a facultative basis, including individual certificates and program facultative business; and specialty and standard reinsurance lines, and property and casualty reinsurance. The International segment offers personal and commercial property casualty insurance in South America; commercial property casualty insurance in the United Kingdom and continental Europe; and reinsurance in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Canada. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now: Genworth Financial Inc (GNW)

Genworth Financial, Inc., a financial security company, provides insurance, wealth management, investment, and financial solutions in the United States and internationally. The company offers various insurance and fixed annuity products, including life and long-term care insurance products; payment protection insurance products for consumers primarily to meet specified payment obligations; and wealth management products, such as managed account programs with advisor support and financial planning services. It also provides mortgage insurance products and related services to insure prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans or flow mortgage insurance; and mortgage insurance on a structured or bulk basis, as well as offers services, analytical tools, and technology that enable lenders to operate and manage risk. In addition, the company provides institutional products consisting of funding agreements, funding agreements backing notes, and guaranteed in vestment contracts. Genworth Financial, Inc. distributes its products and services through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors, affinity groups, and sales specialists. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

10 Best Recreation Stocks To Own Right Now: Unum Group(UNM)

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides group and individual disability insurance products primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. It also provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer-and employee-paid group benefits, life insurance, long-term care insurance, and related services. Its products include group long-term and short-term disability; group life and accidental death, and dismemberment; individual disability; group long-term care; voluntary benefits; group life; accident, sickness, and disability; and cancer and critical illness insurance products. The company also provides individual life and corporate-owned life insurance, reinsurance pools and management operations, group pension, health insurance, and individual annuities. Unum Group markets its products primarily to employers interested in providing benefits to their employees. The company sells its products through field sales personnel, independent brokers, consultants, and agency sales force. Unum Group was founded in 1848 and is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now: Cincinnati Financial Corporation(CINF)

Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. Its Commercial Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers? compensation. It also offers specialty packages, including coverages for property, liability, and business interruption for specific industry classes, such as artisan contractors, dentists, or street businesses. In addition, this segment provides contract and commercial surety bonds, fidelity bonds, and director and officer liability insurance, as well as machinery and equipment coverage. The company?s Personal Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment offers coverage for personal auto and homeowners, as well as other insurance products, such as dwelling fire, inland marine, personal umbrella liability, and watercraft coverages to individuals. Cincinnati Financial?s Excess and Surplus Lines Property Casualty Insurance s egment offers commercial casualty insurance that covers businesses for third-party liability from accidents occurring on their premises or arising out of their operations, including products and completed operations; and commercial property insurance, which insures loss or damage to buildings, inventory, equipment, and business income from causes of loss, such as fire, wind, hail, water, theft, and vandalism. The company?s Life Insurance segment provides term insurance; universal life insurance; whole life insurance; and worksite products, which include term, whole life, universal life, and disability insurance offered to employees through their employer. This segment also markets disability income insurance, deferred annuities, and immediate annuities. Its Investment segment invests in fixed-maturity investments, equity investments, and short-term investments. Cincinnati also offers commercial leasing and financing services. The company was founded in 1950 and is headquarte red in Fairfield, Ohio.

Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now: Iamgold Corporation(IAG)

IAMGOLD Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral resource properties worldwide. It primarily explores for gold, silver, zinc, copper, niobium, diamonds, and other metals. The company holds interests in eight operating gold mines, a niobium producer, a diamond royalty, and exploration and development projects located in Africa and the Americas. Its advanced exploration and development projects include the Westwood project in Canada; and the Quimsacocha project, which consists of 3 mining concessions covering an aggregate area of approximately 8,030 hectares in Ecuador. The company was formerly known as IAMGOLD International African Mining Gold Corporation and changed its name to IAMGOLD Corporation in June 1997. IAMGOLD Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Christopher Barker]

    Although I have not shed my long-standing contention that Yamana Gold offers one of the more deeply discounted vehicles for long-term gold exposure, lately my outlook for IAMGOLD has turned particularly bullish. With a looming spin-off of a 10% to 20% stake in the company's reliably profitable Niobec niobium mine, and the recent sale of its interest in a pair of high-cost gold operations in Ghana for $667 million, IAMGOLD finds itself in terrific financial shape to execute an aggressive $1.2 billion expansion imitative at existing operations.

    Considering the $1.6 billion net asset value (after tax) that IAMGOLD recently assessed for the Niobec mine alone, and a presumed hoard of more than $1.2 billion (in cash, cash equivalents, and gold bullion held for investment), at a market capitalization of $6.9 billion I find extreme comfort in the market's resulting valuation for IAMGOLD's 15.2 million ounces of attributable gold reserves.

Top Insurance Stocks To Own Right Now: Old Republic International Corporation(ORI)

Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various insurance and mortgage guaranty products in North America. The company operates in three segments: General Insurance, Mortgage Guaranty, and Title Insurance. The General Insurance segment provides liability insurance coverages to businesses, government, and other institutions in commercial construction, forest products, energy, general manufacturing, and financial services industries; and transportation, including trucking and general aviation industries. It provides various insurance products, such as automobile extended warranty, aviation, commercial automobile insurance, general liability, home warranty, inland marine, travel accident, and workers? compensation, as well as liability coverage for claims arising from the acts of owners or employees, and protection for the physical assets of businesses. This segment also offers financial indemnity products, such as consumer credit indemnity , errors and omissions/directors and officers, guaranteed asset protection, and surety, as well as bonds that cover the exposures for losses of monies, or debt and equity securities due to acts of employee dishonesty. The Mortgage Guaranty segment insures first mortgage loans, primarily on residential properties incorporating one-to-four family dwelling units to mortgage bankers, brokers, commercial banks, and savings institutions. The Title Insurance segment provides lenders' and owners' title insurance policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records. It also provides escrow closing and construction disbursement services; and real estate information products, national default management services, and services related to real estate transfers and loan transactions. Old Republic International Corporation markets its products directly, as well as through insurance agents and brokers. The company was founded in 1887 and is based in Chi cago, Illinois.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nokia Launches Content Recommendations App

Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) has launched Nokia Xpress Now, a Web app that helps users find content on their Asha phones based on the "wisdom of the crowds."

Pulling data from more than 80 million Nokia Xpress Browser users and their browsing preferences, Nokia Xpress Now curates content in three ways. Users can view what's popular among other browsers nearby, can get website recommendations, and will see recent showcased stories that Xpress Now users have "liked."

Nokia began developing Xpress Now after it realized that mobile phone customers in emerging markets have "very narrow browsing patterns." In the company's blog, Nokia Xpress Services Vice President Andy Kelm wrote:

Soon after we launched the Nokia Xpress Browser, we learned just how popular the Web is among consumers, but we also learned how homogenous their browsing patterns are within a country. Many of them are not coming from a world of desktop browsing, and they only know a few popular web sites. We realized that by using a sophisticated recommendations engine, we could change that.

Currently, Nokia is beta-testing Xpress Now in India. The company will expand Xpress Now availability to other Nokia Asha devices and countries throughout 2013.

According to Gartner, Nokia's smartphone market position dropped to No. 10 in the first quarter of 2013 from No. 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012.

More Expert Advice from The Motley Fool
Nokia's been struggling in a world of Apple and Android smartphone dominance. However, the company has banked its future on its next generation of Windows smartphones. Motley Fool analyst Charly Travers has created a new premium report that digs into both the opportunities and risks facing Nokia to help investors decide if the company is a buy or sell. To get started, simply click here now.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The World's Woes Drag Down the Dow

Throughout the stock market's record run, U.S. stocks have largely ignored troubling signs about the global economy. But last night, a 7% plunge in Japan's stock market sent the yen soaring against the dollar and shot bond yields sky-high, raising concerns about the nation's ability to service its massive national debt. Meanwhile, disturbing news from China about industrial purchasing activity also weighed on investor sentiment. Despite some better numbers in the U.S. economy, including a drop in jobless claims and rising new-home sales, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) wasn't able to avoid losses, although it recovered from earlier losses of more than 125 points to sit 77 points below breakeven by 10:50 a.m. EDT. Broader U.S. benchmarks fell roughly in tandem with the Dow, while European stock markets dropped between 2% and 3%.

Bucking the downward trend is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , which soared 13% after CEO Meg Whitman said last night in the tech giant's quarterly report that her turnaround plan remains on track. The company posted impressive gains in cash flow from operations, and even though overall profit has not yet fully recovered, investors appear to be giving Whitman more latitude to see her long-range strategy play itself out. With initiatives in cloud computing, big data, and the mobile industry, HP is doing its best to move beyond its PC roots and create better growth opportunities for the future.

On the downside, economically sensitive stocks took extensive damage from the bad news overseas. Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) leads the decliners with a 2.3% drop. Alcoa has undertaken many cost-cutting measures in order to stay as financially healthy as possible. Yesterday, for example, it announced that it has boosted energy efficiency at an Ohio plant that uses recycled metal. However, a Chinese slowdown poses continuing threats to the aluminum industry and to construction activity in general.

Finally, outside the Dow, Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ: PSUN  ) has climbed more than 13% after reporting a narrower-than-expected loss for its first quarter after adjusting for one-time items. Although the teen retailer's turnaround hasn't gone as quickly as corporate executives would prefer, same-store sales gains of 2% and guidance for the current quarter that could include a modest profit encouraged investors. With the stock already having posted strong gains recently, though, PacSun will have to follow through on its favorable guidance in order to keep returns coming for shareholders.

Read more about HP and the least-appreciated turnaround story on the market in our premium research report on the tech giant. Inside, The Motley Fool's technology analyst details exactly what investors need to know about HP in our new premium research report. Just click here now to get your copy today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Google Is No Pandora Killer

Shares of Pandora (NYSE: P  ) closed slightly lower on an otherwise upbeat trading day yesterday, and it's easy to see why.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) finally introduced a new music streaming service, and Pandora -- for now -- watches over the country's most popular music streaming service.

Google All Access offers a bit of everything. It's a provider of personalized radio, just like Pandora and Sirius XM's (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) recently introduced MySXM. It's an on demand and playlist platform, just like Spotify.

Google is big. Google is smart. Google is rich. If streaming tunes is Big G's next hobby, how can Pandora survive?

Well, the most important thing working in Pandora's favor is price.

Google is really gunning for Spotify, with its identical $9.99 a month cover charge. Those signing up to Google Access between now and the end of June can lock in a $7.99 monthly rate.

Pandora is mostly consumed as a free application. Just 12% of Pandora's revenue is derived from subscriptions, and that translates into roughly 1% of Pandora's 70.1 million active monthly users. If that 99% majority was interested in paying up for a better streaming experience, don't you think that they would have already shelled out money to Pandora for ad-free music?

For once, Pandora's growing army of earbud-donning freeloaders is a good thing.

History has proven that there are two different types of music listeners. Would Sirius XM have grown to nearly 25 million premium subscribers if Pandora was enough? Would Pandora have seen its audience grow 35% since Spotify's arrival last year if money wasn't an issue? Google, Sirius XM, and Spotify have all thrived in this climate.

If anyone takes a hit here it would Spotify, with the similar model.

Pandora's fine -- for now.

The mobile revolution is still in its infancy, but with so many different companies, it can be daunting to know how to profit in the space. Fortunately, The Motley Fool has released a free report on mobile named, "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution," which tells you how. The report describes why this seismic shift will dwarf any other technology revolution seen before it, and also names the company at the forefront of the trend. You can access this report today by clicking here -- it's free.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 Best Quality Stocks To Invest In 2014

Business and consumer banking concern�Webster Financial� (NYSE: WBS  ) �announced yesterday that its board of directors has approved increasing its quarterly dividend by 50%, from�$0.10 per share to�$0.15 per share.�The new, higher payment�will be made on May 20 to stockholders of record as of May 6.

Webster also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $21.25 per share on its Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, payable on June 17 to shareholders of record on June 1.�On its Series E preferred stock, Webster declared a quarterly cash dividend of $400.00 per share, or $0.40 per each depositary share, 1,000 of which represent one share of Series E preferred stock. It will also be payable on June 17 to shareholders of record on June 1.

Webster Financial CEO James C. Smith cited "growth and quality of earnings and Webster's strong capital base."

5 Best Quality Stocks To Invest In 2014: Telik Inc (TELK.PH)

Telik, Inc. (Telik), incorporated in 1988, is a clinical-stage drug development company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat cancer. The Company discovers its product candidates using the Company�� drug discovery technology, Target-Related Affinity Profiling (TRAP). TELINTRA, its principal drug product candidate in clinical development, is a small molecule glutathione analog inhibitor of the enzyme glutathione S-transferase P1-1 (GST P1-1). TELCYTA, its other product candidate, is a small molecule cancer drug product candidate designed to be activated in cancer cells.

Clinical Product Development

TELINTRA is the Company�� lead small molecule product candidate in clinical development for the treatment of blood disorders, including cancer. It has a mechanism of action and acts by inhibiting GST P1-1, an enzyme that is involved in the control of cellular growth and differentiation. Inhibition of GST P1-1 results in the activation of the signaling molecule Jun kinase, a regulator of the function of blood precursor cells. Preclinical tests show that TELINTRA is capable of causing the death or apoptosis of leukemic or malignant blood cells, while stimulating the growth and development of normal blood precursor cells. TELINTRA has been studied in Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) using two formulations. A liposomal formulation was developed for intravenous administration of TELINTRA and was used in Phase I and Phase II studies in MDS patients. The results from the Phase II intravenous liposomal TELINTRA clinical trials demonstrated that TELINTRA treatment was associated with improvement in all three types of blood cell levels in patients with all types of MDS, including those in intermediate and high-risk groups. An oral dosage formulation (tablet) was subsequently developed and results from a Phase I study with TELINTRA tablets showed clinical activity and the formulation to be well tole rated. In June 2011, the Company initiated a Phase II clini! c! al trial to evaluate TELINTRA tablets. In October 2011, the Company initiated an additional Phase IIb clinical trial to evaluate TELINTRA tablets. '

The activity and safety profile of tablet formulation allowed the Company to complete a Phase II trial of TELINTRA tablets in MDS. The primary objective of the Phase II TELINTRA tablet study was to determine the efficacy of TELINTRA. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify MDS disease prognostic factors associated with erythroid improvement response rates, including prior MDS treatment, age, gender, the international prognostic scoring system (IPSS), risk, Eastern Cooperative Group performance status, years from MDS diagnosis, MDS World Health Organization subtypes, anemia only versus anemia plus other cytopenias, dose schedule and starting dose. Results from this study show that TELINTRA is the first GSTP1-1 enzyme inhibitor shown to cause clinically reductions in red blood cell transf usions, including transfusion independence in low to intermediate-1 risk MDS patients, as well as improvement in platelet count and white blood cell levels in certain patients. TELINTRA, administered orally twice daily, appeared to be convenient and flexible for chronic treatment administration.

TELCYTA is a small molecule drug product candidate that the Company is developed for the treatment of cancer. TELCYTA binds to GST. TELCYTA has been evaluated in multiple Phase II and Phase III clinical trials, including trials using TELCYTA as monotherapy and in combination regimens in ovarian, non-small cell lung, breast and colorectal cancer. Results from these clinical trials indicate that TELCYTA monotherapy was generally well-tolerated, with mostly mild to moderate side effects, particularly when compared to the side effects and toxicities of standard chemotherapeutic drugs. When TELCYTA was evaluated in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs, the tolera bility of the combinations was similar to that expected! of e! ac! h drug ! alone.

Clinical activity including objective tumor responses and/or disease stabilization was reported in the TELCYTA Phase II trials; however, TELCYTA did not meet its primary endpoints in the Phase III studies. Positive results from a Phase I-IIa multicenter, dose-ranging study of TELCYTA in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel as first-line therapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, were published in a peer reviewed publication. Clinical data demonstrated positive results of TELCYTA in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in the treatment of first-line lung cancer followed by TELCYTA maintenance therapy. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had an on-going investigator-led study at a single site of TELCYTA in patients with refractory or relapsed mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse B cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Preclinical Drug Product Development

The Company has a small molecule compound, TLK60 404, in preclinical development that inhibits both Aurora kinase and VEGFR kinase. Aurora kinase is a signaling enzyme whose function is required for cancer cell division, while VEGF plays a key role in tumor blood vessel formation, ensuring an adequate supply of nutrients to support tumor growth. These lead compounds prevented tumor growth in preclinical models of human colon cancer and human leukemia by inhibiting both Aurora kinase and VEGFR kinase. A development drug product candidate, TLK60404, has been selected.

The Company, using its TRAP technology has discovered TLK60357, a novel, potent small molecule inhibitor of cell division. TLK60357 inhibits the formation of microtubules that are necessary for cancer cell growth leading to persistent G2/M cancer cell cycle block and subsequent cell death. This compound demonstrates potent broad-spectrum anticancer activity against a number of human cancer cells. This compound also displays oral efficacy in multipl e, standard preclinical models of cancer. TLK6059! 6, a pote! nt! VGFR kin! ase inhibitor, blocks the formation of new blood vessels in tumors. Oral administration of TLK60596 to animal models of human colon cancer reduced tumor growth.

5 Best Quality Stocks To Invest In 2014: Molycorp Inc (MCP)

Molycorp, Inc. (Molycorp) is a rare earth oxide (REO) producer in the Western hemisphere. The Company owns developed rare earth projects outside of China. The Company also owns rare earth oxide and rare metal producer in Europe. The Company is the producer of rare earth alloys in the United States. It has three operating segments: Molycorp Mountain Pass, Molycorp Tolleson and Molycorp Sillamae. On April 1, 2011, the Company acquired 90% interest in AS Silmet located in Sillamae, Estonia. On April 15, 2011, it acquired Santoku America, Inc. On October 24, 2011, it acquired the remaining 9.9% interest in Molycorp Sillamae. On August 22, 2011, Molycorp opened an office in Tokyo, Japan to provide customer support, as well as consulting and technical services to its customers in Japan. In June 2012, the Company acquired Neo Material Technologies Inc.

The Company sells and transports a portion of the REOs it produces at its Molycorp Mountain Pass and Molycorp Sillamae facilities to customers for use in their particular applications. The remainder of the REOs are processed into rare earth metals and rare earth alloys. The Company produces rare earth metals outside of the United States through third-party tolling arrangements and through tolling at its Molycorp Sillamae facility. A portion of these metals is sold to end-users, and it processes the rest into rare earth alloys at its Molycorp Tolleson facility in Arizona. These rare earth alloys can be used in a variety of applications, including but not limited to electrodes for nickel metal hydride battery production; samarium cobalt (SmCo), magnet production, and neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnet production.

Molycorp Sillamae sells products to customers in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Russia, and other former Soviet Union countries. At the Molycorp Mountain Pass facility, the Company owns an open-pit mine containing rare earth deposits outside of China. In addition to the mine, its Molycorp Mountain Pass facility includ! es associated crushing, milling, flotation and separation facilities. Its Molycorp Mountain Pass facility is located approximately 60 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada near Mountain Pass, San Bernardino County, California.

The Company�� Molycorp Sillamae facility consists of various manufacturing, research and administration buildings located on 67 acres of land at 2 Kesk Street, Sillamae, Estonia, 200 kilometers from Tallinn, the Estonian capital. The Company�� Molycorp Tolleson facility includes various manufacturing, research, and administration buildings situated on seven acres of land at 8220 West Harrison Street, Tolleson, Arizona, which is just south of Interstate 10 about 15 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona's Sky Harbor Airport. As of December 31, 2011, its Molycorp Tolleson facility had the installed capacity to produce approximately 1,350 tons of ingot cast alloys and 750 tons of strip cast alloys per year.

Hot Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.(AGII)

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. underwrites specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market worldwide. The company?s Excess and Surplus Lines segment underwrites casualty, property, transportation, and binding authority for commercial enterprises, including restaurants, contractors, day care centers, apartment complexes, condominium associations, manufacturers, and distributors; and offers policies for medical facilities within the social services, miscellaneous healthcare, and long term care markets, as well as for lawyers, miscellaneous professions, employment practices, and real estate related accounts. This segment also provides package policies for environmental consultants and contractors, storage tanks, dry cleaners pollution liability, as well as other environmental related liability exposures; and coverage for architects and engineers, accountants, and insurance agents. Its Commercial Specialty segment offers property casu alty and surety coverages; and underwrites business coverage for small commercial businesses comprising office, retail operations, light manufacturing, services, and restaurants. This segment also provides general and automobile liability, automobile physical damage, property, inland marine, crime, public official?s and educator?s legal liability, employment practices, law enforcement liability, environmental and lawyers professional liability, student accident, police and firefighters accident, workers compensation, inmate medical, and tax interruption coverages. In addition, the company?s International Specialty segment covers claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, windstorms, hailstorms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires, industrial explosions, freezes, riots, floods, and other man-made or natural disasters. Further, its Syndicate 1200 segment underwrites property and non-U.S. liability insurance. The company was founded in 1986 and is based in Pembroke, Bermuda.

5 Best Quality Stocks To Invest In 2014: Vanguard Natural Resources LLC(VNR)

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its properties are located in the southern portion of the Appalachian Basin, primarily in southeast Kentucky and northeast Tennessee; the Permian Basin, primarily in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico; and south Texas. As of December 31, 2010, the company had estimated proved reserves of 69.3 million barrels of oil equivalent, as well as working interests in 2,270 net productive wells. Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC was founded in 2006 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Energy Stock Channel]

    Vanguard Natural Resource is engaged in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties. Co. owns properties and oil and natural gas reserves in: the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico; the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming and Montana; the southern portion of the Appalachian Basin, primarily in southeast Kentucky and northeast Tennessee; South Texas; the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana; Mississippi; and the Arkoma Basin in Arkansas and Oklahoma. At Dec 31 2011, Co.'s estimated proved developed and undeveloped reserves for crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids were 44.8 million barrels, 163.00 billion cubic feet, and 7.4 million barrels, respectively.

5 Best Quality Stocks To Invest In 2014: Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc.(RIGL)

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage drug development company, engages in the discovery and development of small-molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, as well as for certain cancers and metabolic diseases. Its product development programs include R788, which completed a phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; and is in phase 2 clinical trials for B-cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, immune thrombocytopenia purpura, and certain solid tumors. The company?s product development programs also comprise R343, which is in phase 1b clinical trial for the treatment of asthma. In addition, its preclinical programs include oral JAK3 inhibitor program for research in the area of immunology/inflammation; adiponectin mimetics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other potential indications; and muscle atrophy program for muscle homeostasis. Further, the company is evaluating R763/AS703569 compound in its aurora kinase inhibition program targeting cancer cell proliferation. Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has collaboration agreements with AstraZeneca AB; Pfizer, Inc.; and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in South San Francisco, California.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Top Solar Stocks To Invest In 2014

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

The solar industry has been going through a major upheaval lately, and as a small Chinese solar company, ReneSola has been right in the middle of it. With failures starting to emerge among the numerous Chinese players in the solar market, investors are questioning which companies will survive. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with ReneSola over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Top Solar Stocks To Invest In 2014: PIMCO Municipal Income Fund(PMF)

PIMCO Municipal Income Fund is a closed ended fixed income mutual fund launched and managed by Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC. It is co managed by Pacific Investment Management Company LLC. The fund invests in the fixed income markets of the United States. It primarily invests in investment grade municipal bonds. The fund employs fundamental analysis with a top down stock picking approach to create its portfolio. It conducts in house research using proprietary models. PIMCO Municipal Income Fund was formed on June 29, 2001 and is domiciled in the United States.

Top Solar Stocks To Invest In 2014: CarMax Inc(KMX)

CarMax, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of used vehicles in the United States. It also sells vehicles that do not meet its retail standards to licensed dealers through on-site wholesale auctions, as well as sells new vehicles under franchise agreements. In addition, the company provides customers financing alternatives through its finance operation, CarMax Auto Finance, as well as through its third-party financing providers. Further, it offers a range of other related products and services, including the sale of extended service plans, guaranteed asset protection, and accessories; the appraisal and purchase of vehicles directly from consumers; and vehicle repair services. As of December 21, 2011, the company operated 107 used car superstores in 52 markets. CarMax, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Paul]

    In Q4 2010, Buffett unloaded the remainder of his stake in the company by selling 7,725,900 shares at an average price of $21.73.

    For the FY ended 28 February 2011, CarMax’s revenues increased 20% to $8.98 billion, and GAAP EPS rose by 32.5% to $1.67. The next earnings release is on June 22. For Q1 2012, analysts estimate that the company will earn $0.48 per share, an increase of 8.08% over Q1 2011, and generate revenues of $2.5 billion, an increase of 11.06% over Q1 2011. The company also has a debt to equity ratio of 1.79.

    In 2010, U.S. light vehicle sales volume rebounded 11%, to nearly 11.6 million. For the automotive retailers sub-industry, S&P believes that the bottom has been reached in the current sales cycle. We agree, and place a price target of $37, which offers modest capital appreciation. Buy KMX. CarMax currently operates 104 used car superstores in 50 markets.

Top 5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Tatmar Ventures Inc. (TAT.V)

Highway 50 Gold Corp., an exploration stage company, engages in the acquisition and exploration of mineral resource properties in Canada and the United States. The company explores primarily for gold and silver ores. It owns interests in the Golden Brew property located in Lander County, Nevada; and the Lookout Property situated in Fort Steele Mining Division, British Columbia. The company was formerly known as Tatmar Ventures Inc. and changed its name to Highway 50 Gold Corp. in July 2011. Highway 50 Gold Corp. was incorporated in 2004 and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Pentagon Awards 9 Contracts Worth $1.3 Billion Wednesday

The Pentagon awarded a series of contractors a total of nine defense contracts Wednesday, worth a combined $1.3 billion.

Most of the funds awarded went to privately owned firms ranging in size from gigantic government contactor Bechtel all the way down to Standard Aero of San Antonio, Texas, owned by the United Arab Emirates' Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. But there were a few notable wins among publicly traded companies. For example:

Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC  ) subsidiary Jacobs Technology was awarded a $14.4 million cost-plus-fixed -fee and cost-reimbursable contract to provide engineering and technology acquisition support services to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/PZM at several Air Force Bases. This contract should wrap up by Nov. 14. Britain's BAE Systems (NASDAQOTH: BAESY  ) won a pair of contracts, with its Information and Electronic Systems division being awarded $11.9 million for software work ordered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and its Technology Solutions and Services division winning $37.8 million to provide engineering and technical services and supplies in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's Special Communications Requirements Division. This latter contract runs through next May. Finally, SAIC (NYSE: SAI  ) won a bona fide blockbuster award when the Pentagon approved an eighth option year on a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for unspecified "maintenance, repair, and operations supplies" to be provided to various Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. According to the Pentagon, the value of this contract, which should be completed by May 18, 2014, could rise as high as $381 million.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

These Soaring Stocks Are Crushing Short-Sellers

The rising stock market has helped millions of investors post impressive gains recently. But even as the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) have been setting successive all-time record highs, short-sellers who bet against the market have seen their fortunes dwindle.

In the following video, Fool markets analyst Mike Klesta talks with Fool contributor Dan Caplinger about four stocks that have hit short-sellers especially hard. Despite the confidence that short-sellers had that these four companies were doomed to failure, their share prices have defied their expectations and exploded higher, causing massive losses for shorts. Dan runs through all four companies and discusses whether they've run their course or whether they could push higher still in the months and years to come.

One of the stocks mentioned is Tesla, whose plan to disrupt the global auto business has yielded spectacular results. But giant competitors are already moving to disrupt Tesla. Will the company be able to fend them off? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in-depth Tesla research available. Get instant access by clicking here now.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

How Long Will Heckmann's Competitive Advantage Last?

Heckmann (NYSE: HEK  ) is a very interesting company with an even more intriguing business model. The environmental services company offers oil and gas producers a full-cycle solution for the water used in fracking as well as some ancillary environmental services. Its goal is to protect, enhance, and advance sustainable energy growth; it's doing so not by offering a commodity service to its customers, but instead by supplying a comprehensive solution.

The key to understanding Heckmann is to look at how it differentiates itself from competitors. What the company has done is built itself into a full-cycle environmental service provider through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Today, Heckmann delivers water to the well site, collects it after it's produced, treats and recycles what it can, and disposes of the rest in an environmentally friendly manner. Its advantage here is that it takes a systems approach instead of providing a commodity service such as just water delivery or disposal wells.

The company's advantage is leveraged across a platform which includes a system of assets that's in place across all the major shale basins. The following chart tells its story:

Source: Heckmann Investor Presentations

The question that needs to be asked is if this advantage is durable and if it can be expanded upon and strengthened over time. Many doubt that this will occur and one analyst covering Heckmann recently downgraded it saying that the firm "can't assign a premium multiple any longer to a company that has proven it is in a highly cyclical business with considerable threats."

Those threats are real and come from a variety of sources. One threat is price -- it's a lot cheaper for an oil and gas producer have water trucked in and then bypass the treat and recycle step to move strait to disposing of the produced water. This is what SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD  ) does in its Mississippian Lime acreage. The company has developed such a competitive advantage surrounding its salt water disposal system that it has chosen to focus its drilling on areas where it has this infrastructure already in place. The company has invested $600 million to drill 123 disposal wells, which has lowered its need to have produced water trucked out, which in turn has lowered its costs.

The problem with disposal wells though is twofold: First, disposal wells don't solve the freshwater usage problem; second, disposal wells have been linked to earthquakes. While the earthquake issue is still debatable, the freshwater issue is critical because of the sheer volume used that is not solved by disposal. The volume of water used is pretty incredible. Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) , which is one of Heckmann's largest customers, typically uses 5 million gallons of it to drill many of its wells. As you can see in the chart below, water does vary by location:

Source: Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake is committed to managing its water responsibly which is why it's very active in having its water treated and recycled. As an example, 97% of its wastewater from its northern Marcellus operations is now reused, and while the company is drilling in the Mississippian Lime, some of its wells are using 100% produced water. This trend plays firmly into the continued success of Heckmann. 

Unfortunately, for Heckmann at least, is that the idea of using 100% produced water is not lost on the industry and oil-field services company Halliburton (NYSE: HAL  ) is making great strides in that department. The company's new CleanWave Water Treatment Service trucks take the produced water from fracking and simply reuses it. It takes out what was thought to be the critical treatment step. It's also changed the price point for drillers.

While that's a large and looming threat, the new system has only been applied to around 60 wells in the Permian Basin and Bakken. It likely won't work everywhere as some areas, such as the Eagle Ford, don't give back a lot of water and the Marcellus already has a well-developed recycling system. The potential is there to have a major effect on Heckmann's business, which means that this technology needs to be watched closely.

In the near term, Heckmann's business is being built around its full-cycle system and deep-seeded customer relationships. Because of these relationships as well as Heckmann's growing size and scale it is able to effectively compete based on more than just price.

That's an advantage that appears to get stronger with each passing quarter, as evidenced by the tremendous revenue growth. The company recently reiterated its guidance of $750 million-$825 million in revenue for the year, which is a big jump for a company that delivered revenue of just $153 million in 2009. While it took several mergers to get there, Heckmann's ability to continue to consolidate its way to the top should keep its competitive advantage intact for the foreseeable future.

My biggest concern with Heckmann is that Halliburton might innovate it out of business. Not only does it have the pulse of domestic oil and gas production but the company is introducing several innovative products that are cleaning up the fracking process. That is why Halliburton is one of the top companies in the business. One way to keep an eye on Halliburton is to take a look at The Motley Fool's new premium research report on this industry stalwart. To do so simply click here now and learn everything you need to know about how Halliburton is positioning itself both at home and abroad.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

10 Best Beverage Stocks To Invest In 2014

Last year, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) sent a warning shot across Green Mountain Coffee Roasters'� (NASDAQ: GMCR  ) nose with the introduction of the Verismo brewing system. As the latter's K-Cup patent expired and generics flooded the market, investors ran for the hills with the idea of do-no-wrong Howard Schulz moving his company in direct competition. Now, another home-brew innovator may be shaking in its boots as Starbucks has begun offering a new product in select stores. Should SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA  ) investors fear the Seattle juggernaut?

Starbucks soda?
Most are aware that Starbucks has branched out beyond the typical coffee and espresso offerings. The company offers energy-infused fruit beverages, smoothies, and a full line of accessories in thousands of locations. It's part of the reason that Howard Schulz may be the most beloved CEO in the country. At least, his shareholders think so.

10 Best Beverage Stocks To Invest In 2014: Pepsico Inc.(PEP)

PepsiCo, Inc. engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. The company operates in four divisions: PepsiCo Americas Foods (PAF); PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB); PepsiCo Europe; and PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). The PAF division offers Lay?s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and dips, Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, Fritos corn chips, Quaker Chewy granola bars, and SunChips multigrain snacks in North America; Quaker oatmeal, Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Cap?n Crunch cereal, Quaker grits, and Life cereal, as well as Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, and Near East side dishes in North America; and various snack foods under Doritos, Marias Gamesa, Cheetos, Ruffles, Emperador, Saladitas, Sabritas, and Lay?s brands in Latin America. The PAB division provides carbonated soft drinks, beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 7UP, Tropicana Pure Premium, Electropura, Sierra Mist, Epura, and Mirinda brands; ready-to-drink tea, coffee, and water products through joint ventures with Unilever and Starbucks; and sells concentrate to authorized bottlers, and branded finished goods directly to independent distributors and retailers. This division also manufactures third-party brands, such as Dr Pepper, Crush, Rock Star, and Muscle Milk. The PepsiCo Europe division offers Frito Lay Snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices, and Quaker foods in Europe. The AMEA division provides snack food under the Lay?s, Kurkure, Chipsy, Doritos, Smith?s, Cheetos, Red Rock Deli, and Ruffles brands; Quaker-brand cereals and snacks; and beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under the Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP, and Mountain Dew brands. PepsiCo, Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Hesler]

    PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. The company has raised distributions for 39 years in a row. The 10 year annual dividend growth rate is 13%/year. The last dividend increase was 7.30% to 51.50 cents/share. Analysts are expecting that PepsiCo will earn $4.65/share in 2012. I expect that the quarterly dividend will reach 55 cents/share in 2012. Yield: 3.20%

  • [By ETF Authority]

    Unlike its competitor, PepsiCo has a large exposure to the food industry. This has helped the company generate strong performance over the past decade versus Coca-Cola. I personally prefer the taste of Coke over Pepsi, however, and many consumers seem to have similar taste buds. PepsiCo tends to make large acquisitions, which have worked so far. Sometimes it tends to overpay them, like the recent acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann. PepsiCo is cheaper than Coca-Cola, and both have similar near-term prospects.

  • [By JON C. OGG]

    Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) was most recently at $64.67 and the analyst community price target is $76.67.  Investors get a 3.2% dividend here and its shares are down 10% from its 52-week high. The price to book value is 4 and its return on equity is about 28%.  S&P has an “A” rating its local long-term system.  Pepsi is often considered to be more like Coca-Cola, but its snack food business gives it at least some of the same aspects of Kraft.  CEO Indra Nooyi has been performing well and growing its international operations.  We would not expect for Pepsi to break itself up.

10 Best Beverage Stocks To Invest In 2014: Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX)

Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA), incorporated on May 30, 1936, is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through principal holding companies, each of which it refers to as a principal sub-holding company. These companies are Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. (Coca-Cola FEMSA), which engages in the production, distribution and marketing of soft drinks, and FEMSA Comercio, S.A. de C.V. (FEMSA Comercio), which operates convenience stores. The Company�� convenience store chain OXXO operated a total of 7,492 stores as of March 31, 2010. Compania Internacional de Bebidas, S.A. de C.V. (CIBSA) owns a 53.7% interest in Coca-Cola FEMSA. On April 30, 2010, FEMSA announced the closing of the transaction, pursuant to which FEMSA agreed to exchange 100% of its beer operations conducted by FEMSA Cerveza for a 20% economic interest in the Heineken Group. In February 2009, Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired with The Coca-Cola Company the Brisa bottled water business in Colombia from Bavaria, a subsidiary of SABMiller. Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired the production assets and the rights to distribute in the territory, and The Coca-Cola Company obtained the Brisa brand.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V.

Coca-Cola FEMSA is a bottler of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Coca-Cola FEMSA operates in various territories, including Mexico, a substantial portion of central Mexico (including Mexico City and the states of Michoacan and Guanajuato) and southeast Mexico (including the Gulf region); Central America, including Guatemala (Guatemala City and surrounding areas), Nicaragua (nationwide), Costa Rica (nationwide) and Panama (nationwide); Colombia; Venezuela; Argentina, including Buenos Aires and surrounding areas, and Brazil, including the area of greater Sao Paulo, Campinas, Santos, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the state of Minas Gerais and part of the state of Goias.

Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages, own brands and b! rands licensed from the Company. The Coca-Cola trademark beverages include sparkling beverages (colas and flavored sparkling beverages), water, and still beverages (including juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and isotonics). Out of the more than 100 brands and line extensions of beverages sold and distributed by Coca-Cola FEMSA, its most important brand, Coca-Cola, together with its line extensions, Coca-Cola light, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola light caffeine free, accounted for 61.4% of total sales volume during the year ended December 31, 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA�� next largest brands, Ciel (a water brand from Mexico), Fanta (and its line extensions), Sprite (and its line extensions), ValleFrut and Hit, accounted for 10.5%, 5.8%, 2.6%, 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively, of total sales volume in 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term line extensions to refer to the different flavors in which it offers its brands.

Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages in each of its territories in containers authorized by The Coca-Cola Company, which consist of a variety of returnable and non-returnable presentations in the form of glass bottles, cans and plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET). Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term presentation to refer to the packaging unit in which it sells its products. Presentation sizes for its Coca-Cola trademark beverages range from a 6.5-ounce personal size to a 3-liter multiple serving size. For all of its products excluding water, Coca-Cola FEMSA considers a multiple serving size as equal toor larger than one liter. In addition, it sells some Coca-Cola trademark beverage syrups in containers designed for soda fountain use, which it refers to as fountain. It also sells bottled water products in bulk sizes, which refers to presentations equal to or larger than five liters, which have a much lower average price per unit case than its other beverage products.

In Mexico, Coca-Cola FEMSA�� product portfolio consis! ts of Coc! a-Cola trademark beverages, and includes Mundet trademark beverages licensed from FEMSA in some Mexican territories. Coca-Cola FEMSA�� product sales in Latincentro consist predominantly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Per capita consumption of its sparkling beverages products in Colombia and Central America was 92 and 146 eight-ounce servings, respectively, in 2009. Its product portfolio in Venezuela consists of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Venezuela was 174 eight-ounce servings during 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA�� product portfolio in Mercosur consists mainly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages, and the Kaiser beer brand in Brazil, which Coca-Cola FEMSA sells and distributes on behalf of FEMSA Cerveza. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Brazil and Argentina was 214 and 359 eight-ounce servings, respectively, in 2009.

The Company competes with Pepsi Beverage Company, Grupo Embotelladores Unidos, S.A.B. de C.V., Grupo Jumex, Groupe Danone, Cadbury Schweppes, Big Cola, Consorcio AGA, S.A. de C.V., Postobon, Florida Ice and Farm Co. S.A., Cerveceria Nacional, S.A., Pepsi-Cola Venezuela, C.A., AmBev and Quilmes Industrial S.A.

FEMSA Comercio, S.A. de C.V.

FEMSA Comercio operates a chain of convenience stores in Mexico, under the trade name OXXO. OXXO stores are concentrated in the northern part of Mexico, but also have a presence in central Mexico and the Gulf coast. FEMSA Comercio is the largest single customer of FEMSA Cerveza and of the Coca-Cola system in Mexico. During 2009, a typical OXXO store carried 1,954 different store keeping units (SKUs) in 31 main product categories.

The Company competes with 7-Eleven, Super Extra, Super City, Circle-K and AM/PM.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jon Markman]

    Renowned trader, journalist and money manager Jon Markman finished one spot ahead of La Monica last year thanks to Hershey‘s (NYSE:HSY) 20% returns. This year, he’s trading in the sweets for emerging market pick Fomento Economico Mexicano (NYSE:FMX), often referred to asFemsa.

    While Markman thinks the U.S. will struggle with austerity in the coming months, he also believes that if we head just a little bit south, we will find one of the greatest potential growth profiles in the world: Mexico, where Femsa is based.

    “Femsa caters to more than 1.7 million retailers and 215 million consumers, and is the No. 1 beverage provider in every region that it operates in. The firm has grown revenues by 16% annually for the last 10 years,” he explains.

    In fact, last year, FMX tallied impressive 44% gains. On the next pullback, he says, it will be time to buy.

Best High Tech Stocks For 2014: Molson Coors Brewing Company(TAP)

Molson Coors Brewing Company brews, markets, sells, and distributes beer brands. It sells its products in Canada, under the Coors Light, Molson, Rickard's Red, Carling, Pilsner, Keystone Light, Creemore Springs, and Granville Island brands. The company also brews or distributes products under license from third parties, which include Heineken, Amstel Light, Murphy's, Asahi, Asahi Select, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Chill, Milwaukee's Best, Milwaukee's Best Dry, and Foster's. In addition, it imports, distributes, and markets the Corona, Coronita, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico brands, through a joint venture agreement with Grupo Modelo. Further, the company sells various brands in the United States, which include Coors Light, Miller Lite, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft, MGD 64, Miller Chill, Sparks, Miller High Life, Miller High Life Light, Keystone Light, Icehouse, Mickey's, Milwaukee's Best, Milwaukee's Best Light, Old English 800, Blue Moon, Henry Weinhard 's, George Killian's Irish Red, Leinenkugel's, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch, Coors Non-Alcoholic, and Sharp's. Additionally, it sells various brands in the United Kingdom comprising Carling, C2, Coors Light, Worthington's, White Shield, Caffrey's, Kasteel Cru, and Blue Moon, as well as various regional ale brands. The company also sells the Grolsch brands through a joint venture with Royal Grolsch N.V. and the Cobra brands through a joint venture called Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd.; and distributes brands sold under license, including Corona, Coronita, Negra Modelo, Pacfico, Singha, and Magners Draught Cider. In addition, it markets and sells Zima, Si'hai, Coors Gold, and Coors Extra brands to various international markets. The company was formerly known as Adolph Coors Company and changed its name to Molson Coors Brewing Company as a result of its merger with Molson Inc. in February 2005. Molson Coors Brewing Company was founded in 1873 and is headquartere d in Denver, Colorado.

10 Best Beverage Stocks To Invest In 2014: Central European Distribution Corp (CEDCQ)

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), incorporated on September 4, 1997, operates primarily in the alcohol beverage industry. CEDC is a producer of vodka and is Central and Eastern Europe�� integrated spirit beverages business. During the year ended December 31, 2011, as measured by total volume, the Company produced and distributed approximately 33.2 million nine-liter cases . The Company�� business primarily involves the production and sale of its own spirit brands (principally vodka), and the importation on a basis of a range of spirits, wines and beers. Its primary operations are conducted in Poland and Russia. In addition the Company also has operations in Hungary and Ukraine. CEDC has six manufacturing facilities located in Poland and Russia. On February 7, 2011, the Company completed purchasing of the remaining stake of the Whitehall Group.

CEDC is an importer of spirits, wines and beers in Poland, Russia and Hungary. The Company maintains import contracts for a number of internationally recognized brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Campari, Jagermeister, Remy Martin Cognac, Corona, Budweiser (Budvar), E&J Gallo wines, Carlo Rossi wines, Sutter Home wines, Metaxa Brandy, Sierra Tequila, Teacher�� Whisky, Cinzano, Old Smuggler, Grant�� Whisky and Concha y Toro wines. In addition to its operations in Poland, Russia, and Hungary the Company has Ukraine and distribution agreements for its vodka brands in a number of key export markets including the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the Baltics and the CIS for Green Mark, Zhuravli, Parliament and Zubrowka, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France for Zubrowka and many other Western European countries. In 2011, exports represented 11% of its sales by value.


In Poland, CEDC is the vodka producers with a brand portfolio that includes Absolwent, Zubrowka, Zubrowka Biala, Bols, Palace and Soplica brands, each of which it produces at its Polish distilleries. It produces and sells vodka! s primarily in three vodka sectors: premium, mainstream, and economy. The Company owns two production sites in Poland: one in Oborniki and one in Bialystok. In the Oborniki distillery, it produces the Bols and Soplica vodka brands, among other spirit brands. In Bialystok it produces Absolwent and Zubrowka. Zubrowka is also exported out of Poland to many markets around the world, including the United States, England, Japan and also France. In addition to the Absolwent and Zubrowka brands, in Bialystok it produces the Zubrowka Biala brand. The Company has rights to import and distribute approximately 70 brands of spirits, wine and beer into Poland. It also provides marketing support to the suppliers. During 2011, the Company sold approximately 10.7 million nine-liter cases of vodka, wine and spirits through its Polish business during 2011 including both its own produced vodka brands as well as its exclusive agency import brands. During 2011, the Company sold approximately 191 thousand nine-liter cases of Zubrowka outside of Poland. During 2011, the Company�� Polish operations accounted for 26.3% of its revenue.


CEDC produces Green Mark in Russia and the sub-premium vodkas in Russia, Parliament and Zhuravli. During 2011 the Company introduced new brands to the Russian market Talka, Sotka and Silver Blend. The Company also produces Yamskaya, the economy vodka in Russia, and premixed alcohol drinks, or long drinks. The Company also owns Whitehall, which holds the exclusive rights to the import of such leading premium wine and spirit brands as Concha y Toro, Paul Masson, Robert Mondavi, DeKuyper, Jose Cuervo and Label 5. In addition to these import activities, Whitehall has distribution centers in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Rostov as well as a wine and spirits retail network located in Moscow. During 2011, the Company�� Russian operations accounted for 70.2% of its revenue. During 2011,the Company produced and sold approximately 16.6 million nine-liter cases of vodka th! rough its! Russian business in the main vodka segments in Russia: premium, sub-premium, mainstream, economy and cheap. In addition it produced and sold approximately 2.8 million nine-liter cases of long drinks.


The Company sells Royal Vodka in Hungary through its Bols Hungary subsidiary. The imported brands to Hungary include Bols Vodka, Zubrowka, Royal Vodka, Campari, Cinzano, Jaegermeister, Bols Liqueurs, Cointreau, Carolans, Galliano, Irish Mist, Jose Cuervo, Calvados Boulard, Remy Martin, Metaxa, St Remy, Grant��, Glenfiddich, Tullamore Dew and Old Smuggler.