In the course of answering investor, media, analyst, and short-seller questions for around five hours, Warren Buffett had a�lot�to say at the annual�Berkshire Hathaway� (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) annual meeting.
But was there one thing that stood out as the wisest, best, or most memorable thing that Buffett said this year? To answer that, I turned to my fellow Fools who were in attendance for the Omaha extravaganza.
Brendan Mathews: One of the great fears among Berkshire Hathaway is the future of the company without Warren and Charlie at the helm. In fact, according to Buffett, succession is the No. 1 issue discussed by the board.
At this year's annual meeting, the first investor question was about the future of Berkshire after Warren's inevitable departure. In response, Warren highlighted the subject of Berkshire's unique culture. Culture is hard to measure, and it can't fit in a spreadsheet. For that reason, investors, particularly those with a value bent, often totally ignore it. That's a mistake because it's crucially important, particularly at Berkshire.
Top India Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Nash-Finch Company(NAFC)
Nash-Finch Company operates as a wholesale food distributor in the United States. The company?s Military segment distributes grocery products to the United States military commissaries and exchanges in the United States and the District of Columbia, Europe, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Azores, Egypt, and Bahrain. Its Food Distribution segment sells and distributes various branded and private label grocery products and perishable food products to approximately 1,500 independent retail locations through its 14 distribution centers. This segment also provides various services, including promotional, advertising, and merchandising programs; installation of computerized ordering, receiving, and scanning systems; retail equipment procurement assistance; accounting, budgeting, and payroll contract services; consumer and market research; remodeling and store development services; supply chain through Internet services; and securing existing grocery stores. The company?s Retail segment operates corporate-owned grocery stores under the Sun Mart, Econofoods, AVANZA, Family Thrift Center, Pick ?n Save, Family Fresh Market, Prairie Market, Saver?s Choice, Wally?s Supermarkets, and Wholesale Food Outlet banners primarily in the states of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This segment?s conventional grocery stores offer a range of grocery products and services, such as fresh meat counters, delicatessens, bakeries, eat-in cafes, pharmacies, banks, and floral departments, as well as provide check cashing, fax services, and money transfer services. As of December 31, 2011, the company served 93 retail stores operating under the IGA banner and 50 retail stores under the Food Pride banner; and operated 43 conventional supermarkets, 1 AVANZA grocery store, 1 Wholesale Food Outlet grocery store, and 1 Saver?s Choice store. Nash-Finch Company was founded in 1885 and is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alex Planes]
Sysco has avoided the margin compression suffered by chicken producers Tyson (NYSE: TSN ) and Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ: CALM ) and which was more deeply felt by smaller food-service operator Nash-Finch (NASDAQ: NAFC ) . (It is omitted from this chart due to its drop into outright negative operating margin territory (a decline of roughly 250% in two years.) However, fellow food-service company United Natural Foods (NASDAQ: UNFI ) has actually improved its margins, and restaurant chains both large and small (well, mid-size) have done an admirable job of holding the margin line in the face of rising input costs. So it appears that scale alone isn't enough to help Sysco outrun the rising costs of its products.
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Nash-Finch (NASDAQ: NAFC ) and Spartan Stores (NASDAQ: SPTN ) jumped as much as 16% and 15%, respectively, after Spartan said it would buy Nash-Finch, primarily for its military stores.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: Shenandoah Telecommunications Co(SHEN)
Shenandoah Telecommunications Company, a diversified telecommunications company, provides regulated and unregulated telecommunications services to end-user customers and other communications providers in the southeastern United States. It offers a suite of voice, video, and data communications services; and sells telecommunications equipment. The company?s Wireless segment provides digital wireless service to a portion of a four-state area covering the region from Harrisburg, York, and Altoona, Pennsylvania to Harrisonburg, Virginia. It owns 149 towers and leases tower space to other wireless communications providers in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. This segment also offers personal communications services through a digital wireless telephone and data network. Its Wireline segment provides regulated and unregulated telephone services and leases fiber optic facilities primarily in the northern Shenandoah Valley. This segment also offers information s ervices and Internet access to customers in the northern Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. In addition, it is involved in the resale of long distance service for calls placed to locations outside the regulated telephone service area by telephone customers. As of December 31, 2011, this segment had approximately 1,410 dial-up customers and 12,351 digital subscriber line customers, as well as served approximately 10,483 long distance customers. The company?s Cable Television segment provides coaxial cable-based television service in the portions of Shenandoah County, Virginia, as well as in communities in West Virginia, southern and southwestern Virginia, and western Maryland. It had approximately 137,238 cable revenue generating units. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Edinburg, Virginia.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Wednesday morning, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP) and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ: PTX). In trading on Wednesday, telecommunications services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.39 percent. Top decliners in the sector included Shenandoah Telecommunications Co (NASDAQ: SHEN), off 3.3 percent, and CalAmp (NASDAQ: CAMP), down around 2.4 percent.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: NeoPhotonics Corp (NPTN)
NeoPhotonics Corporation, incorporated on October 31, 1996, is a designer and manufacturer of photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high-speed communications networks. The Company has a portfolio of over 300 products, including products that enable data transmission at 10 gigabytes per second, 40 gigabytes per second and 100 gigabytes per second, agility products, such as reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) that allocate bandwidth to adjust for volatile traffic patterns, and access products that provide high-bandwidth connections to more devices and people over fixed and wireless networks. In October 2011, the Company acquired Santur Corporation. In June 2013, it announced first shipments of optical transceiver modules out of its new, high capacity factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China.
The Company�� products are categorized in 34 product families. The Company sells its products to the network equipment vendors globally, including ADVA AG Optical Networking Ltd., Alcatel-Lucent SA, Ciena Corporation (including its recent acquisition of Nortel�� Metro Ethernet Networks business), Cisco Systems, Inc., FiberHome Technologies Group, ECI Telecom Ltd., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Fujitsu Limited, Harmonic, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, NEC Corporation, Nokia Siemens Networks B.V. and ZTE Corporation.
The Company competes with Finisar Corporation, JDS Uniphase Corporation, MRV Communications, Inc., NTT Electronics Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Anders Bylund]
Close competitor NeoPhotonics (NYSE: NPTN ) soared 15% higher. Larger rival JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU ) jumped 7.9% to become the fastest gainer on the S&P 500. If Ciena can beat its own expectations in selling Internet backbone equipment to a bevy of major telecoms, its chief rivals must eventually follow suit. JDS is only one month removed from its latest quarterly report, which sent shares diving 7% overnight (but all was forgiven a week later). NeoPhotonics also reported in early May, but didn't make any waves then.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: Marketo Inc (MKTO)
Marketo, Inc. (Marketo), incorporated on December 17, 2009, provides cloud-based marketing software platform that enables organizations to engage in modern relationship marketing. The Company�� software platform is designed to enable the execution, management and analytical measurement of marketing activities, helping organizations to acquire new customers. The Company�� platform includes marketing automation, social marketing, sales insight and revenue analytics. Its customer base includes 2,000 customers across a range of industries, including business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media, technology and telecommunications. The Company provides its solutions on a subscription basis. Effective December 19, 2013, Marketo Inc acquired Insightera Ltd.
The Company designs, builds and markets a suite of integrated applications to address the needs of modern marketing professionals. The Company�� customers use these applications individually and in combination to streamline and automate marketing processes; develop, retain and extend customer relationships, and measure the positive impact on revenue of marketing programs. Its platform and suite of applications is hosted and delivered over the Web using a cloud-based, or software as a service (SaaS) model, and is built using a multi-tenant architecture. The Company markets and sells its enterprise applications as: Marketo lead management, which includes the core Marketo platform, plus all of the marketing automation capabilities available on the platform; Marketo social marketing, which enables social media campaigns, such as referrals, sweepstakes, and other customer engagement campaigns, and also includes features to add social marketing extensions to traditional marketing campaigns; Marketo sales insight, which provides insights to salespeople about their customers and prospects, and Marketo revenue cycle analytics, which is a suite of analytic tools, analyzers, and ad hoc reporting capabilities taki! ng advantage of its time-series analytics engine.
The Company has built a suite of applications that run on its platform. The applications include marketing automation, social marketing, sales insight and revenue analytics. Marketing automation provides a set of capabilities for marketers to create, automate, and track personalized multi-channel marketing campaigns and relationship-marketing workflows. It includes functionality for marketers to finely segment their prospect and customer database based on collected demographic and behavioral data; generate custom Web pages without programming; send batch and individual personalized marketing messages over email, short message service (SMS) text, and other channels; streamline the entire process of running online (e.g., webinar) and offline (e.g., trade show) marketing events, and to execute multi-step lead nurturing and relationship-marketing campaigns that can run over days, weeks, or months.
Social marketing enables marketers to run social media marketing campaigns, as well as to an increase traditional marketing campaigns with a social marketing aspect in order to amplify marketing messages across social networks. Its solution lets marketers add intelligent social sharing buttons to existing Web content and videos; publish new Facebook pages with the touch of a button; build social engagement applications, such as polls, sweepstakes, and referral offers to engage their audience and promote social cross-posting, and increase existing customer and prospect information with social profiles and sharing behavior.
Sold on a per-seat basis, the Company offers sales insight application to customers utilizing Microsoft dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) or salesforce.com as their CRM system. Revenue Analytics provides a range of ways to help companies understand the correlation between marketing programs and revenue outcomes, and includes: a library of operational reports detailing e-mail and landing page per! formance,! Web activity, and lead performance; intuitive analyzers that show the influence of marketing on individual customer outcomes; analytics that compute and illustrate the impact, effectiveness and return on investment of marketing programs individually and in aggregate, and an ad-hoc report builder for completely customized reports and dashboards.
The Company competes with Act-On, Eloqua, Aprimo, HubSpot, SAS Institute, Unica, ExactTarget, Responsys, Silverpop, Oracle Corporation and SAP AG.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lee Jackson]
The Lazard trading desk said that active traders may want to look at software stocks that still had unusually high short interest. Those included Concur Technologies (NASDAQ: CNQR), Tangoe Inc. (NASDAQ: TNGO), Jive Software (NASDAQ: JIVE), Marketo Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTO), VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW). Stocks with high short interest can explode to the upside if the company gets back on track and short sellers are forced to cover.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: Opus International Consultants Ltd (OIC)Opus International Consultants Limited is a supplier of multidisciplinary consultancy and project management services across a range of disciplines including, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, and planning, environmental, architectural and property management. The Company operates in four segments: New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Services supplied support asset development and asset management activities of the Company�� clients. Asset management services include property management and asset maintenance services predominantly using our engineering and environmental specialists. Asset development services include civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, planning, environmental and architectural work. Effective September 3, 2013, Opus International Consultants Ltda majority-owned unit of Opus Group Bhd acquired Stewart, Weir & Co Ltd. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John McCamant]
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) is expected to get FDA approval this year for its lead drug naloxegol, a once-a-day pill for opioid-induced constipation (OIC). The drug is licensed to AstraZeneca. NKTR will receive up to $245 million in milestone payments, plus royalties.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: Hybrid Coating Technologies Inc (HCTI)
Hybrid Coating Technologies Inc. (HCT), incorporated on November 2, 2011, is a development-stage company. The Company's business is that of its wholly owned subsidiary, Nanotech Industries International Inc. (Nanotech). This business is the manufacturing and sale of alternative non-toxic (isocyanate-free) polyurethane, Green Polyurethane. The products manufactured and sold by the Company (Nanotech Products) comprise coating products and sealant products. Coatings and raw binder ingredients comprised of Green Polyurethane Monolithic Floor Coating and Green Polyurethane Binder and referred to as Coating Products. Sealants and adhesives comprised of Green Polyurethane and referred to as Sealant Products.
Applications for Green Polyurethane products markets include industrial and commercial buildings; civil applications for tunnels and bridges; private and public garages; chemical and food processing plants; Warehouses; Monolithic floorings for civil, industrial and military engineering; marine and aeronautic applications; industrial equipment for dairy and liquid fertilizer processing plants and delivery systems; military facilities and equipment, and protective coatings inside industrial and commercial pipes. The Company intends to establish full commercial-scale manufacturing for both of its products at Adhpro Adhesives Inc. (Adhpro Adhesives) in Magog, Quebec and Simpson Coatings Group Inc. (Simpson Coatings) in California through non-exclusive toll manufacturing agreements.
The Company competes with BASF, Sherwin Williams, PPG, Benjamin Moore, AKZO Nobel, Rust-Oleum and Sika AG.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Last Friday, small cap stocks Tristar Wellness Solutions Inc (OTCMKTS: TWSI) jumped 14.94% while Hybrid Coating Technologies (OTCBB: HCTI) and Bulova Technologies Group, Inc (OTCMKTS: BTGI) sank 23.53% and 13.04%, respectively. It should be mentioned that only one of these small cap stocks appears to be the subject of paid promotions or investor relations type activities. So what will these three small cap stocks do for investors this week? Here is a quick reality check to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap green stocks Hybrid Coating Technologies, Inc (OTCBB: HCTI), Pan Global Corp (OTCMKTS: PGLO) and Trans Global Group Inc (OTCMKTS: TGGI) have been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters or alerts with two of these stocks also being the subject of some paid promotions. But will these small cap green stocks actually deliver some green in the form of greenbacks for investors? Let�� take off the green eyeshades and take a closer look:Hybrid Coating Technologies, Inc (OTCBB: HCTI) Has Expanded Its Green Technology
Small cap Hybrid Coating Technologies, Inc is a San Francisco-based innovator focused on improving the quality and safety of coatings and paint for industrial and commercial customers around the world and it�� the exclusive licensee of Green Polyurethane(TM) coatings and paint - the world's first-ever patent protected polyurethane-based coatings and paint products which eliminate toxic isocyanates from the entire production process (licensed by Nanotech Industries, Inc). On Friday, Hybrid Coating Technologies, Inc rose 2.13% to $0.48 for a market cap of $44.27 million plus HCTI is up 20% over the past year and down 96.9% since August 2009 according to Google Finance.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Companies To Own For 2014: Guar Global Ltd (GGBL)
Guar Global Ltd., formerly ERE Management, Inc., incorporated on May 29, 2007, is a development-stage company. The Company focuses on developing its content management system (CMS) software product. It has developed a basic version of the CMS software, which enables real estate agents with no technical knowledge to easily build a Website to showcase their listings.
The Company's product is designed to include an administration page that allows the entry of mega tags and keywords to enhance search engine hits, and a set of tools to enhance Websites by enabling the creation of various Website sections, such as a contact us contact information page; an our team description of agents page, and a mortgage calculator. During the fiscal year ended July 31, 2010, the Company did not generate any revenue.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap OTC stocks Sovereign Lithium Inc (OTCMKTS: SLCO), Life Stem Genetics Inc (OTCMKTS: LIFS), Nevada Gold Corp (OTCMKTS: NVGC), Guar Global Ltd (OTCMKTS: GGBL) and Makism 3D Corp (OTCMKTS: MDDD) all saw their trading halted late last year by the SEC, but now all of these stocks are trading again. So what's going on and why the sudden crackdown? First, here is a quick look at what happened to the following five small cap stocks: