Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Home BancShares (NASDAQ: HOMB ) , the holding company of Centennial Bank, jumped as much as 13% after receiving an analyst upgrade.
So what: Before we get to the upgrade we have to understand the impetus for the upgrade which was yesterday's announced merger between Home BancShares and Liberty BancShares which will create the second-largest bank headquartered in Arkansas. Under the terms of the deal, Liberty's shareholders will receive $250 million in Home BancShares' stock and $30 million in cash. In lieu of the merger, research firm Wunderlich upgraded Home BancShares to "buy" from "hold" and upped its price target all the way to $29 from a previous mark of $20.50.
Now what: As I've said before, if there's an industry more ripe for mergers and acquisitions than any other it's regional banks. Many would do well for themselves and shareholders by combining their strengths to take on national banks which aren't seen in particularly good light by consumers. The combined bank will have $7.1 billion in assets and will double the number of branches Home BancShares currently possesses, making it a positive move, at least from what I'm seeing on paper.
Top 5 Airline Stocks To Watch Right Now: Basic Energy Services Inc. (BAS)
Basic Energy Services, Inc. provides various well site services to oil and natural gas drilling and producing companies in the United States. Its Completion and Remedial Services segment provides pumping services, such as cementing, acidizing, fracturing, coiled tubing, nitrogen, and pressure testing; rental and fishing tools; snubbing services; thru-tubing; cased-hole wireline services; and underbalanced drilling in low pressure and fluid sensitive reservoirs. This segment operates 228 pressure pumping units. It also operates 14 coiled tubing units; 49 air compressor packages; 12 wireline units; and 34 snubbing units. The company�s Fluid Services segment offers oilfield fluid supply, transportation, storage, and construction services, which comprise the transportation of fluids and salt water; sale and transportation of fresh and brine water; rental of portable frac tanks and test tanks; operation of company-owned fresh water and brine source wells and non-hazardous wast ewater disposal wells; and preparation, construction, and maintenance of access roads, drilling locations, and production facilities. This segment owns and operates 955 fluid services trucks with a fluid hauling capacity of up to 150 barrels apiece. Its Well Servicing segment provides various services performed with a mobile well servicing rig and ancillary equipment, such as maintenance work, hoisting tools and equipment required by the operation, and plugging and abandonment services, as well as manufactures and sells workover rigs. It operates a fleet of 425 well servicing rigs. The company�s Contract Drilling segment employs drilling rigs and related equipment to penetrate the earth to a desired depth and initiate production. This segment owns and operates 12 land drilling rigs. The company was formerly known as Sierra Well Service, Inc. and changed its name to Basic Energy Services, Inc. in 2000. Basic Energy Services, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is based in Fort Wort h, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Aaron Levitt]
For investors, the choice is clear — you need to focus globally when it comes to oil stocks. North American-focused oil stocks like C&J Energy (CJES) and Basic Energy Services (BAS) might not be up to snuff in such a highly challenging pricing environment.
- [By Simon Casey]
Dow is investing $4 billion to expand production in the U.S., where an abundance of natural gas from drilling in shale formations has made U.S. plastics production competitive with the Middle East. The company, founded in 1897 as a bleach maker, is the world�� biggest producer of chlorine, epoxy resins and polyethylene plastic. It�� the world�� second-biggest chemical maker after Germany�� BASF SE. (BAS)
- [By Garrett Cook]
Energy services shares fell by 0.52 percent on Friday. Top losers in the sector included Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS), down 10 percent, and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE), off 6.1 percent.
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: Bank of Communications Co Ltd (BKFCF)Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. is principally engaged in banking and related financial services. The Bank's business is divided into four segments: personal banking, including personal savings, bank card, personal lending, payment and settlement, investment services, insurance services and wealth management; corporate banking, comprised of cash management, supplying chain financing, investment banking, financial institutional banking and asset custody services; international banking, consisting of foreign exchange wealth management, document settlement, remittance and bill services, trade finance and offshore banking, and e-banking, including personal online banking, enterprise online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking and self-help banking. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Hong Kong stocks inched lower early Friday, with mainland Chinese banks and energy shares among the weak spots. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) lost 0.1% to 22,824.44, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index down 0.4%, even as the Shanghai Composite (CN:SHCOMP) rose 0.1%. Concerns about the fiscal health of the top mainland lenders loomed again over the shares, with Bank of China Ltd. (HK:3988) (BACHY) down 0.9%, Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) 1.3% lower, and China Construction Bank Corp. (HK:939) (CICHF) off 0.7%. In the energy sector, Cnooc Ltd. (HK:883) (CEO) gave up 0.9% after posting a 17% gain in third-quarter revenue but not reporting its profit for the period. Its peers also lost ground, as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (HK:386) (SNP) and PetroChina Co. (HK:857) (PTR) fell 1% apiece. On the upside, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. (HK:762) (CHU) added 1.6% after announcing a gain of more than 50% for its quarterly profit compared to a year earlier. Rival China Mobile Ltd. (HK:941
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Chinese stocks opened lower Thursday, with banks mostly weaker after a slew of earnings results from the top mainland Chinese lenders. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) fell 0.8% to 23,120.24, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index also 0.8% lower, while the Shanghai Composite (CN:SHCOMP) gave up 0.6% in early moves. Mostly disappointing earnings from some of the largest banks helped sink their shares. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1398) (IDCBF) dropped 1.7%, Bank of China Ltd. (HK:3988) (BACHY) retreated by 0.8%, and Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) dropped 2.6% after all three posted lower profit growth than a year earlier, and with BoCom saying it could raise capital with a preferred-share issue. In other post-earnings reactions, China Minsheng Banking Corp. (HK:1988) (CMAKY) fell 3.2%, but Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1288) (ACGBF) traded flat. In Shanghai, ICBC (CN:601398) lost 0.5%, Bank of China (CN:601988) fell 0.4%, BoCom (CN:601328) was down 1.6%, China Minsheng (CN:600016)
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Hong Kong stocks started modestly lower Thursday, tracking broad weakness in Asia, with mainland Chinese banks mixed after the release of November lending data. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) lost 0.2% to 23,288.02, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.4%. However, the Shanghai Composite (CN:SHCOMP) added 0.1% to 2,205.39 in choppy trade that saw it swing between positive and negative territory. Mainland Chinese banks saw mixed reaction after data showed new yuan-denominated loans rose to 624.6 billion yuan ($102 billion) in November, more than 100 billion yuan above the year-earlier figure and beating market forecasts of between 560 billion yuan and 580 billion yuan, according to the XInhua news agency. Among the top banks, Bank of China Ltd. (HK:3988) (BACHY) was up 0.3%, Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) rose 0.2%, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1288) (ACGBF) traded flat, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1398) (IDCBF) fell 0.6%. Shares of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (HK:2600) (ACH) lost 0.7% after saying it could see a drop of up to 37% in output from a key Peruvian copper mine. Angang Steel Co. (HK:347) (ANGGF)
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: Telecom Italia SpA (TIT)Telecom Italia SpA is an Italy-based company engaged in the communications sector. It operates in the fixed and mobile national and international telecommunications sector. Its activities are divided into five business units. The Domestic unit provides telephone and data services on fixed line and mobile networks for retail voice customers and wholesale operators, as well as develop fiber optic networks. The Brazil unit offers mobile services using Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technologies. The Argentina unit operates in fixed telecommunications through Telecom Argentina and in mobile telecommunications through Telecom Personal, and in Paraguay it operates in mobile telecommunications through Nucleo. The Media unit produces of multimedia music platforms, satellite channels and television broadcasting platforms. The Olivetti unit operates in the sector of office products and services for Information Technology. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Telecom Italia (TIT) jumped 8.4 percent to 60.7 euro cents. La Repubblica reported that Sawiris may buy a stake in the phone company. The newspaper didn�� cite anyone.
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) surged 9.4 percent to 53 euro cents after Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said Italy�� biggest phone company is a potential takeover target for telecommunications operators including Vodafone Group Plc and AT&T Inc.
- [By Tom Stoukas]
Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) rose 5.2 percent to 61 euro cents amid speculation Chief Executive Officer Franco Bernabe will resign. Bernabe plans to tell the board at a meeting scheduled for Oct. 3 that he�� ready to step down after losing the backing of Telco SpA, the Telefonica SA-led holding company that owns 22.4 percent of the carrier, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: Vocus Inc.(VOCS)
Vocus, Inc. provides cloud marketing software that enables businesses attract, engage, and retain customers in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Morocco. It offers a suite of software for social media marketing, search marketing, email marketing, and publicity. The company?s cloud marketing solutions include search marketing and news distribution solution that helps customers increase their online visibility and organic search engine rankings with press releases; and email marketing solution, which provides a method of keeping in touch with prospects and customers by using professional looking emails to send newsletters, special offers, and other useful content. Its cloud marketing solutions also comprise social media software solution that helps customers run social marketing campaigns, as well as monitor and analyze conversations across multiple social networks and other online Websites; and publicity solution, which offers media database, news monitoring, and analyt ics and publicity opportunities that help companies increase their media exposure, manage relationships with reporters, and monitor and analyze trends unfolding in the media. The company also provides professional services that consist of data migration, custom development, and training. Vocus, Inc. sells its products to the financial and insurance, technology, healthcare and pharmaceutical, and retail and consumer products industries, as well as government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and educational institutions through its direct sales channels, indirect sales channels, and the Internet. Vocus, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By The GeoTeam]
Our recent 2013 articles on SaaS companies Selectica (SLTC), E2open (EOPN), Responsys (MKTG), Vocus (VOCS), and ExactTarget (ET) highlighted such opportunities. The average return since the inception of our coverage currently stands at around 34% (55% at their highs).
- [By Seth Jayson]
Vocus (Nasdaq: VOCS ) reported earnings on April 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Vocus met expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.
- [By Alex Planes]
What: Shares of Vocus (NASDAQ: VOCS ) have plunged 15% today after the company's forward guidance failed to impress the Street.
So what: Vocus reported its earnings last evening, and both the $46.6 million top line and the $0.01 earnings per share result were better than Wall Street's consensus, which sought a $45.3 million revenue number and a $0.02 loss per share. However, third-quarter guidance of $46.5 million to $46.8 million on the top line is below the $47 million consensus, and a $0.03 to $0.04 EPS result is roughly in line with the $0.03 consensus. Additionally, the full fiscal year's guidance of $188 million to $189 million is roughly in line with the $188.2 million consensus.
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: Mitcham Industries Inc.(MIND)
Mitcham Industries, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the leasing, sale, and service of geophysical and other equipment to the seismic industry worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Seamap. The Equipment Leasing segment leases seismic equipment for short-term leasing primarily to seismic data acquisition contractors and oil field service providers. Its land equipment lease pool includes seismic recording land channels, geophones and cables, and other peripheral equipment; marine seismic equipment lease pool comprises streamers, air compressors, air guns, streamer positioning equipment, energy source controllers, and other equipment; and downhole equipment lease pool consist of downhole seismic tools. This segment is also involved in the sale of new seismic equipment of other manufacturers; heli-pickers and related equipment used in the deployment and retrieval of seismic equipment by helicopter; and equipment, consumables, systems integration, engineering hardware, and software maintenance support services to the seismic, hydrographic, oceanographic, environmental, and defense industries, as well as sells used equipment from its lease pool. The Seamap segment designs, manufactures, and sells a range of products for the marine seismic industry. Its products include GunLink seismic source acquisition and control systems, which are designed to provide operators of marine seismic surveys with precise control of energy sources; and BuoyLink RGPS tracking systems that are used to offer precise positioning of seismic sources and streamers. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Huntsville, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dimitra DeFotis]
The market seems to be showing fatigue particularly with positive onshore oil service data points that may no�longer seem incremental. Investors have become especially focused on potential issues and macro concerns. We believe this phase�of enhanced risk perceptions will pass and still recommend owning selective stocks based on attractive valuations and healthy�fundamentals. Of the 16 oilfield services companies having reported their quarters to date, the share price changes have at times�been difficult to tie to specific results. �… Five of the 12 companies who have beaten earnings expectations have seen their share prices drop on the day, including Basic Energy Services (BAS) (-9.0%), Baker Hughes (BHI) (-2.5%), National Oilwell Varco (NOV) (-1.5%), Oceaneering (OII) (-4.2%), and Schlumberger (SLB) (-2.0%). Other stocks beating expectations have traded higher as expected, including Cameron International (CAM) (+4.1%), FMC Technologies (FTI) (+3.1%), Mitcham Industries (MIND) (+3.8%), Nabors Industries (NBR) (+1.2%), Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN) (+1.8%), RPC (RES) (+8.4%), and Weatherford International (WFT) (+2.3%). Companies which have missed have universally seen their share prices decline, including Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) (-4.3%), Gulfmark Offshore (GLF) (-0.1%), and Hercules Offshore (HERO) (-6.9%). Halliburton (HAL) was in line and flat on the day.
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: North American Palladium Ltd (PAL)
North American Palladium Ltd. (NAP) is a precious metals producer that has been operating its flagship Lac des Iles mine (LDI) located in Ontario, Canada. The Company is in the business of exploring and mining palladium, platinum, gold and certain base metals. The Company�� 100%-owned subsidiary is the Lac des Iles Mines Ltd. (LDI).
The Company�� Lac des Iles (LDI) palladium mine is a palladium producer. The mine is located approximately 85 kilometers northwest of the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, and consists of open pit and underground mining operations and a 15,000 ton per day mill.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
4. Platinum-group metals
Platinum and palladium both fell sharply, losing 5% and 6% of their value, respectively. Those losses weren't as extreme as gold's, but they nevertheless represented a drop to levels not seen since late last year. The two major miners producing the white metals, Stillwater Mining (NYSE: SWC ) and North American Palladium (NYSEMKT: PAL ) , both lost more than 10% on the day.
10 Best Diversified Bank Stocks To Watch For 2014: NewLead Holdings Ltd.(NEWL)
NewLead Holdings Ltd. operates as an international shipping company that owns and operates product tankers and dry bulk carriers. It operates in two segments, Wet Operations and Dry Operations. The Wet Operations segment transports various refined petroleum products simultaneously in segregated coated cargo tanks that include gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, naphtha, and gas oil. The Dry Operations segment involves in transporting and handling bulk cargoes through ownership, operation, and trading of vessels. As of August 2, 2011, the company operated a fleet of 6 double-hull product tankers and 16 dry bulk vessels. The company was formerly known as Aries Maritime Transport Limited and changed its name to NewLead Holdings Ltd. in December 2009. NewLead Holdings Ltd. was incorporated in 2005 and is based in Athens, Greece.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
NewLead Holdings (NASDAQ: NEWL) shares dipped 6.56% to touch a new 52-week low of $0.08 after the company completed the acquisition of titles in the Viking Mine located in Kentucky, USA.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Back in early November, yours truly penned some bullish thoughts on FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE), NewLead Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NEWL), and DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS). While each stock has its own merits, the crux of the bullishness was ultimately rooted in the brewing rebound of the Baltic Dry Index... a reflection of the prices companies pay shippers like FreeSeas and DryShips to haul goods over the ocean.
- [By James E. Brumley]
October wasn't an easy month to own FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE), NewLead Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NEWL), DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS), or any maritime shipper for that matter. They were all down rather sharply after heroic runups in September. DRYS fell 22% last month. NEWL slumped 41% in October. FREE gave up 44% of its value last month. What happened? After all, these same stocks were among some of the hottest names in September. In simplest terms, what happened here is what happens all too often... the market "got it right" in terms of the premise, but overdid it. Now that the dust is settling though, the undertow is kicking in again, but this time at a more reasonable/sustainable pace.