10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now

NEW YORK (The Deal) — The potential sale of Frontier Airlines is in doubt due to reluctance on the part of airline employees to take a haircut on equity grants they were given in return for signing off on previous cost savings sought by the discount carrier.

Frontier owner Republic Airways Holdings (RJET) said Tuesday, Sept. 17, it was extending negotiations with an unnamed buyer until Sept. 30 to allow time to complete a deal, but provided few details on the status of talks. Multiple sources close to Frontier said the buyer, whom the sources identify as private equity firm Indigo Partners, is engaged in talks with unionized airline employees concerning an equity participation program that was put in place as part of a 2011 restructuring at Frontier. 

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: IHS Inc. (IHS)

IHS Inc. (IHS), incorporated on May 5, 1994, is a source of information and insight in areas, such as energy and power; design and supply chain; defense, risk, and security; environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability; country and industry forecasting, and commodities, pricing, and cost. The Company is organized by geographies into three business segments: Americas, which includes the United States, Canada, and Latin America; EMEA, which includes Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and APAC (Asia Pacific). IHS sources data and transforms it into information and insight that businesses, Governments, and others use every day to make decisions. Its product development teams have also created Web services and application interfaces. These services allow its customers to integrate the Company’s information with other data, business processes and applications (computer-aided design, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and product data/lifecycle man agement). The Company develops its offerings based on its customers’ workflows, and it sells and delivers them into the industries in which IHS’s customers operate. As of November 30, 2011, HIS focused on five customer workflows: strategy, planning, and analysis; energy technical; product engineering; supply chain, and EHS & sustainability. As of November 30, 2011, it was focused on six verticals: energy and natural resources; Government, defense and security; chemicals; transportation; manufacturing, and technology, media, and telecommunications. In March 2012, the Company acquired Displaybank, a global authority in market research and consulting for the display industry; the Computer Assisted Product Selection (CAPSTM) electronic components database and tools business, including CAPS Expert, from PartMiner Worldwide, and the digital oil and gas pipeline and infrastructure information business from Hild Technology Services. In March 2012, the Company acquired IMS Research . In March 2012, the Company acquired BDW Automotive GmbH. I! n May 2012, it acquired Xedar Corporation, a developer and provider of geospatial information products and services. In July 2012, the Company acquired CyberRegs business from Citation Technologies, Inc. In July 2012, the Company acquired GlobalSpec, Inc. On April 16, 2011, IHS acquired ODS-Petrodata (Holdings) Ltd. ODS-Petrodata is a provider of data, information, and market intelligence to the offshore energy industry. On April 26, 2011, it acquired Dyadem International, Ltd. (Dyadem). Dyadem offers operational risk management and quality risk management solutions. On May 2, 2011, the Company acquired Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI). CMAI is a leading provider of market and business advisory services for the worldwide petrochemical, specialty chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, fibers, and chlor-alkali industries. On August 10, 2011, the Company acquired Seismic Micro-Technology (SMT). SMT offers Windows-based exploration and production software, and its solutions are used by geoscientists worldwide to evaluate potential reservoirs and plan field development. On November 10, 2011, it acquired Purvin & Gertz. Purvin & Gertz is a global advisory and market research firm that provides technical, commercial, and strategic a dvice to international clients in the petroleum refining, natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and petrochemical industries. Energy and Power IHS covers the technical and economic spectrum of energy and power. Detailed records and forecasts on oil, gas and coal supplies, combined with insights on traditional and emerging energy markets, help enable its customers to make decisions. Its offerings include production information on more than 90 % of the world’s oil and gas production in more than 100 countries; oil and gas well data that includes geological information on more than four million current and historic wells worldwide; energy activity data that includes current and future seismic, drilling and development activities in more than 180 countries and 335 hydrocarbon-producing regions worldwide; information and research to develop unconventional hydrocarbon resources-shale gas, coal bed methane and heavy oil; knowledge of energy markets, strategies, industry trends, and companies; information and research summits, such as IHS CERAWeek and the IHS Herold Pacesetters Energy Conference, which offer decision makers the opportunity to interact with its experts, and critical information about analysis of coal, nuclear and renewables, including wind, solar, and hydro power. The Company competes with DrillingInfo, Inc., TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Accenture, Deloitte, Wood Mackenzie, Ltd., Schlumberger Limited, Halliburton, LMKR and Paradigm Ltd. Design and Supply Chain IHS Design and Supply Chain solutions provide information for customers that allow them to manage a product from conception to research and development to production, maintenance and disposal. It also provides companies access to specifications and standards. The Company’s offerings include market and technology research and analysis; standards management solutions, including more than 370 commercial and military standards and specification publishing organizations; advanced product design and process engineering; strategic product content and supply chain management; environmentally compliant product design; counterfeit part risk mitigation; product performance and cost optimization, and indirect parts and maintenance, repair, and operations logistics, inventory and cash flow optimization tables, including wind, solar, and hydro power. The Company competes with SAI Global and Thomson Reuters Corporation. Defense, Risk and Security IHS delivers open source intelligence in the areas of global defense, risk, and security, including maritime domain awareness. IHS offers open source intelligence solutions for military planners, national security analysts, and defense and maritime industry strategy and planning professionals. The Company’s offerings include military and national security assessments; defense equipment and technology information; defense budgets and procurement forecasting; defense industry trends and analysis; terrorism and insurgency analysis; global commercial ship identification and specifications; live tracking of commercial ship movements; shipping and shipbuilding markets and forecasts, and ports and port security information. The Company competes with McGraw-Hill, Gannett, Forecast International and Control Risks Group. EHS and Sustainability IHS EHS and Sustainability solutions support critical decisions around environmental, health and safety, operational risk, greenhouse gas and energy, product stewardship and corporate responsibility. The Company’s offerings include global and local software implementations; material compliance and lifecycle information content; strategic planning services in greenhouse gas management and cap-and-trade; compliance and verification expertise for local, regional, national, and international EHS and sustainability management system responsibilities, and risk management assessment across a range of industries. The Company competes with SAP and Verisk. Country and Industry Forecasting IHS delivers detailed forecasts and analysis of economic conditions within political, economic, legal, tax, operational, and security environments worldwide. Additionally, IHS provides forecasts, market-sizing, and risk assessments for a number of industries worldwide, including aerospace and defense, agriculture, automotive, chemicals, construction, consumer and retail, energy, finance, government, healthcare and pharmaceutical, military and security, mining and metals, commerce and transport, and telecommunications. Its offerings include in-depth analysis of the business conditions, economic prospects, and risks in more than 200 countries and more than 170 industries; security risk analysis and daily updates on both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and sovereign risk ratings in more than 200 countries; event-driven updates of its risk analysis and ratings; short-, medium- and long-term forecasts for business planning and decision making; historical information since 1970; De ep market intelligence for the automotive, agriculture, chemicals, construction, consumer goods, commerce and transport, energy, financial, healthcare and pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and steel industries; and scenario explorations examining alternative outcomes to the questions impacting global business. The Company competes with Economist Intelligence Unit and Moody’s Corporation. Commodities, Pricing and Cost IHS offers information, forecasts, and analysis to help its customers understand the how, when, and what of commodity prices and labor costs. IHS analysts monitor and forecast more than 1,300 global price, wage, and manufacturing costs across the regions for sectors, including energy products, chemicals, steel, nonferrous metals, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic components, paper and packaging, transportation, and building materials. Its offerings include analysis and forecasts for more than 1,300 global price, wage, and manufacturing costs; market intelligence of drivers, assumptions, and risks relating to commodity and service prices; cost and price data with actionable insights; forecasts covering global spot market prices, wages, and material costs; advisory forums to assist in monitoring, forecasting, and managing power and energy portfolio project costs, and consulting capabilities that enable clients to source materials. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Top Headline
    IHS (NYSE: IHS) reported an upbeat fourth-quarter profit.

    IHS projects FY14 subscription revenue to rise 6% to 7%. The company projects total revenue of $2.17 to $2.23 billion and an adjusted profit of $5.50 to $5.85 per share. However, analysts projected a profit of $5.58 per share on revenue of $2.2 billion.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The dollar value of global merger & acquisition (M&A) transactions in the oil & gas industry plunged by nearly 50% in 2013 from a record high level in 2012. The transaction count fell by 20% led by a very sluggish first half of the year. The data was reported last Thursday by research firm IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Next week investors will be waiting for several key earnings reports including Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO), Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ), IHS (NYSE: IHS), and Sonic (NASDAQ: SONC).

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Boston Scientific Corp (BSX)

Boston Scientific Corporation is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a range of interventional medical specialties. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its products were offered for sale by seven core businesses: Interventional Cardiology, CRM, Endoscopy, Peripheral Interventions, Urology/Women’s Health, Neuromodulation, and Electrophysiology. In January 2011, it completed the acquisition of Intelect Medical, Inc. In January 2011, it completed the acquisition of Sadra Medical, Inc. In March 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of Atritech, Inc. In February 2011, it announced the acquisitions of S.I. Therapies and ReVascular Therapeutics, Inc. In January 2011, the Company sold its Neurovascular business to Stryker Corporation. In June 2012, the Company acquired Cameron Health, Inc. of San Clemente, California and, as a result, added to its product portfolio subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, called the S -ICD System.

Interventional Cardiology

The Company offers coronary stent product. Coronary stents are tiny, mesh tubes used in the treatment of coronary artery disease, which are implanted in patients to prop open arteries and facilitate blood flow to and from the heart. The Company offers a two-drug platform strategy with its paclitaxel-eluting and everolimus-eluting stent system offerings, and it offers a range of stent sizes. The Company markets its next-generation internally-developed and self-manufactured PROMUS Element stent system in the United States, its Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region and certain Inter-Continental countries, including China and India. It markets the PROMUS everolimus-eluting stent system, supplied to the Company by Abbott Laboratories, in Japan. It also markets its TAXUS paclitaxel-eluting stent line, including its third-generation TAXUS Element paclitaxel-eluting stent system in the U.nited States, Japan, EMEA and certain Inter-Continental countries.

The Compa! ny markets a line of products used to treat patients with atherosclerosis, a principal cause of coronary artery obstructive disease. Its product offerings include balloon catheters, rotational atherectomy systems, guide wires, guide catheters, embolic protection devices, and diagnostic catheters used in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). The Company markets a family of intraluminal catheter-directed ultrasound imaging catheters and systems for use in coronary arteries and heart chambers, as well as certain peripheral vessels. The iLab Ultrasound Imaging System continues as its flagship console and is compatible with its line of imaging catheters. The system is designed to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of blocked vessels and heart disorders. Sadra is developing a repositionable and retrievable device for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis. The Lotus Valve System consists of a stent-mounted tiss ue valve prosthesis and catheter delivery system for guidance and placement of the valve. Atritech has developed a device designed to close the left atrial appendage in patients with atrial fibrillation who are at risk for ischemic stroke. The WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Technology, developed by Atritech, is the first device proven in a randomized clinical trial to offer an alternative to anticoagulant drugs, and is approved for use in CE Mark countries.

Cardiac Rhythm Management

The Company develops, manufactures and markets a variety of implantable devices that monitor the heart and deliver electricity to treat cardiac abnormalities, including Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) systems used to detect and treat abnormally fast heart rhythms (tachycardia) that could result in sudden cardiac death, including implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) systems used to treat heart failure, and implantable pa cemaker systems used to manage slow or irregular heart rhyth! ms (brady! cardia), including implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker (CRT-P) systems used to treat heart failure. Its product offerings include its COGNIS cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D), its TELIGEN ICD systems and its ALTRUA family of pacemaker systems. During 2011, it began the United States launch of its next-generation line of defibrillators, INCEPTA, ENERGEN and PUNCTUA.

Endoscopy

The Company markets a range of products to diagnose, treat and ease a variety of digestive diseases, including those affecting the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, duodenum, and colon. Common disease states include esophagitis, portal hypertension, peptic ulcers as well as esophageal, biliary, pancreatic and colonic cancer. The Company offers the Radial Jaw 4 Single-Use Biopsy Forceps, which are designed to enable collection of large high-quality tissue specimens without the need to use large channel therapeutic endoscopes. Its exclu sive line of RX Biliary System devices are designed to provide greater access and control for physicians to diagnose and treat challenging conditions of the bile ducts, such as removing gallstones, opening obstructed bile ducts and obtaining biopsies in suspected tumors. The Company also markets the Spyglass Direct Visualization System for direct imaging of the pancreatico-biliary system. The Spyglass System is a single-operator cholangioscopy device that offers clinicians a direct visualization of the pancreatico-biliary system and includes supporting devices for tissue acquisition, stone management and lithotripsy. Its products also include the WallFlex family of stents, in particular, the WallFlex Biliary line and WallFlex Esophageal line; and in 2011, the Company launched its Advanix Biliary Plastic Stent System and the Expect Endoscopic Ultrasound Aspiration Needle in the United States and certain international markets. Its Resolution Clip Device is an endoscopic mechan ical clip designed to treat gastrointestinal bleeding.

T! he Company markets devices to diagnose, treat and ease pulmonary disease systems within the airway and lungs. Its products are designed to help perform biopsies, retrieve foreign bodies from the airway, open narrowings of an airway, stop internal bleeding, and ease symptoms of some types of airway cancers. Its product line includes pulmonary biopsy forceps, transbronchial aspiration needles, cytology brushes and tracheobronchial stents used to dilate narrowed airway passages or for tumor management. Asthmatx, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets a less-invasive, catheter-based bronchial thermoplasty procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma. The Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System, developed by Asthmatx, has both CE Mark and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and is the first device-based asthma treatment approved by the FDA.

Peripheral Interventions

The Company sells various products designed to treat patients with peripher al disease, including a line of medical devices used in percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and peripheral vascular stenting. Its peripheral product offerings include stents, balloon catheters, wires, peripheral embolization devices and vena cava filters. In 2010 and 2011, it launched several of its products internationally, including the EPIC self-expanding nitinol stent system in certain international markets, and the Carotid WALLSTENT stent system in Japan. The Company launched three new peripheral angioplasty balloons in 2011, including its next-generation Mustang percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) balloon, its Coyote balloon catheter, a highly deliverable and ultra-low profile balloon dilatation catheter designed for a range of peripheral angioplasty procedures and its Charger PTA Balloon Catheter, a 0.035 inch percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon catheter designed for post-stent dilatation, as well as conventional balloon angioplasty to open blocked peripheral arteries. The Company has commenced a limited ma! rket rele! ase of its OFFROAD re-entry catheter system in certain international markets, and in February 2012, it launched its TRUEPATH intraluminal CTO device in the United States.

The Company sells products designed to treat patients with non-vascular disease. Its non-vascular suite of products include biliary stents, drainage catheters and micro-puncture sets designed to treat, diagnose and ease various forms of benign and malignant tumors. The Company continues to market its extensive line of Interventional Oncology product solutions, including the Renegade HI-FLO Fathom microcatheter and guidewire system and Interlock – 35 Fibered IDC Occlusion System for peripheral embolization. The Company’s FilterWire EZ Embolic Protection System is a filter designed to capture embolic material that may become dislodged during a procedure, which could otherwise travel into the microvasculature where it could cause a heart attack or stroke. It is commercially available in the Unit ed States, its EMEA region and certain Inter-Continental countries for multiple indications, including the treatment of disease in peripheral, coronary and carotid vessels. It is also available in the United States for the treatment of saphenous vein grafts and carotid artery stenting procedures.

Urology/Women’s Health

The Company’s Urology/Women’s Health division develops, manufactures and sells devices to treat various urological and gynecological disorders. The Company sells a variety of products designed to treat patients with urinary stone disease, stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and excessive uterine bleeding. The Company offers a line of stone management products, including ureteral stents, wires, lithotripsy devices, stone retrieval devices, sheaths, balloons and catheters.

The Company markets a range of devices for the treatment of conditions, such as female urinary incontinence, pelvic floor reconstruc tion (rebuilding of the anatomy to its original state), and ! menorrhag! ia (excessive menstrual bleeding). It offers a breadth of mid-urethral sling products, sling materials, graft materials, pelvic floor reconstruction kits, and suturing devices. The Company markets its Genesys Hydro ThermAblator (HTA) system, a next-generation endometrial ablation system designed to ablate the endometrial lining of the uterus in premenopausal women with menorrhagia. The Genesys HTA System features a smaller and lighter console, simplified set-up requirements, and an enhanced graphic user interface and is designed to improve operating performance.

Neuromodulation

The Company within its Neuromodulation business markets the Precision Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system, used for the management of chronic pain. In 2011, the Company launched its Clik Anchor for its Precision Plus SCS System, a rechargeable SCS device for chronic pain management. During 2011, it received FDA approval for and launched the Infinion 16 Percutaneous Lead, a 1 6-contact percutaneous lead. The Company also markets the Linear 3-4 and Linear 3-6 Percutaneous Leads for use with its SCS systems, which are designed to provide physicians more treatment options for their chronic pain patients. Intelect Medical, Inc. is a development-stage company developing advanced visualization and programming for the Vercise system.

Electrophysiology

The Company within its Electrophysiology business develops less-invasive medical technologies used in the diagnosis and treatment of rate and rhythm disorders of the heart. Included in its product offerings are radio frequency (RF) generators, steerable RF ablation catheters, intracardiac ultrasound catheters, diagnostic catheters, delivery sheaths, and other accessories. Its products include the Blazer and Blazer Prime line of temperature ablation catheters, designed to deliver enhanced performance, responsiveness, and durability. Its cooled ablation portfolio includes the closed -loop irrigated catheter on the market, the Chilli II cooled! ablation! catheter, and the newly launched Blazer Open-Irrigated ablation catheter with a Total Tip Cooling Design.

The Company competes with Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic, Inc., St. Jude Medical, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 1,843.80 today as Boston Scientific (BSX), Dow Chemical (DOW) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.3% to 16,414.44.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

    Aflac Inc (NYSE: AFL) gained 1.59 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.19 percent on Friday. Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE: BSX) gained 1.41 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.05 percent over the past week. GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) gained 1.27 percent in premarket trade after sliding 17.29 percent over the past 5 days. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE: NEM) was up 0.94 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.15 percent over the past week.

    Earnings

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Sotherly Hotels Inc (SOHO)

SoTHERLY Hotels Inc., formerly MHI Hospitality Corporation, incorporated on August 2004, is a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) that was formed to own, acquire, renovate and reposition primary full-service upper upscale and upscale hotel properties located in primary markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern United States. The Company conducts its business through MHI Hospitality, L.P., its operating partnership, of which the Company is the general partner. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 77% of the partnership units in its operating partnership. In November 2013, SoTHERLY Hotels Inc announced that it has acquired the entity which owns the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown Hotel, a 259-room, upscale, full-service hotel located in downtown Houston, Texas.

As of March 1, 2012, the Company’s portfolio consisted of 10 primarily full-service up-scale and upper up-scale hotels located in seven states with a n aggregate of 2,424 rooms and approximately 120,200 square feet of meeting space. Nine of these hotels are wholly owned by subsidiaries of its operating partnership and operate under the Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood Hotels and Resorts brands and are managed on a day to day basis by MHI Hotels Services, LLC (MHI Hotels Services). It also owns a 25% indirect non-controlling interest in the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort through a joint venture with Carlyle.

The Company leases its hotel properties to MHI Hospitality TRS, LLC (its TRS Lessee), which in turn has engaged MHI Hotels Services, an independent management company, to manage its hotels. Its TRS Lessee is a wholly owned subsidiary of MHI Hospitality TRS Holding, Inc. (MHI Holding, and collectively, MHI TRS). As of March 1, 2012, the Company’s portfolio consisted of the properties, including Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina, Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore , Crowne Plaza Jacks onville Riverfront , Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront , ! DoubleTree by Hilton Brownstone – University and Holiday Inn Laurel West. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owns two leasehold interests in the Shell Island Resort, a 160-unit condominium resort property in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Putnam]

    Steve Halpern: Now, another pick that you have is Sotherly Hotels (SOHO). Could you tell us about that company?

    George Putnam: Sure. This is a small-cap name. Like many others in the industry, it had to struggle a bit from 2008 and has devoted most of its attention to getting its balance sheet back in order, and some of its existing hotels fixed-up and repositioned.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Upscale hotel property real estate investment trust Sotherby (SOHO) raised its quarterly dividend 12.5% to 4.5 cents per share, payable on Jan. 1, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 13.
    SOHO Dividend Yield: 3.87%

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: America’s Car-Mart Inc.(CRMT)

America?s Car-Mart, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It primarily sells older model used vehicles and provides financing for its customers. As of February 3, 2012, the company operated 112 automotive dealerships in 9 states. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    However, that growth is 20% in FY13, 15% in FY14 and 9% in the long term. PAG stock trades at $41, or about 13x FY14 estimates. It has the least leverage of all, at about $1 billion, and while it has positive FCF, that figure is weaker than our other options. PAG isn’t the worst of the car stocks, but AN stock is in better condition. I’ll pass on PAG.

    America’s Car-Mart (CRMT)

    America’s Car-Mart (CRMT) is the last of our used car stocks.

  • [By tonyg34]

    In a recent interview right here on GuruFocus, Tom Gayner of Markel (MKL) had a few things to say about CarMax (KMX). This prompted me to give the company a closer look. What follows is a business analysis. We will save considerations of stock analysis, such as price, for a later discussion.

    I think that is a business that will continue to grow. I don’t see any reason why you can’t have a Carmax in a lot of towns way beyond what they’re talking about right now. I think being the number one dealer, and having the number one market share in used car arena gives you great information on what transaction prices are. Then you work on the process to be as quick and as cost efficient in fixing the car and getting it sold, and have the confidence from customers when you offer warranties on the products. Those factors create a virtuous cycle. The more you do, the more you can do, the better the pricing is, the more the customers like you, the more your brand matters. The co mpany will be around for a good long time. The management has done a very good job of creating the system and executing it.
    CarMax was formed as a unit of Circuit City in 1993 and was spun off in 2002. Used-car sales account for about 80% of revenue. Competitors include, but certainly are not limited to, AutoNation (AN) and America’s Car-Mart (CRMT) as well as private party sellers.

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: FirstMerit Corporation(FMER)

FirstMerit Corporation operates as the bank holding company for FirstMerit Bank, N.A. that provides a range of banking, fiduciary, financial, insurance, and investment services to corporate, institutional, and individual customers in northern and central Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. The company?s commercial business offers commercial term loans, revolving credit arrangements, asset-based lending, leasing, commercial mortgages, real estate construction lending, letters of credit, cash management services, and other depository products. Its retail business provides various financial products and services, including consumer direct and indirect installment loans, debit and credit cards, debit gift cards, residential mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, fixed and variable annuities, and ATM network services, as well as deposit products comprising checking, savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. The company?s wealth business provides a sset management, private banking, financial planning, estate settlement and administration, and credit and deposit products and services. FirstMerit Corporation also offers trust and investment services, including personal trust and planning, and investment management; retirement plan services; retail mutual funds, other securities, variable and fixed annuities, personal disability and life insurance products, and brokerage services; and private banking services, including credit, deposit, and asset management solutions. As of December 31, 2009, it operated a network of 160 full service banking offices and 182 ATMs. The company was founded in 1855 and is headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    The year ahead should be a great one for the smaller bank stocks. Larger regionals like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and Capital Ban Financial (CBF) have made it clear they intend to grow by acquisition in the years ahead. Banks like First Merit (FMER) and First Merchants (FRME) have done deals in the past year and are open to doing more to increase their market share and footprints. This should be the year the floodgates open and we see the first wave of merger activity in small banks.

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Financial Engines Inc.(FNGN)

Financial Engines, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide independent, technology-enabled portfolio management services, investment advice, and retirement income services to participants in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans. The company helps investors plan for retirement by offering personalized plans for saving and investing, as well as by providing assessments of retirement income needs and readiness. Its services include Professional Management, a discretionary managed account service designed for plan participants who want personalized and professional portfolio management services, investment advice, and retirement income services from an independent investment advisor; Online Advice, an Internet-based non-discretionary service that offers personalized advice to plan participants who manage their portfolios directly; and Retirement Evaluation, a retirement readiness assessment provided to plan participants upon plan rollout. The company delivers its services t o plan sponsors and plan participants primarily through connections to eight retirement plan providers in the United States. Financial Engines, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) has dropped 5.2% so far this year, while Mueller Industries (MLI), which has plunged 55%, Medidata Solutions (MDSO), which has plummeted 44%, Financial Engines (FNGN), which has slid 42%, and Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS), which has tumbled 42%, are the index’s biggest losers.

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Our biggest contributor this quarter was Financial Engines, Inc. (FNGN), which provides personalized independent investment management and advice to employees for their retirement plans. The stock rose 26.0%. Revenues grew an impressive 29% in the first quarter, driven by additional corporate clients, more employee participation and stock market appreciation. The company recently introduced “Income Plus” an alternative to “target date” fund offerings, which is being well received and opens up potential new growth opportunities.

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Basf SE (BASFY.PK)

BASF SE is a chemical company. The Company operates in six segments: Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. Chemicals segment offers products in the chemical, electronic, construction, textile, automotive, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Plastics segment offers a range of products, system solutions and services. Performance Products help its customers to improve their products and processes. Functional Solutions segment bundles system solutions and products for customers and industries. The Company’s Agricultural Solutions segment includes crop protection products, which guard against fungal diseases, insects and weeds. Its Oil & gas segment is a producer of oil and gas. On April 9, 2009, the Company acquired Ciba Holding AG. In April 2010, Intertek Group plc acquired the Regulatory and Safety Testing businesses of Ciba Expert Services (Ciba ES) from the Company. In December 2010, the Company com pleted its acquisition of Cognis Holding GmbH from Cognis Holding Luxembourg S.a r.l.

Chemicals

The Company’s Chemicals segment portfolio ranges from basic chemicals, glues and electronic chemicals for the semiconductor and flat panel display industry, to solvents and plasticizers, as well as starting materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. This segment is organized into three divisions: Inorganics, Petrochemicals and Intermediates. The important basic products of the Inorganics division are ammonia, methanol, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, as well as sulfuric and nitric acid. The Petrochemicals division produces products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene, which are produced in steam crackers from naphtha or natural gas. In further processing stages, it produces alcohols, solvents and plasticizers for the chemicals and plastics industries. BASF SE’s Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a range of intermediates of all produc! ers worldwide. The product lines include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. They serve as starting materials for products, such as coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, crop protection products, as well as detergents and cleaners.

Plastics

BASF’s Plastics segment is organized into two divisions: Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes. The Performance Polymers division is a supplier of engineering plastics, polyamides and polyamide intermediates, foams and specialty plastics. The Company offers its customers a portfolio of engineering plastics based on polyamide 6 and polyamide 6,6. This is complemented by products Ultradur, Ultraform and Ultrason. For the packaging, textile and food industries, it offers Ultramid, a base product for the manufacturing of fibers and foils. BASF SE’s product range also includes Ecoflex and Ecovio, biodegradable specialty plastics for the packaging industry. Styropor and its refinemen t Neopor are styrene-based precursors for foams used in insulating material for construction and packaging. The Polyurethanes division is a supplier of basic products, systems and specialties. The Company offers polyurethane products for numerous customer applications. Under brand names, such as Elastoflex and Elastopor, polyurethanes are used, as rigid or flexible foams in construction for furniture and household appliances.

Performance Products

The Performance Products segment consists of the Acrylics & Dispersions, Care Chemicals and Performance Chemicals divisions. Acrylics & Dispersions produces acrylic acid, as well as its derivatives superabsorbents and polymer dispersions. Superabsorbents are used particularly in diapers. Polymer dispersions are used in the production of glues, coatings, nonwoven materials and construction chemicals. The Company’s product portfolio for the paper industry consists of binders, process chemicals and kaolin p igments. Its Care Chemicals portfolio consists of products f! or cleani! ng, care, cosmetics and hygiene. Performance Chemicals pools specialties for various customer industries. The product portfolio consists of antioxidants, pigments, light stabilizers and specialty additives. The division also makes chemicals for the production and finishing of leather and textiles.

Functional Solutions

The Functional Solutions segment consists of the Catalysts, Construction Chemicals and Coatings divisions. The Catalysts division develops catalysts and adsorbents It produces catalysts that transform pollutants in the exhaust flows of vehicles into harmless chemical and plastics. The Construction Chemicals division is engaged in development of concrete admixtures, such as concrete plasticizers, deferrers and curing agents. It also produces and markets construction systems. The Coatings division is a provider of coatings solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Its brands Glasurit and R-M are for the car refinish busines s.

Agricultural Solutions

The Agricultural Solutions segment consists of the Crop Protection division. The Company develops and produces active ingredients and formulations for the improvement of crop health and yields, and markets them worldwide. Its portfolio includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and seed treatments. Its product Headline contains the active ingredient F500, which is not only used for corn and soybean, but also for numerous other crops.

Oil & Gas

BASF’s oil and gas activities are bundled in the Wintershall Group. Wintershall and its subsidiaries operate in the business sectors exploration and production, and natural gas trading. In the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the Company focuses on oil and gas regions in Europe, North Africa and South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. The Mittelplate oil field in the North Sea tidal flats is the cornerstone of the Company’s oil production in Germany. Wintershall and RWE-D! EA each h! old a 50% interest in this field. During the year ended December 31, 2009, it acquired 25% interest in Cuxhaven concession. It operates 26 offshore platforms in Mittelplate region, of which 19 are actually controlled. In Libya, Wintershall operates eight onshore oil fields in the concessions 96 and 97 and exploits the associated gas released during crude oil production in a gas utilization plant for the local demand. In Mauritania, it operates two onshore exploration blocks. In 2008, Wintershall acquired stakes of 50% each in two exploration areas in the Canadon Asfalto Basin. It supplies Germany and several other European countries. The gas pipeline network operated by WINGAS TRANSPORT connects the markets in Western Europe with a natural gas infrastructure that runs through Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation all the way to the gas fields in Siberia. Other components portfolio include natural gas storage facility in Western Europe, in Rehdn, Germany, and the natural gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Markus Aarnio]

    BioAmber expects its advanced bio-based specialty chemicals to compete with petrochemical equivalents that are proven in the market and manufactured by established companies, such as Gadiv Petrochemical Industries, Kawasaki Kasei, DSM (RDSMY.PK) and numerous small Chinese producers including Anqing Hexing Chemical, and Anhui Sunsing Chemicals. In addition, BioAmber’s products will compete against other companies in the bio-based specialty chemical industry, both early stage companies, such as Genomatica (for bio-based 1,4 BDO) and Myriant Corporation (for bio-succinic acid), and established companies, such as a collaborative venture between DSM and Roquette Frères S.A. and a collaborative venture between BASF (BASFY.PK) and Purac (both for bio-succinic acid).

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Transdigm Group Incorporated(TDG)

TransDigm Group Incorporated designs, produces, and supplies engineered aircraft components for use on commercial and military aircraft principally in the United States. The company?s products include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, AC/DC electric motors and generators, NiCad batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, rods and locking devices, engineered connectors and elastomers, cockpit security components and systems, cockpit displays, aircraft audio systems, lavatory components, engineered interior surfaces, and lighting and control technology. Its customers comprise distributors of aerospace components; commercial airlines, including national and regional airlines; commercial transport and regional and business aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); various armed forces of the United States and foreign governments; defense OEMs; system suppliers; and various other industrial customers. TransDigm Group Incorporated was founded in 1993 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Cleveland-based TransDigm Group (NYSE: TDG  ) is buying a piece of GE.

    On Friday, as trading wound down for the week, TransDigm announced a deal to buy the Electromechanical Actuation Division of General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) Aviation for $150 million, cash. The business, which makes proprietary, highly engineered aerospace electromechanical motion control subsystems for civil and military applications, counts all three of the world’s biggest airplane manufacturers — Boeing, Airbus, and Brazil’s Embraer — among its clients, and Sikorsky and General Atomics, as well, on the military side.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    TransDigm (NYSE: TDG  ) is rewarding its shareholders mightily with an extraordinary payout. The company has declared a special dividend of $22.00 per share, which will be paid on July 25 to shareholders of record as of July 15.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on TransDigm Group (NYSE: TDG  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Green Dot Corporation (GDOT)

Green Dot Corporation operates as a bank holding company. It offers general purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards, and cash loading and transfer services in the United States. The company’s products include Green Dot MasterCard, Visa-branded prepaid debit cards, and various co-branded reloadable prepaid card programs; Visa-branded gift cards; and MoneyPak and swipe reload proprietary products that enable cash loading and transfer services through its Green Dot Network. Its Green Dot Network enables consumers to use cash to reload its prepaid debit cards or to transfer cash to any of the company’s Green Dot Network acceptance members, including competing prepaid card programs, and other online accounts. The company markets its cards and financial services to banked, underbanked, and unbanked consumers. Green Dot Corporation offers its products and services through retail distributors, including mass merchandisers, drug store and convenience store chains, and supermarket chains; the Internet; and relationships with other businesses. Its prepaid debit cards and prepaid reload services are available to consumers at approximately 60,000 retail locations nationwide and online at greendot.com. The company was formerly known as Next Estate Communications, Inc. and changed its name to Green Dot Corporation in October 2005. Green Dot Corporation was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Pasadena, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Green Dot Corp.(GDOT) posted better-than-expected third-quarter results and lifted the lower end of its full-year guidance, touting more customers receiving recurring direct deposits. The company’s chief executive also said it was well positioned to return to double-digit revenue growth as Green Dot looks towards 2014.

  • [By Rich Bieglmeier]

    Green Dot Corporation (GDOT) will host a conference call to discuss third quarter 2013 financial results on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 4:30pm ET. A press release with third quarter 2013 financial results will be issued after the market closes that same day.

  • [By Dan Newman]

    Even with Radiohead’s questionable outcome with the scheme, Green Dot’s  (NYSE: GDOT  ) GoBank, launched in January, is offering checking accounts where its members decide what to pay as a monthly fee, between $0 and $9. Does this make any sense for the company to think customers will voluntarily pay?

  • [By Rich Smith]

    This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense, and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines include upgrades for both Denny’s (NASDAQ: DENN  ) and Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT  ) . But stocks can reach buy ratings in ways other than actual upgrades. So before we get to those two, let’s first take a quick look at why …

10 Best Defensive Stocks To Buy Right Now: Gotesco Land Inc (GO)

Gotesco Land, Inc. (GLI) is the holding company of Ever-Gotesco Group of Companies for its property development projects. The Company is primarily engaged in acquiring, developing, administering, selling, managing or otherwise dealing in real estate transactions. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates in two business segments. The real estate segment is engaged in the development and sale of real properties. The leasing segment is egnaged in the leasing of clubhouse and resort facilities. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaires included Chateau Royale Sports & Country Club, Inc. (CRSCCI), Evercrest Cebu Golf Club & Resort, Inc. (ECGCRI), Gulod Resort, Inc. (GRI), Multiresources Holding Company, Inc. (MHCI) and Nasugbu Resort, Inc. (NRI). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mark Salzinger, Editor and Publisher, No-Load Fund Investor]

    The former are called General Obligation (GO) bonds, while the latter are generally called revenue bonds. In the old days, GOs were considered safer, because they were backed by the full taxing authority of the issuer. Now, revenue bonds are more in vogue.