10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014

Jean-Christophe Bott/AP/KeystoneWorld Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy addresses a news conference on world trade figures for 2012 and prospects for 2013 at WTO headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday. GENEVA — The World Trade Organization slashed its forecast for trade growth in 2013 on Wednesday, saying it feared protectionism was on the increase. It cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2013 to 3.3 percent from 4.5 percent and said trade grew only 2.0 percent in 2012. That was the smallest annual rise since records began in 1981 and the second weakest figure on record after 2009, when international trade shrank. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy warned that 2013 could turn out even weaker than expected, especially because of risks from the euro crisis, and countries might try to restrict trade further in a desperate attempt to shore up domestic growth. “The threat of protectionism may be greater now than at any time since the start of the crisis, since other policies to restore growth have been tried and found wanting,” he said. Lamy, who will step down at the end of August this year, called the 2012 growth rate “sobering.” Despite the hope of quickening trade this year and a provisional forecast of 5.0 percent growth in 2014, the annual rises are expected to stay below the historical trend of long-term growth, which was 6.0 percent for the 20 years leading up to the financial crisis but now stands at 5.3 percent. “Traditionally we’ve reckoned on a 2:1 ratio of trade growth to GDP [gross domestic product] growth. This year it was 1:1 and we would expect to see that relationship re-establish itself,” said the WTO’s chief economist Patrick Low. The WTO forecasts are based on global GDP growth of 2.1 percent in 2013, a consensus estimate that the WTO said was unchanged from 2012. “Risks to the forecast are firmly rooted on the downside and are mostly linked to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe,” the WTO said in a statement.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Capital Senior Living Corp (CSU)

Capital Senior Living Corporation, incorporated on October 25, 1996, is an operator of residential communities for senior adults. The Company provides senior living services. Its communities integrate independent living, assisted living and home care services, to provide residents the opportunity to age in place. The Company operated 112 senior living communities in geographically concentrated regions with an aggregate capacity of approximately 14,600 residents.

The Company’s senior living options include independent living, assisted living, memory care and planning resources. The Company’s services include special nutrition counseling, additional housekeeping and laundry, exercise programs, recreation and entertainment, medication reminders and access to a choice of home health agencies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 Capital Senior Living (NYSE: CSU  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [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 Capital Senior Living (NYSE: CSU  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Shoe Carnival Inc (SCVL)

Shoe Carnival, Inc. is a family footwear retailer. The Company offers customers an assortment of dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national and regional name brands. The Company’s stores averaged approximately 10,800 square feet, ranging in size from 6,000 to 26,500 square feet. As of January 28, 2012, the Company operated 327 stores located across 32 states and offered online shopping at www.shoecarnival.com. Its average store carries approximately 28,500 pairs of shoes in four general categories, such as men’s, women’s, children’s and athletics. In addition to footwear, its stores carry selected accessory items complementary to the sale of footwear.

The Company operates a single 410,000 square foot distribution center located in Evansville, Indiana. Women’s, men’s and children’s non-athletic footwear categories are further divided into dress, casual, sport, sandals and boots. It classifies athletic shoes by functionality, such as running, basketball or fitness shoes. During the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), athletic styles, including children’s sizes, have represented approximately 50% of its footwear sales.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By DailyFinance Staff]

    Job creation last month was shockingly weak, but analysts couldn’t really explain why –- other than to blame the weather — which left investors unsure how to react Friday. Many analysts say the numbers are likely to be revised higher next month, and in the end, market reaction was muted. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost ground for a third straight day, declining nearly 8 points, but the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) added 4, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rose 18 points. Target (TGT) lost more than a point after saying the data breach that began on Black Friday was much worse than previously thought. The company now says as many as 70 million customers had personal information stolen. Target also lowered its fourth quarter outlook, partly because sales slumped after the data breach was first revealed. Sears (SHLD) tumbled by around 13.5 percent. It expects a big quarterly loss as sales fell during the holiday shopping season. Several smaller, specialty retailers also fell: Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) slid 16 percent, Five Below (FIVE) fell 7 percent, Shoe Carnival (SCVL) lost 5 percent, and Conn’s (CONN) lost 2 percent. But Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) jumped 12 percent. It raised its earnings forecast as sales were not as bad as expected. Elsewhere, Alcoa (AA) fell about 5.5 percent. It’s not quite the economic bellwether it used to be, but the aluminum giant still matters, and its net came in a bit shy of expectations. YRC Worldwide (YRCW) tumbled 13 percent after workers rejected a contract offer. That has raised fears the trucking company could be forced into bankruptcy. On the upside, the weak jobs report could keep mortgage rates from rising, and that boosted housing stocks. KB Homes (KBH) rose 3 percent, William Lyons up 4 percent, and Lennar (LEN) was up 2 percent. And on Thursday we reported that shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals nearly quadrupled in price on news of a positive clinical study for its liver dr

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Shoe Carnival Inc.’s(SCVL) fiscal third-quarter earnings slid 11%, with revenue declining due to an unfavorable calendar shift from the previous year.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA (FCC)

Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA (FCC) is a Spain-based company, which is primarily engaged, together with its subsidiaries in the construction and environmental services sector. The Company’s activities include the collection, treatment and elimination of solid urban waste, street cleaning, sewer system maintenance, green areas and buildings maintenance, urban transport, treatment and elimination of industrial waste, full-service water supply management and cement manufacture. The Company is also active in the real estate development, as well as in the renewable energy industry. In addition, the Company is a parent of Grupo FCC, a group which comprises a number of controlled entities. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Live Investor]

    What does the FCC have to say? The regulator’s reaction is nothing surprising. After Son met the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to convince them about the prospects of the proposed deal, Reuters reported that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wasn’t quite impressed and had dubious thoughts on it.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Nokia Oyj (NOK)

Nokia Corporation (Nokia) has three operating segments: Devices & Services; NAVTEQ, and Nokia Siemens Networks. Devices & Services is responsible for developing and managing the Company’s portfolio of mobile products, as well as designing and developing services, including applications and content. NAVTEQ is a provider of digital map information and related location-based content and services for mobile navigation devices, automotive navigation systems, Internet-based mapping applications, and government and business solutions. Nokia Siemens Networks provides mobile and fixed network infrastructure, communications and networks service platforms, as well as professional services and business solutions, to operators and service providers. In April 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of Novarra, Inc. and MetaCarta Inc. In September 2010, Nokia acquired Motally, Inc. In December 2010, Renesas Electronics Corporation acquired Nokia’s Wireless Modem business. In Augu st 2012, the Company sold a portfolio consisting of over 500 patents and patent applications worldwide to Vringo Inc.

Mobile Phones

Nokia produces a range of mobile phones based on the Series 30 and Series 40 operating systems. These products have voice capability, basic messaging and calendar features, and, increasingly, color displays, radios, basic cameras and Bluetooth functionality. Series 30-based mobile phones do not provide Internet connectivity, access to Ovi or offer opportunities for application development by third parties. During 2010, its portfolio of Series 30-based mobile phones included the Nokia 1616, equipped with a long-lasting anti-dust keypad, frequency modulation (FM) radio, a flashlight, and a display that makes viewing information on the small screen easier. Its Series 40 operating system powers the mobile phone models and supports more functionalities and applications, such as Internet connectivity and access to its service s.

Series 40 is open to third-party developers! to build Java and Adobe Flash Lite applications and content, which they can make available through the Ovi Store. It combines a touchscreen and a traditional phone keypad, is equipped with a five megapixel camera, quad-band for voice calling and third generation (3G), high speed packet access (HSPA) and wireless fidelity (WiFi) connectivity for data in a bushed aluminum finish. Other additions to the Company’s portfolio included the Nokia C3 Touch & Type, a stainless steel device, which also combines the touch screen and traditional phone keypad, and the Nokia 2690, memory card slot, and which gives access to Ovi Mail and features an FM radio and video graphics array (VGA) camera. It is also incorporating some of the software features and related services popular in its smartphones into the Series 40-based mobile phones. These include the new Ovi Web browser, which is based on the browser technology. It also offers Ovi Mail, a free e-mail service designed for users in eme rging markets with Internet-enabled devices.

Smartphones

Nokia’s smartphones are based on the Symbian operating system, which supports an array of functionalities and provides opportunities for the development of applications and content by third parties. During 2010, Nokia also offered a product built on the Linux-based Maemo operating system. The Company makes smartphones for a range of consumer groups, offering Internet access, entertainment, location-based and other services, applications and content. With smartphones, its product categories include music players, cameras, pocketable computers, gaming consoles and navigation devices.

During 2010, the Company introduced a family of smartphones based on a new generation of the Symbian operating system. These were the Nokia N8, a smartphone crafted from anodized aluminum and available in a range of colors, and which offers imaging, video and entertainment capabilities; the Nokia C7 , a sleek, full-touch smartphone crafted from stainless stee! l and gla! ss that is designed to appeal to social networkers; the Nokia C6-01, a smaller, full-touch smartphone that features Nokia ClearBlack display technology for outdoor visibility; and the Nokia E7, a business smartphone equipped with a full keyboard and 4-inch touchscreen display also featuring Nokia ClearBlack technology.

During 2010, the Company introduced a number of models based on the Symbian operating system, including the Nokia C6-00, a messaging-optimized smartphone with a 3.2-inch high definition (HD) touchscreen display, a slide out four-row QWERTY keyboard and a five megapixel camera; and the Nokia E5, a messaging-optimized QWERTY smartphone that builds on the Nokia E71 and Nokia E72. The Company also manufactures and sells luxury mobile devices under the Vertu brand. Vertu has more than 600 points of sale globally, including more than 90 Vertu boutiques, in almost 70 countries worldwide.

NAVTEQ

NAVTEQ Corporation (NAVTEQ) offe rs context and geographical services through Ovi Maps to a range of location-based services, such as pedestrian navigation, traffic and public transport information, local services and city guides, integration with social networks and contextual advertising. In January 2010, Nokia introduced a new version of Ovi Maps for its smartphones, which includes navigation to the user, and it is using NAVTEQ’s digital map information and related location-based content in this offering. This new version of Ovi Maps includes car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance. During 2010, the Company’s NAVTEQ launched its new advanced mapping collection technology, NAVTEQ True. During 2010, its NAVTEQ launched Natural Guidance, a product to enable guidance in a human manner through the use of descriptive reference cues.

NAVTEQ’s map database enables the Company’s customers to offer navigation, route planning, location-based services and oth er geographic information-based products and services to con! sumer and! commercial users. NAVTEQ provides its database to mobile device and handset manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and dealers, navigation systems manufacturers, software developers, Internet portals, parcel and overnight delivery services companies and governmental and quasi- governmental entities, among others. The products and services incorporating NAVTEQ map data include Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Dynamic navigation, Route planning, Location-based services and Geographic information systems. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are in-vehicle applications that require geographic data, such as curve, slope, speed limits and highly detailed geometry. Dynamic navigation is real-time, detailed turn-by-turn route guidance, which can be provided to end-users through vehicle navigation systems, as well as through Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled handheld navigation devices, and other mobile devices.

Route planning consists of driving directions, ro ute optimization and map display through services provided by Internet portals and through computer software for personal and commercial use. Location-based services include location-specific information services, providing information about people and places that is tailored to the proximity of the specific user. The applications using NAVTEQ’s map database include points of interest locators, mobile directory assistance services, emergency response systems and vehicle-based telematics services. Geographic information systems render geographic representations of information and assets for management analysis and decision making. In addition, NAVTEQ has a traffic and logistics data collection network in which it processes traffic incident and event information, along with traffic flow data collected through its network of roadside sensors and from GPS data records from Nokia devices and other NAVTEQ customers, in order to provide detailed traffic information to radio and t elevision stations, in-vehicle and mobile navigation systems! , Interne! t sites and mobile device users.

NAVTEQ’s map database is a representation of road transportation networks in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and other regions around the world. This database offers geographic coverage, including data at various levels of detail for 84 countries on six continents, covering more than 19 million miles of roadway worldwide. The most detailed coverage includes road, route and related travel information, including attributes collected by road segment that are essential for routing and navigation, such as road classifications, details regarding ramps, road barriers, sign information, street names and addresses and traffic rules and regulations. In addition, the database includes over 50 million points of interest, such as airports, hotels, restaurants, retailers, civic offices and cultural sites.

Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks has three business units: network systems; global service s; and business solutions. Nokia Siemens Networks is jointly owned by Nokia and Siemens. Nokia Siemens Networks is a provider of telecommunications infrastructure hardware, software and professional services globally. Nokia Siemens Networks’ customers include network operators, such as Bharti Airtel, Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom, Telefonica O2 and Vodafone, as well as service providers, such as Unitech and XO Communications. Nokia Siemens Networks has a products and services portfolio designed to address the needs of communication service providers. Nokia Siemens Networks provides its products and services to more than 600 communication service providers in over 150 countries and has systems serving in excess of 1.5 billion subscribers.

Network systems offers communication service providers both fixed and mobile network infrastructure, including Nokia Siemens Networks’ Flexi Multiradio base stations, a software defined radio supporting global system for mobile (GSM), 3G and LTE radio technologies, packet product! s, optica! l transport systems and broadband access equipment. For wireless networks, Network Systems develops and manufactures GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA radio access networks for network operators. It also develops products, such as I-HSPA and new technologies, such as LTE to support the uptake of mobile data services. For fixed line networks, Network Systems focuses on transport networks. Network Systems provides the fundamental elements for high-speed transmission through optical and microwave networks, including packet-oriented technologies, such as Carrier Ethernet and traditional protocols, such as time-division multiplexing (TDM).

Global services business unit offers network operators a range of professional services, including network planning and optimization, the management of network operations and the care and maintenance of software and hardware, and a range of network implementation and turnkey solutions. As of December 31, 2010, 180 million global subscribers were managed througt Nokia Siemens Networks’ global delivery hubs. Global services consists of three businesses, which include managed services, which offers network planning and optimization and the management of network operations, with the market share position in India, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa; care, which offers software and hardware maintenance, proactive and multi-vendor care and competence development services, dealing with one million global hardware service transactions, and network implementation, which offers project management and turnkey implementations and energy efficient sites, remotely activating a site every two minutes, 365 days per year.

Business solutions offers products to communication service providers for business and operations support systems and customer experience management, such as charging and billing software, service management software and subscriber database management, and products that enable enhance ment and delivery of services across multiple networks and d! evices an! d convergent service control and network security, together with services related to consulting, product implementation, support and care, systems integration and managed services. Business solutions offer products for five areas, as well as services relating to consulting, product implementation, support and care, systems integration and managed services includes business support systems; operations support systems; customer experience management; service enablement and delivery, and converged service control.

The Company competes with Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Tele Atlas, CISCO, NEC and Motorola.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Arrow Analysis]

    It’s been almost a year since Nokia (NOK) first reported its plan to create a Google (GOOG) Android powered smart phone. The decision elicited mixed response from some, while others waited with baited breath. Finally the company unveiled its new creation, Nokia X at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Furthermore, Microsoft’s mobile business is going strong. Windows Phone now commands a double-digit market share in Europe, and what with BlackBerry (BBRY) abdicating the consumer market for smartphones, that will only continue to grow. The integration of Nokia (NOK) hardware as a result of a $4.9 billion buyout proposal late last year will fuel momentum, too.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Himax Technologies Inc.(HIMX)

Himax Technologies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, and markets semiconductors for flat panel displays. Its products include display drivers and timing controllers for various thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) panels, which are used in desktop monitors, notebook computers, televisions, and mobile handsets, as well as consumer electronics products comprising netbook computers, digital cameras, mobile gaming devices, portable DVD players, digital photo frame, and car navigation displays; and TFT-LCD television and monitor semiconductor solutions. The company also provides liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) products for palm-size mobile projectors; power management integrated circuits, which include drivers, amplifiers, DC to DC converters and other semiconductors; complementary metal oxide semiconductor image sensors for camera-equipped mobile devices, such as mobile phones and notebook computers with a focus on lowlight image and video quality; and wafer level optics products. It serves TFT-LCD panel manufacturers, mobile device module manufacturers, and television makers. Himax Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Tainan, Taiwan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephen Quickel]

    Himax Technologies (HIMX)

    Operating out of Taiwan, Himax makes liquid crystal on silicon semiconductors for flat panel displays. Analyst upgrades have spurred trading volume. Our target price is $20.

  • [By António Costa]

    Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) continues to hold its ground. Breakout watch over 11.50 ( click to enlarge )

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    A technology player that’s quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Himax Technologies (HIMX), which designs, develops and markets semiconductors that are critical components of flat panel displays. This stock has been on fire so far in 2013, with shares up a whopping 355%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Himax Technologies, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong over the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $8.13 to its recent high of $11.45 a share. During that uptrend, shares of HIMX have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of HIMX within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HIMX if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $11.45 a share to its 52-week high at $11.49 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 8.63 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HIMX will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $14 to $15 a share.

    Traders can look to buy HIMX off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below its 50-day moving average of $10.02 a share, or near more support at $9.50 a share. One can also buy HIMX off strength once it starts to take out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By António Costa]

    Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) seems to be forming here a possible cup and handle formation ( The bigger white arc is the cup and the smaller white arc indicates the possible handle ). This is a typical bullish pattern and the stock price potential is on the upside. The stock must close above the neckline at 11.5 (White horizontal line ) on heavy volume in order to confirm the pattern.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: EXCO Resources NL(XCO)

EXCO Resources, Inc., an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the exploration, exploitation, development, and production of onshore North American oil and natural gas properties with a focus on shale resource plays. The company holds interests in various projects located in East Texas, North Louisiana, Appalachia, and the Permian Basin in west Texas. As of December 31, 2010, it had proved reserves of approximately 1.5 trillion cubic feet equivalent; and operated 7,276 wells. The company was founded in 1955 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Already, analysts predict that Magnum Hunter Resources will grow its earnings by roughly 70% this year as its domestic shale acreage takes off. Any additional boost from its new Australian holdings will only sweeten the pot, making MHR one of the top energy stocks under $10.

    Energy Stocks Under $10 to Buy Now: EXCO Resources (XCO)

    Natural gas producer EXCO Resources (XCO) is one of the best cheap stocks under $10 because it’s been attracting all the right kind of attention. Namely, several big-time value investors including billionaires Wilbur Ross and Prem Watsa have loaded up on XCO stock.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    This first month of the year has been successful for EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO) as three hedge fund managers have invested in it. They are: Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio), which added the stock at an average price of $4.88 and currently holds 17.538.912 shares, Wilbur Ross (Trades, Portfolio) also added the stock at $4.74 holding 51.107.800 shares and finally, Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio) at an average price of $4.99 and 45.251.182 shares of the stock.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (HAWK)

Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., incorporated on January 27, 2006, is a prepaid payment network utilizing technology to offer a range of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries. The Company is a third-party distributor of gift. Its product offerings include gift cards, prepaid telecom products and prepaid financial services products (including general purpose reloadable (GPR), cards and its reload network). In addition, it sells physical and electronic gift cards to consumers through both online distributors and its Website, GiftCardMall.com. It offers gift cards from consumer brands, such as Amazon.com, Applebee’s, iTunes, Lowe’s, Macy’s and Starbucks and from payment networks, such as American Express, MasterCard and Visa. In addition, it distributes GPR, cards provided by Green Dot and NetSpend, as well as PayPower, its own GPR card. REloadit, its reload network, allows consumers to reload funds onto cer tain of their previously purchased GPR cards. In November 2013, Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc completed the acquisition of InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions. Effective December 2013, Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc, a unit of Safeway Inc, acquired Retailo AG.

The Company also offers prepaid solutions, including functionality and connectivity for digital wallet products within digital payments space, as well as an online gift card exchange called Cardpool. The Company’s extensive prepaid network provides benefits to its three primary constituents: consumers who purchase the products and services it offers, content providers who offer branded gift cards and other prepaid products that are redeemable for goods and services, and distribution partners who sell those products. Its extensive network connects to more than 500 content providers and over 100,000 active retail distribution locations, providing access to over 160 million consumer visits per week. For consume rs, the Company provides a variety of brands and content at ! retail distribution locations and online. For its content providers, it provides access to millions of consumers and creates new customer relationships. For its distribution partners, it provides product category that drives incremental store traffic and customer loyalty. It also distributes prepaid telecom products offered by prepaid wireless telecom brands. The Company distributes its products across multiple traffic channels, such as grocery, convenience, specialty and online retailers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bloomberg]

    Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images Cerberus Capital Management’s $9 billion deal to merge Safeway (SWY) with Albertsons is a bet that a larger supermarket chain can better fend off an attack on the grocery business by big-box stores and online retailers. Safeway, the No. 2 grocery-store operator in the U.S., agreed Thursday to be acquired by Cerberus’s Albertsons for about $40 a share. The deal will unite two chains with locations across the country — especially in the West — and narrow Kroger’s (KR) lead as the nation’s top supermarket company. Cerberus, a private-equity firm that has spent years investing in the supermarket industry, will use the new company’s heft to combat a growing array of threats. Big-box retailers such as Walmart Stores (WMT) and warehouse clubs are increasingly targeting grocery customers, using their size and breadth of products to attract shoppers. Online food sellers and delivery services, including Amazon.com (AMZN), also have made neighborhood supermarkets less essential than before. “This merger will improve our competitive position,” Safeway Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who will be in charge of the combined company, said Thursday on a conference call. “Our customers will benefit from significant cost saving synergies and a stronger management team.” Safeway shares fell as much as 6.3 percent to $37 in extended trading, reflecting concerns the deal may not close at the current price. The shares had increased 21 percent this year through the close of regular trading Thursday, outpacing the 1.6 percent gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Blackhawk Network As part of the agreement, investors will get $32.50 a share in cash, plus stock in Safeway’s gift-card unit Blackhawk Network Holdings (HAWK), according to a statement Thursday. Safeway, based in Pleasanton, Calif., had said last month that it was in talks about a sale of the company. Assuming a diluted share count of about 235 million shares,

  • [By Andrew Marder]

    More recently, the company IPO’d its gift-card business last week as Blackhawk Network Holdings (NASDAQ: HAWK  ) . Safeway sold off about 22% of its holding, generating $243 million in cash, which the company used to repay some of its debt. That will be reflected in the next earnings statement.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Taubman Centers Inc (TCO)

Taubman Centers, Inc. (TCO), incorporated November 21, 1973, operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Taubman Realty Group Limited Partnership (TRG) is a subsidiary of TCO that owns direct or indirect interests in all of its real estate properties. The Company owns, leases, acquires, disposes of, develops, expands and manages regional and super-regional shopping centers and interests therein. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned a portfolio of 24 urban and suburban shopping centers in 12 states. The consolidated Businesses consist of shopping centers and entities that are controlled by ownership or contractual agreements, The Taubman Company LLC (Manager), and Taubman Properties Asia LLC and its subsidiaries (Taubman Asia). In December 2012, it acquired additional 49.9% (100% in total) interest in International Plaza, located in Tampa, Florida. Also in December 2012, it acquired additional 25% (50% in total) interest i n Waterside Shops. In January 2014, Taubman Centers Inc announced the completion of the sale of land owned by Taubman in Syosset, New York, and Taubman’s interest in Arizona Mills to Simon Property Group.

The Company’s centers are located in metropolitan areas, including Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. The centers range in size between 236,000 and 1.6 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) and between 186,000 and 646,000 square feet of Mall GLA. Of the 24 centers, 18 are super-regional shopping centers. The Company’s centers have approximately 3,000 stores operated by their mall tenants under approximately 850 trade names. The centers have 65 anchors, operating under 14 trade names. The centers lease over 95% of leased Mall GLA to national chains, including subsidiaries or divisions of Forever 21 (Forever 21, For Love 21, XXI Forever, and others), The Gap (Gap, Gap Kids, Baby Gap, Banana Republic, ! Old Navy, and others), and Limited Brands (Bath & Body Works/White Barn Candle, Pink, Victoria’s Secret, and others).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Super-regional shopping center real estate investment trust (REIT) Taubman Centers (TCO) raised its quarterly dividend 8% to 54 cents per share, payable March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 17.
    TCO Dividend Yield: 3.12%

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Shopping-mall operator Taubman Centers  (NYSE: TCO  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.50 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after raising the payout 8%, from $0.4625 per share.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Sharps Compliance Corp(SMED)

Sharps Compliance Corp. provides management solutions for medical waste, used healthcare materials, and unused dispensed medications in the United States. The company offers a range of product and service solutions, including sharps recovery system for the containment, transportation, treatment, and tracking of medical waste and used healthcare materials generated outside the hospital and health care facility settings. It also provides takeaway environmental return systems, complete needle collection and disposal systems, Rx takeaway recovery and reporting systems, sharps MWMS, takeaway recovery systems, and sharpstracer solutions. In addition, the company offers various other logistical solutions, such as pitch-it IV poles, trip lessystem, sharps pump and asset return boxes, sharps secure needle collection and containment systems, sharps recovery system needle collection and mailback disposal systems, isowash linen recovery systems, and biohazard spill clean-up kit and di sposal systems. It serves consumers in government, home health care, retail clinics and immunizing pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, professional offices, hospitality, commercial, industrial, and agriculture markets. Sharps Compliance Corp. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James Miller Phd]

    The firm is currently Zacks Rank # 3–Hold, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of “Neutral”. A Hold rating indicates that the stock, over the next one to three months, will perform at an annualized rate of 10.56%, very similar to the S&P 500. For investors looking for a better Zacks Rank, Sharps Compliance Corp. (SMED) is the option.

  • [By CRWE]

    Sharps Compliance Corp. (Nasdaq:SMED), a leading full-service provider of cost-effective solutions designed for the proper management of medical waste, used healthcare materials and unused dispensed medications, will release its fourth quarter and fiscal year end 2012 results (ended June 30, 2012) before the opening of financial markets on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Own For 2014: Investment Technology Group Inc (ITG)

Investment Technology Group, Inc. (ITG), incorporated on March 10, 1994, is an independent execution and research broker that partners with global portfolio managers and traders to provide data-driven insights throughout the investment process. It operates in three segments: United States Operations, Canadian Operations, European Operations and Asia Pacific Operations. The United States Operations segment provides electronic and trade execution, trade order and execution management, network connectivity, analytical products and investment research services. The Canadian and Asia Pacific Operations segments provide electronic and high-touch trade execution, trade execution management, network connectivity, analytical products and investment research services. The European Operations segment provides electronic and high-touch trade execution, trade order and execution management, network connectivity and analytical products and includes a technology research and development facility in Israel.

ITG offers a range of solutions for asset managers in the areas of electronic brokerage, research sales and trading, trading platforms and analytics. These offerings include trade execution services and solutions for portfolio management, as well as investment research, pre-trade analytics and post-trade analytics and processing. Its principal subsidiaries include: ITG Inc., AlterNet Securities, Inc., ITG Derivatives LLC, Investment Technology Group Limited, ITG Australia Limited, ITG Canada Corp., ITG Hong Kong Limited, ITG Software Solutions, Inc. and ITG Solutions Network, Inc.

Electronic Brokerage

ITG electronic brokerage services include self-directed trading using algorithms, smart routing and matching through POSIT in cash equities (including single stocks and portfolio lists), futures and options. ITG Algorithms and ITG Smart Router offer portfolio managers and traders a way to trade orders quickly, from any ITG Execution Management System (EMS) or ITG Order Managemen! t System (OMS) and third-party trading platforms. ITG Algorithms help users pursue execution through two suites: ITG Single Stock Algorithms and ITG List-Based Algorithms. ITG Smart Router offers an alternative to routing trades that can help capture liquidity with a combination of speed and confidentiality. These routers continuously scan markets for liquidity with an emphasis on trading without displaying the order.

POSIT Alert is a buyside-only block crossing mechanism within POSIT. POSIT Alert scans uncommitted shares from participating clients. When a crossing opportunity is detected, POSIT Alert notifies the relevant users that a matching opportunity exists. POSIT Marketplace provides access to POSIT liquidity, the dark pools of other ATSs, and certain exchange hidden order types. POSIT Marketplace is a dark pool aggregator that provides clients with access to a range of liquidity destinations. POSIT Marketplace uses advanced quantitative techniques in an effort to protect clients from gaming and to interact with quality liquidity. ITG Derivatives provides electronic-listed futures and options trading, including algorithmic trading and direct market access. ITG offers options features for traders employing volatility or delta-neutral strategies and also provides low-latency application programming interfaces.

ITG offers guidance, administration, and consolidation of client commission arrangements across the range of preferred brokerage and research providers of its clients using ITG Commission Manager, a robust, multi-asset Web-based commission management portal. Through stock borrow and stock loan transactions, ITG facilitates shortened or extended settlement periods to help clients meet their internal cash flow needs.

Research Sales & Trading

ITG provides unbiased, data-driven equity research through its ITG Investment Research subsidiary. This offering has expanded ITG’s client relat ionships beyond the trading desk to chief investment officer! s, portfo! lio managers and analysts. ITG Market Research offers market research capabilities to corporate clients within the healthcare and telecom industries. The healthcare market research practice combines survey results with empirical data to deliver syndicated and custom reporting capabilities. ITG provides high-touch sales trading and portfolio trading for institutional clients. ITG’s high-touch trading desk is staffed with experienced trading professionals who provide ITG clients with execution expertise and also convey trading ideas based on ITG Investment Research.

Trading Platforms

ITG EMSs are designed to meet the needs of disparate trading styles. Triton Derivatives is a broker-neutral direct access EMS that provides traders with access to scalable, low-latency, multi-asset trading opportunities. ITG OMS combines portfolio management, compliance functionality (ITG Compliance Monitoring System), trading and post-trade processing (ITG Trade Operat ions Outsourcing), and a fully integrated and supported financial services communications network (ITG Net) with a consolidated, outsourced service for global trade matching and settlement (ITG Trade Operations Outsourcing) that provides connectivity to the industry’s post-trade utilities, support for multiple, flexible settlement communications methods and a real-time process monitor. ITG Net is a global financial communications network that provides secure, reliable and fully supported connectivity between buy-side and sell-side firms for order routing and indication-of-interest messages from ITG and third-party trading platforms.

ITG’s commitment to execution platforms also extends to broker-neutral operational services to help ensure that trades clear and settle efficiently, and to significantly lower the transaction costs associated with trade tickets. The ITG Smart Trading Analytics suite enables portfolio managers and traders to improve execution performa nce before the trade happens (pre-trade) and during trading ! (real-tim! e) by providing reliable portfolio analytics and risk models that help them perform predictive analyses, manage risk, change strategy and reduce trading costs. ITG Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) offers measurement and reporting capabilities to analyze performance across the trading continuum. ITG Alpha Capture Reporting measures cost at every point of the investment process and provides portfolio managers with quarterly analytical reviews, written interpretations and on-site consultative recommendations to enhance performance.

ITG provides tools to assist asset managers with portfolio decision-making tasks from portfolio construction and optimization to the enterprise challenges of global, real-time portfolio compliance monitoring and the fair valuation of securities. ITG Portfolio Fair Value Service helps mutual fund managers meet their obligations to investors and regulators to fairly price the securities within their funds, and helps minimize the impact of m arket timing. ITG Portfolio Optimization System allows portfolio managers to develop new portfolio construction strategies and solve complex optimization problems. ITG Portfolio Optimization System allows users to accurately model tax liability, transaction costs and long/short objectives, while adhering to diverse portfolio-specific constraints.

Non-U.S. Operations

ITG has a development center in Tel Aviv. In Asia Pacific, ITG has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore. Local representation in regional markets provides an important advantage for ITG. ITG also provides electronic and high-touch trading for Latin American equities, including algorithms for Brazil and Mexico, from its New York headquarters.

Canadian Operations

ITG Canada provides electronic brokerage services, including ITG Algorithms, ITG Smart Router and the POSIT suite, as well as high-touch agency execution and portfolio trading services. In addition, ITG Canada provides Triton, Triton Derivatives! , connect! ivity services, ITG Single Ticket Clearing, ITG Portfolio Optimization System, ITG Smart Trading Analytics, ITG TCA and investment research services. ITG Canada also engages in principal trading activities. ITG Canada’s customers primarily consist of asset and investment managers, broker-dealers and hedge funds.

European Operations

ITG Europe focuses on trading European, Middle Eastern and African equities, as well as providing ITG’s technologies to its clients. ITG Europe provides electronic brokerage services, including ITG Algorithms, ITG Smart Router, and the POSIT suite, as well as high-touch agency execution and portfolio trading services. ITG Europe also provides ITG OMS, Triton, connectivity services, ITG Single Ticket Clearing, ITG TCA, ITG Alpha Capture Reporting and ITG Smart Trading Analytics.

Asia Pacific Operations

ITG provides institutional investors with a range of ITG’s products and services including tra de execution, trade execution management through Triton, connectivity services and pre-and post-trade analysis through ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics. Execution services are provided through electronic brokerage products such as ITG Algorithms and the POSIT suite and through an experienced high-touch agency trading services team. Other trading tools provided by ITG Hong Kong include Triton, connectivity services, ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics. ITG Singapore provides institutional investors in Singapore with a range of ITG’s products and services including electronic and high-touch execution services, trade execution management through Triton and trading analysis through ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Investment Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: ITG) was downgraded to Market Perform from outperform by Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

    Liquidity Services Inc. (NASDAQ: LQDT) was raised to Buy from Underperform, and the price target was raised up to $45 from $28.50, at Merrill Lynch.