10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now


The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) have set new intraday highs today, climbing 0.85% and 1.07%, respectively, with 40 minutes left in trading. Today’s rally was driven by the release of minutes from the Fed’s last meeting, which indicated that bond purchases won’t end anytime soon. There had been concerns that the Fed’s bond-buying program would be curtailed this year and perhaps even end by 2014, but those worries have faded following last week’s disappointing jobs report and the release of FOMC minutes today.


Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) is among the Dow’s leading stocks, jumping 2.6% to continue this week’s steady rise. Intel introduced a faster Thunderbolt design that can transfer data at 20 Gbs, and it was also named a chip supplier for HP’s new Moonshot servers. There were concerns that Moonshot servers would be powered by an ARM-designed chip, but Intel was front and center at the product launch. The company’s Atom Processor S1260 is the first chip offered in the new servers — a huge win, because the chip is designed for mobile PC use as well. Could this lead to more wins in both the server and mobile markets for Intel? For now, the momentum is on Intel’s side, and investors are hoping for the best. 

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: NuStar GP Holdings LLC (NSH)


NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NuStar GP Holdings), incorporated on June 06, 2000, conducts operations through its indirect ownership interests in NuStar Energy L.P. (NuStar Energy). NuStar Energy is engaged in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and petroleum refining and marketing. The Company operates in three segments: NuStar Energy’s Storage Segment, NuStar Energy’s Pipeline Segment and NuStar Energy’s Asphalt and Fuels Marketing Segment. On January 1, 2013, NuStar Energy sold the San Antonio Refinery and related assets, which included inventory, a terminal in Elmendorf, Texas and a pipeline connecting the terminal and refinery. On December 13, 2012, NuStar Energy completed its acquisition of the TexStar Crude Oil Assets (as defined below), including 100% of the partnership interest in TexStar Crude Oil Pipeline, LP, from TexStar Midstream Services, LP and certain of its affiliates.


NuStar Energy has terminal and storage facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, including St. Eustatius in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Turkey. NuStar Energy L.P.’s asphalt refineries, refined product terminals, petroleum and specialty liquids storage and terminaling operations, and crude oil storage tank facilities are predominantly located on waterways that are easily accessible by barge or vessel. On September 28, 2012, NuStar Energy sold a 50% ownership interest (the Asphalt Sale) in NuStar Asphalt LLC (Asphalt JV), previously a wholly owned subsidiary of NuStar Energy, to an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg LLC (Lindsay Goldberg), a private investment firm.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    But it is important to note that ETE also has interests in Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE: SXL) and Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP).

    Finally, consider NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS) and its general partner NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH). Like ETE, NSH went public in 2006 and has also significantly outperformed its limited partner since:

    The vast majority of partnerships don’t have a publicly-traded GP. But in each of these three cases in which the GP is publicly traded, the GP tends to outperform the LP units on long-term gains, an advantage somewhat offset by the typically higher LP yield.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC)


Northrop Grumman Corporation (Northrop Grumman), incorporated on January 16, 2001, provides products, services, and integrated solutions in aerospace, electronics, information and services to its global customers. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated in four segments: Aerospace Systems, Electronic Systems, Information Systems and Technical Services. The Company conducts most of its business with the United States Government, principally the Department of Defense (DoD) and intelligence community It also conducts business with local, state, and foreign Governments and domestic and international commercial customers. Effective as of March 31, 2011, the company completed the spin-off of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (HII). HII operates the Company’s former shipbuilding business. In September 2012, it acquired M5 Network Security Pty Ltd.


Aerospace Systems

Aerospace Systems is engaged in the design, development, integration and produ ction of manned and unmanned aircraft, spacecraft, high-energy laser systems, microelectronics and other systems and subsystems. Aerospace Systems’ customers, primarily domestic government agencies, use these systems in a number of different mission areas, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; communications; battle management; strike operations; electronic warfare; missile defense; earth observation; space science; and space exploration. The segment consists of four business areas: Strike & Surveillance Systems; Space Systems; Battle Management & Engagement Systems; and Advanced Programs & Technology. Strike & Surveillance Systems designs, develops, manufactures and integrates tactical and long-range strike aircraft systems, unmanned systems, and missile systems. Key programs include the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance system, B-2 stealth bomber, F-35 Lightning II (F-35), F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighter, Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballis tic Missile (ICBM), MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft syste! m, and Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP).


Space Systems designs, develops, manufactures, and integrates spacecraft systems, subsystems and electronic and communications payloads. Its main programs include the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) payload and many restricted programs. The Battle Management & Engagement Systems designs, develops, manufactures, and integrates airborne early warning, surveillance, battlefield management, and electronic warfare systems. Key programs include the E-2 Hawkeye, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system, EA-6B Prowler and its next generation platform, the EA-18G Growler, and Long Endurance Multi Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). Advanced Programs & Technology creates advanced technologies and concepts. Its programs include the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS), and other di rected energy and advanced concepts programs.


Electronic Systems

Electronic Systems is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, and support of solutions for sensing, understanding, anticipating, and controlling the environment for its global military, civil, and commercial customers and their operations. Electronic Systems provides a variety of defense electronics and systems, airborne fire control radars, situational awareness systems, early warning systems, airspace management systems, navigation systems, communications systems, marine systems, space systems, and logistics services. The segment consists of five business areas: Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance Systems; Land & Self Protection Systems; Naval & Marine Systems; Navigation Systems; and Targeting Systems. Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems delivers products and services for space satellite applications, airborne and ground-based surveillance, multi-sensor processing, analysis, and dissemination for com! bat units! and national agencies both domestically and internationally, providing battlespace awareness, missile defense, and command and control. Key products include the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), Defense Support Program (DSP), ground processing, exploitation and dissemination systems, the TPS-78/703 family of ground based surveillance radars, and the Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar.


Land & Self Protection Systems delivers products, systems, and services that support ground-based, helicopter and fixed wing platforms (manned and unmanned) with sensor and protection systems. These systems perform threat detection and countermeasures that defeat infrared and radio frequency (RF) guided missile and tracking systems. The division also provides integrated electronic warfare capability, communications, and intelligence systems; unattended ground sensors; automatic test equipment; and advanced thre at simulators. Key programs include the U.S. Marine Corps Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) multi-mission radar; the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and strategic international and NATO allies; the AN/ALQ-131(V) electronic countermeasures pod; the LR-100 high-performance radar warning receiver (RWR)/electronic support measures (ESM)/electronic intelligence (ELINT) receiver system; the U.S. Army’s STARLite Synthetic Aperture Radar for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs); the U.S. Army Vehicle Intercom Systems (VIC-3 and VIC-5); the U.S. Army Next Generation Automated Test System (NGATS); the U.S. Air Force Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) training range system; and the Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (VADER) system that enable airborne platforms to track individual persons or vehicles.


Naval & Marine Systems delivers products and services to defense, civil, and commercial customers supporting smart navigation, shipboard radar surveillance, ship control, mac! hinery co! ntrol, integrated combat management systems for naval surface ships, high-resolution undersea sensors (for mine hunting, situational awareness, and other applications), unmanned marine vehicles, shipboard missile and encapsulated payload launch systems, propulsion and power generation systems, and nuclear reactor instrumentation and control. Key products include Integrated Bridge and Navigation Systems, Voyage Management System, Integrated Platform Management Systems, Integrated Combat Management System, AN/WSN-7 Inertial Navigator, anti-ship missile defense and surveillance radars (Cobra Judy, AN/SPQ-9B, AN/SPS-74), propulsion equipment, missile launch, and sonar systems for the Virginia-class submarine, and launch system support for the Ohio-class submarine.


Navigation Systems delivers products and services to defense, civil, and commercial customers supporting situational awareness, inertial navigation in all domains (air, land, sea, and space), embedded Glo bal Positioning Systems, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems, acoustic sensors, cockpit video monitors, mission computing, and integrated avionics and electronics systems. Key products include the Integrated Avionics System, the AN/TYQ-23 Aircraft Command and Control System, Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensors, and a robust portfolio of inertial sensors and navigation systems. Targeting Systems delivers products and services supporting airborne combat avionics (fire control radars, multi-function apertures and pods), airborne electro-optical/infrared targeting systems, and laser/electro-optical systems including hand-held, tripod-mounted, and ground or air vehicle mounted systems. Key products include fire control radars for the B-1B, F-16 (worldwide), F-22 U.S. Air Force, and F-35; AN/APN-241 navigation/weather radar; the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING family of targeting pods; Distributed Aperture EO/IR systems; and the Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR). In addition, the Electronic Systems segment also includes the Advanced Co! ncepts & ! Technologies Division (AC&TD), which develops next-generation systems and architectures.


Information Systems

Information Systems is a provider of advanced solutions for the DoD, national intelligence, federal civilian, state and local agencies, and commercial and international customers. Products and services focus on the fields of command, control, communications, computers (C4) and intelligence; airborne reconnaissance; intelligence processing; air and missile defense; decision support systems; cybersecurity; information technology; and systems engineering and integration. The segment consists of three business areas: Defense Systems; Intelligence Systems, and Civil Systems. Defense Systems is a provider of net-enabled Battle Management, C4 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, decision superiority, and mission-enabling solutions and services in support of the national defense and security of our nation and its allies. Defense Systems is a developer and integrator of many of the DoD’s programs-of-record, particularly for command and control (C2) and communications for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and Joint Forces. Major products and services include C4ISR Integration, Mission Systems Integration, Military Communications and Networks, Battle Management C2 and Decision Support Systems, Tactical and Operational C2, Ground and Maritime Combat Systems, Air and Missile Defense, Combat Support Solutions and Services, Enterprise Infrastructure and Applications, Defense Logistics Systems, Identity Management and Biometric Solutions, Cloud Computing, Maritime Mission Systems and Force and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Systems are installed in operational and command centers worldwide and across all DoD services and joint commands.


Intelligence Systems is focused on the delivery of intelligence-related systems and services to the United States Government and the int ernational security community. Intelligence Systems focuses ! on missio! n areas, including Airborne Intelligence, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Systems, Cybersecurity, Geospatial Intelligence, Pervasive Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Ground Systems, Multi-Source Intelligence Data Fusion, and Dynamic Cyber Defense. Its offerings include intelligence sensing, processing, exploitation and dissemination systems, extremely Large-Scale Data Information Management, Intelligence and Prime Systems Integration, Knowledge Discovery Processes, ISR/Communications Quick Reaction Capability Solutions, Sensor Systems, Support to Special Operations, Cyber-SIGINT Mission Management/Multi-Intelligence, Language Services/Intelligence Analysis, Cyber Exploitation, Satellite Ground Stations, Weather Services, Geospatial Systems, Product Generation and Dissemination, Counter Narco-Terrorism, Drug Enforcement Operations, Geo-Intelligence Tradecraft Training, Enterprise Information Technology, Ground-Based Sensing, Studies and Analysis, Sustainment , Operations and Maintenance. Civil Systems provides specialized information systems and services in support of critical civilian government missions, such as homeland security, health, cybersecurity, civil financial, law enforcement and public safety. Primary customers are federal civilian agencies with some state and local and international customers. Civil Systems develops and implements solutions that combine a deep understanding of civil government domains with core expertise in prime systems integration, enterprise applications development, and high value information technology service, including cybersecurity, advanced networking and cloud computing.


Technical Services

Technical Services is a provider of logistics, infrastructure, and sustainment support, while also providing an array of modernization, high technology, and training and simulation services. The segment consists of three business areas: Defense and Government Services; Traini ng Solutions; and Integrated Logistics and Modernization. De! fense and! Government Services provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of combat vehicles, engineering and high technology services for nuclear security and space missions, civil engineering work, military range work, launch services, and range-sensor-instrumentation operations. The division’s customer base includes the United States Army, Department of Energy, the DoD, NASA, and the intelligence community. Training Solutions provides training to senior military leaders, international and peacekeeping forces. The division designs and develops future conflict training scenarios, and provides warfighters and allies with live, virtual, and constructive training programs. The division offers training applications ranging from battle command to professional military education. Primary customers include the DoD, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security. Integrated Logistics and Modernization provides life cycle product and weapon system sustainment and modernizati on. The division is focused on providing direct support to warfighters and delivering aircraft MRO; subsystem MRO and modernization; supply chain management services, warehousing and inventory transportation, field services and mobilization, sustaining engineering, maintenance, repair and overhaul supplies, and on-going weapons maintenance and technical assistance. The division specializes in quick reaction capability and deployed operations in support of customers. Primary customers include the DoD, as well as international military and commercial customers.


The Company competes with Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, Raytheon Company, General Dynamics Corporation, L-3 Communications Corporation, SAIC, BAE Systems Inc., EADS and Finmeccanica SpA.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    What it means to investors
    If the A-10’s backers in Congress are successful in saving the A-10, that would be good news for Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) , which has served as prime contractor for A-10 upgrading and maintenance work since 1987. (Israel’s Elbit Systems (NASDAQ: ESLT  ) actually owns the remains of Fairchild Republic, which built the A-10. But Northrop bought Fairchild’s A-10 business.)

  • [By Philip Springer]

    This week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed a defense budget that would reduce the US Army to its smallest force since before World War II. And we were woefully under-prepared for that war.

    The proposals will face powerful resistance from members of Congress, veterans’ organizations, arms manufacturers and more. Complete details of the proposed federal budget are to be released next week.

    The timing is unfortunate. For example, consider this headline from last night: “Russia says it will respect the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine.” Maybe. But such statements are meaningless.


    Amid considerable other global unrest these days, reducing our spending on defense seems imprudent. However, various constraints that have built up over time require it, or reductions elsewhere.

    Fifty years ago, the military made up nearly half of government spending. Now it’s about 17 percent. Entitlements were one-third of the budg et then. Now they’re approaching two-thirds. “This is a time for reality,” Hagel said.

    Under the new approach, the emphasis is to shift from the longstanding goal of being able to fight two wars simultaneously, such as in Europe and Asia; and toward such threats as cyber warfare and terrorism.


    For instance, the size of the active-duty military would decline by 13 percent and the reserves by 5 percent in coming years. But Special Operations forces would grow by 6 percent.

    Inevitably, this would mean increased risk in the event of a second crisis. “You have fewer troops, fewer ships, fewer planes,” Hagel said.  “Readiness is not the same standard. Of course there’s going to be risk.”

    The Army currently is scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under the new proposal, the Army would decline to between 440,000 and 450,000 based on the current mandate to impose a military spending cap of about $496 billion for fis

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) is rated Neutral at UBS. The company is the sixth-largest defense contractor by sales. Those sales fell pretty dramatically in the fourth quarter to $478 million from $533 million in the year-ago period. Investors are paid a 2% dividend. The UBS price target is $112, and the consensus target is $119.88, higher than Wednesday’s close of $119.05.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Sienna Resources Inc (SIE)

Sienna Resources Inc, formerly Habanero Resources Inc. is engaged in the identification, acquisition, exploration of mineral properties. These properties include gold, silver, and aluminous clay properties. The Company’s mineral property interests were located in Canada. Its mineral properties include White Gold Claims, Grande-Vallee North aluminous clay prospect, Haldane Silver Prospect and Lezai Prospect. The Ross Silver Property consists of approximately 44 contiguous mineral claims, adjoining the existing Haldane Silver Property. In May 2013, the Company acquired an additional 32 claims totaling 1,805 hectares in the Gaspe Bay region of Quebec. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Wall]

    The disposal plan comes as Eurostar gears up for its biggest expansion in years, with new e320 trains ordered from Siemens AG (SIE) due to link London with Amsterdam from December 2016, with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol airport.

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) dropped 2.9 percent after the world’s biggest maker of luxury vehicles reported a decrease in third-quarter profit. Siemens AG (SIE) lost 1.3 percent after UBS AG cut its rating on Europe’s largest engineering company. Beiersdorf AG (BEI) rallied 5.3 percent after increasing its full-year sales forecast.

  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    Loans of shares on Paris-based Renault, France’s second-largest carmaker, account for 0.92 percent, down from 2.25 percent in 2011 as the shares more than doubled, the data show. Stock on loan in Siemens AG (SIE), Europe’s largest engineering company, has declined to 0.78 percent of shares outstanding from 3.2 percent two years ago, Markit data show. Shares of Munich-based Siemens climbed 33 percent in that time.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Total SA (FP)

Total SA is a France-based integrated international oil and gas company. It is an integrated international oil and gas company and a chemicals manufacturer. Total engages in all aspects of the petroleum industry, including Upstream operations (oil exploration and production, together with activities related to natural gas), Refining & Chemicals (refining, petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, crude oil trading and shipping) and Marketing & Services (focused on the supply and sale of petroleum products, together with activities related to renewable energy). In April 12, 2013, it inaugurated the partnership with Veolia Environnement SA the Osilub plant. In July 2013, it sold its TIGF (Transport et Infrastructures Gaz France), gas transport and storage business. In September 2013, it announced the transfer to The National Gas Company of Trinidad &Tobago of all of its E&P assets in Trinidad through the sale of Total E&P Trinidad B.V and Elf Exploration Trinidad B.V. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    Telecom Italia (TIT) SpA gained 1.7 percent as Telefonica SA agreed to increase its stake in the phone operator. Nokia Oyj added 2.4 percent after a U.S. judge found that HTC Corp. violated two of its patents. Total (FP) SA climbed 2.6 percent after Barclays Plc raised its rating on the oil producer. Burckhardt Compression Holding AG slid 7.3 percent after saying fiscal first-half net income will decline from the year-earlier period.

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Lloyds dropped 3.5 percent after the U.K. government sold a 3.2 billion-pound ($5.1 billion) stake in the lender. Continental and Galp Energia SGPS SA fell at least 2.5 percent as investors sold shares in the companies. Total SA (FP) retreated 1.3 percent following a report that Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA may dispose of its 4 percent stake in the French oil producer.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS)


The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), incorporated on March 25, 1968, is a holding company of a global banking and financial services group. The Company operates in the United Kingdom, the United States and internationally through its two principal subsidiaries: The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (the Royal Bank) and National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest). Both the Royal Bank and NatWest are clearing banks. In the United States, the Company’s subsidiary Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Citizens) is a commercial banking organization. The Company’s business segment include UK Retail, UK Corporate, Wealth, Global Transaction Services, Ulster Bank, US Retail & Commercial, Global Banking & Markets (GBM), RBS Insurance, Central items, Non-Core Division and Business Services. In February 2012, Ensign Group, Inc. acquired $21.5 million seven-year term loan from RBS Asset Finance, Inc., an affiliate of the Company. In May 2012, The Paragon Group of Companies PLC announced the acquisition of further unsecured consumer loans, through its Idem Capital Securities subsidiary, from the Company.


In September 2011, the Company sold Hilton Glasgow City hotel to Topland Group. In October 2011, Paragon Group of Companies PLC acquired a portfolio of unsecured consumer loans from Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. In December 2011, the Company sold its tenanted pub business to Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (Management) Limited (S&NPC), a subsidiary of Heineken N.V.

As of December 31, 2011, the Royal Bank and NatWest had 627 and 1,493 retail branches, respectively, in the United Kingdom. Ulster Bank has a foot print of 236 branches and a network of business banking offices across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. US Retail & Commercial had 1,519 retail banking offices (including in-store branches) covering Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.


UK Retail

The Company offers a range of banking products and related financial services to the personal market. It serves customers through the RBS and NatWest networks of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the United Kingdom, telephony, online and mobile.

UK Corporate

The Company is a provider of banking, finance, and risk management services to the corporate and small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the United Kingdom. It offers a range of banking products and related financial services through a nationwide network of relationship managers, and also through telephone and Internet channels. The product range includes asset finance through the Lombard brand.


Wealth

The Company provides private banking and investment services in the United Kingdom through Coutts & Co and Adam & Company. It also offers offshore banking through RBS International, NatWest Offshore and Isle of Man Bank, and international private banking through Coutts & Co Ltd.

Global Transaction Services

The Company offers global payments, cash and liquidity management, and trade finance and commercial card products and services. Through the network and partner bank agreements, GTS is able to support and connect customers across 128 countries.


Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is retail and business bank in Northern Ireland. It provides a range of financial services. As of December 31, 2011, the Retail Markets division, which had a network of 236 branches, operated in the personal and financial planning sectors. The Corporate Markets division provides services to SME business customers, corporates and institutional markets.

US Retail and Commercial

The Company provides financial services through the Citizens and Charter One brands. US Retail & Commercial is engaged in retail and corporate banking activities through its branch network in 12 states in the United States and through non-branch offices in othe! r states.!


Global Banking and Markets

The Company is a banking partner to corporations and financial institutions globally, providing a range of debt and equity financing, risk management and investment services to its customers. The division is organized along six principal business lines: money markets, rates flow trading, currencies, equities, credit and mortgage markets, and portfolio management and origination.

RBS Insurance

The Company provides a range of general insurance products to consumers through a range of brands, including Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands through its UKI Partnerships business. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses through brokers or direct respectively. Through its international division, RBS Insurance sells general insurance, mainly motor, in Germany and Italy. In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of the United Kingdom motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business. On 15 February 2012, a new corporate brand, Direct Line Group, was announced.


Central Functions

Central Functions consist of corporate functions, such as treasury, funding and finance, risk management, legal, communications and human resources. The Centre manages the Company’s capital resources and regulatory projects and provides services to the operating divisions.

Non-Core Division

Non-Core Division manages separately assets, which the Company intends to run off or dispose of. The division contains a range of businesses and asset portfolios from the GBM division, higher risk profile asset portfolios, including excess risk concentrations, and other illiquid portfolios. It als o includes a range of other portfolios and businesses, inclu! ding regi! onal markets businesses.


Business Services

Business Services supports the customer-facing businesses and provides operational technology, customer support in telephony, account management, lending and money transmission, global purchasing, property and other services. It also leverages its purchasing power and is the Company’s center for managing large-scale and complex change.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Citi and four other banks – Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION), Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE: HSBC) for its North American operations, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (NYSE: RBS) – will have to resubmit their plans with the Fed, and then they must get approval in writing from the Fed to increase buybacks and dividends. The foreign banks that failed will be restricted from paying higher dividends back to their parent companies.

  • [By Reuters]

    Kris Connor/Getty ImagesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes. Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup (C) had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said. An investigation into the mortgage securities marketed by Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America (BAC) agreed to acquire at the height of the crisis in 2008, is also close to completion, two other people said. Probes against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) are also underway and progressing, according to another two people familiar with those cases. Representatives for all four banks declined to comment. The U.S. banking industry, which faces a range of mortgage-related lawsuits, has contended that many of the alleged investor losses can be attributed to the financial crisis, and that they shouldn’t be held liable for marketing a variety of mortgage securities that ultimately soured. The Justice Department hasn’t determined the exact timing of upcoming lawsuits, the sources said, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Reuters earlier this month that the department planned to bring more mortgage-related cases in early 2014, while declining to name which companies were targeted. The probes could also lead to settlements instead of lawsuits. The cases stem from a government task force the Obama administration created in early 2012 to probe the sale of shoddy home loans repackaged for investors. Last month, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) entered a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other agencies, to resolve charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Even more interesting is the prospect that Toronto-Dominion might seek to buy Citizens Bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS  ) . Rumors of a potential $13 billion deal for Citizens surfaced back in October, but thus far, nothing has happened to substantiate those rumors. With RBS facing scrutiny from the U.K. government to reorganize, it might be looking to divest its U.S. operations, and the move could greatly enhance TD’s presence in the States. But TD’s top executive said earlier this year that a potential acquisition of Citizens wouldn’t necessary match well with the bank’s usual guidelines for buyouts.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: GrafTech International Ltd (GTI)


GrafTech International Ltd (GTI) incorporated on April 26, 2010, is a manufacturer of graphite electrodes, products essential to the production of electric arc furnace (EAF) steel and various other ferrous and nonferrous metals. The Company also produces needle coke products, which are the primary raw material needed in the manufacture of graphite electrodes. The Company also manufactures carbon, graphite, and semi-graphite refractory products, which protect the walls of blast furnaces and submerged arc furnaces. The Company is manufactures and provides graphite and carbon materials used in the transportation, solar and oil and gas exploration industries. The Company’s operating segments include Industrial Materials, which include graphite electrodes, refractory products and needle coke products, and Engineered Solutions, which includes advanced electronics technologies, advanced graphite materials, advanced composite materials, and advanced materials. The Company has seve n product categories: graphite electrodes, refractory products, needle coke products, advanced graphite materials, advanced composite materials, advanced electronics technologies (formerly referred to as natural graphite products), and advanced materials.


Industrial Materials.

The Company’s Industrial Materials segment manufactures and delivers graphite electrodes, refractory products and needle coke products. Approximately 70% of the Company’s graphite electrodes sold is consumed in the EAF steel melting process. The remaining approximately 30% of the Company’s graphite electrodes sold is primarily used in various other ferrous and non-ferrous melting applications, including steel refining ladle furnace operations for both EAF and basic oxygen furnace steel production, fused materials, chemical processing, and alloy metals. The Company is a producer of petroleum needle coke. Needle coke is the raw material in the manufacture of the graphite electr odes used in melting operations. The Company is also a leadi! ng global supplier of carbon, semi-graphitic and graphite refractory hearth linings for blast and submerged arc furnaces used to produce iron and ferro alloys.


The Company competes with SGL Carbon A.G. Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. Showa Denko Carbon K.K. Graphite India Limited, HEG Limited, SEC Corporation Limited, Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd., Energoprom Group, Beijing FangDa Carbon Tech Co. Ltd., Sinosteel Corporation, Phillips 66, Petrocokes Japan Limited , Mitsubishi Chemical Company, Baosteel Group , C-Chem Co., Ltd. Indian Oil Company Limited, Hongte Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. JX Holdings Inc., Petrochina International Jinzhou Co., Ltd. and Sinosteel Anshan Research Institute of Thermo-Energy Co. Ltd.

Engineered Solutions


The Engineered Solutions segment includes advanced electronics technologies, advanced graphite materials, advanced composite materials and advanced materials. Advanced electronics technology products consist of electron ic thermal management solutions, fuel cell components, and sealing materials. These products are used in transportation, alternative energy, metallurgical, chemical, oil and gas exploration and various other industries. Advanced composite materials are engineered carbon products that are woven into various shapes to primarily support the aerospace and defense industries. Advanced materials use carbon and graphite powders as components or additives in a variety of industries, including metallurgical processing, battery and fuel cell components, and polymer additives.


SGL Carbon A.G., Mersen S.A., Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Toyo Tanso Co., Ltd., SEC Carbon Ltd, Nippon Carbon Co. Ltd, Graphite India Ltd. (India) , Panasonic Corporation , and Kaneka Corporation .

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Rhyu joins the company from IAC’s (NASDAQ: IACI  ) Match.com, where he has filled the roles of both CFO and chief administrative officer since 2011. Previous to that, he was a senior vice president at News Corp’s (NASDAQ: FOXA  ) Dow Jones & Company. He also served as corporate controller for both Sirius XM Radio and GrafTech International (NYSE: GTI  ) .

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Alliance Capital Management Holding L.P. (AB)


AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. provides investment management and related services in the United States and internationally. It offers institutional services, including separately-managed accounts, sub-advisory relationships, structured products, collective investment trusts, mutual funds, hedge funds, and other investment vehicles to unaffiliated corporate and public employee pension funds, endowment funds, domestic and foreign institutions, and governments. The company also provides retail services comprising retail mutual funds, sub-advisory relationships with mutual funds sponsored by third parties, and separately managed account programs sponsored by various financial intermediaries and other investment vehicles. In addition, it provides separately managed accounts, hedge funds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles for private clients, including high-net-worth individuals, trusts and estates, charitable foundations, partnerships, and private and family corporat ions. Further, AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. offers research services to institutional investors through research, portfolio analysis, and brokerage-related services; and equity capital markets services to issuers of publicly-traded securities. Additionally, it provides distribution, shareholder servicing, and administrative services to its sponsored mutual funds. AllianceBernstein Corporation serves as the general partner of the company. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. was founded in 1987 and is based in New York, New York. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. operates as a subsidiary of AXA.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By J. Royden Ward]

    AllianceBernstein Holding LP (AB) offers high quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors and private clients in major global markets. The company is one of the largest US investment advisors, with assets under management totaling $445 billion, as of January 31.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool’s director of investment planning, goes through a few situations where an IRA rollover might not be ideal. Dan notes that Franklin Templeton (NYSE: BEN  ) , AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB  ) , Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) , and other companies often offer cheaper class of mutual funds that would otherwise carry sales loads or higher fees outside a 401(k). Dan also talks about company stock and the special rules for 401(k)s that own it, as well as the importance of looking at overall fees to decide if your 401(k) is the best place to invest or whether an IRA rollover will help you more.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Webxu Inc (WBXU)


WebXU, Inc. (WebXU), incorporated on July 16, 2010, is a media company. The Company develops, acquires and integrates consumer-oriented businesses in the online customer acquisition and e-commerce field, focusing on operational improvement and augmenting of management resources. The Company also provides marketing solutions for online businesses, media agencies and marketers. The Company generates revenue by providing advertiser clients with targeted consumer traffic. In December 2012, the Company acquired M.T. Performance Marketing, Inc. (MediaTrust). In May 2013, Webxu Inc acquired BarNone Inc.


The Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Bonus Interactive Inc. and Lot6 Media, Inc. Bonus Interactive Inc. is engaged in the business of customer acquisition and retention programs in both the online and offline arenas. Lot6 Media, Inc. provides a variety of solutions for online businesses, media agencies, and marketers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap marijuana stock Petrotech Oil & Gas Inc (OTCMKTS: PTOG) surged 65.7% while OSL Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: OSLH) and WebXU Inc (OTCMKTS: WBXU) sank 20.47% and 12.02%, respectively, thanks in part to news and (in the case of two of these small caps) some paid promotions or investor relations type of activities. But will these three small cap marijuana stocks be able to sustain their highs or come out of rehab this week? Here is a reality check before you look for a quick high with them:

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Sangamo BioSciences Inc.(SGMO)


Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. engages in the research, development, and commercialization of zinc finger DNA-binding proteins (ZFPs) for gene regulation and gene modification in the United States. Its ZFPs could be engineered to make ZFP transcription factors (ZFP TFs), proteins that could be used to turn genes on or off; and ZFP nucleases (ZFNs), proteins that enable to modify DNA sequences in various ways. The company?s principal ZFP therapeutic include SB-509, a plasmid formulation of a ZFP TF activator of the vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) gene that is in a Phase 2b clinical trial for the treatment of severe diabetic neuropathy; and in a Phase 2 clinical trial in for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as in preclinical animal studies for spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. It is also developing SB-728-T, a ZFN-modified T-cell product, which is in Phase 1/2 clinical trial and two Phase 1 trials for the treatment of HI V/AIDS. In addition, the company develops SB-313xTZ, a ZFN-based therapeutic that is in Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain cancer. Further, it has preclinical development programs of ZFP therapeutics in the areas of Parkinson?s disease, hemophilia B, and neuropathic pain; and neuroregenerative programs in spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Additionally, the company has research stage programs in the areas of monogenic diseases and genetic conditions that result from a defect in a single gene, including hemophilia and other hemoglobinopathies, and immunodeficiencies. It has collaboration agreements with Sigma-Aldrich Corporation; Dow AgroSciences LLC; Pfizer Inc.; Genentech, Inc.; Open Monoclonal Technology, Inc.; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Richmond, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Among the sector stocks, Albany Molecular Research (NASDAQ: AMRI) was down more than 13 percent, while Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ: SGMO) tumbled around 6 percent.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Intercept Pharmaceutical has surged 576% this year after gaining today, besting InterMune’s (ITMN) 119% spike and Sangamo BioSciences’ (SGMO) 63% advance.

10 Best Japanese Stocks To Own Right Now: Citigroup Inc.(C)

Citigroup, Inc., a global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a range of financial products and services. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The Citicorp segment operates as a global bank for businesses and consumers with two primary businesses, Regional Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. The Regional Consumer Banking business provides traditional banking services, including retail banking, and branded cards in North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Institutional Clients Group business provides securities and banking services comprising investment banking and advisory services, lending, debt and equity sales and trading, institutional brokerage, foreign exchange, structured products, cash instruments and related derivatives, and private banking; and transaction services consisting of treasury and trade solutions, and securiti es and fund services. The Citi Holdings segment operates Brokerage and Asset Management, Local Consumer Lending, and Special Asset Pool businesses. The Brokerage and Asset Management Business, through its 49% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture and Nikko Cordial Securities, offers retail brokerage and asset management services. The Local Consumer Lending business provides residential mortgage loans, retail partner card loans, personal loans, commercial real estate, and other consumer loans, as well as western European cards and retail banking services. The Special Asset Pool business is a portfolio of securities, loans, and other assets. Citigroup Inc. has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company was founded in 1812 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mani]

    However, the surprise element was the failure of Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) in the stress test that dashed the hopes of the banking giant repurchasing $6.4 billion shares and hiking its dividend to 5 cents. Citi shares were down more than 5 percent on the news. Three foreign-owned banks, RBS Citizens, HSBC North America, and Santander USA also failed to clear the Fed’s hurdle.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Ouch! On March 26, the Federal Reserve rejected Citigroup’s (C) capital plan.

    No dividend increase from a penny a quarter to 5 cents a share, as the bank had planned. No $6.4 billion stock buyback as Wall Street had calculated.

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Thursday’s session are Citigroup Inc.(C), GameStop Corp.(GME) and Winnebago Industries Inc.(WGO)