10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014

Vienna, the home of Mozart and Freud, has held on to its title as the city with the highest quality of life, according to the 2014 rankings of the best places to live and work by management consultancy Mercer.

Vienna was followed by Zurich and Auckland, New Zealand. In fourth place was Munich while Vancouver, Canada, placed fifth — the highest-ranked city in North America. Germany’s Dusseldorf and Frankfurt take sixth and seventh place.

Mercer’s annual survey is conducted to help employers work out what to pay and compensate their employees when placing them on international assignments.

“European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions,” wrote Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer.

“Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard. Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations.”

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: Smart Ventures Inc (SMVR)

Smart Ventures, Inc., incorporated on November 22, 2006, is an exploration-stage company. The Company focuses on exploring, acquiring, developing and producing mineral reserves. The Company had purchased certain mineral claims located in the Laurentides Region near Mont Laurier, Quebec. In June 2011, the Company acquired Metal Assets S.A. In February 2014, Smart Ventures Inc announced the closing of its acquisition of The Sanday Corporation oil and gas drilling Services Company.

As of December 31, 2009, the Company had not generated any revenues. The Company focuses on establishing and exploiting deposits of both base and precious metals.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap marijuana stocks Smart Ventures Inc (OTCMKTS: SMVR) and Vitamin Blue Inc (OTCMKTS: VTMB) jumped 40.28% and 38.6%, respectively, while hemp stock Astika Holdings Inc (OTCBB: ASKH) fell 13.75% on Friday. Moreover, only one of these small cap stocks seems to have been the subject of a few paid promotions or investor relations types of activities. So will all three of these marijuana or hemp stocks keep producing highs or lows for investors and traders alike? Here is a quick reality check:

    Smart Ventures Inc (OTCMKTS: SMVR) Plans to Enter the Marijuana Edibles Business

    Small cap Smart Ventures Inc is an independent energy company engaged in engineering extended reach drilling services, acquisition, development, production, and exploration of oil, gas and minerals internationally. On Friday, Smart Ventures Inc rose 40.28% to $0.07 for a market cap of $2.31 million plus SMVR is up 600% over the past year and down 93.3% in intermittent trading since December 2009 according to Google Finance.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: Rosetta Resources Inc.(ROSE)

Rosetta Resources Inc., an independent exploration and production company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of onshore oil and gas resources in the United States. It owns producing and non-producing oil and gas properties located primarily in South Texas, including the Eagle Ford, and in the Southern Alberta Basin in Northwest Montana. As of December 31, 2011, the company had an estimated 965 billion cubic feet equivalent of proved reserves, including 36,370 million barrels of oil, 50,219 million barrels of natural gas liquids, and 446 billion cubic feet of natural gas, as well as drilled 53 net wells. Rosetta Resources Inc. was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Wolfe]

    Rosetta Resources (ROSE)

    FPA Capital’s largest holding is in Rosetta Resources. Here the guru holds on to a total of 1,419,402 shares of the company’s stock which makes up for 9.7% of its total portfolio and 2.32% of the company’s shares outstanding.

  • [By Value Digger]

    It is clear that these key metrics match the metrics of a heavily natural gas weighted company that also carries significant debt. To prove this, let’s check out Comstock Resources (CRK). Comstock sold some assets recently to Rosetta Resources (ROSE) to reduce its long term debt which still remains high though.

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    Who’s doing it the best?
    It can be pretty handy to evaluate the entire industry on how efficiently it’s replacing reserves, but reserve replacement costs can be more effective in evaluating individual companies. The lower the costs, the better it is. According to Ernst & Young, the most effective company at controlling reserve replacement costs is private company Antero Resources, with a three-year average reserve replacement cost of about $2.88 per barrel of oil equivalent. Antero, and four of the other top five companies on Ernst & Young’s list, are almost pure natural gas plays. If we’ve learned one thing over the past couple of years, it’s that oil reserves and natural gas reserves are two totally different things when it comes to value. The five following companies have more than 50% liquids on their reserves and had the lowest reserve replacement costs for 2012.

    Company % Liquids in Portfolio Oil Production Replacement Rate (3 Years) Reserve Replacement Costs (3-Year Average) Per boe Rosetta Resources  (NASDAQ: ROSE  ) 57% 846% $6.99 Continental Resources  (NYSE: CLR  ) 72% 827% $12.61 Laredo Petroleum  (NYSE: LPI  ) 52% 1,042% $13.51 SM Energy  (NYSE: SM  ) 53% 392% $14.67 SandRidge Energy  (NYSE: SD  ) 58% 704% $14.85

    Sources: Ernst & Young and S&P Capital IQ; author’s calculations.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: First Citizens BancShares Inc.(FCNCA)

First Citizens BancShares, Inc. operates as the holding company for First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company that provides various banking products and services to retail and commercial customers in the United States. It offers transaction and savings deposit accounts, commercial and consumer loans, deposit and treasury services and products, cardholder and merchant services, wealth management services, and other commercial banking services. The company also operates as a broker-dealer in securities that provides investment services, including the sale of annuities and third party mutual funds, as well as title insurance agency services. In addition, it owns and leases real estate properties. The company provides its services through branch, telephone and online banking, and automated teller machine network. It operates branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The company was founded in 1893 and headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    First Citizens Bank and Trust (FCNCA) is another bank that has seen its returns slipping in the past year. The return on assets and return on equity have both dropping for three consecutive quarters. The tangible equity-to-assets ratio is improving, and now stands at 9.46 but is still below the national averages.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: Solta Medical Inc(SLTM)

Solta Medical, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of energy-based medical device systems for aesthetic applications primarily in North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. It offers Fraxel re:pair system for use in dermatological procedures requiring ablation, coagulation, and resurfacing of soft tissue, as well as for rhytides, pigmentation, dyschromia, fine lines, acne, surgical scars, deeper lines, wrinkles, and actinic keratoses; and Clear + Brilliant system for patients who want to take control of their aging process. The company also provides Thermage CPT system that provides non-invasive treatment options for skin tightening; Liposonix system to destroy unwanted fat cells resulting in waist circumference reduction; Isolaz system for the treatment of inflammatory acne, comedonal acne, and mild to moderate inflammatory acne; and the CLARO device, a consumer handheld device for the tre atment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne, including pustular acne. Its customers principally include dermatologists, plastic surgeons, general and family practitioners, gynecologists, and ophthalmologists. The company sells its products primarily through a direct sales force, as well as through independent distributors; and CLARO device through retail and associated retailer?s Websites, and television retail networks, as well as through its own website in the United States. The company was formerly known as Thermage, Inc. and changed its name to Solta Medical, Inc. in January 2009. Solta Medical, Inc. was incorporated in 1996 and is headquartered in Hayward, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tess Stynes]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Monday’s session are Sprint Corp.(S), American International Group Inc.(AIG) and Solta Medical Inc.(SLTM)

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Solta Medical Inc.(SLTM) unveiled restructuring plans to improve its financial performance and has hired an adviser to help evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale or merger of the medical aesthetics device maker. Investors cheered the news, sending shares up 7.7% to $1.97 premarket.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: The Ultimate Software Group Inc.(ULTI)

The Ultimate Software Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, and markets unified human capital management software-as-a-service solutions to businesses in the United States and Canada. Its UltiPro software solution offers businesses with cloud-based functionality to manage the employment life cycle from recruitment to retirement. The UltiPro solution includes feature sets for talent acquisition and onboarding, human resource management and compliance, benefits management and online enrollment, payroll, performance management, salary planning and budgeting for compensation management, succession management, reporting and analytical decision-making tools, and time and attendance, as well as role-based access for executives, managers, administrators, and employees. The company offers its products and services for various industries, including manufacturing, food services, sports, technology, finance, insurance, retail, real estate, transportation, com munications, healthcare, and other services. It also provides implementation, training, maintenance, and technical support services. The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. markets its products under the UltiPro Enterprise and UltiPro Workplace brand names through its direct sales teams. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Weston, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    The firm is currently Zacks Rank # 3 – Hold, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of “Outperfom”. For investors looking for a Zacks Rank # 1 – Strong Buy, Dealertrack Technologies Inc (TRAK), Open Text Corporation (OTEX), Pegasystems Inc. (PEGA) Solera Holdings (SLH) or Ultimate Software Group Inc. (ULTI) could be the options.

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Ultimate Software (NASDAQ: ULTI  ) were screaming “Ultimate!” today, gaining as much as 17% after topping estimates in its quarterly report.

  • [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 Ultimate Software Group (Nasdaq: ULTI  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: Gleacher & Company Inc.(GLCH)

Gleacher & Company, Inc., an independent investment bank, provides corporate and institutional clients with advice and execution in the areas of advisory services, capital raising and research, sales, and trading. It operates through five segments: Mortgage Backed/Asset Backed & Rates (MBS/ABS & Rates), Corporate Credit, Investment Banking, Equities, and Other. The MBS/ABS & Rates segment provides sales, trading, banking, research, and advisory services on a range of mortgage and asset-backed securities; the United States Treasury and government agency securities; and structured products, such as collateralized loan obligations and collateralized debt obligations, whole loans, and other securities. The Corporate Credit segment offers analysis, sales, and trading on various debt securities comprising bank debt and loans, investment grade debt, high-yield debt, treasuries, convertibles, distressed debt, preferred debt, emerging markets debt, and reorganization equities to co rporate and institutional investor clients. The Investment Banking segment provides financial advisory services in regards to mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, recapitalizations, and capital markets-related matters. It engages in capital raising through underwritings and private placements of equity and debt securities. The Equities segment offers research on customer trades in equity securities in aerospace, defense, industrials, technology, healthcare, and REIT sectors. The Other segment provides early stage growth capital to companies in the information and energy technology sectors. The company was formerly known as Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group, Inc. Gleacher & Company, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Investment bank Gleacher (NASDAQ: GLCH  ) has announced that it will exit its mortgage-backed securities and rates business, as well as its credit-products operations. This move, the repercussions of which could potentially affect up to roughly 160 employees, is effective immediately.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    The upper ranks of Gleacher (NASDAQ: GLCH  ) management have seen a major shake-up. The financial services company has relieved both CEO Thomas Hughes, and COO John Griff, of their jobs. In a tersely worded filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said that the twin terminations were effective immediately. It provided no reason for its actions.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: Vmware Inc.(VMW)

VMware, Inc. provides virtualization and virtualization-based cloud infrastructure solutions in the United States and internationally. The company?s products address planned and unplanned downtime management, system recoverability and reliability, backup and recovery, resource provisioning and management, capacity and performance management, and security issues. Its cloud infrastructure products and technologies include VMware vSphere, which is a data center platform that also enables live migration of actively running virtual machines across servers or storage locations without disruption or downtime; enables availability for all applications against hardware and operating system failures; and enables centralized point of control for cluster-level networking, as well as automatically manages the placement and balancing of a virtual machine across storage resources. The company also offers cloud application platform solutions that help organizations build, run, and manage enterprise applications in public, private, or hybrid clouds optimized for vSphere. In addition, it provides end-user computing solutions, which provide secure access to applications and data from various devices and location, as well as serves the corporate IT departments through managing and connecting end-user assets delivering them as a managed service. The company?s end-user computing solutions also provide the ability to manage software as a service, Windows, Mobile, or enterprise applications, as well as enhance communication and collaboration between end users. Further, it provides a range of professional services, such as consulting, education, and technical account manager services, as well as customer support services. The company sells its products through distributors, resellers, system vendors, and systems integrators. VMware, Inc. was incorporated in 1998 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. VMware, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of EMC Corporation. < /p> Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Traders Reserve]

    EMC (EMC) reported a strong set of fourth-quarter results recently, led by a 10% growth in the Information Storage division and sustained growth from EMC-owned VMware (VMW).

  • [By DAILYFINANCE]

    Brian Smale/Microsoft via Getty ImagesNewly named Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. SAN FRANCISCO — After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a homegrown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That’s back when Google’s founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school. Tuesday’s hiring of Nadella as Microsoft’s CEO after a five-month search is a safe move that’s likely to be greeted with sighs of relief around the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters, industry analysts say. But the methodical, almost predictable decision is likely to reinforce perceptions that Microsoft (MSFT) is a plodding company reluctant to take risks as it competes against younger rivals who relish going out on a limb. While Google (GOOG) founder and CEO Larry Page boasts about his company taking “moon shots” and Zuckerberg promises to “move fast and break things,” Microsoft has fallen behind the technological curve after underestimating the importance of Internet search more than a decade ago and reacting too slowly to the rise of mobile devices during the past seven years. Meanwhile, the sales of personal computers running on Microsoft’s Windows software are shrinking. Microsoft’s malaise may have narrowed the field of up-and-coming visionaries interested in running a company founded in 1975. Just as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Apple (AAPL) founder Steve Jobs would never have considered working at IBM (IBM) in the 1980s, today’s entrepreneurial whiz kids scoff at Microsoft’s overtures. “Going to work at Microsoft could make it look like you are going back to the dark ages,” says Richard Metheny, a management coach for the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer in Chicago. “It’s a well-entrenched business that has had trouble lately figuring out how to play in this new world.” Despite its challenges, Microsoft remains a moneymaking machine that sits atop an $84 billion cash pile. Tha

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    VMware Inc. (VMW)  shares dropped 2.5% to $92.61 on moderate volume even though quarterly results were largely in line with analysts’ view of $1 a share on revenue of $1.48 billion.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: SMART Technologies Inc.(SMT)

SMART Technologies Inc. designs, develops, and sells interactive technology products and solutions that enhance learning and enable people to collaborate worldwide. The company offers a range of SMART Board interactive whiteboards and displays, as well as other interactive products, such as interactive tables, interactive pen displays, student response systems, wireless slates, audio enhancement systems, document cameras, conferencing software, and a line of interactive learning software. Its portfolio of related attachment products include SMART Response, SMART Slate, SMART Document Camera, SMART Table, SMART Audio, and SMART Classroom Suite. SMART Technologies also provides free online learning resources, an online teacher community, and training and professional development. It sells its interactive whiteboards through a network of distributors and dealers to the education, business, and government markets. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Calgary , Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Robinson]

    Smart Technologies (SMT)

    Smart Technologies is a company that literally lives up to its name. It’s a supplier of interactive education tools, used by more than 40 million students, in more than 175 countries.

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    Smart Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: SMT) is a company that literally lives up to its name. It’s a supplier of interactive education tools used by more than 40 million students in more than 175 countries.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: American Capital Agency Corp (AGNC)

American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company earns income primarily from investing on a leveraged basis in agency mortgage-backed securities. These investments consist of residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by government-sponsored entities, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), or by a United States Government agency, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) (collectively, GSEs). It may also invest in agency debenture securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB). The Company is managed by American Capital AGNC Management, LLC, which is an affiliate of American Capital, Ltd.

AGNC funds its investments primarily through short-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements. The agency mortgage-backed securities in which the Company invests consist of agency residential pass-through certificates and CMOs. Agency residential pass-through certificates are securities representing interests in pools of mortgage loans secured by residential real property. Agency CMOs are securities that are structured instruments representing interests in agency residential pass-through certificates. Agency CMOs consist of multiple classes of securities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) shares fell 4.48% to $22.80 in the pre-market trading after the company reported Q3 comprehensive income of $0.45 per common share and net book value of $25.27 per common share.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    Annaly has built its reputation on stellar yields produced by a savvy management team, building the business from its inception in 1997 to a company with a market capitalization of $15 billion and assets topping $133 billion. But there’s a relative newcomer that seems intent on knocking Annaly off of its throne: American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) .

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    CYS isn’t the best-known mortgage REIT in the industry, but it presents an interesting bargain right now. With shares of CYS trading well below its net asset value of $13.31, the REIT has a margin of safety that you won’t find with bigger rivals. Both Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) trade at or above book value, compared to about a 7% discount at current prices for CYS.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    Two Harbors is the third largest mortgage REIT, at a cap rate of $4.5 billion, and is the largest hybrid, investing in both government sponsored entity-backed securities, as well as non-agency. The two largest mREITs, Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) and American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC  ) buy only agency-backed paper.

10 Best Safest Stocks For 2014: CarMax Inc(KMX)

CarMax, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of used vehicles in the United States. It also sells vehicles that do not meet its retail standards to licensed dealers through on-site wholesale auctions, as well as sells new vehicles under franchise agreements. In addition, the company provides customers financing alternatives through its finance operation, CarMax Auto Finance, as well as through its third-party financing providers. Further, it offers a range of other related products and services, including the sale of extended service plans, guaranteed asset protection, and accessories; the appraisal and purchase of vehicles directly from consumers; and vehicle repair services. As of December 21, 2011, the company operated 107 used car superstores in 52 markets. CarMax, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    The overall numbers for the used car industry have been very strong, as folks who need a new car but can’t afford one pick a used car instead. But which of the used car stocks is best? Let’s take a look.

    CarMax (KMX)

    CarMax (KMX) is first up on our car stocks shopping trip. The company had a terrible commercial on Sunday, but CarMax has an interesting superstore model, with 123 such stores in 61 markets.

  • [By DailyFinance Staff]

    Stocks rallied again on Friday, completing one of the market’s best weeks of the year. This rally is tied to growing signs that the pace of U.S. economic growth is finally picking up. The government reported a 4.1 percent jump in GDP over the summer. That was much stronger than expected, and substantially higher than the previous estimate. That came on top of strong reports this month on jobs, manufacturing and housing. At a news conference, President Obama said 2014 could be “a breakthrough year” for the U-S economy. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 42 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) gained 9 — both ending at record highs yet again. The Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rallied 46 points. For the week, the Dow was up about 3 percent. Some retail stocks bounced higher as stores brace for the final weekend before Christmas. J.C. Penney (JCP) rose 4.5 percent, Urban Outfitters (URBN) gained 2 percent and American Eagle (AEO) gained 1.5 percent. And Target (TGT) edged higher, one day after acknowledging a massive security breach that exposed the personal information of millions of customers to hackers. It was also a good day for online retailers. Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) both rose by about 2 percent and Overstock.com (OSTK) gained 3 percent. And how do we pay for all of those last minute gifts? Credit cards, of course. MasterCard (MA) and American Express (AXP) each gained 1.5 percent, and Visa (V) edged higher. One of the day’s best gainers was Blackberry (BBRY). It shares soared 15 percent even though the smartphone maker posted a bigger loss than expected. But the company’s new CEO forecast a profit by 2016 and announced a partnership with the Taiwanese phone maker Foxconn. A big green arrow for software maker Red Hat (RHT). It rallied 14 percent as earnings jumped, easily beating expectations. Textron (TXT) gained 10 percent. The Financial Times reports the company is on the verge of buying the a