10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014

Software provider Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) reported a number of noteworthy events during the quarter. Investors reacted positively to the announcement that Microsoft will appoint a new CEO within the next 12 months to replace Steve Ballmer. However, shares retreated after the company announced the purchase of Nokia’s phone business along with certain patent rights for $7.2 billion as many investors question whether that market will ever prove profitable.

From Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio) Large Cap Fund third quarter 2013 commentary.

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10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014: Alpha Natural Resources inc. (ANR)

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing, processing, and selling steam and metallurgical coal in the United States. The company has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming. As of December 31, 2011, it owned or leased approximately 4.7 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves; and operated 145 mines in northern and central Appalachia and the Powder River basin. The company is also involved in repairing and reselling equipment and parts used in surface mining; manufacturing particulate scrubbers and filters for underground diesel engine applications; rebuilding underground mining equipment; and providing coal and environmental analysis, and degassing services. In addition, it engages in the sale of non-strategic assets, such as timber, gas, and oil rights, as well as the lease and sale of non-strategic surface properties and reserves; coal brokerage; and road construction business. The company serves electric utilities, steel and coke producers, industrial customers, and energy traders and brokers. Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. was founded in 2002 and is based in Abingdon, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Finally, I always like to see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm’s management: the return on equity. With a ROE of 13.2%, it is well above the industry mean of 3.7% and competitors such as Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) and Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU).

  • [By gurujx]

    Alpha Natural Resources Inc (ANR) Reached the Three-Year Low of $4.80

    The prices of Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) shares have declined to close to the three-year low of $4.80, which is 92.2% off the three-year high of $61.66.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for met-coal prices today–and its rating on Alpha Natural Resources (ANR).

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Goldman analysts Neil Mehta and Vinit Joshi explain why they downgraded Alpha Natural Resources:

10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014: MyEcheck Inc (MYEC)

MyECheck, Inc. (MyECheck), incorporated on May 18, 2005, is an electronic transaction data processor. The Company provides an alternative payment solution to paper checks, cards or ACH payments. MyECheck utilizes a method of clearing check data for payments. MyECheck offers implemented solutions that enable real-time payments by authorized electronic check. MyECheck’s electronic check service creates and clears checks using only customer account data without the hassle and delays of paper checks. MyECheck’s system enables more payers – any authorized signor on any United States checking account, for any amount. MyECheck’s transactions can even be payment guaranteed.

Electronic Check Service

Payer check data is collected by the Merchant either at customer registration, or on their Website, through a mobile device, or over the telephone, and is transmitted in real-time, or in batch to MyECheck for processing. MyECheck uses technology to generate electronic checks in accordance with the Federal Reserve Check 21 specification, and transmits the items to clear through the electronic check clearing system to the Merchant’s account at one of its partner banks.

Check Authorization Service

MyECheck offers Check Authorization Service that enables merchants to verify consumer provided data, check the status of their customer’s bank account, provide evidence that the consumer has authorized the check and predict the likelihood of a check being returned unpaid. Transactions are immediately and automatically evaluated and approved or declined based upon the real time results of multiple fraud control tools. Businesses that accept MyECheck payments can use this service to provide an automated real time check authorization to mitigate returned items.

Check Guarantee Service

The check guarantee provider warranties all approved checks and reimburses the Payee (Merchant) for fin ancial losses incurred as a result of returned checks. The C! heck Guarantee Provider buys the returned checks that have been warranted from merchants for the full face value of the returned checks. MyECheck merchants utilize Check Guarantee Service so that they can ship products or provide services immediately without having to wait to determine if the check will be returned unpaid. The Check Guarantee Service also eliminates the need for Merchants to collect on returned checks from their customers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Rewards Nexus Inc (OTCMKTS: ERNI), MyEcheck Inc (OTCMKTS: MYEC) and ITonis Inc (OTCMKTS: ITNS) fell 29.6%, 18.92% and 9.09%, respectively, last Friday. Moreover, some of these small cap stocks are already making big moves again this morning – perhaps in part because they have all been the subject of recent paid promotions. So where are these small cap heading this week and for the long term? Here is a quick reality check:

10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014: American Homes 4 Rent (AMH)

American Homes 4 Rent, incorporated on October 19, 2012, is an internally managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties.

As of September 30, 2013, the Company owned 21,267 properties in desirable markets in 22 states including Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio ; Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas , Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee ; Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas , and Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to single-family properties, the Company also focuses to invest in condominium units, townhouses and real estate-related debt investments.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]

    In this segment of The Motley Fool’s financials-focused show, Where the Money Is, analysts Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson discuss some of their favorite tweets of the day. Among the companies covered are Silver Bay (NYSE: SBY  ) , American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH  ) , and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) .

  • [By Mark Holder]

    After an initial bump in Silver Bay, the stock has had a horrible 2013, now trading close to all-time lows. Recently, a couple of other IPOs in the sector have come to market with weak receptions. Both American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH  ) and American Residential Properties (NYSE: ARPI  ) offer different twists to the general thesis of investing in single-family rental properties to take advantage of the weakness in housing prices and the increased demand for rentals.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014: Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (SFM)

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (Sprouts), incorporated on January 27, 2011, is a specialty retailer of natural and organic food focusing on health and wellness. The Company offers fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, grocery, meat and seafood, bakery, dairy, frozen foods, body care and natural household items. The Company’s product offerings focus on fresh, natural and organic foods. Natural foods can be defined as foods that are minimally processed and are free of synthetic preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers. The Company categorize the over 7,000 range of products, it sells as perishable and non-perishable. Perishable product categories include produce, meat, seafood, deli and bakery. Non-perishable product categories include grocery, vitamins and supplements, bulk items, dairy and dairy alternatives, frozen foods, beer and wine, and natural health and body care.

The cornerstones of the Company’s business are fresh, natural and organic products. As of July 19, 2013, the Company opened 87 new stores while rebranding 43 Henry’s and 39 Sunflower stores to the Sprouts banner. The Company’s stores include Produce, Bulk Items, Vitamins and Supplements, Grocery, Meat, Seafood, Deli, Bakery, Dairy and Dairy Alternatives, Frozen Foods, Beer and Wine and Natural Health and Body Care.The Company offer its customers a farmers market open-feel environment consisting of an abundant and affordable offering of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, focused on appearance, flavor and value. The Company’s stores include a crafted selection of more than 450 ranges of scoopable nuts, fruits, trail mixes, grains, beans, cereals, coffee, tea, spices, candy and snacks featured in the center of the store. The Company’s stores feature more than 4,200 vitamins, supplements, natural remedies, functional food, lifestyl e support, and herbal supplements. This department includes ! an extensive private label offering.

The Company’s grocery offering focuses on healthy options. The Company carries approximately 4,200 natural and organic products in its grocery aisles, including meal components, natural sodas and other beverages, snacks and bars, baking goods, baby, pet and household items such as detergent and paper towels, and earth-friendly mercantile items. The Company’s Olde Tyme Butcher Shops combine sourcing through its trusted supplier network, product variety and old-fashioned customer service. The Company offers a range of seafood favorites delivered up to six days a week. The Conpany feature a range of fresh deli specialties, including sliced deli meat, salads, dips, entrees, side dishes, fresh made to order sandwiches at value prices and an abundant selection of over 200 varieties of cheeses from around the world.

The Company’ bakery offering includes artisan bread alongside a wide assortment of sandwich breads , rolls, tortillas, pitas, muffins, cookies and pies as well as sugar free, gluten free and low carbohydrate products. The Company’s dairy department features a selection of organic, natural and regionally sourced milk, yogurt (including Greek, Australian, organic, and soy-based), butter and eggs, as well as a full selection of vegan and vegetarian alternative dairy products. The Company’s freezer cases feature traditional and ethnic natural and organic entrees and side dishes, along with frozen vegetables, desserts and specialty items, such as gluten-free breads and non-dairy ice creams. The Company offers approximately 2,400 natural, cruelty-free health and beauty products, old-fashioned remedies and modern body care innovations, including facial care products and make up, skin, hair, dental, baby care and grooming products.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    Although switching costs are almost nonexistent in the grocery industry, Whole Foods has developed a solid competitive position through a differentiated value proposition that comprises a vast array of products offering and distinct customer service. These traits and its large network of stores have kept the firm ahead of notable competitors like The Fresh Market Inc. (TFM) and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (SFM). These rivals operate roughly 150 stores each and handle an average of 10,000 stock- keeping units against 20,000 at Whole Foods.

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    Curious to see what the competition was doing, we found Safeway (SWY) down 0.1% at $31.67, Supervalu (SVU) down 1.4% at $6.25, and Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) up 0.9% at $39.60.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Struggling to combat inroads that new entrants such as Sprouts Farmers Market  (NASDAQ: SFM  )  are making on its turf, Whole Foods saw its same-store sales rise less than 6% in the organic grocer’s fourth quarter, its slowest rate in nearly four years. In contrast, Sprouts saw pro forma comps surge 10% year over year, leading to a 24% increase in total sales from the year-ago period.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    According to The Wall Street Journal there are three secondary offerings on tap for next week, but no IPOs. The largest of these, Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: SFM), was supposed to price on Thursday, but that was delayed until Monday likely due to the weak earnings report from The Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ: TFM) earlier last week. Sprouts is planning to sell 25.9 million shares. Shares closed at $37.86 on Friday, which would indicate a capital raise of around $975 million.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Invest In 2014: SolarCity Corp (SCTY)

SolarCity Corporation (SolarCity), incorporated on June 21, 2006, is engaged in the design, installation and sale or lease of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, or sale of electricity generated by solar energy systems to customers. The Company sells renewable energy to its customers. As of December 12, 2012, the Company served customers in 14 states. The Company’s residential customers are individual homeowners and homeowners. The Company’s commercial customers represent several business sectors, including technology, retail, manufacturing, agriculture, nonprofit and houses of worship. The Company has installed solar energy systems for several government entities, including the the United States Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy, and the Department of Homeland Security. The Company purchases major components, such as solar panels and inverters directly from multiple manufacturers. As of September 30, 2012, its primary solar panel suppliers we re Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited and Kyocera Solar, Inc., among others, and its primary inverter suppliers were Power-One, Inc., SMA Solar Technology, AG, Schneider Electric SA, Fronius International GmbH and SolarEdge Technologies, among others.

Solar Energy Products

The Company’s solar energy products include Solar Energy Systems, and SolarLease and power purchase agreement finance products. The major components of its solar energy systems include solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical current. Most of its solar energy customers choose to purchase energy from the Company pursuant to one of two payment structures: a SolarLease or a power purchase agreement. In both structures, the Company charges customers a monthly fee for the power produced by its solar energy systems. In the lease structure, this monthly payment is pre-determined and includes a production guarantee. In the power purchase agreement structure, the Company charges customers a fee per kilowatt! hour based on the amount of electricity actually produced by the solar energy system.

Energy Efficiency Products and Services

The Company’s energy efficiency products and services include home energy evaluation and energy efficiency upgrades. The Company sells home energy efficiency evaluations to new solar energy system customers and existing customers. The Company’s energy efficiency upgrade products and services address heating and cooling, air sealing, duct sealing, water heating, insulation, furnaces, weatherization, pool pumps and lighting. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had completed over 13,000 home energy evaluations and performed more than 2,000 energy efficiency upgrades.

Other Energy Products and Services

The Company’s other energy products and services include electric vehicle charging and energy storage. The Company installs electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment that it sources from thir d parties. SolarCity markets EV equipment to residential and commercial customers through retail partnerships with companies, such as The Home Depot, and through EV manufacturers and dealerships, such as its partnership with Tesla Motors, Inc. The Company is developing a battery management system built on its solar energy monitoring communications backbone. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had over 100 energy storage pilot projects under contract. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had sold over 750 charging stations.

Enabling Technologies

The Company’s enabling technologies include SolarBid Sales Management Platform, SolarWorks Customer Management Software, Energy Designer, Home Performance Pro and SolarGuard and PowerGuide Proactive Monitoring Solutions. SolarBid is a sales management platform, which incorporates a database of rate information by utility, sun exposure, roof orientation and a range of other factors to enable a detailed anal ysis and customized graphical presentation of each customer