In the current issue of The Journal of Economic Perspectives, economists present data that shows traditional consumer banking and asset management were the forces behind outsized growth in the financial sector over the past 30 years. If this trend continues, which financial services companies are best poised to lead the way?
How much has finance grown, really?
The authors of the report, economists Robin Greenwood and David Scharfstein, first point to the U.S. economy’s increasing reliance on financial services for growth. In 1950, financial services contributed 2.8% to GDP, compared to 4.9% in 1980 and 8.3% in 2006.
Source: “The Growth of Finance,” The Journal of Economic Perspectives.
The primary driver was a dramatic increase in household debt, primarily mortgages, which increased from 48% of GDP in 1980 to 99% in 2007. The run-up before the real estate bubble aside, the more than doubling of household debt in just 27 years is remarkable.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: KAR Auction Services Inc (KAR)
KAR Auction Services, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides vehicle auction services in North America. It operates in three segments: ADESA Auctions, IAA, and AFC. The ADESA Auctions segment offers whole car auctions and related services to the vehicle remarketing industry through online auctions and auction facilities. This segment also provides value-added services, such as auction related, transportation, reconditioning, inspection, title and repossession administration and remarketing, and analytical services. The ADESA Auctions segment sells its products and services through commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, new and used vehicle dealers, and vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies to franchise and independent used vehicle dealers. The IAA segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services that facilitate the remarketing of damaged or low value vehicles designated as total losses by insurance companies and charity donation vehicles, as well as recovered stolen vehicles. This segment also provides inbound transportation, titling, salvage recovery, and claims settlement administrative services. The AFC segment offers floorplan financing, a short-term inventory-secured financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. As of December 31, 2012, the company had a network of 67 whole car auction and 163 salvage auction locations, as well as serviced auctions through 104 locations. The company was formerly known as KAR Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to KAR Auction Services, Inc. in November 2009. KAR Auction Services, Inc. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Vehicle auction services company KAR (KAR) raised its quarterly dividend 31% to 25 cents per share, payable on Jan. 3 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 20.
KAR Dividend Yield: 3.53%
- [By Geoff Gannon] ore explicit in detailing the competitive position of Copart and Insurance Auto Auctions. It even gave market share data.
This is common. Often one company will choose not to give names or put percentages on certain competitive facts. The other company will do so. And even when that is not the case, the two companies will often make statements that — when taking together — can give you rough indications of certain realities that neither company entirely intended to provide.
The same is true for certain suppliers and customers. Although this is complicated by size. Very large customers of small companies are not good sources of information. But smaller companies often provide better insights into the larger suppliers, customers, etc., they deal with. That’s because — due to their small size — more information is material and is explained in detail.
I have found situations where one company simply says who the customer is that they are supplying. Whil e the other company explains what product that supply goes into, the purchase amount, whether it is an exclusive arrangement, etc.
So it is always important to — at a minimum — read the 10-Ks, 14As, and (where available) S-1s of every public company in the industry. This will give you a lot of insight into the competitive situation. Sometimes it is helpful to also look at customers and suppliers. However, this is not true of very large customers and suppliers because they will not discuss the specific area you are interested in.
For example, Honeywell is a large customer of George Risk. It would do me no good to study Honeywell to learn about George Risk. Honeywell is a huge company. What they buy from George Risk is irrelevant to their shareholders. So they do not discuss it.
An exception to this is where the product sold is going into a huge “generational” type project. Examples include defense, aerospace, video game consoles, operating systems, etc. This can be very hel
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: eLong Inc.(LONG)
eLong, Inc. operates as an online travel service provider in the People?s Republic of China. The company provides its customers with travel information and the ability to book rooms, air tickets, vacation packages, and other travel related services utilizing call center and Web-based distribution technologies. It facilitates the customers to book rooms in approximately 10,000 hotels in 450 cities across China, and fulfills air ticket reservations in approximately 80 cities across China. In addition, the company offers the ability to book rooms at approximately 100,000 hotels outside of China; and provides the customers informative content relevant to hotel and air travel decisions, including tourist and event site destination information, hotel facility information, and photos. eLong markets its services through online marketing, traditional media advertising, co-marketing with established brands of other companies, and direct marketing. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China. eLong, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Expedia Asia Pacific Limited.
- [By Faisal Humayun]
Positive Clarification on eLong (LONG)
There were rumours in the recent past that Expedia is considering selling its 65% stake in eLong. On July 7, 2014, Expedia announced that the talk on selling the stake was indeed a rumour and Expedia remains a long-term investor in eLong to support eLong’s drive to become the leading Chinese travel site.
- [By Tom Taulli]
Strong Portfolio: Expedia has massive scale, with supply from about 200,000 hotels, 300 airlines and various car rentals and cruise lines. And EXPE sites — which include Hotwire.com, Hotels.com, CarRentals.com and more, on top of the Expedia namesake — get about 50 million unique visitors every month. Plus, EXPE also owns a majority stake in eLong (LONG), which is the second largest online travel company in China.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: Senomyx Inc.(SNMX)
Senomyx, Inc. engages in the discovery and development of novel flavor ingredients in the savory, sweet, salt, bitter, and cooling areas using proprietary taste receptor-based assays and screening technologies. The company has product discovery, development, and commercialization collaborations with seven food, beverage, and ingredient companies, including Ajinomoto Co., Inc.; Firmenich SA; Kraft Foods, Inc.; Nestle SA; and PepsiCo, Inc. Senomyx, Inc. licenses flavor ingredients to its collaborators on an exclusive or co-exclusive basis. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in San Diego, California.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Healthcare stocks gained Wednesday, with Senomyx (NASDAQ: SNMX) leading advancers after the company announced a research agreement with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP). Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from Pernix Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ: PTX), Albany Molecular Research (NASDAQ: AMRI) and Gentiva Health Services (NASDAQ: GTIV).
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: MGT Capital Investments Inc (MGT)
MGT Capital Investments, Inc (MGT), incorporated in 1977, is a holding company. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was analyzing potential acquisition opportunities in healthcare marketing and technology, as well as various intellectual property assets. The Company has a controlling interest in Medicsight ltd (Medicsight) and its subsidiaries Medicsight, Inc., Medicsight KK (Japan), Medicsight Pty Limited (Australia), Medicsight FZE (UAE), MedicEndo Limited (UAE), MedicCO2lon Limited (UAE) and Medicsight UK Limited (UK). The Company also have wholly owned subsidiaries MGT Capital Investments (UK) Limited, MGT Investments (Gibraltar) Limited, and Medicsight. Medicsight and its wholly owned subsidiaries is a medical technology company focusing on medical imaging software development and medical hardware devices. On March 29, 2011 the Company disposed of its 49% holding in Moneygate Group Limited (Moneygate). In September 2013, MGT Capital Investments, Inc MGT Interactive, LLC acquired certain assets from Gioia Systems LLC.
Medicsight’s core technology is the ColonCAD algorithm that is integrated (using application protocol interface (API) technology) into visualization workstations for radiologists to use when reviewing a patient’s colon computer tomography (CT) scan data. The computer-aided detection (CAD) algorithm assists the radiologist as they search for polyps in the CT scan image data. The radiologist uses the visualization software to review the patient’s CT scan images on the screen and searches for polyps (potentially pre-cancerous lesions on the wall of the colon). After a full review, the radiologist then activates the Medicsight ColonCAD software, which immediately displays CAD marks on the images, drawing the radiologist’s attention to potential polyps and other regions of interest. The radiologist then assesses each marked region in order to make the final decision as to the presence or absence of a polyp.< /p>
In addition to the computer aided detection so! ftware applications, Medicsight has developed an automated carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation device, MedicCO2LON. A patient undergoing a CT colon scan requires the colon to be insufflated (distended) with either CO2 gas or room air administered prior to the acquisition of their CT colonography images. MedicCO2LON is designed to provide insufflation, for the acquisition of images from the CT colonography examination.
The Company competes with GE, Hitachi, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba.
- [By Markman Advisors]
Public companies leveraging their patent portfolios, (aka "patent plays"), are getting the market’s attention. Companies such as Vringo (VRNG), ParkerVision (PRKR), MGT Capital (MGT), Worlds Inc. (WDDD.OB) and others have presented trading opportunities due to their volatility while retaining the chance for a big payoff to those investors who stay the course. Yet there exist viable patent plays that are still undiscovered. Some of these so called "plays," which are not getting enough attention, are actually real companies making and selling real products or services in contrast to pure patent monetization companies. Some known examples are Single Touch Interactive (SITO.OB) and Blue Calypso (BCYP.OB). This article is focused on another one of these patent plays, On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTIV).
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: Koninklijke KPN NV (KPN)
Koninklijke KPN NV (KPN) is a Netherlands-based telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) service provider. It is divided in two business areas: the Netherlands and Mobile International. The Netherlands includes segments: Mobile Consumer, which offers voice, text and data services, and mobile wholesale; Consumer Residential, providing fixed line services; Business, responsible for wireline and wireless voice and Internet, Cloud and integrated packages for corporate clients; NETCO, which offers wireless, copper and fiber network infrastructure and services for retail and wholesale customers; and Corporate Network, which provides solutions for workspace management, connectivity, information security and data centers, cloud-based and traditional software services and consulting. Mobile International consists of segments such as Germany, Belgium, Rest of the world; and iBasis, providing wholesale voice services and terminating of international calls wo rldwide. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Corinne Gretler]
Royal KPN NV (KPN), the former Dutch phone monopoly, surged 13 percent to 1.80 euros as three people familiar with the matter said Telefonica SA is in advanced talks to take over its German mobile-phone business.
- [By Corinne Gretler]
KPN (KPN) surged 16 percent to 2.32 euros as America Movil offered 2.40 euros a share for the company. The price — a 20 percent premium to KPN’s close yesterday — would value the stake that America Movil doesn’t already own at 7.2 billion euros ($9.6 billion). The Mexican mobile-phone operator has a 29.8 percent holding in KPN. An agreement between the two companies to limit America Movil’s stake to 30 percent expired after KPN agreed last month to sell its German business E-Plus to Telefonica SA.
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc each slipped at least 1 percent as crude declined after the U.K. parliament rejected a motion for military action against Syria. Royal KPN (KPN) NV slid 3.4 percent after America Movil SAB said it may withdraw its takeover bid if opposed by the company’s independent foundation. Hermes International SCA climbed 2.1 percent after reporting operating profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: Rentrak Corporation(RENT)
Rentrak Corporation, an information management company, provides content measurement and analytical services to companies in the entertainment industry. The company delivers content performance data for various entertainment platforms and media technologies, including television, theatrical, home entertainment, mobile, and broadband video. It operates in two divisions, Home Entertainment, and Advanced Media and Information. The Home Entertainment division delivers home entertainment content products, such as DVDs and blue-ray discs; and offers related rental and sales information for the content to home video specialty stores and other retailers in the United States and Canada. It leases products from various suppliers, including motion picture studios; and retailers sublease and rent these products to consumers. This division also includes direct revenue sharing (DRS) services, which encompasses the collection, tracking, auditing, and reporting of transaction and revenue data generated by DRS retailers to its respective DRS clients. The AMI division offers Essentials Suite of business information services. This division?s Essentials Suite software and services provide data collection, management, analysis, and reporting functions. It also collects and process data from across 26 countries. This division has operations in California, New York, Florida, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Russia. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with additional offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
- [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach]
Rentrak Corp.’s(RENT) revenue rose 40% with help from its television business revenue, but the box-office tracking and TV-ratings firm posted a slightly wider loss for its fiscal fourth quarter.
- [By James Oberweis]
Rentrak (RENT) offers technology that merges television viewership, advanced demographics, and actual consumer behavior information across multiple platforms, devices, and distribution channels.
- [By Sean Williams]
On the wrong track
Small-cap Rentrak (NASDAQ: RENT ) has done quite well for itself and shareholders over the past 12 months. As a marketing and entertainment information provider to the TV, movie, and advertising industry, Rentrak has witnessed its share price rise as the outlook for the overall economy continues to improve. But beyond the surface, Rentrak looks like a brutally overpriced research and information company with few growth catalysts.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated(UNH)
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated provides healthcare services in the United States. Its Health Benefits segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; and non-employer based insurance options for purchase by individuals. It also provides health and well-being services for individuals aged 50 and older; and for services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals, as well as health plans for the beneficiaries of acute and long-term care Medicaid plans. This segment offers its services through a network of 730,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and 5,300 hospitals. Its OptumHealth segment provides health, financial, and ancillary services and products that assist consumers through personalized health management solutions; benefit administration, and clinical and network management; health-based financi al services; behavioral solutions; and specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, life, critical illness, short-term disability, and stop-loss product offerings. The company?s Ingenix segment offers database and data management services, software products, publications, consulting and actuarial services, business process outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical data consulting and research services. Its Prescription Solutions segment provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services comprising retail network pharmacy contracting and management, claims processing, mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy, benefit design consultation, rebate contracting and management, drug utilization review, formulary management programs, disease therapy management, and adherence programs to employer groups, union trusts, managed care organizations, Medicare-contracted plans, Medicaid plans, and third party administrators. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Minn e tonka, Minnesota.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected From: SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Mattel, Inc, (NASDAQ: MAT), Key Corp (NYSE: KEY), Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), PPG Industries, Inc (NYSE: PPG), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX), Schlumberger N.V. (NYSE: SLB), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) Economic Releases Expected: Chinese house prices, US housing starts, eurozone CPI, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate
- [By JulieYoung789]
Strengthening valuations in the DJIA continued to show in Industrials as Caterpillar (CAT) gained 1.53% on July 3. Exxon Mobil (XOM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and United Health (UNH) also led the DJIA higher on Thursday, July 3 with daily returns of greater than 1%.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: FreeSeas Inc.(FREE)
FreeSeas Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a bulk transportation company. The company transports various drybulk commodities, including iron ore, grain, and coal, as well as bauxite, phosphate, fertilizers, steel products, cement, sugar, rice, and minor bulks. As of December 31, 2010, it owned and operated nine vessels, including seven Handysize and two Handymax dry bulk carriers. The company was formerly known as Adventure Holdings S.A. and changed its name to FreeSeas Inc. in April 2005. FreeSeas Inc. was incorporated in 2004 and is based in Piraeus, Greece.
- [By James E. Brumley]
It’s certainly no Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE:SB) or Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK), in terms or market cap or revenue. In fact, even with the drybulk shipping industry it’s a somewhat obscure name. Yet, FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE) may well be the stock with the most near-term potential upside, now that it’s gotten over a key technical hump.
- [By Bryan Murphy]
To say the last few weeks have been disappointing ones for shareholders of maritime shipping stocks like NewLead Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NEWL), FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE), or Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX) would be an understatement. After a fantastic second half of 2013 for most shipping stocks, the industry has been submerged (metaphorically) since the beginning of 2014. For perspective, DSX gained 32% over the course of the last six months of 2013, bur has fallen 5% since then. NEWL, though a loser all throughout the latter part of last year, has fallen a whopping 13% since 2014 began. FREE has performed about the same, offering glimmers of hope in the latter part of 2013, but popping that bubble in the meantime.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Back in early November, yours truly penned some bullish thoughts on FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE), NewLead Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NEWL), and DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS). While each stock has its own merits, the crux of the bullishness was ultimately rooted in the brewing rebound of the Baltic Dry Index… a reflection of the prices companies pay shippers like FreeSeas and DryShips to haul goods over the ocean.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM)
EQT Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream assets in the Appalachian Basin. The Company provides substantially all of its natural gas transmission, storage and gathering services under contracts with fixed reservation and/or usage fees. The Company focuses its operations in the Marcellus Shale fairway in southern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. It provides midstream services to EQT Corporation in the Appalachian Basin across 22 counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through its two primary assets: its transmission and storage system, which serves as a header system transmission pipeline, and its gathering system, which delivers natural gas from wells and other receipt points to transmission pipelines.
Equitrans Transmission and Storage System
As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s transmission and storage system included an approximately 700 mile FERC-regulated interstate pipeline system that connects to five interstate pipelines and multiple distribution companies, and it is supported by 14 associated natural gas storage reservoirs with approximately 400 million cubic feet per day of peak withdrawal capability and 32 billion cubic feet of working gas capacity. As of December 31, 2011, its transmission assets had total throughput capacity of approximately 1.0 trillion British thermal units per day.
Equitrans Gathering System
The Company’s gathering system consists of approximately 2,100 miles of FERC-regulated low-pressure gathering lines that have multiple delivery interconnects with its transmission and storage system and a gathering and interstate pipeline system owned and operated by Dominion Transmission, Inc.
- [By Robert Rapier]
Rounding out the top five were Hi-Crush Partners (NYSE: HCLP), another supplier of fracking sand (+71 percent), EQT Midstream Partners (NYSE: EQM), a midstream provider in the Appalachian Basin (+66.5 percent), and Valero Energy Partners (NYSE:VLP) (+61.5 percent), which consists of midstream assets dropped down from the refiner Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO).
- [By Matt DiLallo]
Unfortunately for XTO Energy, there was one small and, unbeknownst to anyone, unresolved matter. You see, LINN had a contract to sell its gas through a unit of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D ) , which was gathering the gas in its system. However, LINN’s gas wasn’t up to the system’s standards, so it began to look for another gatherer and it approached Equitrans, which is now part of EQT Midstream Partners (NYSE: EQM ) but formerly was a unit of EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT ) — they talked, but nothing was signed. However, an EQT employee later that year thought that it had and began crediting gas to the wrong company.
- [By Michael Flannelly]
Goldman Sachs analysts started coverage on EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM) early on Monday, giving the oil and natural gas distribution company a bullish rating due to its low-risk cash flows.
The analysts rate EQM as “Buy” and see shares reaching $59. This price target suggests a 22% upside to the stock’s Friday closing price of $48.28.
Goldman Sachs analyst Theodore Durbin said, “EQM’s FERCregulated pipeline and storage assets offer stable, low-risk fee-based cash flows supported by firm long-term contracts. A robust production outlook in the Marcellus and meaningful inventory of dropdown assets at the parent enhances distribution growth visibility. EQM has a low cost of capital, no debt outstanding, high liquidity and an aligned sponsor that should bolster the partnership’s multi-year double-digit distribution growth outlook.”
EQT Midstream Partners shares were inactive during pre-market trading on Monday. The stock is up 54.99% year-to-date.
10 Best Services Stocks To Buy Right Now: Qiwi PLC (QIWI)
QIWI plc., incorporated on February 26, 2007, is a provider of payment services in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Company has an integrated network that enables payment services across physical, online and mobile channels. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of Blestgroup Enterprises Limited.
The Company has deployed over 11 million virtual wallets, over 169,000 kiosks and terminals, and enabled over 40,000 merchants to accept cash and electronic payments monthly from over 65 million consumers using the Company ‘s network at least once a month. The Company’s consumers can use cash, stored value and other electronic payment methods to order and pay for goods and services across physical or online environments interchangeably.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
On the other hand, I’ll bet most people had never heard of two very different examples: Qiwi PLC (Nasdaq: QIWI) or, until our recent Money Morning coverage, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC-ADR (Nasdaq: GWPH), and that’s too bad… or maybe not.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
With that in mind, the four main Russian tech leaders investors should know about are:
VimpelCom Ltd. (ADR) (Nasdaq: VIP), a broad telecom play. The company provides both fixed and wireless web access, as well as mobile communications and services. The company has a number of subsidiaries that, taken together, have something like 215 million subscribers. Mobile Telesystems OJSC (ADR) (NYSE: MBT), a straight-up mobile play that operates in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Armenia. Plus, it has a strategic relationship with one of Europe’s major players, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (Nasdaq: VOD). Qiwi PLC (Nasdaq: QIWI), a leader in electronic payments through kiosks, the web, and mobile platforms. It’s Russia’s version of PayPal – so we better not tell Carl Icahn… he might start a campaign to break up that company, too. And Yandex NV (Nasdaq: YNDX), which is the “Google of Russia.” Yandex operates the world’s fourth-ranked search engine and enjoys a 60% market share in its home country. Google, with about a quarter of the market, is a very distant second there.
That’s a great rundown on Russia’s tech leaders. Are there any worth buying at this level? And why?