10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014

BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) — While most investors spend the week jawing over the upcoming Twitter (TWTR) IPO, you can take some solace from knowing that the biggest gains come from something a little less exciting: cash.

>>5 Big Trades to Take Now

That may seem like a strange combination. After all, cash is supposed to be a drag on your portfolio, not a performance booster.

But you don’t have to take my word for it; over the last decade, the top tier of cash-rich stocks worldwide generated total returns of 297%. That’s triple what the S&P 500 earned over the same period. Yes, cash is still king this year.

Part of that stellar outperformance has to do with what cash enables companies to do. Capital gains are great, but historically speaking, the majority of portfolio growth comes from other sources. Dividends, share buybacks, and debt repurchases all inject value directly into your shares, and on a year-to-year basis, they also account for around 50% of annual stock performance. Only companies with cash that have the wherewithal to boost those payouts on command.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: First Cash Financial Services Inc (FCFS)

First Cash Financial Services, Inc., incorporated on April 24, 1994, is an operator of retail-based pawn and consumer finance stores in the United States and Mexico. As of February 18, 2013 , the Company had approximately 829 locations twelve states in United States and 24 states in Mexico. The Company’s primary business is the operation of pawn stores, which engage in retail sales, purchasing of secondhand goods and consumer finance activities. The pawn stores generate retail sales from the merchandise acquired through collateral forfeitures and over-the-counter purchases from customers. Pawn stores are also a convenient source for small consumer loans to help customers meet their short-term cash needs. Personal property, such as jewelry, consumer electronics, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments are pledged as collateral for the loans. In addition, some of the Company’s pawn stores offer consumer loans or credit services products.

In March 2012, the Company acquired three Dallas-area pawn stores. In June 2012, the Company acquired 24 pawn stores located in the states of Colorado (13), Kentucky (seven), Wyoming (three) and Nebraska (one). In June 2013, First Cash Financial Services Inc announced the acquisition of 19 format U.S. pawn stores located in Texas.

Pawn Merchandise Sales

The Company’s pawn merchandise sales are primarily retail sales to the general public from its pawn stores. The items retailed are primarily used consumer electronics, jewelry, household appliances, tools, musical instruments, and sporting goods. The Company also melts down certain quantities of scrap jewelry and sells the gold, silver and diamonds in commodity markets.

The Company acquires pawn merchandise inventory primarily through forfeited pawn collateral and, to a lesser extent, through purchases of used goods directly from the general public. Merchandise acquired by the Company through forfeited p awn collateral is carried in inventory at the amount of the ! related pawn loan, exclusive of any accrued service fees. The Company does not provide financing to customers for the purchase of its merchandise, but does permit its customers to purchase merchandise on an interest-free layaway plan. Should the customer fail to make a required payment, the item is returned to inventory and previous payments are forfeited to the Company. Interim payments from customers on layaway sales are credited to deferred revenue and subsequently recorded as income in which final payment is received or when previous payments are forfeited to the Company.

Pawn Lending Activities

The Company’s pawn stores make small loans to their customers in order to help them meet short-term cash needs. All pawn loans are collateralized by personal property such as jewelry, electronic equipment, household appliances, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments. Pawn loans are non-recourse loans and the pledged goods provide the only security to the Company for the repayment of the loan. At the time a pawn transaction is entered into, an agreement, commonly referred to as a pawn ticket, is delivered to the borrower for signature that sets forth, among other items, the name and address of the pawnshop, borrower’s name, borrower’s identification number from his/her driver’s license or other identification, date, identification and description of the pledged goods, including applicable serial numbers, amount financed, pawn service fee, maturity date, total amount that must be paid to redeem the pledged goods on the maturity date, and the annual percentage rate. Pledged property is held through the term of the loan, unless the pawn is paid earlier or renewed. The typical loan term is generally one month plus an additional grace period (typically 30 to 90 days). The Company contracts for pawn loan fees and service charges as compensation for the use of the funds loaned and to cover direct operating expenses related t o the transaction and holding the pledged property. These pa! wn loan f! ees and service charges accounted for approximately 26% of the Company’s revenue from continuing operations during the year ended December 31, 2012 .

Credit Services and Consumer Loan Activities

The Company has significantly reduced its U.S.-based consumer loan activities, primarily from payday lending, over the past several years. In September 2012, the Company closed seven of its consumer loan stores located in the Texas cities of Austin and Dallas. The Company offers a fee-based credit services organization program (CSO Program) to assist consumers, in Texas markets, in obtaining extensions of credit. The Company’s consumer loan and pawn stores in Texas offer the CSO Program, and, in Texas, credit services are also offered via an Internet platform. Under the CSO Program, the Company assists customers in applying for a short-term extension of credit from an independent, non-bank, consumer lending company (the Independent Lender) and issues the Ind ependent Lender a letter of credit to guarantee the repayment of the extension of credit.

The Company subsequently collects a percentage of these bad debts by redepositing the customers’ checks, ACH collections or subsequent cash repayments by the customers. The profitability of the Company’s credit services operations is dependent upon adequate collection of these returned items. The Company also offers an automobile title lending product under the CSO Program. These credit services fees accounted for approximately 8% of the Company’s revenue from continuing operations during 2012 . In Mexico, the Company also offers an installment loan product with a term of 365 days and bears weekly service fees of 7% on the loan amount. These consumer loan fees accounted for less than 1% of the Company’s revenue from continuing operations during 2012 .

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    We can appreciate that Capital One´s ROE is lower than that of American Express, Discover Financial Services, First Cash Financial Services (FCFS) and Nelnet Inc. (NNI).

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ: FCFS  ) is becoming a pawn star. The company announced it has acquired a set of 19 large-format pawn shops in Texas, most of which operate under the Valu + Pawn brand name. The price was around $70 million in cash, funded for the most part under the company’s revolving credit facility.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ: FCFS  ) plunged as low as 14% today after the consumer finance company cut its short-term guidance outlook.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Kiwibox.com Inc (KIWB)

Kiwibox.Com, Inc. (Kiwibox), incorporated on April 19, 1988, is an early stage company. The Company owns and operates Kiwibox.com, which is a social networking Website. The Company has equipped the Website with the advertising features, which enable sponsors to self-direct their message to specific target audiences based on gender, age, geographic region, education, and interests. As of December 31, 2011, the Company generated the majority of its revenue from advertising/sponsorships. On September 30, 2011 Kiwibox.com acquired 100% interests in the social network, KWICK!! Community GmbH & Co. KG, and interest of its general partner, Kwick!! Community Beteiligungs GMBH. On March 7, 2011 the Company acquired Pixunity.DE a German photo book community.

Kiwibox.com has developed a monitoring model. The Kiwibox.com platform is equipped with technology features, which includes the private sphere configuration of users, contact blocs, anti-spam protection and intellig ent self-learning user-scoring feature.

The Company competes with Facebook.com, Twitter and MySpace.com.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap stocks Kiwibox.com Inc (OTCMKTS: KIWB), Eyes on The Go Inc (OTCMKTS: AXCG) and Green Endeavors Inc (OTCMKTS: GRNE) were sinking 37.5%, 28.57% and 23.9%, respectively. Moreover, it should be mentioned that all three small cap stocks have been the subject of recent paid promotions or investor relation campaigns which have gotten them mentions in various investment newsletters or investor alerts. So are the promotional or investor relation campaigns over with for these three small caps? Here is a quick look to help you decide:

    Kiwibox.com Inc (OTCMKTS: KIWB) Makes an Acquisition in Germany and Reports Surging Registrations

    Small cap Kiwibox.com Inc owns and operates social networking sites like Kiwibox.com, a site that has over over 14 years experience as social network. On Friday, Kiwibox.com Inc sank 37.5% to $0.005 for a market cap of $3.41 million plus KIWB is down 58.3% over the past year and down 63% over the past five years according to Google Finance.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Grand Canyon Education Inc.(LOPE)

Grand Canyon Education, Inc. provides postsecondary education services in the United States and Canada. It focuses on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in education, healthcare, business, and liberal arts disciplines. The company provides its courses through traditional ground campus in Phoenix, Arizona; online; and onsite at the facilities of employers. As of December 31, 2011, it had 43,917 students enrolled in its courses. The company was formerly known as Significant Education, Inc and changed its name to Grand Canyon Education, Inc. in May 2008. Grand Canyon Education, Inc. was founded in 1949 and is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ: LOPE  ) were riding high today, gaining as much as 16% after soaring past estimates in its earnings 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 Grand Canyon Education (Nasdaq: LOPE  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Mechel Steel Group OAO (MTL)

Mechel OAO, together with its subsidiaries, engages in mining and steel businesses in the Russian Federation, other CIS countries, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the United States, and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Mining, Steel, Ferroalloys, and Power. The Mining segment engages in the production and sale of metallurgical and steam coal, coke, iron ore, and limestone, as well as chemical products, such as coal tar, naphthalene, and other compounds. The Steel segment produces and sells semi-finished steel products, carbon and special long products, and carbon and stainless flat products, as well as metal products, including wire products, forgings, and stampings. The Ferroalloys segment is involved in the production and sale of nickel ore, low-ferrous ferronickel, ferrochrome, and ferrosilicon. The Power segment engages in the generation and sale of electricity and heat energy from steam coal; and power distribution activities. The company, f ormerly known as Mechel Steel Group OAO, was founded in 2003 and is based in Moscow, the Russian Federation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    As a result, Russian stocks have generally been getting hammered. To keep the data clean and discrete, I ran the charts over the last three months. In that period, energy giants Gazprom OAO (OTC: OGZPY) and CNOOC Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: CEO) are both off more than 18%. The steel company Mechel OAO (ADR) (NYSE: MTL) is off 24%.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL) shares reached a new 52-week low of $1.57. Mechel’s trailing-twelve-month revenue is $120.84 million.

    Posted-In: 52-Week LowsNews Movers & Shakers Intraday Update Markets

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL) was down, falling 2.33 percent to $2.52 after the company appointed Senior Vice-President for Economics and Management Oleg Korzhov as its Chief Executive Officer.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: 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.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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?

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Qiwi plc (NASDAQ: QIWI) is expected to report its Q4 earnings at $0.28 per share on revenue of $50.00 million.

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD) is estimated to post its Q4 earnings at $0.13 per share on revenue of $119.59 million.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc.(OMEX)

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. provides shipwreck exploration services for use in insurance investigations, and search and recovery operations to governments and deep-ocean mineral exploration companies. The company?s shipwreck projects consist of various activities, including research and development, and search operations; archaeological excavation and recovery operations; and conservation, recording, and documentation. It also sells shipwreck findings, including coins and other mass-produced cargo, cultural collections, and replicas to collectors, museums, and other institutions. Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Despite silver falling to around $23 an ounce, and gold going below $1,400, now might be the time to invest in Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ: OMEX  ) , the treasure-hunting shipwreck finder whose own stock is down by a third from its 52-week high.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ: OMEX  )
    I love a good metals play as much as any Fool around here, but Odyssey Marine is certainly not on the buy list. Odyssey Marine is a salvage company that searches for, recovers, and monetizes metals and minerals found on the ocean floor. Make no mistake about it, the job is as cool as it sounds; unfortunately, “cool” doesn’t always translate into solid profits.

  • [By Jonathan Yates]

    Investors around the world are becoming more aware of the potential riches to be made by companies in the sea treasure recovery industry such as J.D. Hutt (PINK JABA) and Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ: OMEX) due to the media attention being paid to the raising of the Concordia. More than $60 billion rests on the ocean floor in gold (NYSE: GLD), silver (NYSE: SLV), and other valuables. As detailed in a previous article on this site, Odyssey Marine Exploration just presented at the 2013 Gateway Conference.

  • [By Jonathan Yates]

    That is certainly a better way to profit from gold, SPFR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD), and silver, iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV). Both the GLD and the SLV have plunged, but sea treasure recovery is very profitable. The find today demonstrates that fact of investing! Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ: OMEX) had a huge haul off the coast of Ireland earlier this summer, which is more proof of the profit potential for this industry!!.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: K12 Inc (LRN)

K12 Inc. (K12), incorporated in December 1999, is a technology-based education company. K12 offers curriculum, software systems and educational services designed to facilitate individualized learning for students primarily in kindergarten through 12th grade, or K-12. The Company provides a continuum of technology-based educational products and solutions to districts, public schools, private schools, charter schools and families. Its products include Curriculum, Pre-K and K-8 Courses, Online School Platform-Learning Management System, High School Courses, Innovative Learning Applications, School Management Systems and PEAK12. Its managed public schools includes Full-time virtual schools and Blended schools, which includes Flex schools, Passport schools, Discovery schools and Other blended schools. Its institutional Business includes K12 curriculum, Aventa curriculum, A+ curriculum, Middlebury joint venture, Pre-kindergarten and Post-secondary. Its international and private pay business includes Managed private schools, The Keystone School, George Washington University Online HS, K12 International Academy, IS Berne, WEB and Independent course sales (Consumer). In April 2011, it acquired the operations of the International School of Berne (IS Berne).

Curriculum

K12 has the digital curriculum portfolio for the K-12 online education industry. The K12 curriculum consists of online lessons, offline instructional kits and materials, and lesson guides and other ancillaries. The Company offers a catalog of courses designed to teach concepts to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as curriculum for use in post-secondary online programs. A single year-long K12 course generally consists of 120 to 180 instructional lessons. Each lesson is designed to last approximately 45 to 60 minutes, although students are able to work at their own pace. With the acquisition of the curriculum portfolios of KCDL (Aventa), AE C (A+) and Kaplan Virtual Education (KVE), as well as the MI! L joint venture, the Company has nearly 700 courses across kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, including world languages. This combined portfolio contains over 100,000 hours of instructional content and over one million visual, audio and interactive instructional elements in the Company’s asset repository.

The Company’s K12 online lessons or curricula are accessed through a learning management platform, which the Company calls its Online School (OLS) for K- 8students and the eCollege platforms for high school students, as well as a number of other common industry platforms for students who access Aventa and A+ curricula. Many of the Company’s courses utilize learning kits in conjunction with the online lessons to maximize the effectiveness of its learning systems. In addition to receiving access to the Company’s online lessons through the Internet, each K-8 student receives a shipment of materials, including textbooks, art supplies, laboratory supp lies (such as microscopes, scales, science specimens) and other reference materials which are referred to and incorporated in instruction throughout its curriculum. The Company’s courses are generally paired with a lesson guide. Lesson guides work in coordination with the online lessons and include overview information for learning coaches, lesson objectives, lesson outlines and activities, answer keys to student exercises and suggestions for explaining difficult concepts to students.

Pre-K and K-8 Courses

From pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, the Company’s courses are generally categorized into seven major subject areas: English and language arts, mathematics, science, history, art, music and world languages. The Company’s curriculum includes all of the courses that students need to complete their core kindergarten through 8th grade education; a new pre-K offering students to core subjects through cross-curricular thematic units, building initia l and fundamental relationships among concepts. Its learning! systems ! offer the flexibility for each student to take courses at different grade levels in a single academic year, providing flexibility for students to progress at their own level and pace within each subject area.

The first phase of the Company’s K12 second generation elementary language arts program is designed to deliver interactivity and make instruction even more engaging while integrating rewards, interactive practice and a virtual world. The Company’s Fundamentals of Geometry and Algebra course completes its K-8 math offering. These courses support students at various skill levels through targeted, timely remediation, embody the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and include media integration. In addition, the flexibility of the Company’s learning systems allows the Company to tailor its curriculum to state specific requirements. For example, the Company has developed 62 courses specifically created for the public schools standards in 13 states. In addition to the ongoing evolution of the Company’s K-5 Math+ program, the Company has also created over 80 custom Math+ sequences to serve specific state needs. The Company continues to migrate K12 K-8 courses from its legacy content management system (CMS) to its new CMS.

Online School Platform-Learning Management System

For the Company’s K12 curriculum users in grades K-8, the Company provides a learning management system, its OLS platform. The OLS platform is an adaptive, intuitive, Web-based software platform that provides access to the Company’s online lessons, its lesson planning and scheduling tools, as well as its progress tracking tool which serves a key role in assisting parents and teachers in managing each student’s progress. The OLS is also the central structure through which students, parents, teachers and administrators interact using K-mail and Class Connect (the Company’s integrated synchronous session scheduler). Students, parents and teachers can access the Company’s online tools and lessons through t! he OLS fr! om anywhere with an Internet connection. The Company licenses a third-party learning management system for uses in its high school program.

High School Courses

The curriculum available to high school students is broader and varies from student to student. Students also are able to select from a range of electives. The Company has augmented its lab program for lab science courses with the creation of alternate kit-free science labs for the formerly kit-based high school science labs in order to provide a more flexible and robust lab program across its physical science, earth science, biology, chemistry and physics courses. The Company’s overall lab program includes traditional kit-based labs based on either shipped-in or household materials, virtual labs, video-based labs, data-collection and data-manipulation labs, and field studies. Across all subject areas, the K12 core curriculum accounts for approximately 90% of the Company’s high school course enrollments. It also offers curriculum marketed as its Aventa Learning by K12 product line. Aventa courses are written to national academic standards and each of Aventa’s 22 AP courses has been reviewed and approved by The College Board. Aventa’s online courses are developed by subject matter experts designed by multimedia teams and delivered by high school instructors. Aventa classes are primarily delivered over the Internet and use a variety of interactive elements to keep students engaged throughout.

The Company has A+ courseware, which is in use in over 5,000 public and private K-12 schools, charter schools, colleges, correctional institutions, centers of adult literacy, military education programs and after-school learning centers. The A+nyWhere Learning System provides an integrated offering of instructional software and assessment for reading, mathematics, language arts, science, writing, history, government, economics and geography for grade levels K-12 . In addition, AEC provides assessment testing and instructi! onal cont! ent for the General Educational Development (GED) test. AEC products are designed to provide for LAN, WAN and Internet delivery options and support Windows and Macintosh platforms. Spanish-language versions are available for mathematics and language arts for grade levels 1-6.

The Company offers online world language courses and summer immersion language instruction programs through its MIL joint venture. In addition to offering powerspeaK12 language courses, this venture also offers innovative, online language programs for high school and middle school students based on the Middlebury College pedagogy. The new courses use instructional tools such as animation, music, videos and other elements that immerse students in new languages. Beginner French, Chinese and Spanish for high school students, as well as Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish and German courses for middle and high school students are available and additional courses are in development. The joint ventur e has expanded the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA), a foreign language immersion summer program for middle and high school students, which includes a day academy for middle school students, as well as the Company’s four-week residential academy with instruction in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish at multiple college campuses.

Innovative Learning Applications

The Company has created tools that allow for more rapid mobile and tablet curriculum or content deployment across platforms for deeper markets penetration. Seven additional mobile applications were delivered during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), for a total of 15 applications available for download. These apps have been downloaded over 400,000 times. It offers applications for the iPhone, Android phones and Android tablet marketplaces, adapting many of its curriculum features for the mobile application space. An active educational games initiat ive is delivering new methods for engagement, practice and r! eview of ! K-12 concepts, including narrative/immersive styles, rewards, persistent data, complex algorithms. The Company has delivered a total of nine interactive games and an innovative review and practices portal called Noodleverse. Noodleverse includes over 1,700 activities and is designed for K-2 students in conjunction with a new language arts program.

The Company has delivered alternatives for its educational partners who desires materials-free curriculum. This includes converting over 59 existing materials-based high school Science labs into interactive virtual labs and video lab This laboratory is performed at a lab bench with all the materials and with the same procedures high school students would use in a physical chemistry laboratory. During fiscal 2012, the Company had converted 35 K12 textbooks used across 57 courses into an electronic format, including textbooks, reference guides, literature readers and lab manuals. This digital delivery ability enables th e Company to offer options to the Company’s customers through interactive online books that enhance the student’s reading experience reinforce the student’s learning approach and create a new method for delivering book and print materials. Each offline book is converted into an electronic book format with a custom user interface to be viewed through a standard Web browser or a commercially available electronic reader (Kindle and Nook).

The Company has learning management systems and can build courses that are adaptive, which enable individualized learning experiences as the course adapts at key points to student behavior and input. The Company’s MARK12 reading remediation product captures individual students’ successes and challenges as they practice phonemic awareness, alphabetic principles, accuracy and fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The program serves the individual student more exercises, practice and review in areas of difficulty. During fiscal 201 2, the Company launched a pilot program for school year call! ed Nation! al Math Lab, designed as a controlled study with randomly selected treatment and control groups from a pool of students in grades 5-10 identified as significantly below grade level in math. The Company continues to explore opportunities to enhance student engagement through strategic use of relevant multimedia. Multimedia is specifically used as appropriate for the subject matter.

School Management Systems

School Management Systems (SAMS) is the Company’s student information system. SAMS is integrated with the OLS and several other systems, including the Company’s Online Enrollment System that allows parents to complete school enrollment forms online and its order management system that generates orders for learning kits and computers to be delivered to students. SAMS stores student-specific data and is used for a range of functions, including enrolling students in courses, assigning progress marks and grades, tracking student demographic data, and generating student transcripts. The Company has TotalView a range of online applications that provides administrators, teachers, parents and students a unified view of student progress, attendance, communications, and learning kit shipment tracking. TotalView includes a means of documenting student engagement in required classroom activities, identification of those students struggling with grade level state content standards, and previous year’s performance on state tests. TotalView also includes K-mail, the Company’s internal communications system. Through K-mail, administrators and teachers can communicate electronically with learning coaches and students. TotalView also includes an enrollment processing and tracking tool that allows it to closely monitor and manage the enrollment process for new students.

PEAK12

The Company has an online learning solution called PEAK12. This solution simplifies a district’s management of online learning by con solidating multiple solutions on a single platform. It allow! s adminis! trators and teachers to manage enrollments, programs and performance tracking, alerts and reporting across multiple online solutions from a single solution. In addition, through the PEAK12 library, districts can search, build, provision and publish content or course modifications or new course solutions using various online learning assets. PEAK12 provides unparalleled capabilities for districts wanting to operate multiple solutions or catalogs from a single place and offers personalization features that can be managed at the district, school or teacher level.

The Company competes with DeVry, Inc., Pearson PLC, White Hat Management, LLC, National Network of Digital Schools Management Foundation Inc., Apex Learning Inc., Compass Learning, E2020 Inc., OdysseyWare, PLATO Learning, Inc., Rosetta Stone Inc., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson PLC., The Laurel Springs School, the National Connections Academy and Florida Virtual School.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    One stock that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a major breakout trade is K12 (LRN), which offers proprietary curriculum and educational services created for online delivery to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. This stock has been a top target of the bears over the last three months, with shares down sharply by 43%.

    If you take a look at the chart for K12, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last month, with shares moving between $19.47 on the downside and $21.62 on the upside. Shares of LRN have now just started to spike higher back above its 50-day moving average of $20.09 a share. That move is quickly pushing shares of K12 within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LRN if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.77 to $21.17 a share, and then once it takes out more key overhead resistance at $21.62 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 519,295 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LRN will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone form October that started just above $28 a share. This stock could easily make a monster move if it breaks out into that gap with volume, just like CNDO did.

    Traders can look to buy LRN off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $19.47 or around $19 a share. One can also buy LRN off strength once it starts to take out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    K12 (NYSE: LRN  ) will soon have a new CFO. Harry Hawks has given notice that he will leave the position by the end of the company’s current fiscal year. He plans to continue to assist the firm during the succession period and beyond, working as a consultant, in order to smooth the transition to a new CFO.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Bloomberg via Getty Images Companies can make brilliant moves, but there are also times when things don’t work out quite as planned. From an online educator getting schooled to a PC dinosaur showing signs of coming back to life, here’s a rundown of the week’s best and worst in the business world. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) — Winner PC sales continue to slide, but market leader HP is turning things around. Industry tracker IDC may have served up some grim metrics for the state of desktops and laptops — global PC shipments were down by nearly 8 percent, making this the sixth consecutive quarter of slipping sales — but IDC estimates that HP bucked the trend by shipping more computers than it did a year earlier. The trend is even better domestically. HP was already having a good week when CEO Meg Whitman explained why she felt her company was well-positioned to thrive in the future. The IDC report suggests that HP’s rosy future is now. K12 (LRN) — Loser Online learning has come under fire in recent years. Are the students engaged enough? Is the education effective? Are the cost savings worth the shortcomings of the virtual classroom? We still don’t have all of the answers, but we may be seeing enrollments peaking. Shares of K12 were slammed this week after the provider of Web-based curriculums for grade school students posted a disappointing outlook. K12 saws enrollments increased by a softer than expected 6 percent in its latest quarter. K12 also now sees revenue for the entire fiscal year that ends in June clocking in between $905 million and $925 million. Analysts were perched at $988 million. Ouch. That’s not a passing grade. Microsoft (MSFT) — Winner HP wasn’t the only winner in IDC’s review of the PC industry during the third quarter. Four of the five largest PC makers in this country saw their shipments increase. The lone holdout was Apple (AAPL) experiencing an 11 percent slide in Mac and MacBook sales during the period. That’s sweet news for Mic

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Less than two weeks after losing CFO Harry Hawks, K12 (NYSE: LRN  ) has named a replacement. James Rhyu will take up that post, and also serve as executive vice president starting in early June.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Ciber Inc (CBR)

CIBER, Inc. (CIBER) is a provider of information technology (IT), business consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is engaged in solving complex IT and business issues across industries, such as energy and utilities, telecommunications, retail, healthcare, financial services, entertainment and manufacturing. The Company operates in three segments: International, North America and IT Outsourcing. Its offerings are focused around a set of core competencies which include Application Development and Management (ADM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing, Managed Services, Testing and Quality Assurance, Mobility Services and Digital Marketing. On March 9, 2012, the Company sold its Federal division to CRGT, Inc.

International

The Company’s CIBER International division delivers a mix of ERP and custom ADM solutions. CIBER International offers a range of services cove ring the IT solution lifecycle to both commercial enterprises and public sector organizations. Key geographies for its International division include the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Scandinavian region consisting of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The International division’s enterprise solutions focus primarily on providing services related to ERP and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software products, as well as managed services. It also provides SAP Industry Solutions, such as retail, automotive and chemicals, and it is a value-added reseller of SAP software in some international geographies. Th Company works with Microsoft to deliver ERP and CRM solutions in selected international geographies.

North America

The Company’s North America division was formed during the year ended December, 31, 2011, through the combination of its former Custom Solutions division and substantially all of its former U.S. ERP division. Its Nor th America division is organized by and operates in a matrix! of geographies and practices. Its North America division provides ADM services, IT Strategy and Architecture, Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing, Collaborative Solutions, CRM and Supply Chain. The division also offers consulting services to support multi-package ERP solutions from vendors, including Oracle (including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards), SAP and Lawson, as well as several education management products. It is focused on industry solutions for vertical markets, such as telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, technology, state and local governments, higher education and entertainment.

The Company designs and develops custom-tailored offerings to suit its client’s business needs. Its custom solutions provide a range of application portfolio management support, including analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, outsourcing and maintenance of business applications. Its service-oriented architectur es, including J2EE and .NET, as well as traditional client/server and mainframe development. The Company also offers portal development, wireless and mobility applications and content delivery. The North America division is an Oracle Platinum Partner, which is a partnership in the Oracle Partner Network Specialized Program and a strategic partner to Oracle in several key industries, such as the public sector, higher education and food and beverage. Its Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards solutions involve building, integrating and supporting mission critical systems for real-time enterprises.

The Company’s North America division also is an SAP-certified global provider of application management services. The division’s SAP solutions support their customers throughout the life cycle and include implementations and upgrades, extensions, integrations and customizations. The North America division has organized its SAP Practice to serve multiple vertical markets. In its SAP Commercial Practice, the North America division foc! uses on c! ustomers in retail, apparel and footwear, mining, metals, manufacturing, financial services and aerospace and defense industries. In its SAP Public Sector Practice, the North America division focuses on delivering solutions to state and local governments.

The North America division is a Certified Lawson Consulting Partner, providing business transformation projects in Lawson’s target vertical markets through business process, change management and functional and technical services around Lawson technology. These target markets are healthcare, public sector, food and beverage and general manufacturing, for which it offers budgeting, financial processing and analysis, human capital management, sales order processing and manufacturing systems solutions.

IT Outsourcing

The Company’s IT Outsourcing division is a global business with domestic headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, and international presence throughout Europe. The division off ers outsourced enterprise infrastructure management solutions, including managed hosted infrastructure, end user service desk and desktop services, remote infrastructure management (RIM) and application operations support. The IT Outsourcing division’s data centers, service desk centers and global operations are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, India and Spain. The division’s Technology Solutions Group Practice focuses on providing customers with the infrastructure products and architecture. Offerings include enterprise servers, storage, middleware, integration services, assessments and related products required to support critical business applications.

The Company competes with Accenture plc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Infosys Technologies Limited, Perficient, Inc., Sapient Corp and The Hackett Group, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Ciber (NYSE: CBR  ) is expected to report Q2 earnings on July 30. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Ciber’s revenues will drop -4.8% and EPS will grow from $0.00 per share the prior year.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Lamar Advertising Company(LAMR)

Lamar Advertising Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides outdoor advertising services. Its outdoor advertising displays include billboards, such as bulletins, posters, and digital billboards; and logo signs to advertise nearby gas, food, camping, lodging, and other attractions. The company also offers transit advertising displays that provide advertising space on the exterior and interior of public transportation vehicles, transit shelters, and benches. As of December 31, 2011, it owned and operated approximately 143,000 billboard advertising displays in 44 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico; operated approximately 112,000 logo advertising displays in 21 states and the province of Ontario, Canada; operated approximately 30,000 transit advertising displays in 16 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico; and owned and operated approximately 1,400 digital billboard advertising displays in 40 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) which will offer 20 million shares in an anticipated price range of $26 to $28 a share. Following the tax-free spin-off, CBS Outdoor will become a REIT. CBS first announced plans for the spin-off in January 2013. Since then, share prices for outdoor advertising firms Lamar Advertising Co. (NASDAQ: LAMR) and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CCO) have risen about 30%.

10 Best Services Stocks To Invest In 2014: Alternative Energy Partners Inc (AEGY)

Alternative Energy Partners, Inc. (AEGY), incorporated on April 28, 2008, is engaged in providing support services for medical marijuana. In May, 2013, the Company acquired the PharmaJanes. In May, 2013, it also acquired Simple Prepay merchant payment solution from iEquity Corp.

The Simple Prepay system was developed to offer dispensaries, collectives, and delivery services for medical cannabis. Combined with the PharmaJanes on-line and smart phone ordering platform, medical marijuana patients will be able to order, process and pay for their authorized needs.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    On Monday, small cap marijuana stocks Alternative Energy Partners Inc (OTCBB: AEGY) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTCMKTS: REFG) surged 117.86% and 17.95%, respectively, while tech stock Portlogic Systems Inc (OTCMKTS: PGSY) sank 20%. However, it appears that only one of these small cap stocks has been the subject of disclosed paid promotions or investor relation activities. So what will these three small caps do today and the rest of the week? Here is a quick look to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy: