There are a handful of MLPs that hold refining assets, but investors should really understand the refining business before attempting to take the plunge. The refining sector is cyclical, which may imply too much volatility for some investors looking for consistent, stable payouts from their master limited partnerships. But those who understand the nuances of the sector, are willing to accept somewhat higher risks and can correctly anticipate the cycles should be in line for rich rewards.
Refiners make money by converting crude oil into finished products such as gasoline, diesel and fuel oil. A refiner’s profit margin is the difference between the cost of crude oil purchased and the price of finished products sold. This is what’s known in the industry as “the crack spread.” “Crack” refers to the fact that oil is being cracked, or split up, into the various refined products, and “spread” reflects the price spread between th e raw material (crude) and the processed fuels.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: DST Systems Inc. (DST)
DST Systems, Inc. provides information processing and software services and products. The company operates in two segments, Financial Services and Customer Communications. The Financial Services segment offers various solutions primarily to the asset management, brokerage, retirement, insurance, and healthcare industries. It provides proprietary software systems, including shareowner recordkeeping and distribution support systems for the United States and international mutual fund companies, broker/dealers, and financial advisors; and a defined-contribution participant recordkeeping system for the United States retirement plan market. This segment also offers investment management systems for the United States and international investment managers and fund accountants; a business process management and customer contact system for various industries; and medical and pharmacy claims administration processing systems and services for providers of healthcare plans, third party administrators, medical practice groups, and pharmacy benefit managers. The Customer Communications Segment helps businesses deploy customer communications while improving operational performance across critical business functions, such as sales, marketing, customer service, technology, finance, operations, and compliance. This segment helps clients deliver information in the desired combination of print, digital, and archival formats. Its product offering combines data insights and analysis with business decision-making tools, and multi-channel execution and delivery designed to help businesses acquire, grow, retain, and win back customers. The company also owns and operates real estate properties, as well as has investments in equity securities, private equity funds, and other financial interests. It has operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and internationally. DST Systems, Inc. was founded in 1968 and is based in Kansas City, Missouri.< /p> Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Data center operator DST Systems (NYSE: DST ) will pay a second-quarter dividend of $0.30 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after switching from a semiannual payout schedule to a quarterly one, the company announced yesterday.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Agilent Technologies Inc (A)
Agilent Technologies, Inc. (Agilent), incorporated on May 5, 1999, is a measurement company providing bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions to the communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis industries. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), it had three business segments: electronic measurement business, chemical analysis business and life sciences business. Its electronic measurement business addresses the communications, electronics and other industries. Agilent’s chemical analysis business focuses on the petrochemical, environmental, forensics and food safety industries. Its life sciences business focuses on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic and Government, bio-agriculture and food safety industries. In addition to its three businesses, it conducts research through Agilent Technologies Laboratories (Agilent Labs). In fiscal 2011, the Company acquired A2 Technologies, Lab901 and Biocius Life Sciences I nc. On December 21, 2011, the Company acquired BioSystem Development business and P.V.R. s.r.l., a vacuum pump manufacturer. In February 2012, the Company acquired software solutions and technology for device-level modeling and validation from Accelicon Technologies. In June 2012, the Company acquired cancer diagnostics company, Dako. In August 2012, the Company acquired Aurora SFC Systems, Inc.
Electronic Measurement Business
The Company’s electronic measurement business provides electronic measurement instruments and systems, software design tools and related services that are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment, and microscopy products. Related services include start-up assistance, instrument productivity and application services and instrument calibration and repair. It also offers customization, consulting and optimization services throughout the customer’s product li fecycle. It sells products and services applicable to a rang! e of communications networks and systems, including wireless communications and microwave networks, voice, broadband, data, and fiber optic networks. Test products include Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software, vector and signal analyzers, signal generators, vector network analyzers, one box testers, oscilloscopes, logic and protocol analyzers, and bit-error ratio testers.
The Company’s wireless communications and microwave network products include radio frequency and microwave test instruments and electronic design automation software tools. These products are required for the design and production of wireless network products, communications links, cellular handsets and base stations. It provides handheld products for the installation and maintenance of wireless networks. Its electronic design automation software tools and instruments are used by radio frequency integrated circuit design engineers to model, simulate and analyze communications product designs at the circuit and system levels.
The Company’s suite of fiber optic test products measure and analyze a range of optical and electrical parameters in fiber optic networks and their components. Components which can be tested with Agilent solutions include source lasers, optical amplifiers, filters and other passive components. Test products include optical component analyzers, optical power meters and optical spectrum analyzers. It sells the products into the general purpose test market, including general purpose instruments, modular instruments and test software, digital test products, semiconductor and board test solutions, electronics manufacturing test equipment, atomic force microscopes and radio frequency and network surveillance solutions. The Company’s general purpose products include spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, signal generators, logic analyzers, digitizing oscilloscopes, voltmeters, multimeters, frequency counters, bench and system power supp lies, function generators and waveform synthesizers. Modular! instrume! nts and test software are used by the designers and manufacturers of electronic devices as the building blocks of systems that can be configured for a range of test applications.
The Company’s digital test products are used by research and development engineers across a range of industries to validate the function and performance of their digital product and system designs. These designs include a range of products from digital control circuits to high speed systems, such as computer servers and the gaming consoles. The test products offered include oscilloscopes, logic and serial protocol analyzers, logic-signal sources and data generators.
The Company’s semiconductor and board test solutions enable customers to develop and test semiconductors, test and inspect printed circuit boards, perform functional testing, and measure position and distance information to the sub-nanometer level. It is a supplier of parametric test instruments and systems used to examine semiconductor wafers during the manufacturing process. Its in-circuit test system helps identify quality defects, such as faulty or incorrect parts, that affect electrical performance. Its laser interferometer measurement systems provide precise position or distance information for dimensional measurements. Its atomic force microscopes (AFM) are imaging devices. An AFM allows researchers to observe and manipulate molecular and atomic level features. Its portfolio of AFM products provides customers with tools for a range of nanotechnology applications, including semiconductor, data storage, polymers, materials science and life science studies. The Company’s surveillance systems and subsystems are used by defense and government engineers and technicians to detect, locate and analyze signals of interest. The products offered include receivers for detecting radio frequency signals, probes for detecting wire line signals and software that enables the identification a nd analysis of these signals. Agilent’s electronic measureme! nt custom! ers include contract manufacturers of electronic products, handset manufacturers and network equipment manufacturers who design, develop, manufacture and install network equipment, service providers who implement, maintain and manage communication networks and services, and companies who design, develop, and manufacture semiconductors and semiconductor lithography systems. Its customers use its products to conduct research and development, manufacture, install and maintain radio frequency, microwave frequency, digital, semiconductor, and optical products and systems and conduct nanotechnology research.
The Company competes with Aeroflex Incorporated, Anritsu Corporation, Ansys Corporation, EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering, Inc., National Instruments Corporation, Rohde & Schwartz GmbH & Co. KG, Spirent plc, Danaher Corporation, Bruker Corporation, LeCroy Corporation, Teradyne, Inc., Test Research Inc. and Zygo Corporation.
Chemical Analysis Business< /p>
The Company’s chemical analysis business provides application-focused solutions that include instruments, software, consumables and services that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and chemical properties of substances and products. Its product categories in chemical analysis include gas chromatography (GC) systems, columns and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments; atomic absorption (AA) instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) instruments; software and data systems; vacuum pumps and measurement technologies; services and support for its products. Agilent provides custom or standard analyzers configured for specific chemical analysis applications, such as detailed speciation of a complex hydrocarbon stream, calculation of gas calorific values in the field, or analysis of a new bio-fuel formulation. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable ! products ! for these and other similar instruments. Its MS products incorporate technologies for measuring mass, including single-quadrupole, triple-quadrupole, and ion trap mass spectrometers. It combines its mass spectrometers with other instruments to instruments, such as GC/MS, and ICP-MS. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments. The Company’s spectroscopy instruments include atomic absorption (AA) spectrometers, inductively coupled plasma-optical emissions spectrometers (ICP-OES), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometers (ICP-MS), fluorescence spectrophotometers, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometers, Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrophotometers, near-infrared (NIR) spectrophotometers, Raman spectrometers and sample automation products. It also offers related software, accessories and consumable products for these and other similar instruments.
The Company’s vacuum techno logies products are used to create, control, measure and test vacuum environments in life science, industrial and scientific applications where clean and vacuum environments are needed. Products include a range of vacuum pumps, including diffusion, turbomolecular and ion getter; intermediate vacuum pumps, including rotary vane, sorption and dry scroll, vacuum instrumentation, including vacuum control instruments, sensor gauges and meters, and vacuum components, including valves, flanges and other mechanical hardware. Its products also include helium mass spectrometry and helium-sensing leak detection instruments used to identify and measure leaks in hermetic or vacuum environments. The Company offers a range of services, including an exchange and rebuild program, assistance with the design and integration of vacuum systems, applications support and training in basic and advanced vacuum technologies. The Company offers a range of consumable products, which support its technol ogy platforms, including sample preparation consumables, suc! h as soli! d phase extraction (SPE) and filtration products, self manufactured GC and LC columns, chemical standards, and instrument replacement parts. Consumable products also include scientific instrument parts and supplies, such as filters and fittings for GC systems; xenon lamps and cuvettes for UV-Vis-NIR, fluorescence, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy instruments; and graphite furnace tubes, hollow cathode lamps and specialized sample introduction glassware for its AA, ICP-OES and ICP-MS products.
The Company competes with Bruker Corporation, PerkinElmer Inc., Shimadzu Corporation and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Life Sciences Business
The Company’s life sciences business provides application-focused technologies and solutions, which include instruments, software, consumables and services. Its product categories include liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, microarrays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrumentation, bioreagents, electrophores is, software and informatics, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, and, consumables and services. The Agilent liquid chromatograph (LC) portfolio is modular in construction and can be configured as analytical and preparative systems. Agilent’s liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometer (LC/MS) portfolio includes instruments built around five analyzer types, such as single quadrupole, triple quadrupole, ion trap, time-of-flight (TOF) and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF). It is a provider of microarray-based, genomics research solutions. It provides products for sequencing platforms. Its portfolio of PCR instrumentation, reagents and kits, coupled with its other products, such as microarrays and target enrichment systems for sequencing, provides a range of workflow solutions to customers in the genomics marketplace.
Agilent is a supplier of electrophoretic separation solutions. The 2100 Bioanalyzer analyzes biomolecules or c ells in microfluidic networks of channels and wells etched i! nto glass! chips. The 3100 OFFGEL Fractionator resolves proteins or peptides by isoelectric point with liquid-phase recovery. It provides software for instrument control, data acquisition, data analysis, laboratory content and business process management, and informatics. With OpenLab, Agilent has open architecture, which enables capture, analyze, and share scientific data throughout the lab and across the enterprise. It offers a range of consumable products, which support its LC, and MS technology platforms. These consumable products include sample preparation products; self manufactured LC columns and instrument replacement parts, and consumable supplies to meet its customers’ analysis needs. It offers a range of startup, operational, educational and compliance support services for measurement and data handling systems. Its support services include maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and training for all of its chemical and bioinstrumentation analysis hardware and software products .
The Company competes with Affymetrix Inc., Bruker Corp., Danaher Corporation, Illumina, Inc., Life Technologies Corp., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Waters Corp.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) was also down, dropping 8.06 percent to $55.24 after lowering its fiscal year 2014 guidance and its second quarter guidance.
- [By Holly LaFon]
While U.S. equity market valuations have increased, we believe valuations are still reasonable: the S&P 500 traded at 17 times forward earnings at year end, compared to its 10-year historical average of 16 times. (a) It is important to note the Fund is not designed to replicate the overall market. Rather, it is an actively managed, diversified portfolio of equity securities. The Fund’s portfolio of 71 holdings—valued at 14 times forward earnings—is trading at a meaningful discount to the S&P 500. Utilizing our bottom-up research process, we believe we have selected holdings with attractive long-term prospects. We employ a consistent and disciplined approach that focuses on intensive fundamental research, a three- to five-year investment horizon, a nd strict price discipline. Through meetings with management, competitors, customers, and suppliers, our global industry analysts build a n in-depth understanding of individual companies. Investment risks and opportun ities are evaluated on a company-by-company basis. We apply our time-tested process to determine whether a company’s long-term fundamentals are appropriately incorporated into its stock price. As a result of our individual security selection, the Fund is overweight key areas of the market we believe are particularly compelling, including Health Care (18.9% of the Fund compared to 13.0% for the S&P 500) and Financials (22.5% of the Fund compared to 16.2% for the S&P 500).
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Mecox Lane Limited(MCOX)
Mecox Lane Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the design and sale of apparel, accessories, and home and healthcare products through its online platform and stores in the People?s Republic of China. Its apparel and accessories include women?s T-shirts, sweaters, jeans, dresses, outerwear, purses, and shoes, as well as offers kids? apparels and men?s apparels. The company also provides home furnishings and other small household appliances; a large-rim cup to cook instant noodles; beauty and healthcare products, such as skin care, fragrance, cosmetics, and other personal care products; and pet-related and other products. It sells its products under Euromoda and Rampage brands, as well as under third-party brands. In addition, the company involves in the telephonic sale of garments, accessories, and other products; and wholesale and retail of garments. Further, it offers software development and information technology support services. As of December 31, 2010, t he company operated 451 stores, including 327 franchised stores and 124 directly operated stores in 172 cities. Mecox Lane Limited distributes its products through company-owned and franchised stores, as well as through its M18.com e-commerce Website. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China. Mecox Lane Limited is a subsidiary of Mecox Lane.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Mecox Lane (MCOX) offers a selection of products apparel, accessories and home and health care products through its online platform and third party e-commerce websites. This stock closed up 13.5% to $4.10 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $3.62-$4.18
52-Week Range: $1.67-$7.88
Tuesday’s Volume: 274,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 238,211
From a technical perspective, MCOX exploded higher here right above some near-term support at $3.42 and back above its 50-day moving average of $4 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating over the last two months, with shares moving between $3.23 on the downside and $4.58 on the upside. This spike on Tuesday is quickly pushing shares of MCOX within range of breaking out above the upper-end of its recent range. That trade will hit if MCOX manages to clear Tuesday’s high of $4.18 and then above more resistance at $4.58 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MCOX as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $3.24 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 238,211 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MCOX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6 to its 52-week high at $7.88.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: HopFed Bancorp Inc.(HFBC)
HopFed Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various banking products and services primarily in western Kentucky, and middle and western Tennessee. The company offers a range of deposit products, including demand deposits, time deposits, money market accounts, passbook savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises one-to-four family residential loans, multifamily residential loans, construction loans, nonresidential loans, commercial real estate loans, and land and land development loans, as well as loans secured by deposits, other consumer loans, and commercial loans. The company, through its subsidiary, Fall and Fall Insurance Agency, sells life and casualty insurance products to individuals and businesses. HopFed Bancorp offers its products and services through its branch offices located in Hopkinsville, Murray, Cadiz, Elkton, Fulton, Calvert City, and Benton, Kentucky; and in Clarksville, Pleasant View, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, and Erin, Tennessee. The company was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
- [By Louis Navellier]
HopFed Bancorp (HFBC), at $85 million in market cap, operates 18 branches in middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky and can be thought of as poster child for what is going on in the small banking sector. An activist investor took a stake in the bank and opposed an ill-advised acquisition. Instead, he suggested HopFed management get its own house in order. Management went along and canceled the deal, instituted a stock buyback plan and doubled the dividend. HFBC was upgraded to an “A” back in May and still is a “strong buy” right now.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Measurement Specialties Inc.(MEAS)
Measurement Specialties, Inc. engages in the design, development, and manufacture of sensors and sensor-based systems for original equipment manufacturers and end users. Its sensor products include pressure sensors and transducers, pressure and temperature scanning instrumentation, linear/rotary position sensors, piezoelectric polymer film sensors, custom microstructures, load cells, accelerometers, optical sensors, and hydrostatic pressure transducers, as well as humidity, temperature, and fluid property sensors. The company?s technologies comprise piezo-resistive silicon sensors, application-specific integrated circuits, micro-electromechanical systems, piezoelectric polymers, foil strain gauges, force balance systems, fluid capacitive devices, linear and rotational variable differential transformers, electromagnetic displacement sensors, hygroscopic capacitive sensors, ultrasonic sensors, optical sensors, negative thermal coefficient ceramic sensors, torque sensors, me chanical resonators, and submersible hydrostatic level sensors. Its sensors are used for engine and vehicle, medical, general industrial, consumer and home appliance, military/aerospace, water monitoring, and test and measurement applications. The company offers its products under the MEAS brand name. It sells its products through regional sales managers, distributors, and outside sales representatives in the United States, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and China. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Hampton, Virginia.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Measurement Specialties (Nasdaq: MEAS ) reported earnings on June 5. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q4), Measurement Specialties met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (DO)
Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. operates as an offshore oil and gas drilling contractor worldwide. It provides offshore drilling services in both the floater market, such as ultra-deepwater, deepwater, and mid-water; and in the non-floater and jack-up markets. The company operates a fleet of 44 offshore drilling rigs, consisting of 32 semisubmersibles, 7 jack-ups, and 5 dynamically positioned drillships, of which 4 are under construction. It serves independent oil and gas companies, and government-owned oil companies. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. is a subsidiary of Loews Corporation.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Transocean are unchanged at $40.47 today, while Ensco (ESV) has risen 0.7% to $52.43, Atwood Oceanics (ATW) is little changed at $49.47, Diamond Offshore (DO) has risen 0.4% to $47.02 and Seadrill (SDRL), whose strategy Transocean may be following, has ticked up 0.2% to $34.30.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The Dow’s biggest losers this week included Goldman Sachs (GS), which fell 5.1% to $165.35, United Technologies (UTX), which dropped 4.8% to $112.60 after offering lower-than-forecast guidance, and Boeing (BA), which declined 4.2% to $123.11 after UBS cut its price target. The S&P was led lower by General Motors (GM), which plunged 9.6% to $34.09 as the Justice Department started investigating its recall, and Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), which fell 8.8% to $44.20.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
As Joan Rivers is fond of saying: Can we talk? About offshore drillers like Diamond Offshore (DO), I mean.
See, the offshore drillers have been reporting earnings results, and really, they haven’t been that bad. Diamond Offshore beat by 15 cents yesterday, Atwood Oceanics (ATW) beat by 12 cents this week, and in January Noble (NE) reported results in line with analyst forecasts.
But those earnings represent the past, and investors are concerned that the amount these drillers can charge for the use of their platforms, known as dayrates, will plunge in 2014. And so have the offshore drillers. Diamond Offshore has dropped 20% this year, while Transocean (RIG) has fallen 14%, Noble has declined 17%, Seadrill (SDRL) has dropped 10% and Atwood Oceanics has fallen 14%.
And the problem is that analysts believe the situation could get worse before it gets better. For instance, Global Hunter’s Brian Uhlmer slashed his rating on Diamond Offshore. He explains why:
Our 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates drop 26% and 34%, respectively. On top of [Diamond Offshore’s] newbuilds entering into service under difficult market conditions, we see lowered demand for deepwater capability and lowered dayrates. Consequently, operators are settling for shorter contracts. We believe 2014 will see further rig deactivations and declining dayrates for less capable units. We also expect the oversupply in this class to lead to more well-to-well work, which will likely lead to contract gaps and lower earnings quality. We believe that an 8x multiple on 2015E EPS is more than fair, with a resultant price target of $38 (down from $61 previously). With that much downside potential we are downgrading [Diamond Offshore] shares to a Sell Rating (from Neutral)…
While this may be viewed as a late downgrade…we believe that the downside scenario of both rate and utilization degradation have not been factored into the share price
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Atrion Corp (ATRI)
Atrion Corporation (Atrion), and its subsidiaries, develop and manufacture products, primarily for medical applications. The Company’s medical products range from fluid delivery devices to ophthalmic and cardiovascular products. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s fluid delivery products accounted for 38% of the Company’s revenues. These products include valves that promote infection control and needle safety. The Company has developed a variety of luer syringe check valves and one-way valves designed to fill, hold and release controlled amounts of fluids or gasses on demand for use in various intubation, catheter and other applications. The Company also makes tubing clamps in a variety of materials and colors that are compatible with various grades of tubing and sterilization processes, and produce specialized intravenous sets for use in numerous applications, including anesthesia and oncology.
The Company’s cardiovascular products accounted for 29% of its revenues during 2011. The Company’s principal cardiovascular product is the Myocardial Protection System (MPS2), a technology that delivers essential fluids and medications to the heart during open-heart surgery. The MPS2 integrates key functions relating to the delivery of solutions to the heart, such as varying the rate and ratio of oxygenated blood, crystalloid, potassium and other additives, and controlling temperature, pressure and other variables to allow simpler, more flexible management of this process, indicating improved patient outcomes. The MPS2 is the device used in open-heart surgery that allows for the mixing of drugs into the bloodstream without diluting the blood. The MPS2 employs advanced pump, temperature control and microprocessor technologies and includes a line of disposable products. It also develops and manufactures other cardiovascular products that include cardiac surgery vacuum relief valves; Retract-O-Tape silicone vessel loops for retracting and occluding vessels in minimally inva! sive surgical procedures; inflation devices for balloon catheter dilation, stent deployment and fluid dispensing, and Clean-Cut rotating aortic punch and PerfectCut Aortotomy System, both of which are used in heart bypass surgery to make a precision opening in the heart for attachment of the bypass vessels.
The Company’s ophthalmic products accounted for 17% of its revenues during 2011. The Company is a manufacturer of contact lens disinfection cases. It also manufactures a line of balloon catheters used in the treatment of nasolacrimal duct obstruction in children and adults. The Company’s other medical and non-medical products accounted for 16% of its revenues during 2011. These product lines consist of instrumentation and associated disposables used to measure the activated clotting time of blood. In addition, it manufactures and sells a line of products designed for safe needle and scalpel blade containment. It is also the manufacturer of inflation syst ems and valves used in marine and aviation safety products. The Company manufactures inflation systems and valves for products, such as life vests, life rafts, inflatable boats, survival equipment and other inflatable structures. The Company also produces one-way and two-way pressure relief valves for use on electronics cases, munitions cases, pressure vessels, transportation container cases, escape slides, and many other medical and non-medical applications.
The Company market components to other equipment manufacturers for incorporation in their products and sell finished devices to physicians, hospitals, clinics and other treatment centers. It sells its products through a sales force which consists of direct sales personnel, independent sales representatives and distributors. It offers customer service, training and education, and technical support such as field service, spare parts, maintenance and repair for certain of its products. The Company’s medical products and other components are produced at facilities in ! Florida, ! Alabama and Texas.
- [By Seth Jayson]
There’s no foolproof way to know the future for ATRION (Nasdaq: ATRI ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen — and before your stock craters as a result.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: TAL International Group Inc.(TAL)
TAL International Group, Inc. engages in the lease of intermodal containers and chassis. It operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The Equipment Leasing segment involves in the acquisition, lease, re-lease, and sale of various intermodal transportation equipment, such as dry freight containers, which are used for general cargo, including manufactured component parts, consumer staples, electronics, and apparel; refrigerated containers that are used for perishable items, such as fresh and frozen foods; and special containers, which are used for heavy and oversized cargo, such as marble slabs, building products, and machinery. It also leases chassis, which are used for the transportation of containers and tank containers that are used to transport bulk liquid products, such as chemicals, as well as finances port equipment, which includes container cranes, reach stackers, and other related equipment. The Equipment Trading segment purchases container s from shipping line customers and other sellers of containers, and resells these containers to container traders and users of containers for storage or one-way shipment. As of December 31, 2009, it had a fleet of 701,946 containers and chassis, including 31,137 containers under management for third parties, representing 1,139,523 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The company was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Among the financial stocks, Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) was down 9.6%, while TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) tumbled around 3.55%. Shares of TAL International dipped after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Margins matter. The more TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong TAL International Group’s competitive position could be.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, freight container lessor TAL International (NYSE: TAL ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
- [By ABN]
TAL International Group (TAL) is one of the world’s largest lessors of intermodal freight containers for the shipping business with 17 offices in 11 countries and approximately 230 third-party container depot facilities in 40 countries. TAL’s fleet consists of approximately 1,238,000 containers and 2,031,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Monolithic Power Systems Inc.(MPWR)
Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops, and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. It offers direct current (DC) to DC converter integrated circuits (IC) that are used to convert and control voltages of various electronic systems, such as portable electronic devices, wireless LAN access points, computers, set top boxes, televisions and monitors, automobiles, and medical equipments. The company also provides lighting control ICs for use in systems that offer the light source for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in notebook computers, LCD monitors, car navigational systems, and LCD televisions. In addition, it provides audio amplifier ICs to amplify sound produced by audio processors; and Class-D audio amplifiers for plasma televisions, LCD televisions, and digital versatile disk players. The company serves consumer electronics, communications, and computing markets. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. sells its products thr ough third party distributors and value-added resellers, as well as directly to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and electronic manufacturing service providers. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
- [By Eric Volkman]
McDonald is a veteran CFO, having served in that position for a number of tech companies including eASIC, Advanced Analogic Technologies, and Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR ) .
- [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 Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MPWR) has a diverse market that includes communications, gaming and computing to continue to drive its growth, all markets that will pay a premium for its technology. The list of tech companies that use its chips is impressive. Deutsche Bank has a $30 target, the same as the consensus target.
10 Best Trucking Stocks To Buy For 2014: Hasbro Inc.(HAS)
Hasbro, Inc. engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of games and toys. The company principally provides children?s and family leisure time and entertainment products and services. It offers various games, including traditional board, card, hand-held electronic, trading card, roleplaying, and DVD games, as well as electronic learning aids and puzzles. Hasbro?s toy products include boy?s action figures, vehicles and playsets, girl?s toys, electronic toys, plush products, preschool toys and infant products, electronic interactive products, creative play products, and toy related specialty products. The company also licenses certain of its trademarks, characters, and other property rights to third parties for use in connection with consumer promotions and for the sale of noncompeting toys and games, and non-toy products. It offers its products primarily under PLAYSKOOL, TRANSFORMERS, NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP, TONKA, G.I. JOE, SUPER SOAKER, MILTON BRAD LEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM, AVALON HILL, TIGER, FURREAL FRIENDS, BABY ALIVE, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brand names. The company markets its products to various customers, including wholesalers, distributors, chain stores, discount stores, mail order houses, catalog stores, department stores, and other retailers, as well as Internet-based e-tailers. It has a strategic licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), which provides EA with the worldwide rights to create digital games for various platforms, including mobile phones, personal computers, and game consoles, as well as; and a strategic relationship with Universal Pictures to produce approximately three motion pictures based on certain of company?s brands. Hasbro sells its products through its own sales force and distributors primarily in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and South America. The company was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Pa w tucket, Rhode Island.
- [By Tom Taulli]
R&D: Last year, 3D Systems ramped up its expenditures by 87% to $43.5 million. And so far, the efforts have been paying off. During the period, the company has announced or launched 39 new products. But DDD has also been smart with its partnerships. Some of its ventures include deals with biggies like Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG) and Hasbro (HAS). Oh, and DDD has been focused on acquisitions. In fact, the company averages a deal every month!
- [By Bloomberg]
Mattel (MAT), the world’s largest toymaker, agreed to buy Mega Brands (MB) for $460 million, acquiring the biggest challenger to Lego A/S in the construction-toy market. Mattel is offering C$17.75 ($16) a share, according to a statement today, a 36 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price. The board of Montreal-based Mega Brands unanimously approved the transaction, and investors holding 39 percent of the stock, including Chief Executive Officer Marc Bertrand and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH), agreed to the deal. The purchase of Mega Brands, the world’s second-largest maker of snap-together blocks, will fill a product hole for Mattel. It doesn’t have its own construction line, locking it out of a $4 billion market in the U.S. and Europe. The category also is a bright spot in a toy industry that has seen growth stall in the U.S. Mattel considered starting its own construction line, then opted instead to buy Mega Brands because it would be faster and less risky, Mattel CEO Bryan G. Stockton said on a call with reporters. Mattel got its first taste of construction in 2012 when it debuted blocks for its Barbie brand through a licensing deal with Mega Brands. Mattel realized that replicating this kind of expertise would take years, Stockton said. ‘About Growth’ “This acquisition is all about growth,” Stockton said. “We see an opportunity to expand our brands in this category across boys, girls and preschool.” Mattel shares rose 0.8 percent to $37.44 at 10:34 a.m. in New York. They had declined 9 percent over the past year through yesterday. Shares of Montreal-based Mega Brands surged 36 percent to C$17.73 today in Toronto. Mattel is coming off a lackluster holiday season, with sales sinking 6.3 percent — the biggest quarterly drop since 2009. The El Segundo, California-based toymaker has looked to acquisitions to boost sales in the past. In February of 2012, it paid $680 million to buy HIT Entertainment, owner of Thomas the Tank Engine. It also acq
- [By Brian O’Connell]
The 3D printing industry is growing by leaps and bounds—and taking the share prices of some of the sector’s leading lights up with it.
According to Gartner, global shipments of 3D printers grew by an estimated 49 percent in 2013, and will grow by 75 percent in 2014. Gartner also expects the market to double in growth by 2015.
That’s heady stuff for a market that is still relatively new, and it’s definitely a wake-up call for investors constantly on the lookout for the next “big thing” in technology.
“The 3D printer market has reached its inflection point,” notes Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “While still a nascent market, with hype outpacing the technical realities, the speed of development and rise in buyer interest are pressing hardware, software and service providers to offer easier-to-use tools and materials that produce consistently high-quality results.”
The next-year-and-a-half is of vit al importance to the 3D industry, as potential customers emerge from tire-kickers to actual product buyers.
“As the products rapidly mature, organizations will increasingly exploit 3D printing’s potential in their laboratory, product development and manufacturing operations,” adds Basiliere. “In the next 18 months, we foresee consumers moving from being curious about the technology to finding reasons to justify purchases as price points, applications and functionality become more attractive.”
Big box office services stores like Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) are already carrying 3D printers, and models for the home office market—a real jumping off point for the market—should be commonly available in 2016.
By and large, 3D printing designs and makes 3D products through an intricate process that builds layer over layer via an additive material and a digital file that produces products for a variety of industries as diverse as aero space and consumer go