Just when you think you’ve found a fool-proof business, a better fool evolves to mess things up. I’ve long thought that Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) shares seemed much too cheap, but held off on buying for fear that ongoing operational shortcomings would obscure that value. With a fiscal fourth quarter that was weak across almost every metric, it looks like that has come home to roost.
Although I think the base Windows, Office, and server/tools businesses are still valuable, it’s increasingly difficult to trust management to adequately execute or communicate their plan. So while I still think these shares are too cheap on a cash flow basis, it’s likely going to take something more dramatic than another reorganization or stabilization in the PC business to get these shares closer to fair value.
SEE: A Primer On Investing In The Tech Industry
Disappointing Results Down The Line
Microsoft accomplished something relatively rare among tech companies with multiple lines of reporting segments – the company missed everywhere. The misses weren’t particularly large (at least among the revenue lines), but it’s hard to come away from these earnings feeling good unless you believe it’s just a transitional period for the company.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY)
Mechanical Technology, Incorporated (MTI), incorporated on October 4, 1961, operates in two segments: the Test and Measurement Instrumentation segment, which is conducted through MTI Instruments, Inc. (MTI Instruments), a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the New Energy segment, which is conducted through MTI MicroFuel Cells, Inc. (MTI Micro), a variable interest entity (VIE) as of December 31, 2011. MTI Instruments is a worldwide supplier of precision non-contact physical measurement solutions, portable balance equipment and wafer inspection tools. MTI Micro is developing Mobion, a handheld energy-generating device. Mobion handheld generators are based on direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 47.6% of MTI Micro’s interest.
The Test and Measurement Instrumentation Segment
MTI Instruments is a worldwide supplier of precision non-contact physical measurement solutions, portable balance equ ipment and wafer inspection tools. MTI Instrument’s products use a range of technologies to solve applications in numerous industries including manufacturing, semiconductor, solar, commercial and military aviation, automotive and data storage. The Company’s test and measurement segment has three product groups: Precision Instruments, Semiconductor and Solar Metrology Systems, and Aviation Balancing Systems. The Company’s products consist of electronic, computerized gauging instruments for position, displacement and vibration applications for the design, manufacturing/production and test and research markets; metrology tools for wafer characterization of semiconductor and solar wafers; tensile stage systems for materials testing in research and industrial settings; and engine balancing and vibration analysis systems for both military and commercial aircraft.
The Precision Instruments group employs capacitance, laser and fiber optic technologies to make nano-accur ate measurements. These advanced sensing and physical measur! ement technologies are used to produce products that range from basic sensors to complete, fully integrated measurement systems, and are available as single sensors for integration into existing data acquisition systems or as complete system level solutions that can be further integrated into a facility wide communication backbone. MTI Instruments’ Precision Instruments product offerings & technologies include Accumeasure Family, Microtrak Family, Microtrak II Series, Microtrak Pro-2D, MTI-2100 Fotonic Sensor Series, MTI Tensile Stages, Semiconductor and Solar Metrology Systems, Aviation Balancing Systems, PBS-4100+ /4100R+ Portable Balancing System, TSC-4800A Tachometer Signal Conditioner, and 1510A Calibrator.
The Accumeasure family of products is designed to address the needs of product developers, process engineers, researchers, designers, and others who need measurements. MTI Instrument’s Microtrak family of laser triangulation sensors offers displacement, position and vibration measurements. The Microtrak II comes with an interface controller that provides a digital display of the target position, alarm set points and connections for analog and RS-485 outputs. The Microtrak II Stand-Alone Laser Head also uses complementary metal oxide semiconductors with charged coupled device (CMOS – CCD) detection technology. During the year ended December 31, 2011, MTII launched its Microtrak PRO-2D laser triangulation scanners, which provides profile, displacement and dimensional information in real time.
The MTI-2100 features fiber-optic and electronic technologies for precise measurements of displacement, position and vibration. MTI Instruments’ miniature tensile, compression and bend testing machines are designed for use in scanning electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and light microscopes. The Company’s family of wafer metrology systems includes manual and semi-automated systems. The Semiconductor and Solar Me trology Systems include Proforma 200SA/300SA, Proforma 300 a! nd PV-100! 0. The Proforma 300 is a manual tool. The PV-1000 is incorporated into solar cell production lines to help manufacturers determine quality control issues. The computer-based portable balancing systems (PBS) products collect and record aircraft engine vibration data, identify vibration or balance trouble in an engine, and calculate a solution to the problem.
The portable PBS-4100+ detects if an engine has a vibration problem or a trim balance problem and provides a solution, resulting in reduced engine vibration, longer engine life, and lower fuel costs. The PBS-4100R+ rack mounted system offers the same features and functions as the portable PBS-4100+ with added data channels, speed input channels, direct current (DC) outputs and diagnostic options. TSC-4800A Tachometer Signal Conditioner is targeted for operators of Engine Test cells, where accurate and reliable conditioning of speed signals is essential. The TSC-4800A features multiple output circuits that pr ovide more than 10 different signals types for the monitoring devices. The PBS family of products includes a 1510A calibrator – a product that automatically performs a calibration check of the PBS unit which otherwise would take hours.
The New Energy Segment
MTI Micro has been developing an off-the-grid power solution for various portable electronic devices to address this power gap. The Company’s DMFC technology platform, called Mobion, converts methanol fuel to usable electricity. The Company’s fuel cell power solution consists of two components integrated into a manufactured device: the direct methanol fuel cell power engine, which the Company refers to as its Mobion Chip, and methanol fuel cartridges. MTI Micro is focusing the development of an external power charger product as a standalone device that uses a universal serial bus (USB) interface as a power output connector that can be used to recharge handheld mobile devices. A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device, which is similar t! o a batte! ry that produces electricity from a liquid or gaseous fuel, such as methanol, and an oxidant, such as oxygen.
The Company competes with KLA-Tencor, Sigma Tech Corporation, E+H Eichhorn+Hausmann GmbH, Chadwick-Helmuth Company, Inc., ACES Systems, Micro-Epsilon, and Keyence Corporation.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap Plug Power Inc was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between Michigan utility owner DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE) and Mechanical Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: MKTY) to develop fuel-cell systems to power homes and small businesses. Plug Power Inc says it has revolutionized the material handling industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints as it manufactures a full suite of products designed to fit seamlessly into the existing battery compartment of all major OEM material handling equipment. In addition, the company says its GenDrive fuel cell is a superior alternative to lead-acid batteries for electric lift trucks in the $20 billion global material handling market.
- [By John Udovich]
Meanwhile, Plug Power Inc was formed in 1997 as a joint venture of Michigan utility owner DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE) and Mechanical Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: MKTY) to develop fuel-cell systems to power homes and small businesses. Plug Power Inc says it has revolutionized the material handling industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints as it manufactures a full suite of products designed to fit seamlessly into the existing battery compartment of all major OEM material handling equipment. The company also says that its GenDrive fuel cell is a superior alternative to lead-acid batteries for electric lift trucks in the $20 billion global material handling market.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund Inc (KYE)
Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund, Inc. (the Fund) is a non-diversified closed-end investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to obtain a high total return with an emphasis on current income. The Fund seeks to achieve this objective by investing primarily in securities of companies engaged in the energy industry, principally including publicly-traded energy-related master limited partnerships and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships (MLPs), MLP affiliates, energy-related United States and Canadian royalty trusts and income trusts and other companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from operating assets used in, or providing energy-related services for, the exploration, development, production, gathering, transportation, processing, storing, refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products or coal.
Effective December 31, 2006, K ayne Anderson assigned the Investment Management Agreement to its subsidiary, KA Fund Advisors, LLC (the Adviser). The Fund focuses on investing at least 80% of the aggregate of its net assets and borrowings (total assets) in securities of Energy Companies. The Fund invests in equity securities, such as common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible securities, warrants, depository receipts, and equity interests in MLPs, MLP affiliates, royalty trusts and other Energy Companies.
- [By Robert Rapier]
We got several questions about Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund (NYSE: KYE) during the chat. The main advantage of closed-end MLP funds is the diversification they provide, along with the convenience of a 1099 miscellaneous income tax form instead of having to deal with K-1 forms from each individual MLP. This makes a closed-end MLP fund a more attractive option for an IRA.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Potomac Electric Power Company(POM)
Pepco Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the transmission, distribution, and supply of electricity. The company also distributes and supplies natural gas. It distributes electricity to approximately 1.8 million customers in the mid-Atlantic region and delivers natural gas to approximately 123,000 customers in Delaware. In addition, the company involves in the retail supply of electricity and natural gas; provision of energy efficiency services to federal, state, and local government customers; and designs, constructs, and operates combined heat and power and central energy plants, as well as owns and operates two oil-fired generation facilities. Further, it offers high voltage electric construction and maintenance services, low voltage electric construction and maintenance services, and streetlight construction and asset management services to utilities, municipalities, and other customers in the Washington, District of Columbia. Additionally, the company holds investments in eight cross-border energy leases. Pepco Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1896 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Utilities shares dropped by 0.37 percent in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO) was down more than 2.3 percent, while Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM) tumbled around 1.5 percent.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Among the sector stocks, Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO) was down more than 1.9 percent, while Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM) tumbled around 0.9 percent.
- [By Dan Burrows]
HCN enjoys a solid portfolio of senior housing, long-term care and medical office facilities, but an acquisition spree has greatly increased costs. Still, that hasn’t hurt the share performance this year. HCN stock is up 9.6% for the year-to-date, beating the broader market by a wide margin.
#7: Pepco Holdings (POM)
POM Dividend Yield: 5.51%
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: United States Gasoline Fund LP (UGA)
United States Gasoline Fund, LP (UGA) is a commodity pool that issues limited partnership interests (units). The investment objective of UGA is for the changes in percentage terms of its units’ net asset value (NAV) to reflect the changes in percentage terms of the spot price of gasoline (also known as reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygen blending (RBOB)) for delivery to the New York harbor, as measured by the changes in the price of the futures contract for gasoline traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (the NYMEX) that is the near month contract to expire, except when the near month contract is within two weeks of expiration, in which case the futures contract will be the next month contract to expire, less UGA’s expenses. UGA seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a mix of Futures Contracts and Other Gasoline-Related Investments. United States Commodity Funds LLC (USCF) is the general partner of UGA and is responsible for the managemen t of UGA.
The net assets of UGA consist primarily of investments in futures contracts for gasoline, but may also consist of investment contracts for other types of gasoline, crude oil, heating oil, natural gas and other petroleum-based fuels that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures or other United States and foreign exchanges (collectively, Futures Contracts). UGA may also invest in other gasoline-related investments, such as cash-settled options on Futures Contracts, forward contracts for gasoline, cleared swap contracts and over-the-counter transactions that are based on the price of gasoline, crude oil and other petroleum-based fuels, Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, Other Gasoline-Related Investments).
- [By Paul Ausick]
The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down about 0.9%, at $55.76, in a 52-week range of $53.35 to $65.86.
The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is down 1.6%, at $42.47 in a 52-week range of $36.88 to $45.05.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down about 0.7%, at $60.48, in a 52-week range of $53.35 to $65.86.
The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is up less than 0.1%, at $44.38 in a 52-week range of $36.88 to $45.05. The annual high was also set today.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Cincinnati Financial Corporation(CINF)
Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. Its Commercial Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers? compensation. It also offers specialty packages, including coverages for property, liability, and business interruption for specific industry classes, such as artisan contractors, dentists, or street businesses. In addition, this segment provides contract and commercial surety bonds, fidelity bonds, and director and officer liability insurance, as well as machinery and equipment coverage. The company?s Personal Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment offers coverage for personal auto and homeowners, as well as other insurance products, such as dwelling fire, inland marine, personal umbrella liability, and watercraft coverages to individuals. Cincinnati Financial?s Excess and Surplus Lines Property Casualty Insurance s egment offers commercial casualty insurance that covers businesses for third-party liability from accidents occurring on their premises or arising out of their operations, including products and completed operations; and commercial property insurance, which insures loss or damage to buildings, inventory, equipment, and business income from causes of loss, such as fire, wind, hail, water, theft, and vandalism. The company?s Life Insurance segment provides term insurance; universal life insurance; whole life insurance; and worksite products, which include term, whole life, universal life, and disability insurance offered to employees through their employer. This segment also markets disability income insurance, deferred annuities, and immediate annuities. Its Investment segment invests in fixed-maturity investments, equity investments, and short-term investments. Cincinnati also offers commercial leasing and financing services. The company was founded in 1950 and is headquart e red in Fairfield, Ohio.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Avg. High Yield Price 2. 20-Year DCF Price 3. Avg. P/E Price 4. Graham Number GD is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 49.9% premium to its calculated fair value of $71.45. GD did not earn any Stars in this section. Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. Free Cash Flow Payout 2. Debt To Total Capital 3. Key Metrics 4. Dividend Growth Rate 5. Years of Div. Growth 6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% GD earned two Stars in this section for 1.) and 2.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1979 and has increased its dividend payments for 23 consecutive years. Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA (20-year Treasury bond). Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description: 1. NPV MMA Diff. 2. Years to > MMA The NPV MMA Diff. of the $741 is below the $1,200 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as GD has. If GD grows its dividend at 10.0% per year, it will take 6 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: GD is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index. The
- [By Dividends4Life]
Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Cincinnati Financial Corp. (CINF). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis: Company Description: Cincinnati Financial Corp. is an insurance holding company that primarily markets property and casualty coverage. It also conducts life insurance and asset management operations.
- [By Dividends4Life]
According to a Gabelli Funds report, managed distribution policies offer several advantages, including:1. Lower difference between the fund’s market price and its NAV per share.2. Provides support during periods when the stock market is in a decline.3. Provides a measurable performance target for the investment adviser.Below are several high-yield funds from CEFA that have a managed distribution policy (yields as of December 16):Aberdeen Australia Eqty (IAF)- Distribution Yield: 10.4%- Income Yield: 346%Bexil Advisers LLC (DNI)- Distribution Yield: 11.1%- Income Yield: 3.56%BlackRock En Capital&Inc (CII)- Distribution Yield: 8.78%- Income Yield: 2.34%Cornerstone Strat Value (CLM)- Distribution Yield: 18.77%- Income Yield: 1.83%Cornerstone Total Return (CRF)- Distribution Yield: 19.10%- Income Yield: 0.85%Delaware Inv Div & Inc (DDF)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 5.26%Gabelli Equity Trust (GAB)- Distribution Yield: 7.58%- Income Yield: 1.54%Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)- Distribution Yield: 9.45%- Income Yield: 2.84%MFS Special Value Trust (MFV)- Distribution Yield: 9.60%- Income Yield: 5.73%Nuveen Tx-Adv TR Strat (JTA)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 3.12%TCW Strategic Income (TSI)- Distribution Yield: 10.54%- Income Yield: 7.88%Zweig Total Return (ZTR)- Distribution Yield: 7.27%- Income Yield: 1.95%As noted in the Gabelli report, a managed distribution policy may create confusion regarding the true current yield since the reported yield includes the return of capital portion. You can see the disparity above between the income yield and the distribution (reported) yield.If you are looking for a sustainable and growing dividend, you may want to consider some blue-chip dividend stocks such as these with a Free Cash Flow Payout less than 50%, 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases and a 2%+ yield:3M Co. (MMM) is a diversified global company provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Weatherford International Ltd(WFT)
Weatherford International Ltd. provides equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells worldwide. It offers artificial lift systems, which include reciprocating rod lift systems, progressing cavity pumps, gas lift systems, hydraulic lift systems, plunger lift systems, hybrid lift systems, wellhead systems, and multiphase metering systems. The company also provides drilling services, including directional drilling, ?Secure Drilling? services, well testing, drilling-with-casing and drilling-with-liner systems, and surface logging systems; and well construction services, such as tubular running services, cementing products, liner systems, swellable products, solid tubular expandable technologies, and inflatable products and accessories. In addition, it designs and manufactures drilling jars, underreamers, rotating control devices, and other pressure-control equipment used in drilling oil and nat u ral gas wells; and offers a selection of in-house or third-party manufactured equipment for the drilling, completion, and work over of oil and natural gas wells for operators and drilling contractors, as well as a line of completion tools and sand screens. Further, the company provides wireline and evaluation services; and re-entry, fishing, and thru-tubing services, as well as well abandonment and wellbore cleaning services; stimulation and chemicals, including fracturing and coiled tubing technologies, cement services, chemical systems, and drilling fluids; integrated drilling services; and pipeline and specialty services. It serves independent oil and natural gas producing companies. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- [By Vanina Egea]
Baker Hughes has seen greater activity, especially through new partnerships. With CGG (CGG), the company has signed a long-term agreement to provide RoqSCAN technology, a real-time, fully portable, quantitative and automated rock properties and mineralogical analyzer. Also, the firm will acquire Weatherford (WFT)’s pipeline and specialty services business through one of its subsidiaries. Last, the business has signed a letter of intent to develop integrated well completion solutions with TMK.
- [By Dimitra DeFotis]
Adams’ partial list of potential losers:
BP (BP) : the highest profile potential loser. It owns 19.75% of Russian energy giant Rosneft, which accounted a third of BP’s production in the fourth quarter. Sanctions that inhibit oil and gas flows to Europe, or banking/capital flows, would “hit Rosneft and BP early and hard.” An offset: there could be an uptick in demand for a pipeline 30% owned and operated by BP because it transports Azerbaijan oil through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean — a southern route avoiding Georgia and Ukraine. Chevron (CVX) pipeline investments could be stymied. It also signed a 50-year agreement to explore for and develop oil and gas in western Ukraine, involving up to $10 billion of investment. “A Russian takeover spikes that deal,” Adams says. Oilfield services companies Halliburton (HAL), Baker Hughes (BHI), and Weatherford International (WFT) all do business in Russia that could be prohibited if it is labeled a rogue nation.
The crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s tactics make U.S. assets look more secure and more valuable: some U.S. refiners that could export fuel, utility holding companies that could export liquefied natural gas, and related pipeline companies could see even more benefits, longer-term, from the North American fracking and horizontal drilling boom. But approval of the TransCanada (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline is a necessary piece of that equation, Adams writes.
- [By Canadian Value]
– Weatherford International (WFT) which is a services company and a direct beneficiary of the boom in horizontal drilling and fracturing in the U.S.
- [By Traders Reserve]
Despite the poor operating performance, things are looking up for Weatherford (WFT) – that’s why the selling at the start of the year is so perplexing and likely to attract a private equity or hedge fund manager. Analysts expect profits to grow by 58% next year. At current prices, the stock trades for only 11.5 times 2014 estimated earnings. That’s about as cheap as it gets. An astute big boy manager is going to exploit that valuation metric in very short order. I’d get in before they do.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Coleman Cable Inc.(CCIX)
Coleman Cable, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and supplies electrical wire and cable products for consumer, commercial, and industrial applications primarily in the United States and Canada. It provides industrial wire and cable products, including portable cords, machine tool wiring, building wires, welding, mining, pump, control, stage/lighting, diesel/locomotive, instrumentation, tray, thermocouple, high temperature, and metal clad cables, as well as other power cord products under the Royal, Seoprene, Copperfield, Continental, Triangle, and Corra/Clad brand names. The company also offers assembled wire and cable products comprising various types of extension cords, ground fault circuit interrupters, portable lighting, retractable reels, holiday items, solar lighting, recreational vehicle cords and adapters, and surge and strip products, as well as booster cables, battery cables, and battery accessories for the automotive aftermarket. It provides assembled wire a nd cable products under the brand names of Woods, Moonrays, Polar Solar, Yellow Jacket, American Contractor, Road Power, Power Station, Booster-in-a-Bag, TRC, Shock Shield, Electra Shield, Fire Shield, and Designers Edge, as well as privately-labeled brands. In addition, the company offers electronic wire products, such as telephone, data, security, coaxial, industrial automation, instrumentation, twinaxial, fire alarm, plenum, and home automation cables that connect devices under the Signal, Plencote, Soundsational, and Clear Signal brand names. Further, it provides fabricated bare wire products consisting of stranded, bunched, and single-end copper, copper-clad steel, and various copper alloy wires under the brand name of Copperfield. The company sells its products to specialty distributors, retailers, and original equipment manufacturers. Coleman Cable, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is based in Waukegan, Illinois.
- [By Damian Illia]
On Jan. 17, Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio), the chairman and chief executive officer of GAMCO Investors Inc., bought Coleman Cable Inc. (CCIX) at an average price of $23.26 and currently holds 729,100 shares of the stock. He is betting in favor of the Electrical Components & Equipment sub-industry.
- [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 Coleman Cable (Nasdaq: CCIX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: Fidelity National Financial Inc. (FNF)
Fidelity National Financial, Inc. provides title insurance, mortgage services, and diversified services in the United States. The company provides title insurance, escrow, and other title related services, including collection and trust activities, trustee’s sales guarantees, recordings, and reconveyances, as well as home warranty insurance to various customers in the residential and commercial market sectors of the real estate industry. It is also involved in the design, manufacture, remanufacture, market, and distribution of aftermarket and original equipment electrical components for automobiles, light trucks, heavy-duty trucks, and other vehicles worldwide. In addition, the company owns and operates restaurants comprising the O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Max & Erma’s, Village Inn, Bakers Square, and Stoney River Legendary Steaks concepts in the United States. Fidelity National Financial, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
- [By Damian Illia]
The firm is currently Zacks Rank # 2 – Buy, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of “OutPerform”. For investors looking for a Zacks Rank # 1 – Strong Buy, Alleghany Corp. (Y), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B) and Fidelity (FNF) could be the options.
- [By Adam J. Wiederman]
Getty Images Bitcoin made headlines last year when the value of all outstanding pieces of the electronic currency reached nearly $10 billion. It’s not just speculators drawn to the new currency. Many businesses are also attempting to cash in on this growth: Several public companies, including Zynga (ZNGA) and Overstock.com (OSTK), accept Bitcoins as a form of payment. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s firm has invested nearly $50 million in Bitcoin-related ventures, and it is looking to invest even more. And the Winklevoss twins — who notoriously accused Facebook’s (FB) Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea — have been “in dialogue” with the SEC about opening the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, according to Bloomberg. Yet a new survey from TheStreet.com (TST) reveals that 76 percent of consumers are not familiar with Bitcoin — and 79 percent would never consider owning a currency like it. Does this signal opportunity for savvy investors? Or is this a fad you’d be wise to avoid? The Basics of Bitcoin Bitcoin is a completely unregulated form of currency developed by an anonymous Japanese programmer (according to some apocryphal claims) as a completely digital, peer-to-peer payment system that is independent of national currencies (which, Bitcoin users argue, are all subject to the riskiness of the underlying country). Bitcoins are rewarded throughout the day to a “Bitcoin miner” whose computer solves a series of algorithms quicker than other miners. The puzzles become more difficult over time, so the calculations take longer and the computations require more computing power. There will eventually be a total of 21 million Bitcoins (12.4 million are in circulation today) and we won’t reach the point that they are effectively “mined out” until 2040. The value of a Bitcoin is supposed to be market-driven, meaning they’re worth whatever the two parties in a transaction value them as. For example, in one of the original Bitcoin transactions, a “mi
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: FCCC Inc (FCIC)
FCCC, Inc. (FCCC), incorporated on March 21, 1960, is focused on merger, acquisition, reverse merger or a business transaction opportunity with an operating business or other financial transaction. The Company has not restricted its search to any particular business, industry or geographical location.
As of March 31, 2013, the Company had no arrangements or understandings with respect to any merger, acquisition, reverse merger or business combination candidate. The Company has limited operations and is actively seeking merger, reverse merger, acquisition or business combination opportunities with an operating business or other financial transaction opportunities.
- [By The Science of Hitting]
After the financial crisis, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was created to determine the root cause of the crisis; as part of that effort, the commission was required to make the ensuing interviews of hedge fund managers, bankers, and economists available to the public. One of the people interviewed was Warren Buffett, and as expected, he didn’t disappoint. During the interview, he was asked to discuss the difference between investment and speculation; here was his response (bold added for emphasis):
10 Best US Stocks For 2014: iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (IGN)
iShares S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index Fund (the Fund), formerly iShares S&P GSTI Networking Index Fund, seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, as represented by the S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index. The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index.
The Index includes companies that are producers of telecom equipment, data networking and wireless equipment. The Index has been developed as an equity benchmark for United States-traded multimedia networking stocks.
- [By John Udovich]
Just before Thanksgiving, small cap networking stock Infoblox Inc (NYSE: BLOX) sank 28.65% on guidance that was below expectations, but the stock has still outperformed the year-to-date performance of networking ETF like the PowerShares Dynamic Networking ETF (NYSEARCA: PXQ) and iShares S&P North American Networking ETF (NYSEARCA: IGN). So what went wrong and could investors have just overeacted?
- [By John Udovich]
Mid cap telco equipment stock Alcatel Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) is up 205.9% since the start of the year for a much better performance verses peers or benchmarks like Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) or the iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (NYSEARCA: IGN) – meaning its probably worth taking a closer look at the stock as its been producing plenty of good news for a change. I should note that we have recently added Alcatel Lucent SA to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio as a technical based trade because we think shares will continue higher on speculation about an improved global footprint for this leading mobile data network provider.