Why not a Twitter phone? Following the launch of Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB ) Home earlier this month, it could be heralding the start of a new trend: the branded smartphone.
Of course, smartphones with designer labels are not exactly new, as Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer, for example, has produced branded smartphones for years, starting with its Meridiist line in 2008. Last year it offered up a $6,700 Link handset, and just last month you could get yourself its new Racer version for a modest $3,700. Moreover, designers such as Versace and Prada have also applied their name to handsets.
But the Facebook Home smartphone is something different, and it’s likely to lead in all sorts of directions. How the handset interacts with your Facebook feed by dominating the screen and purpose of the phone naturally leads to speculation that other social-media sites could similarly brand their own devices, hence the Twitter phone.
The Kindle phablet
But why stop at social media? As my Foolish colleague Evan Niu has chronicled, it seems for all intents and purposes that Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is taking the steps necessary to cobble together a new device.
5 Best Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: Prudential Bancorp Inc. of Pennsylvania(PBIP)
Prudential Bancorp, Inc. of Pennsylvania operates as the holding company for Prudential Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services in Pennsylvania. Its deposit products include interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing checking, money market, savings, and certificate of deposit accounts. The company?s loan portfolio comprises single-family residential mortgage loans, construction and land development loans, non-residential or commercial real estate mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, commercial business loans, and consumer loans. The company also provides securities and insurance products, as well as automated teller machine and online banking services. As of September 30, 2010, it operated a main office and six branch offices located in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties. The company was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prudential Bancorp, Inc. of Pennsylvania is a subsidiary of Prudential Mutu al Holding Company.
- [By Jim Royal]
I really like to invest in bank demutualizations, and my Special Situations portfolio is back to buy another one: Prudential Bancorp (NASDAQ: PBIP ) . In October, the bank completed its second-step conversion, making it a fully public institution, but it trades at just 73% of tangible book value. That’s tremendously cheap for a profitable, albeit slightly, bank. So I’m stepping up to buy the stock.
5 Best Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: Camden Property Trust (CPT)
Camden Property Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in the ownership, management, development, acquisition, and construction of multi-family apartment communities. As each of its communities has similar economic characteristics, residents, amenities, and services, its operations have been aggregated into one segment.
In April 2011, it sold one of its land parcels to one of the Funds. In June 2011, it sold another land parcel to the Fund. In August 2011, the Company acquired 30.1 acres of land located in Atlanta, Georgia. In December 2011, it acquired 2.2 acres of land in Glendale, California. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it sold two properties consisting of 788 units located in Dallas, Texas. During 2011, the Funds acquired 18 multifamily properties totaling 6,076 units located in the Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Tampa and Atlanta. In January 2012, one of the Funds acquired one multifamily property consis ted of 350 units located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned interests in, operated, or were developing 206 multifamily properties comprising 69,794 apartment homes across the United States. Of these 206 properties, 10 properties were under development. In addition, it owns land parcels, which it focuses on developing into multifamily apartment communities.
- [By Michael Lewis]
Take Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT ) , for example. The stock is up around 16% over two years — respectable, but incongruent with the industry trends. Since 2010, operating cash flow has increased more than 30%. The company pays a 3.5% dividend and trades at 16.5 times projected one-year earnings. For comparison, Lennar trades at 18 times earnings, while KB Homes trades at more than 20 times forward earnings.
5 Best Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: NET Servicos de Comunicacao S.A.(NETC)
Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A., through its subsidiaries, provides cable television, Internet access, and voice services in Brazil. It offers cable television services under the ?NET? brand name through various cable networks located in the largest cities of Brazil. The company also offers broadband Internet access services under the ?NET VIRTUA? brand name by using Embratel’s IP backbone infrastructure. In addition, it provides voice services under the ?NET FONE VIA EMBRATEL? brand name jointly with Embratel. Further, the company offers integrated video, broadband, and voice services. Net Servicos de Comunicacao S.A. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- [By Vanina Egea] offers bundled services and has aggressively expanded its Internet and TV subscriber base in the state.
Investing for Long-term Growth
Looking forward, Telefónica Brasil is investing in technology and network expansion to further empower its competitive position. The firm is expanding its 3G network based on CDMA EV-DO and HSPA technologies, which provide a great advantage over its peers. Further, it expects to benefit from the growth opportunities in the 4G market. Consequently, it has signed a deal with Ceragon Networks Ltd. (CRNT) to deploy the superfast 4G network nationwide.
A Valuable Stock
Telefónica Brasil has a healthy balance sheet with strong cash flow generation (up to 9,576 million in 2013 from 3,488 million in 2011) and reasonable debt levels. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is of 0.17 times and it has a debt- to-equity ratio of 0.2 against its peers’ average of 0.9. Its financial strength and a robust dividend have attracted investment gurus like Charles Brandes (Trades, Portfolio) and David Dreman (Trades, Portfolio), who have recently incorporated the company to its portfolio.
Considering the stock’s trading price of 14.6x its trailing earnings compared to the peer group average of 16.90x, and a compelling dividend yield of 7.30 with a payout ratio of 1.1 (against its competitors’ median of 3.53 and 0.62, respectively), I believe this stock is a worthy investment opportunity with excellent growth potential.
Disclosure: Vanina Egea holds no position in any stocks mentioned.
Also check out: Charles Brandes Undervalued Stocks Charles Brandes Top Growth Companies Charles Brandes High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Charles Brandes keeps buyingAbout the author:Vanina EgeaA fundamental analyst at Lone Tree Analytics
Visit Vanina Egea’s Website
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote)
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5 Best Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: Radio One Inc.(ROIAK)
Radio One, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an urban-oriented multi-media company in the United States. It engages in the radio broadcasting operation that primarily targets African-American and urban listeners. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned and operated 54 broadcast stations located in 16 urban markets. It also operates an African-American targeted cable television network and Tom Joyner Morning Show; and owns online platform serving the African-American community through social content, news, information, and entertainment, as well as operates various online social networking Websites, including BlackPlanet, MiGente, and Asian Avenue. The company was founded in 1980 and is based in Lanham, Maryland.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Radio One (ROIAK) is a multimedia company that primarily targets African-American and urban consumers. This stock closed up 5.8% to $2.35 in Thursday’s trading session.
Thursday’s Range: $2.21-$2.40
52-Week Range: $0.68-$2.66
Thursday’s Volume: 258,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 112,595
From a technical perspective, ROIAK ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $2.27 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a triple bottom chart pattern at $2.10, $2.11 and $2.07. Following that bottom, shares of ROIAK have started bounce sharply higher and move within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ROIAK can manage to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.46 to its 52-week high at $2.66 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ROIAK as long as it’s trending above some near-term support levels at $2.10 to $2.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 112,595 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ROIAK will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $2.66, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $3 to $4.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Radio One (ROIAK), together with its subsidiaries, operates as an urban-oriented multimedia company in the U.S. This stock closed up 3% to $2.67 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $2.56-$2.74
52-Week Range: $0.68-$2.75
Thursday’s Volume: 99,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 107,808
From a technical perspective, ROIAK trended higher here right above some near-term support at $2.48 and above its 50-day moving average at $2.35 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ROIAK within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ROIAK manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.74 to its 52-week high at $2.75 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ROIAK as long as it’s trending above support at $2.48 or above its 50-day at $2.35 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 107,808 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ROIAK will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $3.50 to $4.
5 Best Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: Cigna Corp (CI)
Cigna Corporation (Cigna), incorporated on November 3, 1981, is a holding company. Cigna is a global health service company, with insurance subsidiaries that are providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. In the United States, these products and services are offered through employers and other groups, and in selected international markets, Cigna offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products and international health care coverage and services to businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals. The Company also has certain run-off operations, including a Run-off Reinsurance segment. Cigna’s revenues are derived from premiums, fees, mail order pharmacy, other revenues and investment income. Cigna operates in five segments: Health Care, Disability and Life, International, Run-off Reinsurance, and Other Operations, including Corporate-owned Life Insurance. On January 3 1, 2012, Cigna acquired HealthSpring, Inc. On November 30, 2011, the Company acquired FirstAssist Group Holdings Limited. In August 2012, the Company acquired Great American Supplemental Benefits from American Financial Group, Inc. In January 2013, the Company acquired select Arcadian and Humana Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In September 2013, Cigna Corporation completed its acquisition of Alegis Care, a portfolio company of Triton Pacific Capital Partners. Effective September 3, 2013, Cigna Corp acquired Home Physicians Management LLC.
Cigna’s Health Care segment (Cigna HealthCare) offers insured and self-insured medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, health advocacy programs and other products and services that may be integrated to provide health care benefit programs. Cigna HealthCare companies offer these products and services in all 50 states, the District of Co lumbia and the United States Virgin Islands. Cigna offers a ! range of products and services to employers and other groups that sponsor group health plans. With the exception of Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Medicare, Voluntary and stop loss products, each of Cigna HealthCare’s products is offered with alternative funding options. Cigna may sell multiple products under the same funding arrangement to the same employer. Approximately 85% of the Company’s medical customers are enrolled in self-insured plans, with the remainder split between guaranteed cost and experience-rated insured plans. Approximately 90% of its medical customers are enrolled in self-insured and experience-rated plans. Cigna also offers guaranteed cost medical and dental insurance to individuals. Cigna HealthCare offers a product line of indemnity managed care benefit plans on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. The Network, Network Open Access, and Open Access Plus In-Network products cover only those services provide d by Cigna HealthCare participating health care professionals (in-network) and emergency services provided by non-participating health care professionals (out-of-network). The Network point of service (POS), Network POS Open Access and Open Access Plus plans (OAP) cover health care services provided by participating, and non-participating health care professionals.
Cigna HealthCare offers a Preferred Provider Plans (PPO) product line that features a national network. Like Network and Open Access Plus Plans, the PPO product line is offered on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. Cigna HealthCare offers the Cigna Choice Fund suite of products, including Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Cigna HealthCare offers stop loss insurance coverage for self-insured plans. This stop loss coverage reimburses the plan for claims in excess of a predetermined amount, either for individuals (specific) or the entire group (aggregate), ! or both. ! Cigna HealthCare provides Taft-Hartley trusts and other entities access to its national provider network and provides claim re-pricing and other services. Cigna HealthCare’s voluntary medical products are offered to employers with 51 or more eligible employees. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates Medicare Advantage coordinated care plans in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Under the Medicare program, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries may receive health care benefits, including prescription drugs, through a managed care health plan, such as the Company’s coordinated care plans, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimburse the Company pursuant to a risk adjustment payment methodology.
Cigna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Cigna Medicare Rx, provides a number of plan options, as well as service and information support to Medicare and Medicaid eligible customers. Cigna Medicare Rx is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Cigna HealthCare offers medical management, disease management, and other health advocacy services to employers and other plan sponsors. These services are offered to customers covered under Cigna HealthCare administered plans, as well as individuals covered under plans insured and/or administered by competing insurers/third-party administrators. Cigna’s onsite services include more than 75 health centers and the annual administration of more than 400,000 biometric screenings, as well as approximately 2,200 wellness seminars each year. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates three LivingWell Health Centers, where Medicare customers can receive care from physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and nurses educators. Cigna arranges for behavioral health care services for customers through its network of participating behavioral health care professionals. Cigna offers behavioral health care case mana gement services, employee assistance programs (EAP), and wor! k/life pr! ograms to employers, Government entities and other groups sponsoring health benefit plans. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna’s behavioral national network had approximately 108,000 access points to psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers and approximately 9,000 facilities and clinics.
Cigna Pharmacy Management offers prescription drug plans to its insured and self-funded customers both in conjunction with its medical products and on a stand-alone basis. With a network of over 62,000 contracted pharmacies, Cigna Pharmacy Management is a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) offering clinical integration programs, specialty pharmacy solutions and home delivery of prescription medicines. Cigna’s specialty pharmacy outcome management program, TheraCare, manages specialty conditions. TheraCare is coordinated with other Cigna health advocacy programs and all data is captured for analysis and reporting. Cigna Dental Health offers a variety of dental care p roducts, including dental health maintenance organization plans (Dental HMO), dental preferred provider organization (DPPO) plans, dental exclusive provider organization plans, traditional dental indemnity plans and a dental discount program. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna Dental Health customers totaled approximately 10.9 million. Managed dental care products are offered in 38 states for Dental HMO and 43 states and the District of Columbia for Dental PPO through a network of independent health care professionals that have contracted with Cigna Dental Health to provide dental services. Cigna Dental Health customers access care from the dental PPO network in the United States and one of the dental HMO networks in the United States, with approximately 235,500 DPPO-contracted access points (approximately 92,000 health care professionals) and approximately 58,000 dental HMO-contracted access points (approximately 16,500 health care professionals).
Disability and L ife
Cigna’s Disability and Life segment (Cign! a Disabil! ity and Life) provides insurance products and their related services, such as group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance and accident and specialty insurance. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. Cigna Disability and Life markets products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and Canada. Cigna Disability and Life also provides assistance to employees in returning to work and assistance to their employers in managing the cost of employee disability. Cigna Disability and Life offers personal accident insurance coverage, which consists primarily of accidental death and dismemberment and travel accident insurance to employers. Group accident insurance may be employer-paid or employee-paid. Cigna Disability and Life also offers specialty insurance services that consist primarily of disability and life, accident, and hospital indemnity products to profession al or trade associations and financial institutions.
CIGNA’s International segment (CIGNA International) offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products, as well as international health care products and services. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including foreign operating entities. Cigna International provides employers, affinity groups and individuals with local and global health care and related financial protection programs. Supplemental health products provide a specified payment for a range of health risks and include personal accident, accidental death, critical illness, hospitalization, travel, dental, cancer and other dread disease coverages. Term life, as well as variable universal life insurance and other savings products are also included in the product portfolio. Cigna International’s supplemental health, life and accident insurance products are offered i n South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the European Un! ion, Chin! a, New Zealand, Thailand and Turkey. In China, Cigna International owns a 50% interest in a joint venture through, which its products and services are offered. Cigna International’s health care businesses primarily consist of products and services to meet the needs of local and multinational companies and organizations and their local and globally mobile employees and dependents. These products and services include insurance and administrative services for medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability risks. In addition, Cigna International’s health care businesses include products and services, which are primarily provided through group benefits programs to employees of businesses and other organizations in the United Kingdom and Spain. These products and services include medical indemnity insurance coverage, with some offerings having managed care or administrative service aspects.
Cigna ’s reinsurance segment reinsured guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB) (also known as variable annuity death benefits (VADBe)), under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with a death benefit. The Company purchased retrocessional protection that covers approximately 5% of the assumed risks. The Company also maintains a dynamic hedge program. Cigna also reinsured guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB) under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with minimum income and death benefits. These products under Cigna’s Run-off Reinsurance segment were sold principally in North America and Europe through a sales force and through intermediaries.
The principal products of the Corporate-owned Life Insurance (COLI) business are permanent insurance cont racts sold to corporations to provide coverage on the lives ! of certai! n employees for the purpose of funding employer-paid future benefit obligations. The principal services provided by the COLI business are issuance and administration of the insurance policies. COLI policies provide a death benefit for which Cigna collects fees to cover mortality risk. COLI policies also allow policy owners to borrow against a portion of their cash surrender value.
- [By BLOGS.BARRONS.COM]
Cigna Corp. and Aetna: Both Cigna (CI) and Aetna (AET) stand to benefit from continued improvement in the U.S. economy, especially increased hiring. “As long as you bring more people into the healthcare system and hiring continues, these are the companies that are going to manage the healthcare system.”
- [By Omar Venerio]
The company has a current ROE of 10.94% which is higher than the industry median and the ones exhibit by Universal American Corp. (UAM), Centene (CNC) and WellPoint (WLP). In general, analysts consider ROE ratios in the 15-20% range as representing attractive levels for investment. So for investors looking those levels or more, Cigna (CI) could be the option. It is very important to understand this metric before investing and it is important to look at the trend in ROE over time.
- [By Susan J. Aluise]
What’s worse: HHS is eying far tougher regulations next year against health plans with narrow provider networks. That means healthcare stocks like Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI), Aetna (AET) and WellPoint (WLP), which have gained more than 50% in the past year, could face headwinds as they try to expand provider networks while keeping premiums low.
- [By Anora Mahmudova]
Cigna Corp. (CI) shares gained 3.3% after steep losses recently. The stock is down over 8% year to date.