5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now

Getty Images Many people wonder whether they should choose passive or active funds for their portfolio. To me, passive investing is the only sensible way to invest. The data strongly points to higher risk-adjusted returns for passive portfolios. Passive portfolios also have a variety of other advantages that will become even more pronounced once my retirement years roll around, which is precisely the time when I need my money to work for me the most. Here are a few reasons passive investing works incredibly well in retirement: Passive portfolios take less time to manage, so there’s more time to have fun. You may be motivated enough to pore through pages and pages of information about active mutual funds to find those able to outperform the market, but do you really want to do that over and over again in retirement? And that’s assuming you are lucky enough to have the knowledge and skill to find the gems in the first place. How much time do you plan to devote to the act of investing? Passive portfolios take almost no time to manage. Set them up, rebalance back to the predetermined asset allocation periodically and you are pretty much done. With the extra time on your hands, you can spend more time having fun. There are fewer ways to make mistakes. The beauty of a basket of index funds that’s held through thick or thin is that you don’t need to constantly make investment decisions that could make or break your portfolio performance. Even a mathematical wonder who seldom makes mistakes could experience cognitive decline as he advances in years. The emotional toll of investing in equities is less taxing. Market valuations decline all the time, and it can be just as gut wrenching to see a passive portfolio balance shrink as an active one. The difference, however, is a passive portfolio’s valuation is more likely to come back up. This is because passive investing is based on the total market. By hanging on and not selling, you are indirectly making a bet that the U.S. and global economies are going to continue to grow through time –- an extremely likely event unless the world is ending. Active investing, on the other hand, is a bet that a select few investments you own are going to continue to grow through time. Sometimes this works out, but as people who owned tech stocks during the dot-com bubble learned, sometimes you can lose a lot.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now: Synacor Inc (SYNC)

Synacor, Inc. (Synacor) is a provider of solutions for delivery of online content and services. Synacor delivers its solutions as a set of services through its hosted and managed platform, enabling cable and telecom service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers to provide the online content and services. The Company platform allows its customers to package an array of online content and services with their Internet, communications, television and other offerings. Its platform includes Website design and development, unified registration and login (single sign-on), billing integration, personalization, video delivery capability, content management system, household management, toolbar and television listings. Its customers offer the services under their own brands on Internet-enabled devices such as personal computers (PCs), tablets, smartphones and connected televisions. In January 2012, Synacor acquired the assets of Carbyn, Inc. (Carbyn). In May 2012, the Comp any acquired Carbyn, the hypertext markup language 5 (HTML5) Platform. In November 2013, Synacor Inc acquired Teknision.

Synacor’s acquired assets consist of mobile device software and technology and other property, which it enhances the efforts in the development of next generation Web applications for mobile devices. The Company’s hosted and managed platform allows the customers to enhance their consumers’ online experience. Its customers use the platform to develop personalized Websites that serve as their consumers’ respective online hubs for communication services, entertainment offerings and support services. Its platform enables the customers to combine entertainment, such as television shows, multi-player games and streaming music based on a subscriber’s access rights and preferences with communications offerings, such as voicemail, e-mail, and third party messaging services, such as Yahoo Mail, Google Gmail, AOL Mail, Facebook, and Twitter. It s platform also allows the customers to deliver appropriate ! account tools, support, bill pay services and up-sell promotions to their consumers, all without leaving the applicable customer’s Website.

Website Design and Development

Synacor creates, designs and develops branded Websites for the customers. The Company’s Websites is designed to be the online destination for the customers’ consumers and aggregate an array of resources, including free-to-subscriber content and service offerings, value added services, online content and search, all in one location.

Unified Registration and Login (Single Sign-On)

Synacor’s platform gives subscribers access to all of the services and paid content, including subscription television programming the consumer have the right to consume, using a single user ID and password, which are the same credentials that they use for e-mail. Single sign-on for subscribers is integrated with both its customers and the content and value added service p artners.

Billing Integration

Synacor’s platform allows the customers to integrate billing for services and paid content purchases with other services and products provided to their subscribers, including television and telephony service. A customer may collect transaction fees through credit card or on the subscriber’s service provider bill, and it may bill transactions each time the consumer occur or on a monthly basis using monthly summary totals. The Company’s system enables online bill review, providing subscribers with access to a detailed transaction account.

Personalization

Synacor’s platform enables the consumer to personalize his or her online experience through customization and localization. Consumers may add, delete, move, and otherwise customize the content displayed on its customers’ branded Websites, such as by setting preferred television stations in its television-at-a-glance module. Localization allows consumers to set a Website to a favorite zip code to ! gain acce! ss to radio stations, weather, movies, and events, all in the local area. The Company’s platform also allows consumers to comment on online articles and to create shortcuts to their favorite content using an online personal assistant on the personalized Website.

Video Delivery Capability

Synacor’s video delivery capability includes two primary components: a video player and a video discovery and delivery system. The video player contains video controls, such as play, pause, fast forward and rewind and full-screen viewing and can be configured to play within or on top of a page. The Company’s video discovery and delivery system is database-driven, supports multiple video hosting methods and enables transcoding from a number of video formats to formats that are playable on a variety of devices. The system contains a number of access control mechanisms, including the ability to restrict access based on Internet protocol (IP) address location, cons umer type or household management settings. The system also permits consumers to search videos and browse by channel, genre or content type.

Content Management System

Synacor’s content management system enables the customers and it to create customizable online experiences containing content from various sources. Content is distributed through Web services in an architecture that is portable to multiple devices and platforms. The Company’s system is comprised of administrative interfaces, a scalable content storage system and a system to distribute content to the platform. The interface is easy to use and displays a preview of page or component designs prior to approval and publishing. Its system can also automatically publish content from outside sources or assign publishing rights, by site section, to outside vendors.

Household Management

Synacor’s household management system puts parents in control of the content their children are allowed to purchase or consume through i! ts platfo! rm. This system allows the head of household to specify the range of products the consumer’s child accounts may access and utilize and to establish preset spending limits for content purchases, such as music.

Toolbar and Television Listings

Synacor offers its customers the ability to create branded toolbars that can be personalized by their consumers. The toolbar can be updated automatically as new features become available and may be configured with search, weather, television and movie listings, as well as services and paid content packages, enabling consumers to access their favorite features on the platform even when they leave the customers’ Websites. The toolbars can also integrate internal services, such as instant messaging, customer support and e-mail. The Company’s platform provides television listings and corresponding television channels, which enables consumers to search and browse local television programming.

The Co mpany competes with Yahoo! Inc., Google, AOL LLC, Microsoft Corporation, Netflix, Inc., Hulu, LLC and Amazon.com Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another under-$10 stock that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Synacor (SYNC), a provider of startpages, TV Everywhere solutions, Identity Management services and various cloud-based services across multiple devices for cable, satellite, telecom and consumer electronics companies. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2013, with shares off by 39%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Synacor, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $2.85 to $2.96 a share. Following that bottom, shares of SYNC have started to surge higher and move back above its 50-day moving average at $3.27 a share. That move is quickly pushing SYNC within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in SYNC if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.43 to $3.56 a share and then once it takes out more resistance at $4 to $4.17 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 388,369 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SYNC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6 to $6.50 a share.

    Traders can look to buy SYNC off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $2.96 to $2.85 a share. One can also buy SYNC off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now: Syneron Medical Ltd. (ELOS)

Syneron Medical Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the research, manufacture, development, marketing, and sale of aesthetic medical products worldwide. The company develops products based on its proprietary Electro-Optical Synergy (ELOS) technology, which uses the synergy between electrical energy and optical energy to provide aesthetic medical treatments. Its products target a range of non-invasive aesthetic medical procedures, including hair removal, wrinkle reduction, rejuvenation of the skin’s appearance through the treatment of superficial benign vascular and pigmented lesions, acne treatment, treatment of leg veins, treatment for the temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite and thigh circumference, ablation and resurfacing of the skin, laser-assisted lipolysis, and topical skin brightening products. It also develops, manufactures, and markets non-invasive technologies for fat cell destruction and body sculpting; and Viador system, a handheld device with a radiofrequency-needle array for use in transdermal delivery of biologic drug-products via a system-specific skin patch. The company sells its products to dermatologists, plastic and cosmetic surgeons, other qualified practitioners, and aestheticians and medical spas through direct sales force and distributors; and to home-use consumers directly, as well as through retailers and a chain of distributors. Syneron Medical Ltd. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Yokneam Illit, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Syneron Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS  ) has put a familiar person on its CEO throne. The company named Shimon Eckhouse as its new chief executive, effective immediately. He succeeds Louis Scafuri, who will “remain available” to the firm through the current quarter to aid in the transition.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Syneron Medical (Nasdaq: ELOS  ) reported earnings on May 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Syneron Medical met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now: Intrexon Corp (XON)

Intrexon Corporation, incorporated on April 19, 2004, is engaged in the business of synthetic biology. Using the Company’s suite of complementary technologies, it design, build and regulate gene programs, or sequences of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that control cellular function, and cellular systems, or activities that take place within a cell and the interaction of those systems in the greater cellular environment, to enable the development of new and improved products and manufacturing processes across a variety of end markets, including healthcare, food, energy and environmental sciences. Its technologies include the UltraVector gene design and fabrication platform; Cell Systems Informatics; LEAP-cell identification and selection, and mAbLogix-antibody discovery.

The Company’s LEAP technology facilitates the automated identification of an individual cell with the highest levels of expression, quality and potency from a population of over 100,000 cells. Its mAbLogix platform complements UltraVector with a library of human antibodies that exceeds 500 million. By immortalizing human tonsils, which consists of lymphatic tissue containing B-cells, its mAbLogix platform creates a B-cell library that can generate antibodies against an almost infinite number of new antigens.

The UltraVector gene design and fabrication platform

The Company’s gene program design platform, which it refer to as UltraVector, is an integrated suite of tools comprising advanced DNA construction technology and components, cellular and protein engineering tools, computational models and statistical methods which facilitate the rapid design, build and testing of complex systems. The UltraVector platform allows the Company to translate gene programs into standard components that can be designed, manufactured and tested in an automated format. This technology enables it to engineer at the cellular level from biological sources.

UltraVector DNA design is computer-automated and ! utilizes a set of defined construction rules to assemble components that are stored in its DNA library. In addition to the number of gene components in its UltraVector library, it is designing and creating enzymatic and regulatory components that provide control over genome integration and gene regulation. Its RheoSwitch Therapeutic System is a three-component transcriptional regulator that provides inducible gene expression. The RheoSwitch Therapeutic System provides the ability to not only express proteins/enzymes of interest, but also the ability to control the level and timing of expression to achieve a biological outcome. Other ongoing programs include its Attsite recombinases, which mediate predictable gene exchange into host cells thereby eliminating many of the difficulties seen with traditional gene insertion.

Cell Systems Informatics

The Company’s Cell systems informatics permits design, as well as testing and learning about new gene tar gets or product pathways. Its bioinformatics software and database systems for mapping cellular pathways when combined with its genome-scale modeling and experimental data, including, gene expression profiling and protein engineering, enable the Company to optimize selection and development of gene programs and cellular systems for its collaborators. Its computational modeling and simulation platform enables the development of predictive computer models of organisms, from microbes to humans. This platform builds virtual cells from their basic molecular components, and can simulate the activity of the cell’s complete reaction network.

The Company is designing proteins with post-translational modifications. It is also working to develop enzyme inhibitors and fusion proteins for a variety of applications in human and animal therapeutics. Its protein engineering may utilize one or more of its technologies to obtain catalysis activitiesits component library, the g eneration of component variants sequence, evolutionary analy! sis and s! tructure-based sequence alignment, computer-aided drug discovery, de novo, or synthesized or generated, and comparative protein modeling, molecular dynamics simulation and free energy analysis, antibody design and humanization, antigenicity prediction, protein pharmacokinetics optimization, and/or in silico support of enzyme engineeringand quantitative structure-function relationships with machine learning algorithms to optimize, facilitate and prioritize protein variant libraries for the advancement of its collaborators.

LEAP-cell identification and selection

The Company’s Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing technology (LEAP), is an instrument that merges semiconductor manufacturing technologies for cell processing applications to provide high levels of control and scale to cell purification and stem cell culture management. The LEAP platform can identify and purify cells of interest from large libraries of cells created by its UltraVector and bioinformatics technologies using a laser-based purification process, thereby providing a mechanism of testing the degree of protein expression in genetically modified cells, as well as means to learn from the genetic building process.

mAbLogix- antibody discovery

The Company’s mAbLogix antibody discovery platform, or mAbLogix platform, enables production of B-cell libraries for discovery of antibodies. The mAbLogix platform permits antigen targeting using fully human monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Its mAbLogix antibody discovery process consists of two major activities: the build of human B-cell libraries expressing a large number of antibodies, and the testing of these libraries based on an analysis of B-cells that express antibodies in response to a chosen antigen.

The Company competes with AbD SeroTec, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., XOMA Corporation, Genmab US, Inc., MorphoSys AG, NovImmune SA, Societe Des Systemes Biologiq ues, Adimab, LLC, ProMab Biotechnologies, Inc., Abpro, Inc.,! AIIM The! rapeutics and Open Monoclonal Technology, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Bubble talk, biotech IPO setbacks plus news about small cap biotechs like Intrexon Corp (NYSE: XON) and TNI BioTech (OTCMKTS: TNIB) have dominated biotech news this week or in recent weeks. Just consider the following news:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON) was started as Buy at Mizuho Securities, started as Equal Weight at Barclays and started as Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

    Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank, raised to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse and
    Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $5.50 from $3.30.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Overvalued companies include MWI Veterinary (MWIV) and Stericycle (SRCL), while companies with attractive valuations include Cardinal Health (CAH), Selected Medical (SEM). He’s not a fan of Intrexon (XON) but calls Aratana (PETX) a “hidden gem.”

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now: PDC Energy Inc (PDCE)

PDC Energy, Inc. (PDC), incorporated on March 25, 1955, doing business as PDC Energy, is a domestic independent exploration and production company, which acquires, develops, explores, and produces natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and crude oil. Its Western Operating Region is focused on development in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado, particularly in the liquid-rich horizontal Niobrara play and on the ongoing development of refractures and recompletions of its Wattenberg wells. In its Eastern Operating Region, it is focused on development activity in the liquid-rich portion of the Utica Shale play in Ohio. The Company owns an interest in approximately 7,200 gross producing wells and maintained an average production rate of 135.6 One million cubic feet of natural gas volume (MMcfe) per day for the year ended December 31, 2012, which was comprised of 65.3% natural gas, 10.2% NGLs and 24.5% crude oil. It divides its operating activities into two segments: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, and Gas Marketing. It divides its Western Operating Region into two areas: the Wattenberg Field and Piceance Basin. On February 28, 2012, the Company divested its Permian Basin assets. In May 2012, it announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire Core Wattenberg assets that contain liquid-rich horizontal drilling opportunities. The effective date of the transaction is April 1, 2012. The assets are located in the Core Wattenberg Field of Weld and Adams Counties, Colorado and are approximately 94%-operated. The acquired assets include an estimated 35,000 net acres prospective for horizontal development of the Niobrara and Codell formations. In July 2012, the Company acquired core Wattenberg assets. In September 2012, Miller Energy Resources, Inc. acquired its Tennessee assets. On June 18, 2013, PDC Energy Inc announced that it has sold its non-core Colorado natural gas assets.

Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Prod! uction segment reflects revenues and expenses from the production and sale of natural gas, NGLs and crude oil. It sells its natural gas to marketers, utilities, industrial end-users and other wholesale purchasers. It sells natural gas, which it produces under contracts with indexed or New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) monthly pricing provisions with the remaining production sold under contracts with daily pricing provisions. Its contracts include provisions wherein prices change monthly with changes in the market, for which adjustments may be made based on whether a well delivers to a gathering or transmission line, quality of natural gas and prevailing supply and demand conditions. It does not refine any of its crude oil production. It sells its crude oil to oil marketers and refiners. Its crude oil production is sold to purchasers at or near its wells under both short and long-term purchase contracts with monthly pricing provisions based on an average daily price. Its N GLs are sold to one NGL marketer in the Wattenberg Field. Its NGL production is sold under both short and long-term purchase contracts with monthly pricing provisions based on an average daily price.

The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment also reflects revenues and expenses related to well operations and pipeline services. It is paid a monthly operating fee for the portion of each well it operates that is owned by others, including its affiliated partnerships. It constructs, owns and operates gathering systems in its areas of operations. Its natural gas and NGLs are transported through its own and third party gathering systems and pipelines. It enters into firm transportation agreements to provide for pipeline capacity to flow and sell a portion PDC Energy, Inc. (PDC), incorporated on March 25, 1955, doing business as PDC Energy, is a domestic independent exploration and production company, which acquires, develops, explores, and produces natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and crude oil. Its! Western ! Operating Region is focused on development in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado, particularly in the liquid-rich horizontal Niobrara play and on the ongoing development of refractures and recompletions of its Wattenberg wells. In its Eastern Operating Region, it is focused on development activity in the liquid-rich portion of the Utica Shale play in Ohio. The Company owns an interest in approximately 7,200 gross producing wells and maintained an average production rate of 135.6 One million cubic feet of natural gas volume (MMcfe) per day for the year ended December 31, 2012, which was comprised of 65.3% natural gas, 10.2% NGLs and 24.5% crude oil. It divides its operating activities into two segments: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, and Gas Marketing. It divides its Western Operating Region into two areas: the Wattenberg Field and Piceance Basin. On February 28, 2012, the Company divested its Permian Basin assets. In May 2012, it announced that it has executed a defin itive agreement to acquire Core Wattenberg assets that contain liquid-rich horizontal drilling opportunities. The effective date of the transaction is April 1, 2012. The assets are located in the Core Wattenberg Field of Weld and Adams Counties, Colorado and are approximately 94%-operated. The acquired assets include an estimated 35,000 net acres prospective for horizontal development of the Niobrara and Codell formations. In July 2012, the Company acquired core Wattenberg assets. In September 2012, Miller Energy Resources, Inc. acquired its Tennessee assets.

Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment reflects revenues and expenses from the production and sale of natural gas, NGLs and crude oil. It sells its natural gas to marketers, utilities, industrial end-users and other wholesale purchasers. It sells natural gas, which it produces under contracts with indexed or New York Mercantile Exch ange (NYMEX) monthly pricing provisions with the remaining p! roduction! sold under contracts with daily pricing provisions. Its contracts include provisions wherein prices change monthly with changes in the market, for which adjustments may be made based on whether a well delivers to a gathering or transmission line, quality of natural gas and prevailing supply and demand conditions. It does not refine any of its crude oil production. It sells its crude oil to oil marketers and refiners. Its crude oil production is sold to purchasers at or near its wells under both short and long-term purchase contracts with monthly pricing provisions based on an average daily price. Its NGLs are sold to one NGL marketer in the Wattenberg Field. Its NGL production is sold under both short and long-term purchase contracts with monthly pricing provisions based on an average daily price.

The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment also reflects revenues and expenses related to well operations and pipeline services. It is paid a mont hly operating fee for the portion of each well it operates that is owned by others, including its affiliated partnerships. It constructs, owns and operates gathering systems in its areas of operations. Its natural gas and NGLs are transported through its own and third party gathering systems and pipelines. It enters into firm transportation agreements to provide for pipeline capacity to flow and sell a portion

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    PDC Energy (Nasdaq: PDCE  ) reported earnings on May 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), PDC Energy whiffed on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

5 Best Prefered Stocks To Own Right Now: Volterra Semiconductor Corporation(VLTR)

Volterra Semiconductor Corporation engages in the design, development, and marketing of analog and mixed-signal power management semiconductors for computing, storage, networking, and consumer markets. The company?s products include integrated voltage regulator semiconductors, integrated power protection and distribution semiconductors, and scalable voltage regulator semiconductor chipsets that transform, regulate, deliver, and monitor the power consumed by digital semiconductors. Its analog and mixed signal power management semiconductor products are primarily used in applications that require voltage regulating performance, such as data networking equipment, desktop and notebook computers, digital televisions, digital video recorders, game consoles, enterprise storage equipment, graphics cards, hard disk drives, printers, raid cards, servers, telecommunications equipment, base stations, and workstations. The company sells its products primarily to original equipment man ufacturers, original design manufacturers, contract equipment manufacturers, and merchant power supply manufacturers directly through its internal sales force, as well as indirectly through distributors and outsourced suppliers. It has operations in the United States, China, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany. Volterra Semiconductor Corporation was founded in 1996 and is based in Fremont, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Volterra Semiconductor Corp. (1.2%) (VLTR – $23.00 – NASDAQ)(VLTR) is a California based designer of power management semiconductors for the computing, storage and networking sector. On August 15, 2013, the company received a $23.00 cash tender offer from nearby competitor Maxim Integrated Products Inc., a producer of integrated circuits for various industrial applications with greater scale and presence in the industry. The tender, which commenced on August 30, is expected to close on October 1 of this year. October 4, 2013.

  • [By Sally Jones]

    Volterra Semiconductor Corp. (VLTR)

    Up 30% over 12 months, Volterra Semiconductor Corp. has a market cap of $575.49 million; shares trade with a P/E of 41.20.