5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) reported first-quarter earnings last month. Here’s what you need to know about the results, and why it led to a pop in PepsiCo’s stock price.

Exceeding expectations
PepsiCo’s first-quarter 2013 organic net revenues grew 4.4%, balanced between volume and pricing growth. The beverage and snack-food giant’s better-than-expected reported earnings came in at $0.69 per share. Shares were up roughly 6% in the few days following the announcement. PepsiCo stock currently trades close to its all-time high.

Sales growth
PepsiCo and rival Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) are both boldly pushing growth in emerging markets, with both gunning to gain market share for their namesake colas. In PepsiCo’s important AMEA (Asia, Middle East, and Africa) operating segment, first-quarter organic revenue grew 15%, led by growth in both snacks and beverages. However, reported net revenue was down 14%, mostly due to refranchising of bottling operations in China. Within this segment, Turkey performed well, with 8% organic revenue growth.

5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014: Annaly Capital Management Inc (NLY)

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (Annaly), incorporated on November 25, 1996, owns, manage, and finance a portfolio of real estate related investments, including mortgage pass-through certificates, collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), Agency callable debentures, and other securities representing interests in or obligations backed by pools of mortgage loans. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries offer diversified real estate, asset management and other financial services. The Company’s subsidiary, RCap Securities, Inc. (RCap), operates as a broker-dealer. In August 2012, the Company liquidated FIDAC FSI LLC. In December 2012, the Company sold FIDAC Europe Limited.

The Company’s subsidiary Fixed Income Discount Advisory Company (FIDAC) is an investment advisor registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), is a fixed-income investment management company specializing in managing fixed income investments in residential mortgage-backed securi ties, commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations for various investment vehicles and separate accounts. FIDAC is engaged in managing and structuring debt financing associated with various asset classes and as a liquidation agent of collateralized debt obligations. As of December 31, 2012, FIDAC was the adviser or sub-adviser for real estate investment trust (REITs )and other investment vehicles. Merganser Capital Management, Inc. (Merganser) is an investment advisor, registered with the SEC, engaged in a range of fixed income strategies and focuses on managing each portfolio based on each client’s specific investment principles. Merganser serves a group of clients in a range of disciplines globally, including pension, public, operating, Taft-Hartley and endowment funds, as well contribution plans. RCap Securities, Inc. (RCap) operates as a broker-dealer and is a member in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Throu gh the Company’s subsidiary Shannon Funding LLC (Shannon),! it provides warehouse financing to residential mortgage originators in the United States. It also owns an additional subsidiary, which owns trading securities. Under the Company’s investment policy, at least 75% of its total assets consisted of mortgage-backed securities and short-term investments. The remainder of its assets, consisting not more than 25% of its total assets, may consist of other qualified REIT real estate assets. As of December 31, 2012, all of the mortgage-backed securities, which it has acquired, have been backed by single-family residential mortgage loans. The Company also invests in Agency debentures, which consist of debentures issued by the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING]

    But, on its own I still really like this pick. It’s Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NYSE: NLY).

    I like this mortgage REIT for several reasons. First and foremost it’s been hit hard as interest rates have risen. It’s a “bottom-feeding” play for us. Meaning it’s trading down at its 52-week lows and we’re playing it for a bounce.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    As Spain recovers from its worst crisis in decades, TEF stock should enjoy a nice rally. I expect total returns of over 100% in the next 12-24 months.

    Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Annaly Capital Management (NLY)

    NLY Dividend Yield: 11.9%

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Monmouth Real Estate Investment (NYSE: MNR  ) will release its quarterly report on Thursday, and investors have been nervous lately about the real estate investment trust’s prospects in a rising interest rate environment. Yet what sets Monmouth apart from both leveraged mortgage REIT Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY  ) and traditional industrial REITs is the fact that Monmouth gets about half of its rental revenue from a single customer, FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) . Does that add an unacceptable level of risk to the investment, or is it actually a positive for Monmouth?

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Annaly Capital (NLY) is one of the leaders in the mortgage REIT sector, and the stock has not been spared the pummeling seen in this group. So far in 2013 the shares have fallen by more than 25% … but insiders seem to think that better times are ahead.

5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014: Vanguard Idx Fund (VTI)

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (the Fund), formerly known as Vanguard Total Stock Market VIPERs, seeks to track the performance of an index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund seeks to track the performance of Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Broad Market Index (the Index), which includes large, mid and small-cap equity stocks diversified across growth and value styles.

The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach in seeking to track the Index. The Index represents 99.5% or more of the capitalization of the United States common stocks regularly traded on the New York and American Stock Exchanges, and the NASDAQ over-the-counter market. The Fund invests all, or substantially all, of its assets in a representative sample of the stocks that make up the Index.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James K. Glassman]

    A manageable portfolio holds between 20 and 30 stocks. As long as they are roughly balanced by sector and weighted fairly equally, that number is enough to reduce systematic risk significantly. If you want to eliminate that risk, you can simply buy an exchange-traded fund such as Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), which at last report held 3,657 stocks. But if you want to beat the market, you’ll need to accept some risk, and the smartest way to do that is by slimming down your portfolio.

  • [By Mark Hulbert]

    Even if you get smarter at selling, though, you can’t overcome a bad buying decision. As Odean points out, there is no evidence the average individual can pick stocks that outperform the market. That is why he recommends investing in a broad-based index fund. One of the very cheapest and most diversified is the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)  , with an expense ratio of 0.05%, or $5 per $10,000 invested.

  • [By Chris Ciovacco]

    The damage from Wednesday’s session did little to disturb the market’s longer-term risk tolerance profile, which is easy to understand when you consider the S&P 500 is still up 3 points for the week. However, we have seen some emerging cracks over the past two weeks. Demand for bonds has not surpassed stocks, but there is evidence of an attempt to mount a more formidable charge relative to stocks. Recent interest in defensive consumer staples (XLP) also tells us to keep an open mind about a "give back" after the S&P 500 gained 129 points from the October 9 low to the recent high. The observable evidence in the table above aligns with a growth-oriented allocation, including exposure to broad U.S. stock market (VTI), emerging markets (EEM), foreign stocks (EFA), and technology (QQQ).

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    With ETFs, on the other hand, your broker will charge you a standard commission every time you buy or sell shares. Some brokers waive their commissions for certain ETFs, making them a lot more economical to use, especially if you make frequent transactions. ETFs also have ongoing annual management fees that can vary greatly. For instance, the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEMKT: VTI  ) charges just 0.05% in annual fees, while some other ETFs charge 1% or more per year.

5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014: Midnight Sun Mining Corp (MMA)

Midnight Sun Mining Corp., formerly Midnight Sun Capital Corp., is an exploration-stage company engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral property interests in Canada. On May 12, 2010, the Company completed its Qualifying Transaction and entered into a mineral property option agreement with ATAC Resources Ltd. Under the agreement it agreed to acquire a 100% interest in the Arn mineral properties located in the Whitehorse Mining District, Yukon Territory. The Company announced that it has entered into an agreement dated July 28, 2011, with Logwood Investments Inc., a Namibian company (the Optionor), whereby the Company had acquired the option to earn a 60% interest in certain mineral properties in Namibia. The Klein Aub Copper-Silver Property in Namibia includes the seven optioned properties comprising 3,750 square kilometers of Exclusive Prospecting Licences in Namibia. The northern group of three properties are located 90 kilometers south of the capital city of W indhoek. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 CINF is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 36.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $34.96. CINF 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% CINF 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 1954 and has increased its dividend payments for 54 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. 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 $62 is below the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as CINF has. If CINF grows its dividend at 1.2% per year, it will take 5 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%. Memberships and Peers: CINF is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Divid

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    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 T is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. Since T’s tangible book value is not meaningful, a Graham number can not be calculated. The stock is trading at a 11.6% premium to its calculated fair value of $28.64. T 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% T earned one Star in this section for 3.) above and earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1984 and has increased its dividend payments for 31 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. 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 T earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $1,161. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as T has. The stock’s current yield of 5.76% exceeds the 3.68% estimated 20-year average MMA rate. Memberships and Peers: T is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: CenturyLink, I

5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014: Constellation Energy Partners LLC (CEP)

Constellation Energy Partners LLC (CEP) is engaged on the acquisition, development and production of onshore oils and natural gas properties in the United States. All of the Company’s proved reserves are located in the Black Warrior Basin in Alabama, the Cherokee Basin in Kansas and Oklahoma, the Woodford Shale in the Arkoma Basin in Oklahoma and the Central Kansas Uplift in Kansas and Nebraska. The Company operates its oil and natural gases properties as one business segment: the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s total estimated proved reserves were approximately 201.3 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), approximately 76% of which were classified as proved developed, and 97% of which are natural gas and 3% of which are oil. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was the operator of approximately 88% of the 2,785 net wells in which the Company owned an interest. In March 2013, it announced sale of its Robinson’s Bend Field assets, located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

Black Warrior Basin

The Black Warrior Basin is a coalbed methane basins in the country. The multi-seam vertical wells in the basin range from 500 to 3,700 feet deep, with coal seams averaging a total of 25 to 30 feet of net pay per well. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a 100% working interest (an approximate 75% average net revenue interest) in its wells in the Black Warrior Basin, where the Company had 507 producing natural gas wells. The Black Warrior Basin is located in western Tuscaloosa County and Pickens County, Alabama, and encompasses a surface area of approximately 109 square miles. The field has been developed on 80-acre spacing. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was developing its properties in the field on both 40- and 80-acre spacing. The field has seven compressor stations with 800-1,200 horsepower compressors, approximately 170 miles of gas gathering lines (wells to header) and approximately 25 miles of trans! portation lines (header to compressor). In addition, there are approximately 152 miles of water gathering pipes and 28 miles of water transportation pipes. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s estimated proved reserves in the Black Warrior Basin were approximately 84.9 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 88% of which were classified as proved developed, and all of which are natural gas.

Cherokee Basin

The Cherokee Basin is located in the Mid-Continent region in southern Kansas, northern Oklahoma, and western Missouri. It covers approximately 26,500 square miles. The production is natural gas produced from coals and shales. There are multiple producing coal zones in the Cherokee Basin, including the Rowe, Riverton, Weir-Pitt, and Dawson zones. In addition, there are other productive shale zones, as well as conventional sandstone and limestone potential, which can add natural gas and oil production. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned approximately 2,261 net producing wells in the Cherokee Basin. The Company operates in excess of 20 booster compressors and stations to gets its natural gas to sales points owned by ONEOK Gas Transportation, L.L.C., Scissortail Energy, LLC, Enogex Gas Gathering & Processing, LLC, Enogex Inc., and Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. The Company operates a substantial portion of its production in the Cherokee Basin. The Company also own a 50% working interest in wells operated by Bullseye Operating, L.L.C. (Bullseye) and a 50% interest in Bullseye itself. Bullseye operates approximately 500 gross wells in Washington and Nowata Counties in Oklahoma and sells its production through the Cotton Valley producers cooperative, Cotton Valley Compression, L.L.C. The Company’s gross working interest in its Cherokee Basin properties is approximately 80%, with its average gross working interest in its operated properties being approximately 100% and its average gross working in terest in its non-operated Cherokee Basin properties being a! pproximat! ely 50%. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s estimated proved reserves in the Cherokee Basin were approximately 110.7 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 66% of which were classified as proved developed, and 95% of which were natural gas and 5% of which were oil.

Woodford Shale

The Woodford Shale is located in the Arkoma Basin in southern Oklahoma. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned 82 well bores, or approximately 9 net producing wells, located in Coal and Hughes counties. This area is gas-rich and is characterized by multiple productive zones. The production of natural gas in the Woodford Shale comes from shale rock that has been stimulated through fracturing jobs after a horizontal well has been drilled. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s 82 wells had an average gross working interest of 11.3% and an average net revenue interest of 9.1%. Approximately 90% of the wells are operated by affiliates of Devon Energy Corporat ion (Devon) and Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent, Inc. (Newfield), with the remaining wells operated by three additional companies. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s estimated proved reserves in the Woodford Shale were approximately 5.2 billions of cubic feet equivalent.

Central Kansas Uplift

The Central Kansas Uplift is an oil prone region located in Kansas and southern Nebraska. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a gross acreage position of 4,345 acres, or approximately 1,050 net acres and the Company owned 39 gross wells, or approximately 8 net producing wells. Murfin Drilling Company, Inc., an oil producer in Kansas, operates all of the Company’s wells in this region. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the average gross working interest in the wells is approximately 21% and the average net revenue interest is approximately 17%. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s proved reserves in the Central Kansas Uplift were approximat ely 0.5 billions of cubic feet equivalent, approximately 88%! of which! were classified as proved developed and all of which were oil.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    The bulk of these awards came in the form of a single multiple-award, task-order contract to be shared among several energy companies:

    Constellation Energy Partners LLC’s (NYSEMKT: CEP  ) Constellation NewEnergy subsidiary Privately held ECC Renewables LLC Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Italy’s Enel SpA LTC Federal LLC Siemens’ (NYSE: SI  ) Government Technologies unit

    These five firms are now authorized to bid for individual task orders under an umbrella contract for the procurement of renewable and alternative energy from facilities that are designed, financed, constructed, operated and maintained by private companies on private land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. The ceiling value on this contract is $7 billion, thus accounting for 84% of the value of all Pentagon contracts awarded yesterday.

5 Best Railroad Stocks To Buy For 2014: Heidrick & Struggles International Inc (HSII)

Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (Heidrick & Struggles) is an advisory firm providing executive search and leadership consulting services. As of December 31, 2011, the Company provided its services to a range of clients through the expertise of 347 consultants located in various cities around the world. The Company’s service offerings include executive search, leadership consulting and client base. The Company helps its clients build leadership teams by facilitating the recruitment, management and deployment of senior executives. In addition to executive search, it provides a range of leadership consulting services to clients. These services include succession planning, executive assessment, talent retention management, executive development, transition consulting for newly appointed executives, and mergers and acquisitions human capital integration consulting. In November 2013, Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc announced the acquisition of Scambler MacGreg or.

The Company’s clients includes clients include Fortune 1000 companies, non-United States companies, middle market and emerging growth companies, governmental, higher education and not-for-profit organizations and other private and public entities. Heidrick & Struggles provides senior-level executive search and leadership consulting services to its clients worldwide through a network of more than 69 offices in 40 countries. The locations are staffed with consultants, research associates, administrative assistants and other support staff. Administrative functions are centralized where possible, although certain support and research functions are situated regionally because of variations in local requirements.

The Company’s worldwide network includes affiliate relationships in Finland, South Africa, Turkey and Portugal. It has no financial investment in these affiliates but receive licensing fees from them for the use of its name and its databa ses. Licensing fees are less than 1% of its net revenue. As ! of December 31, 2011, the Company had 160 consultants in its Americas segment, which included New York, Chicago and Atlanta. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 104 consultants in its European segment, which included the United Kingdom, Germany and France. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 83 consultants in itsAsia Pacific segment, which included China (including Hong Kong), Australia and Singapore. The Company’s executive search business operates in six broad industry groups: Financial Services, Industrial, Consumer Markets, Global Technology and Services, Life Sciences, and Education and Social Enterprise.

Its executive search consultants also specialize in searches for specific C-level functional positions, which are roles that generally report directly to the chief executive officer. These include chief financial officers, chief information officers, chief legal officers, chief marketing officers and chief human resources officers. The Company ’s Global Functional Practices include Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors; Chief Human Resources Officers; Financial Officers; Information Officers; Interim Executives; Legal, Risk, Compliance & Government Affairs; Marketing, Sales & Strategy Officers; Multicultural & Digital Marketing; Sales Officers; Research & Development; and Supply Chain & Transportation.

The Company competes with Egon Zehnder International, Korn/Ferry International, Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc. and Spencer Stuart & Associates.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ: HSII  ) needs a new CEO.

    For weeks, rumors have swirled that Heidrick was on the block for possible sale to a new owner. Those rumors were squashed Monday, however, when the executive-search firm simultaneously announced that (a) it has decided to pursue a “stand-alone strategy,” and (b) that Chief Executive Officer L. Kevin Kelly is leaving the company. (The company also had some good news — revenues for the fiscal second quarter look to be close to the high point of its previously announced $110 million-to-$120 million range)

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    And if you thought this crack team would look only at internal promotion candidates, headhunter firm Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ: HSII  ) is there to vet the field of outsider candidates. It’s a high-profile contract for Heidrick, but the stock fell 0.7% today anyhow. The lack of popping champagne corks in the company’s Chicago headquarters is an indication of just how tough this recruitment drive will be.