5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015

This is the Jan. 27 Forbes Dividend Investor hotline:

After more than a year of rip-roaring stock market performance, dividend-paying stocks trading at bargain valuations are getting harder to find. Still, there are still some gems to be found with appropriate scouring the market.

Today’s recommendation is one of the largest food companies in North America. Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods (CAG) is the company behind some of the most well-known consumer food brands, including Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Van Camp’s and Wesson. Its Ralcorp division is a big player in private labeled and frozen foods.

Chef BOYARDEE MINI Ravioli (Credit: inazakira)

For the current fiscal year that ends in May, revenue is forecast to increase 14.1% to $17.67 billion. Earnings are expected to grow 8.3% to $2.34 per share, giving ConAgra shares a less-than-market price-earnings ratio of 14.1.

5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015: Johnson Controls Inc.(JCI)

Johnson Controls, Inc. engages in building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions businesses worldwide. Its building efficiency business designs, produces, markets, and installs integrated heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, as well as building management systems, controls, and security and mechanical equipment. This business also provides technical services, energy management consulting, and operations of real estate portfolios for the non-residential buildings market. In addition, this business offers residential air conditioning and heating systems, and industrial refrigeration products. The company?s automotive experience business designs and manufactures interior products and systems for passenger cars and light trucks, including vans, pick-up trucks, and sport/crossover utility vehicles. It offers seating systems and components; cockpit systems comprising instrument panels and clusters, information displays, and body controllers; overh ead systems, such as headliners and electronic convenience features; floor consoles; and door systems. This business also produces automotive interior systems for original equipment manufacturers. Its power solutions business produces lead-acid automotive batteries serving automotive original equipment manufacturers and the general vehicle battery aftermarket. This business produces lead-acid batteries, as well as offers absorbent glass mat and lithium-ion battery technologies to power hybrid vehicles. The company was formerly known as Johnson Electric Service Company and changed its name to Johnson Controls, Inc. in 1974. Johnson Controls, Inc. was founded in 1885 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI  ) employs 25,000 people in China, and it was recently one of only 36 companies to be voted a “Top Employer” by the Corporate Research Foundation. Obscure awards aside, the company has a big-time opportunity in China and investors stand to benefit handsomely. 

  • [By Louis Navellier]

    Johnson Controls (JCI) has been in the spotlight lately, having just released its sales and earnings guidance for 2014. While the outlook came below analyst expectations, there have been a lot of positive things said about the auto parts maker. Is it time to buy JCI? Find out now.

5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015: National Grid PLC (NGG)

National Grid Plc, incorporated on July 11, 2000, is an international electricity and gas company. The Company’s segments include UK Transmission, UK Gas Distribution, US Regulated and Other activities. The Company owns the electricity transmission system in England and Wales and is the national electricity transmission system operator, responsible for both the England and Wales transmission system, and the two high voltage transmission networks in Scotland, which the Company does not own. The Company owns and operates electricity distribution networks in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Through these networks the Company serves approximately 3.5 million electricity consumers in New England and upstate New York. It also has a number of related businesses, such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importation and storage, land remediation and metering. On July 3, 2012, the Company sold its New Hampshire electric and gas distribution businesses (G ranite State Electric Company and Energy North Natural Gas Inc.) to Liberty Energy Utilities (New Hampshire) Corp., a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

UK Transmission

The Company is the system operator for the new offshore electricity transmission regime. It owns and operates the gas national transmission system in Great Britain. The Company owns and operates the United Kingdom assets, and a portion of the subsea cables, that comprise the electricity interconnector between England and France as part of a joint arrangement with the French transmission operator.

UK Gas Distribution

The Company owns and operates four of the eight regional gas distribution networks in Great Britain. Its networks comprise approximately 132,000 kilometers (82,000 miles) of gas distribution pipeline, and it transports gas from the gas national transmission system to around 10.8 million consumers on behalf of 26 active gas shippers . Gas consumption in the Company’s United Kingdom networks! was 259 terawatt hours during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 (fiscal 2012). The Company manages the national gas emergency number (0800 111 999). This service, along with the enquiries lines, appliance repair helpline and meter enquiry service, handled 2,498,804 calls during fiscal 2012.

US Regulated

The Company maintains and operates the electricity transmission and distribution system on Long Island owned by the Long Island Power Authority. The LIPA service territory covers approximately 3,185 square kilometers (1,230 square miles). The Company owns 57 electricity generation units on Long Island that together provide 4.1 gigawatt of power under contract to LIPA. The Company’s plants consist of oil and gas fired steam turbine, gas turbine and diesel driven generating units ranging from 2 megawatts to 385 megawatts. Its United States gas distribution networks provide services to around 3.5 million consumers across the northeastern United S tates, located in service territories in upstate New York, New York City, Long Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The Company added 35,000 new gas heating customers in these areas in fiscal 2012.

Other activities

National Grid Grain LNG Limited is one of three LNG importation facilities in the United Kingdom. It operates under long-term contracts with customers and provides importation services, storage and send out capacity on to the national transmission system. BritNed Development Limited is a joint venture between National Grid and TenneT, the Dutch transmission system operator, to build and operate a 1,000 megawatts, 260 kilometer (162 mile) subsea electricity link between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. National Grid Metering provides installation and maintenance services to energy suppliers in the regulated market in Great Britain. It maintains an asset base of around 15 million domestic, industrial and commercial meters. During fiscal 2012, the Company completed the sale ! of OnStre! am, which provides installation and maintenance services in the unregulated market. National Grid Property is responsible for managing its occupied properties in the United Kingdom and for the management, clean up and disposal of surplus sites, most of which are former gasworks. Xoserve delivers transactional services on behalf of all the gas network transportation companies in Great Britain, including National Grid. Xoserve is jointly owned by National Grid, as majority shareholder, and the other gas distribution network companies. The Company’s United States non-regulated businesses include interests in LNG storage, LNG road transportation and transmission pipelines. During fiscal 2012, it completed the sale of Seneca-Upshur, its oil and gas exploration and production business in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    Enter National Grid PLC (NYSE: NGG). Created in the mid-1990s when the UK unbundled its vertically integrated utilities to create electric competition, National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission system in England and Wales and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns transmission lines in parts of Europe.

  • [By Reuters]

    Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesRichard Ketchum, chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Brokers who give retiring workers bad advice about what to do with their 401(k) plans should expect some headaches: U.S. securities regulators are taking a closer look at what happens when investors roll their workplace balances into private individual retirement accounts. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are reviewing firms’ practices for advising customers about so-called rollovers. The SEC said Thursday that the issue is one of its 2014 examination priorities, after Finra announced its own plans Jan. 2. Brokers should recommend a rollover only after thinking about several factors for the investor, such as low-cost funds available through some 401(k) plans and differences in fees between the two types of accounts, Finra said. Violations can lead to fines, suspensions or being thrown out of the industry. Finra’s announcement marked the second time in less than a week that the regulator sounded an alarm bell about retirement plan rollovers. It also published guidance to the industry on Dec. 30. The regulators’ concerns come as retirement plan rollover practices are being subjected to greater public scrutiny. Americans have roughly $21.7 trillion in retirement accounts, according to the Investment Company Institute. That covers all types of retirement accounts, including $5.6 trillion in employer-sponsored retirement plans, assets that could be lucrative for brokers who convince clients to invest them in securities through an IRA. A report last year by the U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded that the financial industry generally encourages employees to roll over their 401(k) assets into IRAs without determining whether the move is in an investor’s best interest. Brokers aren’t the only ones facing scrutiny on these issues. Most major financial companies manage 40

  • [By Steven Dotsch]

    Earlier in November, National Grid (NGG) confirmed that its first half-year dividend payout had been raised by 4 percent to $0.22 (14.49 pence) while also confirming that the payout for the year as a whole, will be increased by 4 percent as well.

  • [By Alan Oscroft]

    National Grid (LSE: NG  ) (NYSE: NGG  )
    National Grid shares powered up to a new 52-week high today of 792.5 pence. The price has been soaring of late, climbing 16% since the middle of February and about 23% over the past 12 months. That would be good even for a small-cap growth share, but National Grid is a 29 billion pound FTSE 100 behemoth that’s also one of the most reliable dividend payers in the market. For the year ending March 2012, the company provided a yield of 6.2% (based on the share price at the time), and for this year there’s a 5.3% yield expected.

5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015: Safeway Inc.(SWY)

Safeway Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. The company operates stores that provide an array of grocery items, food, and general merchandise, as well as features specialty departments, such as bakery, delicatessen, floral, and pharmacy, as well as coffee shops and fuel centers. It also offers SELECT line of products that include baked goods, sparkling ciders and lemonades, salsas, whole bean coffees, frozen pizzas and entrees, and fresh and dry pastas and sauces, as well as an array of ice creams, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts; O ORGANICS line, which comprises milk, chicken, salads, juices, and entrees; Lucerne line of dairy products; Eating Right line of better-for-you products; Bright Green line of home care products; Total Pet Care line of pet foods and pet care products; and Value Red line of value-priced paper goods. As of December 31, 2009, Safeway operated approximately 1,725 stores in California, Oregon, Wash ington, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan. In addition, the company owns and operates GroceryWorks.com Operating Company, LLC, an online grocery channel, doing business under the names Safeway.com, Vons.com, and Genuardis.com; and Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc., which provides third-party gift cards, prepaid cards, telecom cards, and sports and entertainment cards to North American retailers for sale to retail customers. Additionally, it engages in gift card businesses in the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, and Australia. Further, the company, through a 49% ownership interest in Casa Ley, S.A. de C.V. operates 156 food and general merchandise stores in Western Mexico. The company was formerly known as Safeway Stores, Incorporated and changed its name to Safeway Inc. in February 1990. Safeway was founded in 1915 and is based in Pleasanton, California. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    No, or at least not yet. The macro trends are durable and real; of this I have little doubt. But it comes back to the economics of the grocery business. Mainstream grocers have not sat idly while the Whole Foods and Trader Joes of the world have poached their customers. Safeway (SWY), Kroger (KR) and even Walmart have expanded their premium and organic offerings in recent years. And while premium grocers can charge more for their products, this ability has limits. Grocery shoppers tend to be a demanding and fickle lot.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Supermarket giants Albertsons and Safeway (SWY) made news last week by agreeing to merge, creating a combined company that will fall just shy of Kroger (KR) in terms of store count. Cerberus Capital, the private equity firm that owns Albertsons, has offered to pay $40 per share for Safeway.

5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015: Aeroflex Holding Corp (ARX)

Aeroflex Holding Corp. (Aeroflex Holding) is a provider of radio frequency (RF) and microwave integrated circuits, components and systems used in the design, development and maintenance of wireless communication systems. The Company’s solutions include microelectronic components and test and measurement equipment used by companies in the space, avionics and defense; commercial wireless communications, and medical and other markets. Its products include a range of RF, microwave and millimeter wave microelectronic components, integrated circuits (ICs), and analog and mixed-signal devices. It also manufactures a range of RF and microwave wireless radio and avionics test equipment and solutions particularly for the wireless, avionics and radio test markets. The Company operates in two segments: Aeroflex Microelectronics Solutions (AMS) and Aeroflex Test Solutions (ATS). In August 2010, it acquired Advanced Control Components. In September 2013, the Company announced the sale of its Aeroflex Test Equipment Services (ATES) business to Trescal Limited. In February 2014, Aeroflex Holding Corp announced the acquisition of Shenick Network Systems.

Aeroflex Microelectronic Solutions

AMS offers a range of microelectronics products and is a provider of specialty products for the space, avionics, defense, commercial wireless communications, medical and other markets. RadHard products are specifically designed to tolerate high radiation level environments, which otherwise can degrade electronic components. The Company principally operates on a fabless semiconductor manufacturing model, outsourcing virtually all front-end semiconductor fabrication activities to commercial foundries. AMS offers a range of complementary products that provide connectivity and computing functionality for applications. Its product portfolio includes RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, including discrete components, ICs, monolithic microwave IC s and multi-chip modules.

AMS designs and manu! factures application specific, analog and mixed-signal devices for use in medical, industrial and intelligent sensors. The Company’s AMS products are used in over 100 space, avionics and defense platforms, including the Wideband Global Satellite Communications satellites, the Geostationary Operational Environmental satellites, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, the Boeing 777 airliner’s databus, the F-16’s modular mission computer, the B-1 flight controls upgrade and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense program. Its AMS products are also used in wireless communications platforms, including WCDMA and LTE cellular base station systems, as well as point-to-point broadband radio applications. In the medical area, our products are used by two of the top four manufacturers of CT scan equipment.

AMS provides HiRel standard and custom integrated circuits and circuit card assembly for the aerospace, altitude avionics, medical, x-ray cargo scanners, cr itical transportation systems, nuclear power controls, global positioning systems (GPS) receivers, networking and telecommunication markets. AMS’ HiRel products include transceivers, analog multiplexers, clock management generators, MSI logic products, battery electronics units, voltage regulators, high-speed power controllers, MIL-STD 1553 bus controllers, remote terminals, bus monitors, microcontrollers and microprocessors, RadHard Pulse Width Modulation Controllers, RadHard Resolver-to-Digital and memory modules. HiRel Microelectronics/ Semiconductors have a typical life cycle of 10-20 years.

AMS provides a set of standard and application specific RF/microwave diodes and semiconductor devices. Microwave semiconductor products offered include diodes, amplifiers, resistors, inductors, capacitors, switches, and integrated devices. RF and Microwave active components and subsystems offered include PIN diode-based microwave control components, variable attenuators , phase shifters, limiters, time delay units and Multi-Funct! ion Micro! wave assemblies. AMS offers resistor products, which include a variety of low and high reliability power surface mounted passive devices for the wireless infrastructure and defense markets with applications in isolators, circulators, single and multi-carrier power amplifiers and circuits. Passive components offered include attenuators, terminations, adapters, DC blocks, and other components for commercial, military and laboratory applications. Other products include power amplifiers, up and down converters, mixers, filters and micro-receivers operating to over 40 giga hertz (GHz). RF and Microwave components have a typical life cycle of 5-15 years. The Company’s motion control products provide complete and integrated motion control solutions for space (both military and commercial), military, avionics, and industrial customers. Its product line offerings include actuators and mechanisms, electronic controllers, slip rings and twist capsules, DC motors and Gimbal Systems. M otion control products have a typical life cycle of 10-20 years.

Aeroflex Test Solutions

ATS is a provider of a line of specialized test and measurement hardware and software products, primarily for the space, avionics, defense, commercial wireless communications and other markets. ATS products and their applications include wireless test equipment, which is used to develop and test handsets and base stations; military radio and PMR test equipment, which is used by radio manufacturers and military, police, fire, and emergency response units to test handheld radios; avionics test equipment, which is used in the design, manufacture and maintenance of electronics systems for aircraft; synthetic test equipment, which is used to test satellites and transmit / receive modules prior to launch and deployment, and general purpose test equipment, including spectrum analyzers and signal generators.

Wireless Test Equipment is used by wireless ser vice providers and equipment manufacturers to test wireless ! handsets ! and base stations. The Company offers a range of cellular tests across a range of wireless standards and communication frequencies, including 2G and 3G, with particular capability in EDGE protocols, and the new 4G LTE/LTE(A) protocols. Products include a range of system, protocol, physical layer and parametric test solutions, such as the TM500 test mobile, RF synthesizers, digitizers and combiners, and application software. In addition, ATS provides PXI-based products which are modular scalable solutions for the handset manufacturing environment. Product applications include research and development, conformance, manufacturing/production, installation and commissioning, field service, and network optimization.

ATS Radio Test Equipment is used by radio manufacturers and military, police, fire and emergency response units to test handheld radio units. ATS provides TErrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), and Project 25 (P25), radio test equipment, addressing both mobil e and repeater test applications. TETRA is a global standard for private mobile radio (PMR), systems used by emergency services, public transport and utilities. P25 is a standard for digital radio communications for use by federal, state, private, and local public safety agencies in North America. Its military communications testing systems are primarily used by the United States military to test complex voice and data frequency hopping radios and accessories. Military radio and PMR test equipment has a typical life cycle of 5-20 years.

Avionics test equipment is used in the design, manufacture, test and maintenance of commercial, civil and military airborne electronic systems, or avionics. ATS equipment provides the stimulus and signals necessary for certification, verification, fault finding and diagnosis of airborne systems on the ground. For civil and commercial aviation, it has test solutions for various transponder modes, communications frequencies, emerg ency locator transmitters, weather radars and GPS systems. F! or milita! ry aviation, it has test solutions for microwave landing systems, tactical air navigation, enhanced traffic alert and collision avoidance systems, various identification friend or foe, or IFF, transponder/interrogator modes and IFF monopulse antenna simulation. ATS also provides customized avionics test solutions to support manual and automatic test equipment for manufacturing, repair and ground support operations. Avionics test equipment has a typical life cycle of 8-15 years.

Synthetic test systems test several attributes through one box and can take multiple complex measurements simultaneously. ATS provides synthetic test environment that allows digital, analog, RF/microwave and power test of circuits, modules, subsystems and complete systems for commercial, military, and aerospace customers. ATS’ STI 1000C+ and TRM 1000C products offer synthetic microwave test systems optimized for testing Transmit/Receive modules and satellite payloads in a factory setting . Its SMART^E and SMART^E 5300 products offer a modular approach for implementing multi-function configurable and reconfigurable test systems. Synthetic test solutions products have a typical life cycle of 10-15 years.

ATS offers a variety of general purpose test solutions including microwave test solutions, counters and power meters. ATS microwave test solutions cover frequency ranges from 1 megahertz (MHz) to 46 gigahertz (GHz), with various tracking, offset, continuous wave, modulated source, fault location, and group delay configuration options provided. ATS power meters are designed for field use, automated test equipment requirements and standard bench applications. General purpose test solutions have a typical life cycle of 4-7 years.

The Company Competes with Agilent Technologies, Honeywell, BAE Systems, Hittite Microwave Corporation, ILC / Data Devices Corporation, Microsemi, Anaren, Anite, Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Spirent and National I nstruments.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    The Department of Defense issued some 22 separate contract awards Thursday, totaling just under $1 billion in combined value. Not all of them went to publicly traded defense contractors, of course, but enough of them did to be worth mentioning. Here are a few of the lucky winners:

5 Best Sliver Stocks To Own For 2015: Concur Technologies Inc.(CNQR)

Concur Technologies, Inc. provides integrated travel and expense management solutions for companies of various industries, sizes, and geographies. It offers the Concur Connect platform, a cloud computing software solution primarily on a subscription basis, which enables customers, partners, suppliers, and third-party developers to connect. The company provides various solutions to streamline the travel procurement, itinerary management, expense management, and invoice management processes. Its solutions include online travel procurement solutions, which automate corporate travel booking and processing; itinerary management solutions that enable individual business travelers and their organizations to manage and share travel itinerary information; and automated expense management solutions, which simplify the expense reporting process. The company also offers other value-added and extended services that leverage its integrated cloud offerings, including expense reimbursemen t; expense report auditing services to streamline the process of managing and substantiating expense receipts; business intelligence that enable customers to use captured data to analyze trends, influence budget decisions, improve forecasting, and monitor for fraudulent activity; and invoice management solutions to automate, simplify, and reduce the costs associated with the process of entering, approving, and managing the payment of vendor invoices. In addition, it provides consulting; and various extended services, such as site administration, audit and compliance services, advanced analytics, and customized integration in connection with its integrated travel and expense management solutions. Concur markets and sells its solutions worldwide through direct sales organizations; and indirect distribution channels, such as strategic resellers and referral partners, as well as through its Website. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Jarzemsky]

    Salesforce is up 33% year-to-date. Workday Inc.(WDAY) has rallied 38% and expense-accounting software provider Concur Technologies(CNQR) is up 44%, to name a few.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    The Lazard trading desk said that active traders may want to look at software stocks that still had unusually high short interest. Those included Concur Technologies (NASDAQ: CNQR), Tangoe Inc. (NASDAQ: TNGO), Jive Software (NASDAQ: JIVE), Marketo Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTO), VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW). Stocks with high short interest can explode to the upside if the company gets back on track and short sellers are forced to cover.