The real-money Inflation-Protected Income Growth portfolio just finished an astonishingly strong week, rising by more than $1,080 since the prior week’s update to close with a value of $35,806.10. For a portfolio built on fairly stodgy companies known more for their ability to pay out reliable dividends than for their ability to grow like wildfire, a 3% one-week gain like that seems almost too good to be true.
With an out-of-character leap like that one, it’s only fair to ask whether the companies in the portfolio are doing exceptionally well or whether the market’s rising tide is simply lifting all boats. If it’s the companies that are dramatically exceeding expectations, that’s one thing. But if that ascent was simply due to the market’s benevolence, then it may be a sign of a return to frothy times in which valuation seems to mean less.
When bad news is good and good news is better
Either way, not every pick in the portfolio rose last week. Package delivery giant United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS ) actually dropped around 1.6% on the week, driven in large part from Friday’s earnings pre-announcement. By both indicating that it would miss expectations and that it was guiding down forward-looking earnings projections, UPS sent its shares tumbling down almost 6% on the day.
5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.(POT)
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. It also offers solid and liquid phosphate fertilizers; animal feed supplements; and industrial acids that are used in food products and industrial processes. In addition, the company produces nitrogen fertilizers, as well as nitrogen feed and industrial products, including ammonia, urea, nitrogen solutions, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid. Further, it holds the right to mine 785,759 acres of land in Saskatchewan; and 58,263 acres of land in New Brunswick in Canada. The company sells its fertilizers primarily to retailers, dealers, co-operatives, distributors, and other fertilizer producers; industrial products primarily to chemical product manufacturers; and purified phosphoric acid directly to consumers of the product. Potash Corporation was founded i n 1953 and is based in Saskatoon, Canada.
- [By Rich Duprey]
There seems little worry that PotashCorp (NYSE: POT ) will cut its dividend — which it called “sacrosanct” this past December — even though it’s planning on cutting some 18% of its workforce this year in the face of flagging demand.
- [By Tomi Kilgore]
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan(POT) rose 0.5%, Mosaic(MOS) gained 0.1% and Intrepid Potash(IPI) climbed 0.7%. In addition, CF Industries Holdings(CF) tacked on 1.4% and Agrium(AGU.T) advanced 1.1%.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Canpotex, the cartel’s rival North American potash marketing association, comprised of Mosaic (NYSE: MOS ) , PotashCorp (NYSE: POT ) , and Agrium (NYSE: AGU ) , is a major supplier of potash to Brazil, with some analysts estimating it owns 38% of the market. In years past, Latin America — primarily the Brazilian market — has comprised as much as 26% of Canpotex’s potash sales.
- [By Jim Jubak]
That’s certainly not good news for such agriculture stocks as fertilizer producers Potash of Saskatchewan (POT), Mosaic (MOS), and Yara International (YARIY). And it’s not good news for Deere for 2014, as a whole, either. The company lowered guidance for the quarter that ends in April to sales of $9.65 billion, versus the current Wall Street consensus of $9.89 billion. That would represent a 6% drop in sales in the quarter.
5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: 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.
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.
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.
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.
- [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
5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL)
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is an engineering and manufacturing company. The Company is engaged in the design, engineering, manufacture, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a range of products and services for the core sectors of the economy, including power, transmission, industry, transportation, renewable energy, oil and gas and defense. Its segment includes Power and Industry. It is a manufacturer of Power generation equipment, supplying a wide range of products and systems for thermal, nuclear, gas and hydro-based utility and captive power plants. It is also a manufacturer of a range of industrial systems and products. Products and systems supplied by the Company include captive power plants, centrifugal compressors, drive turbines, industrial boilers and auxiliaries, waste heat recovery boilers, gas turbines, pumps, heat exchangers, electrical machines, valves, heavy castings and forgings, electrostatic precipitators and seamless steel tube s. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Harry Suhartono]
Most Indian stocks rose as producers of capital goods and software companies advanced. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) rallied for the fourth day, helping a gauge of machinery producers to its biggest three-day climb in about two months. The rupee fell the most in a week on concern slowing economic growth will make it tougher to attract investment as the U.S. prepares to rein in stimulus.
5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: Sovran Self Storage Inc.(SSS)
Sovran Self Storage, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the acquisition, ownership, and management of self-storage properties in the United States. The company?s self-storage properties offer storage space to residential and commercial users, as well as offer outside storage for automobiles, recreational vehicles, and boats. As of February 15, 2007, it owned and managed 328 properties, consisting of approximately 20.3 million net rentable square feet in 22 states. Sovran Self Storage has elected to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes and would not be subject to income tax to the extent it distributes at least 90% of taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Williamsville, New York.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Self-storage REIT Sovran Self Storage (NYSE: SSS ) announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.53 per share, a 10% increase from the payout it made to investors last quarter of $0.48 per share.
5 Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2014: Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWR)
Genesee & Wyoming Inc. owns and operates short line and regional freight railroads, and provides railcar switching services in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The company?s railroads transport various commodities, including coal and coke; pulp and paper; metals commodities; minerals and stone commodities; lumber and forest products; farm and food products; chemicals and plastics; petroleum products; autos and auto parts; metallic ores; and intermodal commodities. It operates 63 railroads with approximately 7,400 miles of owned and leased track; and approximately 1,400 additional miles under track access arrangements. The company also offers rail services at 17 ports in North America and Europe. In addition, it provides car repair services, car hire and rental services, demurrage and storage, crewing services, and track access services, as well as sells diesel fuel to other rail operators. The company was founded in 1899 and is headquarte red in Greenwich, Connecticut.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Another area that is intriguing to us is the North American energy sector which looks to have a number of interesting catalysts currently. While the energy sector is at present only a modest overweight in the portfolios, we have been encouraged by several trends taking place for a number of years. These positive developments are also having an impact that goes far beyond the energy sector itself. Many believe that the U.S. will become energy independent and possibly a net exporter of natural gas and oil (currently restricted by law) in the next decade. This opinion is based primarily on the development of new drilling techniques (i.e. horizontal drilling, and high pressure fracking) that have enabled companies to access oil and natural gas reserves in shale formations that were previously not economically viable. The ability to tap into this acreage is a game-changer in our view and is already having a tremendous impact on the economy. Employment rates in these mostly rura l areas surrounding the shale basins are very high and companies thus find hiring extremely competitive. Strong labor markets tend to create strong local economies. Oil States International (OIS) has been able to capitalize on this trend by providing housing and other services to oil service workers that are in demand in the area. CST Brands (CST) operates gas stations in Texas, but it is increasingly looking to broaden its product offering beyond fuel. Rail companies like Union Pacific (UNP), Canadian Pacific (CP), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Genesee and Wyoming (GWR) have also benefited substantially. Given that shale areas are rural and often lacking infrastructure, substantial investment must be made to support drilling and production activities. Without pipelines in place, railroads have been the primary takeaway mechanism for moving production to the various clusters of refining capacity around the United States. In order to serve this demand, massive investment in railcars has been nee
- [By Anna Prior]
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.’s(GWR) consolidated traffic rose 6.3% in October from a year earlier on a pro forma basis, boosted by growth in metallic ores and metals shipments.
- [By Paul Ausick]
A 90-car train operated by a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE: GWR) delivering crude oil from North Dakota to Florida continues to burn Saturday after 20 cars and 2 engines derailed in Alabama early Friday morning. No injuries have been reported and authorities plan to let the conflagration burn itself out.