Best Companies To Buy For 2014

Ford today unveiled Lincoln’s new entry for the hot premium small crossover market — a key product for the effort to revive the Lincoln brand.

The production 2015 Lincoln MKC (yes, they are sticking with the confusing model designations you can’t remember) hews closely to the MKC concept shown in Detroit last January. Ford says the MKC will go on sale next summer; pricing was not announced.

Having had a good start with the redone MKZ midsize sedan this year — the first of four new vehicles Lincoln has promised by 2016 for the brand’s “reinvention” — the MKC now can give Lincoln momentum, or douse it.

Jim Farley, the Ford global marketing head who also oversees Lincoln, summed up in a statement what the MKC needs to do: “As a challenger luxury brand, entering this (market) segment is a natural next step for us. MKC will do more than just compete – it will change the way people think about Lincoln.”

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: MFS Intermediate Income Trust (MIN)

MFS Intermediate Income Trust (the Trust) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The Trust seeks to preserve capital and provide high current income. It maintains a portfolio that includes investments in short and intermediate-term United States Government and foreign high-grade securities.

MFS Intermediate Income Trust’s portfolio includes non-United States Government bonds, mortgage-backed securities, the United States Government agency securities, the United States Treasury securities, emerging market bonds, commercial mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities and high-grade corporate securities. The Trust can invest in foreign securities, including securities of emerging market issuers. The Trust’s investment advisor is Massachusetts Financial Services Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Akaralph]

    I have written about MFS Intermediate Income Fund (MIN) on a few previous occasions, most recently here. I have extolled its virtues as a defensive play in a bear market scenario.

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: MEDIFAST INC(MED)

Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Medifast (NYSE: MED) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million.

    Full House Resorts (NASDAQ: FLL) is estimated to post a Q4 loss at $0.06 per share on revenue of $33.24 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Analysts expect Medifast (NYSE: MED) to post its Q4 earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $80.83 million. Medifast shares surged 2.19% to close at $26.08 on Friday.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Last Friday, small cap dieting stock Weight Watchers International, Inc (NYSE: WTW) lost weight for investors when shares tumbled 27.73% to $22.10, meaning its probabaly a good idea to take a closer look at the stock along with other small cap weight loss or dieting stocks like NutriSystem Inc (NASDAQ: NTRI), Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED) and Reliv International, Inc (NASDAQ: RELV). Why did Weight Watchers International loose weight last Friday? The company reported its fourth straight quarterly sales decline as fewer people attended meetings and bought its products and also projected earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates with the blame being placed on new mobile applications and bracelets that track calories – thus hurting traditional diet companies.

Best Companies To Buy 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.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Genesee & Wyoming Inc.(GWR) swung to a third-quarter profit as the railroad operator benefited from last year’s acquisition of RailAmerica Inc., which sent revenue soaring higher. Results slightly missed expectations.

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: NetSol Technologies Inc.(NTWK)

Netsol Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets software products for the automobile finance and leasing, banking, healthcare, and financial services industries worldwide. It offers NetSol Financial Suite, which is an end-to-end solution that covers the leasing and finance cycle. The NetSol Financial Suite consist of software applications comprising Point of Sale, a front office processing system for the finance sector; Credit Application Processing System to handle the incoming credit applications from dealers, agents, brokers, and the direct sales force; Contract Management System to manage and maintain a contract; Wholesale Finance System to automate and manage the floor plan/bailment activities of dealerships; and Fleet Management System to handle fleet management needs. The NetSol Financial Suite also includes LeasePak that develops Web-enabled and Web-based tools for the leasing technology industry. In addition, the company offers LeaseSoft Portals and Modul es; enterprise wide information systems, such as LRMIS, MTMIS, and Hospital Management Systems; accounting outsourcing services; and career and technology programs. Further, it provides portfolio management systems for the financial services industry; and consulting, custom development, systems integration, and technical services for the healthcare, insurance, real estate, and technology markets. Additionally, the company offers business intelligence, independent system review, information security, and software process improvement consulting services; maintenance and support, and project management services; and solutions for the defense and military forces. It serves Fortune 500 manufacturers, automakers, financial institutions, utilities, technology providers, and government agencies. The company was formerly known as NetSol International, Inc. and changed its name to NetSol Technologies, Inc. in March 2002. NetSol Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in C a labasas, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another under-$10 stock that’s quickly pushing within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade is Netsol Technologies (NTWK), which designs, develops, markets and exports proprietary software products to customers in the automobile finance and leasing, banking, health care and financial services industries internationally. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up by 28%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Netsol Technologies, you’ll notice that this stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares sliding sharply lower from its high of $12.10 to its recent low of $7.03 a share. During that downtrend, shares of NTWK have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of NTWK have started to stabilize and reverse its downtrend, since the stock has started to make higher lows and higher highs over the last few weeks. This move is quickly pushing shares of NTWK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in NTWK if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $7.74 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 225,909 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NTWK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $8.71 to its 50-day moving average at $9.16 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give NTWK a chance to tag its 200-day at $10.20 to more resistance at $10.45 a share.

    Traders can look to buy NTWK off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $7.20 or $7.03 a share. One can also buy NTWK off strength once it clears $7.74 a share with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage fr

  • [By CRWE]

    NetSol Technologies (Nasdaq:NTWK), a provider of global IT and enterprise application solutions, reported that Mercedes-Benz Leasing Company Ltd. (China), went live with the NetSol Financial Suite (NFS(tm)).

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: Tranzyme Inc.(TZYM)

Tranzyme, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of acute and chronic gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders in the United States and internationally. The company?s clinical product candidates include ulimorelin, an intraveneous ghrelin agonist, which is in the Phase III clinical development stage for the treatment of acute upper GI motility disorders; and TZP-102, an orally-administered ghrelin agonist that has commenced Phase IIb clinical development stage for the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis. Its preclinical product candidates comprise TZP-201, a motilin antagonist for the treatment of various forms of moderate-to-severe diarrhea; and TZP-301, an oral ghrelin antagonist for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The company has strategic collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to discover, develop, and commercialize additional novel co mpounds; and a license agreement with Norgine B.V to develop and commercialize ulimorelin in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and north and South Africa. Tranzyme, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Tranzyme Pharma (Nasdaq:TZYM) reported that it has closed the previously announced underwritten registered direct offering of approximately 3.0 million shares of its common stock at a price of $3.85 per share for gross proceeds, including the over-allotment option, of approximately $11.5 million.

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.(BONT)

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates department stores in the mid-size and metropolitan markets of the United States. Its stores offer brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men, and children, as well as provide cosmetics, home furnishings, and footwear. As of November 1, 2011, the company operated 275 stores under various nameplates, including the Bon-Ton, Bergner?s, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger?s, and Younkers in 23 northeastern, midwestern, and upper Great Plains states; and under the Parisian nameplate in Detroit, Michigan. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in York, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:

    Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.49 on revenue of $2.08 billion, compared to last year’s loss of $3.75 on revenue of $2.02 billion. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (NYSE: AEO) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.27 on revenue of $1.04 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.55 on revenue of $1.12 billion. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) reported fourth quarter EPS of $3.04 on revenue of $914.90 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $3.73 on revenue of $1.03 billion.

    Pre-Market Movers

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Bon-Ton Stores Inc.(BONT) said Chief Executive and President Brendan L. Hoffman won’t renew his deal to keep leading the retailer when his contract expires in February 2015. Mr. Hoffman, who took over as CEO in February 2012 when he was 43 years old, will also resign his role as a director on the company’s board. He cited personal reasons for his decision. Shares declined 8% to $10 premarket.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Notable earnings releases expected on Tuesday include:

    Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $1.49 on revenue of $2.12 billion, compared to last year’s loss of $3.75 on revenue of $2.02 billion. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (NYSE: AEO) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $1.05 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.55 on revenue of $1.12 billion. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $2.74 on revenue of $980.95 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $3.73 on revenue of $1.03 billion.

    Economics

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: Tessera Technologies Inc.(TSRA)

Tessera Technologies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, licenses, and delivers miniaturization technologies and products for electronic devices worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Intellectual Property and DigitalOptics. The Intellectual Property segment offers semiconductor packaging technologies, which create mechanical and electrical connection between semiconductor chips and systems, such as computers and communication equipments through connection to printed circuit boards. The DigitalOptics segment provides mobile camera module solutions in categories, including actuator technologies, image enhancement solutions, and wafer level optics that can be applied to mobile phones and other consumer electronic products. It also offers customized micro-optic lenses from diffractive and refractive optical elements to integrated micro-optical subassemblies. This segment serves customers in digital still cameras and mobile handsets markets, as well as semicon ductor lithography, high-end communication routers, military and defense, and barcode scanners markets. Tessera Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    They say a company is judged by the company it keeps. What’s less said – though never disputed – is that a company is equally judged by the kind of talent it can attract… winning people tend to only work for winning companies. In that light, the fact that the newest chief of Endeavor IP Inc. (OTCBB:ENIP) is a former executive from the ranks of Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) and Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA) should underscore just how seriously the market should be taking ENIP. RMBS and TSRA didn’t become large powerhouses by hiring folks who don’t know what they’re doing, and conversely, the fact that a former Rambus and Tessera Technologies guy was willing to step into the unknown and take the helm at Endeavor IP speaks volumes about the potential of the young company’s IP portfolio.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Tessera Technologies Inc.(TSRA) named its interim chief executive, Thomas Lacey, to the top post Tuesday, bringing to a close a months-long search for a permanent leader.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    As part of a reconfigured capital allocation strategy devised last month, Tessera Technologies (NASDAQ: TSRA  ) is going to pay a special distribution to its stockholders of $0.30 per share of its common stock. It will be paid May 31 to shareholders of record as of May 23.

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: Texas Industries Inc (TXI)

Texas Industries, Inc., incorporated on April 19, 1951, is a supplier of construction materials in the southwestern United States. The Company operates in three segments: cement, aggregates and consumer products. Its cement segment produces gray portland cement and specialty cements. The Company’s cement production and distribution facilities are concentrated primarily in Texas and California. Its aggregates segment produces natural aggregates, including sand, gravel and crushed limestone. The Company’s consumer products segment produces ready-mix concrete. It is also a supplier of natural aggregates and ready-mix concrete in Texas and northern Louisiana and in Oklahoma and Arkansas. As of May 31, 2013, the Company had 123 manufacturing facilities in five states.

Cement Segment

The Company produces specialty cements, such as masonry and oil well cements. Its cement production facilities are located at Midlothian, Texas, south of Dallas/Fort Wo rth, Hunter, Texas, between Austin and San Antonio, and Oro Grande, California, near Los Angeles. It also operates a cement terminal and packaging facility at its Crestmore plant near Riverside, California, and the Company operates its gray portland cement grinding facility on an as needed basis. During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2013 (fiscal 2013), it produced approximately 4.3 million tons of finished cement. The Company shipped approximately 4.4 million tons during fiscal 2013, of which 3.8 million tons were shipped to outside trade customers.

Aggregates Segment

The Company’s operations are conducted from facilities primarily serving the Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin areas in Texas; the southern Oklahoma area, and the Alexandria and Monroe areas in Louisiana. The Company produced approximately 14.2 million tons of natural aggregates during fiscal 2013. It shipped approximately 14.8 million tons of natural aggregates during fiscal 2013, of whi ch 11.3 million tons were shipped to outside trade customers! . The Company shipped approximately 1.0 million cubic yards of lightweight aggregates during fiscal 2013, of which approximately 0.9 million cubic yards were shipped to outside trade customers.

Consumer Products Segment

The Company’s ready-mix concrete operations are situated in three areas in Texas (the Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton area of north Texas, the Austin area of central Texas and from Beaumont to Texarkana in east Texas), in north and central Louisiana, and in southwestern Arkansas. It is also a 40% partner in a joint venture that has ready mix concrete operations in the northern part of central Texas area centered around Waco, Texas. It shipped approximately 2.8 million cubic yards of ready-mix concrete during fiscal 2013. The Company manufacture and supply a substantial amount of the cement and aggregates raw materials used by our ready-mix plants. The Company also marketed its Maximizer packaged concrete mixes in southern California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Competitively advantaged holdings continued to demonstrate the value of moats at FedEx (FDX), Melco, and Texas Industries (TXI). These holdings were among our largest contributors to performance, and they exemplify activity prevalent across most of our holdings throughout the year.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI) was down, falling 4.36 percent to $65.78 after Longbow Research downgraded the stock from buy to neutral.

    Commodities
    In commodity news, oil traded down 1.37 percent to $97.07, while gold traded up 1.73 percent to $1,223.10. Silver traded up 3.69 percent Thursday to $20.09, while copper fell 0.34 percent to $3.39.

Best Companies To Buy For 2014: NextStage Inc (NXT)

NextStage, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the management of its investments in shares of stocks of its subsidiaries. The Company’s subsidiaries include Mondex Philippines Inc. (MXP), Infinit-e Asia Inc. (Infinit-e Asia) and Technology Support Services, Inc. (TSSI). MXP operates a multi-application smart card system in Philippines. Infinit-e Asia is a software development company specializing on smart card and e-commerce solutions tailored to enhance the business of its clients. Infinit-e Asia develops smart card solutions for both real and online applications and on both contact and contactless platform. Infinit-e Asia’s spectrum of products and applications are classified as payments, data capture and security. TSSI is engaged in the business of business process outsourcing (BPO), applications service providers (ASP) and managed service providers (MSP). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, slid 2.1 percent. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) declined 2 percent as it canceled some of its flights following a disruption caused by one of its planes at Heathrow airport. Next Plc (NXT) retreated 2.4 percent as Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on the shares.