Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014

Bloomberg/file 2012 Hewlett-Packard Co. reports its fiscal first-quarter profit rises to 74 cents a share compared with 73 cents in the year-ago period.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday’s session are Hewlett-Packard Co., Groupon Inc., and Priceline.com Inc.

After Thursday’s closing bell, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) said its fiscal first-quarter profit edged up to $1.43 billion, or 74 cents a share, from $1.41 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $28.15 billion from $29.13 billion. On an adjusted basis, the technology giant earned 90 cents a share, above the 85 cents a share forecast in a FactSet survey. Shares of Hewlett-Packard were off 0.6% in after-hours trading.

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Aflac Incorporated(AFL)

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), provides supplemental health and life insurance. The company offers various voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan. It also provides loss-of-income products, such as life and short-term disability plans; and products designed to protect individuals from depletion of assets, which comprise hospital indemnity, fixed-benefit dental, vision care, accident, cancer, critical illness/critical care, and hospital intensive care plans in the United States. The company sells its products through sales associates and brokers, affiliated corporate agencies, independent corporate agencies, and individual agencies. Aflac Incorporated was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    Aflac Inc.’s(AFL) fourth-quarter earnings rose 16% but a weaker yen and dollar exchange rate continued to weigh on the company’s core operations in Japan. Shares edged down 2.4% to $60 premarket.

  • [By Daniela Pylypczak]

    Following the biggest one-day drop in more than six months, U.S. equities finally managed to rebound on Tuesday. After the closing bell, AFLAC (AFL) announced its fourth quarter results.
    AFL’s Earnings in Brief

    AFL reported earnings of $1.45 per share, up from from $1.24 per share in the Q4 of last year. Analysts expected to see EPS of $1.39. Revenue was $5.8 billion, coming in below analysts’ estimate of $5.91 billion. The company said that revenue decreased 9.0% in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with $6.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. A weaker yen/dollar exchange rate was noted as the primary cause of the decline; a significant portion of Aflac’s business is in Japan.

    CEO Commentary

    Daniel P. Amos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented: “We are very pleased with Aflac’s financial performance for both the quarter and year. As the year progressed, operating earnings per diluted share were better than expected, and we finished the year slightly ahead of our expectation for operating earnings to increase 5%, excluding the impact of the yen… Overall, we were pleased with our investment results in 2013, especially in light of the low-yield environment in both Japan and the U.S.  We position ourselves first to ensure we meet our policyholder obligations. We then seek to achieve a high degree of confidence in allocating capital to our shareholders while also pursuing investment strategies that enhance our overall income growth.”

    AFL’s Dividend

    The board of directors declared the first quarter cash dividend of $0.37 per share. The next dividend is payable on March 3, 2014, to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 14, 2014.

    Stock Performance 

    AFLAC shares traded 1.2% higher on Tuesday. The stock is down 7.94% YTD.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Insurers such as Aflac Inc. (AFL) , Allstate Corp. (ALL) , Aetna Inc. (AET) , Cigna Corp. (CI)  and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU)  will also report, along with exchange operators Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ)  and CME Group Inc. (CME) . 

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

    Aflac Inc (NYSE: AFL) gained 1.59 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.19 percent on Friday. Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE: BSX) gained 1.41 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.05 percent over the past week. GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) gained 1.27 percent in premarket trade after sliding 17.29 percent over the past 5 days. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE: NEM) was up 0.94 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.15 percent over the past week.

    Earnings

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS)

Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS), incorporated on March 2, 2001, is a global provider of banking and payments technologies. The Company operates in four segments: Financial Solutions Group (FSG), Payment Solutions Group (PSG), International Solutions Group (ISG) and Corporate and Other Segment. The Company is engaged in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology. The Company offers financial institution core processing, card issuer and transaction processing services, including the NYCE Network, a national electronic funds transfer (EFT) network. FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries. In February 2011, FIS acquired GIFTS Software, Inc., a provider of integrated funds transfer, Web-based cash management systems and anti-money laundering (AML) solutions. In April 2012, it acquired ICS Risk Advisors and Memento, Inc. In August 2012, the Company completed the sale of its He althcare Solutions business to an investment fund affiliated with Lightyear Capital LLC. In March 2013, it announced the acquisition of mFoundry.

Financial Solutions Group

FSG is to provide the software and services for the core processing, customer channel, treasury, cash management, wealth management and capital market operations of its financial institution customers in North America. The Company services the core and related ancillary processing needs of North American banks, credit unions, automotive financial companies, commercial lenders, and independent community and savings institutions. FIS offers a selection of in-house and outsourced solutions to banking customers that span the range of asset sizes. Its solutions in this segment include Core Processing and Ancillary Applications, Channel Solutions, Decision and Risk Management Solutions, Syndicated Loan Applications, Global Commercial Services and Strategic Consulting Services.

The Company’s processing software applications are de! signed to run banking processes for its financial institution clients, including deposit and lending systems, customer management, and other central management systems. The Company also offers a number of services that are ancillary to the primary applications listed above, including branch automation, back office support systems and compliance support. In addition, its wealth management services offer a set of Internet-enabled services to financial services providers that address the specific needs of markets, as well as commercial clients. These solutions address asset and liability aggregation, trust and investment account management, client and regulatory reporting, and employee retirement benefit services. The Company also offers an application suite that assists automotive finance institutions in evaluating loan applications and credit risk, and allows automotive finance institutions to manage their loan and lease portfolios.

The Company’s suite of retai l delivery applications enables financial institutions to integrate customer-facing operations and back-office processes, thereby improving customer interaction across all channels (branch offices, Internet, automated teller machine (ATM), call centers). Its Consumer Electronic Banking and Business Internet Banking both provide a set of cash management capabilities, enabling customers to manage banking and payments through the Internet, mobile devices, accounting software and telephone. Corporate Electronic Banking solutions provide commercial treasury capabilities, including cash management services and multi-bank collection and disbursement services that address the specialized needs of corporate customers. FIS systems provide accounting and reconciliation for such transactions, serving as the system of record and providing regulatory compliance, risk assessment and fraud management tools.

The Company’s decision solutions offers a spectrum of options that co ver the account lifecycle from helping to identify qualified! account ! applicants to managing mature customer accounts and fraud. Its applications include know-your-customer, new account decisioning, new account opening, account and transaction management, fraud management and collections. Its risk management services utilize its risk management models and data sources to assist in detecting fraud and assessing the risk of opening a new account or accepting a check at either the point-of-sale, a physical branch location, or through the Internet. Its systems utilize a combination of advanced authentication procedures, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence modeling and shared databases to assess and detect fraud risk for deposit transactions for financial institutions.

The Company’s syndicated loan applications are designed to support wholesale and commercial banking requirements necessary for all aspects of syndicated commercial loan origination and management. Its global commercial services include solutions, both onshore and offshore, designed to meet the technology challenges facing principally Unites States based clients, large or small. Its technology solutions range in scope from consulting engagements to application development projects and from operations support for a single application to management of information technology infrastructures. The Company also provides outsourcing teams todeliver customer service. With the The Capital Markets Company NV (Capco) acquisition, it provides integrated consulting, technology and transformation services. Capco specializes in banking; capital markets; wealth and investment management; finance, risk and compliance, and technology. Capco’s North American operations are included in FSG.

Payment Solutions Group

PSG provides a set of software and services for the EFT, card processing, item processing, bill payment, and government and healthcare payments processing needs of its customers in North America. PSG is focused on servicing the payment and electronic funds transfer needs o! f North A! merican headquartered banks and credit unions, commercial lenders, independent community and savings institutions and healthcare and government institutions. Its solutions in this segment include Electronic Funds Transfer, Item Processing and Output Services, Credit Card Solutions, Government and Healthcare Payments Solutions, ePayment Solutions and Check Authorization.

The Company’s electronic funds transfer and debit card processing businesses offer settlement and card management solutions for financial institution card issuers. It provides traditional ATM- and personal identification number (PIN)-based debit network access and emerging real-time payment alternatives through NYCE. It is also a provider of prepaid card services, which include gift cards and reloadable cards, with end-to-end solutions for development, processing and administration of stored-value programs.

The Company’s item processing services furnish financial institutions wi th the equipment needed to capture data from checks, transaction tickets and other items; image and sort items; process exceptions through keying, and perform balancing, archiving and the production of statements. Its item processing services are utilized by more than 1,500 financial institutions. Its solutions include distributed ( non-centralized) data capture, check and remittance processing, fraud detection, and document and report management. Its Endpoint Exchange Network enables United States financial institutions to clear their check-based transactions by allowing for the exchange of check images between member institutions. The Company offers a number of output services that are ancillary to the primary solutions it provide, including print and mail capabilities and card personalization fulfillment services. Its CSF Designer document composition software is used by many clients in various industries to furnish printed or electronically produced invoices and statemen ts for customized customer communication. Its print and mail! services! offers computer output solutions for the creation, management and delivery of print and fulfillment needs. The Company provides its card personalization fulfillment services for branded credit cards and branded and non-branded debit and prepaid cards. More than 5,200 financial institutions utilize a combination of its technology and/or services to issue VISA, MasterCard or American Express branded credit and debit cards or other electronic payment cards for use by both consumer and business accounts. Its services range from card production and activation to a range of fraud management services to value-added loyalty programs designed to increase card usage and fee-based revenues.

FIS healthcare payments solutions facilitate the exchange of information and funds among patients, payers, providers and financial institutions. With Web-enabled tools, a Health Savings Account (HSA) platform, multi-purse benefit debit cards that cover multiple spending accounts with a single card and combined eligibility/payment cards, FIS enables consumers and third-party benefits administrators to have integrated benefit account management of HSAs, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Reimbursement Agreements (HRA) and dependent care and transportation accounts. It also provides customized electronic service applications for government agencies, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) payment services. It also facilitates the collection of state income taxes, real estate taxes, utility bills, vehicle registration fees, driver’s license renewal fees, parking tickets, traffic citations, tuition payments, court fees and fines, hunting and fishing license fees, as well as various business licenses.

The Company provides bill publishing and bill consolidation technology for its customers, generating millions of monthly bills and servicing both billers and financial institution customers. Online bill payment functionality includes credit a nd debit card-based expedited payments. Its end-to-end prese! ntment an! d payment solution provides an all-in-one solution to meet billers’ needs for the distribution and collection of bills and other customer documents. FIS also provides automated clearing house (ACH) processing. Its check authorization business provides check risk management and related services to businesses accepting or cashing checks. Its services assess the likelihood (and often provide a guarantee) that a check will clear.

International Solutions Group

The Company provides core banking applications, channel solutions, card and merchant services, item processing and check risk management solutions to financial institutions, card issuers and retailers. Its international operations leverage existing applications and provide services for the specific business needs of its customers in targeted international markets. Services are delivered from 28 operations centers around the world. Its payment solutions services include outsourced card-issuer ser vices and customer support, payment processing and switching services, prepaid and debit card processing, item processing, software licensing and maintenance, outsourced ATM management and retail point-of-sale check warranty services. Its financial solutions services include fully outsourced core bank processing arrangements, application management, software licensing and maintenance, facilities management and consulting services, including Capco’s international operations.

Corporate and Other Segment

The Corporate and Other segment consists of the corporate overhead costs that are not allocated to operating segments. These include costs related to human resources, finance, legal, accounting, domestic sales and marketing, merger and acquisition activity and amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and other costs that are not considered when management evaluates operating segment performance.

The Company competes with Fiserv, Inc ., Jack Henry and Associates, Inc., Open Solutions, Inc., In! ternation! al Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Accenture Ltd., Alliance Data Systems Corporation, DST Systems, Harland Financial Solutions, Inc., SEI Investments Company, S1Corporation, SunGard Data Systems, Inc., Alnova Technologies Corporation, Oracle Financial Services Software Limited, Misys plc, Infosys Technologies Limited, Temenos Group AG, MasterCard Incorporated, Visa Inc., First Data Corporation, Total System Services, Inc., HP Enterprise Services, Payment Systems for Credit Unions (PSCU), Heartland Payments Systems, Inc. and Global Payments, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Banking and payments services and support company Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) raised its quarterly dividend 9% to 24 cents per share, payable on Mar. 31 to shareholders of record as of Mar. 17.
    FIS Dividend Yield: 1.90%

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: CSB Bancorp Inc (CSBB)

CSB Bancorp, Inc. (CSB), incorporated in 1991, is a financial holding company. The Commercial and Savings Bank of Millersburg, Ohio (the Bank) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. CSB operates primarily through the Bank and its other subsidiaries, providing a range of banking, trust, financial and brokerage services to corporate, institutional and individual customers throughout northeast Ohio. The Bank provides retail and commercial banking services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, time deposits, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), safe deposit facilities, personal loans, commercial loans, real estate mortgage loans, installment loans, night depository facilities, brokerage and trust services.

Lending Activities

The Bank provides residential real estate, commercial real estate, commercial and consumer loans to customers located primarily in Holmes, Tuscarawas, Wayne, Stark and portions of surrounding counties in Ohio. Commercial loan rates are variable as well as fixed, and include operating lines of credit and term loans made to small businesses, primarily based on their ability to repay the loan from the cash flow of the business. Business assets, such as equipment, accounts receivable and inventory typically secure such loans. Commercial real estate loans are primarily secured by borrower-occupied business real estate. Commercial real estate loans are generally originated with a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or less. Commercial construction loans are secured by commercial real estate and in most cases the Bank also provides the permanent financing. Residential real estate loans carry both fixed and variable rates and are secured by the borrower’s residence. Home equity lines of credit are made to individuals and are secured by second or first mortgages on the borrower’s residence. Installment loans to individuals include loans secured by automobiles and other consumer assets, including second mortgages on personal residences.

Investment Activities

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s securities available-for-sale totaled $123,026,000. Its portfolio of securities available-for-sale includes the United States treasury securities, the United States Government corporations and agencies, mortgage-backed securities, obligations of states and political subdivisions, equity securities, and corporate bonds.

Sources of Funds

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s portfolio of deposits included noninterest-bearing demand, interest-bearing demand deposits, savings deposits and time deposits. Short-term borrowings consist of securities sold under agreements to repurchase, short-term advances through Federal Home Loan Bank and federal funds purchased.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, CSBB remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $18.75 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 3:53PM EDT July 30, 2013).

    CSB Bancorp, Inc. previously reported second quarter 2013 net income of $1.25 million or $.45 per basic and diluted share, as compared to $1.14 million or $.41 per basic and diluted share for the same period in 2012.

    Annualized returns on average common equity (“ROE”) and average assets (“ROA”) for the quarter were 9.32% and 0.88%, respectively, compared with 8.98% and 0.82% for the second quarter of 2012.

    Eddie Steiner, President and CEO commented, “We continue to focus on growing relationships with current and new customers. The bank’s average loan balances have increased 10% in the past year, and although margins remain tight, this growth has provided increases of approximately 4% in net interest income.”

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Government Properties Income Trust (GOV)

Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). As of December 31, 2011, GOV owned 71 properties located in 29 states and the District of Columbia containing approximately 9.0 million rentable square feet, of which 68.2% was leased to the United States Government, 17.5% was leased to eight state governments, and 2.1% was leased to the United Nations, an international intergovernmental organization. As of December 31, 2011, the United States Government, eight state governments and the United Nations combined were responsible for 91.9% of the Company’s annualized rental income. As of December 31, 2011, 95.0% of its rentable square feet were leased. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it acquired 16 office properties located in 11 states. The Company’s manager is Reit Management & Research LLC (RMR).

In December 2011, GOV acquired an office property located in Salem, Oregon with 233,358 rentable square feet. This prope rty is 84% leased to five tenants, of which 70% is leased to the State of Oregon and occupied by the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Employment Department. In October 2011, the Company acquired three office properties located in Indianapolis, Indiana with 433,927 rentable square feet. These properties are 94% leased to 15 tenants, of which 56% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency. In September 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Sacramento, California with 87,863 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the State of California and occupied by the California State Employment Development Department and it also acquired an office property located in Atlanta, Georgia with 375,805 rentable square feet. This property is 97% leased to 19 tenants, of which 78% is leased to the State of Georgia and occupied by the Georgia D epartment of Transportation.

In August 2011, GO! V acquired an office property located in Holtsville, New York with 264,482 rentable square feet. This property is 82% leased to three tenants, of which 72% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Internal Revenue Service and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In June 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with 29,297 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Military Entrance Processing Station and it also acquired two office properties located in Stafford, Virginia with 64,488 rentable square feet. These properties are 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In June 2011, it acquired an office property located in Montgomery, Alabama with 57,815 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and serves as the office of the United States Attorney f or the Middle District of Alabama.

In May 2011, GOV acquired an office property located in Plantation, Florida with 135,819 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Internal Revenue Service and it also acquired an office property located in New York with 187,060 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United Nations. In February 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Quincy, Massachusetts with 92,549 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to four tenants, of which 90% is leased to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and occupied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles as its headquarters. In February 2011, it acquired two office properties located in Woodlawn, Maryland with 182,561 rentable square feet. These properties are 100% leased to two tenants, of which 94% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Social Security Administration.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By 4Percent]

    Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) is a real estate investment trust which owns properties primarily leased to the government. GOV owns 68 properties, 49 of which are leased to the U.S. government, 16 to state governments and one to the United Nations.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Government Properties Income Trust (NYSE: GOV  ) has decided to keep its dividend steady. The company announced it will pay a fresh quarterly distribution of $0.43 per share of its common stock “on or about” May 24 to shareholders of record as of April 26. That amount matches the REIT’s preceding two payouts, the most recent of which was handed down in January. Before that, the company paid $0.42 per share.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Real estate investment trust Government Properties Income Trust (NYSE: GOV  ) this week declared a quarterly common-stock distribution of $0.43 per share, to be dispensed on or about Aug. 23 to shareholders of record as of July 26. That amount matches each of Government Properties’ three previous payouts, the most recent of which was distributed in May. Prior to that, it paid $0.42 per share.

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Invesco Dynamic Credit Opportunities Fund (VTA)

Van Kampen Dynamic Credit Opportunities Fund (the Fund) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund focuses to invest primarily in loan and debt instruments (and loan-related or debt-related instruments) (collectively, credit securities) of issuers that operate in a variety of industries and geographic regions located throughout the world. The Fund’s investment adviser is Van Kampen Asset Management (the Adviser). The Fund’s investment subadviser is Avenue Europe International Management, L.P. (the Subadviser).

The Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (including borrowings for investment purposes) in any combination of credit securities, including senior secured floating rate and fixed-rate loans (Senior Loans); second lien or other subordinated or unsecured floating rate and fixed-rate loans or debt, and other debt obligations, including high-yield, high-risk obligations (such as securities that are rated below investment g rade by a nationally recognized credit rating organization or unrated securities that are deemed to be of comparable quality). The Fund may also invest up to 20% of its assets in structured products, including collateralized debt and loan obligations (collectively, structured products). The Fund may also invest in swaps, including credit default, total return, index and interest rate swaps. To the extent that the Fund invests in structured products or swaps that adjust exposure to credit securities, such investments will be counted for purposes of the Fund’s 80% policy.

The Fund may invest in credit securities of any credit quality, and may invest without limitation in obligations below investment grade. Any of the Fund’s investments may be issued by non-stressed, stressed and distressed issuers, including issuers in bankruptcy, provided that with respect to the portion of the Fund’s assets to be managed by the Subadviser, the Subadviser will generally not inve st in securities that at the time of investment have a total! yield above the applicable Avenue-Credit Thresholds. The Fund may invest in credit securities of any maturity or duration, and although the Fund will not be managed for maturity or duration, given the nature of the Fund’s portfolio, the Fund’s portfolio will likely have a low average duration (generally, four years or less). In addition, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in equity securities obtained through debt restructurings or bankruptcy proceedings. The Fund may utilize credit securities derivative instruments.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Dowdee]

    The following 10 funds satisfied all of these conditions:

    BlackRock Float Rate Strategies (FRA). This CEF sells at a discount of 3%, which is low compared to an average premium of 2% over the past year. The distribution has been managed at 6.1% and a small amount (less than 10%) has been return of capital (ROC). However, this has not negatively affected net asset value (NAV) so has not been destructive. The fund holds 447 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. FRA utilizes 27% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.7%, including interest payments. Eaton Vance Floating Rate (EFR). This CEF sells at a 1% premium, which is low compared to an average premium of 5% over the past year. The distribution is 6.2%, none of which was ROC. The fund holds 800 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. About 85% of the securities are from U.S. companies. EFR utilizes 35% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.8% including interest payments. ING Prime Rate Tr ust (PPR). This CEF sells for a premium of 2%, which is below the average premium of 5%. It has a distribution of 6.8%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 350 holdings, virtually all in senior loans and from US companies. PPR utilizes 29% leverage and has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Dynamic Credit Opportunities (VTA). This CEF sells for a discount of 5%, which is below the average discount of 1%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 495 holdings, with 76% in floating rate loans. About 25% of the loans are from non-US companies. VTA utilizes a relatively low 20% leverage but still has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Senior Income (VVR). This CEF sells for a discount of 1%, which is below the average premium of 3%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has over 500 holdings, with 89% in floating rate loans. Almost all (95%) securities are from US companies. VVR ut

  • [By Harry Domash, Publisher, DividendDetective and Winning Investing]

    If you’re worried about rising interest rates then Invesco Dynamic Credit Opportunities, ticker (VTA), invests in below investment-grade floating rate bank loans. In other words, these are called senior loans.

    They’re bank loans that adjust their payouts based on prevailing interest rates, so if interest rates go up, these loans will pay higher dividends, so this is a good hedge if you are concerned about rising interest rates.

    Another one that’s really performed, and it’s paying a 6.9% yield right now, Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities, ticker (GOF), that’s actually Claymore Guggenheim, holds corporate and government backed, that it’s mostly investment-grade and it’s paying a 10.1% yield right now, which is pretty high. Those are three that I could recommend right now.

    Steven Halpern: Well, we really appreciate you joining us today and sharing your expertise. Thank you.

    Harry Domash: You’re welcome.

    Subscribe to the Dividend Detective here…

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: MarketAxess Holdings Inc (MKTX)

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MarketAxess), incorporated on April 11, 2000, operates an electronic trading platform that allows investment industry professionals to trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments. The Company’s over 1000 active institutional investor clients (firms that executed at least one trade in the United States or European fixed-income securities through its electronic trading platform, during the year ended December 31, 2012) include investment advisers, mutual funds, insurance companies, public and private pension funds, bank portfolios, broker-dealers and hedge funds. The Company’s 87 broker-dealer, market-maker clients provide liquidity on the platform and include most of the broker-dealers in global fixed-income trading. Through its Corporate BondTicker service, MarketAxess provides fixed-income market data, analytics and compliance tools that help its clients make trading decisions. In addition, it provides Financial Informa tion eXchange (FIX) message management tools, connectivity solutions and ancillary technology services that facilitate the electronic communication of order information between trading counterparties. The Company’s revenues are primarily generated from the trading of the United States high-grade corporate bonds. In March 2013, it announced acquisition of Xtrakter Limited.

The majority of the Company’s revenues are derived from monthly distribution fees and commissions for trades executed on its platform that are billed to its broker-dealer clients on a monthly basis. The Company also derives revenues from technology products and services, information and user access fees, investment income and other income. During 2012, the Company’s broker-dealer clients accounted for approximately 95% of the underwriting of newly-issued United States corporate bonds and approximately 72% of the underwriting of newly issued European corporate bonds. MarketAxess’s electron ic trading platform provides access to the liquidity provide! d through the participation on its platform of 87 broker-dealer market making clients, including all of the broker-dealers in global fixed-income trading, and over 1000 active institutional investor firms. In addition to services directly related to the execution of trades, the Company offers its clients several other services, including information services, straight-through processing, and technology products and services. MarketAxess offers Application Programming Interface (API) services to its broker-dealer clients for pre-trade, trade negotiation and post-trade services.

The United States High-Grade Corporate Bonds

The United States corporate bond market consists of three categories of securities: investment-grade debt (so-called high-grade); debt rated below investment-grade (so-called high-yield), and debt convertible into equity (so-called convertible debt). The Company’s United States high-grade corporate bond business consists of the Un ited States dollar-denominated, investment-grade debt issued by corporations for distribution in the United States. Both domestic and foreign institutional investors have access to the United States high-grade corporate bond trading on its electronic trading platform. During 2012, its broker-dealer clients accounted for approximately 95% of the underwriting of newly-issued the United States corporate bonds. The Company offers its institutional investor clients access to a range of inventory of the United States high-grade corporate bonds, which is provided and updated daily by its broker-dealer clients.

Eurobonds

The European high-grade corporate bond market consists of a range of products, issuers and currencies. MarketAxess Europe Limited, its wholly owned subsidiary, offers European secondary trading functionality in the United States dollar- and Euro-denominated European corporate bonds to its broker-dealer and institutional investor clients. Th e Company also offers its clients to trade in other European! high-gra! de corporate bonds, including bonds issued in Pounds Sterling, floating rate notes, European government bonds and bonds denominated in non-core currencies. In the Eurobond credit market, defined as including European high-grade, high yield and government bonds, 23 broker-dealers utilize the Company’s platform.

Emerging Markets Bonds

Emerging markets bond market includes the United States dollar, Euro or local currency denominated bonds issued by sovereign entities or corporations domiciled in a developing country. These issuers are located in Latin America, Asia, or Central and Eastern Europe. The agency bond market includes debt issued by a United States government-sponsored enterprise. 59 of the Company’s United States broker-dealer clients use its platform to trade emerging markets bonds. During 2011, 414 institutional investor clients utilized its electronic trading platform to trade emerging markets bonds. These institutional investor clien ts are located in the United States and Europe. MarketAxess also allows its institutional investor clients to transact Euroclear-eligible local currency denominated bonds issued by sovereign entities or corporations in countries that include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Crossover and High-Yield Bonds

59 of the Company’s United States broker-dealer clients use its platform to trade crossover and high-yield bonds. Trading in crossover and high-yield bonds uses many of the same features available in its United States high-grade corporate bond offering.

Agency Bonds

41 of the Company’s United States broker-dealer clients use its platform to trade agency bonds. Trading in agency bonds uses many of the same features available in the Company’s United States high-grade corporate bond offering.

Credit Default Swaps

MarketAxess offers trading on its platform for CDS indices and single-names in both th e United States and Europe through its traditional RFQ proto! col. Nine! of the Company’s broker-dealer clients are providing streaming, executable CDS index prices. In addition, it incorporated the request-for-market protocol and the streaming markets/click-to-trade protocol into an updated single-screen user interface, giving clients their means of execution.

Asset-Backed Securities

12 of its United States broker-dealer clients use its platform to trade asset-backed securities. Trading in asset-backed securities uses many of the same features available in the Company’s United States high-grade corporate bond offering.

Preferred Securities

17 of the Company’s United States broker-dealer clients use its platform to trade preferred securities. Trading in preferred securities uses many of the same features available in its United States high-grade corporate bond offering.

Corporate BondTicker

Corporate BondTicker provides TRACE data and enhances it with MarketAxess trade data and analytical tools to provide professional market participants with a set of corporate bond price information. The data include trade time and sales information, including execution prices, as well as MarketAxess-estimated, spread-to-Treasuries, for trades disseminated by the TRACE system. The data also include actual execution prices and spread-to-Treasury levels for United States high-grade corporate bond trades executed on the MarketAxess platform. Corporate BondTicker is integrated directly into the MarketAxess electronic trading platform and can be accessed, either when viewing securities inventory or when launching an inquiry. Corporate BondTicker is also available through the Internet for non-trading professional market participants, including, among others, research analysts and rating agencies, who can log in and access the information via an easy-to-use browser-based interface.

The Company provides Corporate BondTicker as an ancillary ser vice to its trading clients and also to other industry parti! cipants. ! It derives revenues from its Corporate BondTicker service by charging for seat licenses per user at its broker-dealer and institutional investor clients, through distribution agreements with other information service providers and through bulk data sales to third parties. The Company also offers a set of reports designed to review and monitor credit trading activity for institutional investor clients. Its compliance product provides a printed history of each inquiry submitted through the MarketAxess trading platform.

Technology Services

Through MarketAxess’s Greenline Financial Technologies, Inc. (Greenline) subsidiary, it provides integration, testing and management solutions for FIX-related products and services. The FIX protocol is a messaging standard developed for the electronic exchange of securities transaction information. It also provides technology consulting and customized development services to its clients. In addition, the Company pr ovides gateway adapters to connect order management and trading systems to fixed-income trading venues.

The Company competes with Thomson TradeWeb, Bloomberg and The New York Stock Exchange

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    MarketAxess Holdings (Nasdaq: MKTX  ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 24. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict MarketAxess Holdings’s revenues will grow 7.7% and EPS will expand 5.7%.

  • [By John Udovich]

    If you have found yourself trading more as the markets become more volatile or struggling to come to terms with low interest rates, small caps like Interactive Brokers Group, Inc (NASDAQ: IBKR), MarketAxess Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: MKTX), Indo Global Exchanges PteLtd (OTCMKTS: IGEX) which are in the electronic brokerage or trading platform business would be well worth taking a closer look at. Here is what you need to know about all three:

Best Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Hatteras Financial Corp (HTS)

Hatteras Financial Corp., incorporated on September 19, 2007, is an externally managed mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests primarily in single-family residential mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed or issued by the United States Government agency (such as the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)), or by the United States Government-sponsored entity (such as the Federal National Mortgage Association, (Fannie Mae)), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, (Freddie Mac)). The Company is externally managed and advised by its manager, Atlantic Capital Advisors LLC.

The Company focuses on agency securities consisting of mortgage loans with short durations. The agency securities consist of mortgages that have principal and interest payments guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It invests in both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate agency securities. Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are mortgages that h ave floating interest rates that reset on a specific time schedule, such as monthly, quarterly or annually, based on a specified index, such as the 12-month moving average of the one-year constant maturity United States Treasury rate (CMT) or the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The ARMs it generally invests in, sometimes referred to as hybrid ARMS, have interest rates that are fixed for an initial period (typically three, five, seven or 10 years) and then reset annually thereafter to an increment over a pre-determined interest rate index.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    A great year for mortgage REITs
    American Capital Agency went public in 2008, a year that saw other mREITs such as Hatteras Financial  (NYSE: HTS  ) , and Armour Residential  (NYSE: ARR  ) enter the territory as well. Groundbreaker Annaly had shown that the carry trade could be lucrative, and the ultra-low short-term interest rate environment created a perfect climate for new companies to enter the playing field.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    More mREITs stay the course, but two trim payouts
    Despite suffering many tumbles and bruises, several mREITs have announced that their dividends will be unchanged from the previous quarter. Several did so last week, and yesterday saw Hatteras Financial (NYSE: HTS  ) , an agency-only trust, keeping its own $0.70 per share payout the same. Hybrid New York Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ: NYMT  ) also kept its dividend stable, at $0.27 per share, in line with its four most recent distributions.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Single-family-housing REIT Hatteras Financial (NYSE: HTS  ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.70 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past two quarters after cutting the payout 12.5% from $0.80 per share.