Best Financial Stocks For 2015

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry reported a major net second quarter loss Friday and said it is burning cash at a higher rate as it moves to execute a tentative deal that could take the company private.

Revenue for the quarter that ended Aug. 31 was $1.6 billion, with a net loss of $965 million, or $1.84 a share. That compares with revenue of $2.9 billion and a loss of $229 million, or 44 cents a share, for the same quarter last year.

Adjusted net loss from continuing operations was $248 million, or 47 cents per share. The per-share loss was on the low side of the 47 cent-to-51-cent range that BlackBerry warned of last week, when it announced preliminary results and plans to lay off 4,500 employees. Wall Street analysts had expected a loss of 49 cents a share.

Most of the financial results tracked last week’s announcement. But BlackBerry disclosed that its operations consumed roughly $136 million in cash. That compares with $630 million in cash flow fr om operations in the previous quarter that ended June 1.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Dj Wilshire Reit Etf (RWR)

SPDR DJ Wilshire REIT (the Fund), formerly DJ Wilshire REIT ETF, seeks to replicate as closely as possible the performance of the Dow Jones Wilshire REIT Index (the Index). The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing approach, and attempts to approximate the investment performance of its Index, by investing in a portfolio of stocks to replicate the Index. The Index seeks to provide an effective representation of the United States real estate investment trust (REIT) market.

The Index consists of companies whose charters are the equity ownership and operation of commercial real estate, and which operate under the REIT Act of 1960. The Index is generally rebalanced monthly. Companies are chosen based upon market capitalization, source of revenue and liquidity. Each REIT in the Index is weighted by its float-adjusted market capitalization. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Saletta]

    Where to invest?
    There are countless possibilities for building your retirement portfolio to cover Social Security’s gap, depending on your personal risk tolerance, timeline, and need for cash. Here are decent index-style ETFs across various asset types to consider when building your plan:

    Domestic stocks. The Vanguard Total Market (NYSEMKT: VTI  ) ETF is a one-stop-shop that gives you access to around 99.5% by market cap of the publicly held U.S. stocks traded on major exchanges. A mere 3% turnover and microscopically low 0.05% expense ratio makes this a low-cost way to invest in the overall stock market. Investment-grade bonds. The iShares iBoxx $Invest Grade Corp Bond   (NYSEMKT: LQD  ) ETF owns nearly $24 billion worth of investment-grade corporate bonds. A small 4% turnover and low 0.15% expense ratio make this a low-cost way to get bond exposure. Real estate. The SPDR Dow Jones REIT (NYSEMKT: RWR  ) ETF has a bit over $2 billion invested in real estate investment trusts, attempting to match the Dow Jones Select REIT index. With a reasonable 7% turnover and a still pretty low 0.25% expense ratio, this is a reasonable way to get real estate exposure without turning yourself into a landlord. Foreign stocks. Vanguard’s Total International Stock Index (NASDAQ: VXUS  ) ETF has nearly $90 billion in foreign stocks under its control, owning pieces of more than 6,100 stocks from 45 countries. With a mere 3% turnover and low 0.16% expense ratio, it’s one of the lowest-cost ways to get your hands on foreign companies without being an international accounting expert. Inflation-protected government bonds. The iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (NYSEMKT: TIP  ) ETF has around $20 billion invested in U.S. Treasury inflation-protected bonds. With a low expense ratio of 0.2% and a reasonable 10% turnover rate, it’s a decent way to get exposure to inflation-protected bonds. Note, though, that

  • [By Hilary Kramer]

     

    2. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) The REIT is another alternative vehicle that's gone mainstream in recent years. Hundreds of broad-based and specialized real estate companies and ETFs are available, and after a correction a few months ago, many are on the cheap side. Like any other alternative, this should be a seasoning for your portfolio and not the sauce itself. For most retail investors, a stake in an indexed fund like the SPDR Dow Jones REIT (NYSE: RWR) should be more than adequate, or look into the companies that provide services to the REIT industry like HFF (NYSE: HF) and Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL).

     

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. (HCC)

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. underwrites non-correlated specialty insurance products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Property & Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident & Health, U.S. Surety & Credit, and International. The U.S. Property & Casualty segment provides aviation, small account errors and omissions liability (E&O), public risk, contingency, disability, residual value, employment practices liability (EPLI), technical property, primary and excess casualty, and brown water marine insurance products, as well as title and mortgage reinsurance products in the United States. The Professional Liability segment offers directors’ and officers’ (D&O) liability, large account E&O liability, fiduciary liability, fidelity and bankers blanket bonds, and EPLI for the United States and International-based policyholders. The Accident & Health segment provides medical stop-loss, short-term domestic and international medical, HMO reinsurance, and medical excess coverages in the United States. The U.S. Surety & Credit segment offers contract surety bonds, commercial surety bonds, and bail bonds; credit insurance policies for export trade transactions and structured trade transactions; and political risk and letters of credit insurance products. The International segment provides energy, property treaty, liability, surety, credit, direct and facultative property, ocean marine, accident and health, and other smaller product lines for international customers. The company markets its products directly to consumers, as well as through a network of independent agents and brokers, producers, and managing general agents. HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. (HCC) underwrites non-correlated specialty insurance products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Property and Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident and Health, U.S. Aug. 21, the company increased its quarterly dividend 36% to $0.225 per share. The dividend is payable October 1, 2013 and will be paid on or about Oct. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.1%.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc (RIT)

LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (the Fund) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide high current income. Its secondary investment objective is capital appreciation. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (LMPFA) is the Fund’s investment manager and AEW Management and Advisors, L.P. (AEW) is the Fund’s subadviser. LMPFA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc.

The Fund invests in securities related to the real estate industry. Its portfolio includes common stocks, preferred stocks and short-term investments. The Fund invests in sectors, such as office, healthcare, diversified, apartments, industrial, shopping centers, home financing, lodging/resorts, regional malls and specialty.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Special Purpose Funds- Eaton Vance Tax-Adv. Global Dividend Oppor. Fund (ETO) | Yield: 7.3%
    – The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust (GLU) | Yield: 6.2%
    – Pimco Global Stocksplus Income Fund (PGP) | Yield: 9.5%
    – LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (RIT) | Yield: 7.0%

  • [By Joe Eqcome]

    Actionable Items:

    Highest Positive Spread: Nuveen Mortgage Opportunity Term Fund (JLS)Focus Stock: LMP Real Estate Income Fund (RIT)Last Week’s Focus Stock: ASA Gold and Precious Metals (ASA)

    ECB cuts its rates: The European Central Bank (ECB) will cut its benchmark rate a quarter-of-a-point to 0.5%.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (PBW)

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (the Fund) is based on the WilderHill Clean Energy Index and seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield (before the Fund’s fees and expenses) of that equity index. The sectors covered by the Fund include Energy-Alternate Sources, Semiconductors, Electrical Components and Equipment, Chemicals, Electric, Electronics, Computers, Auto Parts and Equipment, Biotechnology and Agriculture. PowerShares Capital Management LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio’s top 10 holdings include SunPower Corp., Class A, Echelon Corp., Cypress Semiconductor Corp., Cree, Inc., First Solar, Inc., OM Group, Inc., Universal Display Corp., KYOCERA Corp. ADR (Japan), Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. ADR (Cayman Islands) and Applied Materials, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wall Street Sector Selector]

    Another ETF which invests in the solar sector is the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW). Although its holdings are not limited to the solar sector, its most significant holding is SunPower Corporation at 4.96% of the weight. Its number three holding is MEMC Electronic Materials at 3.42% of the weight. PBW’s average trading volume is robust at over 400,000 shares per day. Its market cap is $135 million.

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some clean-energy-related stocks to your portfolio, the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio ETF (NYSEMKT: PBW  ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.

    The basics
    ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The PowerShares ETF’s expense ratio — its annual fee — is 0.70%. The fund is fairly small, too, so if you’re thinking of buying, beware of possibly large spreads between its bid and ask prices. Consider using a limit order if you want to buy in.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: HCI Group Inc (HCI)

HCI Group Inc, formerly Homeowners Choice, Inc., incorporated in 2006, is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is primarily engaged in the property and casualty insurance business. The Company is authorized to underwrite homeowners’ property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc. (HCPC). Through HCPC and subsidiaries, primarily Homeowners Choice Managers, Inc. (HCM), Southern Administration, Inc., Claddaugh Casualty Insurance Company, Ltd., and its subsidiary, HCPCI Holdings LLC, the Company provides property and casualty homeowners’ insurance, condominium-owners’ insurance, and tenants’ insurance to individuals owning property in Florida. The Company’s subsidiaries also include TV Investment Holdings LLC, which owns and operates a marina facility located in Florida; Unthink Technologies Private Limited, which is a software development firm. Dur ing the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company organized TV Investment Holdings LLC, HCI Holdings LLC and HCI Technical Resources, Inc. In November 18, 2011, the Company acquired Unthink Technologies Private Ltd. In November 2011, it acquired the Florida policies of HomeWise Insurance Company.

The Company’s subsidiary, HCM provides underwriting policy administration, marketing, accounting and financial services to HCPC, and participates in the negotiation of reinsurance contracts. Southern Administration, Inc. provides policy administration services. Claddaugh Casualty Insurance Company Ltd. provides reinsurance coverage to HCPC. Asof December 31, 2011, the Company has approximately 119,000 policies in force. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation requires the Company to offer renewals on the policies the Company acquires for a period of three years subsequent to the initial expiration of the assumed policies. The policyholders have the option to renew wi th the Company or they may ask their agent to place their co! verage with another insurance company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Property and casualty insurance holding company HCI Group (HCI) raised its quarterly dividend 22.2% to 27.5 cents per share, payable Dec. 20 to shareholders of record Nov. 15.
    HCI Dividend Yield: 2.48%

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tower Group has dropped 12% to $3.88 today at 11:39 a.m., while Stewart Information Services (STC) has dipped 0.1% to $31.16, the Navigators Group (NAVG) has fallen 1.4% to $54.78 and HCI Group (HCI) has gained 1% to $38.16.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Unum Group(UNM)

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides group and individual disability insurance products primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. It also provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer-and employee-paid group benefits, life insurance, long-term care insurance, and related services. Its products include group long-term and short-term disability; group life and accidental death, and dismemberment; individual disability; group long-term care; voluntary benefits; group life; accident, sickness, and disability; and cancer and critical illness insurance products. The company also provides individual life and corporate-owned life insurance, reinsurance pools and management operations, group pension, health insurance, and individual annuities. Unum Group markets its products primarily to employers interested in providing benefits to their employees. The company sells its products through field sales personnel, independent brokers, consultants, and agency sales force. Unum Group was founded in 1848 and is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialty insurance provider Unum (NYSE: UNM  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.145 per share, an 11% increase to the payout made last quarter of $0.13 per share.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Among the biggest losers in the S&P 500: Air Products and Chemicals (APD), which dropped 3.3% to $103.20 as its Bill Ackman bounce fades, Charles Schwab (SCHW), which fell 2.4% to $21.76 as it became the 165th most popular short in the S&P 500, and Unum Group (UNM), which finished off 2.3% at $29.63 after Barron’s Sandra Ward recommended investors take profits on the insurance company.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Western Asset Global Partners Income Fund Inc. (GDF)

Western Asset Global Partners Income Fund Inc. operates as a close-ended fixed income mutual fund launched and advised by Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC. The fund is sub-advised by Western Asset Management Company. It primarily invests in the fixed income markets across the globe. The fund invests in high-yield U.S. and non-U.S. corporate debt securities and high-yield foreign sovereign debt securities. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the Lehman Brothers U.S. Corporate High Yield 2% Issuer Cap Index and the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global Index. The fund was formerly known as Salomon Brothers Global Partners Income Fund Inc. Western Asset Global Partners Income Fund was founded in 1993 and is based in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Carnevale]

    Our first example looks at Vectren Corp.’s historical earnings, a utility with a 15-year historical earnings growth rate that is below our 3% threshold established in Part 1. Note that fair valuation is calculated using Graham Dodd’s Formula (GDF) deriving a fair value PE of 13.8 (slightly below, but close to our PE 15 standard). However, a normal PE of 16 has been historically applied by Mr. Market. Therefore, valuation falls between a PE of 13.8 to 16, or well within a range of normalcy.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: King George Financial Corp (KGF)

King George Financial Corporation is a Canada-based company. The Company operates in the area of commercial and residential real estate investment holding and development, as well as medium to long term investment in real estate and hotel related marketable securities. The Company has four segments: rental operation, real estate development, management and finance services, and others. Its principle assets include an office building in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, held through its 100% subsidiary 905 W. Pender Investments Ltd; real estate located in the City of Surrey, British Columbia, held through its subsidiary 0819277 BC Ltd, 0788607 BC Ltd, and 50% ownership interest in Surrey Campus Residences Joint Venture. The real estate assets consist of residential building lots, and investment in common shares of Allied Hotel Properties Inc., a hotel ownership and management company, and United Malayan Land BHD (UML), a Malaysian real estate development company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Kingfisher Plc (KGF) declined 5.7 percent to 373.6 pence, its biggest loss in more than two years, after Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said consumer confidence in France “is still weak with no obvious signs of an imminent improvement.” Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer also reported same-store sales growth of 0.4 percent for its B&Q chain in the U.K. and Ireland, missing analysts’ estimates. France accounted for about 40 percent of its sales and the U.K. for 41 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Allstate Corp (ALS)

The Allstate Corporation (Allstate), November 5, 1992, is a holding company for Allstate Insurance Company. The Company’s business is conducted principally through Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Life Insurance Company and their affiliates. It is engaged, principally in the United States, in the property-liability insurance, life insurance, retirement and investment product business. Allstate’s primary business is the sale of private passenger auto and homeowners insurance. The Company also sells several other personal property and casualty insurance products, select commercial property and casualty coverages, life insurance, annuities, voluntary accident and health insurance and funding agreements. Allstate primarily distributes its products through exclusive agencies, financial specialists, independent agencies, call centers and the Internet. It conducts its business primarily in the United States. Allstate has four business segments: Allstate Protection, Allstate Financial, Discontinued Lines and Coverages and Corporate and Other. The Company is a personal lines insurer in the United States. Customers can access Allstate products and services, such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through nearly 12,000 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the United States and Canada. In October 2011, the Company acquired Esurance and Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group.

ALLSTATE PROTECTION SEGMENT

In this segment, the Company principally sells private passenger auto and homeowners insurance through agencies and directly through call centers and the Internet. These products are marketed under the Allstate, Encompass and Esurance brand names. The Allstate Protection segment also includes a separate organization called Emerging Businesses, which comprises Business Insurance (commercial products for small business owners), Consumer Household (specialty products including moto rcycle, boat, renters and condominium insurance policies), A! llstate Dealer Services (insurance and non-insurance products sold primarily to auto dealers), Allstate Roadside Services (retail and wholesale roadside assistance products) and Ivantage (insurance agency). The Company also participates in the involuntary or shared private passenger auto insurance business in order to maintain its licenses to do business in many states. In some states, Allstate exclusive agencies offer non-proprietary property insurance products. Allstate brand auto and homeowners insurance products are sold primarily through Allstate exclusive agencies and serve customers who prefer local personal advice and service and are brand-sensitive. In most states, customers can also purchase certain Allstate brand personal insurance products, and obtain service, directly through call centers and the Internet.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, total Allstate Protection premiums written were $25.98 billion. Its broad-based network of approximately 10,000 Allstate exclusive agencies in approximately 9,700 locations in the United States produced approximately 86% of the Allstate Protection segment’s written premiums in 2011. It provides personal property and casualty insurance products through independent agencies in the United States. Additionally, Allstate distribution, through brokering arrangements, offers non-proprietary products to consumers when an Allstate product is not available.

ALLSTATE FINANCIAL SEGMENT

Allstate Financial segment provides life insurance, retirement and investment products, and voluntary accident and health insurance products. Its principal products are interest-sensitive, traditional and variable life insurance; fixed annuities, including deferred and immediate; and voluntary accident and health insurance. Its institutional products consist of funding agreements sold to unaffiliated trusts that use them to back medium-term notes issued to institutional and individ ual investors. Banking products and services were offered to! customer! s through the Allstate Bank through September 2011. In 2011, after receiving regulatory approval to voluntarily dissolve, Allstate Bank ceased operations.

The Company sells Allstate Financial products to individuals through multiple intermediary distribution channels, including Allstate exclusive agencies and exclusive financial specialists, independent agents, specialized structured settlement brokers and directly through call centers and the Internet. The Company sells products through independent agents affiliated with approximately 125 master brokerage agencies. Independent workplace enrolling agents and Allstate exclusive agencies also sell its voluntary accident and health insurance products primarily to employees of unaffiliated businesses. Its mortgage loan portfolio, which is primarily held in the Allstate Financial portfolio, totaled $7.14 billion as of December 31, 2011

Allstate Financial, through several companies, is authorized to sell life insurance and retirement products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States, Virgin Islands and Guam. Allstate Financial distributes its products to individuals through multiple distribution channels, including Allstate exclusive agencies and exclusive financial specialists, independent agents (including master brokerage agencies and workplace enrolling agents), specialized structured settlement brokers and directly through call centers and the Internet.

OTHER BUSINESS SEGMENTS

The Company’s Corporate and Other segment consistsof holding company activities and certain non-insurance operations. It’s Discontinued Lines and Coverages segment includes results from insurance coverage that it no longer writes and results for certain commercial and other businesses in run-off. Its exposure to asbestos, environmental and other discontinued lines claims is presented in the segment. The segment also includes the hist orical results of the commercial and reinsurance businesses ! sold in 1! 996.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adrian Day]

    Adrian Day: Yes, yes, I like the concept of looking up the secondary plays. I mean, you know we own Altius (ALS) for example, rather than Alderon (ADV). Altius owns 30% of Alderon, that is more diversified, has a better balance sheet. If Alderon succeeds, Atius will succeed.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

American International Group, Inc. is an international insurance organization. The company operates property and casualty insurance networks worldwide and conducts activities in the U.S. life insurance and retirement services industry. It also involves in commercial aircraft leasing and residential mortgage guaranty insurance businesses. The company, through Chartis Inc., provides various property and casualty insurance products under commercial and consumer categories worldwide. These products include surplus lines, executive liability/directors? and officers? liability, employment practices, excess casualty, and travel/assistance lines. American International Group, through SunAmerica Financial Group, offers a suite of life insurance and retirement products and services, including term life, universal life, accident and health, fixed and variable deferred annuities, fixed payout annuities, mutual funds, and financial planning products and services to individuals and grou ps in the United States. The company, through International Lease Finance Corporation, operates as an aircraft lessor that acquires commercial jet aircraft from various manufacturers and other parties, and leases those aircraft to airlines worldwide. It also sells aircraft from its fleet to other leasing companies, financial services companies, and airlines, as well as provides management services to third-party owners of aircraft portfolios. American International Group, through United Guaranty Corporation, issues residential mortgage guaranty insurance that covers mortgage lenders from the first loss for credit defaults on high loan-to-value conventional first-lien mortgages for the purchase or refinance of one- to four-family residences in the U.S. and internationally. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It’s been a good day for life insurers across the board today, thanks to speculation that the Fed could get more hawkish following today’s jobs report–and higher interest rates would benefit insurers. Shares of Prudential have gained 2% to $88.47 at 2:53 p.m. today, while Metlife (MET) has risen 1.3% to $53.04 and Lincoln National (LNC) has advanced 1.6% to $52.75. American International Group (AIG) has dropped 0.2% to $51.05.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Global insurance company AIG (AIG) raised its quarterly dividend 25% to 12.5 cents per share, payable March 25 to shareholders of record as of March 11.
    AIG Dividend Yield: 1.03%

  • [By Christina Rexrode]

    American International Group (AIG)  said late Thursday that it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, and it announced plans to raise its dividend and buy back more of its own shares. But analysts were concerned about weakness in the property and casualty line, where the bank needs to cut costs if it wants to get consistent underwriting profits, said Sandler O’Neill analyst Paul Newsome. With no major catastrophes, like last year’s superstorm Sandy, analysts had expected more improvement in the unit’s “severe losses,” said Evercore analyst Mark Finkelstein.

  • [By Monica Wolfe]

    American International Group (AIG)

    Pzena’s fourth largest position is in American International Group, or AIG. The guru maintains 10,491,924 shares, representing 3.3% of his total portfolio and 0.71% of the company’s shares outstanding.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Nuveen Virginia Premium Income Municipal Fund (NPV)

Nuveen Virginia Premium Income Municipal Fund is a closed-ended fixed income mutual fund launched by Nuveen Investments, Inc. The fund is co-managed by Nuveen Fund Advisors, Inc. and Nuveen Asset Management, LLC. It invests in the fixed income markets of Virginia. The fund invests primarily in municipal securities rated Baa/BBB or better. It invests in securities that provide income exempt from federal and Virginia income tax. The fund employs fundamental analysis with bottom-up stock picking approach to create its portfolio. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the S&P National Municipal Bond Index and the S&P Virginia Municipal Bond Index. Nuveen Virginia Premium Income Municipal Fund was formed on January 12, 1993 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Carnevale]

    Moreover, at this point I would like to add that the real meaning of forecasting future earnings is so we can determine what the size and amount of the future cash flows that a stock under consideration might be capable of generating for us. This is important, because assessing the net present value of our expected future income stream, is at the heart of determining fair value (intrinsic value). Calculating net present value (NPV) is functionally-related to today’s wide utilization of discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis as a stock selection tool. I will elaborate more on this important metric in part B of this article.

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Select Sector Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF)

Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (the Fund) seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Financial Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index (the Index). The Index includes financial service firms with diversified business lines ranging from investment management to commercial and investment banking.

The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing investment approach to invest in a portfolio of stocks that seek to replicate the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Not surprising that the financial sector led the US market down yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index (SPX) closed down 0.13% on January 16 as the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) dropped 0.63%.

  • [By Sital S. Patel]

    Bank shares have performed well in the last year, with many major and regional bank stocks being up anywhere from 25% to 50% in the last 12 months. The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF)  , which tracks financial stocks in the S&P 500 (SPX) , was up nearly 30% in the last 12 months.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    4. Cyclical stocks outperform defensive stocks – This puts consumer discretionary, energy, financials, industrials, technology and materials all doing better than consumer staples, healthcare, telecom, and utilities. Doll also prefers a free cash flow yield to dividend yield and dividend growth over dividend yield.

    ETF Recommendation(s): Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF), Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEArca: OIH)… Avoid Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLP) and Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU).

    5. Dividends, stock buy-backs, capex, and M&A all increase at a double-digit rate – This is led by a lot of cash flow, underleveraged balance sheets, and possible great places to use cash. The argument for higher cap-ex is as follows: “Pent-up demand and aging of plant, equipment and technology argue for increases in those key areas.”

Best Financial Stocks For 2015: Campus Crest Communities Inc (CCG)

Campus Crest Communities, Inc., incorporated on March 1, 2010, is a self-managed, self-administered and vertically-integrated developer, builder, owner and manager of purpose-built student housing properties in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: student housing operations and development, construction and management services. It owns the general partner interest and owns limited partner interests in Campus Crest Communities Operating Partnership, LP (the Operating Partnership). It holds substantially all of its assets and conducts substantially all of its business, through the Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2010, it owned interests in 27 operating student housing properties containing approximately 5,048 apartment units and 13,580 beds. Twenty-one of its properties, containing approximately 3,920 apartment units and 10,528 beds, are wholly owned. On October 19, 2010, it acquired the remaining interest in Campus Crest at San Marcos, LLC, whi ch owns The Grove at San Marcos, from HSRE. In January 2012, the Company acquired 50.1% interests in The Grove. On December 27, 2013, the Company closed its sale of four wholly owned student housing properties. In January 2014, Campus Crest Communities Inc and Beaumont Partners joint venture partnership acquired the 488-room, 22-story Holiday Inn Midtown in Montreal, Quebec.

As of December 31, 2010, the average occupancy for its 27 properties was approximately 88%. Its properties are primarily located in medium-sized college and university markets. As of December 31, 2010, the Company were party to one joint venture arrangement with HSRE, in which it owns a 49.9% interest.

Student Housing Operations

The Company’s student housing operations are consisted of rental and other service revenues, such as application fees, pet fees and late payment fees. In August 2010, the Company opened three additional properties that were owned by the same real estate venture.

Development, Construc! tion and Management Services

The Company provides development and construction services to unconsolidated joint ventures in which it has an ownership interest. The Company acts as a general contractor on all of its construction projects. In addition to its wholly owned properties, all of which are managed by the Company, it also provides management services to uncombined joint ventures in which, it has an ownership interest.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    2013 is panning out to be a rough year for Campus Crest Communities (CCG) — shares of the small-cap student housing REIT have slid 12.7% since the calendar flipped over to January. While that sounds bad enough as it is, it’s actually 31% underperformance vs. the S&P 500. And a quick glance at the chart makes it pretty clear to see why.

    CCG is stuck in a textbook downtrend right now, bouncing between trendline resisatnce to the upside and a parallel support level below. You don’t have to be an expert technical analyst to figure out where CCG’s high probability price action is from here; it’s down. Trendline resistance has acted as a ceiling for shares on the last four tests in 2013 – and with shares hitting their head on that resistance level this week, now’s the optimal time to sell (or short) this REIT.

    If you’re looking for an opportunity to buy CCG, you could be in for a long wait. But the 50-day moving average has been a pretty good proxy for resistance since the start of the summer. I’d recommend waiting for that line to get broken before even thinking about doing anything but selling this stock. Until then, it’s toxic.

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    Campus Crest Communities (CCG) operates 33 student housing properties comprising 6,324 apartment units under its “Grove” brand name. It’s a REIT, so it distributes a minimum of 90% of taxable income as a common dividend of roughly 6%, which may even attract other investors. Campus Crest carries $225 million in debt and services it at a rate of about 5%. The company came into its own in 2012, as it reported solid EBITDA of $16.5 million and a profit after debt service and preferred stock payments, which it just started that year.