Best Income Companies For 2015

For one month, the European Commission will let the public send feedback on Google’s  (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) antitrust proposals.

It’s no secret that the EC has been concerned about Google’s growing power in the search market. Due to the company’s dominance, it fears that the company is using its power to benefit itself in search and search advertising across the European Economic Area (EEA). 

In March 2013, the EC formally informed Google that the following four practices may violate European Union antitrust rules:

Google uses its search results to favor its own specialized web search services like restaurants, hotels, or product searches  Google incorporates third-party website content within Google’s specialized services  Google requires third-party websites to buy all or most of their online search advertising from Google  Google restricts third parties from running similar advertising campaigns on rival search engines

Altogether, the EC believes that these practices could harm consumers by reducing choice and stifling innovation in the search and search advertising fields.

Best Income Companies For 2015: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc(SMFG)

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services in Japan, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania. It operates in four segments: Commercial Banking, Securities, Leasing, and Credit Card. The commercial banking segment offers various financial services, including personal bank accounts, investment trusts, pension-type insurance products, life insurance products, and housing loans to individuals; and lending, cash management, settlement, leasing, factoring, management information systems consulting, collection, and investment banking services to mid-sized companies, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. It also provides various financial services, such as loans, deposits, and settlement services, as well as loan syndication, structured finance, and nonrecourse loans to large corporations and listed companies; international banking services comprising project finance, loan syndic ation, securitization, shipping finance, global cash management services, and yen custody services; and provides services related to foreign exchange, securities, and derivatives. The Securities segment offers various financial products, including stocks, bonds, investment trusts, and variable annuity insurance; investment consultation; and administration services to individual and corporate customers. The Leasing segment offers provides leasing services, such as leasing of information and communication equipment, industrial equipment, and construction equipment, as well as aircraft leasing. The Credit Card segment provides various credit cards; and settlement and financing services primarily related to credit card transactions. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Yesterday in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 stock index (NKY:IND) closed up 3.13%. Financial and real estate stocks were the big winners. In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) rose 5.03% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) climbed 5.0%. (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.) In the real estate sector, Heiwa Real Estate (8803:JP) gained 4.13% and Mitsui Fudosan (8801:JP) advanced 3.31%. The yen fell against the dollar by 0.4% to 102.34 yen to the dollar.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Stocks in Japan climbed at the start of trade Tuesday, as U.S. dollar strength against the yen aided the export-oriented market. The Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) advanced 1% to 14,431.03, and the broader Topix rose 1.5% to 1,201.63, with the greenback moving back above the ¥102 level versus Japan’s currency. Among exporters, stock in Canon Inc. (JP:7751) (CAJ) rose 1.6%, Mazda Motor Corp. (JP:7261) (MZDAF) tacked on 1.5%, and Sony Corp. (JP:6758) (SNE) gained 1.4%. Banking stocks were higher ahead of the conclusion of the Bank of Japan’s meeting later Tuesday, and officials are not expected to announce any changes in monetary policy. Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (JP:8306) (MTU) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (JP:8316) (SMFG) were each up by 1.7%.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks slipped early Monday, with the Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) down 0.1% at 14,298.17, and the Topix dropping 0.4%. Singapore-traded lead futures for the Nikkei Average had suggested a 0.8% gain for the index, but the indicator fell after the Cabinet Office reported fourth-quarter economic growth of 0.3%, flat from the previous quarter and below expectations in separate Reuters and Wall Street Journal/Nikkei surveys. The disappointing economic data also pushed the yen higher, weighing on some exporters, with Panasonic Corp. (JP:6752) (PCRFF) down 1.8%, NEC Corp. (JP:6701) (NIPNF) off 1.3%, and Sony Corp. (JP:6758) (SNE) down 0.7% after S&P downgraded the firm’s credit rating to BBB- from BBB with a negative outlook. Shares of Internet retailer Rakuten Inc. (JP:4755) (RKUNF) dropped 12% after announcing plans to buy online messaging and telecom firm Viber Media Inc. for $900 million as well as posting below-consensus full-year profit. Banks were broadly lower, with Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (JP:8411) (MFG) off 1% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (JP:8316) (SMFG) off 1.1%, though Daiwa Securities Group Inc. (JP:8601)

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) – Japanese stocks slipped at the open of trade Tuesday, as the Nikkei Stock Average pulled back from its 2.3% rally in the previous session. The Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) shed 22 points, or 0.1%, to 15,628.07, and the broader Topix was flat at 1,255.14. Financial shares as well as some tech names were under pressure, including Trend Micro Inc. (JP:4704) (TMICY) , shares of which fell 2.8% following their 3% surge on Monday, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (JP:8316) (SMFG) as its stock lost 0.8%. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar held above the ¥103 level and the euro moved up toward ¥142.

Best Income Companies For 2015: TomTom NV (OEM)

TomTom NV is a Netherlands-based supplier of location and navigation products and services. The Company’s structure consists of four customer facing business units, namely Consumer, Automotive, Business Solutions and Licensing. The first three business units provide targeted solutions for the Company’s customers, including private consumers, car manufacturers and fleet owners. Licensing sells its content and services to multiple customer groups including portable navigation devices (PNDs) and wireless companies, governments and enterprises. The Company’s business units embed 11 product units, such as digital maps, traffic intelligence, navigation software, PNDs, automotive systems, fleet management services (FMS), smart phone applications, sports watches, points of interest, location based services (LBS) and speedcam intelligence. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was active in 35 countries. In July 2013, it acquired Coordina (Gestion Electronica Logistica, S.L.). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By victorselva]

    In a macro view, revenues in the electronic equipment and instrument sub-industry will remain strong due to the rise in equipment and instrument manufacturers. Distributors, electronic manufacturing service (EMS) companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are going to increase orders as the economy improves in the future. With this promising outlook, let’s take a look at Gabelli´s last trade and try to explain to investors the reasons of this appealing investment opportunity.

Best Income Companies For 2015: iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA)

iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the MSCI EAFE Index (the Index). The Index has been developed by Morgan Stanley Capital International, Inc. as an equity benchmark for international stock performance. The Index includes stocks from Europe, Australasia and the Far East. The Index is a capitalization-weighted index that aims to capture 85% of the (publicly available) total market capitalization.

The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Waggoner]

    Most broad-based international funds measure themselves against the MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East index, which measures the performance of large-company stocks headquartered in developed countries outside the United States and Canada. The largest component of the iShares MSCI EAFE exchange-traded fund (ticker: EFA), for example, is Nestle, based in Switzerland.

  • [By Chris Ciovacco]

    The damage from Wednesday’s session did little to disturb the market’s longer-term risk tolerance profile, which is easy to understand when you consider the S&P 500 is still up 3 points for the week. However, we have seen some emerging cracks over the past two weeks. Demand for bonds has not surpassed stocks, but there is evidence of an attempt to mount a more formidable charge relative to stocks. Recent interest in defensive consumer staples (XLP) also tells us to keep an open mind about a "give back" after the S&P 500 gained 129 points from the October 9 low to the recent high. The observable evidence in the table above aligns with a growth-oriented allocation, including exposure to broad U.S. stock market (VTI), emerging markets (EEM), foreign stocks (EFA), and technology (QQQ).

  • [By Chris Ciovacco]

    In Thursday’s ETF analysis, evidence is presented that supports increasing demand for assets that get a tailwind from a weak U.S. dollar, including emerging markets (EEM) and foreign stocks (EFA). Casting a wider economic net, our market model told us to start buying stocks last week even with the threat of a U.S. default. Wednesday, we continued with our incremental allocation shifts by adding some exposure to the energy sector. Thursday, we sat tight holding long positions in small caps (IJR), Europe (FEZ), emerging markets and technology (QQQ). The upper bounds of the bullish S&P 500 trend channel shown below may offer some resistance to the market’s near vertical ascent.

Best Income Companies For 2015: Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN)

Amazon.com, Inc. operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. It operates retail Web sites, including amazon.com and amazon.ca. The company serves consumers through its retail Web sites and focuses on selection, price, and convenience. It also offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on its Web sites, and their own branded Web sites. In addition, the company serves developer customers through Amazon Web Services, which provides access to technology infrastructure that developers can use to enable virtually various type of business. Further, it manufactures and sells the Kindle e-reader. Additionally, the company provides fulfillment; miscellaneous marketing and promotional agreements, such as online advertising; and co-branded credit cards. Amazon.com, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    In 2013, the company boasted more than 231 million active users, and those users exchanged more than $248 billion over Alibaba’s platforms in the year. In 2013, more money was spent over Alibaba’s network than on Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) combined.

  • [By Benjamin Pimentel]

    Most other major tech issues, including Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Amazon.com (AMZN)   and Facebook Inc. (FB)   were in the red.

  • [By Louis Navellier]

    There is tendency among most investors to want to own the hot well known stocks, like Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY).

    There is a certain comfort factor in owing the same stocks everyone else does, and companies like EBAY and AMZN that are being talked about every day on the financial new networks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as many of the really hot stocks are those that have the type of superior fundamentals that attract buying pressure form the large institutions and hedge funds.

Best Income Companies For 2015: ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH)

ARM Holdings plc (ARM), incorporated on October 16, 1990, designs microprocessors, physical intellectual property (IP) and related technology and software, and sells development tools. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in three business segments: the Processor Division (PD), the Physical IP Division (PIPD) and the System Design Division (SDD). ARM licenses and sells its technology and products to international electronics companies, which in turn manufacture, markets and sells microprocessors, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard processors (ASSPs) based on ARM’s technology to systems companies for incorporation into a range of end products. It also licenses and sells development tools directly to systems companies and provides support services to its licensees, systems companies and other systems designers.

ARM processor architecture and physical IP is used in embedded microprocessor applications, i ncluding cellular phones, digital televisions, mobile computers and personal computer peripherals, smart cards and microcontrollers. ARM’s principal geographic markets are Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific. ARM’s product offering includes microprocessor Cores: RISC microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as video and graphics IP and on-chip fabric IP; embedded software; physical IP; development tools, and support and maintenance services.

Processor Division

The PD encompasses those resources that are centered on microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as graphics IP, fabric IP, embedded software IP and configurable digital signal processing (DSP) IP. Service revenues consist of design consulting services and revenues from support, maintenance and training.

Physical IP Division

The PIPD is focused on building blocks for translation of a circuit design into actual silicon. Durin g the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s total av! erage PIPD headcount was 557. ARM is a provider of physical IP components for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits, including systems-on-chip (SoCs). ARM Artisan physical IP products include embedded memory, standard cell and input/output components. Artisan physical IP also includes a limited portfolio of analog and mixed-signal products. ARM’s physical IP components are developed for a range of process geometries ranging from 20 nanometer – 250 nanometer. ARM licenses its products to customers for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits used in complex, high-volume applications, such as portable computing devices, communication systems, cellular phones, microcontrollers, consumer multimedia products, automotive electronics, personal computers and workstations and many others.

ARM’s embedded memory components include random access memories, read only memories and register files. These memories are provided in the form of a configurabl e memory compiler, which allows the customer to generate the appropriate configuration for the given application. ARM’s memory components include many configurable features, such as power-down modes, low-voltage data retention and fully static operation, as well as different transistor options to trade off performance and power. In addition, ARM’s memory components include built-in test interfaces that support the industry test methodologies and tools. ARM memory components also offer redundant storage elements.

ARM’s memory components are designed to enable the chip designer maximum flexibility to achieve the optimum power, performance, and density trade-off. ARM offers standard cell components that are optimized for high performance, high density or ultra high density. ARM logic products deliver optimal performance, power and area when building ARM Processors, Graphics, Video and Fabric IP along with general SoC subsystem implementation. ARM delivers phy sical interface for a range of DDR SDRAM (double-data rate s! ynchronou! s dynamic random-access memory) applications ranging from mission critical applications to low-power memory sub-systems. Silicon on Insulator (SOI) products is an alternative methodology to traditional semiconductor fabrication techniques.

System Design Division

The SDD is focused on the tools and models used to create and debug software and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. ARM’s software development tools help a software design engineer deliver products right the first time. Engineers use these tools in the design and deployment of code, from applications running on open operating systems right through to low-level firmware. The ARM Development Studio is a hardware components that allow the software designer to connect to a real target system and control the system for the purposes of finding errors in the software. The ARM DSTREAM unit allows the software developer to control the software running on the prototype product and examine the internal st ate of the prototype product. ARM Development Boards are ideal systems for prototyping ARM-based products. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit supports ARM-based microcontrollers and 8051-based microcontrollers from companies, such as Analog Devices, Atmel, Freescale, Fujitsu, NXP, Samsung, Sharp, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit is used by developers who are building products and writing software using standard off-the-shelf microcontrollers.

The ARM Microprocessor Families

ARM architecture processors offers a range of performance options in the ARM7 family, ARM9 family, ARM11 family, ARM Cortex family and ARM SecurCore family. The ARM architecture gives systems designers a choice of processor cores at different performance/price points. The ARM7 offers 32-bit architecture capable of operating from 8/16-bit memory on an 8/16-bit bus through the implementation of the Thumb instruction set . The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in ! the 150-2! 50MHz range. Each processor has been designed for a specific application or function, such as an application processor for a feature phone or running a wireless fidelity (WiFi) protocol stack. The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 150-250 megahertz range. The ARM11 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 300-600 megahertz range. ARM Cortex family is ARM’s family of processor cores based on version 7 of the ARM Architecture. The family is split into three series: A Series, A Series and M Series.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Among the recent news from chip stock Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (NYSE: AMD) was a partnership with ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) that’s intended to give the company a leg up on rivals like Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA). I should point out that we previously had an open position in Advanced Micro Devices in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio from last summer up until late January when we locked in a small loss. We bailed not because we don’t believe in the company’s potential over the long term, but because our SCN EO is a trading portfolio rather than a long term buy and hold portfolio. Moreover, AMD’s shares had sunk again after the company reported earnings – a repeat performance of what happened after three previous earnings reports. With that in mind, here is a quick look at some of the latest good news AMD is producing:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Perhaps the biggest wild card of them all is speculation that a buyer could swoop AMD up without anyone noticing. This buyout is not even really a rumor, but as Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) and others want a better way to compete against Intel, we do not view this as impossible.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) were down 6.92 percent to $42.64 after the company posted a loss in the fourth quarter.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) saw an 18.8% drop in short interest to 5.61 million shares, which represents about 1.2% of the total float. There is no date scheduled yet for the company’s earnings announcement, but analysts expect EPS of $0.26 on revenues of $295.94 million. Both numbers are above the company’s year-ago results.

Best Income Companies For 2015: Rowan Companies Inc.(RDC)

Rowan Companies, Inc. provides onshore and offshore oil and gas contract drilling services in the United States and internationally. The company offers its contract drilling services through its fleet of 28 self-elevating mobile offshore drilling platforms and 30 deep-well land drilling rigs. The company was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    A bad year for offshore drillers is likely to get worse–and Morgan Stanley says even market favorite Rowan (RDC) could get hit. It recommends yield plays, including Seadrill (SDRL).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Atwood have dropped 1.9% to $45.45 at 3:38 p.m. and pulled down other offshore players. Noble has fallen 1.4% to $48.68, Transocean has declined 1.9% to $41.60, Rowan (RDC) is off 0.8% at $31.41 and Seadrill (SDRL) has dropped 1.8% to $35.53.

Best Income Companies For 2015: British American Tobacco Industries p.l.c.(BTI)

British American Tobacco p.l.c., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. The company offers cigars, cigarettes, smokeless snus, roll-your-own, and pipe tobacco products under the Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Viceroy, Kool, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, and State Express 555 brand names. It has operations in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, eastern and western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. British American Tobacco p.l.c. operates independently of Remgro Ltd. as of November 03, 2008.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Given the size of a potential acquisition of Lorillard would be quite large, we question how a bid from [Reynolds American] would be financed. Therefore, we think a more likely deal could be a merger between [Lorillard] and [Reynolds American] rather than an acquisition. Also, there has been speculation that British American Tobacco (BTI), which currently owns ~42% of [Reynolds American’s] stock, could take a majority stake in [Reynolds American] after the standstill ends in July 2014. While we believe the most likely scenario is that [British American Tobacco] and [Reynolds American] could reach a strategic partnership to market/sell e-cigs globally, we wouldn’t rule out [British American Tobacco] taking a majority stake in [Reynolds American]. Furthermore, if this occurs, [British American Tobacco] could help finance a potential acquisition of [Lorillard].

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    How bad has performance of Phillip Morris been? Its shares have dropped 1.9% during the past 12 months, while American-focused Altria Group (MO) has gained 15%. British American Tobacco (BTI) has gained 3%, Reynolds American (RAI) has advanced 14%, and Lorillard (LO) has jumped 26%.

  • [By Editor , Dividend Growth Investor]

    The company’s largest competitors include British American Tobacco (BTI), Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) and Japan Tobacco.

    Earnings per share have doubled over the preceding 7 years to $5.17 in 2012. The company expects earnings to reach $5.37-$5.42 per share in 2013, followed by a 6-8% increase in 2014. Despite the near-term slowdown in earnings per share, the company is committed to growing currency neutral EPS by 10-12% per year after 2015.

  • [By Fede Zaldua]

    Imperial trades cheaply and pays a great, sustainable and for-ever-growing 4.5% cash dividend yield. The company’s 2014 10.4 times P/E multiple represents a 40% discount to what most European consumer staples sell for. Besides, the owner of brands such as Davidoff and Gauloises, trades at a much more conservative level than its direct tobacco peers. Philip Morris International (PM) and British American Tobacco (BTI) sell for 2014 15 and 14.2 times earnings, respectively.

Best Income Companies For 2015: Global Eagle Entertainment Inc (ENT)

Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., formerly Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., incorporated on February 2, 2011, is the full service platform offering both content and connectivity for the worldwide airline industry. Through its combined content, distribution and technology platforms, the Company provides airlines and the millions of travelers they serve with the offering of in-flight video content, e-commerce and information services. Through its Row 44 subsidiary, the Company utilizes Ku-band satellite technology to provide airline passengers with Internet access, live television, shopping and travel-related information. As of February 1, 2013, the Company installed on more than 450 aircraft, Row 44 has the fleet of connected entertainment platforms operating over land and sea globally. In addition, through its AIA division, the Company provides film and television content, games and applications to more than 130 airlines worldwide. In July 2013, the Company announced the acq uisition of Post Modern Group, LLC. In October 2013, Global Eagle Entertainment Inc announced that it has acquired Travel Entertainment Group Equity Limited, the United Kingdom-based parent company of IFE Services Limited (IFE Services) from GCP Capital Partners LLP.

The Company’s Row 44 subsidiary provides satellite-based broadband service to the global airline industry. The Company’s Advanced Inflight Alliance (AIA) business is the provider of content services, products and solutions for the global inflight entertainment market. AIA also serves as the exclusive representative in sourcing Hollywood content for 60 airline customers and is the exclusive distributor of content from select Hollywood studios and independent producers to the airline market. In addition, AIA is the airline distributor of Asian, Bollywood, European, Latin American and Middle Eastern content.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    This was particularly the view of Leo Denault, CEO of Entergy Corp (NYSE: ENT). Mr. Denault and his fellow panelist, James Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE: NEE), offered rather refreshing perspectives on the industry’s challenges, as they are pursuing strategies that are directionally opposed.