The financial sector is lit up bright green this Tuesday mid-day, continuing its climb from the second half of the day yesterday. The early part of the day wasn’t kind to big banks, which made me wonder why investors were punishing Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , especially after its positive earnings report early last week.
With big banks like Citi, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) having reported earnings, perhaps the market has had enough time to digest all this new information. Bank of America’s report, in particular, seemed to have a roiling effect on the financial sector, despite the fact that it wasn’t half bad at all.
But what a difference a day makes. Citi is moving up nicely, as is the whole sector. Bank of America is leading the way, as its share price moves up to and over the $12 mark, a rise of more than 3%. Citigroup is nearly matching that pace, so far racking up a 2.9% rise about half an hour before lunch time.
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Marcolin SpA (MCL)
Marcolin SpA is an Italy-based eyewear manufacturer. It is a manufacturer of glasses and sunglasses for such brands as Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli, Diesel, Montblanc, Tod’s and Hogan, Balenciaga, Swarovski, Timberland, DSquared2 and Kenneth Cole. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By John McCamant]
Our top stock selection for 2014 has received three Breakthrough Therapy Designations (BTD) by the FDA, and subsequent approval, in November, for Imbruvica, a very safe pill that has shown unprecedented efficacy to treat mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), suggests John McCamant, editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter.
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Silver Standard Resources Inc(SSRI)
Silver Standard Resources Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral resource properties in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. The company primarily explores for silver, gold, tin, zinc, lead, and copper deposits. Its principal projects include Pirquitas project located in the Province of Jujuy, Argentina; San Luis project in central Peru; Pitarrilla and San Agustin projects in Durango State, Mexico; and Diablillos project in Salta Province, Argentina. The company was formerly known as Consolidated Silver Standard Mines Limited and changed its name to Silver Standard Resources Inc. on April 9, 1990. Silver Standard Resources Inc. was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
- [By Vladimir Zernov]
If a miner has only one producing mine, this mine must deliver stable performance. This was the case for Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ: SSRI ) , which had only one producing mine, Pirquitas in Argentina, in the first quarter. However, the company has completed its acquisition of Marigold mine from Goldcorp (NYSE: GG ) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX ) at the beginning of April, so it started the second quarter with two producing mines.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
An under-$10 basic materials player that’s starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade is Silver Standard Resources (SSRI), which engages in the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of silver-dominant resource properties principally in the Americas. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2013, with shares off by 59%.
If you take a look at the chart for Silver Standard Resources, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending modestly for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $5.47 to its recent high of $6.27 a share. During that uptrend, shares of SSRI have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SSRI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.
Market players should now look for long-biased trades in SSRI if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $6.27 to $6.38 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 1.75 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SSRI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $7.55 to its 200-day moving average at $7.81 a share.
Traders can look to buy SSRI off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some near-term support at $5.47 a share. One can also buy SSRI off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
- [By Tim Melvin]
Once again, rather than making a wish on burning match bets, I prefer to buy out of favor companies at a steep discount to their asset and business value. And a look at the silver miners shows deep discounts to the value of corporate assets that could lead to significant profits.
Pan American Silver (PAAS) trades at just 65% of book value and has fallen by about 75% over the past few years. Couer Mines (CDE) is fetching just 54% of book and has fallen by around 80% since 2006. Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) trades at 55% of book and for less than the value of the cash the company has in the bank.
In reality, silver just needs to stop falling in price for these stocks to start to recover. If the analysts are right and silver hits a new high in the next decade, these could easily be the best investments you ever make in your lifetime.
- [By STANSBERRYRESEARCH] Let me start today's essay with an admission… I have no idea what the price of gold will be by the end of the year. Of course, neither does anyone else. I've recommended owning gold and silver bullion for many years. My company began recommending it repeatedly in the early 2000s because we saw the government's efforts to weaken the dollar as a bullish sign for gold prices. Then in 2006, I began to see that we were inevitably heading for a currency crisis. These weak-dollar policies had continued for far too long and were joined by huge increases to both public and private debts. That's when I began warning about the ultimate loss of our dollar's world reserve currency status, something I've called the "End of America." So for nearly seven years, I've been telling people that, whether gold looked expensive or not, it was prudent… or even necessary… to own some as insurance. I still believe that's true. I personally own gold. I've never sold a single ounce. I hold gold because I believe the entire global system of paper money and central banking is in the process of self-destructing. And I believe in a relatively short time – perhaps five or 10 years – the existing monetary system will collapse. During this period of turmoil, I expect gold and silver will maintain their purchasing power, while all forms of paper money will be rendered worthless. I see gold as a form of savings… a universally recognized form of money that is no one else's liability. In that way, it is far superior to any other form of money currently available today. At the same time… I am fully aware that as the public's awareness of the risks associated with our paper-money system grow, volatility in gold prices will spike. Worse, I knew that as the public began to invest in gold, the likelihood increased for a wicked
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Kemper Corp (KMPR)
Kemper Corporation (Kemper), formerly Unitrin, Inc., incorporated in 1990, is a diversified insurance holding company, with subsidiaries that provide life, health, automobile, homeowners and other insurance products to individuals and small businesses. The Company is engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance and automobile finance businesses. The Company conducts its operations through four operating segments: Kemper Preferred (Preferred), Unitrin Specialty (Specialty), Unitrin Direct (Direct) and Life and Health Insurance. On September 14, 2011, its subsidiary, Fireside Bank sold its loan portfolio to a subsidiary of Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc.
Property and Casualty Insurance Business
The Company’s property and casualty insurance business operations are primarily conducted through the Preferred, Specialty and Direct segments. In addition, the Life and Health Insurance segment’s ca reer agents also sell property insurance to its customers. Its insurance subsidiaries operating in the Preferred, Specialty and Direct segments provide automobile, homeowners, fire, and other types of property and casualty insurance to individuals and commercial automobile insurance to businesses. During the year ended December 31, 2011, automobile insurance in these segments accounted for 54% of its consolidated insurance premiums earned from continuing operations, and 47% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations. During 2011, homeowners insurance in these segments accounted for 14% of its consolidated insurance premiums earned from continuing operations, and 11% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations.
Preferred and Specialty segments distribute their products through independent agents who are paid commissions for their services. Direct segment distributes its products directly to consumers and through employer-sponsored voluntary benefit programs and other affinity relationships.! Preferred, based in Jacksonville, Florida, conducts business in 38 states and the District of Columbia. During 2011, the states, which provided over half of the premium revenues in Preferred segment included New York (19%), California (12%), North Carolina (13%) and Texas (10%). Preferred segment primarily sells preferred and standard risk automobile and homeowners insurance. During 2011, Preferred’s insurance products accounted for 53% of the aggregate insurance premium revenues of the Company’s property and casualty insurance business. Its products are marketed by approximately 2,700 independent insurance agents. Specialty, based in Dallas, Texas, conducts business in 21 states, principally in the southwest and western United States. During 2011, the states, which provided more than three-fourths of the premium revenues in Specialty segment included California (42%), Texas (18%), Washington (8%), Louisiana (4%) and Oregon (3%). Specialty provides personal and commerci al automobile insurance. During 2011, Specialty’s insurance products accounted for 28% of the aggregate insurance premium revenues of the Company’s property and casualty insurance business. Specialty’s products are marketed through approximately 8,000 independent agents and brokers.
Direct, based in Chicago, Illinois, markets personal automobile, homeowners and renters insurance through a range of direct-to-consumer Websites, including its own Websites, marketing partners, employer and other affinity-sponsored relationships. The Direct segment’s automobile insurance products are available in 48 states and the District of Columbia. During 2011, the states, which provided approximately two-thirds of the premium revenues in Unitrin Direct segment included Florida (12%), New York (15%), California (10%), Texas (5%), Connecticut (5%), Michigan (8%), Pennsylvania (5%) and Georgia (5%). During 2011, Direct’s insurance products accounted for 14% of the aggrega te insurance premium revenues of its property and casualty i! nsurance ! business.. Direct also offers homeowners and renters insurance across 47states and the District of Columbia, complementing its direct automobile insurance business. The Company manages its exposure to catastrophes and other natural disasters through a combination of geographical diversification, restrictions on the amount and location of new business production in certain regions, and reinsurance. To limit its exposures to catastrophic events, the Company maintains various primary catastrophe reinsurance programs for its property and casualty insurance businesses.
Life and Health Insurance Business
The Company’s Life and Health Insurance segment consists of Kemper’s wholly owned subsidiaries, United Insurance Company of America (United Insurance), The Reliable Life Insurance Company (Reliable), Union National Life Insurance Company (Union National Life), Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company (Mutual Savings Life), United Casualty Insurance Comp any of America (United Casualty), Union National Fire Insurance Company (Union National Fire), Mutual Savings Fire Insurance Company (Mutual Savings Fire) and Reserve National Insurance Company (Reserve National). As discussed below, United Insurance, Reliable, Union National Life, Mutual Savings Life, United Casualty, Union National Fire and Mutual Savings Fire (the Kemper Home Service Companies) distribute their products through a network of employee, or career, agents. Reserve National distributes its products through a network of exclusive independent agents. Both these career agents and independent agents are paid commissions for their services. During 2011, the states, which provided approximately two-thirds of the Life and Health Insurance segment’s premium revenues included Texas (21%), Louisiana (11%), Alabama (7%), Mississippi (6%), Illinois (4%), Florida (4%), Georgia (4%), Missouri (4%), and North Carolina (4%). During 2011, life insurance accounted for 18% of the Company’s consolidated insurance premiums earned from ! continuing! operations, and 16% of its consolidated revenues from continuing operations.
The Kemper Home Service Companies, based in St. Louis, Missouri, focus on providing individual life and health insurance products to customers of modest incomes who desire basic protection for themselves and their families. Their product is ordinary life insurance, including permanent and term insurance. Face amounts of these policies are lower than those of policies sold to higher income customers by other companies in the life insurance industry. Approximately 79% of the Life and Health Insurance segment’s premium revenues are generated by the Kemper Home Service Companies. The Life and Health Insurance segment’s career agents also distribute certain property insurance products. Reserve National, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is licensed in 35 states throughout the south, southwest and midwest, and specializes in the sale of Medicare Supplement insurance and limited health in surance coverages, such as fixed indemnity, dental and vision, and accident-only plans, primarily to individuals in rural areas where access to a multitude of health plan options is less prevalent.
The Company’s life and health insurance companies utilize reinsurance arrangements. Included among the segment’s reinsurance arrangements is excess of loss reinsurance coverage specifically designed to protect against losses arising from catastrophic events under the property insurance policies distributed by the Kemper Home Service Companies’ agents and written by Kemper’s subsidiaries, United Casualty, Union National Fire and Mutual Savings Fire, and reinsured by Kemper’s subsidiary, Trinity Universal Insurance Company (Trinity), or written by Capitol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Capitol), a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders, and its subsidiary, Old Reliable Casualty Company (ORCC), and reinsured by Trinity.
- [By Rich Duprey]
The property and casualty business of insurance company Kemper (NYSE: KMPR ) has a new bean counter.
On Monday, the Chicago-based insurance company announced that Elizabeth “Libbie” Bock will take on the role of CFO for the P&C division, where she would be responsible for all aspects of operations, reporting, control, planning and analysis, financial management, and competitive analysis.
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX)
Express Scripts Holding Company, incorporated in 2011, provides healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients, which include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers compensation plans, and government health programs. The Company operates in two segments: Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) and Emerging Markets (EM). PBM services include network claims processing, home delivery services, patient care and direct specialty and fertility home delivery to patients, benefit plan design consultation, drug utilization review, formulary management, drug data analysis services, distribution of injectable drugs to patients homes and physicians offices, bio-pharma services, and fulfillment of prescriptions to low-income patients through manufacturer-sponsored patient assistance programs. EM segment provides distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to p roviders and clinics, healthcare account administration and implementation of consumer-directed healthcare solutions. In September 2013, it announced the acquisition of the SmartD Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).
On July 20, 2011, Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) entered into a merger agreement (the Merger Agreement) with Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (Medco). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it reorganized its FreedomFP line of business from its EM segment into its PBM segment. On April 2, 2012, the Company completed the Merger Agreement, and after which ESI and Medco became the wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company. The Company’s customers include HMOs, health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, government health programs, office-based oncologists, renal dialysis clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, primary care physicians, retina specialists and others.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
We’ve looked at new Harvoni patient authorization forms from Anthem (Express Scripts (ESRX) is the pharmacy benefit provider) and UnitedHealth (UNH) that just came out… We note they have headline language “approval criteria” that reads and attempts to limit/restrict coverage to only the sicker highest risk F3-4 patients. The forms do support 8-12 weeks of Harvoni therapy. Separately, (2) Senator Bernard Sanders is planning a hearing before year end to examine HCV costs to the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA=10% max HCV volume) which could add some headline risk to be aware of that reminds us of Waxman…
- [By Chris Isidore]
But there are also many growing employers nearby due to the close proximity to the airport. Drug benefits provider Express Scripts’ (ESRX) headquarters and fulfillment center are just outside of town, and the company is adding another building to its complex. Boeing (BA) also does some manufacturing near the airport.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected: Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ: ESRX), United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET), Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) Economic Releases Expected: Spanish retail sales, British consumer credit, the U.S. Redbook, Japanese industrial production
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Atrion Corp (ATRI)
Atrion Corporation (Atrion), and its subsidiaries, develop and manufacture products, primarily for medical applications. The Company’s medical products range from fluid delivery devices to ophthalmic and cardiovascular products. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s fluid delivery products accounted for 38% of the Company’s revenues. These products include valves that promote infection control and needle safety. The Company has developed a variety of luer syringe check valves and one-way valves designed to fill, hold and release controlled amounts of fluids or gasses on demand for use in various intubation, catheter and other applications. The Company also makes tubing clamps in a variety of materials and colors that are compatible with various grades of tubing and sterilization processes, and produce specialized intravenous sets for use in numerous applications, including anesthesia and oncology.
The Company’s cardiovascular products accounted for 29% of its revenues during 2011. The Company’s principal cardiovascular product is the Myocardial Protection System (MPS2), a technology that delivers essential fluids and medications to the heart during open-heart surgery. The MPS2 integrates key functions relating to the delivery of solutions to the heart, such as varying the rate and ratio of oxygenated blood, crystalloid, potassium and other additives, and controlling temperature, pressure and other variables to allow simpler, more flexible management of this process, indicating improved patient outcomes. The MPS2 is the device used in open-heart surgery that allows for the mixing of drugs into the bloodstream without diluting the blood. The MPS2 employs advanced pump, temperature control and microprocessor technologies and includes a line of disposable products. It also develops and manufactures other cardiovascular products that include cardiac surgery vacuum relief valves; Retract-O-Tape silicone vessel loops for retracting and occluding vessels in minimally inva! sive surgical procedures; inflation devices for balloon catheter dilation, stent deployment and fluid dispensing, and Clean-Cut rotating aortic punch and PerfectCut Aortotomy System, both of which are used in heart bypass surgery to make a precision opening in the heart for attachment of the bypass vessels.
The Company’s ophthalmic products accounted for 17% of its revenues during 2011. The Company is a manufacturer of contact lens disinfection cases. It also manufactures a line of balloon catheters used in the treatment of nasolacrimal duct obstruction in children and adults. The Company’s other medical and non-medical products accounted for 16% of its revenues during 2011. These product lines consist of instrumentation and associated disposables used to measure the activated clotting time of blood. In addition, it manufactures and sells a line of products designed for safe needle and scalpel blade containment. It is also the manufacturer of inflation syst ems and valves used in marine and aviation safety products. The Company manufactures inflation systems and valves for products, such as life vests, life rafts, inflatable boats, survival equipment and other inflatable structures. The Company also produces one-way and two-way pressure relief valves for use on electronics cases, munitions cases, pressure vessels, transportation container cases, escape slides, and many other medical and non-medical applications.
The Company market components to other equipment manufacturers for incorporation in their products and sell finished devices to physicians, hospitals, clinics and other treatment centers. It sells its products through a sales force which consists of direct sales personnel, independent sales representatives and distributors. It offers customer service, training and education, and technical support such as field service, spare parts, maintenance and repair for certain of its products. The Company’s medical products and other components are produced at facilities in ! Florida, ! Alabama and Texas.
- [By Seth Jayson]
There’s no foolproof way to know the future for ATRION (Nasdaq: ATRI ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen — and before your stock craters as a result.
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Mercury Computer Systems(MRCY)
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing systems and software for specialized defense and commercial computing markets. The company operates in two segments, Advanced Computing Solutions (ACS) and Mercury Federal Systems (MFS). The ACS segment provides high-performance computing solutions, such as single board computers, digital signal processors, and integrated subsystems to the aerospace and defense, semiconductor, and commercial computing markets. This segment also provides microwave sub-assemblies to address needs in EW, SIGINT, ELINT, and high bandwidth communications subsystems; and software and customized design services for military and commercial applications. The MFS segment focuses on services and support work with the Department of Defense and federal intelligence and homeland security agencies, including designing and engineering intelligence, surveillance, and re connaissance (ISR) capabilities to address threats to the U.S. forces. It offers a range of engineering architecture and design services that enable clients to deploy computing capabilities for ISR systems on an accelerated time cycle. The company has operations in the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
- [By CRWE]
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:MRCY), a best-of-breed provider of commercially developed, open sensor and Big Data processing systems for critical commercial, defense and intelligence applications, reported it had received a $2.2M purchase order relating to an airborne radar application for fighter aircraft.
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Alliance Resource Partners L.P.(ARLP)
Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. engages in the production and marketing of coal for utilities and industrial users in the United States. It operates nine underground mining complexes, which offer low, medium, and high-sulfur coal. The company also leases land and operates a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana; and purchases and resells coal. In addition, the company provides mine products and services comprising design and installation of underground mine hoists for transporting employees and materials in and out of mines; design of systems for automating and controlling various aspects of industrial and mining environments; and design and sale of mine safety equipment, such as its miner and equipment tracking, and proximity detection systems. Further, it offers ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. As of December 31, 2010, the company had approximately 697.4 million tons of coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Alliance Resource Management GP, LLC serves as the general partner of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The upshot: “The fundamental case for coal is strengthening but requires several years of patience,” Bridges says. in the meantime, he recommends Consol Energy(CNX), Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) and Foresight Energy (FELP), as the yield from coal MLPs are the “only segment that [is] resonating with investors.” Last week, Consol said it may form an MLP for coal assets.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Until mid-2014 the best performers had been the thermal producers Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) and Consol Energy (CNX), but since nat gas prices disappointed in July, there’s no safe equity in the sector. With booming supplies of nat gas, a demand still playing catch up, without a cold winter gas prices could be weak into 2015.
- [By Vinay Singh]
Natural gas isn’t as cheap as it was a year ago and that’s leading to big changes in the energy market. That will be a good thing for Ultra Petroleum (UPL), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) and Alliance Natural Resource Partners (ARLP).
Best Performing Stocks To Watch For 2015: Fair Isaac Corp (FICO)
Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), incorporated on May 15, 1987, provides products and services that enable businesses to automate, improve and connect decisions to enhance business performance. The Company operates in three segments: Applications, which include pre-configured Decision Management applications designed for a specific type of business problem or process; Scores, which includes the Company’s business-to-business scoring solutions and services, its myFICO solutions for consumers, and associated professional services, and Tools segment, which include software tools that clients can use to create their own custom Decision Management applications, as well as associated professional services. In May 2012, the Company acquired Entiera Inc. In September 2012, it acquired Adeptra Ltd. On April 1, 2013, FICO acquired Infoglide Software Corp.
The Company develops industry-tailored Decision Management applications, categorized as Appli cations, which apply analytics, data management and Decision Management software to specific business challenges and processes. These include credit offer prescreening, insurance claims management and others. The Company’s Applications primarily serve clients in the banking, insurance, healthcare, and retail sectors. The chief offerings for marketing are the Company’s FICO Analytic Offer Manager and FICO Customer Dialogue Manager. These solutions offer a suite of products, capabilities and services designed to integrate the technology and analytic services needed to perform context-sensitive customer acquisition, cross-selling and retention programs and deliver mathematically optimized offers.
The Company provides solutions that enable banks, credit unions, finance companies, installment lenders and other companies to automates and improve the processing of requests for credit or service. The Company provides customer management solutions for banking, where it