Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now

The first quarter for the current fiscal saw Microsoft (MSFT) something people had long waited for. The company launched its flagship productivity application – Office for Apple’s iPad – on March 27 as part of its mobile first strategy. This seemed a perfect combination- best Saas application suite on the best tablet. The Office version for iPads, the iPad suite, reportedly hit has hit the 27 million download mark. This was popular with Wall Street and more importantly with consumers, who performed 27 million downloads in a matter of weeks. This number is more than twice the figure the company shared over a month ago. The hotly-anticipated group of apps rocketed to the top of Apple’s iOS App Store charts one day after launch and held their high ranking positions for some time. As of this writing, Word is still the fourth most-downloaded free iPad app, while Excel and PowerPoint have dropped to number 22 and 26 in the rankings, respectively. Microsoft has been using the same “freemium” model with Office for iPad. However, to get the full editing and creation experience, users will have to subscribe to Office 365 by paying a monthly or yearly fee.

Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now: Hickory Tech Corporation (HTCO)

Hickory Tech Corporation provides integrated communications services to business and residential customers in the Midwest. The company operates in two segments, Business Sector and Telecom Sector. The Business Sector segment offers integrated data services, such as fiber, data and Internet, voice and voice over Internet protocol, managed and hosted, data center, equipment, and total care support services. This segment also distributes telecommunications and data processing equipment, as well as provides network and equipment monitoring, maintenance, and equipment consulting services; and offers fiber-based transport for regional and national telecommunications carriers, wireless carriers, and other providers. It serves businesses primarily in the upper Midwest. The Telecom Sector segment offers network access services; and broadband services, such as residential and business DSL access, high-speed Internet, digital TV, and business Ethernet services. It also provides local telephone, long distance, and calling features services; and directory assistance, operator service, and long distance private lines. In addition, this segment offers directory publishing, customer premise equipment sales, bill processing, and add/move/change services. It owns and operates approximately 900 mile fiber optic network and facilities in Minnesota. Hickory Tech Corporation was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Hickory Tech (HTCO), a communications provider in several Midwest states, announced a 3% dividend increase to 15 cents per share, payable Dec. 5 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
    HTCO Dividend Yield: 5.5%

Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now: Oi SA (OIBR)

Oi S.A., formerly Brasil Telecom S.A., incorporated on November 27, 1963, is a telecommunication service provider in Region II in Brazil. The Company offers a range of integrated telecommunication services that includes fixed-line and mobile telecommunication services, data transmission services (including broadband access services), Internet service provider (ISP) services and other services, for residential customers, small, medium and large companies, and governmental agencies. The Company provides services, which include Fixed-Line Telecommunications Services and Data Transmission Services, Mobile Telecommunications Services and other services.

Local Fixed-Line Services

As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 7.2 million local fixed-line customers in Region II. Local fixed-line services include installation, monthly subscription, metered services, collect calls and supplemental local services. Metered services include local call s that originate and terminate within a single local area. ANATEL has divided Region II into 1,772 local areas. Local fixed-line services also include in-dialing services (direct transmission of external calls to extensions) for corporate clients. For corporate clients in need of lines, the Company offers digital trunk services, which optimize and increase the speed of the customer’s telephone system.

Long-Distance Services

The long distance services include fixed line-to-fixed line and mobile long distance services. It provides domestic long-distance services for calls originating from Region II through interconnection agreements, mainly with Telemar in Region I and Telecomunicavoes de Sao Paulo S.A. (Telesp), in Region III permit the Company to interconnect directly with their local fixed-line networks, and through its network facilities in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. It provides international long-distance services originatin g from Region II through agreements to interconnect its netw! ork with those of the main telecommunication service providers worldwide. It provides mobile long-distance services originating from Region II through interconnection agreements, with Telemar in Region I, Telesp in Region III, and each of the principal mobile services providers operating in Brazil that permit it to interconnect directly with their local fixed-line and mobile networks. It provides international long-distance services originating or terminating on its customer’s mobile handsets through agreements to interconnect its network with those of the main telecommunication service providers worldwide.

Mobile Telecommunication Services

As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 7.8 million subscribers located in 1,281 municipalities in Region II. As of December 31, 2010, 87.5% of the Company’s customers subscribed to pre-paid plans and 12.5% subscribed to post-paid plans. The Company markets Oi Ligador subscriptions to its pre-p aid customers, which allow these customers to receive bonus minutes with each purchase of additional credits. It charges a nominal subscription fee to enroll a customer in the Oi Ligador program and provide bonus minutes to these customers that may be used for local calls to its fixed-line or mobile subscribers, long-distance calls to its fixed-line subscribers, and sending Short Message Service (SMS, messages to mobile subscribers of any Brazilian mobile service provider.

The Company has roaming agreements with TNL PCS S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Telemar which provides mobile services and which it refers to as Oi, Companhia de Telecomunicacoes do Brasil Central (CTBC), and Sercomtel S.A. Telecomunicacoes (Sercomtel), providing its customers with automatic access to roaming services when traveling outside of Region II in areas of Brazil where mobile telecommunication services are available on the GSM standard. As of December 31, 2010, it had launched thir d generation (3G) services in a total of 84 municipalities, ! including! the nine state capitals in Region II and the Federal District. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 175,200 3G mobile broadband customers.

Data Transmission Services

The Company provides Internet access services using ADSL technology, which it refers as broadband services, to residential customers and businesses in the primary cities in Region II under the brand name Oi Velox. As of December 31, 2010, the Company offered broadband services in 1,810 municipalities in Region II and it had 1.9 million ADSL customers. Its network supports ADSL2+, VDSL2 and FTTx technologies. ADSL2+ is a data communications technology that allows data transmission at speeds of up to 24 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabits per second upstream. ADSL2+ permits offer a range of services than ADSL, including Internet protocol television (IPTV). As of December 31, 2010, approximately 50% of its fixed-line network had been updated to support ADSL2+. Very-high -bitrate digital subscriber line (VDSL2), is a DSL technology providing faster data transmission, up to 100 megabits per second upstream (downstream and upstream). Fiber to the x (FTTx), is a broadband network architecture that uses optical fiber to replace all or part of the usual metal local loop used for last mile telecommunications.

The Company provides a range of data transmission services through various technologies and means of access. Its commercial data transmission services include Industrial Exploitation of Dedicated Lines (Exploracao Industrial de Linha Dedicada (EILD)), under which it leases trunk lines to other telecommunication services providers, primarily mobile services providers, which use these trunk lines to link their radio base stations to their switching centers; Dedicated Line Services (Servicos de Linhas Dedicadas (SLD)), under which it leases dedicated lines to other telecommunication services providers, Internet service providers (IS Ps) and corporate customers for use in private networks that! link dif! ferent corporate Websites; Internet Protocol (IP) services, which consist of dedicated private lines and dial-up Internet access, which it provides to the ISPs in Brazil, as well as Virtual Private Network (VPN), services that enable its customers to operate private Intranet and extranet networks, and frame relay services, which the Company provides to its corporate customers to allow them to transmit data using protocols based on direct use of its transmission lines, enabling the creation of VPNs.

The Company provides these data transmission services using its service network platform in Region II and its nationwide fiber optic cable network and microwave links. In addition, it provides services at the six cyber data centers located in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Fortaleza. It provides hosting, collocation and information technology (IT) outsourcing at these centers, permitting its customers to outsource their IT structures to it or to use these centers to provide backup for their IT systems. It also owns and operates a submarine fiber optic network, which connects Brazil with the United States, Bermuda, Venezuela and Colombia. Through this network, it offers international data transportation services, primarily leased lines to other telecommunication services providers.

Network Usage Services (Interconnection Service)

The Company is authorized to charge for the use of its local fixed-line network on a per-minute basis for all calls terminated on its local fixed-line network in Region II that originate on the networks of other local fixed-line, mobile and long-distance service providers, and all long-distance calls originated on its local fixed-line network in Region II that are carried by other long-distance service providers. In addition, the Company charges network usage fees to long-distance service providers and operators of trunking services that connect switching stations to it s local fixed-line networks.

Traffic Transporta! tion Serv! ices

The Company offers a long-distance usage service, called national transportation, under which it provides discounts to its long-distance network usage fees based on the volume of traffic and geographic distribution of calls generated by a long-distance or mobile services provider. The Company also offers international telecommunication service providers the option to terminate their Brazilian inbound traffic through its network, as an alternative to Embratel and Intelig Telecomunicacoes Ltda. (Intelig). The Company charges international telecommunication service providers a per-minute rate, based on whether a call terminates on a fixed-line or mobile telephone and the location of the local area in which the call terminates.

Public Telephone Services

The Company owns and operates public telephones throughout Region II. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 266,100 public telephones in service, which are operated by pre-paid cards.

Value-Added Services

Value-added services include voice, text and data applications, including voicemail, caller identification (ID), and other services, such as personalization (video downloads, games, ring tones and wallpaper), short message service (SMS)subscription services (horoscope, soccer teams and love match), chat, mobile television, location-based services and applications (mobile banking, mobile search, email and instant messaging). The Company also provides advanced voice services to its corporate customers, mainly 0800 (toll free) services, as well as voice portals where customers can participate in real-time chats and other interactive voice services. The Company also operates an Internet portal under the brand name iG.

The Company competes with Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes, GVT S.A., Vivo Participacoes S.A., Telecom Americas Group, TIM Participacoes S.A., Telesp and Intelig.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

     

    Oi (OIBR) provides integrated telecommunication services for residential customers, companies and governmental agencies in Brazil. This stock closed up 2.5% to 85 cents per share in Thursday’s trading session.

     

    Thursday’s Range: $0.82-$0.86

    52-Week Range: $0.76-$2.34

    Thursday’s Volume: 22.83 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 14.72 million

     

    From a technical perspective, OIBR jumped modestly higher here right above some near-term support at 80 cents per share with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last five months, with shares sliding lower from its high of $1.97 to its recent 52-week low of 76 cents per share. During that downtrend, shares of OBIR have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of OIBR now look ready to rebound and potentially trigger a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if OIBR manages to take out Thursday’s intraday high of 86 cents to more near-term overhead resistance at 90 cents per share with high volume.

     

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OIBR as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support levels at 80 cents to 76 cents per share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 14.72 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then OIBR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $1.02 to $1.08 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give OIBR a chance to tag its 50-day moving average of $1.18 to more resistance at $1.27.

     

  • [By alicet236]

    Oi SA (OIBR) Reached the Five-Year Low of $1.63

    The prices of Oi SA (OIBR) shares have declined to close to the five-year low of $1.63, which is 87.6% off the five-year high of $11.48. Oi SA is owned by three Gurus we are tracking. Among them, zero have added to their positions during the past quarter. 3 reduced their positions. Oi SA is a telecommunication service providing company in Brazil. Oi Sa has a market cap of $2.67 billion; its shares were traded at around $1.63 with a P/E ratio of 4.50 and P/S ratio of 0.14. The dividend yield of Oi Sa stocks is 23.36%. Oi Sa had an annual average earnings growth of 10.00% over the past 10 years.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Oi (OIBR), through its subsidiaries, provides integrated telecommunication services for residential customers, companies and governmental agencies in Brazil. This stock closed up 8.6 % to $1.89 in Thursday’s trading session.

    Thursday’s Range: $1.73-$1.91

    52-Week Range: $1.44-$4.69

    Thursday’s Volume: 5.48 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 3.91 million

    From a technical perspective, OIBR bounced sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $1.83 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of OIBR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if OIBR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.94 to $2.29 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OIBR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $1.83 or above more key near-term support at $1.72 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.91 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then OIBR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.44 to its 200-day at $3.06.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Oi (OIBR) provides telecommunication services in Brazil. This stock closed up 1.6% to $1.87 in Tuesday’s trading session.

    Tuesday’s Range: $1.83-$1.89

    52-Week Range: $1.42-$4.51

    Tuesday’s Volume: 2.61 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 4.32 million

    From a technical perspective, OIBR rose modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $1.72 with lighter-than-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $1.42 to its intraday high of $1.89. During that move, shares of OIBR have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is quickly pushing shares of OIBR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if OIBR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.89 to $2.04 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OIBR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $1.72 or above more support at $1.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 4.32 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then OIBR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.25 to $2.29. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give OIBR a chance to tag $2.50 to $2.75.

Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now: Uralkaliy OAO (URALL.PK)

Uralkaliy OAO (Uralkali OJSC) is a Russia-based company, which is engaged in the chemical industry. The Company specializes in the production of potash fertilizers. Its product portfolio comprises pink muriate of potash (PMOP), white muriate of potash (WMOP) and granular (GMOP). The Company is active through representative offices, located in Moscow and Beijing, as well as numerous subsidiaries, located countrywide and in Panama, Belarus, Singapore, Brazil and others. Uralkaliy OAO operates on the potassium and magnesium deposits located in Berezniki, Perm and Saint Petersburg. Its production assets include seven plants and five mines. Uralkaliy OAO sells its products domestically, as well as abroad in over 40 countries, including the United States, China, Brazil, India and South-East Asia, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Gallagher]

    The potash spat continues to get uglier, as Belarus investigators reportedly intend to seize property and assets of Russia’s Uralkali (URALL.PK) following the collapse of the joint Russian-Belarussian potash venture.

  • [By Chris Damas]

    This morning Russian potash giant OJSC Uralkali (URALL.PK) presented first half 2013 financial and operating results and more importantly, much anticipated comments on the strategy of the company and the state of the international potash industry, the latter blind-sided by the leading potash company’s split with marketing partner JSC Belaruskali of Belarus.

Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now: Brown(n)

N Brown Group plc operates as an Internet and catalogue home shopping company in the United Kingdom. The company principally offers womenswear, menswear, footwear, household, and electrical products, as well as provides insurance services. It also operates in the Republic of Ireland, Germany, and the United States. The company was founded in 1859 and is based in Manchester, the United Kingdom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By jaggom]

    NetSuite (N) has performed impressively this year and risen around 50%. This is in line with the expectations for a company that is one of the leading vendors in the world for cloud computing solutions as SaaS (software as a service).

  • [By Tom Taulli]

    OK, so what are some of the cloud companies that look attractive and have good long-term prospects? Well, here’s a look:

    Cloud Companies to Buy: NetSuite (N)

    NetSuite (N) is one of the pioneers among cloud companies (it was founded in the late 1990s). Then again, the company has needed lots of time to build mission-critical software for ERP (enterprise resource planning) requirements. While there is competition — such as Workday (WDAY) — it is still fairly limited. And this will likely remain the case because of complexities of the market.

  • [By Rob DeFrancesco]

    Then, another name similar competes is NetSuite (N), which does something similar to Workday, in the same area, but it concentrates on some smaller companies. Workday tends to go after larger enterprises.

  • [By David Trainer]

    Cloud software provider Callidus (NASDAQ: CALD) is in the Danger Zone this week. We’ve recently highlighted two other Software as a Service (SaaS) companies in Netsuite (NYSE: N) andSalesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), and CALD is a classic story of a bad company riding the coattail of the popularity of cloud computing and SaaS companies. SaaS stocks surged in 2013, and CALD followed the trend, gaining 166% over the past year.

Best Quality Companies To Watch In Right Now: Taylor Capital Group Inc.(TAYC)

Taylor Capital Group, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Cole Taylor Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products and services primarily to closely-held commercial customers and their owner operators in the Chicago area. It offers various deposit products, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as time deposits, and other deposit and credit services to commercial clients and community-based customers, including individuals and small local businesses. The company?s commercial lending activities primarily consist of providing loans for working capital and business expansion or acquisition; owner-occupied commercial real estate financing; revolving lines of credit; and stand-by and commercial letters of credit. It also originates and sells mortgage loans. In addition, the company provides treasury cash management services, including repurchase agreements, Internet balance reporting, remote deposit capture, positive pay, automa ted clearing house products, imaged lock-box processing, controlled disbursement, and account reconciliation services to commercial clients; and investment management and brokerage services. Further, it offers asset-based financing, including revolving lines of credit supported by receivables and inventory; and term loans supported by equipment and real estate. The company?s target commercial lending customers include businesses engaged in various industries, such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail distribution, transportation, construction contracting, and professional services. It operates through nine banking centers in the Chicago area. The company was founded in 1929 and is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Commercial banking concern Taylor Capital Group (NASDAQ: TAYC  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.50 per share on its Series A perpetual non-cumulative preferred stock, which trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol TAYCO.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Looking to expand its banking business in the Windy City, MB Financial (NASDAQ: MBFI  ) jointly announced with Taylor Capital (NASDAQ: TAYC  ) that it was buying the holding company of Cole Taylor Bank, a Chicago-based commercial bank with $5.9 billion in assets, $3.3 billion in loans, and $3.7 billion in deposits.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Taylor Capital (NASDAQ: TAYC  ) , the holding company of Cole Taylor Bank, a commercial and consumer lending and financial services company located in the Chicago area, skyrocketed as much as 22% after agreeing to be purchased by MB Financial (NASDAQ: MBFI  ) .