A New York state judge ruled against summary judgment, so the battle between Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and MBIA (NYSE: MBI ) will continue. The dispute centers around which company is liable for losses stemming from mortgage-backed securities containing loans originated by Countrywide, the embattled mortgage company B of A ultimately acquired.
In this video, Motley Fool banking analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer give their takes on what it means for investors in these companies and who may have the upper hand during settlement talks.
Any steam left?
Bank of America’s stock doubled in 2012. Is there more yet to come? With significant challenges still ahead, it’s critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool’s premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, and Matt Koppenheffer, Financials bureau chief, lift the veil on the bank’s operations, including detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Westwood Holdings Group Inc(WHG)
Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. manages investment assets and provides services for its clients. It operates through two subsidiaries, Westwood Management Corp. and Westwood Trust. The Westwood Management Corp. provides investment advisory services to corporate retirement plans, public retirement plans, endowments and foundations, mutual funds, individuals, and clients of Westwood Trust. The Westwood Trust provides trust and custodial services to institutions and high net worth individuals, and participates in common trust funds that it sponsors. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Dallas, Texas.
- [By Will Ashworth]
Even though APAM stock has been hitting its 10-month high in recent days, its yield is still 2.6% — 50 basis points higher than BLK, WDR and WETF. If you like asset managers that handle big chunks of institutional money while still playing the retail mutual fund game, this is the smart choice.
Westwood Holdings Group (WHG)
I first became aware of the Dallas-based asset manager Westwood Holdings Group (WHG) when I read about its founder, Susan Byrne, in an article that appeared in Fortune magazine several years ago. Her firm has been doing great things outside the bright lights of Manhattan ever since.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: SM Energy Co (SM)
SM Energy Company (SM Energy), incorporated in 1915, is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (referred to as oil, gas, and NGLs) in onshore North America. The Company’s operations are focused on five operating areas in the onshore United States. In December 2011, the Company closed on its acquisition and development agreement with Mitsui E&P Texas LP (Mitsui), an indirect subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., which transferred 12.5% of its working interest in certain non-operated oil and gas assets in South Texas. In August 2011, the Company sold approximately 15,400 net operated acres in LaSalle and Dimmit Counties, Texas to Talisman Energy USA Inc. and Statoil Texas Onshore Properties LLC (collectively, Talisman/Statoil). In June 2011, the Company completed the divestiture of certain assets located in its Mid-Continent region. In January 2011, it completed the divestiture of certain assets located in its Rocky Mountain region. In December 2013, SM Energy Co announced that it had closed its previously announced Anadarko Basin divestiture package.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company had working interests in 1,353 gross (741 net) productive oil wells and 2,928 gross (1,060 net) productive gas wells. All of its drilling activities are conducted using independent drilling contractors. As of December 31, 2011, it had 415.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent of proved undeveloped reserves.
South Texas & Gulf Coast Region
Operations for the South Texas & Gulf Coast region are managed from its office in Houston, Texas. The Company’s operations in South Texas & Gulf Coast Region focus primarily on its Eagle Ford shale program. Its acreage position covers a portion of the western Eagle Ford shale play, including acreage in the oil, the NGL-gas, and the dry gas windows of the play. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it had approx! imately 250,000 net acres in the play, which consisted of an approximate 165,000 net acre operated position in Webb, Dimmit, and LaSalle Counties, Texas and an approximate 85,000 net acre non-operated position in Maverick, Dimmit, LaSalle, and Webb Counties, Texas. As of December 31, 2011, it had approximately 196,000 net acres in the play. During 2011, the production was 69.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
Rocky Mountain Region
Operations for the Company’s Rocky Mountain region are managed from its office in Billings, Montana. During 2011, the Company focused on Bakken/Three Forks formations in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin, where it had approximately 87,000 net acres.
Operations for the Company’s Mid-Continent region are managed from its office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Company’s operations in the Mid-Continent region are primarily focused on the horizontal develo pment of the Granite Wash formation in western Oklahoma. Its Mid-Continent region also manages its Woodford shale assets. In 2011, its Mid-Continent region’s production was 31.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. Proved reserves during 2011 were 234.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
The Company’s focus on the ArkLaTex region has been the horizontal development of its Haynesville shale acreage. In 2011, production in its ArkLaTex region was 30.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
Operations for the Company’s Permian region are managed from its office in Midland, Texas. The Company’s Permian region covers western Texas and eastern New Mexico. Its primary area of development focus in this region is the Wolfberry tight oil play. During 2011, the region’s production was 11.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
- [By Grace L. Williams]
A pair of insiders at SM Energy (SM) also caught our eye. General Counsel David Copeland bought 3,500 shares for $252,400 and President and COO Javan Ottoson conducted his first transaction and bought 1,000 shares for $71,900. InsiderScore notes:
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Shares of SM Energy Company (NYSE: SM) were down 17.47 percent to $73.93 after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings. KeyBanc downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Alico Inc. (ALCO)
Alico, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a land management company in central and southwest Florida. It involves in harvesting, hauling, and marketing citrus, as well as purchasing and reselling citrus fruit; cultivating citrus trees; and cultivating raw sugarcane for sale. The company also engages in producing and selling beef cattle, feeding cattle, and replacement heifers to packing and processing plants and contract cattle buyers, as well as through local livestock auction markets. In addition, it grows, harvests, and sells vegetables for wholesale; produces sod; sells native plants and trees for landscaping purposes; and subdivides, develops, and sells real estate property. Further, the company involves in rock and sand mining; and rents land on a tenant-at-will basis for grazing, farming, oil exploration, and recreational uses. Additionally, it engages in the planning and strategic positioning of company owned land, and negotiating and renegotiating sales c ontracts. As of September 30, 2010, Alico owned approximately 139,607 acres of land located in the Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Polk counties. The company was founded in 1960 and is based in Fort Myers, Florida.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Agribusiness and land management company Alico (ALCO) raised its quarterly dividend 50% to 12 cents per share, payable on Jan. 14, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31, 2013.
ALCO Dividend Yield: 1.11%
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Ikanos Communications Inc.(IKAN)
Ikanos Communications, Inc. provides broadband semiconductor and software products for the digital home. The company develops and markets end-to-end products for the last mile and the digital home, which enable carriers to offer triple play services, including voice, video, and data. It offers broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) products, such as high-density and low-power asymmetric DSL, and very-high-bit rate DSL products; communications processors that support various wide area network topologies, including passive optical network, DSL, wireless broadband, and Ethernet; and other products for access infrastructure and customer premises equipment (CPE) to network equipment manufacturers and telecommunications service providers. The company?s products comprise digital subscriber line access multiplexers, optical network terminals, concentrators, modems, voice over Internet protocol terminal adapters, integrated access devices, and residential gateways. It primarily s erves original design manufacturers, contract manufacturers, network equipment manufacturers, and original equipment manufacturers through direct sales and third-party sales representatives worldwide. The company was formerly known as Velocity Communications and changed its name to Ikanos Communications, Inc. in December 2000. Ikanos Communications, Inc. was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Fremont, California.
- [By Victor Selva]
On Dec.24, Mario Gabelli, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc. added Communications Systems Inc. (JCS) at an average price of $11.05 and currently holds 330,172 shares of the stock. It was the 5th time he added the stock during this year, which makes me feel that he is betting in favor of a positive future for the consumption of network capacity.
Recommendations of the Board
Communications Systems is engaged in the manufacture and sale of modular connecting and wiring devices for voice and data communications, digital subscriber line filters, and structured wiring systems, and through its Transition Networks business unit in the manufacture of media and rate conversion products for telecommunications networks.
Few months ago the firm announced a series of actions to increase revenues and improve profitability. The first change was to operate as a holding company, monitoring and supporting all the business units: Suttle, Transition Ne tworks (TN) unit and JDL Technologies. With this “new format”, each unit will operate with a high degree of autonomy. This will result in the reduction of labor costs, the emphasizing of accountability in the units as well as better recognition of performance. “While difficult decisions for the Board, we believe the changes we have taken to restructure our parent company as a holding company and to focus on individual business unit performance is in the best interest of our shareholders and will increase shareholder value” said Curtis A. Sampson, the Company’s Board Chair and Interim CEO. Furthermore, strategic investments in the TN unit such as marketing, sales and product development will boost revenues in the future.
Severe Warning Signs
Not all are good news, we found three severe warning signs issued by GuruFocus: Piotroski F-Score of 2 is low, which usually implies poor business operation; revenue has been in decline over the past 3 years and operating margi n has been in 5-year
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Zogenix Inc (ZGNX)
Zogenix, Inc. (Zogenix), incorporated on May 11, 2006, is a pharmaceutical company commercializing and developing products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders and pain. The Company’s product Sumavel DosePro offers needle-free subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan for the treatment of migraine and cluster headache in a pre-filled, single-use delivery system. Its lead product candidate, Zohydro (hydrocodone bitartrate, formerly ZX002) is a 12-hour extended-release formulation of hydrocodone without acetaminophen for the treatment of chronic pain requiring opioid therapy. It completed Phase 3 development of Zohydro in 2011. Its second DosePro investigational product candidate, Relday, is a injectable formulation of risperidone for the treatment of schizophrenia. Sumavel DosePro and Zohydro are used for the treatment options available to patients and physicians in the United States. Sumavel DosePro may serve as a treatment alternative to oral and nasal triptans and offers administration when compared to traditional, needle-based sumatriptan injection. In May, 2012, it submitted a New Drug Application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Company’s collaboration with Astellas has been terminated on March 31, 2012. Sumavel DosePro is a pre-filled, single-use disposable, needle-free drug delivery system that subcutaneously delivers 6 mg of sumatriptan in 0.5 mL of sterile liquid. Sumavel DosePro is designed to be portable, intuitive and easy-to-use. To use, the patient simply snaps off a plastic tip, flips back a lever and presses the end of the delivery system to the skin of the abdomen or thigh. Under the force of a small amount of compressed nitrogen gas, the liquid form of sumatriptan is expelled out of the device as a thin jet of medication, which pierces the skin and selectively deposits into the subcutaneous tissue.
Zogenix competes with GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca PLC, Endo Pha rmaceuticals Holdings Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., ! Inc., Pfizer Inc., Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Alpharma Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mallinckrodt Inc., Purdue Pharma L.P., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Becton, Dickinson and Company, Owen Mumford Ltd., Ypsomed, Sandoz Inc., Bioject Inc. and Antares Pharma Inc.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
The Food and Drug Administration approved an extended-release version of the narcotic painkiller hydrocodone despite a recommendation by its advisory committee that the drug should be rejected because of its potential for abuse. The federal agency approved Zohydro ER from Zogenix Inc.(ZGNX), the first hydrocodone product not mixed with milder painkillers such as acetaminophen and also the first extended-release hydrocodone product. Shares rose 15% to $3.49 premarket.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) shares gained 9.21% to $3.32 in the pre-market session after the company won the FDA approval for Zohydro ER capsules.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) soared 5.06% to $3.74 in the pre-market trading. ARIAD Pharmaceuticals is expected to report its Q3 financial results on November 6, 2013.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: TotalFinaElf S.A.(TOT)
TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, s uch as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
Total (NYSE: TOT) is considering a sale of its TotalGAz liquefied petroleum gas marketing unit for approximately $1.04 billion. Shares lost 0.82 percent, closing at $64.39.
- [By Aaron Levitt]
Three more rigs will delivered this year and next. Those rigs in operation are contracted out to energy giants Chevron (CVX), Total (TOT) and Petrobras (PBR). And having three of the largest oil majors sending you checks every day has worked in PACD’s favor.
- [By Jim Jubak]
Shares of energy companies without any near-term way to take advantage of any stoppage were off, with Chesapeake Energy (CHK) down 1.2% and France’s Total (TOT) off 2.31%.
- [By Arjun Sreekumar]
Refining weakness common among oil majors
Shell is not the only oil major suffering from an underperforming downstream segment. In fact, all of its peers, including Total (NYSE: TOT ) , ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) , and BP (NYSE: BP ) , blamed weak refining margins for disappointing financial performances last year. Exxon’s fourth-quarter downstream earnings plunged by $852 million to $916 million, while Chevron’s international downstream earnings plunged by nearly 80% to $125 million.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: MKS Instruments Inc.(MKSI)
MKS Instruments, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides instruments, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor, and analyze parameters of manufacturing processes worldwide. It offers instruments and control systems, such as pressure measurement and control, materials delivery, gas composition analysis, and control and information technology products. The company also provides power and reactive gas generation products comprising power delivery, reactive gas generation, processing thin films, and equipment cleaning products; and vacuum technology products, including vacuum containment components, vacuum gauges, vacuum valves, effluent management subsystems and custom stainless steel chambers, vessels, and pharmaceutical process equipment hardware and housings. Its products are used in the semiconductor processing steps, such as depositing thin films of material onto silicon wafer substrates, and etching and cleaning circuit patt erns; manufacture of flat panel displays, light emitting diodes, solar cells, data storage media, and other coatings, including architectural glass; energy generation and environmental monitoring processes, such as nuclear fuel processing, fuel cell research, greenhouse gas monitoring, and chemical agent detection; medical instrument sterilization; consumable medical supply manufacturing; and pharmaceutical applications. The company also offers maintenance and repair, software maintenance, installation, and training services. It serves semiconductor capital equipment and device manufacturers, thin film capital equipment manufacturers, energy generation, environmental monitoring, and manufacturing companies, as well as government, university and industrial research laboratories. The company sells its products primarily through its direct sales force, as well as through sales representatives and agents. MKS Instruments, Inc. was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Andover , Massachusetts.
- [By James E. Brumley]
What do small cap stocks MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI), Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT), and Kaman Corporation (NYSE:KAMN) have in common? Absolutely nothing, on the surface, and no, it’s not a setup for painfully bad punchline. There is a common thread among KAMN, SKT, and MKSI right now, however… they’re all three going into my mental (though publicly-tracked) portfolio this afternoon.
- [By Ben Axler]
In the table below, we’ve listed a sample of small-cap semiconductor capital equipment stocks such as Entegris (ENTG), Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS), ATMI Inc. (ATMI), MKS Instruments (MKSI), Photronics Inc. (PLAB), Rudolph Technologies (RTEC),FormFactor (FORM) and Mattson Technology (MTSN). The peers trade at approximately 1.0x and 15.5x 2014E revenues and EPS, respectively. Furthermore, the average peer trades at 2.1x tangible book value. However, these multiples are based on average 2014E industry revenue and earnings growth of 18% and 119%, respectively. Axcelis is poised to grow at a rate substantially above the industry average.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Collectors Universe Inc. (CLCT)
Collectors Universe, Inc. provides authentication and grading services to dealers and collectors of high-value coins, trading cards, event tickets, autographs, memorabilia, and stamps in the United States. It offers authentication and grading services for coins under the Professional Coin Grading Service brand name; sports and trading cards under the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) brand name; vintage autographs and memorabilia under the PSA/DNA authentication services brand name; and stamps under the Professional Stamp Experts brand name. The company also publishes authoritative price guides, rarity reports, and other collectibles data to provide collectors with information. In addition, it operates the Certified Coin Exchange business-to-business Website, certifiedcoinexchange.com, where dealers can sell and purchase certified coins and other certified collectibles; and Collectors Corner Business-to-Consumer Website, collectorscorner.com, a business-to-consumer W ebsite where consumers can visit, identify, search, sort over, and select for purchase coins, trading cards, and items of currency that are certified by the company, as well as Collectors Clubs for coin, currency, and trading card collectors; and manages and operates collectibles trade shows and conventions. The company provides its services to dealers, collectors, and retail buyers and sellers of collectibles. Collectors Universe, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Santa Ana, California.
- [By Jeff Hwang]
Such multiple expansion may be a natural product of time (i.e., older cards naturally carry larger premiums over time), or more likely a combination of time and the card removal effect. That is, over time, the best examples of a given card get graded by Beckett Grading Services or Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), a division of Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT ) , and are thus removed from the pool of ungraded cards; as a consequence, the value of ungraded cards declines in relation to the value of graded cards (or the value of graded cards rises in relation to ungraded cards), resulting in multiple expansion.
Best Sliver Stocks To Buy For 2014: Dephasium Corp (DPHS)
Dephasium Corp., formerly Pay Mobile, Inc., incorporated on November 17, 2005, is a development-stage company. As of December 31, 2012, the Company was seeking new business opportunities. On June 3, 2013, Dephasium Corp announced that it has completed the acquisition of the ANCILIA from Dephasium Ltd.
The Company was engaged in the business of providing integrated payment solutions for consumers and corporate clients by incorporating its mobile payment technology with the issuance of open-loop prepaid Visa and MasterCard cards. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had no operations.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks BluForest Inc (OTCMKTS: BLUF), Dephasium Corp (OTCMKTS: DPHS) and IceWEB, Inc (OTCBB: IWEB) have been getting some attention for at least a few weeks now thanks to paid for promotional activity. Of course, there is nothing wrong with properly disclosed stock promotions, but one of these stocks also has a former shareholder who has filed a civil action against it alleging there is an illegal “pump and dump” scheme going on. So what’s the whole story and more importantly, what will happen with these small cap stocks when the well from promoters eventually goes dry? Here is a closer look and a quick reality check: