Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015


Getty Images Your doctor can only see you at 2 this afternoon. Your daughter’s teacher says you have to get to school right now. Or maybe you just want to take a yoga class in the middle of your workday. How will your boss respond? Getting the time and support for the things you want or need is part of work/life balance, and more workers are taking that into account when they look for a job or consider leaving their current one. “There are some job titles that lend themselves to a healthier work/life balance,” said Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at the job services company Glassdoor. For instance, flexible hours allow you to run errands during the workday and still get all of your work done. Obviously, this only works for some jobs. “Data scientists can do that,” he said. Ditto social media managers. “Their mobile devices let them stay connected.” 20 Jobs With the Best Balance

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: Vitamin Shoppe Inc (VSI)


Vitamin Shoppe, Inc., incorporated on September 27, 2002, is a specialty retailer and direct marketer of vitamins, minerals, herbs, specialty supplements, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products. During the fiscal year ended December 29, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company marketed over 400 different brands, as well as its own brands, which include Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech and True Athlete. The Company sells its products through two segments: retail and direct. In the Company’s retail segment, the Company had a total of 286 new stores during the fiscal 2012. As of January 26, 2013, the Company operated 579 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Ontario, Canada, primarily located in high-traffic regional retail centers. In the Company’s direct segment, the Company sells its products directly to consumers through the Internet, primarily at www.vitaminshoppe.com. On February 14, 2013, Vitamin Shoppe Mariner, Inc. acquired Super Supplements, Inc.


Retail

The Company’s retail segment includes its retail store format. Its retail stores are is located in diverse geographic and demographic markets, ranging from urban locations in New York City, to suburban locations in Plantation, Florida and Manhattan Beach, California. As of January 26, 2013, the Company leased the property for all of its 579 stores. The Company’s primary warehouse and distribution center and corporate headquarters are consolidated into a leased, 230,000 square-foot facility.

Products

The Company offers a selection of vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathic remedies, specialty supplements, such as fish oil, probiotics, glucosamine and Co Q10, sports nutrition, weight management, as well as natural bath and beauty, pet supplements and options for a healthy home. The Company’s offers includes approximately 17,500 stock keeping units (SKUs) from over 400 brands. The Company offers products to its as sortment in its Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, True Athlete and O! ptimal Pet brands, which include products, such as Ultimate Man, Ultimate Women, Whey Tech Pro 24 and Natural Whey Protein. The Company also offers an assortment from national brands, such as Optimum Nutrition, USP Labs, Garden of Life, Cytosport, Nature’s Way, Solaray and Solgar. This assortment is designed to provide the Company’s customers with a selection of available product in order to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.


The vitamin and mineral product category includes multi-vitamins, which many consider to be a foundation of a healthy regimen, lettered vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, D, E, and B-complex, along with trace minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc. Certain herbs can be taken to help support specific body systems, including ginkgo to support brain activity and milk thistle to help support liver function, as well as other less common herbs, such as holy basil for stress support and blood sugar control and black c ohosh for menopause support. Herbal products include whole herbs, standardized extracts, herb combination formulas and teas.


Categories of specialty supplements include omega fatty acids, probiotics and condition specific formulas. Certain specialty supplements, such as organic greens, psyllium fiber and soy proteins, are taken for added support during various life stages. Folic acid is specifically useful during pregnancy. Super antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q-10, grapeseed extract and pycnogenol, are taken to address specific conditions. High ORAC (oxygen radical absorptive capacity) fruit concentrates like gogi, mangosteen, pomegranate and blueberry are taken to prevent oxygen radical damage. Other specialty supplement formulas are focused to support specific organs, biosystems and body functions. The Company offers approximately 3,000 SKUs in sports nutrition.


The Company’s other category include natural beauty and personal care, diet and weigh t management supplements, natural pet food, and low carb foo! ds. Natur! al beauty and personal care products offer an alternative to traditional products that often contain synthetic and/or other ingredients that the Company’s customers find objectionable. The Company offers approximately 3,000 SKUs for its other category. The Company’s natural pet products include nutritionally balanced foods and snacks along with condition specific supplements such as glucosamine for joint health. Its variety of diet and weight management products range from low calorie bars, drinks and meal replacements to energy tablets, capsules and liquids.


The Company competes with Vitamin World, GNC, Whole Foods, Costco, Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Amazon.com, Puritan’s Pride, Vitacost.com, Bodybuilding.com, Doctors Trust, Swanson and iHerb.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Barclays upgraded share s of Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) today, expressing a confidence in management that was, well, heartwarming.

    Barclays’ analysts Meredith Adler and Sean Kras call Vitamin Shoppe’s management team “thoughtful, deliberate and disciplined” and praise their ability to diversify the business. As a result, they upgraded Vitamin Shoppe to Overweight from Equal Weight two days after Vitamin Shoppe released its earnings.


    But Adler and Kras also spent a good number of words explaining what Vitamin Shoppe isn’t–specifically, it’s not GNC Holdings (GNC):

    [Vitamin Shoppe] said it saw no fundamental change in consumer demand, nor did it feel much pressure from the bad media reports about things like multi-vitamins and fish oil, unlike GNC. [Vitamin Shoppe] has a much broader offering than GNC, however, so weakness in any one category rarely has a major impact on [Vitamin Shoppe’s] overall sales the way it does at GNC. Conversely, it benefits less when there are few very successful products. For example, diet is a far smaller part of the sales mix at [Vitamin Shoppe] than at GNC. Last year diet had some strong products, but this year there are fewer. GNC’s comps were stronger than [Vitamin Shoppe’s] last year, but we like the stability of [Vitamin Shoppe’s] business, especially in the current environment.


    Shares of Vitamin Shoppe have gained 1.8% to $43.42 at 3:24 p.m., while GNC has risen 0.8% to $37.43.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE: VSI), Books-A-Million, Inc (NASDAQ: BAMM) and Perfumania Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: PERF) have the dubious distinction of being the worst performing small cap specialty retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with losses of 4.85% and 3% and a gain of 0.61%, respectively, since the start of the year (See my previous article: This Year’s Best Performing Small Cap Specialty Retail Stocks? UNTD, TA & HZO). I should mention that the definition of specialty retail stocks might vary from one stock screener to another, but what’s clear is that these three small cap retail stocks have been heading in the wrong direction for investors for much of this year.  With that in mind, what sort of performance should investors expect from these small cap specialty retail stocks on Black Friday and for the all important holiday season? Here is what you need to be aware of:

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: Puget Technologies Inc (PUGE)


PUGET TECHNOLOGIES, INC., incorporated on March 17, 2010, is a development-stage company. The Company is engaged in the distribution of luxury wool bedding sets produced in Germany. The Company’s product includes Lama Wool, Camel Wool, Cashmere Wool and Merino Wool.

The Company’s Lama Wool is consists of 50% Lama Wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Camel wool is consists of 50% Camel wool hair, and 50% Merino wool hair. The Cashmere wool is blended with Merino wool.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Inscor, Inc (OTCMKTS: IOGA), Puget Technologies Inc (OTCBB: PUGE) and PTA Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: PTAH) have all been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters or investor alerts. However, two of these small caps have been the subject of paid promotions while the third is getting attention largely because its in the growing marijuana or cannabis business. With that in mind, are these stocks really all that hot or not? Here is a quick reality check:

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: FTD Companies Inc (FTD)


FTD Companies, Inc. (FTD), incorporated on April 25, 2008, is a floral and gifting company. The Company provides floral, gift and related products and services to consumers and retail florists, as well as to other retail locations offering floral and gift products primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. The Company operates in one segment, which includes floral and related products and services. Its business uses the FTD and Interflora brands, both supported by the Mercury Man logo. The Company’s portfolio of brands also includes Flying Flowers, Flowers Direct, and Drake Algar in the United Kingdom. On November 1, 2013, United Online, Inc. (United Online) completed the separation of United Online into two independent, publicly traded companies: FTD Companies, Inc. and United Online, Inc.


The Company’s products revenues are derived primarily from selling floral, gift and related products to consumers and the related shipping and service fees. Products revenues also include revenues generated from sales of hard goods, software and hardware systems, cut flowers, packaging and promotional products, and a range of other floral-related supplies to floral network members. Its services revenues related to orders sent through the floral network are variable based on either the number of orders or on the value of orders and are recognized in the period in which the orders.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock One day out of 365, we pay homage to our sainted mothers. Those of us who are members of this long-suffering, uncomplaining, self-sacrificing class may get some soggy French toast in bed, (don’t worry, kids; mom will clean up the kitchen), a chance to read in peace, or perhaps time to indulge in a long, hot bath. Bringing Home the Bacon If you really want to pay back mom for all she’s done, get ready to pony up big. A card and some carnations (the official flower of Mother’s Day, who knew?) just won’t cut it. The cost of replacing mom as nurturer, nurse, cleaner and cook — according to Insure.com’s 2014 Mother’s Day salary index — would run you $62,985 a year, up from $59,862 in 2013. Breaking down the price of having someone else handle her various duties: Cooking and cleaning, $12,230 Child care, $21,736 Homework help, $7,290 Chauffeur, $5,672 Shopping, yard work, party and activity planning, finances, etc., $15,019 And my personal favorite, finding out what the kids are up to (paid in the equivalent value of a private detective), $1,036. Salary.com placed a higher value on moms in its 2014 Mother’s Day salary survey, concluding that stay-at-home moms were worth $118,905 and working moms worth $70,107 (this does not include any paid salary from their job), with both groups putting more than 56 hours of overtime at home. These numbers are all up from last year’s survey. Cooking It Up in a Pan Mom helps to pay for other things, too. Thanks to the Department of Agriculture, you can see what it costs to raise a child in the U.S. to 18. As of August 2013, the average cost is $241,080. This does not cover college, and hopefully dear old dad is contributing. In 2012, there were 10.3 million single U.S. mothers with children under 18, and one-third of women who gave birth in 2012 were single moms. By becoming moms, women give up time to do other things, what economists call an “opportunity cost.” Particularly if your mother st

  • [By John Udovich]

    As we head towards Black Friday, small cap specialty retail stocks United Online, Inc (NASDAQ: UNTD), TravelCenters of America LLC (NYSE: TA) and MarineMax, Inc (NYSE: HZO) have the distinction of being the best performing small cap specialty retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with gains of 181.2%, 123.8% and 71.8%, respectively. With those returns in mind, what are these small cap specialty retail stocks doing right and will the performance last through the all important holiday season? Here is what new and existing investors and traders alike need to know or consider:


    United Online, Inc. A provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, United Online’s Content & Media segment services are online nostalgia (Memory Lane) and online loyalty marketing (MyPoints) while its primary Communications segment services are Internet access and email (NetZero and Juno). The reason United Online is among the best performing specialty retail stocks for this year in various stock screening tools like Finviz.com is actually misleading as the company has just completed the spin off of subsidiary FTD Companies, a floral and gifts products company acquired in August 2008 for $441 million, as FTD Companies Inc (NASDAQ: FTD) where United Online shareholders received one share of FTD common stock for every five shares of United Online common stock they hold. In addition, United Online completed a one-for-seven reverse stock split of United Online shares. On Tuesday, small cap United Online, Inc fell 1.01% to $15.72 (UNTD has a 52 week trading range of $11.65 to $62.30 a share) for a market cap of $207.79 million plus the stock is up 181.2% since the start of the year and up 182.2% over the past five years. Meanwhile, the FTD Companies Inc now has a market cap of $611.60 and the stock is up almost 6% since October.

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: West Marine Inc (WMAR)


West Marine, Inc., incorporated in September 1993, is a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise for the boat and for the boater. It operates in three segments: Stores, Port Supply and Direct-to-Customer. The Company sells to both retail and wholesale customers in its Stores segment. In addition, the Company has three franchised stores in Turkey. The Company’s Port Supply segment is its wholesale segment. The Company’s Direct-to-Customer, which includes e-commerce, catalog and call center transactions. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Stores segment generated approximately 90% of its net revenues. During 2011, products shipped to Port Supply customers directly from its warehouses represented approximately 4% of its net revenues.


During 2011, its Direct Sales segment offered customers around the world more than 75,000 products and accounted for the remaining 6% of its net revenues. Priva te label products, which the Company sells under the West Marine, Black Tip, Third Reef, Pure Oceans, Lifesling, SeaVolt and Seafit brand names, usually are manufactured in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Stores Segment

During 2011, the Company opened six stores while closing 14 stores. In December 2011, it opened its Fort Lauderdale Boating Superstore, a 50,000 square foot flagship. Its flagship stores ranging in size from 21,000 to 50,000 square feet, offering an array of merchandise typically about 16,000 items, as well as displays designed to help customers make informed product selections. It also operates large format stores, standard-sized stores and smaller Express stores. Its large format stores range from 13,000 to 19,000 square feet and carry about 11,000 items. The standard-sized stores typically range from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet and carry over 6,000 items. Express stores typically range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and carry over 4,000 items, mainly hardware and other supplies needed! for day-to-day boat maintenance and repairs.


Port Supply Segment

Port Supply customers include businesses involved in boat sales, boat building, boat commissioning and repair, yacht chartering, marina operations and other boating-related activities. In addition, Port Supply sells to government and industrial customers who use its products for boating and non-boating purposes. Port Supply, the Company’s wholesale segment, serves wholesale customers seeking convenience and a larger assortment of products than those carried by typical distributors.

Direct-to-Customer Segment


The Company’s e-commerce Website provides its customers with access to a selection of approximately 75,000 products, product advisor tips and technical information, over 450 product videos and customer-submitted product reviews. This segment also provides customers with access to knowledgeable technical advisors who can assist its customers in underst anding the various uses and applications of the products it sell. It operates a virtual call center from which its associates assist its customers by taking calls from their homes or from its support center in Watsonville, California. Its virtual call center supports sales generated through its e-commerce Website, catalogs and stores and provides customer service offerings.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Interactive Buyside]

    West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) is an undervalued retailer.  The company is going through a change in focus from a bricks and mortar boat product retailer to a fully integrated retail and wholesale business through bricks and clicks, targeting the boating and water enthusiast customer.   Recent results have been affected by a severe rainy and cool spring which hurt boat usage and delayed the start of the season.  The company has accelerated cash investments to build larger more productive stores and expand its ecommerce abilities, consequently affecting free cash flow short term.  The stock lacks sponsorship as there is only one research report written on the company by a small boutique firm.  The stock trades at only book value despite the company being the leading industry player with a solid balance sheet and significant net cash position. 

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS)


Barnes & Noble, Inc. (Barnes & Noble), incorporated on November 19, 1986, is a bookseller. The Company is a content, commerce and technology company that provides customers access to books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform. As of April 27, 2013, it operated 1,361 bookstores in 50 states, 686 bookstores on college campuses, and operates one of the Web eCommerce sites, and develops digital content products and software. Barnes & Noble operates in three segments: B&N Retail, B&N College and NOOK. The Company’s principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles), mass market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other popular fiction), children’s books, eBooks and other digital content, NOOK and related accessories, bargain books, magazines, gifts, cafe products and services, educational toys & games, music and movies direct to customers through its books tores or on barnesandnoble.com.


Of the Company’s 1,361 bookstores, 675 operate primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC (B&N College), a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, operates 686 college bookstores at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble Retail (B&N Retail) operates the 675 retail bookstores. Retail also includes the Company’s eCommerce site and Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (Sterling or Sterling Publishing), a leader in general trade book publishing.


B&N Retail

This segment includes 675 bookstores as of April 27, 2013, primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. These stores generally offer a dedicated NOOK area, a comprehensive trade book title base, a cafe, and departments dedicated to Juvenile, Toys & Games, DVDs, Music, Gift, Magazine and Bargain products. The stores also offer a calendar of ongoing events, incl uding author appearances and children’s activities. The B&! N Retail segment also includes the Company’s eCommerce website, barnesandnoble.com, and its publishing operation, Sterling Publishing. Barnes & Noble stores range in size from 3,000 to 60,000 square feet depending upon market size, with an overall average store size of 26,000 square feet. During the fiscal year ended April 27, 2013 (fiscal), the Company reduced the Barnes & Noble store base by 0.3 million square feet, bringing the total square footage to 17.7 million square feet. The Company’s B&N Retail segment purchases physical books on a regular basis from over 800 publishers and over 50 wholesalers or distributors. As of April 27, 2013, Barnes & Noble had stores in 162 of the total 210 Designated Market Area markets.


Sterling Publishing is a publisher of non-fiction trade titles. It is a range of non-fiction and illustrated books and kits across a range of imprints, in categories, such as health and wellness, music and culture, food and wine, crafts and photo graphy, puzzles and games, history and current affairs, as well as a children’s books.

B&N College

B&N College sells new and used textbooks in campus bookstores and online. As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operated 686 stores nationwide. The Company’s customer base, which is mainly consisted of students and faculty, can purchase various items from their campus stores, including textbooks and course-related materials, emblematic apparel and gifts, trade books, computer products, NOOK products and related accessories, school and dorm supplies, convenience and cafe items.


As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operates 651 traditional college bookstores and 35 academic superstores, which are generally larger in size, offer cafes and provide a sense of community that engages the surrounding campus and local communities in college activities and culture. The traditional bookstores range in size from 500 to 48,000 square feet. The academic su perstores range in size from 8,000 to 75,000 square feet. B&! N College! ’s three customer constituencies are students, faculty members and campus administrators.

NOOK


This segment includes the Company’s digital business, which includes the Company’s eBookstore, digital newsstand and sales of NOOK devices and accessories to third party distribution partners, as well as to B&N Retail and B&N College. Barnes & Noble’s NOOK digital bookstore and Reading Apps provide customers the ability to purchase and read their digital content and access to their Lifetime Library on a range of digital platforms, including Windows 8 PCs and tablets, iPad, iPhone , Android smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac. Barnes & Noble has implemented features on its digital platform to ensure that customers can access their NOOK content from almost all of today’s most popular devices.


The Company competes with Target, Books-A-Million, Waldenbooks, Amazon.com, Apple, Wal-Mart and Costco.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Image Source My mom taught me to buy greeting cards at the dollar store. She says she refuses to pay a threefold markup for a Hallmark logo when it’s the thought that counts. And most people toss cards after reading them anyway. Sometimes I take her advice. Other times I take it a step farther. When I discovered my local Barnes & Noble (BKS) sold plain photos slapped onto plain white pieces of folded stock paper as $5 greeting cards, I realized I could make better cards myself for even less than mom pays. They come out to about 20 cents apiece. You might find greeting cards for less if you bought in bulk, but handmade cards have a personal touch and sometimes a story behind them. That doesn’t meant they have to look homemade, though. When my mom gave one of my cards to my boyfriend as a birthday card, he didn’t believe it was homemade -– or that it was made by his girlfriend.

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Nick Ut/APHillary Rodham Clinton has signed copies of her book for Barnes & Noble. There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the last major bookstore chain landing some star power to make its holiday sales ring up and a renter of movies and games on discs playing Grinch with a seasonally silly price hike. Here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders. Twitter (TWTR) — Loser It seems that a week doesn’t go by without a company making a social media mistake, usually in the form of posting a controversial or insensitive tweet. This week it was Twitter itself that blew it. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto posted a public tweet on Monday that apparently was intended as a private direct message to somebody. “We should buy them,” he writes, likely discussing an unnamed acquisition target, and pointing to a mid-December meeting. “We will need to sell him,” he concludes. “I have a plan.” It’s good to know that even Twitter is human. Apple (AAPL) — Winner It’s a safe bet that Apple’s going to be selling plenty of iPads, Macs, and iPhones this holiday shopping weekend, and at least one analyst wants to get in ahead of the customers. Susquehanna’s Chris Caso is raising his price target on Apple from $120 to $135, encouraged by the improving production and sales trends of the pricier iPhone 6 Plus. The larger smartphone sells for $100 more than the comparable iPhone 6, but it doesn’t cost that much more to make. In other words, Apple scores a larger profit from the iPhone 6 Plus than the iPhone 6. Redbox — Loser It’s going to cost a little more to check out a DVD, Blu-ray, or video game from a Redbox machine. Parent company Outerwall (OUTR) announced this week that it’s raising its rates. The daily-rental rates will go from $1.20 to $1.50 for DVDs, from $1.50 to $2 for Blu-ray discs, and from $2 to $3 for video games. The market applauded the move by sending the stock higher on the announcement, but are we forgetting that Redbox w

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Tuan Tran In shopping centers, strip malls and converted garages all across America, a real-life David vs. Goliath battle is being waged. Small businesses -– the employers of half of the U.S. workforce and responsible for two-thirds of all new jobs created since the mid-1990s -– are being put out of business by multibillion dollar companies like Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN). “Amazon.com, the giant online retailer, has too much power, and it uses that power in ways that hurt America,” famed New York Times economist Paul Krugman began his Oct. 19 column. Arguing that Amazon is a “monopsonist” -– a business entity so large and powerful that its purchasing power allows it to dictate terms to suppliers -– he compares its tactics to that of Standard Oil before it was broken up by Teddy Roosevelt. “Don’t tell me that Amazon is giving consumers what they want, or that it has earned its position,” he continued. “What matters is whether it has too much power, and is abusing that power. Well, it does, and it is.” Most mom and pop businesses would tell you that Krugman is right, that companies like Amazon are making it harder and harder for them to survive. But some are fighting back — and winning. The Story of One Bookstore Steve Peters runs Catholic Books & Gifts, a small, family-owned business that has been in Southern California for 20 years, and he knows what it is like to go head-to-head with Amazon and other online retailers. He can’t compete on brand awareness. “The toughest challenge for us with an Amazon or even a Barnes & Noble (BKS) is that they are well known across the country.” Nor price. “Many times they beat us on price,” he continued, bolstering Krugman’s assertion that purchasing power enables major retailers to artificially drive prices down. But he can win on service. Being smaller enables him to have a more intimate relationship with his clientele. “We have a big advantage in a couple key areas. Knowledge and

  • [By Alanna Petroff]

    4. Expecting earnings: Barnes and Noble (BKS) and Burlington Stores (BURL) will report earnings before the opening bell. Krispy Kreme (KKD) is set to report after the close.

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: Firstin Wireless Technology Inc (FINW)

Firstin Wireless Technology, Inc., formerly Passionate Pet, Inc., incorporated on September 30, 2010, is a mobile service provider. The Company is a software-based mobile service provider that enables enterprises and business users to make affordable and business-quality international long distance and roaming calls over its hybrid mobile VoIP (HY-mVoIPTM) technology. Its service does not replace a user’s existing wireless service, it augments it with global communication capabilities. The Company’s application is free to download, and is available on Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Android smartphones.


The Company provides international long distance and roaming services to enterprises and business travelers over smartphones. Business users need to download the Firstin application onto their smartphones to allow them to place and receive international long distance and roaming calls from anywhere in the world for a fixed monthly fee and unlimited usage. The Co mpany intends to revolutionize business mobile communications by spearheading the enterprise mobile VoIP revolution allowing for anywhere, anytime, business-quality and low-cost voice and data communications over smartphones.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Bonamour Inc (OTCBB: BONI), Firstin Wireless Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: FINW) and Microchannel Technologies Corp (OTCBB: MCTC) have been attracting attention from variosu investment newsletters lately with at least two of these stocks being the subject of paid promotions. Of course, there is nothing wrong with properly disclosed paid promotions or investor relation types of activities as its up to investors and traders alike to do their due diligence. So how hot are these small cap stocks? Here is a quick reality check that might cool your appetite:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A look at SofTech, Inc’s financials reveals revenues of $1,375k (most recent reported quarter), $1,558k, $1,458k and $1,772k for the past four quarters along with net losses of $266k (most recent reported quarter), $51k and $14k and net income of $252k. At the end of August, SofTech, Inc had $828k in cash to cover $2,717k in current liabilities and $5,445k in total liabilities. Given the recent Asset Purchase Agreement and the deal with lenders, it would be good to wait for some more financials to see how SofTech, Inc’s balance sheet has improved.


    Firstin Wireless Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: FINW) Has Been Quiet Since February

    Small cap Firstin Wireless Technology is a mobile communications company that is leading the shift to the enterprise mobile VoIP revolution through its mobile telephony platform and apps, including a flagship Firstin solution that allows for anywhere, anytime mobile communications at significant cost reductions. On Friday, Firstin Wireless Technology closed at $0.255 for a market cap of $8.57 million plus FINW is down 3,087.5% over the past year and down 78.7% since August 2011 according to Google Finance.

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: CSS Industries Inc (CSS)


CSS Industries, Inc. (CSS), incorporated on November 5, 1923, is a company primarily engaged in the design, manufacture, procurement, distribution and sale of seasonal and all occasion social expression products, principally to mass market retailers. These seasonal and all occasion products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper, decorations, classroom exchange Valentines, decorative ribbons and bows, floral accessories, Halloween masks, costumes, make-up and novelties, Easter egg dyes and novelties, craft and educational products, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items that commemorate life’s celebrations. In September 5, 2012, it sold the Halloween portion of its Paper Magic business to Gemmy Industries (HK) Limited.


CSS’ product provides its retail customers the opportunity to use a single ven dor for much of their seasonal product requirements. A substantial portion of CSS’ products are manufactured, packaged and/or warehoused in 10 facilities located in the United States, with the remainder purchased primarily from manufacturers in Asia and Mexico. The Company’s products are sold to its customers by national and regional account sales managers, sales representatives, product specialists and by a network of independent manufacturers’ representatives. The Company’s principal operating subsidiaries include Paper Magic Group, Inc. (Paper Magic), Berwick Offray LLC (Berwick Offray) and C.R. Gibson, LLC (C.R. Gibson). CSS designs, manufactures, procures, distributes and sells a range of seasonal consumer products primarily through the mass market distribution channel. Christmas products include gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, boxed greeting cards, gift tags, decorative tissue paper and decorations. CSS’ Valentine product offerings includ e classroom exchange Valentine cards and other related Valen! tine products, while its Easter product offerings include Dudley’s brand of Easter egg dyes and related Easter seasonal products. CSS also designs and markets decorative ribbons and bows, all occasion boxed greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, decorative and waxed tissue, decorative films and foils, stickers, memory books, stationery, journals, notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, floral accessories and other gift and craft items to its mass market, craft, specialty and floral retail and wholesale distribution customers, and teachers’ aids and other learning oriented products to the education market through mass market retailers, school supply distributors and teachers’ stores. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markings, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Dudley’s, Don Post Studios, Eureka, Learning Playground, Stickerfitti and iota. Key brands include Paper Magic, Berwick, Offray, C.R. Gibson, Markin gs, Creative Papers, Tapestry, Seastone, Dudley’s, Eureka, Learning Playground and Stickerfitti.


CSS operates 10 manufacturing and/or distribution facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama and Texas. Its boxed greeting cards are produced by Asian manufacturers to the Company’s specifications. Halloween make-up and Easter egg dye products are manufactured in Asia to specific formulae by contract manufacturers who meet regulatory requirements for the formularization and packaging of such products. Ribbons and bows are primarily manufactured and warehoused in seven facilities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas. Memory books, stationery, journals and notecards, infant and wedding photo albums, scrapbooks, and other gift items are imported from Asian manufacturers and warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Florence, Alabama. Floral accessories, including pot covers, foil, waxe d tissue, shred, aisle runners, corsage bags and other paper! and film! products, are manufactured in a facility located in Milford, New Hampshire and Juarez, Mexico. Manufacturing includes gravure and flexo printing, waxing and converting. Products are warehoused and distributed from a distribution facility in Berwick, Pennsylvania. Other products including, but not limited to, decorative tissue paper, all occasion gift wrap, gift tags, gift bags, gift boxes, gift card holders, classroom exchange Valentine products, Halloween masks, costumes and novelties, Easter products, decorations and school products are designed to the specifications of CSS and are imported primarily from Asian manufacturers.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Gifts maker CSS Industries  (NYSE: CSS  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.15 per share, the same rate it’s paid since 2008.

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc (ULTA)

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (Ulta), incorporated on January 9, 1990, is a beauty retailer, which provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services in the United States. During the year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), the Company opened 61 new stores. It operates full-service salons in all of its stores. Its Ulta store format includes an open and modern salon area with approximately eight to 10 stations. The entire salon area is approximately 950 square feet with a concierge desk, skin treatment room, semi-private shampoo and hair color processing areas. Each salon is a full-service salon offering hair cuts, hair coloring and permanent texture, with salons also providing facials and waxing.


The Company offers products in the categories, such as cosmetics, which includes products for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips and nails; haircare, which includes shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and hair accessories; salon styling tools, which includes hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons; skincare and bath and body, which includes products for the face, hands and body; fragrance for both men and women; private label, consisting of Ulta branded cosmetics, skincare, bath and body products and haircare, and other, including candles, home fragrance products and other miscellaneous health and beauty products. The Company has combined its three operating segments: retail stores, salon services and e-commerce, into one reportable segment.


The Company competes with Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, Regis Corp., Sally Beauty and JCPenney salons.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

     

     

    Nearest Resistance: $130

    Nearest Support: $100

    Catalyst: Q2 Earnings

     

    Shares of beauty supply operator Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA) moved up approximately 20% in Friday’s session, boosted by positive second quarter earnings numbers. Ulta reported profits for 94 cents per share for the quarter, beating out analysts’ best guess profits of 83 cents per share. Even better, the firm expects third quarter revenues on the high end of Wall Street’s expectations for both revenue and profits.

     

    The technicals look good in ULTA right now. This stock’s big gap higher on Friday broke shares above key round-number resistance at $100, clearing the way for a retest of last year’s highs up near $130. For traders who aren’t risk-averse, ULTA is buyable here.

     

    Read More: 5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying

     

  • [By Luke Jacobi]

    Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 17.9 percent to $114.89 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also unveiled a five-year plan for impressive growth.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.60 percent to 16,947.43 while the NASDAQ declined 0.75 percent to 4,557.59. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.83 percent to 1,980.97.

    Leading and Lagging Sectors Cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by just 0.50 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance NASDAQ: (ULTA), up 17.5 percent, and 1-800-Flowers.com (NASDAQ: FLWS), up 4.5 percent. In trading on Friday, utilities shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.89 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais – CEMIG (NYSE: CIG), down 4.7 percent, and CPFL Energia SA (NYSE: CPL), off 4.3 percent. Top Headline Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported better-than-expected fiscal first quarter earnings. The Orlando, Florida-based company reported a quarterly loss of $19.3 million, or $0.14 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $42.2 million, or $0.32 per share. Excluding non-recurring items, the company earned $0.32 per share. Its sales surged to $1.6 billion versus $1.53 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.30 per share on revenue of $1.6 billion. Equities Trading UP Conversant (NASDAQ: CNVR) shares shot up 30.25 percent to $34.79 after Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) announced its plans to buy Conversant for $35 per share. Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 17.69 percent to $114.72 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also unveiled a five-year plan for impressive growth. Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings (NASDAQ: SPWH) shares were also up, gaining 15.89 percent to $7.00 after the company reported stronger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results. Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Ruckus Wireless (NASDAQ: RKUS) were down 5.19 percent to $14.35. Buckingham

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by just 0.30 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance NASDAQ: (ULTA), up 18.6 percent, and 1-800-Flowers.com (NASDAQ: FLWS), up 4.6 percent.

Best Specialty Retail Stocks To Own For 2015: WH Smith PLC (SMWH)

WH Smith PLC is a United Kingdom-based retail company. The Company has two businesses divisions: Travel and High Street. The Company’s Travel division sells a range of newspapers, magazines, books and impulse products for people on the move and a broader convenience range in hospitals and workplaces. The Company’s High Street sells a wide range of stationery, books, newspapers, magazines and impulse products, as well as a small range of entertainment products.The Company’s subsidiaries include WH Smith PLC, WH Smith Retail Holdings Limited, WH Smith High Street Holdings Limited, WH Smith Travel Holdings Limited, WH Smith High Street Limited, WH Smith Travel Limited and WH Smith Hospitals Holdings Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Hays Plc (HAS) climbed 2.2 percent after the recruitment company said quarterly fees increased in its European markets. WH Smith Plc (SMWH) jumped the most in six months after raising its final dividend and saying it plans to repurchase an additional 50 million pounds ($80 million) of shares. Melrose Industries Plc (MRO) added 1.8 percent after KKR & Co. said it will pay about $1 billion for two of its U.S. industrial-products companies.