Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015

National Advisors Trust Company, which claims to be the nation’s largest independent RIA-owned trust company, announced Monday that it has been chosen by Mercer Advisors to provide trust and trustee services for its clients.

NATC was founded in 2001 and $8 billion in assets under administration through 135 RIA firms throughout the United States. Mercer, founded in 1985, has $4.5 billion in assets under management for 3,700 clients in branch offices in 15 cities.

“We chose NATC to be our provider because they have excellent trust services and a unique business model that allows Mercer Advisors to continue to enhance and preserve client relationships,” Dave Barton, resident and CEO of Mercer Advisors, said in a statement. “NATC’s trust and trustee services are comprehensive, and they do not compete with advisors. We’ve received numerous requests from clients for trustee services, and are looking forward to using NATC’s offering It’s a natural fit for our needs and for the needs of our clients.”

Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015: Fleetmatics Group PLC (FLTX)

Fleetmatics Group PLC (FleetMatics), incorporated on October 28, 2004, is a provider of fleet management solutions delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). The Company offers Web-based and mobile application solutions, which provide fleet operators with visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage and other insights into their mobile workforce. The Company offers fleet management software solutions. The Company’s FleetMatics-branded solutions sold under the FleetMatics or SageQuest names. Its solutions are accessed through a Web browser or mobile application and provide its customers with actionable business intelligence. Its SaaS offering consists of the easy-to-use components: Tracking Alerts, Route Replay, Geofencing and Landmarks, FleetTracking Dashboard, Fleet Reports, Mobile App, Speed Limits, Panoramic Reporting and Benchmarking. In addition to this core SaaS offering, it also offers the additional features to its customers: Fuel Card Reportin g Integration, FleetMatics Fuel Card and Navigation Unit Integration. Effective August 8, 2013, Fleetmatics Group PLC a unit of Fleetmatics Investor Holdings LP, acquired Connect2Field Holdings Pty Ltd.

The Company’s Fleet Tracking Alerts allow fleet operators to set driver performance thresholds and receive e-mail notifications when unwanted driving behavior occurs. Notifications are sent when a vehicle enters or exits specified areas, moves during specified times, or when a vehicle’s speed or idle time exceeds specified thresholds. Its Route Replay feature allows customers to play back each journey taken by their vehicles, from start up to shut down and provides customers with minute-by-minute location and speed details. Fleet operators can start, stop, pause, and change the speed of the journey replay using intuitive playback controls to monitor and analyze driver behavior. Integration with Google Maps enables customers to pinpoint vehicle location with s atellite, street views and zooming capabilities.

The Company’s Geofencing and Landmarks feature allows customers to designate areas on the map, in which vehicles are allowed or not allowed to travel. Fleet operators receive notifications when a vehicle enters or exits an unauthorized location and reports are generated detailing time spent in unauthorized areas. Its FleetTracking Dashboard provides fleet operators with a way to monitor overall fleet performance through a graphical summary. This interface allows fleet operators to evaluate performance categories across their fleet, including speed, engine on-time, vehicle idling, vehicle mileage and number of stops. Fleet operators can also view individual vehicle performance.

The Company provides its customers with over 40 pre-built on-demand reports, which they can access to analyze fleet data. Its reports contain information about vehicle movement and use, including vehicle location, ignition on and off time, engine idle time, arrival and departure times, distance traveled, hours worked, and vehicle speed. Its Mobile App is a portable software application, which fleet operators can use to access actionable business intelligence and insights over mobile devices. It includes the FleetTracking Dashboard, Reports, Tracking Alerts, Route Replay, and Geofencing and Landmarks.

With the Company’s Speed Limits feature, the Company provides a range of speed limit information across all types of roads and geographies, including local and residential roads. Speed limit is powered by FleetMatics RoadSpeed, a specialized database of average speed values derived from billions of points of vehicle movement. Its panoramic reporting engine features in-depth historical trending analyses and strategic comparative information from the customers, such as driver and organizational performance benchmarking. Its Fuel Card Reporting Integration feature integrates customers’ fuel card usage information into its fleet management softwa re platform. It provides its customers with an on-demand fue! l usage s! ummary for an entire fleet, as well as detailed information on individual vehicles. Reports are generated, which compare fuel purchases with vehicle location data.

The Company has partnered with an independent global fleet card provider to deliver a Universal Platinum MasterCard. Its Navigation Unit Integration features with Garmin global positioning system (GPS) navigation devices, streamlines dispatching and communication by integrating its fleet management software with its customers’ GPS navigation devices. It provides customers with turn-by-turn directions, notification of job status, estimated time of arrival to the next job site, and easy-to-use messaging capabilities. Drivers receive automatic job updates, eliminating the need to manually enter addresses while driving. It offers customers the choice of two fleet management branded solutions, FleetMatics and SageQuest.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Taulli]

    CSOD stock is currently trading at a fair valuation for cloud companies, with a price-to-sales ratio of 9.

    Cloud Companies to Buy: Fleetmatics (FLTX)

    When it comes to cloud companies, Fleetmatics (FLTX) stock is downright cheap. The stock trades at only five times sales, and the forward price-to-earnings ratio is 24.

  • [By John Kell]

    FleetMatics Group Ltd.’s(FLTX) fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled as a tax benefit helped boost the bottom line, along with a jump in revenue. However, shares slumped 18% to $32.60 premarket as the company’s earnings outlook fell markedly short of Wall Street’s expectations.

  • [By Louis Navellier]

    Fleetmatics Group (FLTX) is another Europe stock with the characteristics needed to be a leader in the European markets this year. The company makes software that allows operators of commercial vehicle fleets to track vehicles and learn about vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage. The Irish company has seen earnings explode this year with growth of more than 700% in bottom-line profit increases.

  • [By James Oberweis]

    Fleetmatics (FLTX) is a leading global provider of fleet management solutions, delivered as SaaS.

    Its mobile software platform provides fleet operators with visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed, and mileage, enabling them to reduce operating and capital costs, as well as increase revenue.

Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015: Micropac Industries Inc (MPAD)

Micropac Industries, Inc. (Micropac), incorporated on March 3, 1969, manufactures and distributes various types of hybrid microelectronic circuits, solid state relays, power operational amplifiers, and optoelectronic components and assemblies. Micropac’s products are used as components in a range of military, space and industrial systems, including aircraft instrumentation and navigation systems, power supplies, electronic controls, computers, medical devices, and high-temperature (200o degree Celsius) products. The Company’s products are either custom (being application-specific circuits designed and manufactured to meet the particular requirements of a single customer) or standard components. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), its custom-designed components accounted for approximately 34% of its revenue and standard components accounted for approximately 66% of its revenue.

Micropac occupies approximately 36,000 square feet of manufacturing, engineering and office space in Garland, Texas. The Company owns 31,200 square feet of that space and leases an additional 4,800 square feet. It also sub-contracts some manufacturing to Inmobiliaria San Jose De Ciuddad Juarez S.A. DE C.V, a maquila contract manufacturer in Juarez, Mexico.

Micropac provides microelectronic and optoelectronic components and assemblies along with contract electronic manufacturing services, and offers a range of products sold to the industrial, medical, military, aerospace and space markets. The Microcircuits product line includes custom microcircuits, solid state relays, power operational amplifiers, and regulators. During fiscal 2011, microcircuits product line accounted for 51% of its revenue and the optoelectronics product line accounted for 62% of its business respectively. The Company’s core technology is the packaging and interconnects of miniature electronic components, utilizing thick film and thin film sub strates, forming microelectronics circuits. Other technologi! es include light emitting and light sensitive materials and products, including light emitting diodes and silicon phototransistors used in its optoelectronic components, and assemblies.

The Company’s basic products and technologies include custom design hybrid microelectronic circuits, solid state relays and power controllers, custom optoelectronic assemblies and components, optocouplers, light-emitting diodes, Hall-Effect devices, displays, power operational amplifiers, fiber optic components and assemblies, and high temperature (200o degree Celsius) products. Micropac’s products are primarily sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) who serve major markets, which includes military/aerospace, such as aircraft instrumentation, guidance and navigations systems, control circuitry, power supplies and laser positioning; space, which include control circuitry, power monitoring and sensing, and industrial, which includes power control equipment and robot ics.

The Company’s products are marketed throughout the United States and in Western Europe. During fiscal 2011, approximately 21% of the Company’s revenue was from international customers. The Company’s major customers include contractors to the United States Government. During fiscal 2010, sales to these customers for the Department of Defense (DOD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contracts accounted for approximately 62% of its revenues. The Company’s customers are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Rockwell Int’l, and NASA.

The Company compete with Teledyne Industries, Inc., MS Kennedy, Honeywell, Avago and International Rectifier.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] strong>ADDvantage Technologies (AEY)

    · Solitron Devices (SODI)

    · OPT-Sciences (OPST)

    Micropac

    Micropac is 76% owned by Heinz-Werner Hempel. He’s a German businessman. You can see the German company he founded here. He’s had control of Micropac for a long-time. I don’t have an exact number in front of me. But I would guess it’s been something like 25 years.

    ADDvantage

    ADDvantage Technologies is controlled by the Chymiak brothers. See the company’s April 4 press release explaining their decision to turn over the CEO position to an outsider. Regardless, the Chymiaks still control 47% of the company. Ken Chymiak is now chairman. And David Chymiak is still a director and now the company’s chief technology officer. Clearly, it’s still their company.

    By the way, the name ADDvantage Technologies has nothing to do with the Chymiaks. Today’s AEY really traces its roots to a private company called Tulsat. The Chymiak brothe rs acquired that company about 27 years ago. So, effectively, when you buy shares of AEY you are buying into a 27-year-old family-controlled company.

    That’s pretty typical in the world of net-nets.

    Solitron

    Solitron Devices is 29% owned by Shevach Saraf. He has been the CEO for 20 years. The post-bankruptcy Solitron has never known another CEO. Before the bankruptcy, Solitron was a much bigger, much different company. So even though we are not talking about the founder here – and even though 70% of the company’s shares are not held by the CEO – we’re still talking about a company where one person has a lot of control. Solitron only has three directors. Saraf is the chairman, CEO, president, CFO and treasurer. Neither of the other two directors joined the board within the last 15 years. So, we aren’t talking about a lot of tumult at the top.

    In fact, profitable net-nets seem to be especially common candidates for abandoning the responsibili ties of a public comp

  • [By Geoff Gannon] % of NCAV, has similar (slightly better) z- and f-scores, a FCF margin of 6%, but has ROA of 28%.

    ADDvantage (AEY) sells at 95% of NCAV, has similar (in the ballpark) scores and FCF and ROA of 23%.

    The slightly better businesses are currently more expensive in terms of price/NCAV. They have less asset-based downside protection, but they are better businesses.

    How do you quantify and qualify what is cheap enough? To me, there’s a big difference in relative cheapness in a company selling at 74% of NCAV versus one selling at 95%. I’m wondering if I’m putting too much weight on this cheapness measurement instead of acknowledging that any decent business selling at less than NCAV is cheap enough. Yet, one has to have some quantifiable idea of when something is not cheap enough anymore.

    Can you help me put this into a unified framework?

    Dan

    There’s a great post over at Oddball Stocks called: “A Stock is a Business”. Read it. Then go over to Richard Beddard’s Interactive Investor Blog. Bookmark that blog. Read it religiously. He looks at Ben Graham type stocks in the U.K. And he looks at them not just as stocks but as pieces of a business.

    Here’s what Richard said in a post called “Giving Up on Mastery of the Universe”:

    I need to know:

    1. Whether the managers have made good decisions in the past, and whether their incentives work in the interests of the owners, because those kind of managers often add value to a company.

    2. The products a company sells will still be in demand for years to come, because if they’re not then the past, which we know, does not tell us anything about the future, which we don’t.

    3. A company is financially strong enough to withstand the kinds of shocks companies typically experience bearing in mind some are more sensitive to events than others.

    4. How to judge whether the share price undervalues the company, bearing in mind the precedi ng three factors.

Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015: Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc (PLX)

Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on its ProCellEx protein expression system, ProCellEx. Using its ProCellEx system, the Company is developing a pipeline of biosimilar or generic versions of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on its plant cell-based expression technology, which focuses pharmaceutical markets and that rely upon known biological mechanisms of action. ProCellEx protein expression system consists of a set of technologies and capabilities for the development of recombinant proteins, including advanced genetic engineering technology and plant cell-based protein expression methods. Its ProCellEx protein expression system is built on flexible custom-designed bioreactors made of polyethylene and optimized for the development of complex proteins in plant cell cultures. In June 2010, it had completed the preliminary phase I clinical trial of PRX- 105.

Taliglucerase Alfa

Taliglucerase alfa is a plant cell expressed recombinant glucocerebrosidase enzyme (GCD) for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The Company has commenced pre-clinical studies of an oral form of taliglucerase alfa. Its oral taliglucerase alfa is a plant cell expressed form of GCD that is naturally encapsulated within carrot cells genetically engineered to express the GCD enzyme. Pre-clinical studies of oral taliglucerase alfa demonstrate the stability of the enzyme in the cell and the capacity of the cell’s cellulose wall to protect the enzyme against degradation in the digestive tract in an in-vitro model of the stomach and intestines. Additionally, rats fed with lyophilized carrot cells expressing GCD have accumulated the active enzyme in the target organs; the spleen and liver. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had completed Phase III Clinical Trial.

PRX-102

The Company is developing PRX-102, i ts plant cell expressed modified version of the recombinant ! alpha-GAL-A protein, a therapeutic enzyme for the treatment of Fabry disease. Fabry disease is a rare, hereditary, genetic lysosomal storage disorder in humans caused by an X-lined deficiency of the alpha-GAL-A enzyme. The Company is in the animal evaluation testing phase of the development of PRX-102, which tests are based on a mouse model for Fabry disease.

Acetylcholinesterase

Protalix Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company is licensed the rights to certain technology under a research and license agreement with Yissum Research and Development Company (Yissum) and the Boyce Thompson Institute, Inc. Pursuant to the agreement, the Company is developing PRX-105, a plant cell-based acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and its molecular variants for the use in several therapeutic and prophylactic indications, as well as in a biodefense program and an organophosphate-based pesticide treatment program.

As of December 31, 2010, its in-vitr o experiments of PRX-105 have shown that the acetylcholinesterase enzyme in its ProCellEx protein expression system demonstrates biological activity on biochemical and cellular levels. In addition, early animal studies demonstrated that the acetylcholinesterase expressed in its ProCellEx protein expression system was able to treat animals exposed to the nerve gas agent analogues, both when injected with its acetylcholinesterase product candidate immediately before exposure or when injected after exposure. In March 2010, it initiated a preliminary phase I clinical trial of PRX-105, which the Company completed in June 2010.

pr-antiTNF

pr-antiTNF is a candidate for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing, spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. The Company has designed the antiTNF as pr-antiTNF. pr-antiTNF is a plant cell-expressed recombinant fusion protein ma de from the soluble form of the human TNF receptor (TNFR), f! used to t! he Fc component of a human antibody domain. pr-antiTNF has an identical amino acid sequence to Enbrel and its in-vitro and preclinical animal studies have demonstrated that pr-antiTNF exhibits similar activity to Enbrel. Specifically, pr-antiTNF binds TNF thereby inhibiting it from binding to cellular surface TNF receptors and protects L929 cells from TNF-induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner.

The Company competes with Genzyme, Actelion, Crucell N.V., Biolex, Inc., Chlorogen, Inc., Greenovation Biotech GmbH, Symbiosys, Novartis AG/Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, BioGeneriX AG, Stada Arzneimittel AG, BioPartners GmbH and Teva.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Industrial biotech isn’t the only industry headed to Brazil. Protalix (NYSEMKT: PLX  ) entered into a technology transfer agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Health last week that will pay the company $280 million. The deal is big news for Protalix’s first product, Elelyso/Uplyso, which was developed with partner Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) . The treatment is approved as an enzyme replacement therapy, or ERT, for adults with type 1 Gaucher disease, and it marks a huge step forward for the future of biomanufacturing. In the following video, Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko explains what this means for the product’s commercialization and the adoption of Protalix’s novel plant cell-based expression system for therapeutic proteins.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    Other investors might wish that Pfizer would use some of its cash to acquire a few smaller companies. Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSEMKT: PLX  ) has been mentioned as one possible candidate. The two companies already partner together on Gaucher disease drug Elelyso. In February, Protalix spurred rumors that Pfizer could be interested in buying the company after it announced that it had engaged Citigroup to pursue a “broad array of strategic alternatives.”

Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015: ManpowerGroup(MAN)

ManpowerGroup provides workforce solutions and services worldwide. The company offers permanent, temporary, and contract recruitment services; assessment and selection services; training and development services; outsourcing services; and workforce consulting services. It also provides professional resourcing and project-based workforce solutions in the information technology, finance, and engineering fields; talent and career management workforce solutions; and talent based outsourcing services, managed services, recruitment process outsourcing services, borderless talent solutions, and strategic workforce consulting services. The company was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Look out Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA), and step aside ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE:MAN). A young company called Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. (OTCBB:STAF) is coming up fast in your rear-view mirror, and is poised to dominate the fastest growing arena of the temporary staffing world.

  • [By Jonathan Buck]

    The prospects of Adecco, which competes with the likes of  Manpower (MAN) and Randstad Holding (RANJY), are closely tied to growth in gross domestic product, so an improvement in the economic outlook for Europe is good news. In the euro zone, comprising the 17 countries that use the common currency, GDP shrank 0.4% in 2013, according to forecasts. It is expected to grow 1.1% in 2014. That’s an important turnaround: the euro zone has seen positive growth in on two of the past five years.

Best Tech Companies To Watch For 2015: inContact Inc.(SAAS)

inContact, Inc. provides cloud-based contact center software services and network connectivity in the United States. Its solutions include inContact ACD, an automatic call distributor; inContact CTI, a computer telephony integration that integrates with customer data servers to provide agents pre-populated customer data; inContact IVR, an interactive voice response solution to create specialized call flows; and inContact Integrations for integration of various hardware and software solutions already in place at customer sites. The company also offers inContact ECHO that gathers the opinion of the customer and presents the analysis of the feedback directly to supervisors and agents; inContact Workforce Management, which forecasts demand, schedules workforce, analyzes and optimizes staffing, and reports real-time adherence in contact centers; inContact Quality Monitoring that provides insights into agent performance and customer satisfaction; and InContact Screen Recording, which provides compliance level screen recording functionality for voice channel interactions. In addition, it provides inContact eLearning that offers targeted, prioritized training, communications, and testing to the agent?s desktop during dips in call volumes; and inContact Network Connectivity, which includes time division multiplexing and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) connectivity, and toll-free and local-number services. Further, inContact, Inc. offers professional services, as well as operates as a domestic and international long distance reseller and aggregator. The company was formerly known as UCN, Inc. and changed its name to inContact, Inc. in January 2009. inContact, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By jaggom]

    Approximately 35% of the respondents cited that the internal or private cloud projects still dominated cloud-related activity. The public cloud services such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) activity in enterprises also doubled in the range of 30% and 33% in just the past six months.

  • [By Steve Symington]

    What: Shares of inContact Inc. (NASDAQ: SAAS  ) rose more than 10% in Wednesday’s early trading, and then gave back most of those gains to close up around 1% after the cloud contact center software provider released first-quarter results and announced an acquisition.

  • [By James Miller Phd]

    Within the cloud computing applications, Salesforce has become a leading supplier and platform vendor, positioning itself in a strong position among other cloud application providers. Currently, through Sales Cloud, the company’s most popular product, it has succeeded in expanding its addressable market towards the purchase of Service Cloud as well. Providing different on-demand Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), such as the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Chatter applications, it allows customers to improve communication and sales to their respective customers. Moreover, it offers other platforms such as The Force.com Platform, or Heroku Platform, and developer tools like Database.com and The AppExchange, enabling its users to customize its applications.