Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
— Benjamin Franklin

It will be awfully difficult to challenge the natural cellular processes that contribute to the death of a living organism, but no one said we couldn’t try. Back in September, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) launched a secretive health-care company called Calico that “will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.” Let’s face it: Aggregating, interpreting, and acting upon vast samples of genetic data will be necessary to tackle the biggest problems facing human health today. Who better to do that than Google, which has access to the genetic vaults of 23andMe?

Well, there is this one guy.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

World-renowned scientist J. Craig Venter — the private hand behind the Human Genome Project, founder of the insanely innovative J. Craig Venter Institute, Synthetic Genomics, and SGI-DNA (a gene synthesis company) — just tossed his hat into the ring. Venter announced the formation of Human Longevity, or HLI, the purchase of two HiSeq X 10 sequencing platforms from Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN  ) , the anticipated hiring of 100 new employees in 2014, and an initial investment of $70 million. The company wants to compile the world’s largest database of genotype, microbiome, and phenotype information (each a type of genetic data). Sound familiar?

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Fidus Investment Corp (FDUS)

Fidus Investment Corporation, incorporated on February 14, 2011, provides customized mezzanine debt and equity financing solutions to lower middle-market companies. The Company’s investment objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns by generating both current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity related investments.

The Company seeks to maintain a diversified portfolio of investments in order to help mitigate the potential effects of adverse economic events related to particular companies, regions or industries. The Company’s investment advisor is Fidus Capital, LLC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By BDC Buzz]

    Fidus Investment (FDUS) is one of the newer business development companies (“BDCs”) but its stock performance has been strong with a steady climb to higher than average multiples. This is most likely due to its higher than average ‘total return’ of around 16%. Last quarter FDUS grew its net asset value (“NAV”) per share more than any of the other 25 BDCs that I follow and announced a special dividend on top of its regular dividends which is currently yielding around 8%. The company announced that it received approval for a second SBIC license giving it access to cheap long-term growth capital to grow the portfolio and dividends. FDUS also reported realized gains in Q3 from exited investments that could provide for some large upcoming special dividends. I believe that investors should look beyond the current lower than average dividend yield and higher than average pricing multiples, and consider the potential total return for FDUS over the coming quarters. I will also addr ess my key concerns for the company and some things to watch for through the end of the year.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Evertec Inc (EVTC)

EVERTEC, Inc. (EVERTEC), formerly Carib Latam Holdings, Inc., incorporated on January 26, 1989, is a full service transaction processing business in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Company provides a range of merchant acquiring, payment processing and business process management services across 19 countries in the region. It processes over 1.8 billion transactions annually, and manages the electronic payment network for over 4,100 automated teller machines (ATM) and over 104,000 point-of-sale payment terminals. It is the merchant acquirer in the Caribbean and Central America and in Latin America. The Company owns and operates the ATH network, one of ATM and personal identification number debit networks in Latin America. In addition, it provides a suite of services for core bank processing, cash processing and technology outsourcing. It serves a diversified customer base of financial institutions, merchants, corporations and government agencies with technology solution s.

The Company serves a diversified customer base of financial institutions, merchants, corporations and government agencies with technology solutions that are essential to their operations, enabling them to issue, process and accept transactions securely. The Company’s broad suite of services span the entire transaction processing value chain and include a range of front-end customer facing solutions as well as back-end support services. These include: merchant acquiring services, which enable POS and e-commerce merchants to accept and process electronic methods of payment such as debit, credit, prepaid and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards; payment processing services, which enable financial institutions and other issuers to manage, support and facilitate the processing for credit, debit, prepaid, ATM and EBT card programs; and business process management solutions, which provide mission critical technology solutions such as core bank processing, as w ell as information technology (IT) outsourcing and cash mana! gement services to financial institutions, enterprises and governments. The Company offers its customers end-to-end products and solutions across the transaction processing value chain from a single source across numerous channels and geographic markets.

Merchant Acquiring

Merchant Acquiring business provides services to merchants at over 25,000 locations that allow them to accept electronic methods of payment such as debit, credit, prepaid and EBT cards carrying the ATH, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express brands. Its suite of merchant acquiring services includes, but is not limited to, the underwriting of each merchant’s contract, the deployment of POS devices and other equipment necessary to capture merchant transactions, the processing of transactions at the point-of-sale, the settlement of funds with the participating financial institution, detailed sales reports and customer support. The Company’s Merchant Acquiring business g enerated 20.4%, of total revenues and 26.6%, of total segment income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Payment Processing

It provide diversified suite of payment processing products and services to blue chip regional and global corporate customers, government agencies, and financial institutions across Latin American and the Caribbean. These services provide the infrastructure technology necessary to facilitate the processing and routing of payments across the transaction processing value chain. At the point-of-sale, it sell transaction processing technology, similar to the services in its Merchant Acquiring business, to other merchant acquirers to enable them to service their its merchant customers. It also offer terminal driving solutions to merchants, merchant acquirers (including its Merchant Acquiring business) and financial institutions, which provide the technology to securely operate, manage and monitor POS terminals and ATMs. It also sells and rent POS devices to financial insti! tution cu! stomers who seek to deploy them across their own businesses. As of December 31, 2012, the Company provides technology services for over 4,100 ATMs and over 104,000 POS terminals in the region and is continuously certifying new machines and devices to expand this reach. The Company’s Payment Processing business accounted for 27.7%, of total revenues and of total segment income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Business Solutions

The Company provides its financial institution, corporate and government customers with a full suite of business process management solutions including specifically core bank processing, network hosting and management, IT consulting services, business process outsourcing, item and cash processing, and fulfillment. The Company’s Business Solutions business accounted for 51.9%, of total revenues and 31.3%, of total segment income from operations for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Com pany Competes with Vantiv, Inc., First Data Corporation, Global Payment Inc., Elavon, Inc., Sage Payment Solutions, Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., Fiserv, Inc. and Total System Services, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of EVERTEC (NYSE: EVTC) got a boost, shooting up 8.91 percent to $22.99 after the company reported the commencement of offering by selling holders.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc (FURX)

Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a drug development collaboration company. The Company’s product pipeline includes two marketed products and three programs in development, including late-stage compounds, in multiple therapeutic areas. Its programs include Priligy, Alogliptin Nesina, Alogliptin/Actose Combination, Alogliptin/Metformin Combination, Fluoroquinolone, Mu Delta and PPD 10558. In November 2011, it acquired full exclusive license rights to develop and commercialize the compound MuDelta under its existing development and license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.

Priligy (dapoxetine) is a drug developed for the on-demand treatment of premature ejaculation (PE). Dapoxetine is a short-acting, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) designed to be taken only when needed one to three hours before sexual intercourse is anticipated rather than every day. Nesina (alogliptin) is a drug for the oral treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Alogliptin is a DPP-4 inhibitor that slows the inactivation of incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP).

Fluoroquinolone drug candidate is a Phase II-ready novel fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is being developed by the Company for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections, such as abscesses that occur deep in the skin layers and respiratory infections. This antibiotic has a spectrum of activity and is able to treat methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. The Company is developing both oral and intravenous (IV) formulations. The Company is developing Mu Delta for treatment of diarrheal predominant irritable bowel syndrome (d-IBS). The Company is conducting a Phase II study on an oral formulation of Mu Delta.

The Company is developing PPD 10558 for the treatment of dyslipidemia. PPD 10558 has shown muscle safety in preclinical studies by minimizing the deliv ery of the drug to the muscle. The Company has filed an inve! stigational new drug (IND) application with the United States Food and Drug Association and completed five clinical studies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap drug development collaboration company Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: FURX) surged 129.91% after announcing that its experimental drug had alleviated diarrhea and abdominal pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome in two studies, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock because that’s a condition that effects millions of people (with no other effective drug to treat it) plus take a look at the performance of biotech benchmarks iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA: XBI).

  • [By Michael Calia]

    Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc.(FURX) said its treatment for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome showed simultaneous improvements in stool consistency and abdominal pain in two Phase III studies. The drug developer’s shares surged 78% to $82 in recent premarket trading.

  • [By CRWE]

    Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:FURX) reported dosing of the first patient in its Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies evaluating efficacy, safety and tolerability of MuDelta (JNJ-27018966) in the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D).

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: United Online Inc.(UNTD)

United Online, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides consumer products and services over the Internet in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company operates in three segments: FTD, Content and Media, and Communications. The FTD segment provides floral and related products, including occasion gifts, bath and beauty products, jewelry, wine, fruit and other gift baskets, chocolates, and stuffed animals to consumers and retail florists, as well as to other retail locations offering floral and related products and services primarily through the ftd.com, interflora.co.uk, and interflora.ie Web sites and various telephone numbers. This segment also offers a suite of products and services that enable its floral network members to receive, send, and deliver floral orders. The Content and Media segment provides online nostalgia products and services under the Memory Lane, Classmates, StayFriends, and Trombi brands; and loyalty marketing services under the MyPoint s brand. The Communications segment offers dial-up Internet access under the NetZero and Juno brands, as well as broadband, email, Internet security services, and Web hosting services. United Online, Inc. also offers Internet marketing services for advertisers. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Woodland Hills, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Magic Diligence]

    Let’s take a look at the 5 MFI stocks that have fallen 25% or more this year and quickly review the circumstances surrounding them.

    United Online (UNTD) – down 27.5%

    Much of United Online’s appeal was due to its over 4% dividend yield, but the company announced in late January that it would be discontinuing its dividend to focus on growth initiatives. This follows itsNovember spin-off of FTD, which leaves United with 3 cash producing but declining businesses: Classmates.com, NetZero, and Juno. NetZero Mobile Broadband is an interesting product but one with a lot of competition from the carriers. Frankly, the dividend has been the main attraction for some time, and without it this is a declining company with a fair bit of debt. That does not make for the most attractive option. PASS.

  • [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:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD) shares gained 41.93% to touch a new 52-week high of $12.27 after the company completed the tax-free spin off of FTD Companies.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Special Opportunities Fund Inc.(SPE)

Special Opportunities Fund, Inc. is a close-ended fund of funds launched and managed by Brooklyn Capital Management LLC. It invests in close-ended funds investing in public equity and fixed income markets. The fund employs a combination of value, opportunistic and special situations strategies to make its investments. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the S&P 500 Index. The fund was previously known as Insured Municipal Income Fund, Inc. Special Opportunities Fund, Inc. was formed on February 18, 1993 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Whopper Investments]

    For example, his Special Opportunity Fund (SPE) needed more capital to effectively implement its activist strategy after he took over. Unfortunately, most of the ways to raise capital are expensive and seriously dilute shareholder value. For example, a common stock offering, the most common way a closed end fund would raise capital, has to be priced at a discount and an investment bank needs to be paid to organize and sell it. Obviously, paying to issue shares at a discount is a disaster for long term shareholder value, so he instead pursued a rights offering for convertible preferred stock, which allowed the company to raise money without the expense of an investment bank while allowing shareholders the opportunity to increase their holdings in the fund without paying a commission. From the prospectus,

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Thinspace Technology Inc (THNS)

Thinspace Technology Inc., formerly Vanity Events Holding, Inc., incorporated on November 22, 2006, is a holding company. Utilizing their licensed trademark of America’s Cleaning Company, Vanity established a cleaning company offering residential and commercial cleaning services. In October 2012, the Company acquired fineartlender.com. In October 2012, the Company acquired additional URLS, which include Weddinggownlender.com; Suitlender.com and Bridalpartylender.com.

The Company seeks out, licenses, develops, promotes, and brings to market various consumer and commercial products. The Company markets products directly to the consumer and marketplace through one of its own properties www.ThereIsAProductForThat.com.

The Company competes with Rent the Runway, Inc., Rent-A-Center, Inc., Bag, Borrow or Steal, Inc., Aaron’s, and Gilt Groupe, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap biotech or tech stocks Amanasu Techno Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS: ANSU), Bio Matrix Scientific Group Inc (OTCMKTS: BMSN) and Thinspace Technology Inc (OTCBB: THNS) surged 44.74%, 42.31% and 14%, respectively, with only one of these small caps appearing to be the subject of some sort of small paid promotions or investor relations campaign. Given the lack of a big pump from promoters or IR people, will these three small caps keep surging or will the tide go out again this week? Here is a quick reality check to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy:

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Parker Drilling Company(PKD)

Parker Drilling Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides contract drilling and drilling-related services in the United States, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (AME), the Asia Pacific, and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As of December 31, 2010, its fleet consisted of 11 rigs in the CIS/AME region; 10 rigs in the Americas region, including 7 land rigs and 1 barge rig in Mexico, and 2 land rigs in Colombia; 5 land rigs in the Asia Pacific region, including 2 rigs in Indonesia, 1 rig in Papua New Guinea, and 2 rigs in New Zealand; 13 barge drilling rigs in the inland shallow waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico; and 1 unassigned land rig held in New Iberia, Louisiana. The company also offers premium rental tools, including drill pipe, drill collars, tubing, high- and low-pressure blowout preventers, choke manifolds, junk and cement mills, and casing scrapers for land and offshore oil and gas drilling and workover activities. In addition, it provides non-capital intensive services, such as front end engineering and design; engineering, procurement, construction, and installation; operations and maintenance; and other project management services, which include labor, maintenance, and logistics for operators who own their own drilling rigs. The company serves independent and national oil and gas companies, and integrated service providers. Parker Drilling Company was founded in 1934 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Houston-based Parker Drilling Co. (NYSE: PKD  ) has a new CFO.

    On Thursday, Parker announced that it has hired away offshore driller Ensco plc’s vice president and treasurer, Christopher T. Weber, to become its own senior VP and Chief Financial Officer. Weber will take office on May 20.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Home BancShares Inc.(HOMB)

Home BancShares, Inc. operates as a holding company for the Centennial Bank that provides various commercial and retail banking, and related financial products and services to businesses, real estate developers, investors, individuals, and municipalities. It offers various deposit products, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company also offers commercial real estate, construction and land development, commercial and industrial, residential real estate, agricultural, and consumer loans. In addition, it provides Internet banking and voice response information, cash management, overdraft protection, direct deposit, safe deposit boxes, the United States savings bonds, and automatic account transfers services. Further, the company provides trust services focusing on personal trusts, corporate trusts, and employee benefit trusts, as well as writes insurance policies for commercial and personal lines of businesses. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 49 branches in Arkansas, 9 branches in the Florida Keys, 6 branches in central Florida, 3 branches in southwest Florida, and 29 branches in the Florida Panhandle. Home BancShares, Inc. is headquartered in Conway, Arkansas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Home BancShares (NASDAQ: HOMB  ) , the holding company of Centennial Bank, jumped as much as 13% after receiving an analyst upgrade.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Perfect World Co. Ltd.(PWRD)

Perfect World Co., Ltd., through its subsidiaries, engages in the research, development, operation, and licensing of online games primarily in the People?s Republic of China, the United States, and the Rest of Asia. It develops online games based on its game engines and game development platforms. The company?s 3D massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) include Perfect World, an adventure and fantasy game with traditional Chinese settings; Legend of Martial Arts, an adventure story of Chinese swordsmen set in an ancient kingdom; and Perfect World II, which is set in a similar content and graphic background as Perfect World. It also offers Zhu Xian that is based on martial arts focused adventure set in a fantasy world; Chi Bi, a war story developed based on ancient Chinese history known as the Three Kingdoms; Hot Dance Party, a 3D online casual game; Pocketpet Journey West, a 3D MMORPG based on the classical novel of Chinese literature, Journey to the West ; Battle of the Immortals, a mysterious adventure, which enables game players to travel between eastern and western cultures, and adventures in historic sites and turf wars; and Fantasy Zhu Xian, a 2D turn-based MMORPG based on the Internet fantasy novel Zhu Xian. It also involves in the production and distribution of films, as well as television advertising activities. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Perfect World Co (NASDAQ: PWRD) is expected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.43 per share on revenue of $142.11 million.

    TICC Capital (NASDAQ: TICC) is estimated to report its Q4 earnings at $0.28 per share on revenue of $28.43 million.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Perfect World Co.’s(PWRD) third-quarter profit rose 40% due largely to a revenue boost from the Chinese company’s core online-games business. American depositary shares of Perfect World were up 6% at $20 premarket as the company’s results for the period beat expectations.

  • [By Kevin Chen]

    Two companies that seem on an unstoppable path of profits are Giant Interactive  (NYSE: GA  ) and NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES  ) . Meanwhile, Shanda Games  (NASDAQ: GAME  ) and Perfect World  (NASDAQ: PWRD  ) haven’t done as well.

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    Tuesday
    Perfect World (NASDAQ: PWRD  ) logs in with its quarterly results on Tuesday.

    Online gaming is hot in China, but Perfect World has seen better days. Analysts see revenue sliding 15% for the quarter, with earnings taking an even bigger 46% hit. Despite the uninspiring fundamentals, shares of Perfect World did hit a fresh 52-week high this past week. There are some potentially promising games in the pipeline, so clearly the market thinks Perfect World will turn things around.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For 2014: Kirby Corp (KEX)

Kirby Corporation, incorporated on January 31, 1969, is a domestic tank barge operator, transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and along all three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii. The Company transports petrochemicals, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company, through its subsidiaries, conducts operations in two business segments: marine transportation and diesel engine services. Through the diesel engine services segment, the Company provides after-market service for diesel engines and reduction gears used in marine and power generation applications. The Company also distributes and services diesel engines and transmissions, pumps and compression products, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, for land-based pressure pumping and oilfield service markets. The Company, through its ma rine transportation segment, is a provider of marine transportation services, operating tank barges and towing vessels transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and along all three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii. On December 15, 2011, the Company completed the purchase of the coastal tank barge fleet of Seaboats, Inc. and affiliated companies (Seaboats). On July 1, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P. (K-Sea). On April 15, 2011, the Company purchased United Holdings LLC (United), a distributor and service provider of engine and transmission related products for the oil and gas services, power generation and on-highway transportation industries, and manufacturer of oilfield service equipment. On February 24, 2011, the Company acquired 21 inland and offshore tank barges and 15 inland towboats and offshore tugboats from Enterprise Marine Services LLC ( Enterprise). On February 9, 2011, the Company acquired from ! Kinder Morgan Petcoke, L.P. (Kinder Morgan).

The Company transports petrochemicals, black oil products, refined petroleum products, and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company also owns and operates fits offshore dry-bulk barges and tugboats engaged in the coastal transportation of dry-bulk cargoes. It is a provider of transportation services for its customers. The Company, through its diesel engine services segment, sells replacement parts, provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair diesel engines, transmissions, reduction gears, pumps and compression products, maintains facilities to rebuild component parts or diesel engines, transmissions and reduction gears, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment. The Company services the marine, power generation, oilfield service, and land-based oil and gas operator and producer markets.

Marine Transportation

The marine transportation segment is a provider of transportation services by tank barge for the inland and coastal markets. As of February 22, 2012, the equipment owned or operated by the marine transportation segment consisted of 819 inland tank barges, 236 inland towboats, 59 coastal tank barges, 65 coastal tugboats, fits offshore dry-cargo barges, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat. The 236 inland towboats, 65 coastal tugboats, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat provide the power source and the 819 inland tank barges, 59 coastal tank barges and fits offshore dry-cargo barges provide the freight capacity for the marine transportation segment. The Company’s coastal and offshore tows consist of one tugboat and one tank barge or dry-cargo barge.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s inland marine transportation operation moved over 50 million tons of liquid cargo on the United States inland waterway system. Products transported for its custom ers along the inland waterway system consisted of petrochemi! cals, bla! ck oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals. Bulk liquid petrochemicals transported include, such products as benzene, styrene, methanol, acrylonitrile, xylene and caustic soda, all consumed in the production of paper, fibers and plastics. During 2011, the transportation of petrochemical products represented 59% of the segment’s revenues. Customers shipping these products are refining and petrochemical companies. Black oil products transported include products, such as asphalt, residual fuel oil, No. 6 fuel oil, coker feedstock, vacuum gas oil, carbon black feedstock, crude oil and ship bunkers (engine fuel). During 2011, such products represented 20% of the segment’s revenues. During 2011, refined petroleum products transported include the various blends of finished gasoline, gasoline blendstocks, jet fuel, No. 2 oil, naphtha, heating oil and diesel fuel, and represented 16% of the segment’s revenues. The Company also classifies ethanol in t he refined petroleum product category. Customers are oil and refining companies, marketers and ethanol producers.

During 2011, agricultural chemicals transported represented 5% of the segment’s revenues. They include anhydrous ammonia and nitrogen-based liquid fertilizer, as well as industrial ammonia. Agricultural chemical customers consist of domestic and foreign producers of such products. As of December 31, 2011, the marine transportation segment operated a fleet of 819 inland tank barges and 236 inland towboats, as well as 59 coastal tank barges and 65 coastal tugboats. The segment also owns and operates fits offshore barge and tug units transporting dry-bulk commodities in coastal trade. As of December 31, 2011, the marine transportation segment operated a fleet of 819 inland tank barges and 236 inland towboats, as well as 59 coastal tank barges and 65 coastal tugboats. The segment also owns and operates fits offshore barge and tug units transporting dry -bulk commodities in coastal trade.

The Canal ! fleet tra! nsports petrochemical feedstocks, processed chemicals, pressurized products, black oil products and refined petroleum products along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the Houston Ship Channel. The Linehaul fleet transports petrochemical feedstocks, chemicals, agricultural chemicals and lube oils along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Mississippi River and the Illinois and Ohio Rivers. Loaded tank barges are staged in the Baton Rouge area from Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical plants, and are transported from Baton Rouge to waterfront terminals and plants on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers, and along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The River fleet transports petrochemical feedstocks, chemicals, refined petroleum products, agricultural chemicals and black oil products along the Mississippi River System above Baton Rouge. Petrochemical feedstocks and processed chemicals are transported to waterfront petrochemi cal and chemical plants, while black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals are transported to waterfront terminals.

The marine transportation inland operation moves and handles a range of cargoes. As of December 21, 2011, of the 819 inland tank barges operated, 618 were petrochemical and refined products barges, 123 were black oil barges, 63 were pressure barges, 10 were refrigerated anhydrous ammonia barges and five were specialty barges. Marine transportation services for inland movements are conducted under long-term contracts, ranging from one to five years. Kirby Inland Marine, LP (Kirby Inland Marine) operates commercial tank barge fleeting service (temporary barge storage facilities) in ports, including Houston, Corpus Christi and Freeport, Texas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana and other locations on the Mississippi River. Included in the fleeting service is a 51% interest and management control of a shifting operatio n and fleeting service for dry cargo barges and tank barges ! on the Ho! uston Ship Channel. Kirby Inland Marine provides service for its own barges, as well as outside customers, transferring barges within the areas noted, as well as fleeting barges.

Kirby Logistics Management (KLM) is a division of Kirby Inland Marine providing shore-based tankerman and support services to the Company and third parties. Services provided by KLM include barge tankermen, marine terminal, refinery and chemical plant dock operators, and terminal management services. KLM’s services to the Company and third parties cover the Gulf Coast, mid-Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio River Valley. The Company owns a 66% interest in Osprey Line, L.L.C. (Osprey), which transports project cargoes and cargo containers by barge on the United States inland waterway system. The segment’s coastal operations are conducted through wholly owned subsidiaries, K-Sea Transportation Partners LLC and Kirby Ocean Transport Company (Kirby Ocean Transport). K-Sea provides marine transportation of refined petroleum products and black oil products in each coastal region of the United States. The coastal operations consist of the Atlantic, New York, Pacific and Hawaii Divisions. The Atlantic Division operates along the eastern seaboard of the United States and along the Gulf Coast. The Atlantic Division vessels call on coastal states from Maine to Texas, servicing refineries, storage terminals and power plants. The Atlantic Division also operates equipment on the Great Lakes, in the Caribbean, and in Venezuela and the Eastern Canadian provinces.

The New York Division operates in the New York Harbor, close to container terminals, cruise piers, refineries and petroleum storage facilities. The New York Division also performs coastal voyages between Maine and Norfork, Virginia and manages operations in Philadelphia. The New York Division’s fleet consists of tank barges in the 10,000 to 89,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1800 to 3400 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum produ! cts for l! ocal and regional customers, black oil products to power generation customers and the delivery of bunker fuel to ships. The Pacific Division operates along the Pacific coast of the United States, servicing refineries and storage terminals from Southern California to Washington State, throughout Alaska, including Dutch Harbor, Cook Inlet and the Alaska River Systems, and from California to Hawaii. The Pacific Division’s fleet consists of tank barges in the 13,000 to 185,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1000 to 11800 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum products.

The Hawaii Division services local petroleum retailers and oil companies distributing refined petroleum products and black oil products between the Hawaiian islands and provides other services to the local maritime community. As of December 31, 2011, the Hawaii Division’s fleet consisted of tank barges in the 52,000 to 86,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1200 to 7 200 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum products for local and regional customers, black oil products to power generation customers, and the delivery of bunker fuel to ships. The Hawaii Division also provides service docking, standby tug assistance and line handling to vessels using the Single Point Mooring installation at Barbers Point, Oahu, a facility for tankers to load and discharge their cargos through an offshore buoy and submerged pipeline without entering the port. As of December 31, 2011, the coastal fleet consisted of 59 tank barges, 56 of which were double hull and three of which were single hull, with 3.8 million barrels of capacity, transporting refined petroleum products and black oil products. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 65 Company-owned coastal tugboats ranging from 1000 to 11800 horsepower. Tugboats in the 1800 to 3400 horsepower classes provide power for barges used in the New York Division. Tugboats in the 1000 to 11800 hors epower classes provide power for barges used in the Atlantic! , Pacific! and Hawaii Divisions. Kirby Ocean Transport owns and operates a fleet of fits offshore dry-bulk barges, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat. Kirby Ocean Transport also has a contract with Holcim (US) Inc. (Holcim) to transport Holcim’s limestone requirements from a facility adjacent to the PEF facility at Crystal River to Holcim’s plant in Theodore, Alabama. Kirby Ocean Transport is also engaged in the transportation of coal, fertilizer and other bulk cargoes on a short-term basis between domestic ports and occasionally the transportation of grain from domestic ports to ports primarily in the Caribbean Basin.

Diesel Engines

The Company, through wholly owned subsidiary Kirby Engines Systems, Inc. (Kirby Engine Systems), is engaged in the overhaul and repair of medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears, and related parts sales used in marine and power generation applications, and distributes and services high-speed diesel engines and transmissions, pumps and compression products, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, used in land-based pressure pumping, oilfield service, power generation and transportation applications.

For the marine market, the Company sells Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) replacement parts, provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair engines and reduction gears, and maintains facilities to rebuild component parts or entire engines and reduction gears. For the power generation market, the Company provides service and parts capabilities and safety-related products to power generation operators and to the nuclear industry, and manufactures engine generator and pump sets for the power generation operators and municipalities. The Company expanded its diesel engine services operation with the purchase of United, a manufacturer, diesel engine and transmission distributor and service provider for th e land-based oil and gas services market, oil and gas operat! ors and p! roducers, compression companies, power generation companies, on-highway transportation companies and agricultural markets. United’s principal businesses are the distribution and service of diesel engines, pumps and transmissions, the manufacture and remanufacture of oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, and the manufacture of compression equipment for natural gas transmission and for natural gas fired power generation plants.

The Company is engaged in the overhaul and repair of medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears, line boring, block welding services and related parts sales for customers in the marine industry. The Company services medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines utilized in the inland and offshore barge industries. It also services marine equipment and offshore drilling equipment used in the offshore petroleum exploration and oil service industry, marine equipment used in the offshore commer cial fishing industry and vessels owned by the United States government. The Company has marine operations throughout the United States providing in-house and in-field repair capabilities and related parts sales. The medium-speed operations are located in Houma, Louisiana, Chesapeake, Virginia, Paducah, Kentucky, Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida. The operations based in Chesapeake, Virginia and Tampa, Florida are authorized distributors for 17 eastern states and the Caribbean for Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD). The marine operations based in Houma, Louisiana, Paducah, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington are nonexclusive authorized service centers for EMD providing service and related parts sales. The Houma, Louisiana operation concentrates on the inland and offshore barge and oil services industries. The Tampa, Florida operation concentrates on Gulf of Mexico offshore dry-bulk, tank barge and harbor docking operators. The Paducah, Kentucky operation concentrates on the inland river towboat and barge operators and the Great Lake! s carrier! s. The Seattle, Washington operation concentrates on the offshore commercial fishing industry, tugboat and barge industry, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Navy, and other customers in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. The high-speed operations are located in Houma, Baton Rouge, Belle Chasse and New Iberia, Louisiana, Paducah, Kentucky, Mobile, Alabama and Houston, Texas. The Company serves as a factory-authorized marine dealer for Caterpillar diesel engines in Alabama, Kentucky and Louisiana. The Company also operates factory-authorized full service marine dealerships for Cummins, Detroit Diesel and John Deere diesel engines, as well as Allison transmissions and Twin Disk marine gears.

During 2011, the Company was engaged in the overhaul and repair of diesel engines and reduction gears, line boring, block welding service and related parts sales for power generation customers, which represented 9% of the segment’s revenues. The Company is also engag ed in the sale and distribution of parts for diesel engines and governors to the nuclear industry. The Company services users of diesel engines, which provides standby, peak and base load power generation, as well as users of industrial reduction gears, such as the cement, paper and mining industries. The Company provides in-house and in-field repair capabilities and safety-related products to power generation operators from its Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Paducah, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington locations. The Rocky Mount operation is also the distributor of EMD products to the nuclear industry, the global distributor for Woodward Governor products to the nuclear industry, the global distributor of Cooper Energy Services, Inc. products to the nuclear industry, and owns the assets and technology necessary to support the Nordberg medium-speed diesel engines used in nuclear applications. In addition, the Rocky Mount operation is a distributor for Honeywell International Inco rporated industrial measurement and control products to the ! nuclear i! ndustry, an distributor for Norlake Manufacturing Company transformer products to the nuclear industry and a non-exclusive distributor of analog Weschler Instruments metering products and distributor of digital Weschler metering products to the nuclear industry. The Paducah, Kentucky operation provides in-house and in-field repair services for Falk industrial reduction gears in the Midwest. The Seattle, Washington operation provides in-house and in-field repair services for Alco engines located on the West Coast and the Pacific Rim.

The Company’s power generation customers are domestic utilities and the global nuclear power industry. The Company is engaged in the distribution and service of diesel engines, pumps and transmissions, the manufacture and remanufacture of oilfield service equipment and the manufacture of compression equipment for natural gas transmission and for natural gas fired power generation plants. The Company offers a range of custom fabrica ted oilfield service equipment, fully tested and field ready. The Company manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and marketed under the purchasing company’s brand name. The Company distributes, sells parts and services diesel engines and transmissions for on and off-highway use, and provide in-house and in-field service capabilities. The Company is also the exclusive distributor for Daimler for engines and related equipment in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Company manufactures and re-manufacturers oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, pressure pumping units, nitrogen pumping units, cementers, hydration equipment, mud pumps and blenders. The Company also manufactures and packages custom compressor systems, including electric motor driven systems, natural gas driven systems and industrial air systems, and manufactures natural gas General Motors and Isuzu diesel-powered engines for a range of applications fr om 40 to 500 horsepower. The Company is a dealer of Thermo K! ing refri! gerated systems for trucks, railroad cars and other land transportation markets in south and central Texas. The Company’s land-based customers include oilfield service providers, oil and gas operators and producers, compression companies, domestic utilities, on-highway transportation companies and companies associated with the agricultural markets.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    The role of the barge can’t be underestimated. Barge receipts increased more than two percentage points year over year, and this is a great place for investors to look for opportunity. Companies with maritime resources benefit from this trend, as well as growth in exports. Three such companies that are worth a look are:

    Kirby Corporation (NYSE: KEX  ) , which operates 30% of the coastal tank barges in the U.S.  Oiltanking Partners (NYSE: OILT  ) , which has storage capacity of 12.1 million barrels and six deepwater docks on the Houston Ship Channel Martin Midstream Partners (NASDAQ: MMLP  ) , which operates a large fleet of inland barges and controls 31 marine terminals 

    These companies won’t be the only winners, but they are a good place to start your research.