Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016


Select Comfort Corp. (NASDAQ:SCSS) will release results for the first quarter ended Mar. 29, 2014, after close of the regular trading session on Apr. 17, 2014. Management will host its regularly scheduled conference call to discuss the company’s results at 5 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. CDT; 2 p.m. PDT) that day.

Wall Street anticipates that the consumer goods company will earn $0.32 per share for the quarter, which is $0.09 less than last year’s profit of $0.41 per share. iStock expects SCSS  to miss Wall Street’s consensus number. The iEstimate is $0.30, two cents less than expected; however, a bullish surprise is possible – read on.


[Related -Select Comfort (SCSS) Calls Active]

Sales, unlike earnings, are expected to grow, rising 6.2% year-over-year (YoY). Select Comfort’s consensus revenue estimate for Q1 is $ 274.27 million, more than last year’s $ 258.24 million.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: AudioCodes Ltd. (AUDC)

AudioCodes Ltd. and its subsidiaries design, develop, and market products and services for voice, data, and video over Internet protocol (IP) networks to service providers and channels, original equipment manufacturers, network equipment providers, and systems integrators in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Israel. Its networking products consist of media gateways, enterprise session border controllers, multi-service business routers, IP phones, mobile voice over IP (VoIP), media servers, and various products that are tailored for Microsoft unified communication environments. The company also offers VoIP network assessment for enterprises; and value added applications for unified communications, as well as supports its networking products with a range of professional services. Its technology products comprise signal processor chips that process and compress voice, data, and fax, as well as enable connectivity between traditional telephone networks and pa cket networks; VoIP communications boards; media processing boards for enhanced services and functionalities; and voice and data logging hardware integration board products. AudioCodes Ltd. was incorporated in 1992 and is headquartered in Lod, Israel.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    AudioCodes (AUDC) designs, develops and sells products and services for voice and data over packet networks. This stock closed up 8.4% to $4.75 in Tuesday’s trading session.

    Tuesday’s Range: $4.57-$4.86

    52-Week Range: $1.20-$5.04

    Tuesday’s Volume: 493,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 108,175

    From a technical perspective, AUDC gapped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $4.43 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of AUDC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AUDC manages to take out its 52-week high at $5.04 with high volume.


    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AUDC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $4.43 or above more support at $4.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $5.04 with volume that hits near or above 108,175 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AUDC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $5.75 to $6.50, or even $7.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    AudioCodes (AUDC) and its subsidiaries design, develop and market products and services for voice, data and video over Internet protocol networks to service providers and channels, original equipment manufacturers, network equipment providers and systems integrators in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Israel. Its This stock closed up 8% to $6.73 in Tuesday’s trading session.


    Tuesday’s Range: $6.23-$6.85

    52-Week Range: $2.13-$7.07

    Tuesday’s Volume: 574,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 261,738

    From a technical perspective, AUDC spiked sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $6.04 with above-average volume. This move also pushed shares of AUDC into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $6.70. Shares of AUDC are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if AUDC manages to clear Tuesday’s high of $6.85 and then once it takes out its 52-week high at $7.07 with high volume.


    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AUDC as long as it’s trending above some near-term support levels at $6.25 or $6.04 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 261,738 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AUDC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $8 to $9.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Bonanza Creek Energy Inc (BCEI)

Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc., incorporated in December 2010, is an oil and natural gas company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of onshore oil and associated liquids-rich natural gas in the United States. The Company’s assets and operations were focused primarily in southern Arkansas (Mid-Continent region) and the Denver Julesburg (DJ) and North Park Basins in Colorado (Rocky Mountain region) during the year ended December 31, 2010. In addition, it owns and operates oil producing assets in the San Joaquin Basin (California region). It operated approximately 99.4% and held an average working interest of approximately 85.8% of its proved reserves as of December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2010, its net proved reserves was 32,860 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBoe).


The Company’s proved reserves and its drilling locations in its Mid-Continent acreage are located in the Dorcheat Macedonia field and the McKamie Patton fiel d. In the Dorcheat Macedonia field the Company averages a 83.3% working interest and 68.5% net revenue interest, and all of the Company’s acreage is held by production. It had approximately 78 gross (65.0 net) producing wells and its average net daily production during April 2011, was approximately 1,249 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d) from a proved reserves base of 15,247 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which about 64.5% was oil and natural gas liquids. As of April 30, 2011, the Company had drilled 13 gross (10.2 net) wells. Immediately northwest of the Dorcheat Macedonia field, it owns and operates the McKamie gas processing facility, which processes all of the gas from the field. It owns additional interests in the Mid-Continent region near the Dorcheat Macedonia field. These include interests in the McKamie-Patton, Atlanta and Beach Creek fields. Its estimated proved reserves in these fields as of December 31, 2010, were approximately 1,947.8 million ba rrels of oil equivalent, and average net daily production du! ring April 2011, was approximately 239 barrels of oil equivalent per day.


The McKamie processing facility is located in Lafayette County, Arkansas and is located to serve its production in the region. The Company’s facility has a processing capacity of 15 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas and 30,000 gallons per day of natural gas liquids. The facility processes natural gas and natural gas liquids, fractionates liquids into three components for sale, and sells four products at the facility’s tailgate: propane, butane, natural gasolines and natural gas. It also owns approximately 150 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline that serves the facility and surrounding field areas and 32 miles of right-of-way crossing Lafayette County that can be utilized to connect the facility to other gas fields or future sales outlets. Natural gas is sold at the tailgate of the facility into a CenterPoint pipeline connection. Fractionated natural gas liquids are h eld on site and trucked out by the buyer, Dufour Petroleum. The McKamie processing facility had an average net output of 749 barrels of oil equivalent per day based on the facility contracts in April, 2011.


The two main areas in which the Company operates in the Rocky Mountain region include the DJ Basin in Weld County, Colorado and the North Park Basin in Jackson County, Colorado. The DJ Basin is a structural basin centered in eastern Colorado that extends into southeast Wyoming, western Nebraska, and western Kansas. Its operations in the DJ Basin are in the oil window of the Niobrara and as of December 31, 2010, consisted of approximately 42,698 gross (29,742 net) total acres. The Company’s estimated proved reserves in the DJ Basin were 8,402 million barrels of oil equivalent at December 31, 2010. As of April 30, 2011, it had a total of 141 gross (133.6 net) producing wells and its net average daily production during April 2011, was approximately 1,124 barr els of oil equivalent per day. The Company’s working inter! est for a! ll producing wells averages is 94.8% and its net revenue interest was approximately 76.5% in 2010. The Codell sandstone and Niobrara oil shale are blanket deposits in the DJ Basin.


The Company controls 47,003 gross (39,030 net) acres in the North Park Basin in northern Jackson County, Colorado. The Basin is divided into three principal opportunities: the North and South McCallum units and the non-unit acreage. The Company operates the North and South McCallum fields. The McCallum field covers 10,277 gross (8,606 net) acres of federal land with the majority of the oil production coming from a waterflood in the Pierre B formation and the carbon dioxide production coming from naturally flowing Dakota wells. Oil production is trucked to the market while carbon dioxide production is sent to a Praxair plant for processing and delivery to the market. In the North Park Basin, its estimated proved reserves as of December 31, 2010, were approximately 696.1 million barrel s of oil equivalent, of which 100% were oil. Its average net production during April 2011, was approximately 140 barrels of oil equivalent per day. All of the Company’s 47,003 gross (39,030 net) acres in the North Park Basin are prospective for the Niobrara oil shale.


In California the Company owns acreage in four fields: Kern River, Midway Sunset and Greeley, which the Company operates, and Sargent, which it does not. Its estimated proved reserves in California were 886 million barrels of oil equivalent at December 31, 2010. As of April 30, 2011, we had a total of 57 gross (48.7 net) producing wells and its average net daily production was approximately 218 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Its working interest for all producing wells averages 85.4% and its net revenue interest is approximately 71.9%. As of December 31, 2010, it had identified approximately 18 gross (13.6 net) PUD locations in California.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Another area that is intriguing to us is the North American energy sector which looks to have a number of interesting catalysts currently. While the energy sector is at present only a modest overweight in the portfolios, we have been encouraged by several trends taking place for a number of years. These positive developments are also having an impact that goes far beyond the energy sector itself. Many believe that the U.S. will become energy independent and possibly a net exporter of natural gas and oil (currently restricted by law) in the next decade. This opinion is based primarily on the development of new drilling techniques (i.e. horizontal drilling, and high pressure fracking) that have enabled companies to access oil and natural gas reserves in shale formations that were previously not economically viable. The ability to tap into this acreage is a game-changer in our view and is already having a tremendous impact on the economy. Employment rates in these mostly rura l areas surrounding the shale basins are very high and companies thus find hiring extremely competitive. Strong labor markets tend to create strong local economies. Oil States International (OIS) has been able to capitalize on this trend by providing housing and other services to oil service workers that are in demand in the area. CST Brands (CST) operates gas stations in Texas, but it is increasingly looking to broaden its product offering beyond fuel. Rail companies like Union Pacific (UNP), Canadian Pacific (CP), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Genesee and Wyoming (GWR) have also benefited substantially. Given that shale areas are rural and often lacking infrastructure, substantial investment must be made to support drilling and production activities. Without pipelines in place, railroads have been the primary takeaway mechanism for moving production to the various clusters of refining capacity around the United States. In order to serve this demand, massive investment in railcars has been nee

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc. (BCEI) is an independent exploration and production company that is most active in the Niobrara Shale play in Northeast Colorado. The stock has performed well this quarter following improving drilling results from projects designed to fully understand the potential prospectivity of its acreage position in the Niobrara play. The stock also has benefited from management’s decision to increase capital spending and accelerate the net present value of its resource base.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Not all stocks are created equal, however, and the analysts expect some stocks to handily outperform others, and their top picks “are poised to deliver long-term, capital-efficient growth…while trading at attractive valuations that currently provide 20%+ upside to our price targets.” Their winners? Oasis Petroleum (OAS), Approach Resources (AREX), Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI) and Gulfport Energy (GPOR), all of which are rated Buy with Oasis also added to Goldman’s conviction list. Investors, however, should avoid  WPX Energy (WPX), which the analysts rate a Sell. They explain why:

  • [By Robert Rapier] For those who are unaware, each month there is a joint web chat for subscribers of The Energy Strategist (TES) and MLP Profits. The chat is conducted by Igor Greenwald, managing editor for TES and chief investment strategist for MLP Profits, and myself. This month’s chat took place on Sept. 10.

    We place a priority on answering questions about portfolio holdings and recommendations during the chat, but often we get questions about companies we don’t currently recommend. Or, we sometimes get questions or comments about a company that require an extended answer. In these cases we push those questions to the end, and attempt to answer them if time allows. For this past chat there were several questions remaining at the end, which I will address here today. For each company, a brief background is presented for readers who may not be familiar with the company.


    Q: What is your view of BCEI at the present price?

    Bonanza Creek Energy (NYSE: BCEI) is a Denver-based oil and gas company with operations in Colorado and southern Arkansas. While the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas get more press, oil and gas plays in the Denver-Julesburg Basin have helped turn Colorado into one of the fastest growing energy producing states in the country and the fastest growing oil producer in the Rocky Mountains. Since 2008 oil production in Colorado has risen by an impressive 63 percent to a 50-year high.


    BCEI is well-positioned with acreage in the Wattenberg Gas Field north of Denver. The field is one of the largest natural gas plays in the US. Wattenberg represents 60 percent of BCEI’s proved reserves, with 59 percent of those reserves classified as liquid. Of the company’s remaining reserves, 39 percent are located in the oil-bearing Cotton Valley Sands in Southern Arkansas (68 percent liquids) and 1 percent in Colorado’s North Park Basin (100 percent liquids).

    BCEI has gr own reserves at a 45

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Entergy Arkansas Inc (EAA)


Entergy Arkansas, Inc. (Entergy Arkansas) generates, transmits and distributes electric power primarily to retail customers in Arkansas. Entergy Arkansas holds franchises to provide electric service in approximately 307 incorporated cities and towns in Arkansas. On November 30, 2012, the Company purchased a Hot Spring Energy Facility.

The Company owns and operates, through an affiliate, the ANO 1 and ANO 2 nuclear power plants. The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Entergy Corporation (Entergy).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By maarnio]

    Spectral is focused on the development and commercialization of a treatment for severe sepsis utilizing its Endotox in Activity Assay (EAA) and the Toraymyxin therapeutic (PMX). If approved, this will be the first theranostics product, a targeted therapy guided by a specific diagnostic, in the area of sepsis. The company also manufactures and sells certain proprietary reagents.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Manitex International Inc.(MNTX)

Manitex International, Inc. provides engineered lifting solutions. The company operates through two segments, Lifting Equipment and Equipment Distribution. The Lifting Equipment segment designs, manufactures, and distributes boom trucks and crane products that are primarily used for industrial projects and energy exploration, as well as for infrastructure development, including, roads, bridges, and commercial construction; and specialized rough terrain cranes and material handling products for the construction, municipality, and railroad industries. This segment also provides rough terrain forklifts for use in commercial and military applications; special mission oriented vehicles; and other specialized carriers, heavy material handling transporters, and steel mill equipment, as well as offers specialized custom trailers and hauling systems used for transporting heavy equipment. The Equipment Distribution segment distributes rough terrain and truck cranes, material handler s, boom trucks, and sky cranes for infrastructure development and commercial construction; supplies repair parts for various medium to heavy duty construction equipment; markets used lifting and construction equipment; and offers repair services. This segment sells its products to end users, including the rental market. Manitex International sells its products primarily in the United States, Canada, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Italy, Korea, Mexico, China, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Chile. The company was formerly known as Veri-Tek International, Corp. and changed its name to Manitex International, Inc. in May 2008. Manitex International was founded in 1993 and is based in Bridgeview, Illinois.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James Brumley]

    Value fans also will love XRX’s forward-looking P/E of roughly 10.

    Manitex International (MNTX)

    12/2 Price: $13.28

    There might be nothing special about an obscure crane manufacturer at first glance, but a closer inspection of Manitex International (MNTX) reveals this company is driving some serious sales and earnings growth now that it has found its niche. Profits should be up 33% next year.

  • [By Zacks Investment Research]

    1. Manitex International, Inc. (MNTX)


    Manitex manufactures lifting solutions including cranes, reach stackers and container handling equipment, rough terrain forklifts, and indoor electric forklifts. Headquartered in Illinois, it supplies crane parts to customers throughout the world.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Markel Corp (MKL)

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. The Company operates in three segments: the Excess and Surplus Lines, the Specialty Admitted, and the London markets. It also owns interests in industrial and service businesses, which operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Thompson Insurance Enterprises, LLC (THOMCO). On July 13, 2011, the Company acquired PartnerMD, LLC. On October 19, 2011, the Company acquired an 83% interest in WI Holdings Inc. (Weldship). In April 2012, its subsidiary, Markel Ventures, acquired a majority interest in Havco WP LLC. In July 2012, Markel Corporation announced that Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC, through its subsidiary Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc., acquired IDRECO GmbH. In January 2013, OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd sold Essentia Insurance Company to the Company. In May 2013, it announced that it has completed its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd.


Excess and Surplus Lines Segment

Business in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment is written through two distribution channels, professional surplus lines general agents who have limited quoting and binding authority and wholesale brokers. The business produced by this segment is written on a surplus lines basis through either Essex Insurance Company or Evanston Insurance Company. During the year ended December 31, 2011, in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment, it wrote business through regional underwriting offices, which include Markel Northeast (Red Bank, NJ), Markel Southeast (Glen Allen, VA), Markel Midwest (Deerfield, IL), Markel Mid South (Plano, TX) and Markel West (Woodland Hills, CA and Scottsdale, AZ). Product offerings within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment fall within the product groupings, which include Property and Casualty, Professional Liabili ty, and Other Product Lines. Property coverages consist of f! ire, allied lines (including windstorm, hail and water damage) and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks, such as earthquake and wind on both a primary and excess basis. Its property risks range from small, single-location accounts to multi-state, multi-location accounts. Casualty product offerings include a range of liability coverages targeting apartments and office buildings, retail stores, contractors and recreational and hospitality businesses. It also offers products liability coverages on either an occurrence or claims-made basis to manufacturers, distributors, importers and re-packagers of manufactured products.


Professional liability coverages include solutions for specialized professions, including architects and engineers, lawyers, agents and brokers, service technicians and computer consultants. It offers claims-made medical malpractice coverage for doctors, dentists and podiatrists; claims-made profession al liability coverage to individual healthcare providers, such as therapists, pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse anesthetists, and coverages for medical facilities and other allied healthcare risks, such as clinics, laboratories, medical spas, home health agencies, small hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes. This product line also includes for-profit and not-for profit management liability coverage, which can be bundled or written mono-line and include employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and fiduciary liability coverages. In addition, it offers a data privacy and security product, which provides coverage for data breach and privacy liability, data breach loss to insureds and electronic media coverage.


Other product lines within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment include excess and umbrella products, which provide coverage over approved underlying insurance carriers on either an occurrence or claims-made basis; env ironmental products, which include environmental consultants! ’ profe! ssional liability, contractors’ pollution liability and site-specific environmental impairment liability coverages; transportation-related products, which provide auto physical damage coverage for automobiles, as well as all types of specialty commercial vehicles, dealers’ open lot and garagekeeper legal liability coverages, vehicular liability and physical damage coverages for local and intermediate haul commercial trucks and liability coverage to operators of small to medium-sized owned and operated taxicab fleets, non-emergency ambulances and multi-line specialty products designed for the characteristics of the garage industry; inland marine products, which provide a range of specialty coverages for risks, such as motor truck cargo coverage for damage to third party cargo while in transit, warehouseman’s legal liability coverage for damage to third party goods in storage, contractors’ equipment coverage for first party property damage and builder’s risk coverage ; ocean marine products, which provide general liability, professional liability, property and cargo coverages for marine artisan contractors, boat dealers and marina owners, including hull physical damage, protection and indemnity and third party property coverages for ocean cargo; casualty facultative reinsurance written for individual casualty risks focusing on general liability, products liability, automobile liability and certain classes of professional liability and targeting classes, which include general liability risks; railroad-related products, which provide first and third party coverages for short-line and regional railroads, scenic and tourist railroads, commuter and light rail trains and railroad equipment, and public entity insurance and reinsurance programs, which provide coverage for government entities including counties, municipalities, schools and community colleges.


Specialty Admitted Segment

The business in the Specialty Admit ted segment is written by retail insurance agents who have v! ery limit! ed underwriting authority. Products and programs are marketed directly to consumers or distributed through wholesale producers. Personal lines coverages included in this segment are marketed directly to the consumer using direct mail, Internet and telephone promotions, as well as relationships with various motorcycle and boat manufacturers, dealers and associations. The business produced by this segment is written on an admitted basis either through Markel Insurance Company (MIC), Markel American Insurance Company (MAIC) and FirstComp Insurance Company (FCIC).


The Markel Specialty unit focuses on providing total insurance programs for businesses engaged in specialized activities. The Markel Specialty unit is organized into product areas, which concentrate on particular markets and customer groups, including youth and recreation oriented organizations, social service organizations, amateur sports organizations and horse and farm operations. The Markel American S pecialty Personal and Commercial Lines unit offers its insurance products focuses its underwriting on marine, recreational vehicle, property and other personal and commercial line coverages. The FirstComp unit provides workers’ compensation insurance and related services, to small businesses. The FirstComp unit distributes its products through independent insurance agencies.


Product offerings within the Specialty Admitted segment fall within product groupings, which include Workers’ Compensation, Property and Casualty, Personal Lines, Accident and Health, and Other Product Lines. Workers’ compensation products provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment and target main-street, service and artisan contractor businesses, retail stores and restaurants. Property and casualty products included in this segment are offered on a monoline or package basis and target commercial markets and customer groups. Targeted groups include youth and recreation oriented organizations,! social s! ervice organizations, museums and historic homes, performing arts organizations, bed and breakfast inns, outfitters and guides, hunting and fishing lodges, dude ranches and rod and gun clubs. Personal lines products provide first and third party coverages for a range of personal watercrafts, including older boats, boats and yachts, as well as for recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). In addition, property coverages are offered for mobile homes, dwellings and homeowners that do not qualify for standard homeowner’s coverage. Other products offered include special event protection, supplemental natural disaster coverage, renters’ protection coverage, excess flood coverage and collector vehicle coverage. Accident and health products offer liability and accident insurance for amateur sports organizations, accident and medical insurance for academic institutions, monoline accident and medical coverage for various markets, sh ort-term medical insurance, pet health insurance, stop-loss insurance for self-insured medical plans and medical excess reinsurance coverage.


Other product lines within the Specialty Admitted segment include coverages for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils, as well as property and liability coverages for farms and boarding, breeding and training facilities; first and third party coverages for auto repair garages, gas stations and convenience stores and used car dealers; general agent programs, which use managing general agents to offer single source admitted and non-admitted programs for a specific class or line of business; first and third party coverages for small fishing ventures, charters, utility boats and boat rentals, and professional liability coverages, which it designs and administers on behalf of other insurance carriers and ultimately assume on a reinsurance basis.


London Insur ance Market Segment

This segment is consisted o! f Markel ! International. Markel International writes specialty property, casualty, professional liability, equine, marine, energy and trade credit insurance on a direct and reinsurance basis. Business is written worldwide through either Markel International Insurance Company Limited (MIICL) or Markel Syndicate 3000 with approximately 15% of writings coming from the United States. Product offerings within the London Insurance Market segment fall within the product groupings, which include Marine and Energy, Professional and General Liability, Reinsurance, Property, and Other Product Lines.


Marine and energy products include a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war, terrorism and specie risks. The cargo account is an international transit-based book covering a range of cargo. Energy coverage includes all aspects of oil and gas activities. The hull account covers physical damage to ocean-going tonnage, yachts and mortgagee’s interest. Liability cove rage provides for a range of energy liabilities, as well as marine exposures, including charterers, terminal operators and ship repairers. The war account covers the hulls of ships and aircraft, and other related interests, against war and associated perils. Terrorism coverage provides for property damage and business interruption related to political violence, including war and civil war. The specie account includes coverage for fine art on exhibition and in private collections, securities, bullion, precious metals, cash in transit and jewelry.


Professional and general liability products include professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, intellectual property, some defense costs, incidental commercial crime, general and products liability coverages targeting consultants, construction professionals, financial service professionals, professional practices, social welfare organizations and medical products. Professional and general liability p roducts are written on a global basis. Reinsurance products ! include p! roperty and casualty treaty reinsurance. Property treaty products are offered on an excess of loss and proportional basis for per risk and catastrophe exposures. A portion of the excess of loss catastrophe and per risk property treaty business comes from the United States with the remainder coming from international property treaties. Casualty treaty reinsurance is offered on an excess of loss basis and targets specialist writers of motor products in the United Kingdom and Europe. Excess of loss casualty treaty reinsurance also is offered for select writers of employers’ and products liability coverages.


Property products target a range of insureds, providing coverage ranging from fire to catastrophe perils, such as earthquake and windstorm. Business is written either in the open market or on a delegated authority basis for direct and facultative risks. Open market business is written mainly on a global basis by its underwriters to London brokers, with each ri sk being considered on its own merits. The Company provides property coverage for small to medium-sized commercial risks on both a stand-alone and package basis through its branch offices. Other product lines within the London Insurance Market segment include crime coverage targeting financial institutions and providing protection for bankers’ blanket bond, computer crime and commercial fidelity; contingency coverage, including event cancellation, non-appearance and prize indemnity; accident and health coverage for affinity groups and schemes, risks accounts and sports groups; coverage for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils; specialty coverages include mortality risks for farms, zoos, animal theme parks and safari parks; short-term trade credit coverage for commercial risks, including insolvency and protracted default, as well as political risks coverage in conjunction with commercial risks for currency inconvert ibility, government action, import/export license cancellati! on, publi! c buyer default and war, and products liability, excess and umbrella and environmental liability coverages.


The Company purchases reinsurance. It purchases catastrophe reinsurance coverage for its catastrophe-exposed policies. In addition, certain foreign reinsurers for its United States insurance operations must provide collateral equal to 100% of recoverable, with the exception of reinsurers who have been granted authorized status by an insurance company’s state of domicile. When appropriate, it pursues reinsurance commutations, which involve the termination of ceded reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance treaties are purchased on an annual basis.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Motley Fool Staff]

    Cheap stocks may always be my mainstay, but next downturn, I’ll definitely dedicate a portion to quality, too. I’ve built up a short list of companies I really admire — companies that could grow at above-average rates for decades. Stocks like Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF  ) , Visa (NYSE: V  ) , and Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) come to mind. And if they go on sale, I’m going to get real interested.

  • [By Brendan Mathews]

    It’s a great idea to get children interested in investing early, and buying some stocks for them is a great way to accomplish that. I’d recommend using a very long-term buy-and-hold strategy focused on high-quality, sustainable businesses. I’d forgo dividends and focus on long-term appreciation (just my personal opinion). Stocks that I’d recommend for this strategy include Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , CarMax (NYSE: KMX  ) , and Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) . All are great companies that I’d be happy to hold for a decade.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer]

    There are also some companies that strive to make their filings easy to follow and have an obvious desire to make sure investors understand their business. Specialty insurer Markel  (NYSE: MKL  ) is a superb example of that. While I wouldn’t say that an insurance newbie will sail through Markel’s filings, the writing and explanations are about as accessible as one could hope for from a fairly complex business.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]

    In this segment of The Motley Fool’s financials-focused show, Where the Money Is, banking analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer rank insurance stocks. The stocks ranked include: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) , AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , and Aflac (NYSE: AFL  ) . Berkshire Hathaway may be No.1 in the guy’s hearts, but it is it also the top pick in their rankings?

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: ICU Medical Inc.(ICUI)


ICU Medical, Inc. engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of medical technologies used in infusion therapy, oncology, and critical care applications. The company?s product line includes custom infusion systems, closed delivery systems for hazardous drugs, needleless infusion connectors, catheters, and cardiac monitoring systems. Its products enhance patient outcomes by preventing bloodstream infections, protecting healthcare workers and patients from exposure to infectious diseases or hazardous drugs, and monitoring the cardiac output of critical care patients. The company offers intravenous (I.V.) therapy lines consisting of a tube running from a bottle or plastic bag containing an I.V. solution to a catheter inserted in a patient?s vein for use in hospitals and ambulatory clinics; CLAVE product, a needleless I.V. connection device, which would be used with conventional peripheral or central vascular access systems for venous and arterial applications; custom in fusion sets. It also provides critical care products that monitor vital signs and specific physiological functions of key organ systems, including disposable pressure-sensing devices, blood sampling systems, angiography kits, sensory catheters, pulmonary artery thermodilution catheters, and multi-lumen central venous catheters. In addition, the company provides TEGO for use in dialysis; a line of oncology products, including Spiros male luer connector device; the Genie vial access device; and custom I.V sets and ancillary products for chemotherapy. ICU Medical, Inc. sells its products to medical product manufacturers and independent medical supply distributors, as well as directly to the end customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in San Clemente, California.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of ICU Medical (NASDAQ: ICUI  )  — a medical device maker in the fields of infusion therapy, oncology, and critical care — soared as much as 17% on a report that the company could be exploring a sale.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    ICU Medical (Nasdaq: ICUI  ) is expected to report Q2 earnings around July 16. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict ICU Medical’s revenues will increase 8.0% and EPS will expand 4.8%.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Isramco Inc.(ISRL)


Isramco, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, development, production, and exploration of onshore oil and natural gas properties in the United States. It owns various working interests in oil and gas wells in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado; and operates approximately 589 wells principally in Texas and New Mexico. The company sells its oil and natural gas products to independent marketers, oil and natural gas companies, and gas pipeline companies. As of December 31, 2010, its estimated total proved reserves were approximately 9,031 thousand barrels of oil equivalent, which included 3,318 thousand barrels of oil, and 23,701 million cubic feet of natural gas, and 1,763 thousand barrels of natural gas liquids. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Houston, Texas.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Yet when you think about it, there should be oil there. It’s been found on all sides of Israel. Total  (NYSE: TOT  )  found oil north of the Sinai Peninsula in the 1980s, but the wells subsequently went dry; Isramco  (NASDAQ: ISRL  ) found oil off the coast of Tel Aviv, but never enough to make it profitable; and Noble found a large gas deposit in the Tamar field of the Levant basin. Several Israeli companies have also found oil and gas, but Zion keeps striking out.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Isramco (Nasdaq: ISRL  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Isramco (Nasdaq: ISRL  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Harmonic Inc.(HLIT)


Harmonic Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells video infrastructure products and system solutions to create, prepare, and deliver a range of video services for television and media platforms in the united States and internationally. Its products include video production platforms and playout solutions, such as video servers used by broadcasters, content owners, and multi-channel network operators to create and play-to-air television channels; video-optimized storage, which provides storage capacity and access bandwidth to support media production applications comprising video editing, content transformation, and media library management; and media applications that provide media integrated management and workflow control over content stored on its systems. The company offers video processing products, including broadcast encoders; contribution and distribution encoders; stream processing and statistical multiplexing solutions; content preparation and delivery for multi-scr een applications; decoders and descramblers; and management and control software. It also provides edge products that integrate routing, multiplexing, scrambling, and modulation into a single package; optical transmitters and amplifiers, which operates at various optical wavelengths and serves long-haul and local transport applications in the cable distribution network; optical nodes to supports network architectures for bandwidth delivered to a service area; and return path transmitters that support two-way transmission capabilities for analog or digital transport. In addition, the company offers technical support and professional services, such as maintenance and support; and consulting, implementation, and integration services. Harmonic Inc. sells its products through direct sales force, independent distributors, and integrators to cable, satellite and telco, and broadcast and media companies. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By David Goodloe]

    Ross sold all 248,058 of his shares in Harmonic Inc (HLIT), a California-based company that develops and markets video routing, server and storage products for companies that produce, process and distribute video content for television and the Internet. The shares were sold for an average price of $6.46, and the sale had a -0.14% impact on his portfolio.

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Harmonic Inc.(HLIT) lowered its guidance for the second quarter as the video infrastructure services company said it has seen decreased demand in its video business. Shares fell 13% to $6.21 premarket.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Bill Barrett Corp (BBG)


Bill Barrett Corporation explores for and develops oil and natural gas in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had four active development programs, including the Gibson Gulch area in the Piceance Basin, the Uinta Oil Program in the Uinta Basin, the West Tavaputs area in the Uinta Basin and, following an acquisition in August 2011, a primarily oil program in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. The Company holds acreage in a number of basins with plans for drilling activity in the Powder River, Southern Alberta, Paradox and San Juan Basins. Among its four key development programs, three of the programs target oil and high British Thermal Unit (BTU) content natural gas that can be processed into natural gas liquids (NGLs), while its exploration program is exclusively focused on oil and high BTU content natural gas. On December 31, 2012, the Company sold its natural gas assets to an affiliate of Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC. In Decem ber 2013, Bill Barrett Corp closed its sale of the West Tavaputs natural gas property located in the Uinta Basin, Utah to affiliates of EnerVest, Ltd.


Piceance Basin

The Piceance Basin is located in northwestern Colorado. As of December 31, 2011, its estimated proved reserves was 596 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had interests in 826 gross (779.8 net) producing wells, and it serves as the operator in 796 gross producing wells. As of December 31, 2011, it held 42,633 net undeveloped acres, including the Cottonwood Gulch prospect. As of December 31, 2011, it was in the process of drilling three gross (three net) wells and waiting to complete 44 gross (44 net) wells within the Piceance Basin.


The Gibson Gulch area is a basin-centered gas play along the north end of the Divide Creek anticline near the eastern limits of the Piceance Basin’s productive Mesaverde (Williams Fork) trend at depths of a pproximately 7,500 feet. Its natural gas production in this ! basin is gathered through its own gathering system and EnCana Oil & Gas Corporation’s gathering system and delivered to markets through a variety of pipelines, including pipelines owned by Questar Pipeline Company, Northwest Pipeline, Colorado Interstate Gas, TransColorado Pipeline, Wyoming Interstate Gas Company Pipeline and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC. The energy content of its Piceance gas is 1.15 BTU per cubic foot and the natural gas is processed at an Enterprise Products Partners L.P. plant in Meeker, Colorado.


Uinta Basin

The Uinta Basin is located in northeastern Utah. As of December 31, 2011, in West Tavaputs Area, it had the estimated proved reserves was 460.7 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, it had interests in 271 gross (258 net) producing wells, and it serves as the operator in 271 gross producing wells. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the net production was 32 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, it held 22,618 net undeveloped acres, along with 16,119 net acres that are subject to drill-to-earn agreements. As of December 31, 2011, it was in the process of drilling one gross (one net) well and waiting to complete 17 gross (12.5 net) wells.


The Company serves as operator of its interests in the West Tavaputs Area. As of December 31, 2011, it had identified 622 potential drilling locations and 460.7 billions of cubic feet equivalents of estimated proved reserves with a weighted average working interest of 96%. The Company is actively drilling its shallow program, which targets the gas-productive sands of the Wasatch and Mesaverde formations at depths down to 7,600 feet on average. The Company drilled 92 wells during the year ended December 31, 2011, and completed 89 wells. Two of the new wells during 2011, targeted the Mancos and Niobrara formations to test these deeper horizons. Additionally, two recompletions were performed on e xisting wells in the Mancos and Niobrara formations. T runni! ng a one ! rig drilling program to drill and complete wells in the Wasatch and Measverde formations in the West Tavaputs area of the Uinta Basin. Its natural gas production in the West Tavaputs Area is gathered through its own gathering systems and delivered into Questar Pipeline Company and Three Rivers Gathering, LLC. Gas delivered into Questar Pipeline is processed by Questar Transportation Services Company, and gas delivered into Three Rivers Gathering can be processed by QEP Field Services Co and Chipita Processing LLC. Gas can then be marketed through a variety of pipelines including Questar Pipeline Company, Northwest Pipeline, CIG, Ruby Pipeline LLC, Rockies Express Pipeline LLC, and Wyoming Interstate Gas Company Pipeline.


The Uinta Oil Program is a fractured oil play with multiple pay zones. The program consists of three main areas of development, including Blacktail Ridge, Lake Canyon and newly acquired East Bluebell. As of December 31, 2011, it had identified three formations: the Green River, Wasatch and Uteland Butte, with 1,688 potential drilling locations and 172.8 billions of cubic feet equivalents of estimated proved reserves and a weighted average working interest of 54%. The Company is also in the planning stages of selecting 80 acre pilot test areas across the field. It is running a three rig drilling program in the Uinta Oil Program which may be adjusted throughout the year as business conditions and operating results warrant.


The Blacktail Ridge area consists of both vertical and horizontal wells that target the Wasatch, Green River, Uteland Butte and Mahogany formations. At December 31, 2011, it had an acreage position of 23,037 net acres with an additional 16,660 net acres subject to drill-to-earn agreements. Under its exploration and development agreement with the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, (Ute Tribe), and Ute Development Corporation, it serves as operator and has the right to earn a minimum of a 50% working interest in all formation! s. Throug! h December 31, 2011, it had earned 17,588 gross (8,794 net) tribal acres in this area. The Ute Tribe assigned its participation rights pursuant to the exploration and development agreement to Ute Energy Corporation (Ute Energy).


The Lake Canyon area consists of both vertical and horizontal wells that target the Wasatch, Green River, and Uteland Butte formations. At December 31, 2011, it had an acreage position of 21,595 net acres with an additional 44,228 net acres subject to drill-to-earn agreements. Under the amended exploration and development agreement with the Ute Tribe and Ute Development Corporation, it operates the northern block of Lake Canyon (consisting of 19,781 net tribal acres) with a 75% working interest, and its industry partner operates the southern block where it retains a 25% working interest. The agreement also requires the Company and its industry partner to drill at least two wells per year from 2012 through 2015 and an additional 14 wells at some point between 2012 and 2015. Through December 31, 2011, it had earned 10,200 gross (4,640 net) tribal acres in this area. The Ute Tribe assigned its participation rights pursuant to the Lake Canyon amended agreement to Ute Energy.


On June 8, 2011, the Company closed on an acquisition of oil properties and related assets in the Uinta Basin referred to as East Bluebell. The acquired properties, which consist of 20,413 net acres, are located approximately 35 miles east-northeast of the Blacktail Ridge and Lake Canyon projects with a mixture of fee, state, federal and tribal minerals both unitized and non-unitized. Three federal units exist within the acquired leasehold, Aurora Unit, Ouray Valley Unit and Roosevelt Unit. Also included in the acquisition was associated gathering and transportation infrastructure.


Denver-Julesburg Basin

The Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJ Basin) is located in Colorado’s eastern plains and parts of so uthern Wyoming, western Kansas and western Nebraska. As of D! ecember 3! 1, 2011, its estimated proved reserves were 41.1 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, it had interests in 216 gross (156.6 net) producing wells, and it serves as operator in 148 gross wells. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held 52,075 net undeveloped acres. As of December 31, 2011, it was in the process of drilling one gross (one net) well and waiting to complete two gross (two net) wells within the DJ Basin. The main oil and gas formations being targeted in the DJ Basin are the tight Muddy J Sandstone, Codell Sandstone and the Niobrara.


On August 16, 2011, it closed on an acquisition of oil and gas properties in the DJ Basin. This acquisition included approximately 26,416 gross (17,074 net) development and exploratory acreage in the Niobrara oil play in the Borie, Chalk Bluffs and Briggsdale prospect areas of Laramie County, Wyoming and Weld County, Colorado. With the acquisition, it also obtained operatorship of 126 producing wells and an interest in another 60 non-operated wells. The Company acquired another 21,903 gross acres (14,800 net) in the Niobrara oil and gas play in the Greater Wattenberg Area of Weld and Adams Counties in Colorado. The Company is running a one rig drilling program to drill and complete horizontal wells targeting oil in the Niobrara formation in the DJ Basin.


Powder River Basin

The Powder River Basin is primarily located in northeastern Wyoming. Its development operations are conducted in its coalbed methane (CBM) fields along with a Powder River Deep Program targeting oil. As of December 31, 2011, its estimated proved reserves were 55.7 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, it had interests in 742 gross (472 net) producing wells and it serves as operator in 580 gross wells. As of December 31, 2011, it held 45,652 net undeveloped acres. During 2011, the Company’s net production was 13.2 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was not in the process of! drilling! or completing any CBM wells within the Powder River Basin. Coalbed methane wells are drilled to 1,200 feet on average, targeting the Big George Coals. Its natural gas production in this basin is gathered through gathering and pipeline systems owned by Fort Union Gas Gathering, LLC and Thunder Creek Gas Services.


The Company’s Powder River Deep Program consists of vertical and horizontal wells targeting various Cretaceaous oil bearing horizons, including the Parkman, Sussex, Shannon, Niobrara, Turner and Frontier formations. The Company also has an interest in an active Parkman waterflood. At December 31, 2011, it had an interest in 51 gross (10.7 net) producing wells with estimated net proved reserves of three billions of cubic feet equivalents, and it serve as operator in seven gross wells. The Company has increased its net acreage position to 27,201 net acres throughout 2011, along with 11,141 net acres that are subject to drill-to-earn agreements.


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Wind River Basin

The Wind River Basin is located in central Wyoming. The Company’s activities are concentrated primarily in the eastern Wind River Basin, along the greater Waltman Arch, where it generally serves as operator. In addition, it has a number of exploration projects, some of which are in areas of the Wind River Basin where it has no existing development operations. As of December 31, 2011, its Estimated proved reserves was 35.2 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had interests in 152 gross (144.3 net) producing wells, and it serves as operator in 148 gross wells. During 2011, its net production was 5.3 billions of cubic feet equivalents. As of December 31, 2011, it held 180,273 net undeveloped acres. As of December 31, 2011, it was not in the process of drilling or completing wells within the Wind River Basin. its natural gas production in this basin is gathered through its own gathering systems and delive red to markets through pipelines owned by Kinder Morgan Inte! rstate (K! MI) and Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG).

Paradox Basin

The Paradox Basin is located in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. As of December 31, 2011, it had interests in six gross (5.9 net) producing, or capable of producing, wells, and it serves as operator in six gross wells. As of December 31, 2011, it held 365,988 net undeveloped acres. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was not in the process of drilling or completing wells within the Paradox Basin. Its Paradox Basin prospect targets oil, natural gas and associated natural gas liquids from the Gothic and Hovenweep shales at average vertical depths of 5,800 and 5,700 feet, respectively. Through December 31, 2011, it had drilled four exploratory vertical wells to gather rock property data and nine horizontal well bores in the Gothic shale. Six of the horizontal wells were on production at various times in 2011, of which two have continually produced from inception and thus far exhibit fl at decline curves. It serves as operator in this area where it has a working interest of approximately 100%.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG) shares were also up, gaining 7.27 percent to $26.56 on Q1 results. The company reported its Q1 adjusted loss of $0.05 per share. Mizuho Securities upgraded Bill Barrett from Neutral to Buy and lifted the price target from $27.00 to $29.00.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG) shares were also up, gaining 8.36 percent to $26.83 on Q1 results. The company reported its Q1 adjusted loss of $0.05 per share. Mizuho Securities upgraded Bill Barrett from Neutral to Buy and lifted the price target from $27.00 to $29.00.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG) was also down, falling 16.07 percent to $23.24 after the company lowered its guidance after the close Tuesday.

    Commodities
    In commodity news, oil traded up 0.16 percent to $97.35, while gold traded up 0.59 percent to $1,258.60.

Hot Clean Energy Companies To Watch For 2016: Targacept Inc.(TRGT)

Targacept, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, design, and development of neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNR) therapeutics for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Its products include TC-5214, a nicotinic channel modulator, which is in Phase III clinical trials as an adjunct treatment for depressive disorder; and in Phase IIb clinical trial for switch monotherapy in patients with depressive disorder. The company?s small molecule products include TC-5619, which is under two separate Phase II clinical trials to treat negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, inattentive-predominant attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer?s disease; AZD3480, a product under Phase IIb clinical trials for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer?s disease; AZD1446 for treatment of Alzheimer?s disease; TC-6987 under Phase II clinical trials to treat asthma and type 2 diabetes; and TC-6499 for the treatm ent for gastrointestinal disorders. It has a collaborative research and license agreement with AstraZeneca AB for the development and commercialization of AZD3480, TC-5214, and TC-5619; and a product development and commercialization agreement with SmithKline Beecham Corporation and Glaxo Group Limited to discover, develop, and market product candidates that selectively target specified NNR subtypes in specified therapeutic focus areas. Targacept, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Targacept Inc.(TRGT)  said it will drop a clinical-stage treatment for Alzheimer’s disease after seeing disappointing results in a midstage study. Shares fell 4.8% to $4.20 premarket.

  • [By DailyFinance Staff]

    Investors took a wait-and-see attitude Tuesday, but airline stocks lost altitude. The market is in a holding pattern until 2 p.m. Wednesday, when the Fed reveals details of this week’s FOMC policy meetings, and whether it’s ready to begin cutting back on its main economic stimulus program. If it does begin to taper, the next debate will begin immediately: Is that good or bad for investors? On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged down 9 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell nearly 6, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) lost 5 points. The Dow’s gainers were led by a pair of companies hiking their dividends. 3M (MMM), which makes everything from Post-It notes to medical equipment, rose 3 percent after increasing its payout by 35 percent. And Boeing (BA) rose 1 percent. It boosted the dividend by 50 percent and announced a big stock buyback. The other big blue chip winner was Visa (V), which gained another 2.5 percent. Its stock is now up 43 percent from a year ago. On the downside, Verizon (VZ), IBM (IBM), McDonald’s (MCD) and Microsoft (MSFT) all lost about one percent. Microsoft says it will not name a new CEO until next year. And airline stocks were broadly lower. United (UAL) and Delta (DAL) both fell 3 percent. American Airlines (AAL), which completed its merger with U.S. Airways last week, fell 2 percent. And Southwest (V) also lost 2 percent. Brokerage recommendations gave a boost to several issues. Data storage companies Seagate (STX), up 3 percent, and Western Digital (WDC), up 2.5 percent, following JP Morgan upgrades. And iRobot (IRBT) surged 17 percent after Raymond James gave it a ‘strong buy.’ Shares of Facebook (FB) rose 2 percent, hitting an all-time high. The social media giant is rolling out new video ads this week. That’s expected to boost revenue. The question is, will it alienate users? On the downside, Targacept (TRGT) lost more than a third of its value. A clinical trial of its schizophreni

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Targacept Inc.’s(TRGT) investigational secondary treatment for schizophrenia didn’t show significant improvement in negative symptoms or cognitive function in a Phase 2b trial after 24 weeks. The biopharmaceutical company said it wouldn’t pursue further development of the therapy for the mental illness or for Alzheimer’s Disease. Shares fell 31% to $4.09 premarket.