Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) may have seen its seven-month streak of gains come to an end in June, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by the resilient bounce large and small-cap stocks have shown since the minor swoon two weeks ago.

Nearly all aspects of the economy have served to push the Dow higher in 2013. The U.S. jobs picture is improving as evidenced by the better-than-expected gain of 195,000 in June compared to forecasts which had been calling for the addition of just 165,000 jobs. The housing market remains stable despite slightly higher mortgage rates thanks to inventory scarcity and rising home prices. Even consumer spending is showing signs of strength with U.S. auto sales in June sliding past estimates.

Some companies in the Dow naturally speak to the skepticism of investors who simply don’t trust in this rally. For many other Dow components, though, short-sellers know better than to press their luck. With that in mind, I propose we yet again have a glimpse at the Dow’s five most loved stocks (i.e. the five least short-sold) and discover what it is about them that causes short-sellers to tuck their tails between their legs and run away. We’ll also take a look at whether or not investors can expect the good times to keep rolling for these five loved Dow components.

Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc (LECO)

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 1906, is a manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products. Welding products include arc welding power sources, wire feeding systems, robotic welding packages, fume extraction equipment, consumable electrodes and fluxes. The Company’s product offering also includes computer numeric controlled (CNC) plasma and oxy-fuel cutting systems and regulators and torches used in oxy-fuel welding, cutting and brazing. The Company operates in five segments: North America Welding, Europe Welding, Asia Pacific Welding, South America Welding and The Harris Products Group. On July 29, 2011, the Company acquired Techalloy Company, Inc. and certain assets of its parent company, Central Wire Industries Ltd. On July 29, 2011, the Company acquired Applied Robotics, Inc. (doing business as Torchmate) (Torchmate). On January 31, 2011, the Company acquired SSCO Manufacturing, Inc. (doing business as Arc Products) (Arc Products). On March 11, 2 011, the Company completed the acquisition of OOO Severstal-metiz: welding consumables (Severstal). In March 2012, the Company acquired Weartech International, Inc. In May 2012, the Company acquired Wayne Trail Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of automated systems and tooling, serving a range of applications in the metal processing market. In November 2012, ITT Corp sold its shape cutting product lines, including the Burny and Kaliburn brands to the Company. In January 2013, the Company acquired Tennessee Rand, Inc.

The North America Welding segment includes welding operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Europe Welding segment includes welding operations in Europe, Russia and Africa. The other two welding segments include welding operations in Asia Pacific and South America, respectively. The Harris Products Group includes the Company’s global cutting, soldering and brazing businesses as well as the retail business in the United States . The arc welding power sources and wire feeding systems man! ufactured by the Company range in technology from basic units used for light manufacturing and maintenance to robotic applications for high volume production welding and fabrication. Three primary types of arc welding electrodes are produced: coated manual or stick electrodes; solid electrodes produced in coil, reel or drum forms for continuous feeding in mechanized welding, and cored electrodes produced in coil form for continuous feeding in mechanized welding.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Lincoln Electric Holdings (Nasdaq: LECO  ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 23. 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 Lincoln Electric Holdings’s revenues will grow 1.1% and EPS will grow 2.6%.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Lincoln Electric Holdings (Nasdaq: LECO  ) is expected to report Q2 earnings on July 29. 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 Lincoln Electric Holdings’s revenues will expand 1.8% and EPS will expand 9.9%.

Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Clicksoftware Technologies Ltd (CKSW)

ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (ClickSoftware), incorporated in 1979, is a provider of software products and solutions for workforce management and optimization for the service sector. The Company derives revenues from the licensing of its software products and the provision of consulting and support services. It also generates revenues from Cloud-based solutions. under software as a service (SaaS) model. ClickSoftware’s solutions are grouped into four main suites which together comprise its Service Optimization Suite: Field Service Daily Suite, Mobility Suite, Roster (Shift Planning) Suite and Forecasting and Planning Suite. Additionally, it offers variations of its products for certain vertical markets, including Mid-Market Package – Installation, Maintenance and Repair Services (ClickIMRS) and Service Tycoon. Its products include: ClickSchedule, ClickAnalyze, ClickLocate, ClickContact, ClickRoster, ClickPlan, and ClickForecast. In March 2014, the Company acquired Xor a Inc., a cloud-based mobile workforce management.

Field Service Daily Suite covers automatic decision making and optimization support to manage field service operations: commencing from appointment booking and scheduling during the period around the day of service, followed by real time scheduling and optimization during the day of service and culminating with reports and business metrics analytics after the day of service. Roster (Shift Planning) Suite covers shift planning needs for both the manager, as well as the employee to optimize the balance between staffing levels needed for serving customers and managing labor costs, and employee preferences. This suite is offered in several configurations for different industry verticals ranging from police forces to contact centers, and more. Mobility Suite covers the needs of the mobile individual and back-office staff for field data communication, such as sending jobs from the back office to the person’s hand-he ld device, and the person’s ability to accept/decline the ! job, report on progress and job completion, as well as capturing customers’ signatures, or sending the person’s own time sheet to the back office. Geography support, such as travel guidance and information about underground equipment are also covered.

ClickSchedule optimizes service scheduling and routing to improve workforce productivity by balancing customer, service and asset resources, and organizational preferences, including contractual commitments, priority, drive time, skills, and service and asset resources availability. ClickAnalyze provides reporting, monitoring and service business analytics for workforce performance measurement and strategic decision support. It enables analysis of key performance indicators, including resource productivity, operational costs, and responsiveness to customers.

ClickLocate (LBS) captures the location information of a field service engineer and/or his or her vehicle obtained via GPS or other te chnology and integrates it with ClickSchedule for use in optimized scheduling. LBS then enables service organizations to improve their service operations by allowing them to make decisions and take actions based on location information, including near real-time engineer locations. ClickContact is a customer interaction management solution that enables self-service appointment booking, order updating, automatic customer notifications and customer satisfaction surveying. From scheduling the initial appointment through enabling a post-service follow-up survey, ClickContact provides customer interaction management throughout the service lifecycle.

ClickRoster provides interactive and automated workforce shift planning based on forecasted workload by quantities and skill requirements, rules and regulations, working contracts, engineer skills, calendar and preferences. ClickPlan provides interactive and automated workforce planning for staffing and deployment of the f ield workforce based on forecasted workload. It is designed ! to enable! service organizations to resolve workforce shortages and surpluses weeks and months in advance. ClickForecast provides field service workload forecasting to enable companies to project workforce capacity. It enables service managers, marketing, and sales to determine the demand levels of customers, and to create multiple forecast scenarios, each with different business assumptions. (ClickIMRS) is a pre-configured package that has been tailored to the needs of small and mid-sized companies. ClickIMRS features pre-configured scheduling and reporting that reduces the expense, time and effort required to custom-design and program schedules and reports. In addition, the ready-to-use reports provide insight into service operations and streamline decision-making on the part of both service management and dispatchers.

ClickSoftware Cloud Services include two Web-based offerings of its complete Service Optimization Suite. ClickCloud offers medium and market ent erprise customers an alternative to on-premises deployment of the Service Optimization Suite. ClickCloud also enables a hybrid information technology (IT) model, which is a solution comprised of a mix of Cloud and on-premises deployment ClickExpress offers the customers to be up and running within a relatively short period of time, with its products.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Optimize your buying
    Software companies these days are being judged not just by how many new contracts they gained during the current quarter, but by how well they’re prepared to deal with the transition to cloud platforms. Supply-chain and workforce-optimization software developer ClickSoftware Technologies (NASDAQ: CKSW  ) looks well poised to take advantage of these trends and has no business, in my opinion, being anywhere near a 52-week low.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of ClickSoftware (NASDAQ: CKSW  ) have plunged today by as much as 13% after the company warned that second-quarter results would fall short of expectations.

Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Syntel Inc.(SYNT)

Syntel, Inc. provides information technology (IT) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services worldwide. It operates in four segments: Applications Outsourcing, KPO, e-Business, and TeamSourcing. The Applications Outsourcing segment provides software applications development, maintenance, testing, migration, and infrastructure services. The KPO segment offers a host of outsourced solutions for knowledge and business processes. It focuses on middle and back-office business processes of the transaction cycle in the capital markets, banking, healthcare, and insurance industries. The e-Business segment provides technology services in the areas of architecting, implementing, and maintaining Web solutions, data warehousing/business intelligence, enterprise application integration, business process management, and enterprise resource planning solutions. The TeamSourcing segment offers professional IT consulting services directly to customers on a staff augmentation basis. It s services include systems specification, design, development, implementation, and maintenance of complex IT applications involving computer hardware, software, data, and networking technologies and practices. Syntel, Inc. provides services to a range of companies primarily in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences, insurance, manufacturing, automotive, retail, logistics, and telecom industries. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Troy, Michigan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, IT services specialist Syntel (NASDAQ: SYNT  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC)

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), incorporated on November 9, 2009, is a petroleum product refiners, transporters and marketers in the United States. The Company operates in three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway and Pipeline Transportation. Marathon Petroleum’s refining, marketing and transportation operations are concentrated in the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States. MPC has two retail brands: Speedway and Marathon. Effective as of June 30, 2011, MPC was separated from Marathon Oil Corporation (Marathon Oil) and became an independent company in a spin-off transaction.

Refining & Marketing

The Company owned and operated six refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States with an aggregate crude oil refining capacity of approximately 1.2 million barrels per calendar day as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, its refineries processed 1,177 million barrels per day of crude oil and 181 m bpd of other charge and blend stocks. Its refineries include crude oil atmospheric and vacuum distillation, fluid catalytic cracking, catalytic reforming, desulfurization and sulfur recovery units. The refineries process a range of crude oils and produce numerous refined products, ranging from transportation fuels, such as reformulated gasolines, blend-grade gasolines intended for blending with fuel ethanol and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, to heavy fuel oil and asphalt. Additionally, MPC manufacture aromatics, propane, propylene, cumene and sulfur.

The Company’s Garyville, Louisiana refinery is located along the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The Garyville refinery is configured to process heavy sour crude oil into products, such as gasoline, distillates, asphalt, polymer grade propylene, propane, isobutane, sulfur and fuel-grade coke. The Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery is located in northeastern Kentucky on the western bank of the Big Sandy River, near the confluence! with the Ohio River. The Catlettsburg refinery processes sweet and sour crude oils into products such as gasoline, distillates, asphalt, cumene, petrochemicals, propane and propylene. The Robinson, Illinois refinery is located in southeastern Illinois. The Robinson refinery processes sweet and sour crude oils into products, such as multiple grades of gasoline, distillates, anode-grade coke, propane, butane and propylene.

MPC’s Detroit, Michigan refinery is located near Interstate 75 in southwest Detroit. It is the petroleum refinery operating in Michigan. The Detroit refinery processes light sweet and heavy sour crude oils, including Canadian crude oils, into products, such as gasoline, distillates, asphalt, slurry, propane, and propylene. Its Canton, Ohio refinery is located approximately 60 miles southeast of Cleveland, Ohio. The Canton refinery processes sweet and sour crude oils into products such as gasoline, distillates, asphalt, propane, slurry and ro ofing flux. Its Texas City, Texas refinery is located on the Texas Gulf Coast approximately 30 miles south of Houston, Texas. The refinery processes sweet crude oil into products such as gasoline, chemical grade propylene, propane, slurry and aromatics.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned and operated 62 light product and 21 asphalt terminals. In addition, it distributes through approximately 52 third-party light product and 12 third-party asphalt terminals in its market area. During 2011, marine transportation operations included 15 towboats, as well as 167 owned and 14 leased barges that transport refined products on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers and their tributaries, as well as the Intercoastal Waterway. As of December 31, 2011, the Company leased or owned approximately 1,950 railcars of various sizes and capacities for movement and storage of refined products. In addition, it own 124 transport trucks for the movement of refined products.

The Company produces propane at all six of its! refineri! es. Propane is primarily used for home heating and cooking, as a feedstock within the petrochemical industry, for grain drying and as a fuel for trucks and other vehicles. The Company is also a producer and marketer of feedstocks and specialty products. Product availability varies by refinery and includes propylene, cumene, dilute naphthalene oil, molten sulfur, toluene, benzene and xylene. Propane is primarily used for home heating and cooking, as a feedstock within the petrochemical industry, for grain drying and as a fuel for trucks and other vehicles.

Speedway

The Company sells transportation fuels and convenience products in the retail market in the Midwest, primarily through Speedway convenience stores. The Speedway segment sells gasoline and merchandise through convenience stores that the Companu owns and operates, primarily under the Speedway brand. Speedway-branded convenience stores offer a range of merchandise, such as prepared foods, bev erages and non-food items, including a number of private-label items. As of December 31, 2011, Speedway had 1,371 convenience stores in seven states.

Pipeline Transportation

The Company transports crude oil and other feedstocks to our refineries and other locations, delivers refined products to wholesale and retail market areas and includes, among other transportation-related assets, a majority interest in LOOP LLC, which is the owner and operator of the United States deepwater oil port. It owns common carrier pipeline systems through Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) and Ohio River Pipe Line LLC (ORPL), both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries. These pipeline systems transport crude oil and refined products, primarily in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions, to its refineries, its terminals and other pipeline systems. The Company’s MPL and ORPL wholly owned carrier systems consist of 1,707 miles of crude oil lines and 1,825 miles of refined product l ines comprising 31 systems located in 11 states, as of Decem! ber 31, 2! 011. In addition, MPL leases and operates 217 miles of common carrier refined product pipelines.

The common carrier refined product pipelines include the owned and operated Cardinal Products Pipeline and the Wabash Pipeline. The Cardinal Products Pipeline delivers refined products from Kenova, West Virginia, to Columbus, Ohio. The Wabash Pipeline system delivers refined products from Robinson, Illinois, to various terminals in the area of Chicago, Illinois. Other refined product pipelines owned and operated by MPL extend from: Robinson, Illinois to Louisville, Kentucky; Robinson, Illinois to Lima, Ohio; Wood River, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana; Garyville, Louisiana to Zachary, Louisiana, and Texas City, Texas to Pasadena, Texas.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had partial ownership interests in the pipeline companies that have approximately 110 miles of crude oil pipelines and 3,600 miles of refined products pipelines, including about 970 miles operated by MPL, which include Centennial Pipeline LLC (Centennial), Explorer Pipeline Company (Explorer), LOCAP LLC (LOCAP), LOOP LLC (LOOP), Muskegon Pipeline LLC (Muskegon) and Wolverine Pipe Line Company (Wolverine).

The Company holds a 50% interest in Centennial, which owns a refined products pipeline system connecting the Gulf Coast region with the Midwest market. The Company holds a 17% interest in Explorer, a refined products pipeline system extending from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest. It holds a 51% interest in LOOP, the owner and operator of the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which is a deepwater oil port capable of receiving crude oil from large crude carriers, located 18 miles off the coast of Louisiana, and a crude oil pipeline connecting the port facility to storage caverns and tanks at Clovelly, Louisiana. The Company holds a 60% interest in Muskegon, which owns a refined products pipeline extending from Griffith, Indiana to North Muskegon, Michigan. It hold a 6% interest in Wolverine, a refined prod! ucts pipe! line system extending from Chicago, Illinois to Toledo, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Dieterich]

    After the closing bell, the exchanges said in alerts that trades made between 3:49 p.m. and 3:51 p.m. Eastern in AOL, Nabors Industries Ltd.(NBR), Lorillard Inc.(LO), Marathon Petroleum Corp.(MPC), and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd(CNQ.T) and Nasdaq clearly erroneous.

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    He likes Valero Energy (VLO) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC); shares were up slightly in late afternoon trading. These refiners are returning cash in the form of dividends and stock buybacks. “We think the upside is at least 60%,” said Schreiber.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Refiners like Phillips 66 (PSX), Valero Energy (VLO), Holly Frontier (HFC), Marathon Petroleum (MPC) and Tesoro (TSO) had a painful start to the year. The pain might be about to turn to gain, according to Barclays.

Hot Consumer Service Stocks To Watch For 2015: Laredo Petroleum Inc (LPI)

Laredo Petroleum, Inc., formerly Laredo Petroleum Holdings, Inc., incorporated in August 12, 2011, is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and natural gas in the Permian and Mid-Continent regions of the United States. The Company’s activities are primarily focused in the Wolfberry and deeper horizons of the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Anadarko Granite Wash in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma, where it has assembled 134,680 net acres and 37,850 net acres, respectively, as of December 31, 2011.

Permian Basin

The Permian Basin, located in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is an onshore oil and natural gas producing regions in the United States. The Company’s Permian activities are centered on the eastern side of the basin approximately 35 miles east of Midland, Texas in Glasscock, Howard, Reagan and Sterling Counties. As of December 31, 2011, it held 134,680 net acres in over 300 sections with an average working interest of 96% in wells drilled as of that date. The overall Wolfberry interval, the principal focus of its drilling activities, is an oil play that also includes a liquids-rich natural gas component. Its production/exploration fairway extends approximately 20 miles wide and 80 miles long. While exploration and drilling efforts in the southern half of its acreage block has been centered on the shallower portion of the Wolfberry (Spraberry, Dean and Wolfcamp formations) the emphasis in the northern half has been on the deeper intervals, including the Wolfcamp, Cline Shale, Strawn and Atoka formations.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had drilled and completed approximately 600 gross vertical wells and had defined the productive limits on its acreage throughout the trend. It has expanded its drilling program to include a horizontal component targeting the Cline and Wolfcamp Shales. The Company has drilled four gros s horizontal Wolfcamp Shale wells as of December 31, 2011. A! s of December 31, 2011, it had drilled a total of 27 gross horizontal wells in the Wolfcamp and Cline formations, of which 23 are in the Cline Shale and four in the Wolfcamp Shale. It had over 5,600 total gross identified drilling locations (both vertical and horizontal) in the Permian, all of which are within the Wolfberry and Cline Shale interval during the year ended December 31, 2011.

Anadarko Granite Wash

Straddling the Texas/Oklahoma state line, its Granite Wash play extends over a large area in the western part of the Anadarko Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it held 37,850 net acres in Hemphill County, Texas and Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. The Company’s play consists of vertical and horizontal drilling opportunities targeting the liquids-rich Granite Wash formation. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled and completed over 150 gross vertical wells. During 2011, its horizontal Granite Wash program was in the development phase. As of Decem ber 31, 2011, it had approximately 100 gross identified potential drilling locations for the horizontal Granite Wash, which included both its Texas and Oklahoma acreage.

Other areas

The Company, in addition to its Permian Wolfberry and Anadarko Granite Wash plays, evaluated opportunities in three other areas within its core operating regions during 2011. The Dalhart Basin is located on the western side of the Texas Panhandle. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held 83,295 net acres in the Dalhart Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled two gross vertical wells in the Dalhart Basin. The second area is centrally located in the Central Texas Panhandle, where its operations were conducted through its joint venture with ExxonMobil as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, it held 46,915 net acres in the Central Texas Panhandle. The third area is located in the eastern end of the Anadarko Basin, in Caddo County, Oklahoma. As of December 3 1, 2011, the Company held 33,306 net acres in the Eastern An! adarko. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    Who’s doing it the best?
    It can be pretty handy to evaluate the entire industry on how efficiently it’s replacing reserves, but reserve replacement costs can be more effective in evaluating individual companies. The lower the costs, the better it is. According to Ernst & Young, the most effective company at controlling reserve replacement costs is private company Antero Resources, with a three-year average reserve replacement cost of about $2.88 per barrel of oil equivalent. Antero, and four of the other top five companies on Ernst & Young’s list, are almost pure natural gas plays. If we’ve learned one thing over the past couple of years, it’s that oil reserves and natural gas reserves are two totally different things when it comes to value. The five following companies have more than 50% liquids on their reserves and had the lowest reserve replacement costs for 2012.

    Company % Liquids in Portfolio Oil Production Replacement Rate (3 Years) Reserve Replacement Costs (3-Year Average) Per boe Rosetta Resources  (NASDAQ: ROSE  ) 57% 846% $6.99 Continental Resources  (NYSE: CLR  ) 72% 827% $12.61 Laredo Petroleum  (NYSE: LPI  ) 52% 1,042% $13.51 SM Energy  (NYSE: SM  ) 53% 392% $14.67 SandRidge Energy  (NYSE: SD  ) 58% 704% $14.85

    Sources: Ernst & Young and S&P Capital IQ; author’s calculations.

  • [By Tony Daltorio]

    Other companies already drilling in the Cline include Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Gulfport Energy Corp. (Nasdaq: GPOR), and another pioneer in the region, Laredo Petroleum Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LPI).