Hot Financial Companies For 2014

I know you don’t often hear this, but it was a relatively quiet day with regard to economic data and on the earnings front.

Leading the broad-based S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) higher was a continuation move for Apple, which has rallied steadily since it announced a 500% increase to its share repurchase program and increased its dividend by 15%. Investors have been super-critical of Apple’s supposed “lack of innovation” since the debut of the iPad, yet the company continues to deliver record sales volumes and practically unmatched cash generation.

For the day, the S&P 500 edged higher by 3.08 points (0.19%) to close at 1,617.50, another all-time high. Although today’s move was tame compared with some of the moves we’ve witnessed recently, three companies vastly outperformed to the upside.

Iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) topped the list with a 5.5% gain after an analyst at FBR Capital upgraded the company to “outperform” from “market perform.” After a meeting with management, analyst Mitesh Thakkar feels confident that Cliffs could sell assets to raise capital and can mitigate its cost exposure enough to make it a good rebound candidate. As long as China keeps building, iron ore demand should remain strong, which should ultimately buoy prices and profits. This is certainly a name I’d keep a close eye on.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: Community Bank System Inc (CBU)

Community Bank System, Inc., incorporated on April 15, 1983, which wholly owns five subsidiaries: Community Bank, N.A. (the Bank), Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc. (BPAS), CFSI Closeout Corp. (CFSICC), First of Jermyn Realty Company, Inc. (FJRC) and Town & Country Agency LLC (T&C). The Bank operates as a community bank providing a range of banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. As of December 31, 2012, the Bank operates 179 full-service branches throughout 35 counties of Upstate New York, where it operates as Community Bank, N.A. and five counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where it is known as First Liberty Bank & Trust, offering a range of commercial and retail banking services. BPAS provides administration, consulting and actuarial services to sponsors of employee benefit plans. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired eight branch-banking locations across its Northeast Pennsylvania markets from B ank of America, N.A.Five of the branches are located in Luzerne County, one is located in Lackawanna County and two are located in Carbon County.

On July 20, 2012, the Bank completed its acquisition of 16 retail branches in Central, Northern and Western New York from HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (HSBC), acquiring approximately $106 million in loans and $697 million of deposits. On September 7, 2012, it completed its acquisition of three branches in Western New York from First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara), acquiring approximately $54 million of loans and $101 million of deposits.

Lending Activities

As of December 31, 2012, the Bank’s loan portfolio included consumer mortgage loans, business lending, Consumer indirect, Consumer direct and Home equity. Consumer indirect and direct loans consist of personal loans originated both in the branch network and in automobile, marine and recreational vehicle dealerships. Approximately 68% of loans outstanding as of December 31, 2012, were made to consumers ! borrowing on an installment, line of credit or residential mortgage loan basis. The consumer mortgage portion of the Company’s loan portfolio is comprised of fixed (98%) and adjustable rate (2%) residential lending and includes no exposure to subprime, Alt-A or other higher-risk mortgage products. The combined total of general-purpose business lending, including agricultural-related and dealer floor plans, as well as mortgages on commercial property, is characterized as the Company’s business lending activity.

Investment Activities

As of December 31, 2012, the Bank’s investment securities included held-to-maturity, available-for-sale and Other securities. As of December 31, 2012, its held-to-maturity portfolio included U.S. Treasury and agency securities, Obligations of state and political subdivisions, Government agency mortgage-backed securities, Corporate debt securities and Other securities. Its Other Securities included Federal Home Loan Bank common stock, Federal Reserve Bank common stock and Other equity securities.

Sources of Funds

The Bank utilizes a variety of funding sources to support the earning asset base. Overall funding is comprised of three primary sources that possess a variety of maturity, stability, and price characteristics: deposits of individuals, partnerships and corporations (IPC deposits), municipal deposits that are collateralized for amounts not covered by FDIC insurance (public funds) and external borrowings. The various types of deposits offered by the Bank include Noninterest checking deposits, Interest checking deposits, Regular savings deposits, Money market deposits and Time deposits. Borrowing sources for the Company include the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as access to the brokered certificate of deposit (CD) and repurchase markets through relationships with primary market security dealers.

Subsidiary Activities

The Compan! y’s sub! sidiary, BPAS owns three subsidiaries, Benefit Plans Administrative Services LLC (BPA), a provider of defined contribution plan administration services; Harbridge Consulting Group LLC (Harbridge), a provider of actuarial and benefit consulting services, and Hand Benefits & Trust Company (HB&T), a provider of Collective Investment Fund administration and institutional trust services. HB&T owns two subsidiaries, Flex Corp. (Flex), a provider of administration, servicing and marketing of various flexible employee benefit programs and Hand Securities, Inc. (HSI), an introducing broker dealer. The Company also wholly owns two unconsolidated subsidiary business trusts formed for the purpose of issuing mandatorily redeemable preferred securities.

The Bank owns subsidiaries, such as CBNA Insurance Agency, Inc. (CBNA Insurance), CBNA Preferred Funding Corporation (PFC), CBNA Treasury Management Corporation (TMC), Community Investment Services, Inc. (CISI), First Liberty Service Corp. (FLSC), Nottingham Advisors, Inc. (Nottingham), Brilie Corporation (Brilie), and Western Catskill Realty, LLC (WCR). CBNA Insurance is a full-service insurance agency offering primarily property and casualty products. PFC primarily acts as an investor in residential real estate loans. TMC provides cash management, investment, and treasury services to the Bank. CISI provides broker-dealer and investment advisory services. FLSC provides banking-related services to the Pennsylvania branches of the Bank. Nottingham provides asset management services to individuals, corporate pension and profit sharing plans, and foundations. Brilie and WCR are inactive companies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Community Bank System Inc. (CBU) operates as the bank holding company for Community Bank, N.A. that provides banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. August 21st the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.7% to $0.28 per share. The dividend is payable October 10, 2013 to shareholders of record as of September 16, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.3%.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: BR Properties SA (BRPR3)

BR Properties SA is a Brazil-based company engaged in the real estate sector. The Company operates, along with its subsidiaries, in the acquisition, management, leasing and sale of commercial properties in Brazil, mainly office buildings, retail stores and warehouses. The Company also develops and contracts from third parties and the construction of new properties. The Company’s subsidiaries include BRPR I Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, BRPR II Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, BRPR III Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, BRPR IV Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, BRPR V Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, BRPR VII Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda and BRPR VIII Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ney Hayashi]

    The Ibovespa rose for the first time in five sessions, with developer BR Properties SA (BRPR3) leading gains, amid speculation the Brazilian benchmark’s longest losing streak in six weeks may have been excessive.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FRFHF.PK)

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) is a financial services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is principally engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and the associated investment management. The Company’s segments consist of Insurance, Reinsurance, Insurance and Reinsurance Other, Runoff, and Corporate and Other. On December 22, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of 75% interests in Sporting Life Inc. On August 16, 2011, the Company acquired William Ashley China Corporation. On March 24, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of The Pacific Insurance Berhad. On February 9, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of First Mercury Financial Corporation. In October 2012, its RiverStone runoff subsidiary acquired all the outstanding shares of Brit Insurance Limited.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Infinity Group]

    With 515 million shares outstanding, this equates to 33% of all shares being shorted. It should also be noted that Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF.PK) is holding 51.8 million BlackBerry shares. Prem Watsa stated at the annual FairFax shareholders meeting that Fairfax is holding a long position with BlackBerry and anticipates shareholder value increasing over the next 2-3 years. The cost basis for FairFax financial holdings is approximately $17 per BlackBerry share.

  • [By Alex Jordon]

    There’s talk that Prem Watsa, head of Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF.PK), could possibly be involved in a privatization bid for the company. Consider:

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: National Bank of Greece SA (NBG)

National Bank of Greece S.A. (the Bank), incorporated on March 30, 1841, is a Greece-based financial institution. It offers a range of integrated financial services, including corporate and investment banking, retail banking (including mortgage lending), leasing, stock brokerage, asset management and venture capital, insurance, real estate and consulting services. In addition, the Company is involved in various other businesses, including hotel and property management, real estate and information technology (IT) consulting. On May 19, 2009, the Bank established Ethniki Factors S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 8, 2009, Finansbank A.S. established Finans Faktoring Hizmetleri A.S. (Finans Factoring), a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 30, 2009, NBG Luxemburg Holding S.A. and NBG Luxfinance Holding S.A. were merged to NBG Asset Management Luxemburg S.A. On January 18, 2010, the Bank acquired 35% of the share capital of AKTOR FM. On October 16, 2009, United Bulgarian Ba nk A.D. (UBB) established UBB Factoring E.O.O.D., a wholly owned subsidiary of UBB. On September 15, 2009, the Bank disposed of its investment in Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry S.A.

At December 31, 2009, the Bank operated in Greece through 575 branches, one private banking unit, one unit for financial institutions and 10 specialized banking units that deal exclusively with troubled and non-performing loans. At December 31, 2009, the Bank had over 1500 automated teller machines (ATMs).

Retail Banking

The Bank offers retail customers a number of different types of deposit and investment products, as well as a range of services and products. The Bank offers a range of mortgage products, with floating, fixed, or a combination of fixed and floating interest rates. In February 2009, the Bank introduced a new floating rate product, the ESTIA MIKTO with flexible payment terms. In addition to fire and earthquake property insurance, the Bank o ffers an optional life insurance plan together with mortgage! s.

The Small Business Lending Unit (SBL Unit) a part of the Bank’s retail banking division consists of three credit centers situated in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patrastail. The SBL Unit offers term loans geared towards medium and long-term working capital needs for the financing of asset purchases.

Corporate and Investment Banking

The Bank offers corporate accounts with overdraft facilities, foreign currency loans, variable rate loans, and currency swaps and options for corporate customers. The Bank’s commercial loan portfolio in Greece comprises approximately 50,000 corporate clients, including small and medium sized enterprises. It offers the corporate clients a range of products and services, including financial and investment advisory services, deposit accounts, loans denominated in euro and other currencies, foreign exchange services, insurance products, custody arrangements and trade finance services. The Bank lends primarily in the form of credit lines, which are generally at variable rates of interest with payment terms of up to 12 months. In addition, the Bank provides letters of credit and guarantees for its clients.

The Bank’s shipping finance and syndicated loan portfolio consists of first-tier shipping groups involved in diversified shipping activities. The Bank provided project finance advisory services to the Hellenic Republic on two infrastructure projects: the new Attica Motorway and Kasteli International Airport.

Global Markets & Asset Management

The treasury activities provided by the Bank and its subsidiaries include

Greek and other sovereign securities trading, foreign exchange trading, interbank lending and borrowing in euro and other currency placements/ deposits, forward rate agreement trading, repurchase agreements, corporate bonds, and derivative products, such as options and interest rate and currency swaps. The Bank also conduc ts a portion of its treasury activities through its subsidia! ry CPT. A! s at December 31, 2009; CPT’s portfolio comprised Greek government bonds and corporate bonds, with a total value of EUR 1.8 billion.

The Bank offers its private banking services both domestically and internationally from its international private banking units in London. The Bank offers custodian services to its foreign and domestic institutional clients who hold equity securities listed on the ATHEX or listed Greek State debt, as well as remote settlement and custody services on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The Bank offers trade settlements, safekeeping of securities, corporate action processing, income collection, proxy voting, tax reclamation, brokerage services, customized reporting, regular market flashes and information services. The Bank also acts as global custodian to its domestic institutional clients who invest in securities outside of Greece.

The domestic fund management business is operated by NBG Asset Management, which is wholly owned by the Group. NBG Asset Management manages funds that are made available to customers through the Bank’s extensive branch network. As at December 31, 2009, NBG Asset Management’s total assets under management were EUR 1.9 billion.

National Securities S.A offers a range of investment services to both individual and institutional customers. In September 2009, National Securities S.A. opened a branch in Nicosia, Cyprus, to provide brokerage services to local private investors.

Turkish Operations

The Bank’s Turkish operations include the Finansbank group of companies and NBG Bank (Malta) Ltd. Finansbank’s group of companies includes Finans Invest, Finans Leasing, Finans Portfolio Management, Finans Investment Trust, Finans Factoring, IBTech, Finans Pension, and Finans Consumer Finance. As at December 31, 2009, Finansbank operated through a network of 461 branches in 60 cities.

Finansbank Corporate Banking serves corporati ons through its eight branches in the four cities in Turkey.! Finansba! nk Commercial Banking serves medium-sized companies located in 23 cities in Turkey through its head office, four regional offices (three in Istanbul and one in Ankara) and a distribution network, which includes 61 branches.

Finansbank Investment Banking consists of project finance, corporate finance and technical consulting. Investment Banking acts as a client relations specialist while providing medium to long-term loans and other products. Finansbank Private Banking has been providing investment products and asset management services to individuals through eight private banking centers and 28 private banking corners located in Finansbank’s branches in the cities throughout Turkey.

International

The Bank’s international operations include the Bank’s branches in Albania, Egypt and Cyprus, as well as banking subsidiaries in six countries: NBG Cyprus; Stopanska Banka A.D. in FYROM; United Bulgarian Bank A.D. in Bulgaria; Banca Romaneasca S.A., in Romania; Vojvodjanska in Serbia; and the South African Bank of Athens, as well as other subsidiaries, primarily in the leasing sector. As at December 31, 2009, the Bank had foreign branches in four countries, including one in the United Kingdom, 30 in Albania, one in Cyprus, 15 in Egypt and one in Guernsey (which closed early in 2010).

Insurance

The Bank provides insurance services to individuals and companies through the wholly owned subsidiary Ethniki Insurance Group (EI) and Finans Pension. EI offers a range of products such as life, accident and health insurance for individuals and groups, fire, catastrophe, credit, motor, marine hull and cargo insurance, and general third party liability. EI operates through a network of 2,850 tied agents and 2,620 independent insurance brokers, in addition to selling bancassurance products through the Bank’s network. EI provides bancassurance products through our insurance brokerage subsidiary NBG B ancassurance S.A. (NBGB), which assumes no insurance underwr! iting ris! k, and the Bank’s extensive network in Greece.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    There’s just one problem with the big runups from Elephant Talk Communications, WidePoint Corporation, and CytRx Corporation. That problem? Before the surges, it was very unlikely any of them were on very many traders’ radars. In fact, it’s very likely most traders had never even heard of at least one of them (if not two). The trick to creating success as a speculator of small cap stocks is spotting a big winner before the runup starts to materialize, since (to be blunt, but honest), most small cap stock picks aren’t all that rewarding. Enter the National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG). The National Bank of Greece is also one of the small caps that has gone ballistic of late? No, it hasn’t – that’s just it. NBG hasn’t gone anywhere of late. If the very subtle clues are on target though, then this stock has a good shot at becoming the next WYY, ETAK, or CYTR, and you know about it before it actually happens.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Moody’s raised the rating of Greece’s government bonds to Caa3 with a “stable” outlook. Now we have five Greek banks being given credit rating upgrades as well. The one upgrade that ADR investors will want to watch is the rating on the National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG). Moody’s signaled that the upgrade reflects NBG’s more favorable asset-quality, funding profile and earnings than local peers. It also is based upon an expectation of further capital enhancements to address its weaker capital base.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD)

iShares iBoxx $ InvesTop Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund, formerly known as iShares GS $ InvesTop Corporate Bond Fund, seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the corporate bond market as defined by the iBoxx $ Liquid Investment Grade Index (formerly the GS $ InvesTop Index) (the Index). The Fund invests in a representative sample of the securities in the Index, which has a similar investment profile as the Index.

The Index measures the performance of a fixed number of highly liquid investment-grade corporate bonds. The Index is a rules-based index consisting of up to 100 highly liquid, investment-grade, United States dollar-denominated corporate bonds that seek to maximize liquidity while maintaining representation of the corporate bond market. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Saletta]

    Where to invest?
    There are countless possibilities for building your retirement portfolio to cover Social Security’s gap, depending on your personal risk tolerance, timeline, and need for cash. Here are decent index-style ETFs across various asset types to consider when building your plan:

    Domestic stocks. The Vanguard Total Market (NYSEMKT: VTI  ) ETF is a one-stop-shop that gives you access to around 99.5% by market cap of the publicly held U.S. stocks traded on major exchanges. A mere 3% turnover and microscopically low 0.05% expense ratio makes this a low-cost way to invest in the overall stock market. Investment-grade bonds. The iShares iBoxx $Invest Grade Corp Bond   (NYSEMKT: LQD  ) ETF owns nearly $24 billion worth of investment-grade corporate bonds. A small 4% turnover and low 0.15% expense ratio make this a low-cost way to get bond exposure. Real estate. The SPDR Dow Jones REIT (NYSEMKT: RWR  ) ETF has a bit over $2 billion invested in real estate investment trusts, attempting to match the Dow Jones Select REIT index. With a reasonable 7% turnover and a still pretty low 0.25% expense ratio, this is a reasonable way to get real estate exposure without turning yourself into a landlord. Foreign stocks. Vanguard’s Total International Stock Index (NASDAQ: VXUS  ) ETF has nearly $90 billion in foreign stocks under its control, owning pieces of more than 6,100 stocks from 45 countries. With a mere 3% turnover and low 0.16% expense ratio, it’s one of the lowest-cost ways to get your hands on foreign companies without being an international accounting expert. Inflation-protected government bonds. The iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (NYSEMKT: TIP  ) ETF has around $20 billion invested in U.S. Treasury inflation-protected bonds. With a low expense ratio of 0.2% and a reasonable 10% turnover rate, it’s a decent way to get exposure to inflation-protected bonds. Note, though, that

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: General Finance Corporation (GFN)

General Finance Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the lease and sale of portable storage containers, portable container buildings, and freight containers. It offers mobile storage containers, including general purpose units, double pallet-wide high cube units, hazardous goods containers, and refrigerated containers; portable building containers, such as site offices and cabins, workforce accommodation units, luxury accommodation units, restroom blocks, blast-resistant units, and specialized office and infrastructure suites; and freight containers consisting of curtain-side containers, hi-cube containers, pallet-wide containers, side-opening door containers, and bulk containers. The company provides its products for various storage applications, including retail and manufacturing inventory, construction materials and equipment, documents and records, and household goods. It also leases and sells storage trailers and other storage structures, container office s, mobile offices, and modular buildings, as well as ancillary products comprising steps, furniture, portable toilets, security systems, and other items for use in connection with its equipment. In addition, the company offers delivery and installation, return and dismantle, and other site services. As of June 30, 2012, it operated a fleet of 23,855 mobile storage containers, 3,294 portable container buildings, and 9,348 freight containers. The company serves various industries, such as mining, road and rail, construction, moving and storage, manufacturing, transportation, defense, retail, utilities, education, and services sectors, as well as small and medium-size entities in New Zealand, North America, and the Asia-Pacific regions of Australia. General Finance Corporation was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in Pasadena, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    General Finance (NASDAQ: GFN) shares touched a new 52-week high of $8.12 after DA Davidson lifted the price target on the stock from $8 to $11.

    Mattress Firm Holding (NASDAQ: MFRM) shares reached a new 52-week high of $47.03 after the company reported upbeat Q4 earnings and raised its FY14 forecast.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: National Bank Holdings Corp (NBHC)

National Bank Holdings Corporation (NBH), incorporated in June 2009, is a bank holding company. Through Bank Midwest, N.A. (Bank Midwest), NBH’s primary business is to offer a range of traditional banking products and financial services to both its commercial and consumer customers, located in Kansas, Missouri and Colorado. The Company offers an array of lending products to cater to the customers’ needs, including, but not limited to, small business loans, equipment loans, term loans, asset-backed loans, letters of credit, commercial lines of credit, residential mortgage loans, home equity and consumer loans. It also offers traditional depository products, including commercial and consumer checking accounts, non-interest-bearing demand accounts, money market deposit accounts, savings accounts and time deposit accounts and cash management services. As of December 31, 2011, it operated a network of 103 full-service banking centers, with the majority of those banking cent ers located in the Kansas City region and Colorado. On October 21, 2011, the Company acquired selected assets and assumed selected liabilities of Community Banks of Colorado, a state chartered bank based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, from the FDIC, which included 36 full-service banking centers in Colorado and four in California.

Lending Activities

NBH’s loan portfolio includes commercial and industrial loans, consumer loans, commercial real estate loans, residential real estate loans and agricultural loans. As of December 31, 2011, approximately 61.5% of the Company’s total portfolio was variable rate loans, approximately 38.5% of the total loan portfolio was fixed rate loans and less than 1.6% of its total loan portfolio was unsecured. As of December 31, 2011, of the loans it had originated, approximately 35.1% were variable rate loans and approximately 64.9% were fixed rate loans.

The Company originates commercial and indust rial loans and leases, including working capital loans, equi! pment loans and other commercial loans and leases. As of December 31, 2011, approximately 98.2% of its commercial and industrial loans were secured. As of December 31, 2011, it had $372.0 million in commercial and industrial loans and leases outstanding, comprising approximately 16.3% of its total loan portfolio. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it originated and closed $26.7 million of commercial and industrial loans, which was approximately 18.8% of total loans originated for portfolio investment during that period.

The Company offers a range of consumer loans, including loans to banking center customers for consumer and business purposes, to meet customer demand and to increase the yield on its loan portfolio. As of December 31, 2011, it had $74.3 million in consumer loans outstanding, comprising 3.3% of its total loan portfolio. Its real estate loans consist of commercial real estate loans and residential real estate loans. Commercial real estate loa ns (CRE) loans, consist of loans to finance the purchase of commercial real estate, loans to finance inventory and working capital that are secured by commercial real estate and construction and development loans. Its CRE loans include loans on 1-4 family construction properties, commercial properties such as office buildings, strip malls, or free standing commercial properties, multi-family and investor properties and raw land development loans.

Residential real estate loans consist of loans secured by the primary or secondary residence of the borrower. These loans consist of closed loans, which are typically amortizing over a 10 to 30 year term. It also offers open-ended home equity loans, which loans are secured by secondary financing on residential real estate. As of December 31, 2011, it had a total of $522.4 million in outstanding residential real estate loans, comprising 22.9% of its total loan portfolio. Agricultural loans consist of loans to farmers and other agricultural businesses to finance agricultural produ! ction.

Source of Fund

NBH’s offers a range of deposit products to the customers, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and other deposit accounts, including fixed-rate, fixed maturity retail time deposits ranging in terms from 30 days to five years, individual retirement accounts, and non-retail time deposits consisting of jumbo certificates greater than or equal to $100,000. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s deposit portfolio was comprised of 13.4% non-interest bearing deposits and 55.0% time deposits. Its deposits are primarily obtained from areas surrounding its banking centers.

Financial Products and Services

In addition to traditional banking activities, the Company provides other financial services to the customers. It includes Internet banking, wire transfers, automated clearing house services, electronic bill payment, lock box services, remote deposit capture services, courier servic es, merchant processing services, cash vault, controlled disbursements, positive pay and cash management services (including account reconciliation, collections and sweep accounts).

The Company competes with UMB, Commerce, US Bank, Bank of America, Valley View, Capitol Federal, Central Bancompany, CCB Financial Corp, Enterprise Financial Services Corp, Wells Fargo, FirstBank, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Bank of the West, KeyBank, Alpine Bank, Compass Bank, Vectra Bank, First National Bank of Colorado and Zions Bank.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shauna O’Brien]

    On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs reported that it has downgraded National Bank Holdings Corp (NBHC) to “Sell.”

    The firm has cut its rating on NBHC from “Neutral” to “Sell,” and has given the company a $21 price target. This price target suggests that the stock will remain flat at its current price of $20.94.

    An analyst from the firm commented: “While we believe that NBHC can grow EPS longer term as it leverages its $400mn of excess capital (above 10% tier 1 leverage), with shares trading at 1.1x TBV, we see limited upside in the near-term without any strategic M&A.”

    Looking ahead, the firm has maintained its FY2013 EPS estimate of 26 cents. For FY2014 and FY2015, estimates have been maintained at 57 cents and $1.88.

    National Bank Holdings shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Tuesday. The stock is up 10% YTD.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: BlackRock Muniyield Michigan Quality Fund II Inc (MYM)

BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund II, Inc. (the Fund), formerly BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Insured Fund II, Inc., is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund seeks to provide shareholders with as high a level of current income exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes as is consistent with its investment policies and prudent investment management by investing primarily in a portfolio of long-term municipal obligations the interest on which, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, is exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes.

The Fund’s allocation in long-term investments include transportation, hospital, lease revenue, sales tax, education and housing. BlackRock Advisors, LLC is the manager of the Fund.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    But now that markets have had time to react, a number of different opinions are surfacing about how important Detroit’s bankruptcy is:

    Investment manager BlackRock said early this week that its analysts “anticipate the impact of the event will be much smaller than its size might indicate,” calling Detroit “an idiosyncratic situation” and saying that therefore its analysts “do not anticipate a widespread systemic effect.” UBS noted that “precedents that do exist would appear to favor holders of [general-obligation municipal] bonds backed by an unlimited property tax” in its argument that the bankruptcy shouldn’t create big problems, also noting that muni-bond insurance companies cover almost 90% of Detroit’s debt. Citigroup notes that “the magnitude of Detroit’s economic and financial problems dwarfs those of any other large local government in the U.S. by a wide amount” in arguing that muni-bond yields aren’t likely to rise too far. Taking the other side of the argument, muni-bond specialist Nuveen Asset Management believes that “municipal investors should now view all Michigan general-obligation bonds as having no greater standing than any other form of municipal obligations,” reversing the general understanding that general-obligation bonds backed by broad powers to tax are inherently more secure than bonds with more limited sources of revenue backing them. Indeed, Michigan-specific muni-bond funds took much more serious hits over the week than the broad muni-bond market, with BlackRock MuniYield Michigan (NYSE: MYM  ) falling almost 5% since last Thursday and Nuveen Michigan Quality Income (NYSE: NUM  ) posting about a 4% loss. Analyst Meredith Whitney went a step further, predicting a wave of municipal bankruptcies resulting from Detroit’s action. Yet after having cried wolf in late 2010 and having proven to be wrong in her expected 12-month timeline for massive defaults, Whitney has had her credibility questioned by many ex

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: Blackrock Enhanced Equity Dividend Trust (BDJ)

BlackRock Enhanced Dividend Achievers Trust (the Trust) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The Trust’s primary investment objective is to seek current income and current gains, with a secondary objective of long-term capital appreciation. The Trust seeks to achieve these objectives by investing in common stocks that pay above average dividends and have the potential for capital appreciation and by utilizing an option writing strategy to enhance distributions paid to the Trust’s shareholders.

Under normal market conditions, the Trust will invest at least 80% of its total assets in common stocks that are included in the universe of common stocks of issuers, which Mergent has determined are Dividend Achievers and options with exposure to such stocks. From time to time, the Trust may invest up to 20% of its total assets in investments without exposure to the Dividend Achievers universe. As part of its investment strategy, the Trust inte nds to employ a strategy of writing (selling) covered call and put options on individual common stocks, indices of securities, sectors of securities and baskets of securities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Hsu]

    Here are four to consider:

    PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite ETF (PBP), yielding 4.09%

    Madison/Claymore Covered Call & Equity Strategy (MCN), yielding 8.94%

    Nuveen Equity Premium Opportunity Fund (JSN), yielding 9.19%

    BlackRock Enhanced Dividend Achievers (BDJ), yielding 7.39%

    The yield on these funds is very attractive. Even more attractive is the fact that many buy-write funds actually are selling at a discount to their net asset value.

  • [By Robert Hsu]

    Name Type of Security  Recommendation  Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: KMP)   MLP August 15, 2013  TeeKay LNG Partners L.P.  (NYSE: TGP)   MLP September 16, 2013  PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite Portfol ETF  (NYSE Arca: PBP)  Buy-Write ETF September 30, 2013  Madison Covered Call Equity Strtgy Fd (NYSE: MCN)  Buy-Write ETF September 30, 2013  Nuveen Equity Premium Opportunity Fund (NYSE: JSN)  Buy-Write ETF September 30, 2013  BlackRockEnhanced Dividend Achievers Tr (NYSE: BDJ)  Buy-Write ETF September 30, 2013  Vornado Realty Trust   (NYSE: VNO)  Real Estate
    Investment
    Trust September 26, 2013 

    Robert Hsu is the editor of Permanent Wealth Investor and a former hedge fund portfolio manager at Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs. He retired from Goldman at age 31. He since has come out of retirement to establish and preside over his money management firm, Absolute Return Capital Advisors. His retirement experience has given him his current mission: helping investors like you achieve their goal of comfortable retirement through profitable income strategies.

Hot Financial Companies For 2014: Assured Guaranty Ltd(AGO)

Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the United States and internationally. The company offers insurance, reinsurance, and credit derivative products that protect holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments, including scheduled interest and principal payments. It provides policies issued directly to the holders of insured obligations at time of issuance and those issued in the secondary market; and assumed reinsurance contracts written to third parties. The company insures various types of securities, including taxable and tax-exempt obligations issued by the United States or municipal governmental authorities, utility districts, or facilities; notes or bonds issued to finance international infrastructure projects; and asset-backed securities issued by special purpose entities. Assured Guaranty Ltd. markets its credit protection products directly to issuers and underwriters of public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance securities, as well as to investors in such debt obligations. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Mydlo]

    The guru, Wilbur Ross, reduced his holdings of Assured Guaranty (AGO) by 26.95% on March 19, 2014. His transaction of AGO was a reduction in holding by about 25% in the second quarter of 2013. After the reductions, he currently owns 10,842,488 shares. Assured Guaranty provides public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the U.S. and internationally.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Assured Guaranty Ltd.’s(AGO) third-quarter profit more than doubled as the bond insurer recorded a gain tied to credit derivatives that masked a decline in net premiums earned. Shares rose 4.7% to $22.75 premarket.