Today, LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD ) introduced a new feature called LinkedIn Contacts, which brings together all of a user’s contacts, conversations, and important notes on their colleagues and friends. The company said in blog post today that LinkedIn Contacts is, “a smarter way to stay in touch with your most important relationships.”
The new online feature, and stand-alone iPhone app, pulls contacts from a user’s email accounts, calendars, and address books and then adds the information into LinkedIn Contacts. LinkedIn members can then view conversations, see when they previously met with the contact, and add notes to their contacts. LinkedIn Contacts can also be set to remind users of job changes, birthdays, and other reasons to stay in touch with their contacts.
LinkedIn currently has a wait list set up for the new feature, but the iPhone app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store today. The company said that invitations will be sent to a limited number of U.S. LinkedIn members in the coming weeks.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Altisource Residential Corp (RESI)
Altisource Residential Corporation is a development-stage company engaged in the acquisition and ownership of single-family rental assets. The Company’s primary sourcing strategy to acquire these assets includes purchase of sub-performing and non-performing mortgages, as well as single-family homes at or following the foreclosure sale (REO Properties (REO)).
The Company intends to pursue opportunities to acquire its single-family rental assets throughout the United States. The Company is managed by Altisource Asset Management Corporation (AAMC). On December 21, 2012, Altisource Residential Corporation’s spin-off from Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (Altisource) was completed.
- [By Amanda Alix]
For Wall Street types, single-family foreclosures can be bought cheaply and in bulk, then fixed up and rented. Companies like the Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX ) and Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY ) have been very active in this market, with the former purchasing 16,000 homes just last year, and the latter ramping up its own portfolio to approximately 7,000. This new industry has also spawned fresh entrants from the REIT field, Silver Bay Realty (NYSE: SBY ) and Altisource Residential, (NYSE: RESI ) two trusts that were spun off earlier this year from parent companies Two Harbors Investment (NYSE: TWO ) and Altisource Portfolio Solutions (NASDAQ: ASPS ) , specifically to take advantage of the boom in the foreclosure-to-rental market.
- [By Mark Holder]
Altisource Residential (NYSE: RESI ) (NYSE: RESI ) (NYSE: RESI ) purchases distressed mortgage loan portfolios with a strategy to work with borrowers to modify and refinance loans to either keep them in their homes or convert the unmodified loans into renovated rental properties.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Commerce Bancshares Inc.(CBSH)
Commerce Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Commerce Bank, N.A. that provides various general banking services to individuals and businesses. It operates in three segments: Consumer, Commercial, and Wealth. The Consumer segment includes the retail branch network, consumer installment lending, personal mortgage banking, consumer debit and credit bank card activities, and student lending. The Commercial segment provides various corporate lending, merchant and commercial bank card products, leasing, and international services, as well as business and government deposit and cash management services. The Wealth segment offers traditional trust and estate tax planning services, brokerage services, and advisory and discretionary investment portfolio management services to personal and institutional corporate customers. This segment also manages a family of proprietary mutual funds, which are available for sale to trust and general retail customers. The comp any, through its other non-banking subsidiaries, involves in underwriting credit life and credit accident, and health insurance; selling property and casualty insurance; private equity investment; securities brokerage; mortgage banking; and leasing activities. It serves customers through a network of branches and ATM machines, online banking, and a central contact center from approximately 370 locations in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Commerce Bancshares, Inc. was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
- [By John Maxfield]
Bank investors got their first glimpse of what first-quarter earnings might look like today when Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH ) reported its results. Shares of the Kansas City-based bank are trading sharply lower after its earnings per share fell by 4.3% on a year-over-year basis.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.72 per share on revenue of $254.92 million.
First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.76 per share on revenue of $320.72 million.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 (TWM)
ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 (the Fund) seeks daily investment results that correspond to twice (200%) the inverse (opposite) of the daily performance of the Russell 2000 Index (the Index). The Fund intends to invest at least 80% of its net assets, including any borrowings for investment purposes, to investments that, in combination, have economic characteristics that are inverse to those of the Index. The Fund also intends to invest assets not invested in financial instruments, in debt instruments and/or money market instruments. The Fund intends to concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated. ProShare Advisors LLC serves as the investment advisor to the Fund. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Richard Rhodes]
We remain short, via a position, the Russell 200 2X Short (TWM) as well as short positions in Tesla (TSLA) and Chipolte (CMG).
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Hot Financial Companies For 2015: John Hancock Premium Dividend Fund (PDT)
John Hancock Patriot Premium Dividend Fund II (the Fund) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to provide high current income together with capital growth. The Fund invests in a diversified portfolio of dividend-paying preferred and common stocks. It invests at least 80% of its net assets in dividend-paying securities. The Fund will normally invest more than 65% of its total assets in securities of companies in the utilities industry. Preferred stocks and debt obligations in which the Fund invests are rated investment grade (at least BBB by Standard & Poor’s or Baa by Moody’s Investors Service) at the time of investment, or will be preferred stocks of issuers of investment-grade senior debt, or if not rated, will be of comparable quality as determined by the Fund’s investment advisor. The Fund will invest in common stocks of issuers, whose senior debt is rated investment grade, or in the case of issuers that hav e no rated senior debt outstanding, whose senior debt is considered by its advisor to be of comparable quality. Its portfolio includes common stocks, preferred securities and short-term investments.
In May 2007, the Fund completed the acquisition of John Hancock Patriot Preferred Dividend Fund. In June 2007, the Fund acquired Hancock John Patriot Global Dividend Fund and John Hancock Patriot Premium Div Fund I. On October 10, 2007, the Fund completed the acquisition of John Hancock Patriot Select Dividend Trust Fund.
The Fund invests in industries, such as multi-utilities, electric utilities, investment banking and brokerage, other diversified financial services, oil and gas exploration and production, gas utilities, consumer finance, life and health insurance, and integrated telecommunication services. John Hancock Patriot Premium Dividend Fund II’s investment advisor is John Hancock Advisers, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Fina ncial Services, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Manulife Fina! ncial Corporation. The Fund’s sub-advisor is MFC Global Investment Management (U.S.), LLC.
- [By Ari Charney]
John Hancock Premium Dividend Fund (PDT) tends to allocate roughly 30% to 40% of the portfolio to equities and 60% to 70% to preferred stock, with the utilities and financial sectors as its main focus.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU)
Vanguard Utilities ETF is an exchange-traded class of shares issued by Vanguard Utilities Index Fund (the Fund). The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) United States Investable Market Utilities Index (the Index), an index made up of stocks of large, medium-size and small United States companies in the utilities sector, as classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS).
This GICS sector is made up of electric, gas and water utility companies, as well as companies that operate as independent producers and/or distributors of power. The sector includes both nuclear and non-nuclear facilities. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index.
- [By Bruce Vanderveen]
Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU) is similar to XLU. It has the same top ten holdings, but has a more diverse base, with smaller utilities included.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: FCCC Inc (FCIC)
FCCC, Inc. (FCCC), incorporated on March 21, 1960, is focused on merger, acquisition, reverse merger or a business transaction opportunity with an operating business or other financial transaction. The Company has not restricted its search to any particular business, industry or geographical location.
As of March 31, 2013, the Company had no arrangements or understandings with respect to any merger, acquisition, reverse merger or business combination candidate. The Company has limited operations and is actively seeking merger, reverse merger, acquisition or business combination opportunities with an operating business or other financial transaction opportunities.
- [By The Science of Hitting]
After the financial crisis, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was created to determine the root cause of the crisis; as part of that effort, the commission was required to make the ensuing interviews of hedge fund managers, bankers, and economists available to the public. One of the people interviewed was Warren Buffett, and as expected, he didn’t disappoint. During the interview, he was asked to discuss the difference between investment and speculation; here was his response (bold added for emphasis):
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: AKB Mosoblbank OAO (MOBB)
AKB MOSOBLBANK OAO (AKB MOSOBLBANK OJSC) is a Russia-based commercial bank. The Company focuses on the provision of various types of banking services to both individual and corporate clients. The Bank offers its services through the network of 400 offices and automated teller machines (ATM), located across the Russian Federation. In addition, it has 23 branches in such cities as: Rostov na Donu, Samara, Astrakhan, Arkhangelsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Tyumen, Yakutsk, Grozny, Kemerovo and Vladivostok, among others. As of May 25, 2012, the Company’s major shareholder was Respublikanskaya Finansovaya Korporatsiya OAO with a stake of 74.19%. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Corinne Gretler]
UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, rallied to a two-year high. Philips, the Dutch maker of light bulbs and electric toothbrushes, gained for an eighth day. Portugal’s PSI-20 Index (PSI20) advanced 2.3 percent as President Anibal Cavaco Silva affirmed that he doesn’t want to call early elections. Mobistar (MOBB) SA slumped the most on record after the Belgian mobile-phone company cut profit forecasts and suspended its dividend.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Spdr Nuveen Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond Etf (SHM)
SPDR Nuveen Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF (the Fund), formerly SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Short Term Municipal Bond ETF, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital Managed Money Municipal Short Term Index (the Index). The Fund uses a passive management strategy designed to track the Index. The Index tracks publicly traded municipal bonds that cover the United States dollar-denominated, short-term tax exempt bond market, including state and local general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, insured bonds and pre-refunded bonds. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Funds Management, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Todd Rosenbluth]
Fortunately, there are some short-term muni ETFs to choose from. The largest is SPDR Nuveen Barclays Short-Term Muni Bond (SHM). About 65% of the bonds inside have a AA rating, with most of the remaining ones having a AAA rating.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Nuveen Premium Income Municipal Fund 2 Inc (NPM)
Nuveen Premium Income Municipal Fund 2, Inc. (NPM) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund seeks to provide current income exempt from regular federal income tax by investing primarily in a portfolio of municipal obligations issued by state and local government authorities or certain United States territories. Nuveen Asset Management (NAM) is the Fund’s investment adviser. NAM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuveen Investments, Inc. Effective January 1, 2005, Nuveen Advisory Corp. (NAC) and its affiliate, Nuveen Institutional Advisory Corp. (NIAC), were merged into NAM.
- [By Chuck Carnevale]
Next, I turned to an evaluation of gross profit margin (gpm), net profit margin (npm), return on assets (roa), return on equity (roe) and return on invested capital (roi). The example below only includes gross and net profit margin, however, I review data on all the metrics stated above.
Hot Financial Companies For 2015: Gleacher & Company Inc.(GLCH)
Gleacher & Company, Inc., an independent investment bank, provides corporate and institutional clients with advice and execution in the areas of advisory services, capital raising and research, sales, and trading. It operates through five segments: Mortgage Backed/Asset Backed & Rates (MBS/ABS & Rates), Corporate Credit, Investment Banking, Equities, and Other. The MBS/ABS & Rates segment provides sales, trading, banking, research, and advisory services on a range of mortgage and asset-backed securities; the United States Treasury and government agency securities; and structured products, such as collateralized loan obligations and collateralized debt obligations, whole loans, and other securities. The Corporate Credit segment offers analysis, sales, and trading on various debt securities comprising bank debt and loans, investment grade debt, high-yield debt, treasuries, convertibles, distressed debt, preferred debt, emerging markets debt, and reorganization equities to co rporate and institutional investor clients. The Investment Banking segment provides financial advisory services in regards to mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, recapitalizations, and capital markets-related matters. It engages in capital raising through underwritings and private placements of equity and debt securities. The Equities segment offers research on customer trades in equity securities in aerospace, defense, industrials, technology, healthcare, and REIT sectors. The Other segment provides early stage growth capital to companies in the information and energy technology sectors. The company was formerly known as Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group, Inc. Gleacher & Company, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Investment bank Gleacher (NASDAQ: GLCH ) has announced that it will exit its mortgage-backed securities and rates business, as well as its credit-products operations. This move, the repercussions of which could potentially affect up to roughly 160 employees, is effective immediately.
- [By Eric Volkman]
The upper ranks of Gleacher (NASDAQ: GLCH ) management have seen a major shake-up. The financial services company has relieved both CEO Thomas Hughes, and COO John Griff, of their jobs. In a tersely worded filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said that the twin terminations were effective immediately. It provided no reason for its actions.