Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) – J.C. Penney (JCP) was surging more than 6% in premarket trading Wednesday after it indicated that sales trends in November were encouraging, even though third-quarter earnings were worse than expected.

J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $489 million, or $1.94 a share, for the quarter ended Nov. 2. The loss includes 18 cents of restructuring and management transition charges, 4 cents related to primary pension plan expenses and a 9-cent net gain on the sale of a non-operating asset, and a 73-cent loss associated with tax valuation allowances, the company said.

The adjusted loss was $457 million, or $1.81 a share, which includes the loss associated with the tax valuation allowances, but excludes the other one-time items.

J.C. Penney reported net sales of $2.78 billion, down 5.1% from the third quarter of 2012 and just shy of analysts’ estimates calling for sales of $2.79 billion.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: 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.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 To Watch For 2014: PowerShares S&P SmallCap Information Technology Portfolio (PSCT)

PowerShares S&P SmallCap Information Technology Portfolio (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of an index called the S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Information Technology Index (the Index). The Index consists of common stocks of the United States information technology companies. These are companies that are principally engaged in the business of providing information technology-related products and services, including computer hardware and software, Internet, electronics and semiconductors, and communication technologies. The Index is compiled, maintained and calculated by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC. The Fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in common stocks of small-capitalization information technology companies. The Fund will normally invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the Index. The Fund’s investment adviser is Invesco PowerShares Capital Managem ent LLC. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephen Leeb]

    The PowerShares S&P 500 Small-Cap Technology (PSCT) is geared towards smaller, more agile, but also less-established firms, while iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) offers broad, blue-chip technology industry exposure.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: American Assets Trust Inc (AAT)

American Assets Trust, Inc. is a full-service vertically integrated and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns, operates, acquires and develops retail, office, multi-family and mixed-use properties primarily in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon and Hawaii. The Company operates in four business segments: retail, office, multi-family and mixed-use. As of December 31, 2011, its portfolio consisted of 10 retail shopping centers; six office properties; a mixed-use property consisting of a 369-room all-suite hotel and a retail shopping center, and four multi-family properties. As of December 31, 2011, it owned land at five of its properties that the Company classified as held for development. On January 24, 2012, it acquired One Beach Street, consisting of approximately 97,000 rentable square feet in a renovated office building located along the Embarcadero in San Francisco’s North Waterfront District. On August 30, 2011, it sold Valencia Corporate Center.

On March 11, 2011, the Company acquired First & Main, an approximately 361,000 square foot, 16-story, office building located at 100 SW Main Street, in Portland, Oregon. On July 1, 2011, it acquired the Lloyd District Portfolio, consisting of approximately 610,000 rentable square feet on more than 16 acres located in the Lloyd District of Portland, Oregon. On September 20, 2011, it acquired the Solana Beach-Highway 101 property, consisting of approximately 1.7 acres located in Solana Beach, California. On December 14, 2011, it acquired an additional 0.2 acres adjacent to such location.

The Company is the sole general partner of American Assets Trust, L.P., a Maryland limited partnership (the Operating Partnership). The Company, as the sole general partner has control of its Operating Partnership and owned 67.8% of its Operating Partnership as of December 31, 2011. At December 31, 2011, its operating portfolio had approxi mately 705 leases with office and retail tenants, of which s! even expired on December 31, 2011 and 15 had not yet commenced. Its residential properties had approximately 753 leases with residential tenants at December 31, 2011, excluding Santa Fe Park RV Resort. The retail portion of its mixed-use property had approximately 64 leases with retailers.

Retail

The products for its retail segment primarily include rental of retail space and other tenant services, including tenant reimbursements, parking and storage space rental. The Company’s retail properties include Carmel Country Plaza, South Bay Marketplace, Rancho Carmel Plaza, Lomas Santa Fe Plaza, Solana Beach Towne Centre, The Shops at Kalakaua, Waikele Center and Alamo Quarry Market. Its retail portfolio included 10 properties with a total of approximately three million rentable square feet available for lease as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, these properties were 95% leased. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it signed 69 retail leases for 247,560 square feet. During 2011, the retail segment contributed 41.2%, of its total revenue.

Office

The products for its office segment primarily include rental of office space and other tenant services, including tenant reimbursements, parking and storage space rental. The Company’s office properties include Torrey Reserve, Solana Beach Corporate Centre, 160 King Street and The Landmark at One Market. Its office portfolio included six properties with a total of approximately 2.2 million rentable square feet available for lease as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, these properties were 94.4% leased. During 2011, it signed 56 office leases for 233,213 square feet. During 2011, the office segment contributed 30.7% of its total revenue.

Multi-family

The products for its multi-family segment include rental of apartments and other tenant services. Its multi-family portfolio included three apartment pr operties, as well as an RV resort, with a total of 922 units! (includi! ng 122 RV spaces) available for lease as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, these properties were 91.8% leased. Its multi-family leases, other than at its RV Resort, generally have lease terms ranging from 7 to 15 months, with a majority having 12-month lease terms. The Company’s multi-family properties include Loma Palisades, Imperial Beach Gardens, Mariner’s Point and Santa Fe Park RV Resort.

Mixed-Use Property

The products of its mixed-use segment include rental of retail space and other tenant services, including tenant reimbursements, parking and storage space rental and operation of a 369-room all-suite hotel. Waikiki Beach Walk Retail and Hotel is a mixed-use property. Its mixed-use property consists of 97,000 rentable square feet of retail space and a 369-room all-suite hotel. Revenue from the mixed-use property consists of revenue earned from retail leases, and revenue earned from the hotel, which consists of room revenue, f ood and beverage services, parking and other guest services. As of December 31, 2011, the retail portion of the property was 99.2% leased, and during 2011, the hotel had an average occupancy of 88.4%.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    You can put American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT) and Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE:PKE) on your watchlist, if not in your portfolio. These two stocks are the best of the best among names you’ve probably not heard of. Just because you haven’t heard of a stock, however, doesn’t mean it can’t dole out nice rewards. Indeed, I’m convinced the more obscure names like PKE and AAT are the market’s best trading opportunities specifically because they’re picks off the beaten path – the trades aren’t crowded yet.

  • [By Life Sciences Report]

    AF: Kamada Ltd. (KMDA) is a relatively unknown Israeli company that is doing very well. It is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. It has an intravenous form of a drug for alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, which causes lung and liver disease, that is partnered with Baxter International Inc. (BAX).

  • [By Markus Aarnio]

    Owens Realty Mortgage’s competitors include American Assets Trust (AAT), Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) and Boston Properties (BXP). American Assets Trust has seen five insider buy transactions and four insider sell transactions this year. American Assets Trust has a dividend yield of 2.78%. Alexandria Real Estate Equities has seen 14 insider sell transactions this year. Alexandria Real Estate Equities has a dividend yield of 4.10%. Boston Properties has seen one insider buy transaction and four insider sell transactions this year. Boston Properties has a dividend yield of 2.43%.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: TCW Strategic Income Fund Inc (TSI)

TCW Strategic Income Fund, Inc. (the Fund), formerly TCW Convertible Securities Fund, Inc., incorporated on January 13, 1987, is a diversified closed-end investment management company. The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a total return consisting of current income and capital appreciation by investing in convertible securities, marketable equity securities, investment-grade debt securities, high-yield debt securities, options, and securities issued or guaranteed by the United States Government, its agencies and instrumentalities (U.S. Government Securities). The Fund also invests in repurchase agreements, mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, money market securities and other securities.

The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements secured by U.S. Government Securities. The Fund invests in sectors, such as financial services, aerospace and defense, airlines, automobiles, banking, commercial services, electric utilities, insurance, media, utilities, biotechnology and chemicals. The Fund’s investment advisor is TCW Investment Management Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    According to a Gabelli Funds report, managed distribution policies offer several advantages, including:1. Lower difference between the fund’s market price and its NAV per share.2. Provides support during periods when the stock market is in a decline.3. Provides a measurable performance target for the investment adviser.Below are several high-yield funds from CEFA that have a managed distribution policy (yields as of December 16):Aberdeen Australia Eqty (IAF)- Distribution Yield: 10.4%- Income Yield: 346%Bexil Advisers LLC  (DNI)- Distribution Yield: 11.1%- Income Yield: 3.56%BlackRock En Capital&Inc (CII)- Distribution Yield: 8.78%- Income Yield: 2.34%Cornerstone Strat Value (CLM)- Distribution Yield: 18.77%- Income Yield: 1.83%Cornerstone Total Return (CRF)- Distribution Yield: 19.10%- Income Yield: 0.85%Delaware Inv Div & Inc (DDF)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 5.26%Gabelli Equity Trust (GAB)- Distribution Yield: 7.58%- Income Yield: 1.54%Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)- Distribution Yield: 9.45%- Income Yield: 2.84%MFS Special Value Trust (MFV)- Distribution Yield: 9.60%- Income Yield: 5.73%Nuveen Tx-Adv TR Strat (JTA)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 3.12%TCW Strategic Income (TSI)- Distribution Yield: 10.54%- Income Yield: 7.88%Zweig Total Return (ZTR)- Distribution Yield: 7.27%- Income Yield: 1.95%As noted in the Gabelli report, a managed distribution policy may create confusion regarding the true current yield since the reported yield includes the return of capital portion. You can see the disparity above between the income yield and the distribution (reported) yield.If you are looking for a sustainable and growing dividend, you may want to consider some blue-chip dividend stocks such as these with a Free Cash Flow Payout less than 50%, 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases and a 2%+ yield:3M Co. (MMM) is a diversified global company provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Vanguard Large Cap Etf (VV)

Vanguard Large-Cap ETF, formerly known as Vanguard Large-Cap VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class that seeks to track the investment performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Prime Market 750 Index (Index). The Fund employs an indexing approach to provide exposure to predominantly large-cap companies in the United States, diversified across growth and value styles.

The Index represents the universe of predominantly large-capitalization companies in the United States equity market. Using full replication, the Fund invests in all of the Index stocks, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some large-cap stocks to your portfolio but don’t have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the Vanguard Large-Cap ETF (NYSEMKT: VV  ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which large-cap stocks will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.

    The basics
    ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual-fund cousins. This ETF, focused on large-cap stocks, sports a relatively low expense ratio — an annual fee — of 0.1%. It yields about 2%.

    This ETF has performed reasonably, but it’s also very young, with just a few years on the books. It underperformed the S&P 500 in 2008 and 2010, though it beat it substantially in 2007 and 2009. As with most investments, of course, we can’t expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with co nviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Taubman Centers Inc (TCO)

Taubman Centers, Inc. (TCO), incorporated November 21, 1973, operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Taubman Realty Group Limited Partnership (TRG) is a subsidiary of TCO that owns direct or indirect interests in all of its real estate properties. The Company owns, leases, acquires, disposes of, develops, expands and manages regional and super-regional shopping centers and interests therein. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned a portfolio of 24 urban and suburban shopping centers in 12 states. The consolidated Businesses consist of shopping centers and entities that are controlled by ownership or contractual agreements, The Taubman Company LLC (Manager), and Taubman Properties Asia LLC and its subsidiaries (Taubman Asia). In December 2012, it acquired additional 49.9% (100% in total) interest in International Plaza, located in Tampa, Florida. Also in December 2012, it acquired additional 25% (50% in total) interest i n Waterside Shops. In January 2014, Taubman Centers Inc announced the completion of the sale of land owned by Taubman in Syosset, New York, and Taubman’s interest in Arizona Mills to Simon Property Group.

The Company’s centers are located in metropolitan areas, including Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. The centers range in size between 236,000 and 1.6 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) and between 186,000 and 646,000 square feet of Mall GLA. Of the 24 centers, 18 are super-regional shopping centers. The Company’s centers have approximately 3,000 stores operated by their mall tenants under approximately 850 trade names. The centers have 65 anchors, operating under 14 trade names. The centers lease over 95% of leased Mall GLA to national chains, including subsidiaries or divisions of Forever 21 (Forever 21, For Love 21, XXI Forever, and others), The Gap (Gap, Gap Kids, Baby Gap, Banana Republic, ! Old Navy, and others), and Limited Brands (Bath & Body Works/White Barn Candle, Pink, Victoria’s Secret, and others).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Super-regional shopping center real estate investment trust (REIT) Taubman Centers (TCO) raised its quarterly dividend 8% to 54 cents per share, payable March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 17.
    TCO Dividend Yield: 3.12%

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Shopping-mall operator Taubman Centers  (NYSE: TCO  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.50 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after raising the payout 8%, from $0.4625 per share.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: First Connecticut Bancorp Inc (FBNK)

First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. (FCB) is a stock holding company. FCB has been formed in connection with the conversion of First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. a mutual holding company (MHC), from the mutual to the stock form of organization. As of December 31, 2009, MHC owned all of the outstanding stock of Farmington Bank, a savings bank. The MHC will cease to exist as a result of the conversion, and FCB will own all of the common stock of Farmington Bank. As of December 31, 2009, FCB was not engaged in any business. Farmington Bank is a full-service, community bank with 15 full-service branch offices and four limited service offices, including its main office, located throughout Hartford County, Connecticut.

Farmington Bank provides a diverse range of commercial and consumer services to businesses, individuals and governments across Central Connecticut. Farmington Bank provides a range of banking services to businesses, individuals and governments in Central Co nnecticut. It also offers a range of residential mortgage loan services. Farmington Bank’s subsidiaries include Farmington Savings Loan Servicing, Inc., Village Investments, Inc., Village Corp., Limited, 28 Main Street Corp., Village Management Corp. and Village Square Holdings Inc.

Farmington Savings Loan Servicing, Inc. operates as Farmington Bank’s passive investment company (PIC). Village Investments, Inc. offers brokerage and investment advisory services through a contract with Infinex Financial Services, a registered broker-dealer. Village Corp., Limited was established to hold certain commercial real estate acquired through foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, or other similar means. Village Square Holdings, Inc. holds certain commercial real estate of Farmington Bank, formerly used as Farmington Bank’s operations center prior to its relocation to One Farm Glen Boulevard, Farmington, Connecticut. As of December 31, 2009, 28 Main Street Corp and Village Management Corp were inactive.

Len! ding Activities

Farmington Bank’s primary lending activities consists of the origination of one-to-four family residential real estate loans that are primarily secured by properties located in Hartford County and surrounding counties in Connecticut. During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Bank originated $75.8 million of fixed-rate one-to-four family residential loans. The Bank also offers adjustable-rate mortgage loans for one-to-four family properties, with an interest rate that adjusts annually based on the one-year Constant Maturity Treasury Bill Index, after a one, three, four, five, seven or nine-year initial fixed-rate period. Its adjustable rate mortgage loans generally provide for maximum rate adjustments of 200 basis points per adjustment, with a lifetime maximum adjustment up to 6%, regardless of the initial rate. Its adjustable rate mortgage loans amortize over terms of up to 30 years. During 2009, it originated $49.2 million adjustable rate o ne-to-four family residential loans and purchased $33 million adjustable rate mortgages.

Farmington Bank originates commercial real estate loans and loans on owner-occupied properties used for a variety of business purposes, including office buildings, industrial and warehouse facilities and retail facilities. As of December 31, 2009, the Bank’s owner-occupied commercial mortgage loans constituted the largest portion of its commercial real estate portfolio. During 2009, commercial mortgage loans totaled $265.5 million and owner-occupied commercial real estate loans totaled $133.3 million of its commercial real estate portfolio.

Farmington Bank offers construction loans, including commercial construction loans and real estate subdivision development loans, to developers, licensed contractors and builders for the construction and development of commercial real estate projects and residential properties. During 2009, the Bank’s loans outstanding, including commercial and residential, totaled $68.7 million! . The Ban! k also originates construction loans to individuals and contractors for the construction and acquisition of personal residences.

Farmington Bank’s commercial business loan portfolio comprises both middle market companies and small businesses located primarily in Connecticut. Farmington Bank’s Resort (Timeshare) Loans include receivables loans, pre-sale loans, inventory loans, acquisition and development loans, and homeowner association loans. During 2009, its timeshare loans totaled $82.8 million. Farmington Bank also offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, both of which are secured by owner-occupied one-to-four family residences. At December 31, 2009, home equity loans and equity lines of credit totaled $66.7 million.

Farmington Bank also offers various types of consumer loans, including installment, demand, revolving credit and collateral loans, principally to customers residing in its primary market area with acceptable cr edit ratings. Its installment and collateral consumer loans generally consist of loans on new and used automobiles, loans collateralized by deposit accounts and unsecured personal loans.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:FBNK) reported that its Board of Directors has voted to pay a cash dividend in the amount of $0.03 per share on June 14, 2012 to all shareholders of record as of June 4, 2012.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: W.P. Carey & Co. LLC(WPC)

W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, together with its subsidiaries, provides long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit transactions for companies worldwide and manages a global investment portfolio. It invests primarily in commercial properties that are each triple-net leased to single corporate tenants, which requires each tenant to pay substantially all of the costs associated with operating and maintaining the property. The company also operates as an advisor to publicly owned, non-actively traded real estate investment trusts, which are sponsored by it under the Corporate Property Associates brand name, as well as invests in similar properties. As of March 31, 2010, its portfolio comprised full or partial ownership interest in 167 properties that totaled approximately 14 million square feet. W. P. Carey & Co. LLC was founded in 1973 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Build-to-suite properties real estate investment trust (REIT) W.P. Carey (WPC) raised its quarterly dividend 1.2% to 87 cents per share, payable on Jan. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31. This marks the 51st consecutive annual dividend increase for WPC.
    WPC Dividend Yield: 5.67%

  • [By Brad Thomas]

    Finally, here’s the report card. Agree has racked up a year-over-year total return of 43.19%. That’s not bad, especially when you consider the noise generated by the big boys: Realty Income (O) 32.66%; National Retail Properties (NNN) 47.44%; W.P. Carey (WPC) 57.84%; Spirit Realty (SRC) 35.44%; and American Realty Capital Properties 52.18%.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: BioMed Realty Trust Inc (BMR)

BioMed Realty Trust, Inc., incorporated on April 30, 2004, operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT), and the general partner of BioMed Realty, L.P. As of December 31, 2011, BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. owned an approximate 98.1% partnership interest and other limited partners. It owns, acquires, develops, redevelops, leases and manages laboratory and office space for the life science industry. Its tenants include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, scientific research institutions, government agencies and other entities involved in the life science industry. Its properties are located in markets with well-established reputations as centers for scientific research, including Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Maryland, New York/New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Seattle. In June 2013, BioMed Realty Trust Inc and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC announced that they have completed their previously announced merger. In December 2013, Wexford Science & Technology, a Bio Med Realty Trust, Inc. company, announced the acquisition of the Chesterfield Building site in downtown Durham, North Carolina.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company executed 87 leasing transactions representing approximately 1.6 million square feet, including 52 new leases totaling approximately 1.1 million square feet and 35 leases amended to extend their terms. During 2011, the Company acquired approximately one million rentable square feet of laboratory and office space. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned or had interests in a portfolio with an aggregate of approximately 12.4 million rentable square feet. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s stabilized property included 97 buildings, leased up included 34 buildings and long term leased up included 10 buildings. As of December 31, 2011, its consolidated and unconsolidated properties were leased to 174 tenants.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s Boston properties r epresented 34.2% of its annualized base rent and 23.4% of it! s total leased square footage. As of December 31, 2011, its California properties located in San Francisco and San Diego represented 31.9% of its annualized base rent and 37.9% of its total leased square footage. As of December 31, 2011, its Maryland properties represented 14.8% of its annualized base rent and 15% of its total leased square footage.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bill Stoller]

    After a banner 2013, the overall market has had a challenging start to 2014. However, these four companies have been crushing it: Alexander Real Estate (NYSE: ARE  ) , BioMed Realty Trust (NYSE: BMR  ) , CommonWealth REIT (NYSE: CWH  ) , and Sun Communities (NYSE: SUI  ) early on in 2014 vs. the S&P 500. Their relative out-performance can also be seen when compared to the Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYSEMKT: VNQ  ) a good yardstick to measure sector performance.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap Biomed Realty Trust Inc (NYSE: BMR) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) offering an alternative way to gain exposure to the biotech or life sciences sector, meaning it might be worth taking a closer look at it along with a few benchmarks like the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEARCA: VNQ), iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA: XBI). Of course, it should be mentioned that REITs have had a rough ride lately given all the “tapering” talk, but there is still a place for them in your portfolio with Biomed Realty Trust being one of the more unique offerings.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Associated Banc-Corp(ASBC)

Associated Banc-Corp, a bank holding company, offers various banking and financial services to individuals and businesses primarily in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Its Banking segment provides loans and deposit products to businesses, governments, and consumers. Its products and services include checking, savings, money market deposit, and IRA accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and safe deposit boxes; and home equity loans and lines of credit, residential mortgage loans and mortgage refinancing, education loans, and personal and installment loans. This segment?s products and services also include business checking accounts, business loans, real estate financing, construction loans, letters of credit, revolving credit arrangements, business credit cards, equipment and machinery leases, night depository, cash management, international banking, check clearing, safekeeping, and other banking-based services. The company?s Wealth Management segment provides va r ious fiduciary, investment management, advisory, and corporate agency services for individuals, corporations, small businesses, charitable trusts, endowments, foundations, and institutional investors. This segment also offers life, property, casualty, and credit and mortgage insurance, as well as fixed annuities and employee group benefits consulting and administration services; investment brokerage, variable annuities, and discount and online brokerage services; and trust/asset/investment management, administration of pension, profit-sharing and other employee benefit plans, personal trusts, and estate planning services. The company offers its products through branch facilities, loan production offices, supermarket branches, a customer service call center, an interstate automated teller machine network, and Internet banking services. As of December 31, 2010, its banking subsidiary had 280 offices in approximately 150 communities. The company was founded in 1964 and is base d in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC) shares rose 1.73% to reach a new 52-week high of $18.20 after the company announced a $120 million buyback plan and shelf registration of $500 million.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Green Bay-based bank holding company Associated Banc Corp (ASBC) raised its quarterly dividend 12.5% to 9 cents per share, payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 2.
    ASBC Dividend Yield: 2.19%

  • [By John Maxfield]

    Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in Associated Banc-Corp. (NASDAQ: ASBC  ) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you’ve come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about Associated Banc-Corp stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.