As warm weather thaws in the Northern states, something inside investors’ minds snaps. Perhaps with more barbecues going on, investors don’t want to spend time following stocks, so they sell out of the market. Either way, the phrase “sell in May and go away” gets passed around once every year. What should you do with your stocks in May?
First, don’t sell. As Fool Alex Dumortier demonstrated by analyzing the returns of the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) from 1926 to 2012, buying and holding returned 1.6% more compared to selling in May and buying back in October. And depending on transaction fees and taxes, the outperformance of “buy and hold” compared to selling in May could be even higher.
Second, if you’re still worried, take a look at these defensive stocks that have held up well from Mother’s Day to Memorial Day and beyond, and those looking relatively cheap headed into May.
One of the most resilient stocks in tough times is General Mills (NYSE: GIS ) , maker of Cheerios and other such staples. While the S&P dipped more than 6% last May, General Mills lost only 1.6%. Throughout the Great Recession, when the S&P dropped more than 50%, General Mills took less than a 10% hit. And even with a steady business of cereal, the company doesn’t rest on its laurels. Last year it acquired Food Should Taste Good, which brought several organic and natural food brands into the fold; a stake in Yoplait, which gives General Mills a piece of the growing yogurt market; and Brazilian Yoki Alimentos, which increases the company’s emerging-market presence.
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: Cincinnati Bell Inc (CBB)
Cincinnati Bell Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications and technology services. The company?s Wireline segment provides local voice services, including local telephone service, switched access, and value-added services, such as caller identification, voicemail, call waiting, and call return; data services comprising high-speed Internet using digital subscriber line technology, fiber to the home, dial-up Internet access, network access, and gigabit Ethernet and asynchronous transfer mode data transport services. This segment?s services also comprise long distance and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)services, such as long distance voice, audio conferencing, VoIP, and other broadband services; entertainment services that consist of television over fiber optic cable and coaxial cable in limited areas, and DirecTV commissioning over the company?s operating area; and other services consisting of security monitoring, inside wire installation for busi ness enterprises, rental revenue of space, public payphones, and clearinghouse services. It?s Wireless segment provides advanced digital wireless voice and data communications services through the wireless network in a licensed service territory, which includes Greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and areas of northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. This segment offers postpaid and prepaid wireless subscription services; and wireless handset devices to customers to use its wireless services. The company?s Data Center Colocation segment provides data center colocation services to businesses. This segment operates 17 data centers with 639,000 square feet of total data center space in Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. It?s IT Services and Hardware segment offers a range of managed IT solutions, including managed infrastructure services, IT and telephony equipment sales, and professional IT staffing services. The company was founded in 1873 and is base d in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- [By Paulo Santos]
The birth of CONE was non-effusive; it came from the spin-off and IPO of the datacenter unit of Cincinnati Bell (CBB). Perhaps one could believe that not being a green field company, people didn’t go as gaga on it. It came from a telecom dinosaur, after all.
- [By Mike Arnold]
Cincinnati Bell (CBB) ("CB" or "the company") is a storied, regional telecommunications player in Ohio undergoing considerable transformation, which began, in earnest, with the spin-off of its data warehousing business CyrusOne (CONE) ("Cyrus") in January 2013. CB still holds a ~69% economic interest in Cyrus, with the stated goal to monetize the asset over the next several years in order to pay down debt.
- [By Jim Royal]
One of my favorite reasons to reinvest in stocks I already own is when an uncertain, but favorable catalyst occurs, but the stock does little. So my Special Situations portfolio is adding $1,000 to each of the following three stocks: Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB ) , Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI ) , and First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ: FFNW ) . Read on to see why.
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: Jinpan International Limited(JST)
Jinpan International Limited engages in the design and manufacture of cast resin transformers for voltage distribution equipment. Its cast resin transformers allow high voltage transmissions of electricity to be distributed to various locations in lower, more usable voltages. The company provides medium voltage cast resin transformers for various end uses and applications, including industrial, infrastructure, and municipal projects, such as factories, real estate developments, airports, and subway systems. It also offers switchgears, which enable operators of a power distribution network to switch equipment in and out of the network; line reactors that limit current, filter waveforms, and attenuate electrical noise and harmonics associated with the inverter and driver output of wind powered turbines; and unit substations, which are integrated assemblies comprising high voltage switchgear, a transformer, a low voltage switchgear, a power meter, and a power factor compensat ion device interconnected with cables or buss bars. The company?s unit substations function as miniature power distribution stations and are used in applications related to the construction and maintenance of city power networks. Jinpan International sells its products in the People?s Republic of China, the United States, and Europe. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Haikou, the People’s Republic of China.
- [By CRWE]
Jinpan International Ltd (Nasdaq:JST), a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of cast resin dry type transformers, recently reported that its subsidiary Hainan Jinpan Electric Co. Ltd. successfully developed a 40,000KVA / 35KV cast resin dry type power transformer. The Company has shipped the transformer to the customer’s site in China’s Anhui province for installation in a transformer substation that will deliver power to gas liquification systems.
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: NetSol Technologies Inc.(NTWK)
Netsol Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets software products for the automobile finance and leasing, banking, healthcare, and financial services industries worldwide. It offers NetSol Financial Suite, which is an end-to-end solution that covers the leasing and finance cycle. The NetSol Financial Suite consist of software applications comprising Point of Sale, a front office processing system for the finance sector; Credit Application Processing System to handle the incoming credit applications from dealers, agents, brokers, and the direct sales force; Contract Management System to manage and maintain a contract; Wholesale Finance System to automate and manage the floor plan/bailment activities of dealerships; and Fleet Management System to handle fleet management needs. The NetSol Financial Suite also includes LeasePak that develops Web-enabled and Web-based tools for the leasing technology industry. In addition, the company offers LeaseSoft Portals and Modul es; enterprise wide information systems, such as LRMIS, MTMIS, and Hospital Management Systems; accounting outsourcing services; and career and technology programs. Further, it provides portfolio management systems for the financial services industry; and consulting, custom development, systems integration, and technical services for the healthcare, insurance, real estate, and technology markets. Additionally, the company offers business intelligence, independent system review, information security, and software process improvement consulting services; maintenance and support, and project management services; and solutions for the defense and military forces. It serves Fortune 500 manufacturers, automakers, financial institutions, utilities, technology providers, and government agencies. The company was formerly known as NetSol International, Inc. and changed its name to NetSol Technologies, Inc. in March 2002. NetSol Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in C a labasas, California.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another under-$10 stock that’s quickly pushing within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade is Netsol Technologies (NTWK), which designs, develops, markets and exports proprietary software products to customers in the automobile finance and leasing, banking, health care and financial services industries internationally. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up by 28%.
If you take a look at the chart for Netsol Technologies, you’ll notice that this stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares sliding sharply lower from its high of $12.10 to its recent low of $7.03 a share. During that downtrend, shares of NTWK have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of NTWK have started to stabilize and reverse its downtrend, since the stock has started to make higher lows and higher highs over the last few weeks. This move is quickly pushing shares of NTWK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.
Market players should now look for long-biased trades in NTWK if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $7.74 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 225,909 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NTWK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $8.71 to its 50-day moving average at $9.16 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give NTWK a chance to tag its 200-day at $10.20 to more resistance at $10.45 a share.
Traders can look to buy NTWK off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $7.20 or $7.03 a share. One can also buy NTWK off strength once it clears $7.74 a share with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage fr
- [By CRWE]
NetSol Technologies (Nasdaq:NTWK), a provider of global IT and enterprise application solutions, reported that Mercedes-Benz Leasing Company Ltd. (China), went live with the NetSol Financial Suite (NFS(tm)).
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: Integrated Silicon Solution Inc.(ISSI)
Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs and markets integrated circuits for digital consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications, mobile communications, automotive electronics, and industrial markets. Its primary products include low and medium density DRAM; and high speed and low power SRAM. The company?s low and medium density DRAM products are used in wireless local area networks (WLANs), base stations, networking switches and routers, fiber to the home (FTTH), DSL and cable modems, set top boxes, digital cameras, MP3, flat panel TVs, LCD TVs, HDTVs, video phones, Voice over Internet Protocol, printers, disk drives, tape drives, audio/video equipment, instrumentation, global positioning systems (GPS), telematics, infotainment, smart meters, and other applications. Its SRAM products are used in WLANs, cell phones, base stations, networking switches and routers, FTTH, DSL modems, LCD TVs, set-top boxes, GPS systems, instrumen tation, engine control systems, medical equipment, telematics, audio and video equipment, satellite radio, POS terminals, fax machines, copiers, tape drives, and other applications. Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc. also designs and markets application specific standard products, including high performance serial EEPROMs for use in TVs, networking systems, modems, telephone sets, security systems, video games, automobiles, and other consumer products; and SmartCards that have applications in transportation passes, payment cards, health care cards, and other cards that store secure data. The company markets and sells its products in Asia, the United States, and Europe through direct sales force, independent sales representatives, and distributors. Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
- [By Seth Jayson]
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven’t materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Integrated Silicon Solution (Nasdaq: ISSI ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company’s inventory growth to sales growth. How is Integrated Silicon Solution doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, not so great. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 7.0%, and inventory increased 43.7%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks potentially problematic. Revenue grew 20.0%, and inventory grew 43.7%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks OK but not great. Revenue dropped 1.8%, and inventory dropped 0.8%.
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: Orchids Paper Products Company(TIS)
Orchids Paper Products Company manufactures private label tissue products for the consumer market in the United States. Its product line includes paper towels, bathroom tissue, and paper napkins. The company also offers its products under the Orchids, Velvet, Colortex, Ultra Valu, Dri-Mop, Big Mopper, Soft & Fluffy, Tackle, My-Size, and Care brand names. It serves value retailers (dollar stores), discount retailers, grocery stores, grocery wholesalers and cooperatives, and convenience stores. The company markets its products directly, as well as through independent brokers. Orchids Paper Products Company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Pryor, Oklahoma.
- [By David Goodboy]
My next step was to locate stocks in this industry. One company stood out above the rest as a top performer with plenty of upside. That company is Orchids Paper Products Co. (NYSE: TIS).
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: PostRock Energy Corporation(PSTR)
PostRock Energy Corporation, an integrated independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in the United States. It operates in two segments, Oil and Gas Production, and Natural Gas Pipelines. The Oil and Gas Production segment primarily focuses on the development of coal bed methane in the Cherokee basin and the Marcellus Shale in Appalachian Basin, as well as has oil properties in Central Oklahoma. As of December 31, 2009, it had approximately 51.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of estimated net proved reserves; development rights to approximately 516,184 net acres; and operated approximately 2,849 gross wells in the Cherokee Basin. It also had approximately 44,507 net acres of oil and natural gas producing properties with estimated proved reserves of 18.9 Bcfe and approximately 498 gross wells in Appalachian Basin; and had 65 gross wells, development rights to approximately 1,4 80 net acres, and estimated net proved reserves, 3.9 Bcfe in Central Oklahoma. The Natural Gas Pipelines segment involves in transporting, gathering, treating, and processing natural gas. It owns and operates a natural gas gathering pipeline networks of approximately 2,173 miles in the Cherokee Basin and 183 miles in the Appalachian Basin; and a 1,120 mile interstate natural gas pipeline, which transports natural gas from northern Oklahoma and western Kansas to the metropolitan Wichita and Kansas City markets. The company is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- [By Eric Volkman]
LeBlanc is a veteran energy industry CFO. He has filled that role at East Resources — now a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A ) — as well as PostRock Energy (NASDAQ: PSTR ) , and Range Resources, among others.
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: Diana Shipping inc. (DSX)
Diana Shipping Inc. provides shipping transportation services. It transports dry bulk cargoes that include commodities, such as iron ore, coal, grain, and other materials along worldwide shipping routes. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s fleet consisted of 23 dry bulk carriers, including 14 Panamax, 1 Post-Panamax, and 8 Capesize dry bulk carriers with a combined carrying capacity of approximately 2.5 million deadweight tonnage. Its customers include national, regional, and international companies. The company was formerly known as Diana Shipping Investments Corp. and changed its name to Diana Shipping Inc. in February 2005. Diana Shipping Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based in Athens, Greece.
- [By Nickey Friedman]
It seems like everybody these days universally agrees that the dry bulk shipping market will get better at least in the short term. Executives from DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS ) , Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM ) , Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX ) , and other carriers have voiced optimism about increased demand for 2014. Even if that optimism is realized, there is another very important factor to watch that could ruin the whole thing.
- [By Bryan Murphy]
To say the last few weeks have been disappointing ones for shareholders of maritime shipping stocks like NewLead Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NEWL), FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ:FREE), or Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX) would be an understatement. After a fantastic second half of 2013 for most shipping stocks, the industry has been submerged (metaphorically) since the beginning of 2014. For perspective, DSX gained 32% over the course of the last six months of 2013, bur has fallen 5% since then. NEWL, though a loser all throughout the latter part of last year, has fallen a whopping 13% since 2014 began. FREE has performed about the same, offering glimmers of hope in the latter part of 2013, but popping that bubble in the meantime.
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX) announced that its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2013 are scheduled to be released before the opening of the U.S. financial markets on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. The Company’s management will conduct a conference call and simultaneous Internet webcast to review these results at 9:00 A.M. (Eastern Time).
Hot Penny Companies For 2014: EarthLink Inc.(ELNK)
EarthLink, Inc. provides communications services to individual and business customers in the United States. It operates in two segments, Consumer Services and Business Services. The Consumer Services segment offers Internet access and related value-added services. It provides dial-up Internet and narrowband access, broadband access, and voice-over-Internet-protocol services, as well as value-added services that include products for protection, communication, and performance, such as security products, premium email only, home networking, email storage, and Internet call waiting. This segment offer its products and services primarily through its call centers, search engine marketing, affinity marketing partners, resellers, and marketing alliances. The Business Services segment offers integrated communications services, such as secure IP-based networks, virtual private networks, Internet access, local telephone and long distance services, enhanced services, access trunks, pr ivate line services, asynchronous transfer mode/frame relay services, and mobile data and voice services, as well as installation, managed network, remote access, and disaster recovery services. It also provides wholesale services comprising broadband transport services, including private line, Ethernet private line, and wavelength services; local communications and local dial tone communications services; live and automated operator, and directory assistance services; and dedicated Internet access services and direct connectivity. In addition, this segment leases server space and provides Web hosting services that enable customers to build and maintain an online presence, including domain names, storage, mailboxes, software tools to build Web sites, e-commerce applications, and 24/7 customer support. This segment offers its services through direct sales, and independent dealers and sales agents. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Continuing its efforts to transform itself from a pure Internet service provider into an information technology company, EarthLink (NASDAQ: ELNK ) announced Monday it is buying cloud computing and hosted IT services provider CenterBeam for $22 million.
- [By Geoff Gannon] nflation growth: Dun & Bradstreet (DNB)
· Inflation plus population growth: CEC Entertainment (CEC)
· Nominal GDP Growth: Village Supermarket (VLGEA)
Over the last 10 years – population growth, inflation, and real output per person growth has been so low it’s hard to tell the difference between companies growing at the rate of inflation, along with the population, or along with the economy.
You have to squint really hard to see any difference in the revenue growth records of DNB, Chuck E. Cheese, and Village.
This will not be true in all countries and at all times.
A literally no growth company like Earthlink is actually shrinking. It just happens to look like it’s staying perfectly flat because inflation is hiding the company’s real decay rate. In real terms, the company has been shrinking by about 3% a year for the last 10 years. So, Earthlink is not a no growth company. It’s shrinking.
That’s a bad sign. And, fran kly, I don’t know how to value Earthlink. You would need to evaluate it as a turnaround or something – not as a business that’s simplly stuck in place. I don’t know how to do that.
So, Earhtlink goes into the “too hard” pile.
Dun & Bradstreet and CEC Entertainment are actual no growth businesses. This is hidden by their constant share buy backs. So, if you look at their earnings per share growth they look kind of like Peter Lynch’s idea of a “slow growth” company or even a “stalwart”. They aren’t. They’re no growth businesses.
The same is pretty much true with Village Supermarket. Although this is complicated. The nature of their business – high volume, low cost groceries – means they can appear to be a no growth business when they are actually just keeping prices down and increasing volume. You would need to check their sales numbers more carefully. Grocery stores often discuss inflation in their annual reports. Village Supe rmarket always does t