Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now

It was an impressive quarter for Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW  ) . In its Q1 report, revenues amounted to $58 million, up 42% from the $41 million in the same period the previous year. Attributable net profit advanced much more strongly, growing 148% to $26 million ($0.18 per diluted share) from Q1 2012’s figure of $11 million ($0.08). Funds from operations — a key metric for real estate investment trusts — came in at $35 million ($0.25 per diluted share) on a normalized basis, compared with $22 million ($0.18) in the year-ago quarter.

Medical Properties Trust also provided selected forward guidance. It believes it will post a normalized FFO of $1.10 per share in fiscal 2013.

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Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Service Corporation International(SCI)

Service Corporation International provides deathcare products and services in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Its funeral service and cemetery operations consist of funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and related businesses. The company provides various professional services relating to funerals and cremations, including the use of funeral facilities and motor vehicles, and preparation and embalming services. It also sells funeral related merchandise, including caskets, burial vaults, cremation receptacles, cremation memorial products, flowers, and other ancillary products and services at funeral service locations. The company?s cemeteries provide cemetery property interment rights, including mausoleum spaces, lots, and lawn crypts; and sell cemetery related merchandise and services comprising stone and bronze memorials, markers, merchandise installations, and burial openings and closings. It also sells preneed funeral and cemetery products and services whereby a customer contractually agrees to the terms of certain products and services to be delivered and performed in the future. As of December 31, 2009, Service Corporation operated 1,254 funeral service locations and 372 cemeteries, including 208 combination locations, covering 43 states in the United States, 8 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as 12 funeral homes in Germany. The company was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Deathcare services and products provider Services Corporation (SCI) raised its quarterly dividend 14% to 8 cents per share, payable March 28 to shareholders of record as of March 15.
    SCI Dividend Yield: 1.73%

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of funeral-home operator Stewart Enterprises (NASDAQ: STEI  ) soared 34% today, after larger rival Service Corp. International (NYSE: SCI  ) agreed to acquire it in a deal worth about $1.4 billion.

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Stereotaxis Inc.(STXS)

Stereotaxis, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets cardiology instrument control systems for use in a hospital?s interventional surgical suite or interventional lab for the treatment of arrhythmias and coronary artery diseases in the United States and internationally. The company provides Niobe system, which includes Niobe Magnetic Navigation System that navigates catheters, guidewires, and other delivery devices through complex paths in the blood vessels and chambers of the heart to carry out treatment; Navigant, a user interface or physician control center, which physicians use to visualize and track procedures and to provide instrument control commands that govern the motion of the working tip of the catheter, guidewire, or other interventional device; Cardiodrive, a catheter advancement system to remotely advance and retract the catheter in the patient?s heart. It also offers Odyssey enterprise solutions, which provides information solutions to manage, control, rec o rd, and share procedures across networks; acquires remote view of the lab capturing synchronized procedure data for review of important events during cases; and review recorded cases and create snapshots following procedures for clinical reporting, auditing, and presentation. In addition, the company provides disposable interventional devices comprising automated catheters, coronary guidewires, and navigation and ablation systems. It markets its products through its direct sales force, distributors, and sales agents. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    One under-$10 health care player that looks poised for a potentially large move higher is Stereotaxis (STXS), which designs, manufactures and markets an advanced cardiology instrument control system for use in a hospital’s interventional surgical suite to enhance the treatment of arrhythmias and coronary artery disease. This stock has been on fire so far in 2013, with shares up big by 43%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Stereotaxis, you’ll notice that this stock has formed a major bottom pattern over the last three months, since this stock has found buying interest each time it has pulled back towards $3.50 and $3.10 a share. Buyers have stepped in at those levels and have not let the sellers pressure STXS lower. Shares of STXS are now starting to spike higher today right off its 50-day moving average of $3.59 a share. That spike is quickly pushing shares of STXS within range of triggering a big breakout trade above a key downtrend line.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STXS if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $4 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 1.98 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then STXS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $5 to $6.24 a share. Any high-volume move above $6.24 a share will then give STXS a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from August that started at $10 a share.

    Traders can look to buy STXS off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below those key support levels at $3.50 to $3.10 a share. One can also buy STXS off strength once it clears $4 a share with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Look out Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), and step aside BioTelemetry Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAT). There’s a new cardiac name in town, and its name is Stereotaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:STXS). This small company’s stock is soaring today on the heels of encouraging news, though the prompt for the stock’s strength has been brewing for quite some time. This nudge for STXS, however, may well mean it has a lot more potential than ISRG or BEAT do for the foreseeable future.

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Ryanair (RYAAY)

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair Holdings), incorporated in 1996, is a holding company for Ryanair Limited (Ryanair). Ryanair operates a low-cost, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and Morocco. As of June 30, 2012, the Company offered approximately over 1,500 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving approximately 160 airports largely throughout Europe with an operating fleet of 294 aircraft flying approximately 1,500 routes. Ryanair sells seats on a one-way basis. The Company also holds a 29.8% interest in Aer Lingus Group plc. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair’s operating fleet was composed of 294 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each having 189 seats. Ryanair’s fleet totaled 294 Boeing 737-800s at March 31, 2012. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair owned and operated four Boeing 737-800 full flight simulators for pilot training. Ryanair provides ancillary services and engages in other activities connected with its core air passenger service, including non-flight scheduled services, Internet-related services, and the in-flight sale of beverages, food, and merchandise. As part of its non-flight scheduled and Internet-related services Ryanair incentivizes ground service providers at airports it serves to levy correct excess baggage charges for any baggage, which exceeds Ryanair’s published baggage allowances. Excess baggage charges are recorded as non-flight scheduled revenue. Ryanair distributes accommodation services and travel insurance through its Website. For hotel services, Ryanair has a contract with Hotelscombined PTY Ltd. (Hotelscombined), which operates a price comparison Website, pursuant to which Hotelscombined handles all aspects of such services marketed through Ryanair’s Website and pays a fee to Ryanair. Ryanair also has contracts with other accommodation providers that enable Ryanair to offer hostel, bed-and-breakfast, guesthouse, villa and apartment accommodation to its customers. In addition Ryanair has a contract with Hertz, pursuant to which Hertz handles all car rental services marketed through Ryanair’s Website or telephone reservation system. Ryanair also sells bus and rail tickets onboard its aircraft and through its Website. Ryanair also sells attractions and activities on its Website. Ryanair sells gift vouchers on its Website, which are also redeemable online. The Company has an contract with Webloyalty International Ltd, which offers Ryanair’s customers who have a United Kingdom, German or French billing address a retail discount and cash-back program. Ryanair has agreements, pursuant to which the Company promotes Ryanair-branded credit cards issued by MBNA, GE Money, Access Prepaid and Banco Santander on its Internet site. The MBNA agreement relates to Irish residents only, the GE Money agreement relates to Swedish and Polish residents only and the Banco Santander agreement relates to United Kingdom residents only. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, Ryanair rolled out handheld Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) devices across its route network. These EPOS devices replaced manual and paper based systems on board the aircraft. The EPOS device enables cabin crew to sell and record their on-board sales transactions. The EPOS device also issues bus and rail tickets and tickets for tourist attractions. The Company also offers reserved seating in twenty-one extra legroom seats on each aircraft for a fee on certain routes. Ryanair provides its own aircraft and passenger handling and ticketing services at Dublin Airport. Third parties provide these services to Ryanair at other airports it serves. Servisair plc provides Ryanair’s ticketing, passenger and aircraft handling, and ground handling services at airports in Ireland and the United Kingdom(excluding London (Stansted) Airport where these services are provided by Swissport Ltd.), while similar services in continental Europe are provided by the local airport authorities, either directly or through sub-contractors. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ: RYAAY) was also up, gaining 3.41 percent to $48.86 after the company reported FQ3 results.

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) were down 3.16 percent to $14.49 after the company reported a 7% drop in its US sales in January.

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    The airline industry has a singular talent for draining the pockets of well-intentioned investors. Highly leveraged balance sheets and bankruptcies are the norm. Significant labor costs and unpredictable jet fuel prices wreak havoc on variable costs. Yet some airlines generate solid returns quarter after quarter. Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK  ) , Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY  ) , Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) , and Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA  ) each manage to be consistently profitable. Let’s examine a few themes they share in common, and zero in on their individual strategic ideas.

  • [By El Torero]

    Ryanair (RYAAY) just announced record annual profits of €569 million ($736 million). It expects to break that total this financial year, with predicted profits of between €570 million ($737 million) and €600 million ($776 million). The Irish airline had 79 million passengers last year and it plans on expanding that number with an aggressive expansion strategy, including a number of new routes and with legacy airlines in their sights. Importantly, with Europe deep in economic crisis still, increasing numbers of passengers choose to fly low-cost with Ryanair. With a P/E ratio of 18.52 compared to the industry average of 12.43, according to Reuters, the future looks very bright for Ryanair.

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Gladstone Commercial Corporation(GOOD)

Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans. The company leases its real estate properties to small businesses, as well as to large public companies. As of December 31, 2009, it owned 64 properties, and held 1 mortgage loan. The company qualifies as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in McLean, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Gladstone Commercial Corporation (GOOD) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States.Yield: 7.9%

    Main Street Capital Corporation (MAIN) is a business development company specializing in long- term equity, equity related, and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. Yield: 6.3%

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS)

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (Barnes & Noble), incorporated on November 19, 1986, is a bookseller. The Company is a content, commerce and technology company that provides customers access to books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform. As of April 27, 2013, it operated 1,361 bookstores in 50 states, 686 bookstores on college campuses, and operates one of the Web eCommerce sites, and develops digital content products and software. Barnes & Noble operates in three segments: B&N Retail, B&N College and NOOK. The Company’s principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles), mass market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other popular fiction), children’s books, eBooks and other digital content, NOOK and related accessories, bargain books, magazines, gifts, cafe products and services, educational toys & games, music and movies direct to customers through its books tores or on barnesandnoble.com.

Of the Company’s 1,361 bookstores, 675 operate primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC (B&N College), a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, operates 686 college bookstores at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble Retail (B&N Retail) operates the 675 retail bookstores. Retail also includes the Company’s eCommerce site and Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (Sterling or Sterling Publishing), a leader in general trade book publishing.

B&N Retail

This segment includes 675 bookstores as of April 27, 2013, primarily under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers trade name. These stores generally offer a dedicated NOOK area, a comprehensive trade book title base, a cafe, and departments dedicated to Juvenile, Toys & Games, DVDs, Music, Gift, Magazine and Bargain products. The stores also offer a calendar of ongoing events, incl uding author appearances and children’s activities. The B&! N Retail segment also includes the Company’s eCommerce website, barnesandnoble.com, and its publishing operation, Sterling Publishing. Barnes & Noble stores range in size from 3,000 to 60,000 square feet depending upon market size, with an overall average store size of 26,000 square feet. During the fiscal year ended April 27, 2013 (fiscal), the Company reduced the Barnes & Noble store base by 0.3 million square feet, bringing the total square footage to 17.7 million square feet. The Company’s B&N Retail segment purchases physical books on a regular basis from over 800 publishers and over 50 wholesalers or distributors. As of April 27, 2013, Barnes & Noble had stores in 162 of the total 210 Designated Market Area markets.

Sterling Publishing is a publisher of non-fiction trade titles. It is a range of non-fiction and illustrated books and kits across a range of imprints, in categories, such as health and wellness, music and culture, food and wine, crafts and photo graphy, puzzles and games, history and current affairs, as well as a children’s books.

B&N College

B&N College sells new and used textbooks in campus bookstores and online. As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operated 686 stores nationwide. The Company’s customer base, which is mainly consisted of students and faculty, can purchase various items from their campus stores, including textbooks and course-related materials, emblematic apparel and gifts, trade books, computer products, NOOK products and related accessories, school and dorm supplies, convenience and cafe items.

As of April 27, 2013, B&N College operates 651 traditional college bookstores and 35 academic superstores, which are generally larger in size, offer cafes and provide a sense of community that engages the surrounding campus and local communities in college activities and culture. The traditional bookstores range in size from 500 to 48,000 square feet. The academic su perstores range in size from 8,000 to 75,000 square feet. B&! N College! ’s three customer constituencies are students, faculty members and campus administrators.

NOOK

This segment includes the Company’s digital business, which includes the Company’s eBookstore, digital newsstand and sales of NOOK devices and accessories to third party distribution partners, as well as to B&N Retail and B&N College. Barnes & Noble’s NOOK digital bookstore and Reading Apps provide customers the ability to purchase and read their digital content and access to their Lifetime Library on a range of digital platforms, including Windows 8 PCs and tablets, iPad, iPhone , Android smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac. Barnes & Noble has implemented features on its digital platform to ensure that customers can access their NOOK content from almost all of today’s most popular devices.

The Company competes with Target, Books-A-Million, Waldenbooks, Amazon.com, Apple, Wal-Mart and Costco.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images Amazon (AMZN), according to persistent rumors, is putting the finishing touches on a set-top box that will allows users to stream video content from a chosen device or devices to their TVs. If it’s true, the company is coming fairly late to a stuffed segment. But grabbing market share — and even making a buck on the device — might not be its top motivation for wading into this fray. A Razor-and-Blades Strategy For the past few years — ever since it launched its first Kindle — Amazon has been willing to sacrifice making a profit on its tablets in order to push its digital content, a growing library of TV shows, feature films, video games and other material. It sells the current Kindle HD iterations at cost (starting at $139 for the standard HD, and going to $229 for the 7-inch-display HDX version and $379 for the 8.9-inch HDX). Since Kindles are packed with software that guides users to the retailer’s offerings — most compatibly, those TV shows and movies, which users can rent or buy, but also the company’s online catalog of physical goods — the business strategy is a variation on the classic razor-and-blades model. In other words, the company sells the razor (the Kindle) relatively cheaply, in the hopes of producing a long-tail revenue stream with the blades (the digital content). Amazon doesn’t break out detailed numbers for revenue derived from Kindle user activity, so it’s hard to gauge how effective the strategy has been. But the company is selling a lot of digital media. According to research conducted by investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) last year, Amazon stood to take in around $3.8 billion worth of digital media sales in 2013. The bank predicts that this will surge to a projected $5.7 billion this year. The latter figure is around 6 percent of total anticipated net sales for the entirety of 2014. Tablet Sales are Tumbling Putting a damper on that happy growth story is development of the overall ta

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    AP/Dave Martin The last week of February was a redemptive week for three fading retailers, but it’s hard to argue that any of them will remain market darlings for long. J.C. Penney (JCP) was one of the market’s biggest winners, soaring 29 percent after posting improving quarterly results. The struggling department store chain posted a narrower loss than analysts were forecasting, posting positive comparable-store sales during the holiday period for the first time in a couple of years. Barnes & Noble (BKS) also moved higher by 8 percent last week on strong financial results. The bookseller that outlasted Borders came through with a quarterly profit of $0.86 a share, blowing past the $0.61 a share that Wall Street pros were targeting. Its Nook business is still suffering from sharp declines, but its actual superstores are holding up surprisingly well. An analyst at Maxim Group boosted his price target on the shares from $20 to $32. Best Buy (BBY) also got a boost from a better than expected report during the holiday quarter. Best Buy’s profit for the holiday period declined to $1.24 a share, but that was well ahead of the $1.01 a share that analysts were expecting. Shares of Best Buy also rose 8 percent on the week. These chains seemed to be on the way out last year, and all of them have brought in new CEOs over the past two years. Seeing the stocks move at least 8 percent higher and as much as 29 percent higher last week may suggest that reports of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated, but let’s not assume that the storm clouds have cleared at any of them. Penney Arcade The troubled Ron Johnson era ended at J.C. Penney last year. The retail guru — who had been instrumental in turning Target (TGT) from “cheap” into “cheap chic” before heading to Apple (AAPL) in time to start rolling out the wildly successful Apple Store chain — flopped at the meandering department store chain. Investors cheered when Johnson arrived at J.C. Penney in late 201

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Gerdau SA (GGB)

Gerdau S.A. (Gerdau), incorporated on November 20, 1961, is a producer of long rolled steel. Gerdau operates steel mills that produce steel by direct iron-ore reduction (DRI) in blast furnaces and in electric arc furnaces (EAF). In Brazil, the Company operates four integrated steel mills, including its mill, Acominas mill, an integrated steel mill located in the state of Minas Gerais. It has a total of 60 steel producing units globally, including joint ventures and associate companies. The joint ventures include a unit located in the United States for the production of flat rolled steel and another unit in India. The associate companies are Aceros Corsa in Mexico; Corporacion Centroamericana del Acero in Guatemala, and Industrias Nacionales (INCA) in the Dominican Republic. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company also engages in other activities related to the production and sale of steel products, including reforestation, electric power generation projects; c oking coal, iron ore and pig iron production, as well as fab shops and downstream operations. On August 12, 2010, Gerdau acquired the remaining 49.1% interest in the Cleary Holdings Corp. On October 21, 2010, Gerdau, through its wholly owned subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel acquired TAMCO Steel.

Gerdau offers a range of steel products, which are manufactured according to a variety of customer specifications. Its product mix includes crude steel (slabs, blooms and billets) sold to rolling mills, finished products for the construction industry, such as rods and structural bars, finished products for industry, such as commercial rolled steel bars and machine wire and products for farming and agriculture, such as poles, smooth wire and barbed wire. The Company also produces specialty steel products utilizing technology and normally with a certain degree of customization for the manufacture of tools and machinery, chains, locks and springs, for the automotive and mechan ical industries. As of December 31, 2010, the Company operat! ed 19 steel production units in the United States and Canada through its principal entity, Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation. Gerdau operates in four business segments: Brazil (Brazil Business Operation), includes Brazil’s operations, except specialty steel; North America (North America Business Operation), includes all North American operations, except Mexico and specialty steel; Latin America (Latin America Business Operation), includes all Latin American operations, except for Brazil, and Specialty Steel (Specialty Steel Business Operation), includes the specialty steel operations in Brazil, Spain and the United States.

Crude Steel (Billets, Blooms and Slabs)

Crude steel products include billets, blooms and slabs. Billets are bars from square sections of long steel that serve as inputs for the production of wire rod, rebars and merchant bars. They are the main product of the Acominas mill. Blooms are used to manufacture products, such as springs, f orged parts, heavy structural shapes and seamless tubes. Slabs are used in the steel industry for the rolling of a range of flat rolled products. Slabs are mainly used to produce hot and cold rolled coils, heavy slabs and profiles. Crude steel products are produced using either the continuous casting or conventional process.

Common Long Rolled Products

Common long rolled products represent a major portion of the Company’s production. The Company’s main long rolled products include rebars, merchant bars and profiles, which are used mainly by the construction and manufacturing industries.

Drawn Products

Drawn products include barbed and barbless fence wire, galvanized wire, fences, concrete reinforcing wire mesh, nails and clamps. These products are not exported and are sold to the manufacturing, construction and agricultural industries.

Specialty Steel Products

Gerdau produces specialty and st ainless steel used in tools and machinery, chains, fasteners! , railroa! d spikes and special coil steel at its Acos Villares and Piratini units in Brazil, at Corporacion Sidenor units in Spain and at the MacSteel units in the United States. In the United States, Gerdau Ameristeel produces special sections, such as grader blades, smelter bars, light rails, super light I-beams, elevator guide rails and other products that are made on demand for the Company’s clients, which are mainly manufacturers. It is a joint venture with the Kalyani Group in India, in which Gerdau has a 73.2% interest in the joint venture.

Flat Products

Gerdau’s Acominas mill produces slabs, which are rolled into flat products, such as hot and cold steel coils, heavy plates and profiles. In addition, the Company’s distribution subsidiary, Comercial Gerdau, resells flat steel products manufactured by other Brazilian steel producers. Gerdau Ameristeel also supplies flat steel to its customers through its joint venture Gallatin located in Kentucky . Gallatin is a joint venture with ArcelorMittal, Canada, a flat steel producer, and has nominal installed capacity of 1.4 million tons of flat steel per year.

The Company competes with Commercial Metals Company, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., ArcelorMittal Inc., ArcelorMittal Brasil, Usiminas Group and CSN.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva] -largest producer in the sector.

    Why Not No. 1?

    Brazil-based Gerdau has three main advantages. Size – though it’s a strong pro – is not necessarily one of them. To start with, Gerdau is a highly integrated company, with annual iron ore production capacity totaling 11.5 million metric tons, enabling it to be over 80% and 40% self-sufficient in Brazil and the U.S., respectively, and thus hedging itself from volatility in raw material prices.

    Second, the company has a relatively modern fleet of furnaces, mainly composed of electric arc furnaces (EAFs), which are more energy-efficient than traditional blast furnaces and should result on a more flexible supply.

    Last, the location is also a positive factor: with a high geographical diversification, Gerdau has still managed to maintain a strong leadership in the markets where it operates (particularly in Brazil and the U.S.). This allows it, on the one hand, to supply many different markets and therefore reduce risks of local economic underperformances and, on the other hand, to profit from low-cost labor in Brazil. In addition, the upcoming sporting events – 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics – are expected to generate a strong inflow of investments in infrastructure in the country, with Gerdau as a potential beneficiary of this.

    In spite of being the biggest worldwide, I believe that ArcelorMittal doesn’t count with these characteristics. Further, as players in the industry are so atomized, being the No. 1 producer implies having only 6% of the global market share, which doesn’t give ArcelorMittal a superior bargain power than its peers. And though it’s still a very diversified and vertically integrated group, its costs will tend to be higher than those of Gerdau, since its furnaces are primarily blast furnaces and its labor expenses are higher as the company is based in Europe.

    US Steel will also have to deal with an old and inefficient fleet of furnaces, w

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    Gerdau (GGB) is one of the best ways to play this trend if you believe in a commodities shift. The Brazilian steel company trades for a forward P/E of about 5, and a price/sales of just a bit more than 0.7. That’s an incredible valuation.

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: UQM Technologies Inc (UQM)

UQM Technologies, Inc. (UQM), incorporated on December 7, 1967, is a developer and manufacturer of electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, military and industrial markets. The Company’s primary focus is incorporating its advanced technology into products for clean vehicles including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. The Company makes propulsion system products, generators and related auxiliary components for electric vehicle (EVs), hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) and fuel cell all-electric vehicles (FCEVs). The Company markets its products in many segments of the transportation sector including passenger vehicles and light trucks, commercial trucks and buses, off-road vehicles including agricultural and construction equipment, boats and military vehicles. The Company’s principal products include propulsion moto rs and generators with power ratings from 25 kilowatts to 220 kilowatts, auxiliary motors and electronic controls, direct current (DC)-to-(DC) converters and DC-to-alternating current (AC) inverters that convert direct current to usable alternating current.

The Company’s electric propulsion systems are powering development vehicles including the all-electric Audi A1 e-tron test fleet vehicles. In addition to these programs, the Company is supplying its electric propulsion systems and generators to various other international automakers and entrepreneurial automobile developers as part of their HEV, PHEV, EV and FCEV vehicle development programs. The Company has also developed electric power products for the aircraft and aerospace markets and the boat and marine market. In the boat market, the Company has developed generators for onboard power production in hybrid-electric boats as well as electric propulsion systems. The United States military purchases a range of ground vehicles each year, including combat vehicles such! as tanks, self-propelled artillery and armored personnel carriers, as well as a variety of light, medium and heavy-duty trucks for convoy and supply operations and for the transport of fuel used on the battlefield.

The Company competes Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Hitachi, Toshiba, Siemens, Delphi, Danaher, Enova, Continental, Magna, Remy, and Bosch.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    When most people think of electric vehicle stocks, they probably think of troubled Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) or one of the several Chinese stocks active in the space, but North America based large cap Magna International Inc (NYSE: MGA) and small caps Polypore International, Inc (NYSE: PPO), UQM Technologies Inc (NYSEMKT: UQM) and Green Automotive Company (OTCMKTS: GACR) are all players, one way or the other, in the electric vehicle space that most investors have probably overlooked or just aren’t aware of. Of course, we can argue about whether or not purely electric vehicles or some sort of hybrid vehicles are the way of the future, but what cannot be argued about is the fact that the following electric vehicle stocks are at the forefront of EV or hybrid technology and design:

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: CEPHEID(CPHD)

Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company, engages in developing, manufacturing, and marketing integrated systems for testing in the clinical market, as well as for application in legacy biothreat, industrial, and partner markets. Its systems enable molecular testing for organisms and genetic-based diseases by automation. The company offers GeneXpert system that integrates sample preparation in addition to DNA amplification and detection; and SmartCycler system, which integrates DNA amplification and detection to allow rapid analysis of a sample. The GeneXpert system is designed for reference laboratories, hospital central laboratories, and satellite testing locations, such as emergency departments and intensive care units within hospitals and doctors? offices. Cepheid also provides GeneXpert Infinity System for high volume testing. The company offers tests for the GeneXpert and the SmartCycler systems in the areas of healthcare associated infections, critical infectious d isease, genetics, women?s health, and oncology. These tests include U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared products, CE marked products, analyte specific reagents, and research use only tests in the clinical market. In the industrial market, it sells its SmartCycler system along with general use polymerase chain reaction reagents and reaction tubes. Cepheid sells its products its direct sales force and through third-party distributors worldwide. It has collaboration agreements with Novartis, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Life Technologies Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but the firm actually raised its price target to $41 (versus a $39.04 close).

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Audience Inc (ADNC)

Audience, Inc., incorporated on May 24, 2011, is a provider of voice and audio solutions that improve voice quality and the user experience in mobile devices. The Company’s solutions include hardware-accelerated digital signal processors (DSPs), and audio codecs and associated algorithms for noise suppression in mobile devices. Its computational auditory scene analysis (CASA) maps the sound separation functions in human hearing, into a computational framework. The Company’s platform consists of its DSPs and audio codec, analog and mixed signal circuits and algorithms for voice isolation and noise suppression.

The Company also provides its AuViD graphical design tools to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company had sold over 250 million processors to its OEM customers as of December 31, 2012. In addition to the mobile device market, the Company’s voice and audio technology is also applicable to a range of other market segments, including automobile infotainment systems, digital cameras, digital televisions, headsets and set top boxes.

The Company’s product portfolio supports both analog and digital interfaces. As of December 31, 2012, the Company offered eS515, eS325, eS305, eS310, eS110, A1028 and A1026 custom voice and audio processors for device platforms, including smartphones, feature phones and media tablets. eS515 is a third generation voice and audio processor with an integrated audio codec, featuring support of three-microphones; eS325is a third generation voice and audio processor that features simultaneous three microphone processing; eS305 is a second generation voice and audio processor utilizing new hardware acceleration architecture and algorithms for far-field, wideband communications and capable of advanced speech recognition assist, and uses an all digital interface; eS310, provides similar capabilities to the eS305; eS110 is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for re al-time communications and far-field as well as near-field u! se with features such as acoustic echo cancelation, voice equalization and automatic gain control; A1026, is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for real-time communications and typical near-field use, and A1028, which is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for real-time communications and far-field, as well as near-field use.

The Company derives its revenue primarily from the sale of voice and audio processors to OEMs, which incorporate them into mobile devices. As of December 31, 2012, OEMs, CMs and distributors worldwide had purchased more than 250 million of its processors and incorporated them in over 140 mobile device models.

The Company competes with Maxim, ON Semiconductor, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Wolfson Microelectronics plc, DSP Group, Inc. and Yamaha Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Audience (Nasdaq: ADNC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Hot Railroad Companies To Buy Right Now: Applied Micro Circuits Corporation(AMCC)

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, a semiconductor company, together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, markets, sells, and supports integrated circuits for processing, transporting, and storing information. It offers physical layer products, which transmit and receive signals in a high-speed serial format, and convert high-speed serial formats to low-speed parallel formats and vice versa; framer and mapper products that transmit and receive signals to and from the physical layer in a parallel format are used in high-speed optical network infrastructure equipment; and embedded processor products for wireless infrastructure, wireless LAN, residential, datacenters, and enterprises. The company also offers packet processor ICs, which receive and transmit signals to and from the framing layer and perform the processing of packet and cell headers; and cell switching products that include packet routing switch fabric devices and queuing managers; and printed circuit boar d assemblies to OEMs. Its products are used in wireline and wireless communications equipment, such as wireless access points, wireless base stations, multi-function printers, enterprise and edge switches, blade servers, storage systems, gateways, core switches, routers, network attached storage, and transport platforms. The company offers its solutions for the enterprise, telecom, and consumer/small medium business markets primarily in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Europe, and other Asian countries. Applied Micro Circuits Corporation was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Applied Micro Circuits (NASDAQ: AMCC) named Douglas T. Ahrens as its Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Applied Micro shares declined 2.40% to close at $12.63 yesterday.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (NASDAQ: AMCC) also has a high single digit exposure to Cisco Systems. Applied Micro’s product portfolio and continued efforts to provide maximum consumer satisfaction have augmented its market position. The integrated offload engines and advanced PacketPro architecture offer quality service and security and performance to its customers. The consensus price target for the stock stands at $13.