Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015

BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) — What a run. The S&P 500 has rallied 3.5% since last Monday, showing investors the most consecutive up days in more than a year.

>>5 Mega-Cap Stocks to Trade for Gains

Not that it feels like we’re in much of a winning streak right now.

In nearly four months of 2014 trading, the S&P 500 barely managed to move a full percent higher. Instead, correction has been the market’s M.O. this year. So, with stocks in a near-term upswing this week, it makes sense to clean house. There’s a big group of large-cap “toxic” stocks out there right now — you may even own one or two of them.

Today, I’ll show you five big names you need to unload before the next leg down.

Just to be clear, the companies I’m talking about today aren’t exactly junk. By that, I mean they’re not next up in line at bankruptcy court. But that’s frankly irrelevant; from a technical analysis standpoint, sellers are shoving around these toxic stocks right now. For that reason, fundamental investors need to decide how long they’re willing to take the pain if they want to hold onto these firms in the weeks and months ahead. And for investors looking to buy one of these positions, it makes sense to wait for more favorable technical conditions (and a lower share price) before piling in.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: Logitech international SA (LOGN)

Logitech International S.A. (Logitech) is a holding company. Logitech develops and markets hardware and software products for digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Logitech operates in two segments: peripherals and video conferencing. The Company’s peripherals segment includes design, manufacturing and marketing of peripherals for personal computers (PCs) and other digital platforms. Its products for the PC include mice, trackballs, keyboards, interactive gaming controllers, multimedia speakers, headsets, webcams, and lapdesks. Logitech’s Internet communications products include webcams, headsets, video communications services, and digital video security systems for a home or small business. Its digital music products include speakers, earphones, and custom in-ear monitors. On July 6, 2010, Logitech acquired all of the assets of Paradi al AS. On March 31, 2011, the Company sold its equity interest in certain 3Dconnexion subsidiaries.

3Dconnexion subsidiaries are the providers of the Company’s 3D controllers, and its intellectual property rights related to the manufacture and sale of certain 3Dconnexion products. Paradial AS provides firewall and network address translation (NAT) traversal solutions for video communications. For home entertainment systems, Logitech offers the Harmony line of advanced remote controls, Squeezebox wireless music solutions and, in the United States, a line of Logitech products for the Google TV platform. For gaming consoles, the Company offers a range of gaming controllers and microphones, as well as other accessories. Logitech’s sells its peripheral products to a network of distributors and resellers and to other equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company’s worldwide retail network includes wholesale distributors, consumer electronics retailers, mass mercha ndisers, specialty electronics stores, computer and telecomm! unications stores, resellers and online merchants.

The Company’s video conferencing segment includes design, manufacturing and marketing of LifeSize video conferencing products, infrastructure and services for the enterprise, public sector and other business markets. LifeSize products include high-definition (HD) video communication endpoints, HD video conferencing systems with integrated monitors, video bridges and other infrastructure software and hardware to support large scale video deployments, and services to support these products. Logitech sells its LifeSize products and services to distributors, resellers, OEMs and direct enterprise customers. Logitech conducts its business through subsidiaries in the Americas, including North and South America; Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, including, among other countries, China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Australia.

Pointing Devices

Logitech offers a range of computer mice, sold through retail and OEM channels. Its mice products include M215, M310 and M305 wireless mice with advanced 2.4 gigahertz wireless connection and cordless universal serial bus (USB) plug-and-forget nano-receiver; Performance Mouse MX and Anywhere Mouse MX with Logitech Darkfield Laser Tracking; Marathon Mouse 750, and Wireless Trackball M570. Logitech’s mice products also include a line of gaming mice, including the Wireless Gaming Mouse G700, with 13 precisely placed, programmable controls to perform single actions and complex macros, full-speed gaming-grade wireless, and a quick-connect charging cable. In addition, the Company sells both corded and cordless mice designed specifically for OEM customers.

Keyboards and Desktops

Logitech offers a range of corded and cordless keyboards and desktops (keyboard-and-mouse combinations). The Company’s keyboards and desktops include Wireless Solar Keyboard K750; K800 Illuminated Wireless Keybo ard; The diNovo Edge keyboard; Wireless Desktop MK320, and G! 19 Keyboa! rd for Gaming.

Audio

Logitech designs and manufactures a range of multimedia speakers, including Wireless Speaker Z515, The Laptop Z305 speaker, and The S-series line of portable iPod/MP3 docks, including the Rechargeable Speaker S715i and the Portable Speaker S135i. It also designs and manufactures The Z-623 2.1 THX certified speakers, the Z-506 5.1 Speakers, and the Z-906 5.1 Surround Sound speakers. Logitech offers a portfolio of network music systems. The Squeezebox Touch, with its 4.3-inch color touch screen, connects to existing stereo system and speakers and supports sampling rates of up to 24 bits at 96 kilohertz. The Squeezebox Radio is a compact network music player and alarm that allows to connect to home network, and access Internet radio, personal music collection or subscription services.

The Ultimate Ears product line offers a range of in-ear consumer or fit earphones for portable music enthusiasts, as well as custom stag e earphones for musicians and sound engineers. Its line of earphones include Ultimate Ears 100 and 200 value-priced earphones, with silicone ear cushions in a durable sweat-resistant design; Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 with triple armature speakers, and The Ultimate Ears 600 featuring single armature speakers, the Ultimate Ears 600vi, and the Ultimate Ears 700 featuring dual armature speakers. Its line of Ultimate Ears Custom Stage Earphones include Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors co-designed with Capitol Studios for professional studio engineers and producers for use during recording, mixing and mastering original music content, the UE-18 Pro featuring a six-speaker design, the UE-7 Pro for live performance and stage use, and the UE-4 Pro featuring a dual speaker design for artists and audiophiles.

Logitech offers headsets and microphones designed for applications, such as PC voice communications, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) applications and onlin e gaming. Its products in this category include the ClearCha! t PC Wire! less headset, the Wireless Headset H760, the USB Headset H530, the G35 Surround Sound Headset for gaming, the Wireless Gaming Headset G930, the USB Desktop Microphone, and the OCS certified Logitech B-530 USB Headset.

Video

Logitech’s webcam offerings include Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910, Logitech Webcam Pro 9000, Logitech HD Webcam C510 and Logitech TV Cam for use with Logitech Revue. Logitech’s webcams works with video messaging applications, and provides up to HD 720p video calling in Skype, Windows Live Messenger and Logitech Vid HD. The Logitech Alert digital video security system is a complete home or small business video security system, with software that provides motion alerts and a live view from an Internet-connected computer, smartphone, tablet or Google TV system, including Logitech Revue.

Gaming

Logitech offers a range of game controllers for PC gamers, including joysticks, steering wheels, gamepads, mice a nd keyboards, and headsets, as well as gaming products for console platforms, such as PlayStation2, PlayStation3, PSP (PlayStation Portable), Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. The Company’s gaming products include Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse; Logitech G13 advanced gameboard with a built-in LCD screen, 25 programmable keys and onboard memory; Logitech G27 Racing Wheel and Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset.

Digital Home

The Company’s line of remotes includes Harmony One remote, Harmony 900 remote and Harmony 650. In October 2010, Logitech introduced its line of products for Google TV in the United States, including Logitech Revue and the Logitech Keyboard Controller; Logitech TV Cam and Vid HD service, and Logitech Mini Controller.

LifeSize Video Conferencing

LifeSize division offers HD video communication solutions, including HD video conferencing products, audio conference telephones, hardware infrastructure so lutions, video management software, and services to support ! video and! audio communications and help users connect to any network securely and with ease. The LifeSize product line includes Passport, LifeSize Video Center, Express Series, Team Series, Room Series and LifeSize Bridge.

The Company competes with Microsoft Corporation, Plantronics, Inc., Altec Lansing LLC, Creative Labs, Inc., Bose Corporation, Sony Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics NV, Hewlett-Packard, Intec, Razer USA Ltd., Performance Designed Products, LLC (Pelican Accessories), Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., Universal Remote Control, Inc., Universal Electronics Inc., RCA, Apple Inc., Roku, Inc., Cisco, Radvision Ltd., Vidyo, Inc. and Polycom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, LOGN remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $23.25 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 10:11AM EDT July 25, 2013).

    Logansport Financial Corp. previously reported net earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 of $462,000 or $.71 per diluted share, compared to earnings in 2012 of $427,000 or $.54 per diluted share. Year to date the company reported net earnings of $936,000 for 2013 compared to $763,000 for 2012. Diluted earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2013 were $1.43 compared to $.97 for the six months ended June 30, 2012. Total assets at June 30, 2013 were $165.8 million compared to total assets at December 31, 2012 of $172.9 million. Total shareholder’s equity at December 31, 2013 was $18.6 million compared to $19.0 million at June 30, 2012

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: Sonde Resources Corp (SOQ)

Sonde Resources Corp. (Sonde) is engaged in the exploration for, and acquisition, development and production of, petroleum and natural gas with operations in Western Canada and North Africa. On June 23, 2011, the Company sold its interests in Block 5(c) and the assumption of certain liabilities in respect of the MG Block through the Niko Sale Agreement. On September 23, 2011, the Company acquired a block of producing and non-producing assets in Drumheller from a third party, which includes the bulk of producing interests in the Mannville I oil pool. On January 1, 2012, the Company amalgamated Seeker Petroleum Ltd., Challenger Energy Corp. and Sonde Resources Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. into Sonde Resources Corp. On February 8, 2012, the Company completed the sale of 26,240 gross undeveloped acres (24,383 net acres) in its Kaybob Duvernay play in Alberta. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    While Bakken formation oil and gas stocks have grabbed the attention of American investors, small cap Alberta or Saskatchewan oil and gas stocks Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd (NYSE: AAV), Sonde Resources Corp (NYSEMKT: SOQ) and up and coming Centor Energy Inc (OTCBB: CNTO) have been largely overlooked as they seek to exploit oil and gas (including oil sands) in the resource rich Canadian provinces of Alberta or Saskatchewan or seek strategic alternatives for their assets in these areas or themselves. It should be mentioned that Canada’s oil reserves are third only to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia with over 95% of these reserves being the oil sands of Alberta plus that province contains much of the country’s conventional oil reserves as well. In addition, the province of Saskatchewan along with offshore areas of Newfoundland contain substantial production and reserves. Excluding oil sands, Alberta would have 39% of Canada’s remaining conventional oil reserves, followed b y offshore Newfoundland with 28% and Saskatchewan with 27%.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: AMREP Corp (AXR)

AMREP Corporation, incorporated on August 7, 1987, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in four business segments: the Subscription Fulfillment Services business operated by Palm Coast Data LLC (Palm Coast), the Newsstand Distribution Services business, the Product Services and Other businesses operated by Kable Media Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries (Kable) (the businesses operated by Palm Coast and Kable are collectively referred to as Media Services), and the real estate business operated by AMREP Southwest Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, AMREP Southwest). The Company, through its Palm Coast subsidiary, conducts its Subscription Fulfillment Services business, in which it performs subscription fulfillment and related services for publishers and other customers; through its Kable Newsstand Distribution Services subsidiary distributes periodicals nationally and in Canada and in other foreign countries, and through its Kable Product Services, Specialty Packaging Services and Staffing Resources subsidiaries, provides Internet order processing and shipment for e-commerce retailers, packaging design, procurement and product fulfillment services and temporary staffing services. In January 2013, the Company’s subsidiary, had acquired certain assets of FulCircle, Inc.

Subscription Fulfillment Services

The Subscription Fulfillment Services business performs fulfillment and fulfillment-related activities, principally magazine subscription fulfillment services and ancillary services. During the fiscal year ended April 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), it accounted for approximately 75% of Media Services revenues. In the magazine subscription fulfillment services operation, Palm Coast maintains subscriber lists and databases, processes new orders, receives and accounts for payments, prepares and transmits to each publisher’s printer the labels or tapes containing the names and addresses of subscribers for mailing each issue , handles subscriber telephone inquiries and correspondence,! prepares renewal and statement notifications for mailing, generates marketing and statistical reports, processes Internet orders and prints forms and promotional materials. List services clients are publishers for whom Palm Coast maintains client customer lists, selects names for clients who rent their lists, merges rented lists with a client’s lists to eliminate duplication for the client’s promotional mailings, and sorts and sequences mailing labels. Palm Coast performs subscription fulfillment services for approximately 450 different magazine titles for approximately 110 clients and maintains databases of approximately 41 million active subscribers for its client publishers and membership organizations.

Newsstand Distribution Services

In the Company’s Newsstand Distribution Services business, Kable distributes over 450 publications for approximately 200 publishers. Among the titles are special interest magazines, including hobbyist, celeb rity, puzzle, automotive, comics, women’s service and sports magazines. In a typical month, Kable distributes approximately 47 million copies of various titles to wholesalers. Kable coordinates the movement of the publications from its publisher clients to approximately 100 independent wholesalers in North America and to wholesalers in over 80 countries globally. The wholesalers in turn sell the publications to retail chains and independent retail outlets. During fiscal 2012, the Newsstand Distribution Services business accounted for approximately 11% of Media Services revenues. Kable generates and delivers to each publisher’s printer shipping instructions with the addresses of the wholesalers and the number of copies of product to be shipped to each.

Product Services and Other

Together, Kable Product Services and Kable Specialty Packaging Services (collectively, Product Services) offer an integrated approach to electronic and traditional comme rce for consumer products manufacturers, including both publ! ishing an! d non-publishing customers. The business unit provides account management by customer; design, procurement, and packaging of retail packs and point-of-purchase displays; front-end processing, including customer out-reach through e-commerce, direct mail and phone; order capturing through electronic mediums, as well as traditional call center operations, mail capture and entry; warehousing and pick/pack/ship functions, including analysis of shipping methods, and billing, as well as collection of payments tendered by credit cards, checks and cash.

As an adjunct to the Subscription Fulfillment Services business, Product Services offers fulfillment services to their publishers, including shipment of premiums (free gifts) provided to subscribers, shipment of replacement copies of newly issued magazines or purchased copies of older editions and shipment and payment processing for product advertised for sale in their publishers’ magazines or associated Websites. Kable Staffing Resources (Staffing Resources) operates as a separate business, which provides temporary employees to local companies in the Fairfield, Ohio area, including its affiliate Product Services. During fiscal 2012, together, they accounted for approximately 14% of Media Services revenues in 2012.

Real Estate Operations

The Company conducts its Real Estate business through AMREP Southwest, with these activities occurring in the City of Rio Rancho and adjoining areas of Sandoval County, New Mexico. Rio Rancho consists of 91,049 acres in Sandoval County near Albuquerque, of which approximately 74,100 acres have been platted into approximately 114,680 residential and commercial lots, approximately 16,500 acres are dedicated to community facilities, roads and drainage and the remainder is unplatted land. As of April 30, 2012, approximately 91,000 of these residential and commercial lots had been sold by AMREP Southwest net of lots repurchased and tho se returned to AMREP Southwest by deeds in lieu of foreclosu! re. As of! April 30, 2012, AMREP Southwest owns approximately 17,350 acres in Rio Rancho, of which approximately 4,415 acres are in several areas of contiguous properties, which are being developed or are suitable for development, and approximately 2,000 acres are in areas with a concentration of ownership, where AMREP Southwest owns more than 50% of the lots in the area.

At Rio Rancho, AMREP Southwest develops both residential lots and sites for commercial and industrial use as demand warrants, and also secures entitlements for development tracts for sale to homebuilders. AMREP Southwest also owns two tracts of land in Colorado, consisting of one property of approximately 160 acres planned for approximately 400 homes that AMREP Southwest focuses to offer for sale upon obtaining all necessary entitlements, and one property of approximately 10 acres zoned for commercial use.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Damian Illia]

    As we can see, the firm has a higher ROE than Amrep Corporation (AXR) but is well below the one registered by US Ecology Inc. (ECOL) and Cintas Corporation (CTAS).

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: B.O.S. Better Online Solutions(BOSC)

B.O.S Better Online Solutions Ltd. provides radio frequency identification (RFID) and supply chain solutions to enterprises primarily in the Europe, the United States, the Far East, and Israel. Its RFID and Mobile Solutions division offers hardware products, including thermal and barcode printers; RFID and barcode scanners and readers; wireless, mobile, and forklift terminals; wireless infrastructure; active and passive RFID tags; and consumables, such as ribbons, labels, and tags, as well as BOS ID software platform for systems integrators to assemble applications for transfer to automatic ID data capture clients. This division also develops applications comprising BOS LIVESTOCK, a software application that enables management, tracking, support, and planning of livestock day-to- day operations; BOS CarID, a solution to identify and track vehicles for a range of transportation-related settings; BOS STOCK, a data collection solution for logistics management in stores and wa rehouses; and BOS Mfgr., a production line tracking solution. The company?s Supply Chain Solutions division distributes electronic components, such as active, passive, electro-mechanical, and microwave components, as well as full access networks equipment for IT and telecommunications; and communication servers, multi-protocol print servers, server adapters, USB products, switches, fiber optics equipment, ADSL and XDSL routers, modems, VoIP, storage equipment, and ATM devices. This division also offers components consolidation services to the aerospace, defense, medical, and telecommunications industries, as well as enterprise clients; engages in the inventory and quality control management of components entering production lines; and provides warehouse management services for ongoing projects. B.O.S Better Online Solutions Ltd. sells its products through direct sales, sales agents, and integrators. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Rishon LeZion, Isra el.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: B.O.S. Better Online Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ: BOSC) is up 71% at $7.54.

    Stocks on the Move: Ingersoll-Rand is down 22.2% at $55.54 after completing a spin-off of Allegion plc. Canadian National Railway Co. (NYSE: CNI) is down 48.6% at $57.78 following a 2-for-1 stock split. Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT) is up 38.9% at $5.71.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: Insignia Systems Inc.(ISIG)

Insignia Systems, Inc. markets in-store advertising products, programs, and services to consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers in the United States and internationally. The company focuses on providing in-store services through the Insignia Point-Of-Purchase Services (POPS) in-store advertising program. Its Insignia POPSign program is a national account-specific in-store shelf-edge advertising program, which allows manufacturers to deliver vital product information to consumers at the point-of-purchase together with each retailer?s store-specific prices. The company also offers Stylus software, which allows retailers to create signs, labels, and posters by manually entering the information or by importing information from a database; and laser printable cardstock and vinyl labels, including adhesive and non-adhesive supplies in various colors, sizes, and weights to retailers for their in-store signage and shelf-edge product information needs. The company dire ctly markets its Insignia POPSign program to food and drug manufacturers and retailers; and markets its Stylus software through resellers. Insignia Systems, Inc. was founded in 1990 and is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    MINNEAPOLIS- October 26, 2013 -(CRWE Press Release) -Insignia Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIG) announced that it intends to hold a conference call on Wednesday, October 30 at 4:00 PM Central Time to discuss the Company’s financial performance for the third quarter of 2013, which will be released Wednesday, October 30 at 3:05 PM Central Time.

    Participants may access the live call by dialing the toll-free number 877-268-1608 and provide Conference ID 98094181. Please be sure to call in about 5-10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. Audio replay will be available approximately two hours after the call until November 6, 2013 by dialing 855-859-2056 and referencing Conference ID 98094181. The audio recording will also be archived on the Company’s website approximately two days after the call until November 30, 2013. Financial information to be provided in the conference call, as well as information pertaining to the Company’s past financial performance, may be accessed on the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at www.insigniasystems.com.

    Insignia Systems, Inc. is a developer and marketer of in-store media solutions, programs and services to retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. Through its Point-Of-Purchase Services (POPS) business, Insignia inspires shoppers and delivers value by providing at-shelf advertising solutions in over 13,000 chain retail supermarkets, over 1,700 mass merchants and 7,000 dollar stores. Through the nationwide POPS network, over 200 major consumer goods manufacturers, including Armour-Eckrich, General Mills, Hormel, Kellogg Company and Nestlé, have taken their brand messages to the point-of-purchase. For additional information, contact (888) 474-7677, or visit the Insignia website at www.insigniasystems.com.

    Contact

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: Campbell Soup Co (CPB)

Campbell Soup Company (Campbell), incorporated on November 23, 1922, together with its subsidiaries, is a manufacturer and marketer of branded convenience food products. The Company operates in five segments: U.S. Simple Meals; Global Baking and Snacking; International Simple Meals and Beverages; U.S. Beverages; and North America Foodservice. In June 2012, the Company purchased 1300 Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden. On August 6, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of BF Bolthouse Holdco LLC (Bolthouse Farms). In September 2012, Vilmorin & Cie SA acquired the tomato and pepper breeding and sales business of the Company. In June 2013, Campbell Soup Co completed the acquisition of Plum Organics. In August 2013, Campbell Soup Company completed the acquisition of Kelsen Group A/S.

In the United States, Canada and Latin America, the Company’s products are resold to consumers in retail food chains, mass discounters, mass merchandisers, club stores, conven ience stores, drug stores, dollar stores and other retail, commercial and non-commercial establishments. In Europe, the Company’s products are resold to consumers in retail food chains, mass discounters, mass merchandisers, club stores, convenience stores and other retail, commercial and non-commercial establishments. In the Asia Pacific region, the Company’s products are resold to consumers through retail food chains, convenience stores and other retail, commercial and non-commercial establishments.

U.S. Simple Meals

The U.S. Simple Meals segment aggregates the operating segments: U.S. Soup and U.S. Sauces. The U.S. Soup retail business includes the products, such as Campbell’s condensed and ready-to-serve soups, and Swanson broth and stocks. The U.S. Sauces retail business includes Pregopasta sauces, Pace Mexican sauces, Campbell’s canned gravies, pasta, and beans, and Swanson canned poultry.

Global Baking and Snacking

< /p>

The Global Baking and Snacking segment include Pepperi! dge Farm cookies, crackers, bakery and frozen products in the United States retail. It also includes Arnott’s biscuits in Australia and Asia Pacific.

International Simple Meals and Beverages

The International Simple Meals and Beverages segment aggregates the simple meals and beverages operating segments outside of the United States, including Europe, the retail business in Canada, and the businesses in Asia Pacific, Latin America and China. The segment’s operations include Erasco and Heisse Tasse soups in Germany,Liebig and Royco soups in France, Devos Lemmens mayonnaise and cold sauces and Campbell’s and Royco soups in Belgium, and Bla Band soups and sauces in Sweden. In Canada, operations include Habitant and Campbell’s soups, Prego pasta sauces, Pace Mexican sauces, V8 juices and beverages and certain Pepperidge Farm products. In Asia Pacific, operations include Campbell’s soup and stock, Kimball sauces, V8 juices and beverages, Prego p asta sauce and Swanson broths.

U.S. Beverages

The U.S. Beverages segment represents the United States retail beverages business, including V8 juices and beverages, and Campbell’s tomato juice.

North America Foodservice

The North America Foodservice segment represents the distribution of products, such as soup, specialty entrees, beverage products, other prepared foods and Pepperidge Farm products through food service channels in the United States and Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Reuters]

    Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images SAN ANTONIO — Mexican restaurants in the United States are being squeezed by a sudden jump in the price of limes, an essential ingredient, which has led managers in places like San Antonio that are a hotbed for the cuisine to alter recipes. “Mexico received some heavy rains that destroyed a large amount of the lime crop, so with limited supplies we are seeing lime prices skyrocket,” Bryan Black, director of communications for the Texas Department of Agriculture, said on Thursday. Texas like most U.S. states receives most of their limes form Mexico. John Berry, who runs La Fonda, a prominent Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, said Thursday the price he pays for a case of limes has jumped to nearly $100 from $14 last year. “Real simple,” Berry said. “We don’t buy them. We substitute lemons.” Limes are used in guacamole and to garnish beers. Serving a margarita without a lime garnish is burning at the heart of Louis Barrios, who runs the family-owned Mexican restaurant chain “Los Barrios.” But he’s doing without. “Ninety nine percent of the time, people don’t squeeze it into the margarita anyway,” Barrios says. A combination of factors has prompted the spike in lime prices. Most limes consumed in the United States come from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Colima, and Guerrero, which have been hit by an unusual combination of cold weather and flooding, wholesalers said. Shipments have also been disrupted by violence attributed to drug gangs, they said. The high prices aren’t expected to end any time soon, according to wholesalers. Pre-made soups can contain a large number of ingredients containing GMOs. For instance, Campbell’s (CPB) popular condensed Tomato Soup lists high fructose corn syrup as its second biggest ingredient. According to the Non-GMO Project, nearly 88 percent of all corn planted in the United States is GMO.

  • [By DAILYFINANCE]

    Susan Walsh/APCalifornia Olive Oil Council Executive Director Patricia Darragh. WASHINGTON — It’s a pressing matter for the tiny U.S. olive oil industry: American shoppers more often are going for European imports, which are cheaper and viewed as more authentic. And that’s pitting U.S. producers against importers of the European oil, with some likening the battle to the California wine industry’s struggles to gain acceptance decades ago. The tiny California olive industry says European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower-grade oil, and they’re pushing the federal government to give more scrutiny to imported varieties. One congressman-farmer even goes so far as suggesting labels on imported oil say “extra rancid” rather than “extra virgin.” Imposing stricter standards might help American producers grab more market share from the Europeans, who produce in bulk and now have 97 percent of the U.S. market. Olive oil production is growing steadily. The domestic industry, with mostly high-end specialty brands, has gone from 1 percent of the national olive oil market five years ago to 3 percent today. Most of the production is in California, although there are smaller operations in Texas, Georgia and a few other states. Seeking to build on that, the domestic industry has mounted an aggressive push in Washington, holding olive oil tastings for members of Congress and lobbying them to put stricter standards on imports. The strategy almost worked last year when industry-proposed language became part of a massive farm bill passed out of the House Agriculture Committee. The provision backed by California lawmakers would have allowed the Agriculture Department to extend mandatory quality controls for the domestic industry to imports. The bill’s language would have allowed government testing of domestic and imported olive oil to ensure that it was labeled correctly. That testing, intended to prevent labeling lower-grade olive oil as “extra

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Top Headline
    Campbell Soup Co (NYSE: CPB) reported a 71% gain in its fiscal second-quarter profit. Campbell’s quarterly earnings surged to $325 million, or $1.03 per share, versus $190 million, or $0.60 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding special costs, it earned $1.04 per share. Its sales climbed 5.5% to $2.28 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.73 per share on revenue of $2.27 billion.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: TC PipeLines LP (TCP)

TC PipeLines, LP (the Partnership), incorporated on December 16, 1998, acquires, owns and participates in the management of energy infrastructure businesses in North America. The Company’s pipeline systems transport natural gas in the United States. The Partnership is managed by the Company’s General Partner, which is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada. The Company has equity ownership interests in four natural gas interstate pipeline systems. The Company’s pipeline systems include Great Lakes, Northern Border, GTN, Bison, North Baja and Tuscarora. The Company owns 46.45% interest in Great Lakes. Great Lakes connect with the TransCanada Mainline at the Canadian border near Emerson, Manitoba, Canada and St. Clair, Michigan, near Detroit. Great Lakes are a bi-directional pipeline that can receive and deliver natural gas at multiple points along its system. In July 2013, TC PipeLines, LP announced the closing of its acquisition of an additional 45% inte rest in each of Gas Transmission Northwest LLC (GTN) and Bison Pipeline LLC (Bison) from subsidiaries of TransCanada Corporation.

The Company owns 50% interest in Northern Border. Northern Border Extends between the Canadian borders near Port of Morgan, Montana to a terminus near North Hayden, Indiana, south of Chicago. Northern Border is capable of receiving natural gas from Canada, the Williston Basin and Rockies Basin. The Company owns 25% interest in GTN. GTN extends between an interconnection near Kingsgate, British Columbia, Canada at the Canadian Border to a point near Malin, Oregon at the California border. The Company owns 25% interest Bison. Bison extends from a location near Gillette, Wyoming to Northern Border’s pipeline system in North Dakota. The Company owns 100% interest in North Baja. North Baja extends between an interconnection with the El Paso Natural Gas Company pipeline near Ehrenberg, Arizona to an interconnection with a natural gas pipel ine near Ogilby, California on the Mexican border. The Compa! ny owns 100% interest in Tuscarora. Tuscarora extends between GTN near Malin, Oregon to its terminus near Reno, Nevada and delivers natural gas in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Next week’s issue will tackle the three remaining questions: one on MLP equivalents in Canada and Australia, one on Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP)  and TC Pipelines (NYSE: TCP), and a third query on Access Midstream Partners (NYSE: ACMP), Crestwood Midstream Partners (NYSE: CMLP) and Mid-Con Energy Partners (Nasdaq: MCEP).

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    For holders of TCF Financials’ (NYSE: TCP  ) non-convertible perpetual 7.5% Series A stock, the board of directors announced yesterday investors will receive $0.05 per share on August 30 to holders of record at the close of business on August 15.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: Assurant Inc (AIZ)

Assurant, Inc. (Assurant) is a provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. The Company operates in four segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits. The products offered by the segments include warranties and service contracts, pre-funded funeral insurance, lender-placed homeowners insurance, manufactured housing homeowners insurance, individual health and small employer group health insurance, group dental, disability, and life insurance and employee-funded voluntary benefits. On June 21, 2011, the Company acquired the SureDeposit business, the provider of security deposit alternatives to the multifamily housing industry. In October 2013, FirstService Corporation completed the sale of its Field Asset Services business to Assurant, Inc. In October 2013, Assurant Inc acquired Lifestyle Services Group Ltd.

Assurant Solutions

Assurant Solutions targets three product areas: domestic and international extended service contracts (ESC) and warranties, preneed life insurance, and international credit insurance. Through partnerships with retailers and original equipment manufacturers, the Company underwrites and provides administrative services for ESC and warranties. These contracts provide consumers with coverage on cellular phones, personal computers, consumer electronics, appliances, automobiles and recreational vehicles, protecting them from certain covered losses. It pays the cost of repairing or replacing customers’ property in the event of mechanical breakdown, accidental damage, and casualty losses such as theft, fire, and water damage. The Company provides administration, claims handling and customer service. Preneed life insurance allows individuals to prepay for a funeral in a single payment or in multiple payments over a fixed number of years. The insurance policy proceeds are used t o address funeral costs at death. These products are only so! ld in the United States and Canada and are generally structured as whole life insurance policies in the United States and annuity products in Canada.

The Company’s credit insurance products offer protection from life events and uncertainties that arise in purchasing and borrowing transactions. Credit insurance programs offer consumers the option to protect a credit card balance or installment loan in the event of death, involuntary unemployment or disability, and are generally available to all consumers without the underwriting restrictions that apply to term life insurance. In addition to the domestic market, the Company operates in Canada, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chile, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico and China. In these markets, it primarily sells ESC and credit insurance products through agreements with financial institutions, retailers and wireless service providers.

Assurant Specialty Property

The produ ct line within Assurant Specialty Property is homeowners insurance, consisting principally of fire and dwelling hazard insurance offered through its lender-placed programs. The lender-placed program provides collateral protection to lenders, mortgage servicers and investors in mortgaged properties in the event that a homeowner does not maintain insurance on a mortgaged dwelling. Lender-placed insurance coverage is not limited to the outstanding loan balance; it provides structural coverage, similar to that of a standard homeowners policy. The policy is based on the replacement cost of the property and ensures that a home can be repaired or rebuilt completely in the event of damage. The Company also provides insurance to some of its clients on properties that have been foreclosed and are being managed by its clients. This type of insurance is called Real Estate Owned (REO) insurance. Lender-placed and voluntary manufactured housing insurance: Manufactured housing insurance is offered on a lender-placed and voluntary basis. Lender-plac! ed insura! nce is issued after an insurance tracking process similar to that described above. The tracking is performed by Assurant Specialty Property using an insurance tracking administration system, or by the lenders themselves.

The Company has developed products in adjacent and emerging markets, such as the lender-placed flood and mandatory insurance rental markets. It also acts as an administrator for the United States Government under the voluntary National Flood Insurance Program, for which it earns a fee for collecting premiums and processing claims. This business is 100% reinsured to the Federal Government. The Company offers its manufactured housing insurance programs primarily through manufactured housing lenders and retailers, along with independent specialty agents. The independent specialty agents distribute flood products and miscellaneous specialty property products. Multi-family housing products are distributed primarily through property management compan ies and affinity marketing partners. Its lender-placed homeowners insurance program and certain of its manufactured home products are not underwritten on an individual policy basis.

Assurant Health

Assurant Health offers medical insurance and short-term medical insurance to individuals and families in the medical insurance market. Its products are offered with different plan options. Assurant Health also offers medical insurance to small employer groups. The Company’s medical insurance products are sold to individuals, primarily between the ages of 18 and 64, and their families, who do not have employer-sponsored coverage. It offers a variety of benefit plans at different price points. The Company’s group medical insurance is primarily sold to small companies with 2 to 50 employees, although larger employer coverage is available. The Company’s health insurance products are principally marketed through a network of independent agents. It also markets through a variety of national account relationships ! and direc! t distribution channels. In addition, the Company markets its products through North Star Marketing, a wholly owned affiliate.

Assurant Employee Benefits

The Company offers group disability, dental, vision, life and supplemental worksite products, as well as individual dental products. The group products are offered with funding options ranging from fully employer-paid to fully employee-paid (voluntary). In addition, it reinsures disability and life products through its wholly owned subsidiary, Disability Reinsurance Management Services, Inc. (DRMS). Group disability insurance provides partial replacement of lost earnings for insured employees who become disabled, as defined by their plan provisions. The Company’s products include both short- and long-term disability coverage options. It also reinsures disability policies written by other carriers through its DRMS subsidiary.

Dental benefit plans provide funding for necessary or elec tive dental care. Customers may select a traditional indemnity arrangement, a preferred provider organization (PPO) arrangement, or a prepaid or managed care arrangement. Coverage is subject to deductibles, coinsurance and annual or lifetime maximums. In a prepaid plan, members must use participating dentists in order to receive benefits. Assurant Employee Benefits owns and operates Dental Health Alliance, L.L.C., a dental PPO network. The Company also has an agreement with Aetna that allows it to use Aetna’s Dental Access network. Fully insured vision coverage is offered through its agreement with Vision Service Plan, Inc., a supplier of vision insurance. The Company’s plans cover eye exams, glasses and contact lenses, and are sold in combination with one or more of its other products.

Group term life insurance provided through the workplace provides benefits in the event of death. The Company also provides accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insuran ce. Insurance consists primarily of renewable term life insu! rance wit! h the amount of coverage provided being either a flat amount, a multiple of the employee’s earnings, or a combination of the two. It also reinsures life policies written by other carriers through DRMS. In addition, the Company provides group critical illness, cancer, accident, and gap insurance. These products are paid for by the employee through payroll deduction, and the employee is enrolled in the coverage(s) at the worksite. Its products and services are distributed through a group sales force located in 34 offices near metropolitan areas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Whitney Kisling]

    Assurant (AIZ), the insurer of foreclosed homes, has climbed 72 percent in 2013, extending the rally since the bull market started to 245 percent. Per-share profit the last two quarters exceeded analyst projections. Earnings growth at the New York-based company will slow to 1 percent next year and 5 percent in 2015, when sales contract, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialized insurance products provider Assurant (NYSE: AIZ  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.25 per share, the same rate it paid last quarter after raising the payout 19%, from $0.21 per share.

Hot Railroad Stocks To Invest In 2015: SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (GAF)

SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (the Fund) seeks to replicate as closely as possible the total return performance of the S&P/Citigroup BMI Middle East & Africa Index (the Index). The Index is a market capitalization-weighted index that defines and measures the investable universe of publicly traded companies domiciled in emerging Middle Eastern and African markets. The Index is float adjusted, meaning that only those shares publicly available to investors are included in the Index calculation. The Fund uses a passive management strategy designed to track the price and yield performance of the Index. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Funds Management, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Powell]

    For long-term investing, we continue to recommend Africa Funds—the iShares South Africa (EZA), the SPDR Mideast & Africa (GAF), and the TRP Africa & Mideast (LX:TRPMEAI).