Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.47% from 4.42% last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.51% from 3.43%.

Mortgage rates peaked at 4.6% in August and have stabilized since September, when the Federal Reserve surprised markets by taking no action on starting to reduce its $85 billion-a month bond purchases. The Fed decided this week that the outlook for the economy appeared strong enough for it to reduce the monthly bond purchases starting in January by $10 billion.

The purchases are designed to keep long-term rates such as mortgage rates low.

A government report issued Wednesday showed that U.S. builders broke ground on homes in November at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgag e rates.

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Marathon Investments Ltd (MARA)

Marathon Investments Ltd is an Israel-based company that invests in income-producing industrial companies. The Company’s portfolio includes companies in the fields of heat treatment, biotechnology, inspection and advanced electronics. Its portfolio comprises of a number of companies: Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc. which produces plant protein-based medical treatment; Nanomotion Ltd. which develops, manufactures and markets tiny solid-state ceramic servo motors and positioning systems; Margan Business Development Ltd. which engages in early building and facility damage detection; BioView Ltd. which develops and manufactures medical screening and diagnostics systems; Solcon Industries Ltd. is a high technology electronics manufacturer, whose products are intended for installation in low and medium voltage AC Motor switchgear, and Chromat Ltd., which is a commercial steel heat treatment company, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Although some view patent investors or speculators as nothing more than “patent trolls,” small cap patent stocks RPX Corporation (NASDAQ: RPXC), Marathon Patent Group Inc (OTCBB: MARA) and Endeavor IP Inc (OTCBB: ENIP) are a couple of interesting options that allow retail investors to invest in patents as they either invest in patents themselves or they provide patent related services. However, there could be risks associated with investing in patent stocks because a bi-partisan bill called the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) is working its way through Congress to try and reign in the activities of so-called patent trolls or companies who go out and buy or license patents from others and then target alleged infringers with lawsuits.

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, MARA has shed (-3.78%) down -0.23 at $5.85 with 23,913 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 11:09AM EDT September 11, 2013).

    Marathon Patent Group, Inc. previously reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013 (“Q2 2013″).
    For Q2, 2013, the Company reported gross revenue of $1,524,979, as a result of three patent licensing and settlement agreements. Q2 2013 marks the first quarter the Company has reported significant licensing and settlement revenue. Included in the gross revenue amount is the value of certain patents received in settlement from a defendant.

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Ultratech Inc.(UTEK)

Ultratech, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets photolithography and laser thermal processing equipment. It supplies step-and-repeat photolithography systems based on one-to-one imaging technology to semiconductor device manufacturers for applications involving line geometries of 0.75 microns or greater and to nanotechnology manufacturers. The company?s steppers are also used to manufacture semiconductors that are used in various applications, such as telecommunications, automotive control systems, power systems, and consumer electronics. It also supplies 1X photolithography systems to thin film head manufacturers; and offers LSA100, a laser-based thermal annealing tool used by the semiconductor industry for various process steps, including activation of implanted impurities, dielectric film formation, formation of silicides, and stabilization of copper grain structures. Ultratech, Inc. sells its systems to semiconductor, advanced packaging, high-brightness light emit ting diodes, thin film head, and various other nanotechnology manufacturers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Ultratech (NASDAQ: UTEK  ) got ultra crushed today, down by 18% at the low, following a first-quarter earnings release that didn’t meet expectations.

  • [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 Ultratech (Nasdaq: UTEK  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Ultratech (NASDAQ: UTEK  ) dropped today by as much as 13% after the company reported earnings that fell short of expectations.

  • [By Stephen Simpson, CFA]

    Fellow Seeking Alpha contributor Ashraf Eassa and I have both written previously about Ultratech (UTEK), a semiconductor equipment company that we both like for its innovative positions in laser spike annealing (LSA) and advanced packaging lithography ("flip chips"), as well as the potential of its steppers in LED manufacturing. In particular, we have both made the case that advanced annealing technologies are likely to be a critical factor in the move to sub-20nm processes.

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Atmel Corporation(ATML)

Atmel Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and sells semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) products. The company?s Microcontrollers segment provides various proprietary and standard microcontrollers, such as Atmel?s capacitive touch products, including maXTouch and QTouch, AVR 8-bit and 32-bit products, ARM-based products, and Atmel?s 8051 8-bit products. Its Nonvolatile Memories segment offers serial interface electrically erasable programmable read-only memory and serial interface flash memory products; and parallel interface flash memories, as well as parallel interface electrically erasable programmable read-only memory and erasable programmable read-only memory devices. The company?s Radio Frequency and Automotive segment provides products designed for the automotive industry, including automobile electronics, networking and access systems, and engine, lighting, and entertainment components. This segment produces and sells wireless and wired devices for in dus trial, consumer, and automotive applications; and offers foundry services, which produce radio frequency products for the mobile telecommunications market. Its Application Specific Integrated Circuit segment provides custom application specific ICs designed to meet specialized single-customer requirements of high performance devices in a range of specific applications. This segment provides products that provide hardware security for embedded digital systems; and products with military and aerospace applications, as well as develops application specific standard products for space applications, power management, and secure crypto memory products. The company sells its products directly to original equipment manufacturers; and indirectly through a network of distributors. It has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, South Africa, and Central and South America. Atmel Corporation was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    If you are looking for a semiconductor stock that’s focus on an area that’s not so cyclical, mid cap microcontroller (MCU) stock Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML) could be a good choice – meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with other microcontroller players like Microchip Technology Inc (NASDAQ: MCHP), STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM) and Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: CY). Microcontrollers are programmable and embedded chips that are increasingly hidden inside a all sorts of products these days e.g. if you have an appliance with a LED or LCD screen and a keypad, it contains some kind of microcontroller plus all new automobiles contain at least one and often several. I should mention that we have also recently added Atmel Corporation to our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio and we are down about 5.6% mostly due to the recent market volatility.

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Among holdings in which SAC Capital Advisors increased its stake was Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML  )  SAC reduced its stake in companies such as PNC Financial Services, and Akamai Technologies. Atmel, which makes touchscreen controllers, is sitting near a 52-week high, despite posting shrinking revenue and earnings lately. The company is cutting costs to boost profit margins, and is optimistic, seeing improving business conditions and a healthier backlog.

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation(BGFV)

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a sporting goods retailer in the western United States. The company offers athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories, as well as a selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, snowboarding, and roller sports. It also provides various private label merchandise, including shoes, apparel, binoculars, camping equipment, fishing supplies, and snow sport equipment. The company sells private label merchandise under its owned labels comprising Court Casuals, Golden Bear, Harsh, Pacifica, Rugged Exposure, and Triple Nickel; and licensed trademarks, including Avet, Body Glove, Fila, GoFit, Hi-Tec, Maui & Sons, Morrow, and Realm and The Realm. As of February 28, 2012, it operated 406 stores in 12 states under the Big 5 Sporting Goods name. The company was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in El Segundo, California.

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 Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yahoo! Finance recently noted once again how the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” along with fears about Obama’s gun control policies have rural enthusiasts flocking to Cabela’s Inc (NYSE: CAB), but how does its performance compare with that of mid cap peer Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) along with small caps Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ: BGFV) and Hibbett Sports, Inc (NASDAQ: HIBB)? After all, the same trends should be lifting all boats that sell outdoor related merchandise, guns or sporting goods (Note: Bass Pro, Inc, which is much closer to being a true peer of Cabela’s Inc as its also focused on the outdoors, is privately held) .  

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Hubbell Inc (HUBB)

Hubbell Incorporated (Hubbell), incorporated in 1905, is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of electrical and electronic products for a range of non-residential and residential construction, industrial and utility applications. Products are either sourced complete, manufactured or assembled by subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the People’s Republic of China, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia. Hubbell also participates in joint ventures in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and maintains sales offices in Singapore, China, Mexico, South Korea and countries in the Middle East. It operates in two segments: Electrical segment and the Power segment. The Electrical segment consists of electrical systems products and lighting products. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it acquired two product lines. The first product line acquired consists of grounding, bonding and cable management solutions with renewable energy applicati ons, while the second product line consists of fire pump control panels. The Company has several operations located outside of the United States. These operations manufacture, assemble and/or market Hubbell products and service both the Electrical and Power segments.

Electrical Segment

The Electrical segment consists of businesses that sell stock and custom products, including standard and special application wiring device products, rough-in electrical products, connector and grounding products, lighting fixtures and controls, as well as other electrical equipment. The products are used in and around industrial, commercial and institutional facilities by electrical contractors, maintenance personnel, electricians and telecommunications companies. In addition, certain businesses design and manufacture a variety of high voltage test and measurement equipment, industrial controls and communication systems used in the non-residential and industrial mark ets. Many of these products are designed such that they can ! also be used in harsh and hazardous locations where a potential for fire and explosion exists due to the presence of flammable gasses and vapors. Harsh and hazardous products are primarily used in the oil and gas (onshore and offshore) and mining industries. Certain lighting fixtures, wiring devices and electrical products also have residential and utility applications.

These products are primarily sold through electrical and industrial distributors, home centers, retail and hardware outlets, and lighting showrooms. Special application products are sold primarily through wholesale distributors to contractors, industrial customers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). High voltage products are sold primarily by direct sales to customers through its sales engineers. Hubbell maintains a sales and marketing organization to assist users with the application of certain products to their specific requirements, and with architects, engineers, industrial designers , OEMs and electrical contractors for the design of electrical systems to meet the specific requirements of industrial, non-residential and residential users. Hubbell is also represented by sales agents for its lighting fixtures and controls, electrical wiring devices, rough-in electrical products and high voltage products lines.

Hubbell designs, manufactures and sells thousands of wiring and electrical products, which are supplied principally to industrial, non-residential and residential customers. These products include cable reels, cable glands and fittings, connectors and tooling, floor boxes, ground fault devices, wiring devices and accessories, switches and dimmers, pin and sleeve devices, electrical motor controls, and steel and plastic electrical enclosures. Its products also include junction boxes, plugs and receptacles, datacom connectivity and enclosures, speciality communications equipment high voltage test systems and mining communication and contr ols. These wiring and electrical products are sold under var! ious bran! ds and/or trademarks, including Hubbell, Kellems, Bryant, Burndy, Wejtap, Implo, Raco, Bell, Wiegmann, Killark, Hawke, Chalmit, Victor, GAI-Tronics, Gleason Reel, Haefely, Hipotronics and Austdac.

Hubbell manufactures and sells lighting fixtures and controls for indoor and outdoor applications. The markets served include residential, commercial, institutional and industrial. The Company has a range of light emitting diode (LED)-luminaire products within its portfolio. Hubbell’s variety of lighting products includes canopy light fixtures, emergency lighting/exit signs, specification grade LED fixtures, floodlights and poles, recessed, surface mounted and track fixtures, parking lot/parking garage fixtures, bollards, and bath/vanity fixtures and fans. Its products also include chandeliers, sconces, directionals, fixtures used to illuminate athletic/recreational fields, decorative landscaping fixtures, flourescent fixtures, ceiling fans, site and area lighting fi xtures, and occupancy, dimming and daylight harvesting sensors.

These lighting products are sold under various brands and/or trademarks, including Kim Lighting, Sportsliter Solutions, Kurt Versen, Beacon Products, Architectural Area Lighting, Security Lighting Systems, Sterner Lighting, Prescolite, Precision-Paragon [P2], Hubbell Building Automation, Spaulding Lighting and Alera Lighting. Brands and/or trademarks also include Dual-Lite, Progress Lighting and Hubbell Outdoor Lighting.

Power Segment

The Power segment consists of operations that design and manufacture various distribution, transmission, substation and telecommunications products primarily used by the electrical utility industry. In addition, certain of these products are used in the civil construction and transportation industries. Products are sold to distributors and directly to users, such as electric utilities, telecommunication companies, pipeline and mining operation s, industrial firms, construction and engineering firms. Pro! ducts inc! lude Arresters, Cutouts and fuse links, lineman tools, hoses and gloves, overhead and pad mounted switches, high voltage bushings, insulators, cable terminations and accessories, formed wire products and splices, taps and connectors. Its products also include grounding equipment, programmable reclosures, sectionalizers, pole line hardware and polymer concrete and fiberglass enclosures and equipment pads.

These products are sold under various brands and/or trademarks, including Ohio Brass, Fargo, Quazite, Electro Composites, Hot Box, Chance, Hubbell, Quadri*sil, USCO, PCORE and Anderson. Brands and/or trademarks also include Polycast, Comcore, CDR and Delmar.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Hubbell (NYSE: HUBB  ) reported earnings on April 19. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Hubbell met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Hubbell (NYSE: HUBB  ) reported earnings on July 18. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended June 30 (Q2), Hubbell met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Vanguard Industrials Etf (VIS)

Vanguard Industrials ETF (the Fund), formerly known as Vanguard Industrials VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class of Vanguard Industrials Index Fund. The Fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Investable Market Industrials Index (the Index). The Index is an index of stocks of large, medium and small United States companies in the industrials sector, as classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). This GICS sector is made up of companies whose businesses are dominated by activities, such as the manufacture and distribution of capital goods (including aerospace and defense, construction, engineering and building products, electrical equipment, and industrial machinery); the provision of commercial services and supplies (including printing, employment, environmental and office services), or the provision of transportation services (inc luding airlines, couriers, marine, road and rail, and transportation infrastructure).

The Fund attempts to replicate the Index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index. It also may sample its target Index by holding stocks that, in the aggregate, are intended to approximate the Index in terms of key characteristics, such as price/earnings ratio, earnings growth and dividend yield.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Viscofan SA (VIS) fell 9.6 percent, its largest weekly drop in more than five years, after saying it may miss its targets for 2013 because of weak currencies. The Spanish maker of sausage casings in July predicted annual net income of 107 million euros to 108 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of as much as 195 million euros.

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Unusual volume (at least 5X ADV): iShares Utilities ETF (NYSE: IDU), First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX Fund (NYSE: FXU), iShares MSCI Germany Small Cap ETF (NYSE: EWGS), iShares MSCI USA ETF (NYSE: EUSA), SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF (NYSE: GUR), PowerShares Water Resources (NYSE: PHO) and the Vanguard Industrials ETF (NYSE: VIS).

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: Laredo Petroleum Inc (LPI)

Laredo Petroleum, Inc., formerly Laredo Petroleum Holdings, Inc., incorporated in August 12, 2011, is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and natural gas in the Permian and Mid-Continent regions of the United States. The Company’s activities are primarily focused in the Wolfberry and deeper horizons of the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Anadarko Granite Wash in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma, where it has assembled 134,680 net acres and 37,850 net acres, respectively, as of December 31, 2011.

Permian Basin

The Permian Basin, located in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is an onshore oil and natural gas producing regions in the United States. The Company’s Permian activities are centered on the eastern side of the basin approximately 35 miles east of Midland, Texas in Glasscock, Howard, Reagan and Sterling Counties. As of December 31, 2011, it held 134,680 net acres in over 300 sections with an average working interest of 96% in wells drilled as of that date. The overall Wolfberry interval, the principal focus of its drilling activities, is an oil play that also includes a liquids-rich natural gas component. Its production/exploration fairway extends approximately 20 miles wide and 80 miles long. While exploration and drilling efforts in the southern half of its acreage block has been centered on the shallower portion of the Wolfberry (Spraberry, Dean and Wolfcamp formations) the emphasis in the northern half has been on the deeper intervals, including the Wolfcamp, Cline Shale, Strawn and Atoka formations.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had drilled and completed approximately 600 gross vertical wells and had defined the productive limits on its acreage throughout the trend. It has expanded its drilling program to include a horizontal component targeting the Cline and Wolfcamp Shales. The Company has drilled four gros s horizontal Wolfcamp Shale wells as of December 31, 2011. A! s of December 31, 2011, it had drilled a total of 27 gross horizontal wells in the Wolfcamp and Cline formations, of which 23 are in the Cline Shale and four in the Wolfcamp Shale. It had over 5,600 total gross identified drilling locations (both vertical and horizontal) in the Permian, all of which are within the Wolfberry and Cline Shale interval during the year ended December 31, 2011.

Anadarko Granite Wash

Straddling the Texas/Oklahoma state line, its Granite Wash play extends over a large area in the western part of the Anadarko Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it held 37,850 net acres in Hemphill County, Texas and Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. The Company’s play consists of vertical and horizontal drilling opportunities targeting the liquids-rich Granite Wash formation. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled and completed over 150 gross vertical wells. During 2011, its horizontal Granite Wash program was in the development phase. As of Decem ber 31, 2011, it had approximately 100 gross identified potential drilling locations for the horizontal Granite Wash, which included both its Texas and Oklahoma acreage.

Other areas

The Company, in addition to its Permian Wolfberry and Anadarko Granite Wash plays, evaluated opportunities in three other areas within its core operating regions during 2011. The Dalhart Basin is located on the western side of the Texas Panhandle. As of December 31, 2011, the Company held 83,295 net acres in the Dalhart Basin. As of December 31, 2011, it had drilled two gross vertical wells in the Dalhart Basin. The second area is centrally located in the Central Texas Panhandle, where its operations were conducted through its joint venture with ExxonMobil as of December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, it held 46,915 net acres in the Central Texas Panhandle. The third area is located in the eastern end of the Anadarko Basin, in Caddo County, Oklahoma. As of December 3 1, 2011, the Company held 33,306 net acres in the Eastern An! adarko. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    Who’s doing it the best?
    It can be pretty handy to evaluate the entire industry on how efficiently it’s replacing reserves, but reserve replacement costs can be more effective in evaluating individual companies. The lower the costs, the better it is. According to Ernst & Young, the most effective company at controlling reserve replacement costs is private company Antero Resources, with a three-year average reserve replacement cost of about $2.88 per barrel of oil equivalent. Antero, and four of the other top five companies on Ernst & Young’s list, are almost pure natural gas plays. If we’ve learned one thing over the past couple of years, it’s that oil reserves and natural gas reserves are two totally different things when it comes to value. The five following companies have more than 50% liquids on their reserves and had the lowest reserve replacement costs for 2012.

    Company % Liquids in Portfolio Oil Production Replacement Rate (3 Years) Reserve Replacement Costs (3-Year Average) Per boe Rosetta Resources  (NASDAQ: ROSE  ) 57% 846% $6.99 Continental Resources  (NYSE: CLR  ) 72% 827% $12.61 Laredo Petroleum  (NYSE: LPI  ) 52% 1,042% $13.51 SM Energy  (NYSE: SM  ) 53% 392% $14.67 SandRidge Energy  (NYSE: SD  ) 58% 704% $14.85

    Sources: Ernst & Young and S&P Capital IQ; author’s calculations.

  • [By Tony Daltorio]

    Other companies already drilling in the Cline include Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Gulfport Energy Corp. (Nasdaq: GPOR), and another pioneer in the region, Laredo Petroleum Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LPI).

Hot Supermarket Companies For 2014: iRobot Corp (IRBT)

iRobot Corporation (iRobot), incorporated in August 1990, designs and builds robots. The Company’s home care robots perform time-consuming domestic chores while its government and industrial robots perform tasks, such as battlefield reconnaissance and bomb disposal, multi-purpose tasks for local police and first responders, and long-endurance oceanic missions. It sells its robots to consumers through a range of distribution channels, including chain stores and other national retailers, and through its on-line store, and to the United States military and other government agencies globally. It designs and builds robots for the consumer and government and industrial markets. It sells its products through distinct sales channels to the consumer and government and industrial markets. In the United States and Canada, it sells its consumer products through a network of national retailers. As of December 31, 2011, this network consisted of more than 30 retailers, which often sel l either one or some combination of its products. Its smaller domestic retail operations are supported by distributors to whom it sells product directly. It sells its government and industrial products directly to end users and indirectly through prime contractors and distributors. During the year ended December 31, 2011, sales to non-the United States customers accounted for 45.5% of total revenue.

Consumer Products

The Company sells various products, which are designed for use in and around the home. Its consumer products are focused on both indoor and outdoor cleaning applications. It offers multiple Roomba floor vacuuming robots and Scooba floor washing robots. Its Roomba robot’s compact disc shape allows it to clean under beds and other furniture, resulting in cleaner floors. In addition, it cleans automatically upon the push of a button. Its Scooba robot’s cleaning process allows the robot to simultaneously sweep, wash, scrub and dry hard floors, all at the touch of a button. Its Verro Pool Cleani! ng Robot is used to clean a residential pool and removes debris as small as two microns from the pool floor, walls and stairs. Verro is brought to market under the iRobot brand through a relationship with the Aqua Products Group companies, including AquaJet LLC and Aquatron, Inc., which developed the pool cleaning robots.

The Company’s Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot cleans an entire stretch of gutter. The Looj also features a detachable handle that doubles as a wireless remote control, providing control of the robot while cleaning.

Government and Industrial Products

In government and industrial product markets, the Company offers both ground and maritime unmanned vehicles. Its tactical ground robots include the combat-tested 510 PackBot line of small, unmanned ground robots, the 310 small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) and XM1216 SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) multi-purpose ground robots, the 110 FirstLook small, light, throwable robot, and the 710 Warrior multi-purpose robot capable of carrying heavy payloads. The PackBot, SUGV, FirstLook, and Warrior robot series make up a family of robots using many common platform components and offer its flipper technology, which enables robots to climb stairs, navigate rubble, and penetrate inaccessible areas. These robots keep war fighters and public safety officials out of harm’s way and are designed for performing search, reconnaissance, mapping, bomb disposal and other dangerous missions. As of December 31, 2011, more than 4,500 robots had been delivered to military and civil defense forces globally. Its Aware 2 software is incorporated into the 510 PackBot chassis and operator control unit. As a result, PackBot can support multiple configurations and payloads with the same chassis and operator control unit, providing customers with a single robot capable of performing multiple missions.

Contract Research and Development Projects

< p>The Company is involved in several contract development pr! ojects wi! th the United States governmental agencies and departments. The durations of these projects range from a few months to several years. These projects are usually funded as either cost-plus, firm fixed price, or time and materials contracts. In a cost-plus contract, it is allowed to recover its actual costs plus a fixed fee. Under a firm fixed price contract, it receives a fixed amount upon satisfying contractually defined deliverables. On its time and materials contracts, it recovers a specific amount per hour worked based on a bill rate schedule, plus the cost of direct materials, subcontracts, and other non-labor costs, including an agreed-upon mark-up.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of iRobot Corp. (IRBT)  rose 2.4% to $43.84 on light volume after the maker of home and defense robots said it planned to buy back up to $50 million in shares before May 2015.

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    ISRG is considered expensive by several value metrics, including a price/earnings-to-growth ratio of well more than 3, but the expectations for growth are warranted. Intuitive Surgical’s place among top robotics healthcare stocks is all but cemented right now.

    Robotics Stocks to Buy: iRobot (IRBT)

    The first thing you notice about iRobot (IRBT) — the name is pretty cool. The second thing you notice is its significant track record in the robotics business. Over the past 24 years, iRobot has carved out a strong presence delivering robotics to homes, in defense and security, and other applications.

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    We have an 85% gain in iRobot Inc. (Nasdaq: IRBT), which we recommended as an intellectual property play back in May 2012.

    And last June, we followed up by recommending Yaskawa Electrical Corp. (OTC: YASKY), Japan’s No. 2 maker of robotic technology. That stock is up 17%… so far.