On the heels of a sweeping internal restructuring, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) has rallied to new 52-week highs on investor confidence in the new organizational hierarchy that may help combat the overarching bureaucracy that’s held back the software giant for years. Steve Ballmer outlined his vision of “One Microsoft,” one that would be unified.
Investors may be impressed, but there’s another important group of stakeholders that’s decidedly not: channel partners.
The changes were announced on the last day of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, or WPC, its annual gathering of business partners, resellers, systems integrators, and channel distributors. CRN details the backlash among a wide range of these partners, who are none too pleased about some aspects of Microsoft’s new strategic direction. These channel partners are incredibly important to Microsoft’s sales into the IT departments in the small and medium business, or SMB, market.
The dominant theme behind the restructuring is Microsoft’s ambitions of becoming an integrated devices-and-services company, which inevitably puts it in direct competition with its partners on a number of fronts. Some believe that Microsoft is becoming too focused on what Apple and Google are doing, and that all of the company’s products are now mere competitive responses.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc.(NATR)
Nature?s Sunshine Products, Inc., a natural health and wellness company, together with its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the manufacture and direct sale of nutritional and personal care products worldwide. The company offers herbal products in the form of capsules or tablets; and single herbs and herb combinations in the form of liquid herbs and extracts under ALJ, Cardio Assurance, Blood Pressurex, LBS II, CleanStart, Mistica, Liquid Chlorophyll, Noni Plus, and Core Greens brands. It also provides vitamins and mineral supplements, including a line containing natural antioxidants in the form of chewable or non-chewable tablets under EverFlex, Super Supplemental, Vitamin B Complex, Probiotic Eleven, Food Enzyme, ProArgi-9 Plus, SyneMax, and Vitazone brands; and personal care products, such as oils and lotions, aloe vera gels, herbal shampoos, herbal skin treatments, toothpastes, and skin cleansers under Tei-Fu, Pau-D Arco, EverFlex, Pro-G Yam, Hydrating Toner, 5 in 1 S hampoo, Repair Complex, and Bright Renewal Serum brands. In addition, the company offers various other products, such as homeopathic products, powders, sales aids, and other miscellaneous products under Lavender Oil, Tei-Fu Oil, Peppermint Oil, Flower Essences, and Massage Oil brands. It sells its products to a sales force of independent distributors and managers, who use the products themselves or resell them to other independent distributors or consumers. Nature?s Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded in 1972 and is based in Provo, Utah.
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Alamy You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From a direct marketer of wellness supplements stepping up with healthy financials (we hope) to Olive Garden’s parent checking in with a report on the dreary state of casual dining, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street. Monday — Human Nature Nature’s Sunshine Products (NATR) distributes natural wellness products through its growing direct sales force of more than 340,000 reps worldwide, and it also happens to be kicking off the new trading week with its latest financials. Analysts expect to see healthy bottom-line growth in Monday morning’s quarterly report. They predict a profit of $0.35 a share, well ahead of the $0.28 a share it rang up a year earlier. The rub is that Nature’s Sunshine has come up short against Wall Street profit targets in three of the past four quarters. Tuesday — Photoshop These Financials Adobe Systems (ADBE) reports on Tuesday. The desktop publishing software giant behind Photoshop, Flash, and PDF authoring platform Acrobat has seen better days. The market’s bracing for a dip in revenue and profitability in its latest quarter. That probably isn’t much of a surprise. There are now free or nearly free Web-based alternatives to many of Adobe’s products. The alternatives may not have as many features, but they’re more than enough for casual users. Adobe is going to need new products to get back on the growth track. Wednesday — New Home Sales Brewing One of the economy’s biggest turnaround stories is the residential real estate revival. Folks are buying houses again and they’re willing to pay more for them, which is making developers a lot of money. After all, their component costs aren’t rising at the same clip as home prices. We’ll get a great snapshot of the industry this week. KB Home (KBH) reports on Wednesday, and Lennar (LEN) follows a day lat
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Sky Deutschland AG (SKYD)
Sky Deutschland AG is a Germany-based holding company, which operates a subscription television network in Germany and Austria. The Company manages television brands, including Sky Welt and Sky Welt Extra, as well as offers packages Film, Sport, Fussball Bundesliga (Germany football league), and HD (High Definition television), as well as pay-per-view service Sky Select and Sky Go. Furthermore, the Company offers Sky Hotel & Bars service, which provides the Company’s services in public houses and bars. The Company offers approximately 70 television channels of various genres. Sky Select package enables watching selected movies at the specific time. Sky Go offers content on mobile devices, Internet and simultaneously on different television sets. The Company is also engaged in the purchase, sale and distribution of rights to film, series and television productions, the acquisition, sale and distribution of broadcasting rights for public events, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Sky Deutschland AG (SKYD) surged 5 percent to 7.55 euros, the highest price since September 2008. The pay-television said third-quarter ebitda climbed 19 percent to 29.2 million euros. Revenue jumped 19 percent from a year earlier to 392.7 million, topping analysts’ estimates.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: United States 12 Month Oil Fund LP (USL)
The United States 12 Month Oil Fund, LP (US12OF) is a commodity pool that issues limited partnership interests traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca, Inc. (the NYSE Arca). The investment objective of US12OF is for the daily changes in percentage terms of its units per unit net asset value (NAV) to reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil delivered to Cushing, Oklahoma, as measured by the changes in the average of the prices of 12 futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (the NYMEX) consisting of the near month contract to expire and the contracts for 11 months, for a total of 12 consecutive months contracts, except when the near month contract is within two weeks of expiration, in which case it is measured by the futures contract that is the next month contract to expire and the contracts for 11 consecutive months (the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts). The Company is managed and controlled by its general partner, United States Commodity Funds LLC (the General Partner). The General Partner is the general partner of US12OF and is responsible for the management of US12OF.
The net assets of US12OF consist primarily of investments in futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, other types of crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, and other petroleum-based fuels that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures or other United States and foreign exchanges (collectively, Oil Futures Contracts). It also invests in other oil interests, such as cash-settled options on Oil Futures Contracts, forward contracts for oil, cleared swap contracts and non-exchange traded (over-the-counter) transactions that are based on the price of oil, other petroleum-based fuels, Oil Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, Other Oil-Related Investments). For convenience and unless otherwise specified, Oil Futures Contracts an d Other Oil-Related Investments collectively are referred to! as oil Interests.
US12OF invests in Oil Interests to the fullest extent possible without being leveraged or unable to satisfy its current or potential margin or collateral obligations with respect to its investments in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments. US12OF’s investments in short-term obligations of the United States of two years or less (Treasuries), cash and/or cash equivalents.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Another choice is to use ETFs with a longer-term futures strategy. The United States 12-Month Oil Fund (NYSEMKT: USL ) holds equal positions in each of the next 12 futures contracts. That reduces the positive impact of near-term backwardation, but it gives you more exposure to the heavier backwardation that exists further into the future.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (EIRL)
iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF, formerly iShares MSCI Ireland Capped Investable Market Index Fund (the Fund), seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Ireland Investable Market 25/50 Index (the Index). The Index is a free-float adjusted market capitalization-weighted index designed to measure the performance of equity securities in the top 99% by market capitalization of equity securities listed on the stock exchanges in Ireland. BlackRock Fund Advisors (BFA) serves as the investment advisor of the Fund. BFA is a subsidiary of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Charles Sizemore]
How does an investment manager reconcile all of the various prognostications he hears on a daily basis?Simple—ignore them.—Meb Faber, Global ValueIf you’ve never heard of Cambria Investment Management’s Meb Faber, then you have some serious catching up to do. I consider Faber one of the most innovative strategists in the business today, and I found his research on shareholder yield to be compelling enough to make the Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (SYLD) a core, long-term holding in multiple ETF portfolios I manage. (For readers unfamiliar with the term, “shareholder yield” is a holistic measure of shareholder friendliness that includes dividends paid, shares repurchased, and debt repaid.)Faber’s latest book, Global Value: How to Spot Bubbles, Avoid Market Crashes, and Earn Big Returns in the Stock Market, provides the research underpinnings for Cambria’s latest ETF offering, the Cambria Global Value ETF (GVAL).Faber is a “quant” who ignores the news of the day and instead focuses on the raw numbers. At its core, Global Value is a roadmap for implementing the value investing concepts originally espoused by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd in their 1934 classic Security Analysis in a systematic, quantitative manner.Specifically, Faber uses the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio (“CAPE”), a metric popularized by Yale economist Robert Shiller, as a valuation tool to rank countries. In Faber’s model, an investor buys the stocks of the cheapest countries as ranked by the CAPE.The CAPE divides the current market price by the average of annual earnings across the economic cycle, with 10 years being the most popular time interval.Why? Because using a single year’s earnings can massively skew the results based on where you are in the economic cycle. As an example, a collapse in earnings in 2008-2009 would have made the S&P 500 look expensive had you used a simple P/E calculation with 2008 earnings numbers, even thou gh the market had los
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Cresud S.A.C.I.F. y A. (CRESY)
Cresud Sociedad Anónima Comercial, Inmobiliaria, Financiera y Agropecuaria, an agricultural company, produces basic agricultural commodities in Brazil and other Latin American countries. It is involved in the production of various crops, such as wheat, corn, sunflower, soybean, and sorghum, as well as sugarcane; breeding and fattening of beef cattle for slaughterhouses and supermarkets; production of milk for sale to dairy companies; and leasing of farms. The company is also engaged in the development and sale of residential properties; acquisition of land reserves for development and sale; acquisition, development, and operation of shopping centers, offices, and other non-shopping center properties for rent; and acquisition and operation of luxury hotels, as well as consumer financing activities. As of June 30, 2013, it owned 33 farms with approximately 643,891 hectares. The company was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- [By Ian Wyatt]
Cresud SA (CRESY) has 66% of those acres in Argentina; the rest are scattered through Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. In addition, it has extensive commercial property holdings in Buenos Aires.
- [By Cameron Swinehart]
Cresud (CRESY) –
An Argentinean based agriculture company that currently owns roughly 2.4 million acres of farmland in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. CRESY produces a variety of crops consisting of soybeans, corn, and sugarcane. It also has operations in beef cattle and milk production. In the second quarter, Cresud sold 4 of its farms for roughly $60.5 million and saw large gains in its farmland development business. CRESY is currently trading down roughly 60% from its highs back in late 2010. Many farming companies have struggled to release value for shareholders with the drop in crop prices but now many are beginning to see value with the sale of farmland.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond ETF (BIV)
Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF (the Fund) seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted bond index with an intermediate-term, dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a passive management or indexing strategy designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 5-10 Year Government/Credit Bond Index (the Index). The Index includes all medium and larger issues of the United States Government, investment-grade corporate, and investment-grade international dollar-denominated bonds that have maturities between 5 and 10 years and are publicly issued. The Fund invests by sampling the Index, meaning that it holds a range of securities that, in the aggregate, approximate the full Index in terms of key risk factors and other characteristics. All of the Fund’s investments will be selected through the sampling process, and at least 80% of its assets will be invested in bonds held in the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is The Vanguard Group, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By GURUFOCUS]
In addition to individual stocks several funds pay a monthly dividend. Below is a sampling of these:
Monthly Bond Funds- iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit Bond (CSJ) | Yield: 1.29%
– Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV) | Yield: 1.25%
– Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF (BIV) | Yield: 2.96%
– Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF (BLV) | Yield: 4.42%
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Fortis Inc (FRTSF.PK)
Fortis Inc. (Fortis) is an investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada. Its regulated utilities account for 90 % of total assets and serve customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Company’s non-utility investments are comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada and petroleum supply operations in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Markus Aarnio]
Emera’s competitors include Northland Power (NPIFF.PK), Fortis (FRTSF.PK), and Atlantic Power (AT). Northland Power has seen insider buying in August and has a dividend yield of 7.6%. Fortis has seen both insider buying and insider selling in August. Fortis has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Atlantic Power saw insider buying last time in April. Atlantic Power has a dividend yield of 9.4%.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 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.
- [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).
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Intevac Inc.(IVAC)
Intevac, Inc. provides process manufacturing equipment solutions to the hard disk drive industry, and process manufacturing equipment and inspection solutions to the photovoltaic industry. The company operates in two segments, Equipment and Intevac Photonics. The Equipment segment designs, develops, and markets magnetic disks; hard disk drive equipment products, including disk sputtering and disk lubrication systems; technology upgrades; and spare parts and consumables, as well as installation, maintenance, and repair services. This segment also offers capital equipment for the photovoltaic solar manufacturing industry. The Intevac Photonics segment develops, manufactures, and sells digital-optical products for the capture and display of low-light images and materials identification used in military aircraft, ground vehicles, ground soldier head-mounted, and weapon-mounted applications. This segment also provides sensors, cameras, and systems for military applications; Ram an spectrometer table-top and handheld systems for use in forensics, homeland security, geology, gemology, medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial quality assurance applications; and low-light cameras for industrial inspection, bio-medical, and scientific applications. The company sells its products through direct sales force, system integrators, distributors, and value added resellers in the United States, Asia, Europe, and rest of world. Intevac, Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Intevac (IVAC) provides process manufacturing equipment solutions to the hard disk drive industry and high-productivity process manufacturing equipment and inspection solutions to the photovoltaic industry. This stock closed up 8.5% to $6.74 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $6.23-$6.75
52-Week Range: $4.06-$6.80
Tuesday’s Volume: 263,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 140,032
From a technical perspective, IVAC soared higher here right off some near-term support at $6.25 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $4.31 to its recent high of $6.80. During that move, shares of IVAC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of IVAC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if IVAC manages to take out its 52-week high at $6.80 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IVAC as long as it’s trending above some near-term support levels at $6.25 or at $5.92 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $6.80 with volume that hits near or above 140,032 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then IVAC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $8 to $8.37. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $9 to $9.36 within range for shares of IVAC.
Top 10 Clean Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN)
Credit Suisse Group AG is a Switzerland-based holding company engaged in private banking, investment banking and asset management areas. It operates through four divisions: Private Banking, which consists of the Wealth Management Clients and Corporate & Institutional Clients business; Investment Banking, provides a range of financial products and services, with a focus on client-driven, flow-based and capital-efficient businesses; Asset Management, offers a range of asset class products, including alternative investments, and multi-asset class solutions, including equities and fixed income products, and Shared Services, which provides centralized corporate services and business support for the Company’s divisions. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Marie Mawad]
Orange was advised by Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Messier, Maris & Associes. Altice was advised by Lazard Ltd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc lead the financing on the deal, working with Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Plc and Credit Agricole SA.
- [By Nina Mehta]
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), operator of the largest U.S. dark pool, said it will no longer publicly disseminate monthly volume data for the private stock-trading venue, according to an executive at Tabb Group LLC.
- [By Sharon Cho]
Growing demand for the most-stable equities has spurred a record 31 straight days of foreign inflows into South Korean shares, while concern over Federal Reserve tapering and America’s debt-ceiling debate sent the benchmark gauge of U.S. stock volatility to a three-month high on Oct. 8. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), UBS Wealth Management and Bank Julius Baer & Co. say they’re bullish on South Korea as smaller price swings lure investors to companies from SK Hynix Inc. (000660) to LG Chem Ltd. (051910)