Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015


Large cap serial acquirer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (NYSE: VRX) is teaming up with activist investor Bill Ackman to pursue large cap Botox maker Allergan, Inc (NYSE: AGN), but stocks like Cutera, Inc (NASDAQ: CUTR), Cynosure, Inc (NASDAQ: CYNO), PhotoMedex Inc (NASDAQ: PHMD) and Syneron Medical Ltd (NASDAQ: ELOS) actually offer investors more exposure to the growing anti aging and aesthetics market (Note: See my recent article: These Small Caps Seek to Treat Your Crow’s Feet and Double Chin (RVNC & KYTH)). To begin with, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a wide focus on neurology, dermatology and infectious diseases but acquiring the maker of Botox won’t be its first foray into the aesthetic market because earlier this year, the company completed its acquisition of Solta Medical Inc (NASDAQ: SLTM) – a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of energy-based medical device systems for aesthetic applications. And while Allergan, Inc may be most well known for Botox, its actually a pretty big company focused on a diverse range of areas, including ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, dermatology, neuroscience, urology and cosmetics – meaning the following stocks offer investors better exposure to the aesthetics market:

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Cvent Inc (CVT)


Cvent, Inc., incorporated on August 20, 1999, is a cloud-based enterprise event management platform. The Company offers an integrated cloud-based software platform that addresses the lifecycle of events and meetings. It provides solutions for both sides of the events and meetings value chain, which include event and meeting planners, and hotels and venues. Its integrated, cloud-based solution addresses the entire event lifecycle by allowing event and meeting planners to organize, market and manage their meetings, conferences, tradeshows and other events. The Company’s online marketplace connects event planners and venues through its vertical search engine that accesses its database of detailed hotel and venue information. It offers six product categories: event management software, strategic meetings management (SMM) software, mobile event apps, pre- and post-event Web surveys, ticketing software and the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN).


The Company offer s planners a platform that addresses the lifecycle of events and meetings, including budgeting, planning, venue sourcing, marketing, management and measurement of meetings. The combination of these solutions creates an integrated platform that allows the Company to generate revenue from both sides of the events and meetings value chain. Through the CSN, the Company has created an online marketplace to connect hotels and venues with enterprise event and meeting planners. The Company’s online marketplace, the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN), connects tens of thousands of event and meeting planners seeking the venue for their event with more than 200,000 venues featured in its database.


The Company’s solutions include online event registration; event marketing; budgeting and project management; event logistics and integrations; measurement and reporting, and training and support. Its event marketing solution provides e-marketing tools that allow planners i ntegrate their event marketing and communication process wit! h registration. The Company’s budgeting and project management includes a project management suite that allows for assignment and tracking of event planning tasks. The Company’s event logistics and integrations solution includes tools for table and seating management, name badge and certificate creation, resource and space allocation, speaker management, appointment scheduling, continuing education credit tracking, onsite registration and check-in functionality. Its measurement and reporting platform measures aspects of the event management process. The Company provides training and support to its event management subscription customers, which is available through phone, e-mail and the Internet during the subscription period.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Jarzemsky]

    The deal by the data-analysis software maker follows well-received offerings by software makers Workday Inc.(WDAY) and Cvent Inc.(CVT) last week, suggesting investor interest in cloud computing and “big data” analysis remain high. Those deals bucked the broader market’s sluggish tone, with indexes little changed out of the gate this year and many strategists predicting muted returns after 2013’s rally.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Cvent Inc. (NYSE: CVT) was started as Buy with a $41 price target at Stifel Nicolaus, started as Outperform with a $40 price target at Pacific Crest and started as Buy with a $42 price target at Needham & Company. Shares are up about 1.5% at $36.15

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Korn/Ferry International (KFY)


Korn/Ferry International, together with its subsidiaries, provides talent management solutions that help clients to design strategies in building and attracting their talent. It operates in three segments: Executive Recruitment, Leadership & Talent Consulting (LTC), and High-Impact Recruitment Solutions. The Executive Recruitment segment focuses on recruiting board-level, chief executive, and other senior executive positions primarily in the consumer, financial services, and industrial, as well as in life sciences/healthcare, and technology industries. The LTC segment provides leadership and talent management solutions to assist clients with their ongoing assessment, organizational design, and leadership development efforts. The High-Impact Recruitment Solutions segment engages in enterprise-wide consulting and recruitment solutions, including recruitment process outsourcing, talent acquisition and management consulting services, project-based recruitment, mid-level recrui tment, and interim professionals. The company serves public and private companies, middle market and emerging growth companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and South America. Korn/Ferry International was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Shares of Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY) were 3.67 percent to $29.36. Korn/Ferry reported its Q4 earnings of $0.32 per share on revenue of $251.70 million.

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Stocks ended a mini-losing streak on Friday, led by upbeat news from Intel (INTC). The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 41 points, after sliding more than 200 over the previous two days. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 13 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) added 6 points. Those modest gains did little to trim the loss for the week. The major averages posted their biggest weekly declines in more than two months. Intel is a component of all three big indexes, and it jumped 7 percent after raising its revenue guidance for the current quarter. The company sees stronger business demand for PCs than it previously expected. Intel shares are up 23 percent over the past six months. The Intel news had a ripple effect. Computer maker Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) rose more than 5 percent and Microsoft (MSFT) gained 1½ percent. Part of the increased demand Intel points to is tied to corporate buyers who need to replace their Windows XP machines, because Microsoft has stopped providing technical support for that platform. But Apple (AAPL) lost more than 1 percent. The stock is down since its 7-for-1 stock split took effect on Monday. There were two other big stories that had some legs beyond the companies directly involved. Open Table (OPEN) agreed to be acquired by Priceline (PCLN) for $2.6 billion. Open Table, which provides restaurant reservations, jumped 48 percent. Other online service providers rode the coattails of that deal. Yelp (YELP) gained 14 percent and Groupon (GRPN) gained 4 percent. In the retail arena, Express (EXPR) jumped 21 percent after a private equity firm took a 9.9 percent stake in the teen retailer and indicated it may make a buyout offer. That gave a boost to Aeropostale (ARO) and American Eagle (AEO), which both rose more than 2 percent. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) gained 1½. Elsewhere, International Game Technology (IGT) gained 10½ percent on a Reuters report that a bidding war could erupt for

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Industrials stocks gained Friday, with ATA (NASDAQ: ATAI) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), with shares up 22 percent, and Korn/Ferry International (KFY), with shares up 12 percent. In trading on Friday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.36 percent.

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Korn/Ferry International sa(KFY)id its fiscal third-quarter earnings surged on stronger-than-expected fee revenue and higher operating margins.


    Piedmont Natural Gas Co.(PNY) said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 14% as the natural-gas distributor reported a significant jump in revenue despite higher gas costs.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Tractor Supply Company(TSCO)

Tractor Supply Company operates retail farm and ranch stores in the United States. Its stores offer a selection of merchandise, including equine, pet, and animal products, such as items required for their health, care, growth, and containment; hardware, truck, towing, and tool products; seasonal products, including lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts, and toys; maintenance products for agricultural and rural use; and work/recreational clothing and footwear. The company operates its retail stores under the Tractor Supply Company and Del?s Farm Supply names, as well as a Website under the TractorSupply.com name. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 1,085 retail farm and ranch stores in 44 states. The company serves recreational farmers and ranchers, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Tractor Supply Company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) shares were also up, gaining 15.82 percent to $71.00 on upbeat quarterly results. Morgan Stanley raised the price target on the stock from $65.00 to $72.00.

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    Retail Stocks to Watch No. 6: Tractor Supply Co. (Nasdaq: TSCO)
    One-year retail sales growth: 10.7%
    Total 2013 U.S. sales: $5.1 billion
    Tractor Supply had 1,276 retail farm and ranch stores in the United States as of 2013, which was an increase of about 9% from the stores it had the year before. In addition to the new stores, Tractor Supply also started selling more perishable items last year, such as vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees. Online retailers have had little impact on TSCO, as many of the company’s products are difficult to ship. TSCO closed at $67.16.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Deutsche Bank’s Mike Baker and Adam Sindler see tougher times ahead for Home Depot and Lowe’s following the bad news from Lumber Liquidators and Tractor Supply (TSCO):

  • [By Charles Riley]

    Shares of Tractor Supply Co. (TSCO) dropped 5% before the open after the company posted disappointing earnings on Wednesday.

    Overall, U.S. stock futures were lower by about 1%.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: MediSwipe Inc (MWIP)

MediSwipe Inc., formerly Cannabis Medical Solutions Inc., incorporated in February 18, 1997, offers a transaction processing and security solutions for the medical and healthcare industries, using traditional, Internet Point-of-Sale (POS), e-commerce and mobile (wireless) payment solutions. The Company’s electronic payment processing suite of services will enable clients to accept all credit cards, in store or online, debit and automated teller machine (ATM) cards and ACH check drafts for payment whether a retail, service, mail-order or Internet merchant. The Company’s card-based processing services enable merchants to process both traditional card-present, or swipe, transactions, as well as card-not-present transactions. The Company also operates online payment processing services, gift and loyalty card program programs and prepaid debit cards for consumers through 800 Commerce Inc., the Company’s subsidiary, under the domain name www.800Commerce.com .


The Company offers MasterCard prepaid cards branded with corporations’ brands. The Company offers a line of merchant services for the healthcare sector, including, Visa, MasterCard and merchant accounts, debit & credit card transaction processing, cash advance, gift/loyalty card programs and POS terminals through its’ private banking network. 800 Commerce electronic payment processing and additional services enables the Company’s clients to accept all credit cards, as well as debit and ATM cards for payment whether a retail, service, mail-order or Internet merchant. The 800 Commerce Suite of e-Commerce Services Include Merchant Processing Customized Solutions; Private Label Gateway; Credit Card Acceptance; Debit/ATM Card Acceptance; Private Label Debit Card Issuance; Internet Processing; Gift, Payroll and Loyalty Cards; Check Services; Wireless/Mobile Payment Platforms; Web Development and consulting, and ACH.


The Company competes with First Data Corporation, To tal System Services, Global Payments, Authorize.net and Bank! of America’s BA Merchant Services.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    But it doesn’t end there. Investors should run away from all OTC marijuana stocks, including Medical Marijuana (MJNA), Cannabis Science (CBIS), CannaVest (CANV), MediSwipe (MWIP) and GreenGro Technologies (GRNH). As the SEC warns:

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    MediSwipe (MWIP) has tripled, with MWIP stock up 200%. Cannabis Science (CBIS) is closing in on quadrupling, as CBIS stock gained 273%. And GreenGro Technologies (GRNH)? Brace yourself, because GRNH stock is up over 1,000% … including an 18% so far today.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc.(CRZO)


Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company holds interest in crude oil and liquids plays in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas; the Niobrara Formation in Colorado; the Utica Shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania; and the Huntington Field in the U.K. North Sea. It also owns interest in natural gas plays in the Barnett Shale in North Texas; and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia; as well as in the onshore Gulf Coast area and the Camp Hill field in Texas. As of December 31, 2011, the company had a proved oil and gas reserves of 935.6 billion cubic feet equivalent comprising 728 billion cubic feet of natural gas; 30.5 million barrels of oil or other liquid hydrocarbons (MMbbls) of oil and condensate; and 4.1 MMbbls of natural gas liquids, as well as operated 349 gross producing oil and gas wells. Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is based in Houston, Texas.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Eagle Ford crude driller Carrizo Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: CRZO) is up nearly 14 percent since we added it to the Aggressive Portfolio on Dec. 11, and here too there was no company-specific news. Rather, Carrizo appears to have benefited from the end in mid-December of the sharp autumn correction in drillers’ share prices.

  • [By Richard Moroney]

    Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) focuses on proven shale properties in Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Its Eagle Ford operations, which span more than 50,000 drillable acres in Texas, have estimated oil and gas reserves of 173 million barrels, or about 42% of Carrizo’s total.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc.(GRIF)


Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in real estate and landscape nursery businesses in the United States. The company?s real estate business consists of the ownership, construction, leasing, and management of commercial and industrial properties, as well as the development of residential subdivisions on real estate owned by it in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Its landscape nursery business comprises the growing of containerized plants for sale principally to independent retail garden centers, rewholesalers, mass merchandisers, home centers, and landscape contractors. Griffin Land & Nurseries, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is based in New York City, New York.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: ADM is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: Bunge Limited (BG) with a 1.6% yield, Ingredion Incorporated (INGR) with a 2.4% yield and Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. (GRIF) with a 0.7% yield.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Genie Energy Ltd (GNE)

Genie Energy Ltd., incorporated on January 10, 2011, consists of IDT Energy and Genie Oil and Gas (GOGAS). IDT Energy is a retail energy provider supplying electricity and natural gas to residential and small business customers primarily in the Eastern United States.


GOGAS focuses on providing technologies to produce transportation fuels from the world’s oil shales and other fuel resources. GOGAS resource development projects include a conventional oil and gas exploration program in Israel and in-situ oil shale projects in Colorado, Israel and Mongolia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ali Berri]

    Utilities shares surged around 0.87 percent in today’s trading. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL), up 6.3 percent, and Genie Energy (NYSE: GNE), up 2.4 percent.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Computer Task Group Inc (CTG)


Computer Task Group, Incorporated (CTG), incorporated on March 11, 1966, is an information technology (IT) solutions and staffing company with operations in North America and Europe. CTG provides IT services to its clients, which includes IT Solutions and IT Staffing. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company had six operating subsidiaries: Computer Task Group of Canada, Inc., providing services in Canada; and Computer Task Group Belgium N.V., CTG ITS S.A., Computer Task Group IT Solutions, SA., Computer Task Group Luxembourg PSF, and Computer Task Group (U.K.) Ltd., each were providing services in Europe. Services provided in North America are performed by CTG. It provides services to all of the markets, which it serves. The services provided encompass the IT business solution life cycle, including phases for planning, developing, implementing, managing, and maintaining the IT solution. In February 2013, it acquired etrinity from i-Cros Nv of Antwerp, Belgium.


The Company promotes its services through four vertical market focus areas: technology service providers; healthcare, which includes services provided to healthcare providers, health insurers (payers), and life sciences companies; energy, and financial services. At December 31, 2011, CTG provided IT services to approximately 300 clients in North America and Europe. In North America, the Company operates in the United States and Canada. In Europe, the Company operates in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom.

IT Solutions

CTG’s services in IT solution area include helping clients assess their business needs and identifying the IT solutions. The services delivered by the Company include the selection and implementation of packaged software and the design, development, testing, and integration of new systems, and the development and implementation of customized software and solutions designed to fit the needs of a specific clien t or vertical market. Also included in IT Solutions is Trans! itional Application Management (TAM).


In 2011, the healthcare market accounted for most of CTG’s TAM business. In 2011, CTG continued to invest in new IT solutions development, primarily targeted to the healthcare market, which support cost reductions and productivity improvements. In 2011, several healthcare solutions under development moved from the pilot stage of testing using live data into the sales process as completed tools. These solutions include medical fraud, waste, and abuse detection and reduction, medical care and disease management, and group insurance underwriting risk assessment. The Company has developed software to support these offerings. These solutions support both the healthcare provider and payer markets.


IT Staffing

The Company recruits, retains, and manages IT talent for its clients, which are technology service providers and companies with multiple locations and need for external IT resources. The Company also supports companies and organizations that need to augment their own IT staff on a flexible basis. It provides IT talent services on a temporary or long-term basis. CTG’s recruiting organization works with customers to define their staffing requirements. The primary focus of the Company’s staffing business is a managed services model that provides clients with support through supply models customized to client needs, resource management support, vendor management programs, and a automated recruiting process and system. During 2011, its IT staffing service generated 63% of its total revenue.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Information technology staffing and solutions company Computer Task Group Inc.(CTG) cut its outlook for its second-quarter and full-year results, primarily due to higher medical costs.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Computer Task Group (Nasdaq: CTG  ) reported earnings on July 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended June 28 (Q2), Computer Task Group missed estimates on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Tennant Company(TNC)


Tennant Company engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing cleaning solutions worldwide. The company offers floor maintenance and outdoor cleaning equipment; chemical-free cleaning technologies; and specialty surface coatings and related products for protecting, repairing, and upgrading floors. Its products are used to clean and coat surfaces in factories, office buildings, parking lots and streets, airports, hospitals, schools, warehouses, shopping centers, and other retail environments. The company also provides parts, consumables, and service maintenance and repair; business solutions, such as pay-for-use offerings, and rental and leasing programs; and cleaning technologies that enhance the performance of its cleaning equipment. In addition, it offers Green Machine 500ze, an electric vacuum street sweeper to clean crowded urban areas. The company serves building service contract cleaners, end-user businesses, healthcare facilities, and schools, as well as local, state, and federal governments through its direct sales and service organization, and authorized distributors. Tennant Company was founded in 1870 and is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Floor maintenance and cleaning service company Tennant (TNC) raised its quarterly dividend 11% to 20 cents per share payable June 6 to shareholders of record May 30.
    TNC Dividend Yield: 1.29%

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Tennant (NYSE: TNC  ) reported earnings on April 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Tennant missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2015: Ikanos Communications Inc.(IKAN)


Ikanos Communications, Inc. provides broadband semiconductor and software products for the digital home. The company develops and markets end-to-end products for the last mile and the digital home, which enable carriers to offer triple play services, including voice, video, and data. It offers broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) products, such as high-density and low-power asymmetric DSL, and very-high-bit rate DSL products; communications processors that support various wide area network topologies, including passive optical network, DSL, wireless broadband, and Ethernet; and other products for access infrastructure and customer premises equipment (CPE) to network equipment manufacturers and telecommunications service providers. The company?s products comprise digital subscriber line access multiplexers, optical network terminals, concentrators, modems, voice over Internet protocol terminal adapters, integrated access devices, and residential gateways. It primarily s erves original design manufacturers, contract manufacturers, network equipment manufacturers, and original equipment manufacturers through direct sales and third-party sales representatives worldwide. The company was formerly known as Velocity Communications and changed its name to Ikanos Communications, Inc. in December 2000. Ikanos Communications, Inc. was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Fremont, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    On Dec.24, Mario Gabelli, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc. added Communications Systems Inc. (JCS) at an average price of $11.05 and currently holds 330,172 shares of the stock. It was the 5th time he added the stock during this year, which makes me feel that he is betting in favor of a positive future for the consumption of network capacity.
    Recommendations of the Board
    Communications Systems is engaged in the manufacture and sale of modular connecting and wiring devices for voice and data communications, digital subscriber line filters, and structured wiring systems, and through its Transition Networks business unit in the manufacture of media and rate conversion products for telecommunications networks.
    Few months ago the firm announced a series of actions to increase revenues and improve profitability. The first change was to operate as a holding company, monitoring and supporting all the business units: Suttle, Transition Ne tworks (TN) unit and JDL Technologies. With this “new format”, each unit will operate with a high degree of autonomy. This will result in the reduction of labor costs, the emphasizing of accountability in the units as well as better recognition of performance. “While difficult decisions for the Board, we believe the changes we have taken to restructure our parent company as a holding company and to focus on individual business unit performance is in the best interest of our shareholders and will increase shareholder value” said Curtis A. Sampson, the Company’s Board Chair and Interim CEO. Furthermore, strategic investments in the TN unit such as marketing, sales and product development will boost revenues in the future.
    Severe Warning Signs
    Not all are good news, we found three severe warning signs issued by GuruFocus: Piotroski F-Score of 2 is low, which usually implies poor business operation; revenue has been in decline over the past 3 years and operating margi n has been in 5-year