Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016

Shares of International Paper (IP) have jumped today on what’s being referred to as takeover chatter by Briefing.com. BMO’s Mark Wilde and team speculate:

International Paper is currently the subject of several reports on Bloomberg around a prospective takeover. The reports have included the suggestion that privately held Koch Industries could be an acquirer of International Paper. We are not taking any position on these reports. However, below we offer some general thoughts.

1) The Kochs have been actively consolidating the forest products sector for more than a decade, with acquisitions in pulp, containerboard, bleached board, lumber, panels, gypsum wallboard, and oriented strand board.

2) A Georgia-Pacific/International Paper combination would pose regulatory challenges and almost certainly require divestitures. The most obvious challenges would be in containerboard (combined market share of ~45%) and fluff pulp (pro forma combined market share of 65-70%, including International Papers pending acquisition of Weyerhaeusers (WY) fluff pulp assets).

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Christopher & Banks Corporation(CBK)

 

Christopher & Banks Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of womens apparel and accessories in the United States. The company designs, sources, and sells womens apparel and accessories to customers ranging in age from 45 to 60. Its stores offer womens apparel consisting of knit tops, woven tops, jackets, sweaters, skirts, denim bottoms, bottoms made of other fabrics, leisure wear, and dresses in missy, petite, and women sizes, as well as jewelry and accessories. As of August 1, 2015, the company operated 529 stores, including 82 Christopher & Banks stores, 73 CJ Banks stores, 309 MPW stores, and 65 outlet stores. It also operates e-commerce Web sites, such as christopherandbanks.com and cjbanks.com. The company was formerly known as Brauns Fashions Corporation and changed its name to Christopher & Banks Corporation in July 2000. Christopher & Banks Corporation was founded in 1956 and is headquar tered in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE: CBK) shares were also up, gaining 40 percent to $2.64. Christopher & Banks reported a Q4 loss of $0.24 per share on revenue of $94.6 million. The company projects Q1 revenue of $93 million to $98 million.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Signet Jewelers Limited(SIG)

 

Signet Jewelers Limited engages in the retail sale of jewelry and watches in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Its Sterling Jewelers division operates stores in malls and off-mall locations under the Kay Jewelers, Kay Jewelers Outlet, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, Jared VaultTM, Jared Jewelry BoutiqueTM, Jared Vivid, JB Robinson Jewelers, Marks & Morgan Jewelers, Every kiss begins with Kay, He went to Jared, Celebrate Life. Express Love., the Leo Diamond, Hearts Desire, Artistry Diamonds, Charmed Memories, Diamonds in Rhythm, and Open Hearts by Jane Seymour names. As at January 31, 2015, it operated 1,504 stores in 50 states. The companys Zale division operates jewelry stores and mall-based kiosks in shopping malls under the Zales, Zales JewelersTM, Zales the Diamond Store, Zales the Online Diamond StoreTM, Zales Outlet, Gordon’s Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Peoples the Diamond Store, Peoples Outlet the Diamond Store, Mappins, Piercing Pagoda, Arctic Brilliance Canadian DiamondsTM, Candy Colored Diamonds and Gemstones, Celebration Diamond, The Celebration Diamond Collection, and Unstoppable LoveT names. As of January 31, 2015, it operated 972 jewelry stores and 605 mall-based kiosks. Its UK Jewelry division operates stores in shopping malls and prime High Street locations under the H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Ernest Jones Outlet Collection, Leslie Davis, and Forever Diamonds names. As at January 31, 2015, this division operated 498 stores. The company also operates a diamond polishing factory, which is involved in diamond sourcing and manufacturing activities. Signet Jewelers Limited was founded in 1950 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tiffany (TIF) is having trouble. Signet Jewelers (SIG), a down-market competitor, is not.

    SCOTT EELLS/BLOOMOBERG NEWS

    Shares of Signet Jewelers have gained 3.4% to $122.10 at 11:44 a.m. today after the parent company of Zale and other mall diamond stores met earnings forecasts and offered upbeat guidance. Cowen’s Oliver Chen and team have the details:

Best Clean Energy Companies For 2016: Suncor Energy Inc.(SU)

 

Suncor Energy Inc. operates as an integrated energy company. The company primarily focuses on developing petroleum resource basins in Canada’s Athabasca oil sands; explores, acquires, develops, produces, and markets crude oil and natural gas in Canada and internationally; transports and refines crude oil; markets petroleum and petrochemical products primarily in Canada; and markets third party petroleum products. It operates in Oil Sands; Exploration and Production; Refining and Marketing; and Corporate, Energy Trading, and Eliminations segments. The Oil Sands segment recovers bitumen from mining and in situ development in northern Alberta, and upgrades it into refinery feedstock and diesel fuel or blends the bitumen with diluent for direct sale to market. The Exploration and Production segment is involved in offshore operations off the east coast of Canada and in the North Sea; and operating onshore assets in North America, L ibya, and Syria. The Refining and Marketing segment refines crude oil and intermediate feedstock into petroleum and petrochemical products; manufactures blends; and markets refined petroleum products to retail, commercial, and industrial customers through its dealers and other retail stations. The Corporate, Energy Trading, and Eliminations segment owns interest in six wind power projects with generating capacity of 287 megawatts in Canada; and ethanol plant in Ontario, as well as engages in marketing, supply, and trading crude oil, natural gas, power, and byproducts. The company was formerly known as Suncor Inc. and changed its name to Suncor Energy Inc. in April 1997. Suncor Energy Inc. was founded in 1953 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Barclays released its first-quarter earnings preview for oil majors like Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil (XOM), Suncor Energy (SU) andConocoPhillips (COP), and the surprise is that they see when they list the “Biggest Potential 1Q16 Upside Surprise” they follow it with a single word: “None.” Barclays analyst Paul Cheng and team explain why:

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: TSR Inc.(TSRI)

TSR, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides contract computer programming services to commercial customers, and state and local government agencies in the metropolitan New York area, New England, and the mid-Atlantic region. It offers technical computer personnel to supplement in-house information technology capabilities. The company provides its staffing services in the areas of mainframe and mid-range computer operations, personal computers and client-server support, Internet and e-commerce operations, voice and data communications, and help desk support capabilities. TSR, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is based in Hauppauge, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    TSR Inc (NASDAQ: TSRI) shares shot up 35 percent to $5.15 following Q4 results. TSR reported Q4 earnings of $0.09 per share on revenue of $15.5 million.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Franco-Nevada Corporation(FNV)

 

Franco-Nevada Corporation operates as a gold-focused royalty and stream company in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Africa. It also has interests in silver ores; platinum group metals, including palladium; other minerals comprising base metals, iron ore, coal, and industrial and miscellaneous minerals; and oil and gas properties. As of March 10, 2016, the company had 262 mineral assets and 78 oil and gas assets. Franco-Nevada Corporation was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Given revised commodity deck forecasts (particularly for Steel and Gold) and improved Balance Sheet health (Steels, Precious and Industrials Metals) we are upgrading our ratings on several stocks in our coverage. We generally favor companies that have already initiated specific self-help, have low-cost assets and are less exposed to China supply and demand dynamics. In Steels, we have increased our rating from Hold to Buy on Nucor (NUE) and from Sell to Hold on US Steel. We have also upgraded Kinross Gold (KGC) to a Hold on valuation…On higher-than-peer valuations, we reiterate Sell-rated Coeur Mining (CDE), Franco-Nevada (FNV), Goldcorp (GG), Teck Resources (TCK) and highly leveraged AK Steel given preference to issue further equity if possible.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Deutsche Bank’s Jorge Beristain and Chris Terry released their earnings preview for the gold miners–including Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG), Franco-Nevada (FNV), and Coeur Mining (CDE)–and conclude that only one gold miner deserves a Buy rating: Newmont Mining (NEM). They explain why:

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Sina Corporation(SINA)

SINA Corporation provides online media and mobile value-added services (MVAS) in the People?s Republic of China. It provides advertising, non-advertising, and free services through SINA.com, Weibo.com, and SINA Mobile. SINA.com offers free interest-based channels that provide region-focused format and content, including news, sports, automobile-related news, finance, entertainment, luxury, technology, digital, tools, collectibles, video, music, and wireless application protocol, as well as interactive platform for fashion-conscious users to share comments and ideas on a range of topics, such as health, cosmetics, and beauty. The company’s microblogging platform, Weibo.com, enables its users to follow the hottest topics being discussed online, as well as discussions related to people they know. Weibo accounts consist of celebrities, commercial enterprises, government entities, and grass root Internet users. Its SINA Mobile service allows users to receive news and informatio n, download ring tones, mobile games and pictures, and participate in dating and friendship communities. The company also offers SINA Game, which serves as an interactive platform that provides users with downloads and gateway access to popular online games; SINA eReading, a shop for book reviews; SINA.net, an enterprise solutions platform to assist businesses and government bodies; and SINA Mall, an online shopping Website. In addition, it provides a platform for Chinese bloggers; photo-sharing platform; free email, VIP mail, and corporate email for enterprise users; audio and video-based instant messaging tools; proprietary search technology; and classified advertising services, as well as hosts topic-specific discussion forums in Chinese language; and creates user-maintained and supported online communities. The company has strategic cooperation agreement with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. SINA Corporation was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the Peo p le?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    SINA Corp (NASDAQ: SINA) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $189.47 million.

    Eldorado Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE: EGO) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $188.91 million.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Reynolds American Inc(RAI)

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States. It offers cigarettes under the brand names of CAMEL, PALL MALL, WINSTON, KOOL, DORAL, SALEM, MISTY, and CAPRI; and cigarettes and other tobacco products under the NATURAL AMERICAN SPIRIT brand name, as well as manages various licensed brands, including DUNHILL and STATE EXPRESS 555. The company also provides smokeless tobacco products, including moist snuff under GRIZZLY and KODIAK brand names; pasteurized tobacco under CAMEL Snus brand name; milled tobacco under the brand name of CAMEL Dissolvables; other tobacco products, such as little cigars under WINCHESTER and CAPTAIN BLACK brand names; and roll-your-own tobacco under the brand name of BUGLER. RAI sells its products primarily through distributors, wholesalers, and other direct customers, including retail chains, as well as distributes its cigarettes to public warehouses. The compan y was founded in 1875 and is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Cigarette seller Altria (MO) is supposed to be a nice, safe consumer staple stock. So why is it down more than 3% today when the stock market is rallying? And why are other tobacco companies like Reynolds American (RAI) and Phillip Morris International (PM) also getting hammered? Wells Fargo’s Bonnie Herzog has an idea:

  • [By Shauna O’Brien]

    On Friday, tobacco company Reynolds American, Inc. (RAI) reported a public offering of $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes.

    The notes include $500 million aggregate principal amount of 4.850% Senior Notes due 2023 and $550 million aggregate principal amount of 6.150% Senior Notes due 2043.

    RAI plans to use the funds obtained from the notes to buy back $200 million of the outstanding principal amount of its 7.300% notes due in 2015 and the $775 million outstanding principal amount of notes due in 2016.

    Reynolds American shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Friday. The stock is up 16% YTD.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Brown(n)

N Brown Group plc operates as an Internet and catalogue home shopping company in the United Kingdom. The company principally offers womenswear, menswear, footwear, household, and electrical products, as well as provides insurance services. It also operates in the Republic of Ireland, Germany, and the United States. The company was founded in 1859 and is based in Manchester, the United Kingdom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex Jordon]

    He already owns a good chunk of NetSuite (N), whose revenue grew 35% last quarter, beating earnings estimates by $0.03 a share. Ellison’s been profiting from the cloud while dismissing its significance. With the Salesforce agreement his company is, too. (Fool)

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: Clarke(t)

T.Clarke plc, a building services contractor, provides electrical and mechanical installation services and supplies associated equipment. The company offers information communications technology (ICT) services in the areas of structured cabling and connectivity, network infrastructure and security, networked energy management, data centre infrastructure, and managed and support services; facilities management services, such as preventative, reactive, and planned maintenance solutions; and green technologies services, which comprise photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting, biomass boilers, ground source heating, air source heating, wind turbines, lighting, and carbon reduction audit services. It also provides massive reading station redevelopment, cross rail, border rail link, and underground power upgrade services for the rail sector; lifecycle building services combining mechanical and electrical works with ICT for utilities and technologies sectors; lifecycle services for ho tel and residential sectors, which include electrical, ICT, and mechanical systems design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance; and mechanical and electrical contracting services for education, healthcare, government/local authority, retail and leisure, stadiums, transport, towers, media, and residential sectors. In addition, the company manufactures and prefabricates elements of an installation, as well as engineering components. T.Clarke plc was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Diane Alter]

    The last time a Dow shake-up caused such a stir was in April 2004, when AT&T (NYSE: T), Eastman Kodak (currently in bankruptcy proceedings), and International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP) were removed and replaced with American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch For 2016: MEDIFAST INC(MED)

Medifast, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of weight management and disease management products, and other consumable health and diet products in the United States. The company?s product lines include weight and disease management, meal replacement, and vitamins. It also operates weight control centers that offer Medifast programs for weight loss and maintenance, customized patient counseling, and inbody composition analysis. The company markets its products under the Medifast and Essential brand names, including shakes, appetite suppression shakes, women?s health shakes, diabetics shakes, joint health shakes, coronary health shakes, calorie burn drinks, calorie burn flavor infusers, antioxidant shakes, antioxidant flavor infusers, bars, crunch bars, soups, chili, oatmeal, pudding, scrambled eggs, hot cocoa, cappuccino, chai latte, iced teas, fruit drinks, pretzels, puffs, brownie, pancakes, soy crisps, crackers, and omega 3 and digestive health products. Medifast Inc. sells its products through various channels of distribution comprising Web, call center, independent health advisors, medical professionals, weight loss clinics, and direct consumer marketing supported via the phone and the Web; Take Shape for Life, a physician led network of independent health coaches; and weight control centers. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Friday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares rose by just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED), down 5 percent, and Bridgford Foods Corporation (NASDAQ: BRID), down 6 percent.