Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now

DETROIT — The redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado was named North American Truck of the Year here today at the opening press days for the North American International Auto Show.

The North American Car and Truck of the Year jury voted it best among three finalists, also including the Jeep Cherokee and Acura MDX SUVs.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray won Car of the Year, giving General Motors a sweep of this year’s voting.

GM SWEEP: Redone Chevy Corvette takes Car of the Year

The awards aren’t sponsored by or affiliated with the show. They are picked by 49 jury members representing a variety of print and online publications and members are independent to the point of contentiousness.

Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado benefits from weight reduction and a lineup of new, more fuel-efficient engines including a now-competitive V6.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Danaher Corp (DHR)

Danaher Corporation (Danaher) designs, manufactures and markets professional, medical, industrial and commercial products and services. The Company’s research and development, manufacturing, sales, distribution, service and administrative facilities are located in more than 50 countries. It operates in five segments: Test & Measurement; Environmental; Life Sciences & Diagnostics; Dental; and Industrial Technologies. In April 2011, the Company sold its Pacific Scientific Aerospace (PSA) business. On June 30, 2011, the Company acquired Beckman Coulter, Inc. (Beckman Coulter). In January 2012, the Company sold its Accu-Sort businesses. In February 2012, the Company sold its Kollmorgen Electro-Optical (KEO) business. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired EskoArtwork, On February 6, 2012, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. acquired Kollmorgen Electro-Optical unit of the Company. In January 2013, the Company acquired Navman Wireless.

TEST & MEASUREMENT

The Company’s Test & Measurement segment is a provider of electronic measurement instruments and monitoring, management and optimization tools for communications and enterprise networks and related services. The segment’s products are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment and communications networks and services. Customers for these products and services include manufacturers of electronic instruments; service, installation and maintenance professionals; manufacturers who design, develop, manufacture and install network equipment, and service providers who implement, maintain and manage communications networks and services.

The Company’s business designs, manufactures, and markets a variety of compact professional test tools, thermal imaging and calibration equipment for electrical, industrial, electronic and calibration applications. These test products measu re voltage, current, resistance, power quality, frequency, p! ressure, temperature and air quality. Typical users of these products include electrical engineers, electricians, electronic technicians, medical technicians, and industrial maintenance professionals. Its business also offers general purpose test products and video test, measurement and monitoring products used in electronic design, manufacturing and advanced technology development. The business’ general purpose test products, including oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, signal sources and spectrum analyzers, are used to capture, display and analyze streams of electrical data. The Company sells these products into a variety of industries with electronic content, including the communications, computer, consumer electronics, education, military/aerospace and semiconductor industries.

Typical users include research and development engineers who use its general purpose test products to design, de-bug, monitor and validate the function and performance of electronic c omponents, subassemblies and end-products. Its video test products include waveform monitors, video signal generators, compressed digital video test products and other test and measurement equipment used to enhance a viewer’s video experience. Typical users of these products include video equipment manufacturers, content developers and traditional television broadcasters. Products in this business are marketed under the FLUKE, TEKTRONIX, KEITHLEY, RAYTEK, FLUKE BIOMEDICAL, AMPROBE and MAXTEK brands.

The communications businesses offer network management solutions, handheld and fixed diagnostic equipment and security solutions, as well as related installation and maintenance services, for a range of private network applications, as well fixed and mobile communications systems. Typical users of the business’ products include network engineers, installers, operators, and technicians. Its network management tools help network operators continuously manage networ k performance and optimize the utilization, uptime and servi! ce qualit! y of the network. Products in this business are marketed under the TEKTRONIX, FLUKE NETWORKS, ARBOR, VISUAL NETWORKS and AIRMAGNET brands.

Matco Tools manufactures and distributes professional tools, toolboxes and automotive equipment through independent mobile distributors, who sell primarily to professional mechanics under the MATCO brand. Hennessy Industries is a North American full-line wheel service equipment manufacturer, providing brake lathes, vehicle lifts, tire changers, wheel balancers, and wheel weights under the AMMCO, BADA and COATS brands. Typical users of these products are automotive tire and repair shops. Sales are generally made through its direct sales personnel, independent distributors, retailers, and original equipment manufacturers.

ENVIRONMENTAL

The Company’s Environmental segment provides products that help protect its water supply and air quality and serves two primary markets: water quality and retail/com mercial petroleum. Danaher’s water quality business is engaged in water quality analysis and treatment, providing instrumentation and disinfection systems to help analyze and manage the quality of ultra pure, potable and waste water in residential, commercial, industrial and natural resource applications. Its water quality operations design, manufacture and market a range of analytical instruments, related consumables, and associated services that detect and measure chemical, physical, and microbiological parameters in ultra pure, potable and waste water as well as groundwater and ocean bodies; ultraviolet disinfection systems, which disinfect billions of gallons of municipal, industrial and consumer water every day in more than 35 countries, and industrial water treatment solutions, including chemical treatment solutions intended to address corrosion, scaling and biological growth problems in boiler, cooling water and industrial waste water applications, as well as associ ated analytical services. Typical users of its analytical in! struments! , ultraviolet disinfection systems, industrial water treatment solutions and related consumables and services include professionals in municipal drinking water and waste water treatment plants and industrial process water and waste water treatment facilities, third-party testing laboratories and environmental field operations. Its water quality business provides products under a variety of well-known brands, including HACH, HACH/LANGE, TROJAN TECHNOLOGIES and CHEMTREAT. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The Company has served the retail/commercial petroleum market through its Veeder-Root business. Gilbarco Veeder-Root is a provider of products and services for the retail/commercial petroleum market, including environmental monitoring and leak detection systems; vapor recovery equipment; fuel dispensers; point-of-sale and secure electronic payment technologies for retail petroleum stations; submersible turbine pumps, and rem ote monitoring and outsourced fuel management services, including compliance services, fuel system maintenance, and inventory planning and supply chain support. Typical users of these products include independent and Company-owned retail petroleum stations, high-volume retailers, convenience stores, and commercial vehicle fleets. The Company markets its retail/commercial petroleum products under a variety of brands, including GILBARCO, VEEDER-ROOT, and GILBARCO AUTOTANK. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Sales are generally made through independent distributors and its direct sales personnel.

LIFE SCIENCES & DIAGNOSTICS

The Company’s diagnostics businesses offer a range of analytical instruments, reagents, consumables, software and services that hospitals, physician’s offices, reference laboratories and other critical care settings use to diagnose disease and make treatment decisions. Its life sciences businesses offer a range of research and clinical ! tools tha! t are used by scientists to study cells and cell components to gain a better understanding of complex biological matters. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and research institutions use these tools to study the causes of disease, identify new therapies and test new drugs and vaccines. The diagnostics business consists of its core lab, acute care and pathology diagnostics businesses.

The Company’s core lab diagnostics business is a manufacturer and marketer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that are used to evaluate and analyze samples made up of body fluids, cells and other substances. The information generated is used to diagnose disease, monitor and guide treatment and therapy, assist in managing chronic disease and assess patient status in the hospital, outpatient and physician office settings. Its chemistry systems use electrochemical detection and chemical reactions with patient samples t o detect and quantify substances of diagnostic interest in blood and other body fluids. Commonly performed tests include glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, electrolytes, proteins and enzymes.

The Company’s immunoassay systems also detect and quantify chemical substances of diagnostic interest in body fluids, particularly in circumstances where more specialized diagnosis is required. Commonly performed immunoassay tests assess thyroid function, screen and monitor for cancer and cardiac risk and provide important information in fertility and reproductive testing. Its cellular analysis business includes hematology, flow cytometry and coagulation products. The business’ hematology systems use principles of physics, optics, electronics and chemistry to separate cells of diagnostic interest and then quantify and characterize them, allowing clinicians to study formed elements in blood (such as red and white blood cells and platelets). The business also distribut es coagulation products, which rely on clotting, chromogenic! and immu! nologic technologies to provide the detailed information that clinicians require to diagnose bleeding and clotting disorders and to monitor anticoagulant therapy. It also offer systems and workflow solutions that allow laboratories to automate a number of steps from the pre-analytical through post-analytical stages including sample barcoding/information tracking, centrifugation, aliquotting, storage and conveyance. These systems along with the analyzers above are controlled through laboratory level software that enables laboratory managers to monitor samples, results and lab efficiency.

The Company’s acute care diagnostics business is a provider of instruments and related consumables and services that are used in both laboratory and point-of-care environments to rapidly measure critical parameters, including blood gases, electrolytes, metabolites and cardiac markers. Typical users of these products include hospital central laboratories, intensive care units, hospital operating rooms and hospital emergency rooms. Its pathology diagnostics business is engaged in the anatomical pathology market, offering a suite of instrumentation and related consumables used across the entire workflow of a pathology laboratory. Its pathology diagnostics products include tissue embedding, processing and slicing (microtomes) instruments and related reagents and consumables; chemical and immuno-staining instruments, reagents, antibodies and consumables; slide coverslipping and slide/cassette marking instruments, and imaging instrumentation including slide scanners, microscopes, cameras and associated software. Typical users of these products include pathologists, lab managers and researchers. Its diagnostics business generally markets its products under the BECKMAN COULTER, LEICA BIOSYSTEMS, RADIOMETER and SURGIPATH brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The businesses sell to customers primarily th rough direct sales personnel and to a lesser extent through ! independe! nt distributors.

The Company’s microscopy business is a provider of professional microscopes designed to manipulate, preserve and capture images of, and enhance the user’s visualization of, microscopic structures. Its microscopy products include laser scanning (confocal) microscopes; compound microscopes and related equipment; surgical and other stereo microscopes; specimen preparation products for electron microscopy; and digital image capture and manipulation equipment. The Company also offers workflow instruments and consumables that help researchers analyze genomic, protein and cellular information. Key product areas include sample preparation equipment, such as centrifugation and capillary electrophoresis instrumentation and consumables; liquid handling automation instruments and associated consumables; flow cytometry instrumentation and associated antibodies and reagents; and particle characterization instrumentation. The business also offers genome pr ofiling services. Researchers use the business’ products to study biological function in the pursuit of basic research, therapeutic and diagnostic development. Typical users of these products include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and research institutions and in some cases industrial manufacturers.

The Company’s mass spectrometry business is a provider of high-end mass spectrometers. Mass spectrometry is a technique for identifying, analyzing and quantifying elements, chemical compounds and biological molecules, individually or in complex mixtures. Its products utilize various combinations of quadrupole, time-of-flight and ion trap technologies, and are typically used in conjunction with a third party liquid chromatography instrument. Its mass spectrometer systems are used in numerous applications, such as drug discovery and clinical development of therapeutics as well as in basic research, clinical testing, food and beverage quality testing and environmental testing. To s! upport it! s installations around the world, it provides implementation, validation, training, maintenance and support from its global services network. Typical users of its mass spectrometry products include molecular biologists, bioanalytical chemists, toxicologists, and forensic scientists, as well as quality assurance and quality control technicians. It also provides high-performance bioanalytical measurement systems, including microplate readers, automated cellular screening products and associated reagents, and imaging software. Typical users of these products include biologists and chemists engaged in research and drug discovery, who use these products to determine electrical or chemical activity in cell samples. Its life sciences business generally markets its products under the LEICA MICROSYSTEMS, BECKMAN COULTER, AB SCIEX and MOLECULAR DEVICES brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in Europe, Australia, Asia and North America.

DENTAL

The Compa ny’s Dental segment is a provider of a range of consumables, equipment and services for the dental market, which encompasses the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and ailments of the teeth, gums and supporting bone. Its dental businesses develop, manufacture and market dental consumables and dental equipment orthodontic bracket systems and lab products; impression, bonding and restorative materials; endodontic systems and related consumables; infection prevention products, and diamond and carbide rotary instruments. Typical customers and users of these products include general dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, dental laboratories and other oral health professionals, as well as educational, medical and governmental entities. Its dental products are marketed primarily under the KAVO, GENDEX, iCAT, INSTRUMENTARIUM DENTAL, SOREDEX, PELTON & CRANE, DEXIS, ORMCO, KERR, PENTRON, SYBRON ENDO and TOTAL CARE brands.

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES

The Company’s Industrial Technologies segment ! designs a! nd manufactures components and systems that are typically incorporated by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and systems integrators for sale into a diverse set of applications and end-markets. The businesses in this segment also provide service and support, including helping customers with integration and installation and providing services to ensure performance and up-time. Danaher’s product identification business is a global provider of equipment and consumables for variable printing, marking and coding on a variety of consumer and industrial products. Its businesses design, manufacture, and market a variety of equipment used to print bar codes, date codes, lot codes, and other information on primary and secondary packaging. Its equipment can apply alphanumeric codes, logos and graphics to a range of surfaces at a variety of line speeds, angles and locations on a product or package.

EskoArtwork, the business is a service solutions provider for the dig ital packaging design and production market. Typical users of the product identification business’ products include food and beverage manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, retailers and commercial printing and mailing operations. Its product identification products are primarily marketed under the VIDEOJET, LINX, FOBA and ESKOARTWORK brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The Company is a provider of electromechanical motion control solutions for the industrial automation and packaging markets. Its businesses provide a range of products including standard and custom motors; drives; controls, and mechanical components, such as ball screws, linear bearings, clutches/brakes, and linear actuators.

The products are sold in various precision motion markets, such as the markets for packaging equipment, medical equipment, robotics, circuit board assembly equipment, elevators and electric vehicles (such as lift trucks). Its motion products are marketed under a vari! ety of br! ands, including KOLLMORGEN, THOMSON, DOVER and PORTESCAP. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Its sensors and controls products include instruments that monitor, sense and control discrete manufacturing variables such as temperature, position, quantity, level, flow and time. Users of these products span a wide variety of manufacturing markets. Certain businesses included in this group also make and sell instruments, controls and monitoring systems used by the electric utility industry to monitor their transmission and distribution systems, as well as automatic identification solutions. The products are marketed under a variety of brands, including DYNAPAR, HENGSTLER, IRIS POWER, WEST, GEMS SENSORS, SETRA and QUALITROL. Sales are generally made through our direct sales personnel and independent distributors.

The Company’s defense business designs, manufactures, and markets energetic material systems. Typical users of these products include defense systems integrators and prime contractors. defense products are typically marketed under the PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC ENERGETIC MATERIALS COMPANY brand. The KEO business designs, develops, manufactures and integrates highly engineered, stabilized electro-optical/ISR systems that integrate into submarines, surface ships and ground vehicles. Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS) is a supplier of supplemental braking systems for commercial vehicles, selling JAKE BRAKE brand engine retarders for class 6 through 8 vehicles and bleeder and exhaust brakes for class 2 through 7 vehicles. Customers are primarily manufacturers of class 2 through class 8 vehicles, and sales are typically made through its direct sales personnel. Manufacturing facilities of its sensors and controls, defense and JVS businesses are located in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James Miller Phd]

    Pall Corporation (PLL) is a supplier of filtration, separation and purification technologies, principally made by the company, for the removal of solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants from a range of liquids and gases. The company serves customers through two businesses globally: Life Sciences and Industrial. While Pall competes with many companies in the Life Sciences markets and Industrial, few companies operate in both, like ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) and Danaher Corp. (DHR).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of General Electric dropped 1.6% to $25.34 today, while 3M (MMM) fell 1.3% to $130.81 and Danaher (DHR) declined 1.8% to $74.43. Shares of the Gap dipped 0.1% to $41.27, while Wal-Mart finished off 0.8% at $74.93.

  • [By Todd Campbell]

    If recent trends in employment and confidence continue, pent-up demand from consumers for dentistry could benefit a variety of other suppliers, too, including Align Technology  (NASDAQ: ALGN  ) , 3M (NYSE: MMM  ) , and Danaher (NYSE: DHR  ) .

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vulcan Materials Company(VMC)

Vulcan Materials Company engages in the production and sale of construction aggregates, as well as asphalt mix, ready-mixed concrete, and cement primarily in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Aggregates, Concrete, Asphalt Mix, and Cement. The Aggregates segment produces construction aggregates, which principally include crushed stone, sand, and gravel. Its aggregates are used in public and private sector construction projects, including highways, airports, water and sewer systems, industrial manufacturing facilities, and residential and nonresidential buildings, as well as railroad track ballast. The Concrete segment produces and sells ready-mixed concrete in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, and the District of Columbia; and block and pre-cast beams, as well as resells purchased building materials for use with ready-mixed concrete and concrete block. The Asphalt Mix segment produces and sells asphalt mix in Arizona, Californi a, and Texas. The Cement segment produces and sells Portland and masonry cement in bulk and bags to the concrete products industry. This segment also imports cement, clinker, and slag to resell and export, as well as to blend, bag, or reprocess into specialty cements. In addition, this segment mines, produces, and sells calcium products for the animal feed, paint, plastics, water treatment, and joint compound industries. The company was formerly known as Virginia Holdco, Inc. and changed its name to Vulcan Materials Company in November 2007. Vulcan Materials Company was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sue Chang and Ben Eisen]

    Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC)  shares rose 8.5% after the construction-material company said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose to 8 cents a share from 3 cents a share a year ago.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The S&P 500 gained 0.4% today, just missing a new all-time high. The benchmark was boosted by the likes of Vulcan Materials (VMC), which rose 7.7% after beating earnings estimates, Newmont Mining (NEM), which rose 5.2% after getting upgraded, and base-metal producers like Alcoa (AA),which rose 7%, and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), which finished up 5%.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P.(BBEP)

BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. engages in the acquisition, exploitation, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States. The company?s properties include natural gas, oil, and midstream assets comprising fields in the Antrim Shale in Michigan, and the New Albany Shale in Indiana and Kentucky; and fields in the Evanston and Green River basins in southwestern Wyoming, the Wind river and Big Horn basins in central Wyoming, the Powder River basin in eastern Wyoming, the Los Angeles basin in California, and fields in Florida?s Sunniland Trend. As of December 31, 2011, its total estimated proved reserves were 151.1 million barrels of oil equivalent. BreitBurn GP, LLC serves as the general partner to the company. BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    In our September chat, I was asked about Memorial Production Partners (Nasdaq: MEMP), another upstream MLP like BreitBurn Energy Partners (Nasdaq: BBEP). I addressed this question in the September article Upstream Turbulence Yields Bargains, writing that Breitburn looked attractive as a cheaper alternative to MEMP. Since that time, MEMP is down 0.6 percent and BBEP is up 6.4 percent. So the discount has narrowed somewhat since September.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Among its peers in the MLP and LLC space, LINN by far hedges the most production. BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) , for example, has hedged roughly 75% of its production through 2015, whereas LINN is 100% hedged through 2016. BreitBurn almost exclusively uses swaps as its hedge of choice. It’s a similar story at Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR  ) , which also uses swaps to almost exclusively hedge natural gas while using three-way collars to hedge about a third of its oil production. While LINN could get more creative, one thing I’d be surprised to hear is that it’s going to join these two peers and leave some of its production unhedged.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Its success has not gone unnoticed by its peers which is why a strategy shift might not be limited to just Vanguard. I’m interested to hear what BreitBurn’s (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) management has to say when it reports earnings on May 3. The company has already declared its first-quarter distribution so a switch to monthly payouts probably isn’t on the table just yet. However, given its ramp-up in growth spending last year, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear mention of a possible BreitCo.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Oil and gas partnership BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) is out with its first quarter earnings. The company reported a loss of $0.38 a unit on revenue of $120.4 million. Both missed estimates, as analysts were expecting earnings of $0.15 a unit on revenue of $138.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter came in at $64.1 million, which is up 4% from the first quarter of last year. However, this is down from last quarter, which saw adjusted EBITDA of $78 million.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Government Properties Income Trust (GOV)

Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). As of December 31, 2011, GOV owned 71 properties located in 29 states and the District of Columbia containing approximately 9.0 million rentable square feet, of which 68.2% was leased to the United States Government, 17.5% was leased to eight state governments, and 2.1% was leased to the United Nations, an international intergovernmental organization. As of December 31, 2011, the United States Government, eight state governments and the United Nations combined were responsible for 91.9% of the Company’s annualized rental income. As of December 31, 2011, 95.0% of its rentable square feet were leased. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it acquired 16 office properties located in 11 states. The Company’s manager is Reit Management & Research LLC (RMR).

In December 2011, GOV acquired an office property located in Salem, Oregon with 233,358 rentable square feet. This prope rty is 84% leased to five tenants, of which 70% is leased to the State of Oregon and occupied by the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Employment Department. In October 2011, the Company acquired three office properties located in Indianapolis, Indiana with 433,927 rentable square feet. These properties are 94% leased to 15 tenants, of which 56% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency. In September 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Sacramento, California with 87,863 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the State of California and occupied by the California State Employment Development Department and it also acquired an office property located in Atlanta, Georgia with 375,805 rentable square feet. This property is 97% leased to 19 tenants, of which 78% is leased to the State of Georgia and occupied by the Georgia D epartment of Transportation.

In August 2011, GO! V acquired an office property located in Holtsville, New York with 264,482 rentable square feet. This property is 82% leased to three tenants, of which 72% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Internal Revenue Service and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In June 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with 29,297 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Military Entrance Processing Station and it also acquired two office properties located in Stafford, Virginia with 64,488 rentable square feet. These properties are 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In June 2011, it acquired an office property located in Montgomery, Alabama with 57,815 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and serves as the office of the United States Attorney f or the Middle District of Alabama.

In May 2011, GOV acquired an office property located in Plantation, Florida with 135,819 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Internal Revenue Service and it also acquired an office property located in New York with 187,060 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to the United Nations. In February 2011, the Company acquired an office property located in Quincy, Massachusetts with 92,549 rentable square feet. This property is 100% leased to four tenants, of which 90% is leased to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and occupied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles as its headquarters. In February 2011, it acquired two office properties located in Woodlawn, Maryland with 182,561 rentable square feet. These properties are 100% leased to two tenants, of which 94% is leased to the United States Government and occupied by the Social Security Administration.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By 4Percent]

    Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) is a real estate investment trust which owns properties primarily leased to the government. GOV owns 68 properties, 49 of which are leased to the U.S. government, 16 to state governments and one to the United Nations.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Government Properties Income Trust (NYSE: GOV  ) has decided to keep its dividend steady. The company announced it will pay a fresh quarterly distribution of $0.43 per share of its common stock “on or about” May 24 to shareholders of record as of April 26. That amount matches the REIT’s preceding two payouts, the most recent of which was handed down in January. Before that, the company paid $0.42 per share.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)

ReneSola Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of solar wafers and solar power products. It offers virgin polysilicons, monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers, and photovoltaic cells and modules. The company also provides cell and module processing services. Its products are used in a range of residential, commercial, industrial, and other solar power generation systems. The company sells its solar wafers primarily to solar cell and module manufacturers. It principally operates in Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and the United States. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Jiashan, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach(func]

    ReneSola Ltd.(SOL) said it is being probed as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s antidumping investigation of solar products imports. The Chinese solar-products company said it has temporarily stopped shipping products to the U.S. that fall within the scope of the probe and it intends to fully cooperate with the investigation proceedings. Shares dropped 3.6% to $3.78 premarket.

  • [By James Brumley]

    Which solar power stocks are the proverbial picks of the litter, though? Here are the first five a newcomer might want to consider.

    ReneSola Ltd. (SOL)

    While most solar stocks have done incredibly well so far in 2014, ReneSola (SOL) wasn’t one of them. In fact, SOL stock is a bit unusual in that it’s trading well under its October high of $6 per share. That’s not a bad thing, though. In fact, it may work to your advantage because it gives new buyers a chance to scoop up ReneSola shares at a bargain price before their next big run-up.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Oci NV (OCI)

Oci NV is a Netherlands-based company, which divides its activities into two groups. The first group is engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of industrial and commercial infrastructures and buildings, such as roads, ports, railroads, hospitals, stadiums and water treatment units. The second group is engaged in the production of fertilizers, such as anhydrous ammonia, granulated urea, calcium ammonium nitrate and urea ammonium nitrate, among others. The Company is a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries SAE, an international fertilizer producer and construction contractor based in Cairo, Egypt. In September 2013, it announced spin-off of its subsidiary OCI Partners LP. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ahmed A. Namatalla]

    OCI attracted $2 billion in commitments from a group of investors including Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’s personal investments vehicle, to help finance the move to Amsterdam, which it said would lower borrowing costs and boost its global profile. Yesterday’s settlement prompted Cairo-based investment bank Pharos Holding to raise Orascom to buy from hold, saying the construction and fertilizer company would proceed with an offer to investors to buy its Cairo-listed shares or swap them with OCI NV (OCI) stock.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc (RH)

Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc. (Restoration Hardware Holdings), incorporated on August 18, 2011, is a holding company. The Company is merchants of home furnishings. Restoration Hardware Holdings offers merchandise assortments across a number of categories, including furniture, lighting, textiles, bath ware, decor, outdoor, garden, and baby and child products. The Company’s business is integrated across its multiple channels of distribution, consists of its stores, catalogs and Websites. As of July 28, 2012, the Company’s operated a total of 73 retail stores, consisted of 71 Galleries and two full line Design Galleries, and 10 outlet stores throughout the United States and Canada. RH is a brand in the home furnishings. During the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (fiscal 2011), the Company opened five stores and closed 22 stores. In fiscal 2011, the Company distributed approximately 26.1 million catalogs, and its Websites logged over 14.3 million visits.

Restoration Hardware Holdings operates a Website for its Baby & Child brand at www.rhbabyandchild.com. The Company opened its two full line Design Galleries in Los Angeles in, June 2011 and Houston in November 2011. In May 2011, the Company launched catalog applications for Apple’s iPad and iPhone that enable customers to view and purchase its product assortment. Restoration Hardware Holdings operates three store types: the Company’s full line Design Gallery format, approximately between 22,000 and 28,000 gross square feet; its Gallery format of approximately 7,000-15,000 gross square feet, and its Baby & Child Gallery format of approximately 2,000-3,000 gross square feet.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian O’Connell]

    Home furnishing companies are usually a good short-term play as spring starts to bloom.

    People are buying and selling homes, the nice weather has homeowners thinking about home improvements, and investment property owners — both residential and commercial — are looking to spruce up their investments.

    That’s all good news for home furnishing companies, which tend to see revenues rise as the ice melts and opening day beckons across U.S. ball fields.

    But there is one home furnishings provider that really stands out in the crowd this week, in the key first week of April.

    It’s Restoration Hardware Holdings (NYSE: RH), and not only are its short-term financial prospects looking as solid as a granite countertop, its long-term prospects look equally strong.

    That spells opportunity for investors, so let’s dig a little deeper and examine why.

    RH bills itself as a retailer of home furnishings, providing bedroom, dining, upholstery, home office, and media furniture products. It also offers cabinets; ceiling, table, floor, wall, and outdoor lighting products; textiles, such as bed linens, bath linens, drapery, rugs, and pillows and throws; and bath ware products comprising faucets, hardware, furniture, and sinks.

    That pretty much covers the home furnishings product line from A-to-Z.

    The firm has 71 retail stores, and 13 outlet stores across the U.S., but it also makes a lot of hay selling items through its catalog and web site outlets. The company’s chief competitors include Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM).

    Financially, investors might have reservations about RH, at first blush. Q4 revenue figures came in slightly less than analysts had forecast ($471 million versus $491 million), but most investors evidently wrote-off the missed forecast due to the historically icy, frosty, snowy, and chilly months of December and January.

    But a look inside the nu mbers reveals why the

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

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday’s session are BlackBerry Ltd.(BB.T), PG&E Corp.(PCG) and Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc.(RH)

  • [By Myra P. Saefong , Sital S. Patel]

    Restoration Hardware (RH) reported fourth-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share on revenue of $471.7 million. The company beat analyst expectations and also reported increasing sales growth. Forward looking statements were also positive as the firm looks to expand and transform its retail stores in 2014, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Friedman.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Swedish Export Credit publ Corp (FUE)

Swedish Export Credit publ Corp (SEK) is a Sweden-based company engaged in the provision of financial solutions for the private and public sectors with the aim of promoting the development and international competitiveness of the Swedish industry and trade. The Company’s business activities are structured into three segments: the Financing segment includes corporate banking, export finance, trade finance, project finance, customer finance, structured products and Cirr-rates; the Advisory segment provides financial advice to International Financial Institutions, governments and corporations, in a range of areas, such as power and energy, utilities, environment, transport, telecoms, and pulp and paper, and the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) segment offers finance services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    On Tuesday, lightly traded small cap biodiesel stock Methes Energies International Ltd (NASDAQ: MEIL) soared 53.78% on record production figures, meaning its worth taking a closer look at whether that surge was actually warranted plus look at the performance of potential peers like biodiesel stock Renewable Energy Group Inc (NASDAQ: REGI) and biofuel ETF the ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index TR ETN (NYSEArca: FUE).

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: United Stationers Inc.(USTR)

United Stationers Inc., through its subsidiary, United Stationers Supply Co., engages in the wholesale distribution of business products in North America. The company distributes technology products, which include computer supply and peripheral products, including imaging supplies, data storage, digital cameras, computer accessories, and computer hardware items. It also offers traditional office products consisting of brand-name and private label office supply products, such as filing and record storage products, business machines, presentation products, writing instruments, paper products, shipping and mailing supplies, calendars, and general office accessories; and office furniture products comprising desks, filing and storage solutions, and seating and systems furniture. In addition, the company distributes janitorial and breakroom supply items, including cleaners and cleaning accessories; foodservice consumables, such as disposable cups, plates, and utensils; safety an d security items; and paper and packaging supplies. Further, it provides industrial supply items, such as hand and power tools; safety and security supplies; janitorial equipment and supplies; industrial maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) items; and oil field and welding supplies. Additionally, the company offers freight, advertising, and software services, as well as sells software products. It serves independent office products dealers; contract stationers; office products superstores; computer products resellers; office furniture dealers; mass merchandisers; mail order companies; sanitary supply, paper, and foodservice distributors; drug and grocery store chains; healthcare distributors; e-commerce merchants; oil field, welding supply, and industrial/MRO distributors; and other independent distributors through its network of 65 distribution centers and 37 re-distribution points. United Stationers Inc. was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois .

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    United Stationers (NASDAQ: USTR) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.99 per share on revenue of $1.33 billion.

    Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) is estimated to post its Q3 earnings at $1.65 per share on revenue of $1.36 billion.

  • [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 United Stationers (Nasdaq: USTR  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Business supplies distributor United Stationers (NASDAQ: USTR  ) announced on Friday its third-quarter dividend of $0.14 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past three quarters after raising the payout 8% from $0.13 per share.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    The company’s primarily competitors are Office Depot (ODP), United Stationers (USTR) and Office Max (OMX). Staples has the best gross margins of its competitors, at greater than 26%, and the only one to increase its book value per share since 2001.

Top 10 Defensive Companies To Watch In Right Now: Profire Energy Inc (PFIE)

Profire Energy, Inc., incorporated on May 5, 2003, is engaged in the business of developing combustion management technologies for the oil and gases industry. The Company manufactures, install and service oilfield combustion management technologies and related products, such as train components and secondary airplates. The Company’s primary products are burner management systems. The Company’s Profire 2100 burner management system allows the end-user to manage a variety of combustion vessels. Its Profire 1300 is a flare-ignition system that provides fundamental ignition capabilities for combustor and open-flare vessels, and can relay flame-status. Its Profire 1800 is a mid-range burner management system option that provides fundamental burner management functionality, such as burner re-ignition and temperature management.

The Company also manufactures other technologies and products for sale, including specialized burner management systems intended for use i n specific firetube vessels (e.g. incinerators), valve train products, including valves, gauges, and installation products, and miscellaneous componentry, such as solar-power generation kits, add-on cards to expand the functionality of a given system, and a airplate that meters secondary airflow to the burner, allowing for more optimized combustion and reduced emissions.

The Company competes with SureFire, Platinum, ACL and TitanLogix.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap green stocks Eco Depot Inc (OTCMKTS: ECDP), Eco Building Products Inc (OTCMKTS: ECOB) and Profire Energy, Inc (OTCBB: PFIE) has been getting some extra attention lately in various investment newsletters thanks to paid promotions or investor relation campaigns. Of course, there is nothing wrong with properly disclosed promotions and investor relations campaigns, but small cap green stocks tend to be extra volatile when compared with other stocks. So how in greenbacks will these three small cap green stocks produce for investors? Here is a quick reality check: