Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase Tuesday finalized a record $13 billion settlement of multiple investigations over toxic mortgage investments like those that helped spark the 2008 financial crisis.

The agreement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice and state officials in New York includes a statement of facts in which the nation’s largest bank admitted it knew that residential mortgage-backed securities it marketed did not comply with underwriting guidelines and weren’t appropriate for sale.

The settlement does not absolve the bank or its officials from potential criminal charges, the Justice Department said.

The penalties total more than half the $21.3 billion the bank reported in 2012 net income — and mark the largest government settlement ever paid by a single U.S. company. The agreement also ends civil, mortgage-related probes that dealt another embarrassing black eye to the strongest bank survivor of the financial crisis, and to its CEO, Jamie Dimo n.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp (XPL)

Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. is an exploration company. The Company is a gold producer with its development-stage Mt.Hamilton gold project in Nevada. The Company has a portfolio of royalty structured joint ventures on advanced mineral projects with partners, such as Votorantim Metais, Anglo Platinum and Newmont Mining. The Company’s advanced projects include Mt. Hamilton: gold project, the United States, Bongara: zinc-lead-silver, Peru, and Pedra Branca: platinum-palladium, Brazil. Its gold-silver exploration projects include Pachuca Real: silver-gold, Mexico and Cerro Azul: Gold-Silver, Peru. The Company’s base metal and polymetallic exploration projects include Chambara: zinc-lead-silver, Peru and La Promesa: silver-zinc-lead-indium, Peru. In December 2013, Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp raised its interest to 23.537% from 3.233%, by acquiring a 20.304% stake in Ely Gold & Minerals Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Wolfe]

    Solitario Exploration & Royalty (XPL)

    Several insiders made significant buys this week as the company’s share price continues to dwindle beneath its all-time lows. Most notably, President and CEO Christopher Herald bought 400,000 shares. He purchased these shares at $0.84 per share for a total transaction amount of $336,000. Since this buy, the share price has increased approximately 11.9%.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Select Income REIT (SIR)

Select Income REIT, incorporated on December 19, 2011, is a real estate company that primarily owns and invests in single tenants, net leased properties. As of March 12, 2012, the Company owned 251 properties, or the Initial Properties, with a total of approximately 21.4 million rentable square feet. As of December 31, 2012, the Company acquired 16 properties from unrelated third parties with approximately 3.2 million rentable square feet. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned 267 properties with approximately 24.6 million rentable square feet that were approximately 95.3% leased (based on rentable square feet). These properties consists of 229 properties located on the island of Oahu, HI, or the Company’s Hawaii Properties, which included approximately 17.8 million rentable square feet that are primarily leased to industrial and commercial tenants and 38 office and industrial properties with approximately 6.8 million square feet located in 18 states throughout the ma inland United States, or its Mainland Properties.

The Company’s 267 properties were leased to 253 different tenants, with a weighted average remaining lease term of approximately 11.7 years. The Company’s Mainland Properties generally consist of properties that are net leased to single tenants.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Select Income REIT (SIR), a real estate investment trust that owns single-tenant, net-leased properties, raised its quarterly dividend 4.5% to 46 cents per share, payable Nov. 20 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 24.
    SIR Dividend Yield: 7.06%

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Unifirst Corporation(UNF)

UniFirst Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. It also rents industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products, and restroom supplies comprising air fresheners, paper products, and hand soaps, as well as other non-garment items. In addition, the company provides first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies; decontaminates and cleans work clothes that may have been exposed to radioactive materials; and services special clean room protective wear. Further, it offers a range of garment service options, including full-service rental programs in which garment s are cleaned and serviced; lease programs in which garments are cleaned and maintained by individual employees; and purchase programs to buy garments and related items directly. The company serves automobile service centers and dealers, delivery services, food and general merchandise retailers, food processors and service operations, light manufacturers, maintenance facilities, restaurants, service companies, soft and durable goods wholesalers, transportation companies, and others who require employee clothing for image, identification, protection, or utility purposes, as well as government agencies, research and development laboratories, high technology companies, and utilities operating nuclear reactors. The UniFirst Corporation was founded in 1936 and is based in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    UniFirst Corp.(UNF) said its fiscal second-quarter earnings fell 3.7%, as the uniform-rental company reported higher expenses and an unfavorable comparison with the prior year. Results missed expectations and the company lowered the top end of its earnings outlook for the year.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]


    Earnings Expected: Unifirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF), Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), Acuity Brands Inc (NYSE: AYI) Economic Releases Expected:  Chinese services PMI, Australian trade balance, US crude inventory data, eurozone PPI


Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: PrivateBancorp Inc.(PVTB)

PrivateBancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for The PrivateBank and Trust Company that provides business and personal financial services to middle-market companies and business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and families in the United States. The company?s deposit products include checking, savings, and money market accounts; interest and non-interest bearing demand deposits; and certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial loans, including lines of credit to businesses for working capital needs, term loans, and letters of credit; commercial real estate loans; loans for the construction of single-family residential properties, multi-family properties, and commercial projects; mortgage loans; and residential, home equity, and personal loans. The company also provides private banking, investment management, trust, and investment agency services to high and ultra-high net-worth clients; custody, escrow, and tax-deferred exchange services; and investment management services to individuals, families, and foundations. In addition, it invests primarily in residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations. As of December 31, 2011, the company operated 18 branch locations in the Chicago market; and 10 branch locations in the Atlanta, Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and St. Louis metropolitan areas, as well as 29 automated teller machines located at its banking facilities. PrivateBancorp, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Zacks]

    Some better-ranked Midwest banks include First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (NASDAQ: FIBK), Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) and PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Next week investors will be waiting for several key earnings reports including General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG), Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU), Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK), PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB),Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    In the last several weeks, three hedge and mutual fund managers sold shares of their holdings where they own 5% or more of the company, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. Most of the managers made large gains on these sales, with one exception. John Paulson reduced his stake in Delphi (DLPH), Third Avenue reduced its stake in Skyline Corp. (SKY), and NWQ Managers reduced its stake in PrivateBancorp (PVTB) and Bob Evans Farms (BOBE). John Paulson and Delphi Auto Plc (DLPH)

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Bayer AG (BAYRY.PK)

Bayer AG is a management holding company. The Company’s business operations are organized into three subgroups: HealthCare, CropScience and MaterialScience, supported by the service companies Bayer Business Services, Bayer Technology Services and Currenta. Bayer HealthCare is involved in the research, development and manufacture of health products for people and animals. Bayer CropScience is engaged in the crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. Bayer MaterialScience supplies polymers, and develops solution for a range of applications. In November 2009, Bayer MaterialScience acquired the polymer coatings business from Lombard Medical Technologies PLC. On November 2, 2009, it acquired Athenix Corporation. On October 1, 2009, it acquired two dermatology product lines from SkinMedica, Inc., Carlsbad, California, United States. On June 25, 2009, it acquired the remaining 10% interest in Bayer Polymers (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., China. In May 2009, it acquired the remain ing 49% interest in Berlimed, s.a., Spain, from Juste s.a. Quimica Farmacéutica (Juste), and in return sold its 51% interest of Justesa Imagen, s.a., Spain, to Juste. In May 2009, it also sold the Thermoplastics Testing Center, Krefeld, Germany, to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. In March 2010, the Company announced that its Bayer MaterialScience LLC has acquired Artificial Muscle, Inc, a company active in electroactive polymers for the consumer electronics industry.

Bayer HealthCare

The Company researches, develops, manufactures pharmaceutical and medical products. Bayer HealthCare operates in four operating divisions: Animal Health, which is engaged in manufacture of veterinary medicines and grooming products; Bayer Schering Pharma, which is engaged in manufacture of prescription medicines; Consumer Care, which is engaged in the manufacture of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, and Medical Care, which is engaged in manufacture of blood glucose monitoring devices and contrast agent injecti! on systems. Its products for farm animals include Baytril. Its products for companion animals include Advantage/Advantix and Baytril. Its drug discovery in the pharmaceuticals segment focuses on the areas of cardiology, oncology,

women’s healthcare and diagnostic imaging.

Bayer CropScience

CropScience maintains a global network of research and development facilities. In the Crop Protection segment it identifies and develops safe and economically sustainable insecticides, fungicides and herbicides and carries its research projects in areas, such as plant health or stress tolerance. As of December 31, 2009, its active ingredient pipeline of Crop Protection contained 20 development projects, of which 10 was at an advanced stage and 10 at an early stage of development, and an additional 45 projects was undergoing early-stage research. Its operations are structured into six business operations units: four regional Crop Protection units plus the Environmental Science and BioScience units. Its insecticides include Confidor/ Admire, Calypso, Decis, Temik and Oberon. Its fungicides include Antracol, Fandango, Flint/Stratego/Sphere/Twist, Folicur and Previcur Energy. Its herbicides include Atlantis, Basta, Betanal, Fenikan, Hoestar, Husar, MaisTer, Puma. Its seed treatment products include Bariton, Gaucho, Lamarador, Poncho and Raxil.

Bayer MaterialScience

The Company supplies materials, such as polycarbonates and polyurethanes and system solutions for a range of everyday uses. It operates in three business units: Polyurethanes, Polycarbonates, and Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties. Its Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties producst include Desmodur, Bayhydur, Dispercoll and Artwalk. Its Polycarbonates include Makrolon, Makrofol / Bayfol, Fantasia and Bayblend. Its Polyurethanes include Multitec, Baydur, Bayflex, Baypreg and Vulkollan. Its Thermoplastic Polyurethanes include Desmopan / Texin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Henry Kawabe]

    In June, Seattle Genetics announced it entered into a collaboration with Bayer HealthCare (BAYRY.PK) for access to its Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology to create cancer drugs that home in on tumors and then deliver a toxic dose to their cells. The collaboration will generate upfront and option exercise fees of up to $20 million. Seattle Genetics is also eligible to receive up to approximately $500 million in potential milestone payments, as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products under the multi-target collaboration.

  • [By Bioassociate Consulting]

    KYTH holds a collaboration agreement with Bayer’s (BAYRY.PK) dermatology division to develop and commercialize ATX-101 outside the United States and Canada, and is eligible to receive up to $297m in additional regulatory and commercialization milestones, as well as escalating sales royalties in mid to high-teens. Bayer completed two pivotal Phase III trials of ATX-101 in Europe for the reduction of submental fat. During June 2012, Kythera released results from these studies, in which ATX-101 achieved a statistically significant reduction in submental fat based on clinician, patient and objective ratings.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Lennox International Inc (LII)

Lennox International Inc. (LII) is a provider of climate control solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and markets a range of products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) markets. Its products and services are sold through multiple distribution channels under brand names, including Lennox, Armstrong Air, Ducane, Bohn, Larkin, Advanced Distributor Products, Service Experts and others. The Company operates in four segments: Residential Heating & Cooling, Commercial Heating & Cooling, Service Experts, and Refrigeration. On January 14, 2011, the Company acquired Kysor/Warren business from The Manitowoc Company. Kysor/Warren is a manufacturer of refrigerated systems and display cases for supermarkets throughout North America and is included in its Refrigeration Segment. In April 2012, it sold its Lennox Hearth Products business to Comvest Investment Partners IV.

Residential Heating & Cooling

The Company manuf actures and markets a range of furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, packaged heating and cooling systems, and accessories. These products are available in a range of designs, and at a range of price points, and provide a range of home comfort systems. Its advanced distributor products (ADP) operation builds evaporator coils and air handlers under the Advanced Distributor Products brand, as well as the Lennox, brand. ADP sells their own ADP branded evaporator coils to HVAC distribution, comprising over 400 wholesale distributors across North America, as well as, a range of evaporator coils for Allied Air Enterprise.

The Company’s hearth products include factory-built gas, wood-burning and electric fireplaces; free standing wood-burning, pellet and gas stoves; wood-burning, pellet and gas fireplace inserts; gas logs, venting products and accessories. Its fireplaces are built with a blower or fan option. It markets its hearth products under the Lennox, Superio r, Country Collection and Security Chimneys brand names.


The Company competes with United Technologies Corp., Goodman Global, Inc., Ingersoll-Rand plc, Paloma Co., Ltd., Johnson Controls, Inc., Daiken, Nordyne, HNI Corporation and Monessen Hearth Company.

Commercial Heating & Cooling

In North America, the Company manufactures and sells unitary heating and cooling equipment used in light commercial applications, such as low-rise office buildings, restaurants, retail centers, churches and schools. Its product offerings for these applications include rooftop units ranging from 2 to 50 tons of cooling capacity and split system/air handler combinations, which range from 1.5 to 20 tons of cooling capacity. These products are distributed through commercial contractors and directly to national account customers.

In Europe, the Company manufactures and sells unitary products, which range from 2 to 70 tons of cooling capacity, and applied systems with up to 200 tons of cooling capacity. Its European products consist of small package units, rooftop units, chillers, air handlers and fan coils, which serve medium-rise commercial buildings, shopping malls, other retail and entertainment buildings, institutional applications and other field-engineered applications. It manufactures heating and cooling products in several locations in Europe and markets these products through both direct and indirect distribution channels in Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East.

The Company competes with United Technologies Corp., Ingersoll-Rand plc, Johnson Controls, Inc., AAON, Inc. and Daikin Industries, Ltd.

Service Experts

The Company sells a range of its manufactured equipment, parts and supplies, and third-party branded products. It also has Lennox National Account Services business, which is providing service and preventive maintenance to commercial national account customers. It uses a portfolio of management procedures and practic es, including standards for customer service, common informa! tion tech! nology systems and financial controls, a national accounting center and an inventory management program.

The Company competes with Direct Energy, Sears and American Residential Services.


The Company manufactures and markets equipment for the global commercial refrigeration markets under the Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration name. It sells these products to distributors, installing contractors, engineering design firms, original equipment manufacturers and end-users. Its commercial refrigeration products for the North American market include condensing units, unit coolers, fluid coolers, air-cooled condensers, compressor racks and air handlers. These products are sold for refrigeration applications to preserve food and other perishables, and are used by supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, refrigerated warehouses and distribution centers. As part of the sale of commercial refrigeration products, it provides applic ation engineering for consulting engineers, contractors and others. It also sells products for non-food and various industry applications, such as telecommunications, dehumidification and medical applications.

In international markets, the Company manufactures and markets refrigeration products, including condensing units, unit coolers, air-cooled condensers, fluid coolers, compressor racks and industrial process chillers. The Company has manufacturing locations in Germany, France, Brazil and China. In Australia and New Zealand, it is a wholesale distribution business serving the refrigeration and HVAC industry. It also owns a 50% interest in a joint venture in Mexico, which produces unit coolers, air-cooled condensers, condensing units and compressor racks. It also owns an 8% stock interest in a manufacturer in Thailand, which produces compressors for use in its products and for other HVACR customers.

The Company competes with Hussman Corporation, Emerson Electric Co., United Technologies Corp., GEA Group,! Alfa Lav! al and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Lennox International (NYSE: LII) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.28 per share on revenue of $877.87 million.

    ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.08 per share on revenue of $5.08 billion.

  • [By Greg Williamson]

    Watsco’s current P/E of 24.5 is in the same ballpark as its competitor Lennox International (NYSE: LII  ) (NYSE: LII  ) (NYSE: LII  ) , whose P/E is 23.8. Lennox is a manufacturer of HVAC equipment and components, and will also benefit from HVAC industry tailwinds.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Convergys Corporation (CVG)

Convergys Corporation provides relationship management solutions in North America and internationally. Its Customer Management segment offers agent-assisted, self-service, and intelligent technology care solutions, including customer service, customer retention, sales, technical support, social interaction, collections management, back office, business-to-business, customer experience applied analytics, and intelligent interaction solutions for communications, financial services, technology, retail, healthcare, and government markets. This segment also provides premise-based and hosted automated self-care and technology solutions; speech recognition solutions; and license, professional, consulting and maintenance, and software support services. Convergys Corporation was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Convergys (NYSE: CVG) was also up, gaining 12.44 percent to $23.46 after the company announced its plans to acquire Stream Global Services for $820 million in cash. Convergys also reaffirmed its outlook for 2013.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Convergys (CVG)  shares surged 20% to $25 on light volume after the customer management firm announced it will acquire Stream Global Services Inc. for a total enterprise value of $820 million in cash. The acquisition should add about 35 cents a share to Convergys earnings excluding one-time costs, the company said.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: MoneyGram International Inc (MGI)

MoneyGram International, Inc. (MoneyGram) incorporated on December 18, 2003, is a global payment services company. The Company’s products include global money transfers, bill payment solutions and financial paper products. MoneyGram conducts its business through its wholly owned subsidiary MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. (MPSI). The Company operates in two segments: Global Funds Transfer and Financial Paper Products. The Company’s global money transfer and bill payment services are its primary revenue drivers. The Company offers its money transfer services on the Internet via its MoneyGram Online service in the United States, United Kingdom and through agent Websites in Italy, Saudi Arabia and Japan. It also offers money transfer services via mobile phone, kiosks, ATM, receive cards and direct-to-bank account products in various markets worldwide. Effective July 8, 2013, MoneyGram International Inc acquired Latino Services, an Atlanta-based provider of money transfer s ervices.

Global Funds Transfer

The Company’s Global Funds Transfer segment provides money transfer and bill payment services to consumers, who are often unbanked or underbanked. Unbanked consumers are those consumers who do not have a traditional relationship with a financial institution. Other consumers who use its services are convenience users and emergency users who may have a checking account with a financial institution, but prefer to use the Company’s services on the basis of convenience or to make emergency payments. MoneyGram offers services to consumers through third-party agents, including retail chains, independent retailers and financial institutions.

The Company provides Global Funds Transfer products and services utilizing a range of point-of-sale platforms. Its platforms include AgentConnect, which is integrated into an agent’s point-of-sale system, and DeltaWorks and Delta T3, which are separate software and stan d-alone device platforms. Through its FormFree service, cust! omers may contact its call center and a representative will collect transaction information over the telephone, entering it directly into its central data processing system.

The Company offers money transfers to consumers in a choice of local currency, United States dollars or euros, in certain countries. MoneyGram’s bill payment services allow consumers to make urgent bill payments, pay routine bills, or load and reload prepaid debit cards. These industries include the credit card, mortgage, auto finance, telecommunications, corrections, satellite, property management, prepaid card and collections industries.

Financial Paper Products

The Company’s Financial Paper Products segment provides money orders to consumers through its retail and financial institution agent locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, and provides official check services for financial institutions in the United States. It sells money orders under the Mo neyGram brand and on a private label or co-branded basis with certain of its retail and financial institution agents in the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2012, MoneyGram issued money orders through its network of 54,000 agent and financial institution locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. The Company generates revenue from its official check outsourcing services by charging per item and other fees, as well as from the investment of funds underlying outstanding official checks As of December 31, 2012, the Company also provided official check outsourcing services at approximately 7,300 branch locations of more than 1,200 financial institutions.

The Company competes with The Western Union Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of World Acceptance Corporation have plunged 19% to $79.19 at 3:43 p.m.–and dragged down anything remotely connected to payday lending. Cash America International (CSH) has dropped 7.8% to $39.35, pawn-shop operator EZCorp (EZPW) has fallen 3.7% to $12.33, and wire-transfer companies Western Union (WU) and MoneyGram International (MGI) have fallen 2.6% and 5.8%, respectively.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It’s not easy to operate in a business where competition is fierce and pricing power is nonexistent. Just ask Moneygram International (MGI), whose shares are in freefall this morning after it was downgraded by Piper Jaffray.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: SodaStream International Ltd.(SODA)

SodaStream International Ltd. engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of home beverage carbonation systems and related products. Its home beverage carbonation systems enable consumers to transform ordinary tap water into carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water. The company offers a range of soda makers; exchangeable carbon-dioxide (CO2) cylinders; beverage-grade CO2 refills; reusable carbonation bottles; and various flavors comprising fruit, carbonated soft drink, and enhanced flavors to add to the carbonated water. It also sells additional accessories for its products, including bottle cleaning materials and ice cube trays manufactured by third parties. The company sells its products under the SodaStream and Soda-Club brand names through approximately 50,000 retail stores in 42 countries, as well as through the Internet; and distributes its products directly in 12 countries and indirectly through local distributors in other markets. It operates in Europe , North and Central America, Israel, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and east Asia. The company was formerly known as Soda-Club Holdings Ltd. and changed its name to SodaStream International Ltd. in March 2010. SodaStream International Ltd. is headquartered in Airport City, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Frank Micelotta/Invision/The Associated PressIn a new Netflix sitcom, Lily Tomlin (left) and Jane Fonda play former foes who unite when their husbands desert them. An identity theft specialist lost its identity, a soda maker teamed up with an old-school appliance brand, Walmart made a play for video games, Netflix announced a new show and yet another online service upped its subscription price. Here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders in the business world. Netflix (NFLX) — Winner The leading video service keeps building its digital catalog of original content. Netflix announced on Wednesday that it will be the home of “Grace and Frankie,” a new sitcom starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin that’s partly the handiwork of “Friends” creator Marta Kaufman. The first season will debut next year. We naturally won’t know until we dive into the 13 half-hour episodes come 2015 if the show is any good, but that’s also the point of Netflix beefing up its portfolio of first-run shows introduced exclusively on Netflix. Walmart Stores (WMT) — Loser The world’s largest retailer is getting into the video game resale business. Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will begin accepting trade-ins at most of its stores next week. The discounter will swap the games for in-store credit. It will then send off the trade-ins to get refurbished. It will start offering the pre-owned wares later this year. The market is playing this out to be a big hit for GameStop (GME), but let’s not kid ourselves. GameStop’s sales of pre-owned games fell sharply in 2012 and have gone on to decline in each of 2013’s first three quarters. Walmart won’t make things easier, but this was already a fading market. Too many new systems rely on digital delivery, making physical discs and their eventual resale obsolete. Walmart’s late to the game. SodaStream International (SODA) — Winner Making soda at home is as popular as ever, and niche leader SodaStream is getting a boost wi

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Getty Images/Bloomberg/Scott Eels It’s been a pretty spectacular year for Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR). The company behind the Keurig platform for single-cup servings of coffee, tea and other brewed beverages turned heads last month when Coca-Cola (KO) agreed to invest $1.25 billion for a 10 percent stake in it. The fireworks have continued this month with Keurig being added to the S&P 500 on Friday, reworking its deal with Starbucks (SBUX) to allow other “super-premium” brands come on a licensed partners and changing its corporate name from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The stock soared 83 percent last year, and it’s up another 53 percent in 2014. That’s not a bad run for a company that many investors had left for dead in 2012 on fears that it would fade in relevance once its patent protection on the original K-Cups expired. The Vermont-based company has some interesting things brewing for the future. Keurig Green Mountain’s days as a growth stock seemed over in late 2012 when key K-Cup patents expired. Anyone could legally roll out unlicensed portion packs that fit Keurig brewers, and private labels did. Growth slowed, but Keurig Green Mountain swayed many leading brands on the merits of sticking with the company behind the Keurig brewers to put out licensed K-Cups. Keurig 2.0, Keurig Cold in the Pipeline Keurig is working on two key lines expected to hit the market in coming months. As its name implies, Keurig 2.0 is the evolutionary next step in the platform. Unlike the Keurig Vue, which has failed to gain serious traction with its new portion packs, Keurig 2.0 machines will accept the widely available K-Cup refills. However, it will also fit K-Carafe portion packs that can brew an entire pot of coffee. It’s a move that starts a new clock on patent protection. Keurig’s biggest gamble — and the primary reason for Coca-Cola’s investment — is Keurig Cold. The machine will make cold and carbonated beverages. This market is dominated by SodaStr

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream Making carbonated beverages at home continues to grow in popularity, and SodaStream (SODA) has been the big beneficiary, reporting a 26 percent surge in sales for the holiday quarter. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there, as poor inventory moves and retailer markdowns crushed the Israeli company’s profitability during the period. SodaStream messed up. It shipped too many soda makers to U.S. retailers at a time when chains were discounting aggressively to make the most of the shortened holiday shopping season. This led bricks-and-mortar chains to request discounting, and SodaStream reasoned that gaining market share ahead of a major rival’s product launch was more important than commanding a large markup now. When that wasn’t enough, it chose to transfer 20,000 starter kits to Canada — a costly move that involves repackaging — and transfer another 100,000 to direct channels that command lower margins, including a stint on HSN that cleared 40,000 soda makers in a single day. In the end, the sales showed up. Earnings growth didn’t. Have a Coke and a Smile Things won’t get any easier next year when Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) teams up with Coca-Cola (KO) to try to make a dent in the U.S. market with Keurig Cold. Green Mountain has dominated the single-serve coffee market. Its Keurig machines are the undisputed champs of the one-cup java servings with nearly every major bean grinder out there putting out signature brews in the form of K-Cup portion packs. The move to hit the cold beverage market at some point in the fiscal year that begins in October of this year and ends next September is as bold as some of its rich flavored coffees. Can a company known for its hot coffee, tea, and cocoa generate buzz for a machine that cranks out refreshing cold and carbonated beverages? However, Coca-Cola was even more bold earlier this year in announcing that it would take a 10 percent stake in Green Mountain a

  • [By Muhammad Bazil]

    After Coca Cola’s (KO) planned partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (GMCR), analysts speculated that Pepsi Co could make the smart and possibly necessary move to acquire SodaStream International, Ltd (SODA). SodaStream is the leading brand and innovator in the emerging market of home carbonation systems, a growing trend in the United States and abroad. The acquisition could benefit both companies as Pepsi would secure a foothold in this up-and-coming market while SodaStream would benefit from the financial backing required to grow and expand.

Top 10 Gas Utility Companies For 2014: Arabian American Development Co (ARSD)

Arabian American Development Company, incorporated in 1967, is engaged in manufacturing various specialty petrochemical products. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a 37% interest in Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company and a 55% interest in Pioche Ely Valley Mines, Inc (PEVM). The Company’s United States activities are primarily conducted through a wholly owned subsidiary, Texas Oil and Chemical Co. II, Inc. (TOCCO). TOCCO owns of South Hampton Resources Inc. (South Hampton), and South Hampton owns of Gulf State Pipe Line Company, Inc. (Gulf State).

South Hampton owns and operates a specialty petrochemical facility near Silsbee, Texas, which produces petrochemical solvents and other petroleum based products, including isopentane, normal pentane, isohexane and hexane, which is used in the production of polyethylene, packaging, polypropylene, expandable polystyrene, poly-iso/urethane foams, and in the catalyst support industry. Gulf State owns and opera tes three pipelines that connect the South Hampton facility to a natural gas line, to South Hampton’s truck and rail loading terminal and to a petroleum products pipeline owned by an unaffiliated third party.

South Hampton owns and operates a specialty petrochemical facility near Silsbee, Texas which is approximately 30 miles north of Beaumont, Texas, and 90 miles east of Houston. The facility consists of seven operating units which, while interconnected, make distinct products through differing processes: a Penhex Unit; a Reformer; a Cyclo-pentane Unit; an Aromax Unit; an Aromatics Hydrogenation Unit; a White Oil Fractionation Unit, and a Hydrocarbon Processing Demonstration Unit.

Gulf State owns and operates three 8-inch diameter pipelines aggregating approximately 50 miles in length connecting South Hampton’s facility to: a natural gas line, South Hampton’s truck and rail loading terminal and a petroleum products pipeline system owned by a n unaffiliated third party. The Penhex Unit has the capacity! to process approximately 6,700 barrels per day, with the Reforming Unit, the Aromax Unit, and the Cyclo-Pentane Unit further processing streams produced by the Penhex Unit. The Aromatics Hydrogenation Unit has a capacity of approximately 400 barrels per day, and the White Oils Fractionation Unit has a capacity of approximately 3,000 barrels per day. The Hydrocarbon Processing Demonstration Unit has a capacity of approximately 300 gallons per day. The facility generally consists of equipment commonly found in petrochemical facilities, such as fractionation towers and hydrogen treaters except the facility is adapted to produce specialized products. South Hampton produces eight distinct product streams and markets several combinations of blends as needed in various customers’ applications.

The Reformer and Aromax units are operated as needed to support the Penhex and Cyclo-pentane Units. The other two operating units at the plant site, an Aromatics Hydrogenation Unit and a White Oils Fractionation Unit, are operated as two, independent and completely segregated processes. These units are dedicated to the needs of two different toll processing customers. Products may be sold directly from South Hampton’s storage tanks or transported to the customers’ location for storage and marketing. South Hampton, in support of the petrochemical operation, owns approximately 75 storage tanks with total capacity approaching 225,000 barrels, and 95 acres of land at the plant site, 55 acres of which are developed. South Hampton also owns a truck and railroad loading terminal consisting of storage tanks, four rail spurs, and truck and tank car loading facilities on approximately 53 acres of which 13 acres are developed.

The Company’s mineral interest in the United States is its 55% ownership interest in an inactive corporation, PEVM. PEVM’s properties include 48 patented and 5 unpatented claims totaling approximately 1,500 acres. All of the claims are located in Lincoln County, Nevada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

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