Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now

By ratting out its price-fixing co-conspirators, Hershey (NYSE: HSY  ) got itself a sweet deal from Canadian regulators that could see its stock pile on the gains.

According to Canada’s Competition Bureau, chocolate makers Nestle and Mars, along with the wholesale distributor network ITWAL, conspired to raise prices of the confectionery going back to 2007 and earlier. One study found prices soared 38% between 2004 and 2008.

While Hershey itself was in on the plot, it cooperated with investigators and carved out a sweet deal for itself that leaves it facing just one count of price fixing and the promise of a good word being put in at sentencing. 

However, the chocolatier truly having sweet dreams is Cadbury, now a division of snack maker Mondelez International (NASDAQ: MDLZ  ) , which profited from a Canadian law that allows the first person to spill the (cocoa) beans to get lenient treatment. It laid out the plot for the regulatory agency and fully cooperated with its investigation, meaning that while the co-conspirators face fines up to $10 million and five years in jail for their role in the scheme, Cadbury wasn’t charged. 

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Hickory Tech Corporation (HTCO)

Hickory Tech Corporation provides integrated communications services to business and residential customers in the Midwest. The company operates in two segments, Business Sector and Telecom Sector. The Business Sector segment offers integrated data services, such as fiber, data and Internet, voice and voice over Internet protocol, managed and hosted, data center, equipment, and total care support services. This segment also distributes telecommunications and data processing equipment, as well as provides network and equipment monitoring, maintenance, and equipment consulting services; and offers fiber-based transport for regional and national telecommunications carriers, wireless carriers, and other providers. It serves businesses primarily in the upper Midwest. The Telecom Sector segment offers network access services; and broadband services, such as residential and business DSL access, high-speed Internet, digital TV, and business Ethernet services. It also provides local telephone, long distance, and calling features services; and directory assistance, operator service, and long distance private lines. In addition, this segment offers directory publishing, customer premise equipment sales, bill processing, and add/move/change services. It owns and operates approximately 900 mile fiber optic network and facilities in Minnesota. Hickory Tech Corporation was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Hickory Tech (HTCO), a communications provider in several Midwest states, announced a 3% dividend increase to 15 cents per share, payable Dec. 5 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
    HTCO Dividend Yield: 5.5%

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Rick’s Cabaret International Inc.(RICK)

Rick?s Cabaret International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates upscale adult nightclubs serving primarily businessmen and professionals in the United States. The company?s nightclubs offer live adult entertainment, restaurant, and bar operations. It owns and operates, or licenses adult nightclubs in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York, New York; Miami Gardens, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The company operates its adult nightclubs under the Rick’s Cabaret, Club Onyx, XTC Cabaret, Tootsie?s Cabaret, Cabaret North, Jaguars, and Cabaret East names. It also owns and operates various adult entertainment Internet Web sites, including CouplesTouch.com, a personals site for those in the swinging lifestyle; NaughtyBids.com, an online adult auction site that contains consumer-initiated auctions for items, such as adult videos, apparel, photo sets, a dult paraphernalia, and other erotica; and xxxPassword.com that features adult content. In addition, the company offers trade magazine serving the adult nightclubs industry, as well as owns 2 industry trade shows, 2 other industry trade publications, and approximately 25 industry Websites. As of January 4, 2011, it owned and operated 22 adult nightclubs. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Shares of Rick’s Cabaret International Inc.(RICK) jumped after the adult nightclub owner reported improving fiscal fourth-quarter results and projected better profitability in the new fiscal year. The stock jumped 14% to $12.23 premarket.

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: RAIT Financial Trust(RAS)

RAIT Financial Trust operates as a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The company, through its subsidiaries, invests in, manages, and services real estate-related assets with a focus on commercial real estate. It also offers a set of debt financing options to the commercial real estate industry along with fixed income trading and advisory services. In addition, RAIT Financial Trust owns and manages a portfolio of commercial real estate properties, and manages real estate-related assets for third parties. The company qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. RAIT Investment Trust was founded in 1997 and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Commercial real-estate loan originator and real estate investment trust RAIT Financial Trust (RAS) raised its quarterly dividend 6% to 17 cents per share, payable April 30 to shareholders of record as of April 4. At more than an 8% yield, RAS stock has the highest yield on this week’s list of dividend stocks.
    RAS Dividend Yield: 8.14%.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Commercial real estate holding real estate investment trust (REIT) RAIT Financial (RAS) raised its quarterly dividend 7% to 16 cents per share, payable on Jan. 31 to share holders of record as of Jan. 7.
    RAS Dividend Yield: 7.48%

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Nuveen Preferred and Convertible Income Fund (JPC)

Nuveen Multi-Strategy Income & Growth Fund is a close-ended balanced mutual fund launched by Nuveen Investments Inc. The fund is co-managed by Nuveen Asset Management, Spectrum Asset Management, Tradewinds Global Investors, LLC, and Symphony Asset Management, LLC. It invests in the public equity and fixed income markets of the United States. The fund seeks to invest in the stocks of companies operating across diversified sectors. For the fixed income portfolio, it invests in the debt instruments, including high yield debt and senior loans. The fund benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the Merrill Lynch Preferred Stock Hybrid Securities Index, Lehman Tier 1 Capital Securities Index, Merrill Lynch All U.S. Convertibles Index, and CSFB High Yield index. It was formerly known as Nuveen Preferred and Convertible Income Fund. Nuveen Multi-Strategy Income & Growth Fund was formed on March 26, 2003 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    J.C. Penney (NYSE: JPC) and the KMart and Sears divisions of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) are supposes to be the losers among large U.S. retailers. Their stores are too old, their brands too badly damaged, and their balance sheet too frail for either to do well in the white hot competition for holiday sales. However, their stock prices say otherwise, which means there is some expectation that they will outperform forecasts.

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Coffee Holding Co. Inc.(JVA)

Coffee Holding Co., Inc. engages in manufacturing, roasting, packaging, marketing, and distributing roasted and blended coffees in the United States and Canada. The company offers three categories of products: wholesale green coffee, private label coffee, and branded coffee. The wholesale green coffee product category consists of unroasted raw beans imported from worldwide that are sold to roasters and coffee shop operators in approximately 90 varieties. The private label coffee product category includes coffee roasted, blended, packaged, and sold under the specifications and names of others. As of October 31, 2010, the company supplied private label coffee under approximately 34 different labels to wholesalers and retailers in cans, brick packages, and instants in various sizes. The branded coffee product category comprises coffee roasted and blended to the company’s own specifications and offered under its seven brand names in various segments of the market. The company also offers other products, including trial-sized mini-brick coffee packages; specialty instant coffees; instant cappuccinos and hot chocolates; and tea line products. Its coffee brands include Cafe Caribe, S&W, Cafe Supremo, Don Manuel, Fifth Avenue, Via Roma, IL CLASSICO, and Entenmann. Coffee Holding Co., Inc. markets its private label and wholesale coffee through trade shows, industry publications, face-to-face contacts, internal sales force, and non-exclusive independent food and beverage sales brokers, as well as through its Web site, coffeeholding.com. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Staten Island, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    What do you get when you cross a Coffee Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:JVA) with a Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTCMKTS:MJNA) and a Kraft Foods Group Inc. (NASDAQ:KRFT)? No, it’s not a setup for a punch line – there’s a legitimate answer. And that answer is, Latteno Food Corp. (OTCMKTS:LATF).

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    What do you get when you cross a Coffee Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:JVA) with a Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTCMKTS:MJNA) and a Kraft Foods Group Inc. (NASDAQ:KRFT)? No, it’s not a setup for a punch line – there’s a legitimate answer. And that answer is, Latteno Food Corp. (OTCMKTS:LATF).

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Universal Corporation(UVV)

Universal Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a leaf tobacco merchant and processor worldwide. It engages in selecting, procuring, buying, processing, packing, storing, supplying, shipping, and financing leaf tobacco for sale to, or for the account of, manufacturers of consumer tobacco products. The company processes and/or sells flue-cured and burley tobaccos, dark air-cured tobaccos, and oriental tobaccos; and provides value-added services, including blending, chemical and physical testing of tobacco, just-in-time inventory management, and manufacturing reconstituted sheet tobacco. Its flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos are used principally in the manufacture of cigarettes; and dark air-cured tobaccos are used in the manufacture of cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. The company was founded in 1888 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rupert Hargreaves]

    Universal Corp (NYSE: UVV  ) has paid out and raised its dividend for 41 consecutive years. This puts the company in an elite club of dividend aristocrats. Aside from Altria (NYSE: MO  ) , which has been paying and increasing its payout for 43 years, Universal actually has the longest dividend history of any company within the tobacco sector.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Leaf tobacco supplier Universal Corporation (UVV) raised its quarterly dividend 2% to 51 cents per share, payable on Feb. 10 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13.
    UVV Dividend Yield: 4.06%

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Ever-Glory International Group Inc.(EVK)

Ever-Glory International Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of apparel for women, men, and children. Its products include coats, jackets, slacks, skirts, shirts, trousers, vests, skiwear, down jackets, knitwear, and jeans. The company offers its products to the casual wear, sportswear, and outerwear brands, as well as retailers, such as department stores, flagship stores, stores-within-a-store, and specialty stores primarily in Europe, the United States, Japan, and the People?s Republic of China. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 293 retail stores in the People?s Republic of China. The company is based in West Covina, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap apparel stock G-III Apparel Group, Ltd (NASDAQ: GIII) has been making bullish moves lately plus the stock is up 97.1% since the start of the year, making it the third best performing apparel stock (according to stock screener Finviz) after small cap Ever-Glory International Group Inc (NYSEMKT: EVK) and mid cap Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc (NYSE: FNP) followed by mid cap Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE: HBI). But is the G-III Apparel Group dressed for long term success for investors?

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Globecomm Systems Inc. (GCOM)

Globecomm Systems Inc. engages in the provision of satellite-based network solutions to government, communications service providers, commercial enterprises, and media and content broadcasters in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It offers access products for providing data, voice, and video transport services; hosted application products for back office applications services; and professional services, including advisory and consulting services. The company also provides life cycle support services comprising installation, network monitoring, help desk, maintenance, and professional engineering services that supports access and hosted products; and infrastructure solutions, such as design, engineering, and installation of ground segment systems and networks, which are used in communications and media delivery networks. In addition, it offers fixed satellite terminals under the Summit brand; transportable satellite terminals under the Explorer brand; and network management systems to manage, monitor, and control networks under the AxxSys brand name, as well as systems design and integration products. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Hauppauge, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Instead, the winners who will compete among themselves to fulfill the $45 million firm-fixed-price, multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract include privately held Bluewater Communications Group LLC, small-cap Globecomm Systems (NASDAQ: GCOM  ) , and TVC Communications LLC, of Annville, Penn., a small subsidiary of larger electronics distributor WESCO International (NYSE: WCC  ) . All three will now be competing against each other to win the Pentagon’s business on individual task orders for the Cisco and other HD equipment on order.

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB)

Chiquita Brands International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution and marketing of bananas and fresh produce under the Chiquita and other brand names worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Bananas, Salads and Healthy Snacks, and Other Produce. The Banana segment sources, transports, markets, and distributes bananas to retailers and wholesalers, and chain stores. It also engages in the cultivation and production of bananas. The Salads and Healthy Snacks segment offers value-added salads under the Fresh Express and other labels; and fresh vegetable and fruit ingredients used in foodservice, healthy snacks, and processed fruit ingredient products. This segment also provides fresh-cut products, such as lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, and onions to foodservice distributors who resell these products to foodservice operators. It distributes Fresh Express branded products to food retailers, foodservice distributors, and quick-service restaurants; and fresh produce foodservice offerings primarily to third-party distributors for resale principally to quick-service restaurants in the United States. The Other Produce segment engages in sourcing, marketing, and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables other than bananas in Europe and North America. It offers grapes, pineapples, melons, kiwis, tomatoes, and avocados. The company was founded in 1899 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Murphy]

    Furthermore, the court’s finding does not undermine the use of the ATS in cases of human rights abuses. It just requires a stronger connection to the United States. That means that other ATS cases currently working their way through the legal system, such as Earth Rights International’s case against Chiquita (NYSE: CQB  ) for allegedly funding and arming Colombian terrorists, are still on track. That also means that the link from human rights violations to corporate liability remains.

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB  ) will soon have a new chief financial officer — and a new chief operating officer, too. Sort of.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    After all, like Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB  ) , Dole’s been undergoing a significant corporate restructuring, and last month it sold its packaged-foods and Asia fresh business for $1.7 billion, making it a more focused international fresh fruit business, but one subject to all the vagaries that entails. In comparison, Chiquita’s reorganization has it looking to become a high-volume, low-cost producer of bananas and chopped salads.

Top 10 Penny Companies To Invest In Right Now: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)

Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By David Fried]

    Satellite radio giant Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) is the world’s largest pay-radio service (a market leader in car radio service), with a market share of about 70% of new cars in the US and 25.6 million subscribers at the end of 2013.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Mel Evans/AP From a media giant growing its reach through rental cars to a beleaguered theme park operator warning of even slower turnstile clicks, here’s a rundown of the week’s best and worst from the business world. Microsoft (MSFT) — Winner Many argued that Microsoft deciding late last month to offer up its flagship Microsoft Office suite of productivity software for iPads was too little, too late. Folks had already moved on to free or nearly free alternatives, and Microsoft was already suffering with a global slump in PC sales. Well, Microsoft still has plenty of bite. It announced there were 12 million downloads of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint iPad apps in its first week of availability. Barnes & Noble (BKS) — Loser It’s not just bookworms checking out of Barnes & Noble. Liberty Media (LMCA) is selling 90 percent of its shares of the struggling bookstore operator, taking its stake of 17 percent down to less than 2 percent. Liberty Media will give up the right to appoint a pair of board members now that it’s a shrinking investor, but that seems to be a small price to pay for an investor that wants to deploy that money somewhere else. Running a book superstore isn’t easy these days. Barnes & Noble’s sales have been sluggish as readers go digital, and the chain’s push to cash in on the trend with its own Nook line is fading fast. Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) — Winner Satellite radio will be easier to tune into in rental cars. Avis Budget Group (CAR) revealed this week that in-dash Sirius XM receivers are now available in more than 60 percent of its Avis and Budget car rental agencies. Avis Budget previously relied on portable plug-and-play receivers that renters could order at the counter. Drivers will still have to pay for access. There’s no free lunch even if it’s a prepaid rental. However, it’s still a good way for Sirius XM to expand brand awareness and ideally hook future subscribers. SeaWorld (SEAS) — Loser Looks like the killer

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    At the very least, to dislodge the YouTube giant will require a massive investment in popular talent. Katie Couric’s addition to Yahoo’s stable was a start, but the company is going to need to do a deal with someone like Howard Stern at an enormous contract rate. Stern got $500 million from Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) in his original five-year deal and a similar deal for the next five years through the end of 2015.  Stern will be available relatively soon, but he won’t come cheap. Just sayin’.