Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now

The economy grew by 2.5% in the first quarter, according to Friday’s report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That’s the early reading, at least. These reports are always revised in subsequent months. “Friends don’t let friends waste too much time on the internals of a soon-to-be-revised GDP report,” wrote Slate’s Matt Yglesias.

But let’s look at what we’ve got so far.

Two-and-a-half percent growth isn’t strong, but it’s pretty consistent with where we’ve been for most of the recovery over the last four years:

Source: BEA.

Some bumps here and there, but we’re stuck at about 2.5% growth. That’s probably enough to bring down unemployment, but just barely.

Now for some of the internal components of GDP.

Consumer spending has actually been strong. First-quarter growth was particularly impressive given the expiration of the payroll tax cut:

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Dominion Resources Inc. (D)

Dominion Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. It operates in three segments: DVP, Dominion Generation, and Dominion Energy. The DVP segment includes regulated electric transmission and distribution operations that serve residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in Virginia and North Carolina. This segment also involves in non regulated retail energy marketing of electricity and natural gas. The Dominion Generation segment includes the electricity generation through coal, nuclear, gas, oil, and renewables; and related energy supply operations. It also comprises generation operations of the company?s merchant fleet and energy marketing, and price risk management activities for these assets. The Dominion Energy segment includes the company?s Ohio and West Virginia regulated natural gas distribution companies, regulated gas transmission pipeline and storage operations, natural gas gathering and by-products extraction activities, and regulated LNG import and storage operations. It also provides producer services, which aggregates natural gas supply; engages in natural gas trading and marketing activities; and involves in natural gas supply management. The company?s portfolio of assets includes approximately 27,615 MW of generation; 6,100 miles of electric transmission lines; 56,800 miles of electric distribution lines; 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering, and storage pipeline; and 21,800 miles of gas distribution pipeline. Dominion Resources, Inc. also owns approximately 947 bcf of storage capacity of natural gas and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. In addition, it sells electricity at wholesale prices to rural electric cooperatives, municipalities, and into wholesale electricity markets. The company was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    Created with YCharts

    In addition to beating the market since the beginning of the year, diversified energy utilities, such as MDU Resources Group Inc (NYSE: MDU), Dominion Resources Inc (NYSE: D) and Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), significantly outperformed pure-play or predominantly all-electric utilities, such as Duke Energy Corp (NYSE: DUK) and Entergy Corp (NYSE: ETR), by as much as several percentage points (See Chart B).

    Interestingly, among top performers, there was no dominant strategy for exploiting natural gas demand, as these firms were involved in all aspects of the value chain–from exploration and production to distribution and storage. These companies have not only been benefiting from a natural gas surplus, but also from the pressing need to expand US energy infrastructure to deliver this newfound bounty to businesses and households.

    Chart B: Diversified Energy Utilities Outperformed Electric-Only Peers

  • [By David Dittman]

    Answer: Exelon and FirstEnergy had a lot of exposure to the wholesale power market as well as other particular circumstances that made their situations acute. I don’t foresee a raft of dividend cuts in the sector.
    I like electric utilities with a lot of regulated revenue, or with a lot of exposure to the midstream segment of the energy business, as is the case with Dominion Resources (NYSE: D).

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    Master limited partnership Dominion Resources (D) grabbed our attention after UBS analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith upgraded it to Buy from Neutral and lifted the price target to $72 from $63 on anticipation that a “mid-year spin of the MLP” will generate about $4 per share in value. “We see capacity to drive double digit distribution growth through the decade,” Dumoulin-Smith wrote. Dominion is scheduled to report earnings sometime between Jan. 27 and 31.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    We’re still years away from commercial scale LNG exports, but that hasn’t stopped Dominion Resources (NYSE: D  ) or Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP  ) from making plans to drop down their facilities into a master limited partnership. In this video, Fool contributor Aimee Duffy discusses why MLPs could be a good fit for LNG and how Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT: LNG  ) has already done this with its existing MLP, Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSEMKT: CQP  ) .

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Intrepid Potash Inc (IPI)

Intrepid Potash, Inc.( Intrepid), incorporated on November 19, 2007, is a producer of muriate of potash (potassium chloride or potash) in the United States and are engaged the production and marketing of potash and langbeinite (sulfate of potash magnesia), another mineral containing potassium, magnesium, and sulfate, that is produced from langbeinite ore and as Trio when it refers to sales and marketing. Its Carlsbad assets consist of underground mining operations, which are supported by surface processing facilities. It is also operators of solar solution mining operations, as its Moab and Wendover facilities both utilize these techniques for recovering potash. Its revenues are generated from the sale of potash and Trio. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned five potash production facilities, three in New Mexico and two in Utah. Its two products are potash and langbeinite, which is marketed as Trio.

Potash

The Company derives revenues and gr oss margin are derived from the production and sales of potash. Its potash is marketed for sale into three primary markets: the agricultural market as a fertilizer, the industrial market as a component in drilling and fracturing fluids for oil and gas wells, and the animal feed market as a nutrient. Its sales of potash tend to focus on agricultural areas and feed manufacturers in central and western United States, as well as oil and gas drilling areas in the Rocky Mountains and the greater Permian Basin area.

Trio

Trio is marketed into two primary markets, the agricultural market as a fertilizer and the animal feed market as a nutrient. It markets Trio internationally through an exclusive marketing agreement with PCS Sales (USA), Inc. (PCS Sales) for sales outside the United States and Canada and through a non-exclusive agreement for sales into Mexico.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tomi Kilgore]

    Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan(POT) rose 0.5%, Mosaic(MOS) gained 0.1% and Intrepid Potash(IPI) climbed 0.7%. In addition, CF Industries Holdings(CF) tacked on 1.4% and Agrium(AGU.T) advanced 1.1%.

  • [By Mark Hulbert]

    The stocks are C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW)  , a freight-transportation company; chip maker Cirrus Logic (CRUS)  ; independent oil company Forest Oil (FST)  ; investment bank Greenhill & Co. (GHL)  ; Intrepid Potash (IPI)  , a fertilizer company; retailer J.C. Penney (JCP)  ; Quest Diagnostics (DGX)  , a medical diagnostic company; Strayer Education (STRA)  , a for-profit college; Tower Group International (TWGP)  , an insurance company; and Windstream Holdings (WIN)  , a rural telecommunications firm.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT), for instance, lost 16% last year, while Mosaic (MOS) dropped 15%, Intrepid Potash (IPI) plunged 26% and Agrium (AGU) declined 5.9%.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We maintain our Cautious coverage view of Fertilizers, with 5% downside on average to our revised 12-month price targets. Despite recent signs of a price floor emerging, Potash (K) fundamentals remain challenged, in our view, given sustained global over-supply that lead our price forecasts to stay well below 2010-2012 over our forecast period…We downgrade shares of Mosaic to Sell, with 13% downside to our revised 12-month target, as we see an unfavorable risk/reward with shares only 8% below July 2013 levels despite a significantly less favorable K price outlook given our s/d forecasts. We also reiterate our Sell rating on [Intrepid Potash (IPI)], where we continue to see limited FCF generation in 2014- 2016 given our NA K price outlook, even giving [Intrepid Potash] credit for recent cost cutting.

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Public Storage(PSA)

Public Storage operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States and Europe. The company?s self-storage facilities offer storage spaces for lease on a month-to-month basis for personal and business use. Public Storage also has interests in commercial properties containing commercial and industrial rental space; facilities that lease storage containers; and ancillary operations, which include reinsurance of policies against losses to goods stored by its self-storage tenants, retail operations comprising merchandise sales and truck rental operations. As of December 31, 2008, the company had interests in 2,012 self-storage facilities with approximately 127 million net rentable square feet in 38 states; and 181 self-storage facilities with approximately 10 million net rentable square feet in 7 western European nations. It also had direct and indirect equity int erests in approximately 21 million net rentable square feet of commercial space located in 11 states in the U.S. As a REIT, the company would not be subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. Public Storage was founded in 1971 and is based in Glendale, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    I also like both Public Storage (PSA) and its Series T preferred stock.

    As a result of the financial crisis, many people lost their homes. What happens when people get evicted from a house? They downsize. That’s one reason we’ve seen apartment REIT stock prices appreciate, but that’s also why Public Storage has done so well. You can’t fit a household’s worth of stuff into an apartment, so you rent storage for all those extra-large sofas. Housing remains troubled, and with people increasingly being moved into part-time jobs or leaving the workforce, this overall secular trend is continuing.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Public Storage’s(PSA) third-quarter profit rose 7.7% on the strength of higher occupancy and rents. Meanwhile, the real estate investment trust’s funds from operations, an important metric in the sector, grew during the period.

  • [By Mike Deane]

    Public Storage (PSA) announced its third quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, posting an increase in net income and revenues.

    PSA Earnings in Brief

    -Public Storage announced total quarterly revenues of $419 million, which were up from last year’s $397 million, but below the average analyst estimate of $464.58 million.
    -The company’s net income came in at $231.4 million, or $1.34 per share, which was up from last year’s Q3 net income of $202.5 million, or $1.18 per share.
    -PSA’s core FFO per share was up from last year’s $1.76 to $1.92 for the most recent quarter; this beat analysts’ estimates of $1.89.

    Dividend Raise

    Public Storage announced that its board has approved to raise its dividend 12% to $1.40 per common share. This is a 15 cent raise from the company’s previous quarterly payout of $1.25 and brings the annualized payout to $5.60. The new dividend is payable on December 30 to all shareholders on record as of December 13.

    Share Performance

    PSA stock was down 66 cents, or 0.39%, on the day, but was up steeply in after-hours trading. YTD, the company’s stock is up 14.74%.

     

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Titan Machinery Inc (TITN)

Titan Machinery Inc., incorporated in 1980, owns and operates a network of agricultural and construction equipment stores in the United States and Europe. The Company is a retail dealer of Case IH Agriculture equipment and a retail dealer of New Holland Agriculture, Case Construction and New Holland Construction equipment in the United States. It operates in two segments: Agriculture and Construction. The agricultural equipment, which it sells and services includes machinery and attachments for uses ranging from large-scale farming to home and garden use. The construction equipment it sells and services includes heavy construction and light industrial machinery for commercial and residential construction, road and highway construction and mining. On February 28, 2011, it acquired certain assets of Tri-State Implement, Inc. On March 31, 2011, the Company acquired interest in Schoffman’s Inc. In July 2012, the Company acquired Curly Olney’s, Inc. and opened two Case IH dea lerships in Cluj and Roman, Romania. In November 2012, the Company acquired Falcon Power Inc. In December 2012, the Company acquired VAIT D.o.o. In February 2013, it acquired Tucson Tractor Company. In March 2013, it acquired Adobe CE, LLC, consisting of one Case Construction equipment dealership located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On April 1, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of ABC Rental & Equipment Sales. On May 13, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of Carlson Tractor & Equipment, Inc. On May 31, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of St. Joseph Equipment Inc. On September 2, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of Virgl Implement Inc. On September 2, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of Victors Inc. On November 1, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of Van Der Werff Implement, Inc. On December 1, 2011, the Company acquired certain assets of Jewell Implement Company, Inc. On December 23, 2011, the Company, through a newly formed subsidiary, Titan Machinery Romania, S.R.L., ac! quired certain assets of AgroExpert Capital S.R.L. On February 27, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of the Colorado division of Adobe Truck & Equipment, LLC. On March 5, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of Rimex 1-Holding EAD. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of Haberer’s Implement, Inc. On April 2, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets of East Helena Rental, LLC.

Equipment Sales

The Company sells agricultural and construction equipment manufactured under the CNH family of brands, as well as equipment from a variety of other manufacturers. The used equipment it sells is from inventory acquired through trade-ins from its customers and selective purchases. The agricultural equipment, which it sells and services includes application equipment and sprayers, combines and attachments, hay and forage equipment, planting and seeding equipment, precision farming technology, tillage equipment and tractors. The cons truction equipment, which the Company sells and services includes articulated trucks, compact track loaders, compaction equipment, cranes, crawler dozers, excavators, forklifts, loader/backhoes, loader/tool carriers, motor graders, skid steer loaders, telehandlers and wheel loaders. The Company also sells used equipment through its outlet stores.

Parts Sales

The Company sells a range of maintenance and replacement parts on equipment that it sells, as well as other types of equipment. It maintains an in-house parts inventory to provide parts, and repair and maintenance support to its customers.

Repair and Maintenance Services

The Company provides repair and maintenance services, including warranty repairs, for its customers equipment. In addition, the Company provides customer service by maintaining service histories for each piece of equipment owned by its customers, maintaining around-the-clock service hours, providing on- site repair services, scheduling off-season maintenance acti! vities wi! th customers, notifying customers of periodic service requirements and providing training programs to customers.

Equipment Rental and Other Business Activities

The Company rents equipment to its customers on a short-term basis for periods ranging from a few days to a few months. In addition, the Company provides ancillary equipment support activities, such as equipment transportation, global positioning system (GPS) signal subscriptions in connection with precision farming and reselling CNH Capital finance and insurance products.

The Company competes with RDO Equipment Co., Butler Machinery, Ziegler Inc. and Brandt Holdings Co.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mike the PhD]

    Historically the stock prices of Deere (DE) and other agricultural equipment firms and retailers like Case-New Holland (CNH), Titan Machinery (TITN), AGCO (AGCO), Tractor Supply (TSCO), Valmont (VAL), and Lindsay (LNN) have tended to closely track the price of corn. When corn prices go up, farmers tend to make more money, and they spend that money on new equipment from Deere and other firms. This relationship is especially strong for Deere and Corn, but it holds true for all of the stocks above to some extent. (Correlation coefficients between all of the stock prices above and corn are statistically significant to at least the 5% level, see my blog here for more details.)

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of Titan Machinery (NASDAQ: TITN  ) dropped as much as 18% today after releasing earnings.

    So what: Fiscal fourth-quarter revenue rose 29.2% from a year ago to $784.5 million, beating estimates of $694.8 million. But earnings per share were just $0.73, $0.19 below estimates, and the company’s guidance of 2014 earnings of $2.00 to $2.30 was well below the $2.59 estimate.  

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Accenture plc. (ACN)

Accenture plc provides management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services worldwide. It offers various management consulting services in the areas of finance and enterprise performance, operations, risk management, sales and customer service, strategy, sustainability, and talent and organization management, as well as provides industry-specific management consulting services. The company also offers system integration consulting services and solutions, including enterprise solutions and enterprise resource planning, industry and functional solutions, information management services, custom solutions, and Microsoft solutions; and technology consulting services and solutions comprising information technology (IT) strategy, infrastructure consulting, IT security consulting, and application modernization and optimization. In addition, it provides technology outsourcing services, which include application outsourcing services; infrastructure outsourcin g services in service desk, workplace, data-center, network, security, and IT spend management service areas; cloud computing services; and mobility and embedded software services. Further, the company provides business process outsourcing (BPO) services for business functions and/or processes, including finance and accounting, human resources, learning and procurement, and others, as well as industry-specific BPO services, such as credit services. It serves communications, electronics and high technology, media and entertainment, banking, capital markets, insurance, health, public service, airlines, freight and logistics, automotive, consumer goods and service, industrial equipment, infrastructure and transportation service, life sciences, retail, chemical, energy, natural resources, and utility industries. Accenture plc has a strategic collaboration with Marriott International, Inc. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Dublin, Ireland.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    A handful of companies report earnings this week including Walgreen Co. (WAG) , Carnival Corp. (CCL) , Accenture PLC (ACN) , Red Hat Inc. (RHT) , Paychex Inc. (PAYX) , and GameStop Corp. (GME) First-quarter earnings season won’t be in full swing until mid-April when J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM)  reports.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) is a company that Baird sees benefiting from the IBM missteps. The firm sees the company gaining in the global business services arena. The company continues to focus on expanding areas like cloud, mobile and so on and should see a similar mix benefit over time. The Baird team estimates that digital, mobile and analytics represents about 12% of Accenture’s revenue. Grabbing more of IBM’s share could help drive the stock price. Investors are paid a 2.2% dividend. The Baird price target for the stock is placed at $90. The Thomson/First Call estimate is $83.70. Accenture closed Wednesday at $85.40.

  • [By Reuters]

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/AP WASHINGTON — The federal government will end its contract with CGI Federal for the error-plagued HealthCare.gov website, instead signing a contract with Accenture, The Washington Post reported Friday in its online edition. U.S.-listed shares of CGI Group (GIB), the parent of CGI Federal, were down 3.5 percent at $31.36 in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange. HealthCare.gov’s technology failures in the weeks after its Oct. 1 launch created a political crisis for President Barack Obama, threatening the rollout of his signature health care law to consumers and emboldening its foes among Republican lawmakers to call for its delay. CGI has been immersed in the effort to repair the site, which began working more smoothly for hundreds of thousands of consumers in December, allowing them to enroll in new health insurance plans offered under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But the government’s dissatisfaction over the website’s early crash, as well as aspects of the site that still do not work, are behind plans to sign a one-year contract with Accenture (ACN) instead, the Post report said, quoting a person familiar with the matter. CGI’s current contract for the work ends in late February, and the new 12-month agreement with Accenture is valued at about $90 million, the Post said. In an emailed statement, an Accenture spokesman said, “We are in discussions with clients and prospective clients all the time — but it is not appropriate to discuss new business opportunities we may or may not be pursuing.” Officials at CGI weren’t immediately available for comment. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency overseeing the health-reform law’s rollout, wouldn’t confirm or deny that it planned to end its contract with CGI. “We are working with our contract partners to make a mutually agreed upon transition to ensure that HealthCare.gov continues to operate smoothly for consumers,” a CMS s

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNLF)

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. mainly engaged in the production of consumer electronic products. It operates in two divisions: DMC division, which is divided into consumer electronics (CE) and information technology & mobile communications (IM) businesses, as well as DS division, which is divided into semiconductor and liquid crystal display (LCD) businesses. Its CE business engages in the production of color televisions (CTVs), monitors, air conditioners, refrigerators and others. Its IM business engages in the production of printers, computers, handhold phones (HHPs) such as feature phones, smart phones and others, and network systems, among others. Its semiconductor business engages in the production of semiconductors, such as memories, system large scale integrated circuits (LSIs) and others. Its LCD business engages in the production of thin film transistor (TFT) LCDs and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images Amazon (AMZN), according to persistent rumors, is putting the finishing touches on a set-top box that will allows users to stream video content from a chosen device or devices to their TVs. If it’s true, the company is coming fairly late to a stuffed segment. But grabbing market share — and even making a buck on the device — might not be its top motivation for wading into this fray. A Razor-and-Blades Strategy For the past few years — ever since it launched its first Kindle — Amazon has been willing to sacrifice making a profit on its tablets in order to push its digital content, a growing library of TV shows, feature films, video games and other material. It sells the current Kindle HD iterations at cost (starting at $139 for the standard HD, and going to $229 for the 7-inch-display HDX version and $379 for the 8.9-inch HDX). Since Kindles are packed with software that guides users to the retailer’s offerings — most compatibly, those TV shows and movies, which users can rent or buy, but also the company’s online catalog of physical goods — the business strategy is a variation on the classic razor-and-blades model. In other words, the company sells the razor (the Kindle) relatively cheaply, in the hopes of producing a long-tail revenue stream with the blades (the digital content). Amazon doesn’t break out detailed numbers for revenue derived from Kindle user activity, so it’s hard to gauge how effective the strategy has been. But the company is selling a lot of digital media. According to research conducted by investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) last year, Amazon stood to take in around $3.8 billion worth of digital media sales in 2013. The bank predicts that this will surge to a projected $5.7 billion this year. The latter figure is around 6 percent of total anticipated net sales for the entirety of 2014. Tablet Sales are Tumbling Putting a damper on that happy growth story is development of the overall ta

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    AT&T has gained 3% to $33.94, making it the Dow’s biggest gainer at 12.35 p.m., while Frontier Communications has risen 2.7% to $5.37, making it the S&P 500′s third-biggest gainer, after a Connecticut union asked the Feds to block the sale of AT&T’s assets in that state.  AT&T also announced pre-orders for new Samsung (SSNLF) products, while Frontier Communications announced an expanded partnership with Crius Energy Trust.

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Syneron Medical Ltd. (ELOS)

Syneron Medical Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the research, manufacture, development, marketing, and sale of aesthetic medical products worldwide. The company develops products based on its proprietary Electro-Optical Synergy (ELOS) technology, which uses the synergy between electrical energy and optical energy to provide aesthetic medical treatments. Its products target a range of non-invasive aesthetic medical procedures, including hair removal, wrinkle reduction, rejuvenation of the skin’s appearance through the treatment of superficial benign vascular and pigmented lesions, acne treatment, treatment of leg veins, treatment for the temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite and thigh circumference, ablation and resurfacing of the skin, laser-assisted lipolysis, and topical skin brightening products. It also develops, manufactures, and markets non-invasive technologies for fat cell destruction and body sculpting; and Viador system, a handheld device with a radiofrequency-needle array for use in transdermal delivery of biologic drug-products via a system-specific skin patch. The company sells its products to dermatologists, plastic and cosmetic surgeons, other qualified practitioners, and aestheticians and medical spas through direct sales force and distributors; and to home-use consumers directly, as well as through retailers and a chain of distributors. Syneron Medical Ltd. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Yokneam Illit, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Syneron Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS  ) has put a familiar person on its CEO throne. The company named Shimon Eckhouse as its new chief executive, effective immediately. He succeeds Louis Scafuri, who will “remain available” to the firm through the current quarter to aid in the transition.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Syneron Medical (Nasdaq: ELOS  ) reported earnings on May 22. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Syneron Medical met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Ishares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB)

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (the Index). The Index consists of securities of NASDAQ-listed companies that are classified according to the Industry Classification Benchmark as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, and which also meet other eligibility criteria. The Index is one of the eight sub-indices of the NASDAQ Composite, which measures all common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.

The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Benjamin Shepherd] While the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NSDQ: IBB) has gained more than 50 percent over the trailing year and nearly doubled over the past two, it’s not immune from the occasional sell-off. Since last Friday, the index is down by more than 8 percent following Congressional concern about high drug costs.
  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    The Takeaway: Although GILD shares have soared 70% in the past year, it’s still trading at just 14 times forward earnings and a price/earnings-to-growth ratio of 0.55, indicating it’s still undervalued. Better still, at a beta of 0.9, it’s less volatile than your typical biotech. If you’re looking for a large cap value stock in the biotech sector that combines size and relative stability with growth, there could be a place for GILD in your portfolio.

    Biotech Stocks: iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB)

    Type: ETF
    Assets Under Management: $5.8 billion

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    With the [iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB)] down ~4.6% today, it would be the worst day since August 18, 2011 (-4.70%). With 30 minutes left in the session, volume is already over 4.5m shares, which is the highest volume in the ETF since March 2nd, 2009. At that time, however, the price was ~$60 vs. $246 today. If we look at Value Traded (Price x Volume), it is already at 1.15bn, or the HIGHEST ON RECORD for this ETF (going back to 2001). The previous high was 1.005 bn on 3/7/14.

  • [By John Udovich]

    The letter ends by asking for a briefing no latter than April 3, 2014. However, the letter alone does not appear to be causing any panic among investors as some have apparently decided to trim some of their biotech positions in the wake of a strong run from the sector. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) lost 4.74% while the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA: XBI) lost 4.18%.

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: TAL International Group Inc.(TAL)

TAL International Group, Inc. engages in the lease of intermodal containers and chassis. It operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The Equipment Leasing segment involves in the acquisition, lease, re-lease, and sale of various intermodal transportation equipment, such as dry freight containers, which are used for general cargo, including manufactured component parts, consumer staples, electronics, and apparel; refrigerated containers that are used for perishable items, such as fresh and frozen foods; and special containers, which are used for heavy and oversized cargo, such as marble slabs, building products, and machinery. It also leases chassis, which are used for the transportation of containers and tank containers that are used to transport bulk liquid products, such as chemicals, as well as finances port equipment, which includes container cranes, reach stackers, and other related equipment. The Equipment Trading segment purchases container s from shipping line customers and other sellers of containers, and resells these containers to container traders and users of containers for storage or one-way shipment. As of December 31, 2009, it had a fleet of 701,946 containers and chassis, including 31,137 containers under management for third parties, representing 1,139,523 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The company was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Among the financial stocks, Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) was down 9.6%, while TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) tumbled around 3.55%. Shares of TAL International dipped after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Margins matter. The more TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL  ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong TAL International Group’s competitive position could be.

Top 10 Performing Companies To Invest In Right Now: Community Health Systems Inc (CYH)

Community Health Systems, Inc., incorporated on June 6, 1996, is an operator of hospitals in the United States. The Company provides healthcare services through the hospitals that it owns and operates in non-urban and selected urban markets throughout the United States. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned or leased 135 hospitals, Consisting of 131 general acute care hospitals and four standalone rehabilitation or psychiatric hospitals. These hospitals are geographically diversified across 29 states, with an aggregate of 20,334 licensed beds. The Company provides a range of general and specialized hospital healthcare services and other outpatient services to patients in the communities in which the Company are located. Services provided through its hospitals and affiliated businesses include general acute care, emergency room, general and specialty surgery, critical care, internal medicine, obstetrics, diagnostic, psychiatric and rehabilitation services. On March 1, 2012, the Company acquired MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Illinois. On July 1, 2012, the Company’s subsidiaries acquired all of the assets of Memorial Health Systems in York, Pennsylvania.

Effective January 1, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of Moses Taylor Healthcare System based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is a healthcare system comprised of two acute care hospitals and other healthcare providers. This healthcare system includes Moses Taylor Hospital (217 licensed beds) located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Mid-Valley Hospital (25 licensed beds) located in Peckville, Pennsylvania. Effective March 5, 2012, the Company completed a merger with Diagnostic Clinic of Longview, P.A., which is a multi-specialty clinic serving residents of Longview, Texas and surrounding East Texas communities. This healthcare system includes Memorial Hospital (100 licensed beds), the Surgical Center of York, and other outpatient and ancillary services. < /p>

The Company provides outpatient services at urg! ent care centers, occupational medicine clinics, imaging centers, cancer centers, ambulatory surgery centers and home health and hospice agencies. In addition to its hospitals and related businesses, the Company also own and operate 64 licensed home care agencies and 31 licensed hospice agencies, located primarily in markets where the Company also operate a hospital. Also, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Quorum Health Resources, LLC, or QHR, the Company provides management and consulting services to non-affiliated general acute care hospitals located throughout the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Lee screened for stocks with low P/Es, positive net income growth, that had Overweight ratings by JPMorgan analysts and upside to analyst target prices. He found 19, including insurers MetLife (MET) and Aetna (AET), banking behemoth Wells Fargo (WFC), Meritage Homes (MTH) and hospital operator Community Health Systems (CYH).

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Community Health Systems Inc.(CYH) somewhat tempered the hospital company’s 2013 revenue expectations, citing a greater than expected deterioration in overall volume during the last quarter, partly hurt by a softer flu season.