Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014

After spending several years focused primarily on compliance and cost management, many banks are repositioning for growth and looking toward new revenue opportunities, particularly from fee-based businesses such as wealth management, according to a new study.

Fifty-five percent of bank executives who participated in Fidelity Investments’ Bank Wealth Management Study, released Wednesday, expected the revenue contribution from their wealth management practices to grow by 25% or more in the next five years.

Fidelity defined a wealth management offering as including private/premium banking, trust management services, securities/brokerage, wealth advisory, investment management and RIA services.

The study identified a group of what it called “pacesetters,” whose wealth management typically represented about 35% of total bank revenue in the next five years, versus 20% for other banks.

“While some may assume that pacesetters were the largest banks or clustered in certain regions, our study found that what really set these firms apart was how they run their wealth management practices,” Mike Norton, head of the banking segment for Fidelity Institutional, said in a statement.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Gotesco Land Inc (GO)

Gotesco Land, Inc. (GLI) is the holding company of Ever-Gotesco Group of Companies for its property development projects. The Company is primarily engaged in acquiring, developing, administering, selling, managing or otherwise dealing in real estate transactions. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates in two business segments. The real estate segment is engaged in the development and sale of real properties. The leasing segment is egnaged in the leasing of clubhouse and resort facilities. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaires included Chateau Royale Sports & Country Club, Inc. (CRSCCI), Evercrest Cebu Golf Club & Resort, Inc. (ECGCRI), Gulod Resort, Inc. (GRI), Multiresources Holding Company, Inc. (MHCI) and Nasugbu Resort, Inc. (NRI). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mark Salzinger, Editor and Publisher, No-Load Fund Investor]

    The former are called General Obligation (GO) bonds, while the latter are generally called revenue bonds. In the old days, GOs were considered safer, because they were backed by the full taxing authority of the issuer. Now, revenue bonds are more in vogue.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: National Beverage Corp.(FIZZ)

National Beverage Corp., together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes beverage products in the United States. The company offers a range of flavored soft drinks, juices, sparkling waters, energy drinks, and nutritionally-enhanced waters. It provides its soft drink products under the Shasta and Faygo names. The company also provides health-conscious beverage products, including juice and juice based products under the Everfresh, Home Juice, and Mr. Pure brand names; sparkling and spring water products under the LaCroix, Crystal Bay, and ClearFruit brand names; and nutritionally enhanced water under the Asante brand. In addition, it offers energy drinks under the brand, Rip It; fruit-flavored drinks under the Ohana brand name; holiday soft drinks under the brand, St. Nick?s; and effervescent powder beverage enhancers under the NutraFizz brand name. Further, the company develops and produces soft drinks for retailers and beverage companies . National Beverage provides its products through national and regional grocery stores, warehouse clubs, mass-merchandisers, wholesalers and dollar stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and independent and specialized distributors, as well as through direct store distribution facilities. The company was founded in 1985 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tabitha Jean Naylor]

    National Beverage (NASDAQ: FIZZ)

    National Beverage is a flavored drink manufacturer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company was founded in 1985 and grew to include such recognizable brands as Shasta sodas, Everfresh fruit juices and Rip It energy drinks. Though National Beverage is considered a “second tier” beverage manufacturer, the company is among the top 10 flavored beverage manufacturers in the country.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Two weeks ago, yours truly made the point that all beverage makers ranging from small niche players like National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:FIZZ) to the mega-sized names like The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) that little ol’ KonaRed Corp. (OTCBB:KRED) was coming on fast… not just in terms of product innovation, but in terms of its retail footprint. Not that there was any doubt in the meantime, but KRED laid down another piece of evidence to that end today that should have the likes of KO and FIZZ concerned Simply put, the flagship Konared product (juice from the fruit that surrounds coffee beans) is soon going to found on the shelves of 80 additional Canadian grocery stores.

  • [By John Udovich]

    If you are looking for the next small cap beverage stock that could turn into the next Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ: MNST), under the radar beverage companies like small caps National Beverage Corp (NASDAQ: FIZZ), Reed’s, Inc (NYSEMKT: REED) and Konared Corp (OTCBB: KRED) could be just what you are looking for. I should point out that the beverage space is often a battle between David and Goliath as everyone, and especially smaller players, must fight for every inch of shelf space. Nevertheless, the following small cap beverage stocks are at least holding their ground and putting up a good fight leading to profits for investors:

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Healthcare Services Group Inc. (HCSG)

Healthcare Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance, and food services to nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals in the United States. It operates in two segments, Housekeeping, Laundry, Linen, and Other services (Housekeeping); and Dietary Department Services (Dietary). The Housekeeping segment offers cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of patient rooms, and areas of client?s facility, as well as laundering and processing of the personal clothing belonging to the facility?s patients. It also engages in laundering and processing bed linens, uniforms, and other assorted linen items utilized by client?s facility, as well as distributes laundry installations. In addition, this segment provides maintenance services that consist of repair and maintenance of laundry equipment, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as carpentry and painting services. The Dietary segment i nvolves in providing dietician consulting professional services, developing a menu that meets the patient?s dietary needs, and purchasing and preparing the food for delivery to the patients, as well as participates in monitoring the residents? on-going nutritional status through providing dietician consulting professional services. As of December 31, 2009, the company provided services to approximately 2,300 facilities in 47 states. Healthcare Services Group was founded in 1976 and is based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    There’s no foolproof way to know the future for Healthcare Services Group (Nasdaq: HCSG  ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen — and before your stock craters as a result.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Encore Capital Group Inc(ECPG)

Encore Capital Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in consumer debt buying and recovery business primarily in the United States. The company purchases and manages portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables, such as consumers? unpaid financial commitments to credit originators, including banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, commercial retailers, auto finance companies, and telecommunication companies; and receivables subject to bankruptcy proceedings or consumer bankruptcy receivables. It also provides bankruptcy services to the finance industry, such as negotiating bankruptcy plans, monitoring and managing consumer?s compliance with bankruptcy plans, and recommending courses of action to clients in case of a deviation from a bankruptcy plan. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    The other good news is on pages 10, 11 and 15. Delinquencies are rising, as are collections. If debt balances increase, you would expect delinquencies to rise as well. That bodes well for the big-time players in debt collection, Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA) and Encore Capital Group (ECPG). Both just reported robust growth in collections, revenues, and net income. They’re also making large international acquisitions. I love both companies and think they’re are undervalued.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap debt collection stocks like Asta Funding, Inc (NASDAQ: ASFI), Encore Capital Group, Inc (NASDAQ: ECPG) and Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc (NASDAQ: PRAA) could be the latest target of a government shakedown or crackdown as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said this week that before it formally proposes any rules for debt collection, it wants to hear how collectors verify borrowers’ information and communicate with consumers. In other words, debt collectors could be restricted from using text messages, social media or other Internet-based tools in their pursuit to collect debts. With about one in 10 Americans coming out of the financial crisis with some debt in collection, investing in small cap debt collection stocks has been profitable for investors. However, there is no timeline for when any new rules might be released for review or come into effect.

  • [By Sally Jones]

    Today’s diverse companies were chosen for their speculative enterprises. Both companies deal in the territory of what if. If Encore Capital Group Inc. (ECPG) can collect more from a huge portfolio of consumer debt, the company would grow. If Sophiris Bio Inc. (SPHS), a 10-person biopharm, is successful in competing to provide relief for prostate BPH symptoms, the company would soar.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (VSH)

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. designs, manufactures, and supplies discrete semiconductors and passive components. The company operates in five segments: MOSFETs, Diodes, Optoelectronic Components, Resistors & Inductors, and Capacitors. The MOSFETs segment offers low- and medium-voltage TrenchFET MOSFETs, high-voltage planar MOSFETs, high voltage Super Junction MOSFETs, power integrated circuits, and integrated function power devices. The Diodes segment provides rectifiers, small signal diodes, protection diodes, thyristors/silicon-controlled rectifiers, and power modules. The Optoelectronic Components segment offers infrared (IR) emitters and detectors, IR remote control receivers, optocouplers, solid-state relays, optical sensors, light-emitting diodes, seven-segment displays, and IR data transceiver modules. The Resistors & Inductors segment provides film, wirewound, power metal strip, variable, and non-linear resistors, as well as battery management shunts, chip fuses, ne tworks/arrays, magnetics, and connectors. The Capacitors segment offers tantalum, ceramic, film, power, heavy-current, and aluminum capacitors. The company’s semiconductor components are used for various functions, including power control, power conversion, power management, signal switching, signal routing, signal blocking, signal amplification, two-way data transfer, one-way remote control, and circuit isolation; and passive components are used to restrict current flow, suppress voltage increases, store and discharge energy, control alternating current and voltage, filter out unwanted electrical signals, and perform other functions. It serves industrial, computing, automotive, consumer, telecommunications, power supplies, military, aerospace, and medical markets. Vishay Intertechnology offers its products to the manufacturers primarily in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    When most investors think of optical sensor makers, they tend to think of larger names like Honeywell International Inc.  (NYSE:HON) or Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE:VSH). And well they should. VSH is a $2 billion company, and HON is a $71.5 billion organization. The fact is, however, there are a few small cap stocks in the optical sensor space that are worth a look, and one of them is worth a very close look right now for a very clear reason… Advanced Photonix, Inc. (NYSEMKT:API).

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH  ) reported earnings on April 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 30 (Q1), Vishay Intertechnology beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Tremor Video Inc (TRMR)

Tremor Video, Inc.( Tremor Video), incorporated on November 22, 2005, is a provider of technology-driven video advertising solutions enabling brand advertisers to engage consumers across multiple Internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets and connected televisions. The Company’s clients include brand advertisers globally, including automakers and consumer packaged goods companies. The Company’s technology, VideoHub, analyzes in-stream video content, detects viewer and system attributes, and leverages its repository of stored data to optimize video ad campaigns for brand-centric metrics. VideoHub also provides advertisers and agencies with analytics and measurement tools enabling them to understand why, when and where viewers engage with their video ads.

VideoHub

VideoHub powers the Company’s video advertising solutions. Through VideoHub it delivers brand-centric key performance indicators, distinct signals to drive optimization, brand-centric optimization, in-stream video analysis and categorization, ad performance transparency, ad placement transparency, and cross site and channel measurement.

The Company has a range of brand-centric key performance indicators (KPIs), such as engagement (that is, the interaction of a viewer with a video ad), brand lift (that is, a positive shift in preference towards a brand or branded product driven by exposure to a video ad and brand education), and time spent (that is, the amount of time a viewer spends with a video ad), which are tailored to the needs of brand advertisers. Throughout a campaign VideoHub analyzes and stores data for all KPIs in its suite. Using a training algorithm, VideoHub trains a series of statistical predictive models to build a decision tree, which predicts performance of the video ad campaign for the chosen KPI.

VideoHub performs an analysis on every video stream and categorizes it among one of a pproximately 72 video content categories. It also has the ab! ility to scan and categorize content by analyzing the audio track and certain visual elements. VideoHub offers advertisers transparency into the workings of its decision tree. VideoHub tracks the number of impressions served to a specific publisher site and whether a video ad placement is fully, partially or not visible to a viewer, which it refer to as viewability.

The Company’s metric, eQ score+, allows advertisers to compare video inventory quality across different publisher sites by measuring attributes such as viewability, the size of the video player and ad completion rate. When coupled with pricing information, these insights help advertisers compare the relative value of video inventory across publishers.

Tremor Video Network

The Tremor Video Network offers advertisers access to video inventory at scale across multiple devices in brand safe environments. Through the Tremor Video Network it delivers scale and reach across mult iple devices, premium video content, brand safety, in-stream video focus, advanced ad formats, and pricing models. The Tremor Video Network delivers scale and reach across multiple Internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets and connected television, enabling its clients to use its solutions to address their online video advertising needs across these devices.

The Company’s technology scans and categorizes every video within the Tremor Video Network and prevents video ads from being served within content, which is identified as objectionable for the brand advertiser, including content which contains accidents, distasteful or obscene language, substance abuse, violence, gambling, sex or crime. It specializes in delivering in-stream video advertisements, which can be served to viewers prior to or during the publisher’s content when they are the most engaged.

The Company’s ad formats include Super Pre-Roll, Pre-Roll Plus and Pre-Roll Extended Play. The Company offers brand perform! ance-base! d pricing models for in-stream video advertisements, which are tied to the effectiveness of the Tremor Video Network, as advertisers using these models pay the Company only if their video ad campaigns perform.

VideoHub for Advertisers (VHA)

The Company is licensing VHA, a software platform, which client access through a Web portal. By licensing VHA, advertisers and their agencies can use VHA across the entirety of their video ad buys, including on publisher sites. In order to analyze video ad campaigns running outside the Tremor Video Network, VideoHub generates a tracking code which is associated with the video ad unit that the advertiser or agency wishes to analyze through VHA. Advertisers and agencies can then access VideoHub’s advanced analysis of this data through VHA in order to gain valuable insights into campaign performance, including the performance of the campaign on a particular publisher’s site.

The Company competes with Hulu, LLC, Google Inc., BrightRoll, Inc., YuMe, Inc., CBS, CNN, ESPN, Adap.tv, Inc., Videology, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Yahoo! Inc. and Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap advertising solutions stock Rocket Fuel Inc (NASDAQ: FUEL) jumped 13.55% while peer Tremor Video Inc (NYSE: TRMR) rose 8.24%. So what is going on with these two small caps and which one might be the better deal?

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR  ) — $7.97
    Tremor went public at $10 a share late last month, and it’s already a busted IPO.

    The company seems to be at the right place at the right time. Tremor runs an online video advertising network at a time when everyone is gravitating to video content. Tremor’s VideoHub platform analyzes in-stream video content to serve up optimal video ad campaigns. Its clients include all 10 of the largest automakers and all but one of the 10 largest packaged goods companies.

  • [By Helix Investment Research]

    We note that Keating Capital’s co-investors in many of its portfolio companies are not simply other venture capital or existing investors, but strategic investors as well. Examples include Agilyx, where Waste Management (WM) is a co-investor, BrightSource, where Chevron (CVX) and BP (BP) are co-investors, Kabam, where Google (GOOG) and Intel (INTC) are co-investors, or Tremor Video (TRMR), where Time Warner (TWX) is a co-investor. As of the end of Q2 2013, 9 (excluding Jumptap) of Keating Capital’s portfolio companies had unrealized gains, with an average gain of 25.6% (again excluding Jumptap, which had unrealized gains of 8% as of the end of Q2 2013). The remaining 6 companies had an average loss of 44.46%. However, on an overall basis, Keating Capital’s portfolio currently has an average unrealized gain of 2.15%. While this is not a large gain, we note that the bulk of Keating Capital’s profits are realized upon exiting an investment in conjunction with the portfolio co mpany’s IPO or sale. Furthermore, portions of Keating Capital’s portfolio are defended by structurally protected appreciation clauses that the company has struck with its portfolio companies, clauses that are not reflected on its balance sheet. These clauses, which are negotiated between Keating Capital and its portfolio companies, allow the company to receive shares in the portfolio company’s IPO at a discount, or grant it warrants to purchase additional shares in an IPO for a nominal price. Since inception, Keating Capital has negotiated structurally protected appreciation clauses in 11 of the 20 companies it has invested in. As of the end of Q2 2013, 6 of Keating Capital’s 15 portfolio companies were protected by structurally protected appreciation clauses, representing $22 million in total capital (almost 43% of the company’s invested capital), thereby entitling Keating Capital to a weighted-average aggregate value of 1.9x its investment at the time of an IPO.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: U.S. Global Investors Inc.(GROW)

U.S. Global Investors, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to investment companies. It also provides its services to pooled investment vehicles. The firm manages mutual funds for its clients. It invests in the public equity and fixed income markets across the globe. The firm invests in value stocks to make its equity investments. It employs a fundamental and technical analysis with bottom-up and top-down analysis to make its investments. The firm typically invests in companies specializing in gold and natural resources. U.S. Global Investors, Inc. was founded in 1968 and is based in San Antonio, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Morgan Myrmo]

    One business that is ripe for takeover is U.S. Global Investors (GROW), a micro-cap asset manager based in San Antonio, Texas. The company specializes in the management of gold, mineral, resource and high-growth emerging market mutual funds. U.S. Global fund values have been hammered over the last five years as the current economic recovery has yet to reach commodities and emerging markets.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Eco Depot Inc (ECDP)

Eco Depot, Inc. (Eco Depot), incorporated on November 2, 2004, is a development-stage company. The Company is in the business of developing an Internet e-commerce Website that will sell a range of environmentally friendly goods, energy efficient building and construction materials and sustainable home products. Eco Depot will not manufacture any equipment or goods, but will resell green products from various manufacturers. In July 2010, Eco Depot Inc acquired CS Tech (America).

Eco Depot, Inc. plans to develop and market an e-commerce enabled Website, which would attract prospective industrial clientele, businesses, municipalities and individual customers seeking cleaner technologies and products. The Company plans to market and sell through its Website goods and products that are defined as green. These green products include recycled paper counter tops, environmentally friendly paints, and recycled glass tiles. Eco Depot began the initial development of its Website (www.ecodepotinc.com.) where these products are listed.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

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

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: Schawk Inc.(SGK)

Schawk, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides graphic services and solutions in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company?s graphic services encompasses a range of creative and executional service offerings, including traditional premedia business services, as well as digital photography, color retouching, large format digital printing, and sales and promotional samples under the Schawk brand name; and digital three-dimensional modeling of prototypes or existing packages for its consumer products clients. Its brand and package strategy and design services include brand consulting and creative design for packaging applications to consumer products companies, food and beverage retailers, and mass merchandisers under the Brandimage and Anthem brands. The company also offers digital promotion and advertising services to the digital communications markets under the Untitled and Real Branding brand names. In addition, it provides software products, such a s graphic lifecycle content management systems comprising digital asset management, workflow management, online proofing, and intelligence performance management modules; and support services, which include implementation, on-site management, validation for regulated environments, and support and training for the marketing services departments of consumer products, pharmaceutical/life sciences, and retail companies. The company serves direct purchasers of graphic services, including end-use consumer product manufacturers of food, beverage, non-food and beverage, and pharmaceutical products; groceries, pharmacies, department, and mass merchant retailers; converters; and advertising agencies. Schawk, Inc. was founded in 1953 and is headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    There’s no foolproof way to know the future for Schawk (NYSE: SGK  ) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen — and before your stock craters as a result.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Own For 2014: AvalonBay Communities Inc. (AVB)

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. As of January 31, 2009, the company owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 164 operating apartment communities comprising 45,728 apartment homes in 10 states and the District of Columbia. It also held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 14 communities under construction, as well as held rights to develop an additional 27 communities. The company?s markets are located in New England, the New York/New Jersey metro area, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern and Southern California regions of the United States. AvalonBay Communities has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust and would not be subject to federal corporate income taxes if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1978 and is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    When it comes to apartment REITs, AvalonBay Communities (AVB) is one of the largest. The firm has direct or indirect ownership in a massive 273 apartment communities, or roughly 81,500 different apartments or townhomes. The bulk of these buildings are located in markets with a high barrier to entry — Washington D.C., for example — and feature a stable and generally high-income renter’s base.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Apartment community real estate investment trust (REIT) AvalonBay Communities (AVB) raised its quarterly dividend 8.4% to $1.16 per share, payable on Apr. 15 to shareholders of record as of Mar. 31.
    AVB Dividend Yield: 3.77%

  • [By Shauna O’Brien]

    KeyBanc announced on Thursday that it has boosted its rating on AvalonBay Communities Inc (AVB) to “Buy.”

    The firm has upgraded AVB from “Hold” to “Buy,” and has given the company a $139 price target. This price target suggests a 15% upside from the stock’s current price of $120.55. KeyBanc has also upgraded residential REIT UDR, Inc. (UDR) and has cut its rating on Essex Property Trust Inc (ESS).

    Analyst Karin Ford noted: “We upgrade the Apartment REIT vertical from Market-Weight to OVERWEIGHT based upon attractive valuation levels that overlook the potential for accelerating fundamentals, as the impact of new supply wanes and continued employment gains support greater rental demand into ’15.

    “We believe the short-cycle nature of the apartment vertical’s leases place it relatively well within an env’t of rising rates driven by an imprv’g economy; the group’s underperformance YTD and current relative valuation level (4% discount to REIT sector on AFFO multiple) reflects concern over slowing fundamentals amid elevated new supply. We think new supply should peak in late-’14 and give way to accelerating absorption trends.”

    AvalonBay Communities shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Thursday. The stock is down 11% YTD.