Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014

After a strong week that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) to record highs again, the blue chips finished essentially flat today, gaining just three points, or 0.02%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, as Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) cooled off what would have been a stronger gain for the Dow (more on that later).

Kicking off the day, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) reported earnings before markets opened, as investors looked for insights into the affect rising interest rates would have on the economy. At JPMorgan, profits rose 32%, as the banking giant lapped last year’s “London Whale” trading loss, but it did see a decline in mortgage refinancing. CEO Jamie Dimon said he was optimistic about the economic recovery, seeing several signs of improvement. After adjustments, earnings per share came in line with estimates at $1.45, while revenue topped expectations. Shares finished down 0.3%. Wells Fargo, meanwhile, posted a per-share profit of $0.98 against the consensus of $0.93, as the nation’s largest mortgage provider showed improvements in loan losses. Shares finished up 1.8%.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Scana Corporation(SCG)

SCANA Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to retail and wholesale customers in South Carolina. It owns nuclear, coal, hydro, oil and gas, and biomass generating facilities. The company also purchases, sells, and transports natural gas; offers energy-related risk management services; acquires, owns, and provides financing for nuclear fuel, fossil fuel, and emission allowances; and offers service contracts on home appliances, and heating and air conditioning units. In addition, SCANA Corporation owns two liquefied natural gas plants, including one located near Charleston, and the other in Salley, South Carolina; and provides tower site construction, management, and rental services in South Carolina and North Carolina. As of December 31, 2010, the company supplied electricity to approximately 660,000 customers; and natural gas to approximately 482,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers i n North Carolina, and 313,500 customers in South Carolina, as well as to approximately 460,000 customers in Georgia. Further, SCANA Corporation owns and operates a 500-mile fiber optic telecommunications network and Ethernet network, and data center facilities in South Carolina. Through a joint venture, it builds, manages, and leases communications towers with interest in 2,280 miles of fiber in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. The company?s retail customers comprise municipalities, electric cooperatives, other investor-owned utilities, registered marketers, and federal and state electric agencies. It primarily serves chemicals, educational services, paper products, food products, lumber and wood products, health services, textile manufacturing, rubber and miscellaneous plastic products, and fabricated metal products industries. The company is based in Cayce, South Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By David Dittman]

    Answer: I like NextEra Energy, which has significant renewables exposure and operates in a region with solid economic fundamentals. I also like smaller utes that operate in smaller footprints with solid long-term fundamentals, including Cleco (NYSE: CNL), Pinnacle West, Vectren (NYSE: VVC) and SCANA (NYSE: SCG).

  • [By Roger Conrad]

    And it’s what SCANA Corp. (SCG) is locked-in to deliver, at least to the end of the decade. The company’s biggest project is constructing two 1,117-mega-watt nuclear reactors using Toshiba-Westinghouse’s AP 1000 model.

  • [By Justin Loiseau]

    In March 2012, Southern Company (NYSE: SO  ) received the first construction approval in over 30 years for two new units at its Vogtle plan in Georgia totaling 2,200 MW of electric capacity. SCANA (NYSE: SCG  ) wasn’t far behind with approval for two units of its own in South Carolina totaling around 2,100 MW. Southern expects its units to come on line by 2017, while both of SCANA’s will power up by 2019.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc (NES)

Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc., formerly Heckmann Corporation, incorporated on May 29, 2007, provides environmental solutions to protect, enhance and advance environmental sustainability. Nuverra provides full-cycle environmental solutions to a national customer base consisting of two distinct end markets: Shale Solutions and Industrial Solutions.

The Company is focused on the removal, treatment, recycling, transportation and disposal of restricted solids, fluids and hydrocarbons for E&P customers. It also provides a one-stop-shop for energy recovery, re-refining and recycling of used motor oil and oily wastewater; plus a closed loop spent antifreeze program for retail, automotive and manufacturing customers. Nuverra specializes in providing environmentally compliant and sustainable solutions to a national footprint of customers.

Shale Solutions

Shale Solutions provides environmental solutions for unconventional oil and gas ex ploration and production, including the delivery, collection, treatment, recycle, and disposal of restricted environmental products used in the development of unconventional oil and natural gas fields. The Company operates in select shale areas in the United States, including the Marcellus/Utica, Eagle Ford, Bakken, Haynesville, Barnett, Permian, Mississippian Lime and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale areas. It serves customers seeking fresh water acquisition, temporary water transmission and storage, transportation, treatment or disposal of fresh water and complex water flows, such as flowback and produced brine water, in connection with shale oil and gas hydraulic fracturing drilling or hydrofracturing operations. The Company also transports fresh water for production and provides services for site preparation, water pit excavations and remediation.

Industrial Solutions

Industrial Solutions provides environmental and waste recycling solutions to its custom ers through collection and recycling services for waste prod! ucts, including UMO, which the Company processes and sells as RFO, oily water, spent antifreeze, used oil filters and parts washers, and provision of complementary environmental services for a diverse commercial and industrial customer base. Industrial Solutions operates a scalable network infrastructure of 34 processing facilities, approximately 385 tanker trucks, vacuum trucks and trailers and over 200 railcars. With a geographic presence in 19 states in the Western United States stretching from Washington to Texas, Industrial Solutions provides its services to a diverse range of more than 20,000 commercial and industrial customer locations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. (NES)  fell 5.6% to $16.99 on moderate volume after the company announced it was selling its industrial solutions unit, Thermo Fluids Inc., to VeroLube for $175 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NYSE: NES) is expected to post a Q4 loss at $0.47 per share on revenue of $152.06 million.

    PowerSecure International (NYSE: POWR) is estimated to post its Q4 earnings at $0.09 per share on revenue of $69.18 million.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: priceline.com Incorporated(PCLN)

priceline.com Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an online travel company. The company provides price-disclosed hotel reservation services on a worldwide basis primarily under the Booking.com, priceline.com, and Agoda brand names; and price-disclosed rental car reservation services in approximately 80 countries through TravelJigsaw brand name. It also offers its customers the ability to purchase other travel services, including retail airline tickets; rental car days; vacations packages consisting of airfare, hotel, and rental car components; cruise trips; and destination services, including parking, event tickets, ground transfers, and tours through its ?Name Your Own Price? demand-collection system in the United States. In addition, the company offers an optional travel insurance package that provides coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation, as well as for loss of baggage, property, and travel d ocuments for air, hotel, and vacation package customers; and collision damage waiver insurance for rental car customers in the United States. The company?s other brands include Lowestfare.com, rentalcars.com, Breezenet.com, MyTravelGuide.com, Travelweb, hotelroom.com, and Car Hire 3000. priceline.com Incorporated was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Companies that could benefit from a pickup in capital spending include Akamai Technologies (AKAM) and priceline.com (PCLN), which have the highest sensitivity to “non-residential fixed investment in Intellectual Property Products,” Frontier Communications (FTR) and Lam Research (LRCX), which have the highest sales sensitivity to non-residential fixed investment in Equipment,” and Transocean (RIG), which is among the companies with a high exposure to “non-residential fixed investment in Structures.”

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Heavyweights in the S&P 500 such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  , Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) , AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) , Honeywell Corp. (HON) , Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) , DuPont (DD) , Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) , Monsanto Co. (MON) , and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)  all saw a 20% or more jump in the number of short-interest positions in the past two weeks alone, according to FactSet data.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Royal Bank Of Canada(RY)

Royal Bank of Canada provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services under the RBC name worldwide. Its Canadian Banking segment offers personal financial services, business financial services, and cards and payment solutions. The company?s Wealth Management segment provides wealth and asset management, and estate and trust services to affluent and high net worth clients through distributors, as well as directly to institutional and individual clients in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Its Insurance segment provides various life and health insurance, including universal life, accidental death and critical illness protection, disability, long-term care insurance, and group benefits; and property and casualty insurance comprising home, auto, and travel insurance, as well as wealth accumulation solutions; and reinsurance products through retail ins urance branches, call centers, independent insurance advisors and travel agencies, financial institutions, and career sales force. The company?s International Banking segment offers various financial products and services to individuals, business clients, and public institutions in the U.S. and Caribbean. This segment also provides global custody, fund and pension administration, securities lending, shareholder services, analytics, and other related services to institutional investors. Royal Bank of Canada?s Capital Markets segment engages in the trading and distribution of fixed income, foreign exchange, equities, commodities, and derivative products for institutional, public sector, and corporate clients; and involves in investment banking, debt and equity origination, advisory services, corporate lending, private equity, and client securitization businesses. The company was founded in 1864 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    CM Rating: 7

    Royal Bank of Canada (RY)

    Dividend Yield: 3.9%

    Royal Bank of Canada (RY) is having an excellent 2013. Its adjusted net income for the first nine months of the year through the end of July was up 12.3% to C$6.3 billion, and is expected to grow by 8.7% in Q4 to C$2.2 billion.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Thursday

    Earnings Expected From: UTi Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: UTIW), Renesola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL), Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY), Kroger Company (NYSE: KR), Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG), Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) Economic Releases Expected: US factory orders, French unemployment rate, Bank of England interest rate decision, US GDP

    Friday

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: ArthroCare Corporation(ARTC)

ArthroCare Corporation, a medical device company, develops, manufactures, and markets surgical products primarily based on its minimally invasive patented Coblation technology in the Americas and internationally. The company?s Sports Medicine business provides energy-based systems and fixation technologies used to treat soft tissue injuries in the shoulders, knees, and hips. It offers ArthroWands product line that features Coblation based specialized disposable energy-based surgical wands designed for single patient use to treat orthopedic conditions, including shoulder, knee, hip, foot, ankle, elbow, and wrist injuries; and Soft-Tissue Fixation products comprising a line of specialized implants and instruments, such as knotless and traditional anchors for rotator cuff and labrum repairs in shoulder; screws for ligament reconstruction in knee; a range of arthroscopic suture passers; and reusable hand-held instruments, procedural kits, and accessories. The company?s Ear N o se and Throat (ENT) business provides surgical products used to treat conditions performed by ENT healthcare professionals. It offers various products for general head, neck, and oral surgical procedures, including sinus surgery, snoring treatment, nasal turbinates reduction, and adenoid and tonsil removal. The company also provides surgical products for the treatment of spine related and other conditions. Its products include SpineWand devices used to treat soft tissue conditions in spine; Plasma Disc Decompression products for treating contained herniated discs; Cavity SpineWand that reduces the size of malignant lesions in the vertebrae of patients suffering from spinal compression fractures; and WoundWand for acute and chronic wound debridement, and wound cleansing. ArthroCare sells its products to surgeons and specialized medical professionals through sales representatives, and independent sales agents and distributors. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquarte red in Austin, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Top Headline
    Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: SNN) announced its plans to buy ArthroCare (NASDAQ: ARTC) for $1.7 billion in cash. Smith & Nephew will pay $48.25 per share in cash to acquire ArthroCare, representing a 6.3% premium to ArthroCare’s closing price on January 31.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Top Headline
    Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: SNN) announced its plans to buy ArthroCare (NASDAQ: ARTC) for $1.7 billion in cash. Smith & Nephew will pay $48.25 per share in cash to acquire ArthroCare, representing a 6.3% premium to ArthroCare’s closing price on January 31.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Laparoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a type of surgical technique where operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions while small cap stocks ArthroCare Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTC), EDAP TMS S.A. (NASDAQ: EDAP), SafeStitch Medical Inc (OTCBB: SFES) and Arch Therapeutics Inc (OTCBB: ARTH) are all in some way focused on aiding minimally invasive procedures. According to a 2012 report produced by MedMarket Diligence, LLC, approximately 114 million surgical and procedure-based wounds occur annually worldwide, including 36 million in the US, and perhaps up to a quarter of these procedures can be described as laparoscopic in nature. Moreover, use of the technique is bound to increase as it reduces pain and hemorrhaging plus leads to a shorter recovery time.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Rovi Corporation(ROVI)

Rovi Corporation provides digital entertainment technology solutions for the discovery and management of entertainment content. It offers interactive program guides; embedded licensing technologies, such as recommendations and search capability; media recognition technologies; licensing of the company?s database of descriptive information about television, movie, music, books, and game content; and analog content protection technologies and services. The company?s interactive program guides technology is an interactive listing of television or video program information that enables viewers to navigate through, sort, select, and schedule video programming for viewing and recording. The company also provides video delivery solutions, such as compression-decompression technology (codec) to enable distribution of content across the Internet and through recordable media in physical or streamed forms; and media manager, a personal computer application enabling consumers to man a ge personal media files, including music, photos, and video files. In addition, it offers digital copy solution for consumer electronics devices and PC software applications; the Rovi Entertainment Store video delivery solutions; content authoring solutions; and advertising solutions. Rovi Corporation primarily serves companies in the consumer electronics, cable and satellite, entertainment, and online distribution markets. The company was formerly known as Macrovision Solutions Corporation and changed its name to Rovi Corporation in July 2009. Rovi Corporation was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Rovi (NASDAQ: ROVI  ) have lost nearly 12% today as a result of the company’s disappointing earnings report. Both top and bottom lines missed estimates, and the company is now contemplating divestitures to keep itself afloat.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Rovi (Nasdaq: ROVI  ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on May 1. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:

    The 10-second takeaway
    Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Rovi’s revenues will decrease -12.8% and EPS will wither -17.9%.

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Reed Elsevier NV (ENL)

Reed Elsevier NV offers professional information solutions in North America and Europe. The company’s Scientific, Technical & Medical segment publishes research, reference, and education content; and offers database and workflow solutions for scientists, research leaders and administrators, doctors, nurses, health professionals, and students, as well as hospitals, academic and research institutions, health insurers, managed healthcare organizations, research corporations, and governments. It also provides abstract and citation database of research literature; an oil and gas exploration tool that packages research-relevant geological content and tags that content to enable search functionality; and solutions for synthetic chemists. In addition, this segment offers software and tools that enhance research outcomes of academic institutions and researchers; and Web-based tools for the engineering community. Its Risk Solutions segment provides data and analytics to property an d casualty personal and commercial, and life insurance carriers; and risk and identity management, fraud detection, credit risk management, and compliance solutions for financial institutions, as well as offers risk-related information to the legal industry. The company’s Business Information segment provides data services, such as information and pricing services for the chemicals, fertilizers, and energy sectors; payment routing data and anti-money laundering services, as well as compliance information to the banking and corporate sectors; online regulatory guidance, practices, and tools for HR professionals; and online construction data and information to the construction industry. Its Legal segment offers legal, regulatory, news and business, and analysis services to legal, corporate, government, and academic customers. The company’s Exhibitions segment organizes exhibitions and conferences in various industries. Reed Elsevier NV was founded in 1903 and is based in Am s terdam, the Netherlands.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Reed Elsevier NV (ENL) is a diversified publisher and information provider. It works on a wide range of market segments that include scientific, technical and medical (STM); legal; risks solutions and business information and exhibitions. The key of the company’s growth, however, lies almost exclusively in two brands: Elsevier and LexisNexis.

  • [By David Hunkar]

    Current Dividend Yield: 4.68%
    Sector: Electric Utilities
    Country: Portugal

    Company: Reed Elsevier NV (ENL)

    Current Dividend Yield: 3.03%
    Sector: Media
    Country: The Netherlands

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (VBHLF)

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (VAH) is an Australia-based company engaged in the development and operation of domestic and international airlines. VAH’s fleet includes ATR-72, Embraer 190, Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, AIRBUS A330 and Boeing 777-300ER. It product includes Airbus A330 Business Class. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, the Company carried 19,468,929 guests on 216 city pairs to 52 destinations, and operated 162,817 flights. On February 22, 2012, under the proposal, all of the shares in the international airline business of Virgin Australia were transferred to a new holding company, Virgin Australia International Holdings Pty Ltd. In April 2013, it acquired 100% of the issued share capital in Skywest Airlines Ltd. In July 2013, Virgin Australia Holdings Limited announced that it has acquired 60% interest of Tiger Airways Australia Pty Limited from Tiger Airways Holdings Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks gave ground in early Friday trading, with banks broadly lower after overnight losses in the U.S., where investors worried that better-than-expected data would prompt the Federal Reserve to roll back stimulus soon. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) lost 0.4% to 5,178.30, as National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) fell 1.8%, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) lost 0.8%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) retreated 1.3%. Among the resource shares, losses for gold both in New York and in early Asian electronic trade helped send Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) down 1.9% and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) off 4.5%, though Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) held the drop to 0.4%. Oil prices managed a modest gain, however, resulting in a 0.2% rise for Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) and Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR) (KRNGF) , while Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (AU:WPL)

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Ctrip.com International Ltd.(CTRP)

Ctrip.com International, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides travel services for hotel accommodations, airline tickets, and packaged tours in the People?s Republic of China. It also sells independent leisure travelers bundled package-tour products, which include transportation and accommodation, as well as guided tours covering various domestic and international destinations. In addition, the company offers Internet-related advertising, aviation casualty insurance, and air-ticket delivery services. Further, it sells Property Management System, a hotel information software; travel guidebooks, which provide information for independent travelers; and VIP membership cards that allow cardholders to receive discounts from various restaurants, clubs, and bars. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Among stocks that are available to US investors through a listing in New York, the list includes Ctrip.com International (CTRP), China’s biggest online travel retailer; Qihoo 360 (QIHU), a leading mobile security company; 58.com (WUBA), the Craigslist-like operator of a classified site, and SouFun Holdings (SFUN), the owner of China’s biggest real-estate site.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Shutterstock/Andrey Burmakin Folks are turning to the Internet more and more in planning business trips and personal getaways — and investors are cashing in on the trend. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) soared 18 percent last week after posting better than expected quarterly results. Revenue climbing 4 percent and profitability clocking in at 5 cents a share may not seem very impressive, but analysts were settling for the volatile travel portal to merely break even on flattish revenue growth. Strength in its hotel bookings were more than enough to offset weakness in airline reservations. Orbitz Worldwide’s larger and faster-growing peers priceline.com (PCLN) and Expedia (EXPE) went along for the ride, climbing 7 percent and 4 percent respectively. They both went on to hit new all-time highs. Seeing an industry laggard start to grow profitably again — and Orbitz Worldwide is calling for modest continued growth into 2014 — was enough to get the market behind the popular providers of lodging, air travel, car rental, cruise and vacation package reservations. This isn’t just a one-week phenomenon. Priceline and Expedia shares have soared 174 percent and 171 percent since the end of 2011. Orbitz Worldwide has also more than doubled in that time, and it’s up a whopping 223 percent since the start of 2013. The Ins and Outs of Inn Outings Orbitz Worldwide’s report would have been better if it wasn’t held back by an 11 percent decline in airline ticket sales. Priceline and Expedia are growing their airfare sales, but modestly, compared to their hotel reservations. This isn’t a surprise. Airlines have done a good job of marketing directly to passengers. There are a lot of people on frequent flyer programs, so they often head directly to an air carrier’s website when it’s time to book a trip. Pricing is also pretty competitive between airlines. There may not be a lot of carriers offering the desired route, but they are quick to respond to what rivals are doing. Th

Top 10 Safest Companies To Watch For 2014: Glacier Bancorp Inc. (GBCI)

Glacier Bancorp, Inc., a multi-bank holding company, provides commercial banking services in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. It offers transaction and savings deposits; real estate, commercial, agriculture, and consumer loans; mortgage origination services; and retail brokerage services to individuals, small to medium-sized businesses, community organizations, and public entities. The company’s deposit products include non-interest bearing demand accounts, interest bearing checking accounts, regular statement savings accounts, money market deposit accounts, fixed rate certificates of deposit, negotiated-rate jumbo certificates, individual retirement accounts, and reciprocal deposits. Its loan products comprise construction and permanent loans on residential real estate; consumer land and lot acquisition loans; unimproved land and land development loans; residential builder guidance lines comprising pre-sold and spec-home construction, and lot acqu isition loans; commercial real estate loans to purchase, construct, and finance commercial real estate properties; commercial and industrial loans; consumer loans secured by real estate, automobiles, and other assets; second mortgage and home equity loans; and agriculture loans. The company operates 106 locations, including 97 branches. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Kalispell, Montana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Glacier Bancorp (NASDAQ: GBCI  ) is reaching into its vault for more cash to return to shareholders. The company this week declared its latest dividend, which is to be $0.15 per share paid on July 18 to shareholders of record as of July 9.