Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014

For some time, broadcasters and cable outlets have been searching for ways to access user-generated video in a way that they can trust. Disney’s (NYSE: DIS  ) ABC News has found at least part of the answer in its latest deal with Storyful, which is essentially an extension of an existing partnership.

Storyful is a relatively new business model where the company uses its expertise to source and verify video produced in the social media space. This allows media outlets to have the confidence to release these videos as part of a breaking news story. The company has been in business for about five years.

Perhaps the best example for the most visible coverage resulting from the partnership is in regard to the typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013. With little in the way of boots on the ground, ABC News was able to provide full coverage of the story with accompanying video. Confirmation and verification of the sources of video content made this possible for the news agency.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Church & Dwight Co Inc (CHD)

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The Company’s brands include ARM & HAMMER, (used in multiple product categories, such as baking soda, carpet deodorization and laundry detergent), TROJAN Condoms, XTRA laundry detergent, OXICLEAN pre-wash laundry additive, NAIR depilatories, FIRST RESPONSE home pregnancy and ovulation test kits, ORAJEL oral analgesics and SPINBRUSH battery-operated toothbrushes. The Company operates in three segments: Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products segments represented approximately 72%, 19% and 9%, respectively, of the Company’s net sales. On June 28, 2011, the Company acquired the BATISTE dry shampoo brand from Vivalis, Limited. The BATISTE brand is managed principally within the Consumer International segment. On Septembe r 22, 2011, the Company, together with FMC Corporation and TATA Chemicals, formed an operating joint venture, Natronx Technologies LLC. In October 2012, it acquired Avid Health, Inc. (Avid).

The Consumer Domestic segment includes eight brands and other household and personal care products, such as SCRUB FREE, KABOOM and ORANGE GLO cleaning products, ANSWER home pregnancy and ovulation test kits, ARRID antiperspirant, and CLOSE-UP and AIM toothpastes. The Consumer International segment primarily sells a range of personal care products, some of which use the same brands as its domestic product lines, in international markets, including Canada, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and China. The Specialty Products segment is a producer of sodium bicarbonate, which it sells together with other specialty inorganic chemicals for a variety of industrial, institutional, medical and food applications. This segment also sells a range of animal nutrition a nd specialty cleaning products.

Consumer Domes! tic

The Company specializes in baking soda-based products, as well as other products. In addition, this segment includes other deodorizing and household cleaning products, as well as laundry and personal care products. The Company’s household products include ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda, ARM & HAMMER and XTRA Powder and Liquid Laundry Detergents, ARM & HAMMER Carpet & Room Deodorizers, ARM & HAMMER Cat Litter Deodorizer, ARM & HAMMER Clumping Cat Litters, ARM & HAMMER, FRESH’N SOFT Fabric Softeners, ARM & HAMMER Total 2-in-1 Dryer Cloths, ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda, SCRUB FREE Bathroom Cleaners, CLEAN SHOWER Daily Shower Cleaner, CAMEO Aluminum & Stainless Steel Cleaner, SNO BOL Toilet Bowl Cleaner, XTRA and NICE’N FLUFFY Fabric Softeners and FELINE PINE Cat Litter. The Company’s personal care products include ARM & HAMMER Toothpastes, SPINBRUSH Battery-operated Toothbrushes, MENTADENT Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, AIM Toothpaste, PEPSODENT Toothpast e, CLOSE-UP Toothpaste, RIGIDENT Denture Adhesive, ARM & HAMMER Deodorants & Antiperspirants, ARRID Antiperspirants, LADY’S CHOICE Antiperspirants, TROJAN Condoms and Vibrating Products, FIRST RESPONSE Home Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Kits, ANSWER Home Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Kits, NAIR Depilatories, Lotions, Creams and Waxes and ORAJEL Oral Analgesics.

In 2011, household products constituted approximately 65% of the Company’s Domestic Consumer sales and approximately 47% of the Company’s total sales. The Company markets its ARM & HAMMER brand laundry detergents, in both powder and liquid forms. The Company markets its XTRA laundry detergent in both powder and liquid. The Company also markets XTRA SCENTSATIONS, a concentrated liquid laundry detergent, and OXICLEAN pre-wash laundry additive. The Company markets ARM & HAMMER Power Gel Laundry Detergent and ARM & HAMMER plus OXICLEAN liquid and powder laundry detergents. In 2011 the Company launched the scented liquid detergent clinically tested safe for sensiti! ve skin u! nder the ARM & HAMMER name. The Company’s laundry products also include fabric softener sheets.

The Company markets ARM & HAMMER FRESH ‘N SOFT liquid fabric softener and offers another liquid fabric softener, NICE’N FLUFFY. The Company markets ARM & HAMMER Total 2-in-1 Dryer Cloths, a fabric softener sheet used in the clothes dryer. The Company also markets a line of cat litter products, including ARM & HAMMER Super Scoop clumping cat litter. Line extensions of Super Scoop include ARM & HAMMER Multi-Cat cat litter, designed for households with more than one cat, ARM & HAMMER Odor Alert cat litter, with crystals that change color when activated, ARM & HAMMER Essentials clumping cat litter, a corn-based scoopable litter, and ARM & HAMMER Double Duty cat litter, which eliminates both urine and feces odors on contact. In addition, the Company markets a line of household cleaning products, including CLEAN SHOWER daily shower cleaner, SCRUB FREE bathroom cleane rs and SNO BOL toilet bowl cleaner. The Company also markets KABOOM bathroom cleaner and ORANGE GLO household cleaning products.

In 2011, Personal Care Products constituted approximately 35% of the Company’s Consumer Domestic sales and approximately 25% of the Company’s total sales. ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, when used as a dentifrice, whitens and polishes teeth. The Company also manufactures in the United States and markets in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada, CLOSE-UP, PEPSODENT and AIM toothpastes, and the MENTADENT brand of toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Company markets ORAJEL oral analgesics, which includes products for adults, as well as Baby ORAJEL Cooling Cucumber Teething Gel and Baby ORAJEL Tooth and Gum Cleanser. The Company markets SPINBRUSH battery-operated toothbrushes in the United States (including Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom, Canada, China and Australia. The Company also markets SPINBRUSH Pro-Select toothbrushes; SP INBRUSH Pro-Recharge, a rechargeable toothbrush offering up ! to one we! ek of power brushes between charges, and SPINBRUSH Sonic. The Company’s deodorant and antiperspirant products are marketed under the ARM & HAMMER, ARRID and LADY’S CHOICE brand names.

TROJAN is the Company’s condom brand. Its other brands in this category include ECSTASY, TROJAN Ultra Thin condoms and TROJAN Fire and Ice Condoms. The Company also markets a series of vibrating products under the TROJAN name. The Company also markets ANSWER in the home pregnancy and ovulation test kit market. The Company also markets a home female fertility test under the FIRST RESPONSE brand name. The Company offers a range of depilatory products for women, men and teens under the NAIR brand name. In 2011 and 2012, new NAIR variants were launched. These included Cool Gel, Roll-On Milk and Honey, and Brazilian Spa Clay products. The Company markets the SIMPLY SALINE brand of nasal saline moisturizers in Europe and other parts of the world.

Consumer Internation al

The Consumer International segment markets a variety of personal care products, household and over-the-counter products in international markets, including Canada, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and China. Total Consumer International net sales represented approximately 19% of the Company’s consolidated net sales in 2011. Net sales of the subsidiaries located in Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Australia accounted for 36%, 17%, 17% and 12%, respectively, of the Company’s 2011 international net sales in this segment. The Company markets depilatories and waxes, home pregnancy and ovulation test kits and oral care products in most of its international markets. The Company markets waxes and depilatory products in international locations, and TROJAN condoms in Canada and Mexico. The Company also markets SPINBRUSH battery-operated toothbrushes, primarily in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, China and Australia, and OXICLEAN, KABO OM and ORANGE GLO products primarily in Mexico and Canada. T! he Compan! y sells PEARL DROPS products in Europe, Canada and Australia, STERIMAR nasal hygiene products in a number of markets in Europe, Latin America, China and Australia, and BATISTE dry shampoo principally in the United Kingdom.

Specialty Products

The Company’s Specialty Products (SPD) segment focuses on sales to businesses and participates in three product areas: Specialty Chemicals, Animal Nutrition and Specialty Cleaners. The Company’s 99.2%-owned Brazilian subsidiary, Quimica Geral do Nordeste (QGN), is a provider of sodium bicarbonate. The Company and Occidental Petroleum Corporation are equal partners in a joint venture, Armand Products Company, which manufactures and markets potassium carbonate and potassium bicarbonate for sale in domestic and international markets. The potassium-based products are used in a range of applications, including agricultural products, specialty glass and ceramics, and potassium silicates. Armand Products also manu factures for the Company a potassium carbonate-based animal feed additive for sale in the dairy industry. A special grade of sodium bicarbonate, as well as sodium sesquicarbonate, is sold to the animal feed market as a feed additive for use by the dairy industry as a buffer, or antacid, for dairy cattle. The Company also markets DCAD Plus feed grade potassium carbonate, which is manufactured by the Armand Products Company as a feed additive into the animal feed market.

The Company markets MEGALAC rumen bypass fat, a nutritional supplement made from natural oils. The Company also markets BIO-CHLOR and FERMENTEN, a range of specialty feed ingredients for dairy cows. The Company also provides a line of cleaning and deodorizing products for use in commercial and industrial applications, such as office buildings, hotels, restaurants and other facilities. The Company and Safety-Kleen Corporation are equal partners in a joint venture. In North America, this joint vent ure distributes the Company’s product line of aqueous clea! ners alon! g with the Company’s ARMEX blast media line, which is designed for the removal of a variety of surface coatings.

The Company competes with The Procter & Gamble Company, Sun Products Corporation, The Clorox Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Johnson & Johnson, Ansell Limited and Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Church & Dwight Co.(CHD) unveiled plans to boost its gummy vitamin production capacity by 75% by adding a new production line at its Pennsylvania facility, which is expected to be operational by early 2015.

  • [By Mani]

    Management commentary of Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE:CHD) clearly suggests another accretive deal is forthcoming, with debt capacity, rising cash balance, halted share repurchase in the fourth quarter and lower capex signaling management is poised to strike while conditions are favorable.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Morgans Hotel Group Co.(MHGC)

Morgans Hotel Group Co., a hospitality company, engages in the acquisition, ownership, operation, development, and redevelopment boutique hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage venues. It has operations primarily in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company was incorporated in 2005 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Morgans Hotel Group (MHGC) operates, owns, acquires, develops and redevelops boutique hotels, primarily in gateway cities and select resort markets in the U.S., Europe and other international locations and nightclubs, restaurants. This stock closed up 3.8% to $6.99 in Tuesday’s trading session.

    Tuesday’s Range: $6.73-$7.06

    52-Week Range: $4.66-$8.15

    Tuesday’s Volume: 388,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 196,219

    From a technical perspective, MHGC spiked higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $6.45 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MHGC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MHGC manages to take out Tuesday’s high of $7.06 and then once it takes out more near-term resistance at $7.20 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MHGC as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $6.41 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 196,219 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MHGC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $8 to its 52-week high at $8.15. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give MHGC a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $9 to $10.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Cass Information Systems Inc(CASS)

Cass Information Systems, Inc. provides payment and information processing services to large manufacturing, distribution, and retail enterprises in the United States. The company provides transportation invoice rating, payment, audit, accounting, and transportation information services. It also processes and pays utility invoices, including electricity, gas, and other facility related expenses, as well as offers bill processing, audit, and payment services for telephone, data line, cellular, and communication equipment expense to the telecommunications expense management market. In addition, Cass Information Systems, through its banking subsidiary, Cass Commercial Bank, provides a range of commercial banking products and services, such as checking, savings, and time deposit accounts; commercial and commercial real estate loans; and cash management services to privately owned businesses, and churches and church-related ministries. It operates through five branches, includin g four in the St. Louis metropolitan area; and one in southern California. The company was formerly known as Cass Commercial Corporation and changed its name to Cass Information Systems, Inc. in January 2001. Cass Information Systems, Inc. was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Carlson]

    Cass Information Systems (CASS) provides invoice management, audit, and payment services for companies in a variety of industries. The company disburses approximately $35 billion annually for its clients.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: rue21 inc.(RUE)

rue21, inc. operates as a specialty apparel retailer in the United States. It provides fashion apparel and accessories for girls and guys, including graphic T-shirts, denim, dresses, shirts, hoodies, belts, jewelry, handbags, footwear, intimate apparel, and other accessories. The company sells its apparel and accessories under the brand names of rue21, rue21 etc!, tarea by rue21, Carbon and CJ Black, and Carbon Elements; and fragrances under the rue by rue21, revert eco rue21, CJ Black, sparkle rue21, Pink Ice by rue21, MetroBlack rue21, tarea by rue21, twentyone black, runway21 by rue21, Carbon Elements, Intense by rue21, and rue21 etc! brand names. As of January 28, 2012, it operated 755 stores in 713 cities in 46 states. rue21, inc. was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of rue21 (NASDAQ: RUE) surged 23% today after private equity firm Apax Partners agreed to acquire the specialty apparel retailer for $1.1 billion.

  • [By John Del, Vecchio,]

    Teen apparel retailer rue21  (NASDAQ: RUE  ) recently announced its intention to be acquired by Apax Partners in a buyout valued at $1.1 billion, or $42 a share. Apax already owns 30% of rue21, but the announcement delighted investors and the stock shot up nearly 23% to just under the target acquisition price.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on rue21 (Nasdaq: RUE  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: CHS Inc (CHSCP)

CHS Inc. (CHS) is an integrated agricultural company. As a cooperative, the Company is owned by farmers and ranchers and their member cooperatives (members) across the United States. The Company buys commodities from and provide products and services to patrons (including its members and other non-member customers), both domestic and international. It provides a variety of products and services, from initial agricultural inputs, such as fuels, farm supplies, crop nutrients and crop protection products, to agricultural outputs, which include grains and oilseeds, grain and oilseed processing and food products. A portion of its operations are conducted through equity investments and joint ventures. The Company has three segments: Energy, Ag Business, and Corporate and Other. In February 2012, the Company acquired Solbar. In May 2012, the Company acquired a 51% interest in CZL Ltd. In August 2012, it acquired Atman. Effective July 28, 2013, CHS Inc, a unit of Hamilton Farm Bur eau Co-Operative Inc, acquired a 50% interest in AgFarm Pty Ltd, from Ruralco Holdings Ltd.

During the fiscal year ended August 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company dissolved its United Harvest joint venture, which operated two grain export facilities in Washington that were leased from the joint venture participants. During fiscal 2011, the Company sold its 45% ownership interest in Multigrain to one of its joint venture partners, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. During fiscal 2011, the Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, CHS Europe, S.A. acquired Agri Point Ltd.

The Company’s Energy segment derives its revenues through refining, wholesaling and retailing of petroleum products. Its Ag Business segment derives its revenues through the origination and marketing of grain, including service activities conducted at export terminals, through the wholesale sales of crop nutrients, from the sales of soybean meal and soybean refined oil and through the retail sales of petroleum and agronomy products, processed sunflow! ers, feed and farm supplies, and records equity income from investments in its grain export joint ventures and other investments. It includes other business operations in Corporate and Other. These businesses primarily include its financing, insurance, hedging and other service activities related to crop production. In addition, the Company’s wheat milling and packaged food operations are included in Corporate and Other.

Energy

The Company is the nation’s cooperative energy company based on revenues and identifiable assets. The Company’s operations include petroleum refining and pipelines; the supply, marketing (including ethanol and biodiesel) and distribution of refined fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel and other energy products); the blending, sale and distribution of lubricants; and the wholesale supply of propane. The Energy segment processes crude oil into refined petroleum products at refineries in Laurel, Montana (wholly owned) and McPhers on, Kansas (an entity in which the Company has an approximate 74.5% ownership interest) and sells those products under the Cenex brand to member cooperatives and others through a network of approximately 1,400 independent retail sites, of which 57% are convenience stores marketing Cenex branded fuels.

The Company’s Laurel, Montana refinery processes medium and high sulfur crude oil into refined petroleum products that primarily include gasoline, diesel fuel, petroleum coke and asphalt. Its Laurel refinery sources approximately 85% of its crude oil supply from Canada, with the balance obtained from domestic sources, and the Company has access to Canadian and northwest Montana crude through its wholly owned Front Range Pipeline, LLC and other common carrier pipelines. Its Laurel refinery also has access to Wyoming crude via common carrier pipelines from the south. The Laurel facility processes approximately 55,000 barrels of crude oil per day to produce refined products that consist of approximately 43% gasoline, 37% die! sel fuel ! and other distillates, 5% petroleum coke, and 15% asphalt and other products. Refined fuels produced at Laurel are available via the Yellowstone Pipeline to western Montana terminals and to Spokane and Moses Lake, Washington, south via common carrier pipelines to Wyoming terminals and Denver, Colorado, and east via its wholly owned Cenex Pipeline, LLC to Glendive, Montana, and Minot and Fargo, North Dakota.

The McPherson, Kansas refinery is owned and operated by National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA), of which the Company owns approximately 74.5%. The McPherson refinery processes approximately 85% low and medium sulfur crude oil and 15% heavy sulfur crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel and other distillates, propane and other products. NCRA sources its crude oil through its own pipelines as well as common carrier pipelines. The low and medium sulfur crude oil is sourced from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and the heavy sulfur crude oil is sourced from Can ada. The McPherson refinery processes approximately 85,000 barrels of crude oil per day to produce refined products that consist of approximately 49% gasoline, 45% diesel fuel and other distillates, and 6% propane and other products. Approximately 32% of the refined fuels are loaded into trucks at the McPherson refinery or shipped via NCRA’s products pipeline to its terminal in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The remaining refined fuel products are shipped to other markets via common carrier pipelines.

The Company’s renewable fuels marketing business markets and distributes ethanol and biodiesel products throughout the United States and overseas by contracting with ethanol and biodiesel production plants to market and distribute their finished products. It owns and operates a propane terminal, four asphalt terminals, seven refined product terminals and three lubricants blending and packaging facilities. The Company also owns and leases a fleet of liquid and pressure t railers and tractors, which are used to transport refined fu! els, prop! ane, anhydrous ammonia and other products.

The Company’s Energy segment produces and sells (primarily wholesale) gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, asphalt, lubricants and other related products and provides transportation services. It obtains the petroleum products that it sells from its Laurel and McPherson refineries, and from third parties. In fiscal 2011, the Company obtained approximately 55% of the refined products it sold from its Laurel and McPherson refineries, and approximately 45% from third parties.

Ag Business

The Company’s Ag Business segment includes crop nutrients, country operations, grain marketing and oilseed processing. The revenues in its Ag Business segment primarily include grain sales. Its wholesale crop nutrients business sells approximately 5.6 million tons of fertilizer annually. Primary suppliers for the Company’s wholesale crop nutrients business include CF Industries, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Company, Koch Industries, Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) in Kuwait and Belrusian Potash Company. The Company’s wholesale crop nutrients business sells nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfate based products. During fiscal 2011, the primary crop nutrients products the Company purchased were urea, potash, UAN, phosphates and ammonia. The wholesale crop nutrients business sells product to approximately 2,000 local retailers from New York to the west coast and from the Canadian border to Texas. Its largest customer is its own country operations business, which is also included in its Ag Business segment.

The Company’s country operations business purchases a variety of grains from its producer members and other third parties, and provides cooperative members and customers with access to a range of products, programs and services for production agriculture. Country operations operates 401 locations through 67 business units, the majority of whic h have local producer boards dispersed throughout Colorado, ! Idaho, Il! linois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Washington. Most of these locations purchase grain from farmers and sell agronomy, energy, feed and seed products to those same producers and others, although not all locations provide every product and service.

The Company is one of the country elevator operators in North America based on revenues. Through a majority of the Company’s locations, its country operations business units purchase grain from member and non-member producers and other elevators and grain dealers. Most of the grain purchased is sold through its grain marketing operations, used for livestock feed production or sold to other processing companies. For the year ended August 31, 2011, country operations purchased approximately 582 million bushels of grain, primarily wheat, corn and soybeans. Of these bushels, 558 million were purchased from members and 417 million were sold through it s grain marketing operations. Its country operations business units manufacture and sell other products, both directly and through ownership interests in other entities. These include seed, crop nutrients, crop protection products, energy products, animal feed, animal health products and processed sunflower products.

The Company is the cooperative marketer of grain and oilseed based on grain storage capacity and grain sales, handling over 2.1 billion bushels annually. During fiscal 2011, it purchased approximately 60% of its total grain volumes from individual and cooperative association members and its country operations business, with the balance purchased from third parties. The Company arranges for the transportation of the grains either directly to customers or to its owned or leased grain terminals and elevators awaiting delivery to domestic and foreign purchasers. It primarily conducts its grain marketing operations directly, but do conduct some of its bu siness through joint ventures.

The Company’s! grain ma! rketing operations purchases grain directly and indirectly from agricultural producers primarily in the midwestern and western United States. The purchased grain is contracted for sale for future delivery at a specified location, and it is responsible for handling the grain and arranging for its transportation to that location. The Company owns and operates export terminals, river terminals and elevators involved in the handling and transport of grain. Its river terminals are used to load grain onto barges for shipment to both domestic and export customers via the Mississippi River system. These river terminals are located at Savage and Winona, Minnesota and Davenport, Iowa, as well as terminals in which it has put-through agreements located at St. Louis, Missouri and Beardstown and Havana, Illinois.

The Company’s export terminal at Superior, Wisconsin provides access to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, and its export terminal at Myrtle Grove, Louisia na serves the Gulf of Mexico market. In the Pacific Northwest, it conducts its grain marketing operations through TEMCO, LLC (a 50% joint venture with Cargill) which operates an export terminal in Tacoma, Washington, and primarily exports corn and soybeans. The Company owns two 110-car shuttle-receiving elevator facilities in Friona, Texas and Collins, Mississippi that serve large-scale feeder cattle, dairy and poultry producers in those regions.

For sourcing and marketing grains and oilseeds through the Black Sea and Mediterranean Basin regions to customers worldwide it has offices in Geneva, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain; Kiev, Ukraine; and Vostok, Russia. In addition, it opened grain merchandising offices in fiscal 2011 in Budapest, Hungary; Novi Sad, Serbia; Bucharest, Romania; Sofia, Bulgaria; and a marketing office in Amman, Jordan. The Company has a deep water port in Constanta, Romania, a barge loading facility on the Danube River in Giurgiu, Romania, an d an inland grain terminal at Oroshaza, Hungary. In addition! , it has ! an investment in a port facility in Odessa, Ukraine. In the Pacific Rim area, it has offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China that serve customers receiving grains and oilseeds from its origination points in North and South America. In South America, the Company has a grain merchandising offices to source grains in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. It sells and markets crop nutrients from its Geneva, Switzerland; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina offices.

The Company’s grain marketing operations purchased approximately 2.1 billion bushels of grain during fiscal 2011, which primarily included corn, soybeans, wheat and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Of the total grains purchased by its grain marketing operations, 866 million bushels were from its individual and cooperative association members, 417 million bushels were from its country operations business and the remainder was from third parties. The Company’s oilseed pr ocessing operations convert soybeans into soybean meal, soyflour, crude soybean oil, refined soybean oil and associated by-products. These operations are conducted at a facility in Mankato, Minnesota that can crush approximately 40 million bushels of soybeans on an annual basis, producing approximately 960 thousand short tons of soybean meal and 460 million pounds of crude soybean oil. The same facility is able to process approximately 1.1 billion pounds of refined soybean oil annually. Another crushing facility in Fairmont, Minnesota has a crushing capacity of over 50 million bushels of soybeans on an annual basis, producing approximately 1.2 million short tons of soybean meal and 575 million pounds of crude soybean oil.

The Company’s oilseed processing operations produce three primary products: refined oils, soybean meal and soyflour. Refined oils are used in processed foods, such as margarine, shortening, salad dressings and baked goods, as well as methyl e ster/biodiesel production, and for certain industrial uses, ! such as p! lastics, inks and paints. Soybean meal has high protein content and is used for feeding livestock. Soyflour is used in the baking industry, as a milk replacement in animal feed and in industrial applications. It produces approximately 60 thousand tons of soyflour annually, and approximately 20% is further processed at its manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. This facility manufactures unflavored and flavored textured soy proteins used in human and pet food products, and accounted for approximately 2% of its oilseed processing annual sales in fiscal 2011.

The Company’s soy processing facilities are located in areas with a strong production base of soybeans and end-user market for the meal and soyflour. It purchases virtually all of its soybeans from members. The Company’s oilseed crushing operations produce approximately 95% of the crude soybean oil that it refines, and purchases the balance from outside suppliers. Its customers for refined oil are p rincipally large food product companies located throughout the United States. However, over 50% of its customers are located in the midwest. Its largest customer for refined oil products is Ventura Foods, LLC (Ventura Foods), in which it holds a 50% ownership interest. The Company’s sales to Ventura Foods accounted for 27% of its soybean oil sold during fiscal 2011. The Company also sells soymeal to approximately 325 customers, primarily feed lots and feed mills in southern Minnesota. In fiscal 2011, Interstate Commodities accounted for 12% of its soymeal sold. It sells soyflour to customers in the baking industry both domestically and for export.

Corporate and Other

The Company has provided open account financing to approximately 100 of its members that are cooperatives (cooperative association members). These arrangements involve the discretionary extension of credit in the form of a clearing account for settlement of grain purchases and as a ca sh management tool. CHS Capital, LLC makes seasonal and term! loans to! member cooperatives and individual producers. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Country Hedging, Inc., is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and a clearing member of both the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and the Kansas City Board of Trade. Country Hedging provides full-service commodity risk management brokerage and consulting services to its customers, primarily in the areas of agriculture and energy.

The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Ag States Agency, LLC, is a full-service independent insurance agency. It sells insurance, including all lines of insurance including property and casualty, group benefits and surety bonds. Its approximately 2,000 customers are primarily agribusinesses, including cooperatives and independent elevators, energy, agronomy, feed and seed plants, implement dealers and food processors. Impact Risk Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ag States Agency, LLC, conducts the insurance brokerage business of Ag States Group.

The Company’s primary focus in the foods area is Ventura Foods, LLC (Ventura Foods) which produces and distributes vegetable oil-based products, such as margarine, salad dressing and other food products. Ventura Foods is 50% owned by the Company. Ventura Foods manufactures, packages, distributes and markets bulk margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, salad oils, syrups, soup bases and sauces, many of which utilize soybean oil as a primary ingredient. Ventura Foods has 11 manufacturing and distribution locations across the United States. Ventura Foods sources its raw materials, which consist primarily of soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil and other ingredients and supplies, from various national suppliers, including its oilseed processing operations. Agriliance LLC (Agriliance) is owned and governed by CHS (50%) and Land O’Lakes, Inc. (50%).

The Company competes with ConocoPhillips, Valero, BP Amoco, Flint Hills Resourc es, CVR Energy, Western Petroleum Company, Marathon, ExxonMo! bil, Citg! o, Flint Hills Resources, U.S. Oil, Delek US Holdings, HollyFrontier Corporation, Sinclair Oil Corporation, Tesoro, Chevron, Koch Industries, Agrium, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, Incorporated (Cargill), Simplot, Helena, Wilbur Ellis, Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, Hubbard Milling, Columbia Grain, Gavilon, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus, Ag Processing Inc., Unilever, ConAgra, ACH Food Companies, Smuckers, Kraft and CF Sauer, Ken’s, Marzetti and Nestle.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    ConAgra said on Wednesday that it will close two plants in New York by early 2015, cutting more than 400 employees. The company also expects to close its $4 billion flour mill merger in the second calendar quarter of 2014. Privately held Cargill and CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP) will hold 44% and 12%, respectively, of Ardent Mills, while ConAgra will hold the other 44%. Combined sales of what will be the country’s largest milling operation total $4.3 billion.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Silver Spring Networks Inc (SSNI)

Silver Spring Networks, Inc., incorporated on July 3, 2002, provides a networking platform and solutions that enable utilities to transform the power grid infrastructure into the smart grid. The Company’s networking platform provides two-way communications between the utility back office and devices on the power grid. In addition to its networking platform, it offers a suite of solutions that run on top of its network and complementary services, all of which is referred to as its Smart Energy Platform Its service offerings include professional services to implement its products, managed services and software as a service ( SaaS), to assist utilities with managing the network and solutions, and ongoing customer support. Its Smart Energy Platform consists of hardware, software and services and combines with devices manufactured by third-party partners to form end-to-end smart grid offerings.

The Company’s solutions include advanced metering, which allows u tilities to automate a number of manual processes and improve operational efficiencies, offer flexible pricing programs to consumers, and improve customer service with faster outage detection and restoration; distribution automation, which provides utilities with real-time visibility into the health of the grid, enabling better management and control of power distribution assets to improve grid reliability, and demand-side management, which enables utilities to offer consumers a variety of programs and incentives to use energy more efficiently and reduce usage at times of peak demand. The Company markets its Smart Energy Platform directly to utilities around the world. The Company’s network is composed of its hardware, such as access points and relays, its UtilOS network operating system, and GridScape software suite, which together provide utilities the ability to communicate with and control devices connected to the power grid.

The Company also offers a sui te of solutions that run on top of its network, including ad! vanced metering, distribution automation, and demand-side management. These solutions include additional hardware, such as its communications modules and bridges, and applications from UtilityIQ and CustomerIQ software. Its solutions combine with devices from the large number of third parties with whom it collaborates to form end-to-end smart grid offerings built on its network. In addition, itoffers a range of services that enable its utility customers to deploy, operate and maintain its networking platform and solutions. These service offerings include professional services to implement its products, managed services and SaaS to assist utilities with managing the network and solutions, and ongoing customer support.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Silver Spring Networks (NYSE: SSNI) were down 23.66 percent to $17.91 after the company issued downbeat Q4 forecast. Credit Suisse downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral and cut the price target from $26.00 to $23.00.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    A technology stock that’s quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Silver Spring Networks (SSNI), which provides a networking platform and solutions that enable utilities to transform the power grid infrastructure into the smart grid. This stock has been on a hot streak over the last six months, with shares up by 22%.

    If you look at the chart for Silver Spring Networks, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $14.63 to its recent high of $22 a share. During that uptrend, shares of SSNI have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SSNI within range of triggering a big breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SSNI if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22 to $22.73 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 491,731 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SSNI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $23.90 to its gap down day high from August at $25.25 a share. Any high-volume move above $25.25 a share will then give SSNI a chance to re-fill some of that previous gap down zone that started near $32 a share.

    Traders can look to buy SSNI off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support at $19.01 a share, or near $18 a share. One can also buy SSNI off strength once it takes out that breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Although small cap smart metering stock Silver Spring Networks Inc (NYSE: SSNI) recently soared on earnings, it also plunged yesterday after loosing out on important contract – meaning it might be time to take a closer look at it along with other smart metering stocks like Itron, Inc (NASDAQ: ITRI) or Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) to see if they are smart investments.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Science Applications International Corp (SAIC)

Science Applications International Corporation, formerly SAIC Gemini, Inc., incorporated on February 1, 2013, is a scientific, engineering, and technology applications company. The Company uses its domain knowledge to solve problems in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. The Company serves customers in the United States Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the United States Department of Homeland Security, other United States Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. The Company provides services in two segments: government segment and commercial segment. Its government segment provides an array of technical services and solutions, primarily to United States federal, state and local government agencies and foreign governments. Its commercial segment provides technology-driven consulting, systems integration and outsourcing services and solutions in selected commercial markets.

Servi ces

The Company provides systems development, technical and consulting services to federal, state, local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, further promoting efficiency and effectiveness in preventing and controlling crime through systems, such as CODIS and LEO. The Company safeguards business-critical information, systems, and Websites with information security assessments and public key infrastructure solutions. The Company simplifies access to government goods and services through pre-negotiated federal contract vehicles. It provides government, commercial, and international clients with solutions to complex financial and resource problems. The Company provides geospatial products, services, and solutions for several industries, including agriculture, utility and defense. It provides a comprehensive portfolio of technology and domain specific solutions to its federal, state and local government and commercial health customers.

The Co mpany helps companies to y operate, maintain, and manage wid! ely dispersed assets through consulting, enterprise asset management (EAM), help desk services and network services. The Company supports all phases for drug development: discovery, pre-clinical and clinical development and operations and compliance. It develops technologies, engineer solutions and provide analytical systems for maritime markets. It helps organizations improve product quality, more accurately determine product development or production schedule/cost, and increase productivity. The Company helps National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the military, space and intelligence communities transition to faster, better and cheaper business processes through applied research & technology; information systems, and modeling and simulation. The Company offers corporate and individual training services ranging from elearning to training evaluation.

Aviation

The Company supports commercial and government customers with the latest aviation technology products. The Company’s products include Model 3800 Autopilot, FODetect , AeroPlanner, Memory Unit Tactical Air Crew Training System (MUTACTS), and SAIC Mission Planning System (MPS). The Model 3800 Autopilot is designed for installation in high-performance jet and turboprop aircraft but will function well in a range of fixed-wing aircraft. FODetect is an automated system that provides continuous monitoring with high-resolution and high-speed detection of foreign object debris (FOD) on critical aircraft operating areas. AeroPlanner provides a common tactical picture between control and combat systems by accessing parallel data from naval tactical data systems and retransmitting serially into multiple formats. SAIC’s MUTACTS provides quick, accurate and post-flight review and analysis of military aircraft training missions. SAIC MPS consists of a line of simple to use computerized aircraft mission planning systems available for aircraft around the world.

Geospatial Products

The Company o! ffers a f! amily of geospatial solutions to support and gather GIS information for defense, intelligence and commercial customers. Its products include AeroPlanner.com, GRGlobe, GeoRover Software Products, ike 504, Percept, and WebCentric Geospatial Collaboration. AeroPlanner.com is a comprehensive flight-planning application for pilots of all levels. The GRGlobe desktop application brings core GIS functionality to a three dimensional (3D) globe environment providing the ability to create, edit, and visualize GIS data natively while supporting multiple formats such, as KML, shapefile and geodatabase. GeoRover geospatial software products are designed and sold as extensions of plug-in to the ArcMap component of Esri ArcGIS software versions 8.x and 9.x. The ike 504 is a handheld, GIS-related device that provides operators with methods to collect geospatial information on a target, including GPS coordinates and a photograph from a position up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) away. The SAIC P ercept suite connects essential business information with real-world infrastructure and properties data. WebCentric Geospatial Collaboration is a Web-based, commercial-off-the-shelf geospatial presentation tool providing to dimensional (2D), 3D, and four dimensional (4D) views.

Ocean and Marine Systems

The Company develops marine products. These products monitor global climate change and marine meteorology, chart and analyze hydrographic data, and help to manage waste and control pollution. iTs products include COBIA Buoy, SAIC Tsunami Buoy (STB) Systems, ISS-2000, Survey Analysis and area Based EditoR (SABER), Incident Command Tool for Drinking Water Protection (ICWater), Plastics Waste Processor (PWP), Compress Melt Unit (CMU) Mod 0, Compress Melt Unit (CMU) Mod 1: Plastics Waste Processor, Large and Small Pulpers, Large and Small Pulpers, 10 GPM Oily Waste Polishing Unit, Topside and Dockside Chlorinators, and Ship Dechlorinator. COBIA Buoy is de signed as a modular and fully reconfigurable buoy platform b! ased on t! echnologically advanced maritime expertise. SAIC Tsunami Buoy (STB) Systems are an enhanced version of the buoy system in use by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s DART detection system. The ISS-2000 Integrated Survey System was designed for professional hydrographers and surveyors and supports a range of high-performance, shallow-water survey operations. SABER is a tool for processing, editing, updating, viewing and analyzing hydrographic survey data. ICWater is designed to model drinking water contamination in real-time for a rapid, effective emergency response.

Rugged Hardware

The Company’s rugged hardware provides a range of commercial off-the-shelf equipment, as well as specialized custom-designed solutions, for installation into harsh tactical and industrial environments. Its products include Quicklock Cargo Restraint System, Passive LINK Tap (PLT), 1RU 8 Circuit Rugged Power Distribution Assembly (PDA), 1RU Fixed Expansio n Chassis, 2RU Rugged cPCI Chassis High-Security Firewall System, Rugged Large liquid-crystal display (LCD) Color Flat Panel Displays (FPDs), Rugged Small LCD FPDs, Neptune 2 Rack Unit Workstation Consoles, and Rugged TigerShark Workstation Consoles. PLT provides a common tactical picture between control and combat systems by accessing parallel data from naval tactical data systems and retransmitting serially into multiple formats. The Quicklock Cargo Restraint System allows for secure tie-down of almost any cargo shape and is designed to prevent damage to and loss of equipment while in transit.

Safety and Security

The Company offers a variety of products to enhance safety and security in transportation, military, emergency response and other applications. Its product includes VACIS Cargo and Vehicle Inspection Systems, VACIS IP6500 FullScan Integrated Inspection System, VACIS XPL Passenger Vehicle Scanning System, and All-Terrain VACIS Imaging Syst em. The Company’s VACIS systems scan cargo containers, tru! cks, cars! and other vehicles to help authorities search for weapons, nuclear material, narcotics, undeclared goods and other contraband at cargo terminals, border crossings, military facilities and other checkpoints. The VACIS IP6500 system safely scans occupied trucks and other vehicles of all sizes. The VACIS XPL system safely scans occupied cars and and other light vehicles.

Simulation

The Company provides a range of simulation products using in system engineering, software engineering, component engineering, signal and image processing, and custom system integration. Its products include OLIVE: On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment, RADSIM Radar Simulation 3.0, Reconfigurable Tactical Operations Simulator (RTOS), Non-Rated Crew Member Manned Module (NCM3), RC-12X Cockpit Procedural Trainer (CPT), Common Driver Trainer (CDT) Product Line, Combat Training Center-Instrumentation Systems (CTC-IS), STK/Missile Modeling Tools (STK/MMT), Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) Systems, Common Vehicle System (CVS) Kit, CVS Abrams Adapter Kit, CVS Bradley Adapter Kit, Wireless Independent Target System (WITS), MK-19 Simulator Player Unit, Wireless Individual Weapon System (W-IWS), Mini MILES, Air Defense Weapons Systems (ADWS) MILES Kits, and Aviation Tactical Engagement Simulation System (AV-TESS). The Aviation Tactical Engagement Simulation System (AV-TESS) provides a flexible, training solution, tracking and weapons simulation system, and supports live force-on-force and force-on-target training and the evaluation and testing of new air vehicles and weapons systems. The Wireless Independent Target System (WITS) provides noncombat vehicles and targets, such as trucks, bridges and buildings, with a high-fidelity detection system for real-time casualty assessment.

Software

The Company is an SEI Partner for the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) project, a collaborative effort to provide models for achieving product and process improvement. Its products inc! lude Voic! e Identity Biometric Services (VIBES), Scale2Insight, Secure Multi-Tenancy, Advanced Analytics Suite, TeraText Database System, SIAM, Antfarm, EMTOOLS, MICHELLE, Enterprise Energy Dashboard, GeoRover Software Products, GeoViz- WebCentric GeoSpatial Collaboration, ISS-2000, Survey Analysis and area Based EditoR (SABER), AIMES, ISRCrossCue, RAVE, Omnifluent Suite of Human Language Technology Products, Flexible Tax Manager, SCOPTIMA Supply Chain Software, and Supply Operations Control System (SOCS). The Supply Operations Control System (SOCS) is a personal computer (PC) based inventory management system, and provides asset visibility, inventory control and supply support. SCOPTIMA Supply Chain Software is a secure, Web-enabled inventory system planner that provides demand forecasting to support efficient management and replenishment of large inventories of spare parts for aircraft and other platforms.

Transportation Products

The Company’s transportat ion systems helps companies and government agencies around the world improve efficiency, enhance safety and security, reduce errors and cut costs. Its products include Integrated Container Information System (ICIS), Intelligent Intermodal Solutions (IIS), Gatestand Driver Kiosk, CraneView Crane-Mounted OCR System, RailView Digital Video Recording System for Locomotives, and Transportation Visibility and Metrics System (TransVM). The RailView system continuously records digital video and key events as the locomotive travels, providing a reliable record for analysis of rail incidents. The CraneView system automatically identifies containers and records stow positions as the containers are moved by quay cranes in real time.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Reese]

    Indeed, in 2013, the Greenblatt-based portfolio has bounced back strong, returning more than 50%. Below is a look at its current holdings.

    EBIX, Inc. (EBIX)

    Western Refining (WNR)

    DirecTV (DTV)

    ITT Educational Services (ESI)

    Science Applications International (SAIC)

    Weight Watchers International (WTW)

    ConocoPhillips (COP)

    AmSurg Corp. (AMSG)

    PDL BioPharma (PDLI)

    AFC Enterprises (AFCE)

    Subscribe to Validea here…

  • [By alicet236]

    Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) Reached the Five-Year Low of $32.20

    The prices of Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) shares have declined to close to the five-year low of $32.20, which is 26.3% off the five-year high of $39.88. Science Applications International Corp is owned by one Guru we are tracking. Among them, 1 have added to their positions during the past quarter. Zero reduced their positions. Science Applications International Corp has a market cap of $2.76 billion; its shares were traded at around $32.20 with a P/E ratio of 18.50 and P/S ratio of 0.45. The dividend yield of Science Applications International Corp stocks is 0.87%.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Medical Properties Trust Inc (MPW)

Medical Properties Trust, Inc., incorporated on August 27, 2003, is a self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in and owning net-leased healthcare facilities. The Company conducts substantially all of its business through MPT Operating Partnership, L.P. The Company acquires and develops healthcare facilities and leases the facilities to healthcare operating companies under long-term net leases, which require the tenant to bear the costs associated with the property. The Company also makes mortgage loans to healthcare operators collateralized by their real estate assets. In addition, the Company selectively makes loans to certain of its operators through its taxable REIT subsidiaries. In September 2013, Medical Properties Trust Inc completed the acquisition of the real estate of three acute care hospitals operated by IASIS Healthcare LLC.

As of February 18, 2013, the Company’s portfolio consists of 82 properties: 69 facilities (of the 74 facilities that the Company owns) are leased to 23 tenants, five are under development, and the remainder are in the form of mortgage loans to three operators. The Company’s owned facilities consist of 27 general acute care hospitals, 24 long-term acute care hospitals, 15 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, two medical office buildings, and six wellness centers. The non-owned facilities on which the Company has made mortgage loans consist of three general acute care facilities, two long-term acute care hospitals, and three inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. At December 31, 2012, no one property accounted for more than 5% of the Company’s total assets.

At December 31, 2012, the Company had leases with 22 hospital operating companies, eight mortgaged loans, six under development, and one property under re-development covering 82 facilities. Ernest leased 12 of these facilities pursuant to a master lease agreement. The master lease agreement has a 20-year t erm with three five-year extension options and provides for ! an initial rental rate of 9%, with consumer price-indexed increases, limited to a 2% floor and 5% ceiling annually thereafter. At December 31, 2012, these facilities had an average remaining lease term of approximately 19 years. In addition to the master lease, the Company holds a mortgage loan on four facilities owned by affiliates of Ernest.

Affiliates of Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. (Prime) leased 11 facilities pursuant to master lease agreements. The master leases are for 10 years commencing July 3, 2012 and contain two renewal options of five years each. The initial lease rate is generally consistent with the blended average rate of the prior lease agreements. However, the annual escalators, which in the prior leases were limited, have been increased to reflect 100% of CPI increases, along with a 2% minimum floor. The master leases include repurchase options substantially similar to those in the prior leases, including provisions establishing minimum rep urchase prices equal to the Company’s total investment. In addition to leases, the Company holds mortgage loans on three facilities owned by affiliates of Prime.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brad Thomas]

    A Bank of America (BOA) downgrade sends Medical Properties Trust (MPW) tumbling. The bank cut the shares to Underperform from Neutral citing the REIT’s YTD outperformance relative to the sector overall (it has outpaced healthcare REITs two to one). Put simply, funds from operations "multiple expansion has exceeded fundamental trends." SA contributor Brad Thomas claims MPW is an example of mispriced risk.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    It was an impressive quarter for Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW  ) . In its Q1 report, revenues amounted to $58 million, up 42% from the $41 million in the same period the previous year. Attributable net profit advanced much more strongly, growing 148% to $26 million ($0.18 per diluted share) from Q1 2012’s figure of $11 million ($0.08). Funds from operations — a key metric for real estate investment trusts — came in at $35 million ($0.25 per diluted share) on a normalized basis, compared with $22 million ($0.18) in the year-ago quarter.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Real estate investment trust Medical Properties Trust  (NYSE: MPW  )  announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.20 per share, the same rate it’s paid since 2008.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Suedzucker Mannheim Ochsenfurt AG (SZU)

Suedzucker Mannheim Ochsenfurt AG is a Germany-based company engaged in the processing of agricultural raw materials. The Company is organized, along with its subsidiaries, into four segments: the Sugar segment comprises sugar production and the agricultural division; the Special Products segment includes the activities of four divisions: BENEO, which produces and sells ingredients made from natural raw materials for food products and animal feed; the Freiberger Group is a producer of chilled and frozen pizzas, frozen pasta dishes and snacks; the PortionPack Europe group specializes in portion packs, and the starch division comprises starch companies in Hungary and Romania, bio-ethanol production in Austria and Hungary, as well as starch production facilities in Austria; the CropEnergies segment includes the bio-ethanol activities of the Company in Germany, Belgium and France, and the Fruit segment comprises the fruit juice preparations and fruit juice concentrates divisions. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Volkswagen AG (VOW), Europe’s biggest automaker, climbed 3.7 percent as data showed European car sales increased for the first time in 19 months in April. Suedzucker AG (SZU) dropped to an eight-month low as J&E Davy Holdings Ltd. downgraded the shares.

Top 10 Services Stocks For 2014: Synacor Inc (SYNC)

Synacor, Inc. (Synacor) is a provider of solutions for delivery of online content and services. Synacor delivers its solutions as a set of services through its hosted and managed platform, enabling cable and telecom service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers to provide the online content and services. The Company platform allows its customers to package an array of online content and services with their Internet, communications, television and other offerings. Its platform includes Website design and development, unified registration and login (single sign-on), billing integration, personalization, video delivery capability, content management system, household management, toolbar and television listings. Its customers offer the services under their own brands on Internet-enabled devices such as personal computers (PCs), tablets, smartphones and connected televisions. In January 2012, Synacor acquired the assets of Carbyn, Inc. (Carbyn). In May 2012, the Comp any acquired Carbyn, the hypertext markup language 5 (HTML5) Platform. In November 2013, Synacor Inc acquired Teknision.

Synacor’s acquired assets consist of mobile device software and technology and other property, which it enhances the efforts in the development of next generation Web applications for mobile devices. The Company’s hosted and managed platform allows the customers to enhance their consumers’ online experience. Its customers use the platform to develop personalized Websites that serve as their consumers’ respective online hubs for communication services, entertainment offerings and support services. Its platform enables the customers to combine entertainment, such as television shows, multi-player games and streaming music based on a subscriber’s access rights and preferences with communications offerings, such as voicemail, e-mail, and third party messaging services, such as Yahoo Mail, Google Gmail, AOL Mail, Facebook, and Twitter. It s platform also allows the customers to deliver appropriate ! account tools, support, bill pay services and up-sell promotions to their consumers, all without leaving the applicable customer’s Website.

Website Design and Development

Synacor creates, designs and develops branded Websites for the customers. The Company’s Websites is designed to be the online destination for the customers’ consumers and aggregate an array of resources, including free-to-subscriber content and service offerings, value added services, online content and search, all in one location.

Unified Registration and Login (Single Sign-On)

Synacor’s platform gives subscribers access to all of the services and paid content, including subscription television programming the consumer have the right to consume, using a single user ID and password, which are the same credentials that they use for e-mail. Single sign-on for subscribers is integrated with both its customers and the content and value added service p artners.

Billing Integration

Synacor’s platform allows the customers to integrate billing for services and paid content purchases with other services and products provided to their subscribers, including television and telephony service. A customer may collect transaction fees through credit card or on the subscriber’s service provider bill, and it may bill transactions each time the consumer occur or on a monthly basis using monthly summary totals. The Company’s system enables online bill review, providing subscribers with access to a detailed transaction account.

Personalization

Synacor’s platform enables the consumer to personalize his or her online experience through customization and localization. Consumers may add, delete, move, and otherwise customize the content displayed on its customers’ branded Websites, such as by setting preferred television stations in its television-at-a-glance module. Localization allows consumers to set a Website to a favorite zip code to ! gain acce! ss to radio stations, weather, movies, and events, all in the local area. The Company’s platform also allows consumers to comment on online articles and to create shortcuts to their favorite content using an online personal assistant on the personalized Website.

Video Delivery Capability

Synacor’s video delivery capability includes two primary components: a video player and a video discovery and delivery system. The video player contains video controls, such as play, pause, fast forward and rewind and full-screen viewing and can be configured to play within or on top of a page. The Company’s video discovery and delivery system is database-driven, supports multiple video hosting methods and enables transcoding from a number of video formats to formats that are playable on a variety of devices. The system contains a number of access control mechanisms, including the ability to restrict access based on Internet protocol (IP) address location, cons umer type or household management settings. The system also permits consumers to search videos and browse by channel, genre or content type.

Content Management System

Synacor’s content management system enables the customers and it to create customizable online experiences containing content from various sources. Content is distributed through Web services in an architecture that is portable to multiple devices and platforms. The Company’s system is comprised of administrative interfaces, a scalable content storage system and a system to distribute content to the platform. The interface is easy to use and displays a preview of page or component designs prior to approval and publishing. Its system can also automatically publish content from outside sources or assign publishing rights, by site section, to outside vendors.

Household Management

Synacor’s household management system puts parents in control of the content their children are allowed to purchase or consume through i! ts platfo! rm. This system allows the head of household to specify the range of products the consumer’s child accounts may access and utilize and to establish preset spending limits for content purchases, such as music.

Toolbar and Television Listings

Synacor offers its customers the ability to create branded toolbars that can be personalized by their consumers. The toolbar can be updated automatically as new features become available and may be configured with search, weather, television and movie listings, as well as services and paid content packages, enabling consumers to access their favorite features on the platform even when they leave the customers’ Websites. The toolbars can also integrate internal services, such as instant messaging, customer support and e-mail. The Company’s platform provides television listings and corresponding television channels, which enables consumers to search and browse local television programming.

The Co mpany competes with Yahoo! Inc., Google, AOL LLC, Microsoft Corporation, Netflix, Inc., Hulu, LLC and Amazon.com Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another under-$10 stock that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Synacor (SYNC), a provider of startpages, TV Everywhere solutions, Identity Management services and various cloud-based services across multiple devices for cable, satellite, telecom and consumer electronics companies. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2013, with shares off by 39%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Synacor, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $2.85 to $2.96 a share. Following that bottom, shares of SYNC have started to surge higher and move back above its 50-day moving average at $3.27 a share. That move is quickly pushing SYNC within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in SYNC if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.43 to $3.56 a share and then once it takes out more resistance at $4 to $4.17 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 388,369 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SYNC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6 to $6.50 a share.

    Traders can look to buy SYNC off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $2.96 to $2.85 a share. One can also buy SYNC off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.