Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ ) were flaring up today, falling as much as 14% after the company found itself implicated in an SEC fraud investigation.
So what: Though called Canadian Solar, the company has several subsidiaries in China, where many companies have been implicated in fraud in recent years. Last night, an SEC official said during a hearing that the accounting firm Deloitte had refused to turn over audit records from a 2010 probe. The hearing is expected to last several months, and centers around Chinese secrecy laws, which prohibit them from disclosing certain documents the SEC would need to determine if fraud took place.
Now what: It’s impossible to say what the consequences of the SEC investigation will be, but the event serves as another reminder of the risk of investing in Chinese companies, particularly in solar, which were subject to their own subset of risks as Chinese solar companies has been accused of anticompetitive pricing and dumping on foreign markets. Other Chinese solar stocks have fallen as well as the news threatens the industry as a whole. Given the smoke screens in investing in Chinese solar, all but the most risk-seeking or informed investors would be mindful to stay away.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Monolithic Power Systems Inc.(MPWR)
Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops, and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. It offers direct current (DC) to DC converter integrated circuits (IC) that are used to convert and control voltages of various electronic systems, such as portable electronic devices, wireless LAN access points, computers, set top boxes, televisions and monitors, automobiles, and medical equipments. The company also provides lighting control ICs for use in systems that offer the light source for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in notebook computers, LCD monitors, car navigational systems, and LCD televisions. In addition, it provides audio amplifier ICs to amplify sound produced by audio processors; and Class-D audio amplifiers for plasma televisions, LCD televisions, and digital versatile disk players. The company serves consumer electronics, communications, and computing markets. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. sells its products thr ough third party distributors and value-added resellers, as well as directly to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and electronic manufacturing service providers. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
- [By Eric Volkman]
McDonald is a veteran CFO, having served in that position for a number of tech companies including eASIC, Advanced Analogic Technologies, and Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR ) .
- [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 Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MPWR) has a diverse market that includes communications, gaming and computing to continue to drive its growth, all markets that will pay a premium for its technology. The list of tech companies that use its chips is impressive. Deutsche Bank has a $30 target, the same as the consensus target.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.(FCX)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt. It holds interests in various properties, located in North and South America; the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia; and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s consolidated recoverable proven and probable reserves totaled 120.5 billion pounds of copper, 35.5 million ounces of gold, 3.39 billion pounds of molybdenum, 325.0 million ounces of silver, and 0.75 billion pounds of cobalt. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Pick a mining stock, any mining stock, and there’s a very good chance that its future earnings are highly dependent on commodity prices. Rio Tinto (RIO) and Vale (VALE)? That’s iron ore. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)? That’s copper. Alcoa (AA)? That’s aluminum.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The sales big spender was Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) which posted 16 high bids, totaling just over $321 million. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) offered six high bids, totaling $106 million, followed by Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) with 16 high bids, totaling nearly $50 million, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) with four high bids, totaling more than $45 million.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) gained 0.60 percent in premarket trade after losing 2.86 percent over the past week. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was up 0.56 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.12 percent on Tuesday. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE: FCX) lost 1.01 percent in premarket trade after falling 9.44 percent over the past five days. Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE: MSI) was down 0.85 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.53 percent on Tuesday.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The country’s two largest copper miners, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) have refused to pay the new tax claiming that it violates their existing contracts. The government backed off a bit last week, saying that it would “consider reducing the duty for miners who are ‘serious’ about smelting their mineral concentrates in the country before shipping the metals to buyers abroad,” according to report in The Wall Street Journal.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Carrols Restaurant Group Inc.(TAST)
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., through its subsidiary, Carrols Corporation, owns and operates quick-casual and quick-service restaurants. It operates restaurants under the Burger King, Pollo Tropical, and Taco Cabana names. As of January 1, 2012, the company owned and operated 547 restaurants, including 298 Burger King, 91 Pollo Tropical and 158 Taco Cabana restaurants in 17 states in the United States. It also franchised 36 restaurants in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Honduras, Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Venezuela, as well as in college campuses in Florida. The company was formerly known as Carrols Holdings Corporation and changed its name to Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. in November 2006. Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Syracuse, New York.
- [By James Brumley]
Larger restaurant chains can handle the lull. A less liquid small-cap name like Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST), however, feels the pain pretty intensely. That’s why shares are down about 8% this month.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Mattress Firm Holding Corp (MFRM)
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (Mattress Firm), incorporated on January 5, 2007, is a specialty retailer of mattresses and related products and accessories in the United States. The Company conducts its operations through its indirect, wholly owned subsidiary, Mattress Holding Corp. and its subsidiaries. As of August 2, 2011, the Company and its franchisees operated 620 and 107 stores, respectively, primarily under the Mattress Firm name, in 60 markets across 25 states. The Company focuses on the national brands, but also offers its customers its Hampton and Rhodes private label mattresses. The Company has introduced its YuMe brand. On October 15, 2010, the Company acquired Peak Management, LLC. On December 1, 2010, the Company acquired Maggie’s Enterprises, Inc. In May 2012, Mattress Firm announced the completion of its acquisition of regional bedding company, Mattress Giant Holding Corp. Effective September 9, 2013, Mattress Firm Holding Corp, a unit of JW Childs Associates LP, acquired Olejo Inc, a provider of ecommerce retail services.
The Company’s stores carry national mattress brands, with a range of styles, sizes, price points and features. The Company provides its customers with their choice of traditional mattresses, including Sealy and Simmons, as well as specialty mattresses, such as Tempur-Pedic. In addition to its mattress selection, the Company offers a range of bedding-related products and accessories.
Conventional mattresses, such as those of Sealy (including Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns and Foster) and Simmons (including Simmons Beautyrest), utilize steel-coil innersprings. During the fiscal year ended February 1, 2011, the conventional mattresses represented approximately 75% of bedding industry sales in the United States and approximately 60% of the Company’s total sales. In addition to these national brands, the Company also offers its Hampton and Rhodes pr ivate label mattresses.
Specialty mattresses, such as those manufactured by Tempur-Pedic and select comfort, utilize materials other than steel-coil innersprings to provide comfort and support. In fiscal 2010, the specialty mattresses represented approximately 30% of the Company’s total sales. The Company is expanding its assortments in the categories, including viscoelastic foam mattresses and yume sleep system. Viscoelastic foam, also referred to as memory foam or polyurethane foam, features a temperature sensitive foam core that reduces pressure points and tossing and turning by contouring to one’s body. The Company has introduced a sleep system made of foam produced from coconut oil, utilizing a technology that uses ambient air to heat and cool the mattress surface.
Furniture and Accessories
During fiscal 2010, the Company was in the process of introducing new headboards and footboards, which complement its current bedding products. All of the Company’s stores carry an assortment of bedding-related accessories, including bed frames, mattress pads and pillows. In fiscal 2010, bedding-related products and accessories represented approximately 7% of the Company’s total sales from Company-operated stores.
The Company competes with Mattress Giant, American Mattress, Haverty’s, Rooms-To-Go, Macy’s, Sears, JC Penney, Walmart, Costco and Original Mattress.
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
Mattress Firm Holding Corp.(MFRM) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 14%, as the company reported a strong increase in revenue and same-store sales. Shares rose 6.9% to $47.50 premarket.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Mattress Firm Holding (NASDAQ: MFRM) shares reached a new 52-week high of $47.03 after the company reported upbeat Q4 earnings and raised its FY14 forecast.
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (MFRM) shares rose 5% to $46.66 after the mattress retailer raised its outlook for the year.
- [By John Kell]
Mattress Firm Holding Corp.(MFRM) tempered expectations for 2013, as the company said results were hurt by poor winter weather and lower margins tied to efforts to drive sales and traffic during the final quarter of the year. Shares slumped 9.9% to $37.17 premarket.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Fonar Corporation(FONR)
FONAR Corporation engages in the research, development, production, marketing, and service of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners for the detection and diagnosis of human diseases. It provides Upright Multi-positional MRI scanners, which allow patients to be scanned in a weight-bearing condition, such as standing, sitting, or bending in any position that causes symptoms; and FONAR 360 MRI scanner, a diagnostic scanner. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Health Management Corporation of America, also offers management services to imaging facilities, including development, administration, and leasing of office space, facilities, and medical equipment; provision of supplies; staffing, training, and supervision of non-medical personnel; legal services; accounting, billing, and collection; and the development and implementation of practice growth and marketing strategies. It serves private diagnostic imaging centers and hospitals. As of June 30, 2011, the c ompany managed 10 diagnostic imaging facilities located in the states of New York and Florida. FONAR Corporation was founded in 1978 and is based in Melville, New York.
- [By Monica Gerson]
NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and Borsa Istanbul A.S. have today concluded a wide-ranging agreement, which includes the delivery of market-leading technologies and advisory services to Borsa Istanbul, and NASDAQ OMX taking an equity stake in Borsa Istanbul. To read the full news, click here. Acacia Research (NASDAQ: ACTG) announced today that its Bolt MRI Technologies LLC subsidiary has entered into an agreement with Fonar Corporation (NASDAQ: FONR). To read the full news, click here. Douglas Emmett, (NYSE: DEI) announced that William Kamer will be retiring from full time service as its Chief Investment Officer effective January 31, 2014. Mr. Kamer will continue to be employed by Douglas Emmett as a Senior Advisor. To read the full news, click here. Acacia Research (NASDAQ: ACTG) announced today that its Brandywine Communications Technologies LLC subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with Alcatel-Lucent USA (NYSE: ALU). To read the full news, click here.
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Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Advanced Photonix Inc (API)
Advanced Photonix, Inc. (API), incorporated in June 22, 1988, is engaged in the development and manufacture of optoelectronic devices and value-added sub-systems and systems. The Company serves a variety of global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a variety of industries. API supports its customers from the initial concept and design phase of the product, through testing to full-scale production. API has two manufacturing facilities located in Camarillo, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan. API is a supplier of optoelectronic semiconductors packaged into high-speed optical receivers, custom optoelectronic subsystems and Terahertz instrumentation, serving a variety of global OEM markets. API supports the customer from the initial concept and design of the semiconductor, hybridization of support electronics, packaging and signal conditioning or processing from prototype through full-scale production and validation testing. The target markets served by it are industri al sensing/NDT, military/aerospace, telecom, medical and homeland security. On March 1, 2013, it acquired certain assets of Silonex, Inc.
The Company’s high-speed optical receivers include avalanche photodiode (APD) technology and positive-intrinsic-negative (PIN) photodiode technology based upon III-V materials, including InP, InAlAs, and GaAs. Its optoelectronic subsystems are based on its silicon large area avalanche photodiode (LAAPD), PIN photodiode, FILTRODE detectors and light emitting diode (LED) assemblies. API’s Terahertz sensor product line is targeted at the industrial homeland security and military markets. Using its fiber coupled technology and high speed Terahertz generation and detection sensors, the Company is engaged in transferring Terahertz technology from the laboratory to the factory floor for use in non-destructive testing and real time quality control.
The Company competes with First Sensor, Illinois Tool Works, JDS Unip hase, Neophotonix, U2T and Nippon Electric.
- [By Bryan Murphy]
When most investors think of optical sensor makers, they tend to think of larger names like Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) or Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE:VSH). And well they should. VSH is a $2 billion company, and HON is a $71.5 billion organization. The fact is, however, there are a few small cap stocks in the optical sensor space that are worth a look, and one of them is worth a very close look right now for a very clear reason… Advanced Photonix, Inc. (NYSEMKT:API).
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Southwest Gas Corporation(SWX)
Southwest Gas Corporation engages in the purchase, distribution, and transportation of natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. As of March 31, 2011, it had 1,844,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and other natural gas customers, including 996,000 customers in Arizona; 665,000 in Nevada; and 183,000 in California. The company also operates as an underground piping contractor that provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems. Southwest Gas Corporation was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Natural gas provider Southwest Gas (NYSE: SWX ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.33 per share, the same rate it paid for the last two quarters after it raised the payout from $0.295 per share.
- [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 Southwest Gas (NYSE: SWX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Emulex Corp (ELX)
Emulex Corporation (Emulex) is a provider of a range of network convergence solutions that connect servers, storage, and networks within the data center. The Company’s product portfolio includes Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), Converged Network Adapters (CNAs), Network Interface Cards (NICs), mezzanine cards for blade servers, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), embedded storage bridges, routers, and switches, Input/Output Controllers (IOCs), and connectivity management solutions. The Company is a designer, developer and supplier of HBAs, CNAs, NICs, mezzanine cards, Pass-Through Modules (PTM), embedded storage switches, embedded bridges, embedded routers, I/O ASICs, switch-on-a-chip (SOC) ASICs, Internet Baseboard management controllers (iBMC’s) and connectivity management solutions. On August 25, 2010, Emulex acquired ServerEngines Corporation. In February 2013, Emulex acquired 89% ownership of Endace Ltd. In April 2013, Emulex Corp announced the completion o f acquisition of Endace Limited.
Host Server Products
The Company’s Host Server Products include the development of chip level and board level server-based I/O adapters, including HBAs, Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs), and mezzanine cards that connect servers and storage to networks using a range of products. Its products support Internet protocol (IP) and storage networking, including transmission control protocol (TCP)/IP, Internet small computer system interface (iSCSI), network attached storage (NAS), Fibre Channel, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Host Server Products (HSP) include LightPulse HBAs, OneConnecttm UCNAs, custom form factor solutions for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) blade servers, and ASICs. These products enable servers to connect to local area networks (LANs), storage area networks (SANs), and NAS by offloading data communication processing tasks from the server as information is delivered and sent to the network.
Its Fibre Channel H! BAs connect host computers to a Fibre Channel network. The Company’s adapters support a range of operating systems and host computer system interfaces, including Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and PCI Express-based platforms. Its Fibre Channel HBA offerings include single, dual, and quad port adapters at throughput speeds of two gigabyte per second, four gigabyte per second, and eight gigabyte per second for use in enterprise, large, medium, and small-sized organizations. The Emulex OneConnect UCNA is a single chip 10 gigabyte per second Ethernet platform designed to address the challenges of data center networks. The Emulex UCNA platform enables data center managers to consolidate multiple one gigabyte per second Ethernet links on to a single 10 gigabyte per second Ethernet link. Emulex HBAs and UCNAs are based upon its internally developed Fibre Channel and Ethernet IOCs. In addition, these IOCs can be used in embedded I/O environments, such as disk and tape sto rage arrays and storage appliances. Revenues from these applications are included in the Company’s Embedded Storage Products.
Embedded Storage Products
The Company’s Embedded Storage Products include the development of chip level, board level, and box level array based products that are deployed inside storage arrays, tape libraries, and other storage products to provide connectivity and protocol emulation functions. These products include embedded IOCs, I/O Processors (IOPs), SOCs, embedded bridges (FC/SATA/SAS), and embedded routers (FC/SATA/SAS). Emulex offers a range of integrated, embedded storage networking products for enterprise storage systems that deliver improved performance, reliability and storage connectivity. InSpeed is an advanced switching architecture that results in a single chip capable of handling multiple Fibre Channel devices operating at two, four, or eight gigabyte per second speeds. Its embedded router and bridge pro ducts consist of chip and firmware solutions.
! The Compa! ny competes with QLogic Corporation, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Intel Corporation, Chelsio Communications, Inc., Mellanox Technologies, Ltd., LSI, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. and PMC-Sierra, Inc.
- [By Eric Volkman]
A top-level promotion has taken place at Emulex (NYSE: ELX ) . The company announced that it has appointed Jeffrey Benck to be its CEO, effective immediately. He replaces James McCluney, who was named executive chairman of the board. In turn, McCluney displaces ex-chairman Paul Folino, who is to continue to serve as a director.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Emulex (ELX) is a provider of a range of network convergence solutions that intelligently connect servers, storage and networks within the data center. This stock closed up 1.6% to $8.14 in Thursday’s trading session.
Thursday’s Range: $8.05-$8.22
52-Week Range: $5.72-$8.99
Thursday’s Volume: 727,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 786,981
From a technical perspective, ELX bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $7.95 with decent upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways inside of a consolidation chart pattern over the last month, with shares moving between 7.50 on the downside and $8.46 on the upside. This modest spike is now starting to push shares of ELX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if ELX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $8.34 to $8.46 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ELX as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support levels at $7.95 or $7.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 786,981 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ELX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $8.99. Any high-volume move above $8.99 will then give ELX a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $10 to $11.19.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Markel Corp (MKL)
Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. The Company operates in three segments: the Excess and Surplus Lines, the Specialty Admitted, and the London markets. It also owns interests in industrial and service businesses, which operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Thompson Insurance Enterprises, LLC (THOMCO). On July 13, 2011, the Company acquired PartnerMD, LLC. On October 19, 2011, the Company acquired an 83% interest in WI Holdings Inc. (Weldship). In April 2012, its subsidiary, Markel Ventures, acquired a majority interest in Havco WP LLC. In July 2012, Markel Corporation announced that Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC, through its subsidiary Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc., acquired IDRECO GmbH. In January 2013, OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd sold Essentia Insurance Company to the Company. In May 2013, it announced that it has completed its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd.
Excess and Surplus Lines Segment
Business in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment is written through two distribution channels, professional surplus lines general agents who have limited quoting and binding authority and wholesale brokers. The business produced by this segment is written on a surplus lines basis through either Essex Insurance Company or Evanston Insurance Company. During the year ended December 31, 2011, in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment, it wrote business through regional underwriting offices, which include Markel Northeast (Red Bank, NJ), Markel Southeast (Glen Allen, VA), Markel Midwest (Deerfield, IL), Markel Mid South (Plano, TX) and Markel West (Woodland Hills, CA and Scottsdale, AZ). Product offerings within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment fall within the product groupings, which include Property and Casualty, Professional Liabili ty, and Other Product Lines. Property coverages consist of f! ire, allied lines (including windstorm, hail and water damage) and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks, such as earthquake and wind on both a primary and excess basis. Its property risks range from small, single-location accounts to multi-state, multi-location accounts. Casualty product offerings include a range of liability coverages targeting apartments and office buildings, retail stores, contractors and recreational and hospitality businesses. It also offers products liability coverages on either an occurrence or claims-made basis to manufacturers, distributors, importers and re-packagers of manufactured products.
Professional liability coverages include solutions for specialized professions, including architects and engineers, lawyers, agents and brokers, service technicians and computer consultants. It offers claims-made medical malpractice coverage for doctors, dentists and podiatrists; claims-made profession al liability coverage to individual healthcare providers, such as therapists, pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse anesthetists, and coverages for medical facilities and other allied healthcare risks, such as clinics, laboratories, medical spas, home health agencies, small hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes. This product line also includes for-profit and not-for profit management liability coverage, which can be bundled or written mono-line and include employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and fiduciary liability coverages. In addition, it offers a data privacy and security product, which provides coverage for data breach and privacy liability, data breach loss to insureds and electronic media coverage.
Other product lines within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment include excess and umbrella products, which provide coverage over approved underlying insurance carriers on either an occurrence or claims-made basis; env ironmental products, which include environmental consultants! ’ profe! ssional liability, contractors’ pollution liability and site-specific environmental impairment liability coverages; transportation-related products, which provide auto physical damage coverage for automobiles, as well as all types of specialty commercial vehicles, dealers’ open lot and garagekeeper legal liability coverages, vehicular liability and physical damage coverages for local and intermediate haul commercial trucks and liability coverage to operators of small to medium-sized owned and operated taxicab fleets, non-emergency ambulances and multi-line specialty products designed for the characteristics of the garage industry; inland marine products, which provide a range of specialty coverages for risks, such as motor truck cargo coverage for damage to third party cargo while in transit, warehouseman’s legal liability coverage for damage to third party goods in storage, contractors’ equipment coverage for first party property damage and builder’s risk coverage ; ocean marine products, which provide general liability, professional liability, property and cargo coverages for marine artisan contractors, boat dealers and marina owners, including hull physical damage, protection and indemnity and third party property coverages for ocean cargo; casualty facultative reinsurance written for individual casualty risks focusing on general liability, products liability, automobile liability and certain classes of professional liability and targeting classes, which include general liability risks; railroad-related products, which provide first and third party coverages for short-line and regional railroads, scenic and tourist railroads, commuter and light rail trains and railroad equipment, and public entity insurance and reinsurance programs, which provide coverage for government entities including counties, municipalities, schools and community colleges.
Specialty Admitted Segment
The business in the Specialty Admit ted segment is written by retail insurance agents who have v! ery limit! ed underwriting authority. Products and programs are marketed directly to consumers or distributed through wholesale producers. Personal lines coverages included in this segment are marketed directly to the consumer using direct mail, Internet and telephone promotions, as well as relationships with various motorcycle and boat manufacturers, dealers and associations. The business produced by this segment is written on an admitted basis either through Markel Insurance Company (MIC), Markel American Insurance Company (MAIC) and FirstComp Insurance Company (FCIC).
The Markel Specialty unit focuses on providing total insurance programs for businesses engaged in specialized activities. The Markel Specialty unit is organized into product areas, which concentrate on particular markets and customer groups, including youth and recreation oriented organizations, social service organizations, amateur sports organizations and horse and farm operations. The Markel American S pecialty Personal and Commercial Lines unit offers its insurance products focuses its underwriting on marine, recreational vehicle, property and other personal and commercial line coverages. The FirstComp unit provides workers’ compensation insurance and related services, to small businesses. The FirstComp unit distributes its products through independent insurance agencies.
Product offerings within the Specialty Admitted segment fall within product groupings, which include Workers’ Compensation, Property and Casualty, Personal Lines, Accident and Health, and Other Product Lines. Workers’ compensation products provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment and target main-street, service and artisan contractor businesses, retail stores and restaurants. Property and casualty products included in this segment are offered on a monoline or package basis and target commercial markets and customer groups. Targeted groups include youth and recreation oriented organizations,! social s! ervice organizations, museums and historic homes, performing arts organizations, bed and breakfast inns, outfitters and guides, hunting and fishing lodges, dude ranches and rod and gun clubs. Personal lines products provide first and third party coverages for a range of personal watercrafts, including older boats, boats and yachts, as well as for recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). In addition, property coverages are offered for mobile homes, dwellings and homeowners that do not qualify for standard homeowner’s coverage. Other products offered include special event protection, supplemental natural disaster coverage, renters’ protection coverage, excess flood coverage and collector vehicle coverage. Accident and health products offer liability and accident insurance for amateur sports organizations, accident and medical insurance for academic institutions, monoline accident and medical coverage for various markets, sh ort-term medical insurance, pet health insurance, stop-loss insurance for self-insured medical plans and medical excess reinsurance coverage.
Other product lines within the Specialty Admitted segment include coverages for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils, as well as property and liability coverages for farms and boarding, breeding and training facilities; first and third party coverages for auto repair garages, gas stations and convenience stores and used car dealers; general agent programs, which use managing general agents to offer single source admitted and non-admitted programs for a specific class or line of business; first and third party coverages for small fishing ventures, charters, utility boats and boat rentals, and professional liability coverages, which it designs and administers on behalf of other insurance carriers and ultimately assume on a reinsurance basis.
London Insur ance Market Segment
This segment is consisted o! f Markel ! International. Markel International writes specialty property, casualty, professional liability, equine, marine, energy and trade credit insurance on a direct and reinsurance basis. Business is written worldwide through either Markel International Insurance Company Limited (MIICL) or Markel Syndicate 3000 with approximately 15% of writings coming from the United States. Product offerings within the London Insurance Market segment fall within the product groupings, which include Marine and Energy, Professional and General Liability, Reinsurance, Property, and Other Product Lines.
Marine and energy products include a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war, terrorism and specie risks. The cargo account is an international transit-based book covering a range of cargo. Energy coverage includes all aspects of oil and gas activities. The hull account covers physical damage to ocean-going tonnage, yachts and mortgagee’s interest. Liability cove rage provides for a range of energy liabilities, as well as marine exposures, including charterers, terminal operators and ship repairers. The war account covers the hulls of ships and aircraft, and other related interests, against war and associated perils. Terrorism coverage provides for property damage and business interruption related to political violence, including war and civil war. The specie account includes coverage for fine art on exhibition and in private collections, securities, bullion, precious metals, cash in transit and jewelry.
Professional and general liability products include professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, intellectual property, some defense costs, incidental commercial crime, general and products liability coverages targeting consultants, construction professionals, financial service professionals, professional practices, social welfare organizations and medical products. Professional and general liability p roducts are written on a global basis. Reinsurance products ! include p! roperty and casualty treaty reinsurance. Property treaty products are offered on an excess of loss and proportional basis for per risk and catastrophe exposures. A portion of the excess of loss catastrophe and per risk property treaty business comes from the United States with the remainder coming from international property treaties. Casualty treaty reinsurance is offered on an excess of loss basis and targets specialist writers of motor products in the United Kingdom and Europe. Excess of loss casualty treaty reinsurance also is offered for select writers of employers’ and products liability coverages.
Property products target a range of insureds, providing coverage ranging from fire to catastrophe perils, such as earthquake and windstorm. Business is written either in the open market or on a delegated authority basis for direct and facultative risks. Open market business is written mainly on a global basis by its underwriters to London brokers, with each ri sk being considered on its own merits. The Company provides property coverage for small to medium-sized commercial risks on both a stand-alone and package basis through its branch offices. Other product lines within the London Insurance Market segment include crime coverage targeting financial institutions and providing protection for bankers’ blanket bond, computer crime and commercial fidelity; contingency coverage, including event cancellation, non-appearance and prize indemnity; accident and health coverage for affinity groups and schemes, risks accounts and sports groups; coverage for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils; specialty coverages include mortality risks for farms, zoos, animal theme parks and safari parks; short-term trade credit coverage for commercial risks, including insolvency and protracted default, as well as political risks coverage in conjunction with commercial risks for currency inconvert ibility, government action, import/export license cancellati! on, publi! c buyer default and war, and products liability, excess and umbrella and environmental liability coverages.
The Company purchases reinsurance. It purchases catastrophe reinsurance coverage for its catastrophe-exposed policies. In addition, certain foreign reinsurers for its United States insurance operations must provide collateral equal to 100% of recoverable, with the exception of reinsurers who have been granted authorized status by an insurance company’s state of domicile. When appropriate, it pursues reinsurance commutations, which involve the termination of ceded reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance treaties are purchased on an annual basis.
- [By Brendan Mathews]
It’s a great idea to get children interested in investing early, and buying some stocks for them is a great way to accomplish that. I’d recommend using a very long-term buy-and-hold strategy focused on high-quality, sustainable businesses. I’d forgo dividends and focus on long-term appreciation (just my personal opinion). Stocks that I’d recommend for this strategy include Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) , Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B ) , CarMax (NYSE: KMX ) , and Markel (NYSE: MKL ) . All are great companies that I’d be happy to hold for a decade.
- [By Matt Koppenheffer]
There are also some companies that strive to make their filings easy to follow and have an obvious desire to make sure investors understand their business. Specialty insurer Markel (NYSE: MKL ) is a superb example of that. While I wouldn’t say that an insurance newbie will sail through Markel’s filings, the writing and explanations are about as accessible as one could hope for from a fairly complex business.
Top 10 Stocks To Buy Right Now: Transglobe Energy Corp(TGA)
TransGlobe Energy Corporation operates as an exploration and production company with oil interests in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Yemen. It has interests in 9 international blocks comprising 5.5 million acres. The company was formerly known as Dusty Mac Mines, Ltd. and changed its name to TransGlobe Energy Corporation in April 1996 as a result of its business focus shift from mineral exploration and extraction to oil and gas business. TransGlobe Energy Corporation was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Wednesday morning, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from SouFun Holdings (NYSE: SFUN) and E-House (China) Holdings (NYSE: EJ). In trading on Wednesday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.67 percent. Among the energy stocks, Endeavour International (NYSE: END)was down more than 22 percent, while TransGlobe Energy (NASDAQ: TGA) tumbled around 6 percent.
- [By Seth Jayson]
TransGlobe Energy (Nasdaq: TGA ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on May 7. 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 TransGlobe Energy’s revenues will contract -10.7% and EPS will expand 80.0%.
- [By Sean Williams]
I can’t say I’m someone who particularly likes to push my luck in regions of the world where political upheaval can threaten my investments. One such example where I’ve bucked that trend is AngloGold Ashanti in Africa, which dealt with a large labor strike that shut down two its mines for a significant amount of time. This came on top of the higher-than-normal labor costs African metal miners already deal with. The next such name I’d like to add to this short list of exceptions is independent oil and gas driller TransGlobe Energy (NASDAQ: TGA ) .