If you saw the alarming headlines circulating everywhere this morning, then there’s a good chance you’ve already taken on a new position in Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP). Both are solutions to the underscored problem, and truth be told, likely will benefit from ugly reality this morning’s news is spreading. FTNT and CHKP may not be the best ways to play the news-based investing theme, however. The best long-term play is a solutions provider called Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. (OTCBB:STAF). While the company may not superficially sit in the same category as Fortinet or Check Point Software Technologies, fundamentally, it does, and may actually be better positioned for growth.
Some of you will have already connected some of the dots, but it not, here goes – this morning, the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that cybercrime costs the world’s consumers $445 billion every year. That’s a ton of money, and any means of stopping – or even just slowing – that loss would be money well spent. Ergo, since Fortinet Inc. and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. both offer cybersecurity solutions, the argument that FTNT and CHKP are sound investments here is an easy one to make. But Staffing 360 Solutions? Oh yeah… it’s sitting pretty as well.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks To Own Right Now: Alliance Holdings GP L.P.(AHGP)
Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 697.4 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition, the company leases land; and operates a coal loading terminal, with a capacity of 8.0 million tons with ground storage of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons, on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Further, it engages in purchasing and selling coal; and providing services, including ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. Alliance GP, LLC, serves as the general partner of the company. Allian ce Holdings GP, L.P. is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Robert Rapier]
The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).
- [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 Alliance Holdings GP (Nasdaq: AHGP ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks To Own Right Now: Compass Minerals Intl Inc(CMP)
Compass Minerals International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets inorganic mineral products primarily in North America and the United Kingdom. The company operates in two segments, Salt and Specialty Fertilizer. The Salt segment produces salt and magnesium chloride for use in road deicing and dust control, food processing, water softeners, pool salt, and agricultural and industrial applications. This segment also purchases potassium chloride and sells as a finished product. The Specialty Fertilizer segment produces and markets sulphate of potash crop nutrients and industrial grade sulfate of potash for use in the production of specialty fertilizers for vegetables, fruits, potatoes, nuts, tobacco, and turf grass. The company also produces and markets consumer deicing and water conditioning products, ingredients used in consumer and commercial food preparation, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural, and industrial applications. In ad dition, Compass Minerals provides records management services to businesses located in the U.K. The company operates rock salt mines in Goderich, Ontario, Canada; and Winsford, Chesire, the United Kingdom. It primarily serves producers of intermediate chemical products used in the production of vinyls and other chemicals, and pulp and paper, as well as water treatment and other industrial uses. The company markets its products through direct sales personnel, contract personnel, and a network of brokers or manufacturers? representatives. Compass Minerals International, Inc., formerly known as Salt Holdings Corporation, was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.
- [By Brendan Mathews]
Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP ) is a sleepy producer of a boring product: rock salt. But it has a strong competitive advantage. It owns the world’s largest rock salt mine, which luckily is conveniently located near the major deicing markets of the Great Lakes region. This combination of a great mining resource and ideal location provide the company with a wide, crocodile-filled competitive moat.
- [By Alex Planes]
PotashCorp’s difficulty sustaining its pricing power is underscored by recent reports from sulfate of potash (SOP) producer Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP ) , which charged a hefty premium of almost $300 per ton against Potash Corp’s prices for muriate of potash. Efforts to move away from SOP sales seem to be the right choice — PotashCorp peer Intrepid Potash’s SOP sales fell by 37%, while the average price received has slumped nearly 14% in the last quarter. Even ore miner BHP Billiton has recently jumped into the fertilizer industry with a $2.6 billion build-out of a potash mine in Canada, which is all but certain to produce further downward pressure on potash prices.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks To Own Right Now: CVS Corporation(CVS)
CVS Caremark Corporation operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. The company?s Pharmacy Services segment provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services, including mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy services, plan design and administration, formulary management, and claims processing; and drug benefits to eligible beneficiaries under the Federal Government?s Medicare Part D program. This segment primarily serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, and individuals. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 44 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 18 specialty mail order pharmacies, and 4 mail service pharmacies located in 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This segment operates business under the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, Caremark, CVS Caremark, CarePlus CVS/pharmacy, CarePlus, RxAmerica, Accordant, and TheraCom names. The company?s Retail Pharmacy segment sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its pharmacy retail stores and online, as well as offers film and photo finishing, and health care services. This segment operated 7,182 retail drugstores located in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; and 560 retail health care clinics in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the MinuteClinic name. It has a strategic alliance with Alere, L.L.C. for the management of disease management program offerings that cover chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. CVS Caremark Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
AlamyWebsites can help direct you to beauty-related freebies. Inner beauty matters most in my book, but trying to look your best outwardly can be important, too. Striving for beauty on the outside by using beauty products can help boost your confidence and show others that you take good care of yourself. On average, Americans spend more than $400 a year on personal care products. Although cosmetics and beauty products can add up to a pretty penny, beauty doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag. Here are some tips to manage beauty on a budget. 1. Free Samples Marketers love giving out free samples so consumers have the chance to try new products and fall in love with their products. The hope is that if you try a little, you’ll like it enough to buy the full-size product at its full retail price. For frugal shoppers, free samples can be a tool that allows us the chance to stretch our dollars. By taking advantage of a variety of free beauty samples from many manufacturers, over time we can end up with enough free sample products to replace a few full-size ones. One woman who has perfected the search for freebies is Heather Hernandez, founder of Freebies4Mom.com. She started her site, which curates the best free samples available online, back in 2007. By signing up for her free e-mail newsletter you can be notified when new free samples are available and where to get them. Besides visiting Freebies4Mom.com, Heather shares two of her favorite sources for online freebies: SampleSource and PinchMe. SampleSource.com is a relatively new site that allows users to get free brand name samples. She recently received a free shampoo and new toothbrush from their site, which is free to join. PinchMe.com allows consumers to try free products in exchange for providing feedback on a short survey. On her last visit to the site, she got to select a free nail polish in the color of her choice PinchMe has become very popular, so she recommends that you “pay attention to
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty ImagesThree of the nations largest banks have hiked their out-of-network ATM fees by 50 cents in the past six months. Rising ATM fees are making it more expensive for consumers who regularly use an out-of-network ATM to withdraw cash. The trend may be the push that some consumers need to find a better checking account or bank. In the past six months, three of the nation’s largest banks — Bank of America (BAC), Citibank (C) and SunTrust Bank (STI) — have each hiked their out-of-network ATM fee from $2 to $2.50. At the top 10 U.S. banks, the average out-of-network ATM fee is $2.45, up from $2.25 in November. Then, don’t forget that ATM operator also has the right to slap on a surcharge, usually around $3 to $5. If ATM fees are becoming a costly expense for you, here are some ways to avoid them: Find your bank’s ATMs on your smartphone. The biggest reason we resort to using an out-of-network ATM is because ATM machines from our banks are nowhere to be found when we’re in a rush. In many cases, your bank’s ATM could just be around the corner, but you’re in a hurry, so you don’t care to check. Instead, you’re willing to get hit with the ATM cash withdrawal fee, plus any ATM surcharge. However, with easy access to the Internet through smartphones, it would be wise to search for nearby ATMs. Many mobile banking applications feature a locator tool that will help you find an ATM based on your GPS location. Remember to use affiliated ATM networks. There are financial institutions — usually community banks and credit unions — that partner with other financial companies to expand ATM availability without imposing surcharges. For instance, some smaller banks and online banks work with the Allpoint or STAR ATM networks to provide more surcharge-free access to ATMs. Some credit unions also partner with the CO-OP ATM network, which doesn’t impose surcharges for members of partnered credit unions. Additionally, financial institutions may work with retailers to
Top 5 Cheap Stocks To Own Right Now: Progress Software Corporation(PRGS)
Progress Software Corporation operates as an enterprise software company worldwide. Its products include Progress OpenEdge platform, which offers development tools, application servers, application management tools, and an embedded database; Progress Orbix to address enterprise integration problems with standards-based solutions; and Progress ObjectStore, an object data management system to store data faster than relational database management system or file-based storage system. The company?s products also comprise Progress Responsiveness Process Management suite for business users; Progress Control Tower, an interactive business control panel; Progress Sonic, which comprises an enterprise messaging system and the enterprise service buses; Progress Actional that provides operational and business visibility, root cause analysis, and policy-based security and control of services; Progress Apama, which offers tools for creating, testing, and deploying strategies for applicat ions, including algorithmic trading, market aggregation, smart order routing, market surveillance and monitoring, and risk management; Progress Savvion BusinessManager, a business process management software; and Fuse products that provide customers with access to professional open source integration and messaging software. In addition, it offers Progress DataDirect Connect products, which provide data connectivity components; Progress DataDirect Shadow to provide foundation architecture for standards-based mainframe integration; and Progress Data Services product set that offers data integration for distributed applications. Further, the company provides maintenance, consulting, training, and customer support services. Progress Software Corporation sells its products to independent software vendors, original equipment manufacturers, and system integrators through direct sales force and independent distributors. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in Bedford, Massa c husetts.
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
Progress Software Corp.’s(PRGS) fiscal first-quarter profit fell 64% as the business-software provider’s revenue slipped due to the timing of certain deal closures.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) shares tumbled 11.15 percent to $22.82 after the company issued a weak Q1 forecast.
FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE) was also down, falling 9.35 percent to $81.20 after the company’s secondary offering lead to fear on the street.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) shares tumbled 10.11 percent to $22.82 after the company issued a weak Q1 forecast.
21Vianet Group (NASDAQ: VNET) was down, falling 6.18 percent to $25.94 on Q4 results.
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
Progress Software Corp.(PRGS) trimmed its expectations for the fiscal first quarter, as the business-software provider said results were hurt by lower license sales. Shares dropped 12% to $22.27 premarket.
Top 5 Cheap Stocks To Own Right Now: Bank of America Corporation(BAC)
Bank of America Corporation, a financial holding company, provides banking and nonbanking financial services and products to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company?s Deposits segment generates savings accounts, money market savings accounts, certificate of deposits, and checking accounts; and Global Card Services segment provides the U.S. consumer and business card, consumer lending, international card and debit card services. Its Home Loans & Insurance segment offers consumer real estate products and services, including mortgage loans, reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and home equity loans. It also provides property, disability, and credit insurance. The company?s Global Commercial Banking segment offers lending products, including commercial loans and commitment facilities, real estate lending, leasing, trade finance, short-term credit, asset-based lending, and indirect consumer loans; and capital management and treasury solutions, such as treasury management, foreign exchange, and short-term investing options. Its Global Banking & Markets segment provides financial products, advisory services, settlement, and custody services; debt and equity underwriting and distribution, merger-related advisory services, and risk management products; and integrated working capital management and treasury solutions. The company?s Global Wealth & Investment Management segment offers investment and brokerage services, estate management, financial planning services, fiduciary management, credit and banking expertise, and asset management products. Bank of America Corporation serves customers through a network of approximately 5,900 banking centers and 18,000 automated teller machines. It was formerly known as NationsBank Corporation and changed its name on October 1, 1998. Bank of America Corporation was founded in 1874 and is based in Charlott e, North Carolina.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Steven Senne/AP Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an impasse in negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement deal related to the bank’s mortgage investments, The New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter. The talks stalled Monday after the bank’s latest offer of more than $12 billion to resolve state and federal investigations into its sale of mortgage investments fell far short of prosecutors’ demands, the newspaper said. On Tuesday, as Bank of America (BAC) sought to continue negotiations, the Justice Department moved to put the finishing touches on a civil complaint against the bank, the report said, citing the people. The lawsuit, which isn’t imminent, is expected to accuse the bank of selling mortgage investments that led to billions of dollars in losses. Reuters reported in April that Bank of America said in an annual regulatory filing that a U.S. Attorney’s office advised the bank it would recommend the Justice Department bring a civil case against its affiliates over mortgage bonds. The second-largest U.S. bank faces multiple government probes over the underwriting, sale and securitization of residential mortgage bonds before the financial crisis. Representatives for Bank of America and the Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
Swiss bank UBS blames a rogue trader at its London office for a $2.3 billion loss that is Britain’s biggest-ever fraud at a bank. Kweku Adoboli, the 32 year old trader, is sentenced to seven years in prison. Britain’s financial regulator fines UBS after finding its internal controls were inadequate and allowed Adoboli, a relatively inexperienced trader, to make vast and risky bets.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Slow but steady — that seems to be the new mantra here on Wall Street. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 plowed further into record territory on Friday. The catalyst for today’s advance was the monthly jobs report, which showed the total number of people employed finally topped the 2008 peak it hit just before the Great Recession took hold. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 88 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) rose 9, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 25 points. Financial stocks helped lead the advance. Goldman Sachs (GS) and American Express (AXP) both gained more than 2 percent. Bank of America (BAC) rose 1 percent on reports that it’s in talks with the Justice Department to settle another set of probes into the bank’s handling of mortgages leading up to and during the financial crisis. News reports say the company could pay more than $12 billion, which is more than it earned in all of 2013. But this could allow Bank of America to finally put this long-running problem behind it. Its stock has been virtually flat over the past 6 months. Amazon (AMZN) posted a strong gain for second straight day, rising 2 percent, on indications that it’s about to enter the smartphone business. And Sears (SHLD) gained nearly 2 percent on a Reuters report that the company’s chairman has held talks with outgoing Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally, sparking rumors that he might head the retailer’s turnaround effort. Elsewhere, Hertz (HRZ) drove into a ditch, sliding 9 percent after saying it will restate earnings from 2011 through 2013 because of accounting issues. Diamond Foods (DMND) fell 11 percent. Its quarterly loss widened, due to higher wholesale prices for nuts. But Vail Resorts (MTN), Men’s Wearhouse (MW), and VeriFone (PAY) all gained after beating expectations. Vail was up 6 percent; Men’s Wearhouse rose 5½ percent; and VeriFone jumped 9 percent. Demand for its merchant payment systems has been helped by growing con
- [By Mike Deane]
On Friday morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bank of America (BAC) is close to settling with the Department of Justice regarding deceptive sales of mortgage-backed securities.
According to the article, BAC may pay $12 billion dollars for the most recent settlement related to MBSs, which would put the bank’s total fines around $18 billion. Of the $12 billion settlement, $5 billion will be put towards consumer relief. This is the latest big bank settlement related to deceptive practices involving mortgage-backed securities, with JPMorgan Chase paying $13 billion in 2013 to settle its own case with the Department of Justice.
BAC stock was down just 7 cents, or 0.45%, in pre-market trading. YTD, the bank’s stock is down 4.16%.
BAC Dividend Snapshot
As of Market Close on June 5, 2014
Click here to see the complete history of BAC dividends.
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Getty Images The collapse of the U.S. housing market in the mid-2000s led to the nation’s worst financial crisis in many decades. Yet even though the years of scrutiny and regulatory efforts that followed it have made the financial system a lot safer, there’s still a ticking time bomb in the home-loan market. It’s a problem that even some lenders see as potentially triggering some of the same issues for borrowers that led to the housing bust. Mortgages vs. home-equity lines of credit The primary problem that plagued homeowners in the 2000s came from mortgage loans that proved impossible for them to repay. In far too many cases, homeowners got mortgages with low introductory teaser repayment rates, allowing them to qualify for larger loans because of their lower upfront payments. However, many of these mortgages had provisions that called for sizable increases in monthly payments within a few years. As long as the housing market was hot and prices kept rising, homeowners had the option of selling those properties before the higher payments kicked in, getting them out from under the mortgage and reaping a sizable capital gain in the process as well. But when home prices collapsed and the market was flooded with homes, those who had taken those mortgages found themselves underwater, with no way to sell, and frequently no way to handle their loan payments. In response, regulators have targeted negative-amortization and interest-only mortgages. Lenders now must require borrowers to demonstrate their ability to repay those loans even after reset-provisions take effect and boost monthly payments. Recently, Wells Fargo (WFC) identified a lingering problem with another home-financing option, the home-equity line of credit. It’s time to pay the piper The structure that Wells, Countrywide, Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and other major lenders generally used with home-equity lines during the housing boom was to allow customers to borrow up to the cred