Banking has been big business for thousands of years, and as such, banks tend to avoid rocking the boat (subprime mortgage-backed securities notwithstanding). That is, until now.
A consortium of banks, lead by Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , BB&T (NYSE: BBT ) , U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB ) , and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY ) have joined forces to develop critical technology to pave the way for true mobile banking.
In the video below, Motley Fool contributor Jay Jenkins discusses how this new technology could free consumers from bulky wallets and plastic cards, and how these leading banks stand to cash in.
It’s incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out “Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?” in The Motley Fool’s latest free report, which details the knock-down, drag-out battle being waged by the five kings of tech. Click here to keep reading.
Top 5 Construction Material Companies To Buy Right Now: Boral Ltd (BLD)
Boral Limited (Boral), is engaged in the manufacture and supply of building and construction materials in Australia, the United States and Asia. The Company’s operating segments include Construction Materials & Cement, Building Products, Boral Gypsum, and Boral USA. The Construction Materials & Cement is engaged in quarries, concrete, asphalt, transport, landfill, property, cement and concrete placing. The Building Products segment is engaged in Australian bricks, roof tiles, masonry, timber products and windows. The Boral Gypsum involves Australian and Asian plasterboard. The Boral USA is engaged in Bricks, cultured stone, roof tiles, fly ash, concrete and quarries. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Eric Lam]
Ballard Power (BLD), which designs and manufactures hydrogen fuel cells, slumped 15 percent to C$1.42, the biggest decline since March. The company yesterday said it will sell about 9 million units at $1.40 a unit for proceeds of about $12.6 million. The cash generated will be used to fund working capital, support growth and general corporate purposes, the company said.
Top 5 Construction Material Companies To Buy Right Now: Ply Gem Holdings Inc (PGEM)
Ply Gem Holdings, Inc. (Ply Gem Holdings), incorporated on January 23, 2004, is a manufacturer of residential exterior building products in North America. The Company operates in two segments: Siding, Fencing, and Stone and Windows and Doors. These two segments produce a product line of vinyl siding, designer accents, cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim, vinyl fencing, vinyl and composite railing, stone veneer and vinyl windows and doors used in both new construction and home repair and remodeling in the United States and Western Canada. It also manufactures vinyl and aluminum soffit and siding accessories, aluminum trim coil, wood windows, aluminum windows, vinyl and aluminum-clad windows and steel and fiberglass doors, enabling it to bundle complementary and color-matched products and accessories with its core products. The Company’s subsidiaries includes including Ply Gem Industries, MWM Holding, AWC Holding Company, MHE, and Pacific Windows. On July 30, 2012, Ply Gem acquired substantially all of the assets of Greendeck Products, LLC.
Siding, Fencing, and Stone Segment
In the Siding, Fencing, and Stone segment, its principal products include vinyl siding and skirting, vinyl and aluminum soffit, aluminum trim coil, J-channels, wide crown molding, window and door trim, F-channels, H-molds, fascia, undersill trims, outside/inside corner posts, rain removal systems, injection molded designer accents, such as shakes, shingles, scallops, shutters, vents and mounts, vinyl fence, vinyl and composite railing, and stone veneer. It sells its siding and accessories under its Variform, Napco, Mastic Home Exteriors, and Cellwood brand names and under the Georgia-Pacific brand name through a private label program. It also sells its Providence line of vinyl siding and accessories to Lowe’s under its Durabuilt private label brand name. Its vinyl and vinyl-composite fencing and railing products are sold under its Kroy and K roy Express brand names. Ply Gem Holdings stone veneer produ! cts are sold under its United Stone Veneer brand name.
The Company sells the siding and accessories to specialty distributors (one-step distribution) and to wholesale distributors (two-step distribution). Its specialty distributors sell directly to remodeling contractors and builders. Its wholesale distributors sell to retail home centers and lumberyards who, in turn, sell to remodeling contractors, builders and consumers. In the specialty channel, it has developed a network of approximately 800 independent distributors, serving over 22,000 contractors and builders nationwide.
Windows and Doors Segment
In the Windows and Doors segment, its principal products include vinyl, aluminum, wood and clad-wood windows and patio doors, and steel, wood, and fiberglass entry doors that serve both the new home construction and the repair and remodeling sectors in the United States and Western Canada. Its products in its Windows and Doors segment are sold under the Ply Gem Windows, Great Lakes Mastic by Ply Gem, and Ply Gem Canada brands.
The Company competes with Alsco, Gentek, U.S. Fence, Homeland, Westech, Bufftech, Royal, Azek., Eldorado Stone, Coronado Stone, Jeld-Wen, Simonton, Pella and Andersen, MI Home Products, Atrium, Weathershield, Milgard, Jeld-Wen, Gienow, All Weather and Loewen.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE: PGEM) shares reached a new 52-week low of $11.48 after the company reported wider-than-expected Q4 loss and issued a weak Q1 revenue forecast.
- [By Matt Jarzemsky]
Installed Building Products’ debut follows mixed performance from shares of some newly public building-products companies. Through Tuesday, siding manufacturer Ply Gem Holdings Inc.(PGEM)’s shares were down 39% from the offer price in its $381 May debut. Wood-products maker Boise Cascade Co.(BCC) was up 46% from its $284 million February IPO.
Top 5 Construction Material Companies To Buy Right Now: Holcim Ltd (HOLN)
Holcim Ltd (Holcim) is a Switzerland-based holding company that specializes in the manufacture, distribution and marketing of building materials. The Company operates four business segments, including Cement, Aggregates, Other construction materials and services, and Corporate. The Cement segment is engaged in the development of cement and comprises clinker and other cementitious materials, among others. The Aggregates business segment includes crushed stone, gravel and sand. The Other construction materials and services business segment comprises ready-mix concrete, concrete products, asphalt, construction and paving, and trading, among others. Additionally, other construction materials and services segment provides environmental services, including waste management, among others. The Corporate segment is engaged in holding activities and general management. It operates through subsidiaries in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa and Middle East regions . Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) lost 0.9 percent to 68.15 francs in Zurich. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit cut its rating on the world’s largest cement maker to underperform, similar to a sell recommendation, from neutral. Merrill Lynch cited the company’s exposure to emerging markets.
Top 5 Construction Material Companies To Buy Right Now: Societe Libanaise des Ciments Blancs SAL (CBN)
Societe Libanaise des Ciments Blancs SAL is a Lebanon-based joint stock company that operates in the construction materials industry sector. The Company is engaged in the production and sale of white cement. The Company is a 65.99% owned by Holcim (Liban) SAL. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By CanadianValue]
Nigeria’s reformed banking system has provided many foreigners with an attractive means to invest in the fast-growing domestic economy. The banking industry is important, not only because of the rise of microfinance, but because of the move by banks into consumer banking. Until recently, banks were mainly financing large businesses or the government through bond purchases. Following a banking crisis in 2008, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) conducted an audit of the commercial banking sector. All banks that failed the audit had their CEOs replaced. The state-owned Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) was created to purchase non-performing loans and recapitalize the unhealthy banks. A recent review of the country’s banks by the IMF showed a dramatic increase in profits for the industry in 2012, while the capital adequacy ratio was above the minimum requirement of 10% and non-performing loans were below the mandated threshold of 5%5.
Top 5 Construction Material Companies To Buy Right Now: Amcol International Corp (ACO)
AMCOL International Corporation (AMCOL), incorporated on December 3, 1959, is focused on the development and application of minerals and technology products and services to various industrial and consumer markets. It operates in five segments: performance materials, construction technologies, energy services, transportation and corporate. Its performance materials segment previously referred to as its minerals and materials segment is a supplier of bentonite related products. Its construction technologies segment previously referred to as its environmental segment provides products for non-residential construction, environmental and infrastructure projects worldwide. Its energy services segment previously referred to as its oilfield services segment offers a range of patented technologies, products and services for both upstream and downstream oil and gas production. Its transportation segment serves domestic subsidiaries, as well as third parties, is a dry van and flatbed carrier and freight brokerage service provider.
Performance Materials Segment
The Company supplies chromite and leonardite, and operates more than 25 mining or production facilities worldwide. It mines chromite, an iron chromium oxide, from open cast mines in South Africa and transport it to our nearby processing facility. Its primary uses include metalcasting, drilling fluid additive, and agricultural applications. Its performance materials segment conducts its business through wholly owned subsidiaries and investments in affiliates and joint ventures throughout the world. It consists of four product lines: metalcasting; specialty materials; basic minerals, and pet products. Its principal products are marketed under various registered trade names, including VOLCLAY, PANTHER CREEK, PREMIUM GEL, ADDITROL, ENERSOL, and Hevi-Sand.
The Company’s metalcasting products include blended mineral binders containing sodium and calcium bentonite and organic additives sold under the trade name ADDITROL. I! n the ferrous casting market, the Company specializes in blending bentonite of various grades by themselves or with mineral binders containing sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite, seacoal and other ingredients. It also has a line of formulated additives that introduce silicon and carbon in the melt phase of the casting process. In the steel alloy casting market, it sells a chromite product with a particle size distribution specific to a customer’s needs.
The Company’s specialty materials products contain bentonite and synthetic additives offering solutions for consumer and industrial applications. It also offers products for bio-agricultural applications. The markets and applications of its specialty materials products include fabric care, personal care, basic materials and pet products. It supply high-grade, agglomerated bentonite and other mineral additives used in fabric care products. It manufactures adsorbent polymers and purified grades of bentonite fo r sale to manufacturers of personal skin care products. The adsorbent polymers are used to deliver high-value actives in skin-care products. Microsponge and Poly-Pore are the principal trade names under which these products are sold. Its basic minerals product line supplies minerals to a variety of markets and industrial applications, including drilling fluid additives, ferro alloys and other industrial.
The Company’s pet products include sodium bentonite-based scoopable (clumping), traditional and alternative cat litters, as well as specialty pet products sold to grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs and pet specialty stores throughout the United States. It is primarily a private-label producer of cat litter, and its products are marketed under various trade names. These products are sold solely in the United States from three principal sites from which it package and distribute finished goods. Its transportation segment provides logist ics services and is a component of its capability in supplyi! ng custom! ers on a national basis.
Construction Technologies Segment
The Company’s construction technologies segment serves customers engaged in a range of construction projects, including site remediation, concrete waterproofing for underground structures, liquid containment on projects ranging from landfills to flood control, and drilling applications including foundation, slurry wall, tunneling, water well and horizontal drilling. Its construction technologies segment conducts its business through wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. This segment consists of four product lines: building materials; contracting services; drilling products, and lining technologies.
The Company sells lining and other products for a variety of applications, most of which are directed to preserving or remediating environmental issues. It helps customers protect ground water and soil through the sale of geosynthetic clay liner products containing bentonite. It market these products under the BENTOMAT and CLAYMAX trade names principally for lining and capping landfills, mine waste disposal sites, water and wastewater lagoons, secondary containments in tank farms, and other contaminated sites. It also provides associated geosynthetic materials for these applications, including geotextiles and drainage geocomposites.
The Company’s lining technologies product line also includes specialized technologies to mitigate vapor intrusion in new building construction. It also provides reactive capping technologies and solutions to contain residual contamination, reduce costs associated with ex-situ remedies, and aid in environmental protection. Products offered include Liquid Boot, a liquid applied vapor barrier system; REACTIVE CORE-MAT, an in-situ sediment capping material; ORGANOCLAY, which absorbs organic containments, and QUIK-SOLID, a super absorbent media.
The Company offer a variety of active and passive waterproofing and greenroof technolog! ies for u! se in protecting the building envelope of non-residential constructions, including buildings, subways, and parkway systems. Its products include VOLTEX, a waterproofing composite comprised of two polypropylene geotextiles filled with sodium bentonite; ULTRASEAL, an advanced membrane using a active polymer core, and COREFLEX, featuring heat-welded seams for protection of critical infrastructure. In addition to these membrane materials, it also provides roofing products and a variety of sealants and other accessories required to create a functional waterproofing system.
The Company drilling products are used in environmental and geotechnical drilling applications, horizontal directional drilling, mineral exploration and foundation construction. The products are used to install monitoring wells, facilitate horizontal and water well drilling, and seal abandoned exploration drill holes. VOLCLAY GROUT, HYDRAUL-EZ, BENTOGROUT and VOLCLAY TABLETS are among the trade nam es for products used in these applications. It also offer a range of drilling products used in the excavation of foundations for large buildings, bridges and dams; these products include SHORE PAC and PREMIUM GEL. Contracting services, which involve installation of products, are occasionally offered to customers for select projects.
Energy Services Segment
The Company’s energy services segment provides services to improve the production, costs, compliance, and environmental impact of activities performed in the oil and gas industry. Operating as CETCO Energy Services, it offer a range of patented technologies, products and services for all phases of oil and gas production, transportation, refining, and storage throughout the world. It provide both land-based and offshore water treatment, well testing, pipeline separation, nitrogen, coil tubing and other services to the oil and gas industry. The Company provides its services through subsidiaries lo cated in Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Nigeria, the United Ki! ngdom, an! d the United States, principally in the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding on-shore area. Its principal services include water treatment, coil tubing, well testing, nitrogen services and pipeline. The Company helps customers comply with regulatory requirements by providing equipment, technologies, personnel and filtration media to treat waste water generated during oil production.
The Company’s coil tubing services utilize metal piping, which comes spooled on a large reel. It provide both equipment and operating personnel to perform services ranging from acid stimulation, reverse circulation, cementing, pressure control, nitrogen injection, and other operations that involve pumping fluids into a well. Horizontal wells and shale completions are a large component of its operations. It provide equipment and personnel to help customers control well production, as well as to clean up, unload, separate, measure component flow, and dispose of fluids from oil and gas w ells. Nitrogen services are provided in jetting wells that are loaded with fluid; stimulating wells, including fracturizing and acidizing; displacing completion fluids prior to perforating; inflating flotation devices for offshore installations, and pressure testing and other maintenance activities.
The Company operates a long-haul trucking business through Ameri-Co Carriers, Inc., and a freight brokerage business through Ameri-Co Logistics, Inc. primarily for delivery of finished products throughout the continental United States. These services are provided to its subsidiaries, as well as third-party customers.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Friday, Basic Materials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by 0.78 percent. Top gainer in the sector was AMCOL International (NYSE: ACO), up 9 percent.
- [By Seth Jayson]
AMCOL International (NYSE: ACO ) is expected to report Q2 earnings on July 26. 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 AMCOL International’s revenues will grow 1.6% and EPS will wither -16.9%.