Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — This holiday shopping season will be the shortest in at least a decade, forcing e-commerce companies, including Amazon.com and eBay, to think up new tactics to grab as much festive spending as possible.

There are 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, compared to 32 last year. That presents risks and opportunities for online retailers and marketplaces.

Fewer days may mean less spending overall, crimping revenue and sparking more intense price wars that cut into profits. But the shorter season may also encourage more online shopping earlier as consumers try to be more efficient.

“It’s going to be harder for people to get all their shopping done. This may translate into less spending overall but individual online shopping days like Cyber Monday may be a lot bigger,” said Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore, which tracks e-commerce activity. “At the end there may be a big bump in offline holiday s hopping as people rush to finish what they have not done yet.”

Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014: Envestnet Inc(ENV)

Envestnet, Inc. provides technology-enabled, Web-based investment solutions and services to financial advisors. The company?s technology platform provides financial advisors with a series of integrated services, including risk assessment and selection of investment strategies, asset allocation models, research and due diligence, portfolio construction, proposal generation and paperwork preparation, model management and account rebalancing, account monitoring, customized fee billing, overlay services covering asset allocation, tax management and socially responsible investing, and aggregated multi-custodian performance reporting and communication tools, as well as access to a wide range of leading third-party asset custodians. It also offers Web-based access to a range of technology-enabled investment solutions, including separately managed accounts (SMAs), which allow advisors to offer their investor clients a managed portfolio of securities with a personalized tax basis; unified managed accounts (UMAs) that allow the advisor to use various types of investment vehicles in one account; advisor-directed portfolios, where advisors create, implement, and maintain their own investment portfolio models to address specific client needs; mutual funds and portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs); and access to a range of investment managers and investment strategists. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Envestnet (NYSE: ENV) was also up, gaining 15.06 percent to $34.03 after the company priced 5,045,215 shares of common stock at $29.25 per share by selling shareholders.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Envestnet (NYSE: ENV  ) have jumped today by as much as 13% after the company said it closed the acquisition of Prudent Wealth Management Solutions, or WMS.

Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014: Webster Financial Corp (WBS)

Webster Financial Corporation (Webster), incorporated on September 10, 1986, is a bank holding company and financial holding company. Webster’s principal asset as of December 31, 2012, was Webster Bank, National Association (Webster Bank). Webster, through Webster Bank and various subsidiaries, delivers financial services to individuals, families and businesses primarily throughout southern New England and into Westchester County, New York. Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage lending, financial planning, trust and investment services through 167 banking offices, 293 automated teller machines (ATMs), telephone banking, mobile banking and its Internet Website www.websterbank.com. Webster also offers equipment financing, commercial real estate lending and asset-based lending across the Northeast. Webster Bank offers health savings accounts on a nationwide basis, through its HSA Bank division and its Internet Website www.hsabank.com. Webster’s operatio ns are managed along four business segments: Commercial Banking, Retail Banking, Consumer Finance and Other. Other includes Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Private Banking (including Webster Financial Advisors (WFA)).

Commercial Banking

The Commercial Banking segment includes middle market, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, equipment finance, and Government and not-for-profit banking. Webster’s Commercial Banking group provides lending, deposit and cash management services to middle market companies in its franchise territory. Additionally, it serves as a primary referral source to Wealth Management and Retail Banking.

Retail Banking

Retail Banking serves consumers and small businesses primarily throughout southern New England and into Westchester County, New York, with a distribution network of 167 banking offices and 293 owned ATMs, and a full range of Internet and mobile banking services. Retail Banking i ncludes Webster’s branch network, Consumer deposits, Busin! ess and Professional Banking (BPB), Webster Investment Services (WIS) and the Customer Care Center.

Consumer Finance

Consumer Finance offers lending solutions for consumers primarily in southern New England and Westchester County, New York. Products include: residential mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, unsecured personal loans as well as credit card options.

Other

Other includes HSA Bank (HSA) and Private Banking. HSA Bank is a bank custodian of health savings accounts. These accounts are provided for high deductible health plans offered by employers or directly to consumers. Private Banking provides local full relationship banking that serves high net worth clients, not-for-profit organizations and business clients for asset management, trust, loan and deposit products and financial planning services.

Subsidiaries of Webster Financial Corporation

Webster’s direct subsidiaries as of December 31, 2012 included Webster Bank, Fleming, Perry & Cox, Inc., and Webster Licensing, LLC. Webster also owns all of the outstanding common stock of Webster Statutory Trust, an unconsolidated financial vehicle that has issued or may in the future issue trust preferred securities. On July 18, 2012, the Company completed the redemption at par of all the outstanding principal amount of Webster Capital Trust IV fixed to floating-rate trust preferred securities. Webster Bank’s direct subsidiaries include Webster Mortgage Investment Corporation, Webster Business Credit Corporation (WBCC) and Webster Capital Finance, Inc. (WCF). Webster Bank is the primary source of retail activity within the consolidated Company. Webster Bank is the primary source of retail activity within the consolidated group. Webster Bank provides banking services through 167 banking offices, 293 owned ATMs, telephone banking, mobile banking and its Internet websites. Residential mortgage origination activity is conducted through Webster Bank. Webster Mortgage! Investme! nt Corporation is a passive investment subsidiary whose primary function is to provide servicing on passive investments, such as residential real estate and commercial mortgage real estate loans transferred from Webster Bank. Various commercial lending products are provided through Webster Bank and its subsidiaries to clients within the region from Westchester County, NY to Boston, MA. WBCC provides asset-based lending services. WCF provides equipment financing for end users of equipment. Additionally, Webster Bank has various other subsidiaries that are not significant to the consolidated Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Business and consumer banking concern Webster Financial  (NYSE: WBS  )  announced yesterday that its board of directors has approved increasing its quarterly dividend by 50%, from $0.10 per share to $0.15 per share. The new, higher payment will be made on May 20 to stockholders of record as of May 6.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Webster Financial (NYSE: WBS) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.49 per share on revenue of $149.73 million.

    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.97 per share on revenue of $20.97 billion.

Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) provides a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Company conducts its operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. It also operates in a range of other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company operates on a divisional structure with Australia, International and Institutional Banking (IIB), New Zealand, and Global Wealth and Private Banking. As of September 30, 2012, the Company had 1,337 branches and other points of representation worldwide, excluding automatic teller machines (ATMs). In September 2012, it sold its remaining shareholding in Visa Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Haigh]

    Komatsu Ltd. tumbled 8 percent in Tokyo after the world’s second-largest maker of construction equipment cut its full-year profit forecast by 26 percent. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. gained 1.4 percent in Hong Kong, pacing an advance among Chinese lenders, after China’s central bank added funds to the financial system for the first time in two weeks. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) climbed 1.4 percent to a record in Sydney after posting its highest profit and raising its dividend more than forecast.

  • [By Adam Haigh]

    Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) sank 3 percent after Australia’s third-largest bank by market value forecast interest margins will keep dropping. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. jumped 6.9 percent in Seoul after North Korea and South Korea agreed to reopen the Gaeseong industrial complex. Chinese stock exchange officials are investigating a spike in the Shanghai Composite Index, which soared from a loss of as much as 1 percent to a gain of 5.6 percent in two minutes. Everbright Securities Co. said it experienced a trading error.

  • [By Weiyi Lim]

    The funds lured a net $25.9 billion in the period, Wei Liang Chang, a foreign-exchange strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), said by phone from Singapore today, citing data from EPFR Global. Developed markets posted $24.3 billion of inflows, while emerging-nation funds drew $1.6 billion, according to Chang.

Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014: American Residential Properties Inc (ARPI)

American Residential Properties, Inc., incorporated on March 30, 2012, is a fully integrated and internally managed real estate investment company, which is organized as a real estate investment trust. The Company acquires, renovates, leases and manages single-family properties in select communities nationally. The Company is operating in ten states. American Residential Properties OP, L.P. acts as its operating partnership. American Residential GP, LLC is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Company and the sole general partner of its operating partnership. American Residential Leasing Company, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of its operating partnership. American Residential Properties TRS, LLC (TRS), that is a wholly owned subsidiary of its operating partnership. As of March 31, 2013, it owned 2,531 properties in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas , and it managed an additional 608 properties for Pho enix Fund in Arizona and Nevada. For the period from April 1, 2013 to April 12, 2013, the Company acquired or have contracted to acquire 785 single-family homes, of which 43 homes are in Arizona, four homes are in California, 66 homes are in Florida, 25 homes are in Georgia, 35 homes are in Illinois, 114 homes are in Indiana, 214 homes are in North Carolina, nine homes are in South Carolina and 275 homes are in Texas.

In addition to the Company’s primary business strategy of acquiring, restoring, leasing and managing single-family homes, it has a private mortgage financing strategy. As of March 31, 2013, the Company’s total portfolio of single family homes included 1,045 homes in phoenix, 304 homes in Chicago, 209 homes in Inland Empire, 136 homes in Winston-Salem, 265 homes in Indianapolis, 78 homes in Dallas-Fort Worth, 169 homes in Atlanta, 82 homes in other-California, 63 homes in Las Vegas, 138 homes in Fort Myers, 24 homes in Houston, 6 homes in Raleig h-Cary, 11 homes in Charlotte and one home in Charleston. As! of March 31, 2013, the Company’s portfolio of self-managed single-family homes included 1,521 homes. As of March 31, 2013, the Company’s portfolio of preferred operator program single-family homes included 1,010 homes.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    This spring, however, signs of a slowdown began to appear. The number of distressed properties began to diminish, prices began ticking upward, and interest rates started a slow rise. However, two snippets of good news may help float the boats of private equity firm Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX  ) , and single-family REITs Silver Bay (NYSE: SBY  ) and American Residential Properties (NYSE: ARPI  ) : easier credit, and higher foreclosure rates.

  • [By Mark Holder]

    After an initial bump in Silver Bay, the stock has had a horrible 2013, now trading close to all-time lows. Recently, a couple of other IPOs in the sector have come to market with weak receptions. Both American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH  ) and American Residential Properties (NYSE: ARPI  ) offer different twists to the general thesis of investing in single-family rental properties to take advantage of the weakness in housing prices and the increased demand for rentals.

Top 5 Financial Companies For 2014: China Fund Inc (CHN)

The China Fund, Inc. (the Fund), incorporated on April 28, 1992, is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to achieve long-term capital appreciation through investment in companies and other entities with significant assets, investments, production activities, trading or other business interests in the People’s Republic of China, or which derive a significant part of their revenue from the People’s Republic of China.

The China Fund, Inc. may invest in equity-linked securities, such as linked participation notes, equity swaps and zero-strike options, and securities warrants collectively referred to as Access Products. The Fund invests various sectors, including industrials, consumer discretionary, energy, information technology, financials, consumer staples, materials, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications. Martin Currie Inc. serves as the investment manager for the Fund’s listed assets. Asi an Direct Capital Management is the investment manager for the Fund’s assets allocated to direct investments.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephen Leeb, Founder and Research Chairman, Leeb Group]

    Healthy economic data, coupled with low inflation, make Chinese stocks attractive as well. Our first choice here is the China Fund (CHN). It holds a diverse portfolio of stocks primarily focused on the Chinese domestic market.