Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014

Happy Friday! There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating ones I read this week.

New normal
Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider discusses what Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) does to our heads:

In 2011, Science published a study called: “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.”

The study showed that humans who used Google a lot were becoming worse at remembering certain things. To many, the study seemed to suggest that Google was making us stupid.

But what the study actually showed was that humans have simply learned to remember differently – in a way that allows us to actually remember, and use, much more information.

Ars Technica nicely summarized its conclusion: “People are recalling information less, and instead can remember where to find the information they have forgotten.”

Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014: Cencosud SA (CNCO)

Cencosud SA (Cencosud) is a Chile-based holding company primarily engaged in the retail sector. The Company’s activities include the management and operation of a network of supermarkets, home centers, department stores and shopping malls, which operate under such names as Jumbo, Disco & Vea, Santa Isabel, Easy, Paris, Blaisten and GBarbosa, among others. The Company’s business also comprises the provision of consumer financial services and insurance brokerage, as well as it operates family entertainment centers and a travel agency. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company has operations established in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. As of December 31, 2010, the Company was a 25.74%-owned affiliate of Inversiones Quinchamali Limitada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    In terms of growth, Asia is where the company is achieving its greatest success. Operating joint ventures in China, India and Japan, Aegon’s gross deposits in new markets grew 31% in fiscal 2013 to $19.8 billion. Its underlying earnings before tax have grown 28% over the last two fiscal years, with fee-based earnings representing a much bigger part of its business than in the past. That’s a good thing, because fee-based earnings don’t have nearly the same bite if things go south than assets on your own balance sheet. Its operations outside of Europe are getting stronger, providing the diversification necessary to survive financial hiccups. As far as insurers go, AEG is one of the best cheap stocks worth owning.

    Cheap Stocks to Buy: Cencosud S.A. (CNCO)

    Cencosud is one of the largest retailers in Latin America. It operates grocery stores, home improvement stores and department stores in five countries including Chile, its home base. Its stock is down 51% over the past year for several reasons, including a deal falling through that would have seen it sell 51% of its credit card operations in Chile and Argentina to Itau Unibanco (ITUB) and using the proceeds to reduce its heavy debt load. Add to that a major devaluation of the peso in Argentina, where it generates a quarter of its overall revenue, and you have investors in a full-on panic.

Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014: Alliance Resource Partners L.P.(ARLP)

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. engages in the production and marketing of coal for utilities and industrial users in the United States. It operates nine underground mining complexes, which offer low, medium, and high-sulfur coal. The company also leases land and operates a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana; and purchases and resells coal. In addition, the company provides mine products and services comprising design and installation of underground mine hoists for transporting employees and materials in and out of mines; design of systems for automating and controlling various aspects of industrial and mining environments; and design and sale of mine safety equipment, such as its miner and equipment tracking, and proximity detection systems. Further, it offers ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. As of December 31, 2010, the company had approximately 697.4 million tons of coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Alliance Resource Management GP, LLC serves as the general partner of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [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 Dividends4Life]

    The basic materials sector is highly cyclical. It relies on a strong economy to create demand for its raw materials. Since most of its products are considered to be commodities, the sector is sensitive to supply and demand fluctuations, with end-users able to substitute based on price.

    Historically, yields in this sector have been on the lower end of the scale. However, with the increased demand for certain raw materials, the stocks in this sector are beginning to see higher yields with increased profitability. In addition, depressed prices on some companies have also boosted yields.

    This week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for Basic Materials companies with a yield above 2.0% and that have increased their dividends for at least 10 consecutive years. The results are presented below:

    RPM International Inc. (RPM) makes specialty coatings and products for structural waterproofing and corrosion control, as well as products for the consumer, do-it-yourself and hobby markets. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1969 and has increased its dividend payments for 40 consecutive years. Yield: 2.3%

    Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) is a major producer of industrial gases and electronics and specialty chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. is a major producer of industrial gases and electronics and specialty chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses. Yield: 2.5%

    Nucor Corporation (NUE) is the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas. Nucor Corporation is the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas. Yield: 2.7%

    Alliance Resource Partners LP (ARLP) produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industr

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    Coal will still be a top energy source
    It’s easy to be down on coal. Ever since shale gas started flowing in the U.S., many have speculated that it would replace coal because it was a more emissions-friendly fuel source and it was less expensive. While that may look to be the case (and several trends in the U.S. back it up), the truth is that coal will remain a dominant force in the energy game. To take it even further, the EIA estimates that coal will surpass oil as the premier energy source by 2017. This is in large part because of two factors: natural gas requires a robust infrastructure to transport, an infrastructure many developing nations do not have, and several countries have natural gas prices indexed to oil, so its price is kept artificially high. This is mostly how American coal company Alliance Natural Resources  (NASDAQ: ARLP  ) was able to post a record 2012 in both sales and production.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Alliance Resource Partners (NASDAQ: ARLP  ) has bumped its quarterly dividend slightly higher. For its Q1, the company will distribute $1.13 per unit on May 15 to shareholders of record as of May 8. That amount is 2% more than Alliance Resource’s preceding distribution, which was handed out in early February, and totaled $1.1075. Prior to that, the partnership paid $1.085 per unit.

Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014: Pike Electric Corp.(PIKE)

Pike Electric Corporation provides energy solutions for investor-owned, municipal, and co-operative utilities in the United States. The company?s services include siting, permitting, engineering, designing, planning, constructing, maintaining, and repairing power delivery systems, including renewable energy projects. Its planning and siting process leverages technology and the collection of environmental, cultural, land use, and scientific data to facilitate negotiations and permitting for powerlines, substations, pipelines, and renewable energy installations. The company also provides design, engineering, procurement and construction, owner engineer, project management, multi-entity coordination, grid integration, balance-of-plant, and thermal rate solutions for individual or turnkey powerline, substation, and renewable energy projects. In addition, it offers overhead and underground powerline construction, up gradation, and extension services for distribution networks a nd transmission lines with voltages up to 345kV, energized maintenance work for voltages up to 500kV; and substation construction and service. Further, Pike Electric Corporation provides a total energy solution platform, including preliminary studies, planning, siting and permitting, engineering and design, construction, procurement, and grid interconnection services. Additionally, it offers storm restoration services, which include the repair or reconstruction of parts of a distribution or sub-500 kV transmission network comprising substations, power lines, utility poles, or other components damaged during flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and snow, ice, or wind storms, as well as other natural disasters. The company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Damian Illia]

    Finally, I always like to see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm’s management: the return on equity. The ratio has decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness. Moreover, it is worse than those shown in the table like Aegion Corporation (AEGN), EnerNOC Inc. (ENOC), MYR GroupInc. (MYRG) and Pike Corporation (PIKE).

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    More than a handful of smart-grid-related companies had strong performances over the past year. Solar energy inverter maker Power-One (NASDAQ: PWER.DL  ) , and utility contractor Pike Electric (NYSE: PIKE  ) , both surged 44%. Power-One’s gain is in large part due to its being acquired, at a premium, by Switzerland-based power and automation technology giant ABB. Some have worried about inverters becoming commoditized, but others have admired Power-One’s profitability and solid balance sheet.

Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014: Stein Mart Inc.(SMRT)

Stein Mart, Inc. operates retail stores that offer fashion merchandise for women and men in the United States. The company?s stores provide fashion apparel, accessories, shoes, and home fashions. As of April 19, 2011, it operated a chain of 263 retail stores. The company was founded in 1908 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Reuters]

    Joshua Lott/Getty Images NEW YORK — Several major U.S. retailers posted disappointing sales for November after cautious shoppers pinched their pennies at the start of a shorter holiday season. Some of the companies that reported sales gains ramped up bargains to bring in shoppers who appeared hesitant to splurge. Costco Wholesale (COST) said Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year rose 2 percent, below the 3.3 percent increase analysts were looking for, according to Thomson Reuters. The warehouse club chain said consumer electronics sales fell. Same-store sales at L Brands (LTD), owner of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain, also came in below expectations. Its drop of 5.5 percent was far deeper than the 1.1 percent decline analysts were projecting. Wall Street analysts are expecting 11 top retailers to report a 2.7 percent increase in same-store sales for November, according to Thomson Reuters. Excluding drugstore operators, which get two-thirds of revenue from prescriptions, that gain is estimated at 2.3 percent. Gap (GPS) will report its November sales after U.S. markets close. Retailers have been contending with low consumer confidence and the need to prod shoppers with bargains this holiday season, which has six fewer days because of a late Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation on Sunday said U.S. shoppers had spent 2.9 percent less this year over the Thanksgiving weekend, the kickoff to the holiday season. The Conference Board, an industry group, said last week that U.S. consumer confidence fell in November after a sharp drop in October as Americans worried about their future jobs and earnings prospects. Earlier this week, J.C. Penney (JCP) reported a 10.1 percent comparable sales increase, partially reversing a disastrous decline in 2012, but the department store chain had to resort to aggressive bargains. The “environment will remain as competitive” through the holiday season, Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman said. I

  • [By John Udovich]

    As we head into Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, small cap apparel retail stocks Cache, Inc (NASDAQ: CACH), Stein Mart, Inc (NASDAQ: SMRT), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc (NASDAQ: PSUN) and Destination XL Group Inc (NASDAQ: DXLG) have the distinction of being the best performing small cap apparel retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with gains of 111.6%, 92.7%, 88.7% and 65.7%, respectively. What are these high flying small caps doing right in the apparel retail space and will they continue delivering a stellar performance for Black Friday and the all important holiday season for investors? Here is what new and existing investors and traders alike need to know or consider:

Top 5 Japanese Stocks To Own For 2014: China Recycling Energy Corporation(CREG)

China Recycling Energy Corporation provides energy saving and recycling products and services in the People’s Republic of China. The company engages in the design, sale, installation, lease, and operation of top gas recovery turbine systems (TRT) and other renewable energy products. It also builds cement low temperature heat power generator (CHPG) and waste gas power generator (WGPG) systems. The company, through a joint venture, Inner Mongolia Erdos TCH Energy Saving Development Co., Ltd, with Erdos Metallurgy Co., Ltd., recycles waste heat from Erdos Metallurgy Co.?s metal refining plants to generate power and steam. China Recycling Energy Corporation offers its products and services to enterprises in the iron and steel, cement, coking, and metallurgy industries. The company was formerly known as China Digital Wireless, Inc. and changed its name to China Recycling Energy Corporation in March 2007. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Xi An City, the People?s R epublic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another stock that’s starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade is China Recycling Energy (CREG), which engages in the recycling energy business, providing energy savings and recycling products and services. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up a whopping 166%.

    If you take a look at the chart for China Recycling Energy, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $1.67 to $1.66 a share. Following that bottom, shares of CREG have started to uptrend strong and move back above its 50-day moving average. That uptrend has now pushed shares of CREG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in CREG if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.80 to $2.85 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 95,671 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CREG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $3.50 to $4 a share.

    Traders can look to buy CREG off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below its 50-day moving average of $2.32 a share, or near more support at $2 a share. One can also buy CREG off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.