Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014

A popular investing strategy known as the “Dogs of the Dow” involves buying the top 10 highest-yielding Dow 30 components at the beginning of each year. Let’s take a look at this year’s “Dogs” and examine how worthy they are of your investment dollars.

First, a Quick Recap

Historically, buying the Dogs of the Dow has made for mixed results. From 1957 to 2003, for example, the Dogs outperformed the markets by around three percentage points annually. In contrast, the strategy trailed the wider markets considerably from 2001 to 2010.

In 2013, buying the Dogs netted about a 30% return, matching the S&P’s return gains for the same period, but beating the overall Dow 30′s return of around 26%. Minus Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) massive 96% run-up in 2013, however, last year’s Dogs would have underperformed the wider markets. With some significant price moves since last year, and three new recent additions to the Dow 30 (along with three corresponding subtractions from the list), this year’s Dogs look a bit different – although the top four spots remain unchanged.

Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014: USA Truck Inc. (USAK)

USA Truck, Inc. operates as a truckload carrier that provides general commodities transportation services in the continental United States, Mexico, and Canada. The company transports full dry van trailer loads of freight from origin to destination. It offers truckload freight services as a short-to medium-haul common carrier, as well as freight brokerage services, rail intermodal services, and third party logistics. The company also provides transportation scheduling, routing, and mode selection services. USA Truck, Inc. offers its services to various industries, such as industrial machinery and equipment, rubber and plastics, retail stores, paper products, durable consumer goods, metals, electronics, and chemicals. As of December 31, 2010, its trucking fleet consisted of 2,363 in service tractors and 6,709 service trailers. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Nguyen]

    Citigroup cited two potential catalysts for their upgrade, “First; Knight appears intent on resuming growth in ‘14 and may use an acquisition to get it. While it remains involved with USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK), valuation sensitivity may prevent the deal from being complete, but Knight could refocus attention to another target. Second; we believe continued economic growth and Hours of Service restricted capacity could drive improvement in TL fundamentals, potentially aiding yield growth and margins.”

  • [By John Udovich]

    Despite what can best be described as a soft economy, small cap trucking stocks YRC Worldwide, Inc (NASDAQ: YRCW), Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ABFS), Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc (NASDAQ: FFEX), Saia Inc (NASDAQ: SAIA) and USA Truck, Inc (NASDAQ: USAK) have been trucking some pretty impressive returns since the start of the year. In fact, these small cap trucking stocks are up anywhere from 72% to 150% or so since the start of the year despite the slow economy. Certainly trucking stocks provide a good indicator of how the economy is doing, but might investors be jumping the gun by pushing up these trucking stocks?

Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014: General Motors Co (GM)

General Motors Company (GM), incorporated in on September 16, 1908, designs, builds and sells cars, trucks and automobile parts worldwide. The Company also provides automotive financing services through General Motors Financial Company, Inc. (GM Financial). It operates in four automotive segments: GM North America (GMNA), GM Europe (GME), GM International Operations (GMIO) and GM South America (GMSA). GM’s total worldwide vehicle sales were nine million during the year ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s GMNA segment develops, manufactures and/or markets vehicles under the brands, such as Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC for its customers in North America. GM for its customers outside North America develops, manufactures and/or markets vehicles under the brands, such as Buick Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Cadillac, Daewoo, Holden and Vauxhall. In March 2011, the Company announced the sale of its Class A Membership Interest in Delphi Automotive LLP (Delphi) back to Delphi. In October 2012, the Company bought back most of the 50% interest in its Indian operations that it had sold to Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and raised its interest in the venture to 93%.


GMNA, with sales, manufacturing and distribution operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico and sales and distribution operations in Central America and the Caribbean, represented 32.4% of the Company’s vehicle sales volume in 2011. GME has sales, manufacturing and distribution operations across Western and Central Europe. GME’s vehicle sales volume, which in addition to Western and Central Europe, includes Eastern Europe (including Russia and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States among others) represented 19.2% of its vehicle sales volume GMIO distributes Chevrolet brand vehicles which, when sold in Europe, are included in GME vehicle sales volume and market share data. GMIO has sales, manufacturing and distributio n operations in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe (including Russ! ia and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States among others), Africa and the Middle East. GMIO represented 36.6% of the Company’s global vehicle sales volume, including sales through its joint ventures in 2011. GMSA, with sales, manufacturing and distribution operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as sales and distribution operations in Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay represented 11.8% of its vehicle sales volume in 2011. In 2011 GMSA derived 59.4% of its vehicle sales volume from Brazil.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had equity ownership stakes directly or indirectly in entities through various regional subsidiaries, including GM Korea Company (GM Korea), Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd. (SGM), SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. (SGMW), FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd. (FAW-GM) and SAIC GM Investment Limited (HKJV). These companies design, manufacture and market vehicles under the brands, including Alpheon, Buick, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Baojun, Cadillac, Daewoo and Wuling. In addition to the products GM sells to its dealers for consumer retail sales, and also sells cars and trucks to fleet customers, including daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies and Governments. It sells vehicles to fleet customers directly or through its network of dealers. The Company’s retail and fleet customers can obtain a range of after sale vehicle services and products through its dealer network, such as maintenance, light repairs, collision repairs, vehicle accessories and extended service warranties.

GM markets vehicles worldwide primarily through a network of independent authorized retail dealers. These outlets include distributors, dealers and authorized sales, service and parts outlets. The Company enters into a contract with each authorized dealer agreeing to sell to the dealer one or more specified product lin es at wholesale prices and granting the dealer the right to ! sell thos! e vehicles to retail customers from an approved location. Authorized dealers offer parts, accessories, service and repairs for GM vehicles in the product lines that they sell using GM parts and accessories. Its dealers are authorized to service GM vehicles under its limited warranty program and those repairs are to be made only with GM parts. The Company also markets FlexFuel vehicles in Australia, Thailand and other markets.

GM produces compressed natural gas capable vehicles in Europe, such as the Opel Zafira, and in the United States, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans are offered to fleet and commercial customers. It offers LPG capable vehicles in select markets in Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and North America. OnStar Corporation (OnStar) is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM serving more than six million subscribers in the United States, Canada and China. OnStar is a provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and in formation technology. OnStar’s principal services include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics and hands-free calling.

Automotive Financing – GM Financial

GM Financial specializes in purchasing retail automobile installment sales contracts originated by GM and non-GM franchised and independent dealers in connection with the sale of used and new automobiles. GM Financial also offers lease products through GM dealerships in connection with the sale of used and new automobiles. GM Financial primarily generates revenue through the purchase, retention, subsequent securitization and servicing of finance receivables. GM Financial earns finance charge income on finance receivables and pays interest expense on borrowings under its credit facilities. GM Financial periodically transfers receivables to securitization trusts that issue asset-backed securities to investors. In April 2011 GM Financial originated leases for the Company’s cust! omers in ! Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    General Motors (GM) was once again in the cross-hairs today, as CEO Mary Barra testified before a Senate committee.


    Barra’s testimony is just the latest twist in the saga that has resulted in General Motors losing 15% so far this year, and lagging competitors like Ford Motor (F) and Toyota Motor (TM). To sum up: General Motors has recalled 6.3 million cars; explained that some engineers knew about the problem with faulty ignition switches nearly 10 years ago; is being investigated by the House, Senate and the Justice Department; and even concerns about discounts to its trucks (which seem really quaint right now in light of everything else).

    After all that, who could possibly feel confident in General Motors’ prospects? How about options investors? Interactive Brokers’ Andrew Wilkinson explains:

    How much damage the GM recall has on its future remains an open-ended question…Despite an uncomfortable ride for GM stock…the weight of evidence suggests investors expect better times for the company once the interruption has passed. Most analysts on Wall Street have shaken off the recall woes and on average project a price target for the stock of $44.78 or 29.8% above its current trading price. And positioning in the option market tends to support the bullish case. Perhaps that might be different were the economy heading towards recession, but the reality remains that auto sales continue to recover from the recession magnified by rising employment prospects.

    Shares of General Motors have gained 1.2% to $34.76 today at 2:27 p.m., while Ford Motor has risen 0.5% to $16.40 and Toyota Motor is up 0.1% to $113.30.

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    Also gaining despite Congressional testimony today was General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) . Shares of the carmaker finished up 1.6% even as lawmakers were grilled on why a recall on vehicles nearly 10 years old didn’t happen sooner. New CEO Mary Barra had no answers for the negligence, saying an internal report due out within two months would provide explanations, but said the company has taken steps to ensure vehicle safety. Although the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the matter, investors seem to believe that the company won’t face severe consequences, bidding shares up today.

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    Welcome to the Stock of the Day.


    Joe Raedle/Getty Images DETROIT — U.S. auto sales went out like a lion in March. Automakers said Tuesday that new car and truck sales picked up speed halfway through the month, culminating in a strong final weekend. Toyota (TM) dealers had their two best sales weekends of the year at the end of the month, the company said. “We’re optimistic that momentum will spring us into April,” said Bill Fay, who manages the Toyota division in the U.S. Industry sales rose 6 percent to 1.5 million vehicles, far outpacing analyst expectations. The sales pace was the fastest since November, according to Autodata Corp. March sales helped rescue what was otherwise a disappointing first quarter. Analysts had predicted flat growth for the first three months of this year after harsh weather in January and February hurt sales. But March helped pull first quarter sales up 1.4 percent. The month saw some big gainers. Chrysler’s sales rose 13 percent on demand for Ram pickups and the new Jeep Cherokee SUV. Subaru’s sales were up 21 percent; its new Forester SUV jumped 53 percent to nearly 14,000. Toyota’s sales rose 5 percent. Sales of the Prius hybrid fell 16 percent, as stable gas prices caused consumer interest in efficient vehicles to wane. But demand for its pickups and SUVs was strong. General Motors’ (GM) sales were up 4 percent despite a series of safety recalls of older model vehicles. Buick saw double-digit gains because of its new Encore SUV, and sales of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup rose 7 percent. Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst with the car shopping site, said buyer consideration for GM brands on Edmunds’ Web site has remained steady despite the recall crisis, which is currently the subject of several federal investigations. “Shoppers still see it as a trusted brand,” she said. Nissan’s sales were up 8 percent. Ford’s (F) rose 3 percent, with a 5-percent gain for the F-Series pickup compensating for lower car sales. Volkswagen’s sales fel

Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014: PowerShares DWA Momentum Portfolio (PDP)

PowerShares DWA Technical Leaders Portfolio (Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and of an equity index called the Dorsey Wright Technical Leaders Index (the Index). The Index consists of stocks of approximately 100 United States companies that are selected pursuant to a selection methodology of Dorsey Wright & Associates (the Index Provider). The Index is designed to identify companies that demonstrate powerful relative strength characteristics. Relative strength characteristics are based upon each security’s market performance. The companies are selected from a broad mid-cap and large-cap universe.

The Fund will normally invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the Index. The Index is adjusted quarterly, and the Fund, using an indexing investment approach, attempts to replicate the performance of the Index. The Fund generally will invest in the stocks comprising the Index in proportion to thei r weightings in the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is PowerShares Capital Management LLC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Of course, a great bet also involves many risks. Even though LCD technology became very popular in these last few years, both in TV screens and computer monitors, we should never miss the fact that technological markets are often exposed to products becoming obsolete due to the development of new, more efficient technology. Without going any further, it’s easy to recall the plasma display panel (PDP) fiasco, an apparently promising market in the 1990s and early 2000s but quickly replaced by LCDs (by 2008 LCDs sell 21.1 million units, almost 10 times PDP sales on the same year). Even Panasonic Corporation (PCRFF) announced it will interrupt production of PDP on 2014.

Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014: Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (SRPT)

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., formerly AVI BioPharma, Inc., incorporated on July 22, 1980, biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based therapeutics for the treatment of rare and infectious diseases. The Company’s product candidates include Eteplirsen, AVI-6002, AVI-6003, and AVI-7100. As of December 31, 2011, the Company primarily focused on advancing the development of its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug candidates, including its lead product candidate, eteplirsen, which is in a Phase IIb trial. The Company is also focused on developing therapeutics for the treatment of infectious diseases, including its lead infectious disease programs aimed at the development of drug candidates for the Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viruses. The Company’s program focuses on the development of disease-modifying therapeutic candidates for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The Company initiated a Phase IIb trial for eteplirsen in August 2011 with an objective of initiating a pivotal trial subsequent to 2011.

The Company is also leveraging the capabilities of its RNA-based technology platforms to develop therapeutics for the treatment of infectious diseases. The Company’s RNA-based drug programs are clinically evaluated for the treatment of DMD and have also demonstrated anti-viral activity in infectious diseases such as Ebola, Marburg and H1N1 influenza in certain animal models. The Company’s lead product candidates are at various stages of development.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Program

The Company’s lead program is designed to address specific gene mutations that result in DMD by forcing the genetic machinery to skip over an adjacent contiguous piece of RNA and, thus, restore the ability of the cell to express a new, truncated but functional, dystrophin protein.

Eteplirsen is an antisense PMO-based therapeutic in clinical development for the treatmen t of individuals with DMD who have an error in the gene codi! ng for dystrophin that can be treated by skipping exon 51. Eteplirsen targets the frequent series of mutations that cause DMD. Eteplirsen has been granted orphan drug designation in the United States and European Union. In addition to the Company’s lead product candidate, eteplirsen, the Company is actively pursues development of a product candidate that skips exon 45 through an IND-enabling collaboration.

Anti-Viral Programs

The Company is implementing its RNA-based technology platforms in its anti-viral programs for the development of therapeutics to treat viruses, such as Ebola, Marburg and influenza. The Company’s arrangement with DoD supporting the development of the Company’s Ebola and Marburg virus drug candidates provides funding for all clinical and licensure activities necessary to obtain approval of a New Drug Application (NDA), by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if DoD exercises all of its options under the arrange ment. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company paused its clinical development efforts on AVI-7100 and is exploring funding opportunities or partnerships with DHHS and industry collaborators to advance its development.

The Company’s anti-viral therapeutic programs use the Company’s translation suppression technology and applies its PMOplus chemistry backbone, an advanced generation of its base PMO chemistry backbone that selectively introduces positive backbone charges to improve selective interaction between the drug and its target. The Company’s translation suppressing technology is based on Translation Suppressing Oligomers (TSOs), which are PMO-based compounds that stop or suppress the translation of a specific protein by binding to their specific target sequence in mRNA.

The Company is pursuing development and regulatory approval of its Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever virus product candidates under the FDA’s Animal Rule. The Co mpany’s lead product candidate against the Ebola virus infec! tion is A! VI-6002. For Marburg virus infection, the Company’s lead product candidate has been AVI-6003. In February 2012, the Company announced that the Company received approval from the FDA to remove one of the two oligomers composing AVI-6003 and proceed with a single oligomer approach, AVI-7288, given that efficacy in non-human primates has been demonstrated to be attributable to this single oligomer. The Company is exploring the feasibility of alternate routes of administration of its Ebola and Marburg drug candidates, and at DoD’s invitation, the Company is developing a proposal to be submitted for a study to demonstrates feasibility of the intramuscular route.

AVI-6002, which is a combination of AVI-7537 and AVI-7539, is designed for post-exposure prophylaxis after documented or suspected exposure to the Ebola virus. The Company is evaluating the feasibility of developing AVI-7537 as a single agent for the post-exposure prophylaxis after documented or suspected exp osure to Ebola virus. AVI-6003, which is a combination of AVI-7287 and AVI-7288, is designed for post-exposure prophylaxis after documented or suspected exposure to Marburg virus. In February 2012, the Company announced that the Company received approval from the FDA to proceed with AVI-7288 as a single agent against Marburg virus infection. The Company intends to proceed with dosing AVI-7288 in the Phase I multiple ascending dose studies and in non-human primate studies.

Influenza Program

The Company’s anti-viral therapeutic programs are also focused on the development of the Company’s product candidates designed to treat pandemic influenza viruses. AVI-7100 is the Company’s lead product candidate for the treatment of influenza and employs its PMOplus technology. In June 2011, the Company initiated dosing of AVI-7100 through intravenous infusion in single-ascending doses in up to 48 healthy adult volunteers. As of December 31, 2011, the Company pau sed its clinical development efforts on AVI-7100 and are exp! loring fu! nding opportunities or partnerships to advance its development.

The Company has developed three new phosphorodiamidate-linked morpholino oligomers (PMO)-based chemistry platforms in addition to its original PMO-based technology. The Company’s PMO-based molecules are designed to sterically block the access of cellular machinery to pre-mRNA and mRNA without degrading the RNA. Through this selective targeting, two distinct biologic mechanisms of action can be initiated: modulation of pre-mRNA splicing and inhibition of mRNA translation.

The Company competes with GlaxoSmithKline plc, Toyama Chemical, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp., Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Prosensa, and Santaris Pharma A/S.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Leo Sun]

    Prosensa: GSK doesn’t believe in it — so why should you?
    Throughout 2013, Prosensa and its former partner GlaxoSmithKline competed against Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT  ) to launch the first dedicated treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

  • [By Ernie Tremblay, Biosciences Specialist, Money Morning | January 17, 2014 · ]

    When I’m setting out in search of a lucrative bioscience stock, here are some qualities I find really attractive:

    Market cap. $250M-$2.5B. This is the sweet spot for growth. Less than $250M can mean low volume trading, which can be a problem if you need to sell. More than $2.5B makes a company less responsive to catalysts. Single product pipeline. These companies can yield high returns because they carry high risk. If their drug succeeds, their investors can get rich rapidly. A failure, however, can mean doom, so you need to know what you’re doing in evaluating the drug’s potential to be effective, safe, convincing to the FDA, and marketable. Some of my recommendations, of course, are for companies that have richer pipelines. They yield less return, but they’re safer bets for a balanced portfolio. An upcoming catalyst. A catalyst, such as an AdCom, FDA approval date (called a PDUFA), or even results from a clinical trial, can make you a whole lot richer overnight. Last year, Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRPT) tripled its stock price overnight when the company announced positive results for a study of its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug. Orphan drug status. As I explained above, these drug candidates have real advantages over traditional “blockbuster” entries. An extreme need. Everyone born with HoFH would eventually die from it, and before Aegerion’s Juxtapid (lomitapide), no effective treatment existed. Patients were longing for it. Little or no competition. ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS), in partnership with Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, was developing a drug, mimoperson, to compete with Juxtapid, but it was inferior in several ways (injectable rather than oral, more severe side effects). It also passed its AdCom, but barely, garnering a vote of 9 to 6. Juxtapid had a nearly clear field to play in. The Profits Ahead

    Next, of course, comes the tricky part. You’ve got to be able to read studies on exper

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Sarepta Therapeutics’ (NASDAQ: SRPT  ) presentation, which was delivered Wednesday by President and CEO Chris Garabedian.

Top 5 Mid Cap Companies To Buy For 2014: Discount Dental Materials Inc (DDOO)

Discount Dental Materials, Inc. (DDM), incorporated on December 18, 2007, is a development-stage company. The Company focuses on selling disposable dental supply products at discount prices over the Internet. As of November 30, 2011, the Company had not generated any revenues.

The Company focuses on selling a limited number of products including burs (modern dental drills that can rotate at up to 800,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and generally use hard metal rotary files). Dental burs come in a variety of shapes designed for specific applications. They are often made of steel with a tungsten carbide coating or of tungsten carbide entirely. The bur may also have a diamond coating), bearings, turbines and sterilization pouches. The Company uses a facility in Burbank, California to store and ship products.

The Company competes with Henry Schein and Patterson Dental.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, DDOO remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $1.05 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed:  3:42PM EDT July 1, 2013).

    Cerebain Biotech Corp. a subsidiary of Discount Dental Materials, Inc. , previously reported that medical device product development company, Sonos Models, Inc. (“Sonos”), is set to complete the first prototypes of its medical device solution during the company’s first fiscal quarter, which begins July 1, 2013.

    Cerebain’s President, Eric Clemons, stated, “We are excited with the imminent completion of the first set of prototypes of our Medical Device Product for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Years of hard work and research will culminate with the introduction of these prototypes which will utilize the Omentum for the treatment of patients with this debilitating disease. With these prototypes, we are introducing a leading edge approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

  • [By CRWE]

    Last Friday, DDOO previously surged (+5.00%) up +0.05 at $1.05 with 10,200 shares in play at the close (ref. google finance June 28, 2013 – Close).

    Bond Laboratories, Inc. previously reported NDS launched two exciting new products at the annual GNC® Global Franchise Convention.

    Cerebain Biotech Corp. a subsidiary of Discount Dental Materials, Inc. previously reported the appointment of Dr. Surinder Saini as Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board. The advisory board provides key clinical insight into the company’s efforts to develop and commercialize a novel approach to the treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Saini is the lead scientist behind the development of the world’s first medical device specifically designed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease utilizing the Omentum

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, DDOO remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $1.00 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 10:12AM EDT June 25, 2013).

    Bond Laboratories, Inc. previously reported NDS launched two exciting new products at the annual GNC® Global Franchise Convention.

    Cerebain Biotech Corp. a subsidiary of Discount Dental Materials, Inc. previously reported the appointment of Dr. Surinder Saini as Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board. The advisory board provides key clinical insight into the company’s efforts to develop and commercialize a novel approach to the treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Saini is the lead scientist behind the development of the world’s first medical device specifically designed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease utilizing the Omentum