Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015

The global equity market saw a flurry of activity over the first quarter of the year, with companies around the world raising nearly $190 billion through IPOs and follow-on offerings over the period. Quarterly data compiled by Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters shows that equity underwriting deals were at similar levels to what was witnessed for the same period last year. While the total deal size is almost 30% lower than the $264.4 billion figure for the previous quarter, it must be remembered that the Q4 2013 results were exaggerated by a surge in equity offerings after the Fed’s initial announcements of a tapering plan resulted in a weak Q3 2013 performance.

Continued optimism among companies and investors translated into higher equity underwriting fees for investment banks. Thomson Reuters’ data estimates a 27% jump in equity underwriting fees for the industry as a whole compared to Q1 2013, although a 21% decline is expected sequentially. In this article, we detail the equity capital market performance of the country’s five largest investment banks in Q1 2014, and also estimate the change in each of their fee revenues compared to Q1 and Q4 2013.

Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015: Linde AG (LIN)

Linde AG is a German company engaged in the gases and engineering sector. It operates two divisions: Gases and Engineering, as core divisions, as well as Gist. The Gases Division includes Healthcare, producing medical gases; and Tonnage, as its two global business units; as well as the two business areas Merchant and Packaged Gases, offering liquefied and cylinder gases, and Electronics. The Company’s products are used in the energy sector, for steel production, chemical processing, environmental protection and welding, as well as in food processing, glass production and electronics. The Engineering division offers planning, project development and construction of turnkey industrial plants used in fields, such as petrochemical and chemical industries, in refineries and fertilizer plants, to recover air gases, to produce hydrogen and synthesis gases, to treat natural gas, and in the pharmaceutical industry. As of August 13, 2012, the Company acquired Lincare Holdings Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of LIN Media LLC (NYSE: LIN) got a boost, shooting up 21.92 percent to $26.20 after Media General (NYSE: MEG) announced its plans to buy Lin Media LLC for $1.6 billion.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of LIN Media LLC (NYSE: LIN) got a boost, shooting up 30.67 percent to $28.08 after Media General (NYSE: MEG) announced its plans to buy Lin Media LLC for $1.6 billion.

Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015: DCT Industrial Trust Inc (DCF)

DCT Industrial Trust Inc. (DCT) is an industrial real estate company that owns, operates and develops bulk distribution and light industrial properties in distribution markets in the United States and Mexico. The Company is structured as an umbrella partnership real estate investment trust (REIT), under which substantially all of its business is, and will be, conducted through a majority-owned and controlled subsidiary, DCT Industrial Operating Partnership LP (the operating partnership), a Delaware limited partnership, for which DCT Industrial Trust Inc. is the sole general partner. The Company owns properties through its operating partnership and its subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2011, DCT owned approximately 90% of the outstanding equity interests in its operating partnership. In March 2012, DCT acquired a 32.6 acre land parcel in Romeoville, within the southern I-55 industrial submarket of Chicago. In May 2012, the Company acquired two Class A industrial buildings to taling 98,000 square feet in Houston, known as DCT Claymoore Center. Located in the Northwest submarket of Houston, DCT Claymoore Center encompasses a bulk and light industrial facility and is 95.8%-occupied. In August 2013, the Company announced that it has acquired a three building portfolio totaling 308,000 square feet in the Tempe/Airport submarket of Phoenix. In September 2013, Dct Industrial Trust Inc announced the acquisition of 45 acres in the heart of the Inland Empire West submarket of Southern California. In October 2013, DCT Industrial Trust Inc acquired DCT Fox River Business Center, a six-building industrial portfolio in Elgin. In October 2013, DCT Industrial Trust Inc sold its entire portfolio of Mexico assets to an investment trust of Macquarie Mexican REIT.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired 24 buildings comprising 2.8 million square feet and controlling ownership interests in three buildings totaling 0.4 million squar e feet. In 2011, the Company sold 16 operating properties to! taling approximately 2.7 million square feet to third-parties. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s consolidated operating properties had leases with approximately 900 customers with no single customer accounting for more than 1.7% of the total annualized base rents of its properties. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned interests in, managed or had under development approximately 75.5 million square feet of properties leased to approximately 900 customers, including 58.1 million square feet comprising 408 consolidated properties owned in its operating portfolio, which were 90.6% occupied; 0.2 million square feet comprising one consolidated property under redevelopment, and 17.2 million square feet comprising 52 unconsolidated properties, which were 86.3% occupied and one managed-only property operated on behalf of five institutional capital management partners. As of December 31, 2011, its total consolidated portfolio consisted of 409 properties with an average si ze of 142,000 square feet and an average age of 20.2 years.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Canadian Value]

    As many of our clients know, Jensen focuses primarily on the discounted cash flow (DCF) method to value equities. Our long held belief is that the intrinsic value of a business is the present value of the cash flows the company is expected to pay its shareholders in the future. The remainder of this paper explores some of the advantages and disadvantages of using either DCF or multiples and outlines why we believe DCF is the more fundamentally sound way to value equities.

  • [By GuruFocus]

    Free cash flow is a favorite parameter of value investors. It seems to make sense, because the value of a company is determined by how much cash it can generate over time. Value investors have developed discounted cash flow (DCF) models to estimate the value of companies.

Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015: Clifton Savings Bancorp Inc.(CSBK)

Clifton Savings Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Clifton Savings Bank that provides various financial services to consumers and businesses in northeast New Jersey. It offers liquid and term deposit instruments, such as free checking accounts, business checking accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, high yield checking accounts, money market accounts, passbook and statement savings accounts, and club and certificates of deposit. The company?s loan portfolio includes one to four-family residential loans; multi-family and commercial real estate loans; residential construction loans; and consumer loans, including second mortgage loans, loans secured by passbook or certificate accounts, and home equity lines of credit. It operates 12 full-service banking offices. The company was founded in 1928 and is headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey. Clifton Savings Bancorp, Inc. is a subsidiary of Clifton MHC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Clifton Bancorp (NASDAQ: CSBK) shares dropped 10.32% to $11.65 after the company announced stock offering results.

    Response Genetics (NASDAQ: RGDX) slipped 9.47% to $1.34 after the company reported Q4 results. The company posted a quarterly net loss of $3.2 million, or $0.09 per share, versus a year-ago net loss of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per share.

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Price appears to share my enthusiasm for smaller bank stocks, as he currently own 19 small regional and community banks. He has been buying them consistently over the past few years, and I think he sees the same consolidation wave and shareholder value increase in the future that I do. He added to one position this quarter, buying more shares of Clifton Savings Bank (CSBK), the mutual holding company for the 11-branch bank in northern New Jersey. It looks like the bank trades for 1.9 times book value, but after the second-step conversion process is completed, the shares will trade at a slight discount to book. The bank is in excellent condition with an equity-to-assets ratio of almost 18 and nonperforming assets at just 0.53% of total assets.

Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015: China Unicom (CHU)

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (Unicom), incorporated on February 8, 2000, is an integrated telecommunications operator in China providing mobile voice and value-added, fixed-line voice and fixed-line broadband, data communications and other telecommunications services to its customers. The Company operates in two business segments consisting of mobile services and fixed-line services. The Company is engaged in global system for mobile communications (GSM) and wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) cellular business in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, the provision of fixedline voice, broadband and other Internet-related services, information and communications technology services, business and data communications services, and other related telecommunication value-added businesses. As of 30 June 2011, Unicom Group held 57.81% of the shares in the Company through China United Network Communications Limited (A Share Company), China Uni com (BVI) Limited and China Netcom Group Corporation (BVI) Limited, and Telefonica Internacional S.A.U. held 9.01% of the shares in the Company.

Mobile Business

Unicom’s mobile business consists of GSM and third generation (3G) mobile business. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had a total of 167.43 million mobile subscribers. As of December 31, 2010, its total number of mobile subscribers included 167.43 million. Unicom operates the 3G business based on the WCDMA technology nationwide in China. As of December 31, 2010, the total number of its 3G subscribers included 14.06 million, and had 1.35 million wireless data card subscribers, 2.41 million mobile television (TV) subscribers and over seven million mobile reading subscribers. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the total 3G voice usage was 55.47 billion minutes and the average data usage per subscriber per month was 178M. GSM mobile business primarily consists of GSM voice business an d value-added business.

The Company’s mobile ! voice business enables its subscribers to make and receive phone calls with a mobile handset at any point within the coverage area of its mobile telecommunications networks. Its mobile voice business includes local calls, domestic long distance calls, international long distance calls, intra-provincial roaming, inter-provincial roaming and international roaming. As of December 31, 2010, the Company’s total number of GSM mobile subscribers was 153.37 million. Unicom offers a range of GSM value-added services nationwide, including short message service (SMS), Cool Ringtone (a personalized ring-back tone service), mobile Internet and other wireless information services. During 2010, a total of 78.31 billion SMSs were transmitted by its GSM mobile subscribers. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had a total number of 67.26 million subscribers to its Cool Ringtone service. In addition, as of December 31, 2010, it had a total number of 55.81 million mobile Internet subscribers.

Fixed-Line Business

Unicom is a fixed-line broadband and communications operator in northern China. The Company offers a range of fixed-line services nationwide in China, including fixed-line broadband services and data communications services; fixed-line voice services, include local and long distance fixed-line voice services and value-added services, and other services. The Company is a provider of fixed-line broadband services in its fixed-line northern service region. Unicom is a provider of data communications services in its fixed-line northern service region. It offers managed data products, such as those based on digital data networks (DDN), frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and Internet protocol-virtual private network (IP-VPN). The Company also offers leased line products, including domestic and international leased circuits. Its customers for these services include government entities, large financial institutions and other domestic and multinational businesses, Internet service prov! iders and! other telecommunications operators.

As of December 31, 2010, the Company had established business cooperation relationships with more than 160 overseas operators to provide various international data communications products and services, such as international voice and data services. During 2010, it continued to offer full-scale data communications services to international operators and domestic and international corporate customers. The Company’s fixed-line voice services consist of local voice, domestic long distance, international long distance, value-added, interconnection and personal handyphone system (PHS) services. In addition to fixed-line telephone voice services, it offers a range of value-added services on its fixed-line networks. The Company’s fixed-line, value-added services include Personalized Ring and caller identification services. Personalized Ring services enable its fixed-line subscribers to personalize the ring-back tone for incoming calls. As of December 31, 2010, the number of its Personalized Ring subscribers reached 23.79 million.

Interconnection and Roaming Arrangements

The Company earns interconnection fees for terminating or transiting calls that originate from other domestic telecommunications operators’ networks and pay interconnection fees to other operators for calls originating from its networks that are terminated on their networks. It earns and pays such fees in respect of mobile calls, local and domestic and international long distance calls and Internet services, except for the interconnection by fixed-line subscribers calling its mobile subscribers in the same region where no interconnection fee will be charged.

The Company provides roaming services, which allow its subscribers to access its mobile services while they are physically outside of their registered service area or in the coverage areas of other mobile networks in other countries and re gions with which it has roaming arrangements. As of April 30! , 2011, U! nicom had roaming arrangements for GSM international voice and SMS services with 242 operators in 521 countries and regions; GPRS international inbound data services with 179 operators in 400 countries and regions and for international GPRS outbound data services with 164 operators in 357 countries and regions, and 3G services with 104 WCDMA operators in 245 countries and regions.

Mobile Networks

The Company’s mobile network consists of cell sites, which are physical locations, each equipped with a base station that houses transmitters, receivers and other equipment used to communicate through radio channels with subscribers’ mobile handsets within the range of a cell; base station controllers, which connect to, and control, the base stations, and mobile switching centers, which control the base station controllers and the routing of telephone calls. Its mobile network also consists of a transmission network, which links the mobile switching cen ters, base station controllers, base stations and the public switched telephone network. It has deployed GSM and WCDMA mobile networks. The Company’s GSM mobile network mainly operates at 900 megahertz. It has also deployed GSM technology that operates at 1,800 megahertz in metropolitan areas to supplement the capacity of its existing mobile network. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 329,000 GSM base stations.

The Company competes with China Mobile and China Telecom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Telecommunications services shares fell by 0.74 percent in Wednesday’s trading. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included RRSat Global Communications Network (NASDAQ: RRST), down 5.9 percent, and China Unicom (Hong Kong) (NYSE: CHU), off 4.6 percent.

  • [By Eddie Staley]

    Telecommunications services shares jumped around 1.19 percent in today’s trading. Top gainers in the sector included NQ Mobile (NYSE: NQ), China Unicom (Hong Kong) (NYSE: CHU), and Partner Communications Company (NASDAQ: PTNR).

Top 5 Quality Stocks For 2015: Chesapeake Utilities Corp (CPK)

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake), incorporated in 1947, is a utility company engaged in energy and other businesses. The Company operates in three segments: Regulated Energy, Unregulated Energy and Other. The Company operates regulated energy businesses through its natural gas distribution divisions in Delaware, Maryland and Florida, natural gas and electric distribution operations in Florida through Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), and natural gas transmission operations on the Delmarva Peninsula and Florida through its subsidiaries, Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company (Eastern Shore) and Peninsula Pipeline Company, Inc. (Peninsula Pipeline), respectively. Its unregulated businesses include its natural gas marketing operation through Peninsula Energy Services Company, Inc. (PESCO); propane distribution operations through Sharp Energy, Inc. and its subsidiary Sharpgas, Inc. (collectively Sharp) and FPU’s propane distribution subsidiary, Flo-Gas Corporat ion; and its propane wholesale marketing operation through Xeron, Inc. (Xeron). It also has an advanced information services subsidiary, BravePoint, Inc. (BravePoint). In February 2013, Florida Public Utilities Company, a a subsidiary of the Company announced that its propane subsidiary, Flo-Gas Corporation, purchased the propane operating assets of Glades Gas Company. In June 2013, the Company acquired Eastern Shore Gas Company (ESG) and Eastern Shore Propane Company (ESP). In June 2013, Chesapeake Utilities Corp announced that it has acquired the operating assets of Austin Cox Home Services, Inc.

Regulated Energy

The Company’s regulated energy segment provides natural gas distribution service in Delaware, Maryland and Florida, electric distribution service in Florida and natural gas transmission service in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida. As of December 31, 2011, its Delaware and Maryland natural gas distribution divisions serve 53 ,851 residential and commercial customers and 97 industrial ! customers in central and southern Delaware and on Maryland’s eastern shore. Its Florida natural gas distribution operation consists of Chesapeake’s Florida division and FPU’s natural gas operation. As of December 31, 2011, its Florida electric distribution operation distributed electricity to 30,986 customers in four counties in northeast and northwest Florida. Eastern Shore operates a 402-mile interstate pipeline system, which transports natural gas from various points in Pennsylvania to its Delaware and Maryland natural gas distribution divisions, as well as to other utilities and industrial customers in southern Pennsylvania, Delaware and on the eastern shore of Maryland. Eastern Shore also provides swing transportation service and contract storage services. Peninsula Pipeline provides natural gas transportation service to a customer for a period of 20 years. This service is provided at a fixed monthly charge, through Peninsula Pipeline’s eight-mile pipeline locat ed in Suwanee County, Florida.

The Company’s Delaware and Maryland natural gas distribution divisions have both firm and interruptible transportation service contracts with five interstate open access pipeline companies, including the Eastern Shore pipeline. These divisions are directly interconnected with the Eastern Shore pipeline, and have contracts with interstate pipelines upstream of Eastern Shore, including Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company LLC (Transco), Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (Columbia), Columbia Gulf Transmission Company (Gulf) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (TETLP). The Transco, Columbia and TETLP pipelines are directly interconnected with the Eastern Shore pipeline. The Gulf pipeline is directly interconnected with the Columbia pipeline and indirectly interconnected with the Eastern Shore pipeline.

Chesapeake’s Florida natural gas distribution division has firm transportation service contracts with Florida Gas Transm ission Company (FGT) and Gulfstream Natural Gas System, LLC ! (Gulfstre! am). Eastern Shore has three contracts with Transco for a total of 7,292 dekatherms of firm peak day storage entitlements and total storage capacity of 288,003 dekatherms. Its electric distribution operation through FPU purchases all of its wholesale electricity from two suppliers: Gulf Power Company (Gulf Power) and JEA (formerly known as Jacksonville Electric Authority). The JEA contract provides generation, transmission and distribution service to northeast Florida. The Gulf Power contract provides generation, transmission and distribution service to northwest Florida.

Unregulated Energy

The Company’s unregulated energy segment provides natural gas marketing, propane distribution and propane wholesale marketing services to customers. As of December 31, 2011, its natural gas marketing subsidiary, PESCO, provided natural gas supply and supply management services to 3,080 customers in Florida and 16 customers on the Delmarva Peninsula. The gas, wh ich PESCO sells, is delivered to retail customers through affiliated and non-affiliated local distribution company systems and transmission pipelines. PESCO bills its customers through the billing services of the regulated utilities that deliver the gas, or directly, through its own billing capabilities. As of December 31, 2011, Sharp, its propane distribution subsidiary, served 34,317 customers throughout Delaware, the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, and southeastern Pennsylvania. Its Florida propane distribution subsidiary provides propane distribution service to 14,507 customers in parts of Florida. Xeron, its propane wholesale marketing subsidiary, markets propane to petrochemical companies, resellers and retail propane companies in the southeastern United States. Its propane distribution operations purchase propane from suppliers, including oil companies, independent producers of natural gas liquids and from Xeron. In current markets, supplies of propane from th ese and other sources are readily available for purchase. It! s propane! distribution operations use trucks and railroad cars to transport propane from refineries, natural gas processing plants or pipeline terminals to its bulk storage facilities.


The other segment consists of its advanced information services subsidiary, other unregulated subsidiaries, which own real estate leased to Chesapeake and its subsidiaries. Its advanced information services subsidiary, BravePoint, provides domestic and a range of international clients with information technology services and solutions for both enterprise and e-business applications. Skipjack, Inc. and Eastern Shore Real Estate, Inc. own and lease office buildings in Delaware and Maryland to affiliates of Chesapeake. Chesapeake Investment Company is an affiliated investment company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK) announced a three-for-two stock split of its outstanding common stock. Chesapeake Utilities shares fell 2.18% to close at $70.91 yesterday.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Chesapeake Utilities  (NYSE: CPK  )  has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.385 per share, a 5.5% increase over its previous payout of $0.365 per share. The dividend will be paid on July 5 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 17. The increase raises the annualized dividend $0.08 per share, from $1.46, to $1.54 per share.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Natural gas and propane utility operator Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK  ) announced yesterday that as of May 31 it had completed the acquisition of Eastern Shore Gas (ESG) along with its affiliate Eastern Shore Propane (ESP), both indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Energy Equity Partners that provide propane gas to residents of Worcester County, Md.