Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014

Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL  ) were sliding again today, falling as much as 10% after the company posted another disappointing earnings report.

So what: The children’s publishing house said revenue slid 25%, to $506.9 million, as sales fell off from the hit trilogy The Hunger Games, a major revenue stream since it debuted. Earnings per share from continuing operations, meanwhile, came in at $0.76 per share, down from $1.86 a year ago. Both results were below the mark set by the one analyst covering Scholastic. The company, which once had a lock on children’s education and media, has been struggling to shift into the digital age, as investments in e-books and other online portals has weighed on profits.

Now what: Like the publishing industry in general, Scholastic is struggling to maintain its relevance, as the advent of electronic media has turned the industry upside down. The company can’t count on blockbusters like The Hunger Games every year, but management said it expects to improve profitability in the next fiscal year with the introduction of a number of education technology products, and projects an EPS from continuing operations between $1.40 and $1.80, excluding items. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but I’d wait to see consistent revenue and profits before getting on board.

Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014: REX American Resources Corp (REX)

Rex American Resources Corporation (REX), incorporated in 1984, is a holding company to succeed to the entire ownership of three affiliated corporations, Rex Radio and Television, Inc., Stereo Town, Inc. and Kelly & Cohen Appliances, Inc. As of January 31, 2012, the Company had lease agreements, as landlord, for six owned former retail stores and had 16 vacant former retail properties. The Company also owns one former distribution center that is partially leased, partially occupied by its corporate office personnel and partially vacant. The Company is marketing these vacant properties to lease or sell. As of January 31, 2012, the Company invested in five ethanol production entities, two of which the Company has a majority ownership interest in. These properties include One Earth Energy, LLC, NuGen Energy, LLC, Patriot Renewable Fuels, LLC, Levelland Hockley County Ethanol, LLC, and one group consisting of Big River Resources, LLC-W Burlington, Big River Resources, LLC-Galv a and Big River United Energy, LLC. It operates through two business segments: alternative energy and real estate.

On November 1, 2011, the Company acquired an additional 50% equity interest in NuGen Energy, LLC. In December 2011, Big River acquired a 100% interest in an ethanol production facility located in Boyceville, Wisconsin.

Alternative Energy

As of January 31, 2012, all of the entities the Company is invested in are operating except for Levelland Hockley County Ethanol, LLC (Levelland Hockley). As of January 31, 2011, the Company held a 74% interest in One Earth Energy, LLC. The plant has an annual nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol and 320,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDG). The Company owns a 23% interest in Patriot Renewable Fuels, LLC (Patriot). The plant is located in Annawan, Illinois and has a nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol and 320,000 tons of DDG per year.

A s of January 31, 2012, all of the entities the Company is in! vested in are operating except for Levelland Hockley County Ethanol, LLC (Levelland Hockley). As of January 31, 2011, the Company held a 74% interest in One Earth Energy, LLC. The plant has an annual nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol and 320,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDG). The Company owns a 23% interest in Patriot Renewable Fuels, LLC (Patriot). The plant is located in Annawan, Illinois and has a nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons of ethanol and 320,000 tons of DDG per year.

Levelland Hockley is located in Levelland, Texas. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 40 million gallons of ethanol and 135,000 tons of dried distillers grains (DDG) per year. The plant was shut down in January 2011. On January 31, 2011, the Company sold 814,000 of its membership units to Levelland Hockley, reducing its ownership interest in Levelland Hockley to 49%. As a result, it no longer has a controlling financial interest in Levelland Hockley.< /p>

Real Estate Operations

As of January 31, 2011, the Company had lease agreements, as landlord, for all or parts of eight owned former retail stores (88,000 square feet leased and 10,000 square feet vacant). It had 22 owned former retail stores (281,000 square feet) that were vacant as of January 31, 2011. The Company is marketing these vacant properties to lease or sell. In addition, one former distribution center is partially leased (266,000 square feet), partially occupied by its corporate office personnel (10,000 square feet) and partially vacant (190,000 square feet). A typical lease agreement has an initial term of five to twenty years with renewal options. Most of its lessees are responsible for a portion of maintenance, taxes and other executory costs.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tristan R. Brown]

    Three months ago I wrote that the stock performance YTD of independent ethanol producer Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) was an “aberration”, especially in light of the performance of its industry peers’ shares. The discrepancy between Pacific Ethanol’s share price and those of its peers has only grown more pronounced since July (see figure). Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) and REX American Resources (REX) have continued to greatly outperform the S&P 500. Even Biofuel Energy, which fell behind on its interest and debt payments over the summer and is facing a shareholder-ruining liquidation, has seen its share price perform significantly better than Pacific Ethanol’s in 2013. The oddest part about the stock’s performance over the last three months, however, is that the period has been marked by multiple positive announcements from the company. It late July it reported its first positive EPS in almost two years for Q2 (0.07). Its Q2 EBITDA of $3.8 million was its highest sinc e Q4 2011. Its current ratio is well above its previous lows, its ratio of total assets to total liabilities is increasing, and its total shareholders’ equity is at a 3-year high. Despite these improvements, the company’s price/book ratio is a mere 0.77.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on REX American Resources (NYSE: REX  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014: China Mobile(Hong Kong)

China Mobile Limited, an investment holding company, provides mobile telecommunications and related services primarily in the Mainland China. It offers various services comprising local calls, domestic long distance calls, international long distance calls, domestic roaming, and international roaming. The company also provides voice value-added services, including caller identity display, caller restrictions, call waiting, call forwarding, call holding, voice mail, and conference calls; customer-to-customer messages and corporate short message services; and mobile Internet access services. In addition, it engages in other data businesses, which primarily include multimedia messaging services; color ring services that enable users to customize the answer ring tone from various selection of songs, melodies, sound effects, or voice recordings; and mobile reading, mobile gaming, mobile video, mobile payment/wallet, mobile TV, mobile market, and Internet data center services. F urther, the company offers telecommunications network planning, design, and consulting services; roaming clearance services; technology platform development and maintenance services; and mobile data solutions, and system integration and development services, as well as operates a network and business coordination center. Additionally, China Mobile Limited sells mobile phone handsets and devices. As of March 31, 2011, it served approximately 600.8 million customers. The company was formerly known as China Mobile (Hong Kong) Limited and changed its name to China Mobile Limited in May 2006. China Mobile was founded in 1997. The company is based in Central, Hong Kong, and is considered a Red Chip company due to its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. China Mobile Limited is a subsidiary of China Mobile Hong Kong (BVI) Limited.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GuruFocus]

    China Mobile Ltd. was incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong on Sept. 3, 1997, as a limited liability company under the name China Telecom (Hong Kong) Limited. China Mobile Ltd. has a market cap of $194.9 billion; its shares were traded at around $48.48 with a P/E ratio of 9.70 and P/S ratio of 2.20. The dividend yield of China Mobile Ltd. stocks is 4.20%. China Mobile Ltd. had an annual average earnings growth of 16.60% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated China Mobile Ltd. the business predictability rank of 3.5-star.

Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014: Viasystems Group Inc.(VIAS)

Viasystems Group, Inc. provides multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electro-mechanical solutions worldwide. The company?s products and services are used in a range of applications, including, automotive engine controls, data networking equipment, telecommunications switching equipment, complex medical, technical and industrial instruments, and flight control systems. Its PCBs products include circuitry and mounting surfaces to interconnect discrete electronic components, such as integrated circuits, capacitors, and resistors. The company?s electro-mechanical solutions comprise assembly of backplanes, assembly of printed circuit boards, fabrication of custom and standard metal enclosures, cabinets, racks, sub-racks and bus bars; systems integration; final assembly; and product testing and fulfillment. It also offers various manufacturing services consisting of design and prototyping, PCB and backpanel fabrication, backpanel assembly, PCB assembly, custom metal e n closure fabrication, full system assembly and test, packaging and global distribution, after-sales support, and supply chain management. The company markets its products and services to original equipment manufacturers and contract electronic manufacturers in automotive, industrial and instrumentation, telecommunications, computer and data communications, and military and aerospace markets through its own sales and marketing organization, and through relationships with independent sales agents. The company was formerly known as Circo Technologies, Inc. and changed its name to Viasystems Group, Inc. in January 1997. Viasystems Group, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Viasystems Group (Nasdaq: VIAS  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014: Quicksilver Resources Inc. (KWK)

Quicksilver Resources Inc., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of onshore oil and gas in North America. The company focuses primarily on unconventional reservoirs, such as fractured shales, coal beds, and tight sands. It owns producing oil and natural gas properties principally in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, as well as in Alberta and British Columbia. The company primarily holds interests in assets covering an area of approximately 140,000 net acres located in the Barnett Shale, Fort Worth basin, north Texas; exploratory licenses covering an area of approximately 130,000 net acres located in the Horn River basin of northeast British Columbia; and assets covering an area of approximately 36,929 net undeveloped acres located in the Horseshoe Canyon, southern and central Alberta. As of December 31, 2011, it had total proved reserves of approximately 2.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivale nts. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Over the long term, analysts speculate that FST will sell off the remaining chunk of its non-core properties in order to focus strictly on the Eagle Ford. If it’s successful, the current share price of this $3.30 could be more valuable than a winning lotto ticket.

    Energy Stocks Under $10 to Buy Now: Quicksilver Resources (KWK)

    Quicksilver Resources (KWK) is the last name on our list of cheap energy stocks under $10 … and it could also be one of the best rocket-ship plays for rising natural gas. KWK focuses primarily on unconventional reservoirs, such as shale formations, coal beds and tight sands. As such, about 99% of the company’s production comes from natural gas and NGLs.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    Not for everyone
    Even in these MLP-friendly times, some companies ultimately decide not to take their business to the Street. Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK  ) planned to spin off its subsidiary, Quicksilver Production Partners, into an oil and gas MLP this year, but withdrew its plans in May after recording quarter after quarter of dismal results.

Top 5 Railroad Companies For 2014: Golden Star Resources Ltd(GSS)

Golden Star Resources Ltd., a gold mining and exploration company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of gold properties. It owns and operates the Bogoso/Prestea gold mining and processing operation that covers approximately 40 kilometers of strike along the southwest-trending Ashanti gold district in western Ghana; and the Wassa open-pit gold mine located to the east of Bogoso/Prestea in southwest Ghana. The company also has an 81% interest in the Prestea underground gold mine located in Ghana. In addition, it holds interests in various gold exploration projects in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cote d?Ivoire, as well as holds and manages exploration properties in Brazil in South America. The company was founded in 1984 and is based in Littleton, Colorado.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patricio Kehoe] ating price of the commodity, along with the geopolitical risks involved in mining in African nations such as Ghana, are just two of the obstacles the firm is facing. In addition, as one of the smallest gold mining firms in the industry, with a market cap of just $122 million, Golden Star has had a very difficult time financing its latest expansion projects. With share prices tumbling towards all-time lows, gurus such as Steven Cohen, Chuck Royce and Arnold Schneider have already sold out their positions in the troubled firm.

    Why Have Gurus Lost Faith in Golden Star?

    Despite aggressive expansion over the past decade, the Toronto-based gold mining firm has not been able to take advantage of its increased production output. Gold prices might have exploded over a ten-year period, yet the recent six-month decline has put a huge strain on Golden Star. The expedited maturation of its mines is particularly troubling, since the accelerated extraction rates, which allowed for short-term profits, are now falling considerably. The impact of the company’s excessive overproduction on profits and growth is clear: decreasing gold reserves mean less production, and thus reduced revenue for the gold miner. When the decline in metal prices are taken into account, the outlook is even more grim.

    In addition to overexpansion at the wrong time, Golden Star’s position has weakened due to its comparably less efficient operations. Unlike industry peers, such as IamGold Corp. (IAG) or Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI), the majority of the Toronto-based miner’s assets contain refractory ore, which is far more expensive to extract than non refractory ore. And, in an attempt to switch production to the lower cost gold ore, and thus increase margins, Golden Star has depleted its mines’ non refractory ore. With low reserves and mounting cash costs, the firm inevitably turned to new acquisitions.

    Overpriced Acquisitions and Geopolitical Risk

    The purchase

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Clash of the titans
    When bears are raging on the gold bullion market, it’s not surprising to see gold stocks getting mauled as well. Golden Star Resources (NYSEMKT: GSS  ) was the biggest loser in the sector, losing a quarter of its market cap on no company-specific news, though a report last Friday indicated that a large number of hedge funds had recently dumped their positions in the mid-tier miner. Yet it wasn’t all that much better among the majors, either, as Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX  ) fell almost 13% and Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC  ) was down 14%.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Golden Star Resources (NYSEMKT: GSS  )
    It’s simple physics: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. When gold prices nosedived earlier this week, gold miners with historically higher operating costs took the brunt of the hit. For the most part, that meant that development-stage miners, and those operating in Africa, where labor and political costs make cost-effective mining a challenge, took it on the chin. Possibly no stock was hammered more than Golden Star Resources, a gold miner in Ghana, which lost about one-quarter of its value on Monday alone.