May was the best month for sales of Ford’s F-150 and its Super Duty siblings since 2007. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.
Ford (NYSE: F ) had another strong month in May, with its U.S. sales rising 14% over year-ago levels, ahead of both analysts’ estimates and the overall market’s sales pace.
The story here is a simple and good one for Ford: Good products plus an improving economy equals great sales gains.
Sales of Ford’s newest products continued to show strong growth, while its most profitable products – the F-Series pickup line – hit sales levels not seen since 2007.
That all suggests great things for Ford’s second-quarter profits. But behind the headlines, there’s more good news for Ford shareholders. Let’s take a closer look.
Two big economic forces driving strong results at Ford
According to Ford’s sales analyst, Erich Merkle, there are two big dynamics at work in the U.S. auto market right now.
Top 5 Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Basf SE (BASFY)
BASF SE is a chemical company. The Company operates in six segments: Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. Chemicals segment offers products in the chemical, electronic, construction, textile, automotive, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Plastics segment offers a range of products, system solutions and services. Performance Products help its customers to improve their products and processes. Functional Solutions segment bundles system solutions and products for customers and industries. The Company’s Agricultural Solutions segment includes crop protection products, which guard against fungal diseases, insects and weeds. Its Oil & gas segment is a producer of oil and gas. On April 9, 2009, the Company acquired Ciba Holding AG. In April 2010, Intertek Group plc acquired the Regulatory and Safety Testing businesses of Ciba Expert Services (Ciba ES) from the Company. In December 2010, the Company com pleted its acquisition of Cognis Holding GmbH from Cognis Holding Luxembourg S.a r.l.
The Company’s Chemicals segment portfolio ranges from basic chemicals, glues and electronic chemicals for the semiconductor and flat panel display industry, to solvents and plasticizers, as well as starting materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. This segment is organized into three divisions: Inorganics, Petrochemicals and Intermediates. The important basic products of the Inorganics division are ammonia, methanol, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, as well as sulfuric and nitric acid. The Petrochemicals division produces products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene, which are produced in steam crackers from naphtha or natural gas. In further processing stages, it produces alcohols, solvents and plasticizers for the chemicals and plastics industries. BASF SE’s Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a range of intermediates of all produc! ers worldwide. The product lines include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. They serve as starting materials for products, such as coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, crop protection products, as well as detergents and cleaners.
BASF’s Plastics segment is organized into two divisions: Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes. The Performance Polymers division is a supplier of engineering plastics, polyamides and polyamide intermediates, foams and specialty plastics. The Company offers its customers a portfolio of engineering plastics based on polyamide 6 and polyamide 6,6. This is complemented by products Ultradur, Ultraform and Ultrason. For the packaging, textile and food industries, it offers Ultramid, a base product for the manufacturing of fibers and foils. BASF SE’s product range also includes Ecoflex and Ecovio, biodegradable specialty plastics for the packaging industry. Styropor and its refinemen t Neopor are styrene-based precursors for foams used in insulating material for construction and packaging. The Polyurethanes division is a supplier of basic products, systems and specialties. The Company offers polyurethane products for numerous customer applications. Under brand names, such as Elastoflex and Elastopor, polyurethanes are used, as rigid or flexible foams in construction for furniture and household appliances.
The Performance Products segment consists of the Acrylics & Dispersions, Care Chemicals and Performance Chemicals divisions. Acrylics & Dispersions produces acrylic acid, as well as its derivatives superabsorbents and polymer dispersions. Superabsorbents are used particularly in diapers. Polymer dispersions are used in the production of glues, coatings, nonwoven materials and construction chemicals. The Company’s product portfolio for the paper industry consists of binders, process chemicals and kaolin p igments. Its Care Chemicals portfolio consists of products f! or cleani! ng, care, cosmetics and hygiene. Performance Chemicals pools specialties for various customer industries. The product portfolio consists of antioxidants, pigments, light stabilizers and specialty additives. The division also makes chemicals for the production and finishing of leather and textiles.
The Functional Solutions segment consists of the Catalysts, Construction Chemicals and Coatings divisions. The Catalysts division develops catalysts and adsorbents It produces catalysts that transform pollutants in the exhaust flows of vehicles into harmless chemical and plastics. The Construction Chemicals division is engaged in development of concrete admixtures, such as concrete plasticizers, deferrers and curing agents. It also produces and markets construction systems. The Coatings division is a provider of coatings solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Its brands Glasurit and R-M are for the car refinish busines s.
The Agricultural Solutions segment consists of the Crop Protection division. The Company develops and produces active ingredients and formulations for the improvement of crop health and yields, and markets them worldwide. Its portfolio includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and seed treatments. Its product Headline contains the active ingredient F500, which is not only used for corn and soybean, but also for numerous other crops.
Oil & Gas
BASF’s oil and gas activities are bundled in the Wintershall Group. Wintershall and its subsidiaries operate in the business sectors exploration and production, and natural gas trading. In the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the Company focuses on oil and gas regions in Europe, North Africa and South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. The Mittelplate oil field in the North Sea tidal flats is the cornerstone of the Company’s oil production in Germany. Wintershall and RWE-D! EA each h! old a 50% interest in this field. During the year ended December 31, 2009, it acquired 25% interest in Cuxhaven concession. It operates 26 offshore platforms in Mittelplate region, of which 19 are actually controlled. In Libya, Wintershall operates eight onshore oil fields in the concessions 96 and 97 and exploits the associated gas released during crude oil production in a gas utilization plant for the local demand. In Mauritania, it operates two onshore exploration blocks. In 2008, Wintershall acquired stakes of 50% each in two exploration areas in the Canadon Asfalto Basin. It supplies Germany and several other European countries. The gas pipeline network operated by WINGAS TRANSPORT connects the markets in Western Europe with a natural gas infrastructure that runs through Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation all the way to the gas fields in Siberia. Other components portfolio include natural gas storage facility in Western Europe, in Rehdn, Germany, and the natural gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria.
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
It was only a matter of time. Last month BASF (NASDAQOTH: BASFY ) , the world’s largest chemical company, announced three separate developments that will thrust it from being a mediocre player in industrial enzymes to a dominant force. BASF acquired Henkel’s detergent enzyme technology, licensed the C1 biotechnology platform from Dyadic, and befriended Direvo Industrial Biotechnology from Germany for a next-generation animal feed enzyme.
- [By Dan Carroll]
Firms across Germany’s DAX have caught on. BASF (NASDAQOTH: BASFY ) shares haven’t had a great year so far, but the world’s largest chemicals firm is looking around the world for growth. The company seeks to double its customer base in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 in its chemicals and materials business, projecting sales in Asia to double from last year’s 12.5 million euros to 25 million euros by that year. That kind of global growth will benefit investors, and the less BASF and other German stocks rely on Europe for sales, the better shareholders will do.
Top 5 Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.(SNSS)
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. The company?s principal product includes Vosaroxin, an anti-cancer quinolone derivative for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It is conducting various clinical trials of Vosaroxin, including Phase II clinical trial, known as VALOR trial in combination with cytarabine for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory AML; and a Phase II clinical trial, known as REVEAL-1 in previously untreated patients of age 60 years or older, as well as completed a Phase II single-agent trial of Vosaroxin in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. In addition, the company is conducting a Phase II/III trial, known as the Less Intensive 1 in patients older than 60 years with AML or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome. It has a license agreement with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. , Ltd. for the development and commercialization of Vosaroxin; a collaboration agreement with Millennium for the development of pan-Raf kinase inhibitor and one additional undisclosed kinase inhibitor program in oncology; and a collaboration agreement with Biogen Idec, Inc. to discover, develop, and commercialize small molecule inhibitors of a preclinical kinase inhibitor program in immunology. The company formerly known as, Mosaic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
The biggest new holdings are Virgin Media and Constellation Brands. Other new holdings of interest include Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS ) , which has many investors hopeful about the phase 3 trials of its leukemia drug vosaroxin, which could be a blockbuster.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, biopharmaceutical company Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS ) has received an alarming one-star ranking.
Top 5 Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Blue Sphere Corp (BLSP)
Blue Sphere Corp. (Blue Sphere), incorporated on July 17, 2007, is a development-stage company. The Company is a project integrator in the clean energy production and waste to energy markets. The Company focuses its business primarily on the United States, Africa and China. The Company seeks to generate revenue through sales of energy, carbon credits, project development and through the sale of compost, soil amendments and by-products. The Company’s service solution includes managing the entire process of producing clean energy based on a BOO model (Build, Own and Operate), selecting the suitable technology for the project, arranging project financing (debt and equity), arranging feedstock supply, devising and implementing ways for the project to become more energy efficient, obtaining eligibility for and receive carbon credits, renewable energy credits and other ecologically-related benefits, constructing and equipping the project on a turnkey basis and managing the pro ject for the duration of its revenue-producing life.
On January 31, 2012, the Company lent an Israeli company, CTG Clean Technology Group Limited. In August 2012, the Company signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Biogas Nord AG (BGN), which is one of Germany’s anaerobic digestion (AD) companies with almost 400 AD installations in operation throughout the world, including the United States.
As of September 30, 2012, the Company was focusing on seven projects for which the Company had signed, definitive agreements to own and implement such projects and which are in various stages of development. Two of its seven projects are organic food waste to energy with compost as a by-product. The remaining five projects are landfill gas to energy projects. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Eastern Sphere, Ltd. and Blue Sphere USA, Inc.
- [By E. Michael Greenberg]
Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP) is on the cusp of breaking ground on two significant electrical production plants in the United States, using Anaerobic Digestion technology. Blue Sphere’s plants located in Charlotte, North Carolina and Johnston, Rhode Island are expected to produce 5.2 MW and 3.2 MW of electricity daily. Blue Sphere’s management believes they are at the forefront of a technological shift that will change how the United States will process waste and produce a substantial amount of its energy. There are many practical and regulatory factors that point to success for Blue Sphere’s initiatives.
- [By E. Michael Greenberg]
Blue Sphere is a small company with a big future and that future starts now. Over the last two weeks Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP) has announced commitments for over $25 million dollars of financing for their Charlotte, North Carolina based 5.2 Mega Watt (Mw) anaerobic digestion facility. Blue Sphere, in two press releases, announced a commitment for $17.785 million in debt financing from Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, the financial services arm of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and $7.5 million in an equity commitment from a leading environmental finance fund.
- [By E. Michael Greenberg]
Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP), a company in the cleantech sector which develops waste-to-energy and other renewable energy projects has been attracting the attention of investors and media as they ramp up their innovative projects in the U.S. The Company aspires to become a key player in the global waste-to-energy and renewable energy markets and CEO Shlomi Palas, took time to answer questions about his firm.
Top 5 Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Prumo Logistica SA (LLXL3)
Prumo Logistica SA, formerly LLX Logistica SA (LLX), is a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in the sector of port logistic services. The Company builds and develops the Acu Port, located in Sao Joao da Barra, in the north of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The Industrial Complex Acu Port has two port terminals (T1 and T2) and the capacity to handle various types of cargo, such as petroleum, iron ore, coal, solid and liquid bulk and general cargo. The Company’s subsidiaries include LLX Minas-Rio Logistica Comercial Exportadora SA, LLX Acu Operacoes Portuarias SA and LLX Brasil Operacoes Portuarias SA. In October, 2013, EIG LLX Holdings SARL reached a 52.82% stake in the ordinary share capital of the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Denyse Godoy]
A committee of exchange executives, banks and brokerages developed the changes to the benchmark index. BM&FBovespa said on its website that it hadn’t made changes to the gauge’s methodology since its inception in 1968. LLX Logistica SA (LLXL3), the shipping unit that Batista founded, is the second-lowest priced stock on the Ibovespa after dropping 36 percent this year to 1.53 reais.
Top 5 Safest Stocks To Watch Right Now: Teekay Tankers Ltd(TNK)
Teekay Tankers Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of oil tankers. As of August 16, 2011, it owned a fleet of nine double-hull Aframax tankers and six double-hull Suezmax tankers. The company, through its joint venture with Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Limited, also owned a very large crude carrier newbuilding. As of March 1, 2011, it operated four Aframax tankers in the Teekay Pool and three Suezmax tankers in the Gemini Pool arrangements; and five Aframax tankers and three Suezmax tankers under fixed-rate time-charter contracts. The company is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.
- [By Sean Williams]
Tank you very much
I haven’t been a fan of the shipping sector in years, but I’m finally coming around to a few of the stronger candidates. This week I plan to add oil transporter Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK ) to the list.
- [By Taylor Muckerman]
After falling over 87% in the past five years, Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK ) believes that the supply of carrying capacity is finally aligning itself with demand again. For 2014, the company expects the lowest fleet growth since 2002. If this is the case, management believes fleet utilization will have reached a trough and could possibly begin its ascent to levels north of 84%. Tankers haven’t enjoyed this level of utilization since the industry sank below this depth in 2010.
- [By Tim Melvin]
Teekay Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: TNK) is another cheap foreign stock to buy now that appears to have enormous recovery potential over the next few years.