Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now

Moody’s is concerned that Sony will not be able to maintain the profitability levels it had experienced years ago.

LONDON (CNNMoney) Sony’s debt rating has been downgraded to “junk” status by Moody’s, with the agency warning that profitability would likely remain “weak and volatile.”

Shares in Sony (SNE) dipped by 3% in Japan as most Asian markets experienced significant losses Monday.

Moody’s (MCO) explained that the Japanese company was facing extreme pressure in its TV and PC units, due to “intense global competition, rapid changes in technology, and product obsolescence.”

Ultimately, Moody’s concluded that it would be difficult for Sony to improve and stabilize its profitability.

“We expect the majority of [Sony’s] core consumer electronics businesses — such as TVs, mobile, digital cameras and personal computers — to continue to face significant downward earnings pressure,” Moody’s wrote.

Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now: Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC (MIC)

Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC (MIC) owns, operates and invests in a diversified group of infrastructure businesses that provide basic services, such as chilled water for building cooling and gas utility services to businesses and individuals primarily in the United States. The businesses it owns and operates include individual segments with three of them grouped as the Energy-Related Businesses. Macquarie Infrastructure Management (USA) Inc. (MIMUSA), which is its Manager, is part of the Macquarie Group, consisting of Macquarie Group Limited and its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. On August 31, 2011, Atlantic Aviation acquired the assets of the FBOs at the Portland International and Eugene airports in Oregon (together referred to as Flightcraft).

The Energy-Related Businesses include a 50% interest in a bulk liquid storage terminal business (International Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT)), that provides bulk liquid storage and handling services at ten marine terminals in the United States and two in Canada and is a participant in this industry in the United States, based on storage capacity; a gas processing and distribution business (The Gas Company), that is the only full-service gas energy company in Hawaii, and a 50.01% controlling interest in a district energy business (District Energy), which operates a district cooling system in the United States, serving various customers in Chicago, Illinois and Las Vegas, Nevada. Atlantic Aviation is an airport services business providing products and services, including fuel and aircraft hangaring/parking, to owners and operators of general aviation aircraft at 65 airports in the United States.

Energy-Related Businesses

MIC owns 50% of IMTT. The remaining 50% is owned by a trust for the benefit of members of the founding family. IMTT stores and handles petroleum products, various chemicals, renewable fuels and vegetable and animal oils. IMTT is an ind ependent provider of bulk liquid storage terminal services i! n the United States, based on capacity. IMTT also owns OMI Environmental Solutions (Oil Mop), which is an environmental emergency responses, industrial services, waste transportation and disposal business. Oil Mop has a network of facilities along the United States Gulf Coast between Houston and New Orleans. These facilities primarily service the Gulf region, but also respond to spill events and provides services as needed throughout the United States and internationally. The 16 million barrel storage terminal at Bayonne, New Jersey has the most storage capacity of any IMTT site.

NYH serves as the main petroleum trading hub in the northeast United States and the physical delivery point for the gasoline and heating oil futures contracts traded on New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). In addition to waterborne shipments, products reach NYH through petroleum product pipelines from the United States Gulf region and elsewhere. NYH also serves as the starting point fo r refined product pipelines linked to inland markets and as a key port for refined petroleum product exports. IMTT-Bayonne has connections to the Colonial, Buckeye and Harbor refined petroleum product pipelines, as well as rail and road connections. As of December 31, 2011, on the lower Mississippi River, IMTT operated four terminals (St. Rose, Gretna, Avondale and Geismar). With combined storage capacity of 18.9 million barrels, the four sites give IMTT substantial market share in storage for black oil, bulk liquid chemicals, and vegetable oils on the lower Mississippi River.

The Gas Company is Hawaii’s only government franchised full-service gas company, manufacturing and distributing gas products and services in Hawaii. The market includes Hawaii’s approximately 1.4 million residents and approximately 7.3 million visitors, during the year ended December 31, 2011. The Gas Company manufactures synthetic natural gas (SNG) for its utility customers on Oahu, a nd distributes Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to utility and ! non-utili! ty customers throughout the state’s six primary islands. The Gas Company has two primary businesses, utility (or regulated) and non-utility (or unregulated). The utility business serves approximately 35,300 customers through localized pipeline distribution systems located on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. Over 90% of these customers are on Oahu. The utility business includes the manufacture, distribution and sale of SNG on the island of Oahu and distribution and sale of LPG Utility revenue consists principally of sales of SNG and LPG.

The non-utility business sells and distributes LPG to approximately 33,400 customers. LPG is delivered by truck to individual tanks located on customer sites on Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. Non-utility revenue is generated primarily from the sale of LPG delivered to customers. SNG and LPG have a number of commercial and residential applications, including water heating, drying, cook ing, emergency power generation and decorative lighting, such as tiki torches. LPG is also used as a fuel for specialty vehicles, such as forklifts. Gas customers include residential customers and a range of commercial, hospitality, military, public sector and wholesale customers. SNG is delivered by underground piping systems to customers on Oahu. LPG is transported in cylinders or tanks.

District Energy operates district cooling system in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the system served approximately 100 customers in downtown Chicago and one customer outside the downtown area under long-term contracts. District Energy produces chilled water at five plants located in downtown Chicago and distributes it through a closed loop of underground piping for use in the air conditioning systems of large commercial, retail and residential buildings in the central business district. District Energy also owns a site-specific heating and cooling plant that serve s a single customer in Chicago outside the downtown area. Th! is plant ! has the capacity to produce 4,900 tons of cooling and 58 million British Thermal Units of heating per hour. District Energy’s Las Vegas operation owns and operates a stand-alone facility that provides cold and hot water (for chilling and heating, respectively) to three customers in Las Vegas, Nevada. These customers consist of a resort and casino, a condominium.

Aviation-Related Business

Atlantic Aviation operates FBOs at 65 airports in the United States. Atlantic Aviation’s FBOs provide fueling and fuel-related services, aircraft parking and hangar services to owners/operators of jet aircraft, primarily in the general aviation sector of the air transportation industry, but also commercial, military, freight and government aviation customers. Other services include de-icing, aircraft parking, hangar rental and catering. Fuel is stored in fuel tank farms and each FBO operates refueling vehicles owned or leased by the FBO. The FBO either owns or h as access to the fuel storage tanks to support its fueling activities. At some of Atlantic Aviation’s locations, services are also provided to commercial carriers. These may include refueling from the carrier’s own fuel supplies stored in the carrier’s fuel farm, de-icing and/or ground and ramp handling services.

The Company competes with Bahamas Oil Refining Company International Limited; Buckeye Partners, L.P.; Enterprise Products Partners L.P.; Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company; Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.; Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.; NuStar Energy L.P.; Oiltanking Partners, L.P.; Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.; Royal Vopak N.V.; Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.; TransMontaigne Partners L.P.; Vitol Holding B.V.; Westway Group, Inc.; Alinda Capital Partners LLC; ArcLight Capital Partners; Challenger Infrastructure Fund; First Reserve Corporation, Global Infrastructure Partners, Signature Flight Support, Landmark Aviation and Million Air.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Steve Sears]

    New stocks in what Goldman calls the “Hedge Fund VIP list,” include Actavis (ACT), Baidu (BIDU), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Crown Castle International (CCI), Entergy Louisiana (ELB),  Equinix (EQIX), Facebook (FB), Fleetcor Technologies (FLT), W.R. Grace (GRA), MetLife (MET), Macquarie Infrastructure (MIC), Micron (MU), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Time Warner (TWX).

  • [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 Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE: MIC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now: On Assignment Inc.(ASGN)

On Assignment, Inc., a diversified professional staffing firm, provides flexible and permanent staffing solutions in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company?s Life Sciences segment provides contract and permanent life science professionals to clients in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, personal care, chemical, medical device, automotive, municipal, education, and environmental industries. Its contract professionals include chemists, clinical research associates, clinical lab assistants, engineers, biologists, biochemists, microbiologists, molecular biologists, biostatisticians, drug safety specialists, SAS programmers, medical writers, food scientists, regulatory affairs specialists, lab assistants, and other skilled scientific professionals. The company?s Healthcare segment offers locally-based and traveling contract professionals that include nurses, specialty nurses, respiratory therapists, surgical technicians, im aging technicians, X-ray technicians, medical technologists, medical assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, coders, billers, claims processors, and collections staff, as well as dental professionals. This segment serves hospitals, integrated delivery systems, imaging centers, clinics, physician offices, reference laboratories, universities, managed care organizations, and third-party administrators. Its Physician segment provides short and long-term locum tenens services, and full-service physician search and consulting services. The company?s IT and Engineering segment offers high-end contract and direct placement services of information technology and engineering professionals with expertise in specialized information technology; software and hardware engineering; and mechanical, electrical, validation, and telecommunications engineering fields. On Assignment, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Calabasas, Cali fo rnia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    &copy 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of professional staffing firm On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN  ) popped 11% today after its quarterly results and guidance topped Wall Street expectations.

  • [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 On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now: Saks Incorporated(SKS)

Saks Incorporated operates retail stores in the United States. Its stores offer an assortment of fashion apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, and gifts. The company operates stores under the brand name of Saks Fifth Avenue (SFA) that are principally free-standing stores in shopping destinations or anchor stores in upscale regional malls. It also operates Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH (OFF 5TH) stores, which are primarily located in upscale mixed-use and off-price centers. As of January 28, 2012, the company operated 46 SFA stores; and 60 OFF 5TH stores. Saks Incorporated also sells its products online at, as well as through catalogs. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    During the year we made a number of portfolio changes. In addition to Forest Oil Corp., positions in Carters, Inc., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Class A shares, and General Communication, Inc., Class A shares were eliminated and Saks, Inc. (SKS) was sold due to the company’s acquisition by Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC) (the $16 takeover price compared to our cost of approximately $4 .25 per share). One new position, Radian Group, Inc. (RDN), was established. One of the largest private mortgage insurance companies, Radian Group, Inc. should benefit from a recovery in the housing industry and from the Federal Housing Administration’s gradual pull-back from the mortgage insurance market.

  • [By Howard Gold]

    The only retail stocks he likes now are high-end emporia like Saks (SKS), which has agreed to a buyout from Hudson’s Bay, and off-price retailer Ross Stores (ROST), whose stock has risen 700% from its lows.

  • [By Andrew Marder]

    Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that high-end retailer Saks (NYSE: SKS  ) had brought in Goldman Sachs to explore a possible sale. The company also reported its first-quarter results, and is looking fairly strong. Comparable sales grew, and earnings per share hit analyst expectations. The combination of quarterly results and sale rumors conspired to push the stock up 11% yesterday, and overnight it rose another 18%. Is this the right time for Saks to sell, and if so, what should investors be on the lookout for?

Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now: AFC Enterprises Inc.(AFCE)

AFC Enterprises, Inc. develops, operates, and franchises quick-service restaurants under the trade names of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. As of December 25, 2011, it operated and franchised 2,035 Popeyes restaurants in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Cayman Islands, and 25 foreign countries. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Reese]

    Indeed, in 2013, the Greenblatt-based portfolio has bounced back strong, returning more than 50%. Below is a look at its current holdings.

    EBIX, Inc. (EBIX)

    Western Refining (WNR)

    DirecTV (DTV)

    ITT Educational Services (ESI)

    Science Applications International (SAIC)

    Weight Watchers International (WTW)

    ConocoPhillips (COP)

    AmSurg Corp. (AMSG)

    PDL BioPharma (PDLI)

    AFC Enterprises (AFCE)

    Subscribe to Validea here…

  • [By Robert Hanley]

    That is good news for the industry’s victors, which in the quick-serve chicken category include AFC Enterprises (NASDAQ: AFCE  ) , owner of the Popeyes Chicken and Louisiana Kitchen concepts. The company has spent the past 40 years building itself into the No. 3 brand in the space, trailing only competitors KFC and Chick-fil-A.  After a strong five-year run, should investors keep betting on this rising star?

Top 5 Services Stocks To Watch Right Now: Korian SA (KORI)

Korian SA is a France-based company that operates healthcare facilities and medical establishments. The Company’s holdings include residential centers for the elderly (EHPAD), offering permanent social care and medical support; follow-up care and rehabilitation centers, including general and specialized centers. Korian SA’s establishments are located in France, Italy and Germany via its subsidiaries, Segesta S.p.A., Phonix GmBH, Reacti Malt SAS, Sas La Normandie, Sa La Bastide de la tourne, Sas Mapadex La Roseraie, among others. In March 8, 2013, it finalized the acquisition of Curanum AG by Korian SA’s Korian Deutschland AG. In February 2014, it announced the acquisition of a clinic in Florence and the sale of the psychiatry division in France comprising seven clinics and two nursing homes. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Korian (KORI) declined 3.8 percent to 24.35 euros. The merger with Medica will create the largest French operator of nursing homes. Medica holders will receive Korian stock valued at about 23.01 euros a share, the companies said in a statement today. That’s 15 percent above Medica’s closing price on Nov. 15. Medica shares added 2.4 percent to 20.50 euros.