If you do a Google search for Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) and J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) , you’ll find lots of commentary suggesting that the two are very similar. Both retailers have struggled to keep shoppers coming in for the past several years. Moreover, Best Buy’s recent move to add small branded shops for Samsung and Microsoft products looks similar to former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson’s plan to divide his stores into collections of about 100 shops.
As my colleague Rick Munarriz wrote last month, “Ron Johnson’s flawed experiment to turn J.C. Penney around by opening branded mini-stores in the department-store chain is alive and well at Best Buy… The market eventually soured on Johnson’s vision when it failed to generate sales growth at J.C. Penney. A similar fate may also await Best Buy.”
Best Buy is opening small Samsung and Microsoft shops in its stores (photo courtesy of Best Buy).
Top 5 Sliver Companies To Watch For 2014: SofTech Inc (SOFT)
SofTech, Inc., incorporated on June 11, 1969,is a provider of engineering software solutions with its ProductCenter PLM (product lifecycle management) technology and its computer-aided design product CADRA offering. On May 24, 2011, the Company sold its Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) product line. In October 2013, SofTech, Inc announced that it has completed the sale of substantially all of the assets of its CADRA product line.
The Company’s ProductCenter technology manages the engineering data and electronic files of discrete parts designed in third party design technologies offered primarily by Solidworks, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) and Autodesk. ProductCenter is an enterprise, collaborative PLM solution delivering a combination of document management, design integration, configuration control, change management, bill of materials management and integration capability with other enterprise systems. ProductCent er is designed to help companies optimize the product development process. ProductCenter provides for the secure management of product information and allows engineers and the entire design chain to manage, share, modify and track product data and documents throughout the product development lifecycle.
The Company’s ProductCenter supports engineering change management and bill of materials management for automating business processes. ProductCenter also enables integration with other business applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) for continuous data exchange across the product lifecycle.
The Company’s CADRA offering is a drafting and design software package for the professional mechanical engineer. The CADRA family of CAD/CAM products includes CADRA Design Drafting, a mechanical design documentation tool, CADRA NC, a 2 through 5 axis NC programming application, and CADRAWorks with SolidWorks p! roviding for an integrated drawing production system and three dimensional (3D)solid modeler. The CADRA family of products includes a collection of translators and software options.
The Company competes with Autodesk, Dassault, Siemens, and PTC
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks New China Global (OTCMKTS: NCGI), RealBiz Media Group Inc (OTCMKTS: RBIZ) and SofTech, Inc (OTCMKTS: SOFT) sank 21.11%, 14.81% and 10.89%, respectively, last Friday. Moreover, two of these three small caps have been the subject of paid promotions or investor relations activities, but this week is the start of a new trading week and anything can happen. So will these three small cap stocks keep sinking? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap tech, mobile or cloud computing stocks SofTech, Inc (OTCMKTS: SOFT), Firstin Wireless Technology Inc (OTCMKTS: FINW) and Izea Inc (OTCMKTS: IZEA) have been getting some extra attention lately in various investment newsletters or alerts. That’s because at least one of these stocks appears to be the subject of paid third party promotions while another is the focus of an apparent investor relations campaign. Keeping that in mind, are these three tech orientated stocks going to bring profits to investors and traders or bring out the luddite in them? Here is a closer look:
Top 5 Sliver Companies To Watch For 2014: Cheniere Energy Inc.(LNG)
Cheniere Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals and natural gas pipelines in the Gulf Coast of the United States. The company develops LNG receiving terminal projects on Sabine Pass LNG in western Cameron Parish, Louisiana on the Sabine Pass Channel; Corpus Christi LNG near Corpus Christi, Texas; and Creole Trail LNG at the mouth of the Calcasieu Channel in central Cameron Parish, Louisiana. It also involves in the oil and natural gas exploration and development activities; and LNG and natural gas marketing business. The company was founded in 1983 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By Anna Prior]
Cheniere Energy Inc.(LNG) said Spanish energy company Endesa SA(ELE.MC) agreed to purchase about 1.5 million tons a year of liquified natural gas from the Houston-based company’s planned Corpus Christi export operations. The agreement is for 20 years from the first commercial delivery, which is expected to start as soon as 2018. Shares edged up 2.4% to $58.99 premarket.
- [By Stephen Quickel]
This Monaco-based company owns and operates a sizeable fleet of ocean-going liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which it charters out and manages for others. Earnings are expected to grow 32% a year. Thirteen of 14 analysts rate it a Strong Buy or Buy.
Top 5 Sliver Companies To Watch For 2014: Cosi Inc.(COSI)
Cosi, Inc. owns, operates, and franchises premium convenience dining restaurants. It offers squagels, sandwiches, hearth-baked quiches, oatmeal, salads, soups, appetizers, melts, flatbread pizzas, S?mores, fruit parfaits, wraps, and other desserts; coffees and other espresso-based beverages, seasonal fruit smoothies and specialty drinks, soft drinks, and flavored teas, as well as bottled beverages, such as still and sparkling waters. The company also sells alcoholic beverages comprising beer and wine. Its restaurants also offers catering service for the breakfast and lunch day parts, including breakfast baskets, lunch buffets, and dessert platters. As of August 26, 2011, it had 80 company-owned and 58 franchise restaurants in 17 states in the United States, the District of Columbia, and the United Arab Emirates. Cosi, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is based in Deerfield, Illinois.
- [By James Brumley]
But Sbarro is hardly the only restaurant struggling to make ends meet right now. Indeed, there are several more that may be following in the pizza chain’s bankruptcy footsteps. In no particular order, here are five more restaurants that may be fiscally insolvent in the foreseeable future.
The sandwiches may be delicious, but the menu Cosi Inc. (COSI) offers at its 136 restaurants is increasingly irrelevant, either for price (the average ticket size is about $8.81), convenience, or both.
- [By John Udovich]
At the end of last week, small cap sandwich stock Potbelly Corp (NASDAQ: PBPB) had a delicious surge of 120% for its IPO – meaning its probably a good idea to see whether its still worth getting in on the action plus take a look at the performance of peers Cosi Inc (NASDAQ: COSI), Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ: PNRA) and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc (NASDAQ: BAGL) as Subway remains private. I should mention that competing with Subway in the sandwich business is a tall order as they have 40,229 restaurants in 102 countries and territories as of early September – making them the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator globally. However, Potbelly Corp and its peers Cosi Inc, Panera Bread Co and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group aren’t slugging it out directly with Subway.
Top 5 Sliver Companies To Watch For 2014: Taylor Capital Group Inc.(TAYC)
Taylor Capital Group, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Cole Taylor Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products and services primarily to closely-held commercial customers and their owner operators in the Chicago area. It offers various deposit products, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as time deposits, and other deposit and credit services to commercial clients and community-based customers, including individuals and small local businesses. The company?s commercial lending activities primarily consist of providing loans for working capital and business expansion or acquisition; owner-occupied commercial real estate financing; revolving lines of credit; and stand-by and commercial letters of credit. It also originates and sells mortgage loans. In addition, the company provides treasury cash management services, including repurchase agreements, Internet balance reporting, remote deposit capture, positive pay, automa ted clearing house products, imaged lock-box processing, controlled disbursement, and account reconciliation services to commercial clients; and investment management and brokerage services. Further, it offers asset-based financing, including revolving lines of credit supported by receivables and inventory; and term loans supported by equipment and real estate. The company?s target commercial lending customers include businesses engaged in various industries, such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail distribution, transportation, construction contracting, and professional services. It operates through nine banking centers in the Chicago area. The company was founded in 1929 and is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Commercial banking concern Taylor Capital Group (NASDAQ: TAYC ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.50 per share on its Series A perpetual non-cumulative preferred stock, which trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol TAYCO.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Looking to expand its banking business in the Windy City, MB Financial (NASDAQ: MBFI ) jointly announced with Taylor Capital (NASDAQ: TAYC ) that it was buying the holding company of Cole Taylor Bank, a Chicago-based commercial bank with $5.9 billion in assets, $3.3 billion in loans, and $3.7 billion in deposits.
- [By Sean Williams]
What: Shares of Taylor Capital (NASDAQ: TAYC ) , the holding company of Cole Taylor Bank, a commercial and consumer lending and financial services company located in the Chicago area, skyrocketed as much as 22% after agreeing to be purchased by MB Financial (NASDAQ: MBFI ) .
Top 5 Sliver Companies To Watch For 2014: Ecopetrol S.A.(EC)
Ecopetrol S.A. operates as an integrated oil company in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2010, its proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas consisted of 1,714.0 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company also transports crude oil, motor fuels, fuel oil, and other refined products, as well as mixture of diesel and palm oil. It owns transportation network consisting of 3,003 kilometers of crude oil pipeline directly, as well as an additional 2,178 kilometers of crude oil pipeline with its business partners; and 3,017 kilometers of multi-purpose pipelines for transportation of refined products from refinery to wholesale distribution points. As of the above date, Ecopetrol S.A. owned 58 stations with a nominal storage capacity of 19 million barrels of crude oil and 6 million barrels of refined products. In addition, the company owns and o perates refineries that produce a range of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, sulfur, heavy fuel oils, motor fuels, and petrochemicals, including paraffin waxes, lube base oils, low-density polyethylene, aromatics, asphalts, alkylates, cyclohexane and aliphatic solvents, and refinery grade propylene, as well as provides industrial services to third parties. Further, it markets various refined and feed stock products, including regular and high octane gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, natural gas, and petrochemical products. The company was formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos and changed its name to Ecopetrol S.A. in June 2003. Ecopetrol S.A. was founded in 1948 and is based in Bogota, Colombia.
- [By GuruFocus]
Ecopetrol S.A. (EC) Reached the 52-Week Low of $38.85
The prices of Ecopetrol S.A. (EC) shares have declined to close to the 52-week low of $38.85, which is 41.5% off the 52-week high of $64.06. Ecopetrol S.A. is owned by 2 Gurus we are tracking. Among them, 1 has added to their positions during the past quarter. 2 reduced their positions.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Looking to modernize its Cartagena refinery in Colombia, Ecopetrol’s (NYSE: EC ) board of directors has approved spending more than half a billion additional dollars this year on an upgrade. The full project is estimated to cost nearly $6.5 billion.