Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014

Boeing’s design and manufacture of its cutting-edge 787 jetliner is safe despite the plane’s many problems since its rollout, including a fire that forced a redesign of the plane’s batteries, according to a report issued jointly Wednesday by the Federal Aviation Administration and the aircraft maker.

The yearlong review concluded “the aircraft was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification,” the agency said in a statement.

The report also makes several recommendations for further improvements by Boeing and FAA.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked for the review in January 2013 after a lithium-ion battery caught fire on a 787 parked at Logan International Airport in Boston. A battery aboard another 787 failed less than two weeks later.

The 787, Boeing’s newest and most technologically advanced plane, is the first airliner to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries. Since the FAA didn’t have safety regulations for those batteries as installed equipment in planes when the 787 was designed, the agency and Boeing jointly developed the special safety conditions the plane’s battery system should meet.

Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014: AZZ Inc (AZZ)

AZZ incorporated, incorporated on March 29, 1956, is an electrical equipment and components manufacturer, serving the global markets of power generation, transmission and distribution, and the general industrial markets, and a provider of hot dip galvanizing services to the North American steel fabrication market. The Company operates in two segments: the Electrical and Industrial Products and Services Segment and the Galvanizing Services Segment. On October 1, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Galvcast Manufacturing Inc. On January 2, 2013, the Company acquired G3 Galvanizing Limited (G3), a company with galvanizing operations in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On March 29, 2013, the Company completed its acquisition of Aquilex Specialty Repair and Overhaul LLC. In April 2013, it completed the acquisition of Aquilex Specialty Repair and Overhaul LLC (Aquilex SRO).

Electrical and Industrial Products and Services Segment

The Company’s Electrical and Industrial Products and Services Segment produces engineered specialty electrical products, industrial lighting and tubular products, all of which the Company market and sell both in domestic and international markets. The Company’s electrical products are designed, manufactured and configured to distribute electrical power to and from generators, transformers, switching devices and other electrical configurations and are supplied to the power generation, transmission and distribution markets and the general industrial market. The Company’s industrial products include industrial lighting and tubular products. The Company provides lighting products to the petroleum and food processing industries, and to other industries with lighting challenges. The Company also provides tubular products to the petroleum industry. In addition, the Company’s Electrical and Industrial Products and Services Segment provide electrical and mechanical equipment and services enhancing the safety of nuclear faci! lities.

Galvanizing Services Segment

The Galvanizing Services Segment provides hot dip galvanizing to the steel fabrication industry through facilities located throughout the South, Midwest, East Coast and Southwest of the United States and in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Hot dip galvanizing is a metallurgical process in which molten zinc is applied to a customer’s material. As of February 28, 2013, the Company operated thirty-five galvanizing plants, which are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia in the United States and Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada. The Company serves fabricators or manufacturers that provide services to the electrical and telecommunications, bridge and highway, petrochemical and general industrial markets, and numerous original equipment ma nufacturers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    AZZ (NYSE: AZZ  ) has released results for its Q4 2013 and trailing 12 months. For the quarter, net sales were just over $140 million, which bettered the $124 million in the same period the previous year. The bottom line also rose, to $13.2 million ($0.52 per diluted share) from Q4 2012’s $11.6 million ($0.46).

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of electrical equipment maker AZZ (NYSE: AZZ  ) dropped as much as 16% today after the company reported earnings.

    So what: Revenue was up 44%, to $183.2 million, but net income fell 9%, to $14.5 million, or $0.57 per share. Analysts expected $197.6 million in revenue and $0.63 in earnings, so the quarter fell well short of expectations. 

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    AZZ (NYSE: AZZ  ) is again opening its coffers for a shareholder payout. The company has decided to keep its dividend steady by declaring a fresh distribution of $0.14 per share. This will be paid on July 26 to shareholders of record as of July 12. That amount matches each of the firm’s previous three distributions, the most recent of which was handed out in early May. Prior to that, AZZ paid $0.25 per share, although this was in advance of a two-for-one stock split effected in July 2012.

  • [By Holly LaFon] Worth-based Azz Inc. (AZZ) makes electronic equipment and tubular products and provides galvanizing services. Greenblatt bought 19,515 shares of the company at an average of $43 per share in the fourth quarter.

    Azz has generated strong cash flow over the last 10 years, with two slightly down years. It grew its revenue at a 10-year rate of 10.9 percent, EBITDA at 22.9 percent, and book value at 17.2 percent. In the last five years it grew cash flow at a rate of 11 percent. Its return on equity has been in the double digits since 2007 and return on assets has been declining for the last four years.

    The company’s stock price fell to 52-week lows in the fourth quarter, but began to turn around when the company announced its fourth-quarter financial results. Its net sales had increased to $345.5 million in the first nine months of the year from $280 million in the same period last year. Net sales increased in both its electrical and industrial products and its galv anizing services segments after its electrical and industrial products segment revenue had decreased 20 percent for the full year ended February 2011.

    The company’s future prospects will be influenced by the expansion of the solar industry. “I anticipate an overall growth rate of 2 to 3 percent in the coming year. The solar market was and remains the driving force for growth in 2011, and is projected to remain a significant player through 2016,” said Tim Pendley, senior vice president and chief operating officer with AZZ Inc.

    Azz’s P/E, P/S and P/B ratios:

    AZZ pe,ps,pb Interactive Chart

    Primoris Services (PRIM)

    Primoris is a contractor and infrastructure company founded in 1946. It provides services related to construction fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater and engineering to clients that are typically major public utilities, petrochemical companies, energy companies, municipalities and others. It doubled its size in 2009 and 2010 whe

Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014: Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)

Hanesbrands Inc., a consumer goods company, engages in the design, manufacture, sourcing, and sale of apparel essentials in the United States and internationally. Its product portfolio includes T-shirts, bras, panties, men?s underwear, kids? underwear, casualwear, activewear, socks, and hosiery. The company offers its products under the brand names of Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, L?eggs, Just My Size, barely there, Wonderbra, Stedman, Outer Banks, Zorba, Rinbros, and Duofold. Hanesbrands also licenses its Champion name for collegiate apparel and footwear. The company sells its products through various distribution channels, which include mass merchants, national chains and department stores, direct to Consumer, and other retail channels, such as embellishers, specialty retailers, and sporting goods stores. As of January 2, 2010, it operated 228 outlet stores. The company is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Hanesbrands Inc. operates independently of Sara L ee Corp. as of September 5, 2006.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By , Zacks Investment Research]

    Investors seeking exposure to the ‘Apparel’ industry could look at HanesBrand (HBI), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock.

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  • [By Marc Bastow]

    The biggest increase among our dividend stocks this week was a tie between two companies, including consumer apparel brands manufacturer Hanesbrand (HBI), which raised its quarterly dividend 50% to 30 cents per share, payable on Mar. 11 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 18.
    HBI Dividend Yield: 1.68%

  • [By Richard Moroney]

    When HanesBrands (HBI) initiated a quarterly dividend in April, the underwear maker said the move reflected its debt-reduction progress, cash-flow growth, and margin-improvement prospects.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap apparel stock G-III Apparel Group, Ltd (NASDAQ: GIII) has been making bullish moves lately plus the stock is up 97.1% since the start of the year, making it the third best performing apparel stock (according to stock screener Finviz) after small cap Ever-Glory International Group Inc (NYSEMKT: EVK) and mid cap Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc (NYSE: FNP) followed by mid cap Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE: HBI). But is the G-III Apparel Group dressed for long term success for investors?

Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014: Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (ETY)

Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (the Fund) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide current income and gains, with a secondary objective of capital appreciation. The Fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of common stocks. The Fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets in a combination of dividend paying common stocks, and common stocks the value of which is subject to covered written index call options. It seeks to generate current earnings in part by writing (selling) stock index call options on the S&P 500 Index and investing in dividend-paying common stock. The Fund invests in sectors, such as financials, energy, information technology, industrials, healthcare, consumer staples, telecommunication services, consumer discretionary, materials and utilities.

The Fund’s investment advisor is Eaton Vance Management (EVM). Its sub-advisor is Rampart Investment Management. The Fund may invest in Cash Management Portfolio, an affiliated investment company managed by Boston Management and Research (BMR), a subsidiary of EVM.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Carlson]

    This recommended fund is Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income (ETY). The options that the fund writes give buyers the right to buy the stocks from the fund at fixed prices by a certain date.

Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014: CSX Corporation (CSX)

CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides rail-based transportation services. The company offers traditional rail service, and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. It transports crushed stone, sand and gravel, metal, phosphate, fertilizer, food, consumer, agricultural, automotive, paper, and chemical products; and utility, industrial, and export coal to electricity-generating power plants, steel manufacturers, industrial plants, and deep-water port facilities. The company also provides intermodal transportation services through a network of approximately 50 terminals transporting manufactured consumer goods in containers in the eastern United States, as well as performs drayage services and trucking dispatch operations. In addition, it operates distribution centers and storage locations; connects non-rail served customers to the benefits of rail by transferring products, such as ethanol and minerals, from rail to trucks; engages in the real estate sale, leasing, acquisition, and management and development activities. CSX Corporation operates approximately 21,000 route mile rail network, which serves various population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as operates approximately 4,000 locomotives. It also serves production and distribution facilities through track connections to approximately 240 short-line and regional railroads. CSX Corporation was founded in 1978 and is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Teresa Rivas]

    Shares of CSX (CSX) were slipping Thursday afternoon, after an analyst downgrade citing lack of catalysts for the railroad giant.

    Barclays’ Brandon Oglenski and Keith Mori cut their rating on the stock from Overweight to Equal Weight and lowered their target price by $2 to $30. They write that while CSX is still the cheapest in the sector, they see marginal upside for the stock given a limited growth outlook in 2015. They also note that a difficult start to 2014 implies further headwinds, as CSX’s cost and margin performance has lagged peers in recent periods, and “efficiency gains could be masked in the near-term as the network regains fluidity.”

    Their downgrade also relates to dynamics in the coal industry:

    CSX shareholders have sustained a volatile ride in the past two years, dominated by the loss of nearly $800mm in coal revenue. Dynamics have improved in the near term for domestic coal consumption, but pending environmental regulations and soft export markets make for a difficult long-term outlook. Based on our analysis of future headwinds, we estimate coal revenues could decline a further $380 to $500mm in the coming years. We are encouraged at CSX’s pace of expansion beyond coal markets, which has totaled nearly $1bn in additional revenue or 12% of growth in two years. However, growth has been insufficient to create favorable earnings outcomes given coal’s relatively high profitability. Beyond the near term, coal headwinds signal another slow growth year in 2015, driving our downgrade to Equal Weight.

    EPA regulations and soft exports drive negative long-term view on coal – We estimate a further 16% reduction in domestic coal for CSX through 2018, based on analysis with our Power and Utilities team surrounding pending (Mercury and Air Toxics) MATs rules. Further, U.S. export tonnage is expected to decline 30% through 2015, creating an aggregate coal headwind of $380mm to $500mm. With coal representing an outsized pr

  • [By Tabitha Jean Naylor]

    Despite this handicap, railroad stocks have been excellent investment vehicles for years — even Bill Gates is a major shareholder in a railroad. Let's take a look at how the stocks of two publicly traded railroad companies performed in 2013: Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and CSX (NYSE: CSX).

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    CSX Corp.’s(CSX) fourth-quarter profit fell 3.8% as expenses climbed, masking a jump in volume boosted by strong shipments of chemicals, autos and agricultural products. Shares dropped 4.9% to $27.80 premarket.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Just when you think the stock market might get something going, earnings and sales disappointments ended its two-day winning streak. CSX Corp. (CSX), Best Buy (BBY), Citigroup (C) and United Health (UNH) helped weighed the major indexes down.

Top 5 US Companies To Invest In 2014: Dun & Bradstreet Corp (DNB)

The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (D&B), incorporated on April 25, 2000, is the source of commercial information and insight on businesses, enabling customers to Decide with Confidence. As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s global commercial database contained more than 220 million business records. The database is enhanced by its DUNSRight Quality Process, which transforms commercial data into valuable insight which is the foundation of its global solutions. Customers use D&B Risk Management Solutions to mitigate credit and supplier risk, increase cash flow and drive profitability; D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions to provide data management capabilities that provide marketing solutions to increase revenue from new and existing customers, and D&B Internet Solutions to convert prospects into clients by enabling business professionals to research companies, executives and industries.

The Company operates in three segments: North America (which consists of its o perations in the United States and Canada); Asia Pacific (which primarily consists of its operations in Australia, Greater China, India and Asia Pacific Worldwide Network), and Europe and other International Markets (which primarily consists of its operations in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Latin America and its European Worldwide Network). The Company conducts its business internationally through its wholly owned subsidiaries, majority-owned joint ventures, independent correspondents, strategic relationships through its D&B Worldwide Network and minority equity investments.

Risk Management Solutions

The Company provides traditional, value-added and supply management solutions. The Company’s Traditional Risk Management Solutions, which primarily includes its core DNBi product line, as well as reports from its database which are used primarily for making decisions about new credit applications, constituted 74% of its Risk Manageme nt Solutions revenue and 47% of its total revenue for the ye! ar ended December 31, 2012. Its Value-Added Risk Management Solutions, which constituted 20% of its Risk Management Solutions revenue and 12% of its total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012, generally support automated decision-making and portfolio management through the use of scoring and integrated software solutions. The Company’s Supply Management Solutions, which can help companies understand the financial risk of their supply chain, constituted 6% of its Risk Management Solutions revenue and 4% of its total revenue in 2012. Risk Management Solutions accounted for 63% of its total revenue in 2012.

Effective January 1, 2013, the Company began managing and reporting its North America Risk Management Solutions business as DNBi subscription plans, Non-DNBi subscription plans, and projects and other risk management solutions.

The Company’s principal Risk Management Solutions are DNBi, various business information reports, eRAM, and D&B Dire ct. DNBi is the Company’s interactive, customizable online application that offers customers a subscription based real time access to its complete and up-to-date global DUNSRight information, comprehensive monitoring and portfolio analysis. It is also focused on helping more customers protect their business from risk through additions of DNBi products: DNBi Corporate, offering flexible pricing options allowing credit departments of all sizes to get data and options they need and Portfolio Risk Manager for DNBi, a module which allows DNBi users to create strategic one -click analytic reports to see risk and opportunity across their customer base. Various business information reports include Business Information Report, its Comprehensive Report, and its International Report that are consumed in a transactional manner across multiple platforms, such as eRAM is an enterprise solution for large global and domestic customers for automated decisioning and portfolio analy tics. D&B Direct is a software application programming inter! face (API! ) that enables data integration inside enterprise applications, such as ERP, and enables master data management.

Sales & Marketing Solutions

The Company’s Sales & Marketing Solutions is a customer solution set, which accounted 29% of its total revenue in 2012. Within this customer solution set, it offers traditional and value-added solutions. Its Traditional Sales & Marketing Solutions generally consist of its marketing lists and labels used by the Company’s customers in direct mail and marketing activities, its education business and its electronic licensing solutions. These solutions constituted 30% of its Sales & Marketing Solutions revenue and 9% of its total revenue in 2012. Effective January 1, 2013, The Company began managing and reporting its Internet Solutions business as part of its Traditional Sales & Marketing Solutions set. Its Value-Added Sales & Marketing Solutions generally include decision-making and customer information manag ement solutions, including data management solutions like Optimizer (its solution to cleanse, identify and enrich its customers’ client portfolios) and products introduced as part of its Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) Strategy, which integrates the Company’s data directly into the applications and platforms that its customers use every day. The Value-Added Sales & Marketing Solutions constituted 70% of Sales & Marketing Solutions revenue and 20% of its total revenue in 2012

Internet Solutions

The Company’s Internet Solutions business provides organized and easy-to-use products that address the online sales and marketing needs of professionals and businesses, including information on companies, industries and executives. Internet Solutions, primarily representing the results of its Hoover’s business, accounted for 7% of its total revenue in 2012. Effective January 1, 2013, the Company began managing and reporting its Internet Solutions business as par t of its Traditional Sales & Marketing Solutions set.

T! he Company competes with Equifax, Inc., Experian Information Solutions, Inc., infoGROUP, Graydon, and Sinotrust.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB) was down, falling 9.16 percent to $96.71 after the company reported downbeat Q4 earnings.

    In commodity news, oil traded up 0.80 percent to $97.20, while gold traded down 0.41 percent to $1,254.50.

  • [By Carol Hymowitz]

    Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) and Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB) had new CEOs starting this quarter and several other companies have changes pending, according to Equilar Inc., which tracks executive compensation.